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Old 10-27-2003, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default Opinions wanted - '87 Series I rebuild or get new engine ?

The timing chain in my dad'* '87 Bonneville went south the other day, and in the process took out at least a few valves and who knows what else. He'* got almost 200k miles on it, and he'* trying to decide whether to have the engine rebuild, or get a used Series I from somewhere.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or experiences anyone would like to share.
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:34 PM   #2
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The 87 is a one year only engine. The other engines may not wire up the same.

The thing about used engines is you never know what your getting. Rebuilding them is also tricky. Maybe just needs head work, that will eliminate engine pulling. Id at least pull the heads and have a look/see.
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Old 10-28-2003, 01:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Opinions wanted - '87 Series I rebuild or get new engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketman
The timing chain in my dad'* '87 Bonneville went south the other day, and in the process took out at least a few valves and who knows what else. He'* got almost 200k miles on it, and he'* trying to decide whether to have the engine rebuild, or get a used Series I from somewhere.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or experiences anyone would like to share.
One short note first......87-91 3800'* ARE NOT Series I'*! They are the Series I forefathers actually!

Secondly, as Steve has mentioned, when buying used be careful it isn't really ABUSED!

A rebuild isn't too bad $$$ wise & at least you know what you're getting too.
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Old 10-28-2003, 02:57 AM   #4
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rebuilt can run bout 1000 at the min
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Old 10-28-2003, 04:39 PM   #5
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Thanks for the thoughts guys....guess I didn't realize there was a predecessor to the Series I engine. Would a Series I go in without too much hassle ? Assuming of course the appropriate wiring harnesses could be found ? I've heard there are some low mileage Series I'* around somewhere.......
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Old 10-28-2003, 07:29 PM   #6
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Your in a bad spot with this problem because you are dealing with a car so old that the engine job will be worth more than the car. Im not downing the age of your car either, it is one of my favorite eras. Sounds like your are not up to the job personally and plan on paying a mechanic to do it. Even the guys in junk yards really have no positive idea of the engines that they have. They only know they run or dont. The engine and labor Im guessing will be 1000 maybe more. If someone wants to sell you an engine for 200 - RUN. They are looking to make money on the labor and then more because they know YOU'LL BE BACK . I'd have to weigh it out pretty good, like hows the interior and hows the body look.

A 88-91 engine will be more like a conversion. It can be done, you'll need a complete donor car. Even the harness on a 86 is a little different. If I wanted to save the car I'd look around at some of these cars people are selling for parts. Most of them have bad trannys or brake/fuel line problems and may very well have decent engines. Looking over the shape of the interior and engine compartment/ body will tell you alot about the people that have owned the car and the engine will be no better than them. For donor cars in case you dont know you can use LeSabre, Delta 88, Bonneville, Park Avenus/Electra, 98 Regency.

Jr and Alan - the problem with the series thing is there was no series 1, then there became a Series 2 which left everyone scrambling to figure out what to call the old engine. As we all know the series 2 should have been series 4 counting the older dist. engine. Thats why I like to use the letter/number designation and then that leaves only a Series 1 L67 and a series II L67. I suppose if there must be a NA series 1 it would have to be with the LN3. Everyone remembers the balance shaft and memcal but the big and most important difference was ON CENTER crank and short skirted pistons. This must be the begining of the Series 1 although the series one never existed until 96
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Old 10-28-2003, 07:37 PM   #7
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Also as i said, I'd still pull the heads and look it over. Some have just fixed the valves and done a timing set and went on their way, with the age of the car that may be the best bet. I dont know how the pistons can take it but they apparently do. I guess the valve stems just bend easiest.
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve LS
Jr and Alan - the problem with the series thing is there was no series 1, then there became a Series 2 which left everyone scrambling to figure out what to call the old engine. As we all know the series 2 should have been series 4 counting the older dist. engine. Thats why I like to use the letter/number designation and then that leaves only a Series 1 L67 and a series II L67. I suppose if there must be a NA series 1 it would have to be with the LN3. Everyone remembers the balance shaft and memcal but the big and most important difference was ON CENTER crank and short skirted pistons. This must be the begining of the Series 1 although the series one never existed until 96
I beg to differ with you as I work for GM. We (GM) call all NA 3800'* from 92-95 Series I'*. It makes it easier to differencient between the engines for us.
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:50 PM   #9
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Alan - sorry. I dont know what you are begging to differ about. There was, thats WAS no series I then there became a Series II. Nothing I said there is untrue. What a handful of people in a dealership came up with amounst themself to classify the engines has little effect on previous history. There is so little difference between the LN3 and L27 that no one can say the L27 was the begining of it. It was the "TUNED PORT" 3800 and thats all. Parts people and mechanics alike should be refering to the 3.8 Buick engines as LG2/LG3//LN3/L27/L36/L67 S1 and L67 S2 anyhow. Maybe its easier for Pontiac employees to think that way because the 2nd gen Bonneville body came with L27 and that all took place in 92 but its really inaccurate. 91 Regal, Riviera, Toronado, Park Avenue and Regency came with the L27 which was the "Tuned Port 3800" a slightly updated LN3 3800. The big years for real engine design change were 88 and 96. Deffinantly not 92. That was a body change year for H body only.

Interesting triva really nothing to beg to differ on and deffinantly not worth an argument so Im not trying for that. The "Series 1" is just simply a very grey area because it never existed until they came up with the "Series II" . what shall we call the LN7/LG2/LG3 "Not series I"

Rocketman - original poster sorry to get off of your topic. Hopefully you are getting a small education on how many versions of this fine engine there actually was. Yours is the 87 LG3 off center refered to by most as " vin 3".
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Old 10-29-2003, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve LS
Alan - sorry. I dont know what you are begging to differ about. There was, thats WAS no series I then there became a Series II. Nothing I said there is untrue. What a handful of people in a dealership came up with amounst themself to classify the engines has little effect on previous history. There is so little difference between the LN3 and L27 that no one can say the L27 was the begining of it. It was the "TUNED PORT" 3800 and thats all. Parts people and mechanics alike should be refering to the 3.8 Buick engines as LG2/LG3//LN3/L27/L36/L67 S1 and L67 S2 anyhow. Maybe its easier for Pontiac employees to think that way because the 2nd gen Bonneville body came with L27 and that all took place in 92 but its really inaccurate. 91 Regal, Riviera, Toronado, Park Avenue and Regency came with the L27 which was the "Tuned Port 3800" a slightly updated LN3 3800. The big years for real engine design change were 88 and 96. Deffinantly not 92. That was a body change year for H body only.

Interesting triva really nothing to beg to differ on and deffinantly not worth an argument so Im not trying for that. The "Series 1" is just simply a very grey area because it never existed until they came up with the "Series II" . what shall we call the LN7/LG2/LG3 "Not series I"

Rocketman - original poster sorry to get off of your topic. Hopefully you are getting a small education on how many versions of this fine engine there actually was. Yours is the 87 LG3 off center refered to by most as " vin 3".
I'm not starting an agruement....just stating GM Common facts known to employees of GM, not just one dealership. Basically the 3800 got a nick name when the body style changed too.
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