Buick 283

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kellu
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Buick 283

Postby kellu » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:44 pm

So I was thinking about doing a buick 283 swap(3800 supercharged) and I was wondering if anybody here has done that particular swap and if they could give me some advise as to where to buy the engine and requirements of the swap.


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Re: Buick 283

Postby Money pit Beretta » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:24 pm

Rettax3 is one
One other I forget
yellow3800 I think has an NA 3800


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Re: Buick 283

Postby Rettax3 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:21 pm

The 3800 is a Buick 231. A 283 would be a 4.6-liter something-or-other. Now, if you want to talk about a 4.6-Liter Northstar V-8 swap... Um, don't.

The 3800 swap is relatively easy, pretty straight forward. I had a step-by-step write-up back on bstuff (now defunct web-site), proving that it can be done with the tools needed to do any engine swap, a hack-saw and a power-drill.

For what it is worth, these are very solid engines, if they are taken care of they will last 200-300k miles or more. They will eat most stock 60-degree V-6s alive, too. Even a 3400 (I've never driven a 3500-equipped car, so I am willing to accept a little objection regarding this engine, especially considering how similar the 3500's numbers are to a N/A 3800... And the DOHC 3.4 is a different beast entirely, despite being of the same family.)

I couldn't tell you how or where to find a good one -mine was abandoned with me after I helped a friend pull it from the junk-yard for a car he was working on. I would suggest finding a complete donor-car if possible though, you at least want the PCM and engine-bay wiring harness, and ALL of the engine accessories, including the starter.

There isn't a one-way-is-the-best-way install for this engine, you will need to fabricate the engine-mounts yourself. The heater-core lines are simpler and fit the car better than the 60-degree engines do. Radiator-hoses are stock Beretta, IIRC, but you may have to mix-n-match from one year to another. The 3800 has an eight-bolt crankshaft, instead of the six-bolt used on Berettas, so you need a flex-plate or flywheel for the 3800 specifically, and be sure to get one for the right era, and for FWD. If you are going with a manual transmission, you might have a problem if shooting for the super-charged L67 3800 (which is also ~1.25 inches longer than the N/A 3800 because of the extra drive-belt for the supercharger, and the idler-pulleys are an issue unless you re-route the belts, it fits but barely). The problem is that supposedly the L67 has an externally-balanced flex-plate, and there is no OE flywheel for that engine. Otherwise, you can use the L67 flex-plate on a Beretta auto tranny (I guess), or a mid-nineties 3800 Camaro flywheel on a FWD 3800, and the Beretta clutches will bolt right onto it (go better than stock clutch though, the 3800s make a boat-load of torque). However, the Camaro flywheel is far too thick to fit a Beretta transaxle correctly, so you will need to resolve that issue too, you can space-out the engine from the transmission without too much work, but you will need 1/4"-5/16" aluminum plate or equivalent to work with, or take the flywheel in to a machine-shop and have it milled-down. I would suggest taking the car in to an exhaust-shop and just paying for it to be built, unless you are a glutton for punishment -it took me as long to build my exhaust (granted, I also built headers for my engine) as it took me to do the rest of the install. Stock Beretta exhaust will choke a 3800, so you really need an upgrade anyway. The details continue with needing to change-out the throttle-cable, and I have no idea what to do with the TV cable on an older auto-trans, or how long the stock Beretta automatic transmission will last under the 3800's torque, especially if you decide on the L67, which allegedly pushes ~310 foot-pounds stock. Instrumentation is another matter altogether, and is more tied-up with the wiring you will have to do unless you want to shell-out for a stand-alone, like MegaSquirt. I've never gotten my Tach working right with the 3800, although it might have been a bad ICM (which is totally different from the Beretta's ICM). You also have to get the right oil-filter mounting-pad, as there are three or four different styles at least. You will probably have to modify the pad to clear the CV joint too, and fabricate a custom intermediate-shaft to engine bracket if using a manual tranny, I have no idea regarding CV clearances or brackets if using the auto. The 3800's use a different fuel-pump, but my stock 2.8 MPFI pump worked fine on my 3800 until it finally died at 160k+ miles (I think it was original to the car), but the L67 also uses a multi-speed fuel-pump control unit, and unless you are started out with a digital-dash '88-'90 Beretta, it won't wire in to the fuel-tank sending unit correctly (the digi-dash cars used a four-wire sending unit, instead of the normal three-wire).

If using an auto from a 3800 car, you could TRY to contact RollinGTZ, that is how he built his car, but he also cut-up his upper core-support and bought $600 custom CV joints. :roll:

On my car, I have a couple of holes drilled into the sub-frames, and one ground-wire is cut from the fuel-tank sending-unit, and I made a couple of minor cosmetic mods due to the exhaust-outlets exiting though the ground-effects, a pair of hood-scoops, and some add-on gauges, otherwise there are zero mods to my car that I can't unbolt and restore.

So, that is a rough idea of what you would face with a 3800 swap... It is really pretty easy. Are you sure I can't interest you in a 3X00 front-mount instead? :wink:


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
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Re: Buick 283

Postby 1988GTU » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:09 am

the N* start wont fit unless you do some severe mods to the engine bay, and then reconstruction will be needed for unibody flex. Thats my short take on it.


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Re: Buick 283

Postby Rettax3 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:47 pm

1988GTU wrote:the N* start wont fit unless you do some severe mods to the engine bay, and then reconstruction will be needed for unibody flex. Thats my short take on it.
Rettax3 wrote:Now, if you want to talk about a 4.6-Liter Northstar V-8 swap... Um, don't.

Sorry, I have one. NO major mods to the bay. A small section of the triangular brace under the right-side frame-rail has to be notched for the alternator-pulley, and the alternator cooling-fan removed and an electric cooling-fan (one can be found on a Pontiac Fiero) installed, power steering is lost because the crankshaft pulley sits UNDER the frame-rail, and the N* oil-pan and pick-up tube have to be modified to clear the right sub-frame (which does still have to be notched a little -I will be adding a small brace onto mine just for piece of mind although there was never a problem when GTiIndy had this car). I may be drilling a 1" hole in the right strut-tower to provide more clearance for the CMP, (Cam Position Sensor), just to prevent future damage in case my mounts flex more than the old ones did (they didn't much), but I hate the idea of modding the car further and it wasn't necessary before. The transmission seems to push over to the left beyond the old-style mount's capability to adjust to it (but I am not certain, as my car had a different mount installed, partly because of the N* air intake -I will be reversing the upper manifold though, so I may be able to install a stock or modified stock tranny mount, IDK yet), but the tranny does still fit there. Anticipate dropping the whole drivetrain to perform a clutch swap. I'm still not sure about the CV axles, as there is some noise from the left that is either a worn joint or binding in the joint from it being too tight, I still have to investigate that one. A custom flywheel needs to be bought or made. Heater hoses and radiator hoses need to be addressed. Wiring is a concern. Exhaust needs to be built or bought (I am planning on re-doing mine as a true dual, instead of the single that is in the car now).
Planning on an auto-trans N*? Well, you would save major headache on the clutch issue, but I don't know for sure that the auto trans will fit. Probably.
Either way, let's not forget where the N* starter sits -the tranny will have to be modified for it.

There is a ton of fabrication work to be done with this swap, and it is far more difficult than a 3800 swap. But none of this is 'severe engine-bay mods', and as for re-bracing the engine-bay to avoid flex, well, my GTU's engine probably cranks-out well over 300 ft-lbs of torque which matches or beats the N*, and H.P. numbers are conservatively estimated as being about the same as the lower-HP high-torque N*, around 275. My GTU doesn't have frame-flex problems at all. Torque-steer problems, yes. :wink: Traction problems, oh yes. :twisted:
Back before I built my 3800 GTU, I read over and over again how 'major frame mods' and 'tons of expensive custom parts' were necessary for that swap. I proved that all that wasn't true -yes, fabrication of custom mounts is necessary, but my GTU can be restored to 100% stock except for two small holes in the right sub-frame (which could be swapped-out for another sub-frame, actually) and one cut ground-wire. :P

That's my long take on it. :beer: No worries, though.


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 3400 Top-End Auto OD Z-26

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Re: Buick 283

Postby 1988GTU » Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:31 pm

severe to some may not mean the same to others. Installing such engine, if it were my beretta and I wanted to waste money as well as time, I would want to make sure its secure, very well mounted and dampened (no solid mounts) with reliability high on the priority list. The 3800 would be my engine of choice if it were the choice between a N* or a 3800.


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Re: Buick 283

Postby Rettax3 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:02 pm

1988GTU wrote:severe to some may not mean the same to others. Installing such engine, if it were my beretta and I wanted to waste money as well as time, I would want to make sure its secure, very well mounted and dampened (no solid mounts) with reliability high on the priority list. The 3800 would be my engine of choice if it were the choice between a N* or a 3800.

Overall I agree with you. The 3800 SC is comparable in performance to the N*, and although a 'dinosaur', as Kurt used to say, it is a very tough and reliable engine. I AM running solid-mounts too, for both engines (although both engines are exceptionally smooth), so consider that as a compromise for having these particularly large engines in a car not designed for them. There is room for movement with the 3800 (not much) to have , but there really isn't much option on the N* aside from solid-mounts or MAYBE poly-mounts, there just isn't a lot of room.

Working on both cars, the 3800 is a drastically easier swap, similar in the older cars (like most of mine) to a 3X00 swap, in some aspects even easier. The N* is NOT for the faint-of-heart.

But, I simply cannot agree with you as to a definition of 'severe' engine-bay mods, when thusfar the car originally had only a small section of secondary bracing notched-out and minor sub-frame notching. Some modification to be sure, but not severe, sorry. Five minutes and some care with a grinder completes this work easily, and it is almost impossible to see the alterations without putting the car on a rack and knowing exactly where to look.

I appreciate your comment about 'wasting time and money', it brings back fond memories of the pitch-a-fit days of bstuff. :good:


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 3400 Top-End Auto OD Z-26

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Re: Buick 283

Postby 1988GTU » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:35 pm

I prefer gmfwd over bstuff, u don't obviously know me and by saying that u just never plan to.

I'd rather swap in an iron duke than a n*. Much easier to work with and would be more unique


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Re: Buick 283

Postby Rettax3 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:27 am

1988GTU wrote:I prefer gmfwd over bstuff, u don't obviously know me and by saying that u just never plan to.

Nope. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and I really don't have a problem with the fact that a lot of people don't care for the N* -it was THE engine to get back in the day, but oil-leaks, rebuilding concerns, lack of much aftermarket support (which I don''t care about, as I, and many other issues (some of which do not apply to the L47 variant that is in my Indy) have given the engine a bad reputation now, almost 20 years later. But, I found your comment about 'wasting time and money' to be inflammatory and offensive, for no apparent reason other than to defend your erroneous statement about 'severe engine bay mods' being necessary for the conversion. Looking at your sig pic (which is cool in my opinion, BTW -I have no problem offering props to people when they deserve them), how would you react if I said "3X00 swaps are boring, overdone, and have no merit due to the extreme lack of imagination", would that be just tactless, or would it be deliberately rude? I say both (I don't actually think that 3X00 swaps are without merit, BTW, that was just making a point). Would you ever walk up your neighbor and say, "Hey, your car is a POS, but have a nice day"? I feel that people should treat each other with respect and acknowledge their validity whether interacting in person or on-line. I've found most of your posts (the ones I've read, anyway) to be fine, often even insightful and valid. But not here, sorry. I'm not taking it personally, and maybe you are just having a bad day, IDK, I've had them too. But as I said, it was like the constant bickering and needling from bstuff, which at least showed that people had passion about their interest in Berettas... :pardon: I'm sorry, but the simple fact is that I've gotten to a point where I just don't tolerate it when people act online in a way that they never would face-to-face.

Moving on...
1988GTU wrote:I'd rather swap in an iron duke than a n*. Much easier to work with and would be more unique

I do think an Iron Duke in a Beretta would be unique, sure, but the car was offered with an OHV four-banger, so how would that be 'more unique' than a V-8, N* or otherwise? To my knowledge, I have the first and ONLY N* Beretta (and there may be good reasons for that :wink: ), particularly one that remained FWD, and even more so as it still has its' original five-speed Muncie... I really wasn't trying to turn this into an N* thread -sorry I mentioned it.
1988GTU wrote:The 3800 would be my engine of choice if it were the choice between a N* or a 3800.
Now THIS, I agree with, whole-heartedly, which is interesting, since I didn't like the 3800s until I had one, and I was actually looking into trying to copy the V-8 Indy back then even before I got the 3800. Now, after seeing the difference in swap requirements, the only really good reasons to use a Northstar in a Beretta is to get the low-end and mid-range torque of the V-8 (which would be easier to get with an LS-series swap -now THAT would still be unique, I've been thinking of doing that with my '95 Z-26 someday, after the price of the engines come down, but I'll likely try to find a good Quad to turbo for it instead), or to have the character, exhaust-note, and uniqueness of the car. I guess the N* has more potential than the 3800 in the aspect of pure displacement, air-flow through the 32-valves and efficiency of hemispherical aluminum heads, but at 10.3:1 compression, forced-induction is 'delicate', and would be difficult to fit in a Beretta (I've looked :wink: ) unless going with a RMT setup (remote mount turbo), and aftermarket cams are hard to come by. What else could you do to it, really? A chip? Seriously... You could drop the compression and boost it I guess. :no: The LC3 4.4-liter N* already comes supercharged, and produces as much as ~470 H.P. and ~440 ft-lbs of torque at 9:1 compression... That would be hard to produce with a 3800, though not impossible. Probably almost impossible with an Iron Duke though, at least more than once... :burn:
Rettax3 wrote:Now, if you want to talk about a 4.6-Liter Northstar V-8 swap... Um, don't.

But I did mean that, it wasn't actually an invitation, and now you know why... :oops:


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 3400 Top-End Auto OD Z-26

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Re: Buick 283

Postby 1988GTU » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:07 am

Rettax3 wrote:But, I found your comment about 'wasting time and money' to be inflammatory and offensive, for no apparent reason other than to defend your erroneous statement about 'severe engine bay mods' being necessary for the conversion.

Thats your opinion to think that, this is Mericuh, you are entitled to one.
Rettax3 wrote:Looking at your sig pic (which is cool in my opinion, BTW -I have no problem offering props to people when they deserve them), how would you react if I said "3X00 swaps are boring, overdone, and have no merit due to the extreme lack of imagination", would that be just tactless, or would it be deliberately rude? I say both (I don't actually think that 3X00 swaps are without merit, BTW, that was just making a point).

I couldn't careless for what you or anyone else has to say about 3x00 swaps.
Rettax3 wrote:Would you ever walk up your neighbor and say, "Hey, your car is a POS, but have a nice day"? I feel that people should treat each other with respect and acknowledge their validity whether interacting in person or on-line.

I don't have neighbors with car hobbies, but I have went up to people at the car strip to say similar things in order to provokes a grudge race. It works!
People should often practice what they preach whether it be in person or online.
I am who I am online as I am offline.
Rettax3 wrote:I've found most of your posts (the ones I've read, anyway) to be fine, often even insightful and valid.

Thanks.
Rettax3 wrote:I'm sorry, but the simple fact is that I've gotten to a point where I just don't tolerate it when people act online in a way that they never would face-to-face.

Again, I am the same person you'd meet online and offline.

My self personally, I HATED 3800's but I've grown to like them and will support the idea for those that wish to swap one in any vehicle.


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Re: Buick 283

Postby Rettax3 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:40 pm

1988GTU wrote:People should often practice what they preach whether it be in person or online.

This is true, and I've stuck my foot in my mouth online many times, I just try to have the good grace to get past my ego and admit I'm wrong instead of, well, never mind. I'm pretty much done with this topic. But yes, you are right.
1988GTU wrote:
Rettax3 wrote:I've found most of your posts (the ones I've read, anyway) to be fine, often even insightful and valid.

Thanks.

You're welcome -props where they are deserved.
1988GTU wrote:
Rettax3 wrote:I'm sorry, but the simple fact is that I've gotten to a point where I just don't tolerate it when people act online in a way that they never would face-to-face.

Again, I am the same person you'd meet online and offline.

Thus my comment about bstuff. And my response of "Nope."
1988GTU wrote:My self personally, I HATED 3800's but I've grown to like them and will support the idea for those that wish to swap one in any vehicle.

I didn't hate them myself, I just didn't see the point in going back to an iron-head 90-degree mid-displacement push-rod V-6. The Short Star LX5, or even the 3.4 DTC (I just can't keep calling that engine 'TDC', as a mechanically-inclined person, 'TDC' means something other than 'Twin Dual Cam' -seriously :roll: ) seemed like the way to go, or something even more radical (N* or AWD drive-train) or the other direction of lighter and more compact (Quad). But the install was really easy, and driving the 3800, it is rev-happy, pulls like a freight-train, and runs very smooth (you are right about solid mounts though, it is a compromise I wouldn't recommend for every user), aside from a couple of small RPM bands with some light vibration. It is a durable, reliable engine. I don't think a whole lot of people support the 3800 swap, so it is good to see another open mind about it. :good:


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 3400 Top-End Auto OD Z-26

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Re: Buick 283

Postby 1988GTU » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:25 pm

I'd like to see some one swap in a modern 4 cylinder from the GM world in a Beretta not hacking i all up, making it produce on par numbers, and it be daily driveable. I was helping a non B.Net member with such a swap, but they lost interest before it could be finished. So sad, but I am not going to make anyone move forward knowing there heart isnt in it.


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Re: Buick 283

Postby Rettax3 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:31 pm

It seems like I saw some pics of an Ecotech in a Beretta not too long ago. Has anyone else run across that? I tend to like big, lumbering, torque-blasting bomber engines, but high-revving light zippers in a car as nimble as the Beretta sounds seriously fun too, especially with a close-ratio manual gearbox. I'm still leaning towards going Quad on my '95 Z-26 someday, but I know that isn't the 'modern' you were talking about. Did you mean Ecotech, or is there something even newer than that? The Buick Regal was supposed to be released with a 270 H.P. turbo Ecotech with a six-speed manual in GS trim, did that ever happen? Yeah, I would like to see that too, um, maybe in my own driveway... :good:


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 3400 Top-End Auto OD Z-26

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Re: Buick 283

Postby 1988GTU » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Anything new with would have my attention, maybe Opel ECOTec technology IIRC thats the 2.5L or even go three cylinder if you an get your hands on one.


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Re: Buick 283

Postby 3X00-Modified » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:39 am

Go with the 2013 Malibu 2.0 Turbo engine that they slap in the Cadillac ATS too... IIRC that's comparable to my Legacy stock if not more.

ATS is 272HP, Malibu is 259HP with different intake and Exhaust due to transverse mounting vs longitude in the Cadillac




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