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GM 54* V6, Anyone familiar? by mr_corean
Started on: 01-23-2014 02:15 PM
Replies: 12 (1530 views)
Last post by: carbon on 01-27-2014 09:25 AM
mr_corean
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Report this Post01-23-2014 02:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mr_coreanSend a Private Message to mr_coreanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So the son totaled his first car the other day, a 2001 Saturn LS. I didn't pay attention to the car at all other than tell him how to do maintenance things until this happened. The tow truck just came and picked it up from our house to haul it to the junk yard and that is when I saw the engine for the first time. It was unique looking so I did some research on it. It is a 3.2l V6 that is DOHC and on a 54* bank versus the standard 60. Apparently this was to make it easier to fit into smaller engine bays in FWD applications. I never measured the dimensions of it so I can't say how big physically it actually is, but it didn't look nearly as big as the 3.4DOHC. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know anything about the engine from a performance aspect? Is it worth looking at as a swap ever? I had never heard of it until now which of course got me to thinking...
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css9450
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Report this Post01-23-2014 02:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is that the Honda engine? Or did those only go into the Vue...
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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-23-2014 03:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm not personally familiar with it, but here's some info on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...Degree_V6_engine#L81
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Gall757
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Report this Post01-23-2014 03:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
An Opel engine that went in the Cadillac Catera....hummmm. They were known for running great until they broke a timing belt and were instant trash.
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daveg
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Report this Post01-23-2014 04:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for davegSend a Private Message to davegEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had one of those Cateras - loved it, drove it hard all the time. The issue they had was with the tensioner. If it failed, you would find a lot of bent valves.I did, at about 200,000 kms and they repaired it under warranty.

Loved to rev, quite linear power. It used sodium filled valves, and in Australia they used this engine in formula open wheel cars which generated aound 450hp if I recall correctly. I think they moved away from this design to save cost.

By current standards, it is down on power, only 200hp. I think many on here would suggest a different V6 with more power.

dave
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mr_corean
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Report this Post01-23-2014 05:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mr_coreanSend a Private Message to mr_coreanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
From what I have read it only had that tensioner issue in the Caddys. I haven't seen anything on it being used as a performance engine or having any kind of aftermarket support. I'm not personally planning on installing one in my car, just saw it and thought "what if" as any good fiero owner does when he sees a new engine lol. I think the lack of aftermarket support is the biggest deterent for me. The size, physically and displacement are all pretty nice though. No idea on the weight of it or the balance of that weight. I imagine with it having an iron block that the weight is fairly low, although the slightly narrower cylinder bank might push that weight a bit higher than a comparative 60* engine. The intake is definitely cool looking, although I believe it would look a lot better longitudinally mounted.

Dave, can you point me in the direction for the aussie stuff on the engine? That would definitely be cool to look at.
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conan469
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Report this Post01-23-2014 05:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for conan469Click Here to visit conan469's HomePageClick Here to Email conan469Send a Private Message to conan469Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
from a mechanic's viewpoint, the 3.0 v6 in the saturn and catera are junk, that's why saturn went with the honda 3.5 before they got shut down.
when they run good, they are great, then usually leak oil and coolant, and are a pain to work on.
they mix torx head bolts all over the motor, so you need the special bits/sockets.
timing belt job takes special tool to align the cams.
pcv system is awful. clogs up and fails quickly if oil changes aren't done on schedule.
coil packs are problematic and very expensive.

caddy dealer in indy had 5 cateras parked out back cause they couldn't be fixed.
now parts are probably harder to get than ever, and cost more.

new 3.6 is "based" on the 3.0, it's been updated and improved with timing chains, but they still have problems,
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Fiero84Freak
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Report this Post01-23-2014 07:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero84FreakClick Here to Email Fiero84FreakSend a Private Message to Fiero84FreakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Since the manual transmission LS uses the F23 Getrag and the automatic uses the 4T-4X series automatics the engine should in overall theory adapt relatively well to whatever transmission is in whatever Fiero it would be swapped into. Really with the FWD Getrag and 4T-4X series conversion kits that are out in the Fiero aftermarket the entire drivetrain could likely be swapped over. Ultimately though as everyone has eluded to above it's going to be a 'worth it' factor over taking into account reliability and involvement in the swap.

Ultimately this isn't a swap that should be pursued just to "be different".
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carbon
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Report this Post01-23-2014 11:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The FWD 3.0 Saturn motor is a strange beast. It was never offered with a manual transmission. It had a Bosch PCM and a GM BCM as well as a slightly not quite Ecotec bell housing and came with the only 3.69 final drive ratio 4T45e, that I've ever heard of, to match.

The weaknesses of this engine platform were easily solved, but expensive labor wise. Changing the timing belt is extremely important as it also drives the water pump, which is located behind the timing cover. It's just a good idea to replace it at the same time as the belt as they are fairly cheap, but important. If the pump starts to weep coolant onto the belt. the belt degrades fast. Also making sure there is no unusual play in the pulleys is a good idea. The tensioner pulleys were more of a problem in the earlier RWD Caddy motors.

The engine had an oil cooler that was located in the valley between cylinder banks. The reason these leaked coolant so often was because during the manufacturing process the sealant was left exposed to air for too long on the assembly line and would skin over before the cover was bolted on. This would cause a weak seal and eventual leaking.

I really do think this was one of the most beautiful engines GM ever put into a car. I had a 2004 LW300 wagon.

[This message has been edited by carbon (edited 01-23-2014).]

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conan469
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Report this Post01-25-2014 07:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for conan469Click Here to visit conan469's HomePageClick Here to Email conan469Send a Private Message to conan469Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by carbon:


I really do think this was one of the most beautiful engines GM ever put into a car. I had a 2004 LW300 wagon.





Looking at that pic reminded me of the old v8 sho taurus motor, both (i thought) good looking, but both needed further engineering tonmake them better.
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1MohrFiero
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Report this Post01-26-2014 10:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1MohrFieroSend a Private Message to 1MohrFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That is a really pretty and interesting intake. I wonder if it could be adapted to fit the 2.8 or 3.4????

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engine man
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Report this Post01-26-2014 11:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for engine manClick Here to Email engine manSend a Private Message to engine manEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
first thing to think about is bellhousing bolt pattern is it the same as a fiero o are you going to need the transmission from the saturn but i do like the looks of that 3.0 is it all aluminum or iron block and aluminum heads
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carbon
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Report this Post01-27-2014 09:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by engine man:

first thing to think about is bellhousing bolt pattern is it the same as a fiero o are you going to need the transmission from the saturn but i do like the looks of that 3.0 is it all aluminum or iron block and aluminum heads


All aluminum, DOHC, based on the Ecotec architecture, built by Opel in Europe. The bolt pattern is slightly different than the standard Ecotec, you'll notice on a parts lookup, nothing interchanges with it. It is known as the Ecotec 3.0 or X30XE in Europe.

 
quote
Originally posted by 1MohrFiero:

That is a really pretty and interesting intake. I wonder if it could be adapted to fit the 2.8 or 3.4????



About as much chance as a 3.4DOHC intake fitting on a pushrod motor. It also has an ECM controlled plenum divider that actuates above ~4000RPM and an electronic throttlebody...

[This message has been edited by carbon (edited 01-27-2014).]

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