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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about the grand nationals and their 3.8 turbo charged motors. I know that 5th gen El Camino's came with the possibility of a 3.8 v6 how hard would it be to turbo a stock v6 and make it run correctly and up to the specs of a grand national? Obviously having to change the rear end gear ratio. However if I remember correctly only the 87 GNX had an intercooler not the base grand nationals so that would not be an issue:dontknow:. How much computer work would have to be done?
 

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Why not just take the grand national motor? You may be able to save some money going that route.

I couldn't tell by your question if your el camino already has the 3.8 or if you were going to buy one:dontknow:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't have a 3.8 I was just putting forth the question if someone had one if it could be done easily. I am a fan of unique and may save on gas but keep comparable power to a mild v8.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are there more 3.8 turbo engines out there than I realize? I know that they were in grand nationals and regal t types any others? I was thinking it may be hard to find a drive line to use, hence the thought of putting a turbo on a stock 3.8 which I now know won't work. Thanks for the info.
 

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MonteCarlo had a turbo- I think only one year. Pontiac also had a turbo, I think in the grand-am??? Again only 1 year I think. Both would be hard to find.
 

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they used the turbo 3800 in several later model front drive cars also, i don't know how much trouble it was but a buddy of mine has an s10 with one of the fwd engines in rwd configuration(he bought it like that) and it's a beast.
 

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The GN motor was purpose built. You could add a turbo to a stock 3.8 motor, but it wouldn't last very long. Most parts in the two motors are different, especially the rotating assembly. Big difference. Also, the C.R. is far different, dist curves, , yada, yada... better off finding a genuine GN
 

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Pace car Trns Am's had the 3.8 turbos in them one year. But they are worth a small fortune. (3rd Gen style). Go to some of the GN sites and you might be able to pick up a good drive line for a decent price. I would really look at a totalled vehicle that way you get the electronics, wiring, everything for one price.
suks2bu37:nanawrench:
 

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youll have better luck looking for a buick T-type. it was an early 80s regal and it was the predasessor to the grand national. they didnt build as much power but were a bit more common and were comparable to a mild V8. they werent injected either. they were a 'hot air' carburated v6, meaning they werent origionally equipped with an intercooler, and a pull through carb turbo set up. they were still pretty quick.

another thing ive seen people do is transplant a supercharged pontiac grand prix gtp into a 5th gen. it was pretty quick. but i have no idea on what all it took.
 

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84 and earlier GN/T types did not have an intercooler but 85 to the end of production ALL had inter coolers.
Another neat version that might be reasonably priced are the Buicks and some Pontiacs with the supercharger. It was available in several models, late 80's early 90's.
 

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Another neat version that might be reasonably priced are the Buicks and some Pontiacs with the supercharger. It was available in several models, late 80's early 90's.
Weren't those in the front wheel drive cars? If so, could that be made to work in a 5th gen?
 

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My wife's Buick Park Avenue Ultra has a belt-driven roots type supercharger on the 3800. And it has a lot of power & zip for a fairly heavy car. It lights the front tires up quite ice too :smileyb:
Thing is, all the electronic controls would have to be included when swapping the turbo or roots type into another car.
Not my cup of tea...
 

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Thing is, all the electronic controls would have to be included when swapping the turbo or roots type into another car.
Not my cup of tea...
I have a guy that can do all of that. Some of his work even includes OBDII ports. That gives the ability to troubleshoot as well as electronically tune the engine. I was more concerned about the oil pan, motor mounts, compatibility with the various transmissions used in 5th gens, etc.
 

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1984 ElCo (not sure on model) stock v6 231 3.8l
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The stock 3.8 is not strong enough in the bottom end to handle the extra power, nor is the trans or rear end. The best way to do this is with a GN engine and drivetrain. There was a member here a while back that had done this swap.

Fun reading:
http://www.gmhightechperformance.com/features/0604htp_1984_chevy_el_camino_feature/viewall.html
So I went to the auto parts websites and all the internal parts are the same part numbers. So wouldn't the internals of the engines be the same? Plus on the El Camino it uses the TH350 transmission, it that is the same for the V8 models. so technically it could handle the increased horse power. FYI, I also am doing the turbo mod to my 3.8l V6 231 motor. for the most part, all the items are bolt-on so far. I will update once it's fully assembled.
 
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