Weak power out of my 3800? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-09-2005, 02:12 AM   #1
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Default Weak power out of my 3800?

Ok, its a LeSabre, 91, limited, and has the 3800, VIN C.

Works good, gets incredible highway mileage since I changed my thermostat, rides and handles really nice.

My gripe, is it takes 10.5 seconds to go from 0-100 KPH (or 0-60 MPH) Is that normal?
Second, should I be able to spin the tires on dry pavement? I could do a neutral drop, brake stands and donuts, but I really, really care about my car, and do not like to abuse it, especially if i wanna hit the high miles. But shouldn't the car be able to spin the tires on dry pavement? Its just that, the engine has 165 HP, surley it should be able to!!

What are possible causes that are decreasing my performance?

The exhaust is a little questionable since the pipe connecting to the muffler is gonna be done when winter takes its course. The muffler has no holes or rust as far as I am concerned.
I do plan to get a total new exhaust job done, will that make it quicker, and have restored power? I would spend the money on a better muffler and a good cat, but it has to be quiet. While its quiet, it has to be able to sound good when i take it to the high rpms, because it sounds really nice at high rpms.

Second, I have the old magnavox ignition, the car starts, and runs flawlessly, but will my power improve if I upgrade to the delco ignition? I saw they got a 170 Hp rating in 92 and up, is that the reason why?

Is there anything else I am missing? I have HQ plug wires, AC plugs, new air filter, new antifreeze, good oil and AC filter, thermostat, fuel filter, fuel strainer.

Will going to a higher octance fuel give it a good boost? I am talking of the expensive gas?

Any suggestions are appreciated, and really, i'd prefer to keep the engine stock, meaning I cannot tear into the engine and change cams, chain, rods, crank, valves, etc.

Thanks a bunch fellow!
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Old 10-09-2005, 02:53 AM   #2
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Go with a high flow cat, higher octane fuel is a waste for you, get a rice pipe. Delco ignition should help some.
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Old 10-09-2005, 03:01 AM   #3
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sounds about right to me. The LeSabres of those years had something like a 1.73 gear ratio. That combined with 165 horsepower/ 220 ft-lbs of torque will result in the non-spinning of the tires. That is also why you get great gas mileage.
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Old 10-10-2005, 11:01 PM   #4
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So then, I'm assuming that the Bonneville has a different gear ratio, thus getting more performance, spinning the tires, and whatnot, but lower fuel economy.

Is this ratio in the differential?

Essentially, improving the exhaust, and the ignition upgrade would hep. However, It prolly won't cause 0-100 times to be 7 or 8 secs, and tire spinnng prolly won't happen.

Thanks for the input, really appreciated the effort to tell me that wasting my time on silly upgrades to the engine won't help much, unless I change the gearing.
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Old 10-10-2005, 11:17 PM   #5
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I think its about right. Mine gets 0-60 in about 10 secs. Not even close to be able to tire spin with that damn gear ratio.
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy'* Buick
So then, I'm assuming that the Bonneville has a different gear ratio, thus getting more performance, spinning the tires, and whatnot, but lower fuel economy.

Is this ratio in the differential?

Essentially, improving the exhaust, and the ignition upgrade would hep. However, It prolly won't cause 0-100 times to be 7 or 8 secs, and tire spinnng prolly won't happen.

Thanks for the input, really appreciated the effort to tell me that wasting my time on silly upgrades to the engine won't help much, unless I change the gearing.
You have a Tall 2.84 Gear ratio... Just like I have in my 91 Bonnie... I used to be able to lite em tho...


I used to be able to do worse than that...

10 second 0-60 would be pretty good for the 2.84 gear ratio.... 9 sec would be about right for the 3.33 ratio.. The 3800 C was really a cruiser... But the Type II Delco ignition is a help, semmes to give slightly better starts and smoother idle as well as a smoother mid range... I also have the rice pipe with a K&N filter...<--- Largest improvement ever, this motor seemed like it was happy to be able to breathe... The low end torque was more improved than anything... Bith worth it IMHO

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