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Thread: My Series III 1999 Firebird 3.8 v6 turbo build

  1. #1

    My Series III 1999 Firebird 3.8 v6 turbo build

    I bought a 1999 Firebird from a coworker for $400 dollars. It had oil and coolant mixing, so figured it may be the intake gaskets (bad on these motors). I swapped them out but the motor ended up seizing after a short while.





    I bought some wood to build jackstand extensions from home depot. Loaded them in my utility vehicle





    Lifted the car up and dropped the motor out of the bottom.



    The new motor came out of a 2008 Buick Lacrosse



    I had to strip it down to pretty much a long block, lots of unusable parts. I swapped over the old motors lower intake and installed all new gaskets.





    I figured while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and do an under k member turbo kit too.











    It runs fairly strong at the current 4-5 psi of boost I have it at. I want to add water injection, FMIC, BOV, bigger injectors and fuel pump.

    Not sure what to use to tune. HP Tuners stuff looks awesome but pricey. I also need to sort out the PCV system and fix some leaky valve covers (caused by PCV I think).

    VIDEO:
    Last edited by jamesklyne; 08-29-2012 at 10:17 AM.

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  3. #2
    Some more random pics I have of the build process:

    Oil feed line



    turbo to throttle body



    Parts painted with some high BBQ paint



    another angle of the motor before I installed it


  4. #3
    its a helicopter! That_Guy's Avatar
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    very nice build! Looks like you got a hell of deal, $400 for a car that clean. Good job!
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  5. #4
    Yeah, the car, turbo setup and replacement motor total up to under $2000. That includes various gaskets and fluids.

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    Project Sturmvögel WarShrike's Avatar
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    Nice but I have two nitpicks.

    Hot air turbo, no intercooling which I see you plan on installing at least later. Could cause knock if you aren't careful.

    With the intercooling, it would be a good idea to not have such a sharp bend leading directly up to the throttle body. You'll want at least some straight pipe before that for two reasons. It won't be as likely to force the charge pipe off at that coupling right after a 90° bend and the MAF will be much happier.
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    Full Throttle Extreme! trb0355's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarShrike View Post
    Nice but I have two nitpicks.

    Hot air turbo, no intercooling which I see you plan on installing at least later. Could cause knock if you aren't careful.

    With the intercooling, it would be a good idea to not have such a sharp bend leading directly up to the throttle body. You'll want at least some straight pipe before that for two reasons. It won't be as likely to force the charge pipe off at that coupling right after a 90° bend and the MAF will be much happier.
    That setup is almost a dead ringer to what i built for my car. I was also gonna mention the charge pipe because mine was hot air at first and the MAF signal was pretty erratic from the pipe angle. It fixed it going to a front mount cooler. I also had the same PCV problem and ended up blocking off the hole in the TB with a pipe plug and making a VC breather plumbed back to the airbox. Your car is looking nice so far!

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    Full Throttle bullit_70's Avatar
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    worlds best budget build. Just thought i would put this out there if you don't want to run an intercooler just run water/meth injection. trb and warstrike are 100% correct and trb helped me so so much in my build, both are some great people to lessen to. I love it and congrats on one hell of a deal.
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  9. #8

    Re: My Series III 1999 Firebird 3.8 v6 turbo build

    I just ordered some 60lb injectors and a 255lph fuel pump from zzperformance :banana:

    What do people do for upgraded MAF's?


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    ┬─┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) triple_l82's Avatar
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    One route is to use a lt1 or ls1 maf with a harness that connects to the factory one. I believe zzp also has all of that to.
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    Nice build, I love pics. lol.

    Can we get a pic of how much clearance you have? I ask b/c my DP was under my car when I was turbo'd and clearance sucked and I scraped constantly, I always thought running all the pipes under-k would suck even more. lol.

    And you are running ~7psi with no tuning? I know you said 4-5, but from the video looks more towards 7-8...
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  12. #11
    Wait....what? blawson's Avatar
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    My Series III 1999 Firebird 3.8 v6 turbo build

    Quote Originally Posted by triple_l82 View Post
    One route is to use a lt1 or ls1 maf with a harness that connects to the factory one. I believe zzp also has all of that to.
    Would this work as well?
    http://shop.zzperformance.com/store/...-Mini-AFC.aspx


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  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by skimphish View Post
    Nice build, I love pics. lol.

    Can we get a pic of how much clearance you have? I ask b/c my DP was under my car when I was turbo'd and clearance sucked and I scraped constantly, I always thought running all the pipes under-k would suck even more. lol.

    And you are running ~7psi with no tuning? I know you said 4-5, but from the video looks more towards 7-8...
    My lousy guage flutters. I current don't have a tune. I ran a datalog on the OBDII port and man does this thing pull timing under boost... I think it was around 7.5*

    I do scrape on dips.

    Do the GM tuners have MAF sensor preference for blow through or draw through?




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    Jesus thats low.

    good luck.
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  15. #14
    I blocked off the PCV port in the throttle body. I filled it with JB Weld and added some RTV on top.

    I don't see an easy way around going under the K member without deleting A/C unless a tubular K adds an ungodly amount of room. I'd rather my DIY kit hang low than not be there at all



    Last edited by jamesklyne; 09-04-2012 at 10:14 PM.

  16. #15
    Wait....what? blawson's Avatar
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    My Series III 1999 Firebird 3.8 v6 turbo build

    Tubular k adds a few inches. Definitely enough to tuck your pipes up a little more


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    -Brady-
    10- elantra- my 34 mpg daily driver
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