Please help...First Turbo Buick


New Member
May 1, 2012
Hi guys,

Very new to the forum. I have always drooled over these cars but i can now afford to have one. I am looking at two different 1987 T types. My question is which of them is a better car per their build description. Both cars are equally nice in overall condition.

t type 1:

3.8 liter V6 (RPO LC2)
Motron 60 lb injectors
PTE-60 turbocharger with adjustable wastegate
212/206 duration camshaft
K&N cold air intake
APR head studs
RJC power plate
RJC boost controller
Duttweiler necked intercooler
Alcohol injection - allows you to run 20 + PSI on 92 octane fuel
Walbro 255 lph fuel pump with fuel pump hot wire
Accufab adjustable fuel pressure regulator
Turbo Tweak 5.7 chip with adjustable timing/fuel curves
Valve cover breather
EGR delete


200-4R 4 speed automatic, BRF (heavy duty)
PTC 2800 lock up converter
Driveshaft loop
B&M trans cooler
OD lockout detent plate


3 inch mandrel bent straight shot exhaust
3 inch Terry Houston down pipe
Dynomax Ultraflow muffler
Dump pipe


145 mph speedo
Scanmaster - allows you to monitor ECM readings from drivers seat
Autometer boost and fuel pressure gauges
PLX wideband

Brakes and suspension:

Y56 grand touring package
Hydroboost brake conversion
Aftermarket trunk bracing
Aftermarket front jounce braces
Aftermarket underhood brace bars
Bilstein shocks
B&M line lock
Michelin high performance tires
8.5 rear end with 3.42 gears
Posi traction
Front and rear sway bars
10 fin aluminum rims


Leather wrapped 3 spoke steering wheel
Bucket seats
Power drivers seat
Center console
Floor shift
Tinted windows
Power windows
Power locks
Tilt wheel
Cruise control


Pioneer DEH-P77DH CD player with built in alarm
Pioneer iPod hook up interface
Polk 3.5 speakers (dash) and Polk 6X9's (rear)
JL Audio 250/1 amp
JL Audio 12 W 3 in sealed box


Powerlogger - allows you to plug a lap top into ECM and record what the ECM see's - vital in tuning/troubleshooting. Also allows you to change timing and fuel settings
Ashtray switch panel -2 switches: 1 controls line lock, the other turns on electric fan manually
Knock detector - emits a warning beep if engine spark knocks
Field fix harness - allows alternator to charge battery in the event
Steadfast steering column guard - prevents thieves from popping open the steering column to steal car

Runs good and drives good. A/C was replaced last summer, new brakes and master cylinder last winter. The tires are fairly new and don't have many miles on them. Same for the shocks.

T type 2:

Block is 30 over with JE pistons, comp cam and lifters. The crank is 010 under with
racing bearings. It has a PT51 Turbo and does spool quickly. It has the big Terry
Houston down pipe with electric cut out, the big Tony De-quick front mount stretch
inter cooler, Hooker Mandrel bent 2.5 exhaust, approved shut-off switch. It has 50 lb.
injectors and has an RJC boost controller. It also has the stainless ATR technologies cold
air intake system. It has a turbo tweak 93 octane chip. It also has the Buick turbo HP
fuel pump with the hot wire harness kit. Has the scan master 2.1. It has a turbo lubber
It presently has a power steering leak which I am trying to get repaired.
All weather stripping has been replaced, carpet has been replaced. The entire interior has
been redone with black and silver leather. The headliner matches with the same scheme.
The trunk has all new carpet.
It has a custom paint which is basically the original color but with the added tastefulness
of lighter ghost flames on the hood and sides. It has a few small door dings but overall is
in good condition.
The car has Centerline wheels coupled with Performance Radials 255/60/15 on the back
and 225/60/15 on the front.

Both cars are about the same price give or take $500-1,000. I am looking for a fast turbo buick that will run at least a 12.6. Which would you prefer and why? T type 1 or t type 2? I am a huge noob when it comes to these cars except for the fact i am certain they look BAD A$$! Please help me out. Much appreciated!
Take the one in the best over all condition. a stocker will run in the 12's. Take the one with least amount things to fix...body,paint,rust,miles on car,miles on motors...etc,etc...
Both in capable hands should run better than 12.6, more like mid 11s. IMHO that's alot of car/mods for a noobie to a TB. I wouldn't want the single shot exhaust of #1, it will drone.
May I suggest finding a local guy that is versed in TBs and have him give you some tips. Much of what's listed is standard parts on all TBs so they don't count. Both have worthwhile mods if you want to go faster.
Both cars sound pretty good but car 1 seems to have a few more mods....

Both cars will easily accomplish the times you want.....a mostly stock car will run a 12.6

What kind of miles do they have on them? Is that a concern of yours? How's the paint and body on both?

If you wanted to look at which car has more mods and would be a better build as far as power and running faster later down the road that would be the first car.

Either one sounds good choose which ever one strokes you better.

If it were me I would go with the first car it has more supporting mods for when you wanna go faster and also sounds like the entire car has been gone through....
I like #1 but that is just me. The TE60 has more HP potential than the 51......and it has alky..... definate easy 11 sec recipe there......

You need to look in all the trouble areas for rust.... if either has been exposed to salt.... rust could be hiding...... bottoms of doors..... bottoms of quarters... and fenders..... inside drain area under trunk lid..... etc......

I would also want to see a carfax just to see if everything added up....
Great responses guys i can not wait to be a active member of this community! THANKS!!!
Take the one in the best over all condition. a stocker will run in the 12's. Take the one with least amount things to fix...body,paint,rust,miles on car,miles on motors...etc,etc...


Also, who did the mods on the cars?
I talked to the owner of t type 1. and he says the best he has been able to run is a 12.6 @109 on drag radials.. this seems very slow for these mods. He says he has noticed over months it progressivly got slower by about 5 mph.. He says he thinks it is the coil pack or valve springs. Also he says it tends to tach out inbetween gears? Please help me with this... I think i might walk on this one and investigate t type 2 more closely. Opinions please. Thanks!
T Type 1...


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T Type 2...


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Ha, I'm partial to silver.;) Like I suggested have someone experienced in TBs to help check them out. Sometimes simple things screw up and make issues that look bad, other times it's a timebomb.
Both look good in the pics.....I would not sweat the slow time by the first car I have seen heavily modded cars run like turds! 9 times out of 10 the tune is waaaaay off.

I would strongly suggest you follow Pronto's advice and find some one knowledgeable in Tb's to look both cars over.......if that is not possible then anyone who has a decent amount of car smarts will work too. Some one that has been hot rodd'n for a while can tell you if the frame is straight rust free a quick glance at the engine to make sure things are not hacked up. A quick test drive to make sure it shifts out ok and there are no funny sounds from the matter if its slow that is a very easy fix as long as there are no major issues.

If both cars check out good or pretty much equal then it is a decision of what color you like better:cool:
I like the looks of the grey one myself. Both have had the brakes done-thats good,whatever car you chose make sure you have an extra couple grand sitting around to buy crap for the engines,by crap I mean all the little trinkets and $ensors on the engine that seem to need replacing at any given moment.
I like both....but if the white T was a hardtop/gray interior or blue would be sweet too.

The silver with blackout trim is really nice too.

Don't be worried about the slow times.....most of the time..... it is the tune or a combination of several things..... they can all be addressed quickly by someone who knows these cars.
the silver one has receipts and is less expensive..I am going to view it on saturday! I cant wait i will let you guys know what happens
Is passing on these 2 cars and looking for a car that's close to stock..i.e stock turbo, stock injectors, etc a possibility? If you have no experience with TR's or automotive knowledge, you might become frustrated.
One of the things I didn't mention was they both appear to have (or you didn't state that they didn't have) flat tappet hydraulic cams. Most people on here will tell you that you are at a decent risk of "wiping a lobe or lobes" on hydraulic flat tappet setups these days. Some believe it is directly related to the oil formulations we have today vs 20 years ago. The tree huggers have forced the oil manufacturers to remove certain chemicals like zinc from engine oils that some feel really helps flat tappet cams live. This issue is not just limited to Turbo Buicks.... it is affecting everybody. With that said, understand it is between $750 - $1000 to convert a turbo Buick over to a hydraulic roller cam. IMHO, anyone that currently is having issues with wiping lobes, or is building a new engine.... ought to pony up and go hyd roller....

Also, I disagree with the above poster about buying a stocker. It is money well spent to go ahead and buy one that has most of the "extras" you would likely need anyway to run the number you want. It will save you money and time.....

As far as potential.... the car #1 has high 10 sec potential..... on a good tuneup 26psi or so boost and a good 60' time.... with good air. It should get into the 11's on low 20's on the boost with a mediocre 60' time on any given day.... if the tuneup is there. There are too many details missing on #1's 12.6 @ 109 time to accurately decide if there is an issue. My car went 12.7 @nearly 108 the first time to the 1/4 mile track with a few bolt-ons and a stock turbo on low 20's for boost.... and it had knock the entire way down the track...... It could have gone bottom 12's that day if I had a decent tune... but I hadn't had the car but about 6 months and never been to the track and didn't know what to do to tune it properly.

With all that said.... there is a learning curve with these cars, but you can do it. The easiest way is to find someone locally that knows these cars good and can help. The next best thing is reading and asking questions here.

Good luck.
I have a question no one asked . Will this be your first hot rod , do you have any mechanical inclination . These are not stock cars you are buying and will take alot of knowledge to tune and maintain . These are pretty much race cars at this point and will take money to maintain . I am working towards getting my own car to 12.5 . I bought a clean low mileage car and building what I want knowing whats in it . Take the advice you have heard over and over . Find someone that knows these cars and have them look over it for you . To take a ride and haul A$$ means nothing .
My advice take you money buy a clean car and build your own .
For the record I am not knocking either one of these cars . I know nothing about them . What I do know that anything dipping into the 11 and 10 are nolonger Stock cars and take knowledge and a good mechanic
I love white T's but the silver car has a built motor. I'd take the silver one. Sounds like the white one is just bolt ons, which is fine but it's not cheap to build a motor. The silver car has a lot of money wrapped up in just the longblock. And on top of that, it has all the bolt ons too.