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Buick Regal



  • PAmanPAman Posts: 207
    Right now, I couldn't recommend ANYONE spend money on a Kia or Hyundai product.

    Kia recently went through bankruptcy in Korea, and was bought up by Hyundai. At the time, Hyundai Group bought 51% of Kia stock from a Korean bankruptcy court, but has since reduced their percentage of ownership to 46%. Hyundai was part of the conglomorate owned by a family for several generations, whose patriarch died in April. They recently had financial problems of their own to the tune of $733 million, so Hyundai Motors split off from the parent company, along with Hyundai Electronics, which recently changed its name to Hynix America Electronics, and Hyundai Heavy Industries. While profits of both Hyundai Motors and Kia are at or near record levels, their solvancy is more tied to the Korean market rather than the U.S. market. That is the primary reason for my skepticism. If the Asian economy has another downturn, they could be in big financial trouble again. If they go under, that 10-year warranty they love to brag about wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on.

    As for Daewoo, their picture seems to be much better, thanks to the financial involvement of General Motors. GM is working night and day to build new alliances into the China market, and Daewoo seems to be one of their aces. GM and Daewoo are announcing new agreements nearly every month to manufacture, market and distribute each others' cars in various markets. There is a good chance that GM will buy Daewoo, but no final decision has been announced.

    On a personal note, I drove a new Daewoo (19 miles on the odometer when I got it from the rental company) for five days last year throughout the panhandle of Florida and southern Alabama. The car was their small or mid-size model. It drove well in 70-80 MPH traffic, but was barely big enough for my height of 6'2". While the engine was small, the overall fit and finish of the car was good.

    Bottom line: if you must have a small SUV, try the Chevy Tracker, which is built by Suzuki for Chevy, or the Suzuki Vitara or Gran Vitara. Of course, at this time of year, the closeout incentives from GM are so good, you could buy a bigger vehicle for about the same money.

  • evizeevize Posts: 33
    I've noticed from earlier entries that a cross-brace can be added to the GS(mine is
    a '98) that joins the two strut towers. How does this help the handling of the car?

    Where can they be bought & how difficult are they to install?? Are they factory
    installed on later model GS's??

    Thanks in advance...Ed
  • rcarbonircarboni Posts: 290
    Yes, the brace is standard equipment on later models, but they can be added to older models.

    Buy it here under suspension:

  • sailesaile Posts: 25
    Has anyone ever taken a look at the "STOCK" Strut Tower-Brace???
    It's attached on both sides with a U Shaped bolt system...NONE OF WHICH really attaches to two struts as ONE.
    For about $200-275 and 90 minutes you could place a front and rear set to vastly improve turns!!! It's attached by three bolts on each side from the strut...VERY STURDY!!! What the heck go all out and chrome the front set.

    The front should be easy...20 minutes TOP. The rear...takes time; cut hands, sore neck, strange positions...YUCK!!! All in all it's an easy install!!!

  • sailesaile Posts: 25
    Correct me if I'm wrong...
    One major difference(decrease in HP)in the 98 LS was the 90 degree turn in the black plastic Air Filter Element. The turn caused a decrease in HP.
    The 99 has a smooth straight plastic connector from/to the Air Filter Element. I think this design change with the other improvements increased he 99 LS by 5 HP.
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    If that is true, then why hasn't the hp rating changed on the 3.8ltr SC engine? It has remained at 240 since the new model year.
  • sailesaile Posts: 25
    It was just a theory...much like the planets revolve around the Earth???

    What would happen if you placed a supercharger on an LS??? Has anyone done this??? What did it COST??? Have you had any problems??? Yea...Yea...I know just buy a GS!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    In addition to supercharger, GS have a different, more strong modification of transmission, different final axle ratio, and the engine itself also is modified: beefed up and have lesser compression. I believe, the programming of transmission shift pattern, ignition, etc. also are different.

    In other words, the supercharger is not a simple bolt-on addition: the whole powertrain was modified.
  • PAmanPAman Posts: 207
    Yes, there are problems with the engine, transmission and the ECM. But there is a MUCH bigger problem.

    If you modify an LS by putting an SC on a non-SC engine, you will virtually destroy the value of your car! When you attempt to trade it in, or sell it, most dealers won't touch it, or if they will, it will grossly reduce the book value of the car. You will also certainly void any remaining factory bumper-to-bumper or emissions warranties, and possibly violate laws in your state that would force an inspection station to fail an emissions or safety inspection. In addition, any prospective buyer will likely run away from an engine that has been messed with.

    Good, low-mileage GS examples are relatively cheap right now. Chances are, the price differeence between your used LS and a newer, lower mileage GS is LESS than the cost of having a supercharger added.

    One more thing...if you DO add the SC to your engine, go ahead and buy another spare engine from the junkyard. That's because after stomping on the accelerator on the now-modified engine a few times, you'll be bending a piston, rod or crankshaft.

  • jackjtjackjt Posts: 178
    You paint such a pretty picture:-)
  • I got this from the Thrasher website under FAQ:
    "Can I bolt a blower on my normally aspirated L36 GT and convert my GT to a GTP?

    No. You cannot simply bolt on an Eaton M90 blower onto a L36 and make it work. Most importantly, the heads are different. The fuel injectors on a L67 are placed into the heads, while on a L36, they go into the intake manifold. While the supercharged L67 heads and the L36 normally aspirated heads were identical in 97-98, the injector bosses are not machined out to accept the injectors. In '99 and newer, the L36 heads went to a different casting, and these injector bosses no longer exist

    Other differences between the L67 and L36 engine are the pistons and rods. The pistons are stronger on the L67 (but obviously not strong enough for our 370 HP engine! Click here to check out the damage a piston can do when it shatters during a run!), and height is different, making the L36 have a 9.5:1 compression ratio vs. 8.5:1 on the L67. This means even if you could get the lighter rods and pistons to live under boost, you wouldn't be able to run nearly as much. The cam, crank and block are the same, but the cam gear is different to allow the cam to be installed advanced in the L67."
  • jackjtjackjt Posts: 178
    My 01 GS has begun the muffled backfire noise again. I wrote about this before on this thread, it's been awhile maybe someone has the problem.

    Randomly, upon start up I hear what I call a muffled backfire. I have taken it to the dealer and they have found no problem. It may be associated with the gas I buy---however I always use premium. Any more ideas??????

    It doesn't seem to be a major problem, but I can't explain it.
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    I don't have an answer for your backfire problem, but on a related 'fuel' issue...

    Here in Los Angeles, over the past few weeks I've noticed that premium unleaded once offered as 92 octane is now 91 octane. Arco, Unocal, Exxon -they've all dropped the octane level one notch.

    Those of you in other parts of the U.S., are the Amacos, Diamond Shamrocks, Texacos...have they all dropped their premium octane level a notch or two?
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    Is the Buick Regal GS a really quiet car on the road, with excellent sound isolation? Is it as quiet as the LeSabre?
  • jackjtjackjt Posts: 178
    I would say that yes, the GS is quiet on the road. However on poor, bumpy roads the GS is noisier than I thought it would be or should be. Overall, I'd say the sound isolation is very good, not necessarily excellent. Vs. the LaSabre, would think as good on the road, possibly poorer on bumpy roads. The GS suspension probably has something to do with bumpy road noise. Have only spent a limited amount of time in a LaSabre.

    All that said, I like the GS and it is one of the quietest car I have ever owned.
  • y2112yzy2112yz Posts: 19
    I just filled my 2001 GS at Shell this AM and the rating on the pump is 93 for premium. I have also used Amaco/BP and I beleive there rating is also 93 octane as well. I am not sure about the others in IL like Clark, Speeway, Marathon, Citgo, etc.. as I have never used ther gas.
    Also, if others have noticed, gas has crept back up again. Fire at a Citgo refinery this week. Don't sweat it, they will switch to the winter gas on Sept. 16. Less reformulated is needed and hopefully prices will come back down again. Keyword hopefully...
  • evizeevize Posts: 33
    My '98 GS is very quiet.. especially if you accelerate on the slow side. Engine noise
    is almost non-existant, about the only noise I hear is the tires & on good pavement it's hardly there. However, when I put my foot in it, the exhaust has a definite to my ears!!!

    Re: the backfire problem. I haven't experienced this with my '98, but I suspect it is related to an ignition timing problem. My car does make sounds I've never heard before in any other car when I first start it up & I asked a technician at my dealer about this & he explained that an ABS brake system test occurs each time the car is started and that's what I am hearing.
    Is there any chance this may be what's happening with your car??
  • fastdriverfastdriver Posts: 2,273

    Glad to see that the Regal is running fine. I know that if I bought one I would have loved it because of the SC engine. My CL-S continues on with 7,000 miles since 3/28/01 and NO problems! I love this car. Just returned from FL after almost 3 weeks. I flew while the CL sat in the garage and I STILL have 7,000 miles on it! ;-)) Can't stop driving it.

    Hope you're enjoying your summer.

  • Hey, guys I drive a Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. I constantly blow BMWs away on the highway, in terms of acceleration, braking and even cornering. Yes, they are racing me.

    I have heard so much hype about BMWs, I had to go test some. I tested the Z3 3.0 automatic. The Z3 is the highest performance car with the 3.0 inline 6 (330, 330ci, 530). The Z3 is the lightest, and lowest/widest of these cars, with the same HP/Torque and 5 speed automatic or manual drive train. BMW claims a 6.0 0-60 with the automatic. The car is no where near as fast off the line as my bone stock GTP, or Previous Regal GS.

    I didn't think the car corned better on the roads driven during the test drive, at 8/10ths driving. What is the deal with these cars ?

    You mention this to any Beemer owner and they will call you all sorts of names, and quote an bunch of third party 0-60 and skidpad numbers. I know there are differences between the real world and test track. However, 0-60 with automatics should at least be pretty close.
  • pinettedpinetted Posts: 104
    Street Racer, I know the guy in the 2.3 Z3 was wondering what hit him when I dusted him in my Regal. I hope he didn't sprain his arm or ankle trying to catch me. One thing is for sure his ego took a beating.
  • rcarbonircarboni Posts: 290
    There is a topic in the News and Views forum about manufacturers "claimed" horsepower, and how it doesn't live up to expectations. The Z3 sounds like it needs to be added to the list.

    The real problem seems to be the lack of torque in these cars. They claim 225hp, but only have 214 ft lbs. of torque. The GS and GP have 280 ft lbs. of torque, and even though they give up 500lbs+ in weight, they have enough power to move the weight faster.

    The Z3 power claim is basically marketing hype to me. A lot of auto makers are using the high-revving characteristics of OHC engines to produce seemingly higher horsepower numbers. A good case in point is the new Chevy Trailblazer I-6 engine. Chevy is claiming the most powerful engine in the class with 270hp, but if you look at where that 270hp is achieved, it is 200rpms off of redline! Not where I would want to be driving. The telling factor again is torque. The torque rating is 275 ft lbs, which is not too bad, but it is only 25 more than the old 4.3 V6 in the Blazer! Additionally, the torque falls far short of other V8 engines in the class which Chevy is claiming to be more powerful than.
  • Thanks guys its nice to know I am not alone. You can beat off idle power on demand in any gear, which is what the 3800SC offers. The problem with high narrow powerband cars is in real world you either aren't in band, or have to waste time to get into it.

    Now, on a track they don't start the clocks until you launch, but in real world the race begins once the pedals are put down. Plus most times you aren't going from a standing start to begin with.

    You also usually race to a distance not a speed. You can have one car that smoothly gets to 60 in 6 seconds or so, that barely accelerates for 4 seconds than jumps to 60 in 1. Now, the second car will have a 5.0 0-60, but will loose every merge.

    I guess you can look at quarter mile times and 100ft times, to balance this out. However, you are once again dealing with the factor of high RPM launches.

    Now as too cornering and handling. Our skidpad numbers don't tell the whole story either. A skidpad is tight smooth circle you go through without accelerating braking. The real world is usually full of off camber rougher wider high speed turns.

    You can use power to counter power off understeer (due to FWD), and a larger width and length add stability and reduce weight transfers. Our "softer suspension" also keeps the tires on the road, even when it gets rough.

    I love the look on the face of beemer drivers, who are either racing me, or obviously pushing their cars for their own amusement, as I come through a long sweep or s-turn much faster and accelerating.
  • lkohnlkohn Posts: 13
    You should see the looks on the Beemer Drivers faces around here. With all the layoffs and business closures, they are desperate to sell these cars.
  • pacinpelopacinpelo Posts: 142
    How ironic, I on the way home today toyed with a Z3 2.3, uh..rearview window material....

    On the Regal GS noise side, I have noticed that now that my 'bad'year LS tires are begining to wear more I am beginning to notice a lot more road noise, cannot wait to change.
  • The beemer mafia (owners/press) will even admit the Z3 2.3 is slower than a Regal GS. However, have you ever tangled with Z3 3.0, 330i, or 540 ? I have tangled or played with all them, and won. I am just curious if my experience is common.

    I will have to of course test drive for myself. You never what car will faster for you as a driver on your favorite road. However, they mostly seem too short, narrow, and high to corner as good as they say, especially in a highway environment.

    The engines also seem underpowered, in terms the both peak torque and low end of the RPM range. I also think the curves even seem a little suspect given the engine size, even with VVT and 4 valves.

    I don't see VVT + 4V giving large low end advantages. The exception being if a similar displacement OHV engine is making a lot compromises on the low end in valve timing and lift profiles, to improve mid and high range response.

    I have also heard you really can't compare even torque curves from a dyno, without knowing things like load, temp, altitude, and humidity.

    However, .8L displacement advantage, a supercharger, and reasonable rev range, even this shouldn't be an issue. I would think the 4.4 engine would be more similar in real world power.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    4 cylinder, 200 HP very low torque (under 200) but can do 0-60 under 6 easily. The best output is also near the redline.
  • rcarbonircarboni Posts: 290
    I've always seen Type-R's as 6.5 to 6.7 0-60 with 15+ second 1/4 mile times. Very light car at around 2600lbs, but only registers about 130ft lbs. of torque or something.

    If you applied the same amount of finish to the intake, heads, and exhaust on a GS/GTP as they do on the Type-R, the GS/GTP would probably have 300+ hp and start competing with V8 muscle cars.

    Still, the Type-R is a nice little pocket-rocket for the money. BTW, did you see on the Edmunds review that the observed MPG was only 20.8?!
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    For those who have an interest in these SUVs, I wrote in the Expedition forum (post 465, give a take a few) my findings of what I discovered today about these two vehicles.

    I saw these SUVs (heavily camouflaged) being tested in the San Fernando Valley. There are some noticeable changes that I discussed in that forum.

    So if these SUV's interest you, it might be worth 3 minutes of your time to read of what I learned.
  • We just returned form a trip to the midwest then on to Maine and the east coast visiting friends and for a class reunion. My wife's 2001 Regal performed absolutely flawlessly. I was impressed with the 32 MPG that we got for most of the trip but what impressed me the most was its ability to climb hills and corner as interstate speeds. It hugged the corners and climbed the hills as if it wanted more. At several times I had the opportunity to slam the pedal to the floor while cruising at 75MPH and I was truly astounded at its ability to come alive and zip through traffic. Our only complaint is the location and design of the cup holders (to far back and to high and only can use slender cups). The car now has nearly 10,000 miles and I finally understand why my wife really likes the Regal.
  • almaggalmagg Posts: 15
    So what is the gas mileage on a 3.8ltr? Edmund's has it at I think 19/29.
    I was thinking of getting a Regal and there are two '96s in my price range.
    On the highway 65mph is fast enough for me occassionally I get up to 75mph.
    So I am asking myself if i really need that extra power as opposed to a good ole 3.1 ltr Malibu.
    And of course the gas mileage is an issue.
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