Finally got My 87 Buick T-Type

Oct 6, 2020
1
3
Hey guys. Lets start off by saying my dad is finally giving me the T-Type Limited it has under 40K orgnial miles he has owned it since new. Last car was driven was like 2000 has sat in his driveway since. I have been askin for this car the day i turned 18 cause i knew he would never finish it. Well time has come and he is giving it to me. Im super pumped. Wanted to hear thoughts on what i should outside of the obviouse.. Do you think the internals of motor and gaskets and timing chain are ok? i want to put a 5858 turbo will the stuff to support it shooting for under 12 sec weekend car.
 
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ck80

Royal Smart Person
Feb 18, 2014
1,426
113
For a car that hasn't been driven in 20 years I would focus on getting everything sorted out with preventive maintenance before getting into mods. You start changing stuff out you don't know if the mod messed something up or if it was something else that went bad from sitting.

Personally I'd swap the nylon timing gear to a steel chain setup, splurging the tiny extra up charge for double roller.

Since you want to mod anyways, one upgrade I WOULD do now is drop the tank, upgrade the fuel pump, hot wire kit, and change the filter on the frame rail.

Inspect rubber components, get new tires, change rubber brake lines to prevent risk of internal collapses, all that good stuff. Put a couple thousand miles on it stock. Won't take long to see if seals are smoking etc.

I'd also crank the motor a bit without gas to get oil up everywhere if you don't feel like priming it with a drill. I might do it a few times on different days before trying to fire if it hasn't started in 20 years. Then, you drive it gentle for a while. Somewhat shrunken gaskets/seals can re-expand sometimes if lubrication happens and it has a chance to be absorbed, IF they aren't damaged in the process by pressures and heat before they get that chance.
 
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UNGN

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 6, 2016
2,853
113
Southlake, TX
Timing Chain is probably fine. Spring pressure is about zero and the motor doesn't rev above 5200. and if the chain breaks, put a new one on. It's not a miata.

Don't mess with an aftermarket turbo until you are running low 12's over over 110 mph in the 1/4 with the stock one.

If the car still has the stock fuel pump, that is #1. I just put a new pump in mine (the old one was almost 25 years old). This is one part where you don't want to scrimp if you are going to turn up the boost and run race gas at the track.

I bought an Aeromotive Stealth because it still provides volume at high Boost levels. Cheap pumps WILL NOT. You want a pump that will fully flow @ 75 psi.

#2 would be a Free flowing 2.5" cat back exhaust with "straight thru" mufflers like Ultraflows.

Embrace the low buck recipe mods instead of buying a bunch of boltons. Port the turbo Elbow & Turbo Inlet bell, make your own adjustable wastegate, get a 237 FP regulator from the junkyard. Take the headers off, have the cracks welded up and lap all the joints flat. Pre turbo exhaust has to have ZERO leaks.
 
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ck80

Royal Smart Person
Feb 18, 2014
1,426
113
Timing Chain is probably fine. Spring pressure is about zero and the motor doesn't rev above 5200. and if the chain breaks, put a new one on. It's not a miata.
Generally speaking I agree, except for this part.

The question isn't the strength of the chain, it is the nylon tipped gear that is the problem.

Buick v6 can, under circumstances have issues when if you jump time when running you run the risk of bending pushrods, having pistons hit valves, bending said valves, and running up the bill for head job and possibly replacing some pistons depending on damage. That said, on a 100% stock factory assembled engine, you should have plenty of clearance between piston/valve in a jump time situation to prevent damage unless the cam profile is way off stock, heads/block were decked/resurfaced, pistons changed things of that nature.

If you're going through stuff on a high dollar car I wouldn't cheap out on $150 in parts to go to an all steel gear and chain setup, especially with the proven issues those now 34 year old nylon teeth have with age.

If I had a 40k mile turbo car that's sat 20 years I wouldn't trust those things not to break off and have it jump time. (probably the biggest weak spot in the Buick v6 engine and arguably the largest reason for v6 powered gbodies getting junked or parted through the years.)

I wouldn't want to leave it on the side of the road broken down given how often they're stolen by snatch and grabs, and, I'd also want to keep it out of the hands of tow operators who are genreally careless.

However, your car, money, and risk, so go however you choose. May not break. If it does, you may get lucky or notnhave changed things and not do more damage. Or, you could get some mix of damage, or a car vandalized or stolen. All goes to your appetite for risk.

As far as mod selection, that I'd also generally agree with, but with one suggestion I left out the first post.

If the car is 100% stock, save every 100% stock piece - not just turbo, but uncut wastegate rod, chips, cat converter, even muffler.

Let's say you mod it and drive 25k miles. Given equal conditions it's worth more as a bone stock 65k model than it is a tastefully nodded one - caveat being you going out and putting a stage motor, repop gnx rear setup, etc etc and dropping insane money of course.
 

UNGN

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 6, 2016
2,853
113
Southlake, TX
CK80, you are 100% correct that it could be a problem, but the 40K mile chain shouldn't be stretched and won't break, so the odds of a complete failure even if the nylon cracks and falls off is relatively low and that should make enough racket to get your attention.

I have a set of pocket ported 3.8L heads with a 3-angle valve job I'll sell for $150+ shipping and probably hundreds of other V6 guys have similar, so the top end is super cheap to fix if it breaks.

I wouldn't open a 40K mile motor until I had to because the odds are not zero if you take to the track, you will have to for something else, completely unrelated to the timing chain

I definitely wouldn't open up a motor that ran fine when parked. That is opening up a wormhole that may never close.

Get it running, get it on the road fix problems as they come up, because there will probably lots of them needing fixing.

I would take the turbo off. Make sure the flanges between the turbo/manifold is 100% flat (lap it if its isn't). and pour oil down the turbo oil feed line until it was full, to prime the oil pump, then reinstall the turbo.

The injectors may need to come out to be cleaned, but that it about the extend of the tear down of the motor I would recommend until it is running/driving, to avoid it sitting in a driveway for another 20 years.
 
Oct 14, 2008
6,499
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
That dam nylon coated cam gear was just a plain stupid design across the GM line. I have been lucky on reasonable mile Olds V8's that the nylon looked perfect, others have a full oil pump pick up. Supposedly Dodge and I am sure others used the dreaded nylon cam gear. I am not a GN owner or expert but I remember one guy in the village I lived in 15 years ago had one that ran 11's I believe, had a chip, the down pipe, waste gate mod etc. My old boss at the Mechanics shop showed me a fuel pump and I believe a regulator as well to go in the car. He said these cars are fast but everyone of them comes with a fuel pump that can't keep up and they need changed. Pretty sure it was an expensive aftermarket one as well. Funny how all those years later these cars have a legendary status and for a reason. Nothing else from GM made the 80's could run that fast without massive internal/external mods.
 

NCTyphoonKid

G-Body Guru
Mar 17, 2019
598
93
Do not chance the timing gear do it now, I have a friend that has a 1989 TTA and his car has a little over 100k on it and the timing chain gear started coming apart it was barely caught in time. He was doing other preventive maintenance at the time and found the gear almost ready to fully come apart. 40k miles or not that’s a nylon gear that is over 30 years old and is more than likely deteriorated to a extent.
 
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NCTyphoonKid

G-Body Guru
Mar 17, 2019
598
93
I had to go find the pics of his timing gear. Cheap insurance go ahead and replace that plastic/nylon garbage of a gear
 

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