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#4576952 - 11/17/17 10:15 AM 3800 series ll vs lll
Duffyjr Offline


Registered: 01/13/16
Posts: 508
Loc: Nebraska
So I'm looking to get into a newer Buick and have driven three Lucerne's now, two 08's and one 06 and I can't believe how much different the throttle response is between these and my 99 Lesabre. They just don't seem to have the same response and it makes it seem like the engine is weaker in the newer series lll's. It's not a deal breaker since I'm not a spirited drive but the difference is there.

I remember going from my 91 park avenue with the series one to my 99 series two and how much more throttle response it had.

Anyone else have any experience with this or is it all in my head.
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89 GMC Sierra T5 10w30/Wix
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#4576960 - 11/17/17 10:21 AM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 392
Loc: MN
Biggest difference I can think of is a switch to an aluminum upper plenum and electronic throttle body on the SIII. Your percieved lack of punch may be all in the programming for the throttle opening. Otherwise they make about the same power and torque. It also depends on that final drive ratio that particular chassis has in the transmission.
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2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

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#4576961 - 11/17/17 10:21 AM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
FastLane Offline


Registered: 12/10/14
Posts: 449
Loc: MB - Manitoba
GM torque management. Its even worse now days. My 302 hp V8 pickup can barely chirp a tire. My old 98 200 hp V6 had no troubles spinning the tires. I just test drove a new 2017 Silverado 5.3 355 hp. It seems gutless.
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1966 Cessna 150 Phillips 20W50
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#4576981 - 11/17/17 10:37 AM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3970
Loc: New England
Several reviews for the FXT I ended up buying mentioned to turn the traction control off if you really wanted to take off on dry pavement, think it was about a half a second difference in the 0-60 times between having it on and off.
Possibly also a factor in this vehicle?
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#4577001 - 11/17/17 10:54 AM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
FastLane Offline


Registered: 12/10/14
Posts: 449
Loc: MB - Manitoba
I can turn traction control and stabilitrac off, and barely a chirp out of log box reg cab truck. The a$$ end is so light. It should melt the tire with 300 hp.
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#4577035 - 11/17/17 11:34 AM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
Nick1994 Online   content


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10117
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
GM electronic throttle bodies absolutely suck, plain and simple. They make cars which should have good power absolutely slower than heck. I made a thread about it, I'll post the link below.

I had a 96' Chevy C1500 Silverado 5.7L and could melt the tires on it. My grandfather had a 5.3L 2003 Silverado (more HP) and my 96' could run circles around it. The 03' couldn't chirp the tires.

https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthr...tro#Post4115167
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#4577072 - 11/17/17 12:36 PM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
I have the same complaint about DBW vs. non- on the LS-powered GMT800 trucks. Gives you a completely different view of the engine when you drive one with a good old cable running to the throttle plate.
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'13 Cruze, 1.4T, 112K
'85 GMC C3500, 454, 130K
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#4577086 - 11/17/17 12:52 PM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
I'd rather have the Series 2 with the old fashion cable drive throttle body. That fly by wire throttle body in the Series 3 falls under the category of unnecessary technology that makes for the eventual throttle body replacement very expensive. Once you get the manifold gaskets replaced in the Series 2 to the updated steel reinforced gaskets, they become very reliable engines.

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#4577139 - 11/17/17 01:58 PM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
Dorian Offline


Registered: 12/07/15
Posts: 303
Loc: Ohio
Our 3800 was a series 3 N/A. It was flawless until the day it was totaled at 197K. No leaks even with synthetics and returned 24 mpg overall. It would roast the tires until 20 mph or so. That engine was never touched except for normal maintenance and the rubber coolant hose on the side of the block (known to fail). I completely agree that the throttle response was horrible. It had quite a delay when getting on the gas. I recently drove a Yukon Denali with the 6.2 and it felt like a turd because of the throttle tuning. This is the same issue I have with the high feature V6s and the 6 speed combo. It kills the driving experience.

The series 3 had "stronger" connecting rods.
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#4577141 - 11/17/17 02:01 PM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
Also, having been around numerous cars of the Series 2 and 3 vintage, I really think the 90's Buicks are just a more solid car. Not that the turn of the century models aren't nearly as good, but I don't think the Series III 3800 is more than slightly better than the SII, and the rest of the car just isn't as... solid. More road feedback in the newer ones, at least as many electronic issues... IMHO within their segment it's just hard to beat a late 90's Lesabre.
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I like Chevy and Valvoline.

'13 Cruze, 1.4T, 112K
'85 GMC C3500, 454, 130K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 167K
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K

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#4577147 - 11/17/17 02:07 PM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
TmanP Offline


Registered: 10/30/15
Posts: 436
Loc: MN
Itís not in your head, I agree on the less sensitive electronic throttle on the series 3. My series 3 has plenty of power, and it is effortless, it just requires pressing the pedal down more than in the series 2 lesabre Iíve driven. Thereís a slight delay, but Iíve gottten used to it. Any way you slice it, the 3800 has more power than anyone really needs and will net you 30 mpg highway in a lesabre/regal/LaCrosse. Iím surpirsed the lesabres has as good of throttle response as they did considering the target customer!
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2006 Buick Lacrosse 3.8 V6 150,000 mi
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#4577189 - 11/17/17 02:55 PM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: Duffyjr]
carviewsonic Offline


Registered: 08/17/16
Posts: 217
Loc: Alberta
My "garage queen" in my sig has noticeably better throttle response off the line than my higher mileage '03. And the Lesabre is somewhere in between. I attribute this to the different mileages on them.
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#4732979 - 04/20/18 10:41 AM Re: 3800 series ll vs lll [Re: carviewsonic]
Duffyjr Offline


Registered: 01/13/16
Posts: 508
Loc: Nebraska
I wanted to update this since I ended up purchasing an 08 Lucerne with 78k and have been driving it for a few weeks.

It is true that when you take off it doesn't have the punch that the series ll has unless you depress the throttle further but what I have noticed is once you get out of first gear and into second or about 25/25 mph and beyond it seems to have a better response closer to the series ll as far as how far you have to depress the throttle. At higher speeds I don't think there is that much difference.

I actually think it's better in regards to a smoother take off. I still have the 99 and drove it for the first time since buying the Lucerne and its a lot harder to get the smooth take off due to the throttle response. To me it's a good trade off.
_________________________
89 GMC Sierra T5 10w30/Wix
08 Lucerne Mobil 5000 5w30
99 LeSabre QSGB 10w30/TG
18 Toro Super Recycler T5 10w30

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