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Quarter Life Crisis. It's a thing. v.GN


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v6buicks

v6buicks

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Why have I never heard of the GS Nationals!?? Wow this is great stuff!
Dude, you need to go! I'm not the only guy there who would love to see your GP. There isn't a ton of 3800 action but it's picking up. TSM allows 3800s to compete as long as it's in a G-body, but I haven't seen anybody actually do it yet. I'm still not opposed to ditching the F-body for that reason, but it's a ton of work for class I'd realistically never compete in.
 
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v6buicks

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Anyway... This will be the last update for a while because it will be current after this.

I went into the barn this spring with very low expectations. I ran into a very light freezing rain before I put the car away. You know that fog kind of stuff that just sticks to the car even though it's rain-Xd and moving at 60mph? Yeah, that crap. I thought for sure I'd be putting the car away just for it to rot anyway. Therefore, I expected a dirty and rusty car come spring time.

Much to my surprise, that didn't happen. The car was much cleaner than expected, and the under body actually looked better than I remembered it. For the first time ever, I had a fleet of three mostly operational black turbo cars.
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I had bought some goodies at the Nats in 2019, so I was eager to install those right away. First was this little support brace for the sagging under dash panel. You can't even tell it's there unless you're looking for it, and it makes the interior look much less raggedy.
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Much better. I wish that the back of the panel and that sound proofing stuff wasn't all messed up, but the previous owner's attempt at installing the Alky kit allowed the module to flop around. It eventually settled in that spot for years and bent it. The carpet won't hold it back anymore. Oh well. You can't notice it unless you're down on your knees anyway.

Second thing that I bought was a complete stock valve cover breather. I don't think I had ever been so excited to install stock parts. The turbo bell just had a cap on it and the valve cover had this little filter. The PCV was stock. As I learned from my Camaro project this was doing nothing except for making a mess on my header, a big vacuum leak, and all it's passengers smell awful after only a few minutes of driving.
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Not too exciting, The car definitely still needs some work, but its running even better now with the right breather set-up. I'm not sure what will happen next, but part of me likes the idea of putting the stock plenum, throttle body, and intercooler back on. The bigger stuff looks cool, but it talks a way bigger game than it plays. I'd keep it without question if I could figure out how to make the up-pipe and vacuum block quit rubbing my hood pad, but I think that's just the nature of the beast with this combination of parts. We'll see. They aren't junk parts by any means, so it will be hard to just ditch them like that.
 
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Ohh man... that LeSabre GN... fuck yeah. My first car was and 87 2 door LeSabre And still fuckin drool over T-type LeSabre’s.
Despite being a FWD NA turd that doesn't even have a 3800 in it, I still see it as like the 3800 holy grail car. lol I know the LGN is really only for homologation purposes, but I find it odd how those were so blah compared to the T-types that came soon after. I'd still love to have either one!

More coo-coo stuff...

Imagine explaining to somebody that you have two real '86 Grand Nationals and that they're not the same in any way shape or form. I'm weird, but I'd love watching peoples brains short out over it. :LOL:
 

Pewter-Camaro

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Despite being a FWD NA turd that doesn't even have a 3800 in it, I still see it as like the 3800 holy grail car. lol I know the LGN is really only for homologation purposes, but I find it odd how those were so blah compared to the T-types that came soon after. I'd still love to have either one!

More coo-coo stuff...

Imagine explaining to somebody that you have two real '86 Grand Nationals and that they're not the same in any way shape or form. I'm weird, but I'd love watching peoples brains short out over it. :LOL:
yeah There are sooo few people that know there was ever a FWD Buick GN. I’ve only seen one LGN in person at a cruise night in the 90’s. Man that would be awesome owning both.
 
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yeah There are sooo few people that know there was ever a FWD Buick GN. I’ve only seen one LGN in person at a cruise night in the 90’s. Man that would be awesome owning both.
For sure! Every once in a while I still learn about an 80s Buick sub-model I've never heard of, and I'm kind of a die hard! There was a Somerset T-type for sale in SC for $400 a few months ago, and I'm kinda kicking myself for passing it up. I had no idea they existed until that point!

I have to imagine that every LGN owner is VERY tired of hearing:
1. Is it turbod?
2. Is it RWD?
3. It's fake.
I'm all for loving your car and disregarding everyone else's useless opinions, but the disappointments would get old pretty quick. Just appreciate the car for what it is instead of comparing it to everything else!
 

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Cool story, thanks for posting. Back in 1986 I accompanied a buddy of mine to the dealership and got to ride along on his test drive of a brand new Grand National. My buddy drove, sales dude in the passenger seat, and me in the back. My buddy played it cool for a while, sales dude telling him to take it easy, but the first long stretch of clear road and he really put the spurs to it. I was laughing and grinning ear to ear. Sales dude was NOT happy! That was the first time I ever rode in a turbo car and I was pretty impressed. I think those were about the fastest thing on the road back then. Loved it.
 
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Cool story, thanks for posting. Back in 1986 I accompanied a buddy of mine to the dealership and got to ride along on his test drive of a brand new Grand National. My buddy drove, sales dude in the passenger seat, and me in the back. My buddy played it cool for a while, sales dude telling him to take it easy, but the first long stretch of clear road and he really put the spurs to it. I was laughing and grinning ear to ear. Sales dude was NOT happy! That was the first time I ever rode in a turbo car and I was pretty impressed. I think those were about the fastest thing on the road back then. Loved it.
They were! It was a huge kick in the nuts to the Corvette program. Lol
 
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No updates in particular. I just took the car to the hardware store yesterday and wanted to snap a pic. I don't know why I'm so giddy about old cars with functional AC now, but I don't think it's wearing off any time soon. That one detail makes a car actually feel like the luxurious vessel it was intended to be. I can hop in and drive as long or far as I want with great comfort.
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Mr_Roboto

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A GN or T-type is still a bucket list car for me honestly. Maybe one of these days.
 
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A GN or T-type is still a bucket list car for me honestly. Maybe one of these days.
They're cool, but man are they a pain in the ass! I think the rewards are worth the pains, but those pains are usually expensive AND labor intensive.
 

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I may end up with a clone and a non-6 powertrain.
 

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Great thread, you're doing a very nice job with the car - keep up the good work!

They're cool, but man are they a pain in the ass! I think the rewards are worth the pains, but those pains are usually expensive AND labor intensive.
I had an 87 probably 10-15 years ago. Built motor, T63, THDP, SMC alcohol, 60's, built trans, etc...this statement completely describes owning one.
They are Jekyll and Hyde in their personality and the ownership experience.
The most fun car I ever owned and the biggest pain in the ass all in one package.
 
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Great thread, you're doing a very nice job with the car - keep up the good work!



I had an 87 probably 10-15 years ago. Built motor, T63, THDP, SMC alcohol, 60's, built trans, etc...this statement completely describes owning one.
They are Jekyll and Hyde in their personality and the ownership experience.
The most fun car I ever owned and the biggest pain in the ass all in one package.
Thanks man! At this point the goal is just to keep in in better shape than I found it which is proving to be quite the challenge. They're pretty awesome in lightly modified form despite wanting to screw you dry every chance they can get. :LOL: I just feel like modifying a nice one like this is going to aggravate Hyde and keep me from enjoying Jekyll. lol
 

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Very cool. I rarely drive my GN anymore and have thought about selling it. That said, I don't know if I have it in me to get rid of it since it'll be impossible to replace with its condition and what I have done to it. A friend of a friend offered me $35k for it yesterday (which was the number I threw out) and I still don't think I could do it.
 
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Very cool. I rarely drive my GN anymore and have thought about selling it. That said, I don't know if I have it in me to get rid of it since it'll be impossible to replace with its condition and what I have done to it. A friend of a friend offered me $35k for it yesterday (which was the number I threw out) and I still don't think I could do it.
If somebody offered me $30k for mine, I'd sign the title TODAY. I currently like the car, but I feel like it's always drawing a target on my back. If somebody offered $25k I'd probably have a hard time saying no to that too. I'm not expecting that to happen though.

How many miles? All stock?
 

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39,XXX miles, original paint, built stock motor (have original block in the garage as well), aluminum heads, e85, 6266 Gen II Ball Bearing, and all the fixins' to make it run perfect. Interior is almost perfect and it is a very highly optioned car. It went 10.8 with the old motor so I'm guessing it is good for a low low low 10 right now as it sits.

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With the Volvo being "good enough" and the Camaro broken, my enthusiasm has shifted back to this thing. The worst part about owning this car is not having a clear and consistent vision for what I want out of it. I know for certain that I don't want to sink a ton of money into it, but I also know that I'm satisfied with the way the car performs as-is. Going completely stock would be cool if I was able to keep it immaculately clean, but I can't. I have no idea how some of you guys do it. The paint needs a good polish, and the engine bay needs a steam cleaning or something. After that, there's still a big elephant in the room.

I had a leaking master cylinder on this car a few years ago. I washed the brake fluid off as best as I could, but we all know how that goes. I have a section of bare frame which is beginning to rust. The only way to actually fix it would be to pull the frame and treat it. It sucks, but the reality despite being in overall worse cosmetic shape than when I found it is that I saved this car from a mechanically challenged previous owner. It runs really nice, blows cold air, stops on a dime, and rides like a dream. I couldn't say that when I first purchased the car.

I guess what I'm getting at is that this car is not going to be that great as a stock "show" car. It would also be lame to go slower, but I like the cushy Buickness of it as well. I'm thinking I should work on pulling the current modifications into the 21st century! The methanol kit is a disaster. I've hated it since day one. I'm thinking about ditching it, replacing injectors, and getting an E85 tune. The exhaust is also super ugly and rotting apart. I love the old school Bowling Green Customs turbo elbow and down pipe which retains the stock heat shield, but I'm sure it still flows like garbage. I think re-welding the headers (they're cracked and rusty), ceramic coating, and a full stainless exhaust would go a long way for both looks and performance. Even though I'm not sticking to "stock" I still want to put the powermaster back on the car. The pedal feel was so good, and to me it's nearly as essential for owning a GN as the turbo V6. Let the hate begin. 👹 I'm going to stop dreaming right there though. Even that basic stuff comes with a big price tag.

For now, I'm going to stretch her legs. I might do the chip and injectors soon since that would be majorly satisfying for a fairly low cost, but I'm not too antsy to pull another car apart. I cleaned the engine bay last night for the first time ever. It is currently in the world's smallest car show at work. Why we are doing a work car show with almost everybody working from home is beyond me. lol
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I keep passing a GN in Joliet getting my kid from school. makes me want one. The turbo buick game is like boating though.
 
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This was the entire turnout. I didn't get in the top three. Not be a sore loser, but... I'm pretty sore about it. This town has poor taste!
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Although this '71 Mach 1 is ratty AF, I would have been cool with losing to it. He didn't win either though. Less than a year ago, this car was being pulled out of a forest in Tennessee where it had been sitting for many years with the windows down. Now it has an all-new single piece floor pan, new windshield, four-speed conversion, rebuilt original engine, a wheel/tire combo that worked really well, and a lot of suspension work. I was really impressed with how much had been done in short time and how fun it probably was to drive.
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Third place winner. Neat car. Also a good driver. The owner claims to have spotted it at a garage sale for a price he couldn't refuse.
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My buddy's BMW and winner of the motorcycle class. He has a 3 series daily and a 2000 M5 as well.
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I would have taken more pics, but I was on the clock. That red Dart GT convertible on the end was the winner and rightfully so! The panels were super straight and the paint was amazing. The push-button automatic is pretty cool to see. Are there any old Mopar guys in here who can answer a question about those? I'm curious as to what the "Park" function does. Does it activate a pawl in the trans like normal or is it just a park brake? Part of my curiosity was stemmed by how the car was chocked with a 2x4, but I also didn't see a separate park brake lever/pedal I never tracked down the owner, so I couldn't ask him myself.

I don't know why I'm butt hurt over losing a car show at all, but my car is really an 80s shitbox that has done nothing but destroy itself since I bought it. Why SHOULD it win? None of this is really even my style anyway. Do I like attending car shows? Yeah. Do I think trying to judge the looks of a bunch of cars with completely different backgrounds and histories is dumb? Yeah. I guess I'd just prefer a cruise night where we can all just hang out and have fun rather than being judged. Hate the game, not the player? lol

Anyway, the stuff I posted earlier that day has only been solidified because of this. There's no reason to try appeasing a crowd or reaching for the highest resale value. There is no ultimate show-winning vehicle because we all know that there's different strokes... yadda yadda. I'm just going to work on making this car the one I've wanted all along. I might have to make some sacrifices, but the modification game is always a balancing act anyway. I'm bored, and the Camaro needs a nap. I think I'm going to call up Full Throttle tomorrow and order some new injectors with a chip. I really wanted to save up some money for a transmission, but I think this is a better use of my money anyway. That alky system is a huge headache and finally getting rid of it would be a great place to start the massive inevitable domino effect.
 

Yaj Yak

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This was the entire turnout. I didn't get in the top three. Not be a sore loser, but... I'm pretty sore about it. This town has poor taste!
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Although this '71 Mach 1 is ratty AF, I would have been cool with losing to it. He didn't win either though. Less than year ago, this car was being pulled out of a forest in Tennessee where it had been sitting for many years with the windows down. Now it has an all new single piece floor pan, new windshield, four-speed conversion, rebuilt original engine, a wheel/tire combo that worked really well, and a lot of suspension work. I was really impressed with how much had been done in short time and how fun it probably was to drive.
View attachment 66944

Third place winner. Neat car. Also a good driver. The owner claims to have spotted it at a garage sale for a price he couldn't refuse.
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My buddy's BMW and winner of the motorcycle class. He has a 3 series daily and a 2000 M5 as well.
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I would have taken more pics, but I was on the clock. That red Dart GT convertible on the end was the winner and rightfully so! The panels were super straight and the paint was amazing. The push-button automatic is pretty cool to see. Are there any old Mopar guys in here who can answer a question about those? I'm curious as to what the "Park" function does. Does it activate a pawl in the trans like normal or is it just a park brake? Part of my curiosity was stemmed by how the car was chocked with a 2x4, but I also didn't see a separate park brake lever/pedal I never tracked down the owner so I couldn't ask him myself.

I don't know why I'm butt hurt over losing a car show at all, but my car is really an 80s shitbox that has done nothing but destroy itself since I bought it. Why SHOULD it win? None of this is really even my style anyway. Do I like attending car shows? Yeah. Do I think trying to judge the looks of a bunch of cars with completely different backgrounds and histories is dumb? Yeah. I guess I'd just prefer a cruise night where we can all just hang out and have fun rather than being judged. Hate the game, not the player? lol

Anyway, the stuff I posted earlier that day has only been solidified because of this. There's no reason to try appeasing a crowd or reaching for the highest resale value. There is no ultimate show-winning vehicle because we all know that there's different strokes... yadda yadda. I'm just going to work on making this car the one I've wanted all along. I might have to make some sacrifices, but the modification game is always a balancing act anyway. I'm bored, and the Camaro needs a nap. I think I'm going to call up Full Throttle tomorrow and order some new injectors with a chip. I really wanted to save up some money for a transmission, but I think this is a better use of my money anyway. That alky system is a huge headache and finally getting rid of it would be a great place to start the massive inevitable domino effect.

because booomers bro.

i would be pissed if the volt or zr2 beatchya.
 
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because booomers bro.

i would be pissed if the volt or zr2 beatchya.
It was the roller paint job Miata that won 2nd. Like I say, different strokes. It's not worth getting mad about, and I feel like a baby for getting the slightest bit ill. I think I just had this illusion that if I left the car alone, it would be seen as some kind of valuable survivor by the masses.

I need to quit worrying so much about what everyone else thinks.
 
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Last ride of 2020
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Last ride of the year 10-20.jpg


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Lucky bastard gets to sleep off the rest of 2020! For once I'm actually kind of sad to put her away. The car had honestly just felt like a burden in the last couple years because I had to work around it to get anything done on the other cars. Now, it's the GN I'm actually excited to work on all of a sudden. Oh well. The Camaro is still in surgery, so this is the only possible option. However, once the GN wakes up in the spring, I'm hoping to shower her in gifts.

-Bigger fuel pump
-80# injectors
-Matching chip
-Uncut stock A-pillar trim to relocate the boost gauge.

I don't think that's too tall of order to fill before spring even with all the Camaro stuff I have to do. It sounds like a simple plan, but removing that alky kit is going to require me to take some things apart that have never been disassembled by me. I'm expecting to find some more hack jobs that I would have rather never seen, but the good news is that the cluster will come out. It has a bad fuel gauge, and I always prefer to kill two birds with one stone!

Good night, Ginny! We'll see you in 2021.
 

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