The Engine

The engine powering all Lesabre's is a Buick 3.8L V6. One of the greatest engines of all time. It dates back to the early 60's. Originally derived from the aluminum 215 V8. It was the first successful V6, and therefor paved the way for every other V6 engine.

The engine ran rough, because of it's "odd-fire" timing, It ran like a V8 with two bad cylinders. As Buick found the V6 unneeded in the big car era, it sold the design to Jeep in'67. But the gas crunch of '74 found Buick buying back it's V6, and by '77 they fixed the firing order to make it smoother running. They also made it 231 C.I., or 3800 cc. and started work on turbo variants, for more power.

But '86 was probably the biggest moment for the V6, when it was redesigned for FWD and made it become the popular V6 we know today.


The Lesabre T-types used two different versions of the Buick V6. In '87 the first year of the T-type, the 3.8 V6 featured SPFI, distributor-less ingnition, and computer control, features first used on the Turbo V6s. In '88 they redesigned the 3.8 to move the connecting rods "oncenter", they also added a balence shaft for added smoothless. They renamed the engine, the 3800. These and other features gave the engine an added 15 horsepower, now up to 165. Both versions of the engine were used this year, the 3800 being optional on most Lesabres, but standard in the T-type. The 3800 was again used in '89, the last year of the T-type option.


The 215

The first all-aluminum GM V8 made was based off the Buick Nailhead. Used to power Buick's smaller cars(Buick had no I6), it was also available in some Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs. The Buick designed V8 was replaced by a Cast Iron V6 version, and the design and tooling was sold to Rover, where it is still used today.


The "odd fire" V6

The relatively rough running V6 was sold to Jeep where it was widely accepted until Buick wanted it back. Buick quickly increased it's displacement to share tooling with the 350. They also changed the firing order, creating a nice running engine and room for more power.


The Turbo V6

Arguably the best overall performance engine of all time. The Buick's Turbo V6, was very reliable and very potent, yet got exeptional gas mileage. Improved many times, going from a 4-barrel carb and distributor, to a SFI and DIS, to the final Intercooled, SFI, DIS monster. The most powerful version in the GNX made it the fastest production car of '87.


The FWD 3.8

In the mid 80's the Buick V6 was adapted to FWD for the new H-bodies. Unlike it's chevy couterpart, the Buick had sequential port fuel injection. With it's strong torque curve, engineers were able to install taller gearing, giving the large cars great gas mileage.


The series II

In '96 the 3.8 was again redesigned to for more power and stricter emissions. It featured evenly spaced valves, a lower deck height, dual knock sensors, and a higher compression ratio on normally aspirated models. The series II also found use in smaller cars such as the W-body and F-body. It continues on as the most popular V6, and having almost reached 30, it is far from the end of it's usefullness.