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1985 Fiero build

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  • The Harbor Freight guns do an OK job. My antique Binks #7 works and is still available but wastes a LOT of paint so you're better off with a modern gravity feed gun. Painting with a gun is a LOT easier than with a spray can! While at HF pick up a regulator if you don't have one.

    Dan

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    • HF guns aren't terrible. They're all metal, so they can be cleaned... of course, they're also $10 - and I use them as disposable. I do one paint job then toss it without spending $10 on acetone cleaning it. The only real downside is their tip is great for primer and pretty much nothing else.

      Doing it all wrong since 1966

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      • On the headliner repair. Just glue scraps to the area to reinforce it and some construction board to the roof side or cereal box. Contact adhesive is ok to use. Anything thicker you will see through the headliner material.

        I use hf gun to spray glue for the headliner. Even the best spray glue in a can will let you down. Wilsonart 600 is cheap and readily available at lowes I think?? Yea I know its for counter tops... but you an run it through the gun and the hold is better than the other cheap quart glues weld and 3m. You can step it up with the landautop glue but the price jumps considerably. 3m 77 or 80 will do the job but its really easy to screw up the flash time and amount of coverage. you will find out where the thin spots are in 6 months.

        steve
        Well I have stopped buying stuff for cars I don't own. Is that a step in the right or wrong direction?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by DanStokes View Post
          The Harbor Freight guns do an OK job. My antique Binks #7 works and is still available but wastes a LOT of paint so you're better off with a modern gravity feed gun. Painting with a gun is a LOT easier than with a spray can! While at HF pick up a regulator if you don't have one.

          Dan
          at this point, I'm already so deep into it, I don't think I'll end up buying a gun, I just wish I had, they lay the paint down so much better and faster.

          Originally posted by SuperBuickGuy View Post
          HF guns aren't terrible. They're all metal, so they can be cleaned... of course, they're also $10 - and I use them as disposable. I do one paint job then toss it without spending $10 on acetone cleaning it. The only real downside is their tip is great for primer and pretty much nothing else.
          yeah, I'm not opposed to HF for something like it, but I'm already almost done. it probably would have been cheaper though to get a gun at this point though...

          Originally posted by rightpedal View Post
          On the headliner repair. Just glue scraps to the area to reinforce it and some construction board to the roof side or cereal box. Contact adhesive is ok to use. Anything thicker you will see through the headliner material.

          I use hf gun to spray glue for the headliner. Even the best spray glue in a can will let you down. Wilsonart 600 is cheap and readily available at lowes I think?? Yea I know its for counter tops... but you an run it through the gun and the hold is better than the other cheap quart glues weld and 3m. You can step it up with the landautop glue but the price jumps considerably. 3m 77 or 80 will do the job but its really easy to screw up the flash time and amount of coverage. you will find out where the thin spots are in 6 months.

          steve
          Thanks for the tip, I was going to apply some fiberglass over the two problem spots and call it good.

          for anyone working on a fiero that needs a headliner, there are replacement headliners available for about $240, but in the past, I've run into QC issues with the company selling them and don't want to play that game again.

          https://www.fierostore.com/Product/D...20LT&d=264&p=1
          "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

          1985 Pontiac Fiero, 3.5 V6 turbo, 5 speed
          1988 Suburban, 350 TBI 700r4, 4x4
          2006 2500 HD 6.0 4x4

          Comment


          • I did a good bit of work this weekend, but you wouldn't know it by looking at anything... I spent all day friday and saturday painting the new roof, and removing the old one, unfortunately, I cracked my windshield pretty bad, but the plus side of cracking the windshield, I decided that I would remove the cracked windshield to hopefully reduce the cost of replacement, and I found a tiny rust spot that I can fix, that a windshield company would just cover with glue. it's not fixed yet, but it has been thoroughly wire wheeled to remove the existing rust.
            I primered the new roof, and sanded it with 800 grit until I had a uniform finish.

            then I sprayed on the red, it took a ton of paint to do it, but it appears to have turned out ok.

            then I broke out the 1500 grit, and wet sanded the whole roof skin, again, to a uniform finish, this picture was an in progress pic.

            unfortunately, some kind of debris got between the paper and the paint and put some mildly deep scratches in it, they don't show very well in the pictures, but in person, they're clear as day. after wetsanding, I got the buffer out, and buffed it out as best I could, again, it looks way better in pictures than it does in person, but it was also a rattle can job on a $1300 car...

            I set it on the car to get an idea of how close the color matches, and it's pretty darn close, I expected way worse.

            left is new, right is old, right is also dirty and not recently (ever?) buffed.

            On to more important parts of the project!
            I now got back to work on wiring... well, kinda... Since I am going to use a Microsquirt's outputs to run the factory gauge cluster, it meant I needed to mount the Microsquirt somewhere near the cluster... you might be surprised how hard it is to mount an object not much bigger than a cellphone somewhere mostly out of sight, yet still moderately easy to access.
            My first thought was above the gas pedal like this:

            Problem with this location, is the lock on the connector for the Microsquirt is designed in a way that to get to it, I would have to remove the whole unit, and maybe the dash to add or change inputs to the Micro, so I needed something else.
            I came up with this, it mounts the micro near the steering column, with the connector down, and easily accessed.

            The problem with this, is that the wiring would be clearly visible, and possibly intrude into the already crowded footwell... now what??? I trimmed the bulk of the bracket off, and then traced the connector out on the bracket. I then made a large notch, and inverted the Micro... Bingo!

            Now the entire thing fits under the dash, and crappy GM interior plastics in a way that 99% of people won't even know it's there!
            The wiring will be routed through a pocket under the dashboard, here's a shot with the dash removed to show the proposed routing.

            the whole unit is quickly and easily removed by 4 Phillips head screws, and the entire interior intact, making adding inputs to the micro extremely easy compared to the in dash option. The next step is to start terminating wires and get the can buss network setup. I have most of the wires routed, and there's even a power feed available at the mounted location, since my car doesn't have power windows, I can install a fuse in the WDO position in the fuse block, and use that wire to power the micro! I'm excited by the possibilities this brings for me, one of the particular projects I have in mind, is to have new gauge faces made for the "rally gauge pod" I pulled from a junkyard car, and make a stock appearing boost gauge, and maybe a air temp gauge or something for the other one.
            hauen and DanStokes like this.
            "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

            1985 Pontiac Fiero, 3.5 V6 turbo, 5 speed
            1988 Suburban, 350 TBI 700r4, 4x4
            2006 2500 HD 6.0 4x4

            Comment


            • I got the shift cables in, and a shifter built. in it's current condition, if functions more or less as desired, but the select cable is way to close to the strut tower, I'm going to take it back off and make some adjustments to it to move it off of the strut tower which should improve cable life and shift feel. Note, the "E" clip that holds the select lever in place isn't installed and the lever isn't fully seated in the picture.






              in other news, I'm getting alot closer with the wiring nightmare. It may not look a whole lot different to the untrained eye, but it definitely is a huge improvement over the older stuff I had done, and MIGHT fit behind the console without chopping it up. the engine harness is able to be divorced from the chassis harness via 3 connectors, a 3 pin that holds the reverse light wiring, a 16 pin that holds the power, ground, and switched chassis inputs to the MS3, and a 5 pin connector on the MS3 that houses the CAN bus link.



              Skeptical likes this.
              "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

              1985 Pontiac Fiero, 3.5 V6 turbo, 5 speed
              1988 Suburban, 350 TBI 700r4, 4x4
              2006 2500 HD 6.0 4x4

              Comment


              • Originally posted by ejs262 View Post
                I got the shift cables in, and a shifter built. in it's current condition, if functions more or less as desired, but the select cable is way to close to the strut tower, I'm going to take it back off and make some adjustments to it to move it off of the strut tower which should improve cable life and shift feel. Note, the "E" clip that holds the select lever in place isn't installed and the lever isn't fully seated in the picture.


                in other news, I'm getting alot closer with the wiring nightmare. It may not look a whole lot different to the untrained eye, but it definitely is a huge improvement over the older stuff I had done, and MIGHT fit behind the console without chopping it up. the engine harness is able to be divorced from the chassis harness via 3 connectors, a 3 pin that holds the reverse light wiring, a 16 pin that holds the power, ground, and switched chassis inputs to the MS3, and a 5 pin connector on the MS3 that houses the CAN bus link.
                Lookin' good! Got any pics of the shifter you built? that's something I want to do for the Crapalier too. Stock shifter makes me angry as do the after market sticks.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Skeptical View Post

                  Lookin' good! Got any pics of the shifter you built? that's something I want to do for the Crapalier too. Stock shifter makes me angry as do the after market sticks.
                  you mean of the shifter on the transmission or in the car? the Shifter in the car is more or less a stock Fiero 5 speed shifter, I had some new parts made to make up for 35 years of wear, but I still need to do more work to really make it tight and accurate, there's so many moving parts to it that it's easy for tolerances to stack and end up with a TON of play. The transmission side is 75% custom, the cavalier select arm is original, but the shift arm and cable mounts are all new, I need to adjust the design slightly further forward to aid in clearing the strut tower though... I'll snap some decent pictures of it sometime this weekend.


                  well, long time no real update... I bought some MIDI fuses and began providing electrical power to the car again for the first time in about 2 years... so far, everything appears to work, except for the MS3 Pro...


                  The MS3 Pro is refusing to connect to my laptop... I've been emailing back and forth with AMP EFI about the MS3, no conclusions yet... last paycheck I got a bonus that I was going to use for other stuff, but ended up buying a new controller with the idea that if the one I have really is dead, I can get the car moving while the one I have is being repaired (I can dream right???), and when it is repaired(don't shatter my dreams) I can use it as a spare, or for another project yet to be disclosed... Lol...

                  I ran into some other odd issues with the DBWX2 that had me sweating big time and wondering if the fault was my computer(s) it flat out refused to fully connect to my laptop... it would be recognized by tunerstudio, but not actually be available to adjust settings or tune...



                  if I tried updating the firmware, the updater flashes the red message saying it can't connect, and to close the "bootloader switch". that screenshot was pretty hard to get BTW, as it automatically closes the window when it does that.



                  The portcheck utility was also able to see the DBWX2 the firmware...



                  after reading the manual a dozen times, I enlisted the help of the MSextra forum, and was told my current firmware was ANCIENT! I was provided an older version of the firmware updater, and told to try it, and sure enough, success! and what a relief that was! I began checking the parameters of the throttle and pedal position sensor, got everything calibrated, deleted the fault codes associated with the out of calibration parameters, and now the throttle works like a champ.

                  Hopefully the new MS3 gets here tomorrow so I can actually start some subsystem testing and troubleshooting before I pull the engine back out of the car to install my clutch and flywheel.
                  Skeptical and SuperBuickGuy like this.
                  "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

                  1985 Pontiac Fiero, 3.5 V6 turbo, 5 speed
                  1988 Suburban, 350 TBI 700r4, 4x4
                  2006 2500 HD 6.0 4x4

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by ejs262 View Post

                    you mean of the shifter on the transmission or in the car? the Shifter in the car is more or less a stock Fiero 5 speed shifter, I had some new parts made to make up for 35 years of wear, but I still need to do more work to really make it tight and accurate, there's so many moving parts to it that it's easy for tolerances to stack and end up with a TON of play. The transmission side is 75% custom, the cavalier select arm is original, but the shift arm and cable mounts are all new, I need to adjust the design slightly further forward to aid in clearing the strut tower though... I'll snap some decent pictures of it sometime this weekend.
                    Ahhhh. I meant the shifter itself in the car. The stocker in the Cavalier is one of those plastic ball and socket ones that takes the fun out of shifting. I've had a spare on the shelf for years that i was going to use to mock up something a bit better. i was thinking something with some actual bearings in it on 3 pivot points and use some rod ended cables to kill off as much slop as possible. The downside I guess would be that the shifter would be like a stethoscope to the transmission at that point and I'd have to listen to that rattle box.
                    ejs262 likes this.

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                    • yeah, I thought about something like that, on a wrong wheel drive car () , it might be feasible, on my Fiero, the shifter on the transmission faces the rear of the car, so making that work means a ton of linear bearings, and any movement of the powertrain results in movement of the shift linkages, and thus, possible difficulty in precise, fast shifts.I am considering retrofitting custom billet aluminum parts to my stock Fiero shifter to remove slack and slop wherever possible, I think that would make the largest possible improvement for me

                      I haven't made much progress, I got my new to me AC lines installed on the car, I'll still need to make lines from the compressor to the car, but that's pretty low priority. I also started working on routing for the fuel lines. originally, I planned on using CuNi hardlines for the fuel system, but have since decided PTFE would be easier, faster, and more future-proof, hopefully that stuff gets here by middle of next week. My new MS3 Pro also still hasn't arrived... starting to get a little impatient, it would have been super cool to have a tracking number for it... later today my serial cable should be getting dropped off so I can try and connect to the MS3 that way instead of via USB, hopefully that works and I can begin setup and debugging.
                      "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

                      1985 Pontiac Fiero, 3.5 V6 turbo, 5 speed
                      1988 Suburban, 350 TBI 700r4, 4x4
                      2006 2500 HD 6.0 4x4

                      Comment


                      • Bought a molded cable thinking I could cut one end off and wire it to the M12 connector but I needed to determine which wires were pins 2, 3, 5, and 9 on the DB9 so I could proceed... wouldn't you guess that while trying to ohm the wires, pin 9 shows over-range for all the wires, (along with pin 1...)

                        Since I had already cut the cable in half, I figured there was no sense in not ripping it apart to see whats up, and what do I find? Pins 1 and 9 weren't even soldered in, not a drop in either pot... erg...



                        Since I didn't have a clamshell DB9, and I didn't think I would need one, I gutted what remained of the molded DB9 and made my own dongle to connect it to the Keyspan Serial-USB adapter.



                        I checked resistance of each pin, and found each wire to have less than .02 ohms resistance, and over-range between parallel circuits, just as nature intended. Unfortunately, all this work was for nothing, as the MS3 still won't connect. I'm almost positive it's a dud at this point, I can't think of any other logical explanation why it won't communicate when other hardware does just fine...
                        "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

                        1985 Pontiac Fiero, 3.5 V6 turbo, 5 speed
                        1988 Suburban, 350 TBI 700r4, 4x4
                        2006 2500 HD 6.0 4x4

                        Comment





                        • how to become EXTREMELY frustrated in 10 easy steps...

                          1. Install blown fuse (not knowing it's blown)
                          2. power up MS3, and see lights on the front that indicate it has power.
                          3. not be able to connect to MS3.
                          4. repeat steps 2-3 several times by various means.
                          5. contact AMP EFI customer support.
                          6. repeat steps 2-3 several more times.
                          7. learn that the lights on the front only indicate it has IGN+ power, and have no bearing on whether or not it has B+ power...
                          8. Read step 7 again...
                          9. get multi-meter out and check fuse for B+ to the MS3
                          10. Replace the fuse, connect to MS3 and kick own ass for the next 24 hours.
                          Last edited by ejs262; June 16, 2020, 10:43 PM.
                          hauen and Skeptical like this.
                          "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

                          1985 Pontiac Fiero, 3.5 V6 turbo, 5 speed
                          1988 Suburban, 350 TBI 700r4, 4x4
                          2006 2500 HD 6.0 4x4

                          Comment


                          • Bummer. I've more or less been there and I know the feeling. But the good news is that it's working now.

                            Dan
                            ejs262 likes this.

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                            • Originally posted by DanStokes View Post
                              Bummer. I've more or less been there and I know the feeling. But the good news is that it's working now.

                              Dan
                              yeah, I'm so dissappointed in myself for not checking the fuses earlier...


                              The new MS3 ended up leaving Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning... I was surprised when it arrived this morning while i was at work. I can send it back, but I'm going to hang onto it, eventually, I'll have another project I can use it on, like the R07 I'm slowly amassing parts for...

                              I got my new PTFE fuel line in, and started assembling lines. I have the feed line from the filter done, and the return line from the regulator halfway done.

                              I decided I'm going to tap the heater supply on the lower intake, and install a 1/2" NPT to -10 AN fitting , then route the heater supply around the front of the engine instead of behind and around, it should make for a much easier installation, and be WAY faster to fabricate. Assuming I get out of work at a reasonable hour tomorrow, I might pull the engine back out and get the cradle and mounts painted, as well as the flywheel and clutch installed, then Friday and into the weekend, I'll reinstall it and really start getting things rolling. Tomorrow, I'm going to generate a list of things I need to accomplish, and hopefully by the end of the weekend, 90+% is done, but we'll see.
                              "I am not what you so glibly call to be a civilized man. I have broken with society for reasons which I alone am able to appreciate. I am therefore not subject to it's stupid laws, and I ask you to never allude to them in my presence again."

                              1985 Pontiac Fiero, 3.5 V6 turbo, 5 speed
                              1988 Suburban, 350 TBI 700r4, 4x4
                              2006 2500 HD 6.0 4x4

                              Comment


                              • Well , your thread is twice as entertaining as it was the day before . My youngest just bought a one owner mature lady , 88 4 popper with a 5 speed .
                                Last edited by Dan Barlow; June 20, 2020, 08:34 PM.
                                ejs262 likes this.
                                Previously HoosierL98GTA

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