3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby vegastre » Wed May 22, 2013 11:13 am

Just from digital observation it looks like this or the Holden design would work without having to cut on the firewall. It would be close for sure. For myself I have completely redesigned my heater setup so the firewall is clean and clear. This I had already done many years ago. My firewall will have a cavity with the TB recessed in it. I plan on building a removable fiberglass box to house the TB with flexible ducting to the cowl area for cold air induction. Sounds complicated but a real simple design. At least on paper =)
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby OldsStarfire » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:07 pm

This is awesome info! Thanks for keeping us updated with pictures. Good luck with the rest of the swap.
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby vegastre » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:38 pm

Thanks for keeping us updated


Thanks, I appreciate that. I asked Marco to move the thread to the project Journals but for now It will stay here I guess. Its a crazy swap for sure. I have just finished cobbling together some shortie headers form stock tube headers form various 3800 engines. As I get the POR on them I will take some pics. Not bad for what I had to work with. The motor rests in the exact position the 231 sits. Next I will be figuring out where to mount the clutch cylinder and related stuff =)

This thread now continues in the "project Forum" : viewtopic.php?f=20&t=39854
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby Nemean » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:31 pm

man, This is AWESOME> Thanks for for this write up.
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby chevyart » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:16 pm

dont even know what a 3800 engine is and dont recognize it. could you please explain the swap thanks art
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby vegastre » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:50 pm

Art,
Sorry about the slow response but did,t see your post here. The 3800 is part of the Buick 3.8 series of motors. One of the most widely used and produced V6 motors in GM history. The H-Body platform was used extensively by the Skyhawk's and thus was a favorite swap into just about every H-Body platform. The off center bore of the early odd fire motors was a rush job by GM by simply cutting out two cylinders of the Pontiac line of V8 engines. With this somewhat suspect start the 3,8 motor has went through dozens of tweaks and factory modifications over the year until the LN3 was introduced as the first 3800 motor with MPFI and still shared a few swapping parts to the old 3.8. The Series I was more a transition motor rather than a true 3800 which was introduced in 1995 as the series II motor which now shared nothing with the 3.8 other than the 90 degree v6 layout. The 3800 designed as a front wheel application it comes with a 60 degree bell housing which strangely enough is what all H=Body four bangers are.

What does all this mean? The 3800 motor simply is not all that desirable a swap as it never came in any H-Body car and is for the most part a Front wheel drive motor. Still the 3800 is a terrific design with all kinds of proven modern tech which measures out to be far superior to the somewhat antique and ancient 3.8. That said, the 3800 was last produced in 2008 over a decade ago and is no spring chicken.

My assessment is GM now produces horrible motors save the LS series of V8 offerings. I personally think the 3800 as well as the 3.8 will be around as time honored proven performers and reliable transportation for the automotive hobby much like the Small block Chevy.
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby chevyart » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:15 pm

hey veg thanks for the reply. still dont know that engine. looks like you had to do some cutting and fab work to get that baby in there. isnt the old school 90 degree v-6 the best v-6 to put on the vegas. i have heard that the 90 degree v-6 with a turbo would be the killer engine to put in the h-bodies. whart is your thought on that. thanks art
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby vegastre » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:19 am

Yes and no Art,
The 3.8 in stock form is a great street engine but not much in the way of a hot rod motor unless you go with the Grand National version which of course made all kinds of horse power for a price and of course these were the Turbo/Twin Turbo designs. So yes, you are correct. That said, the newer 3800 design is capable of putting out 800 horsepower in Hot Rod form for a price and this also is of a Twin turbo offering. All depends on the pocket book and the cup of tea you prefer.

For me the SC 3800 was/is a factory motor and the last of its Era. The last of the V6 Buicks which dominated the market from the 70's into the new century. A few years back when I started this project they could be found in any junkyard anywhere in America but now they are becoming harder to find at a reasonable price. I will admit that I am very nostalgic about the 3.8 because I spent a lot of miles and many places with that motor. The 3800 for me was more purely experimental and my way of Hot Rodding this design before it too passes into Buick/Pontiac folk lore.
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby chevyart » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:08 am

now i understand the motor you are using. did you hot rod you engine any to make it a fast street car or is it just a real nice dependable driver with enough power to keep up with some of the v-8s. reason i ask, when i go to the drags i see small engine cars that are just incredibly fast and i just dont get it. im a v-8 guy, but i know alot of the little motors can be real monsters. art
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby vegastre » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 am

Art,
I'm an engine guy, big motors, small motors and the 3.8 has been a pretty awesome design. Ya, the 3800 is basically stock with the SuperCharger having a bit of boost added making the V6 in the 260/270 horse power range. Couple that behind a five speed and a 2,000 pound car makes for a nice performance package. Ya, as an old guy there was no substitute for cubic inches and cylinders but truthfully today is more about tech than "mine is bigger than yours". Shoot, electric cars are ripping off 12 seconds at the drags now days. Still, the small block chev hasn't lost any ground with the LS series of motors which is still king.
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby spencerforhire » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:58 am

That 3800 is a stout platform. A guy I know has a 600+ WHP Cavalier with one in it. Aftermarket ZZP heads and valvetrain, no balance shaft, big nasty turbo instead of the blower custom billet flywheel, etc. It has exploded more than a few transaxles and CV joints.
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby Monza Harry » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:02 pm

vegastre wrote:Art,
I'm an engine guy, big motors, small motors and the 3.8 has been a pretty awesome design. Ya, the 3800 is basically stock with the SuperCharger having a bit of boost added making the V6 in the 260/270 horse power range. Couple that behind a five speed and a 2,000 pound car makes for a nice performance package. Ya, as an old guy there was no substitute for cubic inches and cylinders but truthfully today is more about tech than "mine is bigger than yours". Shoot, electric cars are ripping off 12 seconds at the drags now days. Still, the small block chev hasn't lost any ground with the LS series of motors which is still king.

Phil I doubt I would build your engine choice, but I VERY much get your plan! In all things life balance will win the longest journeys and an [all aluminum ?] V6 with a "Huffer" should be lighter than the Al/FE 4 Banger and 2.5[?+/-] times the ponies, Good balance right there for sure! And don't get me wrong I would drive it every chance I got if given the chance. I should know better than trying to build what I am, in the end yours would likely be more gratifying with way less F :censored: G around. Please keep us in the loop with that commendable job you are doing there! :th: Harry P.S. from one of your other posts we're waiting! :canada:
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby vegastre » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:42 am

. A guy I know has a 600+ WHP Cavalier with one in it.

Spence,
They say, at least what I have gathered from the internet, that the 3800 can make serious horse power with some pretty basic Hot Rodding. Building one of these motors for the first time I was impressed by the beefy structure of the block with cross drilled mains, etc. In Pontiac speak I called it the "Super Duty" of the V6 blocks. Smokey Yunick back in the day wrenched 500 horse power out of the 3.8 even fire block. Myself I wanted to stay stock with the 3800 SC motor. It has an advertised 230 horse power and 29 miles to the gallon in Grand Prix's. My other consideration with keeping the horsepower under 300 is I don't want to box the subframe and the associated project that I'm simply not up too. That said, I do have several old school sub-frame mods that will help in any twisting and flexing.

BTW, My daughters first car was a Saturn. It was dependable but It was a trip.
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Re: 3800 SC H-Body Swap (update)

Postby vegastre » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:14 pm

Please keep us in the loop with that commendable job you are doing there!


Harry,
Ya, it was/is a crazy choice for an H-Body motor but at the time it felt right as I was loosing interest in the SJ and needed a challenge so to speak. With any luck I should have it off the dirt and in the driveway before winter. I'm posting some videos now in the project journal forum. I haven't posted a start up video just yet as I need to edit it because it's a bit long and boring to watch.

Be advised, in these early videos I am documenting more than I am reporting. The shade tree for me was importent to document because it is a very romantic element of this build. Before you say, "That's all that guy could afford was a back yard" let me say this car could have sat in my buddy's shop over in a corner with a tarp over it but I can't tell you how enjoyable it was walking out in my back yard on a warm summer's day with the Texas Cicada's singing their tune while I grabbed a wrench and started turning bolts in the shade.
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