My car is one of few 3800 Series II cars that didn't have some sort of forced induction option. Since I'm an insufferable hipster that strives to be different from everyone else without spending much money, I've decided to change that in the coming year. First I was thinking of doing an engine swap with a supercharged car, but that was a bit too much "bought not built" for my taste, and this engine has been maintained by my dad and I for nearly its whole life and runs like a treat, so I don't want to stop using it.

At the same time, superchargers are a bit... pedestrian. I much prefer the noise of a turbo spooling up, and the extra driving dynamic added by trying to keep your boost pressure up through corners, the "second wind" the engine gets when it reaches boost, etc.

Also, if you look at the picture, the front exhaust manifold crosses directly underneath the intake on the engine. putting on a turbo would be a matter of cutting a section out of the front manifold, welding in the adapters for a turbo, then re-routing the intake tubing.

I don't want much boost, nor am I looking for insane amounts of power. I'm mostly doing this because I like the noise, and saying I have a Buick LeSabre Turbo, and because a turbocharged 3.8 is what the GNX had so I have a whole new set of stretched truths to tell people who talk shit on my car. Everyone wins.

The problem with this is the transmissions on these cars are made of glass, and I don't have a ton of money, so I don't want to make more than 250-275hp over the 205 that the engine gets stock, which means I want to run 6 or 7 pounds of boost. If I remember correctly from MCM magazine issue #2 where Rake details turbo builds, I'll want a turbo with an internal wastegate, some mandrel bends for the plumbing, I'll need to tap in somewhere for oil, I'll probably want a wideband sensor, and I'll probably need a tune. Do I really need anything more than that for a very basic budget low-pressure turbo build?


Here's an actual turbocharged Buick for your time.

And here's another.


EDIT: Holy crap my dad has no issue with me doing this. And a guy has offered to help me weld things up, and he's done turbo builds before :D Now I just need to find the parts and get a job so I can actually buy them.