Page 4 of 9 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 133

Thread: 3100 to 3800 Engine Swap

  1. #46
    Senior Member Ray_McAvoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sherman, ME
    Vehicle
    74 Nova, 77 Nova, 88 Cutlass Ciera
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Thanks guys!

    I have a few older A-body parts cars so I can grab an intermediate steering shaft off one of those if that's all it takes to swap in the older FE3 rack.

    The ol' red 77 GMC was originally purchased as a parts truck back when I was restoring my dad's 77 GMC. It didn't end up having a whole lot of good parts ... just about everything was rusted, dented, or broken, but it did run okay and had a good solid frame. So I've been using it for the past several years to plow snow, haul firewood, and other jobs around the yard.

    The former owner had sprayed the sides with some red spray paint but it had all faded to an ugly pink color so I slapped on a coat of some red paint I had laying around. I didn't even bother trying to fix the body work ... just painted right on over the old dents, bondo, and rust.

    A pic from a few years ago as well as a close-up of the rusty & beat up bodywork.



    And on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, here's the 77 I restored for my dad:

    This one was purchased new by my grandfather and was also used as a snowplow truck for about 25 years. Fortunately, it wasn't anywhere near as rusty or beat up as the red one.



  2. #47
    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sugar Land, TX
    Vehicle
    1996 Buick Century Limited 3100 V6 / 1995 Buick Century Special 3100 V6 / 2001 Chevy S-10 LS 2.2L
    Posts
    4,071

    Default

    Mine was just like the red one, except it was a '76 Chevy, and it was "Willoway Green" The "Fern Green" equivalent of the C10 line. 250 cid inline 6 propulsion w/ a Saginaw 3 spd. tranny. Couldn't kill it, until I totalled it. I was 23 years old. What a waste.

  3. #48
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Jefferson, OH
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    Your dad's truck is beautiful! That yellow '77 trim is hard to find too if you need replacements. I currently have 5 of those trucks, so I won't hog your space with pics of my junk
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon

  4. #49
    Senior Member Ray_McAvoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sherman, ME
    Vehicle
    74 Nova, 77 Nova, 88 Cutlass Ciera
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 86euro View Post
    Your dad's truck is beautiful! That yellow '77 trim is hard to find too if you need replacements.
    Thanks! I know exactly what you mean about that '77 trim with the yellow accent stripe being hard to find. I replaced all of the trim during the restoration and only managed to find about 7 or 8 NOS (new old stock) pieces with the yellow accent stripe. For the rest, I ended up buying the more commonly available black accent pieces and re-painting them. I experimented on some old trim first and found that lacquer thinner took the black paint right off without harming the finish on the aluminum. I took one of the NOS yellow pieces to the local paint store and matched up the color and used 3M fineline tape to mask off the unpainted portions of the trim.

    When Grampa ordered this truck, he got the optional wood bed floor (most 73-up fleetside trucks had a steel bed floor). That turned out to be a bit of a challenge to restore as well. Mostly because GM used some special steel flange pieces to join the wood floor to the regular production bedsides & wheel tubs as well as a special rear cross sill with a notch for the boards. Those pieces were quite rusty and I couldn't find replacements anywhere. Luckily, one of my friends put me in touch with a sheetmetal fabrication shop that was able to make some really nice replacements using the old rusty ones as templates. Here's a before and after pic of the bed floor:



    As for the 94 Cutlass Cruiser engine swap project, it's in the engine bay cleanup stage at the moment. I taped up all of the exposed openings, hose ends, etc. and gave everything a thorough scrubbing with some SuperClean and hosed it all down with the pressure washer. Next on the to-do list is re-painting the strut towers and surrounding metal ... they've got a few patches of surface rust here and there that I want to get rid of before it gets worse. The battery tray area is about the worst section as far as rust goes ... it's getting rusted pretty thin and has a few small holes. I thought about just giving it a couple coats of POR15 but then I decided to go check my parts cars and found one that actually has a decent looking battery tray. So now I'm thinking I'll cut that whole section out of the parts car and weld it into the 94.

  5. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Jefferson, OH
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    Ok I've seen that beautiful wood floor before, that same pic is posted elsewhere on the internet. It must be one of only a few left in existence!

    Kinda surprising that the battery tray is the only area that's getting thin, I've noticed the lower core support is very often one of the most rusted areas under the hood.
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon

  6. #51
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    5,718

    Default

    This is a good swap, looking forward to seeing it running. Subscribed to thread!

  7. #52
    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sugar Land, TX
    Vehicle
    1996 Buick Century Limited 3100 V6 / 1995 Buick Century Special 3100 V6 / 2001 Chevy S-10 LS 2.2L
    Posts
    4,071

    Default

    That bed brings back memories of a certain 1961 Chevy Stepside (complete with wooden floor). I've never seen the wood in a fleetside before; must be very rare!

    Ken T.

  8. #53
    Senior Member Ray_McAvoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sherman, ME
    Vehicle
    74 Nova, 77 Nova, 88 Cutlass Ciera
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667
    That bed brings back memories of a certain 1961 Chevy Stepside (complete with wooden floor). I've never seen the wood in a fleetside before; must be very rare!
    Quote Originally Posted by 86euro
    Ok I've seen that beautiful wood floor before, that same pic is posted elsewhere on the internet. It must be one of only a few left in existence!
    Thanks for the compliments! From what I've researched, the wood floor was quite rare in the 73-80 fleetside GM trucks. Dad's is the only one I've ever seen in person and I've only seen/heard of maybe 5 or 6 more mentioned on the net. Andy, you probably saw the pics before on the 68-72chevytrucks.com website ... I posted some pics there in the 73-87 section shortly after completing the restoration. I think I might have also put a few pics on the chevytalk.com site too.

    Quote Originally Posted by 86euro
    Kinda surprising that the battery tray is the only area that's getting thin, I've noticed the lower core support is very often one of the most rusted areas under the hood.
    Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the lower core support was still solid. It does have some surface rust that needs attention but no thin spots. Strangely enough, the parts car that donated the battery tray had rust holes through the lower core support and strut towers, yet the battery mounting bracket only had some surface rust and the section of metal below that was nearly rust free.

    And speaking of the battery tray, I just finished up replacing that section today. It's a good thing I cut it out and replaced it instead of just coating it with POR15. Once I got the old tray area cut out, I could see that the rust was starting to spread into the unibody rail (or whatever it's called) underneath. Easy enough to fix with the battery tray section out of the way but nearly impossible with it still in place.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic
    This is a good swap, looking forward to seeing it running. Subscribed to thread!
    Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing it running too! I've probably got another week or two of work left to do before setting the "new" engine/trans into the car. Still on the to-do list is sanding down & re-painting the surface rusty areas on the strut towers and core support. The brake lines don't look too healthy in a few spots so I'll replace those while they're easy to get at with the engine/trans out of the way. And the new steering rack should be here before long. Then I can get the "new" engine/trans set into place and start working on the wiring & plumbing. So far, it looks like I might be able to simply re-position the wagon's existing nylon fuel lines so their quick-connect fittings will snap right onto the 3800's fuel rail. I'll try test fitting the LeSabre's old radiator hoses (and get some new ones for that application if they do fit) but I have my doubts since the LeSabre had a wider radiator. Next, I'll look into trying some U-body van 3800 hoses ... I'm not a big fan of those universal flex hoses so I'd like to avoid those if at all possible. On the heater hose side of things, I'm going to try using the U-van pipes along with the mating quick-connect fittings that Andy sent. I'm thinking regular heater hose might kink with the tight bends needed in that area so I might have to order some molded heater hoses for a U-van without a rear heater (from what I've seen in the parts catalogs those look like they should do the trick).

  9. #54
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Jefferson, OH
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    The u-van radiator hoses should work fine, the radiator is the same size as the a-body. Will 3300 hoses not work?
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon

  10. #55
    Senior Member Ray_McAvoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sherman, ME
    Vehicle
    74 Nova, 77 Nova, 88 Cutlass Ciera
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Thanks Andy, I'll probably just get some U-van radiator hoses then.

    I don't think the upper hose from a 3300 would fit since the thermostat housing / gooseneck points towards the front instead of off sideways like the L27 3800. I looked at the LG3 3.8L in my 88 Cutlass Ciera and that has the thermostat housing pointing towards the front too. The lower hose for either the 3300 or 3.8L would probably work though.

    The power steering hose is going to be another thing I'll have to change. I'm thinking either U-van or 3300 / 3.8L A-body for that too. My U-van service manual shows the PS hose making a rather large loop up between the side of the engine and the strut tower area (probably for easier accessibility in the van's engine compartment). While the A-body one takes a more direct route near the back of the engine. So I'll give the A-body PS hose a try first. I noticed that it does have a port for a pressure switch that I'll have to plug. Neither the 95 3800 nor the 94 3100 originally had a PS pressure switch ... I'm guessing the newer PCM's are fast enough to compensate the engine speed without needing the input from one of those switches.

  11. #56
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Jefferson, OH
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    The power steering hose was something I considered pulling from the van, but it looked original and was a bit wet with fluid. If I get a chance this weekend, I'll pull the hose off and see how it fits in the engine-less '88 wagon.
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon

  12. #57
    Senior Member Ray_McAvoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sherman, ME
    Vehicle
    74 Nova, 77 Nova, 88 Cutlass Ciera
    Posts
    311

    Default Engine compartment clean-up & paint.

    Progress has been slow but steady this past week.

    A before pic of the driver side strut tower (passenger side was similar).


    Most of the rust was around the holes for the ABS wires & wire harness clips. It doesn't look like they were sealed from the factory so I think it allowed some road salt to come in around those holes and collect on the engine side of the strut towers where it didn't get rinsed off like it does on the tire side. So when I put things back together I'm going to see if I can seal those openings up a little better with some 3M strip caulk or something around them.

    I used a 3M paint & rust remover wheel in a power drill to remove as much of the rust as possible. Sandblasting would have been best but it's really messy and I didn't want to risk getting sand in places it doesn't belong. So I soaked the areas with POR15 Metal Ready (basically a phosphoric acid) to help neutralize any remaining rust. After rinsing/drying, I sprayed on a couple coats of epoxy primer, applied some new seam sealer, and sprayed on urethane paint that I had left over from doing some work on the exterior of the wagon a few years ago.

    Here's the finished passenger side strut tower (driver side came out about the same).


    As you can see, I did have to weld in a couple patch pieces near the upper/front corner of the strut tower / fender apron area. I would have preferred to have ground them down a little smoother but I couldn't get my grinder to fit up into that area very good. Oh well, the coolant reservoir hides most of that area anyway.

    After completing the paint on the strut towers, I did a little clean-up & repainting on the firewall. That involved removing the blower housing and AC evaporator core so I could clean out the old leaves and debris that had collected in there over the years. I wasn't as bad as I was expecting but now that it's clean, I think it'll make a noticible improvement in the air flow through the HVAC system. While I had things apart, I put new O-rings in all of the AC line connections and replaced the orifice tube.

    Speaking of the AC system, I'll have to make a few changes there too. The 3100 used a V5 variable displacement AC compressor that runs constantly whenever the AC is on while the 3800 uses an HR6 compressor that's cycled on/off via the PCM. I compared both compressors and noticed that they both have the suction and discharge ports in the same orientation with the same connection style but the HR6's ports are back closer to the engine. That causes an interference problem with the starter when trying to use the A-body suction/discharge pipe/hose assembly. Basically, the "muffler" can on the discharge pipe hits the starter. The LeSabre suction/discharge pipe/hose assembly is of no use since the AC line routing in those cars is completely different. According to the service manual, the U-van AC lines are routed differently as well with the accumulator on the passenger side (instead of the driver side) of the engine compartment. So right now, the plan is to cut the aluminum line shortly after it exits the compressor connection block and use a repair connector to join it back together. That'll allow me to twist/rotate the line and swing that muffler can out away from the starter. I've already experimented with cutting an old line/hose assembly off my 94 parts car but I'll have to wait until I get the engine set into the car to see if swinging that muffler can forward creates any other clearance issues or not.

    Another difference with the AC system is that the 3100 had a 3-wire variable resistance sensor connected to the high side AC line. While the 3800 uses three 2-wire switches (a high cut-out switch on the back of the compressor, a fan switch on the high side AC line, and a cycling switch on the accumulator). The high cut-out switch is automatically taken care of since it's mounted on the compressor and I'm using the HR6 compressor that came on the 3800. The fan switch is also an easy fix since it screws right onto the same port on the high side AC line as the old 3-wire sensor. That only leaves figuring out a way to plumb the cycling switch into the system. Using an accumulator meant for either the LeSabre or U-van won't work since they're mounted in different locations and therefore have the line fittings pointing off in different directions. But after a little checking around, I discovered that 94/95 Buick Regals use the same style accumulator as A-bodies and the accumulator meant for a Regal with a 3800 does have the provision for the cycling switch along with the correct orientation on the line fittings. So that turned out to be a fairly easy fix.

    As for the power steering hose, I've done some more checking and so far it looks like the A-body 3300 one will work. I compared the upper (pump) end of the old LeSabre hose to a 3300 A-body hose and they're pretty close. The steel tubing is bent slightly different since the PS pump mounting bracket is different but it looks like it'll still fit. If not, some careful re-bending of the steel tubing should do the trick.

    I pulled the old steering rack out today and cleaned/painted the section of engine cradle underneath. I've got the new (reman) FE3 rack ready to go in tomorrow. I carefully measured the tie rod adjustment position on the old rack and copied that when I put the new outer tie rod ends on the new rack. The alignment shop is about 45 miles away so I wanted to get the toe adjustment fairly close so it'll steer halfway decent on the trip there.

    Once the steering rack is in, I've got to bend up some new brake lines and then the engine compartment should finally be ready to set the 3800 into place.

  13. #58
    Senior Member Ray_McAvoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sherman, ME
    Vehicle
    74 Nova, 77 Nova, 88 Cutlass Ciera
    Posts
    311

    Default New Steering Rack

    Got the new steering rack in yesterday:


    I used the A-1 Cardone #22110 FE3 rack that's listed as fitting 82-91 on the RockAuto site. I had asked earlier about it fitting these newer A-bodys and Andy replied:
    Quote Originally Posted by 86euro
    Another member here recently had trouble swapping the FE3 rack into a newer model a-body. An intermediate shaft from an older model made the swap possible.
    So I pulled an intermediate shaft out of one of my older parts cars and had it ready for the swap. Just out of curiosity, I decided to give the existing 94 intermediate shaft a try before unbolting it from the steering column and interestingly enough, it went right onto the rack's input shaft without any problem.

    Those of you familiar with these later (94-96) A-body engine compartments will probably notice that the "throttle modulator" is missing from the firewall above the blower case. I can't remember if I mentioned this earlier or not, but the 3800 basically has that modulator mechanism built into the linkage on the throttle body so the one on the firewall is no longer needed. My first thought was to use a throttle cable from a 3300 A-body but on closer inspection, I noticed that it hooks up different than the 3800 on the throttle body bracket. So at this point I'm planning on using the LeSabre's throttle cable. It looks to be the same where it goes through the firewall and hooks to the pedal.

    Removal of that modulator assembly from the firewall left the headlight/ABS wiring harness unsupported in that area since the modulator bracket had built-in wire harness supports. Luckily, that was easily solved by using the wire harness support clips/brackets off one of my older A-body parts cars (the existing screw holes in the firewall were even at the correct height).

    If the weather stays halfway decent, I should be able to get the new brake lines done and be on track to set the 3800 into it's new home this upcomming weekend.

  14. #59
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    5,718

    Default

    That's looking very good!

    I'm not too familiar with the "throttle modulator?" I consider myself fairly well-versed on these cars. Is this the cruise control actuator? On all my cars, there is just a bracket on the TB and the throttle cables for the cruise and the gas pedal and transmission connect there.

    Just a word of warning, another member here installed a rebuilt FE3 rack, and it leaks. You might want to devise a way to leak-check it before the engine goes in!

    Sincerely,
    David

  15. #60
    Senior Member Ray_McAvoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sherman, ME
    Vehicle
    74 Nova, 77 Nova, 88 Cutlass Ciera
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Thanks David!

    I'm not very familiar with these throttle modulators either. This is my first time comming across one and I wasn't even sure what it was called until I looked it up in the service manual. Seems to be somewhat specific to the 3100 engine from what I can tell.

    It's separate from the cruise actuator and inline between the pedal & TB. It had one cable going from the pedal to the modulator and then another cable going from the modulator to the TB. Inside the modulator is sort of a rotary cam type mechanism that appears to change the amount of travel between the two cables. And the two cables also appear to be linked through a spring so it's not a direct connection (looks like you could still push the pedal down, pulling on that spring, even if the TB was stuck shut).

    The 3800 going in has the setup you described with the throttle (and cruise) cables going directly to the TB. However, the TB itself does appear to incorporate a mechanism to change the amount of travel between the cable and the throttle blade. The lever the cables hook onto is connected (via a short linkage bar) to the lever that operates the throttle blade. I'm not sure why GM just didn't do this on the 3100 TB instead of going to all the extra expense of adding that separate throttle modulator gizmo.

    Thanks for the warning on leak testing the rack. I've leak tested new brake lines with compressed air on many of my restoration projects to make sure I wouldn't have a loose fitting or bad flare dribbling brake fluid all over newly painted parts. I should be able to do something similar using the ends off some old PS hoses to pressurize the rack with compressed air.

    By the way, I was reading through your LeSabre Grand National trubo thread and really like the idea you came up with to keep that lower/front mount from pulling apart where the rubber is bonded to the steel. This car uses a similar mount at that location and I'm thinking it could benefit from that mod as well.

    Thanks,
    Ray

Page 4 of 9 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
VigLink badge