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Old 09-18-2016, 02:38 PM   #1
outonthetiles
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Default 240 Buick 3800 Turbo Build

Let me start off by saying I was a 3800 guy before I was a Volvo guy. I've done several 3800 builds including a 3800 supercharged Fiero and my 5 speed manual swapped '00 Impala autocross car.

I started driving old 240s to keep the mileage off the Impala, and I fell in love with them. I gradually started really getting into them and by now I could be considered a RWD Volvo "nut".

Anyways, my daily was a '90 244 M47 car that I had +t'd and had been dailying for almost a year. It was a really fun setup but I knew I was on borrowed time with the 300k mile plus drivetrain.

At the same time I had bought a '97 Camaro V6 to flip. The longer it sat in the driveway and the more work I realized it needed the more I began to convince myself that I needed to put the drivetrain in my 240.

So I did.






The first day was very straight forward. Had the b230 out and the 3800 in the bay, starting to mock it up.







Either the oil pan or the crossmember would have to be modified, so I chose to modify the crossmember. Engine mounts were simple, I was able to keep the camaro mount brackets on the engine and use poly trailing arm bushings on the crossmember side in custom standoffs. Trans crossmember is a notched m47 unit and I used a stock camaro 4l60e trans mount.














I played around with a few ideas using various stock manifolds flipped and reversed (this is a very budget minded build). Ultimately I had to come up with something a little more custom. Most factory 3800 manifolds are cast which makes modification difficult. However, rear manifolds from FWD applications are welded steel. I got a couple of these from various 3800 friends who had upgraded to headers and got to work making custom "log" style manifolds. This manifold design is common for 3800 turbo applications. Not ideal, but for my build it is cheap and is great for packaging. The crossover is bits and pieces of a FWD crossover pipe, repurposed for my application.


















The turbo is a $300 CXRacing T4 T67 .68AR. I figured I'd give it a try. Ebay intercooler, ebay intercooler plumbing kit, ebay wastegate, free knockoff HKS BOV, 42.5lb Injectors. 3" custom downpipe and full 3" exhaust.











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Old 09-18-2016, 02:42 PM   #2
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At this point I had all the plumbing done, custom driveshaft was in, and it was mechanically ready to go. My friend Dan and I added a fusebox in the glovebox and wired the camaro harness with some help from reading diagrams on Fiero.nl. I was successful in getting it running but poorly, with intermittent injector pulse. I tried re-pinning the harness for a 98 camaro computer and the problem persisted. I kind of let the project fall on the backburner for a month or so as I could not figure out the issue.







I finally got the motivation to make an entirely new harness from scratch. I got a '98 Grand Prix GTP harness and computer at the junkyard so I can run a 2bar map and start out with a boosted tune. I decided to use a TCI ECU to control the transmission independently. There must have been a bad ground somewhere in the original harness because with this harness and computer it finally ran well and I was able to drive it!













That was short lived. Even after doing every gasket in the engine, coolant was still leaking into the oil and I spun a rod bearing a day after getting it drivable. Not a problem, I always keep a spare 3800 in stock which I swapped in over the next weekend.









With the new engine in I was able to start tuning. I've gotten a lot better at tuning since I built this car but the first tune did just fine at 8psi. I competed in a rallyx with it and it held up perfect, and I ended up dailying it all winter into the spring driving around 40+ miles a day.










In the meantime I picked up a $350 '92 245 that I planned on just fixing up and dailying. After I washed it and cleaned the interior I realized that it was even nicer than my 244, so when the transmission blew up in the 244, it seemed like the perfect time to swap everything over into the wagon. I ended up doing a bunch of work to it at the same time including all new brakes, braided lines, control arms, poly bushings everywhere, IPD springs, etc. I fixed a bunch of things that I did not like from the original swap and wanted to do differently.





















That was this past spring. Since then I've continued to daily it probably somewhere around 20k miles with no major issues. I drove it to Detroit and back for a national 3800 meet where I won a trophy for best non w-body 3800 car. I've tweaked the tune a bit, added a boost controller and am now running 11psi. Its not a completed project by any means but it is a great daily and weekend racer. Very fun in autocross, and I ran a 12.8 second quarter mile with it. I have mayyyybe $3500 into it total between the two cars. Future plans include more suspension work, LSD, meth injection, rockers, and more boost!

Follow me on instagram @outonthetiles2 if you want current updates and photos of the car. There's some good videos of it on there too.











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Old 09-18-2016, 03:07 PM   #3
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Love it.
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easiest way to run 11's is to build a 9 second car and turn it down a little.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:07 PM   #4
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Well written. Well documented and well done! Someone has some mad skills, I'm impressed. How far north in NY are you?
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:49 PM   #5
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nice work!
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:59 PM   #6
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Very cool. A 97 gtp was what got me interested in turning a wrench. I wouldn't mind having another.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:28 PM   #7
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I'm glad to see I'm not the only one doing this. Although you definitely beat me to the punch. I got tired of toasting 4T65s and even a 4T80 with my turbo L67. Decided to go RWD and use a 240 wagon as a base. Our wagons will look like virtual clones because I'm using gold crosslaces from an '89 Turbo Grand Prix. Really good swap and well thought out. Good to see I'm not the only GM FWD transplant on this board.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:32 PM   #8
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sweet! love it all. good work
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:35 AM   #9
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Nice man.. This is unique..

Keep us updated.

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Old 09-19-2016, 11:13 AM   #10
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Nice swap, looks like it belongs in there!
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:19 AM   #11
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That's badass. I love it.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:50 AM   #12
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yes.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:54 AM   #13
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Extremely well done!
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:00 PM   #14
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Holy crap! A reason for me to come back to Tbricks! The only thing from my Volvo liquidation that I refused to sell was a 3800 swap kit. I'll be following your progress as I hope to do something similar after my GN is all sorted out. Have fun!
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:40 AM   #15
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Glad you got a build thread going, I freaking love this thing! So cool to see different drivetrains going into old Volvo's, I think the cars look and drive fantastic, but the OEM powertrains leave alot to be desired. The fact that you did it without spending a bunch of money just shows you can have cool fast stuff if you have some knowledge! Excited to see where you take it from here. Do you tune the factory ECU or have some kind of piggyback or aftermarket?
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:31 PM   #16
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Excellent and practical and low cost! Well presented too. Thanks!
-Dan
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nel621 View Post
Well written. Well documented and well done! Someone has some mad skills, I'm impressed. How far north in NY are you?
Thanks! Utica area.


Quote:
Originally Posted by skalor
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one doing this. Although you definitely beat me to the punch. I got tired of toasting 4T65s and even a 4T80 with my turbo L67. Decided to go RWD and use a 240 wagon as a base. Our wagons will look like virtual clones because I'm using gold crosslaces from an '89 Turbo Grand Prix. Really good swap and well thought out. Good to see I'm not the only GM FWD transplant on this board.
You're gonna love it once you get it sorted out. It really has turned out to be a great powerplant for the car and 4l60e>4t65e

I swapped a 5 speed getrag 284 into my 2000 Impala so I didn't have to deal with 4t65e things..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tentshedtrev
Glad you got a build thread going, I freaking love this thing! So cool to see different drivetrains going into old Volvo's, I think the cars look and drive fantastic, but the OEM powertrains leave alot to be desired. The fact that you did it without spending a bunch of money just shows you can have cool fast stuff if you have some knowledge! Excited to see where you take it from here. Do you tune the factory ECU or have some kind of piggyback or aftermarket?
Agreed. I love redblocks but these cars do beg to be molested.

I use hptuners to tune the '98 Grand Prix GTP PCM. The car has an obdII port and everything. I have a wideband that I can log alongside the other data in hptuners and tune it just like any late model GM car. The check engine light works and I was able to tune out unnecessary emissions codes so there are no random ones that come on. The trans controller is separate and doesn't talk to the PCM but it does read the tps. I do plan on rewiring it to run a '98 Camaro pcm with my tune on it so I can have the factory PCM control the trans. I like the trans controller but it doesn't seem to be as good as when it is controlled by the GM PCM.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:32 PM   #18
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cool build. jealous!
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:18 PM   #19
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Always loved the 3800. Super cool build.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:06 PM   #20
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Updates?
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Old 07-01-2017, 02:19 PM   #21
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Updates?
I just asked if a build thread existed for this car on Instagram. Its cool to finally see it.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soclosenotnear View Post
I just asked if a build thread existed for this car on Instagram. Its cool to finally see it.
You're welcome!
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:43 PM   #23
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Would love to see more of this car, something about a 3800 in a 240 makes me very very happy.

Is your instagram account still active? I can't seem to find anything when searching for outonthetiles2.
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:49 PM   #24
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rafe_ruins_cars is his Instagram name
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:54 PM   #25
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Right on, thank you!
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