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Replacing the '84-'88 4 cyl. Dog Bone

Thank you to NIFE Member Ken Smith for this video

Published on Oct 16, 2013
The old dog bone (torque strut) had been on my '84 Fiero since I bought it in April of '84; neither it nor its two rubber bushings had ever been replaced. For those of you unfamiliar with this part, it anchors the engine to the rear frame of the Fiero and keeps it from moving excessively during acceleration.

When I started hearing a "clunk" from the rear of the car this past July, I was afraid it was loose half-shaft U-joints, as used to happen with the independent rear suspension on my old Triumph TR6. But I decided to go with what seemed like the simplest solution first, and change the dog bone.

After talking to other Fiero owners and reading about the problems they were having with engines shifting out of position and having to be forced back into place with a crowbar. There is also an ongoing debate among owners of automatic transmission cars over rubber versus harder polyurethane (poly) bushings. I started to get a little worried. I'm no expert; I'm a shadetree mechanic, without an impact wrench to my name. Socket wrenches, crescent wrenches and breaker bars, that's me.

So I was surprised how easy it was to loosen the two nuts and bolts holding it in, and really relieved when the engine never even budged. A little hammering and massaging of the metal brackets on the engine and frame, and the new, slightly wider dogbone ($12 bucks on Amazon) went right in. No crowbar necessary.

I was also surprised at the inferior design of the rubber bushings on the original dogbone; there were gaps between rubber and metal on either side of the round holes they were pressed into. On the side where it was bolted to the engine, the bushing had two major cracks, and was so worn that the center metal liner easily slid in and out. That's definitely not supposed to happen; probably the main source of the "clunk".

Anyway, I'm looking forward to driving my now "clunkless" Fiero for many years to come. It's almost like a marriage.

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