Daylan C
Daylan C UberDork
8/26/19 9:39 p.m.

So while my '87 Trans Am sits on jack stands waiting for me to stop getting project ADD and do something with it. I keep having reoccurring thoughts of turbo Buick V6 power. 

Rough plan I had at one point was supercharged Series II long block, ZZP's kit to run a standard intake manifold on the SC heads, 3th gen F-body driver side exhaust manifold and have to build a GN/Syclone style manifold for the passenger side. Putting the turbo roughly where it lives on an '89 TTA.

I would probably want to run an auto to keep a small turbo motor spooled up in a not that light car. The FWD block having the starter on the wrong side makes that difficult. Would a 2.2 S10 4l60e possibly be the solution to that problem? I think I read that the 2.2 is the same fwd bellhousing pattern and might clear the starter.  Will probably need to do some work on the trans to make it hold the power though.

There is my lunch break brain vomit turbo v6 plan. Anybody see any major problems with it or know of a better way?

As with most of these threads from me. Probably not happening but it's thoughts.

ShawnG
ShawnG PowerDork
8/26/19 10:08 p.m.

Remember, Pontiac ended up using Bonneville 3.8 cylinder heads on the turbo Buick engine to make it fit in the engine bay.

 

Daylan C
Daylan C UberDork
8/26/19 10:11 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Yeah I'm definitely using a 3800 series II or newer if I do this. The older 3.8 is harder to find, the heads don't flow as well and they might not fit between my strut towers.

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro Dork
8/26/19 10:36 p.m.

You can use the 4L60E from a 96-02 Camaro/Firebird with the 3800, it has the starter pocket on the driver's side. The 96-up 3800 blocks are the same FWD and RWD, so no difference there.

Daylan C
Daylan C UberDork
8/26/19 10:38 p.m.

In reply to 81cpcamaro :

Oh good. Makes it easier to find a trans 

jmthunderbirdturbo
jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
8/27/19 2:30 a.m.

I have bench raced this combo a thousand times in my head, but I hate post 1972 GM everything, so I never will build it, but still. In my mind its a 4th gen F-body with the 3800 S2, and I'd leave it supercharged.

manifolds: once you go turbo, the idea of tuned length runners, high flow after the turn, etc, means a lot less, especially on something that isn't MAX EFFORT. Conclusion: build log manifolds. The pattern is easy to get online, or you can buy pre-made SS or thick steel header flanges ready to weld. grab a box of El's and T's, and weld away. Log manifolds work really well on turbo cars, just look up Huber performances' 79 mustang with a 4 cylinder. It runs 7 sec 1/4s with a simple log manifold. this way you can use V-band clamps, and disassembly for repairs is easy: pop 4 clamps and a few oil lines and the turbo kit is on the bench. 

Trans: If you don't hate automatics as much as I hate post 72 GMs, then I guess a built 4l60 or turbo 400 is fine, but I'd go with a T5 or even a T56. The car isn't *that* heavy, and assuming you match the turbine to the displacement (stg II .82 ar would be good for 3.8L), lag and surge wont be an issue, plus clutch dumps from the two step at 15 PSI are more fun than trans brakes ever will be. Bonus: better fuel mileage when cruising with a lower rear gear (id go 3.55 or 3.73 with a T5, 3.73 or 4.11 with a T56) and higher OD, with no sacrifice in 1-3 acceleration. 

 Fuel: do the math on fuel requirements for the setup your think of, then add 25%. The standard fuel lines in some later GMs won't move enough fuel over 425HP, a target that a well thought out 3.8T would easily surpass. Don't get cheap on the clutch, either. Boost onset torque is a real thing, and it hides clutch slip very well, until your sitting on the side of the road. 

That's as far as I ever get. I start looking up square headlamp 4th gens with the 6 cylinder and a 5 speed, and I get nauseous thinking about even the simplest tasks such as plug wires or changing the starter in those god forsaken engine bays, and I let it go. 

 

Gawd I hate post '72 GM products...

 

-J0N

Daylan C
Daylan C UberDork
8/27/19 10:39 a.m.

In reply to jmthunderbirdturbo :

Can I ask why '72? My '87 has plenty of issues and for all intents and purposes is a E36 M3box but it's still a better engineered car than any 1st or 2nd gen F-body ever thought of being. Also the engine bay of a 3rd gen is pretty spacious, especially when compared to a 4th gen. 

slowbird
slowbird Reader
8/27/19 11:06 a.m.

I guess it would be a jerk move of me to suggest a sacreligious-type engine swap, like a turbo SHO V6 or a Mustang Ecoboost V6. wink

The turbo Trans Ams are one of the coolest GM cars though, and one of the few that could potentially make me break my lifelong vow to never go over to the dark side.

Daylan C
Daylan C UberDork
8/27/19 12:26 p.m.

In reply to slowbird :

I'm not a purist at all. I finally got rid of my SN95 but I'm probably owning another Mustang at some point. (Also a fan of Focus and Fiesta STs) I'm not against a Ford v6 on principle but the Buick is probably an easier swap. 

slowbird
slowbird Reader
8/27/19 3:03 p.m.

In reply to Daylan C :

Oh yeah, I mean, in terms of difficulty, my ideas trend heavily towards the "way too much work to be worth it" end of the spectrum. I mean, the only reason to do it would just to be different, and there's better ways to achieve that. But I'm admittedly weird.

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon HalfDork
8/27/19 3:12 p.m.

I've thought about combining 3.8L 4th gen Camaro, Ethanol and a Holset HX35 together before.  The only way it makes sense is on a challenge build with no room in the budget for a LS drivetrain. Otherwise it seems like an LS is worth the extra money for the extra power and lack of headache.

jmthunderbirdturbo
jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
8/27/19 11:05 p.m.
Daylan C said:

In reply to jmthunderbirdturbo :

Can I ask why '72? My '87 has plenty of issues and for all intents and purposes is a E36 M3box but it's still a better engineered car than any 1st or 2nd gen F-body ever thought of being. Also the engine bay of a 3rd gen is pretty spacious, especially when compared to a 4th gen. 

Its just my general automotive rule of hating everything GM ever made, with the exception of old muscle cars and trucks, of which I have no manufacturer preference, I like em all. 72 is a bit arbitrary, but its a generally accepted "end of the era" of American muscle.

I had two GMs burn me hard, and I will never own another. the first was a 2000 Chevrolet Venture. That van was magical, in that it knew every time I got paid, and how much extra money I had after i paid my bills, then it would kill off a sensor that cost that much exactly. It did this 10 weeks in a row, different sensor every time, and ran my wallet to under 10$ every time. FOR THREE MONTHS. Then, it overheated in Florida in July, at 3 PM, with my wife and 10 week old kids in it, when it was 101 outside. She had to call a friend, he left work to go rescue her, and we had to limp it home on 4 cylinders. I replaced the head gaskets the following evening, and sold it a month later..after I replaced two more sensors...

Then I bought that 08 'burb with that PIECE OF S#17 AFM 5.3L. How GM engineers and executives weren't dragged out of their offices by angry GM owners, beaten and hung in the streets is beyond me. GM -STOLE- the concept for their 327 V8 in the 50s (from AMC, ask Javelin about it), and used the design for 4 decades without any major failures, and then decided in 07, : "hey, lets make this engine, which is as reliable as the sunrise, so inexplicably complicated and convoluted, as reliable a cash loan to a meth head, and sell it to 2 million people!" Then, when it all went to hell, lets IGNORE our customers and avoid a nationwide recall. I discovered in my searching that if you swapped in a 4.8 cam, lifters, valley pan and intake, and flashed out the AFM garbage in the ECM, not only does then engine become gravity reliable, it also makes MORE power, AND GETS BETTER MILEAGE!!!!!! What was the point GM? Huh? Dick your customers to prove we'll buy anything? buy off the government with bullE36 M3 promises and south of the border grade components to make it look like you were trying to make trucks more economical? Or did you just not care at all about any of it, and let some MIT undergrad do whatever the hell he wanted as long as it ran 10 feet beyond the warranty period? I'm not bitter, I promise.

 

-J0N

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
8/27/19 11:35 p.m.

I still think 200-4R vs. 4l60 due to the gear ratio differences.  

Daylan C
Daylan C UberDork
8/27/19 11:46 p.m.

In reply to jmthunderbirdturbo :

Interesting. I never bought a new GM so I can't be sure that any of my issues have been anything but old E36 M3ty car problems. I will say my Saturn has required 0 attention other than undoing my own and the previous owners stupidity but I've been lead to believe Saturn ignored the rest of GM as much as they could. My '99 Malibu was a miserable E36 M3box I traded for a 300k mile Dodge truck that grenade a trans 2 weeks after I got it and I still felt like I won.

A '13 Chevy 1500 4x4 with the AFM 5.3 was the best truck I've ever dealt with but I think my dad was waiting for an excuse to do the AFM delete, cam, and lifters the whole time he had it. 

And as far as pre 72 I have no reason to own anything that old unless it's a max effort pro touring build that probably isn't keeping much other than the sheet metal original. My 80s cars still vageuly work as cars without any of this "oh it works great in modern traffic after you redo all the charging system, swap to a newer trans, and redo the fuel system and change to a different gear ratio"

pilotbraden
pilotbraden UltraDork
8/28/19 9:40 p.m.
slowbird said:

I guess it would be a jerk move of me to suggest a sacreligious-type engine swap, like a turbo SHO V6 or a Mustang Ecoboost V6. wink

The turbo Trans Ams are one of the coolest GM cars though, and one of the few that could potentially make me break my lifelong vow to never go over to the dark side.

I like that T-33. Nice looking car blocking the view

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