New Member Hello & Build Advice

TurboPhreak

New Member
Hi everyone from Canada, I have been a member of TurboBuick.com for a very long time but have not posted as I haven't owned on until now. I grew up in an all Buick family and kept the tradition running strong by buying a 70 Skylark at the age of 16. Fast forward 13 years and the car is still undergoing major surgery and will be a Pro-Touring inspired GSX once completed.

After many years of attending the GS nationals I always dreamed of having a GN/TR parked beside my X in the garage. Well about three weeks ago the stars aligned, my wife gave the go ahead and I purchased an 87 T with 111,000km. As soon as the car came home I knew I needed to park it and get reading before digging into it.

I have spent the last three weeks reading countless threads (Turbobuick.com, Turbobuicks.com, GNTType.org... ect), articles and website (Vortex Buicks) on these cars to develop a base knowledge on what I am getting myself into. I now feel comfortable posting a thread to ask for advice. Tuning and Turbo cars in general are not new to me as I have been spending the past 6 years messing around with my Subaru STi.

Background on the car:
1987 Buick Regal Turbo T (?) (Not a WE4 car)
Alum Bumpers Originally (Removed by previous owner)
Alum Drums Originally (Replaced by previous owner)
LC2 Car
No power options
Non posi (Not G80)
Original exhaust manifolds were replaced with KB headers (due to being cracked and leaking), stock down pipe was essentially crushed in half to fit with the KB headers.
Rest of the car is stock from what I can see.
The car runs real good, shifts are amazingly firm for a stock tranny (?) easily chirping 2nd and 3rd.

So here is where I would like your advice.

Plans for the car:
After reading more than I could handle I came to grips on what is reasonable for "Stage 1" of the car. I would like the car to run anywhere between 11.50's-11.90's while retaining A/C on pump gas. "Stage 2" I would like to run around 10.70's retaining reasonable street drive ability on pump gas with A/C. However "Stage 2" is at least two years out from being started.

So the following is my plan for "Stage 1", this will be implemented after "Spring Cleaning" the car and making sure all the factory systems function as intended. Please comment and let me know if I am heading in the right direction and if I am not, any suggestions would be great.

Tuning/Controls:
- Scanmaster G (What about the new bluetooth/android phone systems?)
- Boost Gauge, Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure
- 3 Bar Map Sensor
- Powerlogger (Is this required for logging?)
- Adjustable programmable chip (5.7 TT? Recommendations would be great)

Fueling:
- 60 lb Injectors (Siemens)
- Walbro 255GPH pump (GSS340)
- Fuel pump hot wire kit
- AFPR
- Alkycontrol Meth Injection kit
- 94 Octane (Canadian) fuel

Induction:
- Stock Intake
- RJC Power-plate
- Stock Intercooler (Should I upgrade to a SMIC or Duttweiler neck? Read the flow tests ect. Most real world application I found people running the stock unit at this power level)
- 3" (3.5"? 4"?) MAF tube with K&N attached to MAF (Run a cold air through rad support?)
- Stock Turbo at 24-25PSI (Is a TE44 or TA49 a wise decision?)
- Boost control (ECU? make a recommendation)

Engine:
- Comp Valve Springs (980's or 981's?)
- 160 Degree T Stat

Exhaust:
- 3" straight through single exit (Have this, Old Single Shot system purchased in BG used 10 years ago)
- 3" Internally gated down pipe (RJC? TA? G Body Parts?.... Any advice that will fit with my KB headers would be great)
- 3" Test pipe with dump
- KB headers (Currently installed on car)

Traction:
- Factory Suspension
- G80 Posi Carrier (Have this)
- M/T 275/65/15 ET Street's on Weld Wheels (Have these)
- Line Lock
- S10 rear wheel cylinders

Transmission:
- Stock Tranny (Is it wise to install a shift kit? Mixed feeling from my research)
- Stock TQ (Is a 2800 Stall advisable?)

All this said I am trying to stay on a relatively lean budget ($2000). I will be heading to Bowling Green for the Nationals coming up and hope to find many of the parts I need for my combination second hand there.

Thanks for taking the time to read and I appreciate any comments on my combo before I start forking out $$ to make it happen.

See ya at BG.
 
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VtheGNMan

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the boards! And on owning your first TR.
Its all too easy to spend money on these cars. I would highly recommend just driving and enjoying the car as it is for a little while. There will be little things that come up and you'll learn how to diagnose and replace as needed instead of just throwing parts at it. Straighten out the issues with the car. The crushed down pipe for instance.
Enjoy it for the remainder of summer/fall and don't undertake any big projects at least until the snow flies.
It's great you are an avid reader. All new owners should be. There are guys on here that have forgotten more than we can learn.
I would also suggest getting know other TR owners in or close to your area.
Go out and have fun with it!
 

TurboPhreak

New Member
Welcome to the boards! And on owning your first TR.
Its all too easy to spend money on these cars. I would highly recommend just driving and enjoying the car as it is for a little while. There will be little things that come up and you'll learn how to diagnose and replace as needed instead of just throwing parts at it. Straighten out the issues with the car. The crushed down pipe for instance.
Enjoy it for the remainder of summer/fall and don't undertake any big projects at least until the snow flies.
It's great you are an avid reader. All new owners should be. There are guys on here that have forgotten more than we can learn.
I would also suggest getting know other TR owners in or close to your area.
Go out and have fun with it!

Thanks for the insight!

I definitely plan on doing most of the surgery during the winter. I just wanted to make the most out of being at the GS Nat's and finding used parts if I could (and the fact that its a fortune to ship anything to Canada). The little things are currently being worked out and already the car is running much better. Hopefully I can get a scanmaster and start really dialing in the factory tune this fall.

Anyone have any idea which aftermarket down pipes work with KB headers? I am having a hard time finding much info regarding fitment other than with factory manifolds. You'd be shocked at how much the previous owner/mechanic squished the DP to make it fit with these things.
 

TurboBob

Resident mad scientist
Staff member
Hi,

You will be able to find all that stuff at BG.

For questions on the electronics,

The Scanmaster G has a built-in BlueTooth interface and works well with Android, the app is ALDLDroid. The Scanmaster G's Bluetooth implementation has a couple advantages over the generic units.

The PowerLogger, while not required for basic logging adds a ton of additional data, recording capability, data speed, etc.

You will be pushing the stock turbo to get it to 25 psi, so a modest upgrade might help. Don't overdo it or you will need a torque converter change to get the spool response back.

Thanks

Bob
 

VtheGNMan

Well-Known Member
Hit up GX1 on the down pipe question. If my memory serves correct he has those headers or a similar and can chime in on down pipe figment.
 

GNRick

Retired member
I once sold a power master to a Canadian at a car show in Ohio. He installed it on his car at the show to avoid paying the tariff (or duty or import tax or whatever you call it). So you might want to check with shops in the US regarding installation on your way home. I suspect you already know this though. Also, you might want to contact your favorite vendors in advance of BG and make sure they bring you your items, so they don't sell out before you get there. Kirban won't be there this year.
 
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TurboPhreak

New Member
Thanks for everyone's advice!

Bob,

I am leaning toward going the Scanmaster G Gauge route and using bluetooth on an android device for logging. At this point I am thinking the stock turbo will suffice and will push it to the low 20's for boost and hopefully crack the 11's (with Meth).... This is once I am confident the car is in good mechanical working order and I tweak the tune in on lower boost.

So one piece of the puzzle I am interested in is Valve Springs. I have read good and bad about the Comp 980's. Does anyone have any recommendations on what to use with stock cam? The bad that I have heard on the 980's is that they sack out after a couple thousand miles. This car will likely see 5-7k miles per year of street use.
 
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