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Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Old 11-08-2010, 02:16 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by Geoff Chadwick View Post
Does anyone else feel the same way? While we're talking 60 degree engines in GM's current lineup...

YES! I do. I drive an M6 3.6 every day. It doesn't feel any different at 4500 RPM than it does at 6900. In other words, why even bother revving it out, there is no satisfaction to be gained.

I had a chance to drive a 3.0L for afew days, and man, what a completely different personality. It just wants to zing to redline, and it likes it too. Really a much livelier and satisfying motor.

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Old 11-08-2010, 03:32 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

So you guys honestly think GM powertrain engineers would say the same thing about the 3.6 vs the 3800 or is this just some nostalgia kicking in? You think that GM went to the effort and expense to develop and build this new engine strictly so that the automotive press and import gear heads would get off their case about using OHV? The 3.6 makes significantly more power and offers better fuel economy and lower NVH. About the only thing I can see people here legitimately missing is the more satisfying torque profile off the line.

Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
YES! I do. I drive an M6 3.6 every day. It doesn't feel any different at 4500 RPM than it does at 6900. In other words, why even bother revving it out, there is no satisfaction to be gained.

I had a chance to drive a 3.0L for afew days, and man, what a completely different personality. It just wants to zing to redline, and it likes it to. Really a much livelier and satisfying motor.
My 4.3L V6 Silverado felt the same way except it was really pointless to rev it anything over 2500 rpm. From there on the improvement in acceleration was marginal.

I'm surprised the 3.0 feels that much different. I was under the impression that they were nearly identical motors, just different displacements.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:35 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by Threxx View Post
About the only thing I can see people here legitimately missing is the more satisfying torque profile off the line.
Yep, and that's 95% of the engine's part in the fun-to-drive factor.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:50 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

The 3.6L makes more torque, except for the first few hundred rpm. By around 1000 rpm or so, they are about even, and after that it is all 3.6L.

Here's the DI 3.0L and the non-DI 3.6L (in reference to the change in base engine for the CTS)

http://img72.imageshack.us/f/ctsbaseengine.png/
[/URL]


Here's the N/A 3800 V6 (2005):

http://media.photobucket.com/image/G...powercurve.gif

Last edited by 96_Camaro_B4C; 11-08-2010 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:04 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

I :heart: my 3800'.

I would have loved it if GM had built an all aluminum version, there would be one in my Camaro.

For those that knock it for its lack of high rpms, and power, it still had plenty of grunt to embarrass a GT500 and several other cars this past weekend at CMP.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:12 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by mdenz3 View Post
I :heart: my 3800'.

I would have loved it if GM had built an all aluminum version, there would be one in my Camaro.

For those that knock it for its lack of high rpms, and power, it still had plenty of grunt to embarrass a GT500 and several other cars this past weekend at CMP.
You have a 3.8L f-body that embarrassed a GT500? That's a serious driver mismatch.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:25 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by Threxx View Post
I'm surprised the 3.0 feels that much different. I was under the impression that they were nearly identical motors, just different displacements.
I've seen the same claim made for the Nissan VQ. The 3.0 loved to rev and was very smooth, but the 3.5 (and even more the 3.7) is noisier and less refined. Perhaps the larger bore and stroke and heavier crank are harder to keep smooth.

A 60 degree V6 is not an ideal configuration either, though it's better than a 90. The ideal configuration for 6 cylinders would either be flat or inline.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:55 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by mdenz3 View Post
For those that knock it for its lack of high rpms, and power, it still had plenty of grunt to embarrass a GT500 and several other cars this past weekend at CMP.
Explain please
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:56 AM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by Slappy3243 View Post
I had a 3800 for a while when I owned my 2000 V6 Firebird. It was a torquey motor and has some nice kick off of the line. However, it felt like it fell flat on its face around 4500 RPM. It did pretty well as far as gas mileage went, especially back in the day. Too bad it sounded horrible with an exhaust, although I was young at the time and threw on a Borla Cat-back anyway. It sounded decent until about 3000 RPM, then it got raspy and just crappy sounding .
I made that same mistake with the borla Sounded good at startup, but awful up top

In regard to MPG's, I constintly got 22-24MPG CITY with mine, I find the new V6's dont get near that real world number.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:00 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by Chrisz24 View Post
I made that same mistake with the borla Sounded good at startup, but awful up top

In regard to MPG's, I constintly got 22-24MPG CITY with mine, I find the new V6's dont get near that real world number.
In what applications?
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:56 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

I love my 1998 Regal GS. Supercharged 3800 is a great engine for a moderately fun daily vehicle. I average 20.6 mpg currently. I had a 1992 Lumina Z34 that the previous owner put Flomaster mufflers on. It sounded aweful. However, for some reason that car was fun to drive despite its glaring flaws.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:44 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by teal98 View Post
I've seen the same claim made for the Nissan VQ. The 3.0 loved to rev and was very smooth, but the 3.5 (and even more the 3.7) is noisier and less refined. Perhaps the larger bore and stroke and heavier crank are harder to keep smooth.
I also think that with smaller displacements, manufacturers are inclined to optimize the top end of the rev range a bit more to gain back some of the peak horsepower. And it doesn't hurt that a smaller engine can be made smoother while doing it.

I recall being pretty impressed with the revvy nature of some of the last 3100 V6s that GM made. I almost liked that engine better in the Grand Prixs, at least as rental where I didn't mind beating on it. The 3800 might've been torquier and more fun for the first 20 feet, but the 3100 gave you some grins all the way to redline.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:15 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by Indelibility View Post
Explain please
The GT500 was probably parked during the 'race'.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:53 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by 91_z28_4me View Post
The GT500 was probably parked during the 'race'.
Maybe he was in a Grand National.

My wife's 2000 Impala has the 3.8, and while it's a fine engine, it always has an episode once a day where it will stall a few times, then once it's going it will be fine for the rest of the day. Other than that it does the job.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:41 PM
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Re: Modern 3.6 vs the venerable 3800.

Originally Posted by SRFCTY View Post
My wife's 2000 Impala has the 3.8, and while it's a fine engine, it always has an episode once a day where it will stall a few times, then once it's going it will be fine for the rest of the day. Other than that it does the job.
IIRC those engines are prone to carbon build up in their intakes and IAC.
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