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Thread: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

  1. #1

    Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    Hello to all here on the boards. I just found the forums here a short while ago, and I'm very excited to see the wealth of information here.

    A bit of background:

    In May, I got a hold of a great deal on a 90% completed 25th Anniversary Countach project through Ebay. Some of you may remember the white Countach with fire damage to the rear end... well, it was me who won the auction. Total price was $8,400US, a real steal, as the parts alone added up to far more than that. As an added bonus, the seller turned out to be an outstanding guy who helped me with getting the car shipped up to me here in Victoria, BC and giving me as much information as he knew about the car.

    I've started a website for the project that you can view here: http://www.rc-sub.com/lamborghini.html


    Okay, here is what I've got:

    Chassis: '84 Fiero, 3" dropped belly pan
    Body: 25th Anniversary Countach, manufacturer unknown
    Engine: new Chevy crate engine, Edelbrock intakes and carbeurator, Accel distributor and wires
    Brakes: 4 wheel disc, rears are crossdrilled
    Tranny: ? 5-speed
    Suspension: currently has stock springs and spindles up front - 1" lowering springs are available for me. Rear has coilover kits that look to have been incorrectly installed.
    Cooling: Moroso electric water pump. Aluminum 4-core radiator.
    Interior: Interior panels were included in fibreglass. There was a rough dash included, but it was installed incorrectly and I removed and discarded it in favor of a scratchbuilt dash to come later on.

    The entire chassis looks to have been gone through prior to the body having been mounted. New urethane bushings throughout, stainless steel brake lines, new struts, upgraded steering components.

    A few shots of the car as it was when delivered to me:



    A few months later:


    At this point, the majority of the damage to the rear end has been repaired by cutting out the damaged areas and re-glassing them. A new layer of glass was layed up on the interior of the car to strengthen the damaged areas, just in case.


    First question (please be patient with me):

    1.) What kind of tranny is in this car? Is there a telltale thing to look for to identify it? I have no info in this area, and I'd like to know for future reference. I'm guessing that its the common Getrag tranny, but I'd like to know for sure.


    2.) What can I do to these rear coilovers to drop the car another 3"? The previous owner removed the rear springs and replaced them with this kit, but the stance is now way too high and the coilovers do not adjust any lower. I'd guess that I need to remove about 5" from the shaft somehow to get the adjustments in the middle of the threads to allow adjustment up or down in the future.


    3.) I have access to a set of brand new lowering springs for the front end for next to nothing. Problem is they're for an '88 Fiero. Is this going to be a major hassle for installation, or is there an easy fix to get them to fit into the '84 suspension?

    4.) What kind of hp do you think I can expect out of the 350 crate engine with the Edelbrock intakes and carb, Moroso electric water pump, and Accel distributor and wires? Just a ballpark figure would be great.

    Let's call that good for now. I'll post updates here as I get to them. I'm currently working on getting the bodywork completed. As you can see from the photos, I'm modifying the rather funky headlight design that the previous owner tried to work out to get something more stock looking. Headlights will be mounted in the signal buckets. After safetly inspection they'll get smoked lexan covers. I'll scribe in false popups to get the right look.

    Any help you guys can offer would be appreciated.


    Bob
    Meddle not with the affairs of the Dragon, for you are crunchy... and taste good with ketchup.<br />http://www.rc-sub.com/resources/grap...ni/avatar2.jpg

  2. #2

    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    the tranny roughly LOOKS like the getrag, but i would suggest looking up the tranny identification thread on PFF
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  3. #3

    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    Thanks! I wouldn't have thought to look there for something like this. Should have known better.

    Here's what I found. Looks pretty decisive to me:

    ISUZU 5 speed tranny pic from Pennock's Forums on the top, my tranny shot on the bottom:



    I'll double check the other telltale signs when I get home, but the two other options didn't have the shift cables running over the top like this. Unless I've got some kind of hybrid tranny setup, I think I've got an ISUZU 5-spd.

    Thanks for the help.

    Any answers to my other questions from the gallery?
    Meddle not with the affairs of the Dragon, for you are crunchy... and taste good with ketchup.<br />http://www.rc-sub.com/resources/grap...ni/avatar2.jpg

  4. #4

    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    Hello and welcome

    As question 1 has been answered.i will start on the others




    2) Yes there r a few different coil over kits on the market..that 1 u have is the basic kit..Now what u can do is search ebay or whatever and find a coil over spring 10-12 inchs long and then u can cut the spring perch out and it will drop nicely.by the look at that spring it is maybe 5 to 7 inchs.not what u need
    http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/A...-2-067796.html

    this will help to understand what i mean

    3)the front springs u should have no problems with as the 84 and 88 differences is only mostly redesign rear end and different front brakes..but check out www.fiero.nl and search just to be sure..


    it is all there

  5. #5

    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    I don't mean to hijack your thread, but this caught my attention:

    As an added bonus, the seller turned out to be an outstanding guy who helped me with getting the car shipped up to me here in Victoria, BC and giving me as much information as he knew about the car.
    Did you move the car from the US into Canada? if so, I'm sure some people would like to hear how you accomplished this! There has been quite a bit of discussion lately on getting kit cars into Canada, as well as registering and taking care of the paperwork, once its across the border.

    Nice looking car; Best wishes with it!

  6. #6

    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    I don't mind at all, so long as no one forgets about my questions!

    Trust me, I did a ton of research into importing the car prior to me pulling the trigger on getting it shipped. The seller was an outstanding help, as he actually took the time to title the vehicle in his home state of Ohio so that I had a current title from the previous owner to go along with my Bill of Sale. Prior to that, he had only the title from the original owners from FL.

    My calls to Transport Canada (and there were many) basically resulted in a 50/50 split for a decision. Half of the time they flatly stated that no kit car would ever be allowed into Canada. The other times they just stated that as the vehicle exceeded the fifteen year limit for the RIV (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) jurisdiction, I just needed my proof of ownership and title for the Fiero.

    Not having gotten a decent answer, I simply decided to give it a try. I contracted with Whiskey River Transport out of Vancouver to bring up my car. It was expensive, but they do car shipments across the border on a regular basis, and it was transported in an enclosed trailer along with a two brand new Corvettes destined for Calgary. This suited me fine, as there was no glass in the car, and fibreglass interior panels were hanging out the windows.

    I gave the go-ahead and crossed my fingers. A week later I got a call from the driver from Calgary. No problems at the border. US customs just checks the title to ensure that the car can leave the country, and Canada Customs just did a cursory glance at the VIN plate to check it against the paperwork. I was probably lucky, and trust me, there were a few sleepless nights worrying about an angry phone call from the trucker because he couldn't cross with the car. It never happened. Even if it did, I decided that I had a good enough deal to simply relist the car on Ebay and recoup my costs.

    This probably doesn't help anyone except to perhaps offer hope that a good enough deal may actually find its way across the border if the gods are willing. My research came up as inconclusive on any count. I rolled the dice and got lucky, I guess.

    I'll see if I can find a string on topic for importation and post this there as well.
    Meddle not with the affairs of the Dragon, for you are crunchy... and taste good with ketchup.<br />http://www.rc-sub.com/resources/grap...ni/avatar2.jpg

  7. #7
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    The transaxle on your car is a 5 speed Isuzu. A Getrag for exampla has a different cable mounting area and a metal cover on the end of the transaxle that has 9 bolts holding it in place. Here is a photo of my Getrag installed in FunnyWheels
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    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  8. #8
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    2.) What can I do to these rear coilovers to drop the car another 3"? The previous owner removed the rear springs and replaced them with this kit, but the stance is now way too high and the coilovers do not adjust any lower. I'd guess that I need to remove about 5" from the shaft somehow to get the adjustments in the middle of the threads to allow adjustment up or down in the future.


    Just a side note or two:

    Rear; If you only install different springs to drop your car 3" it will then be sitting with the shock bottomed out. You will need to contact Dave Held to get a strut that will fit your suspension that is 3" shorter that the one you currently are using. From your photos it looks like you can use your old springs and the spring adjustment parts.

    Front; I would use lowered spindles for the same reason mentioned for the rear. You will run out of shock and limit your travel. You have a very nice car, in my opinion, why not do it right the first time?

    Hope this helps,

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

  9. #9
    Senior Member DeLorean00's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    Maybe I missed it, what was the cause of the fire?

    -Chris

  10. #10

    Re: Greetings from Victoria... a few questions to get things started

    Dave,


    Thanks for the input. I'll check out an alternative coilover kit for the rear. When I got the car, it had 2" drop spindles on the front of it. Problem is, they only allowed about 1/2" of clearance to the fenders. Every small bump would ram them into the fibreglass fenders. The left side had already cracked from hitting a bump, and it had only been on the road once (done by the previous owner... I haven't had her out yet). I switched back to stock spindles to get the steering clearances right again. The drop spindles caused the brake brackets to hit the a-arms, limiting my steering by almost 40%! Without severely chopping the a-arm or swapping out the brakes, I'd be very limited in steering. The stock spindles got me back to 95% of steering travel after a slight modification to the brake brackets. I'm hoping that the lowering springs will allow the wheels to curve under the fenders so that at least when travelling straight, I won't bottom the car out on the fenders. I'm also planning on a 1" drop, instead of the 2" that was on there before, so I should theoretically have about 1.25" to 1.5" clearance to the fender in the front. A 1" drop by springs shouldn't mess with the suspension geometry too badly either.


    Chris,

    The fire was caused by a rather overanxious previous owner. He ran a mickey mouse exhaust system out the rear with no mufflers, just two catalytic converters on straight pipes. The pipes, unfortunately, ran directly against the rear bumper. Heat plus fibreglass equals big fire, especially whilst travelling quickly down the road to test your car out. He noticed the fire, but decided to burn back to the garage rather than pulling over and fighting it. I guess he didn't have an extinguisher with him. By the time he got back, the entire rear was burning. He got pretty scared, I guess. He's sixty five, I think, and none too spry at getting in and out of the car in the first place. Smoke was billowing in and he couldn't get out. I guess I'd have been scared too in that position.

    He listed the car for sale the day after.

    The damage was worst on the bumper and right side quarter panel. I've got that all but licked now. No damage to the engine at all. The wiring in the rear was toasted, but that's pretty minor.

    Thanks for the help guys. Any ideas on the power that engine will be putting out?


    Bob
    Meddle not with the affairs of the Dragon, for you are crunchy... and taste good with ketchup.<br />http://www.rc-sub.com/resources/grap...ni/avatar2.jpg

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