3800 into an '83 - Third Generation F-Body Message Boards

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3800 into an '83

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:44 PM
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3800 into an '83

Like the title says. i'm curious as to know what would be needed to be done to put a 3.8 into my 83 bird?

It used to have the original 2.8 in it with a stock 3 speed.
I'm thinking about using an m90 off a gtp along with going turbo. I seen a GS with this setup and it was awesome.(fwd i know)

Can it be done? What kind of fabbing would it take if any?

BTW, Dont ask why. and if your on fullthrottlev6.com dont spill the beans aout it, lol.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:19 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

You want the short list? Frame mounts for the engine, trans crossmember. PCM and harness for the 3800, ign system components, all the accessories, probably have to do something with the power steering hoses, replace the trans with a V8 trans at the very least or fab a crossmember for the one you plan to use, custom shifter and bellhousing, you'll probably want a hydraulic clutch, trans mount, and probably stiffer springs in the front.
3800 or 3.8? Either way, you have to change the transmission...
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:01 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

3800 SII and that is a 3.8.

I have a 700R4 out of my 87 GTA would that bolt up to the 3.8?
And Yes, I'm well aware I'll need everything from the donor car as in the coils, PCM and harness and etc.

I have HP tuners as well so It wouldnt be hard to tune it. I'm just wondering how that work? being the the connections is different inside the car.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:18 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

it would work, and just guessing, your taking your leftovers of the 4th gen v8 swap and putting that into your first gen, and great idea if so, those engines last forever, strong, and have some good power, and evailable with a carbbed intake. good luck
you will want to keep it RWD, so you need to make your own way to mount the engine, figure out a trans with some kind of adapter. and different drive shaft, just base everything around the engine, then cut whats needed to make the trans fit.
good luck
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:32 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

Yes the connections are diff inside the car. You are talking about using HP in an OBDI car.

No, the 700R4 won't work, it has the GM 90* pattern on the belhousing, the 3800 has the metric pattern (same as a 60*).
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:33 AM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

the M90 from a GTP will face the wrong way. You would need to use the M90 from a Thunderbird super coupe, it wasnt intergrated into the intake manifold.

and the reason you where asked 3800 or 3.8 is because the 3.8 is used to designate the older 3.8 from the 80s that was RWD and used in the buick turbo cars and the 89TTA. the 3800 has always been a FWD engine. I would honestly look into getting a late 80s 3.8 starting from there.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:51 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

The GTP's m90 works on the 95-97's f-bodys with a lil fabbing. So I was told by the person that did this it would fit a 3rd gen better.

A late 80's AKA GN or TTA motor would be nice to have but how do you get your hands on a rare engine w/out spending a good amout of $?

BTW a 3800SII is also a RWD motor as well. My 96 has it.
The GTP block is the same as the f-body 3800's. Main difference is of course S/C'ed, the heads(?) and intakes and the fact its FWD and in the car sideways as compared to the RWD V6 F-bodies.
----------
Originally Posted by firstfirebird View Post
Yes the connections are diff inside the car. You are talking about using HP in an OBDI car.

No, the 700R4 won't work, it has the GM 90* pattern on the belhousing, the 3800 has the metric pattern (same as a 60*).
So can You change it out? To obdII?

Last edited by 96v6bird; 12-21-2008 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:46 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

Originally Posted by 96v6bird View Post
A late 80's AKA GN or TTA motor would be nice to have but how do you get your hands on a rare engine w/out spending a good amout of $?

BTW a 3800SII is also a RWD motor as well. My 96 has it.
The GTP block is the same as the f-body 3800's. Main difference is of course S/C'ed, the heads(?) and intakes and the fact its FWD and in the car sideways as compared to the RWD V6 F-bodies.
3.8s were also found in late second gens... That's why I asked... I knew it was a VERY remote possibility you were discussing swapping a RARE engine (Buick 3.8L) into your 3rd gen...

And, yes, you CAN go to OBDII but you have to dissect your wiring to do it, so you keep your existing firewall and body connectors but switch to new wiring... Look up how they do the 4th gen dash swap, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Most guys doing that swap do it because they are either also installing or have installed an LT1/LSx...
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:46 AM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

You need a 4th gen donor car; your 96 should do nicely in fact!! hahahahah

Anyway, you start with a 3800 from a 4th gen so that you can get the motor mounts, harness and trans to go with it that has the torque arm mount. You will put your engine tranny combo in with the torque arm in the proper position and then set the engine on the frame in the front. Mark your 4th gen mounts on the frame where the bolt holes are (I use bright yellow spray paint) and then pull it back out. Now drill your holes.... blah blah blah you know the rest.

The 3800 will fit fine in the 3rd gen. The TTA in '89 used the first 3800 heads (from the 89 lesabre/bonneville C vin code 3800) so that it would clear the heater box and other accessories. Your 4th gen 3800 will already have the right heads to do what you need.

The rest is normal fab stuff. Wiring, fuel piping etc. You will probably do the best if you use a 4th gen 3800 ECM and harness to start to get the car running and then flash the ECM with the specs you need to run your boost.

Good luck, man, I hope you do it! I have to wait until I get back from Afghanistan to finish my Buick V6 hybrid, and I'll most likely be using 80's parts, so... (it definitely won't be as cool as yours)

Take lots of pictures and keep us informed!!
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:04 AM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

Originally Posted by 96v6bird View Post

A late 80's AKA GN or TTA motor would be nice to have but how do you get your hands on a rare engine w/out spending a good amout of $?
the motors can be had cheap. the cyl heads are on many many fwd 3.8 cars and are the same heads used on the gn and t-type

infact the casting number is
25516445 for the cyl heads

these will bolt on any rwd block

though to use the gn setup u need some tta specific parts.
i belive this comes down to f-body specific headers and downpipe

the other differences are the intake manifold and throttle body. the gn/ttype/tta all have throttle bodys with seals around the throttle shaft so they dont leak.
lil hard to come by.

but the fwd 3.8 cars use the same tb except the just have standard bushings on the throttle shaft,no big deal they work perfectly fine

other then that u need a gn/t-type/tta manifold which is easy enough to come by used or even aftermarket
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:14 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

It is possible to instal 3800 into 3-gen - for example I have 3800 series II Engine in my 92' Firebird. It wasn't easy to do it - I made new engine mounts, new transmision mount, new Y- pipe and new exhaust. The engine is car - but first I had to modify K-member. Next days i'm going to install radiators (from IV-gen), new wires (from IV-gen) and i'm going to relocate AC compresor.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:35 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

Anyone know what the story is on factory parts for this swap? I guess what I am asking is are the motor mounts and radiator hoses still available from the dealer for this swap. If they are, will they bolt up to a 96-up 4th gen 3800? I have been kicking around the idea of using a 4th gen 3800 with like an 1987 lesabre ECU for a swap. I am considering an older computer to avoid VATS problems. I also have been wondering about the same leasbre top end to swap on to the 4th gen block for compatibilty with the ECU. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:03 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

I made motor mount becouse i couldn't find new one (I'm from central europe). I have donor car (Firebird '01) - so I have almost every parts what I need. I swaped engine and transmission.
In my opinion using lesabre top end (3800 series I) to swap on to the 4 gen block (3800 series II) is not a good idea - it is possible but it is not bolt on. VATS is not a big problem (in my opinion).
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:14 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

brolcio do you have any pictures of your swap? I'm curious about the mounts and the K member among other things. What driveshaft did you use?

The 3800 sounds like a good swap for a daily driver. And I've seen a few setups in the $500 range for the engine/trans/harness combination.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:39 AM
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Re: 3800 into an '83

do it. take lots of pics.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:00 PM
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Re: 3800 into an '83









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