1987 Buick Grand National


Old 11-27-11, 06:26 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: canada
Posts: 87
1987 Buick Grand National

I have a 1987 buick Grand National that have been sitting in the garage for about 5 years.

When I put it in there, i did not store it properly.

I know I need to get all of the old gas out, that is a given.

What I dont want to do is start it up and have a piston blow or a rod through the pan etc.

Its been a while since I started it and I am really getting the itch to bring it back out on the road.

Does anyone have any safe ideas on what I need to do to be able to get it running without worrying about the engine blowing etc.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 11-27-11, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: sw sub chicago
Posts: 1,130
how much gas is in the tank ?

i let my truck sit for over 2 years. and it started and ran like it was yesterday.
Old 11-27-11, 07:55 AM
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Large engines are much more forgiving of old gas than lawn mowers or weed wackers. Even if it runs rough...it shouldn't cause any m issues like you mentioned.

I'd be more concerned about lubrication. Pull the coil wire or all the plug wires and crank it some before trying to start it. Even better would be to pull the distributor and use an adapter in a drill to spin the oil pump to bring pressure up before the engine is rotated.

Corrosion of the cooling system could be possible as well. Drain flush and refill with the proper coolant/water mix.

You may also have flat spotted/rotted tires.

Also a possibility of rodent damage to wiring and hoses if critters were able to get in the garage.
Old 11-27-11, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
I would cetainly drain and replace the oil and filter. That V6 car has a turbo boost on it if I remember and I wouldn't want to run any old oil through it during startup. Being a survivor car I would also do a complete check of all safety components before driving it, including brake lines, fuel lines etc., and change all fluids, and rubber hoses. By now even the vaccum lines are pretty much gone also, and even tires could be suspect beyond flat spotting. Alot also depends on what maintenance had been done in it's prior life and where it was driven meaning was it a southern car from the southwest for instance, or one that spent it's usefull time in the great white north. When those cars came out they were a bright spot in what had been a prior decade of
larger V8's pumping out a miserable 150 HP. I remember the FBI buying 500 of the GN's and having them re-chipped, just to give them something to use for persuit vehicles. All hard to believe now in the days of 300hp base model V6's.
Old 11-28-11, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 25
Id be mostly concerned with the turbo seals. Sitting that long they may have dried up and may cause it to burn oil. Common issue since these cars sit alot without running in collectors hands and also many people dont realize to let the car idle for a min after beating on them to let the oil cycle and cool down the turbo. I am not a mechanic but I owned an 86 grand national for 10 years. Your best bet would be to change the oil first. Change the plugs. May be good idea to change fuel filter. Also a good idea to have your transmission serviced. Check to make sure no mice have gotten in the intercooler opening and made a nest restricting airflow. Also carefully clean any bugs off the fins CAREFULLY not to bend any fins. Seems to be a common spot for the mice. Check over all the hoses and vaccum lines. Start it up and let it run awhile. Might be a good idea to have a local shop look it over for you. Also, many of the gn's and ttypes have been upgraded. Alot of people add an adjustable wastegate, bigger fuel pump, etc and turn the boost up. In that case you need to be running the proper fuel octane. Id never use anything less than 93 regardless. These things have alot of problems with detonation (preignition of fuel in combustion chamber). These cars are so easily upgraded I have rarely seen any that are completely stock. I could go on and on but Im gona miss too many things. There are alot of forums that would benefit you alot. Check out gnttype.org. Alot of good info there. Join the forum and ask your questions to the experts and guys on the forum. They will be more than happy to help you with any do it yourself stuff, and will advise you when you need to get it in the shop. Also there may be a shop that specializes in these buicks near you. There are more enthusiasts on these than you might think.
Old 11-28-11, 04:37 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post

I'd be more concerned about lubrication. Pull the coil wire or all the plug wires and crank it some before trying to start it.
so do I. also, if engine is not regularly turned, cylinder walls oxidize inside. engine must be turned or it rottens (oh, the blessing of crank handle!)

anyhow,150% disable ignition and fuel pump. pull spark plugs out and pour some Seafoam into each cylinder. let it be there overnight. next day, pour some oil into each cylinder, hook up jumper battery, and give that engine a few turns. start with short bursts, going for little bit longer ones. give it 3-4 bursts like this, and pour some more oil inside and crank it more.
like I said, you do not want any fuel coming in.
what it will do, Seafoam will dissolve any gunk on piston rings. oil will lubricate pistons and rings, and all together will scrape film off the cylinder walls.
of course, you have to let it sit overnight again, just for all the stuff to drip down, and change oil, filter, and air filter.
either replace plugs or burn tips white hot with propane torch. PLIERS!!!
if you want to do something else, do it, then try starting her. she'll smoke like crazy after Seafoam and starts somewhat like flooded engine. will smoke for about 10 minutes, and it'll go away.
no, never had cat killed like this and done it few times before.
Then you want to run a can or 2 of Seafoam through fuel tank, just to clean everything.
turbos, aye? sounds like fun to drive. Oh, our so much beloved 86 LeBarone GTS! where art though...
Old 12-08-11, 11:18 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: canada
Posts: 87
My granatnl

Thank you for theposts folks.

This spring she will come out of the garage. She is in the great white north. My car is in quite nice shape.

I am also most concwerned about the lubricatino in the cylinders. I like the last idea about the sea foam and the slowprocess of turn it over. I beleive I will try that and let you know.

I will also take the comment about joinnig the GN forum.

Last comment for now is that car is completely stock. I have never changed a thing and it has been mine since 87.


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