A Faster Starting Ignition System for your Turbo Buick!

If you've ever wondered why your Turbo Regal cranks for a long time and at other times it cranks right up instantly? Here is an ignition system upgrade I done to my car that uses the ignition module and crank sensor from a Buick LeSabre. This idea came from a guy named Bruce that posted on the TurboBuick.com message board. I used his idea and fabricated a "FAST START" ignition system for my car. It works very well & I've had this on my car for about 14 years without a problem.


Read on to see how it works to make your engine start up quicker... within a 1/3rd of a crank revolution!

The newer 3800 Buick front wheel drive engines use two trigger rings, a different ignition module, and a combination crankshaft sensor than the rear wheel drive Turbo Buick V6 engine. These components provide the proper signals to fire the correct ignition coil first so your engine cranks up within 1/3rd of a revolution. In the pictures below, I explain how the module determines which coil to fire first for near instant starting.

Here are the trigger rings I'm speaking about that are on the newer 3800 Buick V6 engine.

Those rings work together to determine which coil to fire first as the starter spins the engine.

Also, while the engine is cranking and as the module determines which coil to fire, the module will then send a 3x signal to the computer to tell the computer to start pulsing the fuel injectors so the engine will have fuel to start.


Here is an actual scope reading taken from a Turbo Regal. In this system, the ignition module requires a signal from the cam sensor in order for it to fire the ignition coil. The crankshaft will need to turn up to two revolutions before it sees a cam signal in order for it to fire a coil. This is the reason the Turbo Buick V6 cranks for a much longer time before it starts up. In the picture below you'll see how this system is slower to start.


Here is an actual scope reading of the 3800 fast start system. In this system, the module can identify which coil to fire first by utilizing ONLY the crank sensor. The cam sensor does not have anything to do with which coil to fire first. The cam sensor on this system is only used for the ECM to start firing the injectors sequentially. In this picture, you'll see why it will start your engine faster.

Here are the two ignition wiring diagrams to show the differences between the two.


Hopefully, you now understand how this ignition system is superior to the older set-up.



Now, lets get your FAST START IGNITION SYSTEM up and running!



1. This will require modifying your harmonic balancer to install the trigger rings! Doing so, will also change the balance of your engine. The best time to do this project is while you are rebuilding your engine so you can get the assembly balanced properly.

2. You MUST install the trigger rings properly on the balancer. Not doing so will cause your ignition timing to be off or your engine may not start at all!


If you're willing to take the time to convert your ignition over to the FAST START, start by gathering your parts for the project. You'll need the harmonic balancer reluctor rings & the crank sensor from an 1988 or newer Series 1 3800 engine. There are two different designs that GM used so you need to get the correct crank sensor to work with the same trigger rings that you got the balancer off of. You will also need to grab the crank sensor plug with a small section of wiring harness attached. Also, grab the ignition module, coils and also grab the ignition module plug with a section of it's harness too.

Here are the main parts list:

1. Ignition Module with plug and partial wiring harness from a Series 1 3800 engine.

2. Crank Sensor with plug and partial wiring harness from a Series 1 3800 engine.

3. Harmonic Balancer from a Series 1 engine.

4. Extra wiring to add one additional connection from the crank sensor to your original ignition module connector. Yellow wire preferred.

5. At least two bolts that are long enough to go through far enough to allow the belt pulley to be bolted on.

6. Buy yourself another Turbo Buick V6 balancer to do the modifying on and keep your original balancer in a safe place so you can remove this modification at a later date if you so choose.



The first photo shows balancers from a NA Buick engine, a turbocharged V6 engine and one from a 3800 Series 1 engine. You will need to mark CAREFULLY how the rings are positioned and aligned with the keyway on the 3800 balancer. This is cruicial in getting the timing of the engine exactly. Mark it however you want so you'll know where to install it on the modified balancer. Make a jig if you have to so the rings can be correctly installed. I'm sloppy when it comes to my own stuff so I just marked it with a black marker and a couple of scribe scratch marks. (My end result by doing this made my *fixed tiiming* one degree off from the factory balancer). You must install these rings correct for the engine to start & have the correct ignition timing while running! YOU ARE WARNED!



Mark the rings and remove them from the 3800 balancer like shown below.



This is the part where you will need to machine your turbo Regal balancer. You will need to have your engine's timing cover installed and have the 3800 Series 1 crank sensor bolted on your engine. Machine the balancer enough so the rings won't interfere with the crank sensor and bolt them on the balancer. I'm sure of you're doing this modification, you're well educated enough to perform this task without me detailing every step. Once the balancer is machined, bolt the rings down from the back side with bolts that are long enough to allow you to install nuts on the front side. Those two nuts will also bolt the belt pulley on the balancer.



Be sure to check for interference of the bolt heads near the front timing cover seal.


Make sure the trigger rings don't come in contact with the sensor. Rotate the engine 360* to check for bent tangs. Adjust sensor accordingly.




Wire up the crank sensor & the 3800 Series 1 or Series 2 ignition module like its shown in the diagram below.


You will need to reorder the plug wires on the coils like shown in the picture below.




PROOF that this actually works.