4.3 vortec to 3.8 3800 series swap possible? - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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4.3 vortec to 3.8 3800 series swap possible?

I've got a jimmy 4x4 with 160,000 miles on it that I'm trying to fix up for road use and perhaps hauling a log trailer with.

I'm wondering if its possible to swap the 4.3 liter engine with a 3.8 supercharged crate engine. I'm not sure if it will bolt up to the 4l60e transmission also I'm wondering how I would control everything. IE will a buick computer control a 4l60e.

If this isn't practical I guess I'll pick up a 4.3 crate motor and try making some modifications for low end torque.

Thanks
Sam
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Old 11-22-2006, 07:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the 4.3 I think is a stroked version of the 3.8 it uses the same motor mounts as a 350v8 Im not sure on the computer but the engine should bolt to the trans almost all Gm engine have the same bolt pattern
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey thanks, I'll pick up a GM book on the 3.8. I didn't want to buy one unless I had a slight idea on weather it would work or not.

THanks again
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trilect
If this isn't practical I guess I'll pick up a 4.3 crate motor and try making some modifications for low end torque.
Thanks
Sam
It depends...if it's a RWD like Camaro, then it should work. The transverse 3.8L from FWD cars is a different animal. The real question is WHY? What's wrong with the 4.3L? My sister's Blazer had well over 275,000 miles when she sold hers...seems like a lot of work for not much benefit. You mention low end TQ, supercharged engines usually are better for higher RPM...
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Old 11-23-2006, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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turbo's are better for high rpm not supers I thought I guess it depends on the type of super charger also I think the after market engine might have a buick bolt pattern and thats different then normal GM just ask the people your going to get the engine from what patter it has as for low end the 3.8 isn't going to have better low end then the 4.3 the 4.3 has a longer stroke which equals more low end torque the 3.8 has to spin faster for the same amount thus higher rpm but the super charger might make up for it is it the 3.8 that has like 350hp but I think most of its power is top end if you built a 4.3 you would have plenty of low end for an s-series vehicle

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Old 11-23-2006, 05:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I thought the 3.8 was a 60degree pattern?
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Old 11-23-2006, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Doug,

I believe you are right my Northstar isa 60degree and most of the front drives share the same trans.

Geoff
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thats what I thought. When i went back into build mode to put together the moonbuggy we looked at the 3.8 supercharged motor but was gonna be more costly in the long run due to the parts we already had.

4.3 and up displacement motors are 90degree
3.8 and down are 60degree paterns.
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris walker
the 4.3 I think is a stroked version of the 3.8
Right.....

Absolutely untrue. Dude, you need to get your tech straight, because you're leading people down a bad path. If you don't know what you're talking about, keep your mouth shut and your fingers off the keyboard.

Sorry for flaming, mods, but bad info is bad info.

4.3 V6 = 5.7 V8 - 2 cylinders, meant for AWD, 4WD, and RWD vehicles.

3.8 supercharged engine is designed for transverse FWD operation.

My vote is 4.3. They have pretty good low-end out of the box and are easily coaxed to put out a little more. Hauling trailers = definitely 4.3. 3.8 V6's were built for cars, although there are some that were transplanted in older Jeeps and Toyotas....but look at what they were replacing.
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Even though the buick v6 is a 90 degree v6 it has a transmission bolt pattern of a gm 60 degree v6. The confusion begans with the fact that 4.3 is a 90 degree v6, but the 90 degree 3.8 buick v6 is it's own animal. As far as the 4.3 performance is concened you can do most of the same mods as a 350 small block chevy from which it is derived. But why bother when it would be just that much easier and probably cheaper to drop in a small block chevy v8. And then it's just how much power do you want out of the worlds most raced motor.
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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true true. I've been looking at the 350 swap info and I like the number of aftermarket parts out there. I'm a little burned out on fabricating at the moment and was wanting a very easy swap.

I am now leaning toward getting the jimmy on the road as is, pulling the 4.3 out of my pickup truck, rebulding that, swap out the jimmy motor for that one then sell my truck.

Cash from truck sell goes into the jimmy to keep my wife somewhat happy.

Thanks for all the answers and direction.
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Chris walker, the 3.8 is not at all a part of the smallblock chevy family as the 262 (4.3) is ..They basically did what ford does now with the modular gas motors and took a couple cylinders off a smallblock v8.

As far as going to a 3800 in a jimmy, even with a supercharger, your better off with another 4.3....You can always boost that later down the road, and its just a beefier motor...more suitable for truck use.
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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sorry I dont know were I heard that but I did know it was based off the 350 design I thought the 3.8 was also I dont know much about the 3.8 sorry did I mess anything else up?
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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the old 70s and 80s chevy 3.8L RWd were the same 90 degree as the 4.3L are and the v-8, the 3.8L was the 229ci

but not the 3800 series buicks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_3800_engine

you guys are confusing old school 3.8L 229ci with the new design 3800 in which is a completely different engine than the old 90 degree chevy 3.8L 229ci and 4.3L were

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camaro#Second_generation
scroll down to 1980 and read the first two lines

the 3.8 229 and 4.3L were virtually identical, and are the ones that are viertually a sbc with two cylinders hacked off,
you find the RWD 3.8 229(and 200 v6) in cars such as the malibu, el camino, monte carlo, camaro, impala and caprice and such in '78-84, i owned an 84 impala with the 229 3.8L chevy and my stepdad had an 80 berlinetta with the 229 3.8L chevy, they didnt put them in alot of cars, but they are out there

and also there was the chevy 200ci v-6, also the same 90 degree design as the 229 and 4.3L

however he asked about the 3800, and so the answer is no, the 3800 buick bellhousing is 60 degree and your s-10 4.3L tranny is 90 degree, so..

some of you need to go do some research on chevy and gm engine history before posting in some threads and confusing ppl

for reading pleasure:
http://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge...l_block_v6.htm


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Monte_Carlo scroll down to 1979


gm 60 degree engines 2.8 and 3.1 and 3.3 and 3.4 and such
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_60-Degree_V6_engine

the 3.4 had two bellhousings however, 60 degree for FWD and 90 degree in the camaros and such, so... and alot of ppl like to put these RWD 3.4 in the s-series trucks




some good bellhousing info and pics including the northstar pattern: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...using_patterns




good luck
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Regarding the above post, info is very true. But we are talking about the Buick 3.8V6, also known as the 231.

It was originally installed in many mid-sized Buicks and other GM's, such as the RWD Regal (turbocharged ala Grand National & GNX), and was actually used in Indy racing in the 70's and 80's as a stock-block turbocharged motor (the V8's were all racing-only blocks in Indy at that time). It was also commonly swapped into Jeeps and Toyotas. This motor eventually morphed into the Supercharged 3800 in today's FWD cars.

How this change affected bellhousings and tranny connections, we don't know. Maybe some other forum/website does. However, we can be quite sure it shares nothing with the small-block Chevy V8 or the Chevy V8 derived V6 engines. It is a Buick motor all the way, and actually originally derived from the Buick 215 V8, also of Range Rover fame. Also, the Buick V6 is a 90 degree motor, but used a 60 degree bellhousing in many applications, hence the confusion.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I know where there is an old Blazer with a supercharge 3.8 in it.

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Old 12-07-2006, 04:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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True, the 3800 series motor (In the front wheel drive cars, there is two 3800 styles) is a 90 degree block. The difference is it has the smaller bellhousing design of the (i.e. 2.8 3.1 etc)60 degree v6 motors and I believe the 4 cylinder may have shared this pattern. This is the motor you see today in its various forms and throughout the entire gm lineup. Also i am thinking the 2.8 in say an s10 and say a beretta are different bellhousings as well but i have never really cared to find out...someone on the board must know offhand...

there is also the Buick designed (Originally gm sold to rover and bought back in the late 70's)3.8 used in rwd vehicles, and this had the larger v8/i6 chevy bellhousing pattern. I do believe the two motors are completely different.. The rwd motor had some turbocharging in the form of the buick grand nationals and turbo regals and the gnx. They were a very strong running setup but a bit more topend oriented then you probably want.

Either way, your looking at spending decent money for a smaller motor. You could be done with it for cheaper doing a 350 swap more then likely, however to each his own. Both series of these small v6's have been some venerable workhorses and usually been pretty good running motors with a good reputation.

Last edited by Kilborg; 12-07-2006 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilborg
True, the 3800 series motor (In the front wheel drive cars, there is two 3800 styles) is a 90 degree block. The difference is it has the smaller bellhousing design of the (i.e. 2.8 3.1 etc)60 degree v6 motors and I believe the 4 cylinder may have shared this pattern. This is the motor you see today in its various forms and throughout the entire gm lineup. Also i am thinking the 2.8 in say an s10 and say a beretta are different bellhousings as well but i have never really cared to find out...someone on the board must know offhand...
No, all of the 2.8/3.1/3.4 liter V6s use the 60 degree bellhousing pattern as does the FWD 3800.
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there is also the Buick designed (Originally gm sold to rover and bought back in the late 70's)3.8 used in rwd vehicles, and this had the larger v8/i6 chevy bellhousing pattern. I do believe the two motors are completely different.. The rwd motor had some turbocharging in the form of the buick grand nationals and turbo regals and the gnx. They were a very strong running setup but a bit more topend oriented then you probably want.
You're mixing up things here. The Buick V6 was originally based on the 215 V8. Except for the very first version (198 cid), it used the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the Buick V8s of the day. This was known as the BOP (Buick Olds Pontiac) pattern as with was shared as a standard with all of these GM divisions. It is different than the Chevy small block pattern. The 215 V8 was sold to Rover and has never come back. The V6 was also sold off, but to Kaiser for installation in Jeeps. It was then sold back to GM after AMC bought the Jeep brand because AMC wanted to use their own inline 6 instead. The 3800 is the current incantation of that original Buick V6. It is usually only manufactured with the 60 degree bellhousing anymore, but there have been exceptions, like when they put them in the Camaros and Firebirds. The biggest advantage to the BOP 90 degree pattern over the 60 degree pattern is the size of flywheel/clutch disc or torgue converter you can run.
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