So, I own a 2004 Buick LeSabre "Custom." The car is completely stock with 58k original miles. I've owned the car a little over a year now and she'* been pretty good to me, though she has her problems.
The transmission is on it'* way out, which is sad at only 58k miles. The state of the transmission has been verified, so no need to delve into this further at the moment. The car is very drivable as-is so I've been taking my time to decide how to proceed. The way I see it, I have three options:
1. Sell the car.
2. Swap the trans with a low mileage used trans. I will do the work myself.
3. Pull the motor and trans. Create a monster.
I don't really want to sell the car as it is a nice, comfortable driver. She'* also in excellent shape both inside and out. It pains me to think about going car shopping or getting another lemon. Besides, I have been looking for a project.
I know that swapping the trans with a used unit will run approximately $700. This is the cheapest option and also the least amount of fun. I know that a LeSabre isn't supposed to be fun, but I have a soft spot for Q Cars. I'd like to make this thing into a beast, if possible. A LeSabre Super.
I have been kicking around two options for engine swaps:
1. The trusty 3800 Series II L67 Supercharged V6 w/ trans. 240 HP / 310 lb·ft torque
2. The 5.3 LS4 V8 w/ trans. 303 HP / 323 lb·ft torque
If I go with the L67 then the brakes may also get an upgrade. At the very least, the calipers will be painted red. If I go V8 then the brakes will go larger and the exhaust may also get tweaked (nothing ghetto). More could also be done but I'd like to keep the stock look with minor (yet noticeable) exterior changes.
So what do you guys think? I'm no GM expert, more of a Benz guy. How difficult would each of these be and what all is involved (changes to electronics, suspension, frame mods, etc.)? I know the 3800 swap is easy but how about the LS4? Is this even possible? What brakes are compatible and what would be the best option for each? Do you know if this type of conversion has been attempted before? These are just a few of the questions that I have.
So feel free to school me on the intricacies of GMs. I need some discussion to set me on the right path.