Grocery Getter Needs OOMPH!

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Well this would be my first post and ive been looking for some information. I know a litle bit about cars but not a whole lot about modding them. Nothing really... I have a 1990 Pontiac 6000 LE. (Try not to laugh too hard please) Its got a 3.1L MFI Inline 6 in it. I've been trying to figure out for a while now what I can do to make this thing go like stink without dumping a 20lb tank of NOS in it.

Its got aprox 175 HP at a 16 second Quarter weighing aprox 2900 lbs. (Drove out a half click and ran it then used a online calculator)

Now if i wanted to i could go buy a 900 horse power car and run 10 seconds but thats not the point.

This is my goal.

I want to do it my self and add mmmm lets start with 40 horse power for a max of 800$

Where do i start and what do i do to do it. I wanna turn my cute little grandma basher into a Street Drag but i dont know what im doing when it comes to mods and i cant find any straight info on what i need for horse power. If someone would be so kind as to tell me what i can add and what i get for an aprox gain that would be EXCELENT. Specific make and model of parts would be even better.

I'm attempting to become well informed so i can start with my 800$ and work from that. Even if its a 20$ 1 HP gain please list it if you know it. Every last bit counts ^_^ If you need any serious info on my car or cant find the info or what ever let me know.

Thank you guys.

posted by  GotStink!?

Theres literally little to NO mods for that 3.1 engine. With $800 dollars you could buy a used 350 Chevy V8 and drop it in there. Start with that, because your not going to get anywhere with the engine its got now.

posted by  SlipKnoT

Thanks for the reply.

Now you have a good suggestion and i've thought about an engine swap.

Why though is my engine useless.

Why cant i mod it ?

Like i said, i dont know much about modding and i am trying to learn things here.

BTW if i pick the engine, what kinda horse am i looking at aprox.

posted by  GotStink!?

With your current engine (3.1 MFI) There are virtually no mods for it. You could swap in a K&N high flow air filter (5-10 hp gain) hollow out the catalytic converter (10-15 hp gain) and get a camshaft custom ground for it, but thats about it really. Hell, if your really desperate you could even put a little mad bumble bee muffler on it. :laughing:

If you were to swap in a 350 V8 you would have a much better basis for a engine build up. Now, depending on what generation of the V8 you get the horsepower will vary. An older one from the 1960s or 70s will probably be making around 250-280hp. If you were to get one from the 1980s to early 90s (1990, 1991, 1992), it will probably only be putting out 190-210hp. If its from the 1990s on your looking at 290-300hp.

You could probably get one out of a wrecked Camaro Z28 from the junk yard, or check around on ebay. I would suggest looking in junk yards. You can get them for cheap that way. It would be best to get one from a 1993-2002 Camaro.

posted by  SlipKnoT

Can i just cut the cat right out and run straight pipe ?


makes me sick when i hear them. i would rather listen to open exhaust.

My car runs aprox 16s to a quarter. i only really wanna get her down to a 14 14.5

What K&N High flow Air Filter would go good with my car. can you point one out for me ?

Fuel pump help? plugs wires ? even 1-2 hp is good for me. im looking to add it all up. i dont want a 500 HP Pontiac 6000, just looking for 250-275 when im done

posted by  GotStink!?

Ok, well running a straight pipe is illegal. But, it could be done. The problem is that no one can make one for you because its against the law. As for the air filter you can just go down to your local parts store and get one that fits your car. K&N makes universal filters for all cars. You can also get a set of MSD plug wires for it (also universal use) as well as some AC Delco spark plugs.

posted by  SlipKnoT

Well Illegal where you are but not required to have one in B.C.

If i do those mods there i could gain maybe 25 HP ?

I dunno, just looking to mess around with my grocery getter and supe it up a little bit. im not looking for an 800 HP 6000 LE ^_^

posted by  GotStink!?

if you're doing an engine swap, i'd recommend the 3.4 dohc motor... it will pretty much bolt right in

as for other performance mods, google it and find a grand prix or beretta or a cavaier z24 website... they're all the same engine and trans, so even though they don't make stuff for a 6000, you can still do stuff to it.

posted by  dodger65

Better yet, get a supercharged 3.8L V6 Series II from a Pontiac Bonneville SSEi. :thumbs: That engine makes 280 hp stock, and if you put on a smaller supercharger pulley, you would get it up to 300 hp. I think this would be the smarter choice. Its also more reliable than the 3.4L

posted by  SlipKnoT

Excelent information guys. Thank you very much. im gonna start ripping up the scrap yards today.

posted by  GotStink!?

Ok, you do that. My first suggestion would be the 3.8L V6. It doesnt have to be supercharged, you could put on on later for a decent price. It would be best to sind the Series II 3.8.

posted by  SlipKnoT

Wow. Where to start. Pontiac 6000. 135 hp and 180 lb.ft. of torque at the crank bone stock. This car is a 3.1 V6, not a |6. |6 USUALLY means RWD, but the Pontaic doensn't have a |6 and it certainly isn't RWD. 2837 is a very nice and light curb weight for this kind of car. The engine doesn't have any mods available? This is the middle sized engine from the whole GM family of 60 degree V6's. The 2.8, 3.1, and 3.4 are all similar. Type 'GM 60 degree V6' into google and tell me nothing comes up Slipknot (Do some homework :mrgreen: ). The 350? NOT going to happen in a car like this. With the exception of the brand new GXP Grand Prix, no pushrod V8 has been done in a FWD production car before, therefore making the swap rediculously expensive or downright impossible. If the car was RWD, I would HIGHLY reccomend the 350 SBC because the engine is amazing, but here, it is just out of the question. So if you keep your 3.1, one of my reccomendations would be to think about a 3.1 block with a 3.4 head. The 3.4 DOHC (from the Z34 Lumina I believe) would be a good engine for higher power if you can find it but the maintenence might be more than the pushrod motor (I think GM did better pushrod motors than they did DOHC 10 years ago and still today). 3.8 Series II or III would be even better. I know that the 3.4 and 3.8 pushrods have the ability to be supercharged and if I were in your situation I would try to find one of those with low miles. I believe the newer pushrod 3.4's have ~175/200 and the 3.8's have ~200/220 for hp and torque, and super charging them mildly (6-7 psi) with an Eaton roots type GM GTP supercharger would net about 40 hp. The 3.4 would probably be an easier fit than the 3.8 but I am sure both are very doable. Good luck and I hope your tranny holds up. :thumbs:

posted by  VG30DE

Transmission PTTTFFFFF

My Father is the owner of C&S Transmissions Specialties....

Im not too worried.

posted by  GotStink!?

Got a 73 Ford 302 for a 100$ in the buy and sell

79 318 Chrysler Engine and trans in paper for 100$

and a 79 425 cadillac for 200 $

Why or Why not ?

Thanks in advance.

(Might be building an entire car and forget the pontiac all together. keep that in mind)

posted by  GotStink!?

This thread is about your Pontiac and now all of a sudden you say you want to buy completely different engines that have nothing to do with your car and include no other info about them. :fu:

posted by  VG30DE

Well after my original research im pretty sure im gonna ditch the pontiac as a suped up grocery getter and just give in and build a 70's something. maybe early 80's

Mostly this is about me building my first engine and car and learning.

So im asking questions. i have no solid idea on what im going to do yet. still looking into things.

302 or 318 ? Opinions ?

posted by  GotStink!?

Ford's 302 and the 350 (Small Block Chevy) should be your main priorities for cheap, easy, and high hp buildups. Do some homework on the history of both and how they evolved. You can take older engines and do Fuel Injection conversions for power and efficiency increase. GL.

posted by  VG30DE


Been looking all day at info on the web.

posted by  GotStink!?

no no no!!!
jerky i had the same car
you have 140 horsepower
and 180 pounds of torque
my username is even made after it
check it out on cardomain its the one called "Project 6001 and Altimate Nissan"
and its more like 17.5-19 in quarer mile weighs a LOT more than 2900 pounds
do some research bro not to look like an ass i dont mean to bag on u

posted by  6000LE

I did the research on carpoint. Look at my post.

posted by  VG30DE

i read it it seems valid
i was talking to the kid who started the post though
but yuor stuff is very good
i wish i knew this when i had my 6000

posted by  6000LE

Just like to note it didnt have near 280hp. It was 240hp and 280tq.
Another thing to note is the tranny is supposedly weak in some series II supercharged GMs and couldnt take much above the 280tq level. That's why 280tq for a 3.8 V6 Supercharged is kind of low to begin with.

posted by  thunderbird1100

Anyone got some good links on walk throughs for rebuilding a 318, 350, 302 what ever.

I dont have time to search right now.

Thanks in advance.

(learning remember)

posted by  GotStink!?

What are you trying to do. Its not going to be very easy to swap in a ford or a chrysler engine into a GM car not to mention as was already said its very expensive to convert to RWD. There are alot of mods available for your 3.1L. To start I would sugest a full exhaust. A header, high flow cat, and larger piping back to a decent muffler. Maybe a flowmaster. You really DONT want to go straight pipe. I dont know if its illegal or not where you are but its going to be damn loud and smell terrible without the cat.

posted by  bigdaveangell

I don't think he's doing the Pontiac anymore...but I'm not exactly sure what he is doing.

posted by  hondaman

I didnt see that there was a second page. Sorry if youre not using the pontiac but I really dont understand what you are wanting to do

posted by  bigdaveangell

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