Tech Tips, Features, Misc.
This is a page devoted to some of my favorite tech tips, features, and misc. subjects!!!!!
Another 1st for Fiero Use of NCG graphic fiber in 1988 for prevention of radio interference.
Brake upgrade for the 84-87 rear brakes to vented rotors
Dashlights don't work? Probably the remote dimmer!
Fiero Safety! We drive a "Safe" car according to Consumer Reports
Monochromic paint scheme. Interesting info on the 88 paint scheme
O2 sensor , How does it work?
RPO Codes Wonder what all those codes are on the inner front fender label?
Rust never sleeps. Your Fiero is rusting!
Torque rod replacement Replace those "springs" that hold up the rear deck lid!
Wheels RPO code, style, codes, offsets by year
The symptom: your dash lights (and gear displays on automatic cars) blink and then go out. The cause: The rheostat resistor that controls the dimming function of the dash lights is corroded. The solution: 1) Locate the resistor/capacitor heat sink under the drivers side dash. To picture where it is, it would appear to be as far forward (towards the seat) as the underside of the dash will allow and next to the steering column on the radio side, somewhat in line with the gas pedal. It looks like a 2" x 2" heat sink (metal fins on the side) Lying with your head closest to the pedals and legs out the door is the easiest way to spot it. 2) Once you find it, note the 2 screws on either side, one towards the fuse door, the other towards the center console. Remove the 2 screws. 3) Remove the connector from the heat sink. You will see 2 more screws on the inside. Remove these screws to separate the resistor/capacitor. Be careful of the 2 long metal contacts coming out of the resistor capacitor, they must stay straight. Don't lose the clear shim. 4) You will notice a white, milky substance all over the metal contacts. This is the corrosion that is causing the problem! Clean the corrosion with a clean rag, tooth brush, or whatever. Also clean the clear plastic shim that is between the heat sink and resistor/capacitor. 5) Carefully put the two connecting rods back into the holes they go into (make sure the shim is between the resistor/capacitor) and push the resistor in carefully to make the rods come out the center. Once the rods are seated, put in the 2 screws holding the resistor?capacitor to the heat sink. 6) Re-connect the wiring connector and turn on your parking lights 7) You have dash lights! 8) turn the lights off and reinstall the heat sink under the dash. Regards Paulv
Monochromatic Paint Scheme
When was monochromatic paint (aero skirts painted at the factory the exact same color as the upper body panels) first available on a Fiero? Most people assume the 1988 GT was the first monochromatic Fiero model, but this is not entirely correct. This is not a trick question. The 85-87 silver GT's are not truly monochromatic, since their medium gray metallic aero skirts were not the exact same color paint as the upper body panels. Even the 86 & 87 black SE's do not qualify, since their aero skirts were matte black in contrast with their glossy upper body panels. Paint must be identical on the aero skirts and body panels to be true monochrome. But in June of 1986, the Quality Pontiac dealership in Pontiac, Michigan arranged to have 50 special Fiero GT's built. All 50 identical cars were produced in one day at the Fiero plant. Each of these 86 Fiero GT's had white monochrome paint, gray cloth interior, Getrag 5-speed, and most available options, except rear window defrost. Quality Pontiac purchased fifty, black, Pegasus-style hood decals from FOCOA for these cars and had a couple of people inside the Fiero plant installing the decals onto the hoods the day the cars were produced (the only known time that non-union workers were ever allowed into the factory to work on vehicles). Numbers were added to the window stickers of these white monochrome 1986 Fiero GT's identifying the 50 cars sequentially from 000 through 049, with number 000 being the first one produced. An interesting side note to this story involves a one-of-a-kind prototype made by Pontiac to show the dealership before the run of 50 cars was scheduled. The prototype was assembled at the factory and modified off-line to add white aero skirts as well as white side view mirrors and white diamond spoke wheels. The color matched wheels & mirrors were too costly to procure in the small quantities required and were omitted from the 50 car production schedule for the dealership. After Quality management approved the prototype, Pontiac Motors put it on display at Pontiac headquarters. So what ever happened to these 50, all white 1986 Fiero GT's? A few were sold to local area residents, including one FOCOA member who raced the car with numerous stickers added to its exterior. At least one was in a accident: FOCOA later sold a replacement hood decal to the dealership in Michigan where the car was repaired. Quality claims to have sold them all, including several to a Pontiac dealership in California. Other reports are that at most, 19 of the cars were sold and that Pontiac motors reclaimed the balance from Quality, then converted them to stock versions before re- distributing them. Regards Paulv
GAS PEDAL BINDING
SYMPTOM: (V6 ONLY) Occasionally the gas pedal would bind in the idle position, requiring excessive force to depress. The binding would release with a snap, which led me to initially suspect a problem with the accelerator cable.
PROBLEM: The cable was fine. It was the throttle plate sticking to the throttle body itself.
CAUSE: In the idle position, the throttle plate to throttle body tolerance is so tight that any significant amount of deposits will have a tendency to cause some binding.
Remove the air cleaner to throttle body rubber duct at the throttle body.
Spray choke cleaner all around the plate circumference where it contacts the throttle body.
Open the throttle plate and wipe around the plate edge and the body where the plate rests on the body to remove all visible deposits.
Repeat several times to make sure its really clean.
Also spray the plate shaft as it passes through the body while moving the throttle open and closed rapidly to make sure the shaft itself is not binding.
Dont forget about the Idle Air Control Valve passage and the valve pintle located near the bottom of the throttle body. Cleaning this passage eliminates the sticking of the valve pintle as it moves in and out of the air passage to control a steady idle and eliminating stalling on deceleration
Reconnect the air cleaner duct to the throttle body.
You feel a much smoother gas pedal operation. Make it part of your preventative maintenance or part of your tune up procedure.
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT/CODES
So your "check engine" or "service engine soon" light has come on. This time you want to find out what it means before going to the dealer. Or perhaps you want to fix it yourself. First, remove the 2 screws (T-15 torx) from the cigarette lighter panel. Remove panel, uncovering diagnostic terminal. Next, turn key on, but do not start engine. Short terminals A & B with a paper clip. *1 (See *1 below) The check engine lamp will begin to flash. Quoting from page 159 of the Haynes Fiero manual "..the ECM (computer) will display a "code 12" by flashing the "service engine soon" light, indicating that the system is operating. A code 12 is simply one flash, followed by a brief pause, then two flashes in quick succession. This code will be flashed 3 times. If no other codes are stored, code 12 will flash until the diagnostic terminal ground is removed.
After flashing code 12 3 times, the ECM will display any stored trouble codes. Each code will be flashed 3 times, then code 12 will be flashed again, indicating that the display of any stored trouble codes has been completed.
When the ECM sets a trouble code, the ..light will come on and a trouble code will be stored in memory. If the problem is intermittent, the light will go out after 10 seconds, when the fault goes away. However, the trouble code will stay in the ECM memory until the battery voltage to the ECM is interrupted. Removing battery voltage for 10 seconds will clear all stored trouble codes. Trouble codes should always be cleared after repairs have been completed. CAUTION: TO PREVENT DAMAGE TO THE ECM, THE KEY MUST BE OFF WHEN DISCONNECTING POWER TO THE ECM.
CODE 13 - (1 FLASH, PAUSE, 3 FLASHES) - OXYGEN SENSOR CIRCUIT
CODE 15 - COOLANT SENSOR CIRCUIT
CODE 21 & 22 - THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR
CODE 23 & 25 - MANIFOLD AIR TEMPERATURE (V6)
CODE 24 - VEHICLE SPEED SENSOR
CODE 32 - EGR SYSTEM (V6 ONLY)
CODE 33 & 34 - MAP (MANIFOLD AIR PRESSURE) SENSSOR
CODE 35 - IDLE AIR CONTROL
CODE 42 - ELECTRONIC SPARK TIMING
CODE 44 & 45 - OXYGEN SENSOR CIRCUIT
CODE 51 - PROM
CODE 52 - FUEL CALPAK (V6 ONLY)
CODE 53 - SYSTEM OVER-VOLTAGE (V6 ONLY)
CODE 55 - ECM (COMPUTER IS DEAD)
Knowing the codes enable you to converse more intelligently with your service manager or mechanic. If you are going to fix it yourself refer to the factory service manual for diagnostic procedure.
*1..These are the 2 terminals at the top right as you face the dianostic terminal
ANOTHER FIRST FOR FIERO
Although the 1984 Fiero won many awards for its design and innovative use of materials (such as the magnesium engine vent panel, which was eliminated in 1985 Fiero models), the Fiero continued to debut engineering advancements as late as the 1988 model. What little-known "first" did the Fiero feature for 1988?
The newly designed suspension, while a definite improvement, borrowed elements from many existing suspension configurations and could not be considered an engineering "first". The innovative speed-sensitive power-assist steering certainly could have qualified, but was never made available to the public on the 1988 Fiero. (every Fiero assembled with the speed-sensitive steering was stripped of the power-assist unit before being released for sale. While some reports say the cancellation of the Fiero left no reason to spend the money to produce the steering unit, other reports blame the excessive noise made by the unit for its omission from the 1988 Fiero).
But the 1988 Fiero did feature the first automotive use of nickel coated graphic fiber (NCG) as a shield against electromagnetic and radio frequency interference (EMI and RFI). The chopped NCG fibers were supplied as a non-woven mat resembling fiberglass. The three main horizontal plastic panels (hood, front roof section, and rear deck lid) of all Fieros are made of fiberglass/polyester sheet molding compound (SMC. The 1988 Fiero added a layer of the NCG matting to the uncurred SMC for the rear deck lid only. During the molding process, the heat and pressure bonded the NCG and SMC together. No additional assembly was required.
Make no mistake about it-, Pontiac Motors made this change in order to eliminate the metal plate shield previously used, as well as the fasteners and factory labor used to install the shield. But the effect on the Fiero was entirely positive. The shielding properties of parts made with nickel-coated graphite fibers do not diminish over time. The fibers may increase mechanical properties (things engineers call IZOD strength and notch resistance).
Reference: MACHINE DESIGN magazine, May 12, 1988, issue.
How many times have you hear about how unsafe your Fiero is? How many people have you seen cringe when you told them that the Fiero gasoline tank is positioned in the frame just between the seats, forming the high center console?
According to a Consumers Report magazine article entitled "Which Cars Protect You Best?" from pages 186-188, April, 1984, the Fiero tied for first place in the small car class. In this test, the cars were run into a solid barrier at 35 miles an hour. From the article, "No car made today can survive a head-on collision into a fixed barrier at 35 miles an hour. After such a crash, the car is reduced to scrap metal" (p.186). After this crash test, the Fiero received a rating by Consumers Report of: minor injury to driver, minor injury to passenger, and moderate rating for structural integrity (p.187). The standard scale ranged from : 1). No injury or minor injury (best), to 2). Moderate injury; to 3). Certain injury, possibly severe; to 4). Severe or fatal injury; to 5). Severe or fatal injury was virtually certain (worse) (p.188). The only car that had a better rating, in fact the highest rating, was the Volvo DL. The Volvos ratings were: minor injury to driver, minor injury to passenger, and a minor rating for structural integrity (p.187). So, the only difference was that the Volvo had a step higher rating for structural integrity. Although this may not be highly scientific, very detailed data, on an overall basis, the Fiero scored extremely well.
The Fieros rating was tied with such marquees as: Chryslers Laser, Daytona, and LeBaron: Toyotas Celica and Camry: GMs Camaro, Firebird, 4-door Century, Celebrity, Ciera, and 6000; and the Jeep CJ7 (p.187).
The Fieros rating was far better than such marquees as: Fords Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis; and GMs Le Sabre, Caprice, Delta 88, and Parisienne (P.187). Some of the poorest results were from the Honda Civic CRX, Peugeot 505, and Ford Escort 4-door (p.187).
Keen in mind, however, that these results apply only for severe head-on collisions, and that they apply to occupants who are wearing their seatbelts (p.188.
In a different interpretation of the same data, The US Department of Transportation released a newsletter on February 27, 1984, in which the Fiero again scored highly using different test criteria. These results were issued from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA 03-84 - For Release Monday, February 27, 1984 - "NHTSA Releases Crash Test Results of 1984 Model Vehicles:" from the Office of Public Affairs. Three results were tabulated: The HIC is the "Head Injury Criterion" which measures the value of possible head injury - the lower the value, the lower the risk of head injury (p.1). The "chest resultant" and "femur loads:" were the other results which measure impact on other parts of the body (p.3).
The highest values accepted before very serious injuries result are: HIC - 100; Chest - 60 G;s, and Femur - 2250 pounds (p.2) The Fiero;s results for the driver/passenger were: HIC -309/356; Chest - 31/30; Femur, left - 850/740; Femur, right - 840/800 (p.3). The Fiero had the best ratings for HIC and Chest, that is, the lowest value. The Plymouth Conquest had the best rating for the Femur values: Left -410/180, Right - 360/320 (p.3).
Again, listing some of the other cars used in this test were, the Ford LTD station wagon, Chevrolet Corvette, Oldsmobile Cutlass 2-door, and the Renault Encore.
So the next time people talk about how unsafe your Fiero is, whip out these results and put them in their place! The Fiero is one of the safer cars on the road. Now, why did not GM use these results in any Fiero advertising?
Rust Never Sleeps
If youre looking at a Fiero to purchase or would like to keep your own Fiero in excellent condition, you need to be aware of rust. Like other plastic bodied cars, the Fiero may look good on the outside but can be rusting away beneath. One place to look for rust is at the sides of the trunk. The rear wheel well liners are made of two pieces of plastic. The joints between the plastic pieces allows water to make its way behind the liners and into a space between the wheel well and the outside of the trunk well. You can easily inspect this area by gently pulling the top edge of the carpeting from beneath the deck lid weather stripping. You will need to pull the piece which wraps around the back of the trunk first, then pull the side piece because the back piece of carpet laps over the side piece of carpet. This procedure may vary for fastback (1986-1988 GT) models. It is not necessary to remove the fasteners to check for corrosion, however the fasteners will need to be pulled out to perform a repair. If the fasteners are removed carefully, they may be reused. If you see rust, youd better pull the wheel well liner also, to observe the extent of the corrosion on the exterior side of the trunk well. The liners are removed by taking out the liner fasteners. Only the rear liner needs to be removed; it has 3 screws with hex heads and 7 plastic fasteners. If corrosion exists, remove the rust down to clean steel and paint the steel with rust inhibiting paint. Since this area will not be exposed to view, it is more important to do a thorough painting than an aesthetically pleasing one (although if its worth doing, its worth doing well; and neatness always counts).
If you find that the steel has partially or completely corroded away leaving you with a hole in the side of your trunk, more drastic measures are needed. The remaining steel should be cleaned, then a new piece of steel can be welded into place. This is probably a task most of us are not capable of doing ourselves, however ask around the club; we do have people capable of performing this work. Once the new steel is in place, the new and old steel should be painted with a rust inhibiting paint and the dismantled parts put back into place.
There will still be plenty of (bad) spring weather for working on your Fiero in the garage to get it in top condition for showing it off this summer. One project some of us need to do is detailing the engine compartment. During detailing of the engine, there are always parts that need to be repainted. These parts can be painted without disassembling your car. Instead of using masking tape, which manages to stick to everything you dont want it to stick to and wont stick where you want it to stick, try using aluminum foil instead of tape. To cover up parts you dont want to get paint on, wrap these parts in aluminum foil. Aluminum foil can be made to conform to many shapes, can be cut to shape, and will stay in places where tape wont stick. When you finish painting, the foil is easily removed and will not leave a residue or pull at any nearby painted surfaces.
Coolant Fan Switch
Coolant fan temperature switch. Your Fiero coolant fan is turned on & off by the inputs from the coolant temperature sensor, speed sensor & the A/C system. Battery voltage is supplied at all times to the coolant fan relay. The fan (or fans incl the rear fans in those so equipped) is energized by merely providing a ground. This is done when you put the A/C in MAX. NORM, or B/L, or the A/C High pressure cut out switch. When the coolant temperature exceeds 235F. The coolant temperature switch closes, and provides the ground to the relay coil to be energized. If you want to switch your coolant fan on whenever you want, all you have to do is manually provide the ground through a switch. Find the main wiring junction block on the front firewall above and forward of the brake pedal (inside the car!) Find the dark green and white stripe wire in plug F9 (4th up from the bottom on the left side) and splice into it through a switch, to ground. (Do not cut the green/white wire). When the switch is turned on, with the ignition on, this will ground the relay, which activates the fan in the same way the coolant temp switch & A/C switch does. I located a black rocker switch in the plate where the defogger switch normally would be, but you can find any good spot. No more worries about creeping temps in hot traffic! The real question is why do this at all? The Fiero was designed to run at these temps, and when it gets hot the fan comes on! (supposed to!). Maybe all you need is a new coolant fan sensor!, especially if the fan(s) come on when you put the A/C on.
Torque rod Replacement by Jim Hallman and Paul Vargyas
Its a love/hate relationship. Either you love the expansive and expensive Fiero GT rear wing, or you hate it! If you are one of the ones who love it, and your Fiero does not have it, you are undoubtedly seeking to find one.
However, once you find your wing, proper installation is more than just a bolt-on process because the rear torque rods that keep the deck lid from crashing down on your head may not be the correct ones for your old deck lid with your new wing. Quite simply, torque rods are lengths of twisted steel rod that create enough tension to counter balance the weight of the deck lid to hold it open. Adding a rear wing to a Fiero that did not previously have one adds about 10 pounds to the top, rearward end of the deck lid. Thus the need for a larger torque rod to counterbalance the added weight.
The Pontiac Fiero came with three different torque rods. Fieros equipped with a luggage rack had a torque rod with a light spray of blue paint on the "U" shaped ends (GM part numbers: 20355089-left hand side & 20355088-right hand side). Fieros equipped with the GT wing had a torque rod with a light spray of white paint on the "U" shaped ends (GM part numbers: 20380985-left hand side & 20380984-right hand side). Fieros equipped with a plain deck lid had a torque rod with a light spray of red paint on the "U" shaped ends. Each of these three torque rods has a different diameter rod to offset the various weights of the individual option added to the deck lid. Thus, if your Fiero has a plain deck lid (red paint on the "U" shaped ends) and you add a rear wing to it, you need a torque rod with white paint on the "U" shaped ends in order for your deck lid to stay up when it is opened. If you do not change the torque rods when you add the rear wing, your deck lid will not stay up - unless you use a prop rod. Even increasing the rods tension by moving the torque rod retaining pin forward a notch (see step #7) will not keep your deck lid from falling down. You can determine if your car was originally equipped with a luggage rack or wing by looking at the three digit "RPO" codes located on the sticker on the inner front left fender next to the brake reservoir. D80 means your Fiero was equipped with the Fiero wing (you should have "white" painted on the bars. V56 or V58 means your Fiero was equipped with the luggage rack (you should have "blue" painted on the bars.
Before proceeding any further, words of great caution must be expressed. If not done cautiously, this replacement procedure could easily shatter your rear window or break your fingers. This procedure is a two person project at a minimum. With this out of the way, lets proceed:
1). Disconnect the wiring harness located near the battery that supplies power to the deck lid lock solenoid from the deck lid (if equipped).
2). Disconnect the radio static grounding wire on the air cleaner side of the deck lid (if equipped).
3). Mark the orientation of the deck lid to the hinges using tape, a marker, etching device, etc. to allow for proper alignment of the deck lid upon re-installation.
4). Remove the deck lid by removing the two bolts on each side that hold the deck lid to the hinges using a 13MM socket.
5). Tape large squares of wood onto the rear window glass just behind the hinges as a precaution to prevent the deck lid hinges from smashing through the glass as tension is released from the hinges.
6). Mark the orientation of the hinge bolts to the hinge using paint, an etching device, etc. to allow for proper alignment of the hinges to the hinge support bracket upon re-installation.
7). Notice the shape of the torque rods. The torque rods have squared off open loop ("U" shaped) ends on the opposite end of the hinge linkage. This "U" end goes underneath and in between the sides of the hinge support bracket and rests against the torque rod retaining pin that passes through the hinge support bracket. Three rates of tension can be created using the three hole settings on each bracket to vary the tension rates of the rods. Normally, this solid pin is in the middle of the three holes. This pin needs to be removed to release most of the tension created in the torque rod. This can be done using nylon rope that is looped around the bottom of the loop at the "U" end of the torque rod. . We have found that the person who will be pulling the rope rearward to release the tension should wear gloves to protect their hands and wrap the rope securely around each hand. Then, place one foot against the forward trunk well for leverage as you pull rearward to release the tension of the rod in order to remove the pin. Start by removing the drivers side pin. With your assistant firmly pulling the rope towards the rear of the car, the torque rod "U" end will begin to be pulled rearward to allow the pin to be pulled out from the hinge support bracket Be very cautious with this step - for if the rope slips and your fingers are in the way, the tension of the torque rod will smash your fingers into the firewall. Make certain your partner has a firm, steady grip on the rope before you move your fingers in place to remove the pin. Once the pin is pulled out, slowly release the hold on the rope to gently allow the torque rod to rest against the firewall.
8). Follow the same steps that are in #7 to remove the torque rod retaining pin from the passengers side.
9). Please be aware that there is still quite a bit of tension built up in the torque rods even though the pins have been removed. The next step is to remove the deck lid hinges with the torque rods still connected to them, as a unit. Begin by loosening the lower nut holding the hinge to the hinge support bracket on the passengers side using a 13MM socket. Do not remove the lower nut entirely, just loosen it a few turns at this time. Next, loosen the upper nut holding the hinge to the hinge support bracket using a 13MM socket. Slowly loosen this upper nut all the way to remove it - be aware that tension is being released as you slowly loosen these nuts.
10). Now that the upper nut has been removed, the lower nut now needs to be removed. Slowly remove the lower nut holding the hinge to the hinge support bracket. Be careful because once this nut is removed, the tension will be fully released from this rod - keep hands clear from the hinge to prevent injury.
11). The torque rod is held in position in two places. The first place is on the side of the hinge support bracket where a "C" shaped hook holds the torque rod in place. The second place is on the opposite end of the torque rod where it slides behind a lip on the hinge support bracket. Once the nuts holding the hinge in place have been removed, work the torque rod free from these two points to remove the torque rod from the Fiero. NOTE: you may need to use a screwdriver to pry the torque rod out of the "C" hook if the tolerance is too close. Once removed, label this torque rod "#1 Passenger Side" and set aside. Notice that this torque rod has a rubber cushioning sleeve wrapped around it to prevent it from rubbing with the other torque rod.
12). Repeat steps 9, 10, and 11 to remove the torque rod connected to the drivers side hinge. Once removed, label this one "#2 Driver Side" and set aside.
13). Looking at the torque rod/hinge assemblies you just removed, notice the Torx bit screw head which holds the torque rod to the hinge. The bit needed to remove this screw is a special theft deterrent bit because it has a center piece to prevent using a standard Torx bit to remove it. These special Torx bits are available from your local Trak Auto parts store - other parts stores should have them as well. The part number for this seven piece set is #26000 from Lisle Corp. and cost about $12.99. Using the #T-40 size bit, loosen the bolt securing the torque rod from the hinges on both the #1 and #2 rods. If you want to, repaint the hinges and torque rods for that "new, factory" look.
14). Match up the new torque rods with the old torque rods labeled #1 and #2 to make sure you are installing the correct bar to the correct hinge. Apply grease to the contact points where the screw holds the torque rods to the hinge to prevent wearing.
15). It would also be recommended to apply grease to the contact points that hold the torque rods in place - both the "C" hook and the lip that are both located on the sides of the hinge support brackets.
16). We are now ready for the re-installation of the torque rod/hinge assemblies. The first assembly to re-install is the one labeled "#2 Driver Side" (because this one was the last one removed). This step requires two people. First, position the assembly so that the torque rod fits into the "C" hook on the passenger side hinge support bracket making sure the hinge aligns up with the screws in the hinge support bracket while aligning the torque rod to fit behind the lip on the drivers side hinge support bracket - and at the same time, aligning the "U" loop on the end of the torque rod up and in between the sides of the drivers side hinge support bracket. This step is as complicated and difficult as it sounds because you are trying to align four things at the same time.
17). While having your assistant tightly hold the torque rod in position, pull down firmly on the deck lid hinge to align the hinge with the hinge support screws. Position the hinge in place so you can screw on the lower retaining nut to hold the hinge in position. Tighten this nut down making sure it aligns with the marks you placed on the hinge when you removed the retaining nuts. Be careful and hold firmly because you are now building tension in the torque rod. With the alignment correct, re-install the upper retaining nut and then tighten both nuts securely. Verify the torque rod is correctly positioned.
18).Now you are ready to install the "#1 Passenger Side" torque rod. Follow the same steps in #16 and #17 as you did for the "#2 Driver Side" torque rod.
19). Verify the torque rods are seated in the "C" hook and up in back of the lips on the hinge support brackets. Verify that the four hinge nuts are securely tightened. We are now ready to add more tension to the rods by setting the torque rods on the pins. Generally, a good place to insert the torque rod pins is in the middle hole of the three located on the hinge support brackets.
20). Review step #7. This step requires two people. Loop the nylon rope around the bottom of the "U" end of the torque rod on the passenger side. Have your assistant pull firmly back on the torque rod until you can insert the pin into the middle hole on the side of the hinge support bracket.. Insert the pin and cautiously release the ropes tension to allow the torque rod to rest on the pin. Be very cautious with this step - for if the rope slips and your fingers are in the way, the tension of the torque rod will smash your fingers into the rear firewall.
21). Repeat step #20 for the drivers side pin insertion.
22). You are now ready to re-place your deck lid. Make sure you properly aligned the deck lid with the hinges using the alignment marks you have made on the deck lid. Re-install the four bolts which secure the deck lid to the hinges - two on each side.
23). Re-connect the radio static grounding wire located on the air cleaner side of the deck lid.
24). Re-connect the wiring harness for the power deck lid lock solenoid on the battery side of the deck lid (if equipped).
25). Slowly lower the deck lid to test the newly installed torque rods and make sure the deck lid is properly aligned with the rest of the body panels.
26). If you were successful, your deck lid will stay up all by itself as you raise it - no more prop rods, no more lumps on your head. Enjoy!
REAR BRAKE UPGRADE FOR THE 84-87 FIERO!
After reading several discussions on the internet about using front Grand Am brakes on the rear of a 84-87 Fiero, I decided to try this Brake "upgrade" since I was ready to replace the pads. With the help of Jamie Hart (NIFE member), I installed a set of 85-89 front Grand Am calipers and vented rotors on the rear of my 87GT which is a heavy daily driver ("on loan" to my grad student daughter). I went to Pep Boys and to Trak Auto, and at Trak, the prices were: Grand Am Caliper front (rebuilt) $14.96 exchange ea. Grand Am Vented front (new) rotors $18.99 ea. no exchange needed. New semi-metallic pads $18.99 (both wheels-set) Slider pin grease $1.98 Total cost (exchange) was about $96.00 with sales tax. (BTW, Pep boys was 24.00 and 19.99 respectively) These complete sets are a straight bolt on, and we had them on in about 1 1/2 hours. Merely remove the calipers and rotors from the rear of the 84-87 Fiero, and literally bolt on the Grand Am Rotors/calipers. Obviously you must remove the brake hose from the caliper, and you will need to remove the small clamp that holds the brake hose against the strut member in order for the existing brake hose to match up to the Grand Am caliper due to a slightly lower mounting point on the Grand Am caliper. Once you re-connect the brake hoses to the calipers, be sure to properly bleed the system. Keep in mind that you loose your emergency brake because the Grand Ams don't have any provision for emergency brake cables. This was a Automatic Transmission GT anyway, and both cables needed replacing, so I decided that the emergency brake system was expendable . The result is a definite, noticeable increase in braking power. My daughter asked me what I did to the brakes because she can tell the difference! She drives this car 300-400 miles per week, so I feel that the improvement is worthwhile. Again keep in mind that the removal of the parking brake function may be illegal in some states. The Auto parts store said I had to return the same application calipers for the core credit, but a dirty, grimy caliper in a core return box gets the core credit without any questions asked. Just thought I would share this little project with those that have read about it or heard about it, but never got around to doing it.
The Fiero O2 Sensor
How does it work?
A sluggish or defective oxygen sensor is a common problem with the Fiero. When not operating properly, many driveability problems will occur. Usually the engine will show some loss of power, and will not seem to respond quickly. A service engine trouble code will usually be set.
Simply defined, the O2 sensor is a "device that detects the amount of oxygen in the exhaust stream". A more detailed definition would be: A device that is mounted in the exhaust system where it can monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust gas. Based on the oxygen content, the sensor (which is usually made of zirconia, a ceramic material) produces a voltage in response to the amount of unused oxygen in the exhaust stream. It does this by comparing the amount of oxygen in the exhaust to the amount of oxygen in the air outside. When the exhaust is lean (excess air), the sensor produces a low voltage (near zero). When the exhaust is rich (excess fuel), it produces a high voltage (up to 1.0 volts).This voltage is sent to the ECM.
All spark combustion engines need the proper air fuel ratio to operate correctly. For gasoline this is 14.7 parts of air to one part of fuel. When the engine has more fuel than needed, all available oxygen is consumed in the cylinder and gasses leaving through the exhaust contain almost no oxygen. The O2 sensor then sends out a voltage greater than 0.45 volts. If the engine is running lean, all fuel is burned, and the extra oxygen leaves the cylinder and flows into the exhaust. In this case, the sensor voltage goes lower than 0.45 volts. Usually the output range seen is 0.2 to 0.7 volts. (The sensor does not begin to generate it's full output until it reaches about 600 degrees F. Prior to this time the sensor is not conductive and produces no voltage to the ECM). The mid-point is about 0.45 volts. This is neither rich nor lean. A fully warm O2 sensor will not spend any significant time at 0.45 volts. If the ECM senses a steady 0.45 volts, it knows this is a "illegal" value, and then judges that the sensor is not operating. At that point, the ECM directs that the engine stay in open loop. Any time an engine is operated in open loop, it runs somewhat rich and makes more exhaust emissions, which translates into lost power, poor fuel economy and air pollution. As a side note, "open loop" simply means that the ECM is using a pre-determined set of values to operate the engine functions. "closed Loop", means that all sensors including the O2, coolant, and MAP are operational, sending condition data that are read by the ECM which directs the proper fuel mixture command to the injectors for maximum operating efficiency. The O2 sensor is constantly in a state of transition between high and low voltage. Manufacturers call this crossing back & forth of the 0.45 volt mark "O2 cross counts". The higher the number of O2 cross counts, the better the sensor and other parts of the computer control system are working. It is important to remember that the O2 sensor is comparing the amounts of oxygen inside and outside the engine. If the outside of the sensor should become blocked, coated with oil, insulation, undercoating or antifreeze, (among other things), this comparison is not possible. Also, the use of any silicone sealers in the engine, if not marked "sensor safe", or "low volatile" will also affect the O2 to the point of being inoperative!
WHAT CODES DOES A O2 SET?
Generally a defective sensor will set a :
Code 13..... could be an open circuit (wire from the ECM to sensor, or bad ground from the O2 sensor signal circuit in the ECM.)
Code 44.....lean exhaust indication- low voltage (below 0.20 volts for 50 seconds or more)
Code 45.....Rich exhaust indication- high voltage (over 0.48 volts for 50 seconds or more)
Just because there is a code 44 or 45, does not mean that the O2 sensor is bad. A code 44 or 45 could mean problems with the fuel pressure, fuel contamination, EGR, O2 sensor wire, MAP sensor, exhaust leak, vacuum leak, TPS, etc. Additional testing may be required.
WHERE IS THE SENSOR LOCATED?
On the 4 cyl. it is located in the side of the exhaust manifold facing the passenger compartment firewall. On the 6 cyl. it is located in the exhaust downpipe, approx. 6" down from the "Y" connection of the exhaust manifolds.
HOW CAN I CHECK THE SENSOR?
Most owners will not be able to check the O2 sensor since it requires a high impedance digital volt meter. Due to the sensor cost, it is simpler to replace it with a new sensor. Automotive parts stores stock these sensors, and their cost is approx. $25.00. Be sure to use anti-seize compound when installing the replacement sensor. The GM part #'for all years, all engines is #25162693, GM retail @$ 32.09, club wholesale $22.77.
Wheels, all years of Fieros
WHEEL TYPE *SIZE *YEAR(S)* STAMP*PART NUMBER *COLOR *OFFSET
N24 Turbo Fin 13 x 5.5 1984 Stamped JR 10031138 Dark Charcoal 42mm Offset
PX1 Turbo Fin 13 x 5.5 1985 Stamped JR 10031138 Dark Charcoal 42mm Offset
NX1 Standard Steel 13 x 5.5 1984-85 Stamped TZ 9590763 42mm Offset
PC6 Standard Steel 14 x 5.5 1986-88 Stamped TT 9590723 42mm Offset
N78 High Tech Alum 14 x 6 1984 Stamped HU 10034160 (w/Y82 Pace Car) White 35mm Offset
N78 High Tech Alum 14 x 6 1984-1988 Stamped JM
10030813 Charcoal 35mm Offset
N78 High Tech Alum 14 x 6 1986-1988 10046311 Gold 35mm Offset
N78 High Tech Alum 14 x 6 1988 Stamped XRM 10104452 Charcoal XUY
Compact Spare 15 x 4 1984-88 Stamped RK 9590503
PH0 Diamond Spoke Alum 15 x 6 1988 Front Stamped XRP
10104414 Black (19P) XUZ (Made by Western Wheel) 37mm Offset
PH0 Diamond Spoke Alum 15 x 6 1988 Front Stamped XRR
10104416 Gold (60P) XXF (Made by Western Wheel) 37mm Offset
N90 Diamond Spoke Alum 15 x 7 1986-87 Stamped XBZ 10049057 Light Gray (Made by Western Wheel)
N90 Diamond Spoke Alum 15 x 7 1986-87 Stamped XBZ 10054562 Dark Gray (Made by Western Wheel) Manufacturer stamp ATS
PHO Diamond Spoke Alum 15 x 7 1988 Stamped XBZ 10049057 Light Gray (Made by Western Wheel)
PHO Diamond Spoke Alum 15 x 7 1988 Rear Stamped XRS 10104415 Black(19P) XXJ (Made by Western Wheel)
PHO Diamond Spoke Alum 15 x 7 1988 Rear 10104417 Gold(60P) (Made by Western Wheel)
Thanks to Scott Backer
AAA A coating on the glass
AD3 Window, hinged roof (Sunroof)
AF9 Seat, front, bucket, driver, passenger, reclining (84-87)
AF9 Lumbar seat, adjustable, driver, passenger (88)
AR9 Seat, front bucket, driver, passenger, manual reclining
AU3 Power door locks
AV3 Fastener, cargo tie down
A01 Window, deep tinted all, Soft Ray
A31 Window, electric control
A90 Deck lid release, remote control, electric
BC8 Front door map pocket RH and LH (available only w/A31)
BW1 Ornamentation, extra, rear
BW8 Ornamentation, extra, rear
BX1 Ornamentation, exterior, front end (special)
BY1 Ornamentation, extra, rear
B20 Interior, luxury (w/trim codes 662,822)
B34 Floor mats, front, carpeted
B48 Deluxe trunk trim
B57 Trim, extra, Deluxe
B6V Delete AU3 (in package order) (1987)
B6W Delete A31 (in package order) (1987)
B97 Molding, extra lower accent
CD4 Wiper system, pulse
CJB T-Tops (88)
C41 Heater, with fan and defroster (84-87)
C41 Heater, base (non AC) (88)
C49 Defogger, rear window, electric
C60 Air conditioner, front, manual controls
DB4 Sunshade, windshield, with pockets
DG7 Mirror, RH and LH remote control, electric
D34 Mirror, visor vanity
D35 Mirror, outside, rearview (painted)
D42 Engine Compartment Screen (84)
D60 Color and trim incompatibly override (84-87)
D74 Mirror, inside, RH visor vanity, illuminated
D7W Gear, speedometer driven
D80 Extension, rear end panel (spoiler-rear deck lid)
D90 Stripe, front end, body side
D96 Stripe, body side upper
FW5 Transaxle, final drive, 4.10 ratio
FX8 Transaxle, final drive, 3.61 ratio
F41 Suspension, heavy duty, front and rear (special)
F75 Transaxle, final drive, 3.18 ratio
GX3 Transaxle, final drive, 3.33 ratio
GY5 Transaxle, final drive, 3.65 ratio
KO5 Heater, engine block
K22 Generator, 94 ampere
K34 Cruise control, electric
K60 Generator, 100 ampere
K81 Generator, 66 ampere
K99 Generator, 85 ampere
LR8 Engine, 2.5L L4
L44 Engine, 2.8L V6 (Hi Output)
MD9 3-speed automatic transmission (THM125C)
MG2 Transmission, manual, 5-speed (Muncie) 3.61 ratio
MG3 Transmission, manual, 5-speed (Muncie)
MM4 Transmission, manual, 4-speed, provisions (84-86)
MM5 Transmission, manual, 5-speed, provisions (85-88)
MT2 5-speed manual transmission (Isuzu) 3.35 ratio
MV9 3 speed automatic transmission (THM200C)
MX1 3 speed automatic transmission
MY7 4-speed manual transmission (Isuzu)
MY8 4-speed manual transmission (Muncie) 3.32 ratio
M17 4-speed manual transmission (Muncie) 3.65 ratio
M19 4-speed manual transmission (Muncie) 4.10 ratio
NA5 Emission system, federal requirements
NB1 Emission system, closed loop
NB2 Emission system, Calif. requirements
NK3 Steering wheel, Formula, 3-spoke (84-85)
NK4 Steering wheel, leather wrapped, 4-spoke (86-87)
NN7 Fuel filter door, delete lock
NP5 Steering wheel, leather wrapped, 3-spoke (84-88)
NX1 Wheel, 13 x 5.5
N24 Wheels, turbo finned, aluminum (same as PX1) (84-85)
N33 Steering column, tilt type
N36 Steering wheel, rally 4-spoke (86-87)
N46 Steering wheel, four-spoke, vinyl
N78 Wheels, Hi-Tech Turbo, aluminum 14 x 6 (req. w Y99)
N90 Wheel, 15x7 cast aluminum
PB4 Lock kit, aluminum wheel
PHO Wheel, 15x6 front, 15x7 rear, diamond honeycomb
PXT Wheels, 13 inch turbo-finned, aluminum
PX1 Wheels, 13 x 5.5 turbo finned aluminum (same as N24)
PO2 Wheel covers, tri-tech 13 inch (color coordinated)
PO6 Wheel trim rings ( w/ Rally wheels)
QAB P195/70R14 blackwall, steel-belted (1988)
QDX P195/70R14 blackwall, steel-belted (85-87)
QDY P195/70R14 white-lettered, steel-belted (85-87)
QFE P185/75R14 blackwall, steel-belted (86-88)
QFG P185/75R14 white-lettered, steel-belted (86-87)
QHS P185/80R13 blackwall, steel-belted (84-85)
QHU P185/80R13 white-lettered, steel-belted (84-85)
QPU P215/60R14 blackwall, steel-belted (84-87)
QPV P215/60R14 white-lettered, steel-belted (84-85,87)
QZN P185/80R13 blackwall
QZT P205/60R15 blackwall, steel-belted (front)
P215/60R15 blackwall, steel-belted (rear)
TR9 Lamp group, courtesy consists of;
U25 Rear compartment lamp
U29 Instrument panel, courtesy
UA1 Heavy duty battery
UL1 ETR AM/FM stereo w/clock
UL5 Radio delete (all)
UL6 AM w/clock (1984)
UM4 ETR AM/FM stereo w/seek & scan, auto reverse, clock
UM6 ETR AM/FM stereo w/clock, cass, auto rev cass,seek & scan (85-88)
UM7 ETR AM/FM stereo w/clock, seek & scan (86-87)
UP7 Radio, provisions for mono installation
UQ6 Speaker, sub woofer (86-88)
UT4 ETR AM stereo/FM stereo w/clock, auto reverse,
seek & scan, EQ & touch control (85-87)
UU6 ETR AM/FM stereo w/clock, cass, EQ, seek & scan
UU7 ETR AM/FM stereo w/clock, cass (1984)
UU9 ETR AM/FM stereo (1984)
UW5 Radio, provisions for stereo installation
UX1 ETR AM/FM stereo w/clock, cass, auto rev, search,
replay, seek & scan, EQ, clock (85-88)
U25 Rear compartment lamp
U29 Instrument panel, courtesy
U63 AM monaural radio, without clock
U66 Speaker system, 4, dual front dash mounted, dual
extended range, package shelf/quarter
VC8 Substitution or deletion authorized (84-87)
VK3 License plate, front mounting package
VO8 Heavy duty cooling
V53 Luggage Carrier, delete (1984)
V56 Luggage carrier, deck lid (87-88)
V58 Luggage carrier, deck lid (84-86)
WS1 Option picks (group) (85-88)
WS3 Option picks (group) (1986)
WS6 Performance package, special
WS8 Priced order acknowledged
WS9 High mileage coupe (84)
WU2 Fiero GT
WV9 Package, value leader, (84-86)
WV9 Package, value leader, (87) (PM37 + WV9 = PE37)
WV9 Package, value leader, (88) (2PM37 + WV9 = WPE37)
WO2 Sport appearance package (88)
W61 Option group #1 (1987)
W63 Option group #2 (1987)
W66 Formula option (88)
W69 SE option "Special Edition"
YT1 Build-up, custom door and quarter
Y82 Indy Pace Car ltd. edition (Includes AD3,B34,DG7,D80,
NP5, UU6 & V53) (1984)
Y99 Special Rally suspension package
YLM P215/60 R15 BSW STL (REAR) W/P205/60 R15 BSW
STL (front) (86-88)
ZV1 Manufacturers statement of origin
Z49 Export, Canadian modification, mandatory base equipment
1SA Option group #1 (1988)N33,AO1,CD4 (non-GT)
1SB Option group #2 (1988)AO!,N33,CD4,C60,TR9,D34,K34
1SC Option group #3 (1988)AO1,N33,CD4,C60.TR9,D34,K34,AU3
13B Genor cloth(84) Pallex cloth(85) Lt. Slate Gray
13C Placid/Pallex cloth, Lt. Slate Gray (84-85) (2 tone)
13D Indy 500/Sierra leather/Pallex cloth, Lt. Slate Gray
13I Interior trim, Light Smoke Gray
14 Light Gray Metallic (84-85)
16 Silver Metallic (86-88)
18L Med Gray Metallic, L (lower accent)
21 Bright Blue Metallic (1987)
40 White (84- 88)
40L Secondary Color, exterior, White
40U White, U (upper of two tone)
41L Black accent-lower
41U Black, U (upper of two tone)
53 Bright Yellow (1988)
56 Light Gold Metallic (86-87)
60P 15" diamond spoke wheels, gold (88 GT)
62B Ripple cloth, Camel
62D Pallex cloth, Camel
622 Suede leather/Pallex cloth, Camel
64B Genor cloth(84), Pallex cloth(85) Camel Tan
64C Placid/Pallex cloth, Camel Tan (2 tone)
64D Pallex cloth, Camel Tan (2 tone)
643 Fleece/Suede, Camel Tan (2 tone)
66B Pallex cloth, Med. Beechwood
66D Metrix cloth, Med. Beechwood
71 Red (84-85)
71U Red, U (upper of two tone)
77 Medium Red Metallic (87-88)
81 Bright Red (86,88)
81U Bright Red, U (upper of two tone)
82B Ripple cloth, Medium Gray
82D Pallex cloth, Medium Gray D (trim level) deluxe
82I Interior Trim, Medium Dark Gray
820 Gray seatbelts
822 Suede leather/Pallex Cloth(86-87), Ventura
leather/Pallex cloth(88), Med. Gray(86-87) Med. Dark.
829 gray cloth interior
6AA, 7AA, 8AA and 9AA codes (the "As" can be any letter)
6 code = left front spring code
7 code = right front spring code
8 code = left rear spring code
9 code = right rear spring code
WA-0000 (0s = any four numbers) code on the bottom of the
tag is the Fisher WA paint number.
VEHICLE AREA RPO
Air Conditioning and Heater C36-C46, C51-C69
AXLE (front) FL1-FX2, F16-F82
AXLE (rear) HO1-H99, HA1-HY9
BRAKES JS0-J99, JA1-JY9
BUMPER V30-V99, VN1-VY9
DEFOGGER-REAR GLASS C47-C50
ELECTRICAL, CHASSIS UO1-U99, T60-T99
ENGINE KO1-K99, KA1-KY9
EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION BVZ-BY1, B51-B99
FUEL, EXHAUST & EMISSIONS NO1-N29, NA1-NN9
GLASS AO1-A33, AA1-AA9
INTERIOR ORNAMENTATION BB8-BV9, B18-B48
MIRRORS DD4-DK5, D28-D78
MOLDING & EMBLEMS B71-B94
RADIATOR & GRILLE V01-V29, VA1-VM9
RADIO UK1-UY8, U56-U96
ROOF (ornamentation & trim) CA1-CC3, C01-C10
SEATS A34-A81, AE5-AV7
STEERING N30-N59, NN1-NY9
STRIPES DX1-DY6, D84-D99
SUSPENSION F40-F99, FN1-FY9
TRANSMISSION M01-M99, MA1-MY9
WHEEL & TIRE N60-N99, P01-P99
WIPER, WASHER & WIND. CD2-CE4, C18-C25
by Paul Vargyas
(Thanks to Scott Backer for providing RPO information)