Don’t know if this is the case in your neck of the woods, but there’s a small group of Fiero enthusiasts around that snatch these up wherever they can find them and restore or resto-mod them.
Yes they do have a following. Even the early cars.
Stuffing 5.3 V8s in the things!
The suspension revisions for the '64 Corvair improved its handling to a great extent, but the change in suspension design for '65 made it into a genuinely great-handling car.
The initial problem with the Fiero was that its design phase began as a cheap commuter car, but somewhere along the line before it was introduced, they decided to market it as a small sports car. The cheapo suspension components made that attempt into a bad joke.
Then, there was the compromise that was necessary in order to shoehorn the otherwise-good Iron Duke engine into the small rear bay. By reducing the crankcase capacity to (I think… ) 3 qts, there was precious little room for error when it came to drivers who aren’t very careful about their car’s fluid levels. The result was connecting rods going through the block and some nasty fires.
In typical GM fashion, they finally perfected the problems with both of those cars… just in time to discontinue them.
I’ve seen an LS in a Fiero, and I have to say I don’t think it’s much worse than those 2.8 engines that were in there. I think back to working on those…blech.
The Fiero shared the sub-frame and suspension with the X-body Citation, was that an inferior suspension?
Which engine was the body designed for?
Data shows the engine oil capacity for the Fiero to be 4 quarts, 3 quarts for the Citation.
And so did the front wheel drive GM A-bodies(model year 1982 - mid-1990s)!
Did GM cross-platform just about everything in their lineups?
I was under the impression that the original Fiero’s front suspension design was taken from the Chevette, and this site confirms my recollection:
I hadn’t realized that the Fiero’s rear suspension was adapted from the front suspension of the Citation X-cars, but that is hardly a sports car heritage.
As to the oil capacity, this article from Motor Trend https://www.motortrend.com/features/pontiac-fiero?slide=9#google_vignette confirms that the first-year Fiero had an oil capacity of only 3 qts. You have to scroll through the gallery of pics to pic#9 in order to see the following verbiage on that site:
“For space reasons, Pontiac decided to use a three-quart oil pan instead of a four-quart on the first-year Fieros. The downside was a nasty side effect where the engine would run hot because there wasn’t enough oil to scavenge. Compounding the fire issue was faulty connecting rods and a wiring harness that was mounted far too close to the exhaust manifolds.”
I owned a 4-cylinder Citation, and my Owner’s Manual listed the oil capacity as 4 qts.
That would make sense.
I guess cross-platforming everything between divisions, from dashboard knobs, to radios, to seats, frames, suspensions, etc. saved dough within a company with a GDP higher than half of Central America(Guatemala, Honduras, etc) combined.
One interesting, yet disproven example of the General’s cross-platform, repurposing platforms:
That the drastically down-sized for 1977 B-body fullsized cars(Caprice, Bonneville, Delta 88, etc.) were pinned on the same A-body platform(115" wheelbase) that underpinned every GM midsize from the '64 Malibu and Skylark to 1973-77’s ‘Colonnade’ intermediates (Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Cutlass Supreme).
In truth, the new for '77 B-fullsize chassis borrowed some attributes from the '64-'77 A-intermediate, but was a separate chassis in its own right.
Yup! The Fiero was limited in funds because Chevy played politics when Pontiac said they wanted a sports car so the Chevette (actually the late 60s Opel Kadette) front suspension (short-long-arm) was used and the front suspension from the X-cars (A-arm strut) was used in the rear. GM corporate was scared stupid of having another Corvair so the car was built with a substantial amount of understeer. Also didn’t help that the parts-bin suspension bits did NOT play well together (well duh!)
There was no power steering available (no EPS or even electro-hydraulic power steering) and the Iron Puke suffered a run of bad connecting rods that caused the windows in the block and subsequent fires.
The low-revving Duke was the wrong engine (and everyone knew it!) and there was no 5 speed available. It should have gotten the Opel 2.0 liter OHC engine and its 5 speed plus a turbo variant used in the FWD J cars. Lighter, more revvy, better fuel economy and a turbo already developed.
The '88 car used the same strut but with a 3-link suspension. Both the rear and the new front short-long-arm suspension were tuned to work with each other and still provided enough understeer to make corporate happy. With a 130 hp 2.8 V6 and a 5 speed, it was a good performer and the handling was very good… a match for the Corvette, I’m told, on twisty race tracks… and Chevy could NOT have that. Sales dropped below the break-even of 53,000 cars a year and Fiero was cancelled.
That’s an excellent explanation. With that type of insight, one would think that you had been a suspension engineer for a major US car company.
The X-car chassis was carried over to the A platform - Chevy Celebrity, Buick Century, ect and to the U-van… the Pontiac Transport - the Dustbuster and Chevy and Olds versions. It just kept getting heavier springs and stronger dampers for the greater weight.
The downsized B and D platform cars - Caprice and Deville, 88 ect were similar in concept to the A body cars from the 60s and 70s. They didn’t share parts. But then so were the downsized RWD A-body (renamed G body when the Celebrity came out) with SLA fronts and 4 link solid rears. The S10 truck and later S10 Blazer front suspensions were shared with the G-body cars.
When the FWD big cars came out in 1985 every one of those cars shared chassis parts. The front ends were also shared with the later H-body cars.
Economies of scale keep prices down and profits up until too much stupid brings the profits right back down!
Ford and Chrysler did the same.
My first car was a 1965 Corvair convertible and it was a pig. I also drove a Corvair Greenbriar van for a summer job. It made my Corvair seem like a sports car. It was a manual, btw.
GM had the potential for a lot of good things, but the corporate accountants and other NON-automotively-motivated folks managed to nix anything that would have appealed to genuine auto afficianados.
Yeah we had a greenbrier at the greenhouse. I’d ride along delivering flowers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Two speed automatic. Took forever to get up to highway speed. Don’t know if it was four or six cyl but I think four. Matched the color on the 58 Chevy wagon. Can’t remember the name of the color but beige and cinnamon metallic. Nice colors. I didn’t work there for pay until later.
Ok coming back. Had the flower contract for the Erickson or Erickson holiday stations. One of the stops was at one of the Erickson brothers collecting money. Times were tough back then.
I woudn’t be caught dead anywhere in Georgia.
Other than the city of Alanta you would miss a lot of friendly and helpful people.
I’m very much not a social person. The few trips i’ve made “down south” have convinced me that there is nothing there for me. The only place down south that I’m comfortable is southeast Florida.
There are some nice areas in North Georgia, but something like a blend of ‘Dukes of Hazard’ and ‘Deliverance’.