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RandyA

Engine Swap - OT for HDT

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Some of you are aware I have a 1988 Pontiac Fiero that I have owned for 30 years.  It has been through several rebuilds over the years and remains a beautiful (IMHO) car that I love to drive.  Well, about 12 years ago I dropped out the 2.8 engine and swapped in a 3.4.  I had a turbo but I never could get the ECM and boost sensor to work right despite multiple attempts to burn new EPROMs.  The turbo was removed and replaced with a set of custom headers.  With the 3.4 the car was reasonably quick and was timed at 0-60 in 5.8 seconds.  One too many runs at 7,000 RPM has apparently caused a valve failure.  The 3.4 engine is coming out.  In its place is a "NEW" 2003 3800 Series II supercharged transplant (how it happens to be "NEW" is an interesting story for another day.).  With the stay at home orders I have completed most of the prep work such as the wiring harness, reprogramming the PCM, putting on a smaller supercharger pulley to increase boost, moving the alternator, changing rockers, pushrods and valve springs to 1.75 ratio (1.6 stock) to bring the engine up to approximately 325 HP.  If the clutch and Getrag tranny hold I should be in the upper 4 second range for 0-60.  I am looking at a weight to HP figure of about 6.8 HP per pound of car.  That is a nice figure.  Anyway, this is my COVID-19 Stay at Home project for the summer.  The Volvo is in pretty good shape and no major projects are needed with the exception of possibly re-plumbing the exhaust due to age and rust mites.  The fiver is also in good shape and doesn't need any serious work other than a good wash and wax job.  So, I might as well entertain myself with the engine swap.  Please don't remind me I am approaching 74 very soon.  I must be an idiot.

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You will LOVE that 3800! Smooth, fairly torquey, and the supercharger is just gravy. 6.8 HP/lb might be a bit optimistic, in a 2600-2800 lb car.

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Randy   What a great project! Just keep working on it and before you know it you'll be done. In a hurry! Now if anybody out there has a A Model Ford Coupe (29-31) body that is my #1 bucket list project. Body condition is not real important. Can anybody put this 73 year young Old Sailor on his project? Anyway Randy your 30 year o;d project looks like it came off of the showroom floor. Great job and keep it up. Will see you soon.Can I go for a ride?    Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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Hey Randy,

Once a grew head, always a gear head ! I like the idea. Sounds like the back is doing good. I remember that the std. 3800 could have a problem with one of the main crank bearings could have an oiling problem. I don't know about the supercharged motor. I knew two people that had to change out motors because of the the lower end problems. Maybe someone else with chime in with more info. Remember what Tim the Toolman said. Horsepower, ar,ar,ar !!

Best of luck,
Al

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I am excited to see how all that works out.  Old gearheads dont go away, they just find projects.  At 74, you are MY HERO!!  Clearly you are enjoying the journey.

I am still a working man and being in construction doing warehouse work for distribution centers, I am still working a little.  It has certainly put my plans for getting to some sort of work slowdown on an alternative dimension.

But using the time to figure out which project on my LONG list to tackle.  One that you may be able to add input to is: Can I add a bigger turbo to my DT530/8.7L IH motor?  And where can I go to get EGT and Boost guages for it?  Where would I mount them on the engine?  Mostly to give it some more umph!

What say you?

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Marcel - there are many DT530/8.7 IH on the road today in school buses and smaller class 6-7 vehicles as well as it's smaller DT466.  I would venture to guess someone like
Banks could steer you in the general direction you want to go or you might investigate what is being used on the DT570.  Keep in mind changing the turbo is somewhat of a landslide project requiring other changes that your EECM/PCM may not see as compatible.  Typically, when you increase boost you are looking at a different fuel MAP if not more fuel pressure and/or larger capacity injectors.  I have no real idea what I am talking about for you particular engine but be prepared for the possibility of additional and cost.  Also consider larger turbos spin up slower on factory engines and exhaust and may actually drop performance.

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8 minutes ago, RandyA said:

Marcel - there are many DT530/8.7 IH on the road today in school buses and smaller class 6-7 vehicles as well as it's smaller DT466.  I would venture to guess someone like
Banks could steer you in the general direction you want to go or you might investigate what is being used on the DT570.  Keep in mind changing the turbo is somewhat of a landslide project requiring other changes that your EECM/PCM may not see as compatible.  Typically, when you increase boost you are looking at a different fuel MAP if not more fuel pressure and/or larger capacity injectors.  I have no real idea what I am talking about for you particular engine but be prepared for the possibility of additional and cost.  Also consider larger turbos spin up slower on factory engines and exhaust and may actually drop performance.

All good points.  Which is partly why I havent really put alot of time into this.  I have looked at the DT570 but it doesnt seem to have the same realiability as the 530, and I would rather have realibility than performance.  I have also looked into LP injection.  Henry sent me an article he wrote about his experiences in his 4700, but he was running the 466, I think.  It was interesting reading and seemed to be a better option, since it really only works when you need it.  

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14 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

You will LOVE that 3800! Smooth, fairly torquey, and the supercharger is just gravy. 6.8 HP/lb might be a bit optimistic, in a 2600-2800 lb car.

Yes, 6.8 is optimistic.  It is also totally wrong due to a calculator button push error.  At 2,200# and 320HP it would be 1HP for each 6.8 pounds. I was computing weight in the 2200 pound category while in truth with AC, passenger, seating, etc. the scales would top in the 2600# weight class.  Still, 2600# is 1 hp for every 8.1 pounds - well under the magical 1hp to 10 lbs.  You know, it is said and written that the 3100 and 3800 are the best designed and most durable of any of GM's engines.  If your are into reading, Kindle or otherwise, General Motors 3800 V6 Engine:  The Untold Story by M. Taubitz and R. Vasilow is a most interesting read.

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Funny you should mention LP injection.  I have done that on gas engines.  Also water/alcohol using an assortment of home brew electronics, a high pressure surflo plump for water/alcohol along with an oil furnace 1 gph nozzle to atomize and spray into the 454 throttle body throat on my GMC 454 gasser dually.  Water/Alcohol injection was used extensively on airplane engines during WW1 and 2 to combat knock from lower compression aviation fuel and altitude.  It is actually a very old science that can work well.  On turbos it can help to cool the charge and add density to the air/fuel mixture.  I have several generators here that I run on LPG rather than gasoline and have really failed to notice the advertised drop in advertised performance over gasoline.  My fiver has an Onan 5500 LPG generator on board.  My main issue is while gas and diesel prices have dropped they are still charging over $3 a gallon for LPG - at least in my area.

One item I am considering for the 3800 is to install a GM cold start injector in the hole left in the manifold by the removal of the gooy EGR and plumbing it to LPG, MAPP or even oxygen or a mix available in disposable screw top containers at most home store tool centers.  When my Volvo D12 was suffering from leaking injector cups and refused to start without considerable cranking after sitting I ran a 1/4" nylon brake line into an opening where the pre-heater would have been and flooded the intake with LPG from a disposable tank beside my seat before cranking.  I got an immediate start along with a huge cloud of white smoke.  I also go back to a 1968 Road Runner with a 383 and Carter AFB that I owned many years ago.  At the time I was in the local rescue squad and one day borrowed a demand regulator and a small tank of oxygen.  With the outlet from the O2 plumbed into the unplugged vacuum port on the back of the AFB I quickly discovered that there was a marked performance improvement.  I guess it was the precursor of the popularity of NOX systems?  Anyway, lots of stuff out there to experiment with  without spending a fortune. 

Edited by RandyA

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OH, you continue to talk my language of old.  Yep, lots of things to experiment with.  Too bad we can't find a way to apply this to Covid.  Seems the more functional distancing is not the "right" answer for the political group.

I am sure looking forward to some income as since not at SS age and with such a fear from businesses to allow outside workers in, there seems to have developed a cautious pessimism to getting their work done.

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4 hours ago, RandyA said:

Also consider larger turbos spin up slower on factory engines and exhaust and may actually drop performance.

Good point.  Another thing to keep in mind:  Peak numbers aren't as important as the area under the curve.  In other words, a sharp spike in hp or torque won't get the same results as a nice broad curve.

BTW, Randy, did you paint that car yourself?  It looks pretty dang good.

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54 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

Good point.  Another thing to keep in mind:  Peak numbers aren't as important as the area under the curve.  In other words, a sharp spike in hp or torque won't get the same results as a nice broad curve.

BTW, Randy, did you paint that car yourself?  It looks pretty dang good.

Hey You Guys,

If you guys are going to to talking paint. Do you remember a car called " Paint Me Gone " ? 

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1 minute ago, alan0043 said:

Hey You Guys,

If you guys are going to to talking paint. Do you remember a car called " Paint Me Gone " ? 

Ahem...
lindamood-hero.jpg?itok=CTm7bK54

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12 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Ahem...
lindamood-hero.jpg?itok=CTm7bK54

Thanks Darryl.  I had cousins that had the old sling shot dragster called " The Blue Angles " from Massillon, Ohio. It ran a 392 hemi. Back in the day, it hit 200 + in the quarter.

Edited by alan0043

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The 3.8 is a fun motor... I had a family ride that had one back in the day, the Bonneville SSEI to be exact.  It ran well for as big as it was.

As far as a little boost, water-methanol is fairly common in the pick up diesel world for adding a little oomph and cooling EGT's on long pulls. 

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1 hour ago, alan0043 said:

Thanks Darryl.  I had cousins that had the old sling shot dragster called " The Blue Angles " from Massillon, Ohio. It ran a 392 hemi. Back in the day, it hit 200 + in the quarter.

Ahaaaa..... the 392 Hemi.  My father owned a 1957 DeSoto Adventurer two door hardtop that had the 392 rather than the smaller 340 something.  Two 4-bll carbs.  Automatic with pushbuttons on the left dash.  A virtual tank that took awhile to get moving but then it was "gone baby gone".  Speedo was a drum that rolled from green to yellow then red.  Front seats were orange leather and swiveled when you got out.  I got it up to the 130 mark on Bethel Valley road one night but it was not well tuned and began to backfire thru the carbs.  Young and stupid.  Not young any more.  Yes, Alan, painting was done with body off piece by piece by yours truly.  BTW - I would love to find a 1949 era Ford PU that still had the original flathead V8 and 3 speed at a reasonable and affordable price.  It would need to be drivable as at 74 years I don't know if there is enough time left to do my desired type of restoration.  And yes,  my back has been fixed by a great surgeon and doing great.

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3 minutes ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

As far as a little boost, water-methanol is fairly common in the pick up diesel world for adding a little oomph and cooling EGT's on long pulls. 

Winter windshield washer fluid rated for around -30 or better.  A bottle of cheap Vodka also works well.

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I have a 1986 Pontiac Fiero with the 2.8 motor and I always wanted to do a engine swap to a 3800 and was told that you need a hoist to lift the car off the engine cradle ( engine comes out the bottom) since you have done this I figured you would know if it can come out the top or not. Thanks  

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On 4/21/2020 at 9:34 PM, JPL said:

Randy   What a great project! Just keep working on it and before you know it you'll be done. In a hurry! Now if anybody out there has a A Model Ford Coupe (29-31) body that is my #1 bucket list project. Body condition is not real important. Can anybody put this 73 year young Old Sailor on his project? Anyway Randy your 30 year o;d project looks like it came off of the showroom floor. Great job and keep it up. Will see you soon.Can I go for a ride?    Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

 

Plenty of sources for a 29/31 body....... Check MAFCA for a regional club in your area!  Friendly folks, they're everywhere and (IMO) much better source than Craigslist or E-bay, etc.

https://jalopyjournal.com/forum/

https://model-a-ford.org

https://www.mafca.com

First is the H.A.M.B. forums (Jalopy Journal).  2nd is the Model A Restorers Club (MARC), 3rd Model A Ford Club of America (MAFCA)

Any of these will have classifieds - for complete cars,  bodies,  rolling chassis, parts, etc.

Also check (for same) in "The Bible" - Hemmings Motor News. Monthly.  Cars, trucks, Cycles - and a parts section for each. If you know someone who subscribes - it's not really a keeper "magazine" at 475 pgs, so should be happy to give you one!  Kinda like having a bunch of old phone books!

For Randy (AKA "Professor 95") -  seems at one time you had more than one Fiero?? - If you don't belong to the Pontiac Oakland Club International ("POCI") - you might consider it.  Nice slick page monthly magazine ("Smoke Signals") - bet they would be happy to do a feature on your Fiero!  - http://www.poci.org

A Hemi story...when my racer cronies were buying  '63 Dodges w/ 426 Wedge engines - they were the hot ticket to have for street or strip - first real "factory" mussel  car, (w/ decent tires) -  ready to run 13's "as is".

Sooo my roomate decided he had to have one.  He ordered a '64 Plymouth Sport Fury - with a 426 Wedge.  He gets the call that his car had arrived at the dealership.  I gave him a ride to go pick it up, do paper work, etc.  We "shortcut" through the garage area.  One of the mechanics there knew him, says, "Factory installed the wrong engine".  Holy hockmier - heart failure...what did they put under the hood? 

We go to see his car, pop the hood......"Whaszat??"  -  The "wrong engine" was the right one for sure!  He had the first of the "new"  Hemi engines on the West Coast.....which was supposed to go to Dodge sponsored -  "Dandy" Dick Landy!  So he immediately took it to San Fernando Drag Strip in totally stock condition - wouldn't open the hood for tech... they put him in a Gas Class. 

So he relented, and let tech inspect it.  Word spread like a Cali wildfire!  In short order, Landy arrived - didn't ask to pop the hood.  "What's this?" as he pulled out the EGR valve & hose.  Looked at the dash, shouting... - "No tach! - It doesn't have a tach!!" - as well as something un-printable about the street tires. He was *NOT* a happy dude!

KICK MYSELF  (X-3) -  should have kept my '57 Bel Air Hardtop w/ factory 270 (dual 4brl) w/ a 4 spd (originally had a 3 spd column) and later a  '61 Pont Ventura Hardtop 389 tri-pwr, 4 speed.  Then..... when I married the DW (1970) I convinced her to sell her '64 Vet Roadster (both tops) - and drive a (Yikes!)  VW bug.  I'll never hear the end of that one - her brother still has *his* '65 Vet, and a '62 Vet he races in Super Gas.

However, still have a '30 Ford Roadster - (all apart) , and a reasonably nice '68 Camaro RS, a 68 Triumph 650 and a BSA B-50 MX (500cc single) M/C's. 

Old Sailor - At 78, I *also*  need to get going on my Model A !! 

.

Edited by Pappy Yokum
links corrected

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Last fall we were in Kanab, UT when the Model A club rolled in with over 400 cars and trucks of all styles, colors, and degrees of customization.  There was some really nice stuff.

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Hi Randy,

I have a question or too for you. How many miles is on the 3800 ? What kind of shape are the main bearings in ? The reason for the questions is that I don't want you to put all that hard work in for something to go wrong later down the road. Is the engine in the car yet ? I have heard of stories where a main bearing can rotate shutting off oil to that journal.

Al

Edited by alan0043

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5 hours ago, alan0043 said:

Hi Randy,

I have a question or too for you. How many miles is on the 3800 ? What kind of shape are the main bearings in ? The reason for the questions is that I don't want you to put all that hard work in for something to go wrong later down the road. Is the engine in the car yet ? I have heard of stories where a main bearing can rotate shutting off oil to that journal.

Al

AL - For all practical purposes the engine is "NEW".  It became a donor in 2003 shortly after the donor car was T-Boned and totaled.  Mileage is less than a couple of thousand - maybe much less.  I've been inside the engine.  Absolutely everything is mint - no dirt, black oil or even a touch of carbon.  It has been in storage for 7 years while the previous owner collected conversion parts then decided not to finish the project.  The inside of the oil pan is clean enough to eat soup from and definitely free of COVID-19 germs.  I've never run across an issue talking about rotation of the main bearing on the 3800 and I have done tons of research on the engine.  Like I said earlier, it is historically known as the best engineered engine GM has ever built.  Ironically, it is rumored it was slated as an option for the '91 Fiero GT that never made production (to the Corvette's disappointment - I'm sure 😏 !)

SPARKY - the 2.8 can come out the top, but it is much easier just to drop the cradle with the trans, struts, suspension and exhaust intact - especially if you are doing a swap and not just a pull-and-fix of the present engine or tranny.  To go out the top you need to pull the transmission separately and first.   I jack up the front about 18", put shoring under the A frame then remove the rear bumper cover, wheel well liners, decklid and tailights.  You can then lift the back of the car by the rear bumper bar and all will slide out.  I do everything in a garage with an 8' ceiling, four walls, slick concrete floor, tools handy and plenty of light.  The 3800 Supercharged engine is an old and very popular swap.  Others are the 3.1, 3.4, 3.4 overhead cam, Cadillac 4.5 & 4.9 - all have the same bell housing.   Northstar and of course any small block Chevy are often used with adapter plates or their OEM tranny and PCM.  The original high performance Quad-4 was popular with the 4-cylinder guys a decade ago.  I've even seen OMC converted outboard motors and all electric drive.  Compared to the Volvo D12 engine, clutch and tranny it is something I can do without a crane and 14' high garage ceiling.  Any work on the Volvo or fiver other than what keeps the wheels on the ground or no more than jack height for my Volvo must be done outside, under an open sided RV garage port with a gravel floor.  Pieces of old carpet adorn the gravel floor for under chassis work and if needed blue tarps can be tied to the side walls to break wind and rain.  Still, no way to heat or cool and I am victim of whatever elements the weather brings.   The Fiero is inside work - my shop is both heated and air conditioned.  Those little things become important as you get older ☺️.

To others - I apologize for being off topic.  But, most on here are folks I have come to know and consider friends.  With stay-at-home orders, projects and discussions as mine, even those drifting to other car projects and personal history are a refreshing escape from sharing with strangers on Facebook.  If administrators should wish for me to cease, consider it done!

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1 hour ago, RandyA said:

If administrators should wish for me to cease, consider it done!

Oh my.  that would make some of us unhappy.  I'm highly entertained by others' projects.  It gives me ideas and inspiration.  If all goes well, tomorrow I'll complete my latest project (HDT related), and this time I took pictures to share.

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Love some project talk. Carry on, sir. Out of the list of possible donors you posted, the 3800 is probably the most desirable for your application, with the Cadillac engines in second place. The ShortStar and NorthStar both have some cooling issues, which wouldn't be helped by the engine bay size, but when they run, whoa Nelly!

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