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Old 09-24-2001, 03:53 PM
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Unhappy Chevy 229 (3.8l) v6 Buildup Help!!!

Hi,
My son and I have a 1980 Chevy 229 motor we would like to buildup. Does anyone have info on intakes, cams, heads, headers and such that would fit this motor? Are 4.3 parts interchangeable? Are there any books or other spots with info? Any help would be greatly appreciated. timbwolf_1@msn.com
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Old 09-24-2001, 11:05 PM
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I can share with you what I know . I had an 85 GMC safari , the 4.3 died , I learned a 4.3 is a 350 minus 2 cyl and a 229 is a 3.05 minus 2 cyl . I put a double roller timing chain back in my 4.3 for a 350 and I used 6 of a set of 8 350 pistons I had here on the shelf . The 85 engine I had was computer q jet with a tall ram style intake . I later got a spair intake off another van and put it on a 229 but it was an 85 intake , newer engines , 87 up are slightly different so stick to what we know works . I put a qjet off a 305 on the 229 with an isky cam and roller tip rockers , I used a 350 roller timing chain and I put a new pickup in the distributor and set an accel super coil on top with an open air element breather , we put this little monster in a vega and it ran like a raped ape . I was amazed at the power it made for a 6 cyl engine , it felt like a mildly cammed 305 . I know if you find an 85 4.3 with a q jet intake you will be way ahead of the game for making power as my GMC would smoke the tires with the engine I built , Im half asleep at the moment , email me directly and I will get you some info on where to get parts for hopping up that 6 , thanks Mark stinmar1@earthlink.net
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Old 11-22-2001, 12:26 PM
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When purchasing parts, not any 4.3 parts will work. Make sure that you have the right parts for the right v-6, Chevy made a even fire model and an odd fire 4.3 v-6 design. The even fire model has an offset journal crank. Easy way to tell which engine you have is to look at the distributor cap. If the cap plug wire electrodes are not evenly spaced you have a odd fire, evenly spaced wire electrodes on tha cap mean a even fire model. GOOD LUCK. I think most 229's were odd fire.
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Old 11-16-2003, 07:45 AM
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i am building a 229 myself .
i plan to put an edelbrock intake and 500cfm
carb on it. advance auto can get them for you
and auto zone has the best price on the 4b carb
i found some flat top pistons at the local
speed shop. probably run a stock cam.
maybe this helps a little . i would
like any infor. you find . good luck
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:00 PM
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For the difference in price you would like a 4.3 much better, it is a far better engine from the start and cores are usually available for less than $50.00, tons of them out there and the early ones (before 92) won't get the enthusiast builder in trouble when swaping parts. Get one complete balancer and purchase a new flexplate. There are two versions of the "Z" motor (4.3) the "T" (Tonawanda) and the "R"(Romulus).
These motors respond to all small block modifications and use many 350 Chevy parts.
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Old 11-17-2003, 05:52 PM
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hate to say this

a buick 231 v6 is what im building in my '82 elcamino
and i have found that alot more parts are avaible for this engine than the 229
(a 231 is a v6 version of the buick 350 [front mounted distributor and oil pump])
i dont like the oiling system on the 231 (also a 3.8l) but there are blowers, (carb and fuel injected) and a number of other parts availible. ive read of these engines getting to 400+ HP

its up to you, but my personal opinion is that a 231 would be easier to find parts for.
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Old 11-17-2003, 07:38 PM
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If youre set on building a 229 check out this book by Pat Ganahl

v-6 performance book


or this book

Chevrolet Power


The first one was written about the time 229 was around so theres lots of good stuff you could use. Second one probably wont even mention a 229 because its all GM parts and racing engine oriented.
The 4.3 has better heads, roller cam, more displacement and will bolt right in, few minor differences.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:23 AM
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I just finished a rebuild on a gm 229. It was a mercruiser 3.8. The pistons, rings, main bearings were all for a 305 v8 of the same gen, with the two piece main seal. The price was actually less to buy for a v8 rather than a v6. and you have extra parts in case you mess up. I use clevite bearings, however you need to get the 229 rod bearings, they are supposed to be the same as a 305, however they were to wide. For a cam the best you can get is a marine cam. has little bigger lift but uses same valve train components and is super strong made for high revs all the time. same with the crankshaft. This is an odd firing engine, so you have to use the right dist. if this is what you are going to do high volume oil pump is a must. besides seals some gaskets and the rod bearings its all 305. intakes water pumps, and oil pan can use 4.3 parts. but the dist. is very important, get the right one. mine has 150 hours on it, not miles because its in a boat but runs great and has giving me NO problems.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timberwolf
Hi,
My son and I have a 1980 Chevy 229 motor we would like to buildup. Does anyone have info on intakes, cams, heads, headers and such that would fit this motor? Are 4.3 parts interchangeable? Are there any books or other spots with info? Any help would be greatly appreciated. timbwolf_1@msn.com
Have you been here?

Full Throttle V6
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timberwolf
Does anyone have info on intakes
The 229 came w/the Duojet carb (primary side of a Q-jet) on an aluminum SINGLE PLANE 2-bbl. intake and was never offered from the factory w/a 4-bbl. or EFI. So using a factory cast iron (I never understood WTH this intake wasn't made of Al) Q-jet intake is an option- but the runners are cut down between them, creating a shared runner effect. The 4.3L heads are also cut down in the same manner as the intake, the 229 is the same as a traditional SBC in this regard.

There are intakes available from Edelbrock P/N 2111 (about $200 from Summit) and Holley (discontinued) P/N 701R-34; 300-34 (expensive if you DO find one)

Quote:
cams
Cam from Competition Products, OEM-type is $14.00! Cams differ between the 4.3L and the 200/229 so do not interchange them!

GMPP has P/N 6269733:
"This hydraulic flat tappet is a marine cam for 229 ci V6 with 108-132 degree semi-even fire crankshaft. It's a good street performance cam. The duration at lash point in degrees (intake/exhaust) is 294/306; duration at .050" tappet lift (intake/exhaust) is 202/210; and maximum lift with 1.5:1 rocker ratio (intake/exhaust) is 410/410. Lobe centerline is 113 degrees."

Quote:
heads
Heads could be either 1.84" intakes or 1.72" intakes. You know which you want, right?

4.3L heads will fit. If you can mill them down far enough to get a decent CR, they have 1.94" intakes. But I wouldn't even consider this unless they were the 'real' Vortec heads 1996-up. This would also mean a $pecific intake manifold to fit those heads.

Quote:
headers
There were several years that OEM tubular headers were used on the 4.3L, 1986 was one. These headers are shorty-style, and will flow better than cast iron manifolds, but not as well as full length headers that cost a whole lot more. They fit the 229 just fine.

FYI- The 1980 229 was rated at 115 HP @ 4000 RPM and 175 ft/lb TQ @ 2000 RPM. Really dismal.

The 4.3L engine is hands down a better choice.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:12 AM
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This thread is 9 years old.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DoubleVision
This thread is 9 years old.
And I was going to ask him if he wanted a nice set of black wrinkle finned aluminum Ansen valve covers. Oh well, still good info for somebody doing a search.......
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Hippie
And I was going to ask him if he wanted a nice set of black wrinkle finned aluminum Ansen valve covers.
W/perimeter holes?

Quote:
Oh well, still good info for somebody doing a search.......
At least there's that! lol
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cobalt327
W/perimeter holes?
Yep. Guy sold 'em to me as "used", they look brand spankin' new to me. If they were ever on an engine it was just for a few seconds to see how they looked and then back in the box. I was going to try and run an adapter to use 'em on the 4.3 or use 229 heads but decided against it. I'll probably throw 'em back on eBay.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:00 PM
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This thread is great for me. I have a 3.8 (229) in my Cobia Boat. I am in the process of a full rebuild and makeover. I came across a deal awhile back on Kijiji for a BRAND NEW in the box Holley carb 9694 Holley intake 300-34 as well as BRAND NEW valve springs Gm #3927142 and Gm cam 14011097.
I installed the intake and carb last year and it sure woke things up nicely.

Now I am freshening the motor before I slip it back in and was looking for specs on this camshaft to compare to the stock marine cam.
If anyone can shed some light on this cam I would certainly appreciate it.
I have the original bills of sale from 1984 as well. Just to give you a throw back in time have a look.

5/29/84 Jenkins Machine and Parts Inc Daytona Beach Florida inv 3376
1 9694 Holley carb 219.00
1 300-34 Holley intake 179.00
tax 19.90
total 417.90 paid in cash Salesman Tex

5/7/84
Ingersoll Auto Electric inv 0188
1 14011097 GM camshaft 170.00 list 136.00 trade
12 3927142 GM valve springs 6.15 list 4.30 trade
tax 13.13
total 200.73 paid in cash

I paid $50 cash and the gentlemen was happy someone was going to use the stuff.

Thanks in advance
GiMLit
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