86 GN - long-term storage first start procedures

Diggle

New Member
Hello all. First post. Just found this forum last week after doing some searches on Turbo Buicks and oil priming (get to that shortly). Sadly, I'm inheriting 2 turbos: an '86 GN and an '87 Turbo T. History: Dad's cars, had a '70 GS Stage 1, and '86 T-Type, both that he sold early 2000s too. Spent many hours helping as a high school-college kid on the cars and car shows. '86 GN went to GSCA '94 show and placed Top 5 Street Machines. So, it has sentimental value and plans are to keep it. I want to say the GN has about 85-100k mi, has the original turbo last I knew, has an aftermarket, dial-adjustable chip, I think aftermarket injectors, I think aftermarket innercooler, and little things here and there like chrome. Car does have a Kirban anti-theft touch/ground system installed and I was able to get it to unlock, since I at least remembered that step. Just trying to figure out where key needs to be on it, as it took a while to respond and finally unlock. Luckily I have a 2nd, unopened one w/ a manual to read. Ok, enough on history lesson.

The '87 T is outside, uncovered, as it has been, and pretty much is fine. Starts np. It will be my in the in-the-light/working car check as needed for the GN.
Now, my purpose for this post: '86 GN was moved last I knew maybe 5-7 years ago (again, a close guess) from a garage to an outdoor, carport canopy covering, which is on the ground, but the car is on PT boards at least. My first goat is to get this car back into a garage about 100' away, before winter really sets in. Since it's on uneven land and turning is required, pushing isn't really an option. In my initial searches in the last week, I came across a couple threads on best advice for starting after a long-term storage. I saw these related threads so far:
Preoiling , rarely started engine and Starting T-Type After LONG Term Storage . I've never tackled this type of procedure before, I'm just coming back to these cars again after at least 15-20 away from them, and want to do this right on this car. My overall experience or more as a hobby and getting as far as changing oil, radiators, shocks, valve covers. I'm the last person to say I'm going to tackle a engine rebuild to give you a position on my experience here.
In my readings so far, here's my thought process on steps to do w/ notes:
1.) Change the oil/filter. Car always received syn oil like Mobile 1 or Castrol and an anti-drainback filter. Should I just put straight conv oil in for this first startup and go back to syn once she's started and moved? I also saw a recommendation to add an oil additive like zddplus due to their tappet cams. Worth doing? Worth doing in the future at each oil change too?
2.) Disconnect orange wire near battery. I believe this is the power to the ECM.Since the battery hasn't been in this until I put one on temporarily to see if I could unlock the anti-theft, I assume all computer memory settings since prior driving are gone, except stock settings w/ the chip and ECM.
3.) Dump the old gas out. Usually had Sunoco 94 installed. I've never done this before and just started looking into best methods to do this. Is there a recommended thread on handling this step? I saw a recommendation of putting in an additive to help with any remaining water or ethanol contaminants.
4.) Disconnect cam sensor. Haven't searched for this yet to see exactly where it is.
5.) Disconnect brown wire near battery. For ECM? To alternator? Don't touch/leave as is?
6.) Pull fuel pump relay wires. Just started looking into this and found this thread link Fuel Pump
7.) Pull spark plug wires from plugs
8.) Perform an oil priming using a tool. I saw a reference to a Moroso #62200. It sounds like I should at least turn the engine by hand once 180 degrees after the first prime and prime again. Is that enough? Confirm oil pressure inside car. What's the number I'm looking for typically?
9.) Reconnect #2, #4, #6, #7 undone previously and attempt first ignition start. Inspect for leaks, smoke, listen for noises not normal. How long should I let this initial start go?

So, does that sound like a good plan of steps and list of steps to get to the first start? I'm not in any immediate rush here, but would like to slowly do what is right to get it from where it is now to the garage before beginning of the year. After I get it to the garage, I can plan the next steps: change coolant system fluids, change tranny oil, change brake fluid, and any other recommendations, some of which I'll have a mechanic do on non-turbo basics. I'm still reading a bit here on this forum and there each week to better understand these cars now that it's mine.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! Sorry for the long post. I haven't seen a sticky on this yet or else maybe I'd review that first.
~Dave
 

TireFryer

I have a slow WH-1
If you’re taking the cam sensor out, get a small block Chevy priming tool and use that to prime the engine. Saves you time and confirms you have oil psi. You’ll feel and hear the drill bog way down. Go read the basics on this website.
Basics also look into a scanmaster gauge. Tells you everything the ecm is seeing and you can get the car running perfect with that. Here’s another thread on what to go through in the car. ( named it this for some reasonNot one single)

Cheers!
 

Jonasterg

Active Member
Are you planning to move it ~100', then deal with a refresh after the winter (before really driving it)? If so, you may be able to skip some of the steps below.

Mine sat for about 2 years recently. I'd change fluids (oil, transmission, radiator) and filters, get all the old gas out, replace fuel filter, put in fresh gas & stabil, make sure there's air in the tires, prime the oil system, then give it a shot.

When I primed the engine, I disconnected the orange ECM wire, removed spark plugs, then cranked it in 10 second intervals. Not sure if that's the best method, but it worked for my car and was easy enough. If other members offer a better method, listen to them. They're far more knowledgeable about these cars.

For the oil you use, it matters exactly as much as you want it to. If you're only moving 100', then planning to do a good spring cleaning next season, I wouldn't worry too much.

Good luck and enjoy the cars! Sorry to hear about your loss.
 

Buick Mark

Active Member
The cam sensor is the small round black cap mounted in the top of the timing cover, same place the distributor is mounted on the 350 Buick (they use the same timing covers)
Remove the two philips screws from the cap, note the position of the window on the reluctor wheel, then remove bolt at the base of the cam sensor, (same as removing a distributor) then lift sensor up and out.
Insert your priming tool, spin it with your drill, as soon as the drill bogs down, STOP, your done, your good to go.
No need to watch oil pressure build, or look for a specific number, your priming the pump, thats all you need to do.
Never mind the fuel injectors, fuel filter, or changing oil.
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Chuck Leeper

Toxic old bastard
Staff member
Insert your priming tool, spin it with your drill, as soon as the drill bogs down, STOP, your done, your good to go.
No need to watch oil pressure build, or look for a specific number, your priming the pump, thats all you need to do.
Disagree....The cam, lifters, rockers, are all "upstream" of the pump, and are no doubt, dry.
I suggest running the drill until there's oil seen thru the fill cap hole.
I also bump the engine over as I do the prime.
 

Diggle

New Member
Hi everyone. Well, I've been doing some reading this weekend as well as follow the replies in this thread. As I read more, I am gaining some confidence that this isn't too bad of a step to tackle - oil priming.
@TireFryer: What priming tool do you use? I saw someone recommend in another thread a Moroso one that I reference the number of and some, such as you, just recommend a SBC one. Does it matter really? It sounds like at a minimum to prime the oil until I feel the resistance as oil is now primed, but do it a little longer until I see it in the oil fill so that the top of the engine is primed well. Should I also turn the engine by hand 180 degs to be sure everything is well oiled, or is that overkill? I know i've seen to each their own too.
@Jonasterg: Yes, the plan is to do the best to get it prepped to start, move it out of the covered, outdoor canopy it's in and 100' or so to the garage. Then, tackle the oil change, coolant change, any other recommended things I feel I can tackle, etc., once I'm in better lighting.
Some of the reading I've done this weekend talked about the Cam Sensor tool you can use when putting the cam sensor back in. I was debating on the Casper "Cam Tool", which just plugs in and tells you when the cap is set right, or the "Cam Sensor Cap" replacement, which seems to do some of the work for you. I was planning on ordering both a cam sensor and priming tool this week to get them here for when I tackle this in the next few weeks.
This past weekend I was at the house doing some other things and wanted to check on the fuel status, and kind of laughed for 2 reasons: 1.) she has 3/4 tank; 2.) I forgot all about the GNX dash from AVC that was installed. Now, I need to see where the paperwork is for the dash change so I can get an idea of mileage I'm looking at overall. Back to #1: I think I saw a fuel pressure gauge looking at me near right side of the plenum, which Is at the tip of the shrader value...Is that correct? I am pretty sure the first thing I need to do now is get this old fuel out by getting a hot lead to the wire on the alternator that runs the fuel pump. I've found a couple threads on the process, but I'm trying to understand how to exactly insert a 3/8" rubber line from the fuel line harness to the external fuel cans I'll use. I think I saw 15 gal is the tank's capacity so I'll need at least 3 5 gal cans.
It hurt a little when I saw some of the rust starting on the chromed MAF pipe, inlet pipe, and alternator. Cosmetics to deal with later.

Thanks for all the advice and direction so far!
 

Chuck Leeper

Toxic old bastard
Staff member
I've found a couple threads on the process, but I'm trying to understand how to exactly insert a 3/8" rubber line from the fuel line harness to the external fuel cans I'll use. I think I saw 15 gal is the tank's capacity so I'll need at least 3 5 gal cans.
Take the gauge off. The Schrader valve, that is originally in the end of the rail, has probably been removed to allow the gauge to work. If it's still there, take it out. Put the 3/8 hose where the gauge was, and clamp it.
Jump the pump.
 

TireFryer

I have a slow WH-1
Look at what scooby said here^^^^^^^^^

Make sure you understand it before taking your cam sensor out. I have the caspers cam cap so I just install it at tdc number 1 cylinder and adjust the cap to the 25 after. I just used a universal sbc priming tool. spun it for 30 seconds, rotated the motor some, ran it for 30 more seconds, put it back and started it for the cam run in. I had the intake off when I did my prime so i could see it come out the pushrods and lifters and also the turbo return. If you prime it with all that on, just take the oil fill cap off and make sure you see oil in the bottom of the head returning back through the head to the lifter valley. See that and you're good to start assuming the rest of the car is ready.

Cheers!
 
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