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Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

Old 12-03-2006, 07:29 PM
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Default Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

The following are engines I consider to be good designs currently made and offered by the Big Three:

GM: the 3800 90degree V6 (based off of the Buick small-block)

Chrysler: the 3.8L V6

Ford: 3.0L Vulcan V6

I have seen more of these over 200,000 miles with minimal problems. This is for those who think I never give credit to brands other than DCX.

Which engines do you think are the most reliable that a made by the Big Three?
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:59 PM
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Default RE: Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

my ramcharger has over 200,000 miles on it, and the valve covers have never been off....360 cubic inches of non-magnum mopar V8.

amandas truck has around 125,000 miles on it, and hasnt had any major problems, other than the water pump. however, i do know that people have had problems with the magnum 5.9.

the 318 in the mirada had around 150,000 miles on it, and i was racing it, not letting the tranny drop into 3rd gear, stretching 2nd the whole quarter mile...i am the second owner, and my dad was the only person to work on it with the first owner. in his records, he could only find proof of two oil changes between 1983 and 1994, when i bought it...there was so much engine carbon built up, the lifter valley was completely packed full, with narron tunnels through which the pushrods ran...and my old D150 (totaled) had the same 318, and it was around 150,000 without a problem when totaled.

in short, the older small block mopars. ive seen too many 3.8s with problems when i worked as a tech...and ive seen too many of the 2.7s fail.

ive not had others, at least not while ive been old enough to know what was going on...
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Old 12-04-2006, 12:04 AM
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Default RE: Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

Okay, I'm interested in hearing this. What problems do the 3.8L and 5.9L Magnum have?
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:43 AM
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Default RE: Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

i seem to recall that the 3.8s in minivans had oil leak problems. while i understand thats not like a crankwalk issue, it is still a pain...thats its, really. just alot of oil leaks, and some were at fairly low mileage.

as for the 5.9 magnums. they have crankwalk issues. they have had problems with the heads cracking between the valves on non-RT engines. timing chain failures, water pump failures. im sure that im missing something more major, but the head problem and the crankwalk problem are the most severe.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:59 AM
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Default RE: Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

My votes in the Mopar Camp would be for the slant-six, and the 383. In the 1964 (or earlier) World's Fair, engines from all over the world were put on display (this is what my stepdad tells me), drained of oil, and ran. The last engine standing was a Studebaker V-8.
The Buick V6 is a tough motor, and has been around for almost fourty years, starting in '63, I think, living in the seventies as an AMC jeep motor (they purchased the tooling), and re-emerging under the tri shield in the early eighties.
Ford? Well, its ford...
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:03 PM
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Default RE: Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

Well the thing is that I stated that these are to be designs that are currently being offered; therefore, the 5.9L Magnum, slant six, and 383 do not qualify since they have been discountinued. If I got into engines that were discountinued it would become very difficult to say. There are many good engines that are older.

Anyways, to address your statement about the Chrysler 3.8L having oil leak problems, I have seen more 3.3L/3.8L Chrysler with over 200,000 miles and none of the owners complained about this. I know of at least one case of an oil leak with every engine out there, even the best designed engines in the world are bound to have at least some oil leak problems when you make millions of engines, and when you work at a dealership, your going to see a lot of them.

I'm not saying that it is impossible, but I even know of cases of oil leak issues with the 3.0L Vulcan and GM 3800 and to me an oil leak is not a disqualifying factor. Every engine has its flaw, it just comes down to if the engine consistently needs to be rebuilt with low mileage that makes the difference to me.

I wonder how the HEMI will fair? With only being out 3-4 years, it is hard to make a judgement on it just yet.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:09 PM
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Default RE: Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

i think you also need to take into effect how the cars with the given engines are driven.

minivans arent typically run very hard...most people who buy a minivan arent looking for performance...and when a vehicle isnt beaten, the engine will last alot longer. they also arent under much stress such in hard acceleration, repeated high rpms, etc. im sure that some people run their minivans hard, but typically, you arent going to see many hot rodding minivans...so the engines arent stressed as much...

take a mustang GT, and 100,000 miles. the odds are pretty good that the mustang engine has seen more rpms, especially hig rpms, in 100,000 miles than a minivan might have in 150,000 miles...other things too, like long distances at high speed and high rpms..over-revving, etc.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:31 PM
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Default RE: Most reliable engines made by the Big Three

This includes some extended K models cars as well. Although this includes the smaller 3.3L it includes some Dodge Intrepids, Chrysler Concordes, Eagle Visions, etc.

You might be surprised. Some people drive them very hard since they aren't very fast. Also if your driving in hilly territory, they downshift a lot.

The other thing to take into account is how other engines offer in the same market faired. For example, the Windstar offered the 3.8L which some claim its a V6 version of the 5.0L with aluminum heads. Regardless where it is from, I know of quite a few cases of head gasket failure with the Ford 3.8L in the Minivans at around 60,000 miles. This was also the case in the Mustang and Taurus at around the same mileage.

Also (no offense to the 3.0L Mitsubishi fans) I have seen a few cases of oil leaks with the 3.0L Mitsubishi at low mileage and maybe one head gasket case. I haven't seen many with as high mileage as the 3.3L/3.8L.

I have seen head gasket failures in pretty much all offerings I4 offerings in the Caravan/Voyagers Chrysler or Mitsubishi design, but the 2.6L seemed to have them sooner than the 2.5L and the 2.4L is more consistent than the 2.5L is.

I have seen a few cases of engine failure in the 3.4L in GM 1997-2004 minivans due to intake manifold gaskets at around 70,000 miles.

I've heard of sludge problems with some of the older Sienna's but that was because the whole engine line was known for having that problem. I've heard of oil leaks in the Odessey engines. I think the old Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager 3.0L and 3.3L had some problems with the cam shaft or something.

The problem I have with your example is that I have seen so many different engines being offered in cars that do not inspire people to drive fast and they still have as many problems as the ones in models that are more likely to be driven harder.
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