17' GS and 18' Sportback at the strip

Zeroboostbuick

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2018 Regal Sportback - 2010 Yamaha R6 (track bike) Past cars: 92 LeSabre, 98 Regal, 02 GrandPrixGT
Thread starter #1
Last Friday I went to the local 1/4 mile dragstrip and met up with another forum member 519Turbo.

It was a hot and humid evening, but a fun one anyhow. Temp was almost 90 f and closer to 100 with the humidex.

O.K. Let's get the E.T.'s out of the way...

519Turbo's 17' GS AWD managed 15.0 @ 89, which is better than his first attempt at the strip.

My 18' Sportback 2.0 FWD ??? the little freak managed 14.37 @ 96.19

I hooked up HPTuners scanner to 519's 17' GS during 2 of his runs, but only managed to save 1 of the runs due to being stupid and hitting the wrong button :oops:.
But looking through the scan, his car had around 2.5* of Knock retard during the run, probably robbing him some 20+ HP depending oh how aggressively the ECM pulls timing when KR is detected.
519's GS was running 91 octane and this amount of KR is what I would expect from this car with 91 octane in the heat.

My 18' Sportback 2.0 FWD is not a vehicle HPTuners has access to (yet) so I can only scan a limited amount of parameters and can NOT download the tune.
Shittiest part is out of the parameters that HPT does pick up on the 18' Regal, Knock Retard is NOT one of them, and that sucks, for now.
On the other hand, the 18' Regal has the E80 ECM and fuel air ratio is monitored with Wideband Oxygen sensors instead of Narrowband 02's. Wideband 02's read the EXACT air fuel ratio at all times while Narrowband are good at reading idle and cruising ratios around 14.7 AFR while they're not very accurate when the mixture is richer under full throttle.
And HPTuners scanner does pick up the Wideband 02 in Lambda. And it's just about good enough, running between 0.79 and 0.82 at full throttle ( between 11.5 and 11.9 AFR).

Scan from the 17 GS didn't show any wideband, just the narrowband 02. But The ECM is commanding between 11.5 and 10.5 AFR. But while the actual air fuel ratio under full throttle should be close to what the ECM is commanding, you never know until you hook up a wideband 02 sensor.


I did 3 runs with my 18' Sportback 2.0 fwd.

First run I ran against a 1982 Regal that kicked my ass and was louder than a rocket.
During my first run I did a 14.7 @ 94, and the 1982' Regal did a 10.1 @ 135 !!! I got smoked to say the least.

My second run I ran against a late model Camaro (late 90's early 2000's)...
My reaction time was much better and I managed to cross the finish line first with a 14.37 @ 96.19 :)
But the Camaro (or could of been a Trans AM) had a faster time of 14.0 @ 99

My third run felt the best but the timing had a problem and never recorded anything, not even a time on the timing screens for spectators to see.
I went up against a Mustang, and again I managed to cross the line first !!! with the Mustang at a constant 2 car length behind me the whole time.

I went home VERY happy to say the least. Loving my car even more than the day before :love:

13 second passes look within reach for this 2018' Regal Sportback 2.0 L FWD... once I can tune the car and stuff a cold air intake. And maybe down the road a upgraded turbo.

It has the Preferred-II trim, and actually it's BASE model available in Canada :cool:


Regal-2L-Stock-time.jpg

My18-Regal1.jpg
 
Last edited:

Dirtybob

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#2
Nice to know I'm not the only one going to the dragstrip these days.

Your Density Altitude (from the time slip) was about 1730', you could see a .1 - .3 improvement just from better air. There's easily another .1 or more to be had in your 60' time too. Launching a FWD on street tires is a PITA....
A little practice and I'd bet you could hit 13's in the fall w/o any mods to the car.

I have successfully tuned WOT with NB O2s before by disabling power enrichment and scaling the MAF tables to hit 14.7:1 AFR on the nose at WOT (you could do the same with VE tuning). I targeted PE to be 12.75:1 and the WB O2 showed it at 12.6:1after the fact (NA motor). Wouldn't recommend doing that on a boosted motor though - too big a chance to hurt the motor running WOT that lean, even if for just a short time.
 

Zeroboostbuick

Active member
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S.W. Ontario Canada
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2018 Regal Sportback - 2010 Yamaha R6 (track bike) Past cars: 92 LeSabre, 98 Regal, 02 GrandPrixGT
Thread starter #3
Nice to know I'm not the only one going to the dragstrip these days.

Your Density Altitude (from the time slip) was about 1730', you could see a .1 - .3 improvement just from better air. There's easily another .1 or more to be had in your 60' time too. Launching a FWD on street tires is a PITA....
A little practice and I'd bet you could hit 13's in the fall w/o any mods to the car.

I have successfully tuned WOT with NB O2s before by disabling power enrichment and scaling the MAF tables to hit 14.7:1 AFR on the nose at WOT (you could do the same with VE tuning). I targeted PE to be 12.75:1 and the WB O2 showed it at 12.6:1after the fact (NA motor). Wouldn't recommend doing that on a boosted motor though - too big a chance to hurt the motor running WOT that lean, even if for just a short time.
Thanks for the reply Dirtybob. How did you figure out the DA from the time slip ???

And yeah doing 14.37 was a pleasant surprise. I figured the hot humid air was not ideal but the car didn't seem to mind it. 2.20 in the 60 foot is slow, but the car is rated for only 250 flywheel HP.


I tuned NA 3800 and 3400 motors with great success, but once I looked at my brother's 2014' Buick Verano tune, I was a little taken back with the complexity compared to the 3800/3400 4-speed GM cars.

I can't tune my 2018' Regal 2.0 because it's still not supported, and once it becomes supported I might have to send the ECM and TCM to HPT to have the unlocked :(. Can't download the tune right now for I tried my best, even got HPT to help me with no success.
$200 to unlock each computer is not a big deal and would need 4 hpt credits to tune them for a total of $600 and no car for a week or 2.
To have a 13 second 4 banger with minimal bolt-ons and a tune would be worth it for sure !!!
There was a fella with a 3.6 ATS (non-twin turbo) RWD who best time was 14.5.

All the Magazines and whatnot who tested the 2018' Regal GS 3.6 V6 AWD managed 14.3 with one of them getting 14.2,... So I'm glad I didn't cough up another almost $20,000 Canadian Pesos for the GS.
 

Dirtybob

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#4
I took the date/time/location from the timeslip and looked up the weather history from the nearest station ( Middlemarch Weather | Personal Weather Station: ISOUTHWO15 by Wunderground.com | Weather Underground ). To calculate DA all I need is uncorrected barometer (easy at your track since elevation is sea level), temperature, and humidity.
It isn't as good as getting live data at the track but it should be a close approximate.

I've never had much luck getting a street-tired fwd to 60' well but 2.10-2.15 is certainly doable. What had worked best for me was a slight preload (brake&gas to maybe 1100 rpm) with a quick stab to about 1/2 throttle (on 3rd yellow) then taking a sec or two to reach WOT. Just had to resist the urge to stomp the gas to the floor too quickly. This was in an '01 Regal GS (it ran about a 14.38 @ 97 mph) with an open differential and the 2.94 gearing.
You can try to get a feel for how much traction is available by doing a couple of dry hops after the waterbox, plus a bit of street practice won't hurt.
______________________________
 

Zeroboostbuick

Active member
354
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Location
S.W. Ontario Canada
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal Sportback - 2010 Yamaha R6 (track bike) Past cars: 92 LeSabre, 98 Regal, 02 GrandPrixGT
Thread starter #5
I took the date/time/location from the timeslip and looked up the weather history from the nearest station ( Middlemarch Weather | Personal Weather Station: ISOUTHWO15 by Wunderground.com | Weather Underground ). To calculate DA all I need is uncorrected barometer (easy at your track since elevation is sea level), temperature, and humidity.
It isn't as good as getting live data at the track but it should be a close approximate.

I've never had much luck getting a street-tired fwd to 60' well but 2.10-2.15 is certainly doable. What had worked best for me was a slight preload (brake&gas to maybe 1100 rpm) with a quick stab to about 1/2 throttle (on 3rd yellow) then taking a sec or two to reach WOT. Just had to resist the urge to stomp the gas to the floor too quickly. This was in an '01 Regal GS (it ran about a 14.38 @ 97 mph) with an open differential and the 2.94 gearing.
You can try to get a feel for how much traction is available by doing a couple of dry hops after the waterbox, plus a bit of street practice won't hurt.
Thanks for the website link. But I still can't find the DA in it.
But I know at the time I was at the track it was 88f and 97 with humidex and the track is 600 feet above sea level.

All 3 runs i tried different RPM preload (I call it brake torque) on the throttle while holding down the brake with the other foot.

Traction and stabilitrak turned off... Holding down the traction button for about 10 seconds turns off stabilitrak and the traction control.

Also had the climate setting at the warmest temp.
I can't brake torque above 2,700ish rpm due to the ECM not letting me, so the turbo is not getting much of a spool at take off. First run I started at 2,000 RPM. Second run around 2,600 RPM and third around 2,100 RPM.
That's what HPT scanner recorded.

One thing I noticed is while driving around as part of regular life... is that if I drive very conservatively for an hour or so and then I want to go full throttle, the car feels like it lost a little power than normal.
But if I drive around like I'm being chased by the police, the car seems to get stronger and stronger by the minute. As if the ECM is learning my driving style and adapting to it ???

Another problem I have is the gearing being so close ratio (9-speed trans) is in Manual mode at full throttle when I shift around 5,800 RPM from 1st to 2nd to 3rd to 4th (especially 2 to 3 and 3 to 4) the RPM doesn't go down and the engine reaches the rev limiter before I get to 5th gear. When it's in Automatic I assume the Transaxle skips 3rd gear and goes from 2nd to 4th or something like that. So I leave it in auto during the runs.
 

Dirtybob

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#6
Simple DA calculator here: free calcs « Air Density Online
Use the table view rather than graph view on the weather station link above to get the closest data to the time of your run.
Maybe my info was bad but when I looked up St. Thomas Raceway it gave me 0 feet elevation but that doesn't make sense in retrospect being so close to Detroit... St. Thomas Raceway Park, Sparta, Ontario - Elevation - Weather - Density Altitude - DragTimes.com

Main reason I preload the car at the line is to improve reaction times. If the suspension has to move around before the car will launch (not talking drag cars here) then you're wasting time better spent moving forward. Never drove a street car yet that didn't like a bit of preload on the line.
How much wheelspin are you seeing? A little bit (couple of chirps from the tires - if you can even hear your vehicle) will help your mph but might make your 60' suffer. Too much has obvious problems. I prefer the car to dead hook and to hell with the mph but I bracket race....

I don't know much about late model ECM strategies, most of my tuning experience was acquired by reading plugs/jetting the carb/curving the distributor and looking at timeslips. It's possible your car is adapting to being flogged (late model transmissions - ugh), it's also possible that has little or nothing to do with it. Review your logs, maybe the car is getting heat soaked or there is an emissions routine (i.e. cat over temp protection) interfering.
The only EFI I've done any tuning on is my '95 Roadmaster. FWIW, after tuning that car I will NEVER pay for a canned tune again.
 
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