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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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GM 3.8 vs Ford 3.8

Hi all, Im not sure if this has been discussed yet...but the GM 3.8 V-6 (especially) the 3800 series is a very good motor performance wise. What is so different about the Ford 3.8 n/a and the GM 3.8 and GM 3.8 3800?? In other words, what would an individual who owns a Ford 3.8 n/a have to do to the motor to make it equivalent with that of the GM 3.8? I know that the GM 3.8 3800 can push a car into the 15's/16's easily (15's/16's is what a 4.6 V-8 MN12 can do). What is the big difference between the 2 3.8 motors and if I wanted to get my car as fast as the GM 3.8 without superchargers, turbos, or nitrous, what all would I have to change? What does the GM 3.8 have on our 3.8? Also, could a Ford 3.8 n/a take on a GM 3.4 V-6, which was offered between 1993 and 1997?? I really want to know what the GM 3.8's (200hp) have on our Ford 3.8 n/a. (140-150hp;190 on the Mustang) Please don't say weight is the issue because most of the GM's with the 3.8 are only about 100-200 lbs lighter that ours. Without weight being an issue the GM 3.8 still pushes out 200hp whereas our 3.8 pushes out only 145...wheter the car is 1000 lbs or 5000 lbs, what is the reason of the big horsepower difference between the 2? Thanks, Frank

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 09:54 PM
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2 words...Split Port
The late model 3.8's are considerably stronger than the early na ones.
If I own another v6 car I will probably do a split port conversion on it.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, so what is so special about te splitport V-6? Is it the pistons, heads, valves, what is it about the GM 3.8 Splitport that makes it so fast? I know one of the fastest American factory cars to ever roll off of the assembly line was the 1987-1988 Buick Grand National GNX. That too was ONLY a 3.8....Even without the Turbo on it, it would still woop a MN12 3.8 n/a's @$$. What is the Ford 3.8 Lacking that the GM 3.8 has. I'm trying to figure out why these cars are so friggin slow......Think about it alright? The 87-88 Buick Grand National GNX was one of the fastest American factory car to roll off the line and it had a 3.8. The 3.8 offered in the MN12 was the SLOWEST V6 of the 90's. The Mn12 V-6 n/a was one of the slowest CARS of the 90's. What is going on here??? They are both 3.8 litre V-6's. What is Ford missing in there 3.8 that GM has??? What is so special about a Splitport 3.8?

Before my brother bought his Z28, he had a standard Camaro with the 3.8 3800 series and it balled @$$!!! I know cause I drove it a few times. Even if we could take 300 lbs off of the MN12 3.8 n/a, it would STILL get it's @$$ handed to it by a GM 3.8, So weight isnt the issue. Even a damn Caprice Classic with a V-6 could beat the MN12 V6 and they have like 500 lbs on us? Where did Ford go wrong..ahhhhhhh!!!!!! I'm goin nuts!!!!! lol

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 10:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyd0g
2 words...Split Port
The late model 3.8's are considerably stronger than the early na ones.
If I own another v6 car I will probably do a split port conversion on it.
Alan
Excuse my n00byness, but what exactly is a split port, and what all does one have to do for a split port conversion?
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 10:18 PM
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I don't know exactly what makes the split port better,but I know it is a night and day difference in them. A G/N engine without the turbo is nothing. The 3.8's of that time were almost as weak as fords. The camaro's are a whole different thing as well. Yes they did make a little more power than the ford's did. The cars are also considerably lighter and they come out of the factory with a 9.5 inch 3000 stall converter. GM has made alot of different 3.8's. Try comparing Our cars to what is should be compared to. A 3.8 liter gutlass or something along those lines. Camaro's are sports cars,we Drive luxobarges.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostfield
Excuse my n00byness, but what exactly is a split port, and what all does one have to do for a split port conversion?
Late model mustang engine I believe 98 up ,but I'm sure there are a couple people around here who can tell you exactly what you need to know. Or you can try a search.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyd0g
The cars are also considerably lighter .

This is what gets me.....a few hundred pounds shouldnt make a huge difference. My car is about 3500-3600lbs for the 1996 3.8's? My brothers Camaro was 3400lbs. Even if weight was the issue in racing, it still doesnt explain why Fords 3.8 puts out 145hp and Gm's 3.8 puts out 200hp. As i said, A Caprice Classic of the 1990's with the 3.8 could probably woop a MN12 3.8 and THEY are like 500lbs heavier than us.........

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 10:51 PM
 
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again split port.

the design of the intake-heads of the 1990s 3.8 ford wasnt the best , but it got corrected in 1999 when the splitport version of the 3.8 came out with 200hp , the difference is in the intake runners.

als dont compare the 3.8l turbo to a 3.8n/a compare it to the SC version , both made about the same HP stock , the advatage of the GN is obviously the turbo.

actually the SC made more HP at the crank than the GN , but the heaton eats up like 50hp.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool dude
My car is about 3500-3600lbs for the 1996 3.8's?
Probably more like 3800-4000 lbs. MN12's are pretty heavy cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostfield
Excuse my n00byness, but what exactly is a split port, and what all does one have to do for a split port conversion?
There's plenty of info on this forum about the swap, from way back when PJ did the 4.2L swap and I did the 3.8L splitport swap. It's a fair amount of work.

The splitport 3.8L uses completely different intakes and heads than the singleports. Basically, there are 12 intake runners, 2 runners per cylinder. Each cylinder has a long intake runner and a short intake runner feeding it. Long runner = great low end torque, short runner = ability to flow higher in the rpm range. Some of the splitport intakes have IMRC's in the short runners, which are butterflies that open at a set rpm (promotes higher velocities in the long runners at low rpms = more torque).

Anyway, the splitport 3.8L or 4.2L is a night and day difference from the singleport 3.8L n/a. Trust me.



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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 12:29 AM
 
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racecougar hit it on the nose.

for the record, IMRC = Intake Manifold Runner Control
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racecougar
Probably more like 3800-4000 lbs. MN12's are pretty heavy cars.
with or without driver? my 97 4.6 bird weighed in at 3970 lbs with me in it. i weigh about 280 lbs. so that means my car wieghs about 3690 lbs. 3500-3600 lbs without a driver could be pretty accurate for a 3.8 bird.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 01:59 AM
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Frank,

I was talking about without the driver. I guess it really depends on the car. I know of quite a few SC's that have weighed in over 4000 lbs (w/o driver). The M-90, IC, IC tubes, etc., don't weigh more than 200 lbs.

Just like how you can only tell how quick a car really is by the timeslip, you can only really tell how heavy the car is by what the scale reads.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 02:19 AM
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for the record..

my car before the birdie was a 94 Lumina Z34.. it had the 3.4L DOHC V6 that had 215hp, 210tq. I used to be able to beat stock birds, cats, and stangs both V6 and V8 from 94-97.. the 98stangs gave me more trouble....and when the first 99 GTs came out, it was no contest for them.. hehehe soon after though i traded it in for the bird (2001) because after being rear-ended INTO the back of an Explorer Sport-trac.. she just didn't drive the same anymore.. talk about suffering from torque-steer..
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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racecougar, what does your car run the 1/4 in now that you have the Splitport 3.8? Also, how much did it cost to do the swap? and how long? BTW The 1996-1997's are actually lighter than previous years by a few hundred lbs...it is posted somewhere on these boards i believe.......

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 12:24 PM
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I've only had the car to the track twice, and had problems both times. The first time I took it to the track it had a horrible bog off the line, and was only running low-mid 16's. The next time I took it to the track, the car was overheating as I was going down the track. I had to let off around the 1000' due to detonation, but it still ran a mid-16. Found out that the problem was just a blown fuse for the electric fan, but that was after I got the car home.

The car should be somewhere around the mid-high 15's. I'm not really that worried about it, since it's just my daily driver. The last time I had it on the dyno, it made 165 rwhp and 198 rwtq, with a very flat torque curve.

I probably spent close to $1000 on the swap, including the engine and transmission from a 2000 Mustang. However, I did all of the work here at my shop. It took quite a few months to finish it, because nobody had done the swap before.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 04:06 PM
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the BIGGEST advantage is CONVERTER STALL SPEED....... My wifes 98' Olds Intregue with the 3800 jumps to ~3000rpm off the line, thats almost as much stall as I have with my 9.5" PI converter in my car (which cut .6 off) and ALSO the 3800 GM has alot more agressive cam stock than the ford 3.8L I believe they are in the 200-205 range for duration and the lift is more than a 3.8L ford.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancherlee
the BIGGEST advantage is CONVERTER STALL SPEED....... My wifes 98' Olds Intregue with the 3800 jumps to ~3000rpm off the line, thats almost as much stall as I have with my 9.5" PI converter in my car (which cut .6 off) and ALSO the 3800 GM has alot more agressive cam stock than the ford 3.8L I believe they are in the 200-205 range for duration and the lift is more than a 3.8L ford.
Actually they are basically the same converter. The PI converter was built from one of those.
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-31-2004, 03:35 PM
 
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racecougar said that the intakes and heads are different on the splitport, so could we take the heads and intake off of a splitport mustang and put it on our engine?
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-31-2004, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
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racecougar said that the intakes and heads are different on the splitport, so could we take the heads and intake off of a splitport mustang and put it on our engine?
Yes, but it's not as simple as just bolting them on. Do a search in this forum, and you'll find quite a bit of info on the swap.

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 09:29 PM
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Don't GM's 3.8s also have a higher compression ratio than Fords 3.8

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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbospeed
again split port.

the design of the intake-heads of the 1990s 3.8 ford wasnt the best , but it got corrected in 1999 when the splitport version of the 3.8 came out with 200hp , the difference is in the intake runners.

als dont compare the 3.8l turbo to a 3.8n/a compare it to the SC version , both made about the same HP stock , the advatage of the GN is obviously the turbo.

actually the SC made more HP at the crank than the GN , but the heaton eats up like 50hp.
190hp. The change is not only in the intake runners, although that does help. The ehads changed as well, the exhaust port was decreased in diameter at the end, where it meets the exhaust manifold, so it could have a smoother transition, and thus more velocity. The earlier exhaust ports were huge, like the 351c in comparison, and velocity sucked.

the intake valve size was increased to 1.9", which was a huge jump.

All these things with the throttle body that increased 10mm to 65mm, and the split-port intake design made for a much more powerful 3.8.

Sorry I missed this, must have skipped it.

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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesD
for the record..

my car before the birdie was a 94 Lumina Z34.. it had the 3.4L DOHC V6 that had 215hp, 210tq. I used to be able to beat stock birds, cats, and stangs both V6 and V8 from 94-97.. the 98stangs gave me more trouble....and when the first 99 GTs came out, it was no contest for them.. hehehe soon after though i traded it in for the bird (2001) because after being rear-ended INTO the back of an Explorer Sport-trac.. she just didn't drive the same anymore.. talk about suffering from torque-steer..

That was an amazing motor for the time, I wish they still made them. A friend of mine had a 95 GTP. Custom long tube headers yielded almost an entire second drop in the 1/4mi ET. Lots of potential, not enough people involved in the car. It's sad.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool dude
What is the Ford 3.8 Lacking that the GM 3.8 has.
competition. How much horsepower did the 99 gt mustang have compared to the v6 mustang? 30-35hp. If the 3.8 had 200hp why would anyone spend more money on a GT?

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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2005, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racecougar
Frank,

I was talking about without the driver. I guess it really depends on the car. I know of quite a few SC's that have weighed in over 4000 lbs (w/o driver). The M-90, IC, IC tubes, etc., don't weigh more than 200 lbs.

Just like how you can only tell how quick a car really is by the timeslip, you can only really tell how heavy the car is by what the scale reads.

-Rod
my car weighs 3780 with me in it, and Im about 210

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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas
competition. How much horsepower did the 99 gt mustang have compared to the v6 mustang? 30-35hp. If the 3.8 had 200hp why would anyone spend more money on a GT?

Actually the 99-04 Mustang 3.8's have 210hp. The Mustang GT in these years had 260hp. Difference of 50hp. Also the torque for the GT is much higher.
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 01:05 AM
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Im sorry, but you are incorrect, it has 190hp/220tq. But point being, if the v6 had just as much, or close to the same power ratings as the next up option, it would increase sales in the base model version.

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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas
actually no, Im sorry, it has 190hp, you are incorrect. But point being, if the v6 had just as much, or close to the same power ratings as the next up option, it would increase sales in the base model version.
BUT, actually YES. The GT has 260hp
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 01:12 AM
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well then that puts the difference in hp to 70, thank you for the correction.

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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 08:43 AM
 
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70hp and quite a bit more torque, plus the relative availability of parts, and the fact that it comes standard with 4 wheel discs, 8.8" rear and everything else would certainly make for a compelling argument for the GT.

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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas
competition. How much horsepower did the 99 gt mustang have compared to the v6 mustang? 30-35hp. If the 3.8 had 200hp why would anyone spend more money on a GT?
True, then Ford should have beefed up the GT more. Just as the GM performance cars were. Thats a whole different ball game though, I'm not trying to make this post completely change topics. Hell, Lincoln Mark VIII 4.6's should have been the standard for ALL Ford 4.6's

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