My TR was a LEMON when it was new!


The Engine Whisperer
Feb 14, 2002
I'm the 3rd owner of this blue 87. The previous owners happened to save the original dealership service tickets from when the car was brand new. It's interesting to see what a piece of crap it was!! It was in the dealership CONSTANTLY for everything and anything under the sun! In the beginning the car couldn't make it a few hundred miles without breaking something. As time went on it was a few thousand miles between issues, and finally got to be somewhat reasonable... (or maybe just went somewhere else for service!)
Today the car has ~170,000k on it's original engine. It runs mid 11's and never breaks anything. If I didn't have the documentation I would never believe it was such a turd when new! This year she will finally get a freshened up engine with a 6266.

Top of the list:
#1 recurring problem appears to be blown intercooler hoses. Always coming in for low power complaints.
#2 powermaster leaks and failures are a very very close second.

Other failures...
Ignition module
dashboard tachometer / wiring issues
fuel pump crapped out
TPS and IAC adjustments
MAF sensor
the list goes on.... a few dozen pages!

Oh well I still lover her... Lol
The original owner was some poor guy with a trucking company in Peoria IL. I wonder if he was pissed about all the problems, or if boost healed all wounds?

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I'm glad it finally got those bugs worked out. Had a few of those in different brands. I think the worst was a '73 Vega GT. Motor Trend car of the year! Out of the year I owned it, it might have been on the road 6 months. The rest was at the dealer trying to fix things or the dealer was trying to rip me and/or GM off.
Bought my GN new in May 1987. I didn't have it dealer prepped and took delivery of it still with all the stickers and wrappings on it. To my surprise, look what I found under the drivers seat. The red ink says "bad engine noise". It still to this day still have the unonpened original motor in it. Worst thing I had was a stuck injector a month after I got it.


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kirban 2 cents worth

Back in the 1990s when I was buying and selling these cars many from original owners I remember seeing various warranty complaints with some of the cars. Mostly centered around rough odle issues, slow windows, and in the case of GNs very very bad paint quality. In several cases dealers repainted them. Actually GM did an internal letter about this issue since it was so wide spread. Today with the internet that news would have traveled quickly. I had some original paint GNs where the paint was really bad on one side of the car you would have thought it was a repaint.

But, on the plus side the engineers did a good job with the injected turbo charge powerplant.

In the early 1990s I knew a lawyer for GM that gave me and Pete Serio the window rattle guy a personal tour of the Flint engine factory. I remember as the 3800 engines came down the line they went into this room each one was hooked and and ran for several minutes. Whenever an engine made lets say unusual noises it was tagged and flagged and pulled out of the line up.

See post previous to mine perhaps your engine was tagged originally and rectified and retested on what was like a circus carousal set up. I could not take was a neat tour. I was up that way picking up a Turbo-T to bring home.
You should see if the dealership buys it back.Maybe you can trade it for a buick rendezvous.
The only problem with that car now is the loose nut behind the wheel.... constantly running 30+ lbs boost on E85 with over 170K miles on the engine!

I think Big D squeezed all the juice out of that lemon. 30+psi, does your wife know you beat her car like that.....
I think Big D squeezed all the juice out of that lemon. 30+psi, does your wife know you beat her car like that.....