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Thread: 85 GLH Turbo build

  1. #1
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    Default 85 GLH Turbo build

    I originally bought this GLH turbo back in Dec 1984. Traded it off in 1990 and always regretted it. It went through several owners and ended up in Beckley. After a few more years I was finally able to get the car back. Here is how it looked in the spring of 2012 when I got it.


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    Not in too bad of shape considering its age and how many people had owned it over the years. I ran the car for a couple of days and realized it had several problems. I knew it had a weak cylinder and the transmission was on its way out. I decided to rebuild the engine first. Number 4 piston was cracked. This is very common on these motors when the boost it turned up and the engine spark knocks due to poor gas, too much timing or too little fuel. I know since I busted a few pistons in the first five years I owned it. It was always no. 4 due to the fact that it runs the hottest in these motors and sparks knocks the worst. With the new rebuild the transmission only lasted 150 miles so I went through it next. Over the years improvements have been made to the fwd 3 speed automatics in Chryslers and I used many of the newer parts from V6 minivans that are stronger and some mods people have come up with to make these transmissions live behind 300+ hp engines. Got to drive the car another 200 miles before I blew a vacuum line off the map sensor and as you could have guessed, cracked number 4 piston again. By this time it was late fall so I figured I would just spend the winter building a better engine and control system and try to fix some of the weak points while I was at it.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    I had a omni in high school and it was awesome!!! Nice omni btw..
    09 Sonata (My DD)
    92 C1500 ( Winter Beater/ Hauler)


    07accord - "I want to be a nittany lion!"
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Thanks, a lot of people have at least rode in one if they are over 30 since they built more than 950,000 of them but only about 7000 were turbos. Here are some more pics of my progress over the last year and a half.

    Engine compartment after the engine was removed. I'm sure some of the dirt could be carbon dated back to 1985.

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    After I cleaned it up and painted it.

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    The new engine which was a 93 ffv motor that I converted over to turbocharged. The block and head are crossdrilled to help with cooling.

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    A more recent picture of the engine compartment with the water to air intercooler, nitrous system and alcohol injection.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Bravo !!!

    Ford Focus ZX3 - Pitch Bllack
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Send those Germans packing in a glh (goes like hell)

    Ford Focus ZX3 - Pitch Bllack
    Koni Yellow shocks/ struts, Eibach Sportline springs, (Steeda 24mm front & H&R 28mm rear) Anti-sways, Cone filter, lunchbox delete, Massive UDP, MSD coilpack, Massive lower engine mount



  6. #6
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Funny you should say that. The GLH was originally to be named Coyote. This was because it was built to compete with (actually destroy) the German engineered VW Rabbit GTI.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Awesome.



    03' SSS, 98' T/A,84' Monte Carlo SS,08' Civic, 65' Malibu SS
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Very cool build. don't see those in good shape very often!
    2001 Corvette - Heads, Cam, Intake, Full exhaust, Hotchkiss Swaybars, z06 brake ducts, SS brake pistons & Lines Etc. Lowered & Murdered out.
    2000 Trans AM WS6 - Forged Motor APS Twin Turbo Kit. Full Suspension & C5 brakes.... in pieces currently
    1998 Trans AM STS Turbo
    1997 Jeep Cherokee - when you just gotta go places other things won't take you.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    I like it, and would rarely see another on the road.
    Adam K
    '65 Corvair Corsa new DD
    '66 Buick Riviera GS
    '66 Corvair Corsa Corv8
    '84 Buick Regal 3.8 Turbo
    '06 Avalanche Z71 4X4

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    I wanted to drop the compression to about 7.4 to 1. I cleaned out all the sharp edges in the chambers. Made a template from body putty to I could match all 4. Then I was able to cc them easily.

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    Used some gear marking compound to show the high places that needed some more grinding.

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    I used a piece of plexiglass with a hole drilled in it and some grease on it to make it seal better. Then filled it with a syringe of washer fluid. Its thin and you can see bubbles in it easily.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    I like this build, I used water when I cc'd heads. I never thought of washer fluid but it would be easier to see.

    Sig by RogerStout

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Indeed. That's pretty swift!



    03' SSS, 98' T/A,84' Monte Carlo SS,08' Civic, 65' Malibu SS
    RNA Team #217
    Rally Appalachia 11': 7th, Day 3
    Rally Dixie 12': Top 20, Day 1; Top 10, Day 2; Fastest Time, Day 3. (But DQ for ticket)
    Penn Dutch Rally 14': Turtle Award!
    Mille Rally 14':We finished
    Penn Dutch Rally 15': 2ND OVERALL!


    www.elzaperformance.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Mild port and polish job on the intake. Upgraded the 46mm stock throttle body to a monster sized 58mm one from a V6 minivan. Its ok to laugh. Painted the upper half of the intake and valve cover with crinkle finish paint.

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    Took the turbo apart and put a rebuild kit in it. Painted it for the picture and smoked it off on the first full boost pass. Installed a Garrett adjustable wastegate. Ported the wastegate hole to help prevent boost creep. Ported the exhaust manifold too.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    This is what detonation does to pistons. This piston is from 1986. My car was just about a year and a half old. I was 22 and clueless about the effects of too much boost and timing. The car ran like a rocket with the wastegate unhooked (for a little while anyway). I kept this as a souvenir. Little did I know I had started a bad habit that I still am working to overcome. As I already mentioned it was number 4 cylinder. Always number 4.

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    When I got the car back last year I knew the engine was on its way out. I ran it a few days at 18lbs boost and it got worse. Finally the blow by was so bad I was having to put a quart of oil in it every other day. Pulling no. 4 spark plug wire did not change the engine idle one bit but it did stop the smoke from puffing out the dipstick tube. Another busted piston. Somehow the rings kept the piston skirt on even through a few 7000+ rpm shifts.

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    This time when I built the motor I did a mod to the head that should help keep this problem from happening (within reason). I drilled a freeze plug that goes on the back end of the head at number 4 cylinder. I put in a fitting and ran a hose from that down to the water pump. I put another fitting on the intake side of the pump to pull the water out of the head and into the pump. The reason number 4 runs so hot is because of where the thermostat is. It sits between number 3 and number 4 cylinder. You can see it in my previous post where the head is upside down. Water enters the block under number 1 cylinder and flows out the thermostat after passing number three cylinder. Number four has hardly any flow so the water gets much hotter around it and the combustion chamber really gets hotter than the other three. That is why number 4 is the most likely to spark knock and crack the piston. Chrysler 4 cylinder turbo engine have individual cylinder knock control. On a scanner you can see number 4 is always getting its timing retarded usually by 5+ degrees over the other cylinders because of this. This little mod has so far cured my engine of this problem.


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    On to the next post for the rest of the coolant mod pictures.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    There is no room under the hood of an Omni. The freeze plug with the fitting is in the end of the head.

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    Its hard to see but in the middle of the pic is the fitting on the back of the water pump that pulls water out of the other fitting on the back of the head.

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    So far I have over 3000 miles on this setup. I have run up to 27 lbs of boost with the 50 hp shot of nitous on and number 4 finally seems to be happy. I data log with my snap on MTG2500 and all 4 cylinders have about the same knock rate which is how it should be. I have adjusted my cal for 93 octane gas and am hopeful that this motor will last much longer than most of the past ones.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    looks good nice to see a 2.2 turbo build makes me want a daytona even more lol
    JPrice

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Thanks guys for all the compliments. Here is my redone instrument cluster. All fwd L bodies such as Omnis, Chargers and Rampages had speedometers that only went to 85 mph. When Shelby made the GLH-S models he added a sticker to the speedo that made them go up to 125 and some to 135 mph. It really looked cheap in my opinion but I bought one back in the day and had it on my car. These speedometers have no stop pin so they just go right on around. A regular Omni really didn't need it at all but the turbo cars would bury the needle no problem. Today some people have made full face stickers that make the gauges look new and they added the extra mph digits up to 145. My car would never go that fast without some major aero mods. The rear wheels on stock bodied cars like mine try to leave the ground at speeds over 130.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Pretty funny.
    I heard that Shelby was asked what glh stands for he said "goes like hell" so what is glh-s? "Goes like hell some more" he replies. They don't make men like that anymore. Well, they do. They just don't let them into the big leagues.

    Ford Focus ZX3 - Pitch Bllack
    Koni Yellow shocks/ struts, Eibach Sportline springs, (Steeda 24mm front & H&R 28mm rear) Anti-sways, Cone filter, lunchbox delete, Massive UDP, MSD coilpack, Massive lower engine mount



  19. #19
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Yeah, he did what all hot rodders would like to do, take a small light car and stuff the most hp under the hood as was possible. Here is the mod that I'm most proud of. A few factory cars over the years have had a similar type of water to air intercooling system. I always wanted to try it on an omni since there is really no room under the hood. There is also no room in front of the radiator for an air to air intercooler unless you want to get rid of the a/c condenser. I cannot hardly stand to drive a car every day in the summer without a/c so I wanted to build an intercooler that used the a/c sytsem to cool the water and it had to be cheap. I bought the intercooler from ebay for less than 90 dollars. I also bought a cheap bov for 20.00 and mounted it on the top side of the intercooler as I literally have no intercooler piping.

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    I used a electric water pump from a Dodge Durango that has a rear heater. At slow speeds the engine water pump just didn't pump enough water to keep the rear heater hot so Chrysler added this electric pump to boost water flow. It works perfect for my system and best of all it was free from a wrecked Durango.

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    We have a metal scrap yard nearly next door to the shop I work in and I go over there when I need parts for projects. I found this oxygen tank for 4 dollars and it works for my reservoir. I drilled the end and a hole in one side and tapped it for fittings. It fit perfectly in my cowl panel. Everytime I go to make something for this car the first thing I have to do is get the tape measure out and see how much room I have to work with LOL. To me function is really important but this car dictates fit is the first thing to consider.

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    The clear tubing and fittings are also from ebay, about 25 dollars all together for them. I also bought a liquid to liquid heat exchanger and plumbed it into the low side line of my a/c system. I think it was about 35 dollars also from ebay. So you can build a complete wta intercooler from ebay if you wanted to and for less than 300 dollars. We make a/c lines at work so it was no problem to fit in heat exchanger into the line.


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    To install it on the car I had to remove my horn. Im sure I will find a place to put it back on someday.


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  20. #20
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Did a few temperature tests on it to see how it might work since I was building this in the dark so to speak. It was about 70 degrees outside and raining but within one minute of kicking the a/c on the rain hitting the heat exchanger froze solid. I hit it with my temp gun and was surprised to see it was already below zero. It actually went down to 10 below a couple minutes later. Now when you run water through it the cooler cannot get that cold but I mixed red Toyota antifreeze in the water to keep it from freezing just in case.

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    I did some more testing earlier this summer and on one of the hottest days we had I measured under hood temps of 105 plus driving down the road. Running 20 psi boost all the way through first and second gears, I never saw my intake air temp get over 96 degrees! This is impossible to get from an air to air system or even a normal water to air system. Most of the time with my original air to air I saw intakes temps over 160 under 20 lbs boost. As I am driving my a/c system pre cools the water down to usually 50 degrees or so. Anytime my throttle goes over 75 percent my a/c compressor kicks off. The Durango pump keeps the water circulating and my system holds about 2.5 gallons so it keeps the intercooler cold for much longer than I can keep the pedal to the floor. As soon as I let up the a/c kicks back in and gets my water ready for the next full boost past. This car has no heat soak, only cold soak lol.

    Here you can see the oxygen tank in the cowl and the system before I put the red antifreeze in.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    This is my favorite build thread ever. Just saying.

    Ford Focus ZX3 - Pitch Bllack
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    Thanks! Here is another do it yourself mod that worked out better than I had hoped. Its an economy methanol injection system. I had to buy a complete fuel pump and hanger assembly to get the gas gauge sending unit. The only one available for these old cars was made for 88-90 omnis and horizons. They were a low pressure tbi system that runs on about 15lbs pressure so the pump wouldn't do me any good. I bought a walbro 255 and put in the tank on the new hanger assembly. I kept the tbi pump sealed up since it was new and figured I would use if for something in the future which fortunately was this project. I dead headed the pump and it puts out 50lbs pressure before the internal relief valve opens so its pretty much regulated at that. I used a ffv injector from a Ford that flows about 300cc. The pump and the injector are wired to a relay that is controlled by a Hobbs switch set to 16lbs. Anytime I have the master switch on and the engine boosts past 16 lbs the pump kicks on and the injector is held open. Now both the pump and the injector would burn out if ran this way for long periods of time but I would have to be running it up Mt Everest to keep it under boost long enough to damage either one. Most of the time around here I cannot hold it on the floor for more than 10 seconds before I run out of straight road. In the quarter mile 15 seconds would be the max time it would be over 16 lbs of boost also. So no problems overheating the pump or the injector with this setup so far. As always I didn't have much room to work with (nor much money).

    I did have this little area open to get my oil filter out. hmmm....

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    Might be a good place for the meth tank and pump to go. Started looking for a tank that would fit. Found an brand new spaghetti holder my wife had bought months earlier and had not used yet. Perfect fit!

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    Made a bracket that looks like an oversized cup holder that hangs on your car door and hung if from the radiator support. The tank just drops in and can be lifted out to change the oil filter.

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    Drilled a hole in the top and ran the hose and wires through it. The pump hangs about a half an inch from the bottom. The lid locks when you push the handle down.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    The injector mounting was another thing. No intercooler piping to put it in. So I had to put it in the top of the intercooler. Most methanol kits say the nozzle should be spraying at a 90 degree angle to the airflow. The air flow in my intercooler comes from the bottom straight up then makes an 90 degree turn to come out at the throttle body. The best I could do was mount the injector so it sprays in the middle of the arch the air makes.

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    I average about a quart of washer fluid to 10 gallons of gas. With this setup I can run 6 to 8 degrees more advance at full boost without any spark knock. Also it adds the benefit of keeping the valves, pistons, combustion chambers and exhaust turbine clean. I have less than 100 dollars in it all. It costs about 40 cents per tank of gas but has many advantages. Methanol helps cool my intake charge even more than the intercooler already does. It also adds more octane when I need it most, under full boost. The water in the washer fluid helps keep carbon down and it absorbs alot of heat during the combustion process both of which reduce spark knock.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    I love using Methanol, allowed me to really turn up the power on my Buick spraying 100%. Keep on building looking fun.
    Adam K
    '65 Corvair Corsa new DD
    '66 Buick Riviera GS
    '66 Corvair Corsa Corv8
    '84 Buick Regal 3.8 Turbo
    '06 Avalanche Z71 4X4

  25. #25
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    Default Re: 85 GLH Turbo build

    In my opinion its just as much fun to build a fast car as it is to drive it, maybe more. I made a small control panel to turn the systems I added on and off. I found an old control panel from an ambulance and cut out the part that looked like it would work.

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    I didn't need the fan switch so I replaced it with a two position momentary switch to turn my nitrous bottle valve on and off. I cut it to fit into a cubby hole in the center console and painted it black.

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    The White button is the nitrous purge switch. The Red button is the nitrous arm switch. The Green button turns on my methanol system. The Orange button is for future use. The toggle switch opens or closes my electrc nitrous bottle valve. The three small leds over the middle switches are my feedback lights. I wanted to know when the system I turn on actually gets power. So for the nitrous system when you push in the red button the button itself lights up red. When you push the gas pedal all the way down my wide open throttle switch then kicks the nitrous and fuel solenoids on. The small led over the nitrous switch then comes on. It flashes red, green and blue really fast so there is no mistaking if the nitrous system got activated or not. It works the same on the alky injection system only it comes on after the engine hits 16 lbs of boost. I made a short video of it in action, might make it easier to understand how it works.



    You can see the methanol injection is on as I leave it that way most of the time. Then I arm the the red nitrous button and flip the toggle to turn on the tank. When I floor the car you will see the led over the red nitrous button come on and a couple milliseconds later the led over the meth button comes on when the car hits 16 lbs boost. Thats all the boost lag the system has with the nitrous on, just milliseconds.

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