When to do engine rebuild?

California TR with 188K miles, all stock with dual exhaust and Casper chip. Passes smog clean every time.
Just wondering when to do a rebuild (timing chain and metal gear was replaced back at 145K with water pump). Anything to worry about a high mileage motor? Read that valvesprings may be tired and needed replacements.
Thanks in advance.
 
California TR with 188K miles, all stock with dual exhaust and Casper chip. Passes smog clean every time.
Just wondering when to do a rebuild (timing chain and metal gear was replaced back at 145K with water pump). Anything to worry about a high mileage motor? Read that valvesprings may be tired and needed replacements.
Thanks in advance.


Best to do a compression test & a leak down test. This will tell you a lot about the health of your motor. Since you've recently replaced the timing chain and gears, I would suspect that they shouldn't be a concern at this time. Agree with you that valve springs may be a good idea to change (if they haven't been done before). Just be careful not to go too high on your spring pressures if you're still running a flat tappet cam as it could wipe out your cam lobes if it's too high.
 
Since your car is a driver, and I would assume no performance upgrades, personally I would NOT touch anything inside your engine, especially valve springs. :)

All new valve springs will do is allow you to gain RPM which you do NOT need with 188K miles.

When the time comes, and it is very tired, have the engine removed and freshened professionally for a reliable, dependable ride. :D
 
Thanks guys. Can any mechanic shop do compression & leak down test on the 3.8 turbo engine or needs to go to specialist?
Also heard that there may be a engine rebuilder that has turbo buicks out in Fairfield, California.
I'm in northern California and was always wondering who out here specializes and tunes these great cars.
Want to keep TR looking stock and reliable. Has hot wire, full pump and in past I have taken to 1/4 mile track. In storage now, going to do spring cleaning and use as fun weekend car. Too paranoid to use as daily driver again.
 
There is a good engine builder in Fairfield as I sent him parts for a customer that had his engine done there.

Go to the Southwest forum and there is a SF section so you can find a good tuner in your area from local members.
 
Thanks Nick, I'll take a look.
Mikestertwo, I had the same thought too. going to start detailing engine and engine bay to clean years of grime and grease.
I'll look into rebuild if TR doesn't pass smog anymore.
 
There is little power advantage to rebuilding. Ive bolted serious performance parts on plenty of 100+k engines and went very low 10's with them. Leak down doesnt mean crap either. Ive ran engines that had a lot and they still made power. Unless there is an issues with the bottom end, its not blowing oil everywhere, and its had a relatively detonation free life it doesnt matter.
 
I agree, if everything is running good and no odd noises then let it be. Valve springs are a good idea but by all means go back with a new version of what's already there, you don't want to overload a cam that's already been run in for years. Freshening up an engine is great, but if taken care of the wear is not gonna show like you think it would.
 
I believe 100% in what Nick has stated, many of us old farts appreciate what has been proven "good" in our existance, and any automobile that rolls to 188.000 thousand miles is good in my book.
Comparing a 1984-87 Buick powered stormfront to a 2012 performance vehicle is not fair in my book, everything should improve with age and knowledge. But the history of what Buick did back then is what really seperates these cars from all others, that what every owner/driver of these cars "feels" when just putting around town, everyone knows what you've got(even if it's not the latest rocketship on wheels) These cars are what shook the "establishment" back in the day, Buick Motor Division proudly pissed on Chevy's shoes every year by 5 horsepower while playing liars poker, there was always a reserve left in the torque department at Buick.
Making/producing horsepower today is rediculously easy compared to the 1980's, today there is no limit to your "Want's", how you use it has become the new frontier of tuning.
The real challenge today owning a Turbo Regal/Grand National is restraining yourself from going full retard in stupidity, at which performance level can you leave well enough alone and still call it a "Street Car" or original ?
These missles have been in the low 10's/high 9's as far as bone stock apearences go, but that is not what I would ever call a daily driver with a semblence of reliability, that's on the razors edge for '80's production parts.
Keep well enough alone and enjoy the ride of owning/operating a piece of history alive, if you want to go full stupid, by all means build a Stage II and stuff it into a prepared chassis draped with Buick clothes(make a "Clone") dressed to a "T", but there is a reason tuxedos are only available in black,....just sayin.

To the OP, best of luck to you at restraining yourself ;), your gonna need it, lol


Kevin.
 
Thanks for all the great inputs. These cars are becoming rarer and I was lucky to find my TR back in 1994 in great condition, bone stock with all possible factory options. Will keep it original as they are becoming classic muscle cars. Just restoring parts that are getting old.
 
Hey Gunmetal, I'm with the others, If it aint broke don't fix it! Just enjoy it! I'm in Northern Cali as well (Bay Area) I do know about Mizzies in Fairfield but I must say they will charge the hell out of you if you walk in there without a clue. When I walked in there he thought I didn't have a clue and he quoted me a price on a rebuild that was outragous. It was cheaper to send my block to Ohio to get rebuilt. Since then I've ran across two others locally that can handle the job if ever needed. I'm not the greatest tuner but I can say I finally know what it takes to keep the Regal running. Hit me up if you ever need any local help.:)
 
Thanks 87we4boosted, will do. Back in late nineties bunch of us local guys had TR's that met up at Searspoint for Wednesday night bracket racing. Once all twelve met up, looked cool cause mostly imports at the track but now most of them sold their TR's.
 
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