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1987 Pontiac Fiero

History of my 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT

I purchased my Fiero on a cold day in January 1999. I admittedly was bored, and took to looking through the classifieds of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. After a phone call and little to do on that day, I ventured to Morgantown West Virginia to look at what I thought would be a rusted, wrecked, and worn-out little car. On a whim, by the end of the day I purchased a pristine red Fiero GT, with only 24 thousand miles on the odometer. The owner was a wealthy funeral home owner who had taken very good care of the car. Thank You Thomas Sapp

I drove the little Fiero for about a year before I decided I wanted more power from the engine. After all, SUVs were doing the zero to sixty dash in less than eight seconds and the Fiero was just not able to compete. I fiddled with a variety of power adders, including upgrades in ignition, wires, and chips. I added under-drive pulleys, which proved to be the only noticeable increase in power. Then one day, again on a whim, I purchased a nitrous oxide kit. Within a weekend I had a nitrous tank mounted in the back of the Fiero and a micro-switch on the throttle. Armed with nitrous, I could accelerate like crazy, but not without burning a lot nitrous oxide. The tank required about fifty dollars to re-fill, and I could easily use the whole tank in about one minute. So, after a while I just removed the kit because it was not cost effective, but I did learn that the Fiero could be quite a contender if it just had more power.

I believe it was the following year I purchased a Rotrex Supercharger Kit. For around three thousand dollars the kit was suppose to include everything. In about two weeks I had a Rotrex centrifugal supercharger mounted in the engine compartment, and I was boosting to around eight psi. It initially worked, produced a crazy amount of power, way over the stock horsepower, but in about two weeks the little supercharger imploded. After calling all over the world, the Rotrex is made in Denmark, I did manage to get a new charger, but learned the kit did not included a oil cooler and so that was why it eventually overheated. The second charger worked well for about two years and I did manage to do some drag racing (14.5 seconds @ 95 MPH in the quarter mile) and also some autocross. Lots of fun!!

One day on my way to my grandmother's to put the Fiero away for the winter I was accelerating across a bridge in second gear, then all of a sudden I heard a “pop”. After that I was blowing smoke out of the engine compartment. At that time I could have never known, but I cracked a piston. That led to my first engine rebuild. I decided to give up the centrifugal supercharger and go with a turbo. This time I increased the displacement of the engine from 2.8 to 3.16 and went with hyperneutectic pistons. I did manage to get the Fiero running and boosting, but complications with tuning were always there. From my first engine build I learned that I was learning, and the lessons were expensive.

My new 3.2 Liter turbo engine ran well and into the summer of 2007 I had a good summer of driving. Always present were problems with idle, sudden unexpected stalling, but crazy amounts of torque and acceleration. By that Winter I started a small project upgrading my gauge panel, all new gauges, and noticed that my oil pressure was dropping at idle. After a inspection my crankshaft bearings I found they were slowly burning away. I was uncertain of the cause but decided since I was going to rebuild the engine I would go with a larger, stronger 3.4 engine block. I was able to find a 3.4 block after some careful searching. These engine blocks are hard to find, came in the early 90's camaros and firebirds. After some cleaning, painting, and reassembly I was able to get the engine into the Fiero.

During the Christmas holiday 2008 I, again on a whim, purchased a Buick 3800 Supercharged Series II engine. I was able to have the car for a few days, and so I not only got to test drive the engine, but was able to extract everything I needed for a Fiero 3800 engine swap. These engines were popularized in the late 90's, and came from the factory supercharged. They became popular a few years back as a swap for the Fiero, and whether with a automatic or manual transmission, they were very quick. Right now they stand as the one of the best engine swap for the Fiero, both in simplicity and performance.

Into 2009, I continued to fiddle with my 3.4 Turbo engine, installed it in the Fiero, but similar to the 3.1, I tangled with tuning issues. I continued to clean and prepare my 3800 engine, but not until June of 2010 did I finally decide to accelerate my installation. A few months prior I sold my 3.4 and committed myself to getting the 3800 installed and running. After work and on weekends, I toiled with the 3800 electrical schematics, and finsihed the wiring. I was able in a month to finally start the 3800, actually August 2010, almost two years after I purchaed the used engine, I had it up and runnning.

The exterior of the Fiero is original, since the car was mostly in storage the paint is still good. I did crack one of the rear sail panel windows, possibly because lowering springs, and the shock of hitting one of Pittsburgh's infamous potholes. I have purchased sail panels that have turbo scoops, and also rear quarter panels with scoops. When I ran the turbo I utilzed a oil cooler behind the passenger side scoop and still use the driver side scoop for a cold air intake.


Fiero Specifications

Buick 3800 Supercharged Series II
M90 Supercharger (about 10 psi boost)
Reprogrammed PCM
Deleted power steering, A/C, power brakes

5 Speed Getrag
Centerforce performance clutch
Custom machined flywheel (Camaro)

2.5 downpipe, Camaro muffler, and Dual exhaust

Front Calipers from a Beretta
Master Cylinder (Chevy Blazer)
Brake Power Booster (S-10 Truck)
Stainless Steel Brake lines

Colored Black Interior
Gauges Added: Boost/Vac, Air/Fuel, Oil temp, Volt, Oil press, EGT, Coolant temp

Original paint
Side scoops, side scoop sail panels
Cold air intake, K&N behind right driver side scoop
Oil cooler behind passenger side scoop

Wheels Panther 16 inch front & rear
Tires 205 front 225 rear
KYB front shocks, and rear struts
Lowering spring on front and rear