Turbo V6 Camaro

fast86gn

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I'll keep you all posted. I'm thinking the AEM E85 pump, 60#s, and tuning myself with HP will be the way I go. There won't be much to update on it this winter though. Since I found free winter storage for the GN, I decided to take on my rust issues while the garage was free. The floors and wheel wells look like trash. So far I have one wheel well almost patched, and one rear seat bucket is completely fixed. I'll end up doing weld in subframe connectors while I'm at it. The technical stuff will resume once I'm done.

Here's the current status... sad times in the kingdom.

Indeed! Almost like my GN in the garage :eek:
 

Jon Early

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Dec 4, 2014
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I guess I can update this!

Although the car looks close to the same, a lot of unnoticeable things have happened thanks to all of your fine suggestions. I decided that E85 was the way to go. Let's face it. Nobody put's a turbo on a car without plans to go faster some day! Therefore I went with the AEM 340 E85 pump housed in the stock uncut Camaro sending unit. That was a bit of an adventure to install! I also have the Siemens Deka 80# injectors on the way, so basically my turbo and fuel system are ready to party. My valvetrain however, is a different story! I really want to have this car on the road by march and a cam and timing set are just not in the budget yet considering the car still needs a clutch. I'm still toying with the idea of putting a fairly light but better set of springs in there to get me going for the season and calling it good, but I'm not sure which ones.

As for the body, things have naturally gotten a bit out of hand. I moved the car to find out that I no longer have any brakes, so I have a line kit to throw in and bleed once I'm done with the floors. The subframe connectors are going to be a bear to install since there is hardly any subframe left where the connector is supposed to be welded. I could have started with a cleaner car, but I have a lot of sentimental attachment to this one.

Rest assured, progress is still being made quicker than I'm finding issues. I had to cut some really large pieces out of the passenger side of the car including the seat frame, but it is all back together now!
 

MCH86GN

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Aug 20, 2008
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Keep us updated, I almost bought a garage kept 1998 Camaro. I did a thorough examination of the underbody, not a spec of rust. The gentleman who owned never drove it in the rain and it was kept in a heated garage in the winter. He was asking a lttle too much at $8500. I got him down to $5000 and someone on this forum told me it was still a rip-off. Not sure what happened to it, but I should’ve bought it. I had a guy who could have helped configure it for a turbo. He was willing to pull the motor and machine it for free. The stock mains are beefy enough and crossbolted and using ARP main studs and ARP fasteners for the crossbolts. The stock crank made of nodular iron is incredibly strong. Aftermarket rods and pistons would be needed thought. Then the trans would need to be beefed up and rear end. You’d have a car ready to run in the 10s or quicke and you wouldn’t have to worry about the block giving up. Too bad the 3800 series 2 block design didn’t exist for our Turbo Buick’s.
 

fast86gn

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You bring up a interesting question though when did Buick develop the 3800 II ? If the G body could have went a couple of more years? You never know?
Of course there was the Series I in the late 80's early 90's and then the Series II. So I wonder did Buick ever test the Series I or II with a IC and a turbo maybe in some secret back room and then scrap it. They had to of known that this platform had a lot of potential to put out a lot of power. Fact or fiction? We may never know. LoL
 

Jon Early

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You bring up a interesting question though when did Buick develop the 3800 II ? If the G body could have went a couple of more years? You never know?
Of course there was the Series I in the late 80's early 90's and then the Series II. So I wonder did Buick ever test the Series I or II with a IC and a turbo maybe in some secret back room and then scrap it. They had to of known that this platform had a lot of potential to put out a lot of power. Fact or fiction? We may never know. LoL
Yes! Although I do not know about any 3800 turbo prototypes, I do not doubt one bit there was at least one. However, there was a prototype supercharger designed to sit on top of a 109 for sale on this site maybe a year or two ago. It had "Buick" cast into the case and everything. I'll have to dig up the pictures because it was amazing. If memory serves me right it was cruising around Detroit in a RWD converted LeSabre T-type. GM used to have some wild and crazy ideas back in the day.
 

Jon Early

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GM really valued the 3.8 and did a ton of testing with it to develop the 3800. The trouble was the extra cost of building RWD cars that also conformed to environmental, safety, and quality norms. The G-body was already outdated in all of those aspects by '87, and the FWD '88 Regals, as horrible as they seem now, were paving the way to GMs adoption of modern automotive manufacturing processes.

It sucks that The Grand National brand couldn't have stuck around a little longer, but I think it died a hero. Continuing into a new generation likely would have resulted in a problematic FWD car that would never live up to the success of it's big brother.

By the way... The rumor was that the LeSabre T-type was supposed to have a turbo 3.8 too, but GM could not figure out how to build a transaxle to survive that sort of abuse. Fast forward to the STILL troublesome 4t65E paired to the L67 :(
 

fast86gn

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Yep I remember when those pics were posted up very cool.
The trannys in the FWD cars are for sure weak at best. Anything more than a mid 13 sec car on a consistent basis and it won't last long. Hadn't Buick ever heard of Triple Edge Performance LoL

I have a Stage II tranny from TEP in my silver car and it may outlast the car.
 
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Jon Early

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I installed the Siemens 80# injectors last night. I almost forgot how much I hate removing the fuel rail on this car. The engine is tucked in tight under the cowl, but that's easy to deal with. What sucks are the hidden screws that hold the cowl vents in place. Reaching you hand in there to remove things like the MAP sensor and the FPR vacuum hose is like purposely shoving your hand into one of those torture devices from the Saw movies.

Anyway, after a couple snafus with a supplier I won't be naming, I should finally receive my wideband kit and fuel rail fittings around Monday. Once that stuff is in I will take pictures of the gauge bezel i found. I think it's going to look pretty cool. Now to pucker up and finish welding these floors...
Deka 80s 2-19.jpg
 

MCH86GN

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Aug 20, 2008
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Nice! Love these projects. If I hadn't already had my 109 block machined and bought all the parts for the rebuild, I would've seriously built the 3800 series II for my GN.
 
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Jon Early

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Nice! Love these projects. If I hadn't already had my 109 block machined and bought all the parts for the rebuild, I would've seriously built the 3800 series II for my GN.
I would love to do that to a basket case or roller GN. I already have more projects than my two car garage allows for though. I'll move out to some bigger property some day, but I'm keeping busy enough with the stuff I have!

My wideband showed up at the house on Saturday. Wiring this up is turning out to be way easier than I imagined. Since the AC was deleted and the harness sticks out right next to the ECM, it's a nearly seamless place to tap into for data logging. The placement of my O2 sensor is also in such a way that the wires for it run right along the mess of factory clips and looms over the shock tower. Since my car is as basic as you could buy it doesn't have traction control, but the wiring for the button is still there. My gauge happens to be mounted right in front it, and its a perfect place tap in for instrument lighting and ignition power. I lucked out not needing to run lengthy ugly wires anywhere for this whole project.

I know I'm overdue for pics. I'll try to take a few tonight.
The Fleet 7-18.jpg
 

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Nasty

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Feb 10, 2007
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"What sucks are the hidden screws that hold the cowl vents in place. Reaching you hand in there to remove things like the MAP sensor and the FPR vacuum hose is like purposely shoving your hand into one of those torture devices from the Saw movies."

I have scares from those retainers. Bled the entire time doing the intake gaskets for my brother on his '02.

Nice choices on the fuel stuff.
 
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Jon Early

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I was looking at my charge pipes and decided that I couldn't live with them. Even if the MAF was going to be okay with the elbow right before it I was still going to hate the way it looked. Besides, I never figured out an acceptable way to mount the intercooler.
Before
Old charge pipe.jpg

and after
New charge pipe.jpg

By the way, here's the slick gauge pod I had made with all the gauges installed.
Gauges 2-19.jpg
 
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Jon Early

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My charge pipes are welded and fit like a glove! My girlfriend thought that the longer of the two looked like a snake...
Pet Cobra 3-19.png

Cobra fitted 3-19.jpg

Cobra fitted 2 3-19.jpg

Cobra fitted 3 3-19.jpg

The other pipe welded 2-19.jpg

The engine bay is teasing me so badly right now because I am only an ECM installation away from firing this up for the first time with all the final upgrades. The tease is that I won't be driving it for a while. Finishing the driver side floors will keep me from installing the new brake lines. This complaint is probably starting to sound redundant, but I promise that I'm working on it! I just finished patching up the passenger side wheel well today which is a huge PITA given the amount of factory undercoating that was caked in there. I will get back to the floor next weekend!
 
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Jon Early

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Small update: My PCM is in the mail and on it's way back with a base tune! I'm extremely excited to start it up with all the new parts I've installed including an L67 2 bar MAP. It will be interesting to see how well this works, because entering the correct values into the tune on an F-body isn't as straightforward as it would be on an NA Regal or GP for example. All the math has to be done manually, so it will likely have to be dialed in after I gather so data.

Speaking of which, I had to figure out a way to provide that since I don't have tuning software of my own. HP is pretty expensive for somebody who doesn't really plan on making any changes on their own, so I bought an OBD splitter cable and an obd bluetooth reader, so that I can graph and save all my ECM data via the Torque Pro app. It's pretty slick compared to the cost and labor involved in installing a GN Powerlogger!

I also have front bumper and intercooler going back on for the last time now that the all the pipes and brackets are are painted. If you couldn't tell, this floor board work is only happening when I am waiting for parts to arrive because I seriously hate this dirty work!
 

Mark T-TB

car crazy from birth
Apr 6, 2009
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cool project :cool: and well-done thread. Good luck with getting it on the road.
Very interesting process and lots of what look like helpful commenting.

Your "fleet" photo reminds me of the tagline from the Black Air shirts - "What's with all the Black Cars?" :rolleyes:
(FWIW) I know basically nothing compared with all of your on-line helpers, I don't know what year the 3800 SII first came out, but we had it in a '96 Regal Custom - was literally Grandma's car before we took it over all 3 kids drove it. That thing ran like a scalded cat. Also could get 30 mpg on open road, very nice ride as well.
 
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Jon Early

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cool project :cool: and well-done thread. Good luck with getting it on the road.
Very interesting process and lots of what look like helpful commenting.

Your "fleet" photo reminds me of the tagline from the Black Air shirts - "What's with all the Black Cars?" :rolleyes:
(FWIW) I know basically nothing compared with all of your on-line helpers, I don't know what year the 3800 SII first came out, but we had it in a '96 Regal Custom - was literally Grandma's car before we took it over all 3 kids drove it. That thing ran like a scalded cat. Also could get 30 mpg on open road, very nice ride as well.
Thanks! Yeah, I must say that TurboBuick has been the second most helpful in getting the information I need to get this car the way I want it. The Chicago Garage has probably helped me the most, but to be fair it started off as a 3800 forum, so it has a larger viewership of experts in this platform. As for the Facebook pages, I would avoid them if you enjoy your brain cells.

The Series II was introduced in some cars in '95 which I find strange that GM would do something like that right before OBD2 became mandatory. It might not have been a huge deal to officially change over since '95 model year GM cars basically had OBD2 anyway. These engines are so underrated by the enthusiasts. It's just a shame that they had to come in such large FWD configurations or otherwise NA. I tested the fuel mileage in my '95 LeSabre (Series 1) on a trip from Carbondale, IL to Milwaukee. Withe the AC off, no radio on, and the lights off most of the time, I barely got there in one tank of gas which equated to 28 MPG. I'm still really impressed. I wish I didn't get rid of it.

Small update since I'm typing anyway: I finally went back to the floors, and got a big section welded in over the weekend. The ECM will be in the mail any day now.... I can almost smell the corn burning!
 
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Jon Early

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Update!

Floors are patched! There are some other small repairs I would like to do, but I am not going to let them hold me back from driving this thing. Since the last time I updated I got some new gadgets working. I figured out the the issue with my WBO2...
I've never seen one of these in action before! I like how it blends into the dash a little better than a digital display does.

I also got TorquePro running. This is such a nifty tool. After installing a power logger in the GN, I am impressed with how for we have come. lol For the money, I wouldn't mind having a transmitter for all my cars!


...And of course I painted the cahrge tubes. I am writing this with excitement because I am only waiting for my rear brake hoses to come in the mail before I bleed everything and go for my first drive with boost!
 

Jon Early

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I apologize if the videos don't work for you. I am having troubles figuring out how to display them on the board. Let me know if there are problems, and I will try to fix them.