keeping 3.8 parts


Nov 30, 2002
Hi, I have a simple question for those who know the buick V6s.
My cousin is giving me a high mileage 3.8(at least 120k miles on it) out from a 85 Cutlass with a flat cam that he replaced with a 305.I wanted it for the heads because of the 79+ design to fit a 4bbl on my 78 block. It's pretty complete with carb, brand new pump gaz, exhaust manifolds, and all except the starter.
I'll keep the heads just to port them if they are okay. The car don't take any oil nor coolant so they should be good for my 4bbl project.
Mine have juste 30k miles it's could be the time to put a little more power.
What are the parts I should keep before throwin' away the short block ?
Better be careful using the "new" heads on an older block. Make darn sure that all the water passages line up correctly or you will get an oil pan FULL of water (past personal experence). If the 85 block is a 14 bolt oil pan, everything will bolt up to the older engine. Maybe build up the 85 engine and just swap the whole thing over.
85 engine

i would suggest building the 85 engine too.if its a 20 bolt pan the oil system and pick up tube is better than the 78 block,i am told the crank could be better than the 78 also.harmonic balncer will be one piece the 78 might be two piece(not sure what year was the change).
if you can find it the 80 -83 intakes are aluminum= lighter-easier to port