Hey everyone! Not sure how many people read the content published on Hagerty Media but I have a weekly advice column, Piston Slap, that is a Q&A for just about anything related to cars. Right now I need more questions to answer!
I've covered everything from Blue Flame C1 Corvettes not getting fuel, to a 1980 Buick that needs to be transported from Egypt back to the good 'ol USA.
If you wanna join in on the fun, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can tell a good story and enlighten people on the interweb together!
Wow, you definitely have the knowledge and passion...you are gonna be a very valuable resource for me. BTW, here's mine...Jack Baruth wrote about it before he came here, and yes I hate the lace wheels on it: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a31825/first-drive-1988-zimmer-quicksilver/
They were a rare sight back in the day and more so today. Most I have seen are trashed or in really good shape no in between.
I got into Fieros back in 1980 with a magazine article I still have. I went to buy a new TA but the insurance due to my age was too much. So I bought the Fiero. It was a daily driver for 3 years.
I then was in a hard accident but the car held up well and I kept it. I got a truck and started to fix it up with many of the parts available back in the day.
Started showing and doing well.
I have collected a ton of Fiero history and went on to be the President of the Cleveland Fieros years ago.
Over the years I got to meet and know many of the Fiero program people.
I have collected many rare things too. I have a full set of the fitted luggage. Some of the rare body parts. The Herb Adams VSE suspension kit.
The best thing I have is 13 1990 Fiero emblems. They are prototypes
that GM made about 120 of but only 25 are know to be left. They are raised up emblems that are a little different than the original. GM even gave me the engineering drawing for it.
Most of my former club went on to Corvettes. I hope to buy one soon but I will keep the Fiero. It was my first car and with the modifications I made it my own.
It is not the fastest car but it is fun to drive and when I go to shows there is nothing else there like it.
Also it was my first new car. I would kick myself for not keeping it.
I did entertain selling it once. Right after I got it I was offered a Ferrari Dino. The guy wanted $15,000. I considered it but thought it would rust and where would I get parts. About 5 years later the prices skyrocketed on these. So I can say I turned down a Dino for a Fiero ...lol!
I have experienced everything a Fiero owner can experience. I was the local celebrity when I bought it. People would follow you and stop you to see the car.
Then with the bad PR you were scorned for your choice.
Today it is once again cool as so many come by and say I had one or with I had one of those.
The funniest compliment I have gotten more than once was. “I don’t like Fieros but I like yours”
I only have a Fiero badge on the nose. Many people have no clue what the car is. One event they parked me in with the exotic cars at the show not the Pontiac’s. It was even more funny that it drew a crowed even parked next to a 275 Ferrari coupe. You just can’t get away with things like that in a Chevelle.
GM has used it for display at one of its events. I have had it on the turn table at Summit Racing’s retail store in Akron. I drove it though an office buildings hallways to put it on display one place.
The best is when I got to Indy and on the track for triple digit laps. Then into victory lane with the original 84 Fiero Pace car. Even my wife got a few laps in over 100 mph.
Being different has its benefits. I may not get rich off it but the experiences have been grand.
I love your take on this hobby. Just to start things off, here's what we have in mind for the Zimmer: http://www.nathanbittinger.com/fieroaddiction/ls4-general-info
Would love your thoughts, haven't pulled the trigger yet but it will likely get shipped to your neck of the woods (somewhere in OH) for a friend of a friend's shop to perform the conversion for us (with my guidance on what to do, as they are not GM savvy).
I have not done a swap but I know many that have.
The LS is the best swap right now. Not expensive, many parts for the engine and light weight with an all aluminum engine. The old V8 swaps sucked with cast iron blocks and heads.
The one mistake many do is have people do a Fiero swap that have no experience. Often the swaps can get extended and too much for some. It also can affect durability too. I have seen a number of cars go to a swap and never get finished.
Not judging your people as I don’t know them. A well experienced shop can do this but they need skills and knowledge as there is not a lot of guides on this.
You may want to get on the Pennocks Fiero Forum. There is a number of guys with swaps there. Also some on Facebook but I am not on FaceBook so I can’t recommend.
The king of the swaps was V8 Archie. He used to do the best swap kits. He is semi retired but will do a job once in a while from what I have heard.
A Zimmerman might bring him out?
If not he may be able to give guidance and suggestions on what to use and who to use for help.
Yeah this shop is a friend of a friend type of thing, and they have fabricated their way into swapping newer Porsche powertrains into 914s. Odds are they can do it, but they have no experience with GM stuff. So it's a leap of faith to some extent, but not a crazy wild leap.
The V8 Archie kits look amazing, but he doesn't make anything specific for an LS+Automatic combination. For that reason its likely best to just get an LS4 donor car and follow the instructions from that GM Tuners website.
The worst part is the electronics but now there are stand alone harness and computer set ups that make it clean and easier to set up.
Exhaust most do it their own way in many cases. Everyone likes something different.
Cooling at least a 3 core radiator.
Not sure if you have flushed the coolant yet. But to fill it get the rear up in the air and the nose down. Fill from the rear till the radiator is full. Cap it and then back fill to the back. Keeping the back up higher lets the air go to the back at the high point. It is a trick an old Exotic car mechanic taught me.