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Buick Turbo Tech General technical support for the 86-87 Buick turbo cars

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  #1  
Old 11-10-2011, 04:17 PM
stevestatix stevestatix is offline
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA / Midland, MI
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Default 87 GN needing some help

Hello to all. First time posting on here so I will make sure I give as much information as possible.

Steve Sadek U.S. Marine (active) stationed at Quantico. Found this GN at Fredericksburg Auto Sales for $11K. Body looked great and overall was in good condition for her age. Didnt do my homework on venders and part reviews like I should have but cannot change that now. Here is a partial list;

1987 Grand National
98,500 miles
T-Tops
Stock Block
Stock Tranny
Stock Suspension
Hardened Stator
A bigger raditator that dosnt fit well
Cold air intake from GN1 Performance
3" SS Exhaust from GN1 Performance
Custom 66 Turbo and External wasgate down pipe from GN1 Performance
Turbonetics Boost Controller from GN1 Performance
Thumb Wheel with chip from ???
A/C delete with CRH Bracket
42lb Injectors
Hotwired fuel pump
Stock Intercooler
160deg Thermostat
LS1 Maf with Translator
There are a couple more things that were done but I do not have the email from the old owner anymore.

I replaced the stock turbo with the GN1 combo deal (wish I didnt but I did). Replaced valley pan and gasket, intake pleneum gasket, water pump gasket, downpipe gasket, turbo to header gasket, new intercooler hoses, t-bolt clamps, new fuel injector seals, new fuel rail seals, intake and exhaust. I put everything on myself.

She is smoking from the exhaust like a chimney, thick and white smoke. Smells real rich aswell. Once warmed up the smoke is less but still there. Had a few problems with boost controller and overbosted twice wich made my throttle body hose blow off and ruin a perfectly good hood liner. The check engine light comes on when i let off the throttle but goes away when on it. An older gentlemen mentioned to me that the head bolts are aftermarket so the heads were removed at one point. I didnt want to take the motor "apart" again but I am leaning to that route. Any help or ideas would be greatful as I was quoted $95 an hour for diagnosing fee. Thank you for your help and knowledge.
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2011, 06:54 PM
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Mike_g Mike_g is offline
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First off...
Welcome and thank you for your service !
Unfortunately heavy white smoke is tell tale of a head gasket issue.(water/coolant dumping into the exhaust side) Also check for antifreeze in the oil. (AKA milkshake the oil will turn white in color.) Both are symptoms of a head gasket letting go.
It sounds like the overboost got the better of you
Good luck
Mike
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2011, 04:04 AM
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waGoN waGoN is offline
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Take it from me a former king of headgaskets. Mikey is right, you've blown one.
Not necessarily a terrible thing. It can be fixed. Hopefully you don't have coolant in the oil. If you do, then it can ruing your bearings. If you do, drain the oil, drain all of the coolant, refill the oil, run it for a for a minute or so, without coolant. Change the oil again. That is what I did after I got milkshake oil. I didn't have any bearing problems.
Then replace the head gaskets, and before stepping on the pedal, drop the boost way down and gradually turn it up.
If you are handy with tools, then you can do the head gaskets yourself. Look and see id they are ARP head bolts.
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Brian

Keep it shiny side up, but show them your dirty side once in a while.

11.3@123mph on 195/75/14" whitewalls. Yes, 195s!
11.2 on the big giant slicks. What's the point? Maybe I'll go back to the whitewalls. They are lighter and have less rolling resistance.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2011, 07:02 PM
stevestatix stevestatix is offline
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Thanks guys for the info. I am pretty handy with tools, and usually can put everything back together again.

I took the intake manifold off as a whole with one shot. Intake, intercooler, turbo and downpipe are also removed. Valley pan, valve covers, headers, crosspipe and heads are out.

Found two cracks in my driver side headers. Took awhile to remove all the heat wrap from them. Almost spun the threads again in the hot side of the turbo. did that twice before.

Since I tore it down this far I decided to just keep going and take everything out and start over. Too bad since I have had her since Feb. and have only put on about 1000 miles. Might make this a build thread and show my progress.
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1985 Buick Electra T-Type (RIP)
1987 Buick Grand National (work in progress)
2006 Subaru WRX Wagon (not stock)
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2011, 11:10 AM
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JCotton1 JCotton1 is offline
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How are you making out Steve? Find anything in there?
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Cottons Performance
413-789-0531
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:41 PM
stevestatix stevestatix is offline
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Since my last message I have been in the dog house after I told her how much headers can cost.

I havent been back to the garage to work on her since. Xmas is coming up and I need to get all the shopping done and get some brownie points back before I spend anymore money on the Buick.

As it sits now I am looking at the following to get back up and running;
Headgaskets
Headers
New fluids

What I need to get;
Scanmaster
Replace any more old vac lines

What I want to get;
Radiator that fits
TA-49
Different Exhaust
Different Downpipe
Service the Tranny

I will keep everyone in the loop if at all possible. Thanks again for all the help.
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U.S. Marine Corps
Sgt / Active Duty

1985 Buick Electra T-Type (RIP)
1987 Buick Grand National (work in progress)
2006 Subaru WRX Wagon (not stock)
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2011, 11:01 PM
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waGoN waGoN is offline
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Don't bother with the headers. Just get them welded up. Save yourself some money, and it is getting too cold to be in the doghouse for too long.
I have a polished TE44 if you are interested.
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Brian

Keep it shiny side up, but show them your dirty side once in a while.

11.3@123mph on 195/75/14" whitewalls. Yes, 195s!
11.2 on the big giant slicks. What's the point? Maybe I'll go back to the whitewalls. They are lighter and have less rolling resistance.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2011, 07:26 PM
stevestatix stevestatix is offline
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA / Midland, MI
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Thank you for the advice on the headers and the offer on the TE44. I need to do some homework before I purchase anything else. Still upset with myself about the Custom 66 Turbo Combo.

I have alot of re-learning to do and even more hands on work to accomplish with this motor. I dont mind the cold seeing as I hail from the Superior State.

Besides I figure that Jack wouldnt mind someone purchasing parts from him, tis the season after all.

Any chance on sending in some parts for a discount? Or at least refering someone who can fix the tape deck, damn thing ate my Doors tape.
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Steve Sadek
U.S. Marine Corps
Sgt / Active Duty

1985 Buick Electra T-Type (RIP)
1987 Buick Grand National (work in progress)
2006 Subaru WRX Wagon (not stock)
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2011, 04:12 PM
Pnyklr Pnyklr is offline
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www.carradio.com

I have used them which much success on a few car radios they give a warranty and I think also they paid for shipping
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2011, 03:54 PM
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waGoN waGoN is offline
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Well, If you want the car original for shows and collect-ability, then by all means, stick with the original, but I think you should yank the stock unit, stick it on a shelf and replace with something more current.
There are tons of stereos out there that you can get for probably what it would cost to repair your tape deck. These radios will play music off of a flash drive, and some off of sd cards. Also they have audio inputs, so you can plug in your mp3 player, or iPod, and most now will actually control the iPod. Other features that they have are wireless remotes, so you don't even have to lean over to adjust, and they also show the name of the song playing on the drive/cd/iPod. Also, some have RDS that will show what is playing on the radio. You can also get HD radio, and Bluetooth for you phone, or wireless hookup to your music on your phone. There are tons of options. Get the wiring adapters, and there is no need to even cut the wires. Simple half hour job, and you can have modern music in your classic. Yes, Our cars are now classics. Pretty soon they will be called antique!
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Brian

Keep it shiny side up, but show them your dirty side once in a while.

11.3@123mph on 195/75/14" whitewalls. Yes, 195s!
11.2 on the big giant slicks. What's the point? Maybe I'll go back to the whitewalls. They are lighter and have less rolling resistance.
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