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tcams76
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I had a long wait in a office lounge today,and the November auto mag on the table was a buyers guide and a pretty good one at that.......all the new Buicks sedans had 3800 V-6s and they all had a minimum 200 horses, and some had a lot more. <BR>HELLO...where are the Reatta engine upgrade parts at. <BR>200 sounds like the magic number to me.<BR>The love for a car starts and ends with the engine.<BR>Is swapping out motors the answer?

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Maybe, except the computer is incompatible. You might be able to get around that by using the present sensors and operating system, including the EGR. To get comparable performance you have to get inside the engine to duplicate the higher flow potential and compression ratio of the newer engines, plus they use roller fulcrum rockers which are again, not compatible with our engines.

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I think will start with a nice port and polish head job, here in Atlanta $750 walk-in. I don't want to change the compression or cam. I enjoy being able to purchase regular.<BR>I like my engine it starts first turn of the key. 113K miles, the transmission makes funny sounds occasionally.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.newcovenant.com/firebird/howthingswork.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.newcovenant.com/firebird/howthingswork.htm</A>

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Honestly if you look at performance #'s for 88-91 the Reatta was quite good. Of course now 10 or more years later hp is up. I have installed a conical air filter and if you use high performance spark plugs and maybe synthetic oils, you can squeak out a few noticable hp gains. What the other guys are saying is true, I for one like using regular and other upgrades may be a problem for the existing computer.

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My impression is that the biggest immediate gain is to clean up the exhaust system - particularly the rear manifold which is apparently horrible (need to look, I have a spare).<P>Next is to open up the intake a bit (K&N & cusom air box). Keep in mind that both will affect high RPM the most and the cam is designed to peak at 2000 rpm. Breathing drops off above 4000 quickly.<P>There really is not that much difference in real power - 88 has 200 lb-ft torque while 200 hp SII peaks at 225. Real difference is where the peak is 2000 rpm for 88 and 4800 rpm for SII, there the 88 has dropped off to 180 lb-ft. <P>Matching would require cam/heads/intake (most of the 5hp increase in '91 was from the snake intake. Keeping the same compression would permit 87 octane performance.<P>At this point will need to modify the advance and fuel maps for most efficient operation but could probably just put the late model maps onto the early Prom.<P>Would repond well at this point to change to the 3.33 axle transmission and to move the shift points up to 5500. Without this the system is liable to bog a lot and shift below the peak.<P>Keep in mind that a powertrain is a system. You cannot just change one element without affecting everything else.<P>Does anyone know whan the 3800 went from MAF to MAP control (would guess when series II came out) ?<p>[ 12-04-2001: Message edited by: padgett ]

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I didn't know about the torque peak of the Series II torque being that high but it does help explain why the Series I is actually snappier at lower rpm. The cam is essentially hopeless, about 182-187 deg. duration, depending on if intake or exhaust. The '88 has even less duration but more lift. The 2000 rpm torque peak makes them really good cruisers, as far as mileage is concerned. A little more compression ratio does work, but it can't get too radical with the mild cam or low speed cylinder pressure will be too high. The heads are actually pretty good, with "D" shaped exhaust ports to make the gases think the port is straighter than it is. A little cleanup does help and a bowl blend. Force feeding the engine is the most positive way of adding a lot of horsepower and torque, but that involves other possible pitfalls.

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Thinking outloud.....with maybe 70% of Camaros and Firebirds running the 3800 engine, there should be some "stuff" out ther for it. That rear manifold does look restrictive, since it must flow it's 3 cylinders plus the three from the other side dumping into it. Also from just looking, it appears you must cut the factory exhaust system to replace it. There does not appear to be enough room at the rear suspension to snake the CAT through if you want to save your present system.<P>One other option for those who know...change the final drive ratio. '880'90 Reattas run a 2.97 final drive. 1991's have a 3.33<BR>Other Buicks use several final ratios,<BR>I was able to find 2.73, 2.84, 3.06, & 3.33<P>It appears that all 1989 Regals run the 3.33 ratio. I don't know what it takes to change the final drive, it may be possible to change without dropping the transmission.

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