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 Grand National engine clean up 
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Post Grand National engine clean up
Well guys I had some time on my hands so I decided to tear in to the GN. The good news its rebuild able and not as bad as I thought it was going to be but I did bend a rod. I cleaned it up and had the block checked by the local Turbo Buick guru and everything checked out ok and I will get by with a hone and rering and baring. So it’s not too bad he even gave me a new rod so now it’s just a matter of getting it balanced and put back together. I will need a new cam and lifters to. Guess now I will have a use for the parts I had bought for it and never used.
Last summer right before it blew up I had bought all new front suspension parts for it with a set of tubular upper control arms. Now with the engine out of the way I should be able to get it done easy. I also had a few other performance parts like poly motor mounts 60lb injectors new headers and down pipe a wide band O2 sensor set up and everything to convert it to speed density. Plus I have a cool Hurst lighting rods shifter to go in it.
So the plan for now is to get the parts I have had sitting around on the car and to clean it up under the hood. These cars are way too busy for me just tons of hoses and wiring that needs to be hidden.
After I pulled the engine out I stripped the under hood down not because I wanted to but because it needed a new heater core any way and the new one came with the car when I got it and I never put it in that end I was shocked at the rust under the brake booster it was not threw the fire wall but it was bad so I needed to fix that too. This made it easy to re route some things the plan is to move as much of the wiring between the inner fender and fender so that it I no longer seen under the hood. I will also try to reroute as much of it as I can of what you do see so it looks cleaner.
Now for some pics for you guys.
Fisrt the blown head gasket pics
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It was a little durty in there number 1 lifter was stuck and push rod was bent.
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Looks little out of the car.
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Some pics as it sat last time you guys seen it.
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How it looked the day it died.
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Some pics of the start of the clean up.
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Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:38 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Looking good, now hurry up I wanna ride :mrgreen: :exit:

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Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:17 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Glad you've gotten back to working on it. :cogratulations:

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Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:29 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Hey guys when I pulled the engine the only thing that gave me trouble was the down pipe and headers they had been welded and rewelded and just a pain to get off. The other thing was the top two trans bolts. What I would like to do it trim the body seam ware the red line is to make it easier to get a socket on it from underneath and dimple in the area in the blue it looks crazy there any way so I thought why not take one of my body hammers to it and make some room there and clean it up so it doesn’t look so crazy. Is this a good idea or is it a bad idea to cut the seam? I am going to paint the fire wall friday if it stays nice out and will also paint the frame and top part of the inner fenders that is if i can make up my mind if I want to do it in gloss like it came from the factory or go flat like it looks now.

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Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:30 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Not sure on that car, but I imagine if you cut the seam you'd have to weld it solidly...I'd probably cut only a few inches out at a time and spot weld as you go if you decide to cut it.

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Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
I have had several g-bodies and we always just take a hammer and bend it up some to get the clearance needed. I don't think i would cut it, bending it works well and you cant really see it with the motor in.


Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:50 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Engine bay "tidyness" never was a big concern for the 80's GM vehicles, was it? The went a tad crazy with the seam sealer.

Lookin good, Earl. I would normally say to go gloss black, but with all the imperfections in these engine compartments, I say go with a satin or semi flat black. Keep us updated.

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Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:42 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Well I didn’t cut the seam any but I thought hard about it. I did make some room with a hammer. For the upper fire wall I spent around an hour with the hammers and dollies and smoothed it out some then filled in the spot welds and some of the crazy low spots. I also drilled a hole in the driver side fender and used the biggest grommet I could find it was just big enough to get all the wiring in the inner fender. I also removed all the old steering parts and the steering box so that I can get it all cleaned up and painted. I wanted to use POR 15 but I don’t have enough stuff needing painted to buy a whole pint of it for so I’m going to spray it with some black tractor paint. I’m going to go with the semi gloss most likely but just so that all the gloss black on my pipes stands out more. I left the camera in the car so I don’t have any pics of the work tonight will have to post them later. But I do have pics of the parts I have had stock piled for it.
The new suspension parts and the new upper control arms. These cars are bad about eating control arm bushings so I had bought a set of new tubular arms with aluminum bushings to keep from having the turbo down pipe melting the new bushings. Here is a pic of what the heat does.
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But these should fix that no problem. I also have new poly engine mounts to replace the worn out stockers.
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And here is a Siphone performance steering rebuild kit along with lower ball joints I still need to get lower control arm bushings shocks but that’s all I have to get to have a completely new front end .
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I also tore the TB apart to rebuild it. I’m going to port the plenum to match the TB and replace the TB blade shaft seals. I have been checking around on powder coating and think I’m going to have the TB, plenum, intake and valve covers coated black and then I will polish the fins. I also did away with the vacuum block on the TB and the metal vacuum lines. I got a ½ in plenum spacer and I’m going to drill vacuum ports in the back of it so you can’t see them. I also drilled a hole in the back of the block to put my IAC sensor there so it would no longer be in the MAS air pipe and will be hidden out of site.
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A pick looking in the TB you can see how the Plenum hole is to small for the TB and needs to be ported out.
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Well guess that’s it for tonight my next day off is Wed. so it will be a while before I get to do a whole lot more.

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Last edited by Earl on Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:38 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Our office of technology must have changed some settings cause now I'm not seeing hardly any pics. Glad your making some progress Earl.

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:24 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Very cool! I was hopping you are going to get back on that thing.. I am working on my dads when I have time. I would like to do everything black on his as well. Keep us posted..

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Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:40 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
I’ve got a lot done been working on the GN every chance I get I have a lot to update you guys on. Here are some teaser pic for you guys until I can get on here with the good stuff.
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Sat May 22, 2010 10:26 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
tvblazer78 wrote:
Very cool! I was hopping you are going to get back on that thing.. I am working on my dads when I have time. I would like to do everything black on his as well. Keep us posted..

You need to post some pics of his up so I can see it. If he changes out the wheels I would love to get those 17s I would like to save up and get a set of the aluminum remakes of the original GN wheels in 17 but it’s going to be a while before I can drop 3k on wheels.

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Sat May 22, 2010 10:32 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Looks good. Glad you went with the gloss! Looks nice and clean!

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Sat May 22, 2010 11:39 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Well it’s been a while but I have some more pics and an update for you guys. I got everything under the hood painted it was a learning experience to say the least. I sprayed it 3 times before I got it right. I spent hours with my hammer and dollies and I ended up using maybe 2 or 3 oz of body filler in the fire wall to make it look good after the hammer work. I sprayed the paint the first time the above pic and the next day I came out to look at my work and the paint looked like I had sprayed striper on it. Come to find out the lacquer just didn’t like the new paint on top of it. So I had to strip it down to the bare metal and start over. I then painted it the 2nd time and my compressor decided to die on my in the middle of spraying so you can imagine how that turned out. After sanding it down again I painted it a 3rd time this time it got the custom rattle can paint job no compressor yet. So I went to the local paint store and they mixed me up some single stage DuPont enamel and put it in rattle cans for me. It came out good but took like 5 coats it goes on thin. It’s better than regular rattle can paint but it’s a smaller are painted at a time and you have to do a lot of coats to get it right.
I have also replaced my upper A-arms with the tubular ones I had got before the car blew up. While I was doing that I rebuilt the lower A-arms with poly bushings and new ball joints. I also replaced all the steering parts with a Siphon performance steering rebuild kit.
I also had to replace the wheel bearings I had planned on just repacking them but it had the original bearings in it still they were plastic no kidding the carrier for the bearings was plastic and they fell apart when I removed the rotors. So now it has new bearings and rotors and rebuilt calipers. For shocks I used some Gabriel’s nothing fancy here.
Next is the engine this is the good stuff I broke it down hoping I could do a stock rebuild took it to the machine shop and found it had a bent rod. Lucky for me Don the guy that checked out the engine was a Turbo Buick guy and he had an extra rod and he gave it to me at no cost. The cylinder and piston on the rod that was bent had some ware but noting that would cause me to have to bore it out and get new pistons everything but the rod and cam checked out good. The cam got wiped looked like the number one lifter took on some water and the lifter stuck and took off a lob. This was nice I was able to do an almost stock rebuild I did have it balanced and had all ARP bolts and studs used. I was also able to score a set of Harland Sharp roller rockers for $200.I also had a 3angle valve job done on the heads and had the heads port matched. I then had to deiced on a new cam I kicked this around for a while the last time I built an engine with a flat tappet cam it chewed the cam up with in 2K miles and it seems like this is happening a lot now and they say it’s due to less heavy metals in the oil and of course you have to do the brake in. I was holding off on the cam for ever I wanted to go roller so I dint have to worry about the cam getting wiped out but didn’t want to spend an extra 500 on a cam kit. Well Jody got tired of me trying to make up my mind one day and asked what the difference was and I explained it was a mostly a reliability issue. So she bought me a roller cam kit she said she wasn’t going to let me have any excuse for it blowing up again. All together it wasn’t as bad as it could have been I called several of the big name Buick engine builders and most wanted between 3.5k to 6k for a short block it was crazy I ended up spending a little less then 3k for everything not to bad had to sell some stuff and volunteer for all the over time I could get to do it but the engine is rebuilt. I don’t have it in the car yet, between my long hours and now Jody’s we both work all the time now I just don’t have time to finish it. I’m hoping next week I will have time to at least set it back in the frame.
The engine wasn’t the only thing I was up to I also wanted to clean things up some and hide as much as I could so I knew I had to do something with the wiring. A lot of the harness was shot and needed rebuilt from age and past owners cutting on it. Also the reason my fans quit working and the car got hot was due to the fan wring it had melted in to a big blob and from what I read on the Buick boards it’s a common thing to happen when you change to duel electric fans and I didn’t know this and had changed the stockers out with Deral 4000 cfm fans to help try and keep the heat down it had always ran a little hot from the first day I got it. Don’t know if you guys remember when I replaced the water pump when it went out but I was never able to get it to run cool again after the pump went. Well I was able to buy a new wiring harness for the fans I also bought a new injector harness the old one was failing apart bad. To make thing look better I drilled a 1 ¼ in hole in the fender and ran the wiring for the head lights and Cruz through the inner fender to hide as many wires as I could. I would have liked to hide more but that would take major rewiring of the car and I’m just not up for that now. I also moved everything to one hole in the fire wall so that I could close up as many holes as I could. I have also extended the ground wires so that I could move them off the fire wall were they were seen and now I can hide them.
The other big thing that cluttered up the engine was the vacuum lines. The vacuum lines on the car come off the throttle body and run along the plenum it wasn’t bad looking they were made of metal and organized nicely for being something GM did but it was just not a clean enough look for me. So I made a cap to close of the ports on the TB I then drilled and tapped the back of the intake under the coil packs and ran a line to a hidden vacuum block. This will clean the top of the engine up a lot.
Next I have decided to convert to an e-85 car. To do this I needed bigger injectors and a new chip. I got lucky and was able to trade some one that was going to run e-85 and had changed their mind my 60lb injectors for his 80lbs this should give me enough injector now to run e-85. That is as long as I don’t go to a big monster turbo or something but for now I’m going to run a stock or a stock replacement turbo.
Last is my dash my car had an aftermarket set of gauges in it. My original dash was replaced with all VDO gauges and my speedometer always bounced and the speed sensor didn’t work so I had torque converter lock up trouble and my cruz didn’t work. The last owner didn’t have it hooked up correctly and I wanted to fix that so out went the VDO stuff. I wasn’t totally happy with the way they looked ether and thought I could do better so I decided to sell the VDO stuff to someone that had more of a race car. Lucky for me the last owner of the car still had a GN and when I put the dash up for sale he called me and bought it from me. I made out ok on this I sold it for enough to buy what I needed to fix the speed sensor trouble and have some cash left over for new gauges. I then sold the old headers and a few other extra parts I had to get the rest of the gauges I needed. I ordered those today from a company called speedhut. They are awesome gauges totally custom when you order them you pick out everything from color of the face and lighting to the style of writing you want. You can also have custom grafix done up on the faces if you want. I didn’t have a big budget so I got basic black gauges with aluminum bezels orange pointers and they light up blue at night. I did spend a little more to have LEDs for blinkers and brights added to the speedo. I wanted to have the GN emblems added to them but I just didn’t have the cash for it. For the dash its self I was able to get an aluminum panel with 7holes made for the new gauges and it will replace the original cluster. It’s not exactly what I want but will work until I can save up to have a complete new dash made for it. As soon as the gages com in Ill post picks of the new dash and how I wired it up.
Well that’s it for now will check in again later with more progress. Now for some pics.
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Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:54 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Looking good buddy :punk:

and

:welcome: Back !

:hi:

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Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:48 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Nice progres!!! Looking good. Thanks for the update :punk:

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Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:17 am
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
What ever happened with this? Did i miss something.

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Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:15 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Earl hasn't been on here since October. Hate to assume, but I'm
sure he's working a lot / no $$$ for net at home. (Work blocked)

I really miss him and hope he's doing well, if he wasn't on the
other end of the state I would drop by and see him in person.

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Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:28 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Got my hopes up seeing this earlier. I thought Earl was back. Has anyone talked to him in a while? It's been a year and a half since he was on here.

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Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:05 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
I don't know if he text or not but I just sent him one. Hopefully he will reply.

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Names David but you can call me Woody

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:03 am
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Post Grand National engine clean up
If he does text, might wanna
mention the Tapatalk App in
case he has a smart phone.


Replied via iPhone using Tapatalk

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:56 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
I will.

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Names David but you can call me Woody

74 K5 to be a 2WD, Just a driver
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Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:16 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
And tell him we miss him !!!

:gi:

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Grand National engine clean up
Will do.

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:26 pm
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