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The LFX engine for a swap?. by Dennis LaGrua
Started on: 11-17-2018 04:50 AM
Replies: 65 (1199 views)
Last post by: Daryl M on 12-16-2018 02:31 AM
Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-17-2018 04:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Most Fiero owners that wanted more horsepower went with the 3800SC or 4.9L engines. A few tried the 3500/3900 engines but I do not recall seeing many LFX engine swaps. The LFX might be the next great engine for a V6 Fiero engine swap because its light and in the right version makes 300HP normally aspirated . Using VVT the torque curve on this engine is very strong ( almost flat) to 7,000 RPM. The engine is being swapped into other cars so why not a Fiero? Editing software is available that will allow this engine to run on the stock PCM without the BCM, ABS and instrument. interfaces. Point is that this engine has been used "stand alone". The swap would require custom mounts and axles but it might be worth the trouble. I have been considering doing a swap with this engine but has anyone successfully completed one yet? If so how did it go and how is the performance?

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

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wftb
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Report this Post11-17-2018 08:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Not running yet, the OP got busy with other stuff. http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/137446.html There is one other thread along the same lines but I have not seen it for a while.

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Daryl M
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Report this Post11-17-2018 11:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I am in process now. I am using an F40 transmission with a 2013 LFX from an Impala. Doing motor mounts now.

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Daryl M
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Report this Post11-17-2018 11:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/138651.html

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-17-2018 11:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The simplest solution for the LFX swap might be bolting in the FWD configuration that came with the 6 speed automatic that was designed for its torque curve and power. While we have yet to see this engine swap running in a Fiero it has been done on many other brands of cars and trucks.
To answer the question below: the LFX is part of GM's current high feature 6 cyl DOHC Alloytec engine family. It is lighter than previous GM engines (all aluminum) and makes more horsepower. At 303-321 HP and 264-275 ft lbs of torque ( and a flat curve) it brings impressive performance and gas mileage. Its also a flex fuel friendly design. Its today's technology. Late model Cadillacs, Chevrolets or Buicks use them.

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

[This message has been edited by Dennis LaGrua (edited 11-17-2018).]

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Lou6t4gto
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Report this Post11-17-2018 05:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Lou6t4gtoClick Here to Email Lou6t4gtoSend a Private Message to Lou6t4gtoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Maybe a dumb question, but maybe alot of folks never heard of a lfx. What is it , and what did it come in ???? thanks

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Rickady88GT
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Report this Post11-17-2018 09:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:

The simplest solution for the LFX swap might be bolting in the FWD configuration that came with the 6 speed automatic that was designed for its torque curve and power. While we have yet to see this engine swap running in a Fiero it has been done on many other brands of cars and trucks.
To answer the question below: the LFX is part of GM's current high feature 6 cyl DOHC Alloytec engine family. It is lighter than previous GM engines (all aluminum) and makes more horsepower. At 303-321 HP and 264-275 ft lbs of torque ( and a flat curve) it brings impressive performance and gas mileage. Its also a flex fuel friendly design. Its today's technology. Late model Cadillacs, Chevrolets or Buicks use them.


They also sound AMAZING with a good exhaust system.

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Daryl M
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Report this Post11-18-2018 02:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/138651.html

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Daryl M
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Report this Post11-18-2018 03:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The LFX is a recent version of the high feature v6. It comes in most full size GM cars and SUVs. It typically produces 300-325hp and 265-275 lb/ft of torque.

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Daryl M
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Report this Post11-18-2018 03:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/..._High_Feature_engine

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Daryl M
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Report this Post11-18-2018 03:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The down side of going with the automatic transmission is that the ECM, bc and transmission module all need to be reprogrammed to delete things like traction control, ABS and a bunch of other stuff. Using the stock ECM as a stand alone to control the engine is a simpler approach and an F40 from a 2.8l Saab bolts up easily with the Saab clutch.

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-18-2018 11:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Daryl M:

The down side of going with the automatic transmission is that the ECM, bc and transmission module all need to be reprogrammed to delete things like traction control, ABS and a bunch of other stuff. Using the stock ECM as a stand alone to control the engine is a simpler approach and an F40 from a 2.8l Saab bolts up easily with the Saab clutch.


I will agree that the stick is the easier route to go but all those things you mentioned still need to be deleted from the program. There is a guy on You Tube that does the auto swaps and he's getting the powertrain to run fine, so it is possible if you are a good programmer.. I am considering this swap as most of the swaps that we have done here including myself use older technology engines. The LFX IMO makes the Fiero a more modern runner.

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

[This message has been edited by Dennis LaGrua (edited 11-18-2018).]

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wftb
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Report this Post11-18-2018 02:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

HP tuners can solve most of the problems with getting rid of stuff that you are not going to use. But things like ABS,traction control, airbags etc do not have to be tuned out. If you do not connect the sensors required they simply do not work and the warning light comes on. If you are using the donor car's instrument panel that is. The HP tuners setup that I use on my ecotec 2.2 cost 650.00 10 years ago. It was well worth the money and it tunes some Ford and Chrysler products as well.

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Rickady88GT
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Report this Post11-18-2018 08:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by wftb:

HP tuners can solve most of the problems with getting rid of stuff that you are not going to use. But things like ABS,traction control, airbags etc do not have to be tuned out. If you do not connect the sensors required they simply do not work and the warning light comes on. If you are using the donor car's instrument panel that is. The HP tuners setup that I use on my ecotec 2.2 cost 650.00 10 years ago. It was well worth the money and it tunes some Ford and Chrysler products as well.

Not necessarily. It depends on the manufacturer and how much they want to protect their brand. Some of the functions can be ignored, but in some cases such missing sensor input can't trigger a "limp home mode". I have no idea if GM has locked out all of it's brands from aftermarket reflashing, but it is possible the for example Cadillac ECM's are more secure against aftermarket than a Camaro. BUT the money drives the market, so if the demand is there, the "tuners" will be there to support the market (take your money to the bank).

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Report this Post11-18-2018 09:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FastOwen2XLLClick Here to Email FastOwen2XLLSend a Private Message to FastOwen2XLLEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

A quick check on eBay I found a 2015 Buick Lacrosse engine w/harness under 50k miles for $650. Certainly makes the swap tempting.

There are certainly considerable challenges tho. One thing not mentioned is the fuel system. LFX motors are direct-injected. This would require a complete re-engineered fuel system. Not sure about GM, but some manufacturers even use pulse width modulated fuel pumps which would require a modern PCM to control. Likely you would have to transplant the entire EVAP system as well.

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Report this Post11-18-2018 11:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by FastOwen2XLL:

A quick check on eBay I found a 2015 Buick Lacrosse engine w/harness under 50k miles for $650. Certainly makes the swap tempting.

There are certainly considerable challenges tho. One thing not mentioned is the fuel system. LFX motors are direct-injected. This would require a complete re-engineered fuel system. Not sure about GM, but some manufacturers even use pulse width modulated fuel pumps which would require a modern PCM to control. Likely you would have to transplant the entire EVAP system as well.

One thong to think about is the health of the top end. GM royaly screwed up with the ventilation system of the heads via the valve covers. Specifically the head under the windshield. It is so poorly vented that it causes heavy baked oil residue to build up under the value cover. This condition has destroyed many engines. If possible, have the seller of the engine remove the valve covers and take pictures of the cams and valve springs. That will give you a good idea of the condition of the engine, more so than just the mileage. Then during your engine swap, install proper valve cover ventilation.

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wftb
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Report this Post11-19-2018 12:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Looks like every recent Cadilac motor can be tuned by HP tuners. Check out the supported vehicles list on their website. Not surprising considering they keep adding more supported vehicles almost every month. For some reason domestic vehicles are easy for companys like HP to hack. Honda for instance can only be hacked by adding piggyback modifiers like Hondata. As far as I know there is no aftermarket tuner that has ever hacked Honda's code.

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Report this Post11-20-2018 11:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by FastOwen2XLL:

There are certainly considerable challenges tho. One thing not mentioned is the fuel system. LFX motors are direct-injected. This would require a complete re-engineered fuel system. Not sure about GM, but some manufacturers even use pulse width modulated fuel pumps which would require a modern PCM to control. Likely you would have to transplant the entire EVAP system as well.


The high pressure pump used for DI is mechanically driven and is internal to the engine. There are no major fuel system changes required. PWM fuel pump outputs have been around for years.

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post11-20-2018 07:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Rickady88GT:

One thong to think about is the health of the top end. GM royaly screwed up with the ventilation system of the heads via the valve covers. Specifically the head under the windshield. It is so poorly vented that it causes heavy baked oil residue to build up under the value cover. This condition has destroyed many engines. If possible, have the seller of the engine remove the valve covers and take pictures of the cams and valve springs. That will give you a good idea of the condition of the engine, more so than just the mileage. Then during your engine swap, install proper valve cover ventilation.


The LFX shouldn't have a problem with the top end, actually none of the second generation 3.6L motors do except where poor quality oil has been used, or where it has not been changed faithfully. The potential trouble was caused by the PCV system which appears to have been addressed in the LFX. The PCV valve would clog early on which was corrected by changing the size of the metering holes and at some point revamping the system.

The right bank which will be easy to access in the rear of the Fiero, is poorly ventilated and actually not at all because a partition separates the PCV outlet area from the valve area of the head and no air moves over it allowing combustion contaminants more time to settle. You can see in the picture below that the right cylinder head has a slight tan compared to the left, but nothing threatening at all because of 3k mile full synthetic oil changes.

Engines were ruined early on because some motors consumed oil and an engine like that in the hands of an owner that didn't realize they needed to check the oil level routinely, often ended up too many quarts low by the time the oil life monitor came on approaching 12k miles. If you run this motor low on oil, it will not likely run long after you correct the oil level before it comes apart. If the motor is from a car that calls for Full synthetic, there will be nothing unusual under the valve cover.

As for the fuel pump, you'll need to adapt the modular pump, or supply a 60 psi feed to the high pressure pump.

The best source for modification possibilities will be on the Camaro forums dedicated to the 3.6L generation cars. The days of easy swaps are gone, the computer systems are a potential nightmare especially in the Cadillac if you make one little mistake. It will be interesting to see what challenges are encountered during the swap process of these motors into the Fiero. Once successful, you'll have a heck of a performer.


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Raydar
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Report this Post11-21-2018 07:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Joseph Upson:
The LFX shouldn't have a problem with the top end, actually none of the second generation 3.6L motors do except where poor quality oil has been used, or where it has not been changed faithfully.
...


What about the timing chain "stretch" (or other) issues. It seemed to be fairly common in the LY7, and other engines of that vintage.

Was it fixed (or band-aided) in the LFX?

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post11-22-2018 01:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:
What about the timing chain "stretch" (or other) issues. It seemed to be fairly common in the LY7, and other engines of that vintage.

Was it fixed (or band-aided) in the LFX?


The timing chain stretch is actually timing chain wear and elongation that is accelerated by poor oil quality. The LY7 started with a combination silent chain crank and idler, roller chain to camshafts combination and encountered an alleged bad batch of chains not long after the switch to a complete silent chain system in 2008, which was probably aggravated by extended oil change intervals, even when the proper oil level was maintained.

What I have discovered from changing the oil at 3k mile intervals as opposed to the oil life monitors ~6k interval, is that this motor is brutal on oil. I'm not sure if it's a consequence of a greater quantity of fuel contamination from the direct injection, or if it's just beat to death, but when it comes out at 3k miles it's black and quite thin. I've since switched to 10w40 Mobil 1 over the recommended 5w30 with an audible difference in the sound of the motor (quieter) which makes lots of extra noises over the pushrod motor. The picture I posted was near the finish of timing chain replacement as a preventive measure. The LFX, LLT and late LY7 all use the same timing components.

It's tough to know if anything significant was done, or even necessary aside from returning to a practical oil change interval and making sure the chains were properly hardened. The info is tough to come by and although the motors for the most part are 3.6L, they may contain different parts within the same engine series, for example, the 2012 Cadillac CTS and Chevy Camaro have the same pistons, but different connecting rods. The Camaro's have a taper at the small end apparently to lighten them and provide an edge over what should be a slower luxury car. The LF3 is the turbo version and along with reasonably different pistons, it also has slightly shorter rods by .020 from what the Camaro owners discovered while investigating the adaptability of the parts in LFX platforms.

[This message has been edited by Joseph Upson (edited 11-22-2018).]

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-24-2018 07:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Joseph Upson:


The LFX shouldn't have a problem with the top end, actually none of the second generation 3.6L motors do except where poor quality oil has been used, or where it has not been changed faithfully. The potential trouble was caused by the PCV system which appears to have been addressed in the LFX. The PCV valve would clog early on which was corrected by changing the size of the metering holes and at some point revamping the system.

The right bank which will be easy to access in the rear of the Fiero, is poorly ventilated and actually not at all because a partition separates the PCV outlet area from the valve area of the head and no air moves over it allowing combustion contaminants more time to settle. You can see in the picture below that the right cylinder head has a slight tan compared to the left, but nothing threatening at all because of 3k mile full synthetic oil changes.

Engines were ruined early on because some motors consumed oil and an engine like that in the hands of an owner that didn't realize they needed to check the oil level routinely, often ended up too many quarts low by the time the oil life monitor came on approaching 12k miles. If you run this motor low on oil, it will not likely run long after you correct the oil level before it comes apart. If the motor is from a car that calls for Full synthetic, there will be nothing unusual under the valve cover.

As for the fuel pump, you'll need to adapt the modular pump, or supply a 60 psi feed to the high pressure pump.

The best source for modification possibilities will be on the Camaro forums dedicated to the 3.6L generation cars. The days of easy swaps are gone, the computer systems are a potential nightmare especially in the Cadillac if you make one little mistake. It will be interesting to see what challenges are encountered during the swap process of these motors into the Fiero. Once successful, you'll have a heck of a performer.



Its was relayed to me from a mechanic that that does the LFX swaps on trucks; an external fuel pump in series with the internal pump solves the fueling problem. He also apparently has solved the PCM reprogramming process and says that its no problem making the engine run "stand alone". The swaps all keep the ETC and use the gas pedal module. As for mounts, I have no idea how this engine would be mounted in a Fiero but it should fit an axles for the FWD swap is anyones guess.
These LF series engines being high tech may be more sensitive to maintenance issues than older engines, so for the Fiero people trying to do them; I hope that they heard the engine run beforehand. One issue that I can see is that DFI engines have the PCM system routing exhaust gases into the intake manifold. On DFI engines there is no fuel in the intake air and none cleaning the valves and cylinders. IMO, the valves and cylinders are now prone to carbon build up and this shortens engine life. I agree that this powertrain will make one strong lightweight performer that will blow away a stock 3800SC. .

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

[This message has been edited by Dennis LaGrua (edited 11-24-2018).]

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wftb
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Report this Post11-24-2018 08:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I have to say that the problems that Joseph Upson mentions make this an engine that I would stay away from. Having to change the oil every 3000 miles is unheard of for a modern engine. In the last 5 years I have had 4 new cars and none of them have burnt any oil and I just change the oil when the car tells me to. Modern engines are designed to not burn oil to protect the emisions system. I find it very surprising when I read about a newer engine burning oil.

[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 11-24-2018).]

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post11-24-2018 12:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:
Its was relayed to me from a mechanic that that does the LFX swaps on trucks; an external fuel pump in series with the internal pump solves the fueling problem. He also apparently has solved the PCM reprogramming process and says that its no problem making the engine run "stand alone". The swaps all keep the ETC and use the gas pedal module. As for mounts, I have no idea how this engine would be mounted in a Fiero but it should fit an axles for the FWD swap is anyones guess.
These LF series engines being high tech may be more sensitive to maintenance issues than older engines, so for the Fiero people trying to do them; I hope that they heard the engine run beforehand. One issue that I can see is that DFI engines have the PCM system routing exhaust gases into the intake manifold. On DFI engines there is no fuel in the intake air and none cleaning the valves and cylinders. IMO, the valves and cylinders are now prone to carbon build up and this shortens engine life. I agree that this powertrain will make one strong lightweight performer that will blow away a stock 3800SC. .


All of the direct injected engines have a high pressure fuel pump fed by an in tank pump. The only fueling issues regarding shortage is when forced induction is added due to the small high pressure fuel pipes having flow limitations as boost pressures climb. The LFX is still pretty much the same motor as its two predecessors; LY7 and LLT, it just has an integrated exhaust outlet, plastic intake plenum and a few small additional upgrades. A good oil catch can pretty much puts carbon build up on top of the intake valves to rest, which has in some cases caused engine performance issues but not as bad as some imports have experienced. Like all of the previous 60 degree motors, they all come in RWD and FWD arrangement.

 
quote
Originally posted by wftb:

I have to say that the problems that Joseph Upson mentions make this an engine that I would stay away from. Having to change the oil every 3000 miles is unheard of for a modern engine. In the last 5 years I have had 4 new cars and none of them have burnt any oil and I just change the oil when the car tells me to. Modern engines are designed to not burn oil to protect the emisions system. I find it very surprising when I read about a newer engine burning oil.


Oil burning is not a new problem with GM motors. The 3.6L is not so much an oil burner as it was a victim of its PCV system which went like this in the CTS: Passenger side valve cover vents to the intake and has a vacuum pull most of the time. The driver side valve cover has a vent tube inlet that pulls from the fresh air after the mass airflow sensor. During spirited acceleration, the vacuum on the passenger side drops from throttle opening and is over come by the increased vacuum inside the air inlet tube on the driver side, as a result, the airflow through the valve covers combined with higher crankcase combustion gasses reverses direction of flow, to cause oil misting into the intake from the passenger side valve cover and under the above condition, oil misting into the intake tube from the driver side valve cover and it could get bad enough that when combined with an engine that does use oil, a higher rate of oil loss that lead to low oil levels in some cars with 12k mile oil change intervals until the recall for recalibration campaign to shorten the oil change interval and apparently in the LFX a PCV correction.

3k mile oil changes are a preference for me because of personal proof that these motors are hard on oil and because they are engineered in a manner now that is almost certain to require a timing chain replacement before 200k miles, likely between 120-150k. That's a $2500-3000 job if you pay to have it done. Frequent oil changes help with chain longevity.

As long as the motor is well cared for, you shouldn't have any trouble, especially in stand alone mode in the absence of the BCM which causes all sorts of driveability issues when it is not happy. Aside from that, the motor is a screamer and moves the heavy 08 CTS from 0-60 in ~ 6 sec. Not long ago that was pretty fast for a GM small block chevy 350 sports car.

[This message has been edited by Joseph Upson (edited 11-24-2018).]

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Will
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Report this Post11-24-2018 02:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by wftb:

I have to say that the problems that Joseph Upson mentions make this an engine that I would stay away from. Having to change the oil every 3000 miles is unheard of for a modern engine. In the last 5 years I have had 4 new cars and none of them have burnt any oil and I just change the oil when the car tells me to. Modern engines are designed to not burn oil to protect the emisions system. I find it very surprising when I read about a newer engine burning oil.



The on-board oil life monitors do *NOT* give you a change interval that's best for the engine. They give you a change interval that is a compromise between what the EPA wants--which is for OEMs to weld hoods shut when cars leave the plant--and the OEM's need to keep the rate of warranty failures low enough that the brand and business case can deal with it. The *REAL* way to know when to change your oil is to send samples to Blackstone Labs (or another oil analysis house, although Blackstone seems to be the biggest in the market).

They'll tell you when your iron content is getting high, or your additive package is running thin, when your pH is getting out of whack due to exhaust gases dissolving in the oil, etc.

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 11-24-2018).]

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Report this Post11-24-2018 02:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Joseph Upson:

Oil burning is not a new problem with GM motors.



1 qt/ 1000 miles isn't even a problem... that just keeps your additive package refreshed in between filter changes.
Keeping oil consumption down <1 qt / 12000 miles requires a hone pattern on the bores that retains so little oil that the engine wouldn't last at high RPM. That's why oil consumption is higher among German cars... they still have to be designed to drive down the Autobahn turning 5000+ RPM in top gear... for hundreds of kilometers... and still last 100,000 miles. This requires the bore walls to retain enough oil to lubricate the pistons and rings while sustaining that RPM. Having a greater amount of oil on the bore walls means that it's easier to burn a little of it at light load and low RPM as seen on American roads.

GM's final dyno validation for a new engine design is THREE HUNDRED HOURS at WOT cycling between peak torque and peak power RPM points. In order to survive that, the bores have to retain enough oil to keep the rings lubricated.

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 11-24-2018).]

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post11-24-2018 04:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:
1 qt/ 1000 miles isn't even a problem... that just keeps your additive package refreshed in between filter changes.
Keeping oil consumption down <1 qt / 12000 miles requires a hone pattern on the bores that retains so little oil that the engine wouldn't last at high RPM. That's why oil consumption is higher among German cars... they still have to be designed to drive down the Autobahn turning 5000+ RPM in top gear... for hundreds of kilometers... and still last 100,000 miles. This requires the bore walls to retain enough oil to lubricate the pistons and rings while sustaining that RPM. Having a greater amount of oil on the bore walls means that it's easier to burn a little of it at light load and low RPM as seen on American roads.

GM's final dyno validation for a new engine design is THREE HUNDRED HOURS at WOT cycling between peak torque and peak power RPM points. In order to survive that, the bores have to retain enough oil to keep the rings lubricated.



I was aware of the allowable consumption, but not some of the other details you provided. On the Cadillac forum, oil consumption varies from none, to allowable and an occasional complaint of excessive. To put the PCV problem in perspective, my car shows no obvious consumption between oil change intervals. In order to address the PCV metering problem, some owners conducted a PCV modification by over boring the metering holes in the valve to help prevent clogging that would cause more reverse flow through the free flowing driver side vent tube and to allow more flow through the valve. I performed that modification immediately after an oil change and immediately drove 80 miles 90% of it interstate. When I checked my oil level at the end of the trip, the motor was half a quart low. I fixed the PCV with a new stocker right away.

It varies from car to car, the disaster reports I read often stated the oil level changed drastically in a very short and inexplicable amount of time especially in cars with an existing oil consumption complaint, leading to unstable VVT control, subsequent engine codes and driveability problems, prompting a trip to the dealer and the discovery that the oil level was extremely low to not registering. A low oil level warning was not added until 2012 I believe.

Perhaps VVT contributes to it through appropriate changes for efficiency that result in higher average vacuum pressures pulling on the PCV more. I've noted many occasions when the programming is clearly trying to extract every ounce of torque out of a given throttle input before finally allowing the tranny to kick down into a lower gear for acceleration if the throttle input is not aggressive when approaching 3/4.

[This message has been edited by Joseph Upson (edited 11-24-2018).]

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wftb
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Report this Post11-24-2018 04:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

My turbo ecotec 2.2 has never burned any oil. As far as sending a sample of oil off to a lab to get it checked I really can't be bothered. If it blows up I will build another one. But it is showing no signs of any problems, I rev it to 7K just to hear the noise. This is one of the few engines I have owned that I modified. I usually do not trust my own engine work but I put Wiseco pistons and Eagle rods in so it could handle boost better. When I went to a road course last summer I spent 15 minutes in third gear between 3500 and 7000 RPM and no problems. And still no oil consumption. And no problems with timing chains either. It took GM 3 tries to design a chain tensioner that wouldn't break but in the GM drag engine that produced 1500 HP the only stock item that was still used was the cam chain. (for racing a solid cam chain tensioner was used) And compared to the LFX cam chain, an ecotec cam chain looks like it belongs on a bicycle.

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Daryl M
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Report this Post11-24-2018 10:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Just sent my ECM to Ryan Gick at Sinister. Looks like he is going to do his magic and send it back with wiring instructions. Since this is his first LFX/manual tranny in a Fiero, I may be his test case. Did a test fit in the car today. Went ok, but still a little nip and tuck required for an acceptable fit. If I could figure out how to post photos, I'd let you guys see, but as it is I am now only posting the the Arizona Fiero Facebook page.

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-24-2018 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

On further checking the LFX uses the 6T70 FWD "W' transmission that is a very high tech design. . The axles appear to b just like typical GM axles. The auto trans front to back measurement looks like the Fiero would accept the over all length of the power train w the 4T70 but the width may require some cradle mods, but since I do not have one near that only a guess.

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

[This message has been edited by Dennis LaGrua (edited 11-25-2018).]

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Report this Post11-24-2018 11:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I thought the LFX was coupled to a 6t70? That is what was in my donor car. (2013 Impala)

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post11-25-2018 03:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Daryl M:

I thought the LFX was coupled to a 6t70? That is what was in my donor car. (2013 Impala)


You are correct. Post edited.

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

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Report this Post11-25-2018 12:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for msweldonClick Here to Email msweldonSend a Private Message to msweldonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Daryl M:

Just sent my ECM to Ryan Gick at Sinister. Looks like he is going to do his magic and send it back with wiring instructions. Since this is his first LFX/manual tranny in a Fiero, I may be his test case. Did a test fit in the car today. Went ok, but still a little nip and tuck required for an acceptable fit. If I could figure out how to post photos, I'd let you guys see, but as it is I am now only posting the the Arizona Fiero Facebook page.


If you're using the Saab 6 speed manual, like I am, have you solved your VSS signal issue? The E92 has to have one but the Saab F40 doesn't have a VSS so its either GPS VSS, adapt an abs tone ring to either the front bearings / rear cv axle with sensor, or rig up a reluctor wheel / tone ring to the half shaft.


I've found an abs tone ring that should be able to heat fit onto the recess where the hub seal cover sits on the cv axle but it may be too tight against the knuckle to fit a sensor in there... Dorman 917-544

Also the '04 Saturn ION Redline intermediate half shaft has a VSS reluctor on the axle, fits into the F35 so should fit the F40, but that's a relatively rare find at the bone yard and a discontinued part

[This message has been edited by msweldon (edited 11-25-2018).]

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Daryl M
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Report this Post11-25-2018 04:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Daryl MClick Here to Email Daryl MSend a Private Message to Daryl MEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Not sure how I am going to address the VSS issue, but you have mentioned the common options. I'll probably go with something on the intermediate axle shaft. Seems easiest.

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Report this Post11-27-2018 07:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Uncovered one of the LFX engine swap secrets. He uses a AEM series 2 ECU to run the engine which makes sense but I have not discovered what he uses to control the 6T70 transmission. Just discovered it below.
New data: The 6T70 transmission can be shifted with a PCS TCM 2650 transmission controller. The only other way to shift it is by using the OEM PCM but since its a CAN unit it is doubtful that it can be used stand alone.
So there you go, bolt in the LFX powertrain using special mounts and with the above it will run correctly. You can even buy harnesses for both.
------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

[This message has been edited by Dennis LaGrua (edited 12-04-2018).]

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Reallybig
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Report this Post12-02-2018 11:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ReallybigSend a Private Message to ReallybigEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I recently finished a stock LY7 swap in my saturn outlook. The original engine had 250,000 kms on it and developed a stretched timing chain death code P0017. It was cheaper to buy a replacement low km engine than all the parts needed to fix the original. It ran fine until you got the revs up and you could hear the tensioner trying to take up the slack. So I have for all purposes a good engine in need of a chain swap sitting in my garage. I did lots of research on this motor and would NEVER swap it into a fiero just because of the bs you have to put up with as a result of piss poor GM engineering. We all know a high maintenance woman is usually not worth the effort required to keep her around looking good on your arm... and I am just of the mindset that I will enjoy cruising with a lower maintenance engine that may not perform as well, but cost me less money and spend more time being ridden hard.

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post12-03-2018 07:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Reallybig:
I recently finished a stock LY7 swap in my saturn outlook. The original engine had 250,000 kms on it and developed a stretched timing chain death code P0017. It was cheaper to buy a replacement low km engine than all the parts needed to fix the original. It ran fine until you got the revs up and you could hear the tensioner trying to take up the slack. So I have for all purposes a good engine in need of a chain swap sitting in my garage. I did lots of research on this motor and would NEVER swap it into a fiero just because of the bs you have to put up with as a result of piss poor GM engineering. We all know a high maintenance woman is usually not worth the effort required to keep her around looking good on your arm... and I am just of the mindset that I will enjoy cruising with a lower maintenance engine that may not perform as well, but cost me less money and spend more time being ridden hard.


If you performed the engine swap yourself and the only thing wrong with the previous engine was just worn out timing chains, how did you arrive at swapping another used motor in as being cheaper? I replaced the timing chains on the motor pictured above for right at $500 in parts and that included all chains, all tensioners, all idler gears (Cloyes timing set) and all four actuators which made up about 35% of the total cost and they were not a replacement requirement.

If you had to pay someone standard labor rates then I guess it might be pretty close. Hopefully you picked up a very low mileage engine that was well cared for because eventually it will need timing chains also. The better performing direct injected engines would be a better choice for the effort involved in a 3.6L swap into a Fiero since it requires the same amount of work.

I'm not going to touch your comment about women considering there is a male equivalent for every stereotype.

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Reallybig
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Report this Post12-03-2018 09:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ReallybigSend a Private Message to ReallybigEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Joseph Upson:
how did you arrive at swapping another used motor in as being cheaper?
.


Because the used engine only cost $500. And since I had to pull the engine to remove the timing chain as per GM standard procedure, dropping in a good used engine saves having to go thru the hassle of cracking it open. Pluck and drop, done. And a bonus I can get $500 for this engine as it is. Most people change the chains when they pull the engine anyhow. So total cost to me was my time on a weekend. As for how long it will last? If I have to ask myself that question, it obviously has inherent flaws and is an engine I dont want in any of my cars. Used Outlook for sale. Or should it have been called the "Lookout!!"

All that said, I support crazy swaps in any car. That's what makes this hobby amazing. I just think bad experiences should be noted too and anyone getting into it should be aware.

Peace

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Report this Post12-03-2018 10:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I love this this 3.6. If I were to do another Fiero engine swap, it would be an LFX. I would even try the porting and polishing, along with some other mods.
Just a side note (question) how big of displacement can this engine go to? Can it be a 3.8 or 4.0?

[This message has been edited by Rickady88GT (edited 12-03-2018).]

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post12-04-2018 08:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Reallybig:
Because the used engine only cost $500. And since I had to pull the engine to remove the timing chain as per GM standard procedure, dropping in a good used engine saves having to go thru the hassle of cracking it open. Pluck and drop, done. And a bonus I can get $500 for this engine as it is. Most people change the chains when they pull the engine anyhow. So total cost to me was my time on a weekend. As for how long it will last? If I have to ask myself that question, it obviously has inherent flaws and is an engine I dont want in any of my cars. Used Outlook for sale. Or should it have been called the "Lookout!!"

All that said, I support crazy swaps in any car. That's what makes this hobby amazing. I just think bad experiences should be noted too and anyone getting into it should be aware.

Peace


GM standard procedure is for those working for GM service departments, we tend to follow standard convenient procedures on our own vehicles. You have to differentiate between car problems and engine problems as some have trouble with the car itself. I've read nothing of substance to suggest even the LY7 is a poorly designed motor, or trouble prone when it is properly cared for. My perception is that its design requires better care than often received. It has too many moving parts for low grade $19 oil changes and those engines are the ones that tend to fair poorly over time. I've encountered a few GM 3.6L cars without looking for it that are well in excess of 200k miles on the original engine components. In its latest iteration, its producing 100 horsepower per litre, that's pretty impressive for a pariah. Engine and transmission oil coolers are two of the best things you can do to increase vehicle longevity.

The greatest complaint that I'm aware of is that the timing chains rarely survive long enough to reach 200k miles. That's not a design flaw, that's planned obsolescence at its best, a built in failure that will cost nearly as much, or more to repair as the value of the car when the time comes, so that many think they'd be better off with a multi thousand dollar debt in a new car (which manufacturers want), instead of a substantial repair, that with proper maintenance will likely provide them with several more thousand miles/years of service and more money for better things.

Even in the absence of engine and transmission problems, cars are so much more complicated now that they contain a number of potential repair needs that are astronomical if performed by the dealer. Now there's opportunity for a shade tree mechanic up to par on modern cars, to make a lot of money for that hard labor that the company only pays him/her a fraction for.

 
quote
Originally posted by Rickady88GT:
Just a side note (question) how big of displacement can this engine go to? Can it be a 3.8 or 4.0?


Yes, if you do what I did with the 3900 and have the crankshaft journals offset ground. The crank is made of forged steel so you should be able to take the pins down below 2.0" diameter the way they do in NASCAR and pickup some stock, or Molnar ECOTEC LSJ forged rods and have them narrowed and the pin end opened a little to fit the stock pistons. I looked into it although I only plan to boost it one day. You have to clearance ck the rotating assembly to make sure the pistons can clear the crank weights and the oil squirters. You have some flexibility with connecting rod choice before having to go custom, since the direct injected motors have at least three different piston compression heights. When you can use off the shelf parts it makes the expense of experimenting a lot more practical.

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