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Thread: How low on 355s

  1. #1

    How low on 355s

    I am setting my car up for a 355 rebody. While I am searching for a kit I might as well start tweaking the car. I plan on having a 4.9L dropped in around May. So I am now focusing on the suspension. How low have you dropped your fiero for the 355 and what size rims/tires are you using. I am thinking of using 17" rims. So how low have you gone and how have you done it.


    Thanks for the input.

    BobbyD
    1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. Less than 100 made. My father spent 3 yrs restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion, it is his life.<br />It's his fault he didn't lock the garage<br /><br />BobbyD

  2. #2
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    Re: How low on 355s

    Remember you have to widen the rear of your car by 3" on each side, which complicates things by requiring either wheel spacers or a held motorsports kit.

    Real 355s have 18" wheels btw.

  3. #3

    Re: How low on 355s

    Right now i have the held motor sports wide track +3" out back and +2" in front. I'm using the original 355 rims. Plus adjustable coilovers dropping it down 2".

  4. #4
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    Re: How low on 355s

    First off, unless you know exactly the final fit of the 35 body on the fiero, don't assume anything with the offset.

    IFG style bodies, 3 inch stretchers and one piece doors, often do NOT fit evenly on the fiero donor. I have heard MANY a story from builders, including Ray Hoogenrod of IFG/warlock, that the body tends to be WIDER on the right side than the left! This would require a larger spacer on one side than the other.

    With my Mirage 355, the body sits evenly when mounted BUT... I needed 4 inches on each side to get proper! That's EIGHT INCHES of trackwidth increase! The front only needed 2 on each side or 4 total trackwidth increase.

    Secondly, Spacers are hard on bearings. Depending on the offset of the wheels you are using, you may need up to th afore mentioned 4 inches on each side. This puts a tremendous load on the wheel bearings, especially in the rear. If you can get a wheel with a 2 inch offset built in and a 2 inch spacer, that helps, but not enough.

    If you choose to use spacers, PLEASE buy a new set of wheel bearings and plan on replacing them often under normal driving conditions. Sooner if you drive hard and not so soon if you only show the car.

    Actually WIDENING the suspension is the better way to go! Safer, stronger and longer lasting. Plus the added benefit of TUNED suspension increasing performance! Held Motorsports (www.heldmotorsports.com) can set you up as they did me. Custom high performance slalom wide-track suspension built with the added 8 inches in the rear and 4 inches in the front!

    The BIG THING in using spacers versus paying the extra bucks to bet a proper fitting suspension is something you DON'T think about until somebody goes "Ewww...." when looking at your car...

    Where are the brakes? When using a nice 5 spoke wheel or the original 355 rims, that wheel spacer looks a mile long and the brakes and calipers are SO FAR back in the wheel it looks totally cheesy (in my opinion) and definitely NOT authentic. Using the proper suspension will put those puppies right up againt the wheel where they belong. And if, like me, you've popped for the HUGE 13 inch gold zinc-plated, cross drilled, vented, 4 pistion braking system that looks like a Million Bucks... You WANT people to see them!

    Just a side note, pre-88 front spindles can NOT handle the torque of these big brakes... upgrade the spindle BEFORE doing a big brake swap!

    As for the height, if you are using a Fiero that is an 84 - 87, buy Held's (or any other's) 1.5 inch lowered front spindles at the very least. If you have an 88, than just get the Eibach springs with a 1.5 inch drop. That will do the proper lowering job the easy way. From there, I recommend the following...

    Pick up a set of Eibach 300# 1.5 inch dropped springs and Koni Adjustables in a kit available from Held or The Fiero Store or any number of places. That way you will have the ability to adjust additional inches up or down depending on the driving you are planning. Up to FOUR INCHES in some cases. For me, I slam the car for track driving and soften/raise it up for daily stuff.

    As for what height to go for regardless of what you use, a 1.5 inch drop is adequate for anything above 17 inches on rim size. 2 inches for rims below that size.

    BEWARE... 2 inch spindle drops have consistantly preven to cause metal-to-rim contact on the front end! 1.5 inches is all you want to drop via spindles!

    Oh, and if you are installing a V8, most guys are running 350# springs in the rear to compensate. That's a TON of weight you're adding back there and off throttle handling is going to get hairy! Just a thought...

    If there's anything I can do to help... You know me

    DKOV -

  5. #5

    Re: How low on 355s

    I guess this is a step to do later. Just trying to make some progress. Thanks for the input.

    BobbyD
    1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. Less than 100 made. My father spent 3 yrs restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion, it is his life.<br />It's his fault he didn't lock the garage<br /><br />BobbyD

  6. #6
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    Re: How low on 355s

    BobbyD:

    You CAN get the coil oevers and new brakes and those sorts of things now. It's a whole lot easier to add these parts if the body is off of the donor. Even with it on, it's not hard. If you havn't yet started tearing the car down and want to drive it, then these additions will just make it better, stronger, faster and more fun.

    Just wait on the track width mods until you know for sure. Even wheel spacers are not cheap, and getting them wrong can be expensive.

    The farther you get into this project, the higher the value of patience becomes. The trophies are in the details!

    Good Luck!

    DKOV -

    PS... I've started building my 355 diary, almost a year behind, but you can see what I've got so far at: www.gopc.com/F355/F355x.html If you're interested

  7. #7

    Re: How low on 355s

    DKOV,

    Thanks for the advice. I will do the front lowering spindles and rear Eibach 300# 1.5 inch dropped springs and Koni Adjustables.

    Thanks again.

    BobbyD
    1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. Less than 100 made. My father spent 3 yrs restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion, it is his life.<br />It's his fault he didn't lock the garage<br /><br />BobbyD

  8. #8
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    Re: How low on 355s


  9. #9
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    Re: How low on 355s


    Here is one lowered with just springs.

  10. #10
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    Re: How low on 355s

    Here is my baby:

    The pic is crappy, sun was too bright, the color is a lot better than the pic.
    17” wheels with 40 series tires, wheel adapter/spacers, lowered the front with lowering springs and welded in Cadillac ball joints (dropped spindles) on the a arms with koni adjustable shocks. The rear is uses stock spring cut with Koni adjustable struts that were sent back to Koni and had 2 inches cut from the body and stroke.
    That’s how I did it. May not be the best but it works good enough for me.

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