2-16-11 Inner Circle

2-16-11 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 02-16-2011


In last week's Inner Circle we did not have an exact answer explaining the 4-digit code under the actual part number found on the 120 amp alternators.

Thanks to 2 of our Inner Circle members we now have the answer, including proof from a 1996 GM Parts Identification and Inspection Guide.

Information about these codes has been difficult to confirm. I have both the "1986 Parts Identification and Inspection Guide for Buicks" and the "1987 Parts Identification and Inspection Guide for Buicks" books. The alternator they show in the 1986 book is not the one in our cars and the date code is in a different sequence.

In the 1987 Parts Identification and Inspection Guide they do show the correct alternator known as a CS 144. However, they show the codes on the side near the top bolt and not on the front by the top bolt. On all the alternators I have seen, it is stamped on the front by the top bolt, not on the side as the illustration shows!

Adding to the confusion, their description for the 4-digit date code is incorrect based on the later GM Parts identification and Inspection Guide, which has been brought to my attention.

PHOTO 1 - The two photos on the left show the 1986 and 1987 Parts Identification and Inspection Guide Books I have in my reference library. The photo on the right shows the alternator page from the 1987 book. You can clearly see how the location of the date stamp is incorrect and the breakdown of the 4 digits is not correct based on production alternators. GM actually refers to the alternator as the "Generator" on this page.

So, here is how the 4-digit date code on the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am 120 amp alternators breaks down.

The first digit represents the month - A number 1 thru 9 represent the months January through September. For October, November, December, they simply used the first letter of the month to keep to the single digit format. Example - October was an O, November was the letter N, and December was the letter D.

The next 2 digits represent the day of the month.

The last digit represents the year, usually a 6 or 7. I figured the last digit was the year based on all the codes I have seen.

What would be extremely rare is those few of you that own a 1989 Turbo Trans Am, as the last digit should be a 9 for 1989. There can't be many of those alternator cores floating around since less than 2,000 Turbo Trans Ams were produced.

So, now you have the correct explanation on the visible date code on your 1986-1987 Turbo Regal 120 amp alternator.

We also heard from one of our Canadian customers, K. Morrison, who has a low-mileage original 1986 Grand National. His 4-digit code reads "N205." This would represent November 20th 1985. Interesting enough, he tells me his pulley is gold and the actual fan is black! Since his is an early one, I can see where perhaps no set color was established for certain minor parts.

I have seen examples of this many times. In many ways, we are lucky all our cars were built in the same plant. For example, back in the 1960s, the Pontiac GTO as I recall was built in over a dozen different plants around the country. With that many different plants, I am sure variations existed on the assembly line.

A special thanks goes out to Chris Tobie, who not only has Buick technician experience, but was a technical engineer for Pontiac Motor Division in 1996. He said he also got a lot of powermaster brake problem calls back then in his position!

I would also like to thank Anthony Petridis for sending us the same information based on what he knew as well.

It's great that collectively we can usually come up with the correct answers. If some of us were given a written test on Turbo Buicks, I have no doubt people like Richard Clark, Brian Weaver, and myself would score pretty high, but getting a 100 would prove tough! It would be one of the few times I would have gotten a good grade!

In last week's Inner Circle (02-09-2011), in the very first photo we show a close up of an original 1987 alternator housing. The date code is 5127, which we now know stands for May 12th 1987. This was a core my source (who is personally rebuilding our units) had stashed away. I removed that alternator from the junker I am currently dismantling. It was nasty looking as the car had been sitting outside for 4-5 years. The date code on that alternator is 5187! Broken down reads, May 18th 1987. So, that unit was built just 6 days later!

PHOTO 2 - The top photos show that very same nasty alternator (top left) and a close up of the date stamp (top right), which reads 5187. In the lower two photos, show it completely rebuilt with new internals (bottom left) and a close up showing the date code 5187 (bottom right) to prove it is the same unit. Our source really does a nice job. Naturally, if you send us your original alternator, it would not look as nasty as the one I gave him.

We have original 1987 housings on our new #7318 and #7319. Now that we know how the 4-digit date is broken down, we can possibly sell you one that would be built prior to your car. Of the approximate 30-40 original housings my source has at this point, he can cover almost every month from April through November for 1987.

At this point, I have any idea how much in advance the date of the alternator would correspond with the production date of your Turbo Regal. If I had to guess, I would say probably 25-30 days during the normal production run.

When the decision was made to extend Grand National production to the end of December 1987, perhaps the codes ran tighter to the actual car production date. The important thing is to pick a date that we have available, prior to your built date or simply send your original alternator in to be "freshened" up with new internals and a new look.

Most of you know how to determine your production date. The easiest way is to check the upper label on the driver's side doorjamb.

PHOTO 3 - We photographed our original 1987 Turbo-T as an example of date coding. The photo on the left shows the upper driver's door label and under the word "DATE" it reads, "05/87." The photo on the right is a close up of the original 120 amp alternator on our car. That date code reads "4287." Broken down - April 4th month - 28th day - 7 for 1987. So, within a 30-day span, our alternator appears to be the one originally assembled on our car.

Due to age, paint overspray, or no labels, in some cases you need to find another method to determine your production date.

Several other methods exist to narrow down your production date. If you have located either the Cushion Room Broadcast sheet or the Door Pad Broadcast sheet, check the second entry on the first line under the word "DATE."

The Door Pad Broadcast sheet would be in the door taped to the water shield.

The Cushion Room Broadcast sheet is usually tucked under either of the rear seat cushions.

GM's system for dates on either sheet appears to only show the month and the day of the month.

Another possible source is a CarFax®. It may show when the car first went into use. Even that may not be totally accurate as some cars can sit for a period of months before being sold and licensed.

PHOTO 4 - In this photo we show a Door Pad Broadcast sheet (left) and a Cushion Room Broadcast sheet (right.) The cushion room one is the actual one from my personal Turbo-T showing a date of 0430, which I assume is April 30th, which makes sense for my car. We have noted the DATE areas with red arrows.


NOTE - We sent one of the 200 amp custom-built alternators to be tested by Richard Clark. Over all the years prior to this, all the other alternators he has tested that claimed to register 200 amps always fell short.

He was impressed with this unit as it surpassed 200 amps and registered 238 amps!

Remember, each of our units is pre-tested to be as advertised.

Here are all the new Part #s now available -

7315 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am -
BRAND NEW 120 amp Alternator, Pre-tested with a 2-year Warranty
Regular Price - $169.95
SALE PRICE until March 18, 2011 - $154.95 (save $15)

7316 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am -
BRAND NEW Custom-Built 200 amp Alternator, Pre-tested with a 2-year Warranty - $249.95

7317 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am -
YOUR ORIGINAL 120 amp ALTERNATOR - REBUILT with all New Internal Parts Using YOUR Original Housing, Pre-tested with a 2-year Warranty - $139.95

To order part numbers #7318 or #7319, you must contact our office first to see if we can provide you with a date stamp prior to your built code. Our supplier has about 30 original housings.

7318 - 1987 Turbo Regal -
Original 120 amp Alternator Housing with our stamped Part #1101 349 120A on the Housing - $65.95 / kit

7319 - 1987 Turbo Regal -
Original 120 amp ALTERNATOR - REBUILT with all New Internal Parts and our stamped Part #1101 349 120A on the Housing - $189.95

7320 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am -
UPGRADED Alternator Pulley Fan with Machined Spacer - $25


TurboBuick.com 2011 NATIONALS - MAY 11-14, 2011 - BURLINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -

We have received confirmation on this 4-day ZDDPlus™ sponsored event at Richard Clark's shop and the Piedmont Raceway. This is one event you don't want to miss! Be sure to read the general information listed under our 2011 Calendar of Events section. There is also a link to the TurboBuick.com website. If you are interested in being a vendor, contact Dennis - [email protected] or through our office 215-766-1611 x 0.

Alky Control, Caspers Electronics, GBodyParts.COM, Pete Hoffman, Kirban Performance Products, Metco Motorsports Solutions, and World of Motorworks.


A long-time customer of ours wants to sell his pride and joy, GNX #545.

This GNX has 25,000 miles on it. It is slightly modified however, all the original parts have been kept. He has the jacket and GNX book. Owned by an older gentleman. GNX #545! This is just 2 from the end of production. I can supply additional photos and information. Serious inquiries only.

Priced to sell at $58,900. Email me - [email protected]

Here is a link to this car on our website:
http://www.kirbanperformance.com/product/43842/BUICK GNX #545 FOR SALE.html


We have heard from a couple people that have viewed the photos on the website. Because these have to be low-resolution photos to work on the Inner Circle segments on the website, any photos of text don't appear clear when enlarged. This is a problem when you are trying to see numbers, such as those on the VIN labels or pages from Options booklet. Also, because of photo reproduction and computer screen variations, the colors may not be true to the actual product or photo.

If you would like to have us email you any photo at the higher resolution for viewing, just email us and we will email them to you. Be sure to be specific on which pictures you want to see - Reference Inner Circle date and photo number 1, 2, 3 or 4 - [email protected]


Got any turbo parts you are not using? Why not cash them in for parts you need with a Letter of Credit. Simply email me a list - [email protected]

Also, we are still buying dead or partially dead 1984-1987 Turbo Regals under $4,000 that are within 250 to 350 miles of our location.


TURBO BUICKS AT OLD TOWN - SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011 - 10 am - 3 pm -
5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, Florida

FREE show open to all Turbo Buick powered vehicles - from show quality to work in progress cars - to benefit the Orlando based charity "New Hope for Kids" that helps children who have lost a loved one. Old town is located on US 192 in Kissimmee, just east of I4 and Disney World.

For more information, contact Rocky at 386-690-1887 or check out their website -

APRIL 16, 2011 - 9 am - 3 pm - 6201 Kellers Church Road, Plumsteadville, PA 18929

Once again we will be holding our annual Spring Open House, Saturday, April 16th - 9 am until 3 pm. This event happens rain or shine. Free Yum Yum Donuts are known to run out in a matter of a few hours. We will have an array of tagged and bagged used parts at bargain prices, as will Pete from his collection of parts.

Our stock Kirban Performance Products items will be discounted 5% on any in-stock items and any items that we do not have that you pay for will include free shipping.

As vendors let us know they are coming, we will update this information.

Already confirmed as vendors for our Open House -
- CUSTOM AUTO APPAREL - large array of licensed Buick apparel
website - customautoapparel.com / email - [email protected] / phone - 412-678-8402
- Pete Hoffman - Lots of used original parts
- WORLD of MOTORWORKS - Paul Castle will be coming again from Illinois.

TurboBuick.com 2011 NATIONALS - MAY 11-14, 2011 - BURLINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -

This is the first major Turbo Buick event for the upcoming 2011 season. The dates are May 11th through the 14th. The first 2 days the event is held at Richard Clark's massive shop at 2557 Faucette Lane, Burlington, NC 27217, North Carolina, followed by 2 days of racing at the Piedmont Dragway, 6750 Holts Store Road, Julian, North Carolina 27283 (Greensboro.)

Our company is handling the vendor lineup and part of the program at Richard's shop on Wednesday and Thursday. This includes the free lunch that Richard provides under the ZDDPlus™ sponsorship.

Alky Control, Caspers Electronics, GBodyParts.COM, Pete Hoffman, Kirban Performance Products, Metco Motorsports Solutions, and World of Motorworks.

The club has some big plans and special guests that will be coming and conducting seminars that were not there last year. Since the GS Nationals are moving to October this year, this gives you another major event to attend in the spring.

There will be a listing of events, hotels (discounts), vendors, seminars, etc. As information is confirmed, we will let you know.

For more exact information on race classes and other activities, go to -


2011 BUICK PERFORMANCE GROUP - JULY 29th - 31st, 2011 - HEBRON, OHIO -

The Buick Performance Group event will feature the Turbo Buick "step children" the T-Types and Pontiac's unclaimed child the Turbo Trans Am. The event is at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.

They have secured Scott Kelly to attend, as well as Denny Manner, Joe Guzek, Dave Roland, Ron Yuile. Denny has also contacted Tom Wallace in hopes that he will attend. The people mentioned have also contacted other retired Buick Engineers, including Mike Doble to have them attend. There will be displays and "tech" talks, so it should be very informative. I don't think there has ever been that many Turbo G-body Engineers in one place at one time. This is one event you do not want to miss this summer!

Information for the Event can be found here -


If you would like to see any of the Kirban Performance Products items listed on eBay, here is a link to our store and auctions -
http://stores.ebay.com/Kirban-Performance-Products-Inc_W0QQssPageNameZl2QQtZ km


Any inquiries concerning used parts, you must email me direct - [email protected] - I will answer you. However, if I fail to answer you within 24 hours, please email us again. Since expanding into used parts, I get a lot of emails and sometimes I may forget your request or not remember who requested the item.


Like many of you, we can't wait for springtime weather to arrive!

In my travels, everyday I see one house that still has all their Christmas figurines on their front lawn. For the last several weeks they have been frozen in ice. It will be interesting to see when they can dig them out!