11-11-2015 Inner Circle

11-11-2015 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members 11-11-2015


Last week we talked about the weight savings that can be realized when you have the aluminum bumper reinforcement braces instead of the heavy steel braces. I also mentioned that the date of manufacturer was clearly embossed on the rear aluminum bumper reinforcement brace.

I could never find any date on the front aluminum reinforcement brace. I assume it must be on it somewhere, but I could not find it. I did have a rear brace sent out to be glass beaded and powder coated in silver.

PHOTO 1 - The photo on the left shows the rear aluminum bumper reinforcement brace powder coated in silver. The photo on the right shows a close up of the embossed date stamp that shows the production date. I already sold this aluminum bumper reinforcement brace.

PHOTO 2 - Aluminum drums probably look the best against the GNX-style wheels because they are more visible against the black GNX wheel. In the photo on the left we show the Kirban-style GNX wheel with the aluminum brake drum behind it on our personal car. As an interesting side note, my 1996 Ford Ranger has 15 inch factory alloy wheels on it and the wheel design makes it look like you see part of the brake drums. It’s all part of the alloy factory wheel design. This can be seen in the photo on the right.


For my archives I have collected a lot of original Turbo Buick literature, magazine articles, and the original GRAND NEWS newsletters that I used to write prior to the email format. I actually wrote the very first GRAND NEWS in the fall of 1987, soon after leasing a 1987 Grand National that my wife Eileen drove!

Back then in the late 1980s there was a magazine called “TURBO.” In the May 1986 issue there was 2-page article entitled, “We Brake for Corvettes Intercooled Turbo Buick Grand National.” This is probably one of the few magazine articles that actually used that bold statement in the title!

PHOTO 3 - The photo on the left shows the first page of the 3-page article that begged to ask the question, “The Quickest Domestic???” If I recall, this was one of the first articles that planted the idea that the new intercooled1986 Grand National was indeed quicker than the 1986 5.7 litre Corvette. The photo on the right shows the factory Press Kit engine photo, which is where the magazine article got the picture of the engine for their article. Just like the photos you see of the 1987 Turbo Regal engine, the up pipe (inlet pipe) is powder coated or painted satin black. This feature did not make it into production.

Among the Buick literature I have are the actual Press Kits that Buick did each year. Among the information in the 1986 and 1987 Press Kits, there is a 4-page brochure in color entitled, “High Technology from Buick.” Of particular interest to any Turbo Regal owner is the one that explains the technology behind the intercooled 3.8 SFI turbo and intercooler operation. It was this part of the car that really separates these Regals from all the other GM G-body entries for 1986 and 1987. It’s probably the sole reason you own one today!

As you can imagine, the brochures for the 1986 and 1987 are very similar. A slightly different color was used on the cover for the words “INTERCOOLED 3.8 SFI TURBO.” The 2 inside pages are identical, except the font style is different. The back page is slightly different related to the chart they show. It is also different when they list the output specs for 1986 and 1987. The 1986 developes 235 horsepower at 4400 RPM and 330 pounds-feet of torque at 2800 RPM. The 1987 developes 245 horsepower at 4400 RPM and 355 foot-pounds of torque at 2800 RPM. In the real world, if you had a chance to drive any of these cars when they were new, the power band can vary between the same year cars.

PHOTO 4 - The top and lower left photos shows the front of both the 1986 Buick brochure on the Intercooled 3.8 SFI Turbo and the 1987 Buick brochure on the Intercooled 3.8 SFI Turbo. The Top and lower right photos shows the back page of both the 1986 Buick brochure and the 1987 Buick brochure. You can probably see some of the differences mainly in the chart shown in the top left corner of each brochure. The question I have is, if you are doing a correct restoration, would you powder coat the up pipe (inlet pipe) satin black and then be correct as long as you had either of these brochures to prove your reasoning?

NOTE - We do have some extras of these 2 brochures that we would sell. If you are interested, email me - [email protected]


We had our son Darrell make up a sample bracket and template so these new power antennas will bolt into the 1984-1987 Turbo Regals, like the originals.

He installed one in a Grand National that he had painted, and it used this new bracket.

These new power antennas have a manufacturer’s One-year Warranty.

Antennas are actually made for another GM car. They use the same screw-in bezel that sits on the top of the fender, so you can use the original bezel. The 3-wire lead and plug is identical to the original. The new bracket will be bolted to the new antenna. A rubber boot will also come with this new power antenna to protect the motor from the elements.

We expect to have these new power antennas ready to ship before the end of November. If you place your order in advance now, the sale price is $179.95 plus $12 shipping. The retail price once they are available will be $199.95 plus shipping. We would not charge your credit card until we are able to ship the power antenna to you.

This power antenna is not on our website, so you have to call and talk to Christina to get on the list if you want one – 215-766-1611 x 0. By ordering now you save $20. This also gives us a good idea on how many power antennas we need to have initially.


We need to make a correction about the horsepower gains that we noted last week.

The rule of thumb is - for every 100 pounds of weight you eliminate, your gain is about 10 horsepower. We apologize for the error.

Another benefit of cutting weight from your car is the gain you get will be through the entire RPM range, not just at certain RPMs, like you may see if you do other modifications.

I just read where the new 2016 Camaro will be about 300 pounds lighter than the 2015 model. Over the years, GM has really paid attention to weight in their Corvette models. The C6, although it may look bigger than the C5 it replaces, is actually lighter.

Another Corvette weight saving example came about when they came out with the 2001 ZO6 model. The exhaust system was made from Titanium, which cut 19 pounds off the original stainless exhaust system. Obviously, the fewer factory options you have, can also add up to weight savings.


Last week in Photo 4 we showed the steel Canadian front bumper reinforcement braces. According to one of our Canadian customers, their laws are quite strict and these would not be allowed on Canadian cars. Although referred to as being for Canadian cars, they are really for the export Regal models.


We hope to publish our list of Christmas Specials with next week’s Inner Circle.

We will also be doing a Thanksgiving contest either next week or the week after.


We just got 3 more of the refurbished steering shafts in stock, our part #7574 Upgraded Used Lower Steering Shaft. Don't delay if you want one. If you want one, email me - [email protected]

Here is a link to this steering shaft on our website. http://www.kirbanperformance.com/product/44150/UPGRADED+REFURBISHED+USED+LOWER+STEERING+SHAFT+%237574.html


For the first time in years, we now have Rebuilt Powermaster Brake Units in stock, Part #7021. Units are always in demand, so if you need one, call our office 215-766-1611 x 0.

Here is a link to the Powermaster on our website:


We just got in 5 of these TR-6 High Tech Ignition Systems from Bob Bailey, our part #7442 TR-6 High Tech Ignition System or #7443 TR-6 High Tech Ignition System and Custom-Cut High-Performance Grey Plug Wires. We have 2 left.

Here is a link to these parts on our website:


I have a pair (2) of the GNX-style wheels we sell on our website. This pair (2) had tires mounted on them but were never used on the road. They are exactly as new. The buyer thought he could go with bigger tires using this offset on his car. You can own this pair (2) for $379 and $25 UPS shipping to the basic 48 states. Contact our office to purchase them - 215-766-1611 x 0. NEW LOWER PRICE.


I read that a typical mature tree can drop over 100,000 leaves on a typical fall season. Perhaps a better question would be, who had the task of counting them?

You can’t pick up a newspaper without reading an article about our government wasting money or someone committing fraud with our taxpayer’s dollars. It makes you wonder if even just 30% of government waste and fraud was eliminated, how much would the average taxpayer save each year?


George Barrie was, without a doubt, one of the biggest names in the automotive custom world. He made his mark in the 1950s and 1960s with his creative mind and reshaping the metal on so many cars, not to mention the custom cars he did for various TV and movies over the years.

I had met him around 1980 at one of the car shows in northern Michigan. Somewhere I have his autograph.


Pypes exhaust systems are now in stock. Our prices are very competitive. Part #6996 Pypes Performance (Non-Polished Stainless Steel) Dual Exhaust System.

Here is a link to this Pypes System on our website:


Currently we are overstocked with our fiberglass front and rear bumpers. Part #1507 is the front bumper and #1532 is the rear bumper. The retail is normally $190 each. However, if you purchase both the front and rear at the same time, your cost would be $365. You would save $15 by purchasing both. These are for off road use only.


We can still can use powermaster cores, steering wheel cores, and turbo cores.

Here is the information on our credits for cores.

POWERMASTER CORES must be complete with brake bowl and brake switch. You get $100 Letter of Credit or we will trade our complete headlight kit #7530 a $129.95 value for each acceptable core. Powermaster units must be nice and not look like they been in a river for the last 10 years.

TURBO CORES must be the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal stock ones. They must be complete. We will issue you a $100 Letter of Credit for each acceptable core.

If you ship to us, the post office is the cheapest method. Pack the item(s) with a note with your name, address and phone number
MAIL - Ship to Address -

PO BOX 1199


If you need technical information, it’s best to email - [email protected] rather than call us.

We will do our best to answer any technical questions within 24 hours.


From time to time, whenever we spot an unusual or an exceptional car or truck for sale, or one we have for sale, we will put a blurb in our weekly Inner Circle. Also, any cars that our customers have for sale will be featured here and you can see their car with photos on our website. In this category, we will run the descriptions for two-to-three weeks and, if there is no interest in that particular vehicle, it will be deleted the following week. Any new vehicles that we add will appear first, so the oldest listing would be at the end of this section.

If any of these vehicles perk your interest, email me personally - [email protected] - for more information and photos.


For Sale
1986 Buick T-Type with T-Tops - Butternut Yellow
Power Steering - Power Brakes - Power Windows
A/C Power Seat
Broken antenna have parts
Fresh paint with Kirban fillers and new NOS emblems
Freshly redone wheels with new BFGs
3 inch s/s downpipe
Precision stock location intercooler
6262 Precision turbo
Alky control
Scanmaster 2.0
and best feature is a Viper alarm
23,000 miles - Only driven 850 miles in last 5 years
$25,000 or best offer
Phone - 302 293 6031 - leave message

Wayne Dunfee
Wilmington, Delaware
302-293-6031 (leave message)
PRICE - $25,000

Here is a link to this T-Type For Sale on our website:


If you have a tip or a discovery that you found that works on your Turbo Regal, drop us an email giving us the details so we can pass the info on to our readers. Remember, even with my knowledge, I don’t know it all. Simply email me at - [email protected]


1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

Over a period of time, the original manifold air temperature sensor may fail to read accurately, due to age or dirt.

This manifold air temperature sensor gives the computer a reading of the air temperature as it enters the turbocharger. The sensor is capable of reading between -40 and 266F. This is the sensor that mounts in the factory elbow off the air cleaner assembly.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #6719 Black Powder-coated Aluminum Mass Air Flow Pipe, #7045 Rebuilt Original AC DELCO Mass Air Flow Sensor, #7054 Reproduction Air Flow Duct (from turbo to MAF sensor/air cleaner), #7480 FACTORY STOCK MAF - TinMan Cold-Air Intake Kit, #7481 3″ LT1 - TinMan Cold-Air Intake Kit, #7482 3.5″ LS1 - TinMan Cold-Air Intake Kit, or #7483 WITHOUT MAF - TinMan Cold-Air Intake Kit.

Another excellent engine restoration item.

7697 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
Aftermarket Manifold Air Temperature Sensor =- $15.95

Here is a link to this Air Temperature Sensor on our website:

1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

These are the hoses that connect the vacuum lines to the vacuum block.

It takes 3 different sizes of the vacuum hoses to complete the set.

If you are buying either of our reproduction new billet vacuum blocks, it’s best to replace the 5 rubber hoses, since the originals may be cracked. Hoses may also split when you attempt to remove them.

Because the material is inexpensive, we only offer a set of 2 complete sets (10 hoses), so you will have a spare set.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #6796 Stock Vacuum Block or #6797 Vacuum Block with extra vacuum fitting for vacuum brakes.

Another excellent engine restoration item.

7695 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
Vacuum Block Replacement Vacuum Hoses (10) Set - $6.95 / set
NOTE - 2 sets of 5 hoses

Here is a link to this Vacuum Hoses Set on our website:

1984-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) -
Powder-Coated Glossy Black

Original bolts between both hood hinge brackets and both hood shock brackets are prone to rust over the years.

We offer a set of 14 replacement powder-coated glossy black bolts. You only need 12 for the noted application, and we include 2 extras.

We purchase brand new OEM bolts, then have each bolt individually powder coated with a high glossy finish.

NOTE - We sometimes we have good used hood hinges, which have also been powder coated in a high gloss finish. If you are interested in the powder-coated glossy black hood hinges, email - [email protected]

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7680 - Hood Shocks Reproduction Bolts (4) Set, #6700 STOCK STEEL Hood Gas Shocks (2), or #7343 Stock Steel Hood “BLACK CARBON FIBER” Gas Shocks (2).

Another nice finishing touch for any under-the-hood restoration, especially the back of the hood area, which can look neglected over time.

7694 - 1984-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) -
Powder-Coated Glossy Black
Hood Hinges and Hood Shocks Brackets Bolts (14) Set - $17.95 / set

Here is a link to these bolts on our website:

1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
OEM BEARING for the Stock Belt Tensioner Pulley

We discovered that most of the aftermarket belt tensioner pulleys from the various suppliers do not match up to the original design.

The simple solution was to find the manufacturer of the actual bearing that GM used. We carry that exact bearing, made by the same manufacturer.

It is a double-sealed ball bearing.

You need to get it pressed in by someone that has a bench press. It does not require much effort to press in the new bearing.

Our photo shows an original on the lower left, this new replacement bearing on the lower right and a stock belt tensioner pulley at the top.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7115 Air Conditioning Bypass Pulley and #6609 Serpentine Belt.

This is another great replacement item.

7693 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
OEM Bearing for the Stock Belt Tensioner Pulley - $13.95

Here is a link to this Bearing on our website:

1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

This reproduction upper plenum gasket is an exact duplicate of the original gasket. It is made by the same source that makes most of our other reproduction gaskets.

NOTE - You may also be interested in this related gasket - #6839 Reproduction Vacuum Block Gasket

Another excellent placement for the engine compartment!

7692 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
Reproduction Upper Plenum Gasket - $5.95

Here is a link to the Upper Plenum Gasket on our website:

1984-1987 Buick Regal -
Regal Hardtop Reproduction

Over time, the headliner deteriorates or may start to sag.

We offer a reproduction grey headliner material for the 1984-1987 Buick Regals hardtop models. It will also be correct for the T-Tops models, but you’ll have extra material left over.

If you are having the interior restored, this is the time to replace the headliner.

The only sure way to get a positive color match with the sun visors is to use the same material from the same roll for the hardtop headliner and sun visors at the same time.

We only offer the correct factory grey headliner material for the Grand National and T-Type Regal hardtops.

This is the same material that our local supplier has been using for years when he does Grand National headliners.

NOTE - Colors may not appear correctly on the website due to computer monitor differences. If you would like us to send you a small piece of the material, contact our office - 215-766-1611 x 0.

According to the reference books that companies use, this is the only grey GM used during the 1980s, except for the Cadillac models.

We offer it in a 3-yard length only, which is ample material to do a hardtop headliner as well as both sun visors.

If the factory headliner board is still in good shape and not cracked or ruined, this is the best method to redo the headliner. Also plan to have the sun visors redone at the same time.

NOTE - We no longer offer the ABS pre-covered headliner shell, part #7418, as shown in the second photo.

NOTE - We recommend this headliner material be installed by an upholstery shop. You will need to have a hole cut out for the interior light.

NOTE - We recommend you also purchase Part #7362, Headliner Molding Clips (8) Set. Since the original clips are old, they may break when you remove them to install the new headliner.

Another great restoration item.

7690 - 1984-1987 Buick Regal -
Regal Hardtop Reproduction Grey Headliner & Sun Visors Material - 3 yards - $59.95

Here is a link to this Headliner material on our website:


If you have any product ideas that would fit our Turbo Buick market that you would like to see available, email me direct - [email protected]


Got any Turbo Buick 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.


We have heard from a couple people that have had problems with the links in our Inner Circle.

When we check the links, they work fine. However, if you are not able to be directed to the exact website page or internet site, you can "copy" and "paste" the link into the URL in your browser (such as Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc.) If it doesn't link in one browser, it may work in another.

Most people having problems are using Internet Explorer… If you are having issues with links, try another browser to see if it works.

You may need to "UPDATE" your browser to be use you are using the current version.


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]


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 may not remember who requested the item.


Carrie, our daughter in law, had no sooner vacuumed up the 10 million plus leaves when another round of them has completely covered our property.