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Thread: New to modding, have a few questions about the L26.

  1. #1

    New to modding, have a few questions about the L26.

    Hey all. I have a few questions about mods, specifically about real world gains.


    I have a 2009 Buick Lacrosse CX. It wasn't my first choice by my 94 Century was falling apart and I was known to have a lead foot so my grandfather wouldn't co-sign on anything other than a boat.


    I'm close to paying it off and have come to fall in love in the 3800 series engines. After doing some basic research modding these engines I have a plans for the next couple years worth of tax returns. I just want to point out I have no plans for a full on "race build".


    Basically from what I've learned all the mods available for these engines were made specifically for the series II. After contemplating a GT1 camshaft from ZZP I changed my mind due to the need to drop the cradle to access the cam through the passenger wheel well.


    My plans are to start out with a ported and polished UIM+LIM, add a the HD diff and shorter passenger side axle along with an aluminum trans pan and in-line cooler.


    After the trans has been taken care of I was going to throw 1.9 ratio rockers on it but from what I understand the series 3 has different heads and the rockers will rub against them. So instead I'm going with ZZP Extended Range ratio rockers. Lastly I found a place called PCM performance which can do a canned tune for my vehicle. I was stoked when I found these guys because no one else offers a tune for my car which is understandable.


    I'm not going to go with a 93 octane tune unless it's needed for the mods, I was planning on changing shift points to compensate for the larger diff and removing the top speed limiter while keeping the rev limiter and fuel cutoff intact.


    My main question is how much of a gain do these engines get from the ported upper and lower intake manifolds and would upgraded exhaust be needed to get the max from these mods?

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  3. #2
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    I'm not super familiar with the Lacrosse exhaust setup, but with rockers I would probably get an intake and exhaust just so its all breathing well. I'd also asking ZZP about the gains you get from P&P'd intakes without P&P'd heads. Usually its a good idea to match all the ports so the flow is smooth. I wouldn't expect huge gains, MAYBE 15whp. If you read up on them ZZP only got 16whp from installing them, and didn't gain any torque. 16hp for $300? Not fully worth it IMO. I'd rather drop the engine some and do a cam for a few hundred bucks more (unless you get everything used, in which case you'd probably come out the same).
    1997 Camaro - sold
    2013 WRX - the awd DD

  4. #3
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    if you want power without a cam swap, do a M90 top swap and still get those rocker arms to help along with it. You can buy the ZZP ss m90 kit that comes with the tune to run it. exhaust mods are a must for that but figure you would jump from 165ish whp to 225ish whp. its about a 30% gain which is pretty good.

    With only the mods you selected id be surprised at even a 20 hp gain. Rockers don't do much on a N/A motor and what they give is only in the top 4k to 6k rpm range.

    read up on a top swap or ZZP ssm90 kit. no swaping out major internals just the LIM and supercharger along with some pulleys.
    "I Am America (And So Can You)." ~Stephen Colbert~

  5. #4
    The ZZP tune won't work on 06 and newer 3800 pcms, and I'm not a fan of getting rid of the drive by wire system on the series 3 motors, plus the rods on the N/A are quite a bit thinner than the s/c rods on all generations. My goal is to make extra power without killing reliability.

    According to numerous 0-60 calculators the rockers alone will net 25-30 crank HP and take .3-.5 of the 0-60. They also move the power band up in the RPM range so I'm not worried about no torque gains. Stock this motor can beat most modern 4 and 6 bangers off the line at 2.5k rpms.
    Last edited by hemispheres; 06-19-2014 at 12:55 PM.

  6. #5
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    I would bet my entire car you will not get 25-30 hp with just rockers. Rockers improve valve lift, but 3800 motors respond better to more duration (cam). Im sure zzp says you will but its like an exhaust company saying you will get a 10% gain in power from just a cat back system.

    On a N/A motor I would guess 4-8hp from 4k to redline with a slight drop in low end power with those rockers.

    If you want a noticeable gain without going boosted, you need a cam. use the correct supporting parts, sprigs pushrods ect. and you will maintain your reliability.
    "I Am America (And So Can You)." ~Stephen Colbert~

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    Quote Originally Posted by hemispheres View Post
    The ZZP tune won't work on 06 and newer 3800 pcms, and I'm not a fan of getting rid of the drive by wire system on the series 3 motors, plus the rods on the N/A are quite a bit thinner than the s/c rods on all generations. My goal is to make extra power without killing reliability.

    According to numerous 0-60 calculators the rockers alone will net 25-30 crank HP and take .3-.5 of the 0-60. They also move the power band up in the RPM range so I'm not worried about no torque gains. Stock this motor can beat most modern 4 and 6 bangers off the line at 2.5k rpms.
    0-60 calculators are completely bull shit. If you go READ ZZP's own info it will show you the numbers, 16whp. Real world data > calculators.

    I'd love to see a race between a 06 Lacrosse vs a new Mustang or Camaro. Considering my WRX has beat out several 2011+ V6 Camaros/Mustangs I doubt you'd come out on top...
    1997 Camaro - sold
    2013 WRX - the awd DD

  8. #7
    No shit bub. A Buick isn't going beat a performance vehicle, as far as the 2.4s from Honda/Acura and Ford's 3.5 I'll take them off the line but the 3800 has horrible high rpm power. As far as your WRX goes its not a V motor, it's a horizontally opposed motor.

    I haven't had any issues with the 0-60 and whp calculators I've used. My Buick does 0-60 in 8 seconds flat and if I plug in HP, FWD, A/T and curb weight the calculator gives me 8.1 seconds 0-60.
    Last edited by hemispheres; 06-19-2014 at 02:49 PM.

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    Why would you want to race a 2.4 Honda/Acura or a 3.5 Ford? Do people do that? Is there like an unknown group of old women and men who drive around in Mercury Sables that race other old women and men in their 2.4 CRVs?

    Also, my desire to help people on this forum has greatly dwindled. If you come in here looking for advice and we give you an answer don't come back with "well this calculator says blah blah blah." Most of the members on here (well, those who used to hang around on this site and have since moved on) have built actual motors and we know what works. Hell, just read ZZP's info or give them a call, they have their own data that says the same thing any of us will say.

    On that note, Capt Kirk out.
    1997 Camaro - sold
    2013 WRX - the awd DD

  10. #9
    You must've missed the part where I said I have no intending of doing a race build. My only goal is make my DD more exciting.... and of course put all ricers around here to shame since vtec = race car.

  11. #10
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    You must have missed the part where you asked for help, and then missed where skimphish gave that help.
    97 camaro A4, HEADS, CAM, INTAKES BY WOT-TECH -Straight intake w/ cable TB
    536 rwhp @ 15psi On E-85 Tuned by Excessive Autosports, Sioux Falls, SD.
    If you cant afford to do it right the first time. Can you afford to do it a second time????
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    Quote Originally Posted by hemispheres View Post
    You must've missed the part where I said I have no intending of doing a race build. My only goal is make my DD more exciting.... and of course put all ricers around here to shame since vtec = race car.
    If you want it to be more exciting for cheap just do some quick exhaust bolt ons, Cold air intake, a bit of suspension work and if you can the free mod of weight reduction.

    Modern day "ricers" for example the Hundia Genisis coupe are lighter and more powerful than your boat with an incredibly outdated engine. If you want to beat them you need to do exactly what you don't want to do to your car.
    "I Am America (And So Can You)." ~Stephen Colbert~

  13. #12
    As for the gains I said I'd get from the rockers alone.... ta da.

    http://www.grandprixforums.net/threa...R-rockers-gain

    I'm talking the little shits around here who drive accords/civics/yotas etc and think they can own anything on the road. If I want to go up against asian vehicles with actual power I'd sell my car and get a lacrosse super. Test drove a couple, the first had a bad coolant leak and a cracked heater core, the second was being sold by a shady dealership that gave me a piece of paper with chicken scratch on it when I asked for the contract.

    I have no intention of dumping a few grand into the motor and trans when as I said, I could just sell the vehicle and buy a much better starting platform. I'm aware of the oil burning and trans issues with the ls4 cars aswell.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by N2OEQIP View Post
    You must have missed the part where you asked for help, and then missed where skimphish gave that help.
    And you must've missed the part where I said my main question was how much of a gain should I expect from the p+p upper and lower intake and if I need exhaust to maximize the power from the p+p and rockers. I made it clear I'm not going the cam route and I'm not willing to sacrifice reliabilty in my engine or trans. I have my blueprints, they are not subject to change.
    Last edited by hemispheres; 06-21-2014 at 11:53 AM.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hemispheres View Post
    And you must've missed the part where I said my main question was how much of a gain should I expect from the p+p upper and lower intake and if I need exhaust to maximize the power from the p+p and rockers. I made it clear I'm not going the cam route and I'm not willing to sacrifice reliabilty in my engine or trans. I have my blueprints, they are not subject to change.
    Quote Originally Posted by skimphish View Post
    I wouldn't expect huge gains, MAYBE 15whp. If you read up on them ZZP only got 16whp from installing them, and didn't gain any torque. 16hp for $300? Not fully worth it IMO.
    Maybe you missed that part of the thread.

    But, if you don't like our answers and you feel that grandprixforums gives better data by all means take your LaBoat over there.
    1997 Camaro - sold
    2013 WRX - the awd DD

  16. #15
    According to ZZP if I install the HV3 insert along with my ER Rockers and port and polish my throttle body it'll give me more gains than a cam.

    Got my mind made up.

    Sorry for being a dick Skimphish, however I stated I didn't want a cam. Those of you who chimed in with "OOH BLOWER, OOOHH CAM!!!". Please buzz off.

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