Our Services

Engine Installations
Cadillac 4.9 V8 Upgrade

This is an excellent powerplant for a Fiero. It is light, compact, and makes lots of Cadillac smooth power. The Cadillac 4 spd auto works well in a Fiero, and any Fiero manual trans bolts directly to the engine without adapters. There are no modifications necessary to the Fiero spaceframe. Be sure and check out Scott Perkins' review of one of our installs.

Lets discuss the legal aspect first since that is the most important to you enjoying the conversion. Each state/locality has different laws and emissions standards, so you would need to research yours. We simply don't know them all. However, we know of no state (including Ca) that prohibits engine swaps/replacements, although some require the engine must be from a later year car then what the receiving car is. Then, where emission testing is done, some will test using standards for the receiving car and some will test using standards from the donor car.

With our 4.9 conversions, it has not mattered which standard was used. Where our customers had state/local inspections, all conversions have passed either standard with much lower #'s than allowed. This is because we use the Cadillac PCM (power control module) and retain all the Cadillac emission equipment except for the complicated, bulky, electronically controlled evap system. We utilize the Fiero static system instead. We also use an extremely effective new, latest technology, catalytic converter in the custom exhaust system.

Other then one recent Ca customer, no one has had a problem. Although his car has cleaner tailpipe emissions then allowed, the Ca referee wants him to have the Cad evap system and Cad converter? Also wants the PCM to have no stored codes. In this conversion, we use the Fiero cruise control and evap system, so the PCM will store those codes as inoperable. We are not sure why the Ca referee (playing a Tin God, I suppose) is concerned with those issues, as we thought emission testing was about clean air! We are working with our customer to get him through the situation, but it sure does irritate me and we won't be converting another Fiero from Ca.

Now to the $$ end. Normally, an auto conversion will cost about $6000. Manual conversions about $7000. That is turnkey and includes an allowance of up to $1800 for a donor. Beginning with a 4 cyl Fiero (84's Not Recommended - See our Tech Area for more information) will add $500 to either conversion price.

Then, converting a manual Fiero to be an auto car will add about 2 days of labor time. That is an additional $900. We add a trans cooler (included) in front of the radiator (less expensive and better trans cooling then changing the radiator), and then basically just swap parts with you. Some parts that are changed/removed/added include: clutch lines, trans cooling lines, clutch hydraulics, pedal assembly, steering column, shifter, shift console, shift cables, axles, and throttle cable. There are some minor wiring changes where the clutch neutral safety and cruise cutoff switch were located on the clutch pedal, and at the C-500 (near battery) where the starter wires pass through to the engine harness.

We have actually changed more Fiero's to use the Caddy 4 spd auto then we have built using a Fiero manual trans (15 vrs 13)! The other 35-40 conversions were auto Fiero's to begin with. The old engine and trans from the Fiero are yours if you want them. If they are low enough mileage and test well, we can give an allowance toward the conversion. Or we can just dispose of them if you don't want/need them and we cannot give an allowance. Since you have paid for an entire Cadillac, the Cadillac carcass is also yours if wanted, but we will be happy to exchange it for the necessary time to pull the needed donor parts.

We seldom can afford to buy and stock low mileage Caddy donors, but at this time we do have one with only 82K. The 4.9's are known for 300-400K (trans for 200-250K) in the heavier Cadillac, so this is considered low mileage. If you want to secure it for $1500, we will be happy to hold it for you until you are ready to have it installed. If you want a lower mileage donor, then we need a credit card # to charge when we find and have to pay for one. Lower mileage, other salvage bidders, and distance to retrieve will likely cause such a donor to cost more. All donors are likely to have been extremely well maintained and not abused, since they were new.

We expect $2200 when the Fiero arrives, and the balance when you are happy and ready to drive it home. A 90 day warranty on the engine/trans (if donor is secured from us, not on alt, starter, compressor, ect) plus all new parts start at that time. Warranty includes parts and labor if car is returned to The Fiero Factory. Otherwise, we will work with you.

But, hold on...there could be some extra costs:

1. We require the rear suspension to have urethane bushings due to the 4.9's huge amount of torque suspension twist. If not already done, your car would add $80 for that job. 88's are $120 due to more bushings involved.

2. If your battery tray does not hold the battery securely (it must due to engine clearance), then we can replace the tray or move the battery up front under the spare. Either option is about $185.

3. If your car's a/c system has previously been converted to 134, recharging the system (conversions use the Caddy compressors) is included in the conversion price. If not, and you want us too, properly converting and charging the system with 134 is $180 unless some of the Fiero system parts prove faulty.

4. A freshly powdercoated rear valve cover to match the front (which cannot be switched due to trunk hinge bracket clearance). It looks good when opening the trunk (cover is black, silver down the center, red "V8 PFI"), allows easy oil changes, and is $150 including a new oil filler cap.

5. Any new parts you want on the engine (water pump, compressor, 100K plugs and other tune-up parts, etc) are extra, as is any other work (at $65 per hr) on the Fiero "while it is there". All parts used for the conversion are new and included in the installation parts package price (the $2200 when the Fiero arrives). These include: brackets, 5 engine/trans mounts, belt tensioner (pulleys and belt), exhaust, wiring harness, and various hoses. Axles are rebuilt units made up from unmodified stock GM parts. Any donor engine/trans parts damaged during the crash that caused the Caddy to be totaled, are replaced at no charge to you, if you have secured the donor from us.

6. Any excessive labor time used due to rusty/broken Fiero bolts will be at $65 per hr. We expect some, but will have to use our judgment if it becomes excessive. Of course, customers will be kept apprised of any situations that arise.

We hope this answers your questions but if you have others, please don't hesitate to ask. After all, it IS your $$'s.

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