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Old 05-10-2003, 01:07 AM   #11
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The Vin B/3 was a mid year change over in 1986 Buick and Oldsmobiles. They were in the H bodys, Rivs and Toros. also used in the 86 Century GS, 86 LeSabre GS as well as LeSabres,88'*, Park-Aves,98'*, Electras, Cutlass Cierra GT'*. By 1987 all FWD 3.8'* were "Vin 3". The FWD engines prior to 86 still had a distrubitor but were MFI engines, I know little about them but they were the predesesor to the engines we know. Buick and Olds never called the "Vin 3" a HO engine it just simply had 150 HP, 8.5/1 comp. The 3.0 was called HO because it had 9.0/1 comp. and reached its peak HP at a higher RPM than the 3.8, which may indicate a different cam profile but I donyt know for sure. One Riv site mentioned the 86 Riv as having 140 HP but I questioned a old Olds dealer about that and his information was 150 for 86 & 87. The differences between the 3 & B were as mentioned the rollor cam and a different lenght pushrod as weel as different dip stick tube dia. All internal parts and block/heads were the same part numbers. Remember it was a mid year 1986 changeover. By 88 the 3800 was developed and some of the leftover 3.8 were used up in early 1988 LeSabres and 88'* but I know of no one that has the 3.8 in a 88. There was such high demand for the Buick 90 degree V6 that 88 Centurys and even the early FWD 88 Regals were 2.8 or 3.1 Chevy powered for standard engine because they had there hands full keeping up with orders for the H,C & E cars that GM was selling.

The big and really most important difference between the 3/B and the C is the 3 & B and earlier FWD and RWD engines were off center cranks. The "Vin C" was all new with on center crank and balance or counter shaft as well as many other improvements giving it 15 more ponys. The famous Turbo Regals were off center cranks and held up fine. Stage II RWD blocks were available in both on center and off center cranks. Im not an "expert" on these at all but have read lots of stuff.

Many people got 200,000 + miles out of the 3&B ewngines while others had problems as with all engines. Most likely a maintence or abuse or build quality issue.

Value of the 3/B with 132K ? Id say 300.00 tops. Demand is low for the dying breed that used this engine and yards are crushing them. Im sure if you called a yard they would want 500+ however but wrecked or rotten or cars needing trannys can be bought for 300 or less.

Here is some Buick V6 history to help clear the air on model years and differences. Most of the early data is for the RWD accept where it mentions FWD starting in 82 so try not to get the two mixed up its hard sometimes. This comes from the GN t-type org.-
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The Life and Times of the Buick V6
The Little Engine That Could!

The venerable Buick 3.8 V6 has had a long and fairly illustrious career, powering many Buicks, and other GM vehicles over the past 30 years. The original design for the V6 started in the early 60s when Buick created a V6 based on the all aluminum 215 V8. The very first "Fireball" V6 displaced a whopping 198 cubic inches and shared tooling with the 215 aluminum V8 in 1962. In late 1963, the bore was increased to be the same as the 300 V8, which made displacement 225 cubic inches, where it stayed until 1967. Since the V6 had the same bore as the 1966 340 V8 it could be produced on the same assembly line. This made it cheap and easy to produce for the "compact" cars in GM'* car lines. The demand for the V6 was never very great and the design resulted in an uneven firing order that produced a rough idling engine, so the design was sold to Jeep in 1967.

In the 70s, with the advent of the gas crisis and the demand for a versatile, lightweight, and inexpensive engine, Buick bought the design back from Jeep in 1974. The little V6 was reworked so that it could be made on the same assembly line as the Buick 350, which entailed making the bore 3.800". Using this bore size, it could share pistons and other parts with the V6. This engine retained the original designs "odd-fire" design.

In 1977, Buick redesigned the firing order to make it a smoother running engine by revising the crank throws. This was a mid-year change, so some odd-fire and some even-fire V6s were made during 1977. The new even-fire engine still retained the same bore spacing as the odd-fire version, so the bores were no longer centered over the rods and the engine had to be under balanced and soft motor mounts were used. The balancing took care of the vertical component of the vibrations and the motor mounts took care of the horizontal component.

Several variations of the 231" V6 were made over the years, including the 3.0 liter in some of the early 80s front wheel drive cars, the 4.1 liter used in some of the larger rear wheel drive cars, and of course, the turbo 3.8 variations used in the various Sport Coupes, turbo Regals, some early '80-81 Monte Carlos, and some of the Riviera'*.

This article will concentrate on the 3.8 versions, since that'* more relevant to those of us with the turbo cars. The basic design for the engine that went into the turbo Regals really didn't change much from late 1977 until 1987. The blocks had slight revisions up until 1986-87, mainly to increase oiling and to revise the deck heights to allow the use of thicker composition head gaskets. One of the biggest changes was in 1985, when the oil pans went to 20 bolt oil pans instead of 14 bolt oil pans.

All in all, there were a lot of the 3.8s produced, due to it'* many virtues. The availability of basic mechanical parts is still very good and many specialty parts for the GN/turbo Regal turn up as new parts for other car models with the 3800 (a redesigned 3., such as the Reatta. Below is a history of the V6, followed by a chart cross referencing some of the blocks/cranks/heads used over the years that was derived from the March 1994 issue of Automotive Rebuilder.

1977
Odd fire design in early model year
Even fire design produced late in model year
Cylinder heads revised with new exhaust ports and cast rocker stands


1978
Harmonic balancer bolt changed from 5/8" to 3/4" (both versions were produced this year)


1979
Intake ports revised for better breathing


1980
Oil sump and feed passages enlarged from 0.500" to 0.625"


1981
New connecting rods with heavy section cap (they have 2 dots with #763 on the side of the rod)
New harmonic balancer and flywheel for different balance due to new connecting rods
Block revised for rod cap clearance


1982
M10x1.5 metric for accessory mounting holes on heads
Boss on the rear of block for Knock Sensor
Transverse FWD 3.0 V6 introduced in the Skylarkk (X body) with the FWD bolt pattern


1983
Head revised to remove iron at outside edge for valve cover baffle clearance
New intake valve guide seals to fit 0.546" instead of 0.600" guides.
Revised oil pan and valve covers with baffles


1984
New camshaft design with 0.030" larger base circle diameter
0.015" shorter push rods and 0.015" shorter lifters to accommodate base circle (8.703" vs. 8.718")
Oil groove added to the block behind cam bearing #1 and oil groove removed from cam shaft from the cam shaft
In mid-year, the 3.8 FWD V6 was added for the MFI Century T-Type


1985
Oil pan went 20 bolts from 14 bolts
New block, front cover and oil pan
Torque-to-yield non reusable head bolts


1986
Deck height reduced by 0.035" to accommodate 0.058" thick composition head gaskets
Torque-to-yield reusable head bolts
Water drain plugs added to block on both sides between freeze plugs
3.8 liter transverse FWD available
VIN B with flat lifters
VIN 3 with roller lifters
New heads/valve train with pedestal style rockers
Gerotor oil pump
Needle bearing camshaft thrust bearing (P/N 2553258 *which works great with the turbo 3.8s!
3/8" dipstick hole with O-ring seal on tube


1987
3.8 liter transverse FWD changes
Mid-year change to 0.057" longer push rods (7.966") to reduce
cold start noise
New timing chain cover and oil pump pressure regulator
7/16" dipstick tube with O-ring seal


1988
3800 transverse mounted FWD
New on-center block design with balance shaft for improved primary balance
Steel camshaft with improved precision tolerances
Crankshaft balanced with 50% on bob weights
Lighter Slipper skirt pistons with thinner rings for reduced mass


1989
3.8 liter RWD resurrected for special Turbo Trans Am 20th Anniversary edition
3300 (3.3 Liter) version introduced


1990
EV-6 VIN L with one piece rear seal introduced in the FWD Regal
Tuned Intake


1991
3300 version upgraded to one piece rear seal (blocks 25534816, 24502090, 24500498, and crank 25534817)
All 3800s have one piece rear seal


1992
3300 version heads upgraded to same as 3800 but they have one less bolt hole on intake side
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Old 05-10-2003, 01:10 PM   #12
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JR!
Yes my LeSabre was a VIN "3"!
Wasn't that VIN "B" engine used in the GN'* though? Not sure as I can't remember the 8th digit of the last GN I looked at (Last month).
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Old 05-10-2003, 02:10 PM   #13
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I dont know the letter designations for the RWD engines. Im sure it could be looked up but I dont have time. Part of the reason for the history post I made. The engine has changed alot every few years. I dont even know what the letter or numbers for the first FWD 3.8'* were. I only have parts books for the 86-92 H body. I doubt the RWD engine would be the same Vin because I know they changed the block for "bellhouse" mounting. Lots of other parts also Im sure. Great engine'*, great history. Far surpassed the longevity and accomplishments in passenger cars of the more glorified V8'* but still less acknowledged. The push-rod V8'* were around 15 years of glory before being castrated. The V6 is around 25 years of heavy auto use and just keeps getting better and all has been continous upgrades on the 1974 reworked V6 based on the Buick 350 . I guess they hit it right with this engine.

More good reading - this was what it was in 76

http://home.flash.net/~rjgeorge/76pace.htm
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Old 05-10-2003, 03:04 PM   #14
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Steve,

With your permission, I'd like to copy your history post up to Techinfo for future generations (like my grandkids).
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Old 05-11-2003, 12:23 AM   #15
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I should have just gave the web site and page but last night I copied it from one of my files. Here it is, these people deserve the credit for the History artical its not mine to give

http://gnttype.org heres the page http://gnttype.org/general/v6hist.html

heres another great site

http://home.flash.net/~rjgeorge/index.htm heres a page for the original 2dr. H body performance car http://home.flash.net/~rjgeorge/86lgn.htm nothing to special just some appearence stuff and a handling package. The 85 Electra T-type preceded it however but that was really a C body and was available in a 2 dr. had the straight up and down rear window like all the Electras/PA'* & 98'*.

if you go through before blacks links and other cars you can find some stuff on a rare Pontiac or two.

Happy sailin
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Old 05-11-2003, 12:30 AM   #16
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Holy cow Steve, that'* some great stuff. You'll get credit for the find anyway!
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Old 05-11-2003, 12:41 AM   #17
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Hey dude, I live a hop skip and a jump from Albany, NY, didnt know you had one way across the country.

I've been trying to get my facts straight for 6 years or so on these engines now and have come up with some various info. Most of which I cant retain so its on floppies. Funny thing is I still havent done any engine work on one, except the typical stuff.
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