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Storm Trooper Maintenance Thread

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:39 pm
by The Dark Side of Will
1988 Fiero Formula

Code: Select all

Parking Turn    Hazards Right Front     Right Front     Dash            Right Rear
Lights  Signal          Marker          Side Marker     Indicator       Tail/Marker
ON      OFF     OFF     Bright Steady   Steady          OFF             OFF
ON      ON      OFF     Bright Steady   OFF             Steady          OFF
ON      OFF     ON      Bright Steady   Flashing        Flashing        OFF     (RFM was later dim and flashing with the side marker)
OFF     ON      OFF     Dim Steady      Steady          Steady          OFF
OFF     OFF     ON      Dim Flashing    Flashing        Flashing        OFF     (RFM and side marker flashing in time)
Sigh... almost looks like the filaments in the right front marker light are wired in backwards.
I guess it's been like this the whole time I've owned it, because I've never messed with those wires.

Storm Trooper maintenance thread

Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:01 pm
by The Dark Side of Will
I guess I should have made this thread a loooong time ago. I've had the car since summer 2006. I bought it as part of a package deal for a complete Falconer intake for iron heads. $900 for everything :wink:

In addition to The Mule, I also have a Formula 5 speed. It's white. Since it's white, covered in plastic and from the '80's, a friend called it the Storm Trooper and the name stuck.

It has beechwood interior and the only options are cruise and A/C. It has a craptastic aftermarket sunroof which leaks; I sealed it up with silicone caulk and don't bother opening it. EGR has been blocked off.
A PPO had a "shunt" which damaged the right front suspension and bent the right rear wheel. As a result it has three black wheels (and fortunately the correct '88 fronts) with one gray rear wheel. The crossmember was bent in the accident. A friend of my dad's who has a frame machine straightened it to some extent, but it's not perfect... The right side can't get to spec caster, for example. The car came with a straight crossmember and LCA's, but I've been hanging onto them to have them dip stripped and e-coated.

Basically, I'm keeping it as a stock beater/runabout/backup car. I've had to do water pump and clutch, and maybe alternator, but not any other major maintenance. It gets 28-29 mpg on the highway and hardly uses any oil. I turn it to 5500+ every time I drive it and it just won't die. 160k+ miles right now.

Mods, aside from EGR blockoff are rod end rear lateral links, Rodney's spherical bearing sway bar end links and Konis all around. It has Rodney's urethane engine and trans mounts and his heavy duty trans brackets as well. I installed Rodney's aluminum slave cylinder replacement as well. It still has the Grant wood steering wheel it had when I bought it. Oh yeah, it has an "off road pipe" because the cat disintegrated. I also replaced the parking brake cables and adjuster and have Rodney's alternator bracket reinforcement.

Recently, it sprung a leak in the coolant crossover tube. The tube had rusted through at the bracket where it bolts to the transmission. Sigh. The Fiero Store lists replacement tubes for '85-'87 V6 auto, '85-'87 V6 manual and '88 V6 auto, but not '88 V6 manual. Sigh. I bought the '88 V6 auto tube in plain stainless. I just cut the trans bracket off tonight and I should be able to get it welded back on in position for the manual trans tomorrow. I'm using The Mule's original powertrain for the mockup.

Rodney's powertrain mounts turned what was a smooth stock replacement clutch into chattering monster, confirming my theories about transverse powertrains and relaxation oscillators. I'll need to install a rod-end dogbone to eliminate that tendency.

I'm also dealing with some electrical gremlins prior to getting it inspected again.

Plans?
I want to transplant the sunroof from the '86 SE that I wrecked in college so I can get rid of that shitty aftermarket garbage one that's on it now.
Beyond that, I'll probable leave it stock.

I'd *like* to do a 3.6 DI + F40 swap on it, but that's going to be until after I make a lot of progress on The Mule, Bad Idea and the Eagle.

Re: Storm Trooper maintenance thread

Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:49 pm
by crzyone
I think your automotive ADD is about as bad as mine lol... That's a lot of irons in the fire.

Re: Storm Trooper maintenance thread

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:22 am
by CincinnatiFiero
We need to do a picture heavy thread of everyone's current stable, I think we've all got automotive ADD and its hard to keep track of whose driving what.

Re: Storm Trooper maintenance thread

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:29 am
by Shaun41178(2)
CincinnatiFiero wrote:We need to do a picture heavy thread of everyone's current stable, I think we've all got automotive ADD and its hard to keep track of whose driving what.
I agree. Plus it would be fun

Re: Storm Trooper maintenance thread

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:40 am
by The Dark Side of Will
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Re: Storm Trooper maintenance thread

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:36 am
by Emc209i
Shaun41178(2) wrote:Plus it would be fun
Like having a pinewood derby in Daytona? 8)

Re: Storm Trooper maintenance thread

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:56 pm
by The Dark Side of Will
Got the old tube out and tried to put the new one in. I have the bracket left/right alignment off just a little bit, meaning that the tube can't go far enough to the right for the top end to slip into position. The bracket is also too long, putting the left end of the tube too high (as in, interfering with the frame rail). Not sure if I want just to cut it off and secure with zip ties or to cut it off and try welding it back on again.

Re: Storm Trooper maintenance thread

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:42 am
by The Dark Side of Will
Had to cut the bracket off and try again.

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Re: Storm Trooper Maintenance Thread

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:50 am
by The Dark Side of Will
The Dark Side of Will wrote:1988 Fiero Formula

Code: Select all

Parking Turn    Hazards Right Front     Right Front     Dash            Right Rear
Lights  Signal          Marker          Side Marker     Indicator       Tail/Marker
ON      OFF     OFF     Bright Steady   Steady          OFF             OFF
ON      ON      OFF     Bright Steady   OFF             Steady          OFF
ON      OFF     ON      Bright Steady   Flashing        Flashing        OFF     (RFM was later dim and flashing with the side marker)
OFF     ON      OFF     Dim Steady      Steady          Steady          OFF
OFF     OFF     ON      Dim Flashing    Flashing        Flashing        OFF     (RFM and side marker flashing in time)
Sigh... almost looks like the filaments in the right front marker light are wired in backwards.
I guess it's been like this the whole time I've owned it, because I've never messed with those wires.

It really sounds like the bright and dim filaments of the right front marker light are backwards. I remembered that I did replace the light socket. The cheap replacement's color codes were different, so I may have gotten that screwed up. I have a Delco socket now which I will splice in and get this right... finally. And get the car inspected... Thanks VA.

Re: Storm Trooper Maintenance Thread

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:00 am
by The Dark Side of Will
I completed the coolant tube and that's in and running. I don't have pics of the way the bracket had to be welded on, but it's still visible in the car, so I may snag one later.

I replace the 8x25 304 SS bolts I had in the manifolds with 8x30 and added split lock washers. That should help keep the front manifold from leaking. I've never had any problems with the rear.

I figured out the front light problem... the Wells socket was such a piece of S@$% that the light bulb wouldn't go in the right way. I had it wired correctly, but I had the bulb in backwards without realizing it because that's the only way the bulb would go into the socket! :roll:

The Wells didn't have weather seals on the back side either, so I'm glad it's gone. I spliced in an AC Delco socket which is properly sealed and now the light works right... on to the right rear lights which probably just have a faulty ground, and then inspection for another year in VA.

Re: Storm Trooper Maintenance Thread

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:28 pm
by The Dark Side of Will
Sooo... my dumb ass locked my only set of keys in the trunk. After calling a few locksmiths and being told "you're screwed', I decided I had to drill it out. That was fairly unevenful as the lock is pot metal and brass. I even used a 12V cordless drill.

I took my keys to my dad's favorite locksmith, who measured each tumbler location to guess its original dimension. The dimensions are incremental and standardized, so that's actually a straight forward process.
Once he had determined my original dimensions, he cut a pair of new keys to those specs and gave me the codes so I could have them reproduced from scratch in the future. Great, now I have new keys. He mailed them to me, I tested them to be sure they operated the doors and ignition, then mailed them back so he could make some duplicates.

Then I took the trunk/door key to my local GM dealership where a former roommate of mine works at the parts counter. I get good parts prices there. :wink:
We ordered a 12398670, which is an *un*coded lock kit that fit a whole lot of other cars in addition to the Fiero. I left my new key with him and the dealership's lock guy coded the lock for it. I picked it back up and realized that I had damaged the little bar that goes from the lock to the latch to actually open the decklid. He looked through the system and found a dealership in Utah that had one in stock, so I called them up and ordered it. F@#$ers charged me $25 shipping for a $3.59 part, I found out later that it's actually not hard to get outside GM's system. The part number is 20166681.

I tried to assemble everything and realized that I still needed the "return spring" from the old lock. It had escaped the drill without damage, but broke as I was installing it on the new lock. Sigh. Just cycled out I guess. I couldn't find the part number for it, but the guys at CarQuest showed me a pick of their pre-coded generic lock kit that had one... for $13 for the whole kit... for a $1 spring... and throw the rest away. oh well, almost there. I later found that the return spring is PN 7001087.

Since this is not something most Fiero owners mess with, here are some pics:

Assembled lock (12398670) with return spring (7001087) and shaft (20166681)
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The approximate relationship of the components as they'll sit in the car
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Lock ready for the clip to be installed. You can see where I drilled too far and damaged the decklid
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The clip sliding in to secure the lock
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Re: Storm Trooper Maintenance Thread

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:33 pm
by The Dark Side of Will
This happened last night:

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So I'll have to do this again:

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Re: Storm Trooper Maintenance Thread

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:35 am
by ericjon262
next time, instead of drilling the lock, you can apply machinist's blue to a blank key, put it in the lock, and turn it. the marks will be left in the blue, file the blank down to the marks, and the key should open the lock. I tried it on one of my cars, and when I took the blank out, the marks looked like the key was straight cut, so I assumed this idea didn't work. pulled the lock cylinder out, took it to a locksmith, and they cut me a new lock that looked just like the marks on the key and it worked...!

Re: Storm Trooper Maintenance Thread

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:01 am
by The Dark Side of Will
Summer '16, the A/C worked, but leaked down. Using my dad's leak detector, we found that the compressor shaft seal was leaking. I bought a new compressor.

Following my year in the 'Stan, last weekend I replaced the A/C compressor and receiver/dryer. I also installed a variable orifice valve (VOV) in place of the original orifice tube. My dad and I pulled the system down. We only pulled the vacuum for an hour or so because I had to get on the road, BUT it never got below ~29.5 inches Hg. The usually indicates a leak, however, the system pressure did not rise when we closed the valve to the vacuum pump. Interdasting. R-12 is extremely sensitive to moisture in the system, requiring a system to be filled with R12 to be held at 30" Hg overnight to ensure that all entrained moisture has flashed off and been removed. Newer R-12 drop in replacements are not water sensitive, so 29.5" vacuum is ok with them.

We blew a couple cans of CR-12 into the system and it's worked great since. It was interesting to note the operation of the VOV, as the compressor no longer cycled at idle. The VOV opened up to allow more refrigerant through than the orifice tube would have. The result is that the pressure drop was not as large, the high side pressure not as high and the low side pressure was not quite as low, but the mass flow of refrigerant through both the evaporator and condenser was SIGNIFICANTLY increased. The result of this is that the system can move way more heat than it could the way GM built it. Since the compressor ran continuously, the system was absorbing the maximum possible horsepower at that RPM. Even if efficiency is slightly compromised the vastly greater input power more than makes up for it.

The result of all this is dramatically improved A/C performance at idle and low engine/vehicle speeds.