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2008 SilverStone 2WD
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Lookie what I just got! It's an '88 Fiero (best year**) and it's completely rust free.
It's a very well taken care of southern car, so even the undercarriage looks almost like new.



The best part is...it's got a V8.

It started it's life as a base model coupe with auto tranny and 2.5L 4-cyl that had 98 HP and 134 lb-ft TQ. It looks
completely stock except for the decal on the back that says "2M8". (Fieros from the factory were labeled either "2M4" or
"2M6" for 2-seater, Mid-engine, 4 (or 6) cylinder.)





Which V8 does it have, you ask?
It's the Cadillac 4.9L from a '94 Deville. That's a common swap engine for these cars because it's
all aluminum (it's actually lighter than the iron-block Fiero 2.8L V6) and with port fuel injection from the
same era so the electronics stuff is much simpler to interface with all the Fiero gauges, pumps, sensors, etc.
Probably most significantly, it's a direct fit with only GM parts needed for mounting. Price is another big factor,
you can get a low mileage 4.9L with auto tranny and all electrical controls for ~$500-800.



Anyway, just wanted to show off my early birthday present to myself. I've been interested in Fieros for
while but this is the first one I've owned. The previous owner also gave me a set of GT wheels which I
plan on running, so I'll post a pic when I get those on.


**GM completely redesigned the suspension in 1988 and improved the handling immensely (to critical
acclaim) ...then, being GM, they killed it.
 

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Premium Member
2006 Red Jewel AWD
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11,641 Posts
I love the old school HEI distributor on that thing...the 4.9 was a weird concoction of random GM parts slapped together to make something unique...Kinda like the TBSS, odd!?!?!?!?

The engine died because the Lotus/GM designed Corvette ZR1 engine brought about the Northstar engines, which were obviously better (and worse) than the 4.9...
 

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Registered
2008 SilverStone 2WD
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I love the old school HEI distributor on that thing...the 4.9 was a weird concoction of random GM parts slapped together to make something unique...Kinda like the TBSS, odd!?!?!?!?

The engine died because the Lotus/GM designed Corvette ZR1 engine brought about the Northstar engines, which were obviously better (and worse) than the 4.9...
Thanks. I didn't know the history. Yeah, the Northstars are fabulously powerful and smooth, but they have longevity issues from what I hear.

In the Fiero world, the 4.9L is one of the cheapest, quickest ways to gain 60-100 HP and 105-150 lb-ft of TQ (depending on which engine you're starting with), but then, for all practical purposes, it's a dead end.

There are a few guys that rebuilt them, bored them out to swap to Northstar pistons, custom reground the cam, port and polish heads, and a few other things, but for all that, they ended up with a very expensive ~320 HP engine, and they realized they should have just gone with an LT1 or a 3800SC with pulley mods, etc.

The general consensus is if you want anything over 220 HP, use a different engine.
 

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165 Posts
Very nice! My buddy here at work is actually doing a 3800SC into his Fiero right now :) Should be a blast once he finishes it! I was never a fan of the Fiero, but these things with these swaps are cool for sure!!
 

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2008 SilverStone 2WD
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
When is the LS swap taking place? :biggrin2:
Not while I own it. :)
Seriously, there are guys that have LSx engines, but they end up having to spend $7-8K just on the swap getting everything in order. I paid $4000 for this car as is.

good find! that thing looks beautiful! :coolthumb:
Thank you. I usually much prefer the fastback GT Fieros, but this one was in such nice shape and V8 already done, I couldn't resist.

An LS4 FWD would be a cool swap to do!
That's getting some attention on the Fiero forums, but again much more expensive and involved than this swap.

Very nice! My buddy here at work is actually doing a 3800SC into his Fiero right now :) Should be a blast once he finishes it! I was never a fan of the Fiero, but these things with these swaps are cool for sure!!
I always liked the look of Fieros (particularly the GTs), but even the V6 engine was underpowered. The '88s corner like they're on rails, though.
The swapped car just piqued my interest.
 

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'06 AWD
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2,008 Posts
Looks like it's in great shape. Have fun with it.
 

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07 TrailblazerSS Imp
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9,386 Posts
Looks great and with a V8 to boot ^69. The GT was always a nice looking car and GM finally got it right only to drop it. :doh:
 

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2008 SilverStone 2WD
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, guys. Yeah, the killing of the Fiero and the Caprice were two of GMs worst moves, IMO.
 

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TrailblazerSS
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49 Posts
VERY nice. A couple years back one of the top ten hot rods in america (hot rod magazine) was an ls1 fiero.
 

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TrailblazerSS
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2,141 Posts
:coolthumb: Love anything with a V8 swap! Good buy. I hope it doesn't live up to the name "Fire-O".
 

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2008 SilverStone 2WD
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks for the compliments.

Is it fast? :dunno:
Yes, I would estimate the 0-60 time to be in the high 4's to low 5's, maybe faster. The torque/weight ratio is considerably better than a stock or even mildly modded TBSS, (e.g. 285 lb-ft/2500 lbs > 400 lb-ft/4600 lbs). However, it tops out at ~4250 rpm in it's current form, so it would run out of breath for a 1/4-mile race. It'd be a great 1/8th mile car, though. It's also a killer highway cruiser. The funny thing is it only has an 85 mph speedometer (remember this was a 4-cyl car from the 80's) and it is so easy to bury it with slight mash of the throttle.

Love anything with a V8 swap! Good buy. I hope it doesn't live up to the name "Fire-O".
:D Just for the record, the fires were only a problem with the '84 model year and it was due to a
problem with the original design of the 2.5L 4-cyl. GM did a recall and it hasn't been a problem since. Long story short, if it's not an '84 it has no more chance of catching fire than any other car.
 

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2008 SilverStone 2WD
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Just dont make it a Diablo kit car :cheers1:
Yeah, I saw one of those kit cars on either ebay or craigslist that had the 2.5L 4 cyl in it...not even the 2.8L V6 which would be bad enough. That's just wrong! Those kits add about 500 lbs to the car too, so he'd have been lucky to win a race with a Geo Metro. Imagine the false pride he gave to all the ricers that pulled up next to him.

Most of the kit cars I've seen also have an engine swap. Here's one local to me that I like because it's not a knock off of some other real car. He's dreaming on that price, but it is nice...and unique.
 
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