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I can't believe the Ford 2.3 liter engines that were found in the early 90's model Ford Rangers didn't make this list! I had to replace three EGR valves in the first 70,000 miles. The tranny also needed a rebuild at just 33,000. There were several of us in my unit who had these trucks and they ALL had similar issues. Thank God our food and clothing were provided by uncle Sam or I would have been too poor to eat.



Tom
 

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My worst engine was in a 1981 Cutlass LS sedan. 3.8 L V6, damn thing. Bought it used in 1989. I became an expert in head gasket replacement over several years. I could swap in new gaskets in about 3 hours, including the coolant flush and fill. Gaskets were cheap, a new car was just totally out of reach. I remember those days.

I've wrenched, serviced, and worked on every car I've ever owned, except for my current SUV. It's actually cheaper to get the dealership to do the oil changes and maintenance. Damn synthetic oil is $9 a quart. The upside is oil changes are 10,000 miles apart.
 

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My first car had one of those Chrysler 2.2 turbo engines. Was actually pretty good. Though pushing 15lbs of boost to her for a extended top speed run eventually blew the head gasket and cracked the head. Still fixed it and ran for another year (still with the turbo waste gate locked shut) before the trans failed and it was just too rotted out to be worth fixing.
 

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I have a 87 olds cutlass ciera with a 2.5 4 banger in it, its 30 years old and still has original belts and hoses...:eek:
My worst engine was in a 1981 Cutlass LS sedan. 3.8 L V6, damn thing. Bought it used in 1989. I became an expert in head gasket replacement over several years. I could swap in new gaskets in about 3 hours, including the coolant flush and fill. Gaskets were cheap, a new car was just totally out of reach. I remember those days.

I've wrenched, serviced, and worked on every car I've ever owned, except for my current SUV. It's actually cheaper to get the dealership to do the oil changes and maintenance. Damn synthetic oil is $9 a quart. The upside is oil changes are 10,000 miles apart.
 

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Tried to open the link but got several virus warning popups instead. Guess I'll never know.


My mother had a 99 Dodge Intrepid with a 3.5l v6 and I think that is probably the worse engine I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with. It was at the shop more often than not, and she ended up trading it in a week before the warranty was up. That dealership easily spent way more money fixing it that it was worth.

This one:

http://www.enginebuildermag.com/2013/10/problems-that-plague-chryslers-3-5l-engine-creates-rebuild-opportunities/
 

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Back in the mid 90s I bought my wife a Cadillac Seville that turned out to be the worst of the worst cars we ever owned. It rode like a dream and was roomy and very nice for long road trips with lots of nice amenities most of which kept failing. The engine was a V 8 that sucked premium gas like a hog, think the best we ever got was around 10 MPGs on a long highway drive up to Maine. The power door locks constantly failed because the solenoid motor was over powered and would slam the locks down so forcefully the plastic lever would break inside the door. The driver had to climb over the console and exit and enter through the passenger door, three times, and it cost over $300 for the repair each time. I finally cut the power lock wires. The heated drivers seat over heated the leather and left burn lines so I had to defeat that switch. It was a car I really considered driving to a bad section of NY City and parking it with the keys in the ignition but ended up taking an $8,000 loss when we traded it in at the dealer with 30K miles and a $34,000 car was only worth $9,000. Then we bought a real sweet Eddie Bauer edition Ford EXPLODER. Another horrible car that came with Firestone Death wing tires that blew apart at 65 MPH and destroyed the rims in the process. The first day we owned it new from the dealer we brought it home and the following morning my wife tries to drive her new SUV to work and the battery is dead. Same thing the next 2 mornings. Finally the dealer traced the issue to a faulty door switch in the rear tailgate that left the interior and exterior mirror puddle lights on all night. They repaired that 3X under the warranty and my wife was stranded a half dozen times in that car in the first year until she begged me to get rid of it. We are all Toyota ever since and have never had a single break down or warranty repair in well over 400,000 miles.

GaryL
 

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87 Lincoln Continental. More gadgets than you could shake a stick at and virtually none of them worked as intended. I bought it in 97 when I was still a poor bastard and it cost me a fortune to keep on the road. No matter how well I prepared it for winter two years in a row the freeze plugs went on it. The last straw was the air bags in the suspension as I could not afford to get them fixed. As I recall the engine was a strong runner, when it did run. Sold that car for scrap and bought a friends 88 E-150 with two captains chairs and absolutely nothing else in the interior. I bought that van for $500 and put 42,000 miles on it over the course of three years traveling around Michigan and Ohio playing in softball tournaments. Even lived out of it for a week and a half when me and a roommate decided we both wanted to be the alpha male. The ensuing brawl was a good one. I may have won the fight but was asked politely by the Durand police department to leave the premises:black_eyed:. Grabbed my camping gear and clothing and never went back. Secured an apartment of my own and I believe the van missed my company so much it decided to throw a drive shaft at 65 mph. That was a wild ride and a fitting end to a GREAT vehicle! Sold that van to a guy who wanted the engine and newer all terrain tires for..............$500:D




Tom
 

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87 Lincoln Continental. More gadgets than you could shake a stick at and virtually none of them worked as intended. I bought it in 97 when I was still a poor bastard and it cost me a fortune to keep on the road. No matter how well I prepared it for winter two years in a row the freeze plugs went on it. The last straw was the air bags in the suspension as I could not afford to get them fixed. As I recall the engine was a strong runner, when it did run. Sold that car for scrap and bought a friends 88 E-150 with two captains chairs and absolutely nothing else in the interior. I bought that van for $500 and put 42,000 miles on it over the course of three years traveling around Michigan and Ohio playing in softball tournaments. Even lived out of it for a week and a half when me and a roommate decided we both wanted to be the alpha male. The ensuing brawl was a good one. I may have won the fight but was asked politely by the Durand police department to leave the premises:black_eyed:. Grabbed my camping gear and clothing and never went back. Secured an apartment of my own and I believe the van missed my company so much it decided to throw a drive shaft at 65 mph. That was a wild ride and a fitting end to a GREAT vehicle! Sold that van to a guy who wanted the engine and newer all terrain tires for..............$500:D




Tom
YUP! I bet every one of us has some story to tell about a horrible vehicle we have owned.

GaryL
 

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Fun thread with many opinions.

In a previous life, I spent 10 years and ASE auto tech at a independent shop (my brother is still there as the service manager).

We worked on everything from Dodge Omni to Ferrari.

In my humble opinion, I wouldn't wish these engines / cars on anyone:

GM 6.2 Diesels
Ford Triton V8 97- current w/ spark plugs in top of engine that get stuck - JUNK JUNK
Dodge Caravan with the 4cyl turbo. (made in the 80s.)
K cars
Eagle Primer
Cadillac Catera - junk car, JUNK!
Chevy GMC S10 series with 2.8 V6
Any Audi - literally any.
VW VR6
GM Odd fire 3.8 V6 (early 80s)
Ford / Lincoln with 3.8 V6 (90s)
Geo Metro
Early Hyundai
Ford Explorers and Rangers with 4.0 V6 (1990s)
Toyota 4Runner / pickups with 3.0 V6 - horrible design and flaws with heads / gaskets.
Any stupid conversion van with a stupid "Dog House" when you need to remove a TV and VCR to change the plug wires - DUMB.

All cars / engines are junk in one way or another.
 

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Fun thread with many opinions.

In a previous life, I spent 10 years and ASE auto tech at a independent shop (my brother is still there as the service manager).

We worked on everything from Dodge Omni to Ferrari.

In my humble opinion, I wouldn't wish these engines / cars on anyone:

GM 6.2 Diesels
Ford Triton V8 97- current w/ spark plugs in top of engine that get stuck - JUNK JUNK
Dodge Caravan with the 4cyl turbo. (made in the 80s.)
K cars
Eagle Primer
Cadillac Catera - junk car, JUNK!
Chevy GMC S10 series with 2.8 V6
Any Audi - literally any.
VW VR6
GM Odd fire 3.8 V6 (early 80s)
Ford / Lincoln with 3.8 V6 (90s)
Geo Metro
Early Hyundai
Ford Explorers and Rangers with 4.0 V6 (1990s)
Toyota 4Runner / pickups with 3.0 V6 - horrible design and flaws with heads / gaskets.
Any stupid conversion van with a stupid "Dog House" when you need to remove a TV and VCR to change the plug wires - DUMB.

All cars / engines are junk in one way or another.
Good list of engines to avoid but I would love to hear some of your opinions on the best engines both current and past. I have a few I considered favorites such as the Dodge slant 6 I think 225 and the 289 Ford and 383 Chrysler. Most of my buddies swore by the GM 327 but I never owned one.

GaryL
 

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You left out the Ford 292 V8. They had problems with lubrication in the heads, Didn't get enough oil up there.
That was the end of many of them. The six was a solid dependable work horse, and the 312 V8 was good too, then came the 352 which was also good.
But the 292 gave Ford a bad name for a number of years. I had a 56 that went that way. My 57 was a convertible with a 312 thunderbird engine.
 

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What's wrong with the VW VR6? Those things are bullet proof, go like a cat on fire, and sound like heaven. And you can get very many horsepressures to live inside them with little effort.
 

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Some best cars I have owned are 1986 VW Golf with the1.6l N/A diesel. May have been gutless but I sear that car would go forever. Had 400,000kms on it when I decided to sell it and get a new 2004 VW diesel (new one was Far less reliable but was even better on fuel and had much more power).

Another was Fords Ranger pickups. Had 3 of em over the years. All with the near bullet proof 3.0l V6. Again not a lot of power but did just fine for everything I asked and were reliable as they come.
 

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What's wrong with the VW VR6? Those things are bullet proof, go like a cat on fire, and sound like heaven. And you can get very many horsepressures to live inside them with little effort.
Yes, the engine was fun and sounded great. Electrical issues, coolant issues, intake issues, vacuum problems, transmission - never ending on the 5-10 customers had had them over they years at our shop. I'm sure some have run great for years though...
 

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Here are my favorite engines for reliability. I am fairly young, so my experiences is only form the 1980s to current :)

Toyota 22RE
Toyota I6 - Landcruiser
Jeep I6 and HO
Chevy 5.7 TBI (not the 5.7 VORTEC - what a terrible fuel injection mess that was)
Honda Accord / Civic 4cycl (FI, not carb)
GM 3.8 Series II, III etc NON supercharged... Olds, Pontiac, Buick etc... Great engine except for occasional intake manifold leaks
Early Chevrolet 5.3, NON VVTI and the funky cylinder shut down junk.

Funny thing is, I dont have any of these. Basic maintenance can make the worst junk run for a long time (even a Chrysler product).
 

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Yes, the engine was fun and sounded great. Electrical issues, coolant issues, intake issues, vacuum problems, transmission - never ending on the 5-10 customers had had them over they years at our shop. I'm sure some have run great for years though...
I had an 04 r32 golf which had the schmedium size vr6 and the 4motion 6 speed. I personally never had a single problem with either, but that may have been the exception.
 

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Part of my first teen age job was helping the boss's father when his Caddy's battery would chronically discharge. With solenoid operated door locks and electrically operated hood release the car needed 12v to get inside to deal with issue of lack of 12v. Catch 22 time. I would load up jack, stands and and jumper cables and go to wherever that mustard yellow beast had foundered, jack it up, crawl underneath and feed power to the starter solenoid to activate the door locks. Then I could power up the hood release to eventually jump start the Corpse de Ville. With enormously long doors this was especially fun once when the land yacht Cadillac got marooned in a rather narrow parking slot. This was back when Cadillac was putting run-of-the-mill GM engines in some of their fleet.
 

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Worst-
GM Gas to Diesel Conversions (All)
Early 4.3 GM (pre 1987?)
Chrysler 2.2l 4 cyl. (all)
Ford 3.8l
Ford 1.9l Early 80s

Best-
Chevy v-8 57-98 or so?
Chrysler 318 pre 1980 (most fuel ineefecient and durable, so best and worst?)
Current Ford "Coyote" 302
Current Chevy V8 (is the oil use issue solved finally)
Toyota 22r
Ford 2.3l Amazingly stout, 225 HP with a bit of work and the bottom end of a v-8!
 
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