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Thread: 3800 from an 88 buick

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    3800 from an 88 buick

    I was wondering if you guys knew of anything about getting a 3800 from a buick. I want to make sure that the engine is realible and works well with the fiero. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member sactodreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Sacramento, CA

    Re: 3800 from an 88 buick

    I don't think there are too many people swapping an 88 3800 into a fiero. Sometimes they will swap a 91-95 series 1, but the best bang for the buck is the series II. A lot of people say that transporting a straight 3800 into a fiero isn't worth the work unless it has the supercharger. The power gain isn't worth the work and $$$ for the swap. Of course upgrading it I'm sure would be better than the stock V-6 or 4 banger, it's a matter of how much HP is worth a work to swap. You can find more info around the web for 3800 swaps but I get most of mine from the 3800V6SuperchargedFieros group @ yahoo. Here is a link:

    I don't know anything about the 3800s in the 88 Buicks, didn't even know they went back that far. Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Re: 3800 from an 88 buick

    See I am looking at a car that already has the swap in it. I just wanted to make sure the engine was a good one. Thanks

  4. #4
    Senior Member GSXRBOBBY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Re: 3800 from an 88 buick

    Its already done? Its an OK motor,

    3.1 L V-6=175 h.p./195 ft. torq.
    3.4 L V-6=175 h.p./205 ft. torq.
    3.8 L V-6=205 h.p./230 ft. torq.
    3.8 L V-6 supercharged=240 h.p./300 ft. torq.
    300 @ 6000 rpm (L37) northstar (high HP one)
    275 @ 5600 rpm (LD8) Northstar (low HP one)
    345 @ 5600 rpm (LS1) Trans Am engine (also corvette C5)
    255 @ 6500 rpm (???) GM's new 60*v-6
    215 @ 5600 rpm (LX5) Shortstar
    250 @ 5200 rpm (L36) 3800 S/C
    215 @ 5600 rpm (LQ1) 3.4 DOHC

    295 @ 4400 rpm (N*L37)
    300 @ 4000 rpm (N*LD8)
    350 @ 4400 rpm (LS1)
    250 @ 2800 rpm (???) <- VVT gives this engine some serious low end power
    230 @ 4400 rpm (LX5)
    280 @ 3500 rpm (L36)
    220 @ 4400 rpm (LQ1) <-not 100% on the RPM

    6700 rpm (N*L37)
    6200 rpm (N*LD8)
    6000 rpm (LS1)
    XXXX rpm (???)
    6700 rpm (LX5)
    5600 rpm (L36)
    7000 rpm (LQ1)

    4565cc~4.6L (N*L37)
    4565cc~4.6L (N*LD8)
    5666cc~5.7L (LS1)
    3.XXXcc~3.6L (???)
    3423cc~3.5L (LX5)
    XXXXcc~3.8L (L36)
    3.XXXcc~3.4L (LQ1)

    L37- 300hp/4.565L = 65.72hp/L
    LD8- 275hp/4.565L = 60.24hp/L
    LS1- 345hp/5.666L = 60.89hp/L
    ???- 255hp/3.600L = 70.83hp/L
    LX5- 215hp/3.598L = 61.42hp/L
    L36- 250hp/3.8XXL = 65.78hp/L
    LQ1- 215hp/3.4XXL = 63.23hp/L

    L37- 295FTLBS/4.565L = 64.6/Liter
    LD8- 300FTLBS/4.565L = 65.7/Liter
    LS1- 350FTLBS/5.666L = 61.7/Liter
    ???- 250FTLBS/3.600L = 69.4/Liter
    LX5- 230FTLBS/3.423L = 67.1/Liter
    L36- 280FTLBS/3.8XXL = 73.6/Liter
    LQ1- 220FTLBS/3.4XXL = 64.7/Liter
    I am in Lowell, Indiana<br />Building an 88 Fiero GT with a 93 STS Northstar and 5 speed Getrag. <br />Custom Mr. Mikes interior, Norms fiberglass nose and custom paint.

  5. #5
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Tampa, FL

    Re: 3800 from an 88 buick

    There are a lot of technical reasons for not using the 88-89 3800 engine. First, it only has 165HP for starters, the heads are very small and do not flow well enough to make any horsepower. A set of Champion heads, Crane Cam, Headers, Hi Performance Ignition and Webber six pack manifold will help it get to about 300 - 350HP but that is quite expensive to do those parts although it could be interesting.

    The 88-89 engine does not have internal balance shafts in it to eliminate the shaking the engine produces at lower RPM’s either. I would go with a Series II from a 96 up GM donor car. You can easily add NOS and/or a Turbo to a normally aspirated 3800 or just get one with a supercharger on it to begin with. All it takes to make horsepower is money.

    So in my opinion, (opinions are like noses, everyone has one). I would get the car with the 88, 3800 in it if the car is running well and doesn’t cost a lot of cash. You can always put in a newer engine later if you want to. The 3800 will be better than the 2.8 Fiero.
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

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