3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I am currently working on a 1997 Catera that is stock. Being unhappy with its peformance, I started looking for ...
  1. #1
    sccatera97 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    I am currently working on a 1997 Catera that is stock. Being unhappy with its peformance, I started looking for a good, reliable and inexpensive replacement engine. Yes, I would like an LS 1 but it is beyond my budget.

    I bought a 1998 3800 Supercharged V6 from a Buick Regal on eBay for $500. I then realized I needed a front sump oilpan. A Holden Commodore, VT series, has a 3800 as the standard engine. A bought an oilpan of eBay for $70 including shipping. See the photos comparing it to a stock 3.0 Catera oilpan.

    http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/g...e/100_0743.jpg

    http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/g...e/100_0740.jpg

    See the oilpan installed on the engine:
    http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/g...e/100_0738.jpg

    In this configuration, you must use the rear most set of motor mounting holes which places it were the stock 3.0 sits.

    http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/g...e/100_0739.jpg

    The A/C compressor is in the same location as the stock 3.0, so minimal adapting.

    The wiring is Holden VT as well as the ECU.

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  3. #2
    PEETYZ's Avatar
    PEETYZ is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    Very nice project keep us in the loop on all progress and pics as well as ALL supplys and modifications needed as many people would love to do this project after you keep up the good work best of luck

  4. #3
    Po Pimp is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    Where did you get the computer?
    How much did it cost?

    The L67s are a dime a dozen around here, same with the L26s and L36s.

    To bad the mounts are different from the earlier versions. It would be nice to get a 3.8L or 4.1L and do it like a Buick GNX.

  5. #4
    cateraowner is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    sweet looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    how about tranny? I'm assuming you're gona change that up

  6. #5
    sccatera97 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    I got the computer off eBay. The ECU (ECM in the US) cost me $50 with shipping. I bought the Engine harness for $70 with shipping.

    The Holden Commodore VT series has a 4L60e, so the best donoer will be a V6 Camaro / Firebird. The computer system is like the pre OBDII GM, so it still has a chip (Memcal -in Australia) and there are many modifies chips available.

    The other thing is the VT has the Sport/ Economy mode, the electrical valving in the power steering and TC/ABS are very similar.

    I will have to move the battery to the opposite side and put the airbox on the driver's side.

    The radiator will have to have the tanks on the opposite side - upper / passenger side - lower driver's side- which is how the Holden is anyway.

    One horsepower maker will be the real dual exhaust the Catera has, the Holden doesn't and no other production L67 either.

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    PEETYZ's Avatar
    PEETYZ is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    so far you have $50 dollar computer $70 wring harness $500 for motor and $70 for oil pan and your looking for a transmission from v6 camaro
    so your at about $700 with out tranny right? thats not to bad

  8. #7
    eastsidercaddy's Avatar
    eastsidercaddy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    wow...that's great resourcing...i looked up the engine and couldn't find any numbers on it. I suppose it has 210HP minimum, and supercharger should add atleast 20-50HP, right? One more thing..is it a 3800I, II, or III? Good luck with it!

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    Po Pimp is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    EastsiderCaddy

    Generation II (engine code L-67)
    255 bHP @ 4600 rpms
    280 ft-lbs @ 2500 rpms
    1/4 mile ETA @ 14.7s
    0-60 MPH in 6.6s

    The specs above are from the car it came out of. It will differ after it has been installed. With some of the chip options it has or you could even probably buy a programer to do it yourself, you tweak it for more. As SC said the exhaust that is on the Catera is superior then what it would have gotten stock, so potentially more power there. You can change some of the internals as well and get more power from the engine. Also you could run more boost. The engine has quite a bit of potential. The transmission can handle around 350 ft-lbs of torque.

    On the transmission subject anyone who may be thinking about the conversion should look into the transmission they are getting. There have well know valve body problems. It would probably be advisable to deal with this before it gets in the car. Many fix kits out on the market for the trannies problems. Not a huge deal or anything with the tranny but something that should probably be mentioned.

  10. #9
    Po Pimp is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    Not sure what happened here?

  11. #10
    sccatera97 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    It is a series II. It was rated at 240 HP and 280 pounds of torque. Add a smaller supercharger pulley and it adds about 25-30 HP, factory duals on the Catera, fabbed headers and a Cold air intake should put in the 300 HP range. 300 HP with a 3.91 geared rear may = Mid 13's in the 1/4. Minimal mods on a GTP Grand Prixs are in the high 12's.

    Another reason for the 3800 Sc is durability. My in-laws have a 1998 Regal GS that has 190,000 miles that has had only tune ups and a waterpump.

    The whole idea of building the Catera this way is if it was a factory built car. I have the emission decals and have the supercharged emblem of a Regal to go on the trunk opposite of the Catera emblem.

    Another mod that is real cost effective is running 235/55 - 16 tires. They fill the fender well better, only affect the speedo by about 2.5 MPH at 65 and there is alot more less expensive tires to chose from.

  12. #11
    sccatera97 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    Your right on the trans. I have heard of putting a Corvette Servo in and it is suppose to improve the shift quality. Best of all, I have seen them for about $35.

  13. #12
    Warez is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    Did the Holden have an PCM that operator both the engine and transmission. Or did it have a separate ECM and TCM?

    Also did you consider going with a manual trans? The Camaro V6 was avaiable with a 5-speed. You would just have to buy the pedals, slave cylinder and a few other parts from Europe. I already have bought these parts for my LS3 + T56 conversion.

  14. #13
    eastsidercaddy's Avatar
    eastsidercaddy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    sounds like you got this thing down...all you need is the parts. I'm also lovin' the potential 300HP!

  15. #14
    sccatera97 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    The ECU controls the engine and transmission. You can get modified chips from Australia to modify the boost, ect.

    I have considered the manual, but in the intrest of money, I decided to go with the auto. You can buy a 4L60E for a V6 relatively cheap.

    I have the Holden shop manual and have started tracking wires that need to stay what needs to go from the Catera harness.

    I also made the passenger side proto type engine mount to retain the stock Cadillac engine mounts. I will post a photo soon.

  16. #15
    Boris is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3800 Supercharged V6 in a Catera

    Years ago I bought an '88 VN Commodore with the 3.8 and thought it was a bit of a dog. The Nissan I6 in the VL was a much better combo especially with the turbo but both of those motors blow the 3.0 in the Catera out of the water. The Nissan had more power and liked to rev, the Buick engine was decent.
    Now add a blower and it could get fun.

    Keep us posted on your project, I think you picked the right combo.


    Instead of rebuilding my Cat motor I should have thrown a 3.8 in there.

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