4.1 Build for 2020

MNcarbturbo

What's Fuel Injection?
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Long story short-
What parts (cam, turbo ect) do you suggest to upgrade a stock LC2 setup bolted on a mostly stock fresh 4.1 for an 11.50 goal mostly street part strip car with a low $1000-1500 budget.

After a few year hiatus in Turbo Buick world (got distracted in L67 and LS stuff) I am getting back into Buick V6 things.
What build i had for the Wagon

I built a carb turbo swapped 80% resto Cutlass in HS and it has sat for almost a decade. It runs good but is slow and cold blooded. Car is nice but want to make it more driveable and actually fast. It has a nice hand ported head 3.8 with hypers and an edelbrock 5487 204/214 cam but the carb turbo setup isn't performance oriented enough for my goals.
I built an LC2 swapped 80 Century wagon a few years ago but sold the car as a roller this fall and took my LC2 setup out. Plan is to pull the carb turbo setup out of the Cutlass and drop the LC2 setup in as a replacement.

There are a lot of 4.1 builds but they either seem to be max effort stroker stuff or very dated from the early 2000's. I am wondering if anyone has a good suggestion for a combo that is a bit updated for 2020 that is more on the mild side. I have a 4.1 because I stumbled on one (I needed a longblock and didn't have one).

Goal is to end up with a streetable mid 11 second car that is relatively low effort (lowish boost). E85 is available. More street that track. Probably a 450hp setup.

So, what I have is
-A 484 block 4.1 that is .030 over that I re-ringed and bearing'ed in 2017. It has a (very) mild Erson flat tappet cam from the mid 90's that I am unsure what it is from the previous owner. Engine was entirely rebuilt in the mid 90's from the previous owner for his G body Grand Prix from a spun rod bearing. He had it bored .030 over and heads rebuilt with bronze guides. It snapped the crank in '96 due to a bad welded journal after maybe 250 miles on the rebuild and sat until 2017 when I bought it. He had 2 4.1's, one was complete with the snapped crank and one was a short block that was rusty missing heads. I stuffed the good short block crank in the complete long block along with a basic dingleball rebuild and a set of comp 980 valve springs and bolted a stock LC2 setup on. Hyper pistons, 2 dot rods, rolled fillet stock crank, unported heads.
-Stock turbo & downpipe, stock intercooler, LS coil conversion, LT1 MAF & translator, l67 injectors. Basically every factory EFI related module was bad and the upgrades are simply to make the engine run. I bought a complete LC2 setup from a widow of someone who parted out Turbo Buicks and stuff sat for 15 years in totes.
-Engine is strong and makes good oil pressure. 115-130psi compression on all cylinders
-The engine uses a bit of oil. I think the turbo seal is shot based on oil film in the up pipe. It huffs smoke on startup when warm but the valve guides were good and it has new seals so I'm thinking turbo.
-Trans, 2004r, desperately needs a rebuild. It wont WOT 1-2 shift. It is a stock 80k mile unit out of my GP 2+2 that I swapped for my LS/t56 setup I put in the car. Plan to put an Extreme Automatics rebuild parts into it.

What I plan to do
-Since the turbo seal is presumably shot I need some replacement. I am thinking TE44 ish but am open to suggestions. It spools fast since it is a big 4.1.
-Trans needs a 'stage 1/2' rebuild and converter.
-Either MS3 PNP or Dynamic EFI flashable ECM conversion. I am getting out of the 1995 era chip game. LS stuff has spoiled me, I want to flash tune updates on the go and have wideband O2 capability.
-60lb injectors (left over from my LS stuff) as the l67 injectors are going to be too small for E85

What I am keeping as is
-Stock manifolds
-Stock intercooler
-Stock intake
-Stock engine hardware

What I am wondering.
-I am thinking about $1500 in updates is my goal for a turbo, cam, or whatever else. Trans rebuild and better ECM management and whatever upgrades to get the EFI swap in my carb cutlass is outside of that budget.
-Is a roller cam upgrade a good idea or keep the questionable Erson in it? $1000 for a new roller is out of the budget but a good used one is an option? I either have one of these cams now.
E670131 0.423/0.423 274.0/274.0
E670101 0.423/0.423 280.0/280.0
-What turbo is a good option for 2020? TE stuff is dated and Chyna stuff is cheap and acceptable quality these days but takes some effort to adapt. I am OK going to a 4 bolt flange and non stock appearing. I have a good stock 'core' so is it best just to do an upgrade with what I have with a bigger wheel? I am cool doing some fab work.

I don't want to spend money that is going to put me deep into the 11's or 10's or hurt streetability.

Where I am sitting now
1607356674675.png


What came out of the wagon and is going into the Olds
1607360958163.png


Thanks!
 

MNcarbturbo

What's Fuel Injection?
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
I guess I also should mention

I only ever made it to the track in the wagon once. I couldn't brake boost since the stock brakes were worn, I blew past the 1-2 shift since the trans was wasted and the coil blew up on the 2nd pass. Didn't get a clean pass in the car ever and it needed $1500 of chassis work and a trans rebuild to actually work at the track. Spent the summer of 19 troubleshooting stock coils and solving a stuck injector issue. All the tracks were closed for most of '20 due to Rona and didn't make it out since I focused on getting my LS 2+2 lined out at the track when they did open this fall.

Sold the wagon as a roller so although I know the 4.1 setup that is coming out is a decent runner all I have is my butt dyno to say so.
1607363031381.png

First and only pass the thing ever made
1607363041809.png
 

SCOOBY DOO

I'M NOT A MONSTER, I'M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE!!!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Fast forward to 2020. Turbotweak chip and Powerlogger is all you need. I ran the 5.7 but you can run 6.1 with WB tracking. 6262 turbo and a GOOD convertor. Tuning is everything. Happy spooling. :)
 

TireFryer

Now I know how clouds are made...
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Knows his stuff ^^^ 6.1 chip is an amazing chip ( I’m running it) and the right converter is the most important piece to a fast car like Scooby said
 

SCOOBY DOO

I'M NOT A MONSTER, I'M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE!!!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
If you're gonna go E85 , then I want you to contact Eric from Turbotweak in regards to the size of fuel lines and fuel pump and size of injectors. I ran out of injector on my 6.7 at 105 run with RACE GAS. I went to 80's in case I wanted to ever go faster. Eric checks in here once a day. PM him at Eric Stage 1. What convertor do you plan on running?
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
Joined
Sep 10, 2002
My first question is how far in the hole are the pistons you are using? Zero deck is your friend.
Do you plan on a flat tappet cam or is there room in your $1500 (probably half of it) for a roller cam setup? I'd stay flat tappet but a roller sure removes a lot of variables. I'd do a larger deal like that 212/212 or 218/218 with the extra cubes. Or just do that erson you have. Boost makes everything work better.
There is also a lot of room for improvement with that stock ic but that is expensive too.
Also an ecugn and fuel system for the e85 will go a long way to getting dialed in. The logging alone is very nice.
I'd go pretty big on the fuel stuff. Should be able to get by with -8 feed and -6 return. This hellcat pump looks cool or some type of dual hanger setup. E85 makes for a thirsty unit. Needs a lot more volume than gasoline.
Lots of options out there and I'm sure no shortage of opinions.
 

MNcarbturbo

What's Fuel Injection?
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
New -6 AN feed, stock carbed feed line as return, and a Walbro 450 in tank is my fuel strategy. I am at 550hp with my blown Lq4 in my 2+2 with the same setup and sufficient fuel pressure. I am sticking around the 450hp range here so I don't see issues. 60lb injectors at ~60 psi (4bar) pressure so like 68lb effective. I have a carb fuel system in the car now so it's getting new stuff anyways. I have 60lb in my mid 12 second l67 car on e85 with a 255 walbro and was just starting to loose fuel pressure at the top end which I think is pump related (plus it's not boost referenced but thats another story).

Converter plan is to call up Extreme Automatics and order what his suggestion is for stall. Likely 3400 lockup. I don't have a BRF trans and he offers a valvebody conversion using the v8 valvebody I have so I am going to go with his parts because of it and rebuild the trans at home.

My motivation do go Dynamic or MS3 PNP ECM is that I want to run E85 at the track and 91 low boost for cruising/street. MS3 pro can do flex which I have on my stock ECM LS car and it's awesome. Dynamic can't input flex content, but I can fake out the injector flow rates based on the stoich and just flash a different tune at the gas station to adapt, which is what I did with my l67 swap firebird (just kept the laptop in the back seat). I will run a GM flex content sensor that will display content on the dash if I go Dynamic and have 2-3 tunes for different content depending on the station. I am leaning towards the Dynamic board upgrade because its 1/3 the price as MS3 PNP, but MS3 has a lot of user support and a lot more features, just cost vs benefits and the cost of Dynamic outweighs the benefits of the MS3 software.

I've done 3 cars with flashability in the ECM and going to chip was hard for me to get my mind around when I put this engine together for my wagon. It felt like I was tied up and the control was out of my hands. Unless I am totally out of touch with more modern chip tech (I probably am). Don't chips need to be sent out and reflashed for timing and fuel adjustments every time? Switching between an E85 and a 91 chips is $300 alone, plus a few hundred for a PL, so it's close to just being equivalent to go Dynamic or MS3 based on how I plan to use my car.

I like the roller because it removes the worry of wiping a cam for sure. However I'm split of opening the engine that has no issues and just trying the erson that is in it. It's a big expense unless I find a used one which Im not opposed to.

Regardless the turbo I have needs replaced from the seal, and the 90's era chip I have now in it needs replaced (I just got a mild 'street' $30 chip of the classifieds here because it was 42lb and I just cranked the fuel pressure on the l67 injectors to match 42lbers) since the stock injectors were too small for the 4.1 and kinda rusty looking.

Thanks for the input. My brain is stuck in LS/3800 engine management world from my last few years and trying to work through some of the institutional inertia of what I know vs Turbo Buick world :)
 

MNcarbturbo

What's Fuel Injection?
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
:)

Nothing is cheap, trying to be reasonable.

$1500 for mechanical bolt ons/ins

Fuel system to get the swap in, trans and engine management don't count.
 

Pronto

You can't knock them up with spit.
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
I don't see an intercooler listed. You are converting from blow through to 86-7 intercooled right?
 

MNcarbturbo

What's Fuel Injection?
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
I don't see an intercooler listed. You are converting from blow through to 86-7 intercooled right?

Already got the stock 86/87 cooler.

I'm pulling the complete 3.8 drawthrough in car and replacing it with the complete running 4.1 86/87 setup. Two totally separate set-ups.
 

SCOOBY DOO

I'M NOT A MONSTER, I'M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE!!!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
3400 is to tight for a 6262. Low gear tuning varies how far a convertor will 'flash' with these cars. Thinking NA will get you in all kinds of trouble. ;) I ran a 'tight' AC 16930...but I could get it to 'flash' almost anywhere I wanted it to via low gear tuning.
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
:)

Nothing is cheap, trying to be reasonable.

$1500 for mechanical bolt ons/ins

Fuel system to get the swap in, trans and engine management don't count.
for mid 11s,easy.put a 44 on it and a single nozzle kit from alkycontrol.sell your stock turbo to offset.dont go through all that bullshit of flashtunes,when you can run the same tune with methanol and 93 all the time.with e85 everything needs to be bigger so you are rebuying everything all over again.the 5.7 runs off the stock computer and you can adjust timing and fuel yourself,or the 6.1 will do wideband tracking.
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
I like the roller because it removes the worry of wiping a cam for sure. However I'm split of opening the engine that has no issues and just trying the erson that is in it. It's a big expense unless I find a used one which Im not opposed to.
a small roller with the right spring pressures when your ready to swap the cam out.its not needed for mid 11s.ive been 10s on the stock cam before,but the lobes on the stock cam wears out over time like all things but with higher pressures it wears out faster.the roller is safer.
 

V6sleeper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
After doing my own similar swap in a wagon also with an intended budget at the time with having the extra lc2 already, honestly to get it right/trouble free with all the right over built parts (rear,trans,converter,turbo,fuel system,suspension) and some what bullet proof to run 11s the budget more then tripled , $1500 didn't make the first week so yes not cheap.

Car was 250 pounds lighter then my Gn even though it was a wagon.
 

MNcarbturbo

What's Fuel Injection?
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Thanks for the comment on the intercooler. I assumed it was large enough to go into the 10's. I will keep a look out for a stretched one or maybe just go front mount. I'll see what it runs

Cutlass already has an aluminum bumper support and aluminum core support. Also have an aluminum hood that will go on. Car does have power seat and windows but won't be a porker.

I can see a 3400 being tight for a 3.8 with a ~60mm turbo, but even with a 4.1? I'll admit that needs more research. Still flexible. The stock turbo lights instantly with the 4.1 and just annihilates the 1-2 shift. The band was NOT happy lol.

The one thing I am not flexible on is upgrading the ECM. I do industrial instrumentation for my job and data is everything. I need more inputs. I need to control the tune. I know not doing it works for many people but it's just not my game.

Rear in the cutlass needs to be addressed since its a 7.5" I built when I originally redid the car in HS. Already have all the parts minus axles to build another 30 spline 8.5 like I have in my 2+2 so no worries there.
1607456891999.png
 

SCOOBY DOO

I'M NOT A MONSTER, I'M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE!!!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
My bad. A 3400 is to LOOSE for a 60 MM. Didn't read my reply when I posted.
 
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