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


    - Suspension Tear-Down

    - Suspension Rebuild (Start)

    - Upper-Control Arms

    - Lower-Control Arms

    - Front Springs

    - Front Anti-SwayBar


    - Not Started


(Front Completed)


The suspension on my Fiero was almost completely stock. With the exception of polyeurothane anti-swaybar bushings and aftermarket KYB shocks, everything else was stock. Despite the suspension being very dirty with some surface rust, it was actually in very good condition. There is only slight rust pitting by the cross-member mounting bracket, but a wire-brush attachment will make short work of it.

*NOTE #1: When stripping the suspension, make sure to properly support the vehicle using two jack-stands under the front cross-member (see image).

*NOTE #2: To seperate the top and lower ball-joint, I used a special tool (as seen in image 3) from Rodney Dickman.

*NOTE #3: This is a good point to determine everything you might potentially need in the rebuild. Take inventory of what you plan to re-use, and what you plan to replace. For my build, I ended up only reusing the control arms and the steering knuckle.


I didn't particularly have any major goal in mind with rebuilding this suspension, other than to improve the handling slightly, and improve the ride quality. The priorities I had were to rebuild the suspension, making it safer, and reduce the "shock" of the ride. With the set-up I had prior, the suspension was otherwise stock with mid-level springs (Y99 / Heavy Duty) and KYB shocks. The springs were meant for a more lofty ride than say what would have been optional in the GT (WS6). With these lighter spring rates, and a stiffer shock (KYBs), the suspension had little dampening effect, and every bump was transmitted to the driver through the seat. With this, I set out to build a suspension that was stiff, handled well, but relied more heavily on the springs for dampening rather than the shocks. With WS6 springs, and Monroe shocks , the springs will absorb much more of the initial road variations since the shocks have far less shock pressure in its initial travel. Of course, I also wanted to replace the ball-joints, bearings, and spring isolators while I was there.

My new suspension includes the following:
  - Fiero Store WS6 Springs (Note: Discontinued)
  - 84-88 POLYURETHANE FRONT CONTROL ARM BUSHING KIT (Stiffer than factory rubber bushings)
  - 84-87 MONROE FRONT SHOCKS (PAIR) (repurposed my slightly older KYB shocks to save money for now)
  - Fiero Store 84-87 FRONT BALL JOINT PACKAGE by MOOG
  - Fiero Store 84-87 UPPER CONTROL ARM BOLT & WASHERS (Stainless w/ proper spacers)
  - Fiero Store 84-87 LOWER CONTROL ARM BOLTS & NUTS (Stainless)
  - Fiero Store 84-87 FRONT UPPER SPRING PADS / Isolators (OE Replacement / Style)
  - Fiero Store 84-88 GREASE FITTING CAPS (Prevent grease from leaking or debris clogging cap)


1 - The first step after completely stripping the suspension down, was to sort out which parts you will re-use, clean everything, and then repaint all of it prior to reassembly. Obviously, this isn't required, but it will make the job much more rewarding and certainly less messy. NOTE - I do not recommend removing the cross-member bolts, or the upper cross-member bracket unless there is a good reason to do so. The bracket is very strong and unless there is any substantial rust or damage to the cross-member, it's best to leave these bolts alone. This will require significant re-alignment of the cross-member upon reinstallation.

2 - The second step is to assemble the upper control arm, and mount this to control arm perch. If you are going to install polyeurothane bushings like I have, you will want to ensure that the old bushing shells are clean and not pitted. Lubricate these shells liberally with
poly grease, and the bushings should slide right in. I found it easier to put the bushing in first, and then slide the metal shaft support in second.

3 - The third step is attaching the upper control arm to the control arm perch. Pay close attention to the placement of these washers. If re-using the factory washers, the single thick washer should go where these four washers are as shown in image #3 below. You can adjust CASTOR by moving these washers from one side to the other, effectively moving the control arm forward or backwards (diagram 1, diagram 2). I chose to put them back to factory specs; however, if you are tuning your suspension, now is the time to do it. Adding or removing the washers to the front or back will improve high-speed handling at the expense of low-speed steering effort. Consult with experts on the various Fiero lists before you decide what is right for you.Click here for a Negative / Positive CASTER diagram.

4 - The fourth item when installing the upper control arm is to install theupper ball joint. The factory ball joints are not adjustable, but the replacement ones are. This allows you to adjust the CAMBER on your suspension. As a general rule, you'll want as much negative camber as the stock suspension allows. This isn't much, honestly, but you can ensure you've achieved the maximum by placing a flathead between the opening on the end of the control arm, and the ball joint. You should be left with a slight space in the control arm just in front of the ball joint. Click here for a Negative / Positive CAMBER diagram.


1 - The first step in installing the lower control arm is to prepare the control arm itself. One of the more difficult parts of this installation is installing the lower control arm's ball joint. The ball-joint gets pressed in, and doesn't install with bolts like the upper control arm. Unlike the rear control arm, there is no specific angle with which it needs to be installed. MAKE SURE however, that your lower control arm ball joint is NOT directional! Some lower ball joints should only be installed in one direction which allows the up and down movement of the control arm. If this particular type of lower ball joint is installed incorrectly, the ball joint shaft will hit and will eventually break out of its socket. Make sure you do not buy this kind. The easiest way to install this is to simply take the control arm and ball joint to a shop and have it pressed in. I used a sledge-hammer and patio bricks... but I don't recommend that!!!

2 - The second step is installing the bushings. The lower control arm bushings, if rubber, will need to be pressed in by a shop. The poly bushings can just be installed in the old shells of the rubber bushings. Occasionally, Fiero rubber bushings get water intrusion and the shells rust out. If this is the case, you will need to have them replaced. These are more difficult to install than the upper bushings, but not impossible. I used a press simply because I have one, but it's not necessary. Be sure to use poly grease throughout the entire assembly process.
*NOTE: The poly bushing caps may need to be cut down to size.

3 - The third step, is to heavily grease both ends of the control arm bushing, as well as the insertion point on the cross-member as shown in picture #2 and #3. This will aid in re-installation of the lower control arm.

4 - The fourth step, and most difficult, is to actually install the lower control arm. It's a VERY tight fit, and will require at least an hour of cursing and swearing. The best tools for the job are a series of small screw drivers, and a rubber mallet. The mallet can be used to coerce the control arm into place, and the screw driver can be used to help align the bolt holes. The factory lower control arm bolts have a pintle / taper at the top which helps with the re-alignment. I opted to use new hardware from the Fiero Store. I did however use the old bolts to get the final re-alignment of the control arm before removing the bolt and installing the new stainless ones. I found the best way to get started was to try to align the FORWARD most arm of the lower control arm. Then I focused on the aft most arm of the control arm second. Just take your time, and eventually you'll get it in there.


1 - The first step to install the spring is to dry fit the spring. Although installing the spring is not easy, you want to check loosly by test fitting it on the bottom, removing it, and test fitting it on the top to see how the spring will fit. The spring must be seated securely in the lower control arm, and then it must appropriately seat in the spring isolator gasket that attaches to the top of the spring perch. The spring isolator must be installed first, so it's imperative that you determine exactly how it will sit when the spring is properly installed.

2 - The second step in installing the springs is to attach the steering knuckle to the upper control arm's ball joint. It can't hurt to really snug down the upper ball joint bolt to the steering knuckle at this time.

3 - Once the steering knuckle is installed, you'll want to plan how you intend to install the spring. I won't lie to you, this is the most difficult part of the installation. It's easier if you are re-using old worn springs, or going with lowering springs. However, Installing new springs will make this a difficult job. Don't worry about the new paint on the suspension, you can touch it up later. You'll want to position a jack under the lower ball joint (make sure the grease fitting is not yet installed), and get the spring into position. Next, use a spring compressor on the FORWARD side of the spring. This is the ONLY place you can realistically get a spring compressor on the spring in a Fiero configuration. While using brute strength, push up on the spring (making sure it's properly seated in the upper spring perch FIRST with it properly seated in the spring isolator, then take your right (or left) foot, and push hard on the spring. It should pop into place on the lower control arm. Keep it there as best as you can with your foot while you attempt to jack the control arm up with the floor jack. This will compress the spring a bit more and help lock it into place.
*NOTE: I used tape on spring compressor arms to help protect the paint.

4 - If you made it past that last step, you'll quickly want to position the steering knuckle over the lower ball joint shaft, and install the castellated nut. Relax... it's installed and the hardest part is done... I mean, at least until you have to do the rear suspension...

5 - Some last minute things I did was torque the bolts which I will no longer have access to when the suspension is sitting on the tires. I also installed the grease fittings, cotter pins, and touched up the paint with a brush.


Unfortunately, I had a lot of complications when uninstalling the anti-sway bar. Many years ago when installing poly bushings for the sway bar, I snapped a bolt off the frame. I took it to a shop where they actually cut a hole in the frame and welded in a new nut. When removing these bolts myself this time, three of them snapped off, and one of them ended up with stripped threads.

To resolve this, I decided to drill out all four of the holes, and install a set of grade-8 hardened bolts that I can use to properly attach the anti-sway bar to. Unfortunately, I sufffered an accident in the process: "Pirate Todd"




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