Bother the mechanic….

Lilhotrod

New Member
I agree with the other posters. Doing or learning how to do as much work on the car yourself is the best option. However, I can relate to your situation. So assuming (dangerous word) your mechanic is as good with turbo Buicks as you have been led to believe, I’d sit tight and wait as much as that would suck. If he’s as good as advertised I would expect to have to wait. My personal experience with good older mechanics is they may not necessarily do well with the whole communication thing but when you want shit done right, that’s where they shine. Not saying that’s the case here, just stating my experiences. I would still make that 45min drive to see what’s up though but that’s just me.

The longer term goal would be to dig in and do the simple stuff on your own (like installing a scanmaster and chip) and branch out from there as your confidence grows. Sounds like your car sat for years. Unless you’re very lucky it’s going to need more attention even after the head gaskets are fixed. Learning to tackle the simple stuff on your own is gratifying in itself and likely to keep your interest in the car longer than if you had to farm out the work every time it needed something done. Not to mention how proud your dad would be :)

My worry would be the complexity of your car. Seems like it may be well modified and have some one-off stuff on it that many might not be familiar with and that could impact how much useful help you get from this board. I’d try and simplify if possible and maybe take some of that stuff out unless you understand how they work. Just my useless 2 cents… Good luck either way.
I have been doing the simple stuff- repairs, maintenance, oil changes, etc. With the mods my dad did the simple stuff always takes 2-3x as long, lol. He spray painted the fuel filter black so it was literally painted into the fuel line. Looked great but was a beast to get off. And the battery has so many attachments I could barely get the bolts back in. So yes it definitely needs some simplifying, but then I don’t want to undo the work my dad put into it. Everyone seems to be criticizing me but I am learning, just slowly and doing something like head gaskets isn’t something I am not comfortable jumping into yet. Not saying I won’t ever, but I’m not there yet.
 

626gn

Well-Known Member
I have been doing the simple stuff- repairs, maintenance, oil changes, etc. With the mods my dad did the simple stuff always takes 2-3x as long, lol. He spray painted the fuel filter black so it was literally painted into the fuel line. Looked great but was a beast to get off. And the battery has so many attachments I could barely get the bolts back in. So yes it definitely needs some simplifying, but then I don’t want to undo the work my dad put into it. Everyone seems to be criticizing me but I am learning, just slowly and doing something like head gaskets isn’t something I am not comfortable jumping into yet. Not saying I won’t ever, but I’m not there yet.
I understand, and I hope I didn't come across as critical of you. That was not my intent at all...

As far as not wanting to undo some of the work your dad did, I get it, that's part of what makes your car special to you. I was just trying to say it might be difficult for others to help you (if you need their help) if they don't understand what some of the one-off parts are and what they do. What if a failure of one of yours dad's modifications were a contributor to the head gasket blowing and you end up blowing head gaskets again because if it? I may just be shooting in the dark here because I know nothing of the parts on the car but it's a valid question I would think. It's one thing to fix the head gaskets but you should also find out why they blew in the first place. Anyways, I think you're on the right path having a knowledgeable person work on your car to get it running again then from there you can work on it and learn your car on your own time and pace. I wish you the best going forward.
 

'87 Turbo "T"

What a shitshow!
Don't get discouraged. None of us came into this game knowing everything about these fickle cars. I'm a couple years in & learning a lot. Working on learning tuning now.

I'm pretty mechanically savvy so I have that going for me. I had never replaced head gaskets myself. However other than taking things off of the motor, cleaning well, & remembering how everything goes back together head gaskets are a pretty simple repair all in all. Scanmaster is super easy to install. Chip also any dummy can do it. I DID! Rear brakes, just take a picture before you start & put them back together to match your pictures & adjust.

Sometimes these cars can be bastards. Mechanically for not so much, electrically sure, & from a troubleshooting point sure. Just take your time & learn as much as you can as you go.
 

'87 Turbo "T"

What a shitshow!
No disrespect but man that mechanic is slow as it's been over two weeks since you last gave us an update & it's still not done? I understand good work takes time, however it's not like he had to pull the motor & tear it down. Hopefully he does bang up work cause if it were me. I'd be going somewhere else.

Me not doing headgaskets ever it maybe took me to weekends working on it one day a weekend. The other items take half a day. MAYBE.
 

'87 Turbo "T"

What a shitshow!
Hopefully you have a boost gauge & fuel pressure gauge that way you can see what boost you're running, that your fuel pump is rising 1:1 with boost, & that you have correct fuel pressure. That's a start to making sure you keep the new head gaskets in tact. The SM will help you to make sure your O2 is still working correctly, if it's rich/lean, if you're getting any knock(detonation) etc.

As for your brother he can piss off in regards to the car. Maybe he's jealous you got it, who knows? You're learning, you have a great resource here, & hopefully in the end you won't need his help anyway. With your furthering of learning & confidence level going up you can save money on labor at least and be able to have fun with the car & if you break it, you can fix it.
 

Lilhotrod

New Member
Hopefully you have a boost gauge & fuel pressure gauge that way you can see what boost you're running, that your fuel pump is rising 1:1 with boost, & that you have correct fuel pressure. That's a start to making sure you keep the new head gaskets in tact. The SM will help you to make sure your O2 is still working correctly, if it's rich/lean, if you're getting any knock(detonation) etc.

As for your brother he can piss off in regards to the car. Maybe he's jealous you got it, who knows? You're learning, you have a great resource here, & hopefully in the end you won't need his help anyway. With your furthering of learning & confidence level going up you can save money on labor at least and be able to have fun with the car & if you break it, you can fix it.
Got a boost gauge, fuel pressure gauge is actually on the motor so not much good while I am driving. As far as the mechanic being slow, yes he is, but everybody around here is majorly backed up right now, and after talking to others, parts are super hard to get too, which slows things down as well. Which brings me to the next slown down- the gasket set he needs is out of stock from the manufacturer and they don’t know when it will be available. My luck.
 

'87 Turbo "T"

What a shitshow!
Got a boost gauge, fuel pressure gauge is actually on the motor so not much good while I am driving. As far as the mechanic being slow, yes he is, but everybody around here is majorly backed up right now, and after talking to others, parts are super hard to get too, which slows things down as well. Which brings me to the next slown down- the gasket set he needs is out of stock from the manufacturer and they don’t know when it will be available. My luck.
Gotcha.

He’s had a month & a half to order the head gaskets. I also found the Fel-Pro 9441’s I stock today. Unless he’s looking for the Victor-Reinz or a special head gasket. Not sure they make the Victor-Reinz anymore.

Just trying to help ya. I hate being at the mercy of other mechanics.
 

Lilhotrod

New Member
Gotcha.

He’s had a month & a half to order the head gaskets. I also found the Fel-Pro 9441’s I stock today. Unless he’s looking for the Victor-Reinz or a special head gasket. Not sure they make the Victor-Reinz anymore.

Just trying to help ya. I hate being at the mercy of other mechanics.
I had warned him that the heads had been replaced with GN1 heads and they were Oring heads. The ones he needs are Mehle, and I have actively been searching as well to find them. Anything to save time. One shop called the manufacturer and they don’t know when they will have them.
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
I had warned him that the heads had been replaced with GN1 heads and they were Oring heads. The ones he needs are Mehle, and I have actively been searching as well to find them. Anything to save time. One shop called the manufacturer and they don’t know when they will have them.
It's not about the warning.
Parts aren't being made/shipped.
Hopefully you can source what you need but parts are hard to come by.
Might be a while before he gets on it because of that fact.
If the job gets done right you will be happy.
 

Lilhotrod

New Member
It's not about the warning.
Parts aren't being made/shipped.
Hopefully you can source what you need but parts are hard to come by.
Might be a while before he gets on it because of that fact.
If the job gets done right you will be happy.
Fortunately he found some GM that will work, and they will be here next week. It is what the car already had on it so works for me. :) He still has a few other tasks to do once it is running so I give it at least another couple of weeks. My timeline was 3 months so it is still within my expectations. I have never had something turned around quickly- wrecked a 70 Monte Carlo and it took the guy 6 months to get it going. So I have never expected fast service with shops.
 

TurboTGuy

Gray Beard Member
I have a customer who's BMW got T boned and has been in our body shop since November. We JUST got the MAIN part we need for the repair from Germany yesterday.

YESTERDAY!!

We still have some small stuff we need, but at least we can get to work on it.

Thanks Pete and Joe!!!
FJB
FPB
 
Top