3800 Supercharged Astre

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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:37 am

Zoom, Zoom ,Zoom

It runs! It whines! It makes noise!..Step right up folks...for one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar see little Egypt do her famous dance of the Pyramids.

It's loud, rough edged, and crude but as promised a video of the "running" Supercharged 3800 Astre. First, you will hear the TB sucking air and no muffler system on the car and what you hear next are the Headers dumping on the ground. The fascinating part for me is the twin serpentine belt setup with eight pulleys all in tandem spinning doing their job superbly. A real show for not much money. Next you will notice the very pervasive whine of the Supercharger even with no mufflers. I gave it just a small rev but I think at that you could feel this V6 has performance potentials. Lastly, let me mention the engine bay, etc. is just in start-up mode and no attention has been paid to cosmetics, details and such. Enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj76BgYsZ6g
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby johnk » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:43 pm

Well it runs :th: First time Iv'e seen a S/C 3800 in a H body and it looks like it could have come from Chev :) That intake was a pain I bet and you will hear it loud inside the car when you have it boosting. I noticed it looks like you still have the original coolant elbows that are plastic :oops: very prone to leak with age. That also means that you may have the original lower intake gaskets that are prone to leak. GM in 2000 or so started using metal gaskets because of failures. and the metal elbows are in the HELP section of most auto stores. There was a lot of work getting that to fit and you did a great job. looking forward to seeing you get it on the road. Please keep posting :wink:
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby zeke » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:55 pm

I got noises too but it's a step forward! Congrats eh :th:
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:53 am

john,
Oddly enough the one design principal that pleases me the most is simply that the Supercharger fits under the hood. The fascinating part is the hood with its raised bubble design is the exact clearance needed.. The motor and SC would have never fit without this famous hood design for the Vega.

Ya, I did read up on the pitfalls of this motor and what you see is the aluminum elbows. Yep, I did use the metal sandwich intake gaskets (Very Expensive) I'm still trying to figure out why GM went with plastic gaskets in the first place.

Ya, the Throttle body makes a lot of noise with the present design. So, I will be designing a whole new enclosure which will seal the TB to the engine compartment and at the Same time give my back most of my space under the dash.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:57 am

Ya Zeke,
I hear you...baby steps, baby steps but at this point I want giant leaps :th:
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:17 am

Ramble on...

Well,
46 for a high today and wintery snow/ sleet mix projected overnight. Not to worry, this is Texas and it will warm back up by Saturday hopefully. Just sitting here mulling over my time table for getting the SJ/SC off the dirt. Just to give a little insight into the future of the shade tree is once the SJ/SC comes off the dirt my 1972 GT Vega will take the SJ place under the shade tree almost immediately. In the early build stages of the SJ/SC project the 72 was used for mock up of the 3800 and featured in this project build.

The 1972 GT is a little worse for wear. I have owned this car since 1979 and has had a ragged journey. As my salute to just how marvelous, durable and infamous these early cars were I have decided to put the GT back to factory stock. Disclaimer here: Not purely stock because I don't wish to repeat the days of old. I will stay within the early Chevy Vega parts domain NOS and rebuilt parts as close to the original car that I remember because this car never came with a build sheet that I could find. This Z29 GT came with of course the infamous aluminum block steel head Four. It was delivered to Stakley Bros. Chevrolet in Dallas with the most basic ABS GT interior you could order, 4-Speed, Posi, no AC and few options which makes my job fairly straight forward with the restore. The original owner drove it until 1977 when it was parked because of a bad motor. He traded it in 1979 on a new car and I bought the car for $300.

The SJ will still get 90% of my attention but I need to get the 72 here under the shade tree and create a game plan for it. It has sat in the back yard of a buddy's house for the last fifteen years under a lean-too. Well covered from the elements and not a spec of deep rust on it other than surface rust. I will make it over there and do a video of the car which will include a shot of the vin cap (Tag).
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:07 pm

Off The Dirt!

Dateline: Early Saturday morning 12/16/2017 the SJ/SC came off the dirt and on to the street on a very cold rainy day in North Texas. As the SJ rumbled to life it took it's most tender steps with rain beating against the windshield. I guess the big question is why on this day? Because, as Christmas draws near I have less and less days to devote to the SJ and a hard winter is predicted for the future. So, it was this day or sit under the shade tree to January or sometime after that. Still a bit rough around the edges and no mufflers the journey was short but welcome and the mechanics as designed seem to work in harmony.

I want to tell you it felt weird in the drivers seat of an H-Body after almost five years. First around the block and then around the neighborhood. I stuck close to home because the car is not legal to be on the street. I was just too busy all day to take a video and it was rainy anyway so I will wait till a nice sunny day for a drive video.
I wish I could give it a A+ but I will stick To a solid "B". I think the A+ will be March of next year with the rough edges smoothed over and then a fun driver and conversation piece at the cruises.

All and all it was a very strange day for me. The brain had a hard time processing exactly what was going on. My buddy said at times I would just stand and stare at the car and more than few minutes staring at the shade tree. Life is but one big journey and this day was a marker.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby 283vega » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:26 pm

I share in your experience. I moved my vega from my old house to my new one in september. I had not moved it in 3 years or more. After having to rig a fuel delivery system [in tank not working again]. It felt very strange sitting in the drivers seat .
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby zeke » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:33 pm

Nicely written Phil, I'm sure I'll be a bit messed up when I finally get to drive around the block. :th:
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:17 am

It felt very strange sitting in the drivers seat .


Ya Brian,
I'm sure a number of members here can relate. Hard to put in words but for me it was emotions wrapped around anticipation knowing today is the day you drive the car. The brain has to process all this while you go on a trip down memory lane comparing what was to what is as I drive the SJ. Anyway, I haven't driven the car since as it is still rainy and cold and they are saying a slight chance of a white Christmas day if the moisture stays in place.
Last edited by vegastre on Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:25 am

I'm sure I'll be a bit messed up when I finally get to drive around the block


LOL Zeke,
In my defense I was under the gun to get the SJ off the dirt which was at the least stressful enough. Not like the old days when I had my shop with heat and AC. Gosh, those were the days of milk and honey but then the shade tree is pretty awesome.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:07 am

SJ/SC

I had a member PM me and he said he knew of a Pontiac Astre but never herd of a Pontiac SJ/SC . I gave him a brief explanation but for clarity I thought I would enlighten everyone on exactly where the SJ designation came from. For years everyone I ask had no clue what the SJ badge stood for including a whole host of Pontiac experts with professional skins on the wall in Detroit. Finally a couple of years ago I got the answer.

First, I added the "/SC" to SJ for fun and of course it stands for SuperCharged.

Now to the real deal, SJ was used widely in the Pontiac line in the 70's even SSJ which was a made up deal from Pontiac headquarters for the Grand Prix's. If this wasn't weird enough the SJ designation was borrowed from the early Duisenberg SJ's badge. The SJ stood for Supercharged "J" model which for the time meant the most expensive car offered and most luxurious and of course the most innovative car in the history of Automotive lore. So, the SJ badge used by Pontiac defined only the luxury models across the Pontiac line to include the Astre 1975 only. This is just a guess but I'm thinking Pontiac thought as late as the 70's that the Duisenberg SJ badge still meant to some at least that this designation was still associated with performance, elegance, sophistication and luxury.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby dindin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:25 pm

Must be nice to have it moving again, congrats. :th:

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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:39 pm

Must be nice...


Indeed, indeed it is. This car has sat for periods of time some longer than others but it always moved under it's own power. To have it sit in my back yard up on jack stands was at times difficult to accept most especially because I tore a perfectly running SJ apart for this supercharged project.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:00 am

BACK TO THE FUTURE

As promised from my "Ramble on" post above this is a video of my 72 GT Vega which actually I've owned longer than the SJ which is many decades . The video will point out how rough a road a car can take. Originally parked with a running motor. The car was to become a V8 Vega which by happenstance and life carrying me forward left the Vega behind under a lean-too and became little more than a parts car for the SJ. Lets file this video under "Every dog has it's day" and as I mention in this short Vid the car will rise again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjQB0u1x0hs
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