Pon­tiac Fiero

A cheap fix re­stores the Fiero’s mo­tor­way po­ten­tial



Af­ter get­ting bored of the Fiero’s wing and en­joy­ing a bet­ter view to the rear of the car, I be­gan to use it a lit­tle more and wanted to make sure that the front-end align­ment was as it should be, now that I had the cor­rect sized rear tyres fit­ted.

The Fiero’s front end was al­ways a de­sign com­pro­mise, made up as it was of the Chevro­let Chevette’s, er, rear sus­pen­sion. So I made a quick trip to Tyre­care in St He­lens to get the front align­ment checked. Fiero align­ment specs are a sub­ject of much de­bate on the on­line Fiero fo­rums, so it’s al­ways worth check­ing and then dou­ble-check­ing. Over the years the spec­i­fi­ca­tions for align­ment, on what are now ‘clas­sic cars’, have some­times been the sub­ject of fac­tory up­dates. With the cor­rect fig­ures in hand, the front-end was all cor­rect at zero de­grees toe-in.

Tyre­care’s owner, Stan, sug­gested that if the front-end of a clas­sic – or any car, for that mat­ter – feels more way­ward than ex­pected, it might be worth check­ing the age of its tyres be­cause the break­down of a tyre’s wall struc­ture can wreak havoc with steer­ing. Run­ning a fin­ger across the tyre wall, you can of­ten feel many small lumps on the sur­face that the naked eye sim­ply can­not de­tect.

Some­times what you think is go­ing to be a night­mare job is ac­tu­ally quite sim­ple. The Fiero’s cruise con­trol hasn’t worked for a long time and the pre­vi­ous owner never got around to fix­ing it. On in­spec­tion of the con­trol stalk – and a Haynes man­ual – I no­ticed a frayed cable run­ning from the stalk to a sin­gle spade con­nec­tor along­side the steer­ing col­umn. The stalk has a bay­o­net fit­ting and just twists out of the col­umn. I soon found a £15 re­place­ment on Ama­zon; the same stalk was ap­par­ently fit­ted to pretty much the whole GM range in the mid-1980s, so re­place­ments are plen­ti­ful. It ar­rived within seven days and with a twist and a push of a spade con­nec­tor, the cruise con­trol was work­ing again.

Next up it was time for its out­ing to Tat­ton Park in Cheshire for the huge gath­er­ing of Amer­i­can me­tal and mus­cle at the Stars and Stripes Amer­i­can Car Show. Well, I say ‘me­tal and mus­cle’, but while there’s only about 140bhp mus­cle (and not much me­tal) on a Pon­tiac Fiero GT, I made the jour­ney con­fi­dent that the align­ment was cor­rect and com­fort­able with my new­ly­op­er­a­tional cruise con­trol.

At the garage in the shade, await­ing its track­ing test.

The only Fiero at the Stars and Stripes show.

Cruise con­trol fix was sus­pi­ciously easy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.