Well, after seriously over-complicating what in reality was a simple turbo install, I have finally managed to complete the installation process. Yesterday, May 23, 2011, the day after my 35th birthday, I fired up the engine and got to drive my wagon for the first time in 9 months. It was good.
You may be asking how I overcomplicated things. Well, basically, I just did what I normally do- take something simple and pile so much on top of it that it becomes incredibly difficult to finish on time. It all started when I had the idea to install a twin-turbo system from Burton Machine on a Buick 350. I had a 350, then I acquired the turbo system. Now I needed a car.
I was looking for an ’80s G-body, like a Regal, when I came across the ’63 Buick LeSabre wagon. It was love at first sight. After the first buyer backed out, I actually managed to get the car bought. I bought it as a non-running project. Turns out, it fired right up and I was really enjoying driving it. Unfortunately, I bought the car for a reason and I yanked the running 401 Nailhead and installed the Buick 350 with a 2004R overdrive transmission in the wagon. That is where it got complicated.
The issue isn’t that the work was difficult or anything like that, it was just that there was so much to be done that it derailed the project for about 6 months. I kept saying “I only have 3 more days of work” then I would work an entire day on it and I still had 3 more days of work left. But it is now running and driving, and I couldn’t be happier. I have done no tuning, it runs, it drives, but it could certainly run better.
I am looking for the right dyno shop so we can get this thing dialed in and have real performance numbers for you. For now, you are going to have to settle for a video of the first start up. This motor had not run in years. I had filled the cylinders with JB80, which is my favorite penetrating oil, so it smoked a little bit at first. Also, the hat connecting the turbos to the carb is not installed in this video either, you don’t want to start a motor that has been sitting for years for the first time under boost, at least I didn’t want to. I have since connected it, it sounds great.
Once the downpipes are installed (muffler shop tomorrow!), I will have some more video for you. Until then, please enjoy Buttered Toast’s first start.