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accordionfolder New Reader
10/23/11 7:29 p.m.

Hello all!

I now own a lovely 98' red 5spd v6 camaro (w/ only 115k on the clock)! I've been reading a bit online, and apparently they can take quite a bit of boost stock. I was curious what cars I could find in the junkyard with an appropriately sized turbo for the 3.8L (or if that is an oxymoron)? Is anyone here familiar or can point me to a good forum on boosting the 3800? I've been browsing the fullthrottlev6 forum, but it's not very well organized and I can't seem to find a solid FAQ on the motors capabilities stock?

So any info on the 3800 (good forums/links/articles) and any info on building a sweet junkyard turbo setup would be great! Sorry for the broad questioning, and thanks in advanced!

accordionfolder New Reader
10/23/11 7:37 p.m.


Just found this, seems like a good start to my information scrounging!

donalson SuperDork
10/23/11 7:38 p.m.

here is some decent turbo size info


best bet is to map the different turbos you find... here is a good page about that including a CFM calculator... makes it pretty easy


that being said... 3.8L is a good bit of displacment... a t4 of some sort or maybe something off a diesel would be a good starting point... unless you want to do a twin turbo setup in which case you could more easily use typical JY turbos... I wouldn't be supprized of the mitsubishi turbos used on 700 series volvos wouldn't be decent... or a few t25s of some sort...

but all this depends on how much power you want to make and how much boost you plan on squeezing down the engines throat...

accordionfolder New Reader
10/23/11 7:41 p.m.

Sweet action, considering I budgeted myself 5k for the car and managed to get one for 1100, I'm not opposed to going forged internals (I'm a bit worried about the rear end and tranny) and other craziness; I've always wanted to fully build a motor....

mad_machine SuperDork
10/23/11 7:42 p.m.

t25s can be had on next generation saab 900s and 9-3s.

the classic 900s had t3s

Junkyard_Dog Dork
10/23/11 7:52 p.m.

Do some research and find out what the Grand Nationals had. Its old-tech but you have an updated version of the same engine. In fact GN forums should have pretty much all the info you'll need. A quick Google on V6 turbo Firebird turned up plenty of places to look for info. Nothing on the 3.8 turbo anniversary edition I was thinking of, but apparently your upgrade is very popular.

accordionfolder New Reader
10/23/11 8:10 p.m.

Good call on the grand natoinal, I'll dig some into that too. Thanks!

junkbuggie Reader
10/23/11 8:12 p.m.

You might want to look at a grand prix fourm. The upgrade for the supercharged 3.8 is turbo power.

donalson SuperDork
10/23/11 8:27 p.m.

I know the grand prix 3100 rocked a t25 lol... sadly small for even a pushrod engine of that size

wonder how a tdo6 17c (syclone/typhoon 4.3L) would do on it...

accordionfolder New Reader
10/23/11 8:34 p.m.

I find it amazingly cool (after all honda stuff) that you can just tune the stock ecu....

corytate HalfDork
10/23/11 8:34 p.m.

buy the sc from a 3800 and get a tiny little pulley?

accordionfolder New Reader
10/23/11 8:59 p.m.

Ha! I suppose that would work, I'm more interested in a turbo :D

We just got the 1.4L Cruze Eco Turbo and even with that being whisper quite it fascinates me to no end.....

Another good source:


I've been adding the links just in case anyone finds this post in a search. All too often I find a posted question with exactly what I'm looking for that the author never follows up on....

DaewooOfDeath HalfDork
10/23/11 9:10 p.m.

If you are going to do the install yourself, remember that turbos take up a lot of space, that the turbo will either require a lot of custom exhaust or be mounted in a difficult to reach location, and require water and oil lines.

If you want a trouble free installation and easy servicing, the supercharger is a better idea.

accordionfolder New Reader
10/23/11 9:22 p.m.

I'm trying to lighten it as much as I can, which in turn means I'm probably going to do a sweet tubular K-member, which begat A WHOLE BUNCH OF TURBO-Y ROOM. :)

accordionfolder New Reader
10/23/11 9:24 p.m.

Plus this is a TWIN TURBO ls1 of the same generation


If he can fit two turbos, I can fit one :)

novaderrik Dork
10/23/11 9:28 p.m.

there are a few GN guys running that engine that (claim that they) are into the 9's on (on what they say are) unopened long blocks and still (claim to) get mpg numbers in the mid 20's.. search around at www.turbobuick.com and a few threads will pop up.

Junkyard_Dog Dork
10/23/11 9:32 p.m.
DaewooOfDeath wrote: If you are going to do the install yourself, remember that turbos take up a lot of space, that the turbo will either require a lot of custom exhaust or be mounted in a difficult to reach location, and require water and oil lines. If you want a trouble free installation and easy servicing, the supercharger is a better idea.

Fits just like a GN, seems pretty easy to get to

Vigo Dork
10/23/11 10:49 p.m.

The stock gn turbo is basically an old t3 with a stg1 t3 turbine and a compressor wheel that isnt used on anything else that pretty much falls between the t3 and t4 compressor wheel families.

The compressor inducer/exducer are 50/70mm.

It can make ~400 hp probably but it's way too small imo if you're starting from nothing.

I remember checking out a turbo 3.4 f-body.. the turbo was between the motor and the radiator. There is a pretty large amount of room right there. Also, rear-mount turbos are pretty well figured out for 4th gen f-bodies.

A 3.8L CAN use a pretty big turbo. I have a 3.8 turbo project (dodge) that im using a t4-family, t67 compressor, p-trim turbine wheel, and .96 a/r t4 pattern housing on. Thats a big, 700hp turbo, so it will be a little overkill if you're looking for 300-400 and a smaller turbo would spool faster.

If you DO end up with a single turbo with a t3 turbine side (common t3/t4 hybrid turbos), i wouldnt go smaller than a stg3 turbine wheel and .63 a/r housing. Honestly, the 3.8 would do just fine with a stg5 t3 turbine, but at that point you might as well use a full t4 turbo.

Vigo Dork
10/23/11 10:50 p.m.

Ive always liked 3.8/5spd 4th gen f-bodies.. i'll be very interested in your build.

accordionfolder New Reader
10/24/11 11:03 a.m.

Ah thanks for the info and encouragement. My only gate right now is the Transmission. What gives? The t-56 will not bolt up to the motor w/o a lot of work and an adapter. There are some built tko-500/600 transmissions but they are 2500 dollars (double the cost of the car). Does anyone know of any other options and the estimated cost? I'm ok w/ 4spd if it's cheaper and can handle some power (the more the better). I would rather overbuild than thrash a transmission.This is not a DD and as such can be funky :)

Lugnut Dork
10/24/11 12:04 p.m.

Custom scattershield/bell housing?

Raze SuperDork
10/24/11 12:08 p.m.

just get a bigger Holset HX40+ and you'll be alright

failboat HalfDork
10/24/11 12:12 p.m.

not sure how much under hood space you are working with......a friend of mine has a turbo kit that he picked up years ago for a 5.0l mustang.

I believe the mounting solution for the turbo literally involved flipping the drivers side manifold 180* so it was pointing up and forwards, and mounting the turbo to that.

Just somethign to think about if your manifold can actually be mounted upside down and fit

BoostedBrandon HalfDork
10/24/11 12:23 p.m.

I don't think the M90 off a SC W body will work, being as the pulley and throttle body are on opposite sides.

I too am interested in where this goes. I think the trans should be fine at around 300 at the crank. A decent clutch and LSD, car would be a riot.

accordionfolder New Reader
10/24/11 1:12 p.m.

From what I've found online most people mount it in front of the motor, there is a good bit of room up there once you clean it up. I will be doing an A/C delete since I'm trying to save weight and it's non functional to begin with (plus it has T-tops! Who needs A/C!).

I suppose this is an interesting issue, but apparently even with stock internals these motors make stupid torque with a turbo. Hence my transmission concerns.

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