$1500 Eleven Second Turbo Regal Recipe
Jeff Fox
"This information represents what worked for the author(s) with their combinations. It may not work for you. Be aware that anytime you increase the performance of your car you run the risk of damage. Be smart about modifications: take them one at a time and keep a close eye on vital tuning indicators such as knock counts, O2 volts and RPM. This Recipe assumes you are using adequate octane RACING fuel for best performance. -editor"
As you all know the turbo regal responds very well to slight upgrades and tuning. This article is the conclusion of my goal to make my 1986 GN runs 11's in 80 degree weather with only basic modifications and without spending a lot of money. The contents of this article assume you have completed the "Spring Cleaning" of your Turbo Regal and have some knowledge of tuning. You will notice that all but one of the items to follow are very basic modifications. I wanted to see how fast my 120,000 mile untouched engine could go with a stock turbo, stock intercooler, stock injectors, and unported heads.
The Recipe
Here is a list of what I did.

Modification Cost
K&N Filter
Race Chip
Mickey Thompson ET Street Tires size 26*10.50*15
These tires fit perfect on a stock rim
Walbro 307 Fuel Pump
Pinion Snubber
Air Bag
Autolite #23 Spark Plugs at .035 $10
Hot Wire Fuel Pump $30
3" Down pipe $150
Hooker Cat Back Exhuast $250
Dump Pipe $75
Valve Springs $50
Modified Upper Plenum $100
TOTAL $1504

Here are a few tidbits that you've all heard before that seemed to help me tune in my car.

Warning: These are just opinions and may not be 100% accurate.

  1. If you run static fuel pressure above 48# then something must be changed. It might be the fuel pump, injectors, kinked fuel lines, fuel pump wiring, or something else.

  2. Hot wire your pump. Mine had 10.5 volts at WOT at the pump before the hot wire. Yikes!

  3. Buy yourself a digital max hold exhaust gas temperature gauge to tune your air fuel ratio at the track. This will be much more accurate and consistent than using just your O2 sensor to tune the car..

  4. Pay most attention to your MPH at the track. Make sure you change only ONE factor at a time. Get the boost where you want it and adjust the fuel pressure up or down two pounds at a time and see what it does to your MPH. Make sure you use the same soft launch each time you make a run until your car is running the highest and smoothest MPH.

  5. Before you go to the track make sure you have new plugs, new wires, and a good coil pack.

  6. Make sure to put at least 10 gallons of race gas in your tank if you run pump gas on the street. Your mixture needs to be very high octane. One octane makes a big difference. For example, you run the car very empty on the way to the track and there are 2 gallons left in your tank of 93 octane pump gas. You add 10 gallons of 110 octane race fuel. Your mixture is 107.7 octane. You just lost 2.3 octane. That is a big loss as far as how much boost you can run. One good way to do this if you don't want to drain the tank at the track is to run the car low early in the week and add a few gallons of race gas, run it low again, add a few gallons of race gas, then by the end of the week you add 7 gallons at the track and you are probably at 109.5 and can run more boost safely.

  7. Use one O2 sensor for the street and one for the track or you will waste a lot of gas.

  8. Start with WOT O2 volts around .78 in third gear and tune from that point with the fuel pressure for the fastest MPH. Your O2 readings will turn slightly lower near the end of the quarter mile because your exhaust gas temperatures will be rising. I suggest not cranking up the fp any further if you happen to go through the traps a .76 mv. If you go through at .74 mv, then you should probably turn up the fp.

  9. Don't use O2 volts as the exact measurement of how rich or lean you are running since the sensor is not very accurate in the range above .70 volts. Example, I was dyno tuning in September and I watched my scan tool while the dyno guy drove the car. We did 3 pulls and each time I increased my fuel pressure by two pounds for a total of a 6 pound increase. Two interesting things happened. One is that the O2 volts were at .75 and .76 each time even though we made a huge total change in fuel pressure (I used a new O2 sensor too). Another interesting note is that each time we increased the fuel pressure the horsepower went up dramatically. I gained about 25 horsepower just from increasing the fuel pressure by 6 pounds. The boost was not changed and I had ZERO knock on each pull. Leaner was not meaner for my car. Richer was faster and safer.

  10. Make the car shift at 5000 each gear with the stock cam if you run the converter unlocked. If you run the converter locked shift at 5200 out of first and 5300 out of second gear.

  11. Run fast, be safe, and show the Brand X' ers who has class.
Track Testing
The following are some findings after 200 + track runs in 1998:
  • I ran 22-23 pounds of boost on my stock turbo to go this fast.

  • One other thing that I feel is very important when running a stock turbo is ignition timing. I put about two hundred track runs on my car testing various chips in 1998. I found that you go faster with high timing compared to higher boost and low timing with the stock turbo. I was able to test various theories since some chip makers were willing to give me several versions of their chip to test. With my favorite chip I ran 34 degrees of timing with no knock whatsoever. With a larger turbo you cannot get away with this, but with a stock turbo you need timing to go fast because you cannot efficiently run boost over 22 pounds.

  • As long as you keep the O2 volts around .78-.80 and run good gas and "NO" knock you can do it safely. I ran those times through the mufflers since my car didn't like the dump open.

  • The track conditions at the two tracks where I race are always poor. My typical 60 foot times were in the mid to high 1.80's.

  • I used recap tires to get my weekly 12.0's at 112-113 mph. With good gripping tires like the ET Streets in the size mentioned above the car is an 11.90 car at 113 mph. Even with the ET Streets the 60 foot times were usually in the low 1.80's and a best of 1.75. With some 1.60's I would have run high 11.80's with that mph.

  • I cannot stress enough getting to know your car and what kind of tune makes it run fast. I tried the "leaner is meaner" theory early in the season and found out that my car runs much faster with a rich mixture. Every car will be different.

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