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Thread: help on building a stout turbo 3.8 firebird?

  1. #1

    help on building a stout turbo 3.8 firebird?

    I've read this forum up and down, and theres a good deal of information about physically turboing a 3.8, but not a lot on parts used and whatnot.

    Basically, I've been looking for a 4th gen for a while now, but I had previously only been looking for a v8 car. The ls cars are out of my price range, so I had been looking at the lt1 cars. I know they have their issues but I was willing to deal with them, for the sake of having a firebird. Not to mention I absolutely love the formula firehawk... those things are just amazing.

    Anyways, I recently found a really good deal on a 3.8, so I started reading up on them. From what I've been reading, they're not too shabby N/A, making about 220 at the flywheel. However, when boosted, apparently they can make upwards of 350 wheel on like 10 psi.

    So, considering the v6 weighs a good deal less than the lt1, the car, even with a turbo, should be better balanced than the lt1 car, and with a turbo could be making more power for less money overall.

    So my question is, What's the easiest and cheapest way to have a decent turbo setup that rev's fairly high without floating valves, and makes somewhere in the range of 300-400 wheel hp? I don't wan't to get the zzp or other kits, because from what I've researched, and what I know about other turbo cars, they're overly expensive for what you get.

    I was thinking that if the manifolds can be reversed, I can fab up a simple crossover pipe, run a holset hx35 from a junkyard, and use the extra intercooler I have from my alltrac build.

    The only thing I'm unsure about is what cam to use, what valve springs to get, what injectors to use, and how to tune it. Also, can the factory pcm be unlocked and used like the ls one? or do I need a standalone?

    Any help on doing a so called "junkyard" or "low buck" build would be awesome.

    The whole point of this car is to build a lower budget drift car that's reliable enough to beat on, but still make great power. the car comes with a set of aftermarket arms, I already have an angle kit being built by duncan performance (which should warrant me around 55-60 degrees of angle), and I have a great lead on a set of custom made and spec'd coilovers, so I'm pretty much set chassis-wise. All I need help to figure out is engine/performance.


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  3. #2
    Half Throttle alex553's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    El Paso,Texas

    You can try that

    Also theres Blawson selling his ffw hotside on facebook for 400 dollars
    Unnaturally Aspired

  4. #3
    Look on ZZP site for JE forged pistons, clevlite 77 bearings and L32 rods, cam is your choice. Then youll want to do head work and valve springs probably 130lb or 136lb springs. You'll need retainers heavier pushods and double roller timing chain.

  5. #4
    What year 3.8? You can use Hptuners to tune it.

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