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Questions about modifying the 3.8 in a mid 80's FWD Buick?


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What would it take to achieve the current level of horsepower in the Supercharged 3800 Series II engine in a mid 80'FWD Buick? Is it feasible. There are a lot of 85-90 Park Avenues here and I would like to have a FWD sleeper.

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If your asking is you could get 240hp out of a 80s 3.8, I would have to say not quite but you could get 240hp out of a 80s Electra. I think a couple have tried and 200hp is about the limit with the currrent aftermarket on the 88-91 3800. I'm not sure on the 87 and older 3.8s Either way it would probably be alot of work. You could however get 240hp by means of an engine swap. That's what I'm doing. Swapping the newer engine in would not only be easier, but also it would be more drivable and there is alot of room for improvement on the motors yet. Check out my site for some info on swapping the SC series II. You could also go with an older SC engine or a SII N/A.

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I have to agree with T-Keith. If anyone knows about the pre-3800's, he does. There seem to be many parts available for the rwd engines but not much for the fwd. I'm not sure even 200hp. is possible as I believe the older 3.8's were rated at between 125-140 hp, so they are less efficient to start with. You can make a difference with porting, more compression and anything else that will help get air into and out of the engine, but unless you can get more camshaft, the breathing is somewhat limited. Turbo or supercharging is really the only way to get comparable performance. I'm one of those that have tried to get more from the n/a 3800 engine, and have tried just about everything with a net result of about 30hp. more than the stock 165hp. at a cost of about $2000.

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