Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

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Thread: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

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    Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    Has anyone got any ideas as to which Chevrolet 60-degree V6 engine I might want to get based on how reliable it is?

    I have seen stories about the 2.8L V6 being plagued with problems, while the 3.1L fixed most of them. The 3.4L V6 however was designed from the Gen I block used for the 2.8L rather than the Gen II block of the 3.1L.

    ~Ben

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    IMO they are all pretty decent engines in most applications.
    My uncle had a 2.8 s-10 from new and was troublefree till traded with 125k miles.
    I have a 94 Buick 3.1 rat with 196k miles that runs like a watch.
    The kid had a Monte Carlo 3.4 with 120k miles and no issues (till he wrecked it).

    There are a lot of posts about the factory intake manifold gaskets failing.
    Not many posts about bottom end issues..............
    Careful pre-buy inspection helps a lot!

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    What do you want to do with it. For RWD application some variations work better than others. Really no reason to use anything but a 3.4/3.5 in a FWD car application, I haven't heard much good about the 3.9. Not much more power and thirsty compared to the others. Factory intake gaskets prior to 2006 are suspect, but likely already replaced by now. Then again intake gaskets in all V type engines don't last forever especially wet manifolds, I'd replace any that weren't brand new before installing a used engine. Not that hard.

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkbill View Post
    What do you want to do with it. For RWD application some variations work better than others. Really no reason to use anything but a 3.4/3.5 in a FWD car application, I haven't heard much good about the 3.9. Not much more power and thirsty compared to the others. Factory intake gaskets prior to 2006 are suspect, but likely already replaced by now. Then again intake gaskets in all V type engines don't last forever especially wet manifolds, I'd replace any that weren't brand new before installing a used engine. Not that hard.
    Specifically, yes I was referring to the RWD version as used in the following:
    Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird (1982-1989)
    Chevrolet S10/Blazer and S15/Jimmy (1982-1989)
    Jeep Cherokee XJ and Comanche (1984-1986)

    ~Ben

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    The only thing I can say is the 2.8 was an inefficient waste of metal. My S-10 was so lethargic, yet drank gas like a sailor.

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    I had a 2.8 in my '89 Firebird. Was a broke HS/college/early career kid in the years I had it and thing was rock solid from a reliability standpoint, considering as a car nut/speed junkie high schooler I flogged those 135 ponies almost daily. Never had intake gasket issues, and would return about 30mpg on highway trips.

    OTOH other than a 2,000lb toy, I can't imagine using it as a swap in any vehicle. 135hp doesn't come close to cutting it these days.
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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    Check out these guys: http://www.mgexp.com/phorum/list.php?40. Lots of discussion about adapting, resources that would work in other vehicles. The 2.8's were dogs, carbed or injected. Minimum is the 3.1, 3.4 would be better.

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkbill View Post
    Check out these guys: http://www.mgexp.com/phorum/list.php?40. Lots of discussion about adapting, resources that would work in other vehicles. The 2.8's were dogs, carbed or injected. Minimum is the 3.1, 3.4 would be better.
    Late in the 1988 model year the S10 would have a 4.3L Vortec (90-degree) V6 engine, while the 2.8L would remain available through the 1989 model year. The S10 and S10 Blazer never had the 3.1L or 3.4L. The transmission bolt pattern is the same between the 2.8L, 3.1L and 4.3L.

    ~Ben
    Last edited by ClassicTVMan1981X; 06-29-2016 at 08:30 PM.

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    IIiRC,, when I tore the 3.4 in my Camaro apart, the 3.4 and 3.1. had the same crank. All should be relatively reliable. Probably going to put a version of that engine in the 74 midget in my garage. Will probably make it carbonated to make the swap simpler.
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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    Can you use a 3100, 3500 or 3900?
    '07 Subaru Forester 2.5X 5MT. Bought new. 197k miles. '05 Dodge Durango Limited Hemi AWD. Mom bought new. 102k miles. '74 Buick LeSabre Luxus convertible. 455-4/7.5L. '89 Buick Reatta. 3800 SII L67/F40 six speed swap to be completed someday. Wife's: '07 Subaru Forester XT. World Rally Blue Mica.

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    What for? I'd never run one in anything other than what it came in. Even then, I've yanked the 2.8L dog out of my 87 S10 Blazer for a Tuned Port out of a Trans Am. It was reliable, yet, but a dog, and not economical. Was glad to get rid of it. 0.3 or 0.6L wouldn't have made any difference in my case.
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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    I have a 1988 Chevy s10 single cab 2wd with the 2.8L v6 auto. I bought this truck back in march with 155k miles and it came from Georgia and has no rust except for natural patina paint. I have had no troubles with the truck being my daily driver to school and back until last week I had some problems with fuel. When I was low with fuel and was taking off pretty fast the truck would almost skip a beat in the motor or try to stall. Then I would fill it up and it would be fine but last week the same thing happened and i put 20 bucks on fuel in it and it still kept stalling trying to speed up. I let the truck sit for a day then started it up fine the next day and it idled well. But when i went to go drive it down the street and back i had the same stalling experience, and it died in my drivway. since then i have put a new fuel filter and fuel relay in my truck. But it still cranks with no start up. What next steps should I take to get it back running? Or should I just skip fixing the motor and go right into my 327 v8 swap in the truck?

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    I would put a fuel pressure gauge on the thing and check pressure
    I had one with a bad fuel pump that would act up when below 1/4 tank and got worse
    if you don't have access to a fuel pressure gauge and fittings and have a scan tool that reads data from OBD I GM's watch your short term trim as the fuel pressure drops the fuel trim will adjust to compensate

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    Re: Chevy 2.8, 3.1 and 3.4 V6s

    Sounds like the fuel pump. I'm not certain if 88 had EFI? The computer pulses the injectors. The computer could be out. A noid light test can confirm if it's the computer. You normally can hear the fuel pump when you turn on the key. Pour a little fuel in the throttle body and it should start and run rough until it burns it out.

    My 92 (4.3 w/manual) needed a fuel pump every 100000 miles, the computer went out at 260000. It's still running.
    Last edited by malt; 10-04-2019 at 10:07 PM.

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