Upgrades for 3.5l V6

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Thread: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

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    2.5L Iron Duke
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    Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    I just bought an 06 Monte Carlo with the 3.5l V6, but can't find ANYTHING for it. Has no one really made nay upgrades for the engine at all?

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 hrcslam's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    I know that your throttle body is heated with colant. If you find the two 3/8" hoses (they look like fuel lines) you can just disconnect them from your throttle body and put them together with a doubler from your local parts store. With the 3.5l it should be worth a couple horsepower. But, depending on where you live (like ridiculously cold climates where your throttle body could freeze with out the colant heating it up) you may not want to do it. I think a few horsepower for less than two bucks is worth it.

    By the way, welcome to GMI.


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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    I live in New Hampshire so yea :/ But why are there no parts for this engine? I thought this was a really really good engine.

    Edit- I just remembered I can do an engine swap, which would prob yield better cost to price performance (including more option sin the future) right? Like, if I did manage to find a supercharger kit which would still costs $4 grand probably, I could instead just replace my engine for a similar amount? Or is it super expensive? I only paid $12 grand for my car,it's still young with 45k miles on it and pretty new condition.
    Last edited by NewMonte; 04-21-2009 at 11:01 AM.

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 hrcslam's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    If your considering an engine swap you could always buy a 3800 supercharged from ebay. It shouldn't cost much and they are common engines. I'm not sure, but it should bolt right up to your tranny. Do you have the auto or manual? Considering it is a W-Body car (full sized) it should have a decent tranny (4T60E I think). I'll do some research and let you know what I find.


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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 hrcslam's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    Screw the 3.8L Super Charged. I did some research and the Tranny you have installed is the 4T65E. It is the same on they use for the Monte Carlo SS version (I think the bolt pattern is the same for all three engines, 3.5L, 3.9L, and 5.3L). Here's a link for a 5.3L (300hp!) from a Monte Carlo SS on Ebay that should bolt right in if you get the ECU and the correct motor mounts (of course you may need other things like new front springs and a bigger fuel pump along with some wider front tires and new exhaust). But, if your willing to spend the time and money you should get away with a good deal of about $3-4K (doing most of the work yourself) and have a Monte Carlo SS replica. On top of that, there are a rediculous amount of performance products available for the 5.3L Vortec too.

    If that is too much work or money then you could look back into the 3.8L Supercharged or even a 3.9L. But the 3.9L will be just as hard as the 3.5L to find performance parts for as aposed to the 3.8L.

    Or you could boost your 3.5L (you'd need bigger injectors, definately a custom tune, and maybe a bigger fuel pump), but STS sells turbo systems that are remote mounted and self lubricating so they are truely universal Turbos that are just as good as a custom Turbo install. Here's the link to the STS Turbo web site. The kits start at $1800 without installation. Fuel pumps are universal, this would take some fabrication. And I have no idea on where to get the larger injectors from, but they wont be cheap.

    Anywho, those are my ideas. What do you think?


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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    Mm I like. I think the 5.3L is the best option, my car would need a total rework to handle a vette engine or something, and upgrading to the biggest engine for same model vehicle is best bet. I can do absolutely no fabrication, however. I also have no experience with cars mechanically above basic stuff, although I'm very mechanically inclined. Was going to go to college for the GM certification course but as I thought of it GM went downhill, so I went into computers instead.

    I don't really know how hard it is to throw in a new engine, but since it's same model most of it should hook right up right? Aside form the engine mount. I heard you need to weld a new one on and cut the old one off? And yea tranny is same as SS, which is good. The only other issue is I don't have an engine lift, how much are they? And can I just buy a few $20 hydraulic pumps from a car parts center to lift my car with?

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 hrcslam's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    You can find a cherry picker on craigslist for really cheap. Also, what do you mean with the hydraulic pumps? You should just need the front springs from an Impala/Monte Carlo SS model or a Gran Prix GXP Model (2007 or newer, the 06 and older used the supercharged 3.8L). The engine mounts would probably need to be welded. Do you have access to an Auto Hobby Shop? I know some areas have them. An Auto hobby shop would have everything you need to do the swap. I would also check into what you would need to do as far as using any 5.3L. The 5.3L out of the GMT800/900 trucks/SUV's are a lot cheaper than the ones from the W-Body cars. I think the intake is different and some of the GMT platform 5.3L have clutch fans install (that would have to go, no clearance for that under the hood). But you could just upgrade your electric cooling fans to a bigger size (GM might have used the same cooling fans/radiator for the 5.3L as the 3.5L, will have to check on that too.)


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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    Hydraulic pump = floor jack. I live in the country, there are no shops around that do any performance work, just grumpy old men who only fix cars. Same with part stores, gonna have to go online for everything. I think it would be a better investment to just buy a new car when I get a good job. By the time this is done I could have traded in my car, gotten a huge down payment ready and get a fast or equally good car new-ish. Thanks for the replies, though. I really can't do anything that involves any physical modding, including engine mounts. It needs to just drop in or it can't work. Besides, I just remembered it's a FWD car, making all this power useless :P Unless I want to keep replacing front end parts when 400 HP rails on them all day.

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 hrcslam's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    Yeah thats one of the issues with the W-Body 5.3L cars, rediculous torque steer. Good luck in finding your new car when your ready to buy. Hopefully it will be another GM.

    Ohh yeah, that STS Turbo system is pretty much a bolt in. And the company has install shops everywhere throughout the U.S that could do it for you. And it would probably cost you less than the V-8 swap. Just a thought.
    Last edited by hrcslam; 04-22-2009 at 03:09 PM.


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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    I might consider it, this engine is real nice, I'm impressed. Just the car is kinda...ridiculously heavy. And I was expecting a bit more HP than just 211 from this engine. And yea what I really want is a Corvette or Camaro. However I lie in New Hampshire, USA. It's muddy, wintery half the year and I live in pot hole county, so yea. Foreign cars and trucks are the big thing because of their handling in our climate.
    Last edited by NewMonte; 04-22-2009 at 11:23 PM.

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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    The STS system looks pretty good and price wise I could do it eventually. My only concern is...they look small. It seems I would need a twin turbo setup, are they just smaller because they are rear mounted? Or is that how big all of them are? Also, the only fabrication I'd need done would be pipes to route the exhaust thru the turbo and the turbo back to engine intake right since it's rear mounted? I would think the traveling time from all that would sap power and make the wind up time huge...

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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    The STS system bases turbo size on the engine it will be applied to. Turbo lag should be about the same as a normal turbo setup because the air is under pressure.


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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    The STS system bases turbo size on the engine it will be applied to. Turbo lag should be about the same as a normal turbo setup because the air is under pressure.
    Don't get me wrong, I love 5.3s, but they just don't shine in FWD applications...especially when your modding.

    For all the money he would spend doing an STS 5.3L, he could build a 3.8L that would smack it around.

    Thats if hes looking for the fastest application possible....


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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    I don't even know if I would upgrade this car or save up and get something better. I just want something fast and this happened to be my first car newer than 1996, so I figured I would upgrade it. Personally, I like the small light fast cars. But this is what I own, I can't afford a Porsche or ferrari =)

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 hrcslam's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrades for 3.5l V6

    Quote Originally Posted by Corr69 View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I love 5.3s, but they just don't shine in FWD applications...especially when your modding.

    For all the money he would spend doing an STS 5.3L, he could build a 3.8L that would smack it around.

    Thats if hes looking for the fastest application possible....
    Im talking either the 5.3L or putting the STS sytem on the 3.5L. The 3.8L Supercharged was brought up to, but that has less power and will cost the same as the 5.3L swap. The cheapest route would be the STS System with a self install.

    EDIT: I take that back. The entire swap for a 3.8L Supercharged (including transmission if needed; which I doubt) would cost about $1500 for most of the parts (Engine, Tranny and ECU). Install should be mostly bolt on; I doubt any fabrication would be needed. So craigslist should get you a Engine hoist and stand for less that $250. This is much cheaper than the STS System as this runs $1800 for just the basic parts with no tune or fabrications that may be necessarry.

    However, the 3.5L stock has 211hp while the 3.8L Supercharged has 260hp. So you're looking at a 49hp increase for about $1500 or $30/hp. While a STS System will give you a 50-55% increase in power for about a grand more. So for the STS System it would cost about $26/hp and you'd walk away with 316 hp. Even if it costs $3800 for the entire get up from STS it would cost about $36/hp.

    Now the 5.3L you could do the swap for about $1800 (we already know it doesn't need the tranny). So it would be a 92hp increase for about a $19/hp cost. This sounds like the best bet.

    If I took the transmission out of the equation for the 3.8L (assuming the tranny would work; which I think it would) your looking at about $1000 for the swap or about $20/hp.

    So this is what I came up with from the stuff I found on Ebay Motors. For an extra $500 in well place mods (like a pulley and a good tune) you could get close to the 300hp mark, maybe even more than the 5.3L. So my bet would be for the 3.8L Supercharged because of it's low overall initial cost plus the ability to modify for relatively cheap down the road.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by hrcslam; 04-27-2009 at 11:46 AM.


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