Subscribe to the Free

Buick Turbo - Power Trip - Tech

Part IX: Final Performance Tweaks

Rick Jensen Apr 1, 2008
0804gmhtp_01_z Buick_turbo 2/35

In the last installment of this turbo V-6's saga, I was able to get my 1987 Turbo-T to the point where I was comfortable making some passes at E-Town. Leaving at 4-psi launch boost, and topping out at 26 psi on the big end, she went 10.83 at 126 mph-not too shabby for the first new-combo track day with no suspension adjustments.

Though I was thrilled with a 10, my enthusiasm was tempered somewhat by the fact that there were still several glaring problems that, if fixed, would have resulted in a quicker e.t.-and with a 126-mph trap speed-a safer car.

IAT Sensor Relocation
Due to the fact that the intake air temp sensor hadn't been placed in the upper plenum during the engine build, the XFI's tune was a bit off as it was seeing intake air after the filter, not turbocharged and intercooled air in the intake. Tuner Cal Hartline did what he could during the first track day to get that 10.8, but it was more of a band-aid fix and led to a rougher tune than we would like.

I was satisfied with every aspect of the Buick's new powertrain-save for the used 3-inch downpipe and stock wastegate left over from my old combo. It was time for a bigger downpipe and external wastegate. As the Cotton's Performance crew up in Agawam, MA, would be doing the final tweaks for me, Jack and Brian suggested one of their 3.5-inch downpipes with a Turbonetics Racegate external wastegate. Both would be more appropriate for this 559-rwhp LC2.

Line Lock
I didn't have a line lock at the first track test. This meant that during the burnout, I was unnecessarily heating up the brakes and causing the Eaton posi to unlock. This was compromising boost-holding capacity on the line, causing slippery, sideways launches as only one tire was hot, and abusing the brand-new posi.

Brake Service
The swapped-in vacuum brake booster doesn't have the pressure to hold lots of boost on the starting line. However, I love the reliability and pedal feel of the vacuum system-currently, I have no plans to change it. I'll have the Cotton's crew perform some basic stock-brake maintenance on the wrecked front rotors. These things were damn scary when attempting to slow from that 10.83. Between this work and the new line lock, we should be in business.

I make the short trip from NYC up to Agawam to see Jack and Brian Cotton, and we get to work. These aren't major mods, but I'm counting on them making a huge difference at the next track day.


Cotton's Performance Center
Agawam, MA 01001
Turbonetics Inc
Simi Valley, CA 93065



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print