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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:26 pm 
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Year and Trim: Just a 3800 engine on a stand in need of a home
Hello everybody,

My name is Jon, and I have been a 3.8 fan since I was very young. I have an 86 Grand National that I plan to put back to stock in order to retain it's value, but the speed bug is still biting me. I have a love for turbo Volvos as well, so I have an itch to drop a 3800 into a 240 wagon. I know it's odd, but so am I! I will have a lot of questions in the near future since I am pretty new to modifying the GNs little brother, but I will be sure to document my slow process as soon as my plan starts coming to life. Thanks in advance for all the help!

-Jon


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:27 pm 
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
Year and Trim: 1993 Buick Park Avenue
1994 Buick Regal Custom
This prospect excites me.

I think obtaining an F-body donor car would greatly aide the cause. This gets you 200hp right out of the box, OBDII if you go 96+, and all the electronics you can eat.

And that's not even counting what you can build out with it.

Although, a friend of mine would remind me that a v8 swap would be the way to go, LOL.

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1993 Buick Park Avenue - 197k - Some odds and ends done - Simply won't die
1994 Buick Regal - 78k - Bone stock - Always ready for a good kicking
1990 Oldsmobile 88 - Gone to a better place


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:57 pm 
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Location: CHICAGO
Year and Trim: 2006 Cadillac STS-V, 2004 Pontiac GTO
I get the 3800 love because we all love them, but if you're buying an F-Body at that point, just get it with the proper cylinder count... One with an LS1 (98 - 02) and you're fast from the get go and enjoy the GenIII aftermarket if you still have the bug.

Because I'll be honest, after the V8, M6 and T-tops, the charms of a 4th gen F-Body quickly wear off...

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Retired Bonneville Owner and former GM Tech:
2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP: Black/Ebony *SOLD*

Summer Toys: Combined 827 RWHP / 877lb/ft RWTQ
2004 Pontiac GTO: Impulse Blue Metallic/Black/M6: lots 'o mods, 415 RWHP / 405lb/ft RWTQ!
2006 Cadillac STS-V: Light Platinum Metallic/Light Gray/A6 - Spectre CAI, Magnaflow exhaust, Speed Inc. tune, 412 RWHP / 472lb/ft RWTQ

Daily Drivers:
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Limited Platinum: Mommy's NEW RGC
2007 Chrysler Town & Country Limited: Daddy's beater affectionately called the Rolling Garbage Can or "RGC" for short
2009 Chevrolet Impala SS: LS4 V8, Victory Red
1999 Chevrolet Suburban: Sunset Gold Metallic - Daddy's winter beater and plow truck


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 8:53 am
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
Year and Trim: 1993 Buick Park Avenue
1994 Buick Regal Custom
The F-Body prospects were in line with the interest expressed in a drivetrain swap in a Volvo 240 wagon.

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~Randall~
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1993 Buick Park Avenue - 197k - Some odds and ends done - Simply won't die
1994 Buick Regal - 78k - Bone stock - Always ready for a good kicking
1990 Oldsmobile 88 - Gone to a better place


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:44 am
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Year and Trim: Just a 3800 engine on a stand in need of a home
Sorry guys. I have no love for the LS. Don't get me wrong, it's a great engine. I'm just tired of seeing them, and I'm not a Chevy guy. Buick holds my roots, and I'm planning to stay close to that.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:34 pm
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
Ive owne half a dozen Volvo 240s and they are great, however check out putting a 350 into one of them, they make a kit to swap into one of them. I had plans to create a rat rod out of a the bronze one I had last and drop the 350 drive train, or Ford 302 into the car... they make complete kits for both

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Year and Trim: Just a 3800 engine on a stand in need of a home
Dang... I sure am disappointed in the lack of love for v6 power in the Bonneville forum. The truth is that I'm sick of LS swaps and and have little love for Chevy power in general. Yes, they make good products. I won't deny that, but where"s the fun in building the same thing as everyone else? No offense, but I'm looking to push the envelope a little. I'm well aware of the LS support and swap kits for the 240. I've had one myself, but it wasn't my style. My Buick roots run deep, and even a 3800 build is straying a little far from that.

Besides, my swap mounts and custom oil pan are already done. I'm planning to build a run stand for my setup so that I can work all the bugs out before I drop it in the car. There is a lot of wiring ahead of me!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:18 pm 
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
Year and Trim: 1993 Buick Park Avenue
1994 Buick Regal Custom
I guess it's more of the standpoint that it's about the same amount of work for either the v-6 or the v-8, but the v-8 has parts already on the market for a swap.

I'm not trying to discourage you at all, this sounds exciting! You'll just be blazing your own path and have to work through most of the fabrication on your own.

I just think back to a friend of mine who yanked a 4.3 vortec and swapped it in to his Jeep Wrangler, and then spent the rest of his days with the Jeep wishing he had gone for the v-8 instead.

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~Randall~
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1993 Buick Park Avenue - 197k - Some odds and ends done - Simply won't die
1994 Buick Regal - 78k - Bone stock - Always ready for a good kicking
1990 Oldsmobile 88 - Gone to a better place


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:30 pm 
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Year and Trim: Just a 3800 engine on a stand in need of a home
I hear ya. Everybody has different views. I know I have a wierd taste for cars. How else would I have come up with such an odd swap idea? Anyway, I'm not looking to set any track records. It's more about the thrill of the build. Plus, when I'm done it should handle nice, get good fuel milage, and I won't be scared to drive it in harsh conditions or crowded areas. It should take care of all the the things that my GN can't provide. I want to build something wacky for the girlfriend and I to take on a road trip.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:15 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Year and Trim: 2000 Bonniville SSEi L67
volvo!! my 89 y\o mother drives an S40 with the turbo removed - she has a bit of a lead foot...lol

take some pics of your engine and progress - be interesting to see how she develops

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:11 am 
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Oh, we love the 3800's, but we love them because of their durability, efficiency, and reliability. With the exception of a few (like the turbo charged Grand Nationals of the day and L67 Supercharged versions), if you want performance, I would go with the 8-holer.

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Retired Bonneville Owner and former GM Tech:
2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP: Black/Ebony *SOLD*

Summer Toys: Combined 827 RWHP / 877lb/ft RWTQ
2004 Pontiac GTO: Impulse Blue Metallic/Black/M6: lots 'o mods, 415 RWHP / 405lb/ft RWTQ!
2006 Cadillac STS-V: Light Platinum Metallic/Light Gray/A6 - Spectre CAI, Magnaflow exhaust, Speed Inc. tune, 412 RWHP / 472lb/ft RWTQ

Daily Drivers:
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Limited Platinum: Mommy's NEW RGC
2007 Chrysler Town & Country Limited: Daddy's beater affectionately called the Rolling Garbage Can or "RGC" for short
2009 Chevrolet Impala SS: LS4 V8, Victory Red
1999 Chevrolet Suburban: Sunset Gold Metallic - Daddy's winter beater and plow truck


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:53 am
Posts: 322
Location: Margate, England.
Year and Trim: 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88

1989 Buick Le Sabre
Here is some love for the V6 swap, it's your car, put whatever engine you want in it!. :thumbup:

Over here the local transmission guy has shoehorned Oldsmobile and Mopar drivetrains into Volvo 240s. Great straight line performance, but they handled like an oil tanker.
The 3800 should fit without major surgery, think through what you will need to do and invite criticism from knowledgeable enthusiasts before you begin. It carries a much smaller weight penalty than just about any V8 making acceptable road manners much easier to achieve
Also parts are readily available and cheap, as has been said it is a tough and durable engine, and has a power output that will shame most carb equipped 8s.

Good luck, and keep us posted please.

Roger.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:35 am 
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There isn't a weight penalty with a V8 unless you're going with an old GenII (or older) iron block. Modern GenIII V8's (LS1's/LS6's), are equal to, if not, a tick LIGHTER than an L67 S2 3800

The average, fully dressed S2 L67 3800 V6 will be around ~500 pounds.

A fully dressed GenIII V8 weighs;
Auto: ~458 pounds
Manual: ~497 pounds

The largest difference in that weight is due primarily to the flexplate vs. a dedicated heavy, flywheel for a manual.

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Retired Bonneville Owner and former GM Tech:
2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP: Black/Ebony *SOLD*

Summer Toys: Combined 827 RWHP / 877lb/ft RWTQ
2004 Pontiac GTO: Impulse Blue Metallic/Black/M6: lots 'o mods, 415 RWHP / 405lb/ft RWTQ!
2006 Cadillac STS-V: Light Platinum Metallic/Light Gray/A6 - Spectre CAI, Magnaflow exhaust, Speed Inc. tune, 412 RWHP / 472lb/ft RWTQ

Daily Drivers:
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Limited Platinum: Mommy's NEW RGC
2007 Chrysler Town & Country Limited: Daddy's beater affectionately called the Rolling Garbage Can or "RGC" for short
2009 Chevrolet Impala SS: LS4 V8, Victory Red
1999 Chevrolet Suburban: Sunset Gold Metallic - Daddy's winter beater and plow truck


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:44 pm 
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Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Year and Trim: 99 Regal GS
I had no idea the LS motors were so light. I'm assuming those numbers are for aluminum block motors then.

LS motors make great power for pretty cheap once you have everything. The car-based accessory brackets can get pretty spendy though, and a lot of parts seem to have an "LS tax" when you need to replace things. The truck based iron block motors are cheap and plentiful, but the aluminum block motors can be a little harder to find and usually cost more.

3800's are cheap to mess with too though and back in the day you couldn't beat the bang for buck with those things. These days though LS motors really can give you a run for your money once you start going turbo, though 3800's love turbos as well. It really depends on how much speed you're looking for and how much you want to spend.

I did a 3800 swap in my 82 Grand Prix (build thread in sig) and that ended up costing me a lot more than I initially thought, but most of that was because I went turbo, stick, and did it in a car that needed a lot more attention than I thought. I spent a lot of time and money to fab things up for the turbo in that car as well since there really aren't kits for that. There are tons of things I could have done cheaper though if I knew better at the time.

The reasons why I went with the 3800 over an LS-based motor include a cheaper parts car, no cost for me to tune with DHP, bottom ends that seem bulletproof, I wanted a stick and T-56's that bolt up to the LS motors cost an arm and a leg, and probably the biggest factor was that I wanted to be different. It seems like everyone and their great-grandma is doing LS swaps these days.

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1999 Buick Regal GS 3.4" pulley,SLP headers, fwi, pnp, gemini chain w/ other trans mods, 12" brakes, GR2's, STB's, 34mm front sway bar; The Summer DD
1982 Pontiac Grand Prix L36 and an hx35 turbo; It's pretty quick Mod list here


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:11 am 
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Location: CHICAGO
Year and Trim: 2006 Cadillac STS-V, 2004 Pontiac GTO
Yea, they're pretty light. Even going to an iron block truck version, only adds another ~75 - 80 pounds.

I know this doesn't apply to the OP's situation as he already has the motor, but if you don't want to shell out for an all aluminum LS1, which are typically a little more costly, you could even pick up a 4.8L motor (the one no one wants because its small compared to other GenIII+ variants), on the cheap. It is the same as the 5.3's (except LS4), the 5.3's just have a different crank (for a slightly longer stroke), and pistons (4.8's use flat tops). Add a nice set of heads, an LS1 cam, some headers, and you're making some healthy numbers on the cheap. And being a short stroke motor, you can wind it up if that's your thing.

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Retired Bonneville Owner and former GM Tech:
2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP: Black/Ebony *SOLD*

Summer Toys: Combined 827 RWHP / 877lb/ft RWTQ
2004 Pontiac GTO: Impulse Blue Metallic/Black/M6: lots 'o mods, 415 RWHP / 405lb/ft RWTQ!
2006 Cadillac STS-V: Light Platinum Metallic/Light Gray/A6 - Spectre CAI, Magnaflow exhaust, Speed Inc. tune, 412 RWHP / 472lb/ft RWTQ

Daily Drivers:
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Limited Platinum: Mommy's NEW RGC
2007 Chrysler Town & Country Limited: Daddy's beater affectionately called the Rolling Garbage Can or "RGC" for short
2009 Chevrolet Impala SS: LS4 V8, Victory Red
1999 Chevrolet Suburban: Sunset Gold Metallic - Daddy's winter beater and plow truck


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:23 am 
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Location: CHICAGO
Year and Trim: 2006 Cadillac STS-V, 2004 Pontiac GTO
Just curious if anyone did something simple and cheap to a 4.8, and I found this.

They baselined the engine with an electric water pump, headers, a non-drive-by-wire TB and tuned
stock: 333hp @5,400 rpm & 343 lb/ft of torque @4,700 rpm. They noted that torque was above 320 lb/ft from 3,600 rpm to 5,400 rpm.

They then did heads and cam to it.
Heads were TAF CNC stage 2 heads with 2" intake and 1.54" exhaust valves, full valve job to unshroud them.
Cam was a Crane with .590 lift & 224/232 durations, and a 115* Lobe separation
Intake was a FAST LSXRT and 102mm TB

Results were 476hp @ 7,000 rpm & 392 lb/ft of torque at 5,900 rpm. Torque exceeded 350 lb/ft from 4,500 - 7,000 rpm

So yea, a screamer. But still a lightweight, small displacement V8, with a broad power curve that is N/A and makes decent numbers. It's not MY cup of tea because I don't like 7k, but...

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/engine ... -slugfest/

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Retired Bonneville Owner and former GM Tech:
2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP: Black/Ebony *SOLD*

Summer Toys: Combined 827 RWHP / 877lb/ft RWTQ
2004 Pontiac GTO: Impulse Blue Metallic/Black/M6: lots 'o mods, 415 RWHP / 405lb/ft RWTQ!
2006 Cadillac STS-V: Light Platinum Metallic/Light Gray/A6 - Spectre CAI, Magnaflow exhaust, Speed Inc. tune, 412 RWHP / 472lb/ft RWTQ

Daily Drivers:
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Limited Platinum: Mommy's NEW RGC
2007 Chrysler Town & Country Limited: Daddy's beater affectionately called the Rolling Garbage Can or "RGC" for short
2009 Chevrolet Impala SS: LS4 V8, Victory Red
1999 Chevrolet Suburban: Sunset Gold Metallic - Daddy's winter beater and plow truck


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