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Thread: which one is right? 355

  1. #1
    kitcarnut
    Guest

    which one is right? 355

    I was just wondering some guys stretch 3" some don't.what is the real 355 wheelbase? or is bacause of who made who kit.I do remember from The fibreglass Shop in Toronto guy named Dave they stretched 3" and door shell was taper 1.5".so which one is it? thanx

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,382

    Re: which one is right? 355

    Fiero:
    Length: 165.1 in.
    Width: 69.0 in.
    Height: 46.9 in.
    Weight: 2778 lb.
    Wheelbase: 93.4 in.

    355:
    Length 167.3 in
    Width 74.8 in
    Height 46.1 in
    Wheelbase 96.5 in
    Front track 59.6 in
    Rear track 63.6 in
    Curb weight 2976 lb

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,345

    Re: which one is right? 355

    I've peeked in on this topic a few times and wasn't going to comment but...

    Sure the wheels base is around 3 inches off but ask yourself "WHERE?"

    It is the general practice to hack the Fiero behind the firewall because it is cheap, easy and relatively safe after the re-assembly but...

    The 3 inches in question is NOT behind the firewall. It's in the doors and the fender wing in FRONT of the door.

    Many of you that have 3 inch stretch kits will find, upon final assembly, that the door hnges will need to be "restricted" some to keep them from hitting these wings when the door is opened. That should give you a good idea of where I'm talking about.

    Next time you look at a stretched 355 kit, look at the rear quarters and the front wings and you'll see the issue in question.

    Not that they look bad mind you. They look GREAT!!! Well, they need to do something about the doors/rockers but we won't go there

    It's all about proportion. Look at Ford's now GT-40. An all around BIGGER car. By some 9 inches or more!!! Still, it looks accurate and correct because Ford enlarged the WHOLE car to maintain the proper proportions. By doing this, the overall "picture" is complete and perfect.

    There are a few 355 kits on the market that do NOT require a frome stretch. The argument here is that the wheel base is not correct. True. But the frame is much safer and the overall finished look is PERFECT and true. Why?... proportional accuracy!

    Also, these non-stretched kits add the extra fender wing space and allow for a full door and separate rocker panel.

    There is another measurement that needs to ba address between the two... WIDTH

    Look at stretched 355s and you will see the proverbial "coke bottle" effect to the rear of the car. From about the front fender wing back, the car "wows" out to the rear wheel fender. They did that to get the "proper width" at the rear wheels. They still missed the mark by Two Inches and the car doesn't even sit centered in the back. One spacer will be wider than the other to center the body properly.

    Again, why is it wrong? Proportion. They went for the numbers first and decided to wait for proportional accuracy.

    Here again, the non-stretched kits have an advantage. First, no coke-bottle effect. Second, they are a full EIGHT INCHES wider in the rear as opposed to the stretched kits' 5.5 - 6 inches.

    How can I make these assumptions so broadly about stretched and non-stretched kits? Am I rude and argumentative? No, not really

    Just take into consideration that nearly every stretched kit is a copy of another KIT. Here's an experiment for you. Go get a CD of your favorite music. Record a cassette of it, then recorde a cassette of that cassette, then another and another. After about 5 generations, listen to the CD and then the last generation cassette... You will HEAR the difference and it will be most disturbing. That is called "generation loss" and that is the problem with most 355 kits out there today.

    So what are you really asking? What is more accurate? What LOOKS more accurate? What is closer to perfection?

    I say ask "what is proportionally correct" and that is the ONLY way to get a finshed project that won't beg the ascertion... "there's just something about it, but I can't quite put my finger on it".

    As always, this is just my humble opinion.

    DKOV -

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