I am going to start looking for a 3.8 SC for my Fiero project. Which is the best stock option I hear series 2 or 3? Also what year and type of car would it be best if it came from? What else besides the engine do I need from the donor car?
This is a heavily covered topic, and there will be people who will criticize you and even insult you for not using the search function, just a heads up. Some of the 3800 guys are extremely knowledgeable but not very helpful at first, they'll expect you to do your own due diligence before they give you any assistance. They can also be EXTREMELY opinionated, and may tell you you're going the wrong way just because they think their way is the only way. Take a look in the construction zone for the more lengthy and detailed builds. Decide what your goals are before you get too far into the questions, because the answers will depend on what you're trying to accomplish. Just trying to help you navigate through some of the rougher waters here. Good luck.
Thank you for the link and the info. I have been doing lots of reading and searching here. There is so much info it is hard to take it all in. I am following many posts related to these builds. I want to do the best thing for me 1 time, and for as low a cost as possible. I am not looking to build a race car. Just a really nice fast GT. lol I intend to use a stock 3.8 SC with a 3.4 pulley, and a decent flowing exhaust, and probably a cold air intake of some sort. I intend to have working a/c etc. I want it to be driver and street friendly. I intend to use the factory Fiero 5 speed gear box with a streetable performance clutch. I have heard that the series 3 motor is better than the series 2 but has drive by wire which needs to be converted to manual throttle. I heard that the supercharger is better on the series 3? I intend to buy my parts from the people that have done this before. Such as the mounts, wiring harness, programmed computer, a/c lines, fuel rail, etc.
I have a 3800 SC Series II engine installed in an 87 GT/Mera that also uses a 3.4" pulley, five speed Getrag 282, and a decent sized intake and exhaust. This car dynoed at around 258 HP and 300 ft lbs of torque at the wheels a year or two ago. You will find that this is quite a nice improvement over the original engine.
With respect to the 3800 SC Series III engine, you start with about a 20 HP advantage over the Series II SC engine. You can either use the drive by wire configuration or convert it to a Series II configuration. I took the conversion route for my engine and also added an intercooler, North Star TV, headers, large intake and discharge piping, and a 3.4 pulley. These mods and a very conservative tune give me somewhere around 300 HP and 300 ft lbs of torque at the wheels. I know that I can run a 3.2 pulley with these mods and actually have one but do not find it necessary to install the smaller pulley at this time.
Basically you now have a preview of what a basically stock Series II SC engine will do wrt performance as well as a few mild mods on the Series III engine and the increased performance they supply. You should be happy with either of these engines once you make a decision on stock versus slightly modified components.
I just did mine and have been driving for 2 months. If you want PM me and we can have a phone conversation. Mine is a Series II in an 84 with a custom built Hybrid Muncie 4spd with A/C. I did a lot of research and there were still tough parts. But, man do I love this car. I can point you to the people and tell you what to watch out for.
I just did a Series III swap in mine. The throttle conversion is more than easy. Take off the stock throttle body, bolt on the adapter plate, and then bolt the Northstar throttle body onto that. a very simple job.
For me the Series III was a no brainer. It's the latest generation of the engine and the blower, and providing around 20 more HP. I figured if I am gonna take the time to do all this, to do it right. My engine has around 50,000 miles on it and came out of a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP.
I knew NOTHING about doing a swap just 6 months ago. Since then my swap is almost done, and just have to tackle the exhaust system install next. I tried to document everything that I could in my build thread, from the perspective of a the total novice that I am. You may find some useful information in there. It starts on Page 13 of my build thread.
[This message has been edited by JohnWPB (edited 08-28-2016).]
Thanks for the info. I am leaning toward the series 3 with a pulley and possibly some other light mods. That should be plenty of hp for a fun driver. What clutch setup did you use?
If the question is directed to me I used a SPEC Stage 3 + clutch on my SC Series II engine and am happy with it. On my SC Series III engine I have a sintered iron McLoed clutch. It works fine but is very "grabby" or on/off. When I replace it I intend to use the SPEC Stage 3 + clutch.
[This message has been edited by hnthomps (edited 08-28-2016).]