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Old 09-03-2007, 11:34 PM   #1
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V6 engine swap

We've got this old Pontiac Trns Sport van, it's been sitting in the driveway for about 6 months because it needs a power steering pump and since nobody wants to drive dust buster I haven't gotten around to fixing it. Well, I needed to move it today, I hooked up the jumpers and the thing fired right up and purred like a kitten, well, other then the horrific howl from the pump.
Anyway, the thing has a 3800 V6 that's runs beautifully but the rest of the van is crap, these things sell for under a grand in decent shape around here so it's really not worth it to fix it to sell.
What all would be involved putting this engine in my Wrangler? know of anybody that's done it?
My 4 banger is getting really tired and I'm not relishing the idea of dumping a bunch of time and money into overhauling what will still be a gutless wonder.

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Old 09-03-2007, 11:39 PM   #2
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I'd do a little research on the motor, like if it has any major flaws, what its specs are and everything.

But IMO, swapping any more into a Wrangler, other than the original or factory optional, would be the biggest PITA. Even a V8 swap would take quite a bit of work. If it were me, I wouldn't bother with it. Sell the van for what you can and buy yourself a new motor.

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Old 09-03-2007, 11:56 PM   #3
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Yeah, you gotta research tranny options that will mate to what Tcase? Length of all of the new drivetrain, adapters for your tranny etc......Switch over the wiring harness and computer, and then motor mounts.

Does Washington have emissions testing?

You might go take a look at Advance Adapters site to see if they have any info for ya.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:59 PM   #4
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looks like it's got a good history and earlier variants were even used in Jeeps.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_V6_engine.

The work wouldn't be a problem, I've built plenty of custom off road cars and have a fairly well equipped shop. I just don't know what I would need in the way of adapters and such.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1BLKJP View Post
Yeah, you gotta research tranny options that will mate to what Tcase? Length of all of the new drivetrain, adapters for your tranny etc......Switch over the wiring harness and computer, and then motor mounts.

Does Washington have emissions testing?

You might go take a look at Advance Adapters site to see if they have any info for ya.
Ahhh that's the name I was looking for, I couldn't remember advance adapters. thank you.

Washington has emissions testing but they don't look under the hood, Wranglers came with a 6 banger and this motor is a year newer so as far as I know it would be legal. We aren't allowed to put larger or older motors in rigs hers as far as I know, so I can't legally install a V8
If I'm not mistaken, the Jeep is registered as a light truck so it should have easier emissions standards than the van.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeter View Post
looks like it's got a good history and earlier variants were even used in Jeeps.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_V6_engine.
Your just lucky its not a 2.8L V6... those are total crap.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:19 AM   #7
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:33 AM   #8
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Hmm, that doesn't fill me with warm fuzzy feelings
Thanks for the links, it looks like I'd be better off just selling both the van and the Wrangler and getting something with more power or old enough to not have to worry about regulations.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:35 AM   #9
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Yeah, sometimes it ends up costing more to use something you have.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:52 AM   #10
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are those vans RWD? I have owned few different versions of the GM 60degree V6. That engine is bulletproof. Attached to a 4L60or 4L65E would be a sweet ride, bur might not work out good length wise... They dont make much torque in stock form... however.. you have seen what turbos do to em (grand national). I am a huge L36 fan (3800 Seroies II Supercharged) that came in GTP GRand Prixs.. but are FWD and woul;d need to bolt it up to a longitudinal tranny.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:43 AM   #11
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GM is usually pretty universal in that their trannys will bolt of to any of their motors. One of the magazines built a flatty a while back with the 3.5 out of an olds and used a camaro bell housing. I can't remember which tranny they used though. Hey, if you have the time, it sounds loke a good project to me.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:43 PM   #12
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My brother had a '68 CJ-5 with the Buick v6 motor (stock)....talk about an animal! The power to weight ratio was insane. Compared to my CJ-6 4 banger he would wipe me in any situation.

Maybe the CJ boys can help you out on this one? If it's the same block that would be a nice swap.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:52 PM   #13
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The 3.8 will bolt to just about any modern GM trans Id bolt a 700R4 to it bulletproof with lots of aftermaket support.......its a pretty solid motor.......problems I can think of off the top of my head would be lower intakes ALWAYS leak....I would do that while it was out couple 3 hours......the balancer on the front of the motor is rubber damped and likes to delaminate after it gets old.......easy fix as well but ya may need the "GM Kent-moore tool" that sets the airgap on the crank sensor as the reluctor wheel is built into the dampner and if ya do it ill tell ya how ta pull it off.......thats about it.......bout as powerful as the new JK 3.8.......

If it was me doin a swap Id look for a wrecked 6 cylinder jeep and swap the engine tranny out complete it prob will end up costing less in the long haul IMHO.......g
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:52 PM   #14
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That's the problem, realistically, my Heep just isn't worth a whole bunch of money. The body is beat, the interior is shot and the suspension is a joke.
Had it been an inexpensive proposition I'd jump on it no matter the amount of work, but it's looking like a grand or more and I just can't justify that kind of money into something that if it were any other vehicle would be late for it's day at the crusher.

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