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Old 12-22-2015, 05:02 PM   #1
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So What Makes The W-Bodies More Powerful?

Exactly as the title states, I'm wondering why the W-Body cars have 12HP more with the 3400, is it all in the exhaust routing and size? or exhaust manifold design? or is it more?
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:28 PM   #2
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A little digging did not turn up much except the 180-185 hp units did at 5200 RPM instead of 4700. I would assume that the programing of the computer would easily make more ponies

Also these w bodies are physically larger and weigh more and you can't forget the minivans also. More weight needs more power.

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Old 12-23-2015, 12:20 AM   #3
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The w bodies and minivans had the 4t65 trans which allow for better programming to allow more power.... it's the gearing and programming, same as the grand am gt has an extra couple hp then the alero and grand am se.... the alero is a 3.05 final drive ratio vs the gt which is a 3.29 final drive....
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:00 PM   #4
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Most of the difference is tuning. The vans also got help from the larger exhaust.

The GAGT also got 2.25" exhaust vs. The 2" on the SE's, Aleros and malibus
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:11 AM   #5
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Interesting, good stuff to know.

I'm hoping a real tune will even the playing field (not that I'm racing anyone, just in terms of benchmarking/bench-racing in my head).
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Old 01-02-2016, 02:27 AM   #6
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I was wondering if they also put a slightly bigger cam in the W and U bodies.

Plus when you say "More powerful" you have to take into account that they are larger vehicles, weigh more, and the minivans also have a lot more cargo space
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:09 PM   #7
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All 3400's got the same cams, if they didn't I'm sure everyone would be hunting for impalas and Ventures to steel the cam from! Lol

Getting an aftermarket performance tune will really wake up your 3400 and transmission! I'm trying hard not to unlock my pcm until the spring, but it may happen sooner
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redog View Post
I was wondering if they also put a slightly bigger cam in the W and U bodies.

Plus when you say "More powerful" you have to take into account that they are larger vehicles, weigh more, and the minivans also have a lot more cargo space

I know it makes sense to have larger vehicles to be more powerful, I was simply asking as to what made them have slightly higher HP figures over N-Bodies. I was assuming it was being bigger allowed a larger exhaust with less bends, but wanted to see if anyone knew for sure. I'm pretty new to the relatively modern FWD GM's, so I'm just grabbing as much info as I can lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3500Alero View Post

Getting an aftermarket performance tune will really wake up your 3400 and transmission! I'm trying hard not to unlock my pcm until the spring, but it may happen sooner

I've already started on the trans tune for mine, while I wait to get a chance to register it for the road (waiting on parts). I usually take it on little 10-15 minute test drives on the dirt road around the cottage I live in (super isolated with no traffic) and won't make any major changes until I can actually drive it on a paved road and get a good feel for how it runs. So it probably won't be for a couple more weeks anyway.
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:50 PM   #9
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" Gross horsepower is a measurement of engine output, taken at the flywheel, without the engine installed in a vehicle. Since the engine has no load on it, all of its energy can be used for making horsepower.

Wheel-driven horsepower, by comparison, is a measurement taken at the driven wheels of a vehicle on what's called a dynamometer. This is done by placing the vehicle's driven wheels on a large roller and accelerating the wheels up to redline in first or second gear. The vehicle's ability to turn this roller is measured and calculated to come up with a figure that represents how much horsepower is actually available to move the vehicle around -- or real-world horsepower....."

http://www.edmunds.com/car-technolog...eal-world.html
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:49 AM   #10
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They just boost the number to sell cars. Nothing more. Throttle body, cam, valvesprings, heads, intakes, pistons, rods, ignition system, exhaust manifolds, etc are all the same. The tunes are not more aggressive in one than another. Tunes very year to year, but not vehicle to vehicle, atleast as far as horsepower goes. The exhaust may be a different configuration from one car to another, but the downpipes are all the same diameter, so they flow the same.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilzyZ34 View Post
They just boost the number to sell cars. Nothing more. Throttle body, cam, valvesprings, heads, intakes, pistons, rods, ignition system, exhaust manifolds, etc are all the same. The tunes are not more aggressive in one than another. Tunes very year to year, but not vehicle to vehicle, atleast as far as horsepower goes. The exhaust may be a different configuration from one car to another, but the downpipes are all the same diameter, so they flow the same.

Good info.

I found it weird that tunes did vary from year to year, but checking it with the tune depository on HP Tuners I could see a variety of changes in just various years of 3400 equipped Alero's. My base transmission tune is a combination of my 99 base tuning and some upgrades from a 2001 (IIRC). The 2001 had slower shift times, but better pressures, so I figured I'd try that out as my base setting before incrementally improving it until I'm happy with it.

All the fuel related changes I saw were something I didn't mess with though. I figured there was a good reason for it and I could do a better job with the VE/MAF tables myself once I'm finally finished dealing with the rust all over this car.
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