Opinions on converting to Blow-thru. 83 Ttype

ShawnR

Fixer of crap..
Jan 24, 2011
155
15
18
Chesterville, OH, USA
Hi all,

I am nearing completion on restoring my 83 and am gathering opinions. I have had the car for 28 years now and it is well past time for some love. Interior, body & suspension are all nearly done. Trans was rebuilt and hardened, but the drive train is stock otherwise. I did a rebuild back around 91 after blowing a hole in the #3 piston, so it is bored .30 over with forged pistons, but stock otherwise.

Basically, the power sucks. Even with the best tuning and water/alcohol injection, I am probably looking at 250hp max. Fine for a driver, but not really much in the "fun" department. Here is my thought:

4 bbl intake with Holley sniper EFI (or similar)
87 style exhaust, turbo & intercooler setup
in tank fuel pump for EFI pressure

I would pull the motor and freshen with new head & rods bolts, have the heads checked and new valve springs.
I am estimating around $2000 ish total for a "new" fuel injected 3.8.

Horsepower level is a complete mystery, but it would have to be a significant improvement over now.

Doing an LS swap would cost a lot more, and would take away from being a 3.8 turbo.

Please throw out any thoughts as that is what I am looking for.


Old

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Current:
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blacknight80

Member
Dec 26, 2013
534
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Olds, Alberta
I'm already a traitor so my opinion is skewed. I figure it's all about having fun and at the end of the day if these cars become valuable it's pretty simple to put it back to original if all you're changing is the top end anyways I figure as long as it maintains its 3.8 heart who cares.
 

69RSCLONE

Active Member
Jul 13, 2014
342
35
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Rochester NY
I just put a Holley Sniper system on my Camaro. It's a nice package but I'm having a bunch of problems with getting it to run. Mainly ignition signal from the distributor. Runs fine when cold but acts up when at operating temperature. Sometimes it shows double the rpm (which doubles the fuel and loads up the mixture) other times it drops to 0 and kills all fuel. Was on the phone with technical support today and he said it's RFI screwing up the signal. Same thing I was thinking, but it is getting worse so I ordered a new pickup. Apparently the digital systems are way more sensitive than the CDI box which ran fine. I ran a Aeromotive phantom 340 retro fit pump. Between the 2 and fittings I was $1600-1700 plus lines. I also plan on a blow thru supercharger later on which is why I went with the Holley over the FiTech. The 600 power adder was more, and holley says sniper is good to 650. The problem is Holley hasn't released the software yet to tune and log. They said it would be out in Oct last year and next month ever since. I'm not ready for it since it is still winter here, but I still want it. I think you're a little light on the budget, but sounds like a good plan. Nice looking car by the way.

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WarWagon

Caustic Cacophony
Mar 10, 2007
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Just go ahead and get it ready for blow through, not going to be disappointed.
I've already done this and most likely have the most experience on the blow through Buick v6.
Locating the proper intake manifold may be the hardest part now days.
Once you go this route the turbo options are immense.
 

ShawnR

Fixer of crap..
Jan 24, 2011
155
15
18
Chesterville, OH, USA
Just go ahead and get it ready for blow through, not going to be disappointed.
I've already done this and most likely have the most experience on the blow through Buick v6.
Locating the proper intake manifold may be the hardest part now days.
Once you go this route the turbo options are immense.
Any reason not to go with one of these?

Edelbrock 5486

Performer Buick V6 Intake Manifold
http://www.edelbrock.com/automotive/mc/manifolds/buick/performer-v6.shtml#gLYR62EbEMdQ2lPc.97

I did just realize that I can modify my current exhaust manifold setup to mount a turbo in the front left corner of the engine. Hell, I can probably still use my existing turbo for a proof of concept thing since I will be making my own pipe. It is still the old style, but I am pretty decent at fabricating.

WIth a blow-thru carb (instead of EFI) I could probably have it going for under $500 total. Baby steps.
 

blacknight80

Member
Dec 26, 2013
534
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Olds, Alberta
I remember reading that the ebrock manifolds aren't that great for distribution and you would be better off with a used kenne bell or offenhauser.
 

WarWagon

Caustic Cacophony
Mar 10, 2007
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This idea works the best withing a single plane manifold, Weiand, Kenne-bell factory 4.1 intake. A rare one is the big port tall Offenhauser I've only even seen two for sale and had my hands on one.
Fueling and ignition are the biggest things to get right, the rest goes pretty easy.
 

ek02

Well-Known Member
Jan 31, 2008
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Miami, Florida
The intake ports on the Kenne Bell single plane are smaller than the ports in the heads. The idea is to help with reversion and low end torque on an almost stock engine. The Weiand intake has larger ports. I always port the Kenne Bell intakes to match the heads. I keep thinking about going blow through on my N/A setup. Lots of work involved. Nitrous is easier for me for now.
 

ShawnR

Fixer of crap..
Jan 24, 2011
155
15
18
Chesterville, OH, USA
What about a stock 86-87 lower intake if I weld up the injector ports and an adapter plate for a carb/efi? I only really ask because one is listed in the "for-sale" section.
 

b4black

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2001
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www.flash.net
4 bbl intake with Holley sniper EFI (or similar)
87 style exhaust, turbo & intercooler setup
in tank fuel pump for EFI pressure
Car looks great. I love this idea way better than an LS swap of even the factory SFI set up.

I'm looking at the Holley Sniper and other aftermarket EFIs. I would like one with the knock sensor and laptop tuning. I bet you could start by putting the sniper in place of the qjet on the stock draw thru set up. That's how I plan to start. I plan to use flex fuel as well. :)
 

ShawnR

Fixer of crap..
Jan 24, 2011
155
15
18
Chesterville, OH, USA
Car looks great. I love this idea way better than an LS swap of even the factory SFI set up.

I'm looking at the Holley Sniper and other aftermarket EFIs. I would like one with the knock sensor and laptop tuning. I bet you could start by putting the sniper in place of the qjet on the stock draw thru set up. That's how I plan to start. I plan to use flex fuel as well. :)
You might know the answer to this one. Since I still have a full distributor and I am assuming that timing is controlled by the ECM, once you swap out the carb there won't be any TPS signal anymore to the ECM. Will that screw up timing advancement, or is it based purely off of RPM?

I was even debating about building the Q-jet to take boost and just using that so I could keep a TPS signal. That gets complicated with the variable fuel pressure needed and where the EFI conversion seems MUCH easier.

This is still entirely in the planning stages. It will probably be a next winter project.
 

WarWagon

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Mar 10, 2007
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Both the ECM and ESC work together for the ignition timing. I do not recommend building a Q jet for blow through as least not without an enclosure. Trying to blow through one, they are immensely prone to fuel leaks and will not tolerate more than 12psi.
The EFI lower can work like you think, a guy in Norway is doing just that with a Buick v6 in an AC Cobra. Again ideally the Wieand, Kenne-Bell #1 and the stock 4.1L intake are what is needed. Any other intake manifold will be for the low port '77-'79 heads. The dual plane Edelbrock intake kills the top end power but it can work better if the divider is milled out.
 

ShawnR

Fixer of crap..
Jan 24, 2011
155
15
18
Chesterville, OH, USA
Both the ECM and ESC work together for the ignition timing. I do not recommend building a Q jet for blow through as least not without an enclosure. Trying to blow through one, they are immensely prone to fuel leaks and will not tolerate more than 12psi.
The EFI lower can work like you think, a guy in Norway is doing just that with a Buick v6 in an AC Cobra. Again ideally the Wieand, Kenne-Bell #1 and the stock 4.1L intake are what is needed. Any other intake manifold will be for the low port '77-'79 heads. The dual plane Edelbrock intake kills the top end power but it can work better if the divider is milled out.

So if I ditch the carb all together an go EFI, how will the ESC know how to run things (timing wise) and doesn't the ECM control the transmission also?
These are all of the type of details that I want to have figured out before I start buying parts.


You could use an early esc/turbo control center and get rid of the feed back carb.
Is this an aftermarket setup? any ideas on a brand name or part number to look into? And again, I'm not sure what all the ECM controls on the transmission, but I would guess that it wants a signal from the carb to tell it what to do. Is there a stand-alone system to run a 200-4R?
 

blacknight80

Member
Dec 26, 2013
534
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Olds, Alberta
78-79 buicks had the "turbo control center". They didn't use a feed back carb. All it did was read knock and pull timing. The carb readings aren't required to pull timing.
As for the transmission I know up in Canada we didn't have feedback carbs until 88 and we still had cars with od transmissions. They used a vacuum switch to lock the converter. I think b and m sells one but look for a truck with a 700r4 and steal the switch and wiring.
 

ShawnR

Fixer of crap..
Jan 24, 2011
155
15
18
Chesterville, OH, USA
This might be an easy fix as far as controlling the transmission:
http://www.jegs.com/p/TCI/TCI-200-4R-700R4-Universal-Lockup-Wiring-Kit/748599/10002/-1

So, I will need an ignition system that works with a distributor that will advance timing on RPM (or boost) and retard it if it detects knocking. That sound right?
If a system like that exists, then I can bypass the stock ECM completely and let the EFI work with the O2 sensor and boost pressure info.

Basically a series of stand alone packages each running their own little part of the whole system. Troubleshooting could be a bitch.
 

blacknight80

Member
Dec 26, 2013
534
23
18
Olds, Alberta
If your retro fit the older esc system you need the box and matching distributor and that's it. It's definitely not the best system ever produced but you can get a box for under a hundred bucks and I think I paid 120 for the distributor.
 

b4black

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2001
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Aurora, IL
www.flash.net
The problem with the early ECM's (And I assume this applies to the Turbo Control Centers) is that when they pull timing, they pull way to much and keep it pulled way to long. When racing my '83 if it knocks, the run is over. If falls on it's face. That doesn't mean they are useless. They will protect against knock, but you have to avoid all knock.

And avoiding all knock I'm finding is very difficult with the stock quadrajet. When the secondaries open up, it goes a little lean, but enough to create some knock.

And the baud rate of the early ECM is very low. It was increased dramatically for the SFI cars. If you hook up a scan tool to record date from the early ECM, you get a data point less than once every second.



I'm not quite ready to give up on the stock stuff, but I am looking into aftermarket EFI systems. The Sniper might be too simple for what I want. I want to be able to use a laptop (data logging and editing timing tables) and keep the knock retard. I want to run E85, but I believe they all can handle that. The Sniper has most sensors built into the throttle body and is really best for a 1960's muslecar. The more complicated systems allow for additional input and outputs (like knock sensors and transmission lock ups).
 
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