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Old 07-23-2006, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default L36 FWD vs RWD?

Just thinking out loud here for a few minutes....

Picked up a Firebird Vin K L36 motor yesterday for $100. At the time I was mistaken about the difference in the cylinder heads (didn't know the Series II motors had a shorter block deck compared to an LN3 3800)

One thing that surprised me a few minutes ago, while putting it on an engine stand, was the position of the starter is on the wrong side for a normal RWD car...it'* on the driver'* side, which is the correct location for a FWD car (i.e., towards the front of the car to not interfere with the transaxle.)

So, I'm wondering if there is any difference between the 3800 series II block used in FWD applications vs. RWD applications...or did GM finally get smart and design a block that works in both applications?

I guess I'm wondering if I should hang on to this long block as a possible replacement for the '90 Bonneville should I succeed in grenading the LN3 with a supercharger. (Yeah, I would have to finish dessing it out with intake and exhaust manifolds and the correct timing cover to use it in a FWD application)
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Old 07-23-2006, 01:21 PM   #2
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The block is the same but the accessories on the belt side are in different locations.
Some other things that are different are the harmonic balancer, intakes face the wrong way, and if your engine was hooked up to a manual then you'll need a different flywheel.
So basically you can use the heads, block, rotating assembly, timing cover?, and waterpump are the same for fwd.
But putting that engine in your 90 would be difficult. Especially if you don't have provisions for the torque axis mount on the passanger side. Then theres custom chip tuning or a complete obd2 swap which would mean you need a differnt tranny.
Don't get me wrong, you can definitely swap a fwd l36 into your 90 but it just depends how much work and $ your willing to do.
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Old 07-23-2006, 01:49 PM   #3
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I think On Randman1'* 90 SSE we found that it did have the provisions for the torque axis mount..

If the L36 was going to be used I'd be looking for a 4T60-E and PCM for it... Or maybe a later 98-99 L36 with the 4T65-E, and possibly the subframe too

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Old 07-23-2006, 03:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
I think On Randman1'* 90 SSE we found that it did have the provisions for the torque axis mount..

If the L36 was going to be used I'd be looking for a 4T60-E and PCM for it... Or maybe a later 98-99 L36 with the 4T65-E, and possibly the subframe too
Still thinking out loud... Took the motor down to a bare long block over the past two hours. Yes, all I might be looking to use is the long block, then pick up all the FWD version odds and ends from the local junk yards (like intake and exhaust manifolds)

While junk yarding yesterday morning, I ran across a couple of mid 90'* Bonnies/Ultras that had the torque axis mount. I might snag one next weekend as they were pretty easy to locate and I do have the frame mounting holes in my 90 Bonneville for it. Did they use the same mount on all models? Just wondering if the brackets on the engine side are different for the SC model vs. the NA models (i.e. if I add it now will I have to remove it with the SC on the car (yes, I know it has to partially come out to get the serpentine belt on)

BTW, just an FYI for anyone who cares. The throttle body and the cable mounts do support the TV cable for a regular 4T60. I took the spare TB I had from a LN3 and once you remove the screw from the end of the shaft, the linkage for the TV cable comes right off and goes on the newer TB in the right location to operate the TV cable to the 4T60. In my case, the cable bracet from the M62 SC even had the cutout for the TV cable retainer/adjuster.

May not matter to y'all, but to me it means I don't need the 4T60E and it'* PCM That keeps these projects mostly mechanical in nature without delving into rewiring the car.
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Old 07-23-2006, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clm2112
May not matter to y'all, but to me it means I don't need the 4T60E and it'* PCM That keeps these projects mostly mechanical in nature without delving into rewiring the car.
But how are you going to run an l36 on your pcm?
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Old 07-23-2006, 04:56 PM   #6
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Forgive me for asking these questions here... But I have thought in the past about using the 3800 L36 in the 91 SSE with the 3.33 4T60 Trans...

I would also like to know how the L36 would run of the 90-91'* stock ECM?

What are the limits of the Mass air flow readings that the ECM can see? as well being that the stock engine ( LN3 ) is an 8.5 : 1 compression the ECM allowed for 24* advance timming @ WOT, where the 95'* L36 PCM only allowed for 19* @ WOT... Also how would or could you use the Dual knock sensor system on the L36, as well I believe these 2 knock sensors operated in tandem? <--- Corret me if I am wrong... Not totally sure how this one works...

Would the 90-91( 88-91 should be the same ) ECM be able to operate the engine without running the engine lean? I do know the single wire O2 will fit the L36 rear Manifold with no issues... Plugging in the EGR would be a diffrent story unless the Digital could be made to work in place of the Linear, if the EGR is kept...

As for the stock Trans in your Bonnie.... Its should be the same as mine, an F17 or 2.84 Ratio... I to this day feel that this is a heavy ratio for any 3800... I'd say for an L36 3.06 or 3.33 would be about right...

Anyone have any thoughts?

I know I'm hijacking a bit, but I am interested and curious

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Old 07-24-2006, 08:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95naSTA
But how are you going to run an l36 on your pcm?
Using the LN3 sensors on it. When you get right down to it, both motors are the same displacement. How is the 90 ECM going to know any different? Yes, it may need a chip change to adjust the fuel and timing for more efficient heads, though maybe not.

Another pair of amusing hacks from this weekend:

MAF sensor from the LN3 fits the newer TB'* with the aid of a thick rubber gasket to seal the larger bore. (used a spare rubber washer from an LT1 Throttle Body TPS sensor)

Rubber duct from the LN3 will also fit the newer TB'*. I heated up the rubber in hot water to soften it up, and it has enough stretch to fit around the larger diameter TB inlet. Might pick up the newer airbox assembly at some point, but until then the SC can run attached to the LN3 airbox.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
I know I'm hijacking a bit, but I am interested and curious
No worries here. This is a thinking out loud session.

Gear ratio: Hmm... would be nice to have a numericly higher ratio. Something to inquire about with tranny shops (can a 4T60 be assembled with a different ratio?) I'm curious too since everyone is telling me I'm going to grenade the tranny along with the motor.

Knock sensor...non-issue. The L36 wouldn't need the two it came with. Take the one off the LN3 and put a 1/4 pipe plug in the hole where the 2nd one was.

Funny memory came to mind. Back when the '87 Camaro was still powered by a 2.8L V6, I tried to kill it and it just would not die. I figured 75 shots of nitrous oxide should have killed it, but it still kept going, and going, and going... I wonder if the LN3 is going to be the same way... The more I try to kill it, the more stubborn it will be about dying
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:56 PM   #9
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You have me thinking it would be neat to have an L36 attached to the GX3 a.k.a. 3.33 Final drive ratio trans.... It would make for a fun driver, and tire smoke on call...

I'm not sure how well it would work... But I do agree the displacement is the same... The fuel pressure will be ramped up but the regulator on the L36 Rail, and I'm sure the stock Pump could handle it( suckers are huge )...lol

I wonder how the L36 would react to 24* of timming as opposed to the stock 19* as well..

My 91 LE is at 127,000 miles... And I have done nothing but beat the **** out of it... Now it needs paint... Been a great motor and still burns nothing for oil...

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Old 07-24-2006, 06:01 PM   #10
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I'm not 100% on this but you'll have to use the harmonic balancer from your LN3 because I believe the key-way changed.
I'm curious to see how bad the fuel trims would be.
Are you going to get the FWD LIM/UIM?
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