: '89 FWB 4.3 V6 swappable?



caddeville89
07-04-11, 09:18 PM
Hello all! Long time no see. Been too busy lately working, and haven't had a chance to snoop around here.

I recently purchased a 2000 GMC safari. It has a very peppy 4.3L V6 backed by a 4L60 trans. It seems a solid drivetrain.

My question is: Has anybody attempted to swap this drivetrain into their old Brougham? Now before you all start yelling, I realize the computer would have to be swapped, and all the electronics emissions stuff would also have to be swapped over.

I believe I asked this before, and was told that the Caddy would be too heavy for this drivetrain. However, a simple google search reveals that the curb weight of the two vehicles is comparable; within 100lbs from my research.

The net gain would be a smaller, more refined drivetrain, especially regarding emissions and fuel economy, compared to the bulletproof, yet power-less 307 (or worse). Any thoughts? Of course my first choice would be an LT1 or somthing, rather than a V6, to give more power, though a V6 may be a more cost-effective solution.

MoistCabbage
07-04-11, 09:25 PM
It might be possible with a stand alone engine management system, but to make the PCM and ALL of it,s related components from the safari, and try to make it work in your Brougham, would likely be insanely difficult. A carburated engine would probably be the most cost effective way to go about it.

caddeville89
07-04-11, 09:28 PM
That is an interesting point. Do they make stand-alone engine management systems for those drivetrains?

MoistCabbage
07-04-11, 09:37 PM
Probably, but I'd rather put my money into the engine/trans instead of engine management systems. I guess it all depends on what direction you're trying to go with your project.

jayoldschool
07-04-11, 09:43 PM
Sure, it will swap in. That 4.3 probably has more power than the 307. Don't forget that the Buick V6 was a credit option in the early 80s. Not sure that the fuel economy would actually be that much better, though. The old 4.3 used to have the rep as "all the power of a four cylinder with the fuel economy of a V8!" Yes, I used to to own an 88 Caprice with the TBI 4.3. Not much lighter than the Caddy. Drove fine, wouldn't win any races, but would get going fine on the highway.

sven914
07-04-11, 11:40 PM
Messing with OBD11 is never a good idea and a stand alone manger will probably cost as much as the Safari.

The Vortex makes between 180-200 horsepower and about 250 lb-ft of torque, and gets 16mpg. Your Olds 307 makes 140 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque and should get 18mpg. For the money you'd waste on making the 4300 fit and function, you can (a) buy a VIN 9 Old 307 that makes 180 hp (b) build your 307 to surpass VIN 9 specs or (c) get an Olds 350 that would make about 200hp.

The van probably feels peppier because the gearing in the final drive is a little better than your Cadillac. The, computer controlled throttle response, aerodynamics, and lighter construction also play a role in making the van seem more powerful than it really is.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-04-11, 11:51 PM
Interesting idea though. I put about 130,000 miles on a '00 Astro AWD for work and even with 2000 lbs of cargo in the back, it was torquey enough to move along OK if you weren't in a hurry. If you were in a hurry, it was slow as molasses though, I timed 0-60 a few times and got results in the 14-15 second range. The 4.3 started every day and never gave me a lick of trouble, aside from the typical leaking oil cooler lines. Some of them will have your typical intake manifold gasket issues, but mine didn't.

Now, thinking about the 4.3 into a Brougham.... you go with an OBD I model, and work it like they did with the Typhoon and Syclone and you'd have one sick, one-off Brougham!

cadillac kevin
07-05-11, 12:03 AM
personally I'd leave the van alone. they're awesome (I've owned 2 safaris) and I wouldnt waste one for an engine/ trans donor (unless it got totaled).
16mpg is the city mileage, not combined.
the late 90's 4.3 gets 18-20 mpg combined (in a safari van).
I dont think the OBD II would be that much of a headache. as long as all the components are present, the drivetrain shouldnt know what vehicle it is it (but having to reinstall all the harnesses would be a PITA). the 4.3 gives good power. mine will do 0-60 in 9 seconds flat or less (depending on uphill/downhill/ flat ground) and IIRC it is gearing limited to 120mph (it gets there in a hurry too). will it win a race or 2? yes (mine could keep pace with a V8 charger) but an all out race machine it is not.
I would think in a caddy your mileage would slightly improve as would acceleration. those vans are like a giant wall with a parachute (sticking out bumper) in the back. the cadillac is lower to the ground and would have less resistance (in theory at least).


IMO your money is much better spent on a carbed chevy 350 and a 700r4. those vans are a major PITA to get the drivetrain out of (I've had it done twice).

csbuckn
07-05-11, 02:11 AM
I've always thought a V6 in a Brougham would be nice. I was thinking the 3800.

brougham
07-05-11, 02:39 AM
That would feel about as underpowered as the 307 already does.

sven914
07-05-11, 02:49 AM
Get a Buick 4100... At least that formed, naturally, in a Cadillac.

Aron9000
07-06-11, 05:54 PM
If you're going to go fuel injected, go big or go home IMO. A 5.3 V8 from a 99-2006 Chevy truck or SUV will give you 285hp, 335lb-ft torque, and the same gas mileage as that 4.3 v6. Plus they can be found for under $1000 fully dressed with trans with low miles since they made so many of them. It'll be the same level of difficulty to get either one running in your Cadillac. A custom wiring harness is the best solution, contact the guys at Speartech(www.speartech.com). They can make a custom wiring harness for just about any application, it makes it an ALMOST plug and play operation, and every wire is clearly labeled on the new harness.

As for an easy engine swap project with minimal/no wiring, a built carbed Olds 350 is great. A 350 carbed Chevy will require some custom motor mounts and a little fab work, but once again there will be minimal wiring.

brougham
07-06-11, 06:58 PM
You can't find them that cheap anywhere around here especially with the transmission. Id just go 350. Far more aftermarket support for them and you can grab a Fleetwood or Caprice or Roadmaster to get all the parts from.

N0DIH
07-07-11, 04:09 PM
I have seen 5.3's on car-part.com with low miles (under 75k) for as low as $300. I would look that route for sure. But if you have the V6 complete, that is probably cheapest.




If you're going to go fuel injected, go big or go home IMO. A 5.3 V8 from a 99-2006 Chevy truck or SUV will give you 285hp, 335lb-ft torque, and the same gas mileage as that 4.3 v6. Plus they can be found for under $1000 fully dressed with trans with low miles since they made so many of them. It'll be the same level of difficulty to get either one running in your Cadillac. A custom wiring harness is the best solution, contact the guys at Speartech(www.speartech.com (http://www.speartech.com)). They can make a custom wiring harness for just about any application, it makes it an ALMOST plug and play operation, and every wire is clearly labeled on the new harness.

As for an easy engine swap project with minimal/no wiring, a built carbed Olds 350 is great. A 350 carbed Chevy will require some custom motor mounts and a little fab work, but once again there will be minimal wiring.

cadillac kevin
07-07-11, 08:53 PM
pulling the engine and trans from a safari is a PITA. you have to cut the core support and remove the intake (IIRC). besides, safaris with no drivetrain arent really sought after (I know because I have one). It would be better to sell the van with drivetrain intact (they start at $3k around here and go from there depending on options) use that money to buy a wrecked low mileage car or truck with the drivetrain you want, pull them, and reinstall them. $3k will get you a long ways towards a V8 engine swap. its just not worth the hassle to ruin a perfectly good van just to get "adequate" power when you can get at least 50 more hp and 100 more ft/lbs for the same price (and better fuel economy)