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My daughter has bought her first car a 99 Firebird with a 3.8. The engine is bad and I would like to know if a FWD 3.8 will fit correctly. This will be our first father/daughter project car.
Thanks,
Lonnie
 

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Yes it will but certain parts will need to be swaped over. The oil pan, exhaust, upper and lower intake, and I'm sure there's something else I'm forgetting will need to be pulled off the Firebird's engine. The block itself is identical for fwd & rwd.
 

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it wont work

I wanted to do this with an 82 camaro and the research I did showed me there are a few problems with the swap. the biggest one I can remember was the alternator is on the wrong side and would hit on the firewall. my suggestion would be to research doing a top swap so you can install the eaton m90 supercharger onto the L26 motor. going this route will give you the most bang without having to pull the engine out.
 

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I think he has a blown block and a eaton swap takes a lot of custom work with the TB setup to fit the RWD body. The accesories can be swaped over from the Camaro/Firebirds block to the frd engine.
 

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No problem, look for a 01-03 with low miles. The 97's and early 98's had a different head casting that were prone to cracking (on the SC heads anyways) that should be avoided. The main issue with the NA fwd engines were the intake gaskets and upper intakes on the earlier years leaking coolant into the engine, it would be best to get one one that you can avoid having that already happened to.
 

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Sorry to revive an old thread, but we are in the same situation.
99 Camaro 3.8. Would like to use the L26 engine and have located 2 with less than 60k miles.

I am reading that the flexplate on the L26 does not have the torque converter holes in the correct location.
Can the flexplate from the Camaro be swapped over without issue?

Thanks,
Clark
 

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As a caution, this is a 10yr old post, with people who haven't been on this site since then.

Does the engine fit? Yes, you just have to strip it down and convert all accessories/mounts/etc. that attach to the car/trans. RWD 3800's have a transmission with the same bellhousing bolt pattern as FWD, just different flexplate/converter combos.

When you join the forum, feel free to start new posts with questions so current/active folks can respond to you specifically, not getting distracted by the old chatter.
 

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So did the fwd motor fit the rear wheel drive trans I am doing the same thing but with a 01 Camaro just looking at the options I have
Have you found a solution for your swap? I ran into this in August. I put the project on hold after not finding the right series 3 flexplate, and as I thought the series 2 on the series 3 engine makes it nearly vibrate out of the engine bay. Since this is a 10 yr old post...you can post on my recent one. Thx for asking here, I found your question via a google search....thats why I dont mind people bringing up old threads.

 

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Flexplate swaps are not that drastic. I honestly don't remember which plates I have on the various engines I've been running at this point, but usually stick with what came on it and elongate the holes ~7mm for different TC sizes.

The crickets you're getting from asking people who left the site 10yrs ago are repeating my suggestion to feel free to make fresh postings. It's less confusing for all involved, especially newer members.
 

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Flexplate swaps are not that drastic. I honestly don't remember which plates I have on the various engines I've been running at this point, but usually stick with what came on it and elongate the holes ~7mm for different TC sizes. The crickets you're getting from asking people who left the site 10yrs ago are repeating my suggestion to feel free to make fresh postings. It's less confusing for all involved, especially newer members.
I was replying to someone that is facing the same issue now. Yes the original thread was started 10 yrs ago...but as someone who has been using the internet and newsgroups since 1982, I know the value of reading old posts for information, especially when others have commented on them years after with issues they ran into and how they resolved them. Far too often someone will ask for help, given a half dozen possible solutions, and they say that they will report back to how it went. Most times one of the solutions worked for them, and they never return to post a followup. Their problem is fixed so no need to return back to the forum. So when these posts are found via a search engine, and after reading 10-20 posts back and forth the reader gets to the last post and....****. no solution. But when others bring up a post 'from the dead' sometimes their post can actually help someone now and in future searches. It also will kick it back to the top where folks that may have faced this issue during the long time since the original question was asked and they can share what worked for them.

But you're the admin.

Elongating the holes isn't going to help. Ive built engines for 30 yrs, this is my 1st 3.8 fwd to rwd. External engine balance is done with both the balancer and flexplate/flywheel. Both parts should always be kept with the shortblock. When bolting up the fwd flexplate it is nearly 1/2" away from the converter. So after not finding any solutions from others, I bolted on the series 2 flexplate which of course fit perfectly. However once started, the car vibrates immediately, regardless if it's in gear or not, etc. Both engines ran glass smooth before the swap. Since I have other car projects I moved this one off my lift and went to work on a 68 vette, and have been researching as time allows. If I dont find anyone that faced this by the time I am done with my vette engine build I will pull the series 2 flexplate back out and take both to my machinist and have him check the balance of both and have him rebalance the series 2 to match the 3. That or weld steel spacers to the series 3 flexplate.

H
 

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You ran a FWD flexplate to a RWD converter/trans with that much gap? I'd resolve that prior to jumping to conclusions on what's causing you trouble. The Fbody parts are readily available to use OEM items there. Gap should not be ran beyond ~1/8", or your TC gets pulled too far off the input shaft, which is basically half-uninstalling it from the splines/orings.

As far as internet grey hair comparisons go, my 20yrs participating in the 3800/GP-specific ones just gives me a spider sense as to how people get the most useful answers to advance their project. Historical posts are great to follow other's past adventures, and they even continue to guide me thru current tasks, so I don't really make posts to ask anything new (sadly, most here don't fully complete that research step before moving on to posting). If the specific issue isn't covered or clear, that's when I advocate new threads to be made... Or even just to share progress on a project, so people know the community is active.

You're free to explore your options how you want; it's your vehicle. We all just react to what steps we see taken thru the screen, and have to fill in blanks from there to respond. If you don't want to be misunderstood, misinformed, or misdirected on the internet... the only winning move is not to play. (Figure I'd inject some fellow early 80's humor there.)
 

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Ok, I misread it after the first paragraph non sequitur. If you want to blame the FP, go ahead, but I'd do some additional digging before putting all your hope eggs in that basket. Unless the FP got physically damaged during the swap, or bolts have backed out, I would lean towards some possible mismatching of some things elsewhere. A custom project has too many variables that even the builder overlooks until the reemerge, so assumptions need to be reserved.
 

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Custom project? This was far from that. If anyone is assuming anything that would be you, as you have no idea what else I've checked or done that I didnt post. But thanks for all of your judgement, admin Dave. I bow to thee and all of your wisdom. Now I must humbly leave this thread, and repent for all of my remaining days for my mistakes.
 

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I'm merely saying there's a plethora of things you're doing during a swap/install that aren't going to be accounted for in a few sentences on the internet. I've indicated this in my past couple messages, leaving the door open for common ground of uncertainty while a yet-to-be-determind issue is being diagnosed. That's the opposite of most internet posts, because I intentionally leave plausible deniability for the sake of things not shared/declared until they're resolved.

I've also dropped hints of humor/olive branches along the way, which you've blown past. I think that'll read clearer than anything.

We're here to give input from 3800-specific experience (and others as applicable, but applied to 3800's), and I want them all to succeed. If you read it from that perspective, I hope you'll be able to get what you need from posting.
 

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You do know, all knowing Dave...that the series 2 and series 3 n/a have a different balanced bottom end due to heavier rods and piston changes...right? Just as some have mentioned here, many other forum posts say to just use the series 2 FP on the series 3...even though they also mention that they've never done the swap.

Nothing is damaged, everything has been triple checked, no codes thrown, just a series 2 FP on a Series 3 engine with its series 3 balancer. Ill quit searching to see if others have ran into this and just wait until I have it back on my lift. Ill remove the trans and run it with the current FP, then place its original series 3 FP on it to see if the vibration disappears. This method will also eliminate the TC from the equation.

Ciao...
 
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