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93formula

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Apr 13, 2002
hey im new to buick turbos, and i have a ton of questions. i currently own a 93 formula with a lt1 motor which i have dumped thousands and thousands of dollars into. now im looking to dropping the v8 and dropping a buick v6 turbo into there. i know this is possible cause i saw it in an issue of GMHTP. some of my questions are what kind of milage do you guys get with a motor that runs in the 11s? how good is the stock turbo unit power wise? how much will a block run me? etc etc. many moreto come im sure as i learn more and more about these motors. thanks and any links will be helpful.
 
You can run in the 11's very easily with a 100% factory stock motor. Gas mileage is usually mid-low 20's on the freeway but can be even better depending on what chip you run and how the car is tuned. A stock 109 block will run you $400-500 probably. The stock turbo is easy to hit low 12's with and if you really know what you're doing you can squeak into the 11's. If you want to go faster than that you will need a bigger turbo. When building one of these motors you need to know that they are very sensitive to combinations of parts and you need to get a properly designed combo for your performance goal. What ET and MPH would you like to run? I usually go a little bigger than my goals because that never turns out to be fast enough for a speedaholic like me:D .
 
id be VERY happy with 11s. even high 11s. getting there with this lt1 is proving quite costly and the gas mileage is gonna go down the drain with my new 236/236 560/560 112 cam that going in there. as far as tuning is concerened ill go with accel DFI as thats what im running now. do these motors take kindly to nitrous? just a though as i have a wet system for my motor now. 3-400 seems cheap enough. does anyone know what years the blocks were made and in what car id be able to find em in? and what exactly is a wastegate? any links to exlain will be help full. thanks in advance
 
www.gnttype.org

Spend a couple of days reading through everything...Pretty much everything you need to know is there...Any other questions can usually be answered here...

For the block(casting #25526109), is basically just a standard Buick 3.8L V6 block...86-7 GM G-body cars had them(Mostly Regals, Cutlasses, and Grand Prixs)...It is the internals that make the difference...The turbo motors use a pressure rolled fillet crank(rods and mains)...Stronger pistons(factory are excellent, but discontinued), most run forged...The standard NA rods, heads(with slightly stiffer springs), and block are all basically the same...

I can usually find a good, used, rebuildable 109 block at the local U-Wrench-It yard for about $130 complete...Finding the correct crank is a little tougher...

There are many GN/TRs out there with well over 100,000 miles that are running 11s-12s on original factory unopened motors and minor bolt-ons, some with 100s of passes on the quarter...The key to making these motors live at these power levels is to not have any detonation and have the motor built correctly(don't take this the wrong way, but most builders of Chevy motors are lost with the Buicks, completely different animals, Buicks need tighter tolerances, no more than .002 clearance on the rods and mains...If you build with Chevy clearances, you won't have enough oil pressure and the motor will self-destruct)...

You won't need the Accel DFI to run those numbers or for gas mileage...The factory computer has been deep into the 10s with the proper chip programming...

Most factory stock GN/TRs can get into the 12s with about $500 in mods...All on factory internals and turbo...

If you have any more questions(you will!!!:D ), ask away, and people will be happy to help you without any BS answers...
 
wow thanks a bunch guys everything seems promising. seems im gonna have to rip out the lt1 with ONLY 2500 KMS on it!!! so the crank i should be ale to hunt down thru GM but ill have to get aftermarket pistons? well the block being the same makes things promising. a buddy has a buick celebrity wagon thats a 3.8 ! and thanks for the part number.

oh and one more thing, can these motors be ran with nitrous?
 
Cranks are discontinued and GM is completely out of stock here in the States, although sometimes it seems that you crazy Canucks have a lot of parts still available up there...Forged TRWs are about the best deal going(but hard to get now that TRW/SpeedPro are having manufacturing issues)...Some go with Wiseco's and J&E's...

The block has to be from a rear wheel drive vehicle...The bellhousings were smaller on the fwd cars...

Yes, you can run nitrous, but no more than about a 75 shot...It will end up giving you about 100-125 from what I've heard...but most use only to help launch the car(ie, spool the turbo up faster)...If the car is set up properly, you really don't need it...

What tranny do you have??? These turbo Buicks don't like manuals to much...hard to make boost, motor needs to have a load to build boost...
 
one more thing as well. my formula has a six speed, will i have trouble bolting this up? please tell me i dont have to dump the M6.:(
 
hmm id like to retain the M6 if i could.

my only other experience with a turbo was a chrysler laser i had, and that had a 5 speed in it and boy did i win a lot of races with it. had no trouble building boost with that car though. i even took out several 5.0s up till second gear. love that sound when i shifted gears!

back to topic, just like to know if it is possible to bolt the t56 to the 3.8? id prefer the manual just cause i love manual:) as for load im a bit confused. i knwo most ricers in my area have manual turbos and hey ive driven rx7 turboed manuals. so it mus be possible, or is it a buick thing?
 
Not saying it absolutely can't be done...It has, but those who have done it found the car went slower...If you do a search on this BB, this subject comes up all the time...I think just recently there was one...Check in the transmission tech section...Read subject lines back about 60 days or so...Many answers about just this subject before you ask about it...

It's all in the way the motor is set up and also in the programming(which is probably where DFI would come into play, but not sure if you could use your current Accel or not...Might be a difference in the units, besides the obvious 8 cyl vs 6 cyl aspect)...
 
thanks ill do a search on the tranny stuff.

as for the DFI, i know ill have to get another unit, ecms are diferent as well as the harness. but ill prolly be able to sell the unit i have pretty easily.

thanks for all your help guys!

ill prolly have get new motor mounts as well?

and where does intercooler come into play? do all GNs have em? willi need one to hit the 11s?
 
www.turbotechnologyinc.com Take a look at that link. They have single turbo kits for the LT-1. The LT-1 engine is a very strong engine. I have been to Turbo Technology in Tacoma. George owns the place. He know his turbo stuff really well. He does mostly turbo deisel on motorhomes, but will make a kit for ANYTHING. He said that his single kit for the LT-1 with the base line 60-1 will run 12.5 all day long. And you will not even notice it is there, unless you get into it of course. 12.5 might not seem like much, but that is at only 5 psig or so. Just another option for ya. I think you would be happy with the single kit.
www.camaroz28.com There are folks on that board that have this kit, if you have not already been there. ERIC.:)
 
Forget about the M6 with buick turbo 6. It WON'T work. You'll spend more thousands trying to make it work, with no performance gain.

A buick turbo 6 needs RPM's to spool the turbo. Otherwise its a 231 cubic inch, 8:1 compression normally aspirated V6 with a rotary muffler. You need to spin the engine to 2200 to spool the stock turbo, 2400 to spool a TA49, etc. The larger the turbo, the more RPM it takes.

Before the turbo spools, the engine makes maybe 220 lbft of torque. A few hundred RPMs later, after the turbo spools, it makes 500+ lbft of torque. F body clutches have a hard enough time with 400 lbft at 4500 RPM. Try 500lbft at 2600 RPM, flicked on like a light switch and smell the smoked clutch.

Stock Buick Turbo 6's have no upper RPM capability. We shift at 5000 RPM. Power drops off dramatically above this without heads and a cam, and then you get into the crank breaking zone about 5700 RPM. Not much fun for someone who likes to shift.

The gear spacing on a T56 isn't the best, either. A high compression V8 can use a .50 6th. A low compression V6 makes no power below 2000 rpm, so you'd have to be going 100 mph to use 6th, but it wouldn't have enough HP to pull it until the turbo spooled, so in reality you would just use 6th for coasting downhill.
 
Why not sell your LT1 and just buy a TR or TTA? You will sepnd way more time and money trying to do a swap than if you just bought one outright.
 
as for selling the bird,nope. i love the shape and so forth. im just amazed at what the turbo buicks can do and have done. if i cant use the T56 then i still could use the 7004r right?
 
if i were to go with a A4, what would my top speed be with these motors? the gearing in my car is most likley to be 3.55 as im about to drop it in, would i be beter off with 3.23s or 2.73?
 
Dude, I wouldn't mess around. If you're gonna do it, do it right. Get an entire drivline from a TR and transplant it. Use a 200-4R tranny and 3.42 gears, those are what the motor was designed for. If you start changing the tranny and gears you will spend more time and money trying to figure the combo out and probably never get the car to run anywhere near its potential. No flames intended, just saying don't do it half-a$$ed.
 
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