01-31-2018 Inner Circle

01-31-2018 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members 01-31-2018 -


As many of you know we have several cats, each with their own distinct personality. The oldest one we called Smokie due to his grey and white coloring. We can’t remember when she first showed up at our old house on Sugar Bottom Road but nearest we can figure it was around when Devyn, our granddaughter, was an infant.

Besides our indoor cat (Tiger who we scooped up off the road as a kitten), Smokie was one of the first stray cats we became caretakers of over the years.

Smokie was extremely friendly and sweet, so much so that when we had our garage sale prior to moving, we had several people actually want to buy her! Of course, we didn’t have her for sale, but some people wanted her because she was so friendly and had a unique gray coloring.

Early last week I knew the end of her life was near as she could barely walk and would only drink small amounts of water. The last night of her life I spent over an hour with her on my lap in our pole building. I knew her time was soon ending as her breathing took on a different sound. I dreaded going into the pole building that next morning as I knew she would have passed during the night.

Probably not much makes a grown man cry, but even as I write this I am in tears. Even though we have 5 other outside cats (strays and cats we’ve inherited from neighbors) and one indoor cat, it still hits us hard. I know many of our readers have pets and fully understand the pain that one day comes with owning a pet.

PHOTO 1 - The photo on the left shows Smokie last summer on our patio. The top right photo shows Devyn at maybe 5 or 6 at our new house laying on the front sidewalk with Smokie and me. This picture sits on my desk at home. The photo on the lower right shows Devyn with one of Smokie’s kittens, Little Smokie.


Over the years, two of our biggest sellers have been the Window Rattle Kit and the 4-piece Bearing Kit for the base of the main steering shaft. We wholesale both kits to most of the major vendors.

The 4-piece Bearing Kit, part #7572, fits almost every GM car from 1969-1995. It also fits all the 1976 through 2002 Camaro/Firebirds. In the case of our Turbo Regals, it is far superior to what GM used. From what I have seen on the Turbo Regals, GM simply used a rubber seal and not a metal bearing like they did in other GM applications.

I have no idea why a rubber seal was used instead of a metal bearing. It’s not as though I can pick up the phone and ask anyone at Buick!

I also wonder why Buick did not install some of the lower body bushings. Granted, none are listed in the GM parts book for 4 of the lower positions, but I can tell you from first-hand experience having owned over 325 of the 1986-1987 models, probably 35% of them also had the 6 lower body bushings missing. Most of them seemed to be the 1986 Turbo Regal models. This would be the last body bushing back by the bumper.

So, assuming all the 1984-1987 Turbo Regals used a rubber seal at the base of the main steering shaft, now it’s 30 years later and it makes perfect sense to upgrade to this metal bearing kit, which includes the housing outer shell and the retaining clip.

What probably fools a lot of owners is the fact that all these things wear gradually over time. You may not suspect any wear issues unless you had the opportunity to drive a 5,000-mile Turbo Regal right after driving your 100,000-mile Turbo Regal.

The other popular part we have been selling for probably 20 years is the Window Rattle Kit, part #7170. Although this kit may not look like much, the end result is that the window is tightened up as long as it’s aligned properly. There are two key parts in this kit. There is a plastic guide that the metal pin seats in and the felt material to redo the window brackets. That plastic guide wears over time and, in some cases, can be cracked. The other key part is the section of felt-like material that you glue onto the two small brackets located in the window channel.

We buy that material from the company that supplied GM originally. We wiped them out of the exact material, so the current material is slightly different in width. The end result is the same.

If you do the removal and install personally, I highly recommend you do one window kit at a time so you have the other side untouched. The reason is, although these two alignment brackets look similar, they are different and go in specific locations on the inside door.

There is no one at Buick you can call to ask them why more attention wasn’t given to making the windows stay tight and why a faster method for power windows wasn’t implemented. My best guess about these issues? It was the end of the rear wheel drive platform, so outside of the tremendous advancements made under the hood, everything else was virtually unchanged from previous years. Again, this is strictly my opinion.

PHOTO 2 - The photo to the left shows the lower steering bearing kit assembled in 2 parts. The part to the left is the metal bearing and the plastic case that surrounds it. The part to the right shows the metal cup it would sit in, and not visible is the clip that clips on the metal cup. The photo to the right shows the two window alignment brackets with the new material and the new plastic window guide. You can see how similar the two alignment brackets appear, yet on close inspection, the angles on the brackets are different. This is the reason you need to leave the opposite door untouched so you can remember which alignment bracket goes towards the front of the door and which alignment bracket goes towards the back of the door.


The rarest GM automatic shifter handle to find today would be the optional leather handle that GM used on their top-of-the-line models. Making it hard to find any today is the fact that you have to find ones from the 1980s and 1990s, which used the same locking clip format to secure it to the floor shift style handle. None of these work for the Turbo Regal, however with no modification they fit and seat perfectly on any 1983-1988 Monte Carlo SS floor shifter and any automatic 1984-2002 Camaro and Firebird. Perhaps you own or know someone who does own a Monte Carlo or Camaro or Firebird. These are for sale in the Rare Parts section.

PHOTO 3 - We show 6 different styles of the dark grey/black leather GM shifter handles. These are in very nice condition. I have more of the taller teardrop-style handles. I only have one of the top left and the top center. It’s a shame that none of these will fit the Regal factory floor shifter. They would require a major modification and, if you are not careful, you can ruin the handle. These are for sale in the Rare Parts section. They fit perfectly as noted on any 1983-1988 Monte Carlo SS with the floor shifter and any 1984-2002 Camaro/Firebird.


In one of my articles above, we wondered why GM used a rubber bushing on the steering shaft and also why on some Turbo Regals (specifically 1986 models), the #7 lower body bushing was mysteriously omitted.

While searching through some photos, I came across another thing Buick did that may give you cause to wonder why Buick did it. If you own a Turbo-T, you know the original spacing on the trunk lid for the 3.8 SFI TURBO emblem is not the same as the BUICK emblem. The spacing is different for each emblem on the trunk lid, as it is relates to the edge of the trunk lid and the rear quarter panel.

The mistake some owners make, if they replace the emblems or if the car has been repainted, is to space both emblems the same distance from the trunk edge. This would be incorrect.

PHOTO 4 - These 2 photos are from my third test car. From the background I can tell it was taken at our old house on Sugar Bottom Road. It must have been a while ago as I had forgotten at one time we owned one of those little Eagle Talons. In the other photo, you can see the Divco milk truck we owned also at the same time.

That truck went to Michigan and the buyer made it into a street rod, which was popular with those steel body Divco trucks. We used to put UPS packages in that truck for pick up. Our business had outgrown the VW van we used for UPS prior to purchasing the Divco milk truck. That VW bus went to Texas and the owner was going to put it on the roof of his car wash business as a clever sign. Back then, we ran a towing business so picking up various cars was never a cost issue! Ironically, both vehicles sold for more than I paid for them years earlier!


Earlier last week I met for lunch with a person that has developed a very interesting product that has been on the market for a while. He already has two companies in two different fields of operation, both of which are the biggest in the field using his product exclusively. This is quite an accomplishment.

We are working out the details so we can be a distributor for this local company. This product is superior to all the competition with no downsides! If you work or own any new or used car dealership, clean out houses for estate sales, or work or own an automotive detail business, email me direct [email protected] for more details as they become available.


Both items we featured in last week’s Inner Circe - the GNX rare large banner and the pinball machine - have sold.


Currently we are working with a company that is fully GM licensed for GM banners. They have agreements for all the GM models except Chevrolet and Corvette. They have submitted Turbo Regal Grand National banner samples to GM license department. Watch for word on availability on these custom-made vinyl banners later this month. The GM legal department moves extremely slow on granting license agreements!


Good news - We now accept Classified Ads in our weekly Inner Circle emails. Over the years several customers have asked about placing an ad in our weekly Inner Circle.

Here are the options and the costs.

Ads can be from any individual or company. It needs to be automotive related, meaning it does not need be specifically Turbo Regal related. It can be for something for sale or something wanted.

Maximum number of words is 125 words, which is about 7 to 9 lines of copy. No photos. You can list a website. We recommend you state your name, phone number or email, a price, and your location in your ad.

The cost for 2 consecutive weeks is $25. The cost for 4 consecutive weeks is $40. You save $10 with the 4-week plan. No changes can be made to your existing running ad. You can only run one ad at any given time. We will have a code system at the end of your ad, so we will know what week number your ad is to run - 2 or 4 weeks.

It can be an ad for something for sale or an ad for something you are looking for.

We have never missed a single week since we started the Inner Circle email format in 2009. It’s something I enjoy doing and I just always seem to have enough material to write about.

Our weekly Inner Circle reaches over 3,200 members every Wednesday direct to their inbox. The Inner Circle also appears every Wednesday on our website with the related photos. Your ad would be visible to both groups of readers. So, the exposure to your ad is well over 3,200 potential buyers.

My Rare Parts section is only viewed by those that subscribe. Subscription is free, so complaints on what I write are nonexistent!

Ads submitted properly by the previous Sunday would appear that next Wednesday in the weekly Inner Circle. Ads must be submitted by email to - [email protected] 

Payment by credit card must be done by phone to our office 215-766-1611 x 0.


FOR SALE - Remember, if you are local to us check out the inventory of used vehicles 611 Auto Sales. They are located near us at 8307 Easton Road in Ottsville, PA. Their website is - 611autosalespa.com Some of their cars are priced under $3,995. Mention my name and it may save you a few bucks! They have several one-owner cars to choose from. Their office number is 610-847-0100. Currently they have the 1987 Bronco II for $6,495. A new arrival is a one-owner, no accidents 2005 Passat TDI diesel with 168,000 miles. This is a mint example for $4,000.


If you are not able to see the Rare Parts section at the end of this Inner Circle, it is because you are not an Inner Circle member, but instead are reading this on the website. You must subscribe to see the Rare Parts section each week. It would go directly to your inbox every Wednesday afternoon. It is FREE, probably one reason why nobody complains about what I write about. Simply email - [email protected] - to get on our weekly Inner Circle email.


NOTE- If you email us and do NOT get a timely reply, be sure to check your “SPAM” folder. Some emails do not go thru.

If you need to email us, use - [email protected]


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]


Remember, it’s the little detail items that can make your pride and joy stand out in a crowded field of Turbo Regals. While many items have been reproduced for our cars, some items may never be remade due to the high cost factor to produce and lack of projected sales numbers.


Here is the information on our credits for cores.

NEED - Stock original AC Delco 1986-1987 Turbo Regal mass air flow sensor cores. Units can’t be cracked or broken. Currently we will issue a Letter of Credit for $40 for each acceptable core.

NEED - Powermaster brake units. The must be complete. We will issue you a Letter of Credit for $125 for each acceptable core. Currently we will also buy them outright.

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. These are the only 2 items we are currently accepting as cores.

MAIL - Ship to Address -
PO BOX 1199

UPS - Ship to Address -
6201 Kellers Church Road


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. Please remember I have very little knowledge of the mechanical workings of the engine.


We are happy to announce we now have the Reproduction Stainless Steel Engine Coolant Lines, part #7296 available again. Lines are powder coated and come with the correct ends.

Here is a link to these coolant lines on our website.


1978-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) -

Until now you had no other choice but to stay with the stock wimpy shifter handle. That GM shifter handle has been the same one from 1978 thru 1987 on the Regals with the console format. Not only is it small in size, but its short mounting shaft makes it prone to breaking due to the plastic internals. If that wasn’t bad enough, it shows wear quickly from use and the plastic chrome ends fall off!

All the 1978-1987 Buick Regal and 1978-1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass floor shifter handles are the same. They all used a locking clip on the one side of the handle to secure the handle to the shifter shaft. On all the other GM cars from that time period, including the Monte Carlo SS models, the locking clip was in the front. That format will not work on the Turbo Regal shifter shaft because the slots on the shaft need to match up to a locking clip on the side in order to secure the handle to the shaft.

We also have a new aftermarket leather shifter handle available, #7830.

This makes it difficult to install a better stronger GM automatic shifter handle from another GM car without making some modifications and adding a method to secure the handle to the shaft.
Our installation kit eliminates the locking clip altogether. You will no longer have to buy a $5 locking clip!

The stock factory handle has plastic internals plus has no depth to give it strength on the shifter shaft. This poor design leads to many of the original shifter handles breaking. Also, while the small plastic chrome rings may give the original GM handle an elegant look, over time they can fall off.

The new original replacement handle can run $40 to $100 or more depending on what actual parts you need to buy. We have come up with several various later GM handles and an installation kit to secure the later GM handles from other GM cars to the factory shifter shaft.

We have several options available including one aftermarket leather handle that is brand new. The used GM handles listed below have all been cleaned and are almost brand new in appearance. (We remove them from certain models that are only about 12-15 years old.)

All the handles are black making it a nice match to any Grand National interior or T-Type with grey interior. Each handle has been modified internally and comes with the necessary custom-made parts to secure it to the factory shaft.

These fit every 1978-1987 Turbo Regal and Oldsmobile Cutlass that has the factory floor shifter. Each handle has been pre-tested to function properly on an original Regal shaft. All of these better design GM shifter handles can be installed if desired to be angled to the driver, something the factory shifter handle you can't do. The end result is a better looking GM handle that fits your hand better and gives a stronger look to your factory shifter.

The used GM shifter handles listed below are a far less costly alternative to purchasing a new original Turbo Regal shifter handle. Not only are they stronger, but these do not show wear as quickly as the original light grey original GM handle does.

All the shifter handles come with easy-to-follow directions and parts as shown.

These replacement shifter handles allow you to keep your original shifter handle like new in storage for car shows. Handles can be switched out in a matter of minutes.

This is a nice upgrade that Buick should have done originally to compliment the engineering they did under the hood.

NOTE - Handles shown in Photo 4 and Photo 5 are extremely rare to find!

Excellent replacements for any interior restoration.

7830 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) - Aftermarket LEATHER Automatic Shifter Handle & Installation Kit - PHOTO 1 - NEW - $15.95
Includes new locking ring with allen wrench and set screws installed. These are in stock for immediate delivery.

7831 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) - Replacement Upgraded GM Automatic Shifter Handle & Installation Kit - PHOTO 2 - USED - $29.95
Includes new locking ring with allen wrench, set screw and trigger spacer

7832 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) - Replacement Upgraded GM Automatic Shifter Handle & Installation Kit - PHOTO 3 - USED - $29.95
Includes new locking ring with allen wrench, set screw and trigger spacer

7833 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) - Replacement Upgraded GM Automatic Shifter Handle & Installation Kit - PHOTO 4 - TEAR-DROP STYLE - USED - $29.95
Includes new locking ring with allen wrench, set screw and trigger spacer

7834 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) - Replacement Upgraded GM Automatic Shifter Handle & Installation Kit - PHOTO 5 - CHROME-PLATED THUMB BUTTON - USED $29.95
Includes new locking ring with set screw and trigger spacer as shown

NOTE - Only the #7830 – Aftermarket Black LEATHER Automatic Shifter Handle & Installation Kit is in stock now and available online. Here is the link to that handle of our website.

1984-1987 Buick Grand National -

This is a new reproduction item. GM never offered this emblem as a separate replacement part as it was only part of the assembly found under GM #25504346.

This emblem is found in every Grand National (except 1982-1/2) as part of the dash plate located above the glove box door. This is an insert GM placed right below the “BUICK” lettering.

Different models/trim options used different style inserts, i.e. “Regal” or “GNX.”

After many years of sun exposure, moisture or dash cleaning products, the chrome finish on this emblem may have faded away or the inlay may have even fallen off the dash plate and is lost.

The dash plate assembly is no longer available and fetches $350+.

This reproduction inlay measures 2-5/8" x 3/8 and is made in ABS injection molded plastic, chrome plated, and painted in the correct colors. There is 3M adhesive backed tape attached for easy installation.

NOTE - This is the "Grand National" INSERT ONLY and NOT the entire dash plate!

The top photo shows this dash plaque inlay (red tab is the carrier sheet for the self-adhesive backing) and the lower photo shows its placement on the dash plaque.

This is another excellent replacement for any interior restoration.

7820 - 1984-1987 Buick Grand National - Reproduction Grand National Dash Plaque Inlay - $19.95

Here is a link to this dash plaque inlay on our website.


We’ve been having various vinyl banners made by a local company and they are giving us special pricing to offer to our customers.

The banners are printed with durable, fade resistant, full color inks on 13 ounce vinyl material suitable for indoor or outside use.

Each banner has a hem on the back on all four sides which adds to the stability.

The 2 ft x 3 ft has eyelets on the 4 corners.

The 3 ft x 5 ft and larger custom banners have eyelets on the 4 corners and also an eyelet in the center of the top and center of the bottom.

We also can have a larger banner made. If you have a photo in mind that you want larger, contact us for a quote - 215-766-1611 x 0.

We have the ability to drop in any logo or wording you want on to the picture you submit. There is no extra charge for this. We would email you a sample prior to getting the banner made.

For best results, images must be 100 dpi or larger. Acceptable format is either a jpeg or a PDF file.

Depending on your image, the banner can be horizontal or vertical.

Photo is usually printed to the edge as shown in the Kirban Performance Products banner. The design on the Kirban Customs truck banner included a grey border as part of the image design.

Once approved, we can ship within 72 hours! Digital file can be sent by email to - [email protected] Please note “BANNER ORDER” in the Subject line of your email.

NOTE - Depending on the layout of your image, the final banner size may be slightly different to accommodate the correct proportion of your photo.

NOTE - Shipping by UPS ground is approximately $10-$15, depending on the banner size and your location.

These make a unique and lasting gift for that special car collector.

The first photo is a 2 ft by 3 ft banner of Dennis and his Turbo Regal with our logo inserted in the lower left. This lower photo shows the custom truck our son built. This 3 ft by 5 ft banner was a Christmas present and is a unique display item for his shop.

Remember, we can do any image. It can be car related or can even be an image like a family photo or business card.

This is an excellent banner for your man cave, garage or office or dorm room. Banners make a unique custom gift for any occasion.

7816 - Custom Vinyl Banner - 2 ft x 3 ft- $28.95

7817 - Custom Vinyl Banner - 3 ft x 5 ft- $56.95

7818 - Custom Vinyl Banner - Optional Size Based on Image - Call for pricing 215-766-1611 x 0

Here is a link to these banners on our website.


The 1978-1987 Regal (All Models) - Column Pro-Gard Steering Collar Lock is back in stock again, part #7007, priced at #7007.

Here is a link to this collar lock 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 must 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.


Remember, if you work or own a new or used car dealership, automotive detail shop, clean out junk from houses, or are a realtor, email me direct for information on a new product. We have some exciting news about a product that two major companies endorse. We are currently working out the details with the company, which is local to us.