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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,
New to this website and thought I should introduce myself here.

My brother-in-law's father purchased an 1987 Buick Grand National from its original owner back in 1993. Drove it for 10 years and then unfortunately suffered a stroke in 2003. It was parked in an old wooden floor garage for 17 years and it hasn't driven since. This past year (2020) he sadly passed away and left his pride and joy 1987 Buick Grand National to his sons. The brothers picked up the GN and towed it home 1500km to my garage. She needs alot of love. We've washed it off and started cleaning the interior, but as far as the mechanical side of the car goes, not much has been done yet. I'm fairly educated with working on vehicles but I'm young (27) and this car is older than me (LOL!) so I do have some questions and I feel like the people on this forum are alot more educated than me when it comes to these G-body's. I imagine the brothers want to completely restore the vehicle, but not back to original, as their father was passionate about modifying and customizing the car to improve its performance on the street and the track. For now our focus is to clean it up and get it running again. The goal is to have it running, driving, and looking nice for their wedding next September, giving us just under a year to bring her back to life.

I have not fully inspected yet, but have got some stuff figured out. I've removed the battery (charged and tested.. completely toast), and removed the spark plugs & wires. To check if the engine is seized we funneled oil in the top of the cylinders through the spark plug port and left it some days to sit. Plan on removing the intercooler and manually turning the crank with a bar but have not gotten that far yet.
Car has no brakes right now. I found the LR line to be leaking. From my experience with patching brake lines, I cut the bad part out, add 2 new fittings, flare the ends, then add a piece of new line, connect it with 2 unions, bleed the brakes, and boom, good as new. But the first time I had to slam on the brakes on the road cause some idiot in front of me missed his turn, I felt my brake pedal go right to the floor. After that incident I came to the conclusion that patching brake lines = temporary fix. The new section of brake line just meant it wasn't gonna leak there in that spot again, and it will move on to the next weakest spot in the line. I know it is not my GN, but I am doing a majority of the mechanical work on it and being a new uncle to a 1 year old niece that may one day be riding in this car, I want to feel confident that the vehicle will stop hard and fast if it has to. I want the brakes on this car to work better than they did brand new from the factory in 1987. I recommended the brothers purchase some stainless steel brake lines online somewhere. I found some "complete 7pc sets" on classicindustries.com, inlinetube.com, and kirbanperformance.com, I also suggested a rear drum-to-disc brake conversion in the future, but I'd like your guys opinions and advice if you have experience with anything to do with GN's.

I mentioned earlier my brother-in-laws father was passionate about modifying and customizing the car to improve its performance on the street and track, so the sons are completely okay with straying from the original look or using reputable aftermarket parts. I know they have mentioned their father put a lot of money into this car back before his stroke. Some things I know, some things I don't. K&N intake. Exhaust upgrades. Alot more I'm sure, but as I said I have not really inspected it well enough in my garage. What are some of the most common upgrades you think someone would have done to an 87 Buick GN in the years ~1995-2002? I'm very interested and passionate about learning more about this car to help the brothers with this project. How can I communicate with this cars ECM to see data? Something about a Scanmaster? I have photos of some things I've noticed and have questions about but they are on my phone and i am on my pc so I will add in replies later. One of the photos relates to the brake lines, I looked up a picture of a stock engine bay and the brake lines look different by the master cylinder. Like there is a T-split in the line. Could this be a brake upgrade their father has done?
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Older than dirt
2,730 Posts
A pressure switch or something to lock the front brakes for when you wanna heat up the back tires?
Line lock.
I see aftermkt fuel rails. That would likely say the injs are not original.
In any case, they HAVE to be cleaned/replaced.
The fuel tank is likely toast, along with the pump, filter, and the rubber hoses.
Pull the ecm and take a look at the chip. Likely an aftermkt and may have a tune that's not so friendly with today's gas.
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