Trinten's "MMTS" build

Got a build planned out that you want to document or showcase? This is the place.

Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:17 am

The new rocker stud is installed and Rei says that everything is looking good now. He's also going to try to address the small oil-welling I have coming up around my distributor.

Also found out he has a buddy that works/consults with Borg Warner on turbos - so he has all the really spiffy software that those company's use for turbo analysis. Rei got a copy of my cam specs and my dyno sheet and is going to give it to the guy along with what I was looking to accomplish, so his friend can just chug it all through their software and tell me how to order my custom turbo. Pretty excited about that.

He also has another associate that might be able to buff out some of the paint contaminants, so the car doesn't look quite as terrible until I get to the repainting stage.
1986 Pontiac Fiero GT, 355 cubic inch small block Chevy putting down 371 HP and 381 ft/lbs torque at the wheels, with more to come!
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:04 pm

So fellow Fiero enthusiast Rei Moloon had my Fiero recently, he replaced a broken rocker stud, and his buddy that does professional car detailing managed to get a lot of the paint contaminants out, so the car looks a lot better -- not "doesn't need paint" better, but a lot better!

The stud that cracked was one of ARP's best... so if I pop another one, I'll get the longer ARP studs and the stud girdle, and slap on a set of tall valve covers again.

Rei also discovered one other little oil leak and fixed it, but it appears to be because the deck of the block is not completely level.

With the new income -- barring being put into a tax bracket way higher than I expected -- I'll be able to move forward faster on the Fiero, which has me seriously excited. Engine refresh, check the deck on it, check the base of the intake to make sure it's nice and flat.

Also going to get everything else upgraded through the roof. I know the transmission is the weak point, but whatever I can overbuild to make the engine tougher to break will be done.

If I can squirrel the money away fast enough, I'll have one of those places that specializes in building up the F23 do that while the rest of the upgrades are being done.

Rolling it into Autofair the weekend after next, going with SouthEastern GM Toyz. The folks I've dealt with over there were pretty nice so far, and they have 55 slots, and we got lunch and dinner buffets going on in the clubhouse, so that's all pretty awesome.
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Chug » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:33 pm

Man it sounds like "Pandora" is going to get some serious loving here soon!!! I know that when i drove that thing it seemed pretty ridiculous, I can't wait till it is more ridiculous to take it for a spin. Maybe I'll have the truck done and ready for rides in May!!!
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby ChuckLS1 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:17 pm

I hope to make it to AutoFair. Hope to see you there!
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:58 pm

A few weeks ago I took the Fiero out for a spin, my mom and her husband were in town visiting, so I took Jim for a drive.

After five minutes of cruising around to let the engine warm up some, I did a few spirited accelerations to demonstrate the power curve. All went fine. Just cruised along at the speed limit the rest of the time. A few minutes after my last launch, CEL comes on. I didn't notice any odd pings or issues with the engine, but still took it easy the rest of the way home.

Finally found my ODB-II adapter and read the code - P1154. The only code in there. It has to do with an o2 sensor, from what I understand, I guess it was measuring how long it took to go from lean to rich or something, and it didn't change as fast as expected, so threw the code.

I'm assuming there's no wiring issues - FieroGuru is super meticulous to make sure all wiring is spot-on and safely tucked away. This could just be a fluke from doing the launches? I also read that exhaust leaks can cause it, but haven't got under the car to check it out.

Any thoughts would be welcome. I cleared the code, if the rain lets up this week I'll take it out for a casual drive and see if the code pops back up.

OH! I also finally figured out how/where water is getting into my trunk, despite having an updated InifiniteWill trunk seal.It's not exactly sitting snug in one of the corners, and the water is getting through there. Not sure what I can/will do about it yet, besides keep it garaged.
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Chug » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:38 pm

Trinten,

I was thinking about coilovers for my car, seeing as my struts are shot and I'd like to adjust the ride height. I have read through the thread looking for any part numbers and didn't find any. Do you happen to have any of the part numbers?

Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:13 am

Hi Chug,

I went through my emails. I'm using QA1 springs and a now-discontinued sleeve.

The QA1 springs I have are 250 lbs, linear rate springs from Summit Racing

Sleeve link for reference - http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Garage-Sa ... 45246.html

On that sleeve, the nut is nearly at the very top of it. They are 7 inches, which was supposed to bring it a little bit above stock ride height, but not in my case (or doesn't appear like it). I know that in hindsight I should have gotten ones a little longer, so the car could sit a little higher and the axles wouldn't deflect as much with a hard launch.

The struts I used were Monroe Sensa-Trak struts. Part No 71814.

The perch did have to be cut off, just like in most coil over builds.

With the exception of wanting to lift the back a touch more, I'm pretty happy with how it feels and handles. Though I don't do auto-cross, so it might be too soft for that kind weaving fun.
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:23 pm

So this is a brief update.

As some people know, my Fiero was involved in an accident in 2017. The Fiero did as it should, and crumpled in the right places leaving me and my passenger unharmed. It almost meant some frame damage.

I thought long about what I wanted to do. I had my fun with the car, and the part I liked best (the engine!) was safe. After many discussions with people, I decided to rebuilt it. We have the technology. We can make it better. Stronger. Faster.

So that's what we're doing. I won't ruin all of the fun yet, because we are planning some wild stuff that hasn't been done on a Fiero yet, and I want to make sure it'll work before we get into vaporware.

What I will share is that I'm moving to an automatic transmission. For a few reasons:
1. Manuals suck in stop and go traffic.
2. I'm terrible with manual transmissions.
3. I will never shift as fast as an automatic can.
4. See reason 2.

Dave over at Triple Edge Performance has built the transmission, a 4T80-E, which was delivered last week. I was told I should get a torque converter with a billet cover to reduce chances of ballooning, and asked Dave to source that. Unfortunately the companies he works with don't have the ability to make that for the 4T80-E, and most of the places I've seen that would do that kind of fabrication want around 3k.

The solution Dave suggested was to use the Torque converter from a 4T65-E (which his vendor does make a billet cover for), and have a machine shop custom fabricate the input pump shaft.

I'm having two of those made.

I also worked with Meziere and had two custom flexplates made, with the proper tooth count for my starter, diameter for the transmission, and bolt pattern for my SBC. They were super cool about it, even had me ship them my flywheel so they could make sure I was right about the balancing on it. They shipped it back at no-charge, of course.

"why two?!" I'm sure none of you are asking... because it's a custom piece. If something breaks, I can drop in the second unit and order another backup in the meantime. Plus as one very smart guy said "when you buy two, the universe will make sure the first one never breaks" lol.

Other fun things will be coming. I've got an interior ordered from Amida, and more performance upgrades. I will share things as they become feasible. Nothing worse than starting a bunch of hype and not delivering!
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Chug » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:34 pm

It sounds like a sweet ass build. I know we have talked about it a bunch. I cant wait to get a look at it, you'll have to give me a shout when you are headed to the builder to assist, I'll come help... And bring mine!!


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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Sun May 26, 2019 10:33 am

Hello all!

I know it's been a while. For those that know me, I like to do my homework, ask annoying questions, do more research, and save up money to pay people far more skilled than I to get things done!

The guy who is doing this next round of upgrades is fairly local to me. I met him 6 or 7 years ago now. What sold me on his skills is the stuff he'd done with his Grand National - a remarkable mix of fabrication (welding) skills, electrical planning, modification, and making things look like they came from the factory that way. He's a career mechanic and loves challenges, but does the "boring routine stuff" to keep cash flowing in. He has toys (both cars and a ridiculous tool chest and other fabrication tools) that I wish I had the space for... and the knowledge to use effectively.

Anyhow!! Onto some details, right?

Tranmission update!
I decided to get rid of the manual transmission. Mike (said mechanic) wanted it my F23 for his own Fiero project (he caught the bug from me and fellow Fiero enthusiast Chug). So he has that. Knowing I wanted to go Automatic, I reached out to FieroGuru with a pretty simple question -- what's the strongest automatic out there?

FieroGuru's reply: "Depends on what you wanted out of it. The strongest would be the 4T80, the most interesting would be the 6T75 (using the Ford version that came with the V8)."

Well then... 4T80 it is!

Next I reached out to DarthFiero, who connected me to Dave over at Triple Edge Performance. Dave was really good with a pre-sales call, we talked through everything. He had started investigating building up the 4T80, and had a number of cores, but the business wasn't there for it yet. He did say he slapped a stock 4T80 into one of his cars and had beating on it for over a year with no issues. The conversation ended pretty simply "Throw every trick you have at it for me."

Mike also insisted I get a torque converter with a billet cover, his concern was ballooning and didn't want the fast spinning chunk of metal behind my back to rip through and hurt me if things went south. I'll get to why that's a concern of his later. Transmission first!

Dave said the company he worked with for torque converters could probably do it. So Triple Edge was paid for the transmission and torque converter. The transmission took much longer to be ready than originally anticipated - Dave was transparent on the cause of the delays, which I appreciated. The downside is his TC Company said they couldn't do a billet cover for a 4T80, so they wanted to do one for a 4T65... which means (as Dave tells me), I now need to get a pump input shaft that is 4T65 on one side, and 4T80 on the other. He's looking into details - there is a machine shop that will build it for me once I have those details. And since it'll be a custom part, I'll get two.

I have since found a full blown race shop that will basically fabricate any torque converter.... but their prices start at 3k, and that's for the stuff they regularly do. So putting that on the back burner for now.

Meziere is making the custom flexplate I need. They have been awesome to work with! Again, I ordered two. The price break after the first one was too good to pass up, and again, custom stuff. Plus they gave me the technical sheet for it, so if I ever need one made by them or anyone ever in the future, I just need to give them that sheet!

"Trinten! Shut up and show us a picture!" .... okay, fine.

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"But Trinten! The 4T80 was never paired with a SBC! It won't work!!!" .... really? Are you sure...? Cause, you know, this:

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And this:

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And this:

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No, that is not me in the picture, that is Mike. And no, he is not missing part of his right ring-finger, it's just a creepy camera angle. You can't stop looking now, can you?

In full disclosure, this did require taking a 2" corner out of the SBC flange for the transmission lobe to clear so the bolt holes will line up. Mike will also be tapping holes on the trans bell housing to take full advantage of all of the bolt holes in the adapter/block. He was also happy that the bracket holes on the lobe line up well with some mounting points on the block, so he's going to build a brace there to help with forces.

Right now the assembly is sitting on a makeshift "stand" The previous pics were from a few weeks ago. This next one was from yesterday, which will lead into my next post!

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And yes, doing this means modifying the cradle. Wait... did I say modifying the cradle? Hmm, no, Mike says that all the time it would take to modify the cradle, he might as well just build one for me. Out of chromemoly. So that's happening. Custom engine cradle! ... which works out well with some of the upcoming surprises...

On to Suspension

This time I'm opening up with a picture! Mike has been working on the front-end, getting my awesome new wheels on. Check this out!

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Yup, that is a C5 Corvette wheel! What's that? Spacers?? Why would I need Spacers?! Oh, because of the bolt pattern? Not a problem. We used Corvette hubs. And Controls arms. And steering rack.... and transverse spring. What's that Mike? Oh! You just took the entire C5 front end suspension and bolted it up to my Fiero? Awesome!

Background, then more pictures!

Mike drove my Fiero about 4 years ago. He was really impressed with it... mostly. He didn't like the suspension. After accident, when discussing with him my options, he said "If we rebuild the car, we're not using that suspension. We need better stuff." That 'better stuff' is C5 Vette, front and back.

Mike was impressed at how "easy" it was to bolt up the Vette front suspension and make the modifications for mounting points and the steering wheel column. Notice easy is in quotes... because easy is seriously relative at this point.

Picture time!

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I have more pictures, but you get the idea right now.

In before the obvious comments!

Yes, the car sits higher right now. I actually like it. It will drop about an inch once all the other stuff is done, and Mike said there is a Vette bump steer kit that will drop it another inch.

Yes, the wheels turn lock to lock and clear everything.

Yes, I will be using the power steering. This will be done by mounting a 2nd Generation Toyota MR2 Spyder EHPS Pump up front. I found and bought three of them, because they are getting rare.

Yes, the wheels stick out. I will be getting flared wheel wells sometime in the future. Bodywork and paint are always last on my list.

Mike cut off the Fiero stock mounting points, and made new mounting brackets that connect to the Fiero Frame and go to the stock Vette mounting points. Apparently these two things are ridiculously lined up.

If anyone else has put a C5 Vette front suspension in their Fiero, I haven't found it/seen it... so I'm tentatively going to say "First!"

I have no pics of the rear yet... because it can't be done until Mike is done with the custom cradle. He said the back is going to sit up high, too. I told him fine, and I actually wanted to see if he could make the back sit up higher than the front... I like the "Raked" look. If you're not a fan of that look, that's fine, it's not being built for you, is it? :)

There are more surprises in store, but I'll wait till more is done to post pictures and info.

Also, all of the interior of this Fiero came out, it was the Beachwood stuff. Including, I think, Mr. Mike's leather seats! I'm going to be cleaning (almost) all of it up and posting it in the Mall on PFF sometime tomorrow, if anyone needs anything.
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:50 pm

The chromemoly cradle is coming along. The rough shape of it is straight-forward and just tack-welded together for test fitting and measurements for the moment. I also have a few shots of mock-ups for the control arms. The upper control arms might need to be flipped (And swapped L-R).

While it looks like the bottom bar is lower, it's only 1.625" lower than the stock cradle. My understanding is that Mike is going to finish mocking up the brackets for the arms then set my engine/trans on the cradle. It will let him make marks and measurements to do the engine/transmission mounts.

Once he's comfortable that he's got it all right, everything comes back apart so final bracing, welding and clean-up can happen, and everything goes off for powdercoating. In it's current form, it's also ridiculously light. If it weighs 40 pounds I'd be shocked. It can be easily held up with one hand.

I know, I know.... "pics!" I took a bunch of others, like a close up of the bracket he made for the adjustable side of the Corvette lower a-arm, but the pic wasn't well lined up (my fault).

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The last few weeks he hadn't had much time to work on my setup due to unavoidable commitments. But he did build up some of the mounts and bracing on the cradle. It was pretty rough (all still in the tack-weld-fit-test-check stage), so I'm just giving you a teaser of one side!

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Onto other issues, we did find a tiny bit of water in the cabin. Despite being out in many other rain storms, no water was found, but we had some seriously heavy rains in the last few weeks. Mike started to check it out, and found a little rust under the gasket. So I'll be hitting the Mall to order some of those stainless sunroof rails. In the meantime Mike put some sealant on under there.

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On the rear of the cabin on both sides, the previous-previous-owner had cut (or tried to cut) out a panel, given all of the shoddy speaker wiring going on, it was probably to try to put a subwoofer on the passenger side. When they realized that the same pocket did not exist on the driver side, they put down some heavy duty foil type material and lots of caulk over where they started to cut. I stripped that off, Mike is going to weld in a new piece of metal once the gas tank is dropped.

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Now onto the exciting stuff! The frame rails will need to be modified to fit the new setup in there... instead of doing a little trimming like existed to make the original setup work, Mike is going to do something a bit more intense. He's going to take a large chunk of the framerail out on both sides, and replace it with a rock-solid bolt on chromemoly piece.

Why bolt on? Because this way getting to the valve body of the transmission, and the belt routin on the other side (plus most of the pulleys), can all be done without dropping the cradle. Just take off the wheels, wheel well cover, the cross beam, and access!

Oh yeah... and the strut towers? Getting rid of those, too, and going to weld in some smaller/better pieces.

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Mike removed the spot welds and started disassembly the strut towers

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More modifying

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See the holes near the yellow markers on the right of this picture? Those were made by this awesome little air-compressor run tool he had, slipped it over the metal, hit the button, a quiet hiss of air and out popped a perfect little plate of metal! This way he can put spot welds back in.

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Annnnd it's gone! To be replaced soon with the new and improved bolt-in-rails!


This weekend we're hoping to have the new cradle and drivetrain in the car for a test fit. I also already ordered a set of replacement sunroof rails from a guy on PFF who makes them in stainless steel.

I've also gotten updates on my interior, and it looks awesome! I'm just kicking myself because I wanted to ask Amida (Rob) to do red stitching for the diamond pattern in the doors, but in my final order form, I forgot to put that down. They still look kick-ass.

Oh, and my full Turbo Sunbird gauge cluster showed up along with the manual for that car, so I can plead with Mike to test it and then we can put it in the Fiero (other folks have done this swap already). That will give me boost and the stuff the GT gauge pod does, right on the cluster! I'll put other gauges in the pod section.
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:05 pm

So some updates!

Weather sidetracked some things. This Saturday Mike tackled starting to dismantle the passenger side strut tower, and he welded the cuts the PPO (previous-previous-owner) did for their after market stereo stuff... which they apparently cut with tin snips!

The driver side was easier to clean up, prep and welded on a new piece of metal. We also got a tube of seam sealer (which I learned is different from RTV. Don't laugh. No one was born knowing that). Seam sealer has not been applied to the welds yet, the only tube of it in town we could find is not designed to go into a caulk gun, so once we open it, we have to use it.

The passenger side was a disaster. The jokers that did this used the aforementioned tin snips, then used pliers to bend back the jagged edges, THEN filled in the gaps with a creative combination of things. Including a bondo spreader, paper, a towel, window caulk, and this rubbery yellow stuff that was incredibly pliable, very tough to pierce, stretchy... but gave NO warning when it hit it's tensile limit, and it would instantly tear. It was very slow to dig that crap out. Then Mike unbent the jagged metal, dug out MORE of that garbage, cleaned it up and welded it!

The 'shapes' on the welded pieces are the glue that was on those metal pieces. They started their life as the top layer of a Saturn hood (before GM bought them).

Oddly, I didn't seem to take a picture of it after the final welding and painting. The picture of the passenger side is after all of the spot welding was done, but I think before he did the final grinding and painting.

I also took out the 5 speed shifter. I almost did it without anymore of the skeleton breaking. Almost. Only one small crack.

Because of the slight roof leak, and the scent of mildew that was on the carpet, I suspected some of the spots on the floorpan was mildew. When we went to lunch and made some stops for steel for the frame I picked up a bottle of mold/mildew cleaner, and cleaned the floorpan, console, etc.

This weekend Mike has plans, but said they might change, then he's going out of state for a trade show the second weekend of August, and making a trip back to his home state. Returning early September. That leaves, at best, this Sunday if his plans change and he's free (I have plans on Saturday), and
the weekend of August 3rd. After that, there won't be any progress until sometime in September.


Now then, pictures!!!

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Driver side cabin hole prepped for welding... I guess when they saw the GASTANK FILLER TUBE they realized it was a bad idea.

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All welded. Mike even used a airtool and hand tools to dimple in the steel to follow the original dimples!

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Here's the passenger side... it looks deceptively okay! Just wait...

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Yup... there's the towel. You can also see the caulk.

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Mike is unbending all the metal, you can see all the jagged bits.

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All cleaned up, some spot welding. Ready to be sealed up!

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The near-finished product... I still can't believe I didn't take a finished picture. :(


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Clean floorpan!

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Last picture for today, the partially disassembled passenger side strut tower!
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Chug » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:22 am

That is a ton of work!!!! Wait till you see what is going to happen to the truck, after my garage is built of coarse. Just have to talk Mike into some Fillet Mignon for some labor :)

BTW, fix your avatar!! LOL
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:46 pm

Today was a very accomplished day.

We had to stop at 3pm because Mike had other committments, so I got out there a little earlier than I normally do. It was a great day to work on the car. Most of the day was overcast, so it was a little cooler. But the humidity spiked up later in the day and that sucked a little.

Anyhow. I started applying the Cool-It mat I bought. It's sound deadener and heat shielding. I had it in my last Fiero, and it made a difference with the heat. It's tough to say how much it helped with noise, since my exhaust was also upgraded when it was installed.

I got two rolls of it, which seemed to work out near-perfect. One full roll was used on the driver side. After this is in, I also have Thermo-tecs sound deadening stuff that's a little thicker, that'll be going in as well.

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I even had a perfect little piece left over that went on the B-pillar next to the speaker. Speaking of Speakers... the stock speaker on the driver side? The back of the magnet was RUSTED. So badly that there was a crust of rust in a perfect little circle on the jute behind the speaker. So that jute will be replaced. Here's a shot of the speaker.

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It took me an embarassing amount of time... a lot of measuring, cutting -- with just a single edged razor blade -- and then fighting with the stuff to lay right initially before I used the roller to press it down.

While I did that, Mike finished working on the mounting plates for the removable frame rails. He tacked in some angle iron for right now as a place-holder. I took a pick after he removed the original passenger frame rail... you can see the angle iron place holder on the driver side. You'll be able to see the installed passanger side one in a minute.

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Mike also pointed out this vapor/expansion tank that was tucked up on the passanger side. I thought these only came in '88s? Can anyone confirm? It was in bad shape, the fuel lines running to it were so rusty that they broke when he was working to remove it.

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I started installing the cool-it mat on the passenger side, which was going quicker now that I learned from my previous experience. Then Mike stopped me.

Why?

Because he needed me out of the car while he did this little bit of work called... test fitting the cradle/drivetrain in the car!

It was slow going, we had to watch clearances EVERYWHERE because the engine compartment still has a lot of useless crap. on the firewall, and of course all of the cool stuff FieroGuru had done (like wiring relocations) don't exist here (yet).

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And another shot, I tried to show how much more room there is now between the rail and the engine... with the original strut towers, an engine belt wouldn't even fit between the tower and face of the pulley easily. Now there's miles of room. The circumference of the chrome moly isn't much bigger than the angle iron if you drew a circle connecting it's three outmost positions.

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And here's one from the driver side - the bottom of the cradle lines up perfectly with the ground effects of the car. It's working out beautifully so far! And again, tons of room between the transmission and where the new rail will be.

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And here's another from the drivers side.

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And lastly, one from the top, and then some details on fitment!

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We did have to clearance the bracket for the decklid hinge on the passenger side. I expected this. Originally my first revision V8 Fiero was missing half that bracket. Mike didn't take that much off, just enough to get the body down far enough to bolt the cradle into place.

I did keep the awesome brackets that FieroGuru made when he did all the EFI work, so I told Mike I'd like those to go back in, which means getting rid of the stock spring and the rest of the bracket on both sides. We will also need to clearance the "support rail" of the decklid on the passenger side (about 1/8 of an inch), for the same reason FieroGuru had to -- so the decklid can close. Otherwise it hits the intake.

We're going to use the original Corvette Axles that came with all the parts, cut them, make some sleeves, and use them solely for test fitting to get perfect measurements, then the Drive Shaft Shop can make me a set.

Also!! I still have the OEM Getrag axles that were in this car... are they worth trying to sell? Or should I just throw them on a shelf until someone needs one? I know there are aftermarket options, but as FieroGuru has posted about in the past... the aftermarket ones aren't exact... just "close enough" to work in most stock applications. So anyway, let me know.

Mike is going to be unavailable for the next three weeks (approx), doing cool work stuff. So I don't expect to be back out there until sometime in early September.
1986 Pontiac Fiero GT, 355 cubic inch small block Chevy putting down 371 HP and 381 ft/lbs torque at the wheels, with more to come!
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Trinten
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:47 pm

Another update already? Why yes!

This one is about one of the other fun things I ordered... my interior.

As we all (should) know, Amida has cooked up some Amazing stuff for our cars interior and exterior. When I decided to pull the trigger on the rebuild, I decided I was getting said interior. Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I really loved his F355 interior. Ultimately I went with the G1 Interior mainly because of the double-din space, where I can put my Pumpkin headunit.

Amida was great to work with. He sent me a really well laid out "order sheet", and was great about asking follow up questions and sending me pictures and examples. He was super patient. He was also kind enough to send me out a nice little leather sample set, with notes on the back of each one. Sadly... I somehow lost said sample set. Amida didn't chew me out about it. I did offer to pay him for the replacement of it (offer still stands!)

It shouldn't surprise anyone, but I checked pretty much all the boxes. I got the leather upgrades, because screw vinyl. He did put an extra pad on the arm rests to reduce wear on the leather.

He's been great about sending me pictures with updates as the work progressed.

What I ordered:

Dash kit
Solstice dash vents
G6 glove box
Shifter boot
Dash upholstery

Door panel kit
Door upholstery
Optional insert diamond stitching
Leather upgrade, black
Armrest upholstery

And it all looks STUNNING.

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He sent me a bunch more, close ups and different angles. If anyone wants me to post the rest, I can.
1986 Pontiac Fiero GT, 355 cubic inch small block Chevy putting down 371 HP and 381 ft/lbs torque at the wheels, with more to come!
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Trinten
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Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:30 pm

Just a few little updates for now. Mostly stuff that has arrived or will be shipped. Unrelated note for folks that don't know, Synchrony bank bought Paypal earlier this year, and I've had some really bizarre issues with them lately, and LOTS of finger pointing between parties. Personally I think it's more a technical issue someplace, but anyhow... just an FYI for folks.

So first up, Amida has sent me pics of the pillars that are all done in their gorgeous new leather wrap! He was also kind enough to repair the clips that broke off, the best that he could. At least the ones I had to send to him. So we'll have to make sure that when we get to putting this part in... it has no reason to ever come back out. Unless I ever get my hands on pristine pillars, then I'll send those to Amida to wrap, and I will carefully store them, coated in leather preserving goodness and wrapped in plastic until they are needed. lol

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So Mike has been super busy getting the geometry right for the rear suspension. Before he was traveling, he was putting in a lot of weekday hours pinning this down. A vexing item was that the Vette rear suspension mounting points aren't level, they are angled, the front of the mount is lower than the back of the mount. So the end of the lower control arm is "clocked" to be level with this canted setup. This meant he had to find a way to closely replicate that in the space we have, without having to worry about binding up the ball joint, and still being able to build secure mounting points.

He is finally happy with the outcome, and after slapping on (one of the old tie rods that will be replaced), was even happier, there was only one point where the wheel 'twitched' along the path of travel from his first tie rod placement, and he wants to get rid of that, effectively eliminating bump steer.

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Rewinding to July, we had a little Fiero get together out here (I have pics, but have not posted them on the invite thread we had here), only three Fieros, my Town Car, a Typhoon, and Mikes Grand National. The point of the story is, Mike was talking about the project, and mentioned he wanted to get fatter tires under the car. The wheels that came with all the suspensions stuff we bought are 18x8.5 and 19x9.5. So where do you go from there? Z06, of course.

I spent... way too much time... reading on the Vette forums, finding wheel weights, seeing what fit (yes I know, other applications, might not apply here, etc etc), and seeing what style I liked. I *ALMOST* bought some C7 Z06s that were for sale in a Vette forum super cheap... and wondered why they weren't gone... then googled and saw there was talk of Vette owners doing a class action because those wheels were failing all over the place.

So as I narrowed down my list, I found a set I liked the look of, and are super light. 2001 Z06 wheels. The guy had them for a number of years sitting in his basement, he had put HREs on his Vette. The price I got for these was awesome. There were single wheels, in much worse condition, selling for more than the relative price per wheel I paid. Anyhow, here they are! Mike said he wants to get them to fit... if we can't, I know I can resell them and make a profit. 18x9.5 and 19x10.5s

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If we can get them to fit and clear, I'll be wrapping them in Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires. Found multiple articles where this tire placed first or second in tire shootouts, and others that seemed to like them alot. On the Vette boards a lot of the guys seem to be using NItto, so that's another one I will check into.

Oh! So going back to a much older conversation Mike and I had... he said "How loud do you want this to be?" to which I said "I want it to be as quiet as possibly without it seriously impacting performance." "So like my Grand National?" "Exactly." which sounds nice, but isn't obnoxious until you jam on it. Basically the history here is, when I first got my last Fiero with the V8... there was no exhaust system. At all. Effectively straight pipes. So it was horribly loud and headaches ensued with even short drives at low speeds.

When I had the new engine put in, and later the EFI stuff done, upgrades were done to add beefier exhaust components (that's why the last one lost the 'suicase wedge' in the trunk). It was better, but a few hours at high way speeds was still headache inducing, and there wasn't even any resonance, so no drone, just noise.

Anyhow! Mike said okay, and told me he'd send me a list of stuff to start buying... and part of my new exhaust system has shown up. He swears it'll make the engine noise a little quieter, but this is the strangest muffler I've ever seen!

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Precision Industries 7675 ceramic ball bearing T4 .81 A/R anti-surge cover something something... something. Turbocharger, I think? :D
1986 Pontiac Fiero GT, 355 cubic inch small block Chevy putting down 371 HP and 381 ft/lbs torque at the wheels, with more to come!
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Trinten
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Posts: 521
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:02 pm
Location: Charlotte, N.C.

Re: Trinten's "MMTS" build

Postby Trinten » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:33 pm

Hey guys,

I know I haven't done some updates in a while. As you might recall, Mike had a pretty busy month mostly out of state last month. And this month we had the fun hurricane (I was fine, in-state enough where we just had some rain on Friday). A great friend drove 6 hours from his off-site job to hang out and help me build the first waves of shelves in the garage. These shelves are heavy duty. Pressure treated wood, 3/4 inch OSB plywood, and intermediate pressure treated wood, so all of the weight sits on the 2x4, not on the screws (we went through 4 lbs of steel screws. Everything was cross secured). I can park my car on these things! Now to finish organizing my garage! Since then I've painted the decks (top and bottom) with a good oil based primer to protect them from moisture, leaky chems, whatever. In a year I'll paint the uprights. (Thanks again Chug!)

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Now onto car stuff!

So I mentioned Mike is happy with all the positioning of the suspension on the driver side. He's going to do some careful work and framing so he can duplicate it exactly on the passenger side. The new tie rod ends and hubs are sitting for final assembly (after powdercoating).

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Now with that done, Mike slapped the wheel on, so we can see what the 9.5" wheels will look like on the back.

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At some point I'll go out there with a front and rear of the Z06 wheels, and a few rolls of bubble wrap to "build up" the wheel and mimic the dimensions of the tire to get an idea of fitment. That's entirely my idea. I haven't asked Mike on that one yet. Figured it'd be easier than finding some "good used" wheels to wrap on a couple of them for testing, then if it does work (or doesn't!) deal with the wrapper again.

Mike has gotten the radiator to a place where he's happy. The new build car didn't have a condenser in it, thankfully I had a new one sitting in a box over there (I've had it for a few years, because of course I did).

Now as some might know (I didn't! Mike educated me), the condensor mounts by screwing into these rubber mount things. Which were just wrecked. So Mike made a small cut so he could put in a J-hook. I think I asked about vibration. I don't remember what Mike said, so not going to put words in his mouth. But he's building my car with the same care and eye to dependability that he's put into his prize Grand National, so I'm comfortable with whatever he said.

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The Afco radiator came with mounts designed to go into a completely different car. Mike felt bad about slicing into a pristine unit, but with the mounting brackets it had, it was about a half-inch too wide. Mike had a better idea for mounting it anyway, so off they went!

Brand new.

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Mounts and a shot underneath

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I also asked Mike if he would build a skid plate in the front to protect the radiator and work with some ducting, with supports running to the frame to keep the skid plate from bashing into the radiator. He said he would. He wants to put more weight up front anyway.


I also sent off five (in total) GT steering wheels to be restored and re-wrapped with leather. One of them was done up in stock Indy colors for Mike's Indy build he's prepping for. Another is for a friend of a friend in the community. The remaining two spares... I don't know what I'll do with them. Probably coat one in a good leather protector and put it in a bag and keep it in the house where it's temp controlled. Maybe years down the road, when these are hens-teeth rare, I'll be tempted to sell one. :)

Here's a pic of one of mine.

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My TIAL wastegate also showed up. It's a 60mm. Mike wanted me to get a 50, but they don't make a 50, it was 44 or 60. Since my turbo has an anti-surge cover, the 60 should be okay. At worst, I'll sell this one and get their V44.

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Now for the low of the recent efforts. I bought the replacement carpet for the car from ACC. Keep in mind the interior has been out of this car for a long time, and I made the mistake of assuming the carpet that Mike pulled out hadn't been tampered with by the previous-previous owner. In hindsight, I realized they would have during their misguided subwoofer escapades. Anyhow, I used the old carpet to try to template the new carpet. I'll chalk it up to exhaustion that I didn't stop to question why the new carpet was so much longer... *sigh*. Anyhow, Mike says we can fix it, and no one will notice.

SNAFU aside, I was also disappointed that the new carpet was not better molded to fit the dips and risers of the floorplan. After the carpet was put in, when you would push in certain places, the carpet would shift and not lay nicely. Granted, this is mostly by the firewall, so it's not likely to be found by accident.

Anyhow, onto some of the pics of my first attempt at carpet replacement... I'm debating on if I want to buy another set and try again. I will wait and see if we can fix it, and I'll contact ACC to see if I can buy some panels of the carpet for repair if needed.

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I have three major big boxes there with my awesome new interior stuff from Amida!! We did not open the boxes yet. I also need to contact the Fiero Store, my new headliner has not shown up yet.

We also tried taking the manual pedal assembly out... and discovered that a major wiring harness blocks it from coming free. So if anyone knows a trick to getting it out so we can put in the automatic pedal assembly... without doing a bunch of wiring, please let me know!

Last update for right now. Some years ago, IMSA GT was making some cool carbon fiber custom badges. So I put in my order. Black and red carbon fiber and pearl paint, with my original Fiero's name, and the (much niftier) Pegasus profile. Life happens, so it's taken some time for it to get done. I'm very happy with the outcome!

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1986 Pontiac Fiero GT, 355 cubic inch small block Chevy putting down 371 HP and 381 ft/lbs torque at the wheels, with more to come!
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Trinten
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Posts: 521
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:02 pm
Location: Charlotte, N.C.

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