GNX ,Prototypes,Parts,Build Info, EXC

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Oct 20, 2011
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Arcadia, OH
Just finished reading this entire thread, super cool info from an outstanding guy! Xray was kind enough to talk with me for quite some time with me at Norwalk last year about my convertible, he was involved with ASC's version of regal convertibles, although mine was made at a different company, he was very interested in sharing what he did for their convertible program, and talked about his involvement in the Gnx program as well. For a new guy to Turbo Buicks I was in awe! Loved these cars for years, and talking to Rick really made my day. Keep the info coming, and wish the best to you sir. Hope to see you this year again!

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X Ray

The GNX changed my life!
Jan 21, 2007
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Rummaging around my basement and fond some more GNX stuff in one of my binders.

What we have is the inspection sheet for the body hoist where the rear end was installed and the transmission rework was performed. The first sheet is how the form looked initially and the second is what it ended up looking like.

The dimensions listed are the gap between the mounting tabs on the rear differential after installing the ladder bar. Checking for proper torque. I do not remember what the trans number represents. And the special comments section was for anything else noted during the inspection.
 

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trixdout

Active Member
Sep 4, 2012
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Rummaging around my basement and fond some more GNX stuff in one of my binders.

What we have is the inspection sheet for the body hoist where the rear end was installed and the transmission rework was performed. The first sheet is how the form looked initially and the second is what it ended up looking like.

The dimensions listed are the gap between the mounting tabs on the rear differential after installing the ladder bar. Checking for proper torque. I do not remember what the trans number represents. And the special comments section was for anything else noted during the inspection.
Interesting point about gas line heat shield welded. Good info to use to see if #347 is #347.
 

X Ray

The GNX changed my life!
Jan 21, 2007
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How many extra parts on the BoM that make up the final assembly of the GNX? You noted over 250 lines on the BoM. Is that the rough estimate of parts as well?
Yes over 250 including fasteners , brackets,new chip..... but the quantity of parts is much larger for example rivets, one part number but over 10 used in that portion of the BOM...
 

X Ray

The GNX changed my life!
Jan 21, 2007
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What I have pictured is my early production wheels, these wheel were used in some prototype evaluations. Note the casting dates on the inside of the wheels.
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gnxparts

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Jun 10, 2013
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I thought I would go by the old ASC Livonia plant and take some pictures of what it looks like today. As you can see this once bustling assembly plant is now a packing facility. The rear of the plant that once stored all the GNX’s, now warehouses a dumpster and a lonely truck. The third picture shows the bricked up doors where the Grand Nationals entered to transform into the GNX. What a difference 25 years makes.
Here are some pics of those signs
 

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X Ray

The GNX changed my life!
Jan 21, 2007
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Every GNX that I have seen Including my own has a more thickly padded headliner than a regulat GN. Was this something done at the factory or by ASC?
No not at ASC...it may looks more plush but it is the same headliner.
 

X Ray

The GNX changed my life!
Jan 21, 2007
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For those of you who do not get the GS X-TRA this is an article I did for the them....hope you enjoy.

The GNX changed my life.

Growing up in the Detroit metropolitan area cars were always talked about and instilled in the framework of our society. I too was pulled into this culture. When I graduated out of HS I thought I would go into the printing business but found a job working at a small automotive prototype company becoming a bench hand and a welder. After knocking around a few other jobs I ended up at ASC in 82.

At the time ASC was just getting into second stage manufacturing of convertibles. I was hired to work on the J Body convertible program (Cavalier). I worked on fabrication sheet metal components and support structures for the program when it was in the prototype stages. I also did some work on show cars……..Then the GNX Program arrived.

The GNX program was a collaboration with Buick, McLaren engines and ASC. It got off to a rough start, it stopped and started several times. McLaren worked on the engine and transmission modifications as they were very instrumental in the redesign of the engine compartment. They worked on the conversion of the hot air vehicles making the changes to add the intercooler components so they were very aware of the base vehicle. ASC was doing the manufacturing along with engineering the wheel flares, louvers, badging, instrument cluster and maintaining the bill of material among many other things. The entire program consisted of many people from all of the companies involved. I started out as a fabricator involved in making some of the parts. I began working on the program on the body revisions needed to accept the new 16” tire and wheel combination together with the new rear suspension. At first our engineering team got off to a rough start as the body cut line was, let’s say, a little off. A colleague of mine then went through the rear suspension and found that when you took it through the jounce and rebound travel of the suspension that the pan hard rod was too long, pushing the wheel into the quarter panel. Once the revisions were made to the pan hard rod, we determined the new cut lines needed to clear the new tires and wheels. The engineering department agreed with our changes. Many of the components were what we called reverse engineered. The technicians fabricated parts and those parts were given to the suppliers in order to make the production parts. The only drawings required were what we call “dummy drawings”. These drawings consist of a part number and material specifications on a blank sheet of paper.

The first vehicle we worked on was a Grand National but most of the remaining prototype vehicles for testing were T Types. I remember taking off the Header Panel Ornaments and throwing them in the trash. The GNX was going to be de-badged and only have the new GNX badging.

One of the first things we worked on was the wheel flare clay modeling. After the clay models were sculpted we made sure the RH and LH parts were the same. We made templates to check both sides and made some minor changes. We then made molds of the flares and created several sets of prototype flares out of high temp epoxy.

My involvement with the sheet metal components included making the brackets for the flares, working on the brackets for the transmission cooler and fabrication of the upper front wheel house patch that allowed more clearance to the new front tire and wheel combination. Along with fabricating and assembling of the prototype vehicles I worked on fixtures for the front wheelhouse extensions among other things.

I remember building several vehicles and cutting the sheet metal using templates and measurements. Later I would use these templates and measurements in order to make the production fixtures.

I was asked to show the employees at the Livonia plant how to build the cars along with an employee at McLaren. I concentrated on the body revisions and he worked on the transmission and engine changes. During the beginning of the production build we experienced a few start of production issues. First the front fender vent duct would not fit properly due to the production build variation. Second when the car was going 45 MPH we had a speedometer vibration issue. We changed the design on the bracket to fix the vent issue and we changed the routing of the speedometer cable to fix the vibration issue. This speedometer issue required me to test drive the first vehicles assembled to verify the fix worked. It was a rough job but someone had to do it! I worked at the plant for several weeks before returning back to the tech center at ASC.

Working on this program brought me to really like the GNX and I could not afford one so I decided to build my own. I had most of the production parts and some prototype parts at my disposal and I did not want to make a clone that everyone thought was a real GNX, so I decided to build a white one. Everyone knows all GNX‘s are black so white would be perfect. I even came up with (what I thought was a cool name) X Ray as it would be a reverse image of a GNX. I built the car in stages doing all the exterior modifications at my friend’s body shop, then installing the turbo and intercooler at home. Then I finished up the suspension back at the tech center at ASC along with painting the bumpers white. The transformation only took a few weeks. I since removed the original engine and transmission (that I still have) and updated them along with adding some additional performance components, but all these changes can be brought back to stock as I did not make any alterations to the base GNX configuration. I like driving the car and taking it to an occasional show, but driving and watching people turn their heads is the best.

In conclusion, I love these cars! Also, to be lucky enough to work on the GNX program and to have been a part of Buick History is a privilege that I am very grateful to have had!
 

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X Ray

The GNX changed my life!
Jan 21, 2007
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The picture shows some prototype and production GNX components. You will see yellow master parts for the rear suspension, prototype GNX turbo cover, and wheel house extension and a dash bezel along with production tires and exhaust. And last but not least my personal notebook for the program.
Please see 293
 

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X Ray

The GNX changed my life!
Jan 21, 2007
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This recent picture of X Ray was taken after I had it going through its paces around town. The original engine and transmission are out of the car but it can easily be refitted. The car has been on the road since 1990 and has seen several trips to Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina and of course Michigan for car shows. Please see 293
 

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seedling

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2012
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This recent picture of X Ray was taken after I had it going through its paces around town. The original engine and transmission are out of the car but it can easily be refitted. The car has been on the road since 1990 and has seen several trips to Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina and of course Michigan for car shows. Please see 293
This is incredible! Just found this thread and read all 15 pages! Thanks so much for caring enough to share! Wow! I have always loved your car and now I know the whole story! Thank you so much for taking the time to share so much, thank you!!
 
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X Ray

The GNX changed my life!
Jan 21, 2007
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I have received news that ASC has closed it's doors as of 2/27/2017. That is all the information I have , when I find out more detailed I will let you know.
 
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