Considering Buick Project Car

BaronKarza

New Member
Hi Everyone. Since TurboBuicks.com came up first in the Google Search, I feel that I am in the best place for this question.

I am considering my next car. I typically keep a car about ten years. They are almost never new. I have significant mechanical ability and know-how and really enjoy working on a car towards a goal.

I have gone through Mustang 5.0s and Volvo 850 Turbos. I was a teenager in the 80s and the Buick T-Types were impressive.

My goal is this: To build my project car into a high performance daily driver vehicle. This is a popular goal no doubt. I have doing this for over twenty years and it just keeps getting better.

In my observations, the Buick GN represents an ideal starting platform. Great classic looks, mystique, OEM performance, thriving aftermarket, and a healthy community. The ergonomics are very practical, which is just what I need with a family of 5.

My idea for a Buick GN would be to get the car to handle but ride reasonably comfortably, be extremely quick yet have reasonable maintenance and smog check demands, look great.

From my past experience (and none with Buick), my general plan would entail:

Suspension/Handling:

Sway bars, lowering higher rate springs, shocks, tower braces, fat, low profile rims/tires, traction bars, brake system upgrade

Engine/Power:

550-600HP. Rebuild and buildup (or maybe a motorsport block), turbo, intercooler, exhaust, fuel system, exhaust, ECU, etc

Transmission/Axles:

Rebuild and upgrade, manual overdrive transmisson possibly?, axle upgrade.

Appearance:

Replace the instrument cluster (sorry but that speedo is just too much like my grandmas car), interior restoration (OEM seats are cool), black outside, mild fender roll out, tires to the edge, maybe mild spoiler treatment- maybe.

Whatever car I choose, I will spend at least ten years constantly improving it. I consider myself a capable fabricator and customizer and I see a lot of opportunity and reward with a Buick GN- plus, black is my favorite color.

So my question to this community is:

Is the choice of the Buick T-Type platform a good one for the goals I have outlined above?

Anyway, glad to have stopped in. Your opinions will be greatly valued.

Steven
 
Suspension/Handling:

Sway bars, lowering higher rate springs, shocks, tower braces, fat, low profile rims/tires, traction bars, brake system upgrade

The G-bodies have a factory 4 link, no need for traction bars. For brakes you could do a vacuum or a manual conversion.

Transmission/Axles:

Rebuild and upgrade, manual overdrive transmisson possibly?, axle upgrade.

The rears are pretty stout in these cars from the factory (8.5" ten bolt). A set of axles and a good posi unit and you should be fine at the level of car you are speaking of.

For the trans, manuals don't really work in these cars. If built by a "Buick" guy, the 200R4 trans can handle a LOT of power, and you can still get good gas mileage with a locking torque converter.

Appearance:

Replace the instrument cluster (sorry but that speedo is just too much like my grandmas car), interior restoration (OEM seats are cool), black outside, mild fender roll out, tires to the edge, maybe mild spoiler treatment- maybe.

If you poke around, you can find re-production GNX style dashes, or clusters using AutoMeter guages.
For seats, F-body (Camaro/Firebird) seats will bolt up to the stock rails and are very nice. You can get them re-covered to match interior. You can also get GNX fender flairs on e-bay. The GN's come with a factory spoiler, in my opinion, anything more than the factory spoiler looks horrible.

Is the choice of the Buick T-Type platform a good one for the goals I have outlined above?
If you want black, the GN is probably your best bet. Otherwise, the cars are identical performance wise, just different cosmetic stuff. Oh yea, your going to want an 86 or 87 as those were the only years that were intercooled.
 
Thanks for the info Glen.

Any idea what skidpad numbers can be had from this chassis with suspension modifications and a reasonable street ride quality?

Did these cars have anti-lock brakes or air-bags?

How about big brake kits or four disc brake kits?

I guess what I'd like is for my car to corner flat and hit in the 0.93-0.99 g's on the skid pad. I am guessing this chassis was used extensively in NASCAR in its day so there must be some good stuff out there as far as ultimate potential.
 
Thanks for the info Glen.

Any idea what skidpad numbers can be had from this chassis with suspension modifications and a reasonable street ride quality?

Did these cars have anti-lock brakes or air-bags?

How about big brake kits or four disc brake kits?

I guess what I'd like is for my car to corner flat and hit in the 0.93-0.99 g's on the skid pad. I am guessing this chassis was used extensively in NASCAR in its day so there must be some good stuff out there as far as ultimate potential.

I'll chime in here

No ABS, no airbags

Check Welcome To CottonsPerformance.com! for some nice brake kits, anywhere from a set of bigger front discs to a full 4 wheel conversion.
 
Great site. Seems expensive but has it all! It can be done. I had not thought of coilovers. But that with the adjustable control arm links means I can set the ride height and then spec out some fat rims and tires that will fill out rolled fender lips to the edge.
 
Great site. Seems expensive but has it all! It can be done. I had not thought of coilovers. But that with the adjustable control arm links means I can set the ride height and then spec out some fat rims and tires that will fill out rolled fender lips to the edge.

Cottons is one of the best, Jack will help you out with whatever you need, tell him what you want and he'll set you up.

There are cheaper alternatives with similar performance, like an LS1 front brake swap, but thats up to you. Also, braided steel brake lines make WORLDS of difference from stock.
 
Also, braided steel brake lines make WORLDS of difference from stock.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. They made a massive difference in pedal feel in my GN w/vac brakes. I have them in my '05 Suburban too and it brakes like no other Suburban around.
 
Great site. Seems expensive but has it all! It can be done. I had not thought of coilovers. But that with the adjustable control arm links means I can set the ride height and then spec out some fat rims and tires that will fill out rolled fender lips to the edge.

With some modifications, you can get the LS1 brakes (13" rotors) to fit, and not dump a TON of $$$ into a Baer system.
 
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