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General Motors - GM 4.3 Liter Vortec - I am so disappointed with the quality of this engine I will never buy another General Motors Product again
Posted on Monday, May 17th, 2004 at 12:00am CDT by Jake P.
Product: 4.3 Liter Vortec
Company: General Motors
Category: Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Vehicles
GM 4.3 Liter Vortec Is a piece of JUNK!
I am a 15 year ASC, and state of Michigan Master tech. I have been teaching dealer tech's for the last 8 of those 10 years.
I have been driving S Series Pick ups's and Blazers sense I received my drivers license back in 1983. I recently bought my first non TBI or carburetor equipped 4.3 equipped vehicle. It is a 2003 Chevy S-10 4 door pickup. You know, the latest, greatest Vin W Vortec pushrod engine. I am so disappointed with the quality of this engine I will never buy another General Motors Product again. Far less because of the inherent design flaws right out of the box that have been able to stay with a design that is near 10 years, but because of how stupid General Motors thinks it's costumers really are!
My engine has the same problems that 80% of V6 and V8 Vortec engines have. Its noisy and idles terribly! GM has been promising a fix for years with no resolution. Carboned pistons causing clacking, improperly metered lifters are noisy and to top it all off, a balance shaft torsion problem that completes the engine noise cycle and vibration throughout ALL operating ranges and engine speeds and conditions.
With as many millions of these ticking time bombs on the road, with no resolution in sight, GM just shrugs its shoulders and says: "Hey, its a pushrod motor, its supposed to be noisy." $27,000 for a vehicle with an engine that sounds like it has 150,000 miles on it at 15,000 miles and on. I guess they think that them telling us Vortec owners that "it poses no longevity or performance issue" should appease our sense of concern. Problem is IT DOESN'T! Of 5 dealerships, none could give me the time of day, and GM costumer service? Lets just say, banging my head against the wall would have been a more productive use of my time.
I pulled the motor out of my NEW TRUCK myself and found:
6 of 12 lifters defective. Improper valve preload on all 6 resulting in a noisy valve train. Checked bleed down rate of all lifters, none of which met GM's own Minimum Bleed down rate specification for this application.
8 valve guides with at least .005" of movement.
7 valve springs out of square and ALL 12 with less than 50 lbs of installed seat pressure.
Valve stem heights in variance of over .020" on a non adjustable valve train.
.023" back lash on the balance shaft gears. OH MY GOD! No wonder it's so noisy! After trying to match 16 sets of new shafts and gears, best I could do was .008" and had to lap them in as well. Lucky for me ONE local GM dealer let me strip old gears and shafts from old warranty engines. They had exploded carcasses on hand. Where did those all come from?
Left bank of the engine had a minimum of .006" piston to wall clearance and 2 collapsed piston skirts, right bank had 1 collapsed skirt with .005" on one cylinder. THATS 3 collapsed piston skirts total in a 6 cylinder engine.
If I didn't know it was an almost new engine, I'd swear it had at least 100,000 miles on it!
After an investment of $675.00 and a week and a half with the engine on a stand, my engine sounds like it should after 16,000 miles. Its QUIET!
Question is, why couldn't GM do this in production? How many years have they been having this problem? For as long as a balance shaft has been inside the Vortec! What is the moral of the story?
GM has no regard for costumer care, or satisfaction. GM has no regard for the faithful costumer and Joe lunchpail who is paying a note on a truck that sounds like a piece of junk! I just wanted to share my engine autopsy with your readers.
Any one want to join me in a class action law suit?
Dearborn Michigan (home of Henry Ford and the Mustang)