3.4 to a 3.8 - Opinions needed - LS1LT1 Forum : LT1, LS1, Camaro, Firebird, Trans Am, Engine Tech Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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3.4 to a 3.8 - Opinions needed

Good morning all. I am in need of opinions from the pro's if possible on something I am considering doing. Details as follows:
I currently have a '94 Firebird with the 3.4 that is not running. I know it is in need of a freeze plus and some other misc things to make it run. Car was originally intended by the previous owner to be a parts donor for it's T-Tops, but I had a soft spot for it, and with gas prices getting uncomfortable, I am thinking this decision wasn't too bad on my part.
I am looking at a '96 Firebird that is pretty thrashed but the 3.8 motor is complete and runs good. Here's my thought...
Would it be possible to perform a transplant of the 3.8 into the '94? Obviously computer and all the manditory 3.8 equipment would be swapped too, but trans would likely be ok, correct?
Would it make sense to drop the k-member/subframe from one and swap to other as a complete unit?
Perhaps this is more trouble than it is worth, and I invite anyone to share opinions or experience if they can. Thanks in advance.
Ben
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 09:58 AM
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Since you are asking for opinions, I would suggest that if you are going to do a swap that you just wait to find a Z28 donor and swap in the LT1. Either way you decide to go, you'll have to swap over just about the same amount of stuff. So in my thinking, if you're going through all that work you might as well just go the V8 route because there is a good chance down the road that you will regret it and wish you would have went the other route. Just my two cents.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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If I didn't already have 3 other LT cars to play with, I would go that route with this one. Funny, I know...most people wouldn't think of this type thing to invest time or money into. I'm just thinking that this would be a decent daily driver and the car is in really good shape, so I am hoping it won't be a real PIA.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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OK...Option#2.
Found a guy with a 3.4 and 4160e out of a 30k mile car, complete with everything but the computer. Will my computer from my '94 work with this combo? Mine is a 3.4 auto as well.
Just trying to figure out a way to get this one back on the road. Thanks!
Ben
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 02:43 PM
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Putting in another 3.4 would involve less work as 3.8 uses a completely different pcm, engine wire harness,etc.

The 3.4 will mate up well to your existing engine wiring and computer, so that's the route I would take if I want to do it the easy way.

However, if your the kind of person who enjoys a challenge, learning new things, and more work than the minimum necessary, then changing to a 3.8 might be the thing for you. And that extra 40 horses wouldn't hurt.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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True, good sir. Very true.
Pros= the 3.8 comes in a whole car for $250.
Cons= the car is kinda thrashed and has no title.

Pros= 3.4 only has 30k miles and ran great. Comes complete less engine computer.
Cons= cost (for engine and the transmission together) is $700.

Something to sleep on I reckon. Either way...I am ready for Springtime to get working on something!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I bought the '96 that was complete and running. Car is a little on the rough side, but runs and has lots of parts to donate to my causes.
I'll post updates on progress as it happens if anyone is interested. Thanks!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 11:26 PM
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Garage
So what happened?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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Lots of things, unfortunately.
Found out a few weeks ago that my job was being relocated/outsourced across the US to Texas. I had the option of relocating (at my expense with no adjustment in wages for the cost of living increase) or take a severance package. I had no choice but to go with option B. As a result, I gave the 3,8 car and a couple of my other cars a severance package too of sorts and sold em. Banking the cash as a worse case scenario. Ugh. Wish the story had a better ending for sure.
Thanks though to all who chimed in above. This forum rocks!
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