Below is a quick run-down of the rebuild, restoration, and upgrading of the interior, exterior, and frame of my 1987 Pontiac Fiero SE/V6. Here are some quick links to go directly to the section you're looking for:

  - Cowl Panel Restoration

  - Front Clip Restoration

  - Cowl Cover Repair / Renew

  - Floor Board Restoration

  - Adding Sound Deadening to the Cabin

  - Installing Dash and A / B Pillars

  - Repairing the Center Console Skeleton



This Fiero is pretty much rust free. With the exception of a nasty suspension, there is really no rust on the car except around the battery tray. As I make my way from the front of the car to the back, I do find a few areas of surface rust here and there. After restoring the front sheet metal, the last part of the body in the front to tackle was the cowl area.
After carefully removin the cowl cover, I was surprised by what I saw. Although it was otherwise very rust free, it was amazingly dirty. There was tons of grim and dirt build-up. There was one area in particular where dirt had built up between the panel and the sheet metal, and it caused some decay. The first thing I did was vacuum the entire cowl area and make sure I had a clean area to work with. I then went over the entire area with a wire-brush attachment on my pneumatic tool. I had to use a 3M rust eating wheel in one spot and discovered that there were actually a couple of pinholes. This wasn't of any real concern because underneath was just the cowl drainage area. It was insignificant enough however that I would be able to seal it up easily when painted.


In the first picture, you see the cowl area after having been cleaned, and taped. It is ready for painting.

In the second picture, you see the cowl area after painting. I used four coats (applied two at a time, with 30 minutes in between) of Duplicolor VHT Gloss-Black Epoxy. The paint goes on fairly thick, so it was able to cover and fill in any areas that might have had some imperfections.


- Front Section:

I've finished restoring the entire front-section of the Fiero. With the exception of the hood, sunroof support brackets, wipers, and hood latch, everything has been replaced, repaired, or at the very least, cleaned and painted. I've restored it exactly down to the smallest detail including the rubber band on the spare tire jack. With the exception of putting the hood on, and the small bits left I just mentioned, I'm ready to move on to the center of the car to tackle the interior and the wiring. The pictures below show the before and after of the complete tear-down and rebuild. For reference of what a stock Fiero should look like, I am including two picture links (picture1, picture2) that show a bone-stock 87 Fiero's front compartment with less than 100 miles on the car (though it sat in a warehouse).



- Cowl Cover Restoration:

With everything that I've done to restore the front clip of the car, the last thing I wanted was a nasty old faded cowl cover. No matter how much I cleaned it, it still looked bad. I saw a YouTube video a couple of years ago that showed a person restoring the natural gloss on their plastic bumper by using a heat gun. Essentially, the person used the heat gun to melt the oxidized face of the bumper. As soon as the plastic began to melt, he would pull away allowing the plastic to cool. This would leave the natural texture intact, but would eliminate the powdery / chalky look of the plastic. I did this on the cowl panel, and it worked perfectly. The first thing I did was clean it extremely well using dish soap and a tooth brush. When it was completely clean, I laid it down on the floor of my concrete garage. I took the heat gun and went over the areas with general strokes until I could see it begin to change color. As soon as I saw the plastic starting to return to it's natural color, I backed off. I did this over the entire area. If you stay in one area too long, you can either warp the plastic out of shape, or ruin the natural texture. You can use this to your advantage however to re-shape the cowl panel if any part of it has warped over the years. I would recommend using the heat gun on the opposide side if you want to re-shape it. After I was done, I painted the metal cowl mesh to ensure that that looked good as well. The underside was easy, I just used Duplicolor spray enamel and went over the area. For the top, you don't want the paint on the plastic, so took a lint-free damn cloth, painted over the top (including the honey-comb) and then wiped the plastic part down, leaving only the metal mesh having been painted. To paint the hood spring, I simply masked it off, painted it, and let it dry. You can then coat the cowl panel with your choice of plastic protectant (like Armor All, etc). In the picture above, I had not yet painted the hood spring, or coated the plastic with Armor All. The color is what it should look like when done, without any dressing.



As with the rest of the Fiero, it's pretty rust free, so I'm not surprised, but happy to see that my floorboards are also totally rust free. There appears to be only minimal damage at the rear-most portion of the floor pans on both sides. This is essentially nothing more than simply heavy oxidization around the larger drain plug. It should be an easy fix to sand it down, and hit it with some epoxy paint. I also found what looks like pink bubble gum on my floor-board. After doing some searching, I discovered that this was last-minute body sealer.




After cleaning up the floor boards, I decided to lay down some non-permenant adhesive sound deadener. The product I'm using is actually some generic roofing synthetic tar paper. It's adhesive, but can be removed easily when pulled. I used a heat gun to help bring out the adhesive and help it conform to the floor. I didn't want to go nuts, but instead decided to just lay down sheeting on all the flat areas of the panels. This will help quiet the sound, and give a better, more comfortable ride. I am after all... not 18 anymore. I also didn't want to make any significant changes to the interior sound since I also liked hearing the motor inside the car. For some in-depth ideas of sound deadening, refer to my article on my 2002 Crown Victoria LX. After laying down the sound deadener, I put back the factory jute padding which was still clean, and already did a great job of limiting sound transfer.




With all of the wiring mostly complete, I was able to start some real progress on the interior. The car feels much more complete when it has an interior. I disassembled everything from the dash that I could, and cleaned everything before re-installing it. I installed the two filler trim pieces that show between the A-pillar caps and the dash. I had actually misplaced the drivers side one, as well as the special tree clip that attaches it to the cowl. However, I had the spare from my parts car. I cleaned everything and re-installed it. I laid up the headliner in the mean time because I would be unable to re-install it after the fact. It's not yet complete, but I'll include that further down when it's finished. Unfortunately, the interior pieces have become brittle due to age, and many of the clips broke. In addition, one of the mounting tabs on the drivers side A-pillar also broke off and left itself attached to the clip. I've discovered that not all cars came with this clip. The spare trim piece that I had was actually missing this tab completely and it was obvious to me that it hadn't broken, but just was never cast into the piece. Using some spares from my parts car, I was able to fit all the appropriate clamps and clips and re-attach everything.


- Console:

Before re-installing the console, I wanted to repair some cracks that had developed in it over the past couple of years. I had some JB-Weld, so I thought I would try to repair it. It's not pretty, but none of this will be seen. I can always sand it down and paint it to match the plastic, but there's no point, I'm more concerned with strength. I used the epoxy to mend the broken console in a couple of places. I removed the screw afterwards as it started to dry.


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