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    Thread: Worst 4-cylinder engines

    1. Member mm3's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:09 PM #1
      V6 motors, V8 motors, now let's do 4 cylinders.

      Guess who...



    2. Member Justin_Eshelman's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:12 PM #2
      “A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster.”

    3. Member subgraphic's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:16 PM #3
      Iron duke
      Have a on me...

    4. Member mm3's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:23 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Justin_Eshelman View Post
      False.

    5. Member David802's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:25 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by mm3 View Post
      False.
      It neva loses. Didn't say anything about neva breaking.

    6. Member IridiumB6's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:29 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by David802 View Post
      It neva loses. Didn't say anything about neva breaking.
      I prefer the term.."high maintenance"
      Quote Originally Posted by DRUB View Post
      What just cause Im new.

    7. Member David802's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:32 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by IridiumB6 View Post
      I prefer the term.."high maintenance"
      Isn't that what Volkswagen means in English?

    8. Member jddaigle's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:39 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by David802 View Post
      It neva loses. Didn't say anything about neva breaking.
      Of all the problems people like to talk about MkIVs having, problems with the engine itself are a pretty small proportion. I don't think that problems with e ignition system (coils) or the water pump count as "engine" problems. Cracked rings, weak head gaskets, weak rods, etc., now those would be engine problems.
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    9. Member David802's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:42 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by jddaigle View Post
      Of all the problems people like to talk about MkIVs having, problems with the engine itself are a pretty small proportion. I don't think that problems with e ignition system (coils) or the water pump count as "engine" problems. Cracked rings, weak head gaskets, weak rods, etc., now those would be engine problems.
      I was joking... Jump next time.

    10. 08-11-2012 06:44 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by jddaigle View Post
      Of all the problems people like to talk about MkIVs having, problems with the engine itself are a pretty small proportion. I don't think that problems with e ignition system (coils) or the water pump count as "engine" problems. Cracked rings, weak head gaskets, weak rods, etc., now those would be engine problems.
      Uh no. Those still count as engine problems.

    11. Member Live-Wire's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 06:57 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by surefooted View Post
      Uh no. Those still count as engine problems.
      They sure do. The 1.8T popped into my head when I read the title. Also doesn't help that it would sludge up due to oil spec/capacity until VW changed those... It only has a good rep because it is tunable; cheap power... and decently reliable once as you repair all the OEM stuff with good stuff.

      On the other hand, the 2.Slow while agonizingly out of date is not a 'worst' engine due to how robust it is... slow yes, not great on fuel, but durable as hell.

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      08-11-2012 07:05 PM #12


      Ford 2.3 HSC as found in Tempo/Topaz (also in 2.5 form for Taurus). The worst aspect of a lackluster car, they sounded terrible, were slow revving and lacking in power. Apparently, it was easier for Ford to chop a third of the Falcon's engine off rather than reconfigure the Pinto engine for transverse duty.
      Makes the Chrysler 2.2/2.5 seem superior (which it was in comparison).

    13. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 07:07 PM #13
      Weren't the early Quad Four engines troublesome and sounded like a meat grinder?



      But they did deliver on the power and economy promises.
      It's easy to make power from a four banger when you don't have to worry about introducing extra rotating mass to keep the mill from shaking itself to death.

      The 190 hp 1990 Quad Four Beretta was a surplussing potent car (for the price back then).

      They reduced the power on later years to try and help the terrible NVH levels.
      Who cares how much power an engine makes at XXXX rpm if the engine acts like it is destroying itself when run there.
      Last edited by BRealistic; 08-11-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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    14. 08-11-2012 07:29 PM #14
      With out a doubt, its the GM 2300 (Chevy Vega). It's a testimony to how much damage you can do with a little knowledge. Next, I would say the GM Iron Duke.
      Last edited by VR6Now; 08-11-2012 at 07:35 PM.

    15. Member pontiac's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 08:29 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Weren't the early Quad Four engines troublesome and sounded like a meat grinder?
      I don't think they sounded too bad...reliability wasn't one of their strengths though.
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    16. Member classicjetta's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 08:33 PM #16
      I dunno about the Iron Duke being on this list, I mean that's what the USPS uses.


      The Ford Pinto engine is pretty mediocre though.

    17. 08-11-2012 08:39 PM #17
      The GM pushrod 2.2 that they used in the Crapalier for a couple of decades was pretty miserable. Noisy, no power, mediocre fuel consumption, and head gasket leaks were common.

    18. Member jimb's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 08:44 PM #18
      The Chrysler 2.2 liter used int the K-Cars were known for blown headgaskets among other things.

    19. 08-11-2012 08:58 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by classicjetta View Post
      I dunno about the Iron Duke being on this list, I mean that's what the USPS uses.
      You can find them on a ton of smaller boats too.
      call it potatography

    20. Member Eightysixturbo's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 09:04 PM #20
      pardon my 'merican

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      08-11-2012 09:08 PM #21

    22. Banned Hurt's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 09:25 PM #22


      The 2.0 SOHC 16v motor used in the Dodge/Plymouth neons from 95-99. They eat headgaskets like cookiemonster eats cookies..

    23. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 09:29 PM #23
      The 2.0 Split Port in Focuses. Known for dropping valve seats.


    24. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 09:47 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Weren't the early Quad Four engines troublesome and sounded like a meat grinder?


      My dad had a '91 Grand Am with the high-output Quad Four - it sounded like a bunch of rocks in a blender and felt like it too, but he never had any reliability issues that I can remember (over 30k-some miles).
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    25. Member Señor Peligro's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 09:51 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by jddaigle View Post
      Of all the problems people like to talk about MkIVs having, problems with the engine itself are a pretty small proportion. I don't think that problems with e ignition system (coils) or the water pump count as "engine" problems. Cracked rings, weak head gaskets, weak rods, etc., now those would be engine problems.
      Baahahahahaha

      I love you people

      "My car only needed a tow 6 times in 4 months, but since it was nothing major it's no big deal. The car is reliable."
      Now go get your shinebox

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      08-11-2012 09:53 PM #26
      B21A in the 90 - 91 Honda Prelude Si. I am too lazy atm to look up pictures, but they are absolutely horrible. It's shocking I still drive Honda's after owning that car, literally a giant turd. I checked the oil after every gas fill up.. From my understanding it was the worst Honda engine ever made, by a LOOONG shot.

      Oil burning, piston ring eating POS. After 120K the engine was completely shot.

    27. Member crisvr6's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 09:59 PM #27

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      08-11-2012 10:03 PM #28
      Whatever craptastic engine that the 2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer's came with. No power and terrible mileage.
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      08-11-2012 10:17 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by VR6Now View Post
      With out a doubt, its the GM 2300 (Chevy Vega). It's a testimony to how much damage you can do with a little knowledge. Next, I would say the GM Iron Duke.
      that engine would run for ever. sound like crap and loud but run forever. And you could fire in the cylinder head bolts in with an impact gun and good to go.

    30. Member Cubster's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 10:21 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by crisvr6 View Post


      Again....that motor is bulletproof.....it's the car around it and the blower that are the problem.

    31. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 10:23 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by unintended acceleration View Post
      B21A in the 90 - 91 Honda Prelude Si. I am too lazy atm to look up pictures, but they are absolutely horrible. It's shocking I still drive Honda's after owning that car, literally a giant turd. I checked the oil after every gas fill up.. From my understanding it was the worst Honda engine ever made, by a LOOONG shot.

      Oil burning, piston ring eating POS. After 120K the engine was completely shot.
      The fibrous cylinder wall engine?

      IIRC- you could just throw new rings in and go.
      The cylinder walls were so strong they never seat the rings.
      So while they "ate rings", the engine was far from shot.
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    32. Member David802's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 10:27 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Cubster View Post
      Again....that motor is bulletproof.....it's the car around it and the blower that are the problem.
      Last time I checked, the blower was part of the engine...

    33. Member bustedbucket's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 11:08 PM #33
      In terms of a real turd, the pont-a-mousson 4 for the facel vega facellia comes to mind. Holed pistons in very short order.

      And speaking of vega, there was the cosworth vega known for unstellar reliability. They sound great though!

      As for personal experience, whatever was in the '88-'89 excel was pretty terrible(mitsu orion?). No zip and poor reliability. Dailied one of those until it gave up the ghost in pretty dramatic fashion.

      Worst sounding car i've dailied was a '90 escort with the 1.9. Reliability wasn't too bad, just a pretty gutless and very rough engine.
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      08-11-2012 11:23 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      The fibrous cylinder wall engine?

      IIRC- you could just throw new rings in and go.
      The cylinder walls were so strong they never seat the rings.
      So while they "ate rings", the engine was far from shot.
      From what I recall, there was no compression in one of the cylinders. It was something to do with the cylinder walls and the cylinder having 0 compression.. I didn't have the money to pay someone to 100% diagnose the problem and replace anything but from what I recall the kid I sold it to knew a local mechanic, who said a cylinder was done, 0 compression. I don't know enough about what happened to say for sure, and I don't think you can either Who knows what happened after that, maybe you have experience with these engines, I moved on and didn't really care.

      I sold the car for 500 bucks and moved on to an EF Civic hatchback and put a B16 engine in it from hmotorsonline. Best move ever at the time and had a complete blast but I will never forget that POS 91 Prelude.

      I don't recall the rest of the details and you may on to something. I was 21 years old, in college, and broke at the time to go back and try to fix a car thtat would hardly run and literally sputter when it was running. Felt like it had 50 HP... For a Honda, it was absolutely horrible and a terrible experience. I bought it expecting a sporty little ride to get me through college. It was before I even had a computer so I couldn't research these things prior to buying it and when it was gone I had already swapped the b16a into my EF so I didn't really care to look back...

      I feel old now.

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      08-11-2012 11:30 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Weren't the early Quad Four engines troublesome and sounded like a meat grinder?

      But they did deliver on the power and economy promises.
      It's easy to make power from a four banger when you don't have to worry about introducing extra rotating mass to keep the mill from shaking itself to death.

      The 190 hp 1990 Quad Four Beretta was a surplussing potent car (for the price back then).

      They reduced the power on later years to try and help the terrible NVH levels.
      Who cares how much power an engine makes at XXXX rpm if the engine acts like it is destroying itself when run there.
      The quad four was a remarkable engine for its era. I recall the issue being that it didn't have balance shafts in 190 HP trim. When they added balance shafts it went down to 150 HP. But hardly a dolt of an engine.

      Completely unrelated to your post: I love MKIV hate-buttbois. Decent factory performance, 33 mpg on the highway, 50% power gains from boost on stock internals, an engine that outlasts the turbo, transmission, and electrical system of the car its in - none of you know what you're talking about. Its like all the forum jokes from ten years ago about a few bad coil packs and plastic water pumps were a formative part of your puberty and you still smack off to the memories.
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