Tuning Basics

Dec 13, 2018
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So I’m new to the world of Grand Nationals and in the process of buying an 86 GN sight unseen from a dealer in Florida. It appears to have a decent handful of modifications including a ScanMaster and boost gauge, but the dealer doesn’t know the full extent of the mods. I obviously assume it has some type of upgraded chip. Once the car arrives I’ll definitely be scrutinizing to figure out more specifics of what the car has, but the first thing I planned on was a dyno tune once the car arrives as it appears to be running 22lbs of boost.

My uncle is a big Corvette guy and highly recommended his tuner, but when I touched base with him he made it sound like tuning a chip car required a chip programmer and was far beyond his level of expertise. Based on what research I’ve done, it should be feasible to tune without actually re-formatting the chip, correct? Obviously will know more once the car gets here and I can see which chip is installed.

I apologize in advance for any ignorance on my part. Just looking to educate myself as much as possible.
 

Pronto

Chaos is a ladder.
Dec 9, 2002
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Right off the bat I see something I don't like- SIGHT UNSEEN. Hold off and find something in your area and find an experienced TB guru to help you find something that is right for you.
 
Dec 13, 2018
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Right off the bat I see something I don't like- SIGHT UNSEEN. Hold off and find something in your area and find an experienced TB guru to help you find something that is right for you.
I appreciate the recommendation, but I’ve bought plenty of cars sight unseen before. Already complete the transaction and working out shipping details. I’m aware there’s always a risk, but I’m willing to roll the dice.
 

Hahny

Member
Jun 24, 2017
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You should take Prontos advice and look for something that's closer to you that way you can touch it, drive it and have someone that might happen to know a little about these cars help you out with your purchase. I bought my GN sight unseen from a guy in San Antonio, Texas and it was nerve racking to say the least, but looking back it turned out to be a good purchase. If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely buy one that is local for sure just my 2 cents worth. Good luck my friend!
 
Dec 13, 2018
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Also very much appreciated, but the car has been bought and paid for already. Looking for information regarding the tuning process.
 

grass doctor

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2018
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I had mine looked over by a professional car appraiser it did cost me but I got a detailed 6 page write up with fair market value and plenty of pics he used a paint gauge/meter to check for body filler and to see if had repaint, could not know everything about though car fax is a must , most northern cars have to pass emissions which is could bc the also verify mileage in some states
all the ones I traveled to go see and drive were shit looked at most in Florida bc thats where im at but did travel to Georgia to see a very nice one but it had tee tops and the moon roof car was my first choice
but pictures really don't show what it looks like in person seeing it in person is night and day from pics
 
Dec 13, 2018
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I had mine looked over by a professional car appraiser it did cost me but I got a detailed 6 page write up with fair market value and plenty of pics he used a paint gauge/meter to check for body filler and to see if had repaint, could not know everything about though car fax is a must , most northern cars have to pass emissions which is could bc the also verify mileage in some states
all the ones I traveled to go see and drive were shit looked at most in Florida bc thats where im at but did travel to Georgia to see a very nice one but it had tee tops and the moon roof car was my first choice
but pictures really don't show what it looks like in person seeing it in person is night and day from pics
What part of Florida are you in?
 

grass doctor

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2018
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Also very much appreciated, but the car has been bought and paid for already. Looking for information regarding the tuning process.
whoops got carried away my post is useless to what you are really asking for sorry
I just start reading sometimes and then running off on a tangent
I do not know much about tuning I do know my translator is set for my chip and setup if I change turbo or injectors I will need the chip reburned and change the settings in the translator , but I am not one to answer these questions I am still learning on this engine tuning stuff
one of the veterans will have better answer for you
I am in Saint Augustine
 
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Mr.Spool

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Nov 6, 2006
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as it appears to be running 22lbs of boost.
unless the car has and alky kit,runs e85,or race gas that is going to be a problem.my advise is to not drive the car hard without octane and turn the boost down till you see what the car is all about.
 
Dec 13, 2018
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unless the car has and alky kit,runs e85,or race gas that is going to be a problem.my advise is to not drive the car hard without octane and turn the boost down till you see what the car is all about.
Yeah I feel a little uncomfortable at that amount of boost. I’ll turn the boost controller down. I didn’t see any signs of meth induction but planned on installing once it arrived.
 

berserker6

Assistant to the regional manager
Oct 1, 2009
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Posting a few detailed pics of the engine bay will allow us to see some of what you're working with.
 
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1986 Buick GX1

GX1 #001 [The One and Only]
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For starters it's got a Precision plenum and RJC Racing Air Distribution Power Plate to even out the air flow to all cylinders.

http://rjcracing.com/product/airflow-distribution-plate/

Guys have run 20 psi boost on 93 octane with that setup and an efficient front mount intercooler and the right tune, not to say you have the same front mount, and every car is different. Let the car tell you what it likes.

This is what you can tune with a scanmaster and a turbo tweak chip.

http://www.fullthrottletech.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=172&d=1135..

You will want to swap out the worm gear hose clamp on the up pipe with a T-bolt clamp so it doesn't blow off.

Congratulations on being a turbo Buick owner. (Another one got sucked into the abyss)

I hope this gets you started.
 

Pronto

Chaos is a ladder.
Dec 9, 2002
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If it has a basic Turbo Tweak chip there is some adjustability built in. The 6.1 chip has O2 tracking. Other systems can do more with the stock ecm.
Look up the Vortex Buicks site and read your ass off.