Never owned a turbo Buick, but want to?


Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2005
What to do before buying a turbo regal....

This is just a little write-up, that I feel people should do, before buying a turbo regal.
First off, study this board. Then, study some more. You may just find out, from reading, that you may not have the patience for one of these cars. No, theyre not junk cars, but, some of them, may need some adjusting. And by someone who knows their way around cars too. That may discourage a few people. I've already seen several people buy one of these cars, in hopes of fixing what they thought was' minor', suddenly becoming overwhelmed, and then turn around and sell the car, cuz they couldnt find out what was wrong quick enough.
Theres quite a lot of nooks and crannies in these cars for gremlins and goblins to hide. And sometimes, they take a little patience. Now I'm not trying to scare anyone off. Just letting you know, that these cars aren't 60's era small block Chevrolet engines. They're a touch harder to play with. But with a little time, perseverance, and some good studying on this board, it will be no time before you're well on your way to enjoying one of these fine Buick automobiles.
First thing is, you have to figure out, with the time, money, talent and resources you have available, what your course of action is. To own a 500 mile a year, bone stock show only car, a moderately driven show car, that finds itself in a race every now and then, or a full on track car, with no regard of how stock she remains.
This will determine what you will be able to accept, when making the final decision. Example. If you work at an auto body place, and you're an outstanding body man yourself, then a little rust at the bottom of the doors will be nothing to you. Or, if you have quite a bit of spare money layin around, and desire a track car, then a decent car, with a thrown bearing might just be ok for you, as you may be retired, or work in a job that doesnt demand a lot of hours, and have decent time and money on your hands, and want a nice project to keep you busy, and out of your wifes' hair :)

But if you're like most of us, that desire a car that is as close to 'get in it and go' as it can be, then you'll have to do some studying, as to what the hard to find, or expensive parts are to replace, before you buy it. Like I said before, if you don't care about its originality, or cleanliness, because the car will only see some strip duty here and there, and thats it, then most of the little stuff won't apply. But if you find out, that you don't have the money, to be replacing hard to find sensors, rear quarters, or other TR specific parts, after you buy the car, then you should be a little more choosy about the cars condition while making your decision. Gnttypes' Turbo regal buyers guide ( The Turbo Regal Buyer's Guide ) will cover pretty much most of the stuff you should watch out for.

In short, the biggest thing you can be armed with is, A. Knowing exactly what you want out of your car, B. Realistically knowing how much EXTRA time and money you have to devote to this car, C. A print out of the buyers guide, D. A Scanmaster, and E. A buddy that already has a turbo Buick. Have your buddy take you by the hand, and physically show you each area to watch out for, so that you already know what youre looking at, by the time you stick your virgin eyes underneath the hood of another turbo Buick. Start with the front bumper, and move thru the car, all the way to the back bumper. Doing what we call in the Army "before, during, and after pmcs" Or Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services". The buyers guide you printed out will give you and your buddy something to go off of. Remember, before your 'during' checks, ask the owner about any potential problems before you drive it, what chip he has in it, what the boost is set to, what octane gas is in the car, and plug in your scanmaster, and have your buddy watch some of those numbers during the drive, to see any potential problems. (One more thing. Always beware of the 'bigger turbo, injectors, chip, converter, intake, intercooler and heads cars that were 'never raced' Don't kid yourself. Also, the 'Female owned' cars are another thing to watch out for. It's not necessarily always a good selling point. Not trying to knock women but, they're pretty notorious for not taking care of their cars. Cars are just 'transportation' to them, and are rarely a 'way of life' for most women, like they are men.)
When you finally bought your car, come back here, and start asking questions. You'll be pointed in the right direction.

Now that you got your car, always remember. The first mods, should always be reliability modifications, THEN the horsepower mods last.

If anyone in the immediate Detroit area needs any help in this arena, pm me anytime you want. I'd be happy to show you anything you need.
First thing is, you have to figure out, with the time, money, talent and resources you have available, what your course of action is. To own a 500 mile a year, bone stock show only car, a moderately driven show car, that finds itself in a race every now and then, or a full on track car, with no regard of how stock she remains.

you forgot one:
the daily driven car that sees a fair amount of weekend track duty. which is what i will be looking for :).

good info. personally the journey is part of the fun, at least for me. wish I was closer id look you up when i start looking for a car. maybe someday well see each other at the Dream Cruise, as I fully plan on making the trip once i get my car.
good. hope to see ya there. if im still in the states (trying to get back to iraq)

i make EVERY dream cruise, with the exception of 2. I was on duty one of them, and was in iraq for the other one. Hope to see you there.
well im from michigan, but havent lived there since before the cruise started. haven been to one yet :mad: , was going to go to the one the year of the blackout, had moved back after the navy, but I couldnt get anyone to go with me and figured that it would probally not be as much fun without having a car to drive in it. I will be there one of these years though, soon hopefully.
well said, I remember jumping into the LC2 game in 1999, I only knew about the Buick Gn's from magazines and tv(I graduated HS in 87) I spent many yrs playing with a mildly built chevy 350 in an 84 firebird --what a waste of money that was

anyway 1999 I had discovered the internet when a friend got webtv so I also ran out and got webtv and then looking around the net I found Kirbans website and seen he had a beat up GN for $3,000--48hrs later I had the GN home

I played with the GN for a yr and thought to myself what a pain in the ass these cars are and wondered why I couldn't just drive it and leave the hood shut, so I eneded up selling the GN because I hated the lack of handling and braking

so now I have the TTA that just sits in the garage--my fault for not being motivated enough to get down there and put on all the parts I have and to take it out to the track--yep never been to the track with it yet