FWD Tech Guides '95-'07 Guides/How-To information for FWD Montes 1995-2007

Mod Guide: 3400 mods for cheap power

  #1  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:27 PM
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Default 3400 mods for cheap power

Currently, many of the modded Montes here are dominated by the 3800 crowd. We've had a pretty large amount of 3400/3100 Monte owners join and ask "How can I make more power on a small budget". I am certain this is not all inclusive, but it's probably a great start. This is built on my personal knowledge of the 3100/3400 drive trains along with general knowledge of the Monte platform.

Note to 3100 owners: what is listed below does apply to your engines as well. But, if you want what is probably a quick and easy way to more power, consider switching out the 3100 for a 3400. I've read on other forums where the 3100/3400 is the common engine the swap is virtually a direct drop in, very little changes need to take place.

Now, let's get started:

Air Intakes (CAI and FWI): Generically speaking, this is a fun mod. There are three primary options and any one of them should yield about the same results:
  • CAI - Cold Air Intake - A box under the hood of the car using a large cone filter. The primary difference between this and a stock air box, it has insulation in it to help protect from absorbing and sucking in hot air from the engine itself.
  • FWI - Fender Well Intake - Using ducting (commonly materials sourced from a home improvement store), relocate the air filter so it is behind the fender. This gets it to a location that it will hopefully have more exposure to cool air, away from the engine heat.
  • Gutted Air Box - For a tight budget, this is the cheapest mod that can be done with a tool, like a Dremel. The stock air box uses a simple panel filter. The goal is to cut the box in a manner that exposes most or all of the panel filter to the open air (instead of the small hole behind the headlight). FOr the '00+ Monte guys, here's a thread of a 3800 member who gutted an air box (it's the same for a 3400). https://montecarloforum.com/forum/he...-airbox-28343/
Typically, it allows a little more engine sound and can make small improvements in power.
Stay AWAY from HAI - Hot Air Intakes. These are intake systems air heated by the engine to invade the air intake space. Such as, putting attaching a cone filter to a short piece of duct work and then to the throttle body (the eBay Weapon-R intakes basically do this). Or the K&N Air Intake kits, on the Montes, they do almost nothing to shield the filter/intake from engine heat. A surround that has no lid, no insulation and a big/oversized hole in the surround to allow the duct work to get into the "box".
Now, I know all options I mentioned are available to the 6th Gen Monte (2000-2005) owners. Unfortunately, I do not know enough about the 5th gen Montes (pre-2000, FWD) have much for options.
If a 5th gen owner is willing to relocate their battery, they could fabricate a FWI, much like this member has done in the their below (he used a 3800, but I'm sure the 3100/3400 guys could do this as well):
https://montecarloforum.com/forum/ho...ble-fwi-44362/

Throttle Body: There are larger throttle bodies you can buy. Such as a 3100 owner can upgrade to a 3400 throttle body. Or a 3400 owner can upgrade to a larger aftermarket throttle body. But, this is about cheap mods. One mod you can do is "half shafting" your throttle body. Doing so reduces the amount of the throttle shaft that obstructs the air flow, resulting in just a touch more air coming in (felt as better throttle response and just a little more power). For more information on this mod, see this link:
https://montecarloforum.com/forum/fw...shafting-56966

Exhaust: Most of the exhaust should be fine from the factory. I would not put this high on your mod list, unless you are bored or looking to alter the exhaust sound. The exhaust from the cat back on the 6th gen 3400 powered Montes is identical to the 3800 powered cars (it's the same cat, same pipe from cat to the muffler and same muffler). All mods here make more performance difference on a 3800 6th gen then a 3400 6th gen. There is room from improvement on the exhaust, but the gains are minimal, mostly sound.
  • Resonator Delete - The resonator exists only to alter the sound of the exhaust. Simply cut this out and replace it with a piece of straight pipe. On a 3400/3100, not much change to the exhaust sound, maybe a little louder.
  • U-Bend Delete - As the exhaust flows from the cat on it's way to the muffler, since GM wanted the O2 sensor to sit vertically, the pipe gets squished into what looks like a U. This can be replaced with a piece of straight pipe that has a bung for an O2 to install horizontally.
  • Bolt in down pipe with or without high flow CAT - The down pipe is the the piece connected to the rear exhaust manifold, contains the cat and U-bend. There are aftermarket replacements that have slightly wider inside diameters, better flex joints and no U-Bend. These are bolt in solutions. Please note, it has been known that when using aftermarket catalytic converters, you might receive a P0420 check engine code. This sometimes just means the cat installed is not meeting what the PCM is expecting to find (there are known ways to get around this issue, such as deleting the code during a PCM tuning). I know they exist for the 3400 6th gen Montes, I do not know if they exist for the 5th gens. Here is a thread discussing the 3400 downpipe:
https://montecarloforum.com/forum/headers-intake-exhaust-13/3-4-engine-magnaflow-cat-44365/
  • After Market Mufflers - Honestly, there are tons of mufflers out there. This is only going to really gain you a change in the exhaust sound.

Coils: This is an easy to overlook item, but on a stock 3100/3400, you can get a little feel for this. GM used the same coils on the 3100, 3400 and the naturally aspirated 3800. In the Supercharged 3800 Series II (referred to as an L67), from the factory, came equipped with slightly better coil packs, these will produce a small increase in throttle response. These are a direct plug-n-play swap (I've done it to a 3100 and 3400 Grand Ams I've owned and an '05 Impala with a 3400). A quick way to tell factory L67 coils from the others, look on the bottom of the coil and the connector to the ICM should be a blue connector/plug.
Coils in these modern cars rarely fail. Each one of the cars I've done this mod to had coils from a junk yard with zero problems (and I honestly do not know the mileage).
If you wish to do this mod, stay with OEM coils!! Many after market catalogs (such as the one at your local parts store) do not know the difference between the coils. If you source these from a salvage yard, look at the bottom of the coil for a blue plug, on an OEM, without a part number, that is the "tell tale" sign. I also recommend, keep a reasonable budget on this, I recommend sticking to $30-$40 (including shipping) for this mod (it's a good mod, but not worth going crazy over).
FYI - I don't recommend buying MSD or Accel coils. I have not tried them, but I'm doubting the gains are worth the cost.

Wires: Honestly, there is nothing to do here. AC Delco OEM wires are great, longevity and they are not known to cause issues with degrading spark (even using the coils mentioned above).

Plugs: Again, nothing to do here. OEM plugs are fine. Now, if you are at a point that it's time to change the plugs, first recommendation, do NOT use BOSCH plugs (from my own personal experiences) they just don't run right in these engines OR they don't get good longevity. I would recommend AC Delco or NGK platinum or irridium plugs. Lately with the 3100/3400 cars, I've been using NGK platinum plugs and they perform great.
Fun Fact: NGK produced plugs that later AC Delco re-branded. I have seen original plugs pulled from these engines that have AC Delco stamped on the ceramic but NGK engraved in the metal.

Cooling: Starting somewhere in the mid-to-late 90's, the 3100 (and carried to the 3400) flows hot coolant in and out of a spot on the throttle body. Some believe this was to prevent the throttle plate from sticking (I had a '94 Grand Am with a 3100, it did not flow coolant through the throttle body at all and in the coldest winter days of northern Ohio, I never had a throttle plate stick) and others believe it was to impact MPG. If you are going through the trouble to add a FWI or CAI, you really should consider ending the coolant flow in and out of the throttle body. The coolant is moved in/out of the throttle body using the metal heater line (this is the one that comes straight up from the water pump hosing, runs along the front valve cover around the engine to the back on the driver side).
One of the easiest/cleanest ways to accomplish this is obtaining a replacement pipe from an early 90's 3100 (such as a '94 or '95 Grand Am) that does not have the connections for the throttle body. Not sure if there is a difference between a W-Body or N-Body with this heater line (so if using a Grand Am pipe, it might require some modification).
If you disconnect the lines going to the throttle body, I would recommend you find a way to link them together (if you simply plug them, it might impact coolant flow, as the new pipes have a "bottle neck" around that location, expecting to make up the difference flowing coolant through the throttle body). If you plug the throttle body ports on the heater pipe, it may result in a coolant flow problem.

Suspension: There are many options available. If you are looking to improve handling, here are some items to consider:
  • STB - Strut Tower Brace - This is a brace that connects the left and right strut towers, in attempts to prevent them from flexing in and out as the car goes around turns. They can be used in both the front and the rear of the car to stiffen it up. Due to alternator placement, you have to be sure the front brace will work (most are sold for the 3800 group, but GM does have a 3400 OEM brace available for the 6th gen Monte).
  • Improved Rear Sway Bar End Links - The rear sway bar end links consist of two ball joints held with a metal rod. The OEM ones use a thin connecting rod. MOOG makes ones that have grease fittings for the ball joints (to help extend their life), and the connecting rod is thicker for better strength.
  • Tubular Trailing Arms - These would help more in a launch or goosing the car. Keeps the back end wheels tight front-to-back. I'm using UMI on my '04 SS. Changes are minimal, but they are there, such as the poly bushings on them also help stiffen them up. These are available from UMI, BMR and GMPP to name a few.
  • Front Poly Sway Bar End Links - Helps reduce flex in the bushing between the sway bar and the lower control arm. Energy Suspension makes a kit the will fit the 6th gen Montes, part number 9.8122r.
  • Front Poly Sway Bar Bushings (connect the sway to the subframe) - This will tighten up the steering a bit, make it a tad stiffer. If you are using an OEM sway bar (came from the factory or GM, not an after market vendor like Dorman), Energy Suspension kit 9.5164R should work.
  • GMPP Front and Rear Sway Bars - As I understand these are the thickets/strongest sway bars available. Honestly, I have not driven my '04 Monte SS to where I feel I require these.
  • Coil Springs and Struts - Unless you plan to lower your Monte or found you like how a different configuration rides, leave'em. Otherwise, you are on your own here.
  • Flip/Rotate the Radiator Mount Bushing - The bushing in the radiator mount that the front dog bones connect to has a hollow space between the front and the back. This allows the engine a little space to rock back and forth. This is a free mod, people have used some tools and soap or WD-40 to rotate the bushing so it's not hollow front to back (instead is hollow top and bottom). The goal is to stop the engine from rocking so much. When you attempt to launch the car, the engine and transmission rock slightly before pushing the power to the wheels. By limiting or removing that ability to rock, the power hits the wheels immediately. Link to a How To on this subject -->https://montecarloforum.com/forum/fw...rotation-5386/. The next upgrade beyond this is the poly bushings discussed below.
  • Poly Radiator Mount Bushings and Poly Dog Bone Bushings - Many W-body/3800 vendors offer these. Before I go on, I am running the WBodyStore ones on my Monte SS (which has a 3800). Looking at stock vs these poly bushings, I don't believe the dog bone bushings make much difference, but the radiator ones do. Some people like and don't like the added vibration produced. I only notice the vibration when I'm stopped in traffic (it you over tighten the connecting hardware for the dog bones, it can be a bit much). I do believe take offs are a bit better and I've grown used to the vibration feeling (sort of reminds me of how an old muscle car would feel).
PCM Tuning: For those who don't know, PCM tuning is done to help optimize the engine performance based on the mods made (it can even be made to improve a completely stock vehicle to tailor to it's owner's wants a little more). Think of it this way, GM offers the same engine and trans in many cars performance to luxury, and how the drive train performs in some cases is dictated solely on the tune in the PCM. This is not required for suspension mods. A PCM re-tune is best done when you are completely finished with engine mods to make the most out of what you have modified. The best part of the list I have provided, none of it requires a PCM re-tune, it can all be done with a stock PCM. And with a stock PCM, you should not loose MPG (and if done right, there should be no significant lose of MPG with a re-tune using these mods).
Tuning is best either on a dyno (controlled environment) or street tuning (data logging and adjusting the tune while driving the car on local roadways). But there are many companies that offer mail order tunes (they tune your PCM without ever seeing the car). Mail order tunes run a little more risk and is best to have someone experienced with tuning these cars address it.

I hope this post has been helpful and happy modding!
 

Last edited by The_Maniac; 08-29-2016 at 11:16 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:27 PM
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This is a short add-on piece. Some of you may want more then just this and want to know what additional options are available to get a little wild. These are NOT cheap horse power, they are not low-budget-mods.
Here's a list of items (and up to you to source further information):
  • Top Swap - Swapping the heads, UIM, LIM and throttle body from a 3400 to a 3100 OR a 3500 to a 3400. This is to yield more air flow into the engine.
  • Larger throttle body
  • Ported LIM
  • Ported Heads
  • Exhaust Headers - Improved exhaust flow (exist for the N-bodies/Grand Ams with 3400, not sure if those will fit into a W-Body Monte).
  • Supercharger - There was one at least for the 3400 powered Grand Ams. Not sure if it fits the W-bodies/Monte
  • Turbocharger - I suppose if money is no option, someone can make a kit to fit the Monte (if it's not out there already)
  • Cams
Just to name a few. Many of these mods require or would really suggest re-tuning the PCM.


I hope this post has been helpful and happy modding!
 

Last edited by The_Maniac; 12-02-2013 at 07:34 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:46 PM
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Id also avoid e3 plugs. I have a set in my la1 powered monte. They do improve performance but they spark knock bad climbing hills and theyre finiky about where you buy gas. Imo not worth $9 a plug.
 
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:05 PM
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cams can be had from wot.com
headers where avalible from pacesetter not sure if still.
any centrifugal supercharger can be made to fit with some fab work.
the magnason kit you are refering to. theres probley only about a 12 made. and are pricy
when they show up for sale.
 
  #5  
Old 07-19-2014, 10:56 AM
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Just found this thread.... Good job Jason!

I see you referenced my 3400 CAT thread.... Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 07-19-2014, 11:24 AM
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There is no way I could leave your 3400 CAT thread out of this. All good stuff. Hopefully this helps a lot of the 3400 owners.
 
  #7  
Old 07-20-2014, 09:53 AM
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3400 Articles

WOT-Tech
3400 enginge is a 60 degree V6 and a 3800 engine is a 90 degree V6 http://wot-tech.com/shop/gm-60v6/articles/cat_62.html



3400 Vendors
WOT-Tech GM 60V6 - WOT-Tech
W Body Store 3800 Parts | 3800 Performance Parts | 3800 Series 2 Performance Parts - W Body Store
Milzy Motorsports http://www.milzymotorsports.com/00-05-monte-carlo-impala/
MPD1 Motor Sports http://www.mpd1.com/content/montecarlo.html
Andys Autsport http://www.andysautosport.com/
DR Custom http://www.drcustomparts.com/HomePage.htm
BRM Suspension http://www.bmrsuspension.com/


-3400 Downpipes

Summit Racing
MagnaFlow Direct Fit CAT http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mpe-23433

Milzy Motorsports
Economy Downpipe w/ High-Flow (T409 Stainless) http://www.milzymotorsports.com/mms-economy-stainless-downpipe-for-3100-and-3400-powered-97-03gp-00-05mc-imp/
Downpipe w/ High-Flow (304 Stainless) http://www.milzymotorsports.com/mms-stainless-downpipe-for-3100-and-3400-powered-97-03gp-00-05mc-imp/


3400 Headers

WOT-Tech
Pacesetter Headers GM 60V6 - Pacesetter 99-05 Grand Am Headers - WOT-Tech



3400 CAT-Back Exhaust Systems

SLP
Dual CAT-Back Exhaust System http://www.slponline.com/category/GrandPrix-Regal-MonteCarlo-Impala-Exhaust.html

Borla
Dual CAT-Back Exhaust System http://www.summitracing.com/parts/bor-14903/overview/year/2004/make/chevrolet/model/monte-carlo

MagnaFlow
Dual CAT-Back Exhaust System http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mp...el/monte-carlo
Dual CAT-Back Exhaust System http://www.andysautosport.com/chevro...l00001359.html

Corsa Performance
Dual CAT-Back Exhaust System Corsa Performance Cat-Back Exhaust System for 00-05 Monte Carlo: 3800 Performance
Dual CAT-Back Exhaust System http://www.andysautosport.com/chevro...systems/corsa/
 
  #8  
Old 07-20-2014, 10:11 AM
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The Supercharged 3800 series II cars or L67... That have the upgraded ign coils, what is the GM part number for the upgraded ign coil? GMPartsDirect shows p/n 10477602 and RockAuto shows 10477602 as an ACDELCO coil p/n D576. Can anyone verify this?
 

Last edited by KCFITZ78; 07-20-2014 at 10:19 AM.
  #9  
Old 12-28-2015, 05:51 PM
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Here is an add on to the cooling i found not too long ago:

3100/3400 Modified Heater Tube - Milzy Motorsports
 
  #10  
Old 12-28-2015, 05:55 PM
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