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Old 01-23-2012, 11:49 AM
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GM 3800 Series II Crate Engine

Inherited a 1997 Oldmobile 88 LS from grandpa with 55 000 miles on the car. Car is in great condition, but unfortunately the engine conked out on me this weekend. Sound like a dropped valve, will get the official news today....

In the meantime, I'm wondering if its worth it, to just drop in a crate motor? Does GM sell these and can you guys recommend a reputable retailer?

Thanks.

PS. I'd hate to see this car going to the grave, but I also need to be reasonable.

Last edited by RoyR; 01-23-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:37 PM
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Shop called, they think it's a rod....aaggghhhh
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyR View Post
Shop called, they think it's a rod....aaggghhhh
Sorry to hear it may be a bad diagnosis, hoping it is something easier/cheaper to fix for you, that car at 50k I'd want to hold on to a while longer if it were me, of course if if a con rod blew threw the block you can pretty much plan on getting another motor.

If it is a rod and cannot be fixed, or is too pricey then you could contact Ed Morad and see if he has any used/low mileage motors that you could get.
Morad Parts Company - 3800 Motors, Transaxles, & Stock Parts
items in Morad Parts Company co. Ed Morad 3.8 3800 L67 L36 L32 L26 store on eBay!

Sorry I do not have his direct e-mail addy, I am sure somebody may have it.

Hope you find an affordable fix soon, wish I could be more helpful.

One tip, if you do get them to pull the motor and fix it, I'd get the LIM gaskets changed to aluminum ones if they had not been changed already, and get the reduced diameter EGR Stove Pipe installed into the LIM, that comes with a Dorman UIM, or IneedParts UIM/UIM kit.
It will save you headaches in the future, the nylon 6'6 old LIM gaskets would deteriorate after a while, which can be catastrophic for the motor if the cylinders get hydra-locked.
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Port Matched LIM 1.9" x .9" with smoothed runners.
Backside of air-box gutted, front side left to keep flow directed properly.
OE 195F SuperStant Stat with 5/32" hole drilled in it.

Last edited by WilliamE; 01-23-2012 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:13 PM
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Thanks for the info, the local shop wants $4500 for a re manufactured engine and the install...that's more than what I willing to spend, will continue the search. May even end up doing it myself...
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyR View Post
Thanks for the info, the local shop wants $4500 for a re manufactured engine and the install...that's more than what I willing to spend, will continue the search. May even end up doing it myself...
You're very welcome!

I am not an expert on engines and transmission, but I did look into getting mine swapped before, because I'd like to get a L67 swapped in place of my L36, of course I'd need the engine, pcm, and transmission , for 4,500 I bet I could come close to getting all that done, especially if I had the ability/know-how to get it done.

You do not have a supercharger do you?
If not then you have an L36 motor, and if you do not want to put a lot more money into it then I'm sure you could find an L36 from Morad Parts, check this link if you have an L36/non SC'd motor.
items in Morad Parts Company co. Ed Morad 3.8 3800 L67 L36 L32 L26 store on eBay!

899.00 plus shipping for a used 87k motor, I am sure the freight shipping is not too bad.
If you are doing it yourself I'd put a multi-meter set to Ohms on the LIM gasket, if it reads O.L then I'd consider doing a UIM/LIM job, and replace that old LIM gasket with the Fel-Pro aluminum lower intake gasket, also I'd put the redesigned UIM from IneedParts in, it comes with a rib/reinforced plenum, steel bushing in where the EGR stove pipe goes into throttle body, as well as gives you the reduced diameter EGR Stove Pipe.
Doing that should keep you from possibly having a catastrophic failure over the next 20-50k miles.

You can get all the parts and fluids you will need for the UIM/LIM job for around 200.00 to 250.00, doing it for what sounds like a very nice car would be worth the piece of mind in my opinion.
I say this because I bought my 96' Naturally Aspirated Park Ave from an elderly family member in 2000 when it had 27k miles on it, and it was always maintained by them at a dealership, that is why I went as far as to replace my UIM/LIM gasket, and that is why I suggest it.

Doing that with a motor out of the engine should be a lot easier to have to do once you put it in, if you get a used motor and want to do this I can find info, and even a video to help you out.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:04 PM
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Whoa guys, for 4500 your into low end performance crate motors! a complete low km used engine will be under a grand and install for about the same at most shops. If you have another car with would be a good time to tear into it yourself and learn about everything for any future problems you may have.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:12 PM
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Fyi zzperformance sells a performance crate motor for about half that price
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:38 AM
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Dammit, you guys are going to make me do this myself...will call ZZPerformance tomorrow, that looks like a nice motor!! I already ordered a set of Service Manuals for the car! I guess I need a hoist to get that motor out!
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:44 AM
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Not to bash but Ive heard of dropped bearings being put straight into assembling motors. Unless your going to aim for more power down the road (over 300whp) a stock low mile replacement will do just fine and save you 2k you could spend on exhaust, intake, a tune, rockers, headers, etc.
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