Pennock's Fiero Forum
  General Fiero Chat
  **** Warning for those searching for a 3.4 DOHC ****

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Email This Page to Someone! | Printable Version


next newest topic | next oldest topic
**** Warning for those searching for a 3.4 DOHC **** by FastOwen2XLL
Started on: 09-06-2015 07:55 PM
Replies: 22 (1782 views)
Last post by: E.Furgal on 03-30-2016 11:31 PM
FastOwen2XLL
Member
Posts: 79
From: Marysville, Ohio USA
Registered: Jul 2015


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post09-06-2015 07:55 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
For any of you searching for a DOHC motor for an engine swap, especially if you live anywhere in the Midwest, you should probably read this!

I have been searching for a 96-97 LQ1 for my '85 GT project for some time (One of these days I WILL start a build thread). When using car-part.com I saw that a u-pick yard in Detroit was listing over a dozen motors listed as "BRAND NEW GM CRATE ENGINE" for $450.

To summarize: WRONG motor, WRONG price, MISREPRESENTED, NO customer service! If anyone wants to hear the sorted details, read on.....

Of course, the potential for a brand new motor to base my swap on trumped that voice that said "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" Being in Detroit however, I could see how they might have ended up with them.

I decided to pull the trigger and make the 3 hour drive on Saturday on Labor Day weekend to pick one up.

Despite what I had specifically been told, they where closed. Fortunately, the scrap metal side of their business was open. The first person I talked to had apparently been given a heads up I might be coming. He asked if a price had been discussed, when I said no, I didn't ask because they where clearly listed at $450 his response was that there was "no way" he was letting one go for that price because "that's what we paid for 'em".

He showed them to me, which was the most disappointing part of all. They ARE NOT 96-97 motors! Every one has the 91-95 style heads. Second, they are not 'crate motors' they are long block assemblies; just block, heads, timing belt and covers . Third, I have serious doubts they are GM new motors. They could very well be re-man units! The few that where still in crates (flimsy crates at best) have no GM markings or part numbers whatsoever. Several not in crates were damaged from handling. Every bare steel surface was showing rust. None of them had oil filters (I've never seen a GM crate motor shipped without one, along with tags and labels, etc.

When I pointed these things out they tried to bait-and-switch me into a used motor. This was as close to any kind of customer service I experienced. While they showed me just about every other GM motor they had laying around, it was obvious the 'mechanic' as he was called, did not know one GM motor from the other, even showing me a 5.3L out of a RWD truck and asking me if 'that would work." BTW, I never told them I was looking for a swap motor, just a 3.4L DOHC for a 96-97 Monte Carlo. I even had to pull up a pic of a Monte Carlo on my phone to show him what they looked like!

So I left empty handed, having not been given an actual price, having wasted $50 in gas, more $$ for a baybsitter, most of my Saturday on a holiday weekend, and of course hugely disappointed and frustrated.

Just wanted to warn any of you should you stumble across these like I did! Maybe, if anyone is looking for a early LQ1 and you could deal with these people it might be worth taking a chance on one of these motors if you could buy one cheap enough. If so, good luck to you!
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
davylong86
Member
Posts: 899
From: waterloo,il
Registered: Mar 2014


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post09-06-2015 08:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for davylong86Send a Private Message to davylong86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the heads up FastOwen and welcome to a forum that is very helpful in what you need for your car. Have a good (rest of) holiday.
IP: Logged
dobey
Member
Posts: 11572
From:
Registered: Sep 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 371
User Banned

Report this Post09-06-2015 08:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would never make that drive without having seen pictures of the items in question, and without clearly knowing the asking price.

As far as "crate motor" is concerned though, it is a bit of an overloaded term. A crate motor could be a short block, long block, or complete engine. Lack of an oil filter would indeed be odd on a long block or complete engine, though. Most likely, they were remanufactured long blocks, indeed.
IP: Logged
pHoOl
Member
Posts: 2487
From: Novi, MI
Registered: Jun 2000


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post09-06-2015 11:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pHoOlClick Here to visit pHoOl's HomePageClick Here to Email pHoOlSend a Private Message to pHoOlEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For those of us in the area... which place was it?
IP: Logged
FastOwen2XLL
Member
Posts: 79
From: Marysville, Ohio USA
Registered: Jul 2015


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post09-07-2015 11:50 AM 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
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:

I would never make that drive without having seen pictures of the items in question, and without clearly knowing the asking price.

As far as "crate motor" is concerned though, it is a bit of an overloaded term. A crate motor could be a short block, long block, or complete engine. Lack of an oil filter would indeed be odd on a long block or complete engine, though. Most likely, they were remanufactured long blocks, indeed.



It was a 3 day odyssey just to get in touch with them. There were issues with their phones apparently and I had to wait for someone to call me. I did ask the lady that called me if there was any way she could email or text me a pic. She said she did not have any way to do so. It was a calculated risk/wishful thinking decision on my part for sure.

Indeed, there are as many opinions as to what constitutes a 'crate motor' as their are mods you can do to a Fiero.

There is a local yard that I have done business with that has a LQ1 motor listed with 95k miles on it, so I might go take a look at it.
IP: Logged
FastOwen2XLL
Member
Posts: 79
From: Marysville, Ohio USA
Registered: Jul 2015


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post09-07-2015 11:57 AM 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
 
quote
Originally posted by pHoOl:

For those of us in the area... which place was it?


The place is doing business as Detroit Pick-A-Part on Dix Avenue.

Sad thing is all the Pick-n-Pull chain stores had a half off sale this weekend and my local one just got an 'X' motor Z34 Monte in. I was all set to grab PCM, wiring harness, and other goodies for it!
IP: Logged
Dennis LaGrua
Member
Posts: 14295
From: Hillsborough, NJ U.S.A.
Registered: May 2000


Feedback score:    (13)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 324
Rate this member

Report this Post09-07-2015 02:18 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
There are all kinds of scams going on regularly. A while ago we saw several new GM 3.4LTDC crate engines on ebay but the pictures show that they looked new. An engine block such as you saw with rust on it cannot be new as they are painted at the factory. The only way that they can rust is if they were unpainted, and are exposed to water or heavy moisture over a period of time.

------------------
" 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, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, 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 "

IP: Logged
TXOPIE
Member
Posts: 2733
From: Leonard, TX, USA
Registered: Mar 2012


Feedback score:    (13)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post09-07-2015 03:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXOPIEClick Here to visit TXOPIE's HomePageClick Here to Email TXOPIESend a Private Message to TXOPIEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a zero mile crate DOHC in the cave but I wouldn't sell it for $450.00...but for the right price?

[This message has been edited by TXOPIE (edited 09-07-2015).]

IP: Logged
Fierobsessed
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Las Vegas, NV
Registered: Dec 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 147
Rate this member

Report this Post09-07-2015 11:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FierobsessedClick Here to Email FierobsessedSend a Private Message to FierobsessedEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
3.4 DOHC crate motors do often come with rust on them in places. Particularly the harmonic balancer, and all of the flat surfaces on the outside of the block. The block is painted, but machined AFTER paint. This is done so that the fresh cast block doesnt flash rust, even before assembly. Keep in mind they've been in a box somewhere for at least 18 years. $450 is theft for these in unused condition.

Normally though... they do come with oil filters from the factory. They also are wrapped in a plastic bag, and moisture absorbant paper inside to help prevent that surface rust. They also come with the intake and exhaust gaskets (stored in the valley of the engine) and little orange plastic caps over the spark plug holes.

The tell-tale difference between a rebuilt and a crate engine? Factory barcode stickers and labels.
IP: Logged
tesmith66
Member
Posts: 7355
From: Jerseyville, IL
Registered: Sep 2001


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 135
Rate this member

Report this Post09-08-2015 07:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For reference, this is how a 91-93 3.4 DOHC service replacement engine is packaged from GM.









Note the rust on the balancer. There was also a flimsy crate around the pallet (can be seen in the background of one of the pics)

------------------
1986 SE Aero coupe.

3.4 DOHC swap is complete and running, now just have to finish the rest of the car...

[This message has been edited by tesmith66 (edited 09-08-2015).]

IP: Logged
FastOwen2XLL
Member
Posts: 79
From: Marysville, Ohio USA
Registered: Jul 2015


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post09-08-2015 10:28 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
Thanks to all those who have weighed in on this, One of the things I love about our beloved little cars. Almost always there is someone out there with first hand knowledge and willing to share it.

Thanks tesmith66, those pics are extremely helpful. About the only similarities between those pics and the motors I saw is the rickety looking top part of the crate. I did not see any tags, labels or markings of any kind. The lack of a trusty blue AC Delco oil filter bothers me too.

Perhaps someone in southern MI or Northern OH might want to take a chance and check them out. Like a previous post mentioned, IF they would sell them for $450 and IF they were actually new from GM they would be a steal.
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Dave E Bouy
Member
Posts: 1463
From: Kettle Point Ontario Canada
Registered: Sep 2004


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post01-10-2016 12:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave E BouyClick Here to Email Dave E BouySend a Private Message to Dave E BouyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had a slightly different experience. I did call ahead and spoke to a Mike Lucas. He emailed me pics and the pics I got were enough to make me think it would be enough to risk a 2 hour trip. We exchanged a few emails confirming that I could have the motor in the pics for $450. I phoned Mike to once again confirm that price for that motor. I told him I was coming out Saturday morning and he told me to ask for Cornell. Whe I arrived there were 2 guys working the counter, one of which was Cornell. He was expecting me and ushered me right in to see the motors. Actually both guys couldn't have been more helpful. Now I honestly don"t know that much about the 3.4 DOHC but I've always wanted to have one so I brought a buddy with me. He did quickly notice that the heads were pre 96. However the motor I ended up buying was clean as a whip. The only rust was the harmonic balancer and a tiny tiny bit on one machined surface in the valley between the heads. There was an AC Delco oil filter, there were also AC spark plugs with little orange caps on the spark plug holes. Now having said all this there were signs that these motors having been sitting around for some time and some of them have been shamefully neglected. One in particular was just sitting wide open in the middle of the floor and there was water from a leaking roof laying in the intake ports. So there is no disputing what Owen saw. However they do have a bunch of these sitting in crates on shelves with plastic covering them and although we only looked at a few I suspect they all have the pre 96 heads. Anyway I have some pics I took when I got home so I thought I'd share.









IP: Logged
tesmith66
Member
Posts: 7355
From: Jerseyville, IL
Registered: Sep 2001


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 135
Rate this member

Report this Post01-10-2016 01:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Excellent pics.

That is a 94-95 replacement engine. Note the crankshaft position sensor behind the balancer and the camshaft position sensor. It also has a different front cover than the 91-93 engine (see my crate engine pics above) and a flex plate instead of a flywheel. It does have the Delco filter and spark plugs in it and I see the tag has a different code on it. Also, the alternator mounting bosses are different between the two engines. The 91-93 alternator is different than the 94-95 (and newer) engines.

Just wanted to point these things out for anyone watching this thread.
------------------
1986 SE Aero coupe.

3.4 DOHC swap is complete and running, now just have to finish the rest of the car...

[This message has been edited by tesmith66 (edited 01-10-2016).]

IP: Logged
tesmith66
Member
Posts: 7355
From: Jerseyville, IL
Registered: Sep 2001


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 135
Rate this member

Report this Post01-10-2016 01:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

tesmith66

7355 posts
Member since Sep 2001
Oops, double post.

[This message has been edited by tesmith66 (edited 01-10-2016).]

IP: Logged
FastOwen2XLL
Member
Posts: 79
From: Marysville, Ohio USA
Registered: Jul 2015


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post01-10-2016 10:48 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
Dave, thanks for sharing the pics. I am glad you had a mostly positive experience.

From the looks of the motor you came away with, I do believe it to be an honest to goodness GM built motor! I am also glad they sold it for the price listed

Just last week I visited a local yard i reallly like for a part for the GF's vehicle. They have a 96-97 motor, very clean, 95k on it, that they would part with for $350.

Now the real dilemma....and maybe i will start a new post.......so maybe some 3.4 DOHC guys can weigh in.

Do I go new 3.4 94-95 motor with OBDi, or is it worth the extra work to go the used 96 motor and OBDii route for a little more horsepower? I am going 5-spees Getrag regardless.
IP: Logged
ltlfrari
Member
Posts: 5338
From: Wake Forest,NC,USA
Registered: Jan 2002


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 127
Rate this member

Report this Post01-11-2016 08:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Can't recall what year motor I used but the ECB was the 93-95 one because I was running a manual trans and that's the only years the manual ecm/chip came in.
Had more than enough power for me and with the 5 speed suzy trans, it loped along at 2500 rpm at 70 mph on the freeway and yet would quickly pick up and go quite easily if I put my bot down.
Only down side to that trans for me was that 1st to 2nd gear was a big jump.
That's just my experience.
Read my web site, DOHC swap

------------------
Anything I might say is probably worth what you paid for it, so treat it accordingly!

Dave

www.ltlfrari.com

IP: Logged
Dave E Bouy
Member
Posts: 1463
From: Kettle Point Ontario Canada
Registered: Sep 2004


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post01-11-2016 12:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave E BouyClick Here to Email Dave E BouySend a Private Message to Dave E BouyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ltlfrari:

Can't recall what year motor I used but the ECB was the 93-95 one because I was running a manual trans and that's the only years the manual ecm/chip came in.


Hmmmm was that just a tuning issue back in the day because I'm hoping to use this with an f23. Must consult with Darthfiero

IP: Logged
2.5
Member
Posts: 41968
From: Southern MN
Registered: May 2007


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 180
Rate this member

Report this Post01-11-2016 01:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've heard of more complete crate engines being called a "turn key crate engine".
IP: Logged
Dave E Bouy
Member
Posts: 1463
From: Kettle Point Ontario Canada
Registered: Sep 2004


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post01-12-2016 02:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave E BouyClick Here to Email Dave E BouySend a Private Message to Dave E BouyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FastOwen2XLL:
Now the real dilemma....and maybe i will start a new post.......so maybe some 3.4 DOHC guys can weigh in.

Do I go new 3.4 94-95 motor with OBDi, or is it worth the extra work to go the used 96 motor and OBDii route for a little more horsepower? I am going 5-spees Getrag regardless.


Hey Owen, I've been talking with Darth and apparently a 94/95 motor can be run on a 96 or 97 ECM which is what I'm planning to do because I prefer to stay OBD II

IP: Logged
FastOwen2XLL
Member
Posts: 79
From: Marysville, Ohio USA
Registered: Jul 2015


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post03-28-2016 08:54 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
Just to update those who might be interested, I did indeed drive back to Detroit two weekends ago. I did pick up one of these crate motors. Mostly a positive experience this time.

They did sell it to me for $450. There were only 3 left in crates that I saw, and I took one. One of the others had a broken timing cover. They have a considerable number of ones uncovered out of crates still left.

This one does look to be in decent shape for a crate motor that has been sitting for almost 20 years. (Mine had a assembly/inspection tag dated 4/97)

IP: Logged
hobbywrench
Member
Posts: 350
From: WA usa
Registered: Feb 2013


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post03-30-2016 02:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hobbywrenchSend a Private Message to hobbywrenchEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A little help please for this noob. What's wrong with the early heads? And is the sporadic bad mouthing on this site of this engine just blather. Some go on and on about the unreliability etc Those heads look really good to me. And am I reading that with effort any year can work with the manual Getrag?Thanks
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Thunderstruck GT
Member
Posts: 2660
From:
Registered: Oct 2015


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 98
Rate this member

Report this Post03-30-2016 02:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Thunderstruck GTSend a Private Message to Thunderstruck GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hobbywrench:

A little help please for this noob. What's wrong with the early heads? And is the sporadic bad mouthing on this site of this engine just blather. Some go on and on about the unreliability etc Thanks


Do a simple search outside of this site when asking for an "unbiased" answer like this.

[This message has been edited by Thunderstruck GT (edited 03-30-2016).]

IP: Logged
E.Furgal
Member
Posts: 11708
From: LAND OF CONFUSION
Registered: Mar 2012


Feedback score:    (23)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 278
User Banned

Report this Post03-30-2016 11:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for E.FurgalSend a Private Message to E.FurgalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Having not seen the engine in question, makes it hard, but the g.m. reman engines that are used as/for warranty replacements long blocks don't have a oil filter on them.. and that is most likely what the o/p looked at..
IP: Logged

next newest topic | next oldest topic

All times are ET (US)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Back To Main Page

Advertizing on PFF | Fiero Parts Vendors
PFF Merchandise | Fiero Gallery | Ogre's Cave
Real-Time Chat | Fiero Related Auctions on eBay



Copyright (c) 1999, C. Pennock