My 1987 Buick GN Page
Here is my latest project car. It is a 1987 Buick
Grand National. It came stock with a 3.8L (231 c.i.)
turbo charged/intercooled 6-cylinder. It was rated at
245 HP. This was probably the quickest production car out of
Of course, my car has a story. I bought my car from a
friend who bought the car brand new back in early 1988. He drove it as his
daily transportation through high school, college, and graduate school. While
It sat there until I bought it
The owner prior to leaving the car in the barn, jacked it up, removed the wheels and tires, put the car on blocks, and put them inside the car so when they went flat, they wouldn’t be ruined.
As you can see, the bumper filler panels are all rotted out. This is very common on this vintage GM car.
This is a quick “thumbs up” as I drove it out of the barn….yes I said drove it…. put a hot battery in it…. checked all the fluids…. And cranked it up on 3-1/2 year old gas…. And loaded it up to take it home.
Here is a picture of my “make-shift” seat until I could find the correct interior to go in it. I worked long enough to get some real GN seats in it.
Here are some pics 5 days later after a good pressure wash. I did find the original window sticker in the glove box along with the original manual. It has the Concert Sound too. Initial compression check showed about 135# on every cylinder.
Since then, I have bought all the correct GN interior,
replaced the fuel pump and filter, replaced the plugs/wires, ran about a tank
of gas through it, installed an adjustable fuel pressure regulator, bought some
GNX clone wheels and installed them, and installed new fiberglass bumper filler
replacements. Parts I have purchased: A used TE61 turbo, a used 9-1/2”
Vigilante 5 disk lock-up “0-pump” 3200-3400 stall torque converter, a Terry
Houston 3” SS down pipe with test pipe, polyurethane upper and lower rear control
arm bushings, CompCams 980 valve springs, a spare set of stock heads with lower
intake and “dog house”, spare BRF ’87 GN transmission, spare ECU, spare
ignition module/coil pack, and probably some stuff I can’t remember at the
moment. Plans are (at this point) to get the car painted and the stock interior
completely back in it. At that point, I hope to install the turbo, a set of 60#
injectors, turbotweak chip, rebuilt tranny, converter, and downpipe
all at once. I still need to put the control arm bushings in, install the valve
springs, remove the cracked DS header and beef it up and re-weld. My timeline…
I guess …is to have all this done by
I still have a decent list of things I want to do to the car, but funds will dictate the timing of them. I want an aftermarket “stock location” intercooler. I also am going to buy and alcohol injection kit to inject a small amount of alcohol into the intake tract when the boost reaches a preset level. This will allow me to run more boost on pump gas and get away with not knock. The guy I bought my tires/wheels from has a very similar combo to what I am talking about, and manages boost levels in the low to mid 20’s on pump gas. His car is a solid 11 second street car. This is what I am after. I will probably have a boost controller that has a full street mode (no alcohol w/lower boost and a higher boost level that does inject alcohol). I will be able to run either mode on the street on pump gas…. But I probably will just leave it on the lower boost level most of the time unless I need the higher one J. I also am planning to upgrade the front brakes to 12” LS1 Camaro rotors/calipers. I am about to go through the whole front end too and replace and worn steering or suspension parts. When I get done, I plan on this being my primary transportation retiring my ’97 204k mile Silverado to back-up duty.
I decided to put up a new picture of what it looked like after I got it back from being painted. I like the mesh GTA wheels. I hope to have time to give a much more thorough update soon. I have the engine at the machine shop getting freshened up. Lots of new parts.
This page was created on
Last modified on 8/18/18.