America and big engines

18T

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Also, his WS6 came *with* the handling package. For something with a live rear axle, it handled competently when new - better than the SN95 Mustang GT that was its contemporary and just short of the C5 Corvette (which was the source of much consternation in GM). That said, it certainly needs a complete suspension overhaul, because just like the Brits, GM used really rubbish rubber in the suspension, plus the shocks are probably shot after this many years. Replacing the shocks and installing a set of poly everything from Energy Suspension or Prothane should return the car to better than stock levels, for less than $600. The brake hoses are probably all bulged out by now - $100 for Goodrich braided stainless will solve that problem. The problem here isn't the car's design, it's the fact that it's gotten old and needs repair.
Oh man i dont think his car is that bad.. it only has close to 60k now..
 

18T

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Comparing engines in terms of hp/L is stupid and tells you nothing. Rather, compare the power to weight ratio and fuel consumption to power produced ratios to tell you which is really more efficient. Displacement is irrelevant. How much power the engine produces and how much fuel it consumes while doing so are the important measures.

I should also point out that more than one gently-driven (cruise control set to 60mph) WS6 with the 6 speed has been observed to average 30mpg on the highway.
I agree with you on all of this. IMHO i would love it if it was just more powerful.

And id like to say that Auto a4's are terrible.
 

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Oh man i dont think his car is that bad.. it only has close to 60k now..
It's not a matter of mileage, but time. GM's bushings (and other rubber parts) in that car decayed fast. Either way, if he has 60K on it, he needs to replace the shocks.
 
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thedguy

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A small I4 is great for around town and short trips. On long road trips, a screaming four banger gets real old real quick. It should be mentioned that many Americans have more than one car - one "beater" to abuse (usually something smallish and of an Asian marque) with the daily in-town and short commutes, and another vehicle like a truck or SUV for larger jobs or longer trips.
I can attest to this. My '87 Nissan Sentra 1.5L (the back up car) makes you hate being in the car after about a half hour. My brothers modified intake on his 1.8 E30 can get that way after about an hour and a half to 2 hours.

But those are 80's cars. My dad had a 1996 Honda Accord 2.2L Auto. This car LOVED to cruise at 85-90 mph on the highway, and it was not exhausting or uncomfortable to drive for hours on end. My dad used to go into the shop he worked at and would pull up right behind someone and give them the slightest of taps in the back of their knee's, the never heard him coming. I also had the misfortune of driving an ecotec 2.2 powered '03 or '04 Malibu across Texas. The car sucked, but I can't recall having the engine making any noise, and I was holding 75-85 across the state.

Honda has GREAT small engines, everyone always says they lack torque, but that is only because it's in comparison to the HP rating (130 torque in an engine belting out over 190hp is rather odd) on their sporty engines.
 
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Spectre

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Oh, fourbangers in the States have gotten much better in recent years - but the general level of refinement of the typical US market fourbanger has not been suitable for long trips until the last couple of years. And even then, most of them aren't quite as good as their larger counterparts. The Zetec and Ecotec aren't bad, but the Quad 4 stuff was horrible. The *A-GE series from Toyota wasn't bad either, but the flat drone would drive you nuts after about an hour.
 

18T

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My car is made for cruising so i have no problem on the highway. The only thing is wind noise now that its 6-7 years old. Set it at 80MPH and youre all set, well until chicago traffic kicks in..

A4's are dogs off the line, but once it gets to speed its all good. A chip/catback system changes all of that.

My mother used to have a 91 Oldsmobile Toronado..(damn good power) it was a pretty cool car until it crapped out at close to 100K. We also had an oldsmobile aurora 96' which was amazingly comfy with very good power output.
 
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thedguy

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18T said:
I really just wish American manufacturers would make proper engines and cars. 5.7 V8 should be putting out at least 500HP.. at least.. and if its going to be expensive then dont put a 5.7 v8 in a car like that.. put a 3.6 that produces 320hp or something..
The problem there is, doing a "proper" engine means making the engine bigger and heavier, and more expensive, and less compact. The hp/liter on an LS engine may not be up to par with the europeans, but it's also far more compact, and less expensive to build. Remember this is GM we are talking about, not BMW, not Mercedes, they can't afford to redevelop an engine because they are bored (like they used to). And if they passed that kind of cost onto the customer, GM would have been out of business 10 years ago.

Honestly think about it, would you buy a (base, not the z06)Corvette that did everything it does now, but cost 15k more just so you can say "It's got DOHC, VVT and lift, makes 90-100hp/liter, hauls ass but it sucks down the gas" or would you rather say "my $45k Corvette has a 100k mile warranty, gets 27mpg at 80 on the highway, and will wipe the floor with damn near anything under $100k?" This assuming you'd be willing to own a corvette. To add that kind of cost to a Camaro would mean the likely death of the Camaro.

And as far as the LS series engines go, I've yet to hear anyone complain about the engine other than it's power/liter. It doesn't run rough, it's lightweight, it's fuel efficient, friendly to the environment (well to the extend an engine of it's intent can be), it's got massive amounts of torque, always has potential locked up in it... and thats where I think the point of these engines are. GM doing get every last bit out of 'em for the sake of the hot rodders.

If you have a low attention span, please at least read whats above this point. I know my posts tend to get a bit long.
============================

One thing I've noticed with Euro engines vs American is, the Europeans do all the inexpensive things to get the power out of an engine, they optimize the headers and the intake, and what not. The American's use a bit more displacement, and run cheap exhaust parts, cam(s) tweaked for more torque and fuel economy, and leave it to the aftermarket to sell cheap parts to get loads of power out of their motors.

I always hear (and have seen plenty of times) how a cheap cam, or some rockers, headers, and an intake manifold can gain upteen billion hp on an LS engine. On a BMW engine, and I'm not talking about their M engines but their regular all arounder engines, you've gotta get the heads ported, larger valves installed, combustion chamber work, lightened (stroker)crank (from diesel)/rods/pistons, machined lifters to reduce pump up (and weight) and a custom cam. To get 200hp out of my brothers M42 318is is roughly $9000, and requires all those parts. But it's one hell of an engine.

Look at this thread alone and you can tell we here in the US, "I can get X amount of hp for Y amount of dollars" is a popular argument.

Oh and GM has made attempts in the past to make "proper" engines. Everytime it burned them. The Vega had a 2.3 liter aluminum 4 (with cast iron head :rolleyes:), they went to Cosworth and had a twin cam head built for it, and they shrunk it to 2.0L as well. The car cost double what the regular one did, and was only a $400 shy of a Corvette in price.

Later they did the Quad 4 HO, in 1988. 170hp from a 2.3L (in 3 years it would go upto 190hp). These numbers beat the US spec 190E-16 valve Cosworth by 5-25hp. GM was shit on for how rough the engine ran (no balance shafts in the original design).

Hell look at the new Turbo Ecotech. 260hp/260lb-ft from a 2.0. It's still getting bashed because of it's noise and seemingly unwillingness to rev.

They built the ZR-1 Corvette's. Lotus All-Aluminum designed SBC LT-5 with DOHC (and a crude form of Variable valve timing/lift/duration). The engine option double the cost of the regular one, and the engine was no lighter than the cast iron LT-1/LT-4. In 1996 the LT-5 had 405 hp. The LS1 had 350hp when it came out, and in the z06 was doing 385 and a year alter 405hp. And it was actually lighter this time than the cast iron engines. One note though, the LT-5 is one hell of an animal if you got the money to build it. A fully built n/a LT-5 in a full weight C4 can do 9's with slicks.

Basically my point being, If we try and match the Europeans using their idea's, we get burned. Do it our way, and the results are quite nice IMO.
 
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I<3myV8

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I think you are exadurating a bit. They could easily make a 3.6 320hp that costs the same as a basic Corvette. They just don't do it because they don't want to mess with success. It's just not a traditional American product. It's not what a Camaro or Corvette is supposed to be.

Also, one of the reasons BMW and Mercedes are so expensive is because they are imported cars, not because DOHC engines are soooo much more expensive to build. For example a basic Corvette costs $70,000 CAD in Canada, but $100,000 CAD in Europe. So it works both ways.
 
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Spectre

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Except that the US-built BMW and Mercedes vehicles are also a lot more expensive. They're not imports; care to explain that?
 

I<3myV8

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Well, its due to a variety of reasons, not because DOHC engines are so much more complicated, and expensive than OHV engines.
 

nomix

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It's because a BMW has a surtain status that some people are willing to pay extra for.

Case solved. :)
 

hajj

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Except that the US-built BMW and Mercedes vehicles are also a lot more expensive. They're not imports; care to explain that?
Well German built Chryslers are also very cheap in the US... Care to explain? :lol::lol:
It's all about the markets and the consumers, BMW and Mercedes can charge a premium, because of who they are. And still you pay a lot less, even without taxes than we Europeans.
 

thedguy

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Arguably, some/many feel Euro cars are higher quality, and thats where the cost comes from.
 

bigsweezey

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I really just wish American manufacturers would make proper engines and cars. 5.7 V8 should be putting out at least 500HP.. at least.. and if its going to be expensive then dont put a 5.7 v8 in a car like that.. put a 3.6 that produces 320hp or something..
All the america companys have cars that put out 500hp. They also have the lower models that put out various HP from 200 up. At this point 500-550hp is flagship horsepower. Although not out a 5.7l specifically. The new camaro could have the same exact engine as the vette and it won't put out 500hp, probably more like 400hp or so. Because GM won't bring in a car to interfer with the vette market. It's not because they can't make the HP, but there is that point where you move to far, and the amount of people are slow to buy. For those people that's where the new shelby cobra and the Z06 vette(or the blue devil, if it ever actually gets released).
I personally think the new flagships should have around 600hp...but that's just me.
Remeber they are car companies and the name of the game is making money.
 

chaos386

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I think you are exadurating a bit. They could easily make a 3.6 320hp that costs the same as a basic Corvette. They just don't do it because they don't want to mess with success. It's just not a traditional American product. It's not what a Camaro or Corvette is supposed to be.
I really don't see how replacing a 430 hp V8 with a 320 hp V6 could ever be considered an improvement.
 

I<3myV8

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I really don't see how replacing a 430 hp V8 with a 320 hp V6 could ever be considered an improvement.
I never said it was an improvement. I just said such engine would not be super expensive to make. It is not an improvement, which is why they don't make it.
 

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I've read the thread through but not got my head round this.

Please could someone explain (in layman's terms if possible) how a larger engine in a big, heavy pickup truck gets better fuel economy compared to a fair bit smaller engine?

I'm trying to think it through in my head but can't work it out.

I mean, the comparison over here is (I guess) buying a 1.2 litre Golf and a 2.0 litre GTi and the latter getting better mpg (I've made up the engine sizes).
I know this has been answered before, but im going to dumb it down to caveman terms. Say you have to identical rocks that weigh 1,000lbs and 2 humans. Human number 1 is a body builder (The V8) and Human 2 is a computer geek that doesn't leave is moms basement (the high revv'ing I4). Now to move the rock human #1 uses almost no effort, while human #2 is straining and pushing as hard as he can to move the rock. Now back to car terms, Human #1 used almost no effort to move the rock so he didn't sacrifices much gas to move the rock. Human #2 used all of his effort to move the rock and used up all of his energy killing his gas mileage.

What it comes down to is: The Smaller motor gets over worked pulling 5,000lbs and it completely destroys the gas mileage bring it down the same or worse gas mileage as the V8.
 

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I would disagree with the "slow" when it comes to the Mercedes Turbo Diesels. We had a 300D Turbo; sure it was slow up to about 25 mph, but then the boost kicked in and you got a surge of power. There were a couple times I raced from the light onto the freeway against other cars (I was young and dumb). I would always get dusted off the line but half way down the ramp that Merc Turbo would come storming past with the 5 cyl diesel roaring like a hurricane.

I can't argue with the smoke, although it was only at startup and when you put your foot hard down. I remember having a black spot on the garage floor from the cold weather starts, but when you take into consideration the reliability and quality of construction I would rather have that 300D than any other sedan on the road today.
Ahhhh, you make me miss my cream-colored-blacked-out-windows 300D Turbo!!! Looking back, that car was a dream. And did you ever go balls to the wall in reverse? Thing was fantastic in reverse down a narrow driveway or something!!! (Don't ask)

And like most Americans in here; cheap gas, no taxes on displacement - why not?
 

thedguy

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I don't get why all the hate twards the Pushrod v8's. Has anyone ever heard of any auto "critic" even "the trio" bitch about the performance of our big engines? And the Camaro in the New Orleans episode doesn't count (it wasn't COMPLETELY horrible in it's day).

The only time I hear anyone complain about the pushrod v8's the complaint is merely that it's pushrod. No one ever says it's rough, that it's overly heavy and makes the car it's in handle like crap, it doesn't lack bottom end torque, it's not horrible to the environment (well except maybe in a truck), fuel economy is better than could be expected from an engine of it's displacement (even if it were a diesel)... I don't get the hate.

I recall JC bitching that "give a european 8.3 liters and they'll come up with more than 500hp" when talking about the Viper SRT-10...I guess no one told him Dodge contracted Lamborghini to design the engine for them...and only got 400hp.

I had a long point I was going to make with the AM v12, then found out, that is an American (Ford research USA) design/manufactured engine... according to wikipedia

One thing I find interesting is BMW's 6.0 V12, as technologically advanced as it is, is roughly 100lbs heavier than an LS2. And the LS2 weight is judged with all the accessories bolted to it (the BMW weight was taken from a site that sounded like an advertisement). The LS2 weighs in at 438lbs, the BMW v12 is 528lbs. It sacrifices 50hp to the BMW v12, but the 7 liter LS7 is no heavier, and makes another 50hp. I've seen enough BMW V12 cars to know, the LS engine is far more compact. Though I will concede the V12 is far smoother (there is a video one a coin being balanced on a running BMW 850's valve cover).
 
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