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Posted: 2/24/2007 2:54:51 PM EST
I am looking for a project car. Originally I was looking to get a Mustang 5.0 (89 - 93) but I had one I bought new back in 1989. (and I remember gettiing my ass whipped by a Grand National despite my re-geaaring the Stang with a 3.55:1 ring and pinion)

Now I am looking at a Buick Grand National. However, I am wondering if maintaining/ rebuilding the turbo chargers is feasible/ reasonable.

How long do these turbo chargers last (mileage)?

Any one have buying tips?



Link Posted: 2/24/2007 2:56:04 PM EST
Talk to DragracerArt, and go look in the cars and bikes section.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 3:47:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/24/2007 3:50:21 PM EST by red65]
40 - 50 k miles is what i heard.


I don't think that a GN is a good project car.


If I was going to pay out the ass restoring a car it would be some real late 60's detroit iron.

There are still a few cars that can be had for the 15-20k range.

At least get a V-8.

A turbocharged v-6 is kind of ... sad.

Link Posted: 2/24/2007 4:04:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/24/2007 4:11:37 PM EST by JohnBuuu]

Originally Posted By red65:
40 - 50 k miles is what i heard.

I don't think that a GN is a good project car.

A turbocharged v-6 is kind of ... sad.

www2.uol.com.br/bestcars/carros/outros/muscle/amx-68-4.jpg


Wow....I dont know what to say to that.
My turbo-6 will behead and shit down the throat of most "real 60s iron". I have only ever heard people who have never driven a GN disparrage a turbo 6.
The Buick GN is universally accepted by the Buick and most other muscle car owners as an instant classic. It is a GREAT project car. Starting with a forged motor is always an advantage. If you are looking to make any sort of decent power, I would be looking to go larger on the turbo rather than stock. I can literally go on all night on properly modifying these vehicles, so if you have an specific Q's, Id be happy to answer, but a decent resource is tp6.com.
The amx pictured above is alright, but you have to love a car that only comes in black.
This one is right on the verge of braking into the 9's....just need the methanol injection and done.
They have just one turbo BTW. Some people do twins, some stay single. Matter of preference, either can make more power than anyone could ever possibly hope to make use of on a street car. I have seen some of the higher end turbo-6s making in the neighborhood to 2000hp.
The replacement for displacement is boost....that said, I have a vehicle with a 502 as well.






ETA: If you are intersted in the turbo buicks.....look at the turbo regals as well. Same car, but command less cash than the GN.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 4:14:35 PM EST
A turbocharged V6 can be Fing wicked. Pick your turbo to suit your desired HP range and follow up with the proper supporting mods for that size turbo/boost level. I give thumbs up on the GN project, sweet cars. Check out precision turbos sight for a quick heads up on what HP you could expect with different turbos

Precision's Buick Turbos
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 5:08:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By red65:
40 - 50 k miles is what i heard.


I don't think that a GN is a good project car.


If I was going to pay out the ass restoring a car it would be some real late 60's detroit iron.

There are still a few cars that can be had for the 15-20k range.

At least get a V-8.

A turbocharged v-6 is kind of ... sad.



www2.uol.com.br/bestcars/carros/outros/muscle/amx-68-4.jpg


You really need to get a clue about the GNs before you have to eat your words. They would have eaten all but a VERY few "musclecars" without breaking a sweat.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 5:13:45 PM EST
Isn't that the one that Carmen Electra bought her hubby Dave Navaro? (Nice present from a chick too btw)
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 5:49:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/25/2007 4:26:51 PM EST by Lucky68]
Turbo's are awesome my stock 4.6 V8 mustang 547hp at the tires with 11 psi it is 100% stock motor just 39 pound injectors. My new motor is a 302 stroker with a bigger turbo should be about 900 to 1000 hp (at the crank not tires) when done short block will take 1500 horse power all for less than $6000.bucks... P.S. I drive it everyday with my boost controller.. Lucky

Link Posted: 2/24/2007 5:55:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/24/2007 5:56:42 PM EST by RealFastV6]
The turbo will last as long as you take care of it. It's not like they have a fixed lifespan.

That said, a "fixer upper" Buick TR will be more project then most weekend warriors will want to handle, ESPECIALLY if it's your first turbo car.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 7:04:03 AM EST
I was the original owner of an '84 Buick GN. I've always regretted selling it but at the time it had been sitting quite a while and I just didn't have the time to put it back in good shape. Liked the Lear seats and the Western wheels.

For the time it was a hot car. Made more HP/torque than the same year 'vette. If you want to see a copy of 'your' car on every street corner, buy a Mustang/Camero. If you want to have a VERY distinctive ride, the GN is tough to beat.

I was annoyed when mine came in, they'd put on these cheezy chrome rub strips along the door edges so I had to pull them off and replace with solid black ones.

I'd added an intercooler which was a mistake, it made more HP but hurt the collector value since I had to notch the intake for clearance. The old 200R4 tranny that came in them was too weak for the motor, it was right on the edge of its power limit. Had I kept the car the tranny would've had to be beefed up or replaced.

I wouldn't worry about maintaining the turbo, these days, turbo's are easily found and replaced as needed.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 7:45:34 AM EST
When the Buick GN came out, it was the fastest production 1/4 mile EVER IIRC. That's including Hemi's and all the 60's muscle cars. Don't know if it still holds that record, but it would still kick ass.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 7:53:00 AM EST
I hapen to have a 91 GT convertible for sale
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 7:59:23 AM EST
GN's are no joke. My buddy has one that runs low 11's.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 9:34:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/25/2007 9:43:25 AM EST by red65]

Originally Posted By xylo:
When the Buick GN came out, it was the fastest production 1/4 mile EVER IIRC. That's including Hemi's and all the 60's muscle cars. Don't know if it still holds that record, but it would still kick ass.


no it didn't! where did you get that from?


my brother in law had a GN

drove it plenty of times

been there done that

not my cup of tea


Link Posted: 2/25/2007 9:41:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By red65:

Originally Posted By xylo:
When the Buick GN came out, it was the fastest production 1/4 mile EVER IIRC. That's including Hemi's and all the 60's muscle cars. Don't know if it still holds that record, but it would still kick ass.


no it didn't! where did you get that from?


my brother in law had a GN

drove it plenty of times

been there done that

not my cup of tea



I think he means GNX, not the GN...
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 9:44:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/25/2007 9:46:57 AM EST by red65]

Originally Posted By BlackDog714:

Originally Posted By red65:

Originally Posted By xylo:
When the Buick GN came out, it was the fastest production 1/4 mile EVER IIRC. That's including Hemi's and all the 60's muscle cars. Don't know if it still holds that record, but it would still kick ass.


no it didn't! where did you get that from?


my brother in law had a GN

drove it plenty of times

been there done that

not my cup of tea



I think he means GNX, not the GN...


The GN was a quick car, but has a few drawbacks.

First of all, don't make me laugh comparing it to a hemi. Gimme a break.

Here are the factory 1/4 times:

1985 Buick Regal Grand National 15.7
1986 Buick Regal Grand National 13.9
1987 Buick Regal GNX 13.5

Very respectable, but hardly anything to crow about.


Also, don't forget that the car is just a regal with a turbo on it. I would take an actual performance car like the vette any day.


It's a good car, it's not a POS or anything, but the turbo lag is lame, and you have to remember that the times you see posted are done on a cold day with a bunch of GM engineers tweeking it.

Once you get some wear on the turbo, you are going to start losing power. i speak from experience.

That aside, the car lack the classic feel of the 1960 cars to me.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 9:46:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/25/2007 9:52:48 AM EST by BlackDog714]

Originally Posted By red65:

Also, don't forget that the car is just a regal with a turbo on it. I would take an actual performance car like the vette any day.


The GNX and the Typhoon/Syclone were eating the Vette's lunch and porking its sister in the same era... Now, we wont mention cornering ability


Originally Posted By red65:
Here are the factory 1/4 times:

1985 Buick Regal Grand National 15.7
1986 Buick Regal Grand National 13.9
1987 Buick Regal GNX 13.5

Very respectable, but hardly anything to crow about.


1987 Corvette Z51 14.6
1968 Plymouth 'Cuda 440 5.6 14.0
1991 GMC Syclone 5.3 14.1 (M/T Sept 91)
1993 GMC Typhoon 5.3 14.1 (M/T June 93)
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 9:56:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/25/2007 9:56:52 AM EST by bigcraig]
The Buick V6 turbo setup can produce some serious power, however the body style never appealed to me.

I did help a friend convert a Chevy Berreta GTZ to rear wheel drive, and he used a all GN powertrain in it. IIRC he finished it in the early 90's and it is still up and running today. I believe it would run mid to upper 10's in the 1/4 mile, and he drove it to work everyday.

It was a handfull to drive at the track .
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:03:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/25/2007 3:07:57 PM EST by JohnBuuu]

Originally Posted By red65:
The GN was a quick car, but has a few drawbacks.

First of all, don't make me laugh comparing it to a hemi. Gimme a break.


Why wouldn't you? They are both great motors capable of making infinitely more power than can be used on the street, or anything but a dedicated track car


Here are the factory 1/4 times:

1985 Buick Regal Grand National 15.7
1986 Buick Regal Grand National 13.9
1987 Buick Regal GNX 13.5

Very respectable, but hardly anything to crow about.


Who cares about factory times? The point of a factory forced induction car is that it takes very little to make it a beast. Ford Lightnings arent exactly fast trucks stock, but buy a couple of pulleys and a chip and its a raped ape


Also, don't forget that the car is just a regal with a turbo on it. I would take an actual performance car like the vette any day.


Regals arent bad cars. Your comparison is apples and oranges. Comparing a vette to a muscle car doesn't make sense. GNs were never designed to go fast around a track. Hell, you need to remove the front swaybar for a drag setup.


It's a good car, it's not a POS or anything, but the turbo lag is lame, and you have to remember that the times you see posted are done on a cold day with a bunch of GM engineers tweeking it.


Oh Lord, here we go with the turbo wivestales. Firstly, anyone with a clue what they are doing can match their TC stall and turbo so that there is virtually no lag. I run a PT76, which is a sizeable turbo, and with a 3400 stall, it has no noticeable lag whatsover. It just takes off. Creases in the seat evidence this.
I don't know where on earth where you come up with that last line. A properly spec'd GN/Turbo regal is a very consistent car. The GM engineers comment I shouldnt even dignify, because its just dumb. I have never seen someone in a GN at the track with a team of engineers from GM tweeking on it to make it fast. All it takes is FAST, and a laptop, and thats only necessary for the faster cars. I say again, my GN will do low 10s all day long, hotlap or not.



Once you get some wear on the turbo, you are going to start losing power. i speak from experience.

That aside, the car lack the classic feel of the 1960 cars to me.

Turbos are not hard to maintain, and are no huge deal to get rebuilt. This wouldnt even be a consideration for me, and I doubt it is for the poster, since he is looking for a project car, probably not something you are going to put 50k on in under 5 years.
You know this isn't meant as a personal attack at you, because I certainly respect different tastes....60's iron and whatnot....but frankly, you speak like someone with very little experience with the GN or turbos in general. Not meant as an insult, but some of the stuff you have said is just plain wrong.
Respectfully,
John


Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:15:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/25/2007 3:54:45 PM EST by Dragracer_Art]
Read this thread...
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=134&t=545169&page=1

I jumped in at page 3.
Plenty of good GN info to chew on. I don't feel like typing it all over again.

The stock turbos are a dime a dozen, and are hit or miss. Some will go 100k+ miles, others won't.

The biggest problems you will find with GN's is the stock 200R4 transmission. The cars were way overpowered for that trans.

I bought my current GN with a bad trans, for $4500. First thing I did was swap-in a TH400 race trans and 10" convertor. Another 'couple grand and I had a 10-sec timeslip.
That's with the bone stock longblock as it left Buick in 1987.
No internal work at all. Pretty much just a bigger turbo, injectors, front mount intercooler, race gas and lots of boost.
I recently added a progressive Alcohol injection system that will allow me to run the same 27+psi boost levels on just pump gas.

This was one of two runs at Cecil County Dragway back in November. Both runs were in the 10.90's @ 122


Here's how it sits in my garage right now with the stock rims back on for the Winter.

Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:21:00 PM EST
Cool cars, never had one, or even rid in one, but they are Badd

The thing that stinks about the GN tough, at least around here, is they're a small fortune to get into. Everyone thinks they're "rare", and I've honestly never seen one much under 5 figures... probably not the greatest choice for a project since you're talking serious money just to buy a seat.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:37:13 PM EST
Right engine, wrong car. The fastest zero to sixty time was held by the '89 Pontiac Trans Am w/3.8 turbo @ 3.9 seconds.



Originally Posted By xylo:
When the Buick GN came out, it was the fastest production 1/4 mile EVER IIRC. That's including Hemi's and all the 60's muscle cars. Don't know if it still holds that record, but it would still kick ass.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:39:51 PM EST
Get any '97 to 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP (supercharged)
The GN turbo 3.8L is an early version of the Grand Prix V6 3.8L supercharged motor.

With intake, PCM(chip) smaller pulley, down-pipe and stock exhaust they're good for high 13's
Headers and a cam they're good for 12's - approximately $1000 worth of mods! Being front wheel drive, their transmissions are weak though.

I can tell you from previous Buick parts experience that those GN parts are discontinued through Buick. Get A Grand Prix, get headers and a medium to high lift cam and you're doin 12's and nobody will suspect how fast your sleeper really is. I've showed my taillights to many 5.0's and 4.6's with my GP

You can get GP's for well under ten-grand now and smoke any Rustang with basic mods. check out clubgp.com for more GP info
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:41:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By JAMES77257:
Right engine, wrong car. The fastest zero to sixty time was held by the '89 Pontiac Trans Am w/3.8 turbo @ 3.9 seconds.



Originally Posted By xylo:
When the Buick GN came out, it was the fastest production 1/4 mile EVER IIRC. That's including Hemi's and all the 60's muscle cars. Don't know if it still holds that record, but it would still kick ass.


It didn't sniff that from the factory.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:45:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By JohnBuuu:

Originally Posted By red65:

Turbos are not hard to maintain, and are no huge deal to get rebuilt. This wouldnt even be a consideration for me, and I doubt it is for the poster, since he is looking for a project car, probably not something you are going to put 50k on in under 5 years.
You know this isn't meant as a personal attack at you, because I certainly respect different tastes....60's iron and whatnot....but frankly, you speak like someone with very little experience with the GN or turbos in general. Not meant as an insult, but some of the stuff you have said is just plain wrong.
Respectfully,
John





It's amazing how the Legend of the Grand National grows every year...

The numbers that the factory publishes don't match up with track time.

You want to take a factory stock GN or GNX and run it on a normal day, not a freezing cold day in detroit with a bunch of experts tweeking it. (Cold air makes turbo motors run faster.)

Look in the car magazines from the late 1980's and you will see that the stock GN's were very good but not anywhere near the Incredible Wondercar that everyone pretends them to be.

1984
Regal T Type 15.9 87 8.0 Car and Driver 12/83
Regal Grand National 15.88 87.7 7.5 Motor Trend 12/83
Regal Grand National 15.67 87.10 - Car Review 7/84
Regal Grand National 15.61 87.17 - Car Craft` 4/84
Regal Grand National 15.5 89.89 7.5 Hot Rod 8/84
Riviera T Type
1985 Regal Grand National 16.43 83.37 - MuscleCars Vol3,#5
Regal Grand National 15.7 87 7.5 Car and Driver 7/85
Riviera T Type
1986 Regal Grand National 14.68 93.7 6.0 Motor Trend 6/86
Regal Grand National 13.9 98 4.9 Car and Driver 4/86
1987 Regal Grand National 14.73 95.1 6.07 Motor Trend 8/87
Regal Grand National 14.27 96.67 Super Stock 2/87
Regal GNX 13.5 102 4.7 Car and Driver 5/87


Now compare:

# YEAR/MODEL ET/MPH ENGINE HP TRANS GEAR SOURCE
1 1966 427 Cobra 12.20@118 427 8V 425 4-Speed 3.54 CC 11/65
2 1966 Corvette 427 12.8@112 L72 427 425 4-Speed 3.36 CD 11/65
3 1969 Road Runner 12.91@111.8 440 Six BBL 390 4-Speed 4.10 SS 6/69
4 1970 Hemi Cuda 13.10@107.12 426 Hemi 425 4-Speed 3.54 CC 11/69
5 1970 Chevelle SS454 13.12@107.01 454 LS6 450 4-Speed 3.55 CC 11/69
6 1969 Camaro 13.16@110.21 427 ZL1 430 4-Speed 4.10 HC 6/69
7 1968 Corvette 13.30@108 427 6V 435 4-Speed 3.70 HC 5/68
8 1970 Road Runner 13.34@107.5 426 Hemi 425 automatic 4.10 SS 12/69
9 1970 Buick GS Stage I 13.38@105.5 455 Stage I 360 automatic 3.64 MT 1/70
10 1968 Corvette 427 13.41@109.5 L72 427 425 4-Speed 3.55 CD 6/68
11 1969 Charger 500 13.48@109 426 Hemi 425 4-Speed 4.10 HR 2/69
12 1968 Charger 13.50@105 426 Hemi 425 automatic 3.23 CD 11/67


DON'T FORGET: The above times were done on stock cars on shitty bias ply 1960's tires. Put a set of those grandma tires on a GN and you'll add 1/2 second to the 1/4 mile time.

Those GNs are barely dipping into the 13's. It's an excellent car but nothing like what everyone pretends it to be.

Link Posted: 2/25/2007 4:11:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lucky68:
P.S. I drive it everyday with my boost controller.. Lucky


Then why is it on a trailer?
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 4:24:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By Lucky68:
P.S. I drive it everyday with my boost controller.. Lucky


Then why is it on a trailer?


Putting togher new motor like I said in my post..
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 4:31:54 PM EST
Lets agree TURBOS are awesome you can turbo charge a golf cart and it would fly.. My little cousin has a 4cylinder that runs 11.teens all day long... Lucky
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 4:50:06 PM EST
I have an 83 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. It's a 2.3L 4-banger with a small turbo. I was surprised at how well it drove. The previous owner got it into a 14 second 1/4 mile by increasing the boost, and using some parts from an 88 TC. They can get into the 12s with some work. I've never driven a GN, but I imagine that a V6 and a good turbo would be a wild ride!
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 5:39:05 PM EST
How comparable is the Buick Park Ave with the 3.8L and turbo? An old lady down the street has one and I am alwasy hoping she will sell it.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 5:42:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lucky68:
Turbo's are awesome my stock 4.6 V8 mustang 547hp at the tires with 11 psi it is 100% stock motor just 39 pound injectors. My new motor is a 302 stroker with a bigger turbo should be about 900 to 1000 hp (at the crank not tires) when done short block will take 1500 horse power all for less than $6000.bucks... P.S. I drive it everyday with my boost controller.. Lucky

i148.photobucket.com/albums/s34/lucky68_album/ARandMustangPics016.jpg



nice car but good luck getting any traction w/ those 20" wheels. But then again that thing needs 900-1000 just to get it down the track. No offense and coming from a '69 Mustang owner.


Anyways...back on topic

Go w/ a GN bro or go w/ a Fox Mustang. Those two are probably the best 1/4 mile cars in the industry. Either one can be wicked fast and look good too.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:56:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 9:57:23 AM EST by Lucky68]
I drive around with the 20's so I dont brake anything I have a set of slicks and set of sticky street tires too... I know the 20's slow me down in the quater mile on 20's it best 11.20's to 11.30's I have been around drag racing almost all my life and I am 39 years old.. I think I know a little bit about what tires to use.... Lucky
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:59:58 AM EST
Sounds like a cool project. Make sure to keep us updated on your progress.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:22:15 AM EST
I too was once the proud owner of a 1987 GN and this thread gives me a chance to wax poetically. Buick increased the HP over the production life span of the GN. The 87 GN was the most powerful turbo Buick short of the GNX. IIRC the GNX had a larger, ceramic turbo that helped up it's HP but all the Buick GN's were grossly underestimated in HP.

Here's what I can tell you about the car. It's a straightline animal. Although not horrible, it had a simplistic suspension system that wasn't designed for optimal handling. But once the tach hit 2800 RPM, you better have the car pointed in a straightline. I have never driven in any other car that literally explodes at a certain rpm. At 2800 rpm, the car would kind of settle on its haunches, the hood would spring up, the hounds of hell chorus would start barking, and the world started moving by an obscene rate of speed. Man, it was soooo much fun. Plus in those days, 1991-95, nobody really knew what the car was about. I can still see the look of surprise on vette/mustang/camero owner's faces.

Fred
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