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Thread: 97 Buick FWD 3800 into a CJ

  1. #1
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    97 Buick FWD 3800 into a CJ

    I've been collecting parts and flappin' the gums for waaaayyyy too long. Time to start the build.

    Be patient folks, it will take some time.....

    Two little kids, slim budget, just recovered from surgery last May where I flat-lined three times.

    The list?

    CJ7
    1997 Buick 3800 engine
    NV3550 transmission
    Dana 300 transfer
    t150/dana 20 drive shafts

    First Day (well not really, but first post), a little mocking up.

    Questions, input and criticism are greatly appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_1338.jpg   100_1339.jpg   100_1341.jpg   100_1342.jpg   100_1337.jpg  

    100_1336.jpg   100_1335.jpg   100_1343.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Interesting choice to go with a FWD version...could make for some odd issues compared to using a RWD version...can't wait to see this thing proceed...

    Some questions...

    - is the plan to run all the electronics (wiring, fuel injection and computer) from the Buick
    - is the plan to use all accessories from the Buick (power steering pump, alternator, etc.)
    - what are your plans for the intake, I see that it is currently pointed at and situated very close to the firewall...might make it difficult to get air freely in to it
    - what is the plan for exhaust, can see what is now the driver's side manifold exits at rear and has a crossover pipe to passenger then passenger exits above frame rail...could make routing a chore
    His ---> 04 LJ - 4.0L, Auto ɹnoɟ pɐǝɹʇǝɹ
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    I'm really interested on how you make out have thought about this for long time I've got the motor 3800 supercharged and jeep
    please keep us informed
    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by igotafrigginjeep View Post
    Interesting choice to go with a FWD version...could make for some odd issues compared to using a RWD version...can't wait to see this thing proceed...

    Some questions...

    - is the plan to run all the electronics (wiring, fuel injection and computer) from the Buick
    - is the plan to use all accessories from the Buick (power steering pump, alternator, etc.)
    - what are your plans for the intake, I see that it is currently pointed at and situated very close to the firewall...might make it difficult to get air freely in to it
    - what is the plan for exhaust, can see what is now the driver's side manifold exits at rear and has a crossover pipe to passenger then passenger exits above frame rail...could make routing a chore
    I scored a complete 1997 Grand Prix and drove it home for $150. I hate to cut it up.
    Electronics/accessories - from the Grand Prix
    Power steering pump - from the Grand Prix, then use the output fitting and interior spring off a TJ for the correct flow and pressure for a jeep steering box.
    Intake - cobra quick 90 degrees should fit the space if not - bump the engine forward few more inches (custom drive shafts) or notch the fiberglass.
    Exhaust - route down the exterior of the frame like a fender well header and maybe a cherry bomb

  5. #5
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    I think there was a version of these engines used in the newer camaro-firebirds,you might find a little help with exhaust ,intake there .

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    OYTE - I was going to do the supercharged version, but I came across too good of a deal on this engine. If this works, Everthing will be the same for your build. The only difference is the flywheel balancing is slightly different on the supercharged (different crankshaft) but I've read the difference is extremely minimal.

    bruces - Thanks for the camaro-firebird tip!

    I've already pulled the flywheel and computer from a 1997 camaro.

    I'm trying to stick to the FWD intake due to the fact that they are so plentyful. I can't go the wrecker without tripping over a FWD 3800.

    The problem with the camaro 3.8 is that there are not alot in Canada. Wish the parts were more plentyful, it would make my life a lot easier.

    Thanks again for the tip.

    ---------- Post added at 02:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:55 PM ----------

    igotafrigginjeep - here's what I was thinking for the intake:

    Last edited by Pav1; 03-25-2010 at 04:03 PM.

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    I was going to suggest running the intake up in to the cowl like this, but then I realized it is a 'glass tub and the cowl likely does not come apart. Figured I would post the link anyway as it might give you an idea...

    ---------- Post added at 03:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:00 PM ----------

    I see what you are saying about the 90 degree...would that sharp of a bend hurt performance in any way by creating turbulence right at the throat of the intake?

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    I don't think I'll hit over 4000 rpm in the jeep LOL .

    I might try the quick elbow, if not, I might put on a blocker plate and weld on a gradual 180 degree bend and remote mount the mass air.

    Thank you so much for the input.

    ---------- Post added at 03:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:08 PM ----------

    Neat post, I didn't know the TJ cowl unbolted WOW!!!

    I was also thinking of bringing the air cleaner into the interior to keep it dry, but I'm not sure about the fumes???

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    An awesome project...

    I've thought about it a lot, for the same reasons you mentioned (tons of FWD 3.8's out there, power is good, weight is near what a stock Jeep 4-popper weighs) but don't have the skills or the cash to make it happen.

    Good luck on the build!

    If I was a Jeep, they'd have parted me out a LONG time ago.

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    Thank you,

    You may want to try it when your motor is long in the tooth.

    Theses engines are cheap, plentiful, and powerful for their size. I bought a complete Grand Prix for $150 and drove the sucker home.

    I'm doing it on the cheap, it may not be as pricey as you think.

    If you already have an ax15 or nv3550 it will be cheap.

    I used the good ol' Dodge Dakota bellhousing (you 2.5 L/ax5 guys know what I'm talking about) which I got for $100.

    If you want a peek, I'm in Acton, drop by for a beer.

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    This is a way cool project I must say. Never would have crossed my mind.
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    I prefer to build it and not buy it, you see it, I probably made it.

  12. #12
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    Thank you very much.

    The idea came about when I got a very low km engine very good price,

    looked into the awesome design of these engines,

    could have a longer driveshaft,

    5 speed for my cj,

    and the fact that the back of a jeep 2.5L is and 60 degree gm bellhousing.

    ---------- Post added at 06:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:17 PM ----------

    If this crazy stunt works, then you can drop any 60 degree gm into a jeep. Maybe even a supercharged 3800 or a Cadillac 4.1/4.5/4.9 L V8...

  13. #13
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    what are your plans for a flywheel ? maybey an iraqi taxi one ?

  14. #14
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    Heheheheheh,

    I have a 1997 camaro 3.8 flywheel.

    Believe it or not, the 3.8 and 3800 blocks/heads are identical.

  15. #15
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    amazing buildup, i was planning this swap in my old vega, for the same reasons you said, cheap, and plentiful. i didn't know that there was a common bell-housing that i could have used, heep us informed on this, great build!!
    currently building a toyota. i'm sorry.

  16. #16
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    It's the 96-98 Dodge Dakota bellhousing.

    AX15/Nv3550 on one side and gm 60 degrees on the other.

    This bellhousing will allow all you 2.5L guys to swap a ax15 for the weaker ax5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. #17
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    when close to being done I would really like to see
    How about the computer system I've been told the pe 1995 3800 is easyer because of the computer but if you can make work I'm in
    I have 1998 3800 with turbo love the engine and lots of power and good on gas
    Thans for the info
    Oyte

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    When I'm done, it will be my daily driver, I'll come out for the meet n greets.

    I'm going to run ALL the wiring from a 1997 Grand Prix and use a 1997 Camaro 3.8 5 speed computer.

    No flashing and no hassel.

  19. #19
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    is the flywheel ballanced for the engine? I didnt think you could just swap one to the other like that

    cool though, I loved some FWD engines like the 2.2 dodge turbo and the 3.8 that I wanted to put in RWD or 4x4 projects, too bad it never happened.
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    will the yota rf tranny bolt up

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