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Old 08-03-2005, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default Early 3.8s

I have an 87 Bonneville. It has a 3.8. its like a 3800, but its not considered a 3800 I dont think. It has extremely restrictive..... everything. I was working on a 97 LeSabre and it had a series 2 3800 and the exhaust manifold pipes were almost twice the size of mine and the intake looked a whole inch/20-25mm bigger! Anyhoo, my question is are my engine and the 3800 engines roughly the same? I have the one piece intake and small small exhaust manfolds, but would the 3800 manifolds bolt up? I mean if they do that has got to be at least 15-20 hp right there.

My other question is if anyone knows the code for my engine or trans. And would a late 3800 trans bolt up? My gear ratio sucks, and it seems like its starting to slip from first to second (TV cable is set and I flushed it a 2 weeks ago)

This car has Kahunas , but has NO top end at all. I mean were talking FBI type restricive manifolds.
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:16 PM   #2
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I am not sure but the engine you are talking about shares some in common with the buick grandnational. I have heard that some high comp pistons could be had for that engine as well. That was a bad year for the 3800s, not much out there. A custom turbo setup should be easy as there is ample room under there.

Thats what i did on my 89 trofeo. Well worth it, and you get RESULTS even if you toast your tranny, engine, ect.....
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:55 PM   #3
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I have heard of the old 3.8'* easily making 200Hp and 280 ft lbs with decent pistons and decent cam... The 3.8'* could be torquers for sure... But this goes for the conventional lifter 3.8..

The Vin 3, 3.8 V6 is a roller lifter design in the 87 bonneville.... A cam may cost a bit for it... Not sure if you could get a high torque rebuild kit for it... They are good engines but still had some issues... These issues were corrected in the 3800 Vin C V6 for the 88 model year... I have seen the 3800'* with as much as 320,000 miles on them...

I have seen the old 3.8'* with 200,000-290,000 miles on them.. So I can say that they do last...

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Old 08-05-2005, 01:10 AM   #4
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I beat the living **** out of my 87 and it died at 220 (trans died) EGR system was buggy.
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
I beat the living **** out of my 87 and it died at 220 (trans died) EGR system was buggy.
Yeah usually the trans was the first to go... Usually burned up... And the EGR system was very easily repaired... More than most of the time the EGR solenoid went bad...lol

There are still 87 bonnies around...

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Old 08-05-2005, 11:08 PM   #6
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I have a half built what I believe is an '86-'88 Buick 3.8 bored 30 over with 10.5:1 pistons and a beefy cam, but I haven't done much with it since I got it. That is my next project. And I was considering dropping it in a GN or equally bodied Regal at some point. (As soon as I am done with my bonneville project right now. Just a thought thougt right now though.
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Old 08-06-2005, 03:18 PM   #7
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LG3 or LN3. I got 264K out of mine. FWD block /= RWD block.
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damemorder
LG3 or LN3. I got 264K out of mine. FWD block /= RWD block.
Sounds like a RWD block....

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Old 08-07-2005, 01:15 PM   #9
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Yea my trans sucks completely. It lags before shifting sometimes, and the ratio is horrible. Definately a highway trans.

Im guessing most likely Ill have to go the custom route for the manifolds. Its got enough torque potential, but the powerband drops off right away at around 4000 rpm.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
I have heard of the old 3.8'* easily making 200Hp and 280 ft lbs with decent pistons and decent cam... The 3.8'* could be torquers for sure... But this goes for the conventional lifter 3.8..

The Vin 3, 3.8 V6 is a roller lifter design in the 87 bonneville.... A cam may cost a bit for it... Not sure if you could get a high torque rebuild kit for it... They are good engines but still had some issues... These issues were corrected in the 3800 Vin C V6 for the 88 model year... I have seen the 3800'* with as much as 320,000 miles on them...

I have seen the old 3.8'* with 200,000-290,000 miles on them.. So I can say that they do last...
If you want to find out if the block, etc. is the same as a buick, look at this link. http://www.gnttype.org/general/v6hist.html
You can crossreference block #*, head #*, and if you go deepenough into your engine, crank #* also. Best of luck to you on you sleeper.
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