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High Performance Rebuild on 3.8

This is a discussion on High Performance Rebuild on 3.8 within the V6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hello guys, I'm new to the V6 part of the forum, and I really don't know much of anything about ...

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    High Performance Rebuild on 3.8

    Hello guys, I'm new to the V6 part of the forum, and I really don't know much of anything about this engine.

    But what is the basic consensus on the mid/late 90's 3.8L ?

    I'm looking to find out how much power this motor could make (naturally aspirated) and roughly what a rebuild would cost.

    One thing to note, if I build one of these engines it will be for competition and the rules would allow me to increase displacement by up to 10%, but I must retain the stock block, and must run on no more than 91 octane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidman View Post
    Hello guys, I'm new to the V6 part of the forum, and I really don't know much of anything about this engine.

    But what is the basic consensus on the mid/late 90's 3.8L ?

    I'm looking to find out how much power this motor could make (naturally aspirated) and roughly what a rebuild would cost.

    One thing to note, if I build one of these engines it will be for competition and the rules would allow me to increase displacement by up to 10%, but I must retain the stock block, and must run on no more than 91 octane.
    Well before building any engine you need a plan/goal..

    A series I-II-III are all the same castings, from 1990 to 2008 when the 3800 was discontinued..

    N/A you wont be making a ton of power..

    Block will handle any N/A mods..

    You might be able to stroke it and see MAYBE (big maybe) 325ish crank or slightly better..

    N/A Mods with tuning may get you "cleaner" numbers but prolly not much better on only 91 octane..

    Can't do a whole lot with the stock heads so shop around.

    With that said the after market is very good and getting better every year for the boosted and some N/A stuff..

    Truth be told, few folks competitively race 3800's that are not FI..
    Last edited by Smittro; 01-11-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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    3800 performance .com deals with performance 3800 parts. Maybe check them out..

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    smittro whats the progress on your 3.8?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    smittro whats the progress on your 3.8?
    I'm not building a 3.8 nor a 3800..

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    I'm thinking of a DOHC in the Northstar v8 platforms..

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    I'm not building a 3.8 nor a 3800..
    what the heck is that in your sig, then? 3.1?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    what the heck is that in your sig, then? 3.1?
    Hardly..lol Try LQ1.. Or 24-Valve-Twin Dual Cam...

    Last edited by Smittro; 01-12-2011 at 10:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Hardly..lol Try LQ1.. Or 24-Valve-Twin Dual Cam...
    TT halted ugh but yay.....
    Last edited by Smittro; 01-12-2011 at 10:19 AM.

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    so whats the eta on that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    so whats the eta on that?
    soon..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Well before building any engine you need a plan/goal..

    N/A you wont be making a ton of power..

    You might be able to stroke it and see MAYBE (big maybe) 325ish crank or slightly better..

    Truth be told, few folks competitively race 3800's that are not FI..

    I'm actually not after a ton of power, if I wanted big numbers I would just run a built LS1. But for my first attempt at a road/rally car I am considering a V6 firebird, stripped for weight, and fully suspension prepped. Classes and "goal times" are based on car prep, year, and displacement, so with a smaller engine I would be in a "slower class", which I think is a better place to start for a newbie. > and I can always drop in a big V8 in a few years.

    But rules do allow for a 10% increase in displacement, change of cam, head work, etc ... so I would be foolish not to take advantage of all the power the rules allow using whatever engine I choose (in this case the 3.8 V6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidman View Post
    I'm actually not after a ton of power, if I wanted big numbers I would just run a built LS1. But for my first attempt at a road/rally car I am considering a V6 firebird, stripped for weight, and fully suspension prepped. Classes and "goal times" are based on car prep, year, and displacement, so with a smaller engine I would be in a "slower class", which I think is a better place to start for a newbie. > and I can always drop in a big V8 in a few years.

    But rules do allow for a 10% increase in displacement, change of cam, head work, etc ... so I would be foolish not to take advantage of all the power the rules allow using whatever engine I choose (in this case the 3.8 V6)
    I hear ya...

    Now you do know that a completely stripped down, bolt on, l36 F-body will run 13's right? I think it would make an excellent auto-xer..imho

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    I hear ya...

    Now you do know that a completely stripped down, bolt on, l36 F-body will run 13's right?
    That's what I'm half afraid of. lol Just because its a V6 doesn't mean it will be slow, I will still have to be on my A-game.
    The event I ultimately want to enter is called the Targa Newfoundland, and its a lot higher stacks than an autocross.
    No one hits houses, slams into car sized bolders, or flys off the road into salt water bays during autocross events...many people do during the Targa.
    Required safety equipment includes a full roll cage and often a change of shorts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    I hear ya...

    Now you do know that a completely stripped down, bolt on, l36 F-body will run 13's right?
    That's what I'm half afraid of. lol Just because its a V6 doesn't mean it will be slow, I will still have to be on my A-game.
    The event I ultimately want to enter is called the Targa Newfoundland, and its a lot higher stacks than an autocross.
    No one hits houses, slams into car sized bolders, or flys off the road into salt water bays during autocross events...many people do during the Targa.
    Required safety equipment includes a full roll cage and often a change of shorts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidman View Post
    That's what I'm half afraid of. lol Just because its a V6 doesn't mean it will be slow, I will still have to be on my A-game.
    The event I ultimately want to enter is called the Targa Newfoundland, and its a lot higher stacks than an autocross.
    No one hits houses, slams into car sized bolders, or flys off the road into salt water bays during autocross events...many people do during the Targa.
    Required safety equipment includes a full roll cage and often a change of shorts!
    I was generalizing I guess (road racing). Because the 3800 sits deeper under the cowl.

    Has more of it's bulk behind the front wheels than the LSx f-bodies..

    Making it a lighter better handling car than the strait line v8 buggies..

    This is why they should have had an IRS rear long before the 5th gen platform and a better v6 than an all iron 2 valve imo..
    Last edited by Smittro; 01-12-2011 at 03:20 PM.

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    Smittro, since you seem pretty knowledgable about these engine, I don't suppose you could tell me what the weight difference is between the l36 and the LS1?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidman View Post
    Smittro, since you seem pretty knowledgable about these engine, I don't suppose you could tell me what the weight difference is between the l36 and the LS1?
    ~ 200lbs GVW.. Engine to engine ~75lbs give or take.
    Last edited by Smittro; 01-12-2011 at 10:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    ~ 200lbs GVW.. Engine to engine ~75lbs or slightly better.
    Aside from the engines weight alone, factory Ls1 cars also have the added weight of things like:

    Larger heavier factory wheels and tires (if on 17's) as opposed to the snow flakes..

    Heavier coil springs , as well as heavier sway bars.

    A heavy smog pump, and all the stuff that hooks to it, also extra EGR crap.

    The 6-spd tranny is also heavier than the T5..

    Last edited by Smittro; 01-12-2011 at 10:44 PM.

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    Wow, anywhere near 75lbs is a LOT of weight...I wouldn't have guessed that much with the V6 being iron and the V8 being aluminum.

    As for the wheels, springs and sway bars, the difference in factory pieces is irrelevant. I'll probably be running Strano parts all around, hopefully his springs won't drop the car too low...I might have to consider 1/2" spacers to keep the car closer to stock height. (just to clear pot holes and such)

    Similarly for tires, I'll be upgrading to at least 17" if not 18". 17" is about minimum to put on any kind of serious brake kit, that I have found, and some require 18".
    But I wonder if going 18" I might be hurting myself by having to low and too stiff of a sidewall. On the otherhand, my WS6 absolutely chews the outsides off its front tires when autoXing, so perhaps 18s are a better choice, but I think I'll experiment with a more aggressive alignment first.

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