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CaliWagon83's Consolidated Question/Tech/Update thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CaliWagon83, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. CaliWagon83

    CaliWagon83 Apprentice
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    Hi All! I'm about to inherit an '83 Regal wagon that's been in the family since new. Right now it's in Tennessee, but will soon make its way back out to the Left Coast. It's pretty clean and relatively low-miles (I think about 63k right now). It's that ubiquitous baby blue metallic with woodgrain trim. I want to build a Grand National-look wagon out of it, complete with front buckets, console shifter, and coupe nose. If any of you have done a similar build or know anyone that has that can offer tips, advice or knowledge, I'd be very grateful! No pics handy to post yet, but I promise to post some as soon as I can.
     
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  2. Longroof79

    Longroof79 Geezer

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    Welcome aboard!
    From how you describe this wagon, it sounds like a true survivor. If it were mine, I think I'd keep it original...for awhile at least. Not that I don't like your plan for it.
    Putting the coupe nose and fenders on will require some metal work to make the fenders fit properly. I had met a guy who was a member of this forum, He had a nice Century or Regal wagon with the coupe nose on it. I had pics of the car, but had since deleted them.

    Please post some pics of the wagon when you get it.

    Btw, here's some inspiration for you. http://buickturboregal.com/buick-grand-national-station-wagon.html
    The guy's wagon who I mentioned is the third one down. Enjoy!
     
  3. CaliWagon83

    CaliWagon83 Apprentice
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    Hi All,

    Just wondering if there were any fundamental differences between the boat-anchor 3.8 2-bbl V-6 block, and the one that was used in the Grand National/GNX. Obviously, there are internal differences (pistons, cam, crank, bearings, etc.) and everything bolted to the engine, but just the block itself. I'm wondering if the basic 3.8 2-bbl block could be used to build a Grand National engine, or if I'd be better off finding a GN engine to start with. On that note, how hard are they to find now, either original or aftermarket?
     
  4. Doug213xrj

    Doug213xrj Royal Smart Person

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    Hey, Welcome from West Michigan.

    Doug
     
  5. CaliWagon83

    CaliWagon83 Apprentice
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    Hi Longroof79! Yeah, a lot of my friends are encouraging me to keep the stock look. I think at least in the early going, I'm going to keep it as-is. My #1 priority is just to get it running reliably and safely. It hasn't started or run in about 5 years, so I know the fuel system is going to need to be flushed out, and fresh fluids, etc. Unfortunately, it is a CA-original car, so it has the craptastic computer-controlled 2-bbl carb. I found a TBI setup from Affordable Fuel Injection out of Michigan (https://www.affordable-fuel-injection.com/product-category/buick-tbi-kits/) that I think might be a good interim option to putter around with before I really tear into it. From reading a few other threads here, I think I may change out to a 3.08 rear-end, since I think it's probably the 2.41, and when it was running and driving, it was indeed a dog.

    Re: Links. Yeah, I've seen the pic of that top wagon. That's close to the look I want to go for. I actually think I want to do a grey & black two-tone. I want Grand National-inspired, but with a little bit of a unique twist. I really dig the idea of a Grand National El Camino! My daily driver is now an '04 Avalanche, which is a bit of an oddball in its own right!
     
    #5 CaliWagon83, Nov 12, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  6. Longroof79

    Longroof79 Geezer

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    I like the idea of keeping it as a sleeper. In other words, keep it as a mild looking grocery getter and install the GN or T-Type drive train in it. I think it would blow some minds.

    Yeah, the El Camino style is a cool concept. I don't care for how they did the roof on that particular one though....besides, I wouldn't hack up a nice car to do that.
     
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  7. 81Regal

    81Regal Royal Smart Person

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    The crank and pistons are different but I believe the block is physically the same with different casting numbers. Many of the TB guys use a 4.1L block for a built engine, would be a great start for what you are looking to do.
     
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  8. CaliWagon83

    CaliWagon83 Apprentice
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    Hi All. I know I'm probably a minority in this forum, but I really want to stay V-6 with my project. Right now it's the 3.8L bbl. Eventually, I want to do a turbo V-6 of some sort. I'm definitely considering a Grand National-style 3.8 TPI turbo, if the cost and availability of parts is reasonable.

    Some other engines I'm considering for the swap are a Cadillac LF3 (CTS V-Sport) LF4 (ATS-V) or Ford 3.5 EcoBoost. I know putting a Ford engine in a GM is unthinkable for some people, but since Ford has put them in literally a million-plus F-150s, I know there are plenty of them out there. The Caddy engines are quite a bit more rare.

    I'm prepared for the trash-talk that's about to commence with this thread. :mrgreen:
     
  9. 1evilregal

    1evilregal Royal Smart Person

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    welcome to the site from NC! looking forward to pics as well, and my vote would be to keep it stock looking for the time being, maybe throw some GN wheels on it? I'm an old school guy, but have been thinking alot about fuel injection systems as of late.... once you get a start on it, get a thread in the project section started!
     
  10. fleming442

    fleming442 G-Body Guru

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    Good luck, bro! I had a had enough time getting a Series II in....
     
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