Where to find a used/replacement 3800 Series II GM engine

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by CptCrunch, Feb 27, 2009.

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  1. CptCrunch

    CptCrunch Golden Member

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    So I have a 1996 Pontiac Firebird with a 3.8L V6 that has thrown a rod. It was this way when I got it (it was my late BiL's firebird), so I'm not quite sure how the rest of the engine has fared. I would like to replace the engine with a used 3.8L V6, as I dont want to spend all the time/money/effort on swapping the V6 for a LT1.

    Now, I can replace the engine myself (with some help of course) but I need to find a suitable replacement engine. I have called a few local u-pull-u-save and junkyards and if they do have the engine, it's $800 with 160k+ miles on it. Which they all considered great deals and that the engine 'will be gone shortly.' Frankly, I know the 3800 series is a great engine (I've owned a 3800 Series I), but a car with 97k on the body, I'm not willing to spend $800 on a motor with 160k+ miles on it.

    Do any of you have recommendations on where to purchase a used engine with around 80k miles on it for $700 bucks? I figured in this economy I might be able to haggle a little and get a good price. I have no problem driving 4-5 hours one way to pick up the engine so I do not have to pay shipping charges.

    A few more questions: Would a 3800 Series II/III from a later year work in the vehicle? If so, would it be beneficial to look for a newer engine for more features or better reliability? If a newer engine were to be purchased, would it be a direct swap? Any suggestions or things I should know before starting this spring project?

    Here are some of the important details:
    1996 Pontiac Firebird 3.8L Series II
    Automatic Transmission (yes yes, I know)
    The engine has thrown a rod, at least, and unsure about the rest of the engine.
    Cincinnati Ohio region, I live across the river in Northern Kentucky

    Thanks in advanced!
     
  2. StageLeft

    StageLeft No Lifer

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    You may be right, but you should know that, at least in my area, while new sales last year fell at about 18% (half the national rate), used car sales went up $500. Certainly seems like people are more liable to keep a car and/or repair it, so I am not sure that the poor economy will meaningfully lower replacement parts.
     
  3. Demon-Xanth

    Demon-Xanth Lifer

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    For reference, it looks like a rebuilt engine is in the $1600-1700 range, you can probably get a used motor from a junkyard for $700 or so.
     
  4. Vette73

    Vette73 Lifer

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    What do you mean by "thrown a rod"? is the rod sticking out the side of the motor or did it spin a bearing and is now knocking?

    If through the side then yea its new motor/block time.

    If it just a knock then remove the motor and do a rebuild. if you never rebuilt a motor before but can at leats remove it, then remove it and take it to a machine shop and let them do it all.

    Also check out eBay.
    But the problem is i think you have to get the motor from another F-Body. No other 3.8 will work if I remember correct. So there are less out there. And like Skoorb said when the economy goes down the prices of used parts go up as more people are keeping their car/truck longer.
     
  5. ScoobMaster

    ScoobMaster Platinum Member

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    Have you tried this website:

    car-part.com

    (searches inventories of scrap yards)
     
  6. LordMorpheus

    LordMorpheus Diamond Member

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    Thanks for that link, btw, the previous ones I found are garbage and couldn't find something as simple as an engine from a 99-04 mustang (putzing around thinking about cost effective ways to give the town car a little more pedal. Mustang GT engine up to the 3 valve in '05+ are direct swaps, even use the same wiring harness. The intake needs to be turned around, and probably some re-wiring and re-vacuum lining, but it's easy, and cheap, and when you're done you have the mustang aftermarket for when you want more).
     
  7. SparkyJJO

    SparkyJJO Lifer

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    A 3800 up to 1998 should work I think. 99+ they changed the throttle body to drive by wire and a few other things. The 98 even with the body style change still had cable driven angled throttle body. I know this because I have a 98 camaro with a 3800 which spun a rod bearing so I had gotten it replaced.

    Might be worth rebuilding yours if the block is good. If it is just rod knock the rotating assembly can be replaced and you should be good to go.
     
  8. MovingTarget

    MovingTarget Diamond Member

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    Even one of those junkyard engines can be rebuilt. If you are up to task mechanically, that may be the best deal. If not, then a crate engine may do...
     
  9. JeffreyLebowski

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  10. CptCrunch

    CptCrunch Golden Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    ScoobMaster: I've checked out car-part.com but unfortunately, most of the junk yards do not list the mileage with the engine. I might have to look at them in person and see if they have any mileage numbers, i.e. the donor car, or if they provide any sort of warranty.

    I have a video of the noise the engine makes. I'm trying to dig it up from last fall so I can show it to you guys.

    SparkyJJO: I've thought about a rebuild, but the rebuild kits are about as expensive as the used engine. I'd prefer to rebuild it (so the VINs would match), but I'm not sure what other damage has been caused to the engine.

    I checked out those ebay links from DX and they did provide some more insight of where to buy engines. I didn't even know you could buy them from eBay!

    Skoorb: Thats a good point, I didn't even think about that. This is more of a project car so I was hoping it'd be a little bit cheaper to get up and running again.
     
  11. StageLeft

    StageLeft No Lifer

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    Btw I said used car sales went up $500. I meant 5%!
     
  12. SparkyJJO

    SparkyJJO Lifer

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    Is it just knocking but still runs?

    If it is just knocking due to a bad rod bearing you'll just need a new rotating assembly, main crank bearings, and probably get the block bores honed. Clean the heads, intake, etc while they are off while you're at it.

    Besides, even if rebuilding costs about the same as a used motor, in the end you'll have a practically new motor which would be better than some random unknown used motor that you don't know how it was treated. My first replacement was one of those, with only 60k miles on it, but it blew on me only 10 months later. Had I known it was going to do that I would have just rebuilt my old one and been done with it.
     
  13. SuperSix

    SuperSix Elite Member

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    Those things are all over the junkyards.

    You can pull it yourself, and save a lot, but it is a lot of work.
     
  14. bruceb

    bruceb Diamond Member

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    If you really want the 3800 series motor then please go to this web site

    http://moradpartscompany.com/

    It is run by Ed Morad and folks on clupgp.com have all bought parts and other items
    from him with good results. He stands behind the used parts he sells, his prices are
    very reasonable, he can tell you what will / won't fit and if anything needs adapting.
    And for you, he is in Cleveland, Ohio so shipping would be minimal or maybe even
    close enough for you to pick up the motor.

    Morad Parts Company
    3455 W. 140th (service road)
    Cleveland, Ohio 44111

    Tel: 216-671-3736
     
  15. Jabbernyx

    Jabbernyx Senior member

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  16. crispycreamer

    crispycreamer Junior Member

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    I have a 3.8 series 2 rebuilt motor for sale and a good tranny for sale make offer at jerritalbert.ja@gmail.com

    As another member just pointed out do NOT bump threads like this...
    Let them die in peace or PM the OP as suggested...

    AT Moderator
    Bartman39
     
    #17 crispycreamer, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2012
  17. MovingTarget

    MovingTarget Diamond Member

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    FYI, you just bumped a necro thread for this. The last post was in 2009. If you are interested in selling that engine, its best to private message the OP or to start a new thread. I don't know if FS/FT applies to engines, so a mod would have to clarify that. That being said, welcome! I'm sure you will have plenty of people wanting that engine though as it was a good one..
     
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