3800 GM motor history.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by SoD, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. SoD

    SoD New Member

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    I'm wondering when this motor was introduced and the history of cars its been in... and what other motors are similar to it.
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The 3800 V6 is an old Buick engine that debuted in the early 1960s.

    It's powered many Buicks, other GM products (including Holdens), and even Jeeps over the past 30 years. It's been in everything from tiny two seat sports cars, to fullsize FWD sedans, to minivans.

    The original design for the V6 started in the early 60s when Buick created a V6 based on the all aluminum 215 V8. The very first "Fireball" V6 displaced a whopping 198 cubic inches and shared tooling with the 215 aluminum V8 in 1962. In late 1963, the bore was increased to be the same as the 300 V8, which made displacement 225 cubic inches, where it stayed until 1967. Since the V6 had the same bore as the 1966 340 V8 it could be produced on the same assembly line. This made it cheap and easy to produce for the compact cars in GM's car lines. The demand for the V6 was never very great and the design resulted in an uneven firing order that produced a rough idling engine, so the design was sold to Kaiser Jeep in 1967.

    In the 70s, with the advent of the gas crisis and the demand for a versatile, lightweight, and inexpensive engine, Buick bought the design back from American Motors Corp. (which purchased Jeep in 1970 and held the V6 design) in 1974. The little V6 was reworked so that it could be made on the same assembly line as the Buick 350, which entailed making the bore 3.800". Using this bore size, it could share pistons and other parts with the V6. This engine retained the original designs "odd-fire" design.

    In 1977, Buick redesigned the firing order to make it a smoother running engine by revising the crank throws. This was a mid-year change, so some odd-fire and some even-fire V6s were made during 1977. The new even-fire engine still retained the same bore spacing as the odd-fire version, so the bores were no longer centered over the rods and the engine had to be under balanced and soft motor mounts were used. The balancing took care of the vertical component of the vibrations and the motor mounts took care of the horizontal component.

    Several variations of the 231" V6 were made over the years, including the 3.0 liter in some of the early 80s front wheel drive cars, the 4.1 liter used in some of the larger rear wheel drive cars, and of course, the turbo 3.8 variations used in the various Sport Coupes, turbo Regals, and some of the Riviera's.

    The basic design for the engine really didn't change much from late 1977 until 1987. The blocks had slight revisions up until 1986-87, mainly to increase oiling and to revise the deck heights to allow the use of thicker composition head gaskets. One of the biggest changes was in 1985, when the oil pans went to 20 bolt oil pans instead of 14 bolt oil pans.

    In 1986 the engine was thoroughly revised for FWD duty when GM introduced their fullsize FWD cars. From then on the Buick V6 was dubbed 3800. Buick later supercharged the engine in 1991. In 1996 the engine was thoroughly revised again and called the "Series II". Just last year the engine was heavily changed again, and called the "Series III", and currently powers only the 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix.

    All in all, there were a lot of the 3.8s produced, due to it's many virtues. GM is planning to slowly phase out the engine in the next few years and replace it with Cadillac's new and very advanced V6 engine. The new Caddy mill is better in pretty much every respect and is designed for easy forced induction and any drive wheel application. The automatic equipped 2004 CTS currently offers the new engine, but soon you'll see it installed in a variety of GM cars.
     
  3. SoD

    SoD New Member

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    Awesome Thanks alot!!

    Me and my dad were argueing about how old it was and what cars it powerd and such :)
     
  4. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    jeez TriShield, you're like a friggin automotive historian! :bowdown:
     
  5. Woppin Wild

    Woppin Wild OT Supporter

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    the new impalla ss has the supercharged 3.8 in it also....it's faster than the LT impala ss of old, but fwd :-\
     
  6. SoD

    SoD New Member

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    Is the 3.1L and 3.4L V6 related to the 3800 at all?
     
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    No, they are both old Chevrolt V6s created from the 2.8L V6 that debuted in the 80s, the latest of which is the 3.5L that appears in the new 2004 Chevrolet Malibu.
     
  8. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    60-degree V6 versus 90-degree V6. :bigthumb:
     
  9. SSICK WX3

    SSICK WX3 New Member

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    Whats a LT impala ss?
     

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