06-13-2012 Inner Circle

06-13-2012 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 06-13-2012


In Photo 1 in last week's Inner Circle we showed the various brake proportioning valves. We pointed out that of the four vendors that supplied GM, only the Weatherhead brand was made in brass. All this is true. All four vendors are listed in both the 1986 Buick Parts Identification and Inspection Guide and the 1987 as well.

I did make a mistake in identifying the brake proportioning valve on our personal 1987 Turbo T car. It is a cast steel valve, not the desirable brass version. It was so clean looking I just assumed it was brass.

PHOTO 1 - The photo on the left shows the page from the GM book I refer to above, regarding the brake proportioning valve. It is also referred to as a combination valve. It lists the four vendors (suppliers). It shows on a flat-machined surface the break down of the code for the supplier followed by the date code. In the photo on the right I show the brake proportioning valve on our personal 1987 Turbo T. I had to remove the transmission linkage bracket as that bracket hides that machined surface that the code is on. It was difficult for me to read it, but the first letter appears to be a "B," which is for Bendix.

According to Richard Clark, he has never seen a factory original Turbo Buick with the Weatherhead brass brake proportioning valve and feels that they were installed as part of the powermaster recall. His belief is back when the cars were fairly new when owners started to have brake problems the mechanics would simply throw parts on the car to fix the problem. Or, as part of the brake recall they could have changed the brake proportioning valve. This theory makes sense based on the two powermaster brake campaigns I had in my files.

In looking further into my library of Buick files, I found some partial proof that in 1990 several campaigns were produced dealing with the powermaster issues that affected several GM models, both Buick and Chevrolet.

What is interesting is, in the July 1990 Dealer Product Campaign they only discuss replacing the cast iron brake proportioning valve on the Buick Estate wagon if it has the cast iron one. In the October 1990 Campaign, again it talks about replacing the black brake switch and on certain models replace the cast iron brake proportioning valve with the brass one.

I can see how it can be confusing because in both Product Campaigns, it doesn’t directly say about replacing the cast iron brake proportioning valve in the Turbo Regal models. If the problems were corrosion or leaking, you would think it would apply to all the same vendors that produced the cast iron brake proportioning valves, no matter what GM model they were on originally.

PHOTO 2 - The top left photo shows a copy of one of the pages from the July 1990 Dealer Product Campaign. The illustration shows that the cast iron brake proportioning valve even has a different shape than the correct brass portioning valve. You can clearly see how the cast iron one is totally different in appearance compared to the brass one. In all my GM Parts books, it lists the part number as 25509419, which according to the Product Campaign is the part number for the brass brake proportioning valve. This number even appears in my 1987 GM Parts book. It has been discontinued from GM for some time.

The top right photo is from the same Product Campaign and shows the method for which the service department would fill out the Campaign Identification label and affix to a dry surface. In most cases, on our cars it was affixed to the radiator core support, usually on the driver's side.

So, in quick review, it appears that GM had discovered issues with the cast iron brake proportioning valves in roughly 3 years time after end of production.

If you are going to change out your brake proportioning valve, another upgrade we highly recommend is to replace the factory brake hoses to the front brake calipers. After 25-plus years, the original rubber hoses will swell up slightly when you apply your brakes. By upgrading to the stainless lines, besides giving you more confidence the car will stop, the brake pedal will not travel as far when depressed.

The upgraded stainless steel brake lines, which includes replacing the rubber connecting hose over the rear end housing, is Part #7218. The lower photo shows one of the stainless brake lines on our personal car as it attaches to the steel line at one end and the brake caliper on the other end.


Last Saturday my wife, granddaughter, and I attended a friend's barbeque. Like me, Don has been in the automotive business for a long time. We have personally known him for over 30 years. I brought my camera since I knew he had a few interesting cars, and I figured his garage would be equally interesting.

PHOTO 3 - Top left photo shows a few of the neat cars that his friends brought to the barbeque. The black 1957 Oldsmobile convertible is quite a rare sight to see today. This one had the trips on it. The top right photo shows our granddaughter Devyn alongside my wife Eileen at the gazebo that Don and Julie have on their lovely secluded property. The third photo shows just a small portion of the tools and supplies Don has in his workshop. The last photo shows an old Champion spark plug machine. Stepping into his shop was like stepping back to a time frame around the mid-1950s.

The inside of their house also had that time capsule look complete with an actual hand crank telephone, player piano, roll top desk, old style grandfather clocks, etc. I almost expected to see the Waltons from Virginia sitting in the dining room eating dinner. (For you younger readers…The Waltons was a popular TV shows a few years back.)

Don has a gorgeous restored 1955 Ford convertible complete with almost every option including the continental kit and also an old school 1941 Ford street rod that is flat head powered.


This dash is just like the GNX. It has all new Stewart Warner gauges with sending units as needed. It includes a new upper speedometer cable, directions with a copy of the original ASC blueprints, a good used original gauge bezel, new applique, most important a pre-cut stock dash bezel. In other words, this is a complete kit read to install. You do not have to cut any part of your dash, you simply remove your dash and drop this one in. All the gauges are all pre-fit properly.

The only item you will have to buy to complete it is the proper plug-and-play harness. This is available from World of Motorworks. You have to specify if you have an analog dash or a digital dash when you order the harness.

The price for this complete GNX style dash is $1,995 plus shipping.

NOTE - If you plan to attend the Norwalk event this coming weekend, you can purchase it and make arrangements for delivery to that evert. Russ is planning to attend and can take it with him and deliver it to save you shipping.

PHOTO 4 - The top photo shows the actual dash you would get. The lower left photo shows the instruction booklet. The lower right photo shows the speedometer cable and the sending units.


I heard from two people on their thoughts on the number 5 sticker attached to the pinion snubber as shown in 6-6-2012 Inner Circle. Richard Clark thinks it was a method Buick used to denote a certain suspension on the assembly line. In other words, the worker knew to grab a certain part based on the suspension going in that particular car. Similar to the tags affixed to the springs found in our cars.

Glen Weisman, who works for a company that supplies some of the automotive manufacturers, says it appears to be a number used by a supplier to GM for the “kit” of parts that would show up at the assembly line at a given time. The tag was never removed and simply ended up still attached to the pinion snubber on our car.

My take on it? I don’t think it has any special meaning today, however, I think it was unusual that it has survived for 80,000 miles intact under our car! So far no other owner has informed me if they have a similar label on their car's pinion snubber.


We hope to cover this in the next issue as I think you will find it interesting. It helps to prove a point I have made in the past about the same exact product appearing under different company names. Like many of you, it's a constant learning experience about our cars.


Currently the 1937 Packard coupe is still for sale. We have heard from several customers and have sent them a bunch of photos on this pristine modified 1937 Packard coupe. (See 6-6-2012 Inner Circle for more details.) Email me direct - [email protected] - for photos of this car.

Also the 3,500-mile 1987 Grand National hardtop that I found for Mike O’Neil several years ago is also still available. (See 6-6-2012 Inner Circle for more details). Email me direct [email protected] - for photos of this car.


2 owner car, low mileage (28,286 km) (17,679 miles), first owner 23 years.
Well maintained, very clean.
Always stored, no winters, non smoker.
This is a highly-optioned car.
Comes with stock takeoff parts.
Located in Pickering, Ontario, Canada
Asking $26,000 in U.S. funds.
Serious inquires - please call John at 416-565-4515 or email - [email protected]

Here is a link to this car on our website:


I have a few sets due in later this week. I was not able to get as many sets as I ordered as my source could only find just a few sets. I think I will have either 3 or 4 sets available at $199.95 per set and $20 shipping. If you own a GNX or have a GNX exhaust system on your Turbo Regal you will want a set of these correct looking oval style mufflers.

They have a center inlet and center outlet and very close measurements to the original GNX mufflers. They are also "Made in the USA." You must email me direct and I can email you a photo of the actual muffler. I am trying to locate more, but currently it looks like I will only have 3 or 4 sets. I can’t be positive that I can hold this $199.95 price if and when I locate any others. Finding a suitable replacement muffler to fit like the originals do is extremely difficult because of their unique small overall length.

Their are two main reasons for this, first, Buick only offered replacement mufflers with the tailpipe included for each side. It was welded as a complete unit. I doubt they had many available in their supply chain even back when the cars were fairly new. I also never seen just the muffler listed by any aftermarket suppliers such as Midas etc. This is probably because the car had such low production. Nobody I am aware of lists a muffler specifically as a replacement for the Buick GNX. You must email me direct on these GNX style mufflers, if interested [email protected] I should have 3 or 4 sets by the time you read this Inner Circle. This is one of those parts you will need eventually on your GNX and would be extremely difficult to find as time goes on.


Herb Reed, the founding member of the Platters singing group, passed away last week. If you grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, you remember the Platters and their many hits that several other groups copied in latter years. They had that romantic sound in their songs. He was the only member to appear on all of their nearly 400 recordings!


On the new items listed below, we do have some of each in stock for immediately delivery.

1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

This is a stainless steel replacement pipe to eliminate the catalytic converter for off road use only. It is a bolt in replacement complete with the proper 1/2" thick 4-bolt flange at the one end.

Overall length is 19" and the 4-bolt flange is almost 1/2" thick for support. The inlet diameter is 2-1/2" wide.

The end result is a free flowing exhaust for “Off Road Use Only.” You must have a stock length downpipe for this to fit properly.

Each test pipe comes with a specially made gasket for the 4-bolt flange end.

NOTE - We also offer the 4-bolt flange gasket separately, Part #7423.

7422 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
Catalytic Converter Test Pipe & 4-Bolt Flange Gasket - $34.95

1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
4-BOLT FLANGE GASKET for the Catalytic Converter to the Y Pipe

This 4-bolt flange gasket is made from exhaust material to withstand high heat.

In some cases, due to age and modifications, you may find it necessary to use this flange gasket to eliminate any exhaust leaks between the catalytic converter and the Y pipe.

7423 - 1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
4-Bolt Flange Gasket for the Catalytic Converter to the Y Pipe $9.95

Here is a link to the test pipe and gasket on our website:


These molded door seals fit all two-door Regals only. Original GM seals have been discontinued for some time.

This is the weatherstrip that surrounds each door. They attach just like the original weatherstrip seals.

Because of the age of these cars, in order to have tight door seals, these may need to be replaced. Over time, the original seals may be cracked, hardened, damaged or painted.

These reproduction door seals are very soft, so once installed, the doors will seal properly and not become harder to shut.

NOTE - We recommend these door seals be installed by a qualified body shop.

Another great restoration item.

7425 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (2-Door Models) -
Reproduction Molded Door Seals (2) - $159.95 / pair

Here is a link to these door seals on our website:


Pete Hoffman has a limited number of the reproduction GNX Suspension Systems available. These are the Richard Clark systems that he has had made locally.

They are nearly exact to the originals, down to the welds and material used. They come with complete detailed instructions.

Limited availability! Call or email Pete 215-778-1036
[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.

NOTE ABOUT PHOTOS ON THE WEBSITE - 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]


JUNE 15th and 16th, 2012 - Friday & Saturday
Friday afternoon World's Record attempt at muffler box dominoes.
Cruise through Lansdale, PA Friday night.
Saturday event is held at Performance Years headquarters, 2705 Clemens Road, Hatfield, PA 19440. They should have 150+ Pontiacs, 150+ musclecars and 150+ Mustangs. They even have 2 bands playing back to back on Saturday.

I have listed below the events for Saturday the main day at Performance years headquarters. We will be there as a vendor. Then that same night is the Lansdale car show in the center of town.

Saturday, June 16

8:30am - 4:30pm - Midway & Showroom Open
8:30am - 4:00pm - Featured Indoor Vehicle Display
9:00am - 4:00pm - PY & Pypes Open House
9:00am - 3:00pm - PY & Pypes Tours (Every ? hour)
9:00am - 3:00pm - All Pontiac Car Show
9:00am - 3:00pm - All Mustang Car Show
9:00am - 3:00pm - Musclecar & Truck Show
9:00am - 4:00pm - Name Your Price Swap-Meet (Hospitality Area)
9:00am - 4:00pm - Live Exhaust Installations
12:00pm - 3:00pm - Live Bands: Life Without... & Stepping STONE performing
2:00pm - Car Show Voting Closes
4:00pm - Car Show Awards Ceremony

"Lansdale Under the Lights" is that evening. Lansdale/Hatfield area should be crawling with cool cars!

All monies collected for registration, minus the costs of the trophies, goes to the ALS Foundation (Lou Gehrig's disease) in Philadelphia, PA.

Here is the link with for more details -

JUNE 15th, 16th and 17th, 2012 - Friday, Saturday & Sunday -
Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio.

Hotels - Best Western Norwalk - 419-663-3501 or All American Inn Norwalk - 419-663-1922.
For more info, contact Roberta Vasilow 810-655-8277 email - [email protected]
or Bill Wills 330-747-1029 email [email protected]

AUGUST 3rd and 4th, 2012 - Friday & Saturday
National Trail Raceway, Hebron, Ohio
The theme this year is the "Class of 1987." Open to all Buick models built in 1987.

SEPTEMBER 21st and 22nd, 2012 - Friday & Saturday
Cecil County Dragway, Maryland
Event is open to all models of Buicks

Featuring the 2nd Annual MAGNA (Mid-Atlantic Grand National Association) All Buick powered judged Car Show! All Buick's! All years! All makes!

Goodie bags for the first 50 Buicks in the show. Door prizes all day and 50/50 to win some cash. The ONLY ALL-Buick car show on the east coast!

For more information, contact Doug Dougherty - 302-653-2201 or John Csordas - 914-447-6068 or email questions to - [email protected] or [email protected] Visit their website -http://tristategsclub.com

OCTOBER 17-20, 2012 - Wednesday-Saturday
Beach Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Racing is FREE on Wednesday, October 17th. The correct dates are October 17-20, 2012. Because of the reschedule, they have negotiated FREE racing on Wednesday, October 17th. This includes "everyone" who comes thru the gate and pays the usual nominal entrance fee. There is NO usual additional charge to race your Buick powered cars on Wednesday.

The BCA (Buick Club of America) will be joining the GSCA event. This combination will make for a well-rounded event featuring all kinds of Buicks. This is one fall event you do not want to miss!


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


I will be set up as a vendor at Performance Years Open House this Saturday, June 16th at their Hatfield warehouse. The car show is open to all cars. Hope to see some of you there.

That same night in nearby Lansdale is the annual Lansdale show where they shut down the entire main street and park over 500 cars. This combination event is well worth attending if you reside in this area.