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SCREECH
12-24-2010, 02:20 AM
I'll have to add to this later, but the long and short of "what happened to my van" is this: I was on my way home from work on September 9, 2010, approaching an intersection with a green light. Two vehicles made a safe turn in front of me, leaving one car waiting to turn. He waited until I got near, then started making his turn, then stopped in my path. The road I was on had a 50mph (80km/h) speed limit, and it crossed a highway which had a nice rise in the middle of it. By the time I saw what the other driver was doing and tried to brake and avoid I was already hitting the rise at the center of the intersection, and there was dirt all over the place from the overpass in the background of a few of the pics being constructed. I therefore couldn't do much of either swerving or stopping. I hit the '06 Chrysler 300 head-on, passenger corner to passenger corner. When I saw the driver start to make the turn I had hoped I could swerve around his rear as he made the turn. But he stopped instead, right in my path. Game over for one modded '92 Trans Sport van, and one man's dream of having the fastest dustbuster in town. :(

I drove the van about a mile down the road to my brother's place where I currently have it sitting until I get another van. I didn't want to scrap it and then have to hunt for parts when I get my next van, if I needed any. I am not sure yet whether I will reuse this drivetrain (it only has 165K on it), or a Series II, or a 4.9L. All I know is that I want another fiberglass U-van.

I had started swerving to my left just before I hit the Chrysler, so you can see how much the back of the van kicked over as a result of the hit - it was facing the right side of the road when it came to rest.
http://screech.ws/miscpics/92_TP_l67/dead/01.jpg

I'd say this thing did pretty good considering it just took a 40mph+ corner-to-corner hit!
http://screech.ws/miscpics/92_TP_l67/dead/02.jpg

Poor girl, looks so beat up - and she WAS!
http://screech.ws/miscpics/92_TP_l67/dead/03.jpg

Thankfully the 5-stars didn't get damaged.
http://screech.ws/miscpics/92_TP_l67/dead/04.jpg

Passenger side rad support bar pushed through strut tower...
http://screech.ws/miscpics/92_TP_l67/dead/05.jpg

Front corner was pushed in a good 1', bending the body's subframe downwards - I'm fairly sure it tweaked the cradle as well, but I won't know until I get it out, probably in the spring.
http://screech.ws/miscpics/92_TP_l67/dead/06.jpg

The rad and fan were pushed back into the front of the engine. It even folded over one of the sparkplug wires, but amazingly the engine still ran beautifully on it's way to my bro's!
http://screech.ws/miscpics/92_TP_l67/dead/07.jpg

So that's about it for the moment. Like I said, I'm not totally sure what the fate of this drivetrain will be. I'm not going to just scrap it, however. If someone's in need of a '92 Series I 3800 SC with approx 165K miles (265K km), let me know. I'll even remove it myself (in the spring) and give a reasonable price on it! :) But it may go into the next van I get if I don't go with a 4.9L or a Series II. If I was REALLY brave I'd try a Northstar, but...I don't know if I'm ready for that yet or not. :)

LordDurock
12-24-2010, 03:02 AM
:( sad day. on the other hand you still should have a good drive train and parts van. so the next swap would be rather easy

86euro
12-24-2010, 03:37 AM
Looks like your van had some rust issues that didn't help it in the crash. By looking at that 300, and the shape of your van's nose, I can guarantee that the 300 has LOTS of damage that cannot be seen from the outside.

CamoDeafie
12-24-2010, 03:54 AM
that'll buff out.....after replacing everything up front and replacing frame and spending time and months on an unibody adjusting machine and using BFHs.....lol ouch. I agree with 86euro, the 300C probably had alot of damage underneath the sheetmetal..it sucks you're now down a van :(

Jet
12-24-2010, 01:44 PM
I noticed in your signature a couple of months back that you had listed the van as R.I.P., but didn't recall seeing anything about what happened. I am glad you are not going to let this deter you, and are already planning for your next van...

SilentWing
12-24-2010, 02:07 PM
Wow, I know you told me about it after it first happened but that's still so sad. With that being said and with the speed at impact it did do a great job of keeping you safe and holding together considering the age of it and where you live. Again glad that you're ok, and hopefully you'll be able to find another van soon to turn into another beastly dustbuster. I don't understand why the other driver didn't punch it though, I mean if he was going to block your path by stopping anyways... but then again most people these days have so many safety features on their cars they become completely mindless about driving.

white89euro
12-24-2010, 03:16 PM
Hi Screech, I'm sorry to hear about your accident. Sounds like both cars did a great job of protecting their occupants. From the looks of your photos the van was starting to rust. Will Canada allow importation of a southern USA van?

I've got the same problem with rust here is Wisconsin. The winter salt and other road chemicals really do damage to a car. It looks like in your case the substructure was starting to rust out. Am I reading too much into the pictures or was the car in much better shape than I assumed?

George

SCREECH
12-24-2010, 06:18 PM
Hey George, nah, it was indeed starting to have rust issues. I was going to have to address them sooner rather than later, but this "event" sorta negated the need for that. I had done my best to stay on top of any rust that had formed, with the exception of the passenger strut tower. I pulled all of the interior out of the back and patched the rear wheelwells and sprayed the wheel side of the rear wells with undercoating a couple times. I also had to do a floor patch near the driver footwell. All in all it wasn't too bad. Many thanks go to the fiberglass body. ;)

As for importing a US vehicle, yes, it absolutely can be done. I bought a '90 Sunbird GT a while back off eBay and brought that into Canada. If the vehicle is 15 years old or older it's the easiest because you don't have to go put it through the Registrar Of Imported Vehicles Program that newer vehicles have to be put through, which involves extra cost and inspections and whatnot. I'm looking at getting a '93-96 Silhouette out of the States - whatever year they went to the smoothed out bumper with the wrap-around marker lights in the bumper, it was either '93 or '94. They are my favourite U-van as far as looks and features go, and you could NOT get them in Canada. :S If anyone knows of a decent Silhouette near the Niagara Falls area, please feel free to let me know! I'm looking to keep it sub-$1500 though. I have a line on a '96 in Pennsylvania that has a puked engine, so it would sorta HAVE to be changed then. HAHAH

Duke George V
12-24-2010, 09:19 PM
Don't forget that in '96 the only engine option was the 3400 SFI. If you do get that '96, I would source a 3500 from a '04-'06 Malibu. It's the same block so it will bolt to the transmission and mounts, and makes like 20 hp over a 3400, without a fuel economy penalty. Hit up 60degreev6.com for more details.

Jr's3800
12-25-2010, 12:36 AM
Sorry to see that Screech..... But glad that you were ok...

I think if he gets a 96 van he should update to a newer 3800 Series II/III and OBD2 just for giggles... More torque, and fuel efficiency just as good as the 3500... either will work but thats my opinion...

Screech are those W Body Olds wheels on that van? And what size tires did you have on it?

Duke George V
12-25-2010, 01:12 AM
They definitely look like Cutlass Supreme five spokes. And my suggestion of a 3500 in the '96 is the simplest route to take, since they're both Chevrolet engines. That'll make it easier when it comes to emissions inspections, if they are required where he lives. Just slap on a 3400 upper intake instead of the 3500 and no one will be the wiser.

Jr's3800
12-25-2010, 02:08 AM
Ahhh yes very true... I often overlook that as there is no emissions testing here... and I have a 95, so i went from the series I 3800 to a Series III with a series II upper and Throttle Body... Most would look at this and go " oh its a 3800 " Even says 3800 on the fenders ...

But yes I do understand and agree, for emissions/inspection purposes the 3500 would be the way to go with the 96...

I was wondering about his wheels as I am running 16" Bonneville rims with 235 60 16 tires but am using 10mm spacers to do so... I am either going to find another way to make this work, or I am going to use 215 65 15 tires on the stock 15" Trans Sport rims... I am about ready to give up with the issues I am having with the larger tires and slap them on my 95 Bonneville...

SCREECH
12-25-2010, 04:44 AM
Hey guys. The wheels are indeed 16" Cutlass wheels. They're for my International, but since it's not on the road yet I threw them on the van last summer to give my Winterforces a break. :) I don't recall the spec of the tires for certain off the top of my head, but I believe they were 215/60/16s. I believe that was the equivalent tire to the stock size - I checked it on TireRack.com before I bought them.

For the engine, if I get a '96 U-van, I will run the 3400 for now, but since the van would uses an OBD-II system already I would definitely be looking to install a Series-II engine, likely an L67 (if I don't go with a V8). I realize that the 3500 would be the easiest route as far as an upgrade would go, but I don't always take the easiest route (ie: installing a supercharged engine/trans into my last van because the tranny went). I prefer to do something a little different vs. something that's easy. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment? The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking a Northstar would be a nifty swap in the van... :D Emissions ARE required where I live, but the guy I go to for them doesn't care too much about what engine is in there. When I took the supercharged van to him his reaction was "well, let's just test it first and see if it passes", and pass it did, so that was the end of it. I think as long as I have a good cat and all the factory emissions equipment in place from whatever engine I install, it should be able to pass the sniffer no probs.

Speaking of the 3400 to 3500 swap, why not go straight to a 3900 if I were sticking with a 60-degree? Did they have VVT and the 3500 didn't? And what about DBW (drive by wire)?

Duke George V
12-25-2010, 05:24 AM
Speaking of the 3400 to 3500 swap, why not go straight to a 3900 if I were sticking with a 60-degree? Did they have VVT and the 3500 didn't? And what about DBW (drive by wire)?
That's correct, and that's why I specifically said '04-06 LX9. It does have electronic throttle control, but you can just swap a cable-based throttle body and call it a day. It should run on the stock computer without issue since it's basically an overbored (2 mm) 3400 with different heads and intake. The later versions ('07+) of the 3500, however, are a destroked 3900, and as you say, are also DBW and VVT. It's apparently a "simple" matter of swapping a non-VVT cam and disabling the feature in the computer if you go with the 3.9, but the non-VVT 3.5 is "easiest".

As for your original swap, I'd say only having to add three wires to the stock harness is pretty damn easy.

CamoDeafie
12-25-2010, 07:01 AM
are you able to get the FWD LS3 v8s up there?

occupant
12-25-2010, 08:36 AM
Now that's what I'm talking about. Drop a GXP/ImpalaSS 5.3L FWD drivetrain in a U-van and pull 11 second quarter miles on street tires. Ouch.

I expect a serious performance change with this 351CJ going in my Torino. It would be like putting a 5.7L LS motor into an 80's Caprice that was sporting a wheezing 305 TBI before.

Jr's3800
12-25-2010, 01:06 PM
I seriously thought about the LS4 FWD 5.3( 325 ).... But the price of a drop out put it out of my reach and what I was willing to spend.. Also there is only one transmission for the LS4, and due to the block being shortened to be able to tuck it under the FWD hood the starter is attached to the trans and not the block... So there are a lot of items that are one off... I am quite sure it will fit, but the price does not make it worthwhile...

The SC 3800 II is 240 Hp and 280 Ft Lbs from the factory, we have had guys dyno these stock at 320 Ft Lbs and 260 Hp... So Bone stock its not far from a 5.3's power levels...

The Caddy 4.6 would be interesting, if it was done I would like to see it with 3.11 or 3.17 gears as opposed to 3.71...

SCREECH
12-25-2010, 10:52 PM
As for your original swap, I'd say only having to add three wires to the stock harness is pretty damn easy.
Hahaha - that's what *I* thought!! There ended up being a bunch of other mods and adaptations to do. And ultimately what I was referring to was that it was obviously a lot more work than it would have been to just swap the tranny with a compatible unit when the transmission went, rather than installing a whole drivetrain and doing the mods necessary to run it. It was straightforward, granted, but definitely NOT the easiest option.


are you able to get the FWD LS3 v8s up there?
Likely, ya. But I don't think I'm needing to go that route at this point. Whatever van I get will return to daily driver status - that previously occupied by the L67 van.

SCREECH
12-26-2010, 12:44 AM
Drop a GXP/ImpalaSS 5.3L FWD drivetrain in a U-van and pull 11 second quarter miles on street tires

I seriously thought about the LS4 FWD 5.3( 325 ).... But the price of a drop out put it out of my reach and what I was willing to spend...I am quite sure it will fit, but the price does not make it worthwhile...The Caddy 4.6 would be interesting, if it was done I would like to see it with 3.11 or 3.17 gears as opposed to 3.71...
I was just looking at the specs for the LS4 (Camo, was the FWD 5.3L LS4 what you were meaning when asking if we had them available up here? Cause we do indeed have 5.3L FWD cars up here). I see they make 300-303HP and 323lb/ft. The Northstar makes 300/300 out of the box, and doesn't have all the DOD tech and whatnot. I think I'd prefer the Northstar for now, but that 5.3 did raise my eyebrow when I first learned about it. I can't say I'd never do anything with it - I used to say that about FWD stuff years ago. :) I haven't heard an LS4 at idle, but with the DOD (displacement on demand) I'm guessing it wouldn't have the traditional V8 rumble that the Northstar would. I'd want that.

86euro
12-26-2010, 02:50 AM
A guy I work with has the V8 in his '06 Monte. It certainly has the V8 sounds, even with stock exhaust. The DOD is only active while cruising down the road at a steady speed.

It's my understanding that the LS4 is seriously detuned to help the tranny last for the long haul. I'm sure that if the tranny can be built stronger, the sky is the limit with power production.

Duke George V
12-26-2010, 02:51 AM
DOD is only implemented at light throttle when cruising, usually on the highway or at higher speeds around town. Fourth gear only, basically. As for the sound, even with the stock exhaust, the SS/GXP sounds menacing.

I would take an LS4 over a Northstar simply because of the sheer size difference. The Northstar is a DOHC engine, so the heads are enormous. If you haven't recently, take a look at the engine bay of a Deville with one, and remember that that car was designed with that engine in mind. There ain't a lot of room to work with. If done in a van, the first two steps for any sort of repair or maintenance procedure will be: 1. Perform all steps necessary to remove engine. 2. Remove engine. This includes the N* propensity to consume water pumps.

The LS4 is much more compact, though it's still a rather large engine, being a V8 and all. It's all aluminum though, so it's a bit lighter than the all iron Buick V6. With DOD, I imagine there won't be much of a difference in fuel economy, since it was designed with the Impala and Grand Prix in mind, both of which come pretty close to the van's curb weight. You could argue the same for the N*, I know.

EDIT:

It's my understanding that the LS4 is seriously detuned to help the tranny last for the long haul. I'm sure that if the tranny can be built stronger, the sky is the limit with power production.
I hadn't heard this, but it makes sense. LS4 uses the same 4T65E-HD put behind the Grand Prix's 3800 Series III supercharged, and in that less-powerful application it will short shift, along with some computer fuckery to reduce engine power, to keep the transmission together. I don't know why they didn't just use the 4T80.

86euro
12-26-2010, 02:55 AM
Good point, having to maintain a N* in a van would make a man want to shoot someone.

Duke George V
12-26-2010, 03:01 AM
Here's a thread on Pennock's where a guy puts an "LSX" displacing 427 cubic inches in front of a ZZP-built 4T65, which apparently dynoed at 621 hp: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000083.html

Throw enough money at it, and sure, the transmission can take some power.

SCREECH
12-26-2010, 05:00 AM
I would take an LS4 over a Northstar simply because of the sheer size difference. The Northstar is a DOHC engine, so the heads are enormous...If done in a van, the first two steps for any sort of repair or maintenance procedure will be: 1. Perform all steps necessary to remove engine. 2. Remove engine.

Good point, having to maintain a N* in a van would make a man want to shoot someone.
Ya, I've read about the massive size of the Northstar. When I was first kicking the idea around I was thinking that I would have to pull the engine even to do the plugs, though I think with the platinum plugs you could probably get a healthy run out of 'em before having to go that route. Regardless, for what I need right now out of a van, a Northstar swap is not what I should be undertaking. Nope, I'd be much better off just dumping in the 4.9L that I've already got (the one I had intended on putting in my International coupe with the 5 speed), then get a Northstar for the Ciera. Yeah, that sounds better. The price that I can get a Northstar equipped Caddy for (not counting the ones with blown headgaskets, of course) makes the choice between a Northstar and an LS4 an easy one to make. I wouldn't be looking to do any computer mods anytime soon. With the output levels of the two engines being but a stone's throw away I can have some fun with the Northstar, and then when and if a reasonably priced LS4 becomes available, I can consider it.

Jr's3800
12-26-2010, 12:01 PM
The LS4 is a lot of fun to drive even for a FWD layout....

The LS4 is detuned so that the trans can survive behind it, but even then they are not holding up that great... We think the LS4 would make 350 Hp or so with most of the torque management turned off and a little timing added... Its not a bad little motor, and it does that Chevrolet V8 Grumble at idle and while on the throttle... You will notice the sound change say on the interstate when it hits 4 Cylinder mode, not so much in the city, it changes suddenly and unless you are really looking for it you'll never notice it untill you look at the DIC and see " 4 Cyl Mode "...

Keep in mind all GM FWD transmissions 96+ are Torque Managed... You'd be amazed at whats in the PCM... 97 was even worse... 98+ even more..

I recently turned off the torque management on my van with the 97 PCM.... Turned off the Master Shift Torque Reduction and then Turned off the Master Torque Reduction... Went for a ride and did a WOT 1-2 and then 2-3.... Then slowed down and did a 3-1 WOT.... All I can say is the Trans would not live for long this way... I went back in and turned the Shift Torque Reduction on, Not so much worried about the Torque in general as I will not pass what the trans can handle, but I need it to reduce the torque for the shifts to avoid killing the trans...

Just about every 4T60E made has a form of Torque Reduction... Starting in 91 with the 4.9 V8 and the 3800's.... The PCM's would reduce the timing before the shift and ramp the timing back up after the shift to protect the trans.. In the later years 96+ this became a lot more complicated and more highly controlled...

This is the reason a 4T65E can last any time at all behind a 300 Hp V8.... The same goes for the trucks, its the reason a 4L60E can live a decently long life even towing 5000-7000 Lbs...


Screech, I like the Idea of the 4.9( 300 ci ) caddy V8.... Gobs of Low end grunt, with that mean V8 Sound... Maybe find an Allante style intake for it... That would be Mean

Jr's3800
12-26-2010, 12:02 PM
The LS4 is a lot of fun to drive even for a FWD layout....

The LS4 is detuned so that the trans can survive behind it, but even then they are not holding up that great... We think the LS4 would make 350 Hp or so with most of the torque management turned off and a little timing added... Its not a bad little motor, and it does that Chevrolet V8 Grumble at idle and while on the throttle... You will notice the sound change say on the interstate when it hits 4 Cylinder mode, not so much in the city, it changes suddenly and unless you are really looking for it you'll never notice it untill you look at the DIC and see " 4 Cyl Mode "...

Keep in mind all GM FWD transmissions 96+ are Torque Managed... You'd be amazed at whats in the PCM... 97 was even worse... 98+ even more..

I recently turned off the torque management on my van with the 97 PCM.... Turned off the Master Shift Torque Reduction and then Turned off the Master Torque Reduction... Went for a ride and did a WOT 1-2 and then 2-3.... Then slowed down and did a 3-1 WOT.... All I can say is the Trans would not live for long this way... I went back in and turned the Shift Torque Reduction on, Not so much worried about the Torque in general as I will not pass what the trans can handle, but I need it to reduce the torque for the shifts to avoid killing the trans...

Just about every 4T60E made has a form of Torque Reduction... Starting in 91 with the 4.9 V8 and the 3800's.... The PCM's would reduce the timing before the shift and ramp the timing back up after the shift to protect the trans.. In the later years 96+ this became a lot more complicated and more highly controlled...

This is the reason a 4T65E can last any time at all behind a 300 Hp V8.... The same goes for the trucks, its the reason a 4L60E can live a decently long life even towing 5000-7000 Lbs...


Screech, I like the Idea of the 4.9( 300 ci ) caddy V8.... Gobs of Low end grunt, with that mean V8 Sound... Maybe find an Allante style intake for it... That would be Mean

Oklahoma
12-28-2010, 03:28 AM
Wouldn't the LS4 be longer lasting as well? The Northstars were notorious for leaking and burning oil and head gasket/head bolt problems.

occupant
12-28-2010, 04:09 PM
Wouldn't the LS4 be longer lasting as well? The Northstars were notorious for leaking and burning oil and head gasket/head bolt problems.

TSRH. Every sub-$2000 Caddy I see with a Northstar engine is overheating in some vague manner and written with the intention to deceive. "It probably just needs a thermostat or something" BS ALERT!

Sport Omega
12-30-2010, 03:14 PM
After doing a head gasket job on a Northstar I strongly recommend against them. They're a great motor when it's running good buuuuuuut. The threads strip out of the block when you remove the head bolts and now the real fun begins. You have to drill/ream/ and tap all 20 bolt holes for GM"timesert" thread inserts. Or a company makes stud kits. Never buy a Caddy Northstar, if you ever work on one you'll agree with me. The head gaskets will crap out by design. The deck surface is open so the only thing regulating coolant flow between head/block is the gasket so eventually the gasket material erodes away and then it takes a crap. I swear engineers are some of the stupidest people when they design things. They think it looks good on paper but really don't know how it works in the real world.

SCREECH
12-31-2010, 05:30 PM
Ya, I've been doing some research that way. I see several Caddy's around the $500-$1000 mark in my neck of the woods. Some of them are reported with coolant/gasket problems, but some of them are smashed or rusted out. I'd obviously be going for one of the later. HOWEVER, that being said, I have read about the potential for problems with these engines. So what I found was a company called Northstar Performance here in Canada. They may be the ones that S.O. was referring to that makes a stud kit. Their kit actually appears to be quite a good solution, one which they are apparently supplying to several GM dealerships. It includes all the studs, and the jig, drill and tap for prepping the block for the kit. Hit NorthstarPerformance.com (http://www.northstarperformance.com/sgstuds.php) for more info. I would plan on doing this at some point and go through the whole engine eventually. Going into it expecting NO PROBLEMS, definitely unrealistic. I'm doing what research I can beforehand so I know what I'm getting into before I start shelling out.

cherylfoster
01-06-2011, 09:43 PM
It's informative. Thanks Screech for sharing a your view with us. This is best thought by you. I am very shocked after reading this post. I think you have a horrible experience regarding this one. It would be very painful to you at a time of accident. your car might be half of lost.

SCREECH
01-17-2011, 05:49 AM
NEW VAN!!!
FINALLY! Got a new U! Southern '95 TP! (http://www.a-body.net/forums/showthread.php?4170-FINALLY%21-Got-a-new-U%21-Southern-95-TP%21&p=48246)

Let me say, however, that although I am taking a different direction with the new van (V8), I will still do my best to fill out the L67 van's build thread with more of the info surrounding the install performed on the '92.