I'm into my second Fiero and my second 3800SC engine. The first car got Tboned, someone coming through a stop sign. I had a Series 1 SC in it that spun a bearing. I wasn't really upset on that one. Old, cheap. But when it happened I had to find one quick to throw in. I had found one that someone was pulling out of his mother in laws car about 100 miles away for $400, so I went for it. Couldn't confirm the mileage he stated because he already had started stripping the interior. He was in the middle of pulling it when I got there, even though he stated he had it out. The guy was a bit of a "tool". But I won't go into that. Well got it in the first car. Everything is happy. Then the car gets Tboned. Get the second one and in July swapped the SC engine in. Only issue I've had was a bracket bolt break for the alternator. Temp light came on. Pulled over. And repaired it the next morning, having my daughter pick me up. Other than that I have had fun, but really haven't run it hard. I don't think I have had this engine over 5000 RPMs. Never racing anyone. I've been wrenching since around 1980 and don't abuse my engines. The last 3 vehicles before these have gotten well 250,000 miles before I got rid of them and they all ran. I must have just been a bad luck run with the 2 engines I've got. 2 weeks ago drove it down for my niece's wedding from Baltimore to Greenvill Tennessee. About 1000 miles each way. On the way back, near Roanoke, where I81 has a few hills, it downshifted from overdrive to 3rd with around 20% throttle and I heard a light knock through the open sun roof. Today, went checking around for any other causes. Changed the oil. Not yet due. And yes it is a light knock. What I don't get is, I've heard people beating the crap out of these engines and getting well over 200,000 miles out of them. I'm babying mine. Well there is a reputable recycler with a Car Fax confirmable 2005 Series II N/a with 15,000 miles on it. Every SC I have looked at has over 100,000 miles. With the fact the whole time the house boss complains that I have to use premium fuel, I can't confirm these other engines and can't afford a proper rebuild, I think I'm going to pull the plug and go N/A. I think I will be satisfied (maybe). Never went full out with this engine. So I think I can survive with 75% of the power. Already have my prom bin ready.
I have an 3800na in my 87se and I'm very happy with it. Its got some mods (plog/HV3 insert/AR rockers/CAI and hi flow exhaust). Moves very nicely and keeps the 5 speed isuzu alive. It's plenty quick and reliable.
Wondered about the hv insert. Most of the gains seem to be a very high RPMs. For what I intend, I think a Series III upper plenum would be sufficient. Least I already have a L67 throttle body. With the SC, even at lower RPMs felt the need for better flowing exhaust. The Series 1 flowed more even. For a Fiero the alternatives are too expensive for the gains. If I had the funds, I would use a set of short tube turbo headers and make a Y pipe for normal aspiration. I may have to make my own, but that would be a timely project.