Questions to ask your self before starting
What Transmission am I going to use?
What Style of Mounts Do I Want?
Who is going to wire the engine?
Who is going to do the fabrication?
Do I want ABS?
Do I want AC?
The GM FWD V6 engines share the same bolt pattern as the OHV 4 cylinder engines ( the two found in the 3rd Generation J-body cars are the 2.2OHV and the 2200)
If you have a car equipped with an OHV engine already, you can retain your existing transmission. If you are swapping to a car with a DOHC engine, you need to swap your transmission as well.
Options for auto are the 4t40e (4 speed auto) that comes in the J, the 4t45e that comes the N body cars. 4t65e or 4t65HD these transmissions are found in W and C body cars, and the 3t40e which is strongly NOT recommended
Options for manual are the Isuzu from a 95-99 OHV car, the Getrag from a 00+ 2200 car, or the NVG T550. The Isuzu and the Getrag will bolt into the factory mounts if you are swapping from a DOHC of the same generation of car (95-99 or 00+). The NVG most likely needs new mounts. You can also if you choose to use the F40 found in the G6 itís a 6spd Manual this transmission will require more work and to my knowledge no one has put it into a J body yet.
If you wish to convert from an Isuzu to a Getrag, search for that swap in the transmission forum. You have to modify the front transmission mount pocket and remove the rear transmission mount pocket if you have a 00+ you can use both factory transmission mounts, most people in the 95-99 use the front and make a custom rear if you wish to re-weld the 00+ rear pocket in you can do that too, if you do this you have to change the shifter inside the car and the linkage, some have used the 95-99 shafts on the 00+ transmission I did as well but blew the passenger side shaft and found it to be a smidge longer while its apart might as well use the 00+ shafts.
When choosing the 5spd Option you have 2 choices of Flywheel custom or F body, thing to keep in mind when choosing custom that the balancing may be off as the 3800 is balanced by the flywheel. F body flywheel I believe is 1.14Ē think this will not work for the FWD transmission if you choose the 5spd transmission option the flywheel must get machined down to .84Ē from the back side that mounts to the crank to the clutch disc surface, its a lot to off but its fine. G6 thickness is unknown but still uses the same flywheel as the 3800 engines uses an 8 bolt flywheel not the standard 6 that other GMs use.
Here there are many was of mounting almost every person has done this differently you can use you imagination.
Transmission Mounting is the easy part as they are already set unless you do the Isuzu to Getrag swap. The sub frame is another thing that changes from person to person basic idea for this is to have the engine rest on this but it also strengthens the front end. See Attached Pictures of the different Styles of Sub Frames
If you wish to run the dog bone style upper mounts you have to re-enforce the front radiator support. I used 2x2 square tube with a 1/8 wall for the sub frame and the radiator support. The upper mount pockets that are welded to the radiator support you likely will NOT find these you will have to make them, I used 03 Ford F150 Front Differential Pockets, and I made the frame for these trucks so I had them accessible. See Attached Pictures
The lower mounts I choose where GM RWD Truck Transmission Mounts. The upper bushings were a special order from Energy Suspension using this chart you can figure out what size of bushing you need as well as size of pipe for the bushing
I used Part# 9.9483R they come in a set so 1 box will do 1 dog bone mount I ordered 2 boxes think they cost my $15CDN
I used Part# 3.1108, I Used 2 of these 1 for my lower engine mount and the other for my lower transmission mount. See Attached Pictures
AC delete Pullys can be made or purchased from an after market company not sure if GMPP makes one or not.
A Buick Park Ave compressor can be used that will retain the J-body plumbing because the in/out fittings attach at the rear of the compressor as the J-body factory unit does. This is from the 3400 swap they use this since the park ave uses a 3800 I would assume that you can just use the cavalier AC lines. I deleted AC I believe Lenko is the only one that is running AC best to talk to him.
PCM / Wiring
Basically you need 3 items here 3800 Engine Harness, J Body Engine Harness with the Fuse Panel, 3800 PCM
There are things that get deleted things that get added you basically have to make the 2 harnesses into 1, I wonít post the wiring procedure as every schematic is different and varies car to car. As for the PCM you will need HPTuners or equivalent program to turn off any sensors which have been deleted and to remove the VATS from the PCM now a thing I found when doing mine, I had a 98 Regal donor the Regals have VATS but the 98 Grand Prix does NOT have VATS, you can start your car using a 98 Grand Prix GTP PCM well you can use a GT program it just wont have the Supercharger program in it. This way you can run the car get things check out then get it tuned
The final component is the tubing and hoses. Here is what I have matched up to work pretty easily.
First thing it doesnít hurt to wrap some of these things with HEAT wrap I used stuff from DEI itís meant for heater hoses and wiring just added protection you might as well take
Heater Core Lines:
I used the 3800 Lines and trimmed what was needed
Radiator & Fan:
I used the Stock Cavalier Radiator and FAN. I removed the heat shield from the W body Fan motor and mounted it to my cavalier fan to help keep heat from burning out the motor. Some J Bodyís had a single cored radiator some had a double its best if you can get a double but not mandatory just helps with cooling also since your not going to have the dual fans that the W bodyís have I installed a Fan Override to help cool it if needed. i will be switching to a large pusher Fan one of these days might wanna look at that option too there not too expensive
Upper Radiator hose is from the W body the lower I had to use a lower W body and a J body hose. The plastic T that goes to the coolant just if you cut the outer sleeve carefully you can use the inner T with hose clamps
Power steering lines:
for the high pressure side, the W-body lines work works best as its steel around the exhaust manifold so it wonít melt and burst like mine did. For the low pressure side, I used the W body one as well
I used the factory steel hard lines and made lines using -6 Russell braded line feed line is 5/16th and the return is 3/8th you will need 2 of each of these 1 for the fuel rail and 1 for the hard line these are nice fittings easy to remove when needed they are designed for the LS1 but will work on the 3800 fuel Rail
5/16th PN 640850
3/8th PN 640860
The evap line you can just use the stock 3800 line and make it work it doesn't take the pressure the feed and return do
I just ordered 3.5Ē aluminum Intake pipe and made my own with a K&N Filter
you can use the 3800 Down Pipe you might as well look at going bigger exhaust most aftermarket exhaust as 2.25 for the J bodys i went with a 2.5 Manderal exhaust the 3800 uses a 2.25 exhaust but doin a 3" will help a lot. you can buy bigger 3800 Down Pipes
can be used from the W-body, including the brake booster hose.
The cavalier pump will run the car but itís not able to keep up under heavy demand you have options here do the blazer or Racetronix pump on the cavalier sender just swap the 3800 sender into the j body tank. All 3800 senders are 40-250 as are the 99+ J Bodyís if you have a 95-98 you are 0-90 this has to be matched to you fuel gauge see gauges for more info
The issue here is they donít work your fuel level and Speedo will work the tach and temp wont and every idiot light will be on I went with all Auto Meters not the cheapest way but by far the easiest, it would require you to piggy back the J body PCM with the 3800 PCM. I bought a 0-90ohm fuel level gauge and it wonít work right with my 99 sender as the level sensor is 40-250 basically when Iím out of gas my gauge says Ĺ tank the have programmable ones for these newer style senders or you can use a 95-98 sender to work with that gauge
2000+ swapper your gauges may work this info is still not 100% accurate for the 3800. 3400 info is out there it may be the same for the 3800 which means you may be able to use an impala program to run you gauges but as far as I know Lenko is the only 2000+ swapper but he swapped the entire cars wiring into the J body and ran the C body gauges. Thatís another way or doing it but not the easiest way.
Water temp guage sensor will thread into the bleed hole on the thermostat housing but wont read accurate until the Thermostat opens I drilled and tapped my Lower Intake Manifold right above the stock temp sensor
Oil Filter there are 2 style of adapters the one is straight the other angles i was able to get mine to clear the shaft but you may have to get a relocation kit for the oil filter
simple relocated it to the trunk
This gives a good idea what's involved for anyone interested in attempting this swap. There are aspects of doing this swap that vary depending on which route you choose to go, and you will no doubt run into something that others havenít, so you will have to be resourceful and figure out what works. Since these engines were never available in these cars, there is no one answer. I have tried to cover all of the major aspects, but it would take pages upon pages to attempt to address every little concern. As any new things are discovered, they can be added. If anyone has another way of doing something, feel free to add it.
I ask that everyone please keep the discussions of possibilities, feasibilities, and ďis it worth itĒ, etc. out of this post. This is meant to be clean resource. We have started many progress threads and discussion threads that run into so many pages that the same questions get asked over and over again, and the post becomes so long that no one has time to sit and read it all, let alone make much sense of it. Letís keep this one clean.
I must give credit for some of this information and some of the pictures to the following members: SunfireGTP, Raven, and John Lenko. Quiklilcav since I used some of your 3400 info and format I will toss you in as well
I know there are more people that have done this Swap but these are the user I got some info from as well as pictures
Also, I'm sure that I've made a mistake or two on here, so I will edit as corrections come up. PM me if you notice something I made an error in or left out.
Aftermarket Parks can be found at www.zzperformance.com Warning this site is deadly prices are really good and you will end up buying a bunch of stuff they specialize in the 3800
JBO since July 30, 2001