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History lesson 3800 v6 owners

Discussion in 'General' started by jphanna, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. jphanna

    jphanna New Member

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    Fridays are days I dig up something that may be crap, or interesting. You be the judge.

    Just a brief history lesson for those that have a 3800 V6 buick derived engine under their bonnet. This engine is a derivative of the buick fireball 215CI V8 that came out in 1961. It was aluminium originally and it was also used by Oldsmobile in their compact V8’s as well in the 1960’s. The Oldsmobile version of this engine (6 bolts per head) was used by Jack Brabham in his 1966 F1 world championship winning F1 car. It was called the Repco-Brabham V8 to most people, but it’s the only stock USA block to win an F1 title.

    This V8 fireball engine was bored, out and then 2 cylinders dropped to make the 3800 V6 that was used in USA from the 60’s and from 1988 in the VN commodore till the alloytec motor came out.

    So, for those with a V6 3800 under the bonnet, in a very distant way, you are driving a car with a powerplant with a F1 racing heritage…
     
  2. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson Donating Member

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    so on that basis, I DRIVE A FORMULA 1 CAR.

    woooo
     
  3. Stressball

    Stressball Rolling on 4 again :D

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    Shouldn't that be;
    Or am I misunderstanding?
     
  4. jphanna

    jphanna New Member

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    i dont know if the ecotech used the same block, if not then it ended with the original block. i dug up the info on wikapedia. you have to look at buick v6 history as well as buick v8 history, and of course repco brabham to see how its traced.

    that block is famous!
     
  5. Pub247

    Pub247 Well-Known Member

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    Ecotec is basically same motor only slightly redesigned hence the buick 3800 series 2 cast onto the side of the block
     
  6. andyman

    andyman The Only 6sp VZ Wagon

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    theres more to the buick motor than that, a guy that i work with worked at holden during that time, he said the 3800 was a desgin that was thrown out by buick years before the vn was released because it was superseded by another motor,

    when Holden was looking for the motor for the vn, they picked up the (superseded for the time) 3800 and started redesigning parts of it, ie, they took half and inch off the pistons, reduced the piston skirts, redesigned the inlet manifold, made refinements to bore block crank etc,

    when they were finished with it, and it was going in the vn, Buick in America started buying back there old motor and started fitting them to their cars again for a while
     
  7. STEALTHY™

    STEALTHY™ So Wet For You!

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    Wikipedia, the best source of information on the net, because you can edit anything to make it your opinion ;)
     
  8. Cobez

    Cobez LS-EXUAL

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    Like i just did :p
     
  9. STEALTHY™

    STEALTHY™ So Wet For You!

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    My post was directed at him quoting 'wiki' as where he found it, plus your awesome edit!
     
  10. hakhawk

    hakhawk smooth moderator Staff Member

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    there have been many block revisions since way back when, so the ecotec is still a descendant. we took the motor from the yanks, who were using it in a FWD setup, hence the crappy position of things like the thermostat in the VN s1 and the L67.

    the yank L36 that the ecotec was built from, has been used in camaros and firebirds in a RWD setup wtih a front mounted throttle body. its one manifold im surprised no one has imported and played with yet.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.zorly.com/images_camaro/gen4_gallery/3800 Series II 3.8L V6 (L36).jpg for big resolution pic
     

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  11. greenfoam

    greenfoam New Member

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    Hakker and myself used to often talk about the history of this engine. The Rover/TRV V8 is also the same basic engine (but stengthened/better)
     
  12. jphanna

    jphanna New Member

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    Wiki is only one of the sources of this fact. (not opinion). it has been noted in many other book references over the years and i used wiki as a reference on thisd occassion so it is easy for you to check out the history in a one stop shop.

    if you can prove me wrong by using any other means, i will stop posting on this forum. how much time do you want?
     
  13. Calaber

    Calaber Nil Bastardo Carborundum

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    I have a sneaking suspicion that the entire Wikipedia entry could be incorrect. The Buick alloy V8 was only used in the states for a few years before the patents to it were sold to Rover, who introduced it as a 3.5 litre alloy V8 in the mid to late 60's in a model which was quite common in Australia. It was updated but remained at 3.5 litres and came out in the Rover 3500, which had a terrible reputation for quality, in the early 70's. The Buick version of the motor was used successfully by Repco and Brabham around 1965 in F1.

    That motor was adopted by British Leyland and increased in capacity to 4.4 litres and came out in the P76 in Australia. This was the only 4.4 litre version of the engine released.
    I don't think the Buick V6 had any relation to that engine. I seem to remember that Buick had a cast iron V6 around 1964 nicknamed the Iron Duke and that is the engine the Holden 3.8 was based on. According to the book "Project VN", put out at the time of the VN's release, the engine dated from a 1962 design for a V6, (which fits with the 1964 release).

    I think it's highly unlikely that an early 60's alloy V8 design would be so modified that it ended up as a cast iron V6 a couple of years later.
     
  14. vlv8vic

    vlv8vic <---Brad Quaid = internet stalker

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    Moved out of section "The Pub Talk about anything not relating to cars or Commodores in general" to "General" where it fits a little better.
     
  15. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    thats not a bad idea, however would require more then just he manifold, looks like oyu would need to get the enite accesories brackets also. modify the cooling system and alter the TB to work properly. do you know what sort of power this makes in factory form?
     
  16. jphanna

    jphanna New Member

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    Absolutely correct about brithish leyland using the motor initially as 3.5, but the iron duke was used in 70's and 80's gm cars. it was also a L4 as well as a V6 (from a quick scan on 'IRON DUKE'). Maybe when GM renamed it the iron duke in the 70's? take a close look at the making of the V6 from the 60's, and its roots in the V8 are unmistakeable.

    It is one of the most interesting engine history stories i know and especially with Jack Brabham using the stock V8 block to win the F1 crown with. My first interest in this engine began in the early 90's when i read an article that suggested that the Buick fireball V8 was based on a disguarded BMW 507 (failed sports car from 1950's) that had a 3.2 PUSHROD V8. i have tried and tried to dig up confirmations on this fact or speculation for over 10 years and have failed. look at the bore and stoke of the 2 motors and its not much in it.
     
  17. EVAKQ8

    EVAKQ8 New Member

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    the ecotec was only til august last year, still in production, there was a series III and it finished up as a FWD
     
  18. STEALTHY™

    STEALTHY™ So Wet For You!

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    I never said your information is wrong. I said it has the opportunity to be wrong, because anyone (just like cobez just showed) can go and edit it to say whatever they want!

    A certain member here always edited wiki, and guess what, he always seemed to have 'proof' of what his opinion was ;)
     
  19. jphanna

    jphanna New Member

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    its cool mate.

    this motor interests me more than the small block chev, although the chev was a piece of work as well. dont make it your life objective, but if you have a few spare minutes, do a bit of surfing (not wika, of course) and you will find out its not just any motor. it has a bit of pedigree. why do you think its performance kicked ford off number 1 during the late 80's.....
     
  20. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

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    That front facing intake manifold seems quite a good idea , it would work a treat with a OTR CAI feeding straight into it !!
     

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