8-18-10 Inner Circle

8-18-10 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 08-18-10 -


Last week we showed the 3 possible brake reservoirs that could be on a 1985-1987 Turbo Regal powermaster brake unit.

The most important part of the powermaster brake unit that probably has the highest failure rate is the brake accumulator bowl. By now almost every 1985-1987 Turbo Regal owner is familiar with the black bowl located on the side of your powermaster brake unit.

There are three possible brake accumulator bowls that could be on your powermaster unit. Keep in mind however various other cars may also take a similar brake bowl but would not be correct for the Turbo Regal application. This would be because of pressure and or thread pitch on the brake accumulator.

PHOTO 1 - Shows the 3 different brake bowls. The far left brake accumulator bowl is the one that would have come on the car when it was new. It is slightly smaller than the other two and is all black. This one is seldom seen on 1985-1987 Turbo Regal powermaster brake units today unless the car has very low miles on it. When you do spot one the paint is usually peeling off the bowl. Although it would be hardly visible, it does say on the outside of the bowl, "CAUTION: PRESSURIZED - REMOVE ONLY AFTER APPLYING BRAKE PEDAL 10 TIMES WITH IGNITION OFF."

The middle brake accumulator bowl pictured is probably the one most common to the powermaster units today.

The lower photo shows a close up of this brake accumulator bowl. This one had a different part number than the original solid black brake accumulator bowl. It was last available from GM in late 2004 or early spring 2005. (It's the last catalog we show it pictured in). The price was $149. The caution label was far more visible and was silk screened against a yellow background and basically said the same statements the original brake accumulator bowl said. It also said Made in Germany. It also had another warning engraved on the side of the bowl, "Caution Gas Under High Pressure." It also said "To Help Avoid Personal Injury Do Not Puncture or Open Container Refer To Service Manual."

The main difference between this brake accumulator bowl and the original brake accumulator bowl is the nut was now on the outside end, making removal easier. The nut was on the inside by the threads on the original design.

The brake accumulator bowl to the far right is the aftermarket one Cardone made available several years ago. They did this in order to continue to offer their rebuilt powermaster units. They almost did not follow through with this project because of its narrow sales base. We got one of the very first ones to test, and it went on a WE4 car we sold.

The first ones had a narrow nut by the threads making it difficult to get a wrench in between the brake accumulator bowl and the powermaster unit to tighten it up. When we brought that to their attention, they corrected that issue so the nut is now thicker making installation easier. We are quite fortunate that they sell just the brake accumulator bowl, as its main purpose was to enable them to keep selling rebuilt complete powermaster brake units.

This aftermarket brake bowl has had zero defects for us. It measures 12 inches in circumference. The original brake accumulator bowl measures 10-1/2 inches in circumference, as does the GM replacement brake accumulator bowl. Cardone does affix several caution labels on their brake accumulator bowl.

While it's true several problems can cause failure of the powermaster brake unit, one preventive maintenance procedure is to flush the brake system every 2 years. Many of the high-end German car companies state this in their service schedules, even though Buick and other GM models made no such reference back then.

I know on every used car or truck we buy for personal use, I get all the fluids flushed because most owners never flush the brake system.

Unfortunately, my knowledge on possible brake failures is very limited.


We had our two winners for our Inner Circle Contest (08-11-2010) that very first day. The correct answer is the "Crosley."

The most popular WRONG answer was the Ford Model A.

We had blocked out the name on the intake in the photo clue since that would have given it away. The company that makes the intake is called BRAJE.

Ralph Shelley from California was our top prize winner. He figured the Ford Model A and B were too common for the answer and had seen Crosleys at car shows in his area.

Taking second place was David Last from Wisconsin. He was able to read the name on the carbs in the photo and ran down possible car models that those carbs came on and Crosley was one of the possible applications.

I have been in contact with the vendor, Chuck Koehler, that was selling that intake in the photo. He gets $650 for them. From 1946 to 1952 the Crosley had an overhead cam 4-cylinder engine pumping out 26 horsepower at 5500 rpms. With proper mods they can handle 10,000 rpms! Installing the dual carbs that we showed and not changing the exhaust gains of 8-14 hp would be realized on the 26 hp Crosley engine. Granted that may not sound like much but on a 26 hp engine that is an approximate gain of 50% for $650. Chuck also states the most horsepower they can get out of those 26 horsepower engines once modified is between 55 and 85!

Translate that to the Buick world, 50% gain for $650 product would be a huge seller! The Crosley was basically the "Smart Car" of its time along with the little Metropolitan back then. I been told in 1948, Crosley produced the most stationwagons made in the U.S.A.

PHOTO 2 - The top photo shows a typical Crosley engine with the stock single carb setup. The lower photo shows a few of the Crosleys that were at this event. The National club was founded in 1969. Their recent show at MaCungie probably had 30-35 Crosleys at the car show. That is the type of engine compartment I could work on!


We will pick up again under this heading probably next week.

In a similar vain, we did an unusual gesture for the people that bought my parents' house in 1999. When my Dad died, we had to clean out one of the storage buildings that he had a lot of his stuff. Among the papers and photos, we came across a framed watercolor painting of their original house.

It measured 18 inches by 24 inches. We had no use for it, so I figured when we got a chance, I would give it to the current home owners. I also figured I would give the home owner one of my Dad's books he wrote that had the actual street address on the back cover. (Most of his books did not list the street number). He did most of his writing in that house. I typed a note to go with the items, in case no one was home explaining here are some things you may want as a bit of history or background about the house you now own. (We moved there in 1954 and my parents sold the house in 1999). I have no idea if the house was still owned by the man that bought it in 1999. I stopped there on Sunday, and since no one was home, I simply left the framed photo and book in the front door.

It was eerie walking around the old house, as I was flooded with memories of my youth.

PHOTO 3 - The top photo shows the frame painting that my parents had done of the house. The lower photo shows the current condition of the house.


At the same car show where I saw the Crosleys, there were was just over 1,000 other cars of all types. Like any Buick car show, owners make up various signs listing the information about their car. Some show copies of the original paper work or give a little history of their car. Some have a photo album showing the steps they did to restore the car to show condition.

PHOTO 4 - Shows a 1962 Chrysler 300H model. This car put up some pretty impressive numbers, such as 380 hp and 450 lb - ft torque at 2800 rpms. What caught my eye was how clever the actual sign was. Notice the original grille in the car and then look at the framework for the sign about the car. The owner took a matching grille and trimmed a sign to fit the matching grille of his Chrysler.

Our Turbo Buicks have a grille that could easily be converted to be used as a sign with information for your show car. Especially the earlier grilles that have the word "Buick" at the top. When you were not showing your car with the custom sign, you could hang the grille up in your shop or garage! See listing of used parts in this issue since I have a grille for sale.

The lower photo shows one of the earliest window rattle kits I have ever seen. Car was a 1933 Reo. My guess is when the window was in the down position, this little contraption kept the window from rattling!


We still have our 1997 Riviera for sale. Has every possible option and is supercharged. We really would like to see it go to someone into Buicks. The price is now $4995. The garage that does all our work says I can put it down there for sale anytime I want and it should sell.

Every record, window sticker, and receipt goes with this car. This car is clean enough inside and out and underneath to enter in any car show. It's been garage kept and never smoked in.

You can email me personally for photos - [email protected]


Since GM discontinued 90% of the factory cushions/bushings, we have been working on a solution to offer the complete body mount kit again.

Our plan is to offer a 100% complete kit since we have the proper bolts. This is one item that can greatly improve the ride quality on your Turbo Regal.


Here is a link to this PCV valve on our website -

For many years, we sold the factory AC Delco PCV valve that is unique to these cars. This same valve also is correct for the 1989 Turbo Trans Am. It's unique because the turbo engines need a stronger PCV valve to prevent boost from entering the crankcase.

Since GM’s supply is exhausted. I have spent a few days trying to find a correct replacement. The problem is, several name brands do not list one specifically for the Turbo Regal. They lump them all together with the regular V6 and V8, which may possibly work but could cause issues down the road, especially if your engine is modified pumping out more boost than stock.

One specific PCV valve we found said "limited availability" when the clerk punched it up on the screen.

I finally found one national brand than lists a specific one for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am. Our new part number is #7276 and the price is $7 each. This is something that is cheap enough you may want to buy 2 or more of because it appears most national brand companies will not offer one specifically for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals and 1989 Turbo Trans Ams. I have no idea how many this source has available.

#7276 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am PCV Valve - $7 each.

We also recommend you buy the new reproduction PCV grommet for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal that fits into the valley pan. Again this was another item that is unique to the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals and 1989 Turbo Trans Am. Richard Clark had these made because the ones they claim will fit and work do not allow the PCV valve to seat properly.

The part number for the reproduction PCV grommet is #7214 and the current price is $8

Here is a link to this reproduction PCV grommet on our 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.

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 ones you want to see - Reference Inner Circle date and photo number 1, 2, 3 or 4 - [email protected]


We just received news that the GNX-style wheels are now in stock! We have only been able to get a few sets for over a year. If you are interested, call our office - 215-766-1611.

Here's a link to these wheels on our website -
http://www.kirbanperformance.com/product/478/GNX - TRANS AM STYLE 16" x 8" WHEELS SET (4) #7219.html

Here's complete information about these impressive wheels.

1984-1987 Regal -

These GNX - TRANS AM style wheels have the black mesh center and are 16" x 8" with the proper offset to fit the 1984-1987 Regals. These resemble the popular original GNX wheels. Do not confuse this with the version we have sold in the past, known as "Kirban-Style" GNX wheels.

These wheels are manufactured with brand new tooling and are clearcoated. Wheels have the proper offset to fit under your fenders. We sell these as a complete set of 4 wheels, 20 correct lug nuts, 20 lug nut black caps, 4 chrome-plated valve stems, 4 black center caps, and 4 "TURBOCHARGED" center cap decals.

The original center caps on the original GNX were actually the existing Trans Am caps. GM simply affixed the "GNX" paper decal over the Trans Am medallion. This set includes the "TURBOCHARGED" Decals (4) Set, Part #7113.

If you own a 1984, 1985, or 1986 Turbo Regal the GM front springs on these years were a different spring rate. You will need to change the front springs to avoid having the tires rub when you go over bumps. We recommend our front springs, Part #6566. If you plan on carrying heavy items in the trunk or four friends, we recommend you upgrade the rear springs to our variable rate rear springs, Part #1520 on any 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 Regal.

For shocks the best ones you can buy are the Bilsteins to further improve the ride quality of your Turbo Regal. The overall height is actually slightly less than what is currently on the car. The speedometer is not affected.

Originally the GNX used 245/50s by 16s up front and 255/50s by 16 in the rear. For best results, we recommend going with 245/50s on the fronts and the backs. Depending on the year Turbo Regal and what suspension upgrades you have made, we do not recommend the larger 255/50s for the rear. However, if you want to go with 255/50s in the rear, trial fit these wheels first to be sure you have enough clearance.

The good news is these wheels will look pretty much dead on with the mesh black center that matches the original GNX mesh center. They are 100% brand new and weigh about 18 lbs each. Of all the available optional wheels, these are the most desirable and can really enhance your pride and joy.

Keep in mind, we will take good used original Grand National wheels in partial trade. This can help save you some money, since you also need to buy new tires.

Wheels are dropped shipped from California. We would send your receipt, 20 lug nuts, 4 center caps, 4 wheel decals, and 4 valve stems direct from our Pennsylvania location. Shipping is calculated from California, generally costs about $65-$125.


7219 - 1984-1987 Regal - GNX - TRANS AM STYLE 16" x 8" Wheels Set $955 plus shipping

NOTE - Set includes 4 wheels, 20 correct lug nuts, 20 lug nut black caps, 4 chrome-plated valve stems, 4 black center caps, and 4 "TURBOCHARGED" center cap decals.

NOTE - Shipping costs generally run $65 to $125, depending on your location.



We need stock 1986-1987 Turbo Regal turbos for cores.

For each complete turbo you send us, you will received either a check for $75 for or a Letter of Credit for $100 for any parts listed on our website. Just specify which you want for your turbo.

By sending us complete cores, it enables us to supply other owners with rebuilt units and also our TA 49 versions. The TA 49 turbos we sell require the use of the stock exhaust housing. By using that section, no low-end torque is lost in regular street driving.

THANK YOU for helping to keep the parts available for other Turbo Regal owners.


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.


It appears that the GM supply of the factory 1986-1987 GM factory original molded boost line kits are dwindling and may already have disappeared from GM's warehouses inventory. We currently have a decent supply of them.

This is a very critical part, for any 1986-1987 Turbo Regal, since it is needed to control boost. They have 3 specially formed hoses with a special size diameter T in between two of the molded hoses. These also have the GM wording on them.

Over a period of time, heat can cause the hoses to swell and crack. While they last, we have them available for $44.95 plus shipping, Part #6644. Supplies are limited.

Here is a link to the Boost Line Kit on our web site -
http://www.kirbanperformance.com/product/160/GM Factory Original BOOST LINE KIT #6644.html


We still have a few brand new GM right hand side marker lights with the blackout package. This is the marker light that attaches to the side of the headlight bezels. Price is $61.95 plus shipping.

If you are interested in any of these parts, you must call our office to purchase it. Some of these close out items are just about gone from the GM parts system.



NOTE - If you know of a GM or Buick Turbo event for this year, let us know and we can post it in our weekly Turbo Regal Inner Circle so our members are aware of the event.

The best way to stay informed with the show season is to check out the various Turbo Buick forums.

AUGUST 17, 18, 19, 20 & 21 - 2010
Downtown - Flint, Michigan
We received an email asking us to let you know about a special invitation to visit Doc Watson's (CEO and President of the Hurst Performance Vehicles) party at his office. The "First Lady of Racing," Linda Vaughn and George Barris (custom car builders) will be there.
Here is a link to information about this event -

AUGUST 20, 21 & 22, 2010 - Osceola, Indiana
Osceola Dragway, 56328 Ash Road, Osceola, IN
For more information, go to their website -

SEPTEMBER 4th & 5th, 2010 - Gates Open Noon Saturday - 8 am Sunday, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ
For more information, call - 732-446-7800 or 845-528-GSGN (ask for John).
I plan to attend this event on Saturday September 4th setting up in the Buick portion of the car show as a vendor. We would have ZDDPlus™ there as well as used Turbo Regal parts.

Sunday - SEPTEMBER 19th, 2010 - 10 am - 3 pm - Rain or Shine.
Star Pontiac, Buick GMC - 260 Country Club Road, Easton, PA 18045
Music, food and drinks, dash plaques, awards, door prizes.
For more information, go to their website -
or email - [email protected]

EAST COAST BUICK REGIONALS AND FAST (factory appearing stock tire) EVENT
OCTOBER 1st and 2nd, 2010 - FRIDAY and SATURDAY Gates open 9AM
Cecil County Dragway, Maryland
The car show is open to all Buick's from 1965 to 2003. Goodie bags, 50/50 and other prizes for show cars!
This is their 14th annual event! - Free vending.
For more information, contact Doug Dougherty at 302-653-2201 or
John Csordas at 845-528-GSGN.
NOTE - Dates are Friday and Saturday!
or email - [email protected] - or - [email protected] - or - [email protected]

OCTOBER 2nd, 2010.
Silver Springs, Ocala, Florida
For more information, go to their website -

Our Fall Open House Date - Saturday October 9th, 2010 - 9 am - 3 pm
6201 Kellers Church Road, Plumsteadville, PA
Save on shipping! Pete and I will have an array of bargains on used parts.
This event happens rain, shine, or snow.
Free Yum Yum donuts and coffee.
Watch for more information in weeks to come.

30th ANNUAL GS NATIONALS - Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky
OCTOBER 20th-23rd, 2010
This has been rescheduled from the cancelled May dates. Unfortunately, Don Garlits will not be able to attend as the dates conflict with an event he does at his Museum in Ocala. Florida. For more information, including registration and vendor details, go to their website and then click on GS Nationals - http://www.gsnationals.com


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.


Our Fall Open House Date - Saturday October 9th, 2010 - 9 am - 3 pm
Save on shipping! Pete and I will have an array of bargains on used parts.
This event happens rain, shine, or snow.
Free Yum Yum donuts and coffee.
Watch for more information in weeks to come.