Jack Merkel Performance Engines is serious about Turbo Buick powerplants. "I saw that there was no one filling the engine demands for guys with 10- and 11-second cars," says Merkel. "I spent a lot of time fixing other peoples' mistakes in these engines, and decided I could do a better job." Merkel offers a wide range of services ranging from stock rebuilds to custom crate engines.
As you may recall from Part 1 (May 2002), we concentrated on the basic machine work necessary to the block and rotating assembly, focusing on those tricks that are unique to the Buick V6. Jack also gave us a short tutorial on balancing the rotating assembly. "Balancing makes a tremendous difference in the way the engine runs. You can really tell a difference at high rpm, as well as with the car just idling in gear," said Merkel. We learned that balancing also plays an important part in engine longevity.
Part 2 (July 2002) examined short-block assembly and the oiling system issues particular to the Buick six. Due to its rather unorthodox oiling system, the engine has some unique bearing clearance needs. "Common small-block Chevy thinking doesn't take into account the very high cylinder pressures at low rpm that the Buick routinely sees. A turbo V6 can produce in excess of 600 lbs.-ft. of torque under 3000 rpm," explains Merkel.
What follows is the final installment that will take us to a completed engine capable of running low 11s. Once again, follow along as Jack Merkel shows us the cylinder head mods necessary for building serious Buick power!