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twalton

3800/T5 swap started

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Hey Zcar fans. I dont post often but thought I would post a few comments on this swap as it has been mentioned a few times.I will be mocking up the mounts for this over the next few days and have taken a number of measurements. With the t5 shifter set back to stock location the engine will sit back within 1-1.5 inches of the firewall.(will leave a HUGE amt. of room up front). The 3.8 and L6 blocks interestingly are very close to the same width(where mount arms attach) so the stock Datsun

arms/mounts should be able to be used with minimal modification. The stock mount pedestals(on crossmember) will have to be extended around 5.5 to 6 inches rearward on the existing plane so a decent amount of fabbing is required there. Overall I think it will be a somewhat straigtforward swap but I am sure a number of surprises are in store. I will update as I get into this for those who may be interested. Anyway, this is a great site and I appreciate the info. over the years.

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Im using engine/trans from 96 camaro. As expected the engine sits ridiculously back in the bay. The dampener is literally behind the crossmember. The only possible obstacle I see so far in mounting this setup is the downpipes on the stock manifolds angle too far outward and encroach on the frame rails. I need a block hugger type header or manifold and am a lil worried of the availability. I do think this setup will make a good daily driver upgrade with excellent fuel economy and considerable power improvement over the stock motor.And yes, a supercharger or turbo upgrade is possible.

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Another benefit is the common part availability, including upgrades. Unlike with a Nissan L6, you wont have to hunt down a specific head, you can buy off the shelf units that flow great. From what I understand, the stock supercharger unit off the GTPs and that Buick are sub $100 at a junkyard =]

 

Any plans for the motor? I can think of an easy way to solve your header dilemma... Front mount turbo!

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Id definently turbo it, its basically an updated version of the Grand National motor, AND if you use an l67 block (the supercharged version) you get a nearly indestructable motor that responds tremendously well to turbocharging....the supercharged version like i had in my riviera is nice and their are mods out there for it but much more power can be made with a good turbo setup plus the way that the supercharger mounts would probably place the throttle body even further back and maybe past the firewall requiring a good amount of fabbing to be done.

 

But anyways excellent choice, power and economy is right, and the t5 makes it even sweeter! post some pics please!

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Thanks for the replies! I think TB clearance problems would be an issue with the stock SC version with the T5 due to how far back the motor sits with the T5 shifter in the stock position in the console.However with an automatic I think you could actually move the engine forward and have plenty of room to route TB plumbing. I will be mocking up an engine cradle for this over the next few days(work permitting) and will document best I can. Plans are to get it ironed out in stock form and then who knows.(lol)

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The L67 supercharged 3.8 was used in Holden RWD vehicles, and I remember seeing a setup to use one on a US 3.8 for SS RWD goodness with stock components. Sorry, no link, it was a while ago, but they are out there. If my memory is worth anything :/

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Hi All,

 

Well we have a guy down my way that uses the Supercharged 3800 with a T5 in his custom cars called a Brunton Stalker: http://www.bruntonauto.com/. They even remap the ECU to make them run better while racing! The owner Dennis Brunton holds time trail record at several track with his Super Stalker. Well enough about the car I want to get someday! Back to the question that someone asked about the tranny.

 

The tranny bellhousing that they use for there conversion is from an 94-95 S10 2.2L engine only, with stick shift. The tranmission was a 96-02 Camaro V6 T-5 unit. He also uses the S10 shifter but cuts it down to size.

 

I have stopped by there shop a few times and someday I will have one of there cars. They are replica Lotus 7 kit cars and they are also very fun to drive and very very fast!!

 

Hope this helps you all out some and we need to see some pictures!!!

 

HB280ZT

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Well it is looking good so far. With the room you will have between the engine and the radiator you could put a turbo or two without any problems. I believe when using the Camaro engine and transmission it tilts the tranny one way or the other can't remember which. So how does it look from the drivers perspective as for the shifter and such? Keep the pictures coming and let us know how it all turns out.

 

HB280ZT

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Thanks for the comments. Yeah, the shifter housing rotates 15 degrees or so to the left.(drivers side of the console.) Places the stock T5 shifter a lil more left in the stock console than I'd like. I prob. will go with a short throw type of shifter for this project so I will prob. make any "mods" required from that. One thing I like about this site is seeing all the creative swaps and "insane" performance levels achieved by these cars. I have done a couple of Rx7 v8 swaps so I can somewhat relate. With this swap I wanted something inexpensive( I picked up the engine/trans/ecu for $300 at picknpull) that would give a decent power increase over stock(260 w/su's) and would give good mileage. I think with headers/intake/power steering delete maybe 220 horse(flywheel) is possible. Anyway, will post new pics as I go.

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If you change the bell housing over to the one from the S10 then will resolve the tilt of the tranny, check out this picture: DSCN2816.jpg

 

Not sure how much it would cost at the pick-n-pull but it might worth a try, could be cheaper then a new shifter. As for a shifter try the one form an S10 because it is longer (can be cut down) and has a better throw. As for the bell housing it also is used to convert from a FWD motor to RWD. That way you can use a newer 3800 series motor like the supercharged engine (260hp or so) or the N/A motor (220hp). Also the fuel injection systems on the newer motors is better then the older setup. Also if you are interested Brunton has the ability to remap the factory computers for better performance, just athought.

 

Keep up the great work and we need more pictures!!

 

HB280ZT

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Cool chassis!! Brings back memories of a Classic Roadsters Kit car I helped my bro. build years back. Good point about the S10 bell. The camaro('96) setup I am using uses a hydraulic throwout bearing. Does the s10 have the same setup or does it use an external slave? The pic you show seems to be setup for the latter.(which may be easier to adapt with a modified clutch master cylinder) Anyway, good points.

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Yea, looks kinda odd compared to the ol L6. Maybe I can hook two of 'em up end to end.(lol) The engine is a lil wider than I would have liked. I sure hope the pacesetter headers I ordered for it will clear the frame rails w/out too much manipulation. A turbo might be something I look at later when I get this thing ironed out.

I think a turbo kit is offered for the 3800 camaro setup but is a bit pricey.

Would have to design something custom to keep the cost down.

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Good idea Quin; I bet a low boost turbo(6-8 psi or so) with the stock compression would be a seriously responsive daily driver. I like the Y-pipe idea...prob. would spool up real nicely that way....and would def. solve any exhaust routing problems too...

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What you need to do it search the buick web sites about the GN turbo setup. I believe they came from the factory with about 6-8 psi of boost. I know there is lots of information out there about that setup. Not to mention lots of parts to include: turbos, intercoolers and such!

 

HB280ZT

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The problem with that is some of that stuff is specifically made for Buicks. Intercoolers are general application, you just need to make sure they physically fit on your car. Turbos as always are general application, unless they have a specific, non T based flange. Not to bust your balls or anything, just wanted to clear that up. None (or very little) of that kind of stuff designed for the GNX will work. Now, electronics, anything motor related besides mounts, manifolds, heads, etc should all work no problem.

 

T: Take the stock headers and try and flip them forward, see what you run into clearance issues with. I'd bet you're either going to have to run some funky piping or relocate some accesories to make it work, but I don't know for sure. Either way, can't hurt to try!

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Just for the idea of a front mounted turbo, here is a SBC with such an install.

 

http://forums.hybridz.org/showthread.php?t=134781

 

Looking at the pics on the 1st page of this thread, it looks like there might be some issues clearancing some flipped headers [or the like] for a front mount turbo. That motor is sitting really low and far back!!

 

Compression of the motor might be an issue, wikipedia lists it at 9.4, which could pose a problem when turboing a stock block. The supercharged version has a 8.5 CR.

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I understand the difference between a buick 3.8 and a chevy 3.8. What I was mostly talking about was the turbo and intercooler as they were setup for the 3.8 motor and made right at 245 factory rwhp on the buick motor. The buick was also running a 200R4 automatic transmission vice a 5-speed, so more power loss. So if you could get between 225-250rwhp out of the chevy 3.8 that would be great, remember the supercharged version is getting around 270 rwhp at very low boost. Now factor in that the motor is further back and down more in the car you should have a nicely balanced track car to start with. Now the question is how much weight difference is there between the 2.8 and the 3.8??

 

I also am wondering how you will route the exhaust from a front mounted turbo around the motor when it takes up most of the engine bay behind the engine/steering cross member? I would like to see pictures of this!

 

HB280ZT

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I'd have recommended the stock supercharger off the supercharged versions, but it puts the intake straight into the firewall IIRC. On an F-Body there isn't enough room to turn it around, you might be able to get creative on a Z car but honestly I'd just go front mount turbo. More powaaaa!

 

If he's going to run any decent sized turbo 250 will be no problems.

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