Engine swap advice

Tiny
ALEXANDER D EBBING
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 138,000 MILES
Will either the 3.8 twin turbo from a nissan gtr or the turbo 3.8 from a buick grand national fit for an engine swap in my 2000 Pontiac Firebird with the 3.8 V6 and if so will either swap require any custom fan work to be done to the engine bay to accommodate the new engine?
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Sunday, March 26th, 2017 AT 9:44 PM

30 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
The Nissan will not fit without major work and a lot of changes to the engine itself. The engine sets the wrong direction, entirely different fuel system, exhaust, cooling, you would need new wiring and custom programmed control systems as a start.

The Buick 3.8 will not work very well either because you would need to rewire the engine bay, change out the fuel system and custom make a new exhaust. The engine controller would need to be reprogrammed as well because of the changes. And it would need the older transmission because the current 3.8 you have is a different design than the earlier engine.

In reality the only thing shared between those engines is the 3.8 number. If you really are looking for more power you would be better off finding a bird with the V8 in it from the factory, those have a lot of performance parts available.

USER NOTES The info about the Nissan engine sitting a different direction is incorrect the GTR is AWD and the 380Z is RWD in which both cars have the VR38 3.8 Nissan engine
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Monday, March 27th, 2017 AT 5:26 AM
Tiny
RUSPUTNAM73
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
  • 3.8L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
Was wondering what engine I had. It has the v0207hv stamp on it but im not sure about the nnn nnn-nnnn. None of the numbers I found match up to 10 numbers long

i have a 98 firebird with the 3800 v6 in it
i got a v8 (described above) that i'd like to drop in it. Possible? It came with a tranny or I have another tranny off of a ls1
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
You can't simply "drop" a V8 into a 6 cylinder car.
You have an operating system for one engine and one engine only. The suspension is different, the cooling system is different, the exhaust system is different, the brakes are different, etc, etc, etc

Not to mention that it's totally against federal law to do that punishable by up to $25,000 fine.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
TWEETYCARRIELEA
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
Engine Mechanical problem
1996 Pontiac Firebird 6 cyl Manual

I have a 1996 pontiac firebird with a 3.8 V6 engine that is smoking and knocking. I am wanting to replace the engine, but have not been able to find the exact same one. I have found a 305 chevy engine and a chevy 4.3 v6 engine. Will either one of these engines work?
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
TEAG
  • MEMBER
Theyll work but you need to make sure you have all the engine components, motor mounts, ECM, and wiring harness. Its alot of work. I do this every other month with my husband at our shop. Its no walk in the park but it is possible and has been done many times by myself alone. If your not a patient person, use the car for racing, or have money to spend on the project. You might wanna stick with the 3.8. Eventually youll find one. You could even buy a 3.8 crate engine. The cost would be about the same and you have less problems to deal with.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MUSTANGDOS70
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
  • 275,000 MILES
After swapping engines, ('92 to '90) I didn't notice that the flywheel moved 1/2 inch toward the block and blinded. Obviously, when I tried to start it, it wouldn't. I haven't dropped the tranny yet to see if I can move the flywheel by hand yet. My question is, is this the correct thing to do? Will I be able to move the flywheel back to it's working location fairly easily? Is there anything else that I need to do?
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check to see if it 's the correct flywheel there are a cople different ones. If it's an automatic the converter may have slipped forward and that is your problem. If it didi dont' be surprised if it broke your oil pump in transmission either.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MUSTANGDOS70
  • MEMBER
Looks like the Flywheel/Flexplate's are different on the '92 and the '90. One has like 168 teeth and the other 148. The starters are different as well. Go figure. It is an automatic. Yes, the converter has slipped forward. What is the best way to correct this? I haven't figured out an easy way to loosen the bell housing from the engine block without removing the motor mount bolts and lifting the engine again. There is not a lot of room to get a wrench between the block and the firewall.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
The best way is to do it like it's supposed to. You drop the engine and trans and cradle assy then take the trans off. If you r conveter has slipped your pump my have broken so you'll have to check that. The convertershold be sl;id back after trans is out or loose it has to go into pump otherwise it breaks it. It will slide forward a little whe it is bolted to the flywheel.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MUSTANGDOS70
  • MEMBER
The converter is bolted to the flywheel/flexplate. The flywheel is what is bond against the engine block. Would that cause the pump to brake? I would think if it slipped toward the tranny then I'd be in trouble.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
As long as the torque converter never came out then you are ok.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MUSTANGDOS70
  • MEMBER
I unbolted the torque converter when I got the engine out so I could mount it to the engine stand. I bolted it back up before I put it back in the car. Why would that make a difference?
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Don't worry about it
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MUSTANGDOS70
  • MEMBER
So, after dropping the back of the tranny, unbolting the bell housing from the engine block, removing the starter and unbolting the torque converter from the flywheel, (I forgot to mark it the first time I took it off), I was able to move the torque converter onto the tranny as it should have been. I bolted everything back up, got the correct starter and was able to start the car. It sounds like crap. There's a loud squealing noise coming from the back lower half of the engine. Sounds like the flywheel may now be warped. Starter doesn't always catch and I have to turn the motor over by hand a few turns. Idles like crap. Very rough. I guess I lost a lot more tranny fluid than I thought cuz I've put in a quart and it's barely registering on the dip stick. Needless to say, I'm frustrated.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Not being able to see this i'd really suggest you have a local pro look at this for you. I don't know what to tell you.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DGP0703
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 163,000 MILES
I have a 1995 Pontiac Firebird convertible with a 3.4L v6 and automatic transmission. I am wanting to put in a v-8. How difficult will this be and will the same transmission fit? Probably would put in an LS 1 engine or maybe a 350.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
We recommend direct replacement parts. This type of change can be done, but requires that everything be changed, such as motor mounts, trans, computer, vacuum hoses, wiring harness.

And, after everything is changed, there always seems to be additional problems. That us why we only recommend direct replacement parts.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:40 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DAVFIN1975
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
I have a 1989 firebird that has about 280000 miles on the
305 in it. I was wondering if a newer 350 create engine would bolt up with out to much trouble
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACK42
  • EXPERT
There will be a few things (flexplate, starter, harmonic balancer, possibly p/s exhaust manifold). Not really sure if it is worth all the extra stuff you have to buy to put the 350 in it, done it before, not a really huge performance increase. PCM calibration will also be off a little, injectors may be different, dont remember on that.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DEGOAL1337
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
Engine Mechanical problem
1988 Pontiac Firebird V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic

The car is a 305 tuned port. The original motor blew so I dropped another 305 into it. The car starts right up and runs, but it seems to be running rather rich and, up until I rigged the fans to a switch, the fans didnt kick on and it would start to over heat. The fuel and temp gauges worked before and now do not. Not sure where to start and don't have an engine diagnostic machine available to make it easier.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)

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