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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:59 pm 
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Location: Orlando FL
Year and Trim: awesome blossom
01 Bonneville se
hi; long time reader first time poster here, i was just wondering if anyone has tried a rumoured radiator swap I've seen just a few references to and was wondering if anyone has actually tried it.
the long story short to this is the Buick Lucerne's with the 3.8 and a "towing package"option came with a radiator that looks like it's almost a drop in update, just with a hitch or two. I've seen reference to this swap on other forums (if i recall a buick forum & maybe 3800pro) and no one's ever given a final yes or no answer.
here's what my research has uncovered:

the core for the regular radiator in our Bonnevilles nowadays anyway is 5/16 inches thick, this Lucerne radiator is 7/8 thick.
the intercooler for the transmission is same size but with 4mm larger piping inside the radiator itself, so i don't think I have to explain why I and maybe some others would like to do this, & god knows it would be much safer and easier than rebuilding a now 20+ year old unit.

on the mounting front:
the mounts to attach to the car are visually identical in their type and placement, don't actually see any issue here.

plumbing:
coolant:
the lower radiator hose i really don't see being a problem. in fact the exact same part # is used for both cars here, even in a simple Y/m/m search.

upper radiator hose maybe interesting, and it touches on another issue I'll get to later.
the location of the upper radiator hose inlet on the radiator and a mounting bracket for the fan assembly are actually swapped, the hose goes into the radiator @ a slightly lower point than our standard issue radiator. hose part numbers are different between the cars too, research revealed that the hose for the Lucerne is about 2 inches longer and has one more little bend it.

transmission: the fitting locations haven't changed between the two, the distance between them is even the same. but.... there are different transmission lines listed between the cars, & not sure why. fittings themselves are the same quick disconnect type but the Lucerne radiator gets a different threading on its ( I'm assuming because of the pipe size increase inside the radiator itself). visually though their locations are identical and I'm hoping worst case I'll just get like a trans cooler install kit with fittings and some bulk transmission hose and adapt improvise and overcome if my original lines can't reach or whatever.

fans:
as i said before on the driver's side of the Lucerne radiator the inlet and a fan mount had been swapped vertically. straight up our standard issue fans will probably only kinda barely fit and it would be kinda ghetto too involving something really creative with zip ties. but on the bright side the lucerne's fan assembly comes with some slightly larger fans that look like they're not just larger, but probably faster too (the motors are a new kind, low profile too, even have heat sinks built in to their backside, also different fan blades, the passenger side got 1 more blade, but the driver side got like a 10 or 11 blade fan that straight up looks kinda mean.)
the electric connections are also different but its just a matter of making/swapping pigtails.

I'm actually about to try this, just gotta get a Lucerne upper hose, 160 thermostat & gasket, & the fittings and hose for the transmission JIC.

anyone got any more intel on this than i do please say something. not sure but I think I maybe on the bleeding cutting edge of a real nice lil discovery for our kind.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:03 am 
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Location: Central Florida SEBF 2008 & 2010 survivor!
Year and Trim: 2000 SSEi w/ 99K
Here is some information. I think the pics should show up if viewed from a mobile device..Photobucket broke the internet..
I haven't done the swap..i just replaced mine with stock when the inevitable crack formed. Maybe consider the radiator for the Olds Aurora 3.5? there was some talk that it may be a direct fit drop in and ~1" thick..


http://www.pontiacbonnevilleclub.com/forum/performance-brainstorming/topic46770.html

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:36 pm 
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Location: Orlando FL
Year and Trim: awesome blossom
01 Bonneville se
thanks for the heads up! I'll be straight it's hard to find anything Short Star related nowadays, & after seeing the difference in the fans too i kinda planned on including them in the swap. kinda comprehensive that way. cool part is the only thing I wasn't entirely sure was the ac condenser, but cool lil footnote the radiator i got has 2 different sets of mounting brackets up front for it so I'm hoping one will fit or be close enough to work with. on the plumbing front i was planning on changing to the lucernes upper hose to deal with the fan issue homie in the article you referenced to had. @ least the worst part of the transmission part is unhooking quick disconnects that haven't been touched since the last time I did my radiator 8 years ago.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:29 am 
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Year and Trim: 1992 SSE
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Short star? That's the 3.5 Olds engine from 20 or so years ago.

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15.090 at 90.2 MPH on old engine w/ slipping trans & melted O2 sensor - Gen 3 M62 and matching TB, Gen 2 Pully, Zillamotorsports Ported LIM, YT 1.72 Roller Rockers, SII FPR & Injectors, Easy Performance Gen 3 Air/Fuel Calibrator, Hypertech Thermomaster chip w/ 160 Thermo, TransGo Shift Kit, Infinity/Pioneer Speakers and 10" Subs, 1300 watts, 140 amp Alternator, Ricepipe CAI w/ heatshield, Pilot Angel Eye Foglights, Clear Corners, '02 17" Chrome Bent 5's, Magnaflow F-Body Muffler and Hi-flo Cat, McCoy Motorsports Ceramic Coated Ported Exhaust Manifolds, Fan Override, PowerSlot Slotted Rotors.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:26 pm 
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01 Bonneville se
It's done and in. Here's the recipe:
Buick Lucerne HD radiator (duh)
Fan assembly, fan motor connecters, & the upper radiator hose from the Buick are also must haves. On the bright side the fans are the new brushless motor design and actually free up room between them and the front header. Both cars use the exact same bottom hose and the transmission fittings were all perfect plug and play parts. The A/C condenser actually wasn't too tricky, the bottom didn't want to go into the slots but I had a work around already planned, basically, the driver side top bolt lined up fine, passenger side was off about an inch. I had some exhaust strapping leftover from replacing my muffler, using a random ass nut and bolt out of the strap kit I made an adapter that once trimmed up with tin snips worked beautifully and looked relatively clean. I attached the bottom by using nylon one-way ties that are usually used for mounting transmission coolers. They weren't really carrying much wait just to keep it together and still. As far as the radiator mounts go found a really quick bypass: the mount itself is 2 pieces, a rubber doughnut and a metal bushing. If you take a good sharp knife and cut out the metal bushing it'll pop back in the frame and drop all the way down like it belonged. I'll post some pics as soon as I figure out this Photobucket bull


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:46 pm 
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Location: Orlando FL
Year and Trim: awesome blossom
01 Bonneville se
https://i.imgur.com/9uXWKPh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/mcsonj3.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/bbamTu2.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/CdQR7IH.jpg


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