Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby TDMobile [OP] » July 1st 2012, 9:35am

I'm a couple thousand miles from 300k. After I hit that mark, I'll be looking to do a swap. A few people are trying to talk me in to an LS3, But I want to be unconventional. Which would be the better engine long term - the Typhoon 4.3, the Buick LC2 (Grand National), or the LS3? Which has more power potential with mods (specifically, torque)? The grumble of the V8 is great, but I wouldn't mind keeping a V6 that makes some power and forced induction is such a good time.

Still a few more weeks until I can start build. Let me know what you think.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby chevymaher » July 1st 2012, 1:21pm

The LS3 has ridiculous power and torque modified. But is going to cost you big time.

Between the typhoon and grand national motors the winner is the 4.3 hands down to me. They have more C.I. longer stroke which translates into more torque in a lower power band. Finding a gran national block for the heads would be an adventure. They are rare and expensive. Because people know what they are.

Typhoon/Cyclone engines are more abundant but still not the easiest to find. But not bad if you got time to hunt. They are in 92-93, S-10 and GMC sonoma pickups in naturally aspirated versions. I found mine by looking up my vans casting numbers. It led me to the Typhoon/Cyclone forum. Which gave me the vehicles to pick from. Pistons are 9-1, and small cam, but the rest of the engine Identical. Heads are the most important thing to get.

So they easier to get because they were in common vehicles. To supercharge one you need a different computer specific to the Typhoon/Cyclones because it has a provision for boost retard built in. Or go carb and use aftermarket components for that. Or spend enough to buy a second motor and get holly TBI unit, With a MSD ignition. They have it.

I will vouch these motors run like a V-8 with very little modification. With a supercharger/turbo they would be ridiculous. Run some people with it in a van and then tell them it a V-6 casting number matching Typhoon/Cyclone engine. Trust me people think it is cool as all get out.

I get alot of word of mouth business because the van runs so good. If I can make a V-6 sing like that, then they want you working on their cars.
As you can tell I am very happy with mine. It was a fluke as I wanted a V-8 and circumstances dictated otherwise. I will never be sorry it happened. It was the good Lord doing for me what I wouldn't myself. I had my hand forced.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby Mr_Roboto » July 1st 2012, 2:47pm

There are honest to goodness disadvantages to both.

Before you get excited about getting an authentic Syclone engine I'm going to say probably best to forget about it. The numbers are very small, you're talking about 5,000 vehicles in all. These are the pros/cons as I see them:

4.3L Pros:
-The valvetrain and pistons are standard 350 besides the cam its self. This means cheaper and better selection of stuff like pistons, rings, pins, retainers etc.
-If you modify an intake, the 96+ Vortec heads are great. They are as good in fact as the Buick heads with fairly heavy porting even stock and use way better chambers too.
-This is the engine already in there, so it bolts right in. No need to worry about details like the oil pan as much.
-CID is always good.
-Can convert to 4 bolt mains
-Can use OBD-II parts potentially making it easier to deal with emissions compliance.
-stock roller valvetrains are easily available. I'd consider a cam a very good buy for one of these engines.

4.3L cons:
-The rods are weak, I would probably upgrade to H-beams with any sort of power. Even the L35 rods used in 92+ 4.3Ls are supposedly superior
-I have heard of the main caps cracking on higher powered 4.3Ls before. Not sure why. Supposedly people say not to run balance shaft blocks, but I wonder if it would be "safer" to do such in actuality. The original Sy/Ty blocks had nodular caps on them, the stock ones are grey iron. I'd consider main studs mandatory at the least.
-There isn't really a good intake for this configuration. Unless you dig a Sy/Ty intake up and convert to Vortecs or do the carbed intake conversion you're stuck with TBI or a "spider" based CPI/CFI intake that will limit your power levels ultimately. If you wanted to use the Sy/Ty intake I'd probably ditch the air to water intercooler anyways as it doesn't seem to fit without a lot of trimming. I'd run an elbow and do an air to air intercooler instead.

3.8L pros:
-The rods are good for a lot more power than the 4.3Ls are in general without going aftermarket.
-Billet caps or a girdle are nice on these engines, but not an absolute requirement
-These engines are significantly more common than the 4.3Ls are
-The intakes on these engines are very well proven, and should be more common than the Syclone's.

3.8L cons:

-You'll be making your own engine mounts. I had a set I started fabbing but unfortunately I believe I scrapped them. Sorry.
-Lots more wiring adaptation if you have an 05. I'd probably try to do some custom parts and convert this engine over to the Vortec style EFI or use 3800 parts for emissions compliance. Regardless it would require thinking and be custom. Maybe not as bad as I am making out, but it could be a pain to figure out too.
-Need a BOP to Chevy adapter plate. Not a huge issue but still an issue.
-You're down CID compared to the 4.3L. It's 31 CID, which is nice to have.
-These engines require an expensive retrofit cam for a roller, and are known for eating the #3 exhaust.
-8445 heads suck on these flow wise.

Something I will say is the 3.8s are getting rarer but you can take a naturally aspirated block from EITHER and have a good foundation to start with. The blocks themselves are not really "special" in either case with exception to the caps on the Syclone block. The rods on both engines naturally aspirated are the same as their turbocharged counterparts however I'd be upgrading the 4.3L's if I was doing a built engine. The heads are the same as the stockers as well, if you use an original set of heads for a 4.3L that aren't Vortecs get the L35s from a 92-95 "W" engine.

If it was me, I'd be running the 4.3L you have build a turbo kit around it, get the intake fabbed up or find a Syclone one and adapt it, customize the tune with low boost levels and then start adding other stuff. I'm not sure what box the 05s ran but some vans ran the LS1 computer and I would swap over to it just because of the aftermarket and ease in finding tuning help. JMO Forget about finding a Syclone engine as most of them have had the piss beat out of them and for the price most people want you are most of the way to a build short block. The manifolds may or may not work for your build, but if you can find a set they can make decent power however I believe you'd need an adapter if you didn't want to run a Mitsubishi turbocharger. Personally I'd rather be looking at something like a 60-1 or a T70 for a 4.3L, depending on what you're wanting to do with it.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby Phantom » July 1st 2012, 7:07pm

TDMobile wrote:I'm a couple thousand miles from 300k. After I hit that mark, I'll be looking to do a swap. A few people are trying to talk me in to an LS3, But I want to be unconventional. Which would be the better engine long term - the Typhoon 4.3, the Buick LC2 (Grand National), or the LS3? Which has more power potential with mods (specifically, torque)? The grumble of the V8 is great, but I wouldn't mind keeping a V6 that makes some power and forced induction is such a good time.

Still a few more weeks until I can start build. Let me know what you think.

Question is ...what is most important to you ??? to be unconventional or ....any of the mentioned engines are good but the V8 has the most potential for upgrading mods and torque ...when you say 'start a build' you are saying a tear down of motor and rebuild or a tear down of van and build a new van with new engine? Any engine can be made better when freshly built with better parts but the thing to remember is what is your desired end goal?
Novelty or bottom line power and torque?

Reminds me of when someone asked what to put in their camaro the famed 302 or a 350 ,,well the 302 is rare and a center piece for conversation of its heritage as a novelty but the 350 can make more power and torque
I love the 3.8 ,,very very fast and impressive performance and looks cool too.. but as far as towing a trailer I would go for a bigger CI motor , bigger than the 4.3

"The LS3 was introduced as the Corvette's new base engine for the 2008 model year. It produces 430 bhp at 5900 rpm and 424 lb·ft (575 N·m) at 4600 rpm without the optional Corvette exhaust and is SAE certified.
The LS3 engine in the E Series II GTS (released September 2009) was upgraded to produce 436 bhp from the factory "

The LS3 is plentiful in many trucks and other cars and comes with high flowing heads , aggressive cam ,very strong engine ,for power & torque it is hands down winner ,,,and also has a novelty in that it is an engine swap with a motor that did not come factory in an Astro
The LS series of engines have many interchangeable parts and have proven to be very performance oriented and very reliable , it would be my choice

If you scout around you'll probably find a wrecked but running pickup truck with the LS3 for a reasonable cost
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby TDMobile [OP] » July 2nd 2012, 10:38pm

So realistically, would it be more economical to build my existing motor or put an LS3 with some extras on it in my van? Maher, I really like your build but I'm not sure that I'd even be able to find all the parts to create something similar, which is why I was considering the SyTy solution.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby chevymaher » July 3rd 2012, 12:50am

Definitely cheaper to hot rod the V-6.Or just fix it stock. Even buying a second complete motor for the block. I put 1200 bucks getting mine together with the hypo parts. Garenteed rebuilt engines are 1500 bucks. At advanced auto. A little more for the 275 HP dynoed versions. Boat places sell them souped up. And they same as our vans. You can get a direct fit. Just use your intake.

Please tell me where I can get a junk running truck with a LS3 V-8 for that. I will pick it up tomorrow. Then it needs rebuilt. Then exhaust. Motor mounts. Computer wiring issues to be sorted out. It all takes money and time. I don't suck at this stuff and I think I would be just getting done now if I went that route. As is, it all there just put it together and tune it.

After reading Mr-Roboto's rebuttal, scarcity of the motor I wanted. I do think again someone was looking out for me. 3 days of hell looking. Then I just waltz in the scrapyard, with my casting number and find one. It was torture looking and I was thinking I would have to eat what I put in my motor. And get another low horse model and rebuild it.

Oh I would be hating on my van right now if that happened. It would be like pulling a big block out of my chevelle and settling for a straight 6.
Not my style. Things I work on are supposed to run better than before. Smooth idle and low power. Ah not so much.

My grandpa messed with me when I was young.
"What are you thinking. You pull a engine and lay it behind the car. It idles like a baby, don't smoke. Would last for years. And you put in a engine it takes a quart of gas to start. Barely stays running. But you can drive on the freeway in first passing everybody"
I got a hard mean look, thought I was about to get my @ss handed to me.
Then he smiled and said. You don't have a shot in life your just like me. As we walked to feed the dogs. He started telling me about his dual strombergs he had on his model T when he was chasing my grandma.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby Phantom » July 3rd 2012, 8:11am

TDMobile wrote:So realistically, would it be more economical to build my existing motor or put an LS3 with some extras on it in my van? Maher, I really like your build but I'm not sure that I'd even be able to find all the parts to create something similar, which is why I was considering the SyTy solution.

First you should decide how much money you can afford to spend , decide for sure what YOU want ,,, it is your van decide what YOU want in it. Price can vary depending on where you live and what parts stores there are what price they sell for in your area just like the price of cars vary from different parts of the country for used cars
before you make any decisions you should look into where a 5.3 can be had and what it may cost and compare that to the price of rebuilding the 4.3 ..true research takes time , It depends on do you really want something with big torque and Big power , or are you content with a slightly more peppy motor than what you have ,,

When I say look around for a wrecked truck with a 5.3 in it ,, I mean one that has been in a car crash preferably from the rear or side where the front and engine are in good condition ,,,I say that because often private owners do not known anything about an engine and all they want is to get rid of a car that is too costly to bring back to drivable condition so they sell the car for a few hundred or 1500-2000 ,, some salvage yards have newer cars ,,, there are car wrecks that have brand new cars that get rated as totaled by the insurance companies and the engines only have 10K -50,000 miles ,,,..
When it comes to deciding what you want and you want something special , out of the ordinary it takes time to think about where to look for the bargains ,, I deal with salvage yards that specialize in insurance collisions where they have a lot a newer cars in their yards some as new as 2012 ,,just because it was in a collision does not mean it no good

There is a guy here on this forum who put a 5.3 LS3 motor in his 95 astro ,,, several pics of the swap process , I think he spoke of cost what the cost was to him if not you can email him , haven't seen him lately but he comes around , pics of motor when he brought it home and after install , there is a good reason your buddies tell you to go with a LS3 ,,, but it comes down to what you want

Compare the HP & torque ratings of the LS3 to the 4.3 ,,, no contest , not even the same ball park . and the computer issue is NO PROBLEM , with the right help your 2005 astro most likely can use the same PCM ,, but if you buy a wrecked car or truck you get all that stuff with it , if you build a 4.3 to have the same HP & torque a Stock LS3 has it would cost way much more to do that than buy a used stock LS3 and install it , It comes down to how much HP & Torque do you want , some people really need it and some people just want to make their ride a unique piece of art that inspires other people to dare to create a masterpiece

chevymaher wrote:Please tell me where I can get a junk running truck with a LS3 V-8 for that. I will pick it up tomorrow. Then it needs rebuilt. Then exhaust. Motor mounts. Computer wiring issues to be sorted out. It all takes money and time. I don't suck at this stuff and I think I would be just getting done now if I went that route.

Obviously too much for you to handle ,,, did you not say repeatedly that your astro has been totaled 3 times ,,,but yet you still drive it ??? and you did not have to rebuild the engine to drive it....NO it is not needed to rebuild the engine in a wrecked car if it was not damaged
since you do not understand computer matters you try to scare other people away from it ,,, it's not hard
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby chevymaher » July 3rd 2012, 5:42pm

Phantom wrote:Obviously too much for you to handle.


Since it down to this, hit me with your purse again.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby TDMobile [OP] » July 3rd 2012, 11:35pm

Sorry, I misspoke. Economical isn't quite the word I was looking for. I want big torque and big power, and I don't want to spend months researching. Prices aren't really an issue, my total budget for the entire build will be around $15k. It's a marketing piece to promote my new company, and I'm pretty much paying nothing for labor seeing as my biz partner wants to show what he can do mechanically.

It seems to me like the Typhoon route might not be an option and the LC2 has too many limitations. I guess it all comes down to this then - How the hell do I get to 700ft/lbs at the wheels? Can it be done with the 4.3 or do I NEED to go with an LS?
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby chevymaher » July 3rd 2012, 11:57pm

To get that kind of power torque wise. Supercharge a big block.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby MadMaxiVan » July 4th 2012, 12:16am

would like to throw a motor into the mix,im in the same boat,mines approaching 250k now.

so,please teach me,
would a pontiac bonneville SSEI supercharged motor be of Any use in these vans?
ive just scored a wrecked one that runs great...
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby ProStreet_LS1 » July 4th 2012, 12:43am

To have 700 hp at the wheels, you will need like a 900 hp motor. You will not get that without supercharger, big turbo or NOS.

My friend has a 572 Big Block crate motor ($12,000) and a blower ($6000) that is 900 horse. That is not even considering how many thousand of dollars he has into the rest of the drivetrain.

Do you plan on keeping the AWD? Does PA or Philadelphia have emissions rules?

The LS3 is to new of a motor, will cost too much to buy.

I have roughly $18,000 in parts and probably close to 1000 man hours into it. That is a stock LS1 and a drivetrain I know I cant break.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby Mr_Roboto » July 4th 2012, 3:01am

700 ft-lbs on pump is a big beast. Be careful what you wish for. For me, I'd be wanting to throw a 9 in there or a Dana 60 or the likes. Besides that a TH-400 would be a good idea or a 4L80E. Depending on what you're looking to do a small tire setup may be ok but some notching for a set of 10.5W tires wouldn't be a bad idea at all in my book, and some related suspension upgrades.

For the engine its self, a good set of "big ovals" with decent valves and port work, some TRW forged pistons, ARP rod bolts, ARP head studs and a turbocharger off a Detroit will net you your goal easily enough. Not exactly in streetable territory in a lot of ways (For me to do it I'm faced with the reality of no A/C, a home brew heater box to delete the monstrosity of the old one, cut the floor pan a bit to clear a 5 inch down pipe and weld up a fully home made set of headers. I'm doing a small block, but it should be pretty close for a BBC as well.

Supposedly the SSEi engines are pretty decent, plan on hollowing out a blower case to turbo one. Supposedly they have slightly better rods than stock in them. Heard even a N/A one can go to about 400 at the wheels though. You would need the trans from a 3800 Camaro as well as I'm not sure about starter positioning/fitment. I think it's on the opposite side on the FWDs but I'm not sure if it would fit or be an issue honestly.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby Phantom » July 4th 2012, 9:14am

TDMobile wrote:Sorry, I misspoke. Economical isn't quite the word I was looking for. I want big torque and big power, and I don't want to spend months researching. Prices aren't really an issue, my total budget for the entire build will be around $15k. It's a marketing piece to promote my new company, and I'm pretty much paying nothing for labor seeing as my biz partner wants to show what he can do mechanically.

It seems to me like the Typhoon route might not be an option and the LC2 has too many limitations. I guess it all comes down to this then - How the hell do I get to 700ft/lbs at the wheels? Can it be done with the 4.3 or do I NEED to go with an LS?

The only way you'll get that level of torque is a Big Block or LS , most likely have to be supercharged

What type of business you have that needs 700ft/lbs at the wheels?
are you trying to pull down sequoias ?? :lol:
are you sure you not thinking of 700 HP at the wheels ? It just more common when people speak of how much HP at the wheels cause there is a loss of HP after trans /drive train and wheels get attached , ,,,torque loss as well
700 HP at the wheels is doable for much less ,,that price can vary as well , various brand names parts , where purchased etc

you can easily spend 6-7K on just the motor to get 700ft/lbs at the wheels ,,,maybe a little cheaper if you use NOS injection , but that is only momentary power increase , not sustaining , that is only engine +parts ,, no labor charges

I did a little search for a few minutes just to see what popped and found some links you may want to look at just to get an idea

here is one site that is quite cool , see live custom built engines run , customer reviews with the customers contact info and more

http://www.enginefactory.com/letters.htm
http://www.enginefactory.com/LS_Engines.htm
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/show ... hp?t=51358

Hope your biz partner is going to share the costs involved no warranty if he builds it ,,
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby TDMobile [OP] » July 4th 2012, 2:06pm

tpibadassastro wrote:To have 700 hp at the wheels, you will need like a 900 hp motor. You will not get that without supercharger, big turbo or NOS.

My friend has a 572 Big Block crate motor ($12,000) and a blower ($6000) that is 900 horse. That is not even considering how many thousand of dollars he has into the rest of the drivetrain.

Do you plan on keeping the AWD? Does PA or Philadelphia have emissions rules?

The LS3 is to new of a motor, will cost too much to buy.

I have roughly $18,000 in parts and probably close to 1000 man hours into it. That is a stock LS1 and a drivetrain I know I cant break.


Alright, 700 is a pretty big number. That's torque btw, but still, that does seem out of reach. Yes I definitely want to keep the awd. PA does have emissions rules, but that's for my mechanic to figure out.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby TDMobile [OP] » July 4th 2012, 2:23pm

Phantom wrote:
I did a little search for a few minutes just to see what popped and found some links you may want to look at just to get an idea

here is one site that is quite cool , see live custom built engines run , customer reviews with the customers contact info and more

http://www.enginefactory.com/letters.htm
http://www.enginefactory.com/LS_Engines.htm
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/show ... hp?t=51358

Hope your biz partner is going to share the costs involved no warranty if he builds it ,,


Very nice sites. This business is kind of like a west coast customs type shop, but on a smaller scale. People love unconventional stuff from a custom shop, and huge power from an astro certainly is NOT normal around here. Biz partner is sharing a bit in the build, but it's not his to drive so i'm incurring the bulk of the cost.

Maybe an LS really is the way to go then, and of course I would have to upgrade everything else to go with it. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and ideas. I'll be starting a build thread in 6K miles or so :D
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby ProStreet_LS1 » July 4th 2012, 3:16pm

I would pass on the AWD, alot more work & may not handle the power & torque.
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby Jasen » July 4th 2012, 3:23pm

That little 632 at the engine factory should do ya at 850 HP and 830 torque, it's only $25K too ;)
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby TDMobile [OP] » July 4th 2012, 4:53pm

tpibadassastro wrote:I would pass on the AWD, alot more work & may not handle the power & torque.

I really want to be able to drive in snow and such still though...maybe the awd/4wd transfer case from avalanche/escalade could handle it?

Jasen - that would blow my whole budget and then some!!!! would be nice though :banana:
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Re: Typhoon/Syclone or Buick LC2?

Postby Jasen » July 4th 2012, 5:11pm

You know what they say, Go big or go home ;)
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