7 year project is finally running

Turbo Tinkertoy

New Member
After 7 years I have finally got my car to a point of running and driving. This is my first complete build, starting with just a bare body with minimal rust from the desert, finding an original frame, boxing it, installing a heidts super ride front suspension, 94 corvette rear, and a 3.8 turbo Buick enging and 200-4r trans. It's been a long 7 years, but the first ride down the road made it worth it. The electrical system marriage of the comp to a Keep it clean wiring kit has been the biggest challenge. I'm still sorting out wiring/compatibility issues, gauges, runability issues from bad parts, wrong parts, no parts, which part goes here, etc. Finding schematics that are accurate for the 86 GN vin 7 that are user friendly have been a challenge, then finding the missing parts that are correct for this application has been a challenge. I just found this site a month ago and much of what I spent mega hours searching for was right here. My toy is running now. I have about 1200 miles on it already, so I finally tromped on it last week. When the turbo spooled up, HOLY S*** !!!! That thing snapped to life!!! It was a lot more than I expected. It cracked 100+ pretty quick. I haven't weighed the car yet, but it should be around 2000 lbs. Engine mods are minimal, cam, forged pistons, 42 lb inj with TT chip, 12x12x2.5 cooler in stock location, stock turbo, 2.5 exh pipe 3 ft long no muffler. Not sure of HP, but I am happy with the performance so far. It's a fun ride to go cruising in.
Hope the pix turn out. The body is a 1924 Dodge 3 window coupe, all original steel on a 24 Dodge frame boxed, titled as a 1924 Dodge (I found the original ser no. on the body)
 

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trixdout

Active Member
Wow!!! Now THAT is a great swap/build!!!! Good work on finding out what you needed to get her running right. Post a video!!!!
 

Turbo Tinkertoy

New Member
Thanks everyone. Glad you all like it. It's been a long time coming and it's now running. I still have a couple compatability issues to resolve and tuning. I need to change the rear end ratio from the corvette "boat anchor" 2.56 to around 3.1 to 3.5. I see Richmond gear makes some, so this winter I will order one up. This engine seems to really like 2300-2400 for cruising, so I'll try to figure out a ratio to put me there at 75 mph. The comp is having an annoying characteristic of wanting to maintain 800 rpm in drive and when shifting to neutral the rpm's go to 2000+ then slows down to 800. Not sure if it's converter stall too low or possibly the comp needs to see the p/n signal. stock range switch wont work with an American shifter mounted on top of trans. they use their own switch setup. I need to know what kind of signal the comp is looking for, ie 12v or ground. Then I need to get the 3rd/4th gear signal to the comp. the trans is not set up with the correct switches or plug. (tranny shop was unaware of this when they built trans) Then I need to get a different speed sender for the comp, I got the 16 pulse/rev sender and the speedometer reads 20 mph but the comp reads 120 mph. (on power logger) The guy at summet said there are two square wave senders for gm and I picked the more popular one, now I will order the other one. I need to fine tune the suspension on all 4 corners, got a little bump steer going on. My car is still a work in progress with plenty left to do. But at least I can drive it around when the itch gets too strong.
 

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larrym

West Coast Newfy
If the lock up wiring for the converter is giving you grief you can add a non lock up valve to the pump and use a non lock up converter
It's a common practice for guys that race these cars. Sick build :)
 

Turbo Tinkertoy

New Member
I'll take more pics this weekend and post them. Thanks for the tip on the converter. I'm going to try to sort out the wiring for P/N and 3rd/4th gear and change the speed sender to a 4 pulse/rev to see if that takes care of the problem with idle in gear to neutral shift. But if it persists after all signals are present and correct, then a higher stall converter will be installed. What is the normal idle speed in drive? My comp command is for 800, so when I drop it in drive the idle drops to 700 and starts ramping up. I even hear the turbo spooling some and it goes to 800. Gotta keep my foot on the brake pretty hard at a traffic light. Does anyone keep track of MPG's? I'm at 17-18 running 75-80 on the interstate in the mountains, and 4400 ft elevation. It would probably go up some if I wouldn't mash the pedal when I take off, BUT I CAN'T HELP IT !!!! IT'S SO MUCH FUN AND I LOVE IT !!!!!! The sound of the turbo spooling with the open exh is just awesome.
 

Chuck Leeper

Toxic old bastard
Staff member
NICE hotrod!
Take some data logs w/ the PL, and post them up. Someone may spot something.
On the gears... At 2000#, a 3.08 would be a nice cruze gear. Once you have the trans sorted, and lockup working right, you may find you like it.
Idle issues: What chip are you using?
 

Turbo Tinkertoy

New Member
I have only used the PL to monitor things. I haven't tried to record yet. Gotta play with it to learn how to use all the features. I also want to get a map and fuel psi signal into the PL. That would be real helpful in reading what is going on. I have a map sensor, just have to wire it in, still need to locate a fuel psi sender and wire it in too. I'm running a TT chip with 42 lb injectors from eric. I have only played with turning closed loop idle on and off, but the fast idle stays the same. I'm going to try to get the P/N signal to the comp next. I just need to find out if it needs a 12v sig or gnd sig from switch. I'm not sure if it will change anything, but the wire comes out of the comp for a reason. I learned a long time ago, to find a specific problem, fix the obvious and hook everything up according to factory specs, then rerun the diagnostics. It's amazing how sometimes the real problem is just simple and basic. This is the first 3.8 turbo system I have worked on, so I do not know the logic on how this system operates, yet. This site has a lot of resources available to the members that I spent mega hours searching for through All Data program and asking questions from many people. Then I found this site. Sounds like there are many people on here that know this system in great detail. I am amazed at how some of these GN's are performing. Thanks for the compliments and tips. Keep them coming. After I get the bugs ironed out I've got some tuning to do.
 

Turbo Tinkertoy

New Member
Thank you. It is a lot of fun to drive. I took it to the local car show at the local Vet's center last week end. That was the first show for this car. Received Veterans home choice award.
 

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