Monogram 1985 Buick Grand National build *started engine*

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Hey all, well I finally found all the parts I need to build my '85 version of the Buick Grand National. For those of you who don't know what the difference between the '85 and '86-87 is that the '85 did not have an intercooler and the turbo was mounted on top of the intake manifold. Here's a few pics to show the difference:

1985 3.8 "hot air" turbo

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'86 3.8 intercooled turbo

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They also had different grilles and wheels. The '85 had a little bit of chrome on the grilles, while the '87 did not. The wheels on the '85 were basically American Racing Vectors, also found on the infamous General Lee '69 Charger. The '87 had different wheels that were chromed.

'85 grille and wheels

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'87 grille and wheels

GN6.jpg

Now here's the kit that I'm using...the latest re-release of the '87 Buick Grand National by Monogram:

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The chrome Vector wheels I got from a General Lee kit and they fit perfectly into the Goodyear Eagle GT Radial tires!

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This turbo I got from a parts bag that I bought at a hobby store in St. Paul...luckily it's the perfect size!

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Now the radiator shroud is much bigger on the '85 than the '87, so I happened to look at the '86 Monte Carlo body and they have a very similar radiator shroud to the '85 Grand National, so I'm going to cut and splice it onto the Buick body.

2012-10-14_08-28-16_199.jpg

That's all for now, but with all these parts, I should be able to replicate the 1985 version of the Grand National pretty well. Stay tuned!

Edited by brodie_83

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Posted · Report post

subscribe !!!

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Posted · Report post

Don't forget the one piece chin spoiler.

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Posted · Report post

Ah, good call! I do recall that they did have a one piece because they didn't require a scoop for the intercooler. I had an '87 and the previous owner made a "trash can" scoop...it was HUGE! But it looked kinda cool.

I'm gonna hit up Chief Joseph and see if he might have a spare photoetched '85 grille he made. If he doesn't, I'll use the '87 grille and not be saddened by it. It would just be nice to get all the details right.

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Well I was going to start on this project, but got delayed because of the lack of CSC to strip the chrome, so I just put them in a little container full of Dawn Power Dissolver in hopes that it will strip the chrome. I know it strips the yellow gunk beneath the chrome like CSC doesn't, so maybe it will strip the chrome as well. I've never used it to strip chrome (I don't think anyways). I've always used it to strip paint and does a fantastic job. So with that said, we play the waiting game. I'd like to start the kit by modifying the intake plenum and turbocharger, so the plenum will have to wait till the chrome is stripped.

I also got ahold of Chief Joseph and he said he plans to make resin casts of the '85 grille, so when that happens, he'll let me know and I can snag one from him. SWEET!

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Posted · Report post

You have me interested now.I cant wait to see its progress and then the finish model.

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Posted · Report post

very much interested. GN's are a soft spot for me!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm looking forward to seeing this come together.

Common bleach will also strip chrome without issues.

Edited by Jantrix

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I'll definitely be watching, Regals are my favorite cars and Grand Nationals are pretty much the baddest of them all! I can't wait to see what you do with this.

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This oughta be interesting. I'm looking forward to your progress.

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I looked at the parts before I left this morning and they were stripped but still had a little bit of that yellow gunk on 'em so they should be good when I get home tonight. I'm a lil excited :)

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I love this car.. to bad my kit form the 80's or 90's had a warpped body. I stil have it though

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Was it a GNX kit? I know some of those had a lot of issues, warped bodies being one of them.

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Was it a GNX kit? I know some of those had a lot of issues, warped bodies being one of them.

I think was the 87 gn kit. not sure if it was the gnx one. I would have to did it up.. did alot of work on it till I noticed the awful warp in the bodie.

and not the one that came with the molded spark plugs wire

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Yeah, I think the GNX came with the ignition wires.

Well I finally got the chrome parts all stripped (except for 2 of the wheels had the yellow stuff on it, so I doused them again) and started painting the engine block and one of the wheels. Before I fully painted the block/heads, I drilled holes in the heads for the ignition wires. I was studying pictures of the '85 intake manifold, and I don't think I'll have to do that much modifying to it. I know I have to make the height of the manifold lower, so I'll just cut it down and sand it till it's to the right height, then glue the top part of the manifold back on. Where the coil pack used to be will be where the turbo will go, and I have to make a spot for the new radiator hose on the front of the manifold. I also noticed that the alternator and such are in a totally different spot than the '86-87 engines, so I'll have to fab some brackets to make it work. I'm hoping to have a little more progress tomorrow, but until then, here's what I've gotten done so far.

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'85 manifold

image010.jpg

'87 manifold

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'85 manifold

image011.jpg

'87 manifold

2012-10-19_22-25-12_138.jpg

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Well I got a lot of work done on the engine and one wheel...a lot of custom work that I've never done before and was frankly pretty nervous about doing, but it all turned out really well! The intake doesn't look exactly like the '85, but it's close enough for me. I had to chop off part of the plenum and make it much thinner, as well as make the front piece of the manifold so I can make a spot for the '85 radiator hose to mount to. I also re-shaped the spot where the '87 coilpack went to where the turbo will now mount to. As for the turbo, I had to cut off the original intake side of the turbo outlet and make a new one from scratch, as well as re-shape the exhaust side outlet and add a flange for the exhaust system to hook up to the turbo. I also painted the rest of the block and the transmission. I think next I will be modifying the '87 turbo-side exhaust manifold to fit the '85 turbo and a few other little things. Easy does it! Until then, here's my update for today:

Intake chopped and shaved

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Re-shaped the coilpack area for the turbo inlet

042.jpg

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New intake inlet on the turbo

044.jpg

Wheel all painted and decal'd

047.jpg

048.jpg

046.jpg

055.jpg

Edited by brodie_83

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Front of the intake manifold modified for the '85 style

056.jpg

Re-shaped and assembled turbo with exhaust outlet flange

057.jpg

058.jpg

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Was it a GNX kit? I know some of those had a lot of issues, warped bodies being one of them.

I had a warped chassis in the GNX kit when I purchase one for 5 Dollars but i had gotten replacment for it.

Nice wheel detail.

Edited by Johnny1973

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Posted · Report post

Anymore up dates on the GN.

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Anymore up dates on the GN.

He's probably waiting on me to get him a copy of my 85-86 grille! It's coming soon, Brodie!

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Posted · Report post

Good work! The devil is in the details when you are building a stock appearing car like that!

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That hobby store wouldnt happen to be scale model supplies would it??

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I put this build to the side so I can get a few things done first.

Joseph, that and the wheels are indeed parts I am awaiting, as well as any other photo etched parts you can provide.

Nate, thanks man! This is really my first build where I'm scratch-making parts, so it's really quite fun!

Nick, yes it would. I love that place!

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I used to go slot car racing there! It is one of two hobby shops i will shop at in the cities.

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I put this build to the side so I can get a few things done first.

Joseph, that and the wheels are indeed parts I am awaiting, as well as any other photo etched parts you can provide.

Nate, thanks man! This is really my first build where I'm scratch-making parts, so it's really quite fun!

Nick, yes it would. I love that place!

Brodie, will you use the Monte Carlo's chassis as well? The core support/radiator shroud area is very similar to the 85 GN's-- the '87 chassis has the duct for the intercooler. Just a little trimming around the filler at the very front edges and it fits the Regal body. All the suspension parts are the same, so it's a simple swap.

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