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'85 fiero GT Widebody restore

Printed From: West Coast Fieros
Category: Technical Topics Forum
Forum Name: Build Threads
Forum Description: A Place to post step by step build threads.
Printed Date: 24 September 2023 at 4:42pm
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Topic: '85 fiero GT Widebody restore
Posted By: JKFiero
Subject: '85 fiero GT Widebody restore
Date Posted: 05 March 2016 at 5:48pm
So I was pretty much given the car if I tow it away. It needs some restoration. The interior is in bad shape and it needs at least a battery/alternator. I thought it was a shame it was just sitting there so I decided to take on the car.

I plan to try swapping the battery/alternator belt and give the engine a once over. If it runs great, if not I'm thinking possible engine swap or rebuild. I think it's worth getting back on the road.

Posted By: Dr.Fiero
Date Posted: 05 March 2016 at 6:08pm
Welcome to the group!

If you have any questions on the swap, just ask.
If it's a GT, it of course has the V6.  Is it a manual or auto?

Doing an alternator with a stick is SUPER easy. Auto, not so much.  But there are tricks (of course).

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 05 March 2016 at 6:12pm
It's a 4 speed auto. I have heard the alternator can be a bit hard to replace but it's certainly do-able. I want to jump it and see if it fires up too. Getting it towed over tomorrow.

Posted By: ARTIC-1
Date Posted: 05 March 2016 at 6:27pm
Congrad on you new Fiero,lots of good help long has it sat un touched.may need some TLC to fire up.
If any thing,flush you Fule SYS by taking out the starrett valve-(tire valve)- on the Fule rail,put a hose on it to a empty
Pop jug an see just what's in that tank,IF the pump cycles.then you will no if the pump is good. Then cycle the Fule pump
By turning the key on an off A few times to bring fresh Fule up to the rail.just a sejustion buddy,good luck



88-TTop/ Duke-2.5. RED

Posted By: Dr.Fiero
Date Posted: 06 March 2016 at 6:34am
Originally posted by JKFiero JKFiero wrote:

It's a 4 speed auto.  

Someone did a 440 swap on it?!  I'm sure there's a lot of people here that would want to see the details on that.

Take lots of pics!

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 06 March 2016 at 3:33pm
Actually I'm not sure how many gears, but it's an auto. More pics to come, I successfully had it towed home today.

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 06 March 2016 at 4:39pm
And I do have to say, it looks damn good parked in my garage! Haha! Neighbour's are already coming over to ask about it.

The interior is in terrible shape; water damage and the side pannels are ripped off.   First thing is to dry and clean it out then I'll sort out the interior
Bought some de-humidifier packs and towels which are going in tonight. I might end up replacing the seats entirely too.   

She needs some TLC for sure but I tell you it was love as first sight. Once I read about the mid engine I knew it was too unique a car to leave sitting there. I guess I've caught the fiero bug.   Bonus is my girlfriend also loves it and offered to help with the restore.

Posted By: Dr.Fiero
Date Posted: 06 March 2016 at 4:52pm
If you don't mind a very minor challenge...  GUT the interior!

Sounds worse than it is on these.  You can probably have it down to almost bare in a few hours.
There just isn't much there.  Pull the seats and carpets at a dead minimum.
Center console will let you attack a few other things at the same time.

As with all GM products, the screws get pretty specific.  Pull a panel/part, then stick the screws back into the same holes and wrap a flap of masking tape over the threads.  You'll thank yourself later!

If you need to know a good sequence, just let me know.

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 07 March 2016 at 6:59pm
Got some spare wheels with falcon tires on em. They should clean up nice, they look unused and the guy said they're the best. Also found some awesome old pontiac seat belt things in the trunk. haha!

Engine pics coming soon...

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 07 March 2016 at 7:13pm
I'm deciding whether to gut the interior or shampoo it really well. The wife likes the idea because she could shampoo the house too hahaha. We'll see. The seats are really rough, I hate to get rid of the speaker-seats, but they may be beyond salvage and I doubt the speakers still work. The steering wheel is stripped too it needs a wrap, I'll probably wrap it in leather or something. Otherwise the rest is not too bad, just need to re-attach the door pannels and we're good, hopefully the door locks still work, that's one thing I haven't checked. Oh and it needs weather stripping obviously unless I just never take it out in the rain.

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 07 March 2016 at 10:17pm
Engine pics. We'll see if it runs.

What are my best options? 257,000 on the odometer.

Posted By: Dr.Fiero
Date Posted: 08 March 2016 at 5:52am
Looks like it's been sitting...  a long time!

At that mileage, if it's untouched internally, you're over the 'ripe' zone for loosing the bottom end. This engine loved to toss rod bearings right around 200K. Couldn't even count the number of them I've built/rebuilt over the years.

Depending on how daring you're feeling... you could just fire it up and cross your fingers.  You could pull the plugs and fog the cylinders (got a borescope? Take a peek while you're at it.)

If the engine's pooched - look at your swap options.  For what you'll put into a 2.8, and what you'll get out - the $/hp just isn't there.  If this was an optioned out trailer queen with collector potential then I'd say fix what you've got.

Posted By: beken
Date Posted: 08 March 2016 at 11:14am
You might be surprised.   The speakers in my seats still work.   It's the front speakers in the dash that might not work.  


Beken (aka Ken) -   Original and still the owner of an 85SE 2M6 4spd

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 08 March 2016 at 11:52am
Well see if I can clean up those seats. I know it's not a pure collector one, but it'd be nice to preserve as much heritage as possible.

Sooooo about the engine; my next questions are; does anyone know a goid fiero mechanic who could do an engine swap? Also estimate on labor cost? I'm thinking a 3.8 SC swap would be awesome, but a 3.4 would be fine too.   Should I be looking for crate motors? Or what's the deal. I've never done an engine swap before. Hoping it won't cost an arm and a leg. I'm ready to put a few G's into it but I don't really want to spend a fortune on it either.

Posted By: Dr.Fiero
Date Posted: 09 March 2016 at 5:27am
Engine swaps can range from fairly cheap (since you had a suitable donor car in the back yard anyhow), right up to insane (uhhh, I want a blown 454, front mounted).

A 3.4 *iron head* pushrod engine is as close to a bolt in swap you'll find.
As soon as you move from the iron head, now manifolds stop fitting, and the list goes on.

10 years ago, I'd always say to expect not a penny less than 2500 to rebuild what you've got.

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 09 March 2016 at 4:26pm
That's not bad, i want to save the car! Fieros are unique, rare and cool. It would be a shame to toss it away. I just need a capable mechanic for an engine swap. I'm reading I might need new things like; fuel pump, wire harness, pcb, mounts. Thinking about putting a manual transmission in it, or maybe just run the auto until it breaks first. I've seen some kits online and people who might have a wiring harness to sell. Since I don't have the proper garage to pull the engine myself right now I'm thinking I could order a kit and pay a shop to install it. I need to look at the brakes and give the underside a good look too. I'll probably need to grease some parts and clean the heck out of everything. I'm going to put it up on stands and look under next. I'll post pics of course ;)

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 10 March 2016 at 7:43pm
Undernieth, looks like oil Leaking?

Pulley is rusty

Rusty clamps. Is that the catlyitic converter?

Muffler has some rust...

Struts look dirty but in working order.

Oil leak???

Aside from a few parts with some rust, the rest looks pretty intact. Might try jump starting it this weekend. I should probably flush the fuel first though.

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 10 March 2016 at 8:22pm

Posted By: ARTIC-1
Date Posted: 11 March 2016 at 7:57am
Good to see some pics,Yep! It looks like a Fiero under side.some TLC an you may be up an running soon.looks
Like you have got a bit to do yet.Fule SYS is a good you may?will have ELE issue,things may work an then
All of a sudden they Won't or stop.but that's pretty much to be expected after the Fiero sat unused for a while.
Keep posting the progress,hope your up an running soon, good luck.

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 11 March 2016 at 10:12am
Yeah I'm going to try to check the fuel system and electric system probably this weekend. The previous owner said he started it a year and a half ago so I have high hopes.

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 13 March 2016 at 11:39am
Came down sick this weekend so no updates.

I've been mulling over the idea of looking for another good condition 85 GT and just swapping the body pannels etc. If I can find one for a good price and low milage (good luck) it might be more economical than an engine swap + restoring any other faulty components.

Posted By: Car-2-Lo
Date Posted: 13 March 2016 at 2:08pm
[QUOTE=JKFiero]Came down sick this weekend so no updates.

I've been mulling over the idea of looking for another good condition 85 GT and just swapping the body pannels etc. If I can find one for a good price and low milage (good luck) it might be more economical than an engine swap + restoring any other faulty components.


Shocked you may not be able to swap the rear body clip, looks like it was moulded 
(rear clip, rear bumper and quarter panels) all into one piece on the car ?


Posted By: ARTIC-1
Date Posted: 13 March 2016 at 8:17pm
Yea it looks like Johnny is right,the body on your Fiero has bin moulded in to pice,front clip an rear bumper.
If you can get it running ? Then you may be able to make a stronger choice on just what to do,fresh motor
Would be a good choice? If this motor isn't up to Snuff!they may will be a few other things all so.
Good luck



88-TTop/ Duke-2.5. RED

Posted By: JKFiero
Date Posted: 16 March 2016 at 8:42pm
Yeah the body was a one off I think. He told me they made it seamless. I think the intake scoop actually works! The engine oil looked empty and the coolant looked empty too. I'm going to need to check many things in the engine. I have some really good service manuals and I'm just going to follow one step by step. The Pontiac "Do it Yourself" guide that came with the car even shows you a lot of things. It was cool I got the original manuals with it.

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