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#364995 - 08/10/2015 05:15 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg.
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
I love my empeg. It lives in my Subaru during the day currently, but when I finish this guy over winter; it will live mostly in this. My 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT which now has a 4.0L Oldsmobile Aurora V8 in it and a F23 5-speed manual transmission from the 00'-02' Quad-4 Cavalier. Triple layshaft design, thick 5-speed gears. Very robust. Anyhow. I'm putting an empeg sled and an amp in there. Already built the speakers up and ran the wiring. Just need to buy the amp, build the sub box then finish the empeg wiring and the audio portion will be done. Here are the pictures:

On top of the sunroof there you can see the dash console panel I made in which the empeg lives.



Here's the interior. Custom gauges and panels. Haven't painted the one with the empeg. Thinking about replacing it with carbon possibly? Not sure if I'm That Guy™ or not. I don't think I am.



At the top of the dash here, you can see the factory cutouts for the garbage ~30 year old GM 4x10s. I've replaced them with a set of CDT Audio ES-04 4" drivers and aluminum-dome 1" Aura tweeters in custom 1/4" ABS adapter plates. The factory cloth grilles even drop right in all perfect.



I can't seem to find any pictures of the speakers I assembled. I used four-pin Molex connectors for quick disconnect and everything. Both Mouser and Digi-Key have excellent selections of Molex and even factory GM wire connectors. Anyway, I'll have to take some pictures of them this weekend.

Here's the sub and box that I've gotten as far with as mocking up in cardboard. I'll weld up a few mounts to hold it right under the passenger side dash. I've got a grill for the sub, so even if it gets kicked, no worries. I'll also mount the amplifier to the box.



I'll have to work on those speaker pictures. But I do plan on finishing this car this winter. Almost done with it, anyway. I bought it in March '05 and started working on it in '07 sometime. It's been quite a while.

Here are a few bonus pictures:














Hope that's not too many pictures. Should be a lot of fun when it's done.

Also, I used a lot of solid mounts and stiff springs so it'll be a tough ride for the hard drives. I just haven't been having any luck with my 256GB SSD drive, so I went back to spinny metal thingies. Anyway, Lots of vibrations and shaking. I'd prefer to keep the discs spun down as much possible, regardless of playback quality. What setting(s) in config.ini should I be using?


Edited by FieroSTi (08/10/2015 06:13)

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#365023 - 09/10/2015 22:15 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3433
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
You might consider a suitably thick piece of ABS for the Empeg panel painted with SEM Color Coat (flexible paints for plastic and vinyl) to match the interior. Would likely be a better match for the texture on the dash.
_________________________
~ John

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#365024 - 10/10/2015 00:08 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30897
Loc: Seattle, WA
This is an amazing looking rebuild. I'm interested in more photos as you go along. Very cool.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#365031 - 11/10/2015 00:23 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3433
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Ditto, or if you have a build thread on another forum, a link would suffice.
_________________________
~ John

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#365036 - 12/10/2015 15:25 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Yes, I've got a build thread on another forum right here, though I really hadn't been getting much response later on so I sort of stopped updating it. Most of the work has actually been redone since to accommodate the different transmission. I've actually had the motor in the car and running since sometime in June. It runs quite well, actually. During my testing, I discovered an oil leak at the mating joint of the two crankcase halves, so I decided to spend the winter resealing the motor, tying up all of the other loose ends and getting a bit creative, like adding cruise control back in and building a control interface for the empeg. I'd really like to get the four buttons and rotary encoder down into the console behind the shifter, but I don't want to move the display. I've also recycled factory GM parts from other cars where ever possible. There are quite a few Cadillac/Oldsmobile parts on there, especially the signature Delco-Remy A, C, D, and F trumpet horn setup from the late-80's, early-90's cars.

It's got tubular front suspension with adjustable coil overs and a 1" sway bar:



I ran all of the brake lines as well as the clutch line in braided stainless teflon -AN hose. Here's the rear brake line junction block. If I remember correctly, it's -6AN in and two -4AN out.



Here's a pretty good shot of the exhaust. I made it so that I could easily pull the resonator section off and bolt on the turbo when I'm ready to start tuning it. I'm still collecting the necessary parts to drop the turbo in.



Since this picture was taken I have finished up the wiring harness, built the exhaust resonator section and actually fired up the motor. Runs quite nicely. The fire extinguisher is my catch can. I basically removed the PCV system so in order to vent crankcase pressures, I plumb the valve covers to this can (large black hoses right side of motor) which is vented to the atmosphere. Catches all of the oil and water vapor and such, plus it looks kind of cool.





Here are the seats which I reupholstered in leather. They each have a stereo pair of Audiobahn 3.5" speakers in them, but I won't be using them. I was thinking about tearing them back down to modify them for 5-point harnesses and if I do, the speakers will come out. They're not great speakers and they don't mix well with the rest of the rig I have planned.



...and I know we're all computer nerds here, so here are the brains of the operation. This is a factory GM computer from a '98-'00 LS1 car (Firebird, Trans Am, Camaro) with a factory GM operating system installed, which was designed to run this exact motor in the 1999 Shelby Series One supercar. All factory GM stuff. I only needed to add an HPTuners interface and licensing credits to tune it.



I should have some downtime this week to start on my interface project. I think I'm going to use an Arduino Nano and some of the factory MEC switches as well as a factory ALPS encoder to sort of duplicate the front panel buttons on a separate panel behind the shifter. I'll plug this into the tuner connector and drop serial packets to the tuner interface. The plan is to emulate the commands the tuner would send based on stalk buttons pressed. I'll probably do something very similar for my Subaru but that's actually got factory steering wheel buttons available, so I'll just have to modify my Arduino sketch for the Subaru ADC voltage to serial translation.

I didn't get a chance to get over to the shop this weekend to work on it, so I didn't get any pictures of those speakers. I'm only busy late at work on Monday and Wednesday this week, so I'll probably get over there like Thursday and/or Friday to get some work done on it. The motor is still torn down, and I'd really like to get that back together sooner rather than later.

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#365043 - 13/10/2015 01:13 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Found a better view of that rear brake junction.



The brake lines as they come out of the master cylinder



These AMAZING little weld-on zip tie tabs I found on eBay. I've probably used 30 of them on the car with plans to only increase that.


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#365048 - 13/10/2015 23:07 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13710
Loc: Canada
Is that just black paint, or some form of spray-on "undercoating" over the weld-on zip tie tab and vicinity?

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#365051 - 14/10/2015 02:04 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Just flat black paint. Nothin' fancy. She's a hot rod.

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#365098 - 22/10/2015 05:55 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Got some pictures of those 4x10 dash speakers I assembled for this thing. Check the legit Molex quick disconnects.



Hot glue; good stuff. That's my gigantic hand for comparison. These are some serious, beefy 4" drivers.



Through the [extremely filthy] windshield. Bonus; the factory cloth grilles pop right over these, so anybody not taking a ride ever need know they're in there.



...and from approximately the seated position.



Every race car should have cruise control. Also, more of those weld-on tabs.


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#365100 - 22/10/2015 17:13 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30897
Loc: Seattle, WA
I caution against using hot glue in any automotive application.

I once used hot glue on a dash mod, only to come out to the car one sunny day and find it pooled on the floor, the glued item hanging loose.

You'd be surprised how hot the dash plastic gets.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#365101 - 22/10/2015 17:46 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
I was a professional car audio installer for the last 5 years or so. Hot glue is used extremely frequently to affix and repair things. Frankly, I used it more than CA glue. This is special hot glue with a relatively high melting point. The holes for the tweeters in the ABS are a friction fit, the hot glue is just for reinforcement. Plus, I don't roll the windows up unless it's raining. They're down when it's parked. If somebody really wants to get into the car, they're going to get in. I'd rather that not involve shattering irreplaceable windows. I don't keep anything valuable in the car.

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#365104 - 22/10/2015 19:25 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30897
Loc: Seattle, WA
I could see a special high-melting-point glue working OK. I guess I didn't have the special stuff in my application.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#365218 - 05/11/2015 17:57 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
aksnowbiker
new poster

Registered: 03/04/2005
Posts: 48
Loc: Fairbanks, Alaska
Is anyone else anxiously awaiting the next updated on this build?
_________________________
Tom C

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#365222 - 05/11/2015 22:29 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13710
Loc: Canada
I am, for sure!

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#365227 - 06/11/2015 23:08 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3433
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Yes please smile
_________________________
~ John

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#365402 - 01/12/2015 15:56 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
Originally Posted By: FieroSTi
Just flat black paint. Nothin' fancy. She's a hot rod.


If you get the doors to open in some strange way you can call it a super car.

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#365412 - 02/12/2015 07:43 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 980
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.

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#365414 - 02/12/2015 18:45 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: larry818]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
I always thought it was great how a "Race Car" with Gull Wing, Lambo or "other" doors if it lands on it's side or top you can not open the door. While a regular car you can open the door if you end up shinny side down. Seems like you would want a door that would work most often in a car that has a good chance of crashing.

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#365735 - 09/01/2016 23:53 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Hah, I forgot about this thread. I got distracted with work and trying to make the empeg actually work.

It's winter here in Western NY, so I've just been tying up some loose ends on the chassis while I'm waiting for some motor parts to come in. I need to replace all of the timing components in the motor, paint the valve covers and reassemble it, then the motor can go right back in. I've been working on a battery box, but I don't think I took any pictures of that. I hope to get over there tomorrow to work on it a bit. I'll take some more pictures of what I've been up to.

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#365824 - 25/01/2016 03:37 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Took a few pictures of the battery box that I'm putting on the front crossmember.

I'm going to chuck these bolts into my lathe and cut off the bolt heads at the appropriate length. Then I'll weld them in place as pictured:



Here's the lower box frame with gussets mocked up on the crossmember, not yet welded:



...and the 200A circuit breaker for the main battery lead:



Finally got my little lathe chuck too. Adorable, right?



My plan is to have this registered and legal on or about May 1, so hopefully keep an eye out for updates.

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#365825 - 25/01/2016 12:27 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13710
Loc: Canada
Good looking chuck!

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#365863 - 31/01/2016 16:51 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Thanks! I dropped off the backplate and the spindle from my lathe at a local fellow's house. He offered to cut the appropriate thread into the backplate as the spindle nose has an extremely goofy thread. It is, after all, damn near 100 years old.

Anyway, worked on the car a bit yesterday. I wrapped the exhaust:



...and burned in that batt'ry box



Here's with the batt'ry dropped into place. It's fairly awkward maneuvering that 15# fella' into place there, believe it or not. I made a strap for the top of the batt'ry with a couple of stubs welded onto it for the 200A circuit breaker. Just made more sense that way. I painted that, so I didn't get a chance to put it back on before I left. I'll make sure to get one next time.



Next I'll sort out the headlight wiring issue that I discovered last fall before tearing the motor out. Then I'll shore up the break and clutch lines, shifter cables; then put the motor back in after I reassemble it. I guess I'd better get after it.

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#365864 - 01/02/2016 13:49 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13710
Loc: Canada
It's hard to get a good feel for exactly where that battery box is located. In the photo above, it looks as if it will end up under that V8 block, but surely.. ? smile

I'm picturing the left side as the firewall, and the right side of the photo as the rad area.

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#365865 - 01/02/2016 14:20 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 980
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
You can see the steering rack in that picture, so the battery is in the nose. The engine is in the back.

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#365867 - 02/02/2016 03:28 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Mark; Larry's right. This is all at the front end of the car. The radiator is to the right in those pictures, as I'm leaning on the front passenger fender. I used to have the battery under the passenger headlight. Good idea in theory for weight distribution, but turned out to be poor in practice. I'm much happier with the battery so low in the front end. Should accomplish the same end.

Id like to head over tomorrow anyway, so I'll grab a few more pictures then to give you a better idea of what's going on.

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#365868 - 02/02/2016 04:17 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13710
Loc: Canada
Okay, so my view of the engine compartment is correct!

Except the engine isn't going there, but rather it goes into the rear hatch area (earlier photos show it there). Thus my confusion, now resolved.

Cheers

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#365976 - 12/02/2016 07:05 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
I finished wiring up the battery, including a weld stud welded right to the frame. Turned out pretty nice. Believe it or not; that tiny little audio battery spins this relatively high compression V8 over just fine.



I also wrapped the entirety of the exhaust in preparation for going back in the car. I'm not happy with the way the resonator section turned out. I'll likely unwrap it up to the oxygen sensor. I feel it will look better.



I also had the backplate from that little chuck bored and threaded so that it fits the spindle thread on my little Dalton. I spent a few minutes facing the backplate and cutting the register for the chuck body. The first two parts I plan to cut with it are fuel injector bungs and -8AN fittings for a set of custom fuel rails. I hope to have the motor back in by the end of the month.


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#366135 - 01/03/2016 06:21 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
So, I bought the necessary timing components that I needed to replace on the motor. Includes all three chains, and all three sets of guides and tensioners. I had an issue where I was sent only 7 of 8 required special shouldered bolts to mount the new wearables. Of course they didn't match the factory hardware, so I had to swap the plastic wearable from the new aluminum guides to the old guides and then I could use two old bolts to hold the old guides with new wearable. Problem solving.

Here's stripped down:



New parts installed, cylinder 1 at top dead center, timing marks all aligned. Hopefully it works when I fire it?



I'm having issues with the new chuck in my lathe spinning with like .015" runout. Fully unacceptable, even by my standards. I need to spend some time on figuring out what I've done wrong there. I don't think it's the spindle bearings, as I can [quite forcefully] wiggle the spindle and not feel any movement. I've now got a new set of sharp carbide cutters along with a tool holder mounted dial indicator to check runout. Anyway; I didn't get a good picture of this setup, so I'll try to remember this weekend while I'm sorting out the massive runout issue.

The whole reason I mention the lathe is because it's crucial to my custom fuel rails. I bought the pressure regulator; complete with input and return fittings, the pressure transducer for my fuel pressure gauge, a vacuum nipple for intake vacuum reference and a -8AN coupler to attach to the rail itself. Just need to make some fittings with the lathe and weld 'em all together.



I also got a 5-channel amplifier to tie all of the audio together. The very last part I needed to buy for audio. I hope to get a sub box together this Friday. We'll see, though. Here's the amp on my desk:



First impressions are great for this little guy. It's kind of heavy (good) at 7.5 pounds or so, and it's built on a very sturdy chassis. Good specs on it, too. It's a tiny little Class D 5-channel capable of 70w RMS for the four main channels at 4-ohm and 220w RMS for a 4-ohm sub. Not too shabby. Plus, it's got a high-pass filter on one pair of channels that runs up to 4kHz, and a selectable band-pass for the other two main channels from 40Hz-4kHz. It's designed to run a two-way active setup with a sub. It's perfect. And it was only $225 shipped, no tax. I'll let you know how it sounds, hopefully this weekend.

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#366227 - 10/03/2016 03:02 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Anybody still following along?

Well, I completely finished the audio install while waiting for drivetrain parts.

Here's the teeny-tiny little box I made out of 3/4" MDF for the beefy little 8" sub. The amp mounts to the side of the box for a nice little package.



After I built the box, I mocked up some mounts out of cardboard while in the car and then I made them out of 1/8" steel. I did this before mounting the amp and sub.





Cardboard to steel:



Early on during the install I realized that I'd have to pull the dash after all. Oh well. It went back in easy enough. Ten minutes to pull it out, fifteen to put it back in. Not bad.



Then I put the whole thing back together with a little DynaMat at strategic places to prevent rattling and nasty resonance. Then I tuned it with the 'peg. I'm running a Eutronix sound card feeding a Fiio DAC via digi coax. The analog outs from the DAC go directly into the 5-channel NVX set up for 2-channel active mode. It sounds wonderful, and that's just off of the battery, probably around 12.6V or so. Can't wait to see what it does around 14V when the motor is running.



I'm really almost there, ladies and gents. It's only been ten years. I've ordered pretty much the rest of the parts I need save for headlights, so watch for shifter cable installation, fuel rail fabrication and finally, motor reinstallation. I've also got to make a center console of some sort. ...so that might be fun. Hah.


Edited by FieroSTi (10/03/2016 04:55)

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#366229 - 10/03/2016 03:27 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30897
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'm impressed with that clever way to get a subwoofer into the limited space of a Fiero.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#366231 - 10/03/2016 03:39 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Thanks! Unfortunately it doesn't suit most Fiero owners because it occupies the same space behind the dash as the factory air box. Mine's long gone, replaced with an 1/4" ABS panel in the forward firewall. It doesn't get hot enough up here to absolutely require A/C, and I won't be driving it in the winter, so who needs a heater? I may end up rigging some kind of blower fan back up to at least tackle fog and such from dew and rain. We'll see if I need it.

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#366235 - 10/03/2016 18:23 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3433
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Yes, still following, and I love it. Beautiful use of space and great fabrication.
_________________________
~ John

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#366236 - 10/03/2016 20:46 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30897
Loc: Seattle, WA
You're not planning to put a fake Ferrari body kit on the outside of this Fiero, are you? smile

This thread is reminding me of a time, several years ago, when one of the salesweenies at my company had a Fiero with a body kit designed to make it look like a Ferrari Testarossa. It was just awful.

I did an internet search to see if people were still doing that kind of thing these days. Indeed they are. http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/Archive-000002/HTML/20130314-1-087736.html Some of the pics in that thread are nae bad and somewhat impressive, others are just so laughably terrible.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#366238 - 10/03/2016 21:38 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: FieroSTi]
FieroSTi
member

Registered: 07/05/2007
Posts: 104
Oh no. I've never had any aspirations of a re-body. Frankly, I really like the Fiero body for what it already is. It just screams 80's.

I had a few ideas for some small exterior body mods, but I think I've already done enough. The very last thing I need to do is cut a vent into the front hood to relieve pressure behind the radiator at relatively high speeds.

Next year I've got new hubs, brakes and wheels planned to go on as well as a turbo and dry sump oil system. The latter two might wait until winter 2017-18, though...

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#366407 - 31/03/2016 19:14 Re: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT build featuring empeg. [Re: tfabris]
julf
veteran

Registered: 01/10/2001
Posts: 1291
Loc: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: tfabris
I'm impressed with that clever way to get a subwoofer into the limited space of a Fiero.


I guess I should take a pic or two of my subwoofers in the Morgan (carefully shaped to fit between fuel tank and rear suspension.

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