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  • How many miles on your V6, 3.8L?

    Just wondering. How many miles should I get out of my 3.8L V6? Thanks.

  • #2
    All depends on how it’s taken care of. How many miles you have on yours now? I’ve got over 50k on the rebuilt , built motor. Had it built in 2002 with 122k miles and it looked great with that many miles. That’s with 3k oil changes. I had it rebuilt with forged pistons, cam and clev. 77 bearings and some other mod to handle boost. It’s now at 172k and still running strong. There’s a thread stickies in the lounge section where people have posted their miles. 300k is doable.
    08' L76 6.0L 4X4 Chevy EXT.Cab LTZ Vortec MAX with Snug top cover, Dynomax exhaust,Hptuners& K&N intake
    96' Camaro M5 to A4 conversion, alot of mods ,see Homepage. GT35R Turbo http://www.cardomain.com/ride/244123...vrolet-camaro/
    https://www.facebook.com/steve.starcher.18

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    • #3
      Like Steve said, it certainly all depends on how you treat it and how you look after it. I had about 187,000 miles on mine (300,000km) when mine blew at the race track. I think I was a little low on oil and didn't check. I ended up spinning a bearing. That being said, I was driving her very hard for 90,000-100,000 miles and opening her up every chance I got.

      The 3800's are one of the most reliable motors out there.

      2002 SOM Z28 Camaro - 12.9 @ 104 mph
      1996 3800 Camaro - 13.43 @ 100.77 mph


      Project Cars | How To Guides | Scratch Repair | Synthetic Oil

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      • #4
        Something like 240,000 miles (385k-ish km) on the Camaro, which at that point I finally started taking the top of the engine apart to address the coolant and oil leaks. Now, legend tells of a new engine being installed at 90k before I owned the car. So let's say this one has 295k or roughly 185k miles on it. Still pretty good. And I was not nice to this car during my early 20s either.

        For the Bonneville I'm at about 150k miles on the L67, or 240k+ kilometers. Now, the intake has been taken apart and gaskets replaced shortly after I purchased it over two years ago, but that was the only issue with the engine I'd say even came close to "major". Everything else on this car has been unrelated to the engine (like the 2 transmission rebuilds within a year. Yikes.)

        3.8s are tough SOBs. And they tend to keep running just as well "broken" than they do when they're in tip-top shape. I've got to say, GM did engines right for a good long while. Too bad the rest of the car usually wasn't up to the same standard.

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        • #5
          I managed to get 250k out of mine before a rod exited out the side a couple of years ago :drool:
          Have 50k on the crate replacement so far :thumbsup:

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          • #6
            The fwd motors made for cheap replacements and you could find a ton with low K on them!

            2002 SOM Z28 Camaro - 12.9 @ 104 mph
            1996 3800 Camaro - 13.43 @ 100.77 mph


            Project Cars | How To Guides | Scratch Repair | Synthetic Oil

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            • #7
              Thanks! Mine has 110,000. I have a small oil leak but it's dong fine overall.

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              • #8
                Mine has 153k on it. I'm surprised that I haven't aggravated the hell out it by adding the turbo though. It actually used to have a stuck lifter a few years before I bought it. We thought for sure that the end was was coming as the previous owner would have junked it if the Seafom treatment didn't magically cure it. lol She runs like a top now with stock lifters, turbo, and all.

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                • #9
                  I'm at 111K on my 2000 Camaro. Although i did have to do head gaskets.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Javelin3o4 View Post
                    I'm at 111K on my 2000 Camaro. Although i did have to do head gaskets.
                    That’s all you had to do at 111k? That’s pretty damn good!

                    2002 SOM Z28 Camaro - 12.9 @ 104 mph
                    1996 3800 Camaro - 13.43 @ 100.77 mph


                    Project Cars | How To Guides | Scratch Repair | Synthetic Oil

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LETZRIDE View Post

                      That’s all you had to do at 111k? That’s pretty damn good!
                      Yeah the car was down for a while. It was my daily driver for a while, but then one day overheated one day. At the time I couldn't really be without a car and I had 2 kids I had to take to school and stuff so I went and bought a 4 door car to make it easier. So the car sat in my drive way for a couple years, I finally just said screw it, I'll do the head gaskets. I bought re-manufactured heads and gaskets and went at it. I had never done heads on a car before well..without the help of my dad. But I was like well either I fix it or I sell it.

                      It took some time cause I kept getting frustrated with getting the exhaust manifold heat shields off, some bolts were in hard to reach spots or were just a pain, then the last exhaust manifold stud I had to cut off. But in the end I got it all done. But then after trying to drive it to get all the monitors and stuff on started getting CEL with transmission slipping errors. I ended up buying that TCC valve and put that in, which seems to resolve that problem.

                      I've probably only put about 1,000 miles on it since I've done the work, but I've changed the oil on it twice, I may do it again.

                      The only thing I see now which I was going to start a new thread on is the oil pressure when idling seems erratic.

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                      • #12
                        What do you mean by idling erratically? Have you tried to check the pressure with a mechanical oil pressure gauge?

                        2002 SOM Z28 Camaro - 12.9 @ 104 mph
                        1996 3800 Camaro - 13.43 @ 100.77 mph


                        Project Cars | How To Guides | Scratch Repair | Synthetic Oil

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                        • #13
                          I know this is going to sound a tad wild but I bought my 3.8 Camaro with the guage stuck at 286xxx miles and the guy told me it's probably more like 300+. My rings are going out and I run 20w50 oil but if I have too I'll run gear oil. I have very little problems with power. I bought a 3.8 Camaro because I had a 3.4 Monte Carlo and now my wife drives that as her daily with over 215k on it it was my first car and I couldn't kill that thing. I'd argue these are the best motor that's not a V8 from GM ever.

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                          • #14
                            That's impressive but definitely not unheard of with these motors! They are absolutely one of the most stout motors out there for reliability. If memory serves me right I think I was at close to 200,000 miles when I blew my first engine at the race track. I would say a solid 100k of that was hard miles too where I really enjoyed spirited drives.

                            If your engine goes, they are actually pretty cheap to replace. You can use the fwd 3800 motors as long as you only use the longblock. You have to reuse your oil pan and intake. When I replaced mine I bought one out of a 2005 Buick Lucerne with about 5k on it for $500. Since the motor was complete, I sold off all the parts like the exhaust manifold, heads. etc that I didn't need and made all my money back lol.

                            How is the rest of the Camaro holding up?


                            2002 SOM Z28 Camaro - 12.9 @ 104 mph
                            1996 3800 Camaro - 13.43 @ 100.77 mph


                            Project Cars | How To Guides | Scratch Repair | Synthetic Oil

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                            • #15
                              Well first gear sometimes doesn't like to take and the same goes for reverse. The whole front clip of the car needs to be replaced because of some cracks in the plastic and the hood is dented down on the passenger side slightly. The suspension is shot because it's original. I have a set of UMI 200# coils with weight Jack's for the rear that I need to throw on. I'm building a corner Carver out of it. The car is in pretty decent shape besides from aesthetics. Id like to get another motor built and t y to make 250hp+ with it.

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