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    Thread: Worst engines ever made.

    1. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 12:50 AM #1
      Here is my list of the worst engines ever made (ill add the worst first, but after the first few they won't be in any particular order). I might have forgotten a few, but I left out some clichés on purpose (like the Caddy V8-6-4)

      I appreciate additions and CSBs about bad engines

      Worst.

      1) Chevrolet Vega 140ci aluminum engine. Problems associated with not using steel liners as well as cooling problems. Timing belts weren't sturdy yet and often snapped prematurely.

      2) Triumph Stag 3.0l V8. Why use the perfectly good Buick 215 when you can mesh 2 dolomite engines together? cooling, durability and timing chain problems.

      3) Cadillac HT4100. fuel injected aluminum V8 with... 130 hp. And a litany of reliability problems.

      4) Olds 350/4.3 diesels. Gasoline engine parts like con. rods and head bolts that aren't built to the pressures of a diesel, soured the diesel brand in the US for good. Great MPGs, though.

      5) Toyota 3ZVE. Poor reliability and power for a V6 Toyota.

      6) Chevrolet 200 and 229 V6s (who remembers those?) . Awful boat anchors.

      7) Ford Powerstroke 6.0L.

      8) Pontiac 3.4 DOHC.

      9) The "renesis" RX8 engine.

      10) whatever the hell was in the land rover discovery.

      11) Any twin turbo BMW

      12) Saab 3.0 V6






      Underwhelming/mediocre.

      -VW 2.Slow.

      -The Audi engine in the 924. I believe with the US emissions, it only made 95 HP, and it was almost twice the price of an RX7.

      -Delorean PRV V6. expensive exotic with a 130 hp V6.

      -GM 2.8 and 3.1 V6s.

      -GM iron duke and pushrod 2.2.

      -Buick 231. (125 hp)

      -ford 255ci V8 (debored Windsor with 120 hp)

      -Olds 260 V8 (weak 110 hp but economical and reliable)

      -BMW "e" 2.7l engine. Again weak but economical

      -Ford Vulcan V6.





      Good performers with bad reliability.

      Buick 231 turbo. For the malaise era, it had great power but having a non cooled turbo with a 2bbl carb gave it poor reliability.

      Oldsmobile Quad 4. Very fast (190 hp) 4 cylinder, but not terribly reliable.

      Cadillac Northstar. Great power and V8 MPG, but unreliable, especially early on.

      VW/Audi 1.8t (MK4/B5-B6 generation). Especially mounted lengthwise with the shallow oil pan.

      VW/Audi FSI/TSI.
      Last edited by 88c900t; 08-12-2016 at 02:56 AM.
      I gave up dailing old and rare cars and became a normie.
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      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      88c900t wins again, you really ****ing crush it at listing a ton of cheap options
      Quote Originally Posted by volvohutter View Post
      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles

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    3. Member ValidUsername's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 01:07 AM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by 88c900t View Post
      10) whatever the hell was in the land rover discovery.
      Made me laugh

      Also, in for stories.
      "Make it look like something."

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      08-12-2016 01:49 AM #3
      In terms of unreliability...

      Whatever Jaguar engines were in the Jaguars where aftermarket kits to install a Chevrolet or Ford V8 are available.

      Honda IMA hybrids (frequent battery failures).

    5. 08-12-2016 02:01 AM #4
      Triumph didn't use the Rover version of the Buick 215 because even after the formation of British Leyland from the merger of Leyland and British Motor Corporation there was still fierce rivalry between competing brands and this went as far as the withholding of engineering and technical knowledge and the sharing of parts.

    6. Member devianb's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 02:26 AM #5
      In terms of underwhelming performance I will add the Oldsmobile 301 Turbo or any 5.0l V8 GM made.

    7. Member therichisgood's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 02:43 AM #6
      I disagree on Volkswagen's 2 liter engine, I think they're great. I've many over the years with no major problems ever. I just sold my 99 MK4 with 325,000 kms on the clock and it's still going strong. The friend I sold it to took it on a 3000 km road trip the week after buying it without so much as a hiccup.

      The only time a 2.0 had ever left me stranded was when the water pump grenaded at around the 320.000 mark on above mentioned Jetta. New pump, t-belt and tensioner later it was good to go. I wish I still had it as a back up car

    8. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 02:48 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by tjl View Post
      In terms of unreliability...

      Whatever Jaguar engines were in the Jaguars where aftermarket kits to install a Chevrolet or Ford V8 are available.
      .
      I assume the XJS?



      It had either a 4.2 I6 or a 5.3 V12.

      Quote Originally Posted by devianb View Post
      In terms of underwhelming performance I will add the Oldsmobile 301 Turbo or any 5.0l V8 GM made.
      Wasn't the 301 a Pontiac motor? And the last strictly Pontiac engine ever built?

      True, most 305s or the olds 307 made 140-150 hp. At the very best, 190 in the L69 F bodies. But the exception is the Tuned Port injection 305 in the F bodies. It made 215-230 hp and managed a then impressive 15 and change seconds in the quarter. 0-60 in the low 7s and a top speed of 140, impressive given that it weighed 500 lbs more than an LX Fox.

      It does put things in perspective how bad Cadillac had it when the Broughams 140 hp 307 was an upgrade over previous engines.
      I gave up dailing old and rare cars and became a normie.
      Quote Originally Posted by Kiyokix View Post
      I like this guy, I like this guy a lot.
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      88c900t wins again, you really ****ing crush it at listing a ton of cheap options
      Quote Originally Posted by volvohutter View Post
      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles

    9. Member volvohutter's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 02:55 AM #8
      I'm not aware of any 2.9l Saab engine. I believe you're referring to the 3.0T, which was a pile of crap. Volvo had a 2.9 that sucked.

    10. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 02:56 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by volvohutter View Post
      I'm not aware of any 2.9l Saab engine. I believe you're referring to the 3.0T, which was a pile of crap. Volvo had a 2.9 that sucked.
      My mistake.
      I gave up dailing old and rare cars and became a normie.
      Quote Originally Posted by Kiyokix View Post
      I like this guy, I like this guy a lot.
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      88c900t wins again, you really ****ing crush it at listing a ton of cheap options
      Quote Originally Posted by volvohutter View Post
      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles

    11. Member volvohutter's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 02:58 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by 88c900t View Post
      My mistake.
      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles

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      08-12-2016 03:24 AM #11
      Aircooled V4, used in ZAZ 966/968/969


    13. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 03:27 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by volvohutter View Post
      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles


      Thanks for the flattery, but I have no commitment to a certain brand or type of car. I will say I was fortunate to give the classic 900 a go, and it left a big enough impression on me to buy a second one (usernamesake) and possibly a third in the future. 900s are really something special..
      I gave up dailing old and rare cars and became a normie.
      Quote Originally Posted by Kiyokix View Post
      I like this guy, I like this guy a lot.
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      88c900t wins again, you really ****ing crush it at listing a ton of cheap options
      Quote Originally Posted by volvohutter View Post
      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles

    14. Member Caruser4's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 04:39 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by therichisgood View Post
      I disagree
      Nobody was bashing their reliability. It's the performance he was calling underwhelming/mediocre.

      Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

    15. Junior Member MAG201's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 08:18 AM #14
      The Nissan Z24.

      Hard on rods. Didn't make great power, didn't have much fuel economy.
      The Z22 was fine. The L series and even the following SOHC KA24 were bounds better. Also the NAPS-Z dual plug setup with the distributor that was bound to break.

    16. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 09:44 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Caruser4 View Post
      Nobody was bashing their reliability. It's the performance he was calling underwhelming/mediocre.

      Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
      Yup, that section has some very reliable engines, and I wouldn't call the 2.0 unreliable. They just used it too long-it was adequate in the MK3 but it didn't have the power for the mk4/mk6.
      I gave up dailing old and rare cars and became a normie.
      Quote Originally Posted by Kiyokix View Post
      I like this guy, I like this guy a lot.
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      88c900t wins again, you really ****ing crush it at listing a ton of cheap options
      Quote Originally Posted by volvohutter View Post
      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles

    17. Member chuckster1's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 09:52 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by 88c900t View Post

      VW/Audi FSI/TSI.
      Hit the nail on the head. Totally agree and I have a list of receipts to prove it.
      Quote Originally Posted by GoHomePossum View Post
      See? You have to relax before you can completely take in all of TCL's magic.

    18. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 09:52 AM #17
      I understand the Renesis being disliked... but show me the similar vintage Wankel competitor it compares poorly against.

      And if cost to maintain and repair put an engine on one of these bad lists, then maybe you should just list the German engines NOT on the list.

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      08-12-2016 10:07 AM #18
      GM 3.6L LY7 V6
      Timing chain issues, oil starvation, sounds terrible.
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    20. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 10:09 AM #19
      Can we put the ticking time-bomb 5.4 3 valve Fords on this list? Just about every 100k+ mile ford truck with the 5.4 is ticking (cam phasers, or something) and needs a tuneup, but no one wants to do it.

      Chris
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    21. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 10:17 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by 88c900t View Post

      10) whatever the hell was in the land rover discovery.

      Not true. Very not true. The 3.5 and 3.9 was actually a good motor. The liner slip issues happened with the 4.0 and 4.6 motors.

    22. Member Gear_Cruncher's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 10:18 AM #21
      Corvette Z06 .... didn't they have a habit of blowing up, eating valves or over heating or something?

      60s and 70s GM small block cars and trucks ate camshafts and the plastic coated timing gears would lose their teeth and allow the chain to jump and then bend all the valves.

      Ford Pinto 2.3L was gutless power wise and would eat timing belt teeth with their little tiny crank pulley... you never knew when it was going to die.

      90s Ford Escorts ate timing belts regularly.

      Probably already mentioned was that Cadillac V4-6-8 piece of crap from the 80s.

      Toyota's MKII MR2 ... the non turbo engine was fine up to about 5,000 rpm and then it hit a brick wall .... just made noise and didn't pull anymore.

      Porsche 2.7L engines had cylinder head stud problems among other things
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    23. Geriatric Member @McMike's Avatar
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      08-12-2016 10:20 AM #22
      WV water cooled boxer they put in the Vanagon - They should have never made this engine.

      Pressured by the EPA and having no other van for the booming US minivan market, they were forced to remove the jugs and throw jackets around liners and hosed up one of the more complicated water-cooling systems I have ever seen. Coolant flush can take all day, and bleeding the system requires you to put the front up on ramps to get all the air to the radiator bleed screw.



      Even if you flush the coolant every-other year, the heads can still eventually pit under the jacket gasket, and you'll end up having to recondition them eventually.



      It's a shame, since otherwise the engine is durable and pretty reliable. I believe the bottom end is the strongest boxer VW ever made. Hell, even some guys take one of these blocks and cut the jackets off and put jugs back on for a frankenstein engine they call "Oxyboxer."

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      08-12-2016 10:22 AM #23


      CROSLEY COBRA.

      Nothing else even comes close. It's an engine where the entire block is made of stamped sheet steel.

      http://crosleyautoclub.com/Mighty_Tin.html



      Apparently it wasn't so bad as a generator engine, but revving up and down, and heat cycling continually in a car made it awful.
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      08-12-2016 10:29 AM #24
      2.8L 12v Audi 90° V6. Under powered, low revving, rough as hell, heavy, gas sucking...



      ...and they put them in some of their best cars.

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      08-12-2016 10:59 AM #25
      Audi 2.7T engine found in B5 S4 & C5 A6 + Allroad



      Notorious for oil leaks from valve covers + cam/crank seals, very high operating temperatures (causing cooling issues), various sensors failing way too early, complex to work on, tight fit especially in B5 S4.

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