Maximizing performance on a stock 87 3.8 with a PTE53 turbo

70GS_87GN

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Hi guys,

I’ve been a member for a while but haven’t been too active. I initially started a thread on my wrecked ‘87 GN I bought in 2014 with 37,000 miles on it. The car was hit hard in the right front. My dad and I put it back together with a donor GN frame and had it back on the road in May of 2015. Since then, I literally haven’t done anything to the car other than drive it, and a water pump last spring. It’s been dead reliable and has just under 47K on it now. This past summer, it developed a pretty significant oil leak from the rear main, so I decided to pull the engine. While I have it out, I would like to get it more dialed in. The car has always run well, but it feels like a mid-high 14 second car from the seat dyno.

It is dead stock outside of the PTE 53 turbo that was installed in 2002, right before its accident. This turbo is obviously too large for the rest of the setup, but I’m not really in a position to swap it at this time.

I confirmed it has its stock ACXA chip. I plan on ordering a TT chip, along with the standard Hotwire, fuel pump, and adjustable regulator treatment. I will also be doing a double roller timing chain. The car has always run rich. I think the injectors have been a victim of sitting for 12+ years while wrecked. I honestly have no idea what boost it runs at, my car has a digital dash with the fun idiot lights that are useless. I want to keep the interior stock appearing, but I also don’t want to blow up the numbers drivetrain, so proper gauges will be order. The exhaust is stock and still retains its original ca

This car will never see track time. I’m really looking for advice (or criticism lol) on how to keep it alive and healthy with the current turbo setup and if there is a suggestion on what fuel injectors to buy.

I’ve received great input on this site before and look forward to getting my car back on the road.

thanks,
Lou
 

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70GS_87GN

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Hi guys,

I’ve been a member for a while but haven’t been too active. I initially started a thread on my wrecked ‘87 GN I bought in 2014 with 37,000 miles on it. The car was hit hard in the right front. My dad and I put it back together with a donor GN frame and had it back on the road in May of 2015. Since then, I literally haven’t done anything to the car other than drive it, and a water pump last spring. It’s been dead reliable and has just under 47K on it now. This past summer, it developed a pretty significant oil leak from the rear main, so I decided to pull the engine. While I have it out, I would like to get it more dialed in. The car has always run well, but it feels like a mid-high 14 second car from the seat dyno.

It is dead stock outside of the PTE 53 turbo that was installed in 2002, right before its accident. This turbo is obviously too large for the rest of the setup, but I’m not really in a position to swap it at this time.

I confirmed it has its stock ACXA chip. I plan on ordering a TT chip, along with the standard Hotwire, fuel pump, and adjustable regulator treatment. I will also be doing a double roller timing chain. The car has always run rich. I think the injectors have been a victim of sitting for 12+ years while wrecked. I honestly have no idea what boost it runs at, my car has a digital dash with the fun idiot lights that are useless. I want to keep the interior stock appearing, but I also don’t want to blow up the numbers drivetrain, so proper gauges will be order. The exhaust is stock and still retains its original ca

This car will never see track time. I’m really looking for advice (or criticism lol) on how to keep it alive and healthy with the current turbo setup and if there is a suggestion on what fuel injectors to buy.

I’ve received great input on this site before and look forward to getting my car back on the road.

thanks,
Lou
Tried posting more photos, but need to resize.
 

TireFryer

Now I know how clouds are made...
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Alky if you want more power on pump gas. You NEED to get a scanmaster to monitor knock and afr if you don’t have one already. Do a set of comp 980-12 valve springs and an rjc power plate. Boost and oil psi gauges. Call Steve V and get a BP’d front cover from him if you’re doing a timing chain. Check headers for cracks, and tune it rich(er) so it’ll live and be conservative on the timing. I’d go with turbo tweaks 5.7 chip and matching 60 pound injectors if you’re staying on pump gas. Also get a dw200 or other 255 lph fuel pump. I’m running the 6.1 chip and 80 pound injectors with alky (methanol injection) and a te62 turbo. I love the adjustability in the 6.1 chip but you would probably be fine with a 5.7. Good luck!!
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
This car will never see track time. I’m really looking for advice (or criticism lol) on how to keep it alive and healthy with the current turbo setup and if there is a suggestion on what fuel injectors to buy.
tt chip and injector size 36/42 ,stock turbo 15psi low timing on 93,shift kit in the trans and the fuel stuff you have listed.at 15 psi and low timing it will live forever and you dont have to do mods to support increased power.email eric with your goals as you listed in this thread.keep it stock 15psi with the stock turbo.sell the other turbo and get a stocker.
 

70GS_87GN

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Thanks for the suggestions. Figured sourcing a good stock replacement would be the best solution.
What would be a going rate for a good stock unit? How about my pte53?
 

70GS_87GN

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
You sold it to the wrong guy!

thanks for the help. I was looking at old ads on this forum and it seems like 150-300. Now to find a good one with limited shaft play.

thanks guys. I’m excited to get some more power out of the car and would rather do it right for my needs. Stock turbo, TT chip, fuel system upgrades, and a fresh timing chain should wake the car up and be good for another 50K. I will probably post a wanted ad for a good stocker here in the next couple of weeks.
 

TireFryer

Now I know how clouds are made...
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
I have another one... ran 22 psi on mine before I went to the 62. Has no shaft play and seals and all are good
 

Ed Valvo

Member
Joined
May 25, 2001
That turbo was also called a TE-50 made by John Meyer. PTE-51 by PTE.... High exhaust back pressure and was not as friendly on stock heads like a TE-44/TA-49. Many reported boost control issues like nyself. I ran a second wastegate on the crossover to control boost. LOL
 

70GS_87GN

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
That turbo was also called a TE-50 made by John Meyer. PTE-51 by PTE.... High exhaust back pressure and was not as friendly on stock heads like a TE-44/TA-49. Many reported boost control issues like nyself. I ran a second wastegate on the crossover to control boost. LOL
Thank you, Ed. That’s helpful information! I’m happy I didn’t blow anything up these past 5 years.
 

ttypewhite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2001
If what I am reading is right, the motor is still out getting freshened up? If that's the case and you want to keep the current setup the same. I would get a decent stall converter in there before you slap the motor back in (somewhere around the 9" 3000 range) to match your existing turbo, a decent cold air intake, a 255 Walbro intank pump, Acufab adjustable fuel pressure reg and hotwire kit from Racetronix, a 3" downpipe with a 2.5"Pypes dual exhaust. If money spares, the last thing I would do is a alky kit with the matching TT chip. This would be extremely reliable and double the power your at right now. To give you a example, it would be a low 12sec high 11sec car powerwise with all the comforts and ride characteristics of a stock GN.
 

70GS_87GN

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Thanks for the advice everyone. Have the following parts coming:
Stock turbo
60# Siemens DEKA injectors
TT chip
Walbro FP
Hot wire
Double Roller Timing chain

still need to get a fuel pressure regulator. Appreciate everyone’s help!
 

ITSAV6

It's my Granny's car!
Joined
Nov 13, 2001
I don’t see the need for the 60# if ur going to stock turbo IMHO. U do need valve springs. Have u removed the IC and cleaned it out? Are u selling the PTE53 turbo?
 

70GS_87GN

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Best method for cleaning an intercooler? Flushing it with a cleaner? The old turbo is sitting on my shelf. Not sure if I’m going to sell it yet.
 

TireFryer

Now I know how clouds are made...
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Best method for cleaning an intercooler? Flushing it with a cleaner? The old turbo is sitting on my shelf. Not sure if I’m going to sell it yet.
Use a couple cans of brake cleaner. Spray shake drain repeat. Cleaned my stretch slic right out.
 
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