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summer 2003 NewsLetter image Jul 22, 2003

NEWSLETTER SUMMER EDITION Hot off the press Ron-- Meeting on 6/14 at the Athens Rest. went on as scheduled. We had only 15 attend, but-it was well worth being there. We had laughs up the wazoo, raffled off a screw driver set donated by Don & Jill Foss (thanks guys) won by Kevin Turch. He's taken on new work with the set-removing and installing license plates at a local dealer. The Grand National blanket was won by Don and Jill Foss-- hummmmmmm.. Hey, they bought $100. worth of tickets to get it! Ahhh- then there was the club hat. Joe Doino dropped in $50. trying to win it (he's a hat lover)-no luck. Steve Bayes stole 1 ticket it won the dam thing!! Lots of suggestions on cruises came up. Primarily the Lockport cruise and Duffs in West Seneca. Duffs welcomes us--the Lockport cruise is asking we have at least 10 cars show up and they will dedicate that nights cruise to our Turbo cars. With only 15 at this meeting, we could not get the commitment we need to agree on either cruise. We will set dates for both at our next meeting-the family outing 7/19. Remember - its at the Akron Falls Park, shelter # 14. Check out our web site for specific directions. I'd like to thank Joe Rizzo and new member - Curtis Kruschke for volunteering their time to organize this outing. Remember-New York International race park (Leicester) race day and eat-ah-thon is set for Sat. Sept. 20th. Cost is $50. per race car. We have the track for six (6) hours. Bring the family, friends and barbecue grills. As we close in on the date-I'll have more specific info. Now, I'm sure all who attended this last meeting would like to extent their thanks to the Special Quest Stars that appeared in the Club video that was aired that night.. There were a number of them: Mr. Bus who demonstrated what happens inside the engine compartment when the Up Pipe gets loose and raises hell under the hood. Then there was John Macpherson and Joe Rizzo calling out the play by play of Mike and Jerry's Transmission and engine failures. We had the footage of Jerrys launch at Norwalk - at 100' the softplug blows - water all over the track and out comes the Zamboni! You know Jerry, he came up smiling cause he had "spares" in his van! I'm telling you-he has everything in there. We had footage of Mr. Hamilton's run for the 12's! It all looked good until 1/2 way down the track when the transmission blew and he coasted to a 16 second run. My bicycle was faster!! Later that evening, while in our hotel room-We had footage of Mr. Hamilton demonstrating his famous "Venus Fly Trap routine"! Mark Burnum was sticking all kinds of stuff in there! There outa be a LAW against that!! Yee HAwwww ( Im still laughing) Finally, we had much footage of our flight down to Bowling Green, KY - Staring our Flight Captain- Joe Rizzo. Besides paying fines for landing at a restricted air base, the guidance sys of the plane breaking down and having to WALK home ( no- not really) - it was great! I got to say- I laughed my butt off! The footage is a real classic. We're going to have to run that again one day. Well- lets get onto the MEAT of this News letter, that being the technical report of none other than Mr. John Macpherson, Mr. "M," AKA the Silver Bullet Driver--- Herrrrrreeeeessssss Johnny!!

Article by club member John Macpherson

MY CAR STORY It was December of 87 when I learned of a GN at a local dealership known as Sisti?s. They were a small dealer that sold every make from GM, but specialized in GMC pickup trucks. Upon further investigation, I discovered that they did not have a GN, but a Silver Regal Turbo T. Even the salesman called it a GN. The car wasn't new either. The car had been driven for almost a year with the dealer plates. The odometer read 12,010 miles. That didn?t stop me. After a week or two of haggling I returned with a deposit and signed the papers on January 9, 1988. I was just 21 years old then. The owner of the dealership, had special ordered the car for his son. This is how I believe my car was specified. Regal Coupe with metallic silver exterior, "T" package which includes touring suspension and aluminum wheels, Turbo package, which includes the LC2 engine with tach and boost gage and 3.42 axle ratio. The most unique feature would have to be the burgundy interior with a 40/60 split bench front seat and the column shifted gear selector. Other features include chrome bumpers, a/c, electric windows, but no limited slip! This thing looks harmless enough for a grandmother!! It was 1990 when I took it to the race track for the first time. It ran 9.40?s at 75 miles an hour in the eighth mile at Lancaster speedway. I have been addicted to drag racing ever since. Each winter, when I couldn?t drive it, it would be in a pole barn style shop I built specifically to shelter the car and allow me to "tinker". Now that Racing was high on my priority list and I had a place to work, it was time to make "improvements". The first improvement was typical easy things such as ECM chip, free flowing air filter and exhaust, as well as a higher flowing fuel pump. Oh Ya,I almost neglected to mention the most important mod, to make the waste gate actuator adjustable. A year later, it was time to replace the open rear differential with a limited slip to improve the 60 foot times. An Auburn cone style was recommended because I still drove on the street often. By now the car was running 8.90?s at 79 mph in the eighth mile but I felt that the car was not leaving the line well. The limited slip did little to help the street tires grip the track. The stock diff. must have been better than I gave it credit for. I also installed a B&M shift kit which resulted in a damaged front tranny pump. A 10 vane pump was the replacement. Over the next few years, there were many changes in my life, marriage, buying a house and a child, forced me to just enjoy the car as it was. In 1998 I met Larry at the Autorama show down town and also joined the WNY Turbo Buicks. This has influenced me and my passion for racing in the biggest of ways. With Jerry & Ann, Buster& Karen, Mark and Ron running 11?s in the quarter mile, Larry running in the 10?s, the time had come to take the next step. I purchased an ATR 3" down pipe, a GSCA red stripe torque converter, comp cams 979 valve springs and drag slicks for the back. This resulted in a best 1/4 mile of 12.37@ 106mph. Although I concentrated on racing, some of the club members mostly Larry, convinced me to enter in a few car shows. With 50,000 showing on the odometer, my car was not filthy, but I gave it a cleaning from top to bottom, firewall to bumper and polished the chrome. To my surprise, I have been rewarded with many awards. I would like to say thank you to all the club members even Larry for encouragement and inspiration to display and race my Turbo Buick. In 2001 Larry was making changes to his car so I seized the opportunity and purchased his 42 lb/hr fuel injectors with matching chips and a Garret TA62 Turbo from him. A Charged Air Systems V4 stock location intercooler, a 9X11 torque converter with a 3000 rpm stall speed from PTS and a Direct Scan data collection system followed. With 25 psi of boost and some VP 116 fuel, 11.60?s at 116mph resulted. It also resulted in a destroyed Auburn differential. One of the cones in the carrier split in two and ground the bearings on that side. That was how I ended the 2002 racing season. Now for the moment that most of you have been waiting for. Over the past winter, Larry (yes the same Larry) was dealing with blown head gaskets and we had many discussions abot Stage II or TA Performance. That was not an easy decision. I deliberated over what constitutes a race car and how fast can I afford to go. The decision I made was to buy Larry?s engine instead of building one. What I received from Larry was an assembled 109 short block with stock crank, stock rods, forged pistons, two steel main caps, and Lunati cam. Champion GN1 heads and a tranny with Precision torque converter completed the package. The heads were o-ringed and intended to be used with the stock type composite gaskets but did not prove, in my opinion, to be the best choice. This was due to the fact that graphite can damage the bearings. I decided to use Fel-pro 1000 head gaskets. Another option I researched was to use the relatively new type Cometic gasket available from most big Buick venders. I did not go this route because the o-ring receiver groove would have to be filled with weld and machined flat. Maybe next time!! I purchased a stock intake manifold, both upper and lower, and then proceeded to port the runners to match a Fel-pro 1200 intake gasket. The ports in the GN1 heads are designed for this gasket. The stock exhaust manifold was removed from my original engine and received the same treatment for a Fel-pro 1400 exhaust gasket. The drivers? side was cracked and repaired twice before but will due for now. Before they could be bolted up they were taken to a machine shop to have the flanges milled flat. Prior to assembly I opted to install fresh main and rod bearings on the crank. The crank journals appeared perfect but the brgs showed evidence of graphite and/or water damage. Jack Cotton supplied me with Federal-Mogal bearings in two days. He is a top notch vender and I recommend him especially if a part is needed quickly. He stocks a thorough inventory. To fuel this combo I selected Siemens 72 lb/hr injectors and built my own duel Walbro pump system. A Max Effort- R 16 position thumb wheel chip programmed to replace the MAF with a MAP was chosen to control the injectors and ignition timing. This required the ECM be modified. Low impedance injector drivers and the MAF to MAP input were completed by Bob Bailey. I also installed a MSD two stage RPM controller. The TA62 turbo and V4 intercooler as well as my ATR down pipe and 62mm throttle body were also retained. The 9X11 torque converter was chosen over the Precision for now. I will see how this combo pans out. The first 4-5 passes on the 1/4 mile track this season I attempted to dial in the air/fuel ratio a get a feel for how this set up responded to adjustments of boost, fuel pressure and thumb wheel settings. Feeling more confident, the next pass, I tried to launch the way I did with the old engine. This proved to be a mistake. The car spun the tires and got out of shape quickly, forcing me to back off of the throttle. The result was an 11.2 @ 121mph on 24psi of boost. The next pass I did not make any adjustments, I did however, use the MSD box to limit the RPM at the line and was rewarded with a Smooth 11.0 @ 122mph. The track official promptly pointed out my lack of a rollbar and harness !!! See you!!

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