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


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v6buicks

v6buicks

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Any one of you Buick nerds have interest in a 84/85 one piece air dam? And/or have a 86/87 set?
How do those 86/87 ones look? Mine are pretty much junk.

Edit: My bad. I misread that post. How nice of 86/87 air dams are you looking for? lol :LOL:
 

daturbosix

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How do those 86/87 ones look? Mine are pretty much junk.

Edit: My bad. I misread that post. How nice of 86/87 air dams are you looking for? lol :LOL:
Let's start with, how bad are yours?! :D

I'm planning on making the old school intercooler scoop out of half an office garbage can.. so portions of it doesn't have to be that nice, but the front facing and outward facing should be decent
 
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Let's start with, how bad are yours?! :D

I'm planning on making the old school intercooler scoop out of half an office garbage can.. so portions of it doesn't have to be that nice, but the front facing and outward facing should be decent
In that case, I may have what you need. They'll be cheap, and the ugly parts are mostly where you can't see them. The raccoon damage really porked one of the bolt holes though. I'll send you pictures when I can get them in good light. My only stipulation is waiting until June because I'd rather deliver them in person than ship!
 

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In that case, I may have what you need. They'll be cheap, and the ugly parts are mostly where you can't see them. The raccoon damage really porked one of the bolt holes though. I'll send you pictures when I can get them in good light. My only stipulation is waiting until June because I'd rather deliver them in person than ship!
No prob. I'll wait. My car still isn't at the shop yet anyway to fix from what I broke last year 😂🙄
 
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Thanks, Lowe's! From the few pictures I've seen, this is the correct push pin. In case you never noticed, Lowe's has an automotive hardware section. It's small, but's much cheaper than the auto parts stores.
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Now onto real work. :( Before I remove the water pipe, I need to remove all the hoses running to it. Have you ever had a hose this close to removal and still not be able to pull it off by hand? Geeeez. That's clearly been there a while.
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Now back to this guy.
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These are not the kind of tools I like using on this car.
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I cut the pipe down close as far as I could to create a weak spot. Then I just twisted the pipe into two pieces. Here's the carnage.
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Well that's nasty. I'm not sure it the last guy put some sealer on these threads (I wouldn't put it past him) or if this is just how the whole inside of the cooling system is coated. I'm gonna blame it on the last guy, since it appears on the threads and sealing surface. PSA: stop adding sealant to flared fittings! They seal themselves.
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A little brake cleaner and wire brushing got the intake fitting good enough for temporary use.
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but first, it needs to be temporarily pretty.
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While waiting for that to dry, I finally replaced the valve cover gasket. Once again, all the bolts were very loose.
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Nice. (y) I spent a few minutes re-cleaning the intake again too. I hate how much fluid and grime builds up in there. Remember what I said about sealant? That doesn't apply to NPT.
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I cleaned and retorqued the headers too.
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Much better.
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Time to say good bye to all the massive parts. It feels weird comparing stock to upgraded stuff when I'm going the other way. Who knows, I may even go faster. I forgot how much that cast aluminum intercooler weighs. It has to be over 30 lbs.
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Plenum and tb comparison 1.jpg


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I never noticed how much of a monster the Acufab throttle body was. The original throttle is fully dressed and still the same height as the Precision plenum. This means my hood pad clearance issues are gone!
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If the smaller parts don't make me faster, replacing my boost control hoses certainly should!
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That's all for last night. I'm feeling like shit, but I need to keep powering through after work. I'm hoping to stop at Fastenal for some stainless bolts before I install the plenum and stuff. Somebody before me used really crappy hardware store hex bolts with washers which is super annoying especially now that they're all oxidized. A couple of them were even replaced with all thread and two nuts jammed together to raise up the hard vacuum line mounts.

:snooppalm:

Anyway, I can't wait for how much better this thing is going to look and drive when it's all put together. USPS better not let me down. I already have one delayed shipment.
 
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Whether the GN makes it to the Nats or not, I know what I'll be shopping for when I get there. I need a new intake manifold. Mine now has three helicoils and one of them only holds 12 ft/lbs. Hopefully my plenum gasket won't leak.
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Next thing to do was install my original intercooler. Like everything else on this car, it was a puzzle to install. What I didn't expect to do was repairs. I have had this intercooler in a closet in my spare bedroom since the day I brought the car home, so I never noticed how awful the shroud looked. It's all bowed up and there's a crack with a very crappy repair.
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I wanted to try to make my this a little nicer. I didn't really do it by the book, but it's stronger than the rest of the part and nobody will ever see it. First I cut the old crooked repair and drilled a hole at the end of the crack to stop it from continuing. Then I filed the edges of the, so that there was a cleanish surface.
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Then I found some hot ring scraps from the 240 seat rebuild. Obviously, I don't sweep my basement too often! I didn't take pictures of my jig, but I clamped a piece of angle to the inside of the shroud and clamped near the crack. This was so I could ensure the part was flat and in the same position while I made the repair.
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Then I took a screw driver to use as a second hand while I pushed the hog rings into the plastic with my soldering iron.
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Much straighter!
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I decided to burry one more in there for good measure.
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To finish it off I found a cap from a brake clean can which I used as filler material.
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To address the big banana shape, I clamped the whole thing with angle on both sides and got the whole bottom half of the shroud hot. It's not perfect by any means, but it's a whole lot better. At least the grill snaps in place again!
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Cleaning
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And comparing to the upgraded part.
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I'm digging the new look a lot better already.
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At this point it is all up to USPS whether this car makes it to the Nats or not. I can't go anywhere without that heater pipe, but I'll drill into my original up pipe or buy a piece of shitty exhaust pipe if I have to!
 

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What's the info on the biggie intercooler? I have a "stretched stock" now....
 
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It looks like I'll be going to KY with a Buick after all! I got this around 1:00 and worked non-stop until 5:00.
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Here's just a reminder that I've been sharing the two car garage with another less than fortunate boosted 3.8. Space has been very tight this week.
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There wasn't much drama installing the new water pipe or doing the oil change, but I wasn't quite done yet. I still didn't get my up-pipe in the mail, but I took a quick look at my original pipe and decided it wasn't worth being that anal about it. It has rust, dings, and scratches in it a hole is not going to hurt it. If I want to restore the car to all original, I'll just have to hope that the one in the mail is nicer.

So here I go. I'm going to make the dreaded hole. I installed, marked, removed, and punched it.
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I always wondered why more people didn't put their alky nozzles in more discreet locations until today. It is a huge pain to push the nozzle through the sealing washer when you can't hold it with your your fingers. I ended up doing this weird thing where I was holding the pipe down to the table with my upper body weight, levering a pry bar under my thigh, and standing on one foot. 😆 Having another set of hands would have been nice for sure. Once that washer was in place, I had to stick a tiny wrench down there where I was barely able to grab it and spin the brass elbow on. It's a pain, but it will pay off since I shouldn't have to do it twice.
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After doing a quick IAC and TPS relearn (ALDL stuff), I was good to go(ish)! I never quite achieved 500 +/-50 rpm idle speed during the IAC relearn, but I was also going off my crappy stock tach for some reason. I forgot that the Scanmaster has a much better one. 🤦‍♂️ I'll redo it tomorrow morning and see if my stock tach is that far off. Either way, I'm gonna send it.

For now, here's the finished pre-nats project!
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Even if there is a small vacuum leak somewhere, I clearly had to have done something right. This car runs much better and smoother than it ever has. It holds boost at 16 psi likes its supposed to, there is no KR in any situation, and the transmission even seems to be acting more like it should. I can't wait to start tuning it again.

Celebratory pizza date.
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I'm back. What a wild week! I traveled alone for my shortened Nats trip this year.
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I'm really sad that I had to miss the two most exciting days of the event, but I'm very happy that I saw what I did. This was the largest that the GS Nationals had been since the mid 2000s. It was a great way to spend the 40th running, and the 50th anniversary of the GSX! Speaking of which, I have not seen as many real GSXs in one place in my life. It will also most likely be the last time I ever do!
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This car has a strange story. It's a real GSX which had been a racecar for most of it's life. It was eventually sold to some jack wagon who wanted to "recreate the car on a different shell. Why anybody would want to recreate a real GSX using a real GSX (a nice one at that) is beyond me. I guess the guy got in over his head so he parted it out :oops: The guy even cut the trunk floor and parts of the quarters out to recoup some costs. Makes me sick! Luckily the car got into better hands in 2014 and it was beautifully restored to it's former glory.
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As you can see, one part they failed to get right was the hood hole. It doesn't open all the way without removing the scoop! 😆 It's a badass ride with some cool history though.

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Per the requests of the registry, GSXs were wanted at the event "dead or alive" so...
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According to the owner, the plan is to make it run and drive it pretty much as-is. (y)

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I was lucky enough to go for a spirited ride in this beauty. These old cars may not make impressive numbers by today's standards, but it sure feels like it does. Roasting both tires from just mashing the accelerator and without brake torqueing is no joke for a stock car. Besides, they look incredible too!
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Obviously not real, but I'll include it here anyway! 😆(y)
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'72 4-speed X 🤘🤘🤘
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For sale. He knows what he has.
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That's just some of the GSX stuff. I'll post more later. Work isn't letting me upload videos to youtube anymore, so I'll have to update this post too.
 

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Love the ratty GSx on the trailer, love it more that they're gonna leave it crusty and enjoy it as-is.
 
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Love the ratty GSx on the trailer, love it more that they're gonna leave it crusty and enjoy it as-is.
I like the idea, but I have my doubts that it'll pan out they way they think it will. The under side is completely roached to point that I'm surprised it even still sits on 4 wheels. There's not much frame, suspension, or floors to speak about. It's going to need a ton to even half ass it. ☹
 

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I like the idea, but I have my doubts that it'll pan out they way they think it will. The under side is completely roached to point that I'm surprised it even still sits on 4 wheels. There's not much frame, suspension, or floors to speak about. It's going to need a ton to even half ass it. ☹
Or a different frame if necessary, replace floor pans and plunk the body down on the new frame.

There's too many show ponies out there that people won't enjoy as intended.
 
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I enjoy your updates, even the ones where you have to fix stuff boogered up by past owners.
Somehow I missed this comment. Thanks! Despite the car being slower than before, I don't think I've had this much fun with it since the summer I bought it. I feel like I've finally bonded with the car and made it mine. The slower acceleration isn't gonna cut it for me though. That air box is a massive restriction, but I'm not ready to give up on it yet. I still like that factory appearance.

There's a cruise I want to attend today and tomorrow if the weather lets up, so I'm going to start with quick and easy. The snorkel that brings cold air into the box is too small and so is the volume of the box itself. Remember the flipped lid mod on old muscle cars? You can do something similar with these except you just eliminate the lower half of the air box and put a plate under the filter. This is some seriously bad juju.... even if I wasn't putting Ford parts on a Buick, the car that this center cap came from tried to burn me and three friends after only owning it for a month! :oops: I swear I won't keep it on long. It's just temporary. Hopefully my garage isn't a pile of ash when I get home. 😆
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Nice! Other than the hauntedness it's like it was meant to be there! I'll shoot it with some paint later so that it's a little less obvious.

The other part that I'll address later is the upper half of the box. Since the whole thing is mounted with one long stud, the nut and frame work are right in the flow path. Nice.
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As you can see, mine is also a bit bent from over torqueing I guess. I think I'm going to go a bit crazy here. I'm probably going to cut all that out and make a more streamlined piece out of two skinny rods and tube. It might loose some structure, but it will certainly hold the filter strong enough. The worst that can happen is that I screw up a crappy airbox that very few people desire to have anyway! Will all this effort make the engine breathe as easily as it did with a cone filter? No. The elbow directly above the box is also pretty horrendous, but this is no racecar. I'm going for a sleeper look even if nobody is ever sleeping on a Grand National. If I'm still not happy, I'll build another nicer CAI.
 
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I don't see anything out out of the ordinary.
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A little paint went a long way. Without the flash, it's hard to notice the open element.
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I've also had the itch to spend a bit of money so...
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😍 So much better. 275s fill the rear wells so much better. I've heard that they can rub a little on the 84-86 cars due to their lower ride height, but I haven't had an issue yet!
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I told her that she could drive home. 😂
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So far the half air box not only performs better than the stock air box, but sounds better too. While the stock wheels are stupid heavy, they look a lot more correct. I can't stop staring. The 275 Nitto drag radials fill the wheel wells a lot better than those wimpy looking 235 sticky Mickys too.
 
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Thanks all. As per usual, Ginny didn't appreciate the added attention, so she threw me another curve ball. It went from no issues to having a terrible belt squeak overnight. I almost didn't drive it last night because I was embarrassed. It just didn't make sense, the belt, tensioner pulley bearing, and alternator bearings were all less than two years old, and the brackets were tight. What the hell else could it be?

I sprayed WD-40 on all sorts of stuff and found it to be the tensioner itself was the culprit. What was more bizarre was that it wasn't moving enough to be making such a racket. That's when I remembered a trick that a well respected TSA racer showed me.
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It's hard to see it in this picture, but that line isn't just casting flash. It's a belt wear indicator. Why am I not surprised to see that the tensioner is at the very end of its throw? The other thing that the racer taught me was that every single part store database has the belt size wrong for these engines. It needs to be at least a half inch shorter.

After racing around town, I finally found a 63" belt, but Ginny is a bigger bitch than that. She can't let me off that easy. Somehow I never noticed that the tensioner pulley comes in contact with one of the AC mounting bolts when fully untensioned. Odd. After a closer look, it seemed as though it wasn't in alignment. The belt travel marks make it appear that it's been that way for a very long time too. Who knows. It may have been missing a spacer long before my ownership, but I made one today.
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This looks much better and no longer contacts anything at any position.
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There we go! Shorter belt did the trick! No more squeaks and the indicator looks much happier. I'm guessing it will be right on the money as soon as the belt wears in. I still need a tensioner because the alternator mounting tab is broken, but I can live it.
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Then I gave the car the deep cleaning it's needed all year. I think it's finally ready for summer! I might do a couple more smaller updates, but nothing too major. The tires put a big enough dent in my wallet.
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I apparently only distracted that squeak by putting the right belt on the car because it's back with a vengeance. Typical GN repair tease. I ordered a new tensioner from G-body parts, but haven't taken the time to install it yet. I'll probably get on it soon though because I need to pull it out of the garage to replace my air dams before the 4th of July anyway.

While I haven't touched the car since the last post, I got to a point on the Camaro project where I had to start doing something that I didn't want to do. As usual, I'm going to find other less important things to work on instead! For some reason a bug that makes me want to tear apart my fully functional braking system bit me again last night. I hate the vacuum brakes in this car. It didn't have them from the factory for a reason, and I'm never going to have fun launching this thing if I have boost in my booster! Besides, the car looks very stock besides the big bulbous booster on the firewall. Que the "Powermasters suck!" hate train. I don't care. They work very well with proper maintenance, and I find it to be one of the defining features of a GN. It's going back on!

So why did it get converted in the first place and how do I plan to fix the original system? The very first post in this thread explains what happened in detail, but the cliff notes version is that the pump failed. Getting a good part was not going to be possible before leaving for Bowling Green, but sourcing an entire vacuum system from a junkyard shockingly was. Since it worked well enough for a driver, the vacuum setup has been on the car as sort of a resto mod ever since. How to revert? I actually got a pretty good deal on a complete Powermaster from a wrecked car a couple years ago. At $100 shipped, it was a win/win because you can sell cores to Dennis Kirban for more than that in any condition. I can either make money by turning both junk units in for cash or piece together a working system for much cheaper than a professional rebuild and STILL make money by just turning in one unit. (y)

Coming from a wrecked car could be good or bad. Either the car ran and drove until it was wrecked or the car wrecked BECAUSE the brakes failed. Unfortunately, there's no way to know until the unit is powered on and checked. This is why the unit I pieced together has been on a shelf ever since. I wasn't willing to take the gamble. Here's the new-to-me unit before I harvested what I wanted. Quite complete! Surely some parts will be worth keeping.
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Things changed a bit when I saw a video from Steve V on Facebook just the other day. It explains how he bench tests these with his home made test rig. He doesn't talk about the rig at all, but it looked simple enough that I could make one myself with some wiring diagrams and a bit of problem solving. As it turned out, I was right. Casper's makes an oversimplified standalone harness for $40 too, but I wasn't impressed by their execution. The awesome information on gnttype.org helped me get it done on my own.
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The LED will just tell me if the pressure switch is open or closed. Who knows? It could be handy. All I have left to do is put a toggle switch on the "ignition" wire. If I end up confirming that I built a functioning Powermaster, I'm going to feel like one victorious MFer.
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Haha thanks. I still have my original adapter and pedal. I definitely won't be selling the vacuum stuff either. You never know when it might come in handy.... I think that as long as the system is depressurized after every drive, the check valve is lapped, and the and the brake fluid is kept clear, it will last a long time. On the other hand, I'm bad about learning things the hard way. 😣
 
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The car has been parked a while due to not having time to enjoy it. Beer and cool water to float in takes priority of driving aimlessly and cussing with wrenches on days like today, so "no time" basically means it's too dang hot.

However, the stars aligned for the first time in the 7 years that I've known about the weekly Indy C&C. There are times where hundreds of cars show up at IMS on Saturday mornings, but I've always had one of the following issues. 1) Too much much going on. 2) No friends who want to make the long drive 3) No working vehicle to take 4) Bad weather or 5) too gnarly of a hangover to consider waking up that early! When a buddy asked me today if I wanted to go I decided to kick my ass into gear and beat the heat. The GN is going be ready, and I'm doing whatever it takes to not embarrass myself during the debut!

To recap, last time I went to a show I had an embarrassingly loud belt. Of course that show was a festival too, so tons of people were around to look at the GN like it's a massive jalopy with a careless owner.

What they didn't know was that the belt was brand stinking new, as were the alternator bearings and tensioner pulley bearings. There really wasn't much else that could possibly squeal like that with the belt on. Yes, it was confirmed to go away when the belt was removed.

While I wasn't 100% convinced that the new G-body Parts tensioner was what I needed to fix the squeal, I knew that the original was broken in another way.
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By itself it looks like the alternator would be a bit loose but it has three other beefy brackets holding it, so I can't blame the squeak on that either.

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In typical GN fashion, it's keeping me on my toes. On initial start-up it kept chirping. :cautious: Fuck you, car. I started playing with the throttle a bit, I noticed it fading away. Maybe it just needed to work out a kink? After a spirited trip around town I never once heard the chirp. Let's hope it stays gone.
 

daturbosix

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hit it with brake clean while running. if the chip goes away, its a belt.
also, if thats the case, try flipping the belt the other direction. that has fixed it before for me.

i had this issue before with my old blue OBS chevy. and it was a 2 week old belt, it ended up getting another one and it solved it. just a thought.
 

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