1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula Walkaround [HD]
I have nothing new so here's a video of my so-called "clunker" with the new camcorder.
Currently has a small vacuum leak due to a rotted EGR tube gasket so it sets off a Code 32; but it is still drivable. New gasket came today and will fix next week.
Eco Steve Home Made 1984 Pontiac Fiero Electric Vehicle Conversion
1984 Pontiac Fiero Electric Vehicle Conversion / From start to finish with a ride along. In this video you will see how easy it is to convert a gas car to electric in your driveway with no garage and really no special tools. I did have a coupler made from a machinist because this part has to be pretty balanced as it can spin on the motor about 5000 rpm's. The coupler cost about $600 but compared to me hacking in the backyard +/- worth the money. The car cost $300, coupler $600,and the used forklift parts and batteries free (salvaged). Not bad for around $1000!
$2009 AWD Hybrid Fiero - How it works
This is a run through what it takes to drive the AWD hybrid Fiero and how to drive it in different modes. I built this car for the Grassroots Motorsports $2009 challenge, with a total investment of about $1800.
Here's a link to the build thread:
My '84 Fiero (Bought It New, Had It Ever Since)
Its on-again, off-again development took 6 years before it finally saw the light of day. Like almost every inexpensive sports car through history, it used numerous components from high-volume production cars to keep costs down.
Pontiac's crack marketing department predicted total sales of 60,000 that first year. Imagine their surprise when 30,000 people placed orders for the car sight unseen. By the time of its official introduction in September of 1983, there was a six-month waiting list. By model-year's end, 136,840 Fieros had flowed out the doors of its Pontiac, MI assembly plant, a record for any mid-engined car.
It was chosen as the Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500 that year, powered by a Pontiac 2.7L Super Duty 4 making 232 h.p. The 2000 Pace Car replicas sold to the public had the standard 92 h.p. Iron Duke 4.
Its Enduraflex body panels, bolted to a driveable space frame, never dented and never rusted. The lower door and fender panels would even bounce back from minor impacts. What GM learned about these body panels with the Fiero was applied to its first-generation minivans and its Saturn line of small cars.
This one was my first, and only new car. 26 years (as of April 9, 2010), 144,000 miles, (5,500 miles on this engine), two owners (for the first four years, the bank owned it. LOL). I ordered it in October 1983 from Townsend Pontiac in Merrillville, IN; it finally came in April 1984.
Mine is a Sport Coupe (the middle model), red with a gray interior and alloy wheels, and looks exactly like the Fieros Pontiac used in their print and TV advertising in '84. For this model year only, the engine cover grille was cast magnesium. The rear trunk held 5 upright sacks of groceries, the front compartment two more. (You listening, Solstice?)
It went 50,000 miles the first 3 years, thanks to a long daily commute; it took eight years to go the next 50,000. It took another 14 years after that to get to 140,000+ miles. Not that it had an easy life, being a daily driver in Chicago winters, where they throw salt on the street if a snow cloud passes overhead (notice I didn't say it actually had to snow.)
It's a 30-footer; from that distance, it could pass for new. As you get closer, you notice the stone chips, the clearcoat peeling off the wheels, the ripped driver's seat, and the swirl marks in the paint. But then, if any of you look like you did 26 years ago, raise your hands. Those of you who weren't even born 26 years ago can recuse yourselves.
It's on its second hood medallion; the first and only time I left the car parked outside my house overnight in 1987, someone tried to pry the first one off, and nearly succeeded. This is its second clutch and its second set of headlight motors, and its third set of tires (Eagle GT2's -- Goodyear no longer makes 215/60R14 tires, so my next set will have to be BF Goodrich). The old Iron Duke had to be replaced at 138,500 miles; with the new Duke, rebuilt by ATK, it's even faster than it was when new. The 4-speed has gone all the way
Other than that, it's original and bone stock, an increasing rare commodity in the Fiero world of turbo-V6 and small-block V8 engine swaps and one-off wheels, bodies and colors.
The only real problem I've had with this car is crappy repairs by mechanics, both dealer and independent, who shouldn't have been allowed to change a trunk light by themselves.
The Recall was the worst. The mechanics at my friendly local Pontiac dealer would loosen parts to get to other parts and forget to tighten them back, causing a noticeable rattle (hardly the car's fault) and refused to take responsibility for their shoddy work; I ended up tightening those parts back myself.
After 16 years of these kinds of repairs, through my local Fiero club, Northern Illinois Fiero Enthusiasts, I finally found a dealer mechanic, Dave Armstrong, who knew what the hell he was doing; he's the reason my car is still on the road. I found out from him that even when Fieros were still being made, it was OPTIONAL for Pontiac mechanics to be trained to work on them. If you brought your Fiero in for service, it was strictly luck whether you got a qualified technician (like Dave)or a clueless hack.
A possible consequence of getting a dealer hack, going to an independent mechanic or doing a backyard DIY repair? If the Fiero's cooling system was not flushed and refilled according to a specific procedure (clearly outlined in the owner's manual and, I would imagine, the dealer shop manual), the car ended up with HALF the antifreeze/coolant it was designed to hold. And there were engine fires? Gee, I wonder why.
Dave was the go-to Fiero guru at Jacobs Twin Pontiac in Chicago; now he's got his own garage near Harlem and Irving Park, doing a land-office business. It couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. He'll get your Fiero (or any other GM car) running right.
Contact him at 773-282-1444.
Pontiac Fiero NHTSA Frontal Crash Test
This is one of the original crash test videos for the Pontiac Fiero. In this video, dummies were restrained with the factory seatbelts.
"Fieros are deathtraps!" Not hardly......
Many people think that the Pontiac Fiero is an unsafe vehicle due to its small size. It turns out that the Fiero was the safest vehicle ever tested by the NHTSA without airbags. It was the second safest vehicle on the road in 1985, second to the Volvo DL Wagon. The DL had airbags. Even by today's standards, the Fiero still rivals many newer vehicles on the road today.
The methods of testing are exactly the same in 2010 as they were back in 1979 when NHTSA began testing cars. Cars are tested by impacting a solid barrier at 35 MPH.
The Fiero received a 5 star crash rating for both driver and passenger. A 5-star rating means a 10% or lower chance of serious injury. So 5-star means the same now as it meant 25 years ago.
Here are a few comparisons:
1984 Pontiac Fiero
Head Injury Criterion: 356.5/308.6
Chest Deceleration (G): 30.9/29.9
Femur Load 840/800 800/740
2003 Cadillac Deville
Head Injury Criterion: 826/507
Chest Deceleration (G): 75/58
Femur Load: 825/1297 875/848
2007 Buick Lacrosse
Head Injury Criterion: 374/259
Chest Deceleration (G): 43/42
Femur Load: 1099/1112 909/405
2009 Ford Focus
Head Injury Criterion: 521/389
Chest Deceleration (G): 40/40
Femur Load: 1133/1652 1138/968
As you can see, the 1980s Pontiac is still one of the safer cars on the road today. The Fiero is as good as or better than many of today's vehicles that have airbags.
The Fiero is also very stable. The Fiero received a Static Stability Factor, or Rollover Resistance rating, of 1.47. This equates to a 5-star rollover rating.
Even if you are unfortunate enough to get into a rollover accident, the Fiero excels in safety once again with its incredibly strong roof structure. According to the NHTSA, the Fiero was tested by inverted drop and roof crush testing. In the inverted drop test, the Fiero, along with cars like the Ford F150 and Plymouth Laser were turned over and dropped on their roofs. The Fiero scored best with 8.3 cm crush on the a-pillar and 3.8 cm on the B-pillar. The Ford F-150 had the worst rating with 42.5cm crush on a-pillar and 40.6cm on the B-pillar. The Plymouth Laser actually had a slightly better rating than Fiero for B pillar with 3.2cm crush.
In another publication, NHTSA tested cars roofs by crushing them with a steel plate and hydraulic ram. In the example given, the Chevrolet S10 had the worst rating with 5320 lbs roof strength, while the Fiero has the highest rating with 9909 lbs of roof strength. This equates to 3.53 roof strength to weight ratio, complying with even the most recent roof strength requirement of 3.00:1 strength ratio. It is kind of funny how the Pontiac Fiero is still meeting many of the most modern crash test requirements without even frontal airbags.....
Now for Death rate. Death rate is a number given to cars to reflect the likelihood of death in any particular vehicle. The Fiero, along with Camaros and Firebirds, happen to have a very high death rate. A high death rate doesn't mean the car is unsafe, it just means that this type of car is going to be driven faster and more recklessly, increasing the chance of an accident, which in turn, increases the chance of serious injury or death. If you hit a concrete wall at 80MPH with no seatbelts on, I don't care what car you are in, you will be killed. The human body just simply cannot take that kind of G load and people need to stop driving like idiots. Please comment. I would like to see your reaction to this and hear some of your crash stories. Please drive responsibly.
Video courtesy of NHTSA, NCAP and Calspan Crash Testing Center.
Other vehicle data from http://www.safercar.gov
Fiero crash test data from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/database/aspx/vehdb/queryvehicle.aspx
Fiero frontal crush data from http://www.nhtsa.org/DOT/NHTSA/NRD/Multimedia/PDFs/Crashworthiness/Air%20Bags/FMVSS_208_II.pdf
Fiero Static Stability Factor data from http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/regrev/evaluate/809868/images/SSFTrend%20final.pdf
Fiero Death rate data from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809004.PDF
Fiero Roof Crush data from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/esv/esv19/05-0146-W.pdf and http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/1998/pdf/Roof_Crush.pdf.
http://www.safecarguide.com/mak/pontiac/idx.htm http://home.xnet.com/~paulv/techtips.htm#FIERO SAFETY http://members.fortunecity.com/lowkey88/crashtest.htm http://members.fortunecity.com/lowkey88/crashtest2.htm