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1987 Pontiac Fiero GT

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The beginning

Hi, my name is Byron (Stuyvesant) Yntema, I am 16 years old.

At present I am in grade 12 at Abbotsford Collegiate in Abbotsford, B.C. and am following the automotive course at the Univeristy of the Fraser Valley. I would like to become a heavy duty mechanic or auto mechanic. For the ones that are into history: My middle name is taken from Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director General of "New Netherland" the present New York City.
The car: A 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT which I purchased (stole) from my uncle for $150. The car is in good shape but the engine had a bad knock in it, he figured a valve or something similar. He had the tranny rebuild so I did not have to worry about that part of the car. So one weekend my dad and I traveled to Armstrong, B.C. where the car had been parked under a pine tree for the last 6 years. It was kinda bogged down in the front yard and my grandma had a big pile of sand behind it for use in her yard.
Well, let me tell you, it was not easy getting the car out since the pile of sand was right behind it and the tree was in the way in case we wanted to pull it sideways. Look at the pic and you see my dad already shoveled away half of the sand. It did not help either that the brakes were kinda seized on from sitting for 6 years. My dads car, a Pontiac Grand Prix SE was too low up front to attach a a chain. So my uncle used his beat up old piece of shit roatary engine Mazda to pull my GT out.
He smoked the tires and slammed that klunker into gear, man I thought he either would blow the tires or the tranny but we got it over the left over hump of dirt.
Once we got it up the hill at the end of the driveway we loaded it on a rented U-Haul car trailer (had to rent a truck too since they do NOT allow you to pull this trailer with a car) and hauled it back home. Offloading was a lot easier. Positioned the trailer in front of the garage and just let her roll in, where she got parked beside her big brother, a 1973 Ford Mustang convertible with a 351 Cleveland.

The next weekend work started.

  • First order of the day was to get the millions of pine needles out of every hole, big or small, the frame, trunk, and even from within the tail lights. Tried to start the engine but would not run.  Checked fuel pump and found it bad. Removed the fuel tank and replaced the fuel pump. Replaced fuel lines. Tried starting, no go. Checked distributor and related parts, looked pretty bad. Got new distributor and electrical equipment. Installed but still no start! Re checked timing and reset. Started after a while but ran like a bag of shit without the smell.
  • Smoked out the garage and the house. Fire alarms going off all over. Banging sound was coming from deep in the engine, like it spun a bearing. Since I had never worked on engines before I was not sure. I had some more qualified people look and listen to the engine and was told it might be a valve hitting a piston. Either way I had to decide what to do. Get a used engine or rebuild this one. Have it rebuild by third party or do it myself. After weeks of deliberating, getting quotes and asking my dad for advise I decided to rebuild myself. It would be a good first experience. My friend had an engine stand and cherry picker. My dad made me a engine dolly.
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