Could the 3800 remain competitive w/modern tech?

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So I'll be the first to say I'm a GM fan. Times have been tough with everyone and their brother jumping on the GM stinks because recall bandwagon, but nevertheless, I'm a fan. My favorite GM engine of all time is the 3800. Just love them. Being that it was a relatively old tech. design, I understand why GM doesn't make it anymore. But, I'd sure find it neat if they did. So I have a fun little thread idea, my question to you all is this: 1. Do you think the same old pushrod 3800 could remain competitive with modern technology? 2. What do you think would need to be added? 3. What HP/TQ numbers would you expect? IIRC, the Series III N/A had 205 hp and 230 lb/ft of torque. SC'd Series III 3800s had about 250 hp. GM redesigned the 4.3 and is now making about 300 hp and it's still a pushrod design. I don't see why they couldn't get more from a 231 ci. block. It'd be cool, yes... I know I'm dreaming. wink drive
 
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The old 231 V-6 in its final form was competitive with any other engine of similar displacement. It had power, good fuel economy and would last. Nothing wrong with pushrods, although we haven't had a pushrod engine in our family fleet in years, and GM still favors them over OHC designs in its larger displacement engines. I still don't understand why GM axed this 90 degree V-6. A good mature design. What's not to like?
 
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I always hoped GM would put the all-iron 3.8L in pickup trucks for work trucks and low-end base models. Think about it, lots of torque, proven design and production, pickup truck market is huge, and they could market its tough image. So the base engine would be the 3.8L, don't produce a 4.3L at all!!! And the next step up would be V8 power. What tech could you add to the 3.8L? Some VVT and AFM. Variable valve timing and active fuel management.
 

redhat

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I agree. I'll put my thoughts. Yes I think it could still be a good competitive engine. All aluminum block, add DI and increase compression (hate to say it as I prefer regular FI) add VVT, mate it to a 6-speed auto or 6-speed manual smile. 275-280 hp and 290 lb/ft of tq?
 

redhat

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Me and my Dad always wondered why GM couldn't have used the 3.8 instead of the 4.3 in their trucks. IMO there was nothing that a 4.3 did that a 3.8 couldn't.
 
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Direct injection would be nice (raise compression a bit for more power and fuel economy). I wouldn't make it all-aluminum though, since in Pickup Trucks you care less about a few pounds and can brag about the all-iron block & heads.
 

redhat

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Yeah the all iron block and heads were a very good bragging point for engine robustness. Also, the 3.8 was one of, if not the first V6 to be SULEV. So tree-huggers should be happy.
 
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Originally Posted By: redhat
Yeah the all iron block and heads were a very good bragging point for engine robustness. Also, the 3.8 was one of, if not the first V6 to be SULEV. So tree-huggers should be happy.
The SULEV thing means its emissions compliant for some time to come as well, so emissions are not an issue. I had inherited a '00 Buick Park Avenue from my mom about 5 years ago, got great gas mileage. Low rpm torque in that 3700 lb vehicle was fine, although peak power was dismal, probably the one weak spot for that engine. You know, GMC/Chevy trucks could just go with the supercharged version as standard and the 'cool' factor with more power would sell more.
 
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Gm did 3 insane fairly futur proof engine that even today might annoy a few car,quad 4 , 3.4 liter v6 two cam per head and zr1 two cam per head v8 all these engine even today would be fair.on ford side? The yamaha v6 screemer that was rev limited only because the alternator and all couldnt keep up rofl is one top dog.but now the new 302 look to have borrowed a few tip from the v6 yamaha ford has.sure scream similarly
 
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The 3.8 has to be one of my favourite GM engines and personally, a few tweaks would keep it with the newer engines. The S/C versions were good but the turbo version in the Anniversary T/A was sick.
 
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Originally Posted By: Nick1994
If I sell the Camry, I'll definitely be considering a Buick/Pontiac with the 3.8L
They were putting those engines in Gen 4 Camaros for cheaper models, so a used '03 Camaro would have one of the last ones. They went into a few Pontiac/Oldsmobile dust-buster minivans that nobody seems to want now. I don't know why no SUV or cross-over or pickup had them.
 
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Rumor (lol)has it that the Corvette has an old fashioned push rod V8. Fact is the engine is very compact for the power it produces and the push rods work well, old fashioned or not. The GM 3.8 V6 is a very good engine, then and now. There was an engine problem with GM about 30 or so years ago. There were these various GM brands, Pontiac, Olds, Chevy and Buick. You do remember? GM started using a universal V8 for all these brands, the small block Chevy. They did not make a big deal about it but they did it just the same. Well, along came an ambulance chasing attorney and his clients and they sued GM over this policy. GM, in court spent a lot of time and energy proving that this policy gave customers a better engine, more power, better fuel economy, more reliability and longer life, common parts etc, etc. And this went on and on and on. All the ambulance chaser did was stand up in court and say when my client sitting over there buys a Buick he wants a Buick engine. When my client buys an Oldsmobile he wants an Oldsmobile engine and so on. You get the idea. The judge found in his favor and paid out a lot of money to the affected parties. GM started announcing exactly what they were doing with engines from that day on. This law suit might have changed the way GM dealt with these kinds of issues and might very well explain why some of the very good engines are not immediately put in place of other not so great engines in their production lines. The 3.8 V6 is one of the great engines of all time and should have been used in many more places.
 
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^^^^ 3.8L had strangely awesome MPG the 4.3 couldn't match. Some kind of internal engine friction advantage. MIT did a low-friction ring research project years ago on that engine to help evolve it.
 
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I've always been fond of the Buick V6 also, but I don't see how it would make any sense for GM to bring it back anytime soon as a car engine. If something needs more power than the HVV6 they have the HFV6. If they need that power but want to keep it simpler and more "bullet proof" there's the 4300 and the small blocks to turn to. To continue development of an additional engine family would cost a lot of money. If that money is spent and doesn't give them any significant advantage offer what their other engines could do, it would basically be a waste.
 
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OneEyeJack, that story from the 1980's mainly had to do with brand differentiation between up-scale Buick/Olds customers not wanted to buy a Chevy engine in their higher priced car. Arguably they were right at the time: The Olds Rocket V8 and Buick v8s might have used more premium parts at that time.
 
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Originally Posted By: yonyon
I've always been fond of the Buick V6 also, but I don't see how it would make any sense for GM to bring it back anytime soon as a car engine. If something needs more power than the HVV6 they have the HFV6. If they need that power but want to keep it simpler and more "bullet proof" there's the 4300 and the small blocks to turn to. To continue development of an additional engine family would cost a lot of money. If that money is spent and doesn't give them any significant advantage offer what their other engines could do, it would basically be a waste.
My vote is with the 3.8L V6 in pickup trucks crowd here, and as noted, the mid-size PU trucks could especially use a 3.8L, although 1/2 ton full size PUs and vans could also use them.
 
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