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Thread: Frame cutting required for a 355 kit?

  1. #1
    Junior Member BlackiceGT's Avatar
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    Frame cutting required for a 355 kit?

    in this image http://www.b-bspyder.com/2.jpg you can clearly see that the Fiero B-pillar is no longer there, instead there is a window.. which is very cool!

    What I'd like to know.. is what needs to be cut to do this, and can it be done to a stock Fiero, and use custom GT quarter windows?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Frame cutting required for a 355 kit?

    i also asked this question?as my kit hasn't been stretched and all the body is on can i put some type of roll-over bar in to take the weight of the roof and then cut out the 1/4 panel?

  3. #3
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    Re: Frame cutting required for a 355 kit?

    If you look at the picture of the silver car below, that has NOT had the B-Pillar cut, you will see a verticle "raised" area just behind the door glass. That lip is your guide to cut to.

    What you do is this...

    BEFORE you install the body, make TWO horizontal cuts with a Sawz-all or other reciprocating saw. Cut from the location of the rear window to that verticle lip, one along the smae level as the firewall and the other the same level as the underside of the roof.

    Next, going BACK from the lip about 1.5 inches, make a VERTICLE cut between the first two cuts and remove the section.

    Third, using a ballpeen hammer, gently tap and fold the outer 1.5 inch "flange" left from your cuts, INWARD and then the inner flange OUTWARD to BOX IN the new B-pillar.

    Finally, WELD down the new seam of the "boxed" b-pillar. This new BOXED pillar ties into the existing roll-over structure and, now that it's BOXED, is actually STRONGER in a roll-over than the multi-ply steel b-pillar that was there. It's now MORE like a roll cage.

    This is what you now see on that b-b spyder pic. We do it the same way with the Mirage kit. The reason that the b-pillar in the b-b looks "wedge" shaped is becuase the plexiglass window has already been installed and thy painted the inside of the glass to have that angle. On a real F355, that b-pillar angle leans to the front of the car... Car goes --> way angle goes /

    Hard to duplicate with a verticle b-pillar though, so they went with a wedge given the correct look on the back side of the pillar but still hiding the Fiero's stock pillar.

    Incidentally, the silver kit below doesn't remove that pillar if memory serves and they keep the stock Fiero rear window.

    Another point to make is on the IFG splash kits, you have to cut the chassis right at the point of the firewall anyway so making the asjustments to the B-pillar is kinda half done for you

    With Mirage kits, you don't have to get into that kind of cutting and frame jigging/welding so making the cut to the B-pillar and one other to the head lamp area is all you do.

    Best of Luck,

    DKOV -

  4. #4
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Frame cutting required for a 355 kit?

    Cradle Modifications

    I had a need to extend the Fiero wheelbase by 3 inches to match the 355 Ferrari. I am using 355 Ferrari rocker panels front and rear bumpers. Most people in this position will either shorten the body between the wheels or cut the frame cradle and upper frame rails making the Fiero fit the wheelbase of the 355 body. By cutting the upper frame rails, in my opinion will weaken the structure as engineered by GM and make the car flex in the wrong places. There is enough flex in the standard chassis already and I didn’t want to add more. My option was to move the engine back in the engine bay by making the cradle 3 inches longer at the front and moving the rear mounting holes toward the front of the car by 3 inches. That strategy effectively moved the centerline of the axle toward the rear bumper 3 inches and fits the proper 355 wheelbase. In the process of moving the rear cradle to frame mount forward 3 inches, I eliminated a place to attach the tie rod dead ends to the cradle. I decided to use some parts from Held Motor Sports to remedy this situation. Dave Held makes a part that is called Anti Bump Steer Suspension. It works like a Ferrari by having a lower control arm that moves up and down without changing the toe in / toe out of the rear suspension when you turn or compress and extend the suspension. The top of the shock has to be moved to the rear of the shock tower 3 inches. I fabricated a plate to fit inside the top of the Fiero shock tower bolted it into two of the stock holes closest to the front of the tower then re-drilled the holes for the new shock position. The plate is necessary due to the fact a hole for one of the shock mounts will be in the center of where the old shock was mounted. In my car I removed the stock Fiero shock tower bracing between the shock towers and was initially part of the trunk. I removed my trunk and put “X” bracing between the towers that will handle the flexing of the frame a little better. In place of the trunk is now a custom exhaust system and oil coolers for the transmission and engine.

    Additional Cradle Modifications

    I welded two heavy washers and a short piece of tubing into the front of each mounting leg of engine the cradle to replace the two front rubber mounts. (Put a length of rod into each tube as you weld them up to insure they point to each other and you mounting bolted will go into the tubes) On the rear I turned the rear mounting biscuits into solid blocks of metal to make the engine cradle a solid member of the car. Just go to a place that specializes in “Drops” of metal that is used for fabrication. The place I went to is called Alro Metals. I don’t know if they are a national company, but I am sure there are others. Normally, there is a lot of flexing between the engine mounts, cradle mounts and the chassis of the car. I didn’t care for the mushy feeling delivered from the existing OEM set up, so, I changed it while I was in there doing the other work. It complements the new suspension installed on the car.


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  5. #5
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Frame cutting required for a 355 kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackiceGT
    in this image http://www.b-bspyder.com/2.jpg you can clearly see that the Fiero B-pillar is no longer there, instead there is a window.. which is very cool!

    What I'd like to know.. is what needs to be cut to do this, and can it be done to a stock Fiero, and use custom GT quarter windows?
    By the way, that is not a B&B 355. That is a photo of John Watson's car in his shop taken about 2001.

    Dave
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RCR's Avatar
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    Re: Frame cutting required for a 355 kit?

    Dave,
    I've been meaning to ask you...If one was to stretch the cradle the way you did, would one be restricted on the choice of engines? I'm replacing my 3800SC with a 4.0 Aurora. There's no way it could move back 3" without removing the entire trunk.


    Bob
    Bob custom '84 Fiero SE --->>> custom F408
    http://www.madmechanics.com/forum/cu...ilepic37_1.gif

  7. #7
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Frame cutting required for a 355 kit?

    The engine is moved back toward the rear of the car so the 8 inches between the trunk and the valve cover will go down to 5 inches. It works with a DOHC 2.8 motor out of the Lumina but I don't know about the motor you are using.

    Dave
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

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