View Full Version : Performance Tricks for 86 Celebrity with 2.8

12-08-2008, 04:29 AM
Hello All, as I have mentioned in another post I have acquired an 86 Celeb with a 2.8 and a 4 speed auto for $20.00. I race cars on the dirt circle track. Is there any performance modifications that I can do aside from adding a 3300 with a 3 speed auto. I am trying to race as cheep as possible. I have 3 a-body cars that I have been racing and I only have about $650.00 in all of them. I don't like to spend a lot of money to have fun (that takes the fun out of it). I "test drove" the car on the track today. It definitely doesn't have the power that my 91 ciera 3300 or my 86 ciera 3.8 has. I know that the motor is smaller, but I also race a 94 cavalier with a 2.2 4 cyl that would run "circles" around this car. ( no pun intended.:lol::lol: )

Am I just wasting my time trying to race a 2.8 or is there anything I can do without tearing it down and rebuilding it. :confused: The motor has a carb and is not fuel injected.

Also as I was going into the corners the car was really "squirrely" in the rear. What may cause this?:dunno: I've never noticed this with the ciera's. I looked underneath and it looks just the same as my ciera's. I did prove out on the track today that it is possible to do a "donut" while in forward motion with a front wheel drive. I have always heard that you had to do "donuts" in reverse with a fwd.

Any tips or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Kyle

12-08-2008, 06:58 AM
An 86 eh?? If its a Euro, dont let to many people hear you say that. The 86 seems to be the most loved Euro, besided the VR.

Anyways, as far as power adders go for the 2.8 86, there really isnt much. The carbed versions are known for carb issues. So Maybe upgrading the carb, and maybe timing, and cam. If its the FI model, its just as bad. A very vacume dependent engine, that can be circumvented. But once you get past the vacumes, the only other thing I can think of is a belt driven add on supercharger that they make for the 4.0 Jeep motors. Take the smog pump off, and bolt it in its place, and that will help some. Either way, take the smog pump off.

There was a guy on another forum that did a complete 660 carb build. ported/shaved heads, cam, Modified Edelbrock performer intake from a GMC S15 2.8 (I beleive), etc. Dont know what all power gains he got out of it, but it was probly much better than the 120hp factory.

The Mad Hatter
12-08-2008, 04:04 PM
I don't know a whole lot about the 60 degree V6s, but i did find this site a long time ago.


And i hope its not a Euro! I've got an 86 Euro, best looking year for the Euro IMO.

12-08-2008, 10:51 PM
There are three things you can do for very cheep.
1. Advance the base timing to 10-12 degrees
2. Better flowing air cleaner assembly
3. Remove the cat and replace the muffler with a cheep turbo-type muffler

These will make a difference you can actually feel. Anything beyond that starts to cost a lot of dough.

12-09-2008, 05:06 AM
OK the car is a two door. There was no trim on it that said Euro so I figured it was ok to race. It does have the console in the center. It is a 4 speed auto. There was vinyl on the back half of the top. There was a sunroof installed that actually had the Ford logo all over it. The car had a working am/fm CD/Cassette Stereo installed (I plan to wire it up in my 95 Lumina). I haven't seen one of these stereos before, but it is a factory Delco Electronics stereo. Car had power windows, drivers seat, locks, and a rear defroster. The car also has a digital Tachometer in the dash between the steering wheel and the speedometer. The car has a great deal of rust along the bottom. And the inside stunk. It had been sitting in a farmers field for about 6 years. The mice had made a mess of the interior. I stuck a fresh battery in it turned the key and it fired up even with the half tank of old gas in it and one spark plug wire dry rotted in two. I had to replace the harmonic balancer (reason for being parked) and now I need to replace the starter. It only works about every 4-5 clicks of the key.

I did save the tail lights and the front grille if anyone is in need of them. I also have the two door windows and the passenger side mirror. Make me an offer. I may have some other parts laying around, but I doubt it.

12-09-2008, 07:49 AM
I know there are going to be quite a few people that would be interested in that Tach. Its specific to the distributed cars. Sounds like it was a euro, but also sounds to far gone. To bad its a 2 door too..

12-10-2008, 01:39 AM
Its specific to the distributed cars.

Nope, not at all.

Sounds like a great parts car for someone... like me!

12-10-2008, 03:05 AM
Nope, not at all.

Sounds like a great parts car for someone... like me!

Its the best year & the best bodystyle! :rock:

And the tach is a pretty rare option, especially if it is not a Euro. A good way to tell if it used to be a Euro is the trim on the car. Is the rubstrip center red or white? Are the dash & console bezels a black woodgrain, or a silver or brown woodgrain? Is the steering wheel the sport version? Here is an older picture of the interior of my 86 Euro coupe from when I was redoing my headliner, it shows the sport steering wheel & the black woodgrained dash bezel:


12-10-2008, 05:29 AM
Nice, I have an 86 Celeb Eurosport myself, wagon! 2.8L carbed too. I have nothing to complain about for engine reliability, but the engine also has NO power it seems unless I stomp on it, and even then it's still a pig. I always wondered if my secondary butterflies were working.... (take note I never stomp on it, I've only put it to the floor twice in the years I've owned it and both were above 40 MPH to avoid going harshly into 1st gear)

12-13-2008, 03:48 PM
Why do people hate on the 2.8 so much? Mine has plenty of pickup and was more than capable of squealing tires (well, the stock tire size at least :P)

12-13-2008, 06:26 PM
same here, tongle.. well at least when its getting f*cking fuel

12-13-2008, 08:05 PM
The MPFI 2.8 had plenty of power, the carb'd engine is a toad.

12-13-2008, 10:51 PM
yea and the carbed engine for some odd reason (on RWD applications iv noticed more) Intake gaskets leak worse than 3100/3400 engines, my dad had a good 2.8 in his S10 toasted cause the intake gaskets just dumped all the coolant in the oil and he didnt catch it quick enough. 70k miles and it died. Iv herd the same thing from many people.

87Cutlass Ciera
12-13-2008, 11:29 PM
I've got a nice 2.8 MPFI in a 1986 Cutlass Cruiser, for the once I drove it, it wasn't too bad, a little better than the 2.5, but it had like 3-4 year old gas in it. If the 2.5 lays the egg within the short while, I'm going to do a trans/motor upgrade. It's got 233000kms on it, just a little more than what my car has on it now. Sounds great too!