For those not familiar with the term, a "dogbone" in mid-80's GM parlance is the strut or brace which stabilizes transverse-mounted engines against torque loads. In the OEM form, it looks vaguely like a bone with "knuckles" on each end. The OEM rubber bushings in each end give out after a few years, allowing excessive engine rocking and shortening the life of engine mounts, which are a pain to replace. Replacement Fiero dogbones are available from the Fiero Store (1-800-FIEROGT) as well as other sources. Or, you can just buy replacement polyurethane bushings which will fit the stock dogbones if you want to keep the stock appearance.
Replacement is very simple. It requires just standard (metric) wrenches, but you'll need an extra pair of hands at a couple of points...
|1.||Pop off the triangular plastic cover in the fender next to the rear (chassis) dogbone mount.|
|2.||Loosen both front and rear 'bone bolts.|
|3.||(Need a helper) Stand in the trunk. Grab the intake plenum and pull back to take the load off the dogbone. (Say about 30-50 pounds of force, just enough that you can't do it with one hand and grab the bolts.) Have your helper remove the first bolt.|
|4.||Remove second bolt, put new 'bone in, insert front bolt, but leave it loose.|
|5.||(Need a helper) Ditto #3, pull back on the engine to line up the rear 'bone bushing with the bracket and insert the rear bolt.|
|6.||Tighten 'em all up, pop the plastic cover back on, you're done.|
Say a 10-minute job, tops. No sweat.
(It was a perfect opportunity to get my apprentice wrench [my then 7-year-old son] involved with working on the car. He's now almost 10 and still asks for jobs that he can do whenever I'm working on the Fiero...I make sure to find things he can handle, and that are quick enough not to run past his attention span...stuff that doesn't require too much strength, but that his skinny hands are needed to do, usually...)