Bought '86 GN last year, learning but somebody been in it already

Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
OK so mainly would like some input on where to proceed on engine of an '86 I bought last year. Only thing is the deeper I look it seems as though someone has already beat me to it.
***WARNING:SUPER long story in this post, if you don't care to read it start at next post***

So here is the story from beginning

I have a couple friends that are die hard for guys (I know... keep better company but hey they are good friends lol)

well one of them buys what he was told was a 60k mile GN and that previous owner put alot of money into it but since has been parked for many years.

other than it having engine maintenance and trans rebuilt before parked what happened was previous owner put too much money into it and didn't ever work right and was tired of throwing cash at it so parked it, then finally sold it to my buddy.

My friend gets it after its been parked and gets to work on it....
new tank, new fuel pump assembly (340lph), flush fuel, new fuel filter, hotwire fuel pump, f-body radiator, stainless water neck and new t-stat, oil change and oil cooler...
....still doesn't run quite right but shift are quick and firmer than anything I drive, have to floor board it to get rolling and about 20mph comes on FAST and 2nd gear shift it violent and gets moving

at this point my ford friend is selling one of his lightnings to fund his mustang race car, I pursued him to keep lightning and make him better offer on GN.

Now GN has a home with other GM family.

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So as soon as I get it I get to work.

vacuum lines are garbage, fix all lines and replace with turbosmart line and ziptied... already idles better ;)

also found out that fan resistor was bad, bypassed for hi when it comes on and holds temp good but will still get near 200-205 with a 180* t-stat.
I noticed when changing oil that car had a blue oil pan gasket that was totally squished out and leaking like crazy and plan was to just pull under car when I get engine running right....

So still have issue that have to floor board car WOT to get barely moving then around 20mph comes to life...parts ordering begins.
get RJC boost control, setup "tuner style" at 15psi, RJC pcv valve, billet vacuum block, turbosmart boost gauge, new taylor wires and new plugs while I'm there.
Same thing...

Everything running good but leaking oil like crazy and taking wat too long to build boost.... this is where things start to snowball :eek:
Figure it could be issues with something hasn't been replaced yet possibly due to age (it wasn't)
So I order:
Scan master G and powerlogger and find that MAF signal all over place
2 used good working OE MAF and a Tinman cold air kit, MAF looks way better... 0 knock/good fuel-still have no power til 20mph
Now I order:
RJC 3" down pipe
RJC cat delete
RJC 3" crossflow exhaust
RJC power plate
Turbo tweak 6.1 combo with 60#injectors
innovate wideband

When installing 3" downpipe i could not get it to fit even after multiple calls to RJC, the then have me send them pictures.... enter the experts :cool:
The reason that the downpipe does not fit is because what my car has is not stock, and also could be reason I'm not building boost right but I didn't know as much as guys over at RJC.

What I have is hooker headers that go to a hooker y-pipe (guessing what would be used on a non-turbo 3.8), that goes to a 180* turn and comes back up to turbo... no wonder the downpipe couldn't go in :mad:

Now things get crazy.... I decided to go with stainless TA headers and crossover, precision 6262, precision SLIC, PTC converter and going to pull engine for maintenance and sealing up leaks.

I test fit downpipe and have o2 bung welded in for wideband and then pull engine.

I also ordered:
all gaskets RJC sells, RJC rocker supports, comp valvesprings, TA 9-key silent timing set, Melling roller cam button, Flow-cooler water pump

I pull engine and seems as though someone has been in here before.... (TOLD you that you couldve skipped this post)
 

Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
OK so if you skipped last post, did alot of troubleshooting and decided with all that needed to be done I am better off pulling engine (engine seems good just leaks like a sieve and will be getting many parts replaced around it.
(TA headers and crossover, precision 6262, precision SLIC, RJC downpipe/cat delete/crossflow exhaust, Comp spring, TA timing set, melling CAM button)

all good there but looks like someone has been in engine
even if car really has 60k mile I think the engine is still too clean, plus I'm pretty sure those valve springs looked just like the new comp ones I have just bought
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very clean and can also double timing set and roller cam button
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Pistons say "buick" on them and look newer and can even see crosshatch from honing
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plus the intake seems to be powder coated and does the OE water pump impeller look like that?
Still plan to use flow-cooler water pump that I bought.
IMG_2437.JPEG


I also think that this engine may have ported heads
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exhaust side
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Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
more pics
IMG_2433.JPEG


oil pump
IMG_2436.JPEG


found what looks like shredded cotton rope in oil pump pickup screen
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and then the oil looked good when changing it but I found this oil "booger" in oil pan (engine had been on stand for 5-6 months
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SO should I don't mind buying parts if it will make a difference but also don't want to try and replace what isn't broke, SO should I replace oil pump gears?
what about timing set?
what about valves springs?
 

TireFryer

The New Kid
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Call Steve V's automotive. stevevautomotive@gmail.com

He will take your front cover and blueprint, port, and completely rebuild the oil pump and add a pressure booster plate. I He did my front cover and i have 75 cold psi and 27 psi hot at idle with instant pressure rise. He also rebuilt my cam sensor. Knows his stuff. As for valve springs, i went with a 92 pound installed pressure spring. Much more on a flat tappet cam and you're going to flatten the lobes.
 

Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Call Steve V's automotive. stevevautomotive@gmail.com

He will take your front cover and blueprint, port, and completely rebuild the oil pump and add a pressure booster plate. I He did my front cover and i have 75 cold psi and 27 psi hot at idle with instant pressure rise. He also rebuilt my cam sensor. Knows his stuff. As for valve springs, i went with a 92 pound installed pressure spring. Much more on a flat tappet cam and you're going to flatten the lobes.
I have spoke with Steve V before on some other items and I know he is pretty booked up, but it seems as though my oil pump has already been modified by the looks of it.

I would get about 20psi hot at idle but don't remember cold or max psi.

If it looks as though I NEED to send it off to have someone to rebuild it all I might have to send it to him, but I know he is a busy guy and was hoping it would be something reasonable easy.

I'll pull of the plate and see if I can get better pics of modifications already done
 

scgnx2

Active Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
You do have a lot going on here. Your timing set is an aftermarket double roller, can’t tell who’s. But you should not use a chain tensioner with those.
Lots of debris on the oil pickup. Have you checked the camshaft? Flat tappers lifters require oil with higher levels of zinc to prevent damaging the cam. Most of the Turbo v6 engine rebuilders will use roller lifters and a roller cam to avoid potential problems.
Lots of knowledge on this board so use the search button too.
 

TireFryer

The New Kid
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Gotta run zddp additive in modern oils, or Valvoline vr1 racing oil has 1300 ppm zddp already in it. If you don’t here’s what your cam looks like. Cupped lifters and flat lobes.
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Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
You do have a lot going on here. Your timing set is an aftermarket double roller, can’t tell who’s. But you should not use a chain tensioner with those.
Lots of debris on the oil pickup. Have you checked the camshaft? Flat tappers lifters require oil with higher levels of zinc to prevent damaging the cam. Most of the Turbo v6 engine rebuilders will use roller lifters and a roller cam to avoid potential problems.
Lots of knowledge on this board so use the search button too.
yes I sure do, I haven't gotten to cam yet as I am not trying to tear down further then I have to.
on oil yes it has had zinc the last 2 times its been changed.

So it is better to go ahead and use the ta timing chain (silent 9-key) I bought rather that the double?

I was actually planning to do a roller 206/206 but alot of people I've spoken to have told me its best to leave stock cam since my goals are low 11's at best.

I still would prefer run a roller cam but it may take a while as budget is a little low right now- good thing I'm not in a hurry :)

Gotta run zddp additive in modern oils, or Valvoline vr1 racing oil has 1300 ppm zddp already in it. If you don’t here’s what your cam looks like. Cupped lifters and flat lobes.
As for cam I do not see any cupping or any damage at all when turning over engine, it all looks surprisingly new other then that debris in pickup and oil "booger"

This engine other that no building boost quickly ran well and did not have any other issues while I drove it for about 2 months.

I just want to do things right so it will be quick and last.
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
Joined
Sep 10, 2002
I hope you have some deep pockets or a real desire to learn and do some wrenching. These cars aren't too hard but do require the "right" stuff.
Lots of knowledgeable people in here to answer questions. Ask away.
 

scgnx2

Active Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
I’m not familiar with the TA timing setup, But I have ran and run double rollers on two builds for decades without issue. Just don’t use a tensioner as it gets chewed up from the chain. Your off lag is probably caused by too big of a turbo and the wrong torque converter..if your going to a 6262 turbo which is an excellent choice, you should see what torque converter you have. Having the right torque converter to match the turbo is what many get wrong.
 

Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
I hope you have some deep pockets or a real desire to learn and do some wrenching. These cars aren't too hard but do require the "right" stuff.
Lots of knowledgeable people in here to answer questions. Ask away.
well I have a ton of experience with SBC/BBC engines as well as handful of boosted toyotas
The buick v6 is pretty new to me and prefer to get knowledge from others with experience rather then ASSume I know something, hence the asking ;)
Are you from texas also? I am from west texas area

I’m not familiar with the TA timing setup, But I have ran and run double rollers on two builds for decades without issue. Just don’t use a tensioner as it gets chewed up from the chain. Your off lag is probably caused by too big of a turbo and the wrong torque converter..if your going to a 6262 turbo which is an excellent choice, you should see what torque converter you have. Having the right torque converter to match the turbo is what many get wrong.
The TA timing set is what I was recommended by Hartline as well as TA themselves so should be good, I just didn't want to pull out a double if it was a better choice- no need to fix if it aint broken lol

Not building boost was due to the headers and poorly done y-pipe and 180* turn to back up to turbo location, plus could tell was leaking pre-turbo.

precision 6262 was spec'd and bought through hartline along with the precision SLIC.
Hartline also had Dusty at PTC spec the converter they said would match.
 

Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
As for oil system I will clean and inspect pickup tube
For oil pump I did some searching and have read earl brown mods and I believe some are done as well as the write-up on vortex site, but simplest seems to be what I read from another post using search function (y)

I plan to get:
TA performance Oil pump shim kit TA-1704
TA performance Adjustable regulator TA 1502--- I know this is only for high RPM oil psi limit but seems helpful

Speed Pro Oil pump wear plate 224-518TP ---this looks like the plate already installed but might as well use new since it is scuffed
Oil pump kit K20I Melling-------why mess with used gears for the price
***Also a MAHLE Original 601-1967 or Sealed Power 22451382 rebuild kits with wear plate included, but haven't seen them mentioned here, anyone have recommendation or preferance between those?


Using method below plan is to shoot for End Clearance 0.002-0.006" once torqued down to 97 in.lb.
I read that side clearance should should be (Drive Gear) 0.003-.005" (same for Idler Gear), but guess since i cant machine anything I will just have to get lucky or buy a few kits to mix and match.

you will need to purchase

TA's oil gasket kit, it has various thickness gaskets.
assemble the gears (with the cover on the bench) using a gasket ( makes no difference what thickness) torque the cover to proper specs, and use a dial indicator thru cam sensor hole to measure up and down movement, that will be the end clearance!, change gaskets to achieve the proper clearance.
BUT.... you must have a flat cover and oil pump housing, if need be 400 grit sandpaper on piece of glass to surface them flat.
its worth it , and you can say you did it yourself.
 

Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
So moving along pretty well

Cleaned up oil pump parts and they all look pretty good; although plan is to still get new gears and gaskets,then open up feed holes as per earl brown mods.
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In above picture can see some grinding/smoothing done on lower adapter, can see where it lines up to wear/booster plate here
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also the timing cover has some grinding(or rough casting) in middle hole, can see it here
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One other thing I found is the source of debris in oil pickup (nothing inside pickup tube itself only on screen)
remember I said it looked like cotton rope or string.... well the front cam seal had same material
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also timing chain has KB 3128 which I believe is a comp cams 3128 double roller and YES it was eating the tensioner.
so need to order a new tensioner and will be using the TA silent 9-key timing set that I already have.
IMG_2463.JPEG


I still haven't pulled cam out but it looks good and assuming stock so far
 

TireFryer

The New Kid
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
I have a ta silent roller timing set. No tensioner. I love it. 15k miles since installed and hardly any chain stretch.
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Daniel454SS

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
found this also so I am guessing that what I have is a kenne bell booster plate judging by the grinding done to filter adapter
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just a thought but would it be better to just go with TA performance oil pump assembly?
what really intrigues me is the "It is not uncommon for the TA 1533 assembly to produce 30+ psi at idle, again while REDUCING the loads on the camshaft."

sounds like a win/win if its a simple bolt-in and go
 

750H.P.V6

Brutal 6 Racing
Joined
Sep 4, 2001
Since you've got the engine on a stand and it appears to be an unknown quantity, I'd suggest you take a look at the rod and main bearings at the very least. Personally I'd blow it all apart and give it a good look over. If the major stuff looks to be in good order I'd clean it up and put it back together. At least you will have answered your own questions in regard to condition and know what you're dealing with.

Neal
 

Pronto

You can't knock them up with spit.
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
I agree. Your heads are ported. I would have them cleaned and looked at. If you go roller rockers the pedestals will need to modded so that's the time to do that. Looks like a stock bottom end, rods and pistons. They should be cleaned and inspected since you have the engine out. It all depends on your goals and how much you plan to spend. Don't forget the Buick factor, take the money you plan to spend and double it.
 
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