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5th Gen ('95-'99): Motor

  #1  
Old 04-15-2019, 04:18 PM
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So I've been adding a few thing here n there on the car. Yunno general maintenance. Plugs. wires. Staying up to date on stuff. I've added a cold air intake. But my question is and I'm sure it's been asked before. What will give.me the most power from this little motor. I've tossed up the idea of a supercharger and I'm not sure if I want to go that route or not. It's a healthy motor I want a little more from it
 
  #2  
Old 04-16-2019, 07:17 AM
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Which engine do you have 38 or 34? If its a 3800, i suggest a "top swap" which you probably know is adding the supercharger.. You need the lower intake, blower, wire harness, and a couple other things.. Nothing you can really do to make noticeable gains before doing this. Without spending a ton of money at least. I mean, you could do headers and intake or get a tuned pcm but you really dont notice anything with those on a stock engine. The pcm could make the car shift a little quicker. I would even suggest against headers until you have even more than the supercharger.

If its the 3400 youre very limited on what you can do..
 
  #3  
Old 04-16-2019, 03:18 PM
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It's the 38. I've thought about doing a supercharger on it but I'm not sure what kinda power I'd get from it. How hard is that swap anyway? It's my only vehicle so I'd either have to do it at home or at work when we ain't busy. And make it a 1 day thing. I havent looked too much into the swap itself. As far as how hard it would be
 
  #4  
Old 04-16-2019, 03:37 PM
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You won't be able to make a top-swap a 1-day thing.

Start researching the term top-swap if you are serious about supercharging.
 
  #5  
Old 04-16-2019, 04:22 PM
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Headers will be impossible without someone custom making them, or doing serious cutting to the firewall. Top swaps are pretty straightforward, but definitely do a search on here about them. It requires replacing everything from the heads up.
 
  #6  
Old 04-16-2019, 07:50 PM
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X2, hard pass on headers in a 5th gen. Nowhere near the gains to make it worthwhile without a serious setup.

Top swap blower is cheap, but its definitely a lot of work. It's like doing head gaskets + a front main seal all in one job. Even worse if you dont physically pull the parts yourself when you find out you're missing a random bracket or idle pulley towards the end of the job.

How much power are you looking for? I'd be hesitant to do too much on a daily driver as it will have an impact on longevity, at least in terms of the trans.

Not a lot of people really mod NA 3800s much because the cost per hp is so high. It really needs a cam to make a notable power gain, and even then it'll struggle to match a stock SC 3800. That's the downside to a small engine with low compression and a very mild stock cam - itll last forever, but wont make much power especially from today's viewpoint.
 
  #7  
Old 04-18-2019, 10:31 AM
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Idk I'm kinda leaning towards the top swap but I'm gonna have to find a beater while she's down getting the swap done then.
 
  #8  
Old 04-18-2019, 12:31 PM
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I dont mean to scare you away too much to the point of having to buy another car.

It can be done in a day by someone who has been through it and has all of the parts, but it would certainly take most of the day.

For a first timer (assuming you knew you had all the parts - like if you pulled them yourself), I do think you could pull it off in a full weekend. Worst case you maybe call a day off work and get a long weekend to be safe.

One huge benefit to the top swap (besides dirt cheap cost) is that you're not dealing with making poorly engineered aftermarket stuff fit. You're taking off stock stuff and replacing it with different stock stuff, so bolting it together is a snap.
 

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