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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The car is a 1987 Turbo Regal. Mods include:
Precision PT5858 turbo with an adjustable wastegate actuator
TA headers and cross pipe
TA 3" downpipe with internal wastegate and O2 sensor bung
3" MAF pipe/Delphi LT1 MAF sensor /Translator and K&N filter
70mm intake with RJC Powerplate
Racetronics hi-flow 255 fuel pump
Caspers Volt Booster and Hotwire kit
Kirban adjustable FPR
Turbo Tweak 42lb injectors and Turbo Tweak 57 chip
AlkyControl alcohol injection kit
and basically whole lot of other stuff including trans, axles, gauges, frame stiffening etc., etc., etc.

The car ran great, other than hitting 30psi of boost, or more, a couple of times right after I got it and before I figured out what was going on. At 30psi of boost it was very very quick, I have to admit. Even driving below 30psi the car had a lot of power and would spin the tires at 30 mph. This was back in September. I've been driving it since then without any problems, just not above 20psi of boost. I couldn't adjust the boost as you will see, but I could adjust my foot's pressure on the gas pedal. But it was bugging me. I like things to work right.

I discovered that the problem was that the wastegate was stuck in the closed position, meaning boost was not limited. I tried working the external lever back and forth but it would not budge.
My solution was to get a new 3" downpipe with internal wastegate just like the old one, thus avoiding any possible problems with fixing the old wastegate. So I got a 3" downpipe from RJC Racing.

Now, I've been working on Turbo Regals for a long time, so I'm not a newbie. Not an expert but not new to it either. But I'm now 72 years old and my back is really bad. Lying down under a car is very difficult. So after I got the downpipe from RJC I took the car to a local muffler shop and asked them to install the new downpipe. Seemed simple enough.

Multiple problems ensued.

First, the mechanic couldn't get the old one off cleanly and broke a hex-head wrench.
Second, then he broke off the bolt that had broken the hex head wrench.
Third he broke two other bolts. Three out of four.

So when he finally got the downpipe off, he cleaned out the threads and put studs in the turbo. Then he tried to install the new downpipe and it WOULD NOT FIT down to the test pipe. He tried and tried, but it contacted several points on the way down (the passenger-side rear upper A-Arm bushing and the plastic inner fender) and then had too steep an angle to attach the test pipe and line it up with the exhaust. So he called me, explained the situation. I authorized him to reinstall the old pipe. Rats.

Well it was about to get worse.

He finally got the old pipe back in and called me late Friday after business hours and asked me to come get my car. At this point he told me that he had managed to loosen up the wastegate puck and that I should have boost control now. When I picked it up, he locked up and left for the weekend.

I drove out the driveway and immediately noticed that the car had no power, stalled and stuttered just driving on city streets at any speed. On the country roads out to my house it shifted into 4th gear above 45 mph, but stuttered and lugged jerkily when the torque converter clutch engaged.

It was too late to do anything with it, as I had a date with my wife. We went in her car. The next morning I went out and checked under the hood. The number 4 spark plug wire had come off. So I reconnected that and test drove the car. It ran smoothly when boost was low, but didn't have much power. Under WOT it was flat and weak and then BACKFIRED when shifting into 3rd gear!

FYI, while I have a ScanMaster that's the only data reader I have. No data logger. I had TurboLink and WIN ALDL when I had my other Turbo Regal back in 1996-2009, but those went with the car. I tried the new WIN ALDL but all it did was mess up my ECM. So I can't provide a data stream.

Has anybody had any experience with this kind of thing? My best guess is he messed up reinstalling the old downpipe somehow. But how?

Also, if you know any good TR mechanics around Springfield, Missouri (I actually live in Lebanon, Missouri, about 50 miles east of Springfield), please let me know. So far every mechanic that has touched this car has left it worse than when they found it.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm still stumped. I did replace the TPS this morning because it wouldn't hold a reading--that's been going on for months though. It wouldn't stay put on the low end. I'd set it in the .40 to .42 range and by the end of the day it would be at .44 to .46. I don't know how that would affect the car's acceleration etc., but it does idle a bit better. .

But... I'm thinking it might be some kind of electrical/ignition problem in addition to the stuck wastegate. Reason is that in 4th gear and torque converter lock-up on a straight, flat road, I get a stutter that feels like a miss. Just cruising, no boost. When the torque converter isn't locked, the expected standard torque converter slippage smooths out the "miss." The miss is new by the way. Didn't do it before this mess started. It's a mess miss.

I reduced alcohol injection level because of the lower boost, and that has stopped the backfire on the 2-3 shift and smoothed out the flat spot in 2nd gear. Still only 7psi of boost.

I checked the passenger side spark plugs and they looked great. There was one spark plug wire loose on the passenger's side and one loose on the driver's side (not counting the one that was completely disconnected). The connections were contacting the plug tops, they just were not on tight. I pushed them on and got a solid click. There feels like a minor improvement in drivability, but it's still not running much boost. Seven psi max, and it's still got a slight miss at cruising speeds—which means at all speeds, it’s just not noticeable until the TC locks.

I closed the hood once with the engine running and it stalled. It has a Delphi LT1 MAF sensor/Translator, which isn't mounted high enough to get hit by the hood, but I'll check the connections. There is no aftermarket stereo installed, just the stock unit. The battery connections are tight. It also has a TPS/TEC box and a Casper's volt booster.

I did give the oil the old sniffer test (although I didn't do a taste test. Yech). Smelled like oil, no gas smell, so I'm thinking that the disconnected spark plug wire didn't wash out the #4 cylinder and contaminate the gas. Oddly though, the oil is pretty black and it's only been a few hundred miles since an oil change with pure synthetic... and the zinc additive. Maybe I should change it again just for S&G.

I did ohm out the coil packs. The passenger side tower that has the #4 and #1 plugs on it ohmed at 11.6 or thereabouts. The #4 plug was the one that was disconnected completely. The other two towers ohmed in the low 12s. I found what looks like a brand new coil pack and ignition module in the spare parts I got with the car and it ohmed out pretty much the same, but I think I'll try putting it on tomorrow morning. Something's causing this miss.

As far as the boost is concerned I think I'm going to have to fix the downpipe I have. So far I have $800 in this new downpipe and it still doesn't fit... RJC Racing doesn't seem real interested in me returning it, but I haven't pushed them very hard. Anybody want to buy a brand new RJC racing downpipe with the O2 sensor bung already installed? $500 new, I'll let you have it for $400 plus shipping obo. RJC swears it will fit any stock-style headers. Anybody know a shop that will repair an existing wastegate on a generic downpipe? The receipt I have for it is dated 2011 and is from Kirban Performance. They have no records showing who their supplier was in 2011, no surprise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, nobody has replied or seems to be interested in this thread, but I fixed the miss and the poor running myself. Now I just need to find somebody who can fix my wastegate.
 

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Well, nobody has replied or seems to be interested in this thread, but I fixed the miss and the poor running myself. Now I just need to find somebody who can fix my wastegate.
How did you fix the stutter/miss? My car does that also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I replaced both the coil pack and the ignition module. I had spares that came with the car, so I don't know what brand they are, but they worked.
 

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I'm still stumped. I did replace the TPS this morning because it wouldn't hold a reading--that's been going on for months though. It wouldn't stay put on the low end. I'd set it in the .40 to .42 range and by the end of the day it would be at .44 to .46. I don't know how that would affect the car's acceleration etc., but it does idle a bit better. .

But... I'm thinking it might be some kind of electrical/ignition problem in addition to the stuck wastegate. Reason is that in 4th gear and torque converter lock-up on a straight, flat road, I get a stutter that feels like a miss. Just cruising, no boost. When the torque converter isn't locked, the expected standard torque converter slippage smooths out the "miss." The miss is new by the way. Didn't do it before this mess started. It's a mess miss.

I reduced alcohol injection level because of the lower boost, and that has stopped the backfire on the 2-3 shift and smoothed out the flat spot in 2nd gear. Still only 7psi of boost.

I checked the passenger side spark plugs and they looked great. There was one spark plug wire loose on the passenger's side and one loose on the driver's side (not counting the one that was completely disconnected). The connections were contacting the plug tops, they just were not on tight. I pushed them on and got a solid click. There feels like a minor improvement in drivability, but it's still not running much boost. Seven psi max, and it's still got a slight miss at cruising speeds—which means at all speeds, it’s just not noticeable until the TC locks.

I closed the hood once with the engine running and it stalled. It has a Delphi LT1 MAF sensor/Translator, which isn't mounted high enough to get hit by the hood, but I'll check the connections. There is no aftermarket stereo installed, just the stock unit. The battery connections are tight. It also has a TPS/TEC box and a Casper's volt booster.

I did give the oil the old sniffer test (although I didn't do a taste test. Yech). Smelled like oil, no gas smell, so I'm thinking that the disconnected spark plug wire didn't wash out the #4 cylinder and contaminate the gas. Oddly though, the oil is pretty black and it's only been a few hundred miles since an oil change with pure synthetic... and the zinc additive. Maybe I should change it again just for S&G.

I did ohm out the coil packs. The passenger side tower that has the #4 and #1 plugs on it ohmed at 11.6 or thereabouts. The #4 plug was the one that was disconnected completely. The other two towers ohmed in the low 12s. I found what looks like a brand new coil pack and ignition module in the spare parts I got with the car and it ohmed out pretty much the same, but I think I'll try putting it on tomorrow morning. Something's causing this miss.

As far as the boost is concerned I think I'm going to have to fix the downpipe I have. So far I have $800 in this new downpipe and it still doesn't fit... RJC Racing doesn't seem real interested in me returning it, but I haven't pushed them very hard. Anybody want to buy a brand new RJC racing downpipe with the O2 sensor bung already installed? $500 new, I'll let you have it for $400 plus shipping obo. RJC swears it will fit any stock-style headers. Anybody know a shop that will repair an existing wastegate on a generic downpipe? The receipt I have for it is dated 2011 and is from Kirban Performance. They have no records showing who their supplier was in 2011, no surprise.
Hi! Thanks for sharing your hard detective work! Glad you've made progress too! Say just one question , do you have newer motor mounts? I was wanting a new DP for my 87 Turbo T and was concerned about fitment too. Mine has newer mounts but the DP is a really older cut and welded piece.
I'm hoping to get mine running after a 13 year parking.
 

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Just brought a new Precision pw39 waste gate to replace the delta gate that was giving me higher than wanted boost levels like what you have.. Putting it in this weekend.. Checked alot of other stuff too before narrowing it down.. Anti seize them bolts next time..Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
nottrees2; motor mounts are about 2 years old and stock replacement. Should not have been an issue, but I don't know because I entrusted it to the muffler shop to fix, so didn't see them doing it.
 
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