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3800 Series I low budget conversion- Questions- Decision time by darbysan
Started on: 02-19-2015 03:26 PM
Replies: 2 (147 views)
Last post by: darbysan on 02-20-2015 10:36 AM
darbysan
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Report this Post02-19-2015 03:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for darbysanClick Here to Email darbysanSend a Private Message to darbysanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've got a line on a low mileage (80K) 95 Buick PA Ultra SC. I can get the whole car as a donor. Runs and drives OK, but was in an accident ( side collision). I want to hook up the engine to the 5 spd Getrag In my '87. Need to make a decision this weekend on whether to buy the car or not. I will be installing the engine Bone Stock- no upgrades needed. Not looking for high HP, only a good daily driver with a little Umph, so 225 hp is OK. Don't really need to do a swap now- I would be buying the car on Speculation that I would do the swap in the future. But I'm a planner, and like to know as much as I can before I jump into something- saves money in the long run by not having to re-do my mistakes! Probably wouldn't be considering this at all, except the donor is in great condition, low mileage and cheap. Getting harder to find low mileage engines of any series, and the cost of doing a rebuild just takes it out of low budget range.


I've researched until I can't see straight. Most recommend going with at least a series II, but some still say the series I is OK too. I've done a swap with TPI ( OBD1) into my EL Camino, so am more familiar with the earlier programming, and have the tools to do my own programming. Wiring is also not an issue.

My Concerns:
1) 1" taller height- is this a deal breaker, or can trimming solve the issues
2) must use AC ( Las Vegas)
3) Would like to use the Buick ECM, but have questions regarding swapping to a Manual Trans. So far unable to find a BIN file that is for a Std Trans, and/or an XDF file that shows a Std/Auto trigger. Is there another ECM/BIN file for OBD1 that might work instead?
4) all the other issues I don't know about yet, but hope to learn here!!!

Would love to hear your thoughts. Help me make this decision, and Thanks!!!

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'87 GT in process!

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cmechmann
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Report this Post02-19-2015 10:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cmechmannClick Here to Email cmechmannSend a Private Message to cmechmannEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Your first issue is going to be finding a manual transmission flywheel for a Series 1 SC. Series 2 flywheels are easier to find. I have never heard of a FWD 3800 Series 1 manual flywheel. Let alone one for a SC. Except for a expensive custom made one. It would be cheaper to keep the automatic from the car.
Your next issue is going to be the PCM. The 95 and 96 PCMs are very buggy to have flashed. The 94 PCMs had eproms but suck. And I haven't seen any bin files for 94-96. Your best bet if you stick with Series 1 is a 92-93 PCM. The MAF sensor will have to be replaced with the older MAF. IF you decide to do automatic, the internal wiring in the transmission will need to be modified.
I currently have a 85GT with a Series 2 SC. Using a 1993 16141470 PCM. The transmission was from a 1995 N body with very simular internals to the C/H body. Still had to modify the internal wiring. It started with a 1993 3800 SC that had sat for a looong time but had only 70,000 on it. Ran great for about 3000 miles then spun a bearing. Found a chunk of rust that had came from an oil galley. I didn't have problems with clearance, but I had made my own mount brackets. I went with a 4 point mount setup, doing away with the dogbone. That also gave me more room for the oil filter. I'm not running A/C, but there is still room for it. I put the alternator where the power steering is on the Buick. When the engine went, I found a Series 2 with 90,000 on it. Had to rework my alternator, tensioner brackets, Exhaust and change the wiring to except a 1998 MAF. But I am still using the 1995 transmission and 1993 PCM. For the axles I used the axles that came with the V6 N body (Grand Am, Skylark, Achieva 93-95 with 4T60e) transmission. The outboard joints worked with the Fiero hubs. I just had to change the right shaft part of the axle, with one from a 3.1/4T60e W-body to change the lenth.
I would suggest getting a spare cradle so you can mock everything up on it before doing the swap. When I did mine, the only thing I had to contend with after was the wiring. But I was able to drive it home.
Due to 2 collisions, The 85 will soon be taken apart. I currently drive an 87. I will be removing the complete drive train, including the cradle, wiring, fuel system etc. from the 85. Over the next few months, I intend to have everything completed to make it plug and play for the 87. Really the only things I need to do are, redo the exhaust and take care of the rats nest of wiring that goes under the consol. I am determined to be able to unplug/plug in. If I can con my wife into letting me use her camera and I finally learn how to post pics, I might share.

[This message has been edited by cmechmann (edited 02-19-2015).]

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darbysan
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Report this Post02-20-2015 10:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for darbysanClick Here to Email darbysanSend a Private Message to darbysanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the input. Hadn't considered that I wouldn't be able to re-program the ECM. Replacing he ECM, Harness and MAF makes it cost prohibitive ( I had already figured on a special flywheel). Sent the seller an Email backing out of the deal on the donor.

Thanks

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'87 GT in process!

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