Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of FAQ's for our V-8 Fiero Engine Conversion Kits. In an effort to answer all your Questions we will be constantly adding to this list of FAQ's. If you have a question that you would like answered please submit it to Archie at this address: email@example.com Archie will personally answer your question via EMail and we may use it in these FAQ's, so please ask away.
Q. What size of an engine can I fit into my Fiero?
A. You can use any Small Block Chevy engine. You will need to order our optional Flywheel for engines 1986 and newer.
Q. Do I need to cut or stretch the frame?
A. No, our kit is designed for a "no frame cutting" installation. The V-8 Chevy engine will fit in any stock Fiero engine compartment.
Q. What kind of transaxle do I use?
A. Our kits use the stock Fiero transaxles, Automatic or Stick shift. The Stick shift transmissions require no modifications to handle a Chevy V-8 engine. On automatic transmission equipped cars using a mild V-8 engine (< 300 H.P.) with a good condition Fiero automatic transmission will work just fine, however for using high output V-8 engines or for hard duty applications we recommend that you "beef-up" the stock Fiero Automatic transmission. Again the stick shift transmissions require no further modifications.
Q. Do I need to modify the engine cradle?
Q. How much horsepower can the Fiero Stick shift transmissions handle?
A. Generally speaking I have used the following engine/transmission combinations with great success, in fact, I havent broke a stock Fiero stick shift transmission yet.
1) With the 4-speed trans. (84 4 cylinder & 85-86 V-6 4 speeds) I have used 300+ H.P. engines repeatedly with no problems.
2) With the 85 thru 88 4 cylinder 5 speed transmissions I have used 300+ H.P. engines repeatedly with no problems.
3) With the 86 thru 88 6 cylinder 5 speed transmissions, I have used engines rated at 460+ H.P. (One even had an additional 200 H.P. dual quad carb. NOS system on top of a 460 H.P. 383" Chevy stroker engine) With no failures yet.
One final note on this subject: It is my opinion that: "even though we have had no failures, that any motor vehicle can fail if subjected to severe and constant abuse."
Q. Do I need aftermarket or stronger axles?
A. No, There has been many things said on this subject in the past. These things are usually said by people who just dont know what they are talking about or by people who are selling another kit for V-8 Fiero swaps. That other kit moves the engine over to the left in the Fiero engine compartment, not only making some frame cutting necessary but also requiring non-stock length axles. Those people trying to sell that kit have tried to convince others that the stock Fiero axles will break rather than to admit that their kit has an engineering problem. I am so sure that the stock axles will last that I have included this statement in my information package..."Contrary to some of the claims made by others, we guarantee that the stock fiero axles won't break." If you live in an English speaking country I will come and replace any broken axles myself.
Q. Is it true that I need a bigger radiator?
A. This is a good question, As with any other big engine into small car/truck swap you should expect that you may need to increase the capacity of the stock cooling system. For example: Someone putting a big engine into an S-10 pick-up should expect to put in a larger radiator too. In all of the V-8 swaps that I do in-house I put a 4-core rad. Into all of them. I have had many customers who have tried to get by on the stock Fiero radiator, with mixed results depending on where they live etc. We sell a 4 core rad. as an option, this is a direct bolt-in on the Fiero and no modifications are required for its installation, so it can be added to your V-8 Fiero at any time.
Q. Do I need to use a computer controlled engine or a carbureted engine?
A. Actually you can go either way. Our video instruction tape tells you about considerations for going either way. One note however, If using a carbureted engine the video instruction tape shows you how to use the stock Fiero wiring harness to connect your new engine. When using a Fuel injected engine you will still use the stock harness plus you will need the computer and a harness from the fuel injected engine. You will then be using two computers the stock Fiero unit and the correct ECM for the Chevy engine you are using.
Q. Does you kit use the original motor mounts and trans mounts?
A. The kit uses the original transmission mounts and a new motor mount is supplied with the kit.
Q. Can you use any year and make of Fiero for the swap?
Q. Is there any "special" things I need to do for different years?
A. No, there are just a few things that can cause a variance in the V-8 installation from year to year on the Fieros. Our kits include parts to address all of those variances.
Q. What is the weight difference with a V-8?
A. About 150 pounds when swapping from a 4 cylinder engine to a V-8 and about 85 pounds difference when swapping from a V-6 engine.
Q. What about the tach, what kind of modifications do I need to do for that?
A. Well the Tach. Needs to be recalibrated from 4 or 6 cylinder to 8 cylinder, we offer that service for $ 30.00 including postage. Just send your tach. to us. Sorry we dont have this service available as a kit yet.
Q. Is a V-8 going to ruin my handling?
A. As you have read already there will be some added weight to your car. If your car handles badly before doing a V-8 Swap the extra 100 pounds or so isnt going to help it any. But for the most part the extra weight will not adversely effect the handling.
Q. Can I really fit my A/C and cruise control in with my V-8?
A. Yes, this kit is designed to keep your cost of a quality conversion as low as possible. We went to great lengths to use as many stock Fiero items as possible including the A/c and Cruise.
Q. What does you kit include?
A. Our kits come in various stages, you can find out about what exact items are included in each of the kits by looking at the spec. sheets in else where in this web site.
Q. Do I need to make any brake upgrades?
A. That depends on what your driving style is. I grew up in the 60's when we had 400 HP factory built muscle cars with drum brakes, in those days you learned to drive with-in the capabilities of your car. I, in fact was still driving 60's muscle cars when I did my first V-8 Fiero in 1986. So, in my opinion the 4 wheel disc brakes on the Fiero are quite an improvement over what we ran in the 60's. Todays younger drivers, I have observed, are either on the gas or on the brake nothing in between and no planning ahead. Most of todays cars have more brakes than they do power. If you wish to have more brakes than power on your V-8 Fiero then I suggest considering a brake upgrade.
Q. What about rear suspension, does anything need to be changed?
A. We discuss the weight differential else where in these FAQs and other than the considerations mentioned there, the answer would be no. On almost all of the V-8 Fieros that I build for myself I usually add a rear sway bar to the Fiero if it doesnt already have one.
Q. How about exhaust, what needs to be done?
A. Our V-8 Video Instruction tape Shows you how to build your own exhaust system for this swap. It is really very simple and can accommodate almost any mufflers or Cat. Converters and you can even have the twin tipped exhaust come out in the same locations as on the stock Fiero.
Q. Will a V-8 pass California emissions?
A. I live in the mid-west and dont profess to be a expert on CA emissions. However, the most important consideration when looking to pass and state emission standards is your choice of engine and accessories used and not so much as the V-8 adapter kit used. Just as with any other engine swap in any car it is a good idea to check with local authorities as to the proper procedures. Generally speaking you will need to use a TPI or TBI type computer controlled fuel injection with Cat. Converters and O2 sensors and EGR Valve to pass in Sates that have testing requirements.
Q. How much time does it usually take to install a V-8?
A. If you follow the video instructions and are a half-way good back yard mechanic you can figure about 30 Hours.
Q. What kind of mufflers can fit on a V-8 Fiero?
A. As stated else where many different kinds of mufflers can be used on a V-8 Fiero.
Q. What does a V-8 Fiero sound like?
A. Wow thats a Tuffy!..... Kinda like a late model Corvette.
Q. Will the V-8 cause stretching or weakening in my frame?
A. No, in our long term cars we have done several inspections and have found no frame problems.
Q. Does a V-8 powered Fiero increase my value of my Fiero?
A. Some die-hard Fiero fans would say no. Im inclined to think that it would increase the value of the car at least as much as the value of the components used. Another consideration is that at todays market values of Fieros there is nothing you can do to lower its value.
Q. What kind of clutch do you use?
A. Several years ago, I had Bill Hays, Owner and Senior Engineer at Center force Clutch and former owner of Hays Clutch, design a clutch for this V-8 Fiero application. I have been using this clutch for more than 8 years now and have had very good results. I have sold more than 250 of them to my customers with good results. Some of my customers have chosen to use other performance clutches and many of them have also had good results, I however have continued to use the Center force clutch. Like my dad used to say "If it aint broke dont fix it." Any clutch that will fit a stock Fiero will fit with my V-8 Fiero conversion kits.
Q. How many years have you been doing this?
A. It will be 10 years. In March 1987 I drove my first V-8 Fiero and I have been driving them every since. I started construction on that first V-8 car in December 1986.
Q. How many swaps have you performed?
A. I have done more than 100 myself.
Q. How many V-8 kits have you sold?
A. Aside from the 100+ kits I have assembled myself, I have sold more than 500 kits.