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95cutlassv3rt
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What would be the most common donor car for any engine swap. I was thinking 3800 series 1 from a lesabre, it has the 3400 dual twin cam with a blown trans.

95 cutlass supreme convertible

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Another 3.4 DOHC!  3800 Series II/III is a common swap, but the engine mounts are different from a LeSabre than say a Grand Prix.  You'll need custom wiring, custom axles, etc.  There is a ton of information out there.  

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I'm probably in the minority here but I strongly believe an original LQ1 car should STAY an LQ1 car.

Nice vert by the way!  Wish both of my W's were given to me!

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The N/A 3800 is definitely not an upgrade to the 3.4, IMO, but they are easier to find and find parts for. The supercharger whine of the L67/L32 is great, but the 3.4 sounds so good revving out, especially the induction noise.  3800's sound like a vacuum cleaner.  I am a fan of the LQ1 and the L67, etc. and it was cool to me back in the day to L67 swap the older GP's, but as time has gone on, now if I got another 1st Gen W, i would keep the 3.4.  

Edited by pwmin
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7 hours ago, pwmin said:

The N/A 3800 is definitely not an upgrade to the 3.4, IMO, but they are easier to find and find parts for. The supercharger whine of the L67/L32 is great, but the 3.4 sounds so good revving out, especially the induction noise.  3800's sound like a vacuum cleaner.  I am a fan of the LQ1 and the L67, etc. and it was cool to me back in the day to L67 swap the older GP's, but as time has gone on, now if I got another 1st Gen W, i would keep the 3.4.  

For me, finding LQ1 parts have been pretty easy actually.  Including the infamous timing belt actuators.

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Hello from another red 95 convertible owner.   I love the white interior on these (mine isn't, I always wished I would have bought one with the white interior), I hope yours is in good condition.   I've got the 3100 in mine, I drive it a few times every week and it's been many years since anybody asked me what's under the hood.   An engine swap would be fun but expensive and time consuming, and is it necessary?  Does your engine run ok?   How's the rest of the car?  How's the top?   Does it still have the white boot cover?   Rust?  Unless you're planning on making your convertible into a high-dollar show car, I'd just focus on getting it running and getting it on the road so you can drop the top and cruise around.   The red/white/white is a great color combo, I'd love to see more pictures of yours.  

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Thank you for al the advice! I am happy to have found a community that is helpful. If I keep the LQ1, can I use a 4t60e out of a cutlass supreme that originally had a 3100? I am having a hard time making a decision on buying a used tranny for fear of getting the wrong one.

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52 minutes ago, oldmangrimes said:

Hello from another red 95 convertible owner.   I love the white interior on these (mine isn't, I always wished I would have bought one with the white interior), I hope yours is in good condition.   I've got the 3100 in mine, I drive it a few times every week and it's been many years since anybody asked me what's under the hood.   An engine swap would be fun but expensive and time consuming, and is it necessary?  Does your engine run ok?   How's the rest of the car?  How's the top?   Does it still have the white boot cover?   Rust?  Unless you're planning on making your convertible into a high-dollar show car, I'd just focus on getting it running and getting it on the road so you can drop the top and cruise around.   The red/white/white is a great color combo, I'd love to see more pictures of yours.  

I will definitely upload more pictures as I move forward. I wish the tranny in my 2001 buick century fit in this car but it has a 3100 so I didnt want to run into any compatibility issues.

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1 hour ago, 95cutlassv3rt said:

can I use a 4t60e out of a cutlass supreme that originally had a 3100?

As long as the final drive ratio is the same

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Welcome to the world of borderline antique autos!

Ive got a `95 Vert as well, 3.4 Twin Cam. JY and salvage transmissions are going to be a gamble if you can even find them. Then they`re also JY transmissions probably there because they failed or nearing that point. Do you have a professional transmission shop with a good reputation near you? If not then a retail part store rebuilt option will get you further than a JY gamble will. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/24/2021 at 10:52 PM, jiggity76 said:

I'm probably in the minority here but I strongly believe an original LQ1 car should STAY an LQ1 car.

Nice vert by the way!  Wish both of my W's were given to me!

So, I am sure alot of you have moved on to other posts, I have put alot of thought, energy, and spare time with basic tools. I decided, after alot of research, the LQ1 is going to stay and I purchased a used transmission with a warranty. I have cleaned the engine bay and am going to detail the engine and bay. 

What preventative maintenance should I be doing while everything is apart? Is there any performance/reliability issues I can correct or add while I have it this broken down?

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I imagine the engine is completely intact?  If it was running well when you pulled the cradle I’d check for leaks and leave it be otherwise.  
 

check:

the timing belt condition. If it’s frayed or showing it’s age, or any cracks, replace it.  So much easier to do out of the car.

pesky distributor o ring is a leak nightmare but if it’s dry leave it. It’s under the plenum and serviceable in the car if it does leak. (Search - there’s a sticky)

Did the exhaust manifolds leak? If so replace the gaskets while it’s out.

did you measure the charging voltage? The alternator is a bit of a bugger to do in car so change it if your doubting it.

Change out the coolant lines if they’re spongy or oil soaked.  

Check out the vacuum lines

 

Really you’ll want to inspect it carefully for anything that looks ratty, and write down or take pictures of any leaks, and wash it till it sparkles.  Inspect again and replace what looks suspect.  Rockauto is your friend.  If you change the oil before you should you’ll find they’re tough engines and only have issues if you drive and ignore.  They’re surprisingly easy to work on. Once you get to know the engine and you have to go back in later it’s not a big deal if your mechanically inclined. You got the cradle out without issue so you must know what you’re doing.

 

order a set of GM manuals off eBay for your year and make, easily found and cheap. Way more info than a Haynes or clymer.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/141919682790?hash=item210b1280e6:g:TQMAAOSwWTRW2IYH

 

 

Edited by GTP091
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And major Props for keeping the LQ1 man. Maybe you’ll be able to put collector plates on it? Not sure how the US works that out but should be cheap insurance if you can.

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1 hour ago, GTP091 said:

And major Props for keeping the LQ1 man. Maybe you’ll be able to put collector plates on it? Not sure how the US works that out but should be cheap insurance if you can.

It depends on each state. In Virginia for example any car that is 25 years old or older can have antique plates, which exempts it from yearly inspections but it also brings limitations on how much you can drive it.

Edited by Amanita
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Another '95 Vert here. Mine's got a 3100 under the hood, red with black interior and black top, which needs replacing. My dad briefly had a '94 with the 3.4L, teal with black interior, including the super cool rear bucket seat option and a black top. I think transmissions are a weak point in these cars as mine went out last year and the same thing happened to the one Dad had, shortly after he sold it to the son of a friend of theirs. A rebuilt transmission cost me $2,100 installed with a three-year, 30,000 mile warranty. 

Mine doesn't yet qualify for an 'Antique Auto' plate in North Carolina as the car needs to be 35 years old. There was talk about moving it up to 25 years but I don't think it happened. Like in Virginia, it limits one to driving the car 2,000 miles a year, which wouldn't be an issue for me since I've only put a little over half that on it in the past year. Besides exemption from annual inspections, the other nice thing it offers in N.C. is the tax value of the vehicle is automatically pegged at $500, regardless of actual value. It could be a $100,000 Duesenberg and it would still have a tax value of $500.  If I still own the car in another nine years, I'll probably apply for one of those plates.

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I have some updates, not sure why I am having issues with uploading pictures. I bought an engine hoist, everything is almost back together. I need help with a few things. Not too sure what the part is, it looks like some sort of plunger that is attached to a vacuum line, vacuum modulator? The one that came on my used transmission was alot smaller, I installed the big one and it fit fine. Does it make a difference which is installed? 

modulator2.jpg

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I also found a broken wire that doesn't seem to attach to anything on the engine harness leading to the back of the passenger side of the engine on the altenator part of the harness. It is blue, any ideas?

altenator2.jpg

altenator1.jpg

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Today my fiance and my friend Chris helped me get the engine back in with the trans attached back through the top. I will never do a v6 without a hoist again lol, this was no subaru. Hopefully tomorrow I will have it driveable, I want to make a video of the startup and post it to youtube. Honestly, if I had to do it agin, I would video document everything, there really is no content on youtube about the technical mumbo jumbo for the LQ1. I cant wait to feel its power, my mother did not know this car was fast, she never matted the pedal. I will be looking for a white top, the framework for it, and a motor int he near future if anyone can point me in any direction.

car1.jpg

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1 hour ago, 95cutlassv3rt said:

I have some updates, not sure why I am having issues with uploading pictures. I bought an engine hoist, everything is almost back together. I need help with a few things. Not too sure what the part is, it looks like some sort of plunger that is attached to a vacuum line, vacuum modulator? The one that came on my used transmission was alot smaller, I installed the big one and it fit fine. Does it make a difference which is installed? 

modulator2.jpg

I have the larger unit on my 91.  Were the years the same between the transmissions?  I would keep the smaller unit as that’s what came with it but that’s just me. The smaller unit might just be a smaller version and the same thing.

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Nicely done on the reinstall.  You installed the engine/trans from the top side of the engine bay?? I’ve pulled an entire subframe/engine/trans out from the bottom and seems easier that way just wondering on your perspective for the top

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3 hours ago, 95cutlassv3rt said:

I also found a broken wire that doesn't seem to attach to anything on the engine harness leading to the back of the passenger side of the engine on the altenator part of the harness. It is blue, any ideas?

altenator2.jpg

altenator1.jpg

Your alternator charge wire is car audio cabling which is completely fine and ideal as it looks like 4gauge.  So you know a previous owner was in that harness at some point. I don’t think it’s the knock sensor wire which is dark blue for my 91 at least.  I doubt it’s that as I’m pretty sure it goes to the back of the engine in its own harness and is routed under the engine on top of the subframe.  

The alternator harness on the cs130d is a 4 wire harness. Do you have 4 wires going into the harness? I only see 3 in the pic but can’t tell for sure. My shop manual shows a red and 2 brown wires which Is differ to the a the yellow, purple, you got going on so must be different past 93.


What colour are the wires coming out of your alternator harness?

 

Possibly this is a broken wire for your alternator harness?

Edited by GTP091
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10 hours ago, GTP091 said:

Nicely done on the reinstall.  You installed the engine/trans from the top side of the engine bay?? I’ve pulled an entire subframe/engine/trans out from the bottom and seems easier that way just wondering on your perspective for the top

It took two days two pull the subframe with 6 jacks, cribbing, pry bars, chains and a pickup truck lol, I had the engine back in with the trans attached, all motor mounts removed and there is about 1/4" of clearance between the brake booster on the driver side and the fuse box on the left, dropping it back in only took about 3 hours with a second set of hands. I also should mention, I pulled the subframe engine, trans in one piece out the bottom without help. I also did all this without ever removing the axles from the hubs lmao. The engine hoist also made reinstallation of the subframe a breeze as I was able to pull it up to the body and adjust it before I tightened it.

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9 hours ago, GTP091 said:

Your alternator charge wire is car audio cabling which is completely fine and ideal as it looks like 4gauge.  So you know a previous owner was in that harness at some point. I don’t think it’s the knock sensor wire which is dark blue for my 91 at least.  I doubt it’s that as I’m pretty sure it goes to the back of the engine in its own harness and is routed under the engine on top of the subframe.  

The alternator harness on the cs130d is a 4 wire harness. Do you have 4 wires going into the harness? I only see 3 in the pic but can’t tell for sure. My shop manual shows a red and 2 brown wires which Is differ to the a the yellow, purple, you got going on so must be different past 93.


What colour are the wires coming out of your alternator harness?

 

Possibly this is a broken wire for your alternator harness?

So, the altenator harness does have the four wires going into it, there is a weird 5th wire that just looks broken and is dark blue. That 5th wire does not seem to go to anythiong, I wish I had noticed it before I got the engine in, tracing it back is going to be a huge pain in the drain with the engine installed.

Also, I have this cluster of 20ish guage wires that look like they are supposed to be grounded on the transmission. There are also two other wires on the harness that are 6 or 8 guage in the same area with bolt anchors that could be power or ground, hard telling really. I know the wires coming off the battery are for the fuse box, starter and also there is the ground side, I am thinking the two other large wires on the harness are for the starter from the key maybe.

I had taken pictures of all this mess, but my phone broke and it did not back up to the cloud. Luckily the powers of ADHD and photographic memory has served me well in putting bolts where they go and whatnot.

possibleground.jpg

possible grounds_LI.jpg

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