V6 Discussion and questions about the base carbureted or MPFI V6's and the rare SFI Turbo V6.

3.8L turbo swap

Old 03-07-2008, 06:49 PM
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3.8L turbo swap

Hey everyone, I've been posting for a while now talking about my swap and I thought I'd show some pictures of how it looks so far! Let me know what you think.

The paint will go back to the factory silver (like the engine bay). The orange was an experiment that looked cool, but I think it looks cooler with the factory colour.

I will be running a set of weld drag stars with 10" tires in back and skinnys up front, should be cool.
Attached Thumbnails 3.8L turbo swap-p1000109.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-p1000113.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-p1000116.jpg  
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:01 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I would love to do a swap like that. Looks like you did a good job. I would keep the car how it looks, really good sleeper look.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:24 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Uh-oh!

You spelled color with a "u" in it and there's lots of snow on the ground!!!

Seriously, though, I am sooo happy to see yet another turbo Buick converted car here! It is beautiful and I will be adding your pictures to my archives. It seems there are more Buick powered V6 cars at thirdgen.org than the hybrid 3x00 cars!!! heheheheh

So, what motor mounts did you use? What frame brackets and where did you bolt them on? What exhaust (GN exhaust?) What transmission are you using? What rear end? What gear ratio? Did your car start out as a V8 car or V6 car?

Enquiring minds want to know!

Great job!
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:02 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Looks right at home. Too bad gm never put a turbo 6 in the 'maro.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:54 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Originally Posted by KrisW View Post
Buick powered V6 cars at thirdgen.org than the hybrid 3x00 cars!!! heheheheh

Great job!
We will soon see :P

I agree, fantastic job - even though I'm partial to the 60* (please don't beat me with your balance shaft )

Actually, I happen to lika anything that's boosted
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:11 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Thanks for the complements!

The car started out as a 2.8L car. I had planned on dropping in a 350, but then I met a guy that was crazy for the turbo eagle talons, and that got me hooked on the turbos. After some research into turboing the 2.8 I decided it would be easier to build a 3.8 and drop it in. For the motor mounts I found a set of 3.8L mounts from a cutlass in a junk yard. The tranny is the 700r4 with a trans adaptor plate from jegs. The exhaust is a dyno max cat back system with a custom bent pipe from the down pipe to the cat. The headers are cheap japanese knock offs fro ebay (I'll get better ones when I can afford it) As for the down pipe its actually the stock GN peice that I modified. It helps that I work in an exhaust shop. The turbo is the stock GN one, but I'm going to swap it for a TE44 or maybe a 53. I think I'm going to keep the sleeper look for the car, I figure back to the factory silver (I painted it black and it looks like crap) plus some repo 2.8L MPFI stickers that go on the rear bumper... I was also thinking about having a set of those stickers made but saying 3.8 SFI.... just a little hint for those behind me. There is a guy in town that I went to high school with that has a supercharged 350 in his '92 maro, I'm just itching to beat him with just "a little V6". Should be fun.

There's lots of work left though, and I need a lot of little stuff like sensors and brackets, but I'm working on it. The wiring is a big job that could get interesting, but I'm up for the challenge.

Anyway I'll keep everyone posted, and hopfully have some dyno numbers when its all done!!

Last edited by neilb; 03-05-2010 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:50 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

NICE
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:24 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Sounds like fun. Make sure that kid gets a good look at your '3.8 SFI' badge.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:50 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

What kind of times is he running?
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:44 AM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Originally Posted by firstfirebird View Post
(please don't beat me with your balance shaft )
Only FWD engines got those! The GN escaped.

neilb, are you trying to splice an engine harness in or making your own?
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:08 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Originally Posted by neilb
Hey everyone, I've been posting for a while now talking about my swap and I thought I'd show some pictures of how it looks so far! Let me know what you think....
Sweet project! The Orange doesn't look too bad to tell you the truth, but bringing it back to the factory Silver would be the best route. Subscribed, and I'm really looking forward to it's completion Neil....
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:04 AM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I'm planning on splicing in a GN wiring harness, I think that would be the best. I'm not that great at wiring so it will still be a challenge. I don't know what the other guy is running (I know its a supercharged 350 TPI) but other than that I've only seen his tail lights ... but soon he'll see mine!!!
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:01 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I thought I'd post some more shots of the engine bay, plus a few of the custom guage cluster I made. Don't mind all the junk under the hood, I've got a lot of cleaning and detailing to do once its all together. One shot shows how tight the down pipe is the the heater box.. no chance of running a 3" pipe there!. Also I will be running new tranny cooler lines (the originals got mangled when I pulled out the old motor) I'm thinking braided steel lines to match the fuel lines. You can see in some of the photos the oil filter relocation kit I used. It also supplies fresh oil from the filter to the turbo instead of the returning oil like the factory. The intercool is a stock GN bit, but will be replaced with a FMIC at some point in the future.
Attached Thumbnails 3.8L turbo swap-p1000115.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-p1000123.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-p1000119.jpg  
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:04 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

More pics
Attached Thumbnails 3.8L turbo swap-p1000111.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-p1000112.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-p1000114.jpg  
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:43 AM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

That downpipe's in there tight. Wouldn't have that problem with a 60* .
Guages look good.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:56 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I missed this one somehow. good Job!
Any new developments?
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:08 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Nice

I miss my project.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:00 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Very cool. Good to see another felloow 3.8 Turbo swapper on the boards.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:01 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

loking real good, I think I might have to put that on my to do list for my 2.8l camaro . was just wondering how much more hp would the buick turbo 3.8l have over a 3.4 + turbo and which swap costs more?
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:59 AM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Undoubtedly, the Buick swap will cost more because of the custom motor mounts and either a Buick trans or an adapter to run the chevy trans. Also, the Buick will make more power, IF ALL OTHER FACTORS ARE EQUAL.

Smokey Yunick said that all other things being equal, displacement will win.

I believe him...
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:18 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

The buick is more money for sure, but worth it in the end... I've been building my motor based on a build up in GMHTP magazine... They got over 500hp with their setup, and I've upgraded a few parts (bigger cam, larger injectors etc) The intercooler will be replaced with a front mount later, and I've got a TE44 turbo to mount later when its closer to running....still have lots of work to do.

I didn't use custom motor mounts ...(someone was asking me) they are stock GN mounts, and i welded them to the camaro frame so I didn't have to relocate the tranny mount and torque arm. Worked out great!

Been working on the wiring, and a few other things, I'll post some more pics soon!!
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:47 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

What cam and injectors did you go with?
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:05 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I used a comp cams set up, I don't remember the specs off hand (I think it is a 214/214). Comps lifters and timing chain and gears came with it. I'll be using 42lb injectors (those are stock 2.8l injectors in there just to plug the holes while i was building the engine)
I've had a new chip burned for the stock GN computer to take advantage of the mods.

Mostly this spring I've been working on the bodywork, trying to make it look good again... need to patch a few small rust spots, stupid Canadian weather!!

Got a new driver's door on, new fenders, I've got a fiberglass hood coming, new front bumper cover on, and new window felts and weather stripping waiting to go on after it gets painted. I'll post some more pics soon..

I haven't been able to work on it much because I've been away at trade school for the last month, but I'll be back at it soon.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:40 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

42#'ers eh? Why didn't you just go with MSD 50's? The chip guys have had those injectors down to a science.

214/214 is a good cam choice.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:44 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I went with the 42lbs injectors because of a recomendation from the company who made the chip. As for the power I'm looking to put out, I figure 42's will be more than enough. From what I understand, they should support around 500hp.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:13 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Update!!

I have been focusing mostly on body work in the kast while, but I have gotten a few things done under the hood. things like the wiring, power steering and sensors are installed. Im looking for a harmonic balancer with the crank trigger ring on it. If anyone has one they are willing to sell, give me a shout!

I'll have some photos soon!
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:27 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

photos of some body work, and my new turbo I have ordered today. a CPTE60 from cottons performance. Awesome!! can't wait til its in the car!
Attached Thumbnails 3.8L turbo swap-sspx0073.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-sspx0082.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-gn_turbo_1.jpg  
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:32 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I love this project! I miss my old 86 Sport Coupe (came with a 305) and it was never better than when I had the stock rally wheels like yours - mine we're 15's and a stock ZZ3 crate motor with headers into a single 3". It ran 8.20's in the 1/8th on regular radials and an open rear!

You could really upset some people on the streets keeping that thing on the stock rally wheels. They'd never know what was about to unlease on the. Good lock on the project!
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:39 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Thanks abunch, yah the more I look at the car with the stock rally rims on it, the more I like the look.

Not much to update on at the moment, unfortunatly/fortunatly I just bought a house, so the car has been sitting at my parents place until I get things all sorted out. Since my last post I have done a few things, mostly body work. I welded in new lower quarters and replaced the driver's door. I also fixed the rust spot in the A pillar.

Under the hood, has stayed mostly the same lately. I installed a powersteering reservoir from a chevy van, and got a set of the JRC racing billet alum. pulleys. looks good. Still working on the wiring. The engine is to the point where it will turn over and try to fire. I'm just trying to trace down a few wires that disappear behind the dash. Can't find them on the wiring diagrams. I am hoping that now that I have a garage to work on it in things might speed up a bit. I'll try to get more photos posted once things calm down around here.

Still searching for the harmonic balancer. Any one know where to get a used one?
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:37 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

just thought I'd post a few pics of my progress. enjoy!
Attached Thumbnails 3.8L turbo swap-p1010539.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-p1010540.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-p1010541.jpg  

Last edited by neilb; 03-06-2010 at 08:52 AM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:43 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

it might help you by finding diagrams for the 89 turbo gta,same motor factory installed in similar body.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:56 AM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I acctually didn't even think of that, thanks, i'll check it out.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:06 AM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

more photos.
Attached Thumbnails 3.8L turbo swap-engine-bay.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-enginebay2.jpg  
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:11 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I didn't realize you were still using the 2.8 maf! You know it can only read up to 150 g/sec, right?
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:15 PM
  #35  
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Thats just in there as a place holder. I'm undecided on if I'm gonna use a LS1 MAF with a translator, or just buy a factory grand national MAF.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:45 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Originally Posted by neilb View Post
Thats just in there as a place holder. I'm undecided on if I'm gonna use a LS1 MAF with a translator, or just buy a factory grand national MAF.
go right for the ls1 and translator, i know alot of gn guys and they all run the ls1 translator setup

then again it all really depends on what u want to do with the setup and how far u want to go with it but the ls1 maf will give u alot more room to play with
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:53 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Thats what I was thinking. plus the LS1 MAF will be available for much longer than the GN MAF, the newest GN/TTA MAF is already 21 years old! Eventually I would like to upgrade to a FAST engine management system and the LS1 would work better for that as well.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:05 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Good job on the swap so far!

Just wondering, which Buick did you pull the 3.8l out of?
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:47 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Originally Posted by Skyset View Post
Good job on the swap so far!

Just wondering, which Buick did you pull the 3.8l out of?
I pulled the engine from a 1987 Oldsmobile cutlas. They used the same long block assembly as the Buick Grand Nationals. I just made sure of the block casting number before I had the wrecking yard pull it. I bought whatever parts were different ( intake, exhaust, accessory drives etc.) as I built up the engine.

Last edited by neilb; 03-06-2010 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:50 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Originally Posted by Skyset View Post
Good job on the swap so far!

Just wondering, which Buick did you pull the 3.8l out of?
I just noticed you're in Toronto. I'm from Orillia, good to see another Ontario Fbody fan.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:54 PM
  #41  
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Car: 1986 sports coupe, 1984 F41
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Originally Posted by jj74sd455 View Post
it might help you by finding diagrams for the 89 turbo gta,same motor factory installed in similar body.
Thanks for the tip, I found what I was searching for, and will be finishing the wiring this weekend! Anyone knows where I can find a GN wastegate solenoid?
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:36 PM
  #42  
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Car: 1986 sports coupe, 1984 F41
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Transmission: 700 R4, 700 R4
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Wiring is DONE!! It's about time! Just a few things to sort out and my baby will live again! I need to get:

Crank sensor trigger ring
Wastegate Solenoid ------------ Ordered today!
ESC module
Coolant fan delay relay
MAF and translator
belt
new battery
Install the 42# injectors
and some 94 octane!
Attached Thumbnails 3.8L turbo swap-3.81.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-3.82.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-turbo-wheel.jpg  

Last edited by neilb; 03-06-2010 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:44 PM
  #43  
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Car: 1986 sports coupe, 1984 F41
Engine: 3.8L Turbo SFI, stock 305
Transmission: 700 R4, 700 R4
Axle/Gears: 3.42:1, 3.08:1
Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I got my new rims back in the fall, and I made up the mounting bracket for the Intercooler. I'm hoping to have her running by later this spring, and maybe even have some paint sprayed by mid summer. My "wife to be" keeps a pretty close eye on the money I spend on my car lately. She seems to think we need to pay for a wedding or something! So I've got to spread my purchases out over the next couple months. I'm getting too excited to wait though!
Attached Thumbnails 3.8L turbo swap-intercooler-braket.jpg   3.8L turbo swap-rim-front.jpg  
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:23 PM
  #44  
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

congrats on the progress,good luck with the fiance
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:55 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

this is very cool... subscribing!
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:15 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Where is your shroud for the intercooler? I have a aluminum shroud if you need one. GN IC right?
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:23 PM
  #47  
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Transmission: 700 R4, 700 R4
Axle/Gears: 3.42:1, 3.08:1
Re: 3.8L turbo swap

I don't have a shroud. Is it neccessary to use one? I thought it would be ok until I get a front mount intercooler, no one has told me otherwise. Let me know if this could be a problem. Thanks for pointing it out to me!
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:51 AM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Originally Posted by neilb View Post
I don't have a shroud. Is it neccessary to use one? I thought it would be ok until I get a front mount intercooler, no one has told me otherwise. Let me know if this could be a problem. Thanks for pointing it out to me!
I sent you a pm on the TTA boards. You do not want hot air from the fan or heat from the engine pushed into your IC. The shroud will protect against this and will scoop up cooler air from underneath the your car.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:23 AM
  #49  
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Car: 1988 Camaro IROC Z
Engine: Buick 3.8 V6 turbo
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Looks nice you did a good job.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:07 PM
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Re: 3.8L turbo swap

Any updates on this man?
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