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  1. Staff Sgt. Buford Johnson, Crew Chief 332nd Fighter Group, World War II, at the Tuskegee Airmen Top Guns 60th anniversary Celebration in 2009, Las Vegas. Sgt. Johnson described the turbo and wastegate operation being similar to that of the P-47 fighters he serviced in Italy in 1944.
  3. Nice dedication to one of the finest yet unappreciated of American luxury muscle cars.
  4. I talked to a few friends about the issue, John Csordes & Pete Majestic who offered good troubleshooting suggestions. I was really bummed out and they encouraged me not to take apart just yet. Talked to Mike T. at TA Performance today and told him about my issue. 0 pressure in #5 and he said it sounded like one of the valves was not closing. Pressure checks BEFORE/AFTER VALVE ADJUSTMENT 1.200 2.203 3.200 4.204 5. 0/192! 6.205 7.190 8.195 I will fire her up tomorrow and see whether we can get her to run right.
  5. After running well for about a week, I am seeing telltale signs of coolant leakage. TA Performance recommended some coolant sealer which I will try. It will not run for more than 10 seconds then acts like there is a short in the system. The only thing I can think of is moisture in the cylinders and the MSD trying to compensate. It's weird but that may have been killing our MSD's over the years. This sort of problem may be solved by Bars Leaks on a normal engine but a boosted racing engine may not take to the idea. Last year, I was at the 1/8th mark when there was an engine explosion of coolant. She blew out the exhaust gasket and #1 piston showed evidence of detonation. There had been the same telltale signs of rusty exhaust water and hard to idle until warm. The hard choice, but the smart one, is to pull the engine and go for a full rebuild. Sadly, there are no Buick engine people near here; the good builders are too pricey or dead. There is obviously something wrong with the deck of the block or something else causing this. This is perhaps the most disappointing thing to happen since I blew the first 430in this car 39 years ago! The past 14 months of cylinder head delays and now pushing for an October deadline hard for the past 3 months seems like a lot of wasted effort. It was a risk I took when I opted to not pull the engine. Even if I could get it to run, risking damage to the new heads or losing the car in a wreck would certainly not be worth it.
  6. Pro Tuner Bob Ream of Imagine Injection synced into the FAST software and tuned the motor as she ran. He adjusted the choke and monitored the fuel values. Now she starts up with a key turn where it used to be a five key turn deal and see saw rpms till she warmed up. Now she starts up high, about 1,500 and goes down to 700 then stays steady at 1200. Other work includes fixed leaky proportioning valve, re-bled the brakes, rewired part of the electrical system and wrapped it with heat wrap to protect against header burns, got a new yoke with longer spline engagement for the new 3.5 0.10" thick aluminum drive shaft, picked up 110 octane racing fuel, re-installed the exhaust tips with the help of my good buddy Rick, and installed the K&N filters. All done within the past two weeks. I laid out carpet as I worked under the car last night. It had been a hot and sunny day but now had cooled to the 70's and the stars were out. My bones ached from the hard concrete floor, even carpet couldn't cushion some of those contortions where your more pointed bones off our shoulders remind you they are there. Hours earlier Rick asked me how long am I going to do this? Well, till I get the record I thought. He reminded me I wasn't getting any younger; running out of time and money not to mention patience. This will be the third consecutive year of attempts to break the elusive Buick Electra quarter mile record. The record was set 31 years ago by Scotty Guadagno and hid 4,700lb , 700hp nitrous oxide injected STAGE-1 455, 1970 Buick Electra Limited Sport Coupe. The added weight on a grippy surface puts a lot of strain on race car drivelines and components. Scotty's record setting run stands as one of the little known milestones of the one time flagship of the Buick line. Scotty's Electra stands as one of the fastest if not the fastest luxury car in that size and weight range. You could say she was a heavy weight champion. That record, coveted and known among hard core old-line Buick people is about to be broken.
  7. Just oil primed the motor and adjusted the oil pressure. It was about 70 and I bumped it up to 80psi. The turbo boost will cause greater loads so it's safe to add a little more pressure. TA Performance recommends 10-15 psi per 1000 rpm. She has billet rods and will rev to 7 grand but I hold her down to 6,500rpm. Thats 65 - 97.5 psi. Too high an oil pressure can cause excessive pump drive forces which in turn cause excessive distributor gear drive wear. The cam gear drives the distributor and it drives the oil pump. We will fire her up, probably Saturday afternoon, after heat wrap is installed on the wiring for the starter and other wires and lines are secured.
  8. Installed starboard header only to find the a .006" feeler gauge slipped past the copper gasket "seal". So, there was no seal and that is a non-starter for a turbo motor. It takes hours to align those headers and get the bolts into the soft aluminum head without damaging the soft threads. The new gaskets should seal better than the copper by a long shot. The gaskets are thicker so 1" long by 3/8-16 SHCS were used to secure the headers to the heads. In the mean time I am trying to slow down and do it right!
  9. Electra weight savings. I am not too worried about her est 4,855lb curb weight, in fact the record holder was 4,700lbs so I didn’t want to be under that! Anyway, I did make some weight savings that affect the front of the car. 1. Aluminum heads -64lbs. 2. Mini-starter -10lbs 3. Modified cross member -7lbs 4. Headers -5lbs 5. Driver -20lbs 6. Removal of Gear Vendors OD -40lbs this is is about 146lbs that will help with the weight transfer at launch. As power is applied the body will rotate to place more weight on the rear tires, the benefit is added traction and that more power can be applied.
  10. Thanks Mr. Earl. Here is Faithful Pursuit's inspiration my prized 1:18 scale model of the Tuskegee Airmen's first Red Tail fighter escort, the massive P-47 Thunderbolt, the "Jug". The Jug's large radial engine and rear mount turbos, mounted like ours, required a substantial ducting system that made her fuselage deep, giving her body an old fashioned milk jug appearance. Now Mr. Earl, myself and others of our generation remember the Milk Man delivering those bottles early morning, replacing the empties. My baby brother was born in '64 and I would get the bottles with mom or dad from the aluminum box by the front door. I remember the wax paper caps. The bottles were thick and heavy to stand up to lots of abuse! This P-47 was on the coach taking the Tuskegee Airmen to President Obama's Inaugural in 2008. I had it autographed by the Tuskegee Airmen as I performed my escort of the men from NY to DC. Is it really 10 years already?!?
  11. Hello all, Mocked up the intake install. The grade 8 bolts "dished" the washers on the last installation, rendering them ineffective. We had water getting pulled into the motor and coming out of the exhaust. A lot of mist would come out under full boost, from I suspect the blow off valves. The fix is to use 7/16-14 x 1.5 Grade 8 flanged bolts thus eliminating washers. A thin layer of 500F capable silicone will be applied to the 0.070" gaskets, already pre silicone glued to the manifold. This should give me the seal I need around the water passages while giving us the added contact pressure the motor seems to need. The 0.080 thick head gaskets altered the geometry making this necessary. I followed TA's advice on modifying the valley pan and trimmed much of it away at the intake ports. Siliconed in the front and rear seals and trial bolted the manifold in place. One bolt didn't go in straight last night and I boogered the threads. Popped the mani off tonight and tapped a few holes and we are good to go.
  12. Back on track after a 14 month cylinder head oddessy. My thanks to TA Performance for getting the job done after 2 other outfits lost their ability to do the job. Thanks Mike T. And crew!
  13. Back on track after a 14 month cylinder head oddessy. My thanks to TA Performance for getting the job done after 2 other outfits lost their ability to do the job. Thanks Mike T. And crew! Heads were torqued last week and they took about a week to do! The Cometic .080” thick gaskets had to be drilled for additional cooling passeges, separated, deburred, & re-silicone sealed. The torque fun began there...30ft-lbs, wait 8 hrs; 50ft-lbs, wait 8 hours; bolts 1,3,&5 to 110ft-lbs and the others to 100. Wait 24 hrs and re-torque wait another 24...well you get the point! Adjusting valve lash and naturally my old pushrods did not fit. Pulled adjustables from my old 455 STAGE-1 race motor. When Exhaust is fully closed as it opens to .050” adjust lash in intake to .005”. When intake is fully open and starts to close .050” adjust exhaust valve lash to .005”. Etc. etc. 16 X. Did 8 and will do the rest tomorrow night. God Bless you and God Speed, BqUICK
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