Turbo Buick ROOKIE here, need some help/advice

Emitch

New Member
I am completely new to this scene and need some advice from the locals.. I ended up buying a car I helped put together 11 years ago from a good friend of mine. The car is a 86 Grand National with digital dash and is a hardtop car. The body is very rough but no rust.. It is a rebuilt salvage car from being a theft recovery in the late 90's. I build old small blocks/ big blocks or LS engines, completely new to these.. I have helped maintain the car over the first couple years while he was motivated to work on it so I do know my way around it pretty well. I need help with why the car is SO SLOW, COMPLETELY SLUGGISH.. I have read so many pages about cars going much quicker than most of the cammed LS engine cars I have built. This Grand National should be fairly quick with a mod list like this one has, I assume.
Mod List
  1. 30 over block with sealed power rebuild kit - MKP60148a - I assume cast pistons
  2. Random Cam motion camshaft with only spec wrote down is 214/221
  3. stock ported/polish heads
  4. ported intake manifold
  5. ARP head studs and ARP rod bolts
  6. CPT-66 turbo with .63AR P trim non ball bearing
  7. RJC mega cooler
  8. Mototron flow matched 60/65lb injectors
  9. Turbotweak chip
  10. Pat's Performance Converter #1003 XHD 10" 2800 stall
  11. walbro GS340 fuel pump with hot wire kit
  12. Qboost under hood boost controller
  13. scan master scan tool
The transmission was rebuilt by someone unknown and I don't have the receipt for it like everything else. The engtine was built in 2005 (less than 10k miles on it since built), and the car has had several things added over the years but what I have listed is the last round of things we installed in 2008 and the car never ran like it should have. It was then placed in storage due to the owner not having money at the time to do anything with it (got married, had kids). The car ended up in a field here in fort worth where it sat untouched since 2008. I bought the car last weekend and trying to get it running like it should.. I am thinking the chip is toast since it sat with no battery for 8 years or maybe the cam is just not spec right for a turbo car. Maybe the stall is too small and needs to be around 3500. I am looking at building this car as a Friday night drag car... Any help will greatly appreciated.
20170108_164232.jpg
 

LIVE4RDO

Active Member
I'm not a pro by any means, but how much boost are you running? You didn't mention Alky, which I would think you need to run any serious boost

Wait for someone like Bison to respond and go over your combo, or better yet contact him direct.

Your next investment should be hood shocks from Kirban ;-)
 

Emitch

New Member
Thanks Kirban, I am betting its around 18lbs, but I need to verify to be safe. I have looked into meth and ran it on some of my older builds, just looking for advice before I start making some changes to this car. I will try and contact him.. thanks again..
 

TurboTGuy

Gray Beard Member
Do the "spring cleaning" list found here. http://www.gnttype.org/maint/basics.html

Change all the vacuum/rubber hoses. 11 year old rubber is probably leaking in at least one spot. Zip tie them at the connection points.

Exhaust leaks are another big power robber. The driver header has a tendency to crack after time. Make sure all the bolts are tight.

You really need a Scanmaster, the gauge one is really cool for tech savvy guys. I'm a digital alien so I still use the SM2. An absolutely invaluable tuning and diagnostic tool.
 
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No disintegrations

Well-Known Member
If it's a flat tappet cam it may have wiped. You can pull the valve covers and watch rockers while cranking engine. Make sure they all look the same movement wise. A wiped lobe will hardly open the valve. It will start and idle that way.
 

LIVE4RDO

Active Member
He has a scanmaster. post all the readings here, your IAC and TPS might be out of whack too. Guys here will know right away.
 
Listen to the above inputs these TR enthusiast been around the block for a long time--tough to diagnose if not able to test drive as you know.

What is sluggish? Meaning seat of the pants, not able to break rear tires loose when hitting 2nd gear? rough at idle, and through all gears? Boost level?

Has a compression test been done, spark plug(s) checked for any anomalies, old fuel or possible residue inside gas tank remain from sitting, vacuum #'s, oil look good, fuel pressure set at 43lbs with vacuum off at idle, etc.

Definitely want to keep boost down for street climate "testing" with 93 Octane if this is applicable.

Good luck...glad you are keeping another TR alive!
 

Turbo Keith

TURBO KEITH
Great site here , go slow and listen to the folks here . Proud your bringing her back to life . Any questions please ask cause there's not one too dumb . I know cause I've ask them ;) Happy Boosting Keith
 

SPOOLFOOL2

Fiberglass bumper filler dude. (949) 433-1257
Staff member
Welcome to the site. Grab a beer and make yourself at home. :)
Is the turbo spooling up slow? Does it make smooth power once the boost comes on? Be specific on what the problem is and we can most likely figure it out. I would think that sled should go deep in the 12s on pump gas with a good tire and tune.

Need more data.
Happy spooling.
Mike Barnard
 

Emitch

New Member
I'm not Kirban, lol.
Guys, thanks for all the input first off, I have the scan master on the car but need to figure out to use it. I will invest in some hood shocks ASAP from "Kirban" haha. I should be more specific here since I do this for a living on luxury cars, it takes a while to spool, but once spooled up it destroys " ONE TIRE" for days.. Needs a limited slip diff ASAP, I definitely assumed I would need to change all vacuum lines and secure them but I also need to look at KR and fuel pressure, the car does not feel like it is missing but It doesn't feel anywhere near as strong as my old CTS-V LS6 car with 300rwp at 178k miles. This car was put into the field because in the owner's mind it should have been in 7s in the 1/8 mile and he never broke out of the 10's after the last round of mods and the car was not spinning the tire. I have not considered Idle air control valve or tps value. I drained the fuel system last weekend and used 93 but didn't pull the tank. I really think it will be something simple that everyone has over looked. The car has been to a couple GN only techs here in DFW but that was 8 years ago.. I am sure the cam is a flat tappet and I really cant hear the valve train as the cutout cap was lost and still open to this day, however it does not feel like a misfire as a flat lobe feels to me but I am also not scared to blow this engine apart and upgrade to a roller setup and freshen up as I only got 110lbs on every cylinder during a dry compression test and didn't perform a wet compression test or a leak down. I may need to look into the leak down test as the car does have gray smoke from the tail pipe at all times but that could be too much fuel from a stuck injector as well. I have plenty of beer and tons of interest in this car and no desire to LS swap with like everything else in my driveway..
 

TurboTGuy

Gray Beard Member
You're on the right track. Keep posting info and results.

You'll get the right directions here.
 
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SPOOLFOOL2

Fiberglass bumper filler dude. (949) 433-1257
Staff member
It sound like it's not wanting to come up on the boost.
it could be a few things. Replace all old vacuum hoses. Check for leaks, cracks in the headers, header gasket leaks.
Power brake the car to "0" Vac / "0" boost and read what rpm the engine is at. Is it 2800? do you have some old time slips from the car? They could shed some light on issues.

Scanmaster data would help. How do the plugs look?
 

Emitch

New Member
Alright guys, I am gathering parts up for this weekend since I moved a little ways out in the country and parts stores aren't down the street anymore. I am going straight down the list of things to service on the engine. I have the parts for the oil change, fuel filter, spark plugs, and PCV valve. I am buying bulk vacuum hose to replace all of them, what are the common sizes for these cars (1/4,5/16)?
 

Frederickdav

Active Member
Itsav6, the OP asked what size vacuum hose to get. You suggested that he buys metric/mm. Ok, what size in metric? I would like to know also.
 

fast86gn

Texas Moderator
Staff member
Alright guys, I am gathering parts up for this weekend since I moved a little ways out in the country and parts stores aren't down the street anymore. I am going straight down the list of things to service on the engine. I have the parts for the oil change, fuel filter, spark plugs, and PCV valve. I am buying bulk vacuum hose to replace all of them, what are the common sizes for these cars (1/4,5/16)?
Get a O2 sensor as well. A bad O2 will make you very sluggish out of the hole. it sounds like the current one is at least 8yrs old.
 
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