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BuickFan71

What engine does an 87 Park Avenue have?

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Is it the 3.8L or the 3800?

I have the VIN # for the car. How can I tell from the VIN?

Which engine is preferable?

Thanks!

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I thought there were two different engines .... one preferred over the other

(the 3800 preferred). When I bought my 1988 Olds 98 last year, several forum members on the Olds site warned me to make sure my car had the 3800 and not the 3.8 (or maybe it was 3.3L?) engine.

I want to make sure that an 87 Park Avenue has the 3800. Wikipedia says the 3800 became the standard engine for Park Avenue in 1988.

I have the VIN #. What letter or number designates the engine type? Does anyone know?

Thank you all for your help. I am not near this car, so I cannot look under the hood. (-:

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This particular car has this engine:

3.8L/231 CID

Is this a 3800 engine -- the really great engine?

If not, is the 3.8L/231 CID a "bad" engine? less desirable than the 3800?

Thanks!

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This is the same engine in my 1988 Oldsmobile Regency. My Olds has the 3800, so I guess the Park Avenue does as well!

Thanks for your advice/assistance.

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3.8 liters = 3800 cc

this "great" engine is known for really bad intakes - no insert overmolded in the nylon to prevent leaks

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3.8 liters = 3800 cc

this "great" engine is known for really bad intakes - no insert overmolded in the nylon to prevent leaks

My understanding is that the earlier 3.8L engines had this problem (quote above). After mechanical upgrades (including a series of HP increases), GM decided to rename the engine simply a 3800 (suspect around 1987 or 1988??). So, you wouldn't call the engines in my 2 '92 rivs "3.8L", you'd call them "3800".

The eighth pos of the VIN designates the engine code. Example: "C" equals the 165HP (end production in 1991), "L" equals the 170HP (began production in 1992).

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Up through 1987 GM used the 3.8 engine in the large front wheel drive cars (except Cadillac)

For 1988 the engine was reengineered and the big change was the balance shaft to make it smoother. The 1988 Buick Product Manual says the following about the engine.

"Designed as a premium version of the 3.8 ..this engine features a specific clyinder block, tuned intake manifold and new cylinder heads....... One of the outstanding features of this engine is its advanced sequential-port fuel injection system with Bosch fuel rail. A geroter oil pump is also featured. Accessories are driven by a single belt, ... stainless steel tubular exhaust manifolds. "

With this redesign, GM started calling the engine 3800 and was designated the "C" engine.

In 1991 there was another redesign with a slight HP bump and the engine designation went to "L"

Unless someone has changed the engine, a 1987 has a less desireable 3.8 engine.

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Guest BJM

Barney stated my comment - which is the 1988 design change which made the 88 motor superior. It is my understanding this was a 'running change' during 1988 in that a few motors in 1988 production cars still had the non balance shaft 1987 motor.

I worked for 6 years in a Pontiac & multi branded dealership as a mechanic for Mazda but have buddies that were Pontiac mechanics and they said the non balance shaft 3800 motor is simply not as viable long term as a 1988 redesign 3800.

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OK, Good points on the differences of 3.8/3800. I forgot I was amongst "Car People" most of my friends are not as knowelegable. Hence, 30 miles from home I am a expert.

RY

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I worked in the Buick Experimental lab from the early fifties until I retired in 89.Mostly on engine developement. My own first V6 was an odd firing eng so I spent a lot of time changing timing chains.In the eighties,the Buick V6 was as good as any eng. I have had many since.Never an oil burner,never a problem.I still have two. On my 87 Turbo with way over 100,000 miles,I have not touched the injectors,turbo,alternator,water pump,or AC. Just changed the drive belt. But I dont race it anymore. My other V6 is in a Lucerne & it seems to be OK too but the gas milage is not quite as good as the park ave was. Norb

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In 88 all the Park Aves/ Electra came with the 3800 code "C" engine not the 3.8 code "3". The LeSabres came standard with the 3.8 code "3" engine but most dealers put in for the optional 3800 code "C" engine. I think about maybe 10% of 88 Lesabre came with the "3" engine.

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