Woot! New best, 12.79!


Took the Buick out to the drag strip last weekend and laid down a new best time! The old best in the car was a 13.3 @ 101 on 18 PSI with 100 octane gas and an ancient Kenne Bell chip from 1988. Since then some things have happened. I had an injector sticking/leaking so I bought some 42's and a chip from turbo tweak, and I bought some drag radials. Here's the complete run down, if I don't mention it, it's stock:

1987 Regal T-Type, 126,000 miles
9 inch K&N on the MAF
RJC power plate
Threaded waste gate rod
42 Lb. injectors
Turbo tweak chip
Hot wired 340M fuel pump
No cat, just a straight piece of pipe
Casper's audible knock detector
Autozone boost gauge
Mickey Thompson ET street radials (275/50-15)
100 octane low lead gas

Track was almost perfect, 60 degrees and almost no humidity. The only problem was about a 10 MPH headwind, but other than that conditions were pretty ideal. The track is in Fayetteville NC, actual elevation is about 130 feet. I don't know what the corrected elevation was.

First pass was with 14 PSI and little to no burnout on the drag radials. The car hooked fairly well (1.8XX) and ran a 13.3 at 99. I was pretty excited, it had just matched it's old best ET on 4 less PSI. I made a couple more runs in the low 13 area, and the girl friend (it's actually her car!) made several low 13 second passes.

We let the car cool down for about an hour and I tightened the waste gate rod a couple turns. I took the car down the lane, into the box, and laid waste to the drag radials. I pulled up to the line and staged the car.

As the car next to me slowly staged I put my left foot on the brake and pressed the pedal hard. The Mustang next to me lit the top set of staging bulbs. I started to press the accelerator down with one eye on the boost gauge and the other eye on the tree. The needle on the gauge was slowly starting to swing past zero as the Mustang finally lit the second staging bulb. The needle on the boost gauge began to climb, 4, 5, 6...

"Come on..." I thought to myself. The tree was taking forever, the top bulb hadn't even lit yet and the Buick was straining with all it's might against the stock brakes. Finally the top amber lit... The Buick struggled against the binders... The second amber lit, I stole a look at the boost gauge and saw the needle sitting squarely on 8 PSI, the third amber lit...

I thought for a brief second about the drag radials and the track prep. I really didn't think the tires or the track would take an 8 PSI launch. I started to worry that I was going to blow the tires off, or worse yet that I had sat against the stock converter too long and the converter and/or transmission were feeling the hurt. I was worried that the Mustang would out run me. Outrun me in front of God knows how many people, my girl friend, and what would no doubt be thousands of Internet warriors loyal to clan Blue Oval.

All of my fears were instantly laid to rest the instant the Buick left the line. It came out harder than it ever has, firmly planted the rear tires, and it was incredibly apparent that the car had decided it was time boogie down the race track. At about the 1/8 mile marker I started to get excited, the launch felt great, and the car was pulling like a freight train.

As it shifted into third gear, I looked at the boost gauge for a second. Rock solid on 17 PSI.

I crossed the finish line, rolled the windows down, and headed to the timing booth. The pimple faced teenager handed me the white copy of the slip and I drove back to the pits.

I was almost too scared to look at it. The run felt great, but my ass meter isn't the most accurate tool in the world. The timers at the track had hurt my feelings on more than one occasion, and I really just wanted to relish the idea that I had made a great run before looking at the slip and finding out that I had built the run up in my mind to be something it wasn't.

I reached down to shut the car off and realized that I had crumpled the time slip in my clenched fist. I took a second, took a breath, and forced myself to relax. I slowly un-crumpled the slip and saw:

60 - 1.71
1/8 - 8.04 @ ???
1/4 - 12.79 @ 102.6

I almost passed out from elation. I was freakin' stoked! I've been fighting with tuning issues for a long time with the car, and although it felt strong on the street, I wasn't sure it was going to cut the Mustard at the track. Getting into the 12's was a great milestone, and it felt good to know that I was going in the right direction with the car.

I pulled around again and ran a 12.84 @ 103, then Kelly made several more low 13 second passes.

I think with 19 PSI, lighter wheels (drag lites and skinnies), and maybe some other weight reduction I can get the car to go 12.40's or so. After that, maybe a small shot of nitrous or methanol.

She's officially faster than my 91 Corvette now (my best NA in the vette is a 12.89) so I have to spray the vette to out run her. Eventually she'll be faster than my vette even when I'm on the sauce. (I run high 11's at about 115 on the juice) When that happens I'll have to turn my attention back to the vette, but for now I'm just happy as can be with the Buick.

It's amazing the amount of $$$ in her Buick VS my Corvette. I've got over 2K in just drive train upgrades. She doesn't have 2K in all her mods combined, lol.