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3.8 vs 5.0 vs 6.0 take off / low end torque

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Z2TT, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Z2TT

    Z2TT Member

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    Hi Guys.

    I have a VT Wagon 3.8 and just for some fun I'm chasing some more punch right off the line without changing diff gears, I'd like to put a larger engine in it. I have noticed the Ecotecs just have amazing take off and torque below 3000rpm even against some V8's.

    The car will remain automatic as it's a work car. I'm really not concerned about peak power as really it's just for a bit of fun but I don't want to make the car feel less punchier right off the line.

    I'm wondering if anybody has driven both a VT/VX 3.8 auto and also a VZ 6.0L Auto and could tell me which one feels punchier only right off the line without absolutely smashing the throttle but just a stab and the low end power.

    I did some research and a lot of guys who daily drive both their Ecotec's and V8 cars mention that their ecotecs just still feel more punchier right off the line but I can't say for sure. I'd appreciate any advice on how a 5.0 or 6.0 stock or maybe with a tune will pull right off the line compared to a Ecotec.

    Cheers guys.
     
  2. Sandman

    Sandman Challenge Accepted

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    LS anything would eat your ecotec even under 3 grand. Decide what you want to do, you say you don't want to change diff gears but would consider an engine swap. If you just want a little more punch in a daily diff gears for sure, 3.45 or 3.7 won't set the world on fire but will certainly lift you further into the power band on takeoff and are far easier to do than a whole engine change.
     
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  3. EYY

    EYY Well-Known Member

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    Ecotecs have much more low end torque than the alloytec v6, but the v8's certainly blow the ecotec out of the water for bottom end driveability.

    And yeah diff gears are the way to go if you don't mind it revving a little more when cruising.
     
  4. uniacidz

    uniacidz Harden the Frak Up

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    Funny no 5.7L requested by OP, I'm saddened

    Chalk n cheese between V8 and V6 in reality

    As for more low down torque mods, for a V6, open your wallet and keep it open

    Diff gears best bang for buck though
     
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  5. figjam

    figjam Donating Member

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    Having had a 3.8, 5.0 and a 5.7 ( all stock but no 6.0) .......... Chalk, cheese and chips.
    A 3.8 is quick off the mark, but runs out of puff.
    A 5.0 is pretty linear in feel, until it runs out of puff also.
    A 5.7 is lethargic until it gets to near the point where the other two give up, and then ......... bye.
     
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  6. Zeke Topanaga

    Zeke Topanaga Active Member

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    The 3.8L is quite snappy off the line and as you say, you are not on about power so much but just how it response, my wife had a 3.8L auto yep not a bad little engine that went better than any other 3.8L commodore I have driven, but the only thing I did not like was the auto that would not drop back to 1st at anything under 50 KM/H I think it was, so I would up it in the traffic and go f no ! I could not make the move because she did not drop back to 1st, not I found the box to be just fine but what I would want if it was my car is that when I use the T Bar shifter I want it to go back to first at least 60 to 65 KM/H and that's all, non of the other BS mods but just that function alone would make it liveable to me and I understand the reason why Holden make the auto function that way, for many people would loose control with the power coming on that hard, not to mention it's more easy on the auto life span.

    I have done mods to my 3.8L ecotec manual with air scoop chip and exhaust but was it worth it not really because you gain nothing much down low to mid to really talk about and top is well oh hum.
    I would say what you are saying is the 3.8L autos are quite nippy of the line and yes I agree they are good, but going down lower gears is not really the answer, but less weight sure can help.

    Looking for a new car for the wife I test drove a stock FG 6 speed auto Falcon and f that was quick off the line, in 1st and 2ed they go real well but in 3rd what a gutless slug as soon as you hit 3rd, Alloytec V6 have nothing on that Falcon that I have driven and the wife bought a Aurion and that sure is quick off the line, but it goes mental axel tramping at times even with the traction control, but will blow any V6 commodore away, it's just that it's FWD that makes it not a drivers car you can be proud of.

    I had a new VS series 3 ute 5.0L 5 speed 179KW and running it hard on 91 octane on a hot day it was that gutless that the wife's VS auto would flog it no problems, but if I ran 95 octane in that 5.0L it then performed just fine, but running 91 octane it lost around about 40 to 50KW easy and it was as stock as a rock.
     
  7. gtrboyy

    gtrboyy Active Member

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    Having owned 3.8,5.0.5.7 ls & holden stroker cars most with shorter than factory diff gears etc

    Drove a Vz 6.0 litre auto maloo for a few days....it walked all over a lightened vn v6 t5 with 4.11 mini-spool thrash car I had at the time.
     
  8. Z2TT

    Z2TT Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I guess I left the 5.7 out because it appears to be quite slow until it wakes up so more of a motor you have to rev to have fun with.

    Would a 6.0L Auto pull harder right off the line as you stab the throttle?
     
  9. SV6SIDI

    SV6SIDI Member

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    do a L67 swap . Its Punchy as hell down low, much more than a 3.8 ecotec. But even though it felt quick off the mark it was only as quick as a current sv6 sidi to 80km then would run out of puff.
     
  10. EYY

    EYY Well-Known Member

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    Best way I can describe an l67: stock 304 bottom end torque below 3000rpm, then revs just like an ecotec after that. Nothing special about them.

    I've owned numerous cars, a few with 304's, ecotecs, l67's, and one Buick etc so have been able to compare each one. I have to say that the stock l67 is underwhelming though. They just don't like to rev in stock form, but they do give awesome driveability.
     
  11. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

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    Just do some cheap mods to the Ecotec, manifold spacers or similar and later when you still want more just buy a VZ or VE SS and be done with it.
    Comparing 3.8 to 5.7 or 6.0 is obviously futile. I did like my old Eco though, it could take a pounding and didn't complain.
     
  12. gtrboyy

    gtrboyy Active Member

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    Only real way to move faster off the line is shorter gears & higher stally....diff gears are best bang for bucks for what you got unless going to buy vz 6.0 & even those you'll want to modify the same things.
     
  13. immortality

    immortality Moderator Staff Member

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    You've ruled out the one mod that would make the biggest difference on a stock car.

    IMHO the stock ecotec is a bit of a slug, I'd rather my VN V6 over an ecotec.

    L67 with a few decent mods is great for a daily but I'd still throw some diff gears at it.
     
  14. Zeke Topanaga

    Zeke Topanaga Active Member

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    The VN V6 was as you say but the ecotec V6 were a lot of difference in that some went well and some were real slugs, I think it has to do with how the spark timing is setup, it looks to be a hit or miss thing, as some had to be re chipped to retard the timing because they would ping.
    My wife's VS V6 would ping on overtaking on the highway initially and would ping from 5000 to 5500RPM on 91 octane and this was the fastest auto V6 I have driven stock as a rock.

    Two people I know who buy a new ute every year and they say that they have had one ecotec V6 that was gutless and that the others went well.
    I had a drag with Ant's and cleaned his up like a dogs breakfast, but mine was chipped and exhaust and air box snorkel like the HSV have looking thing, I still have the chip and air box from that 1995 V6 manual.
     
  15. EYY

    EYY Well-Known Member

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    The weight of the vehicle is a MASSIVE contributor. Buick v6 in a VN is similar in performance to an ecotec in a VS. I had a VR statesman with the Buick and it was definitely slower and more reluctant to rev than the ecotec. I owned both the vr and vs at the same time - both v6's.

    Btw if you have a car than constantly pings, either you're using **** contaminated fuel or there's something mechanically wrong. Factory tunes are very conservative, and the v6's all have knock sensors to retard timing if knock is detected. If it's so bad that the knock retard doesn't help, you need to be looking at the engine itself.
     
  16. immortality

    immortality Moderator Staff Member

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    We had both a VN and a VS V6, my VN would run rings around the VS any day of the week without trying. T5 for the win :D
     
  17. vr304

    vr304 Active Member

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    Not sure if this is a comparison your looking for but I have a VE SS 6 litre manual with otr air intake, hsv headers, twin 3 inch exhaust and full mafless tune it is very snappy off the mark have to be gentle with the throttle on take off otherwise it lights the wheels up.... Also I think you'd be pleasantly surprised by how much difference changing your diff gears makes, it will be heaps snappier off the mark and still cruise at decent revs and drive better all round if you go to a 3.45 ratio
     
  18. commodore665

    commodore665 expat Saffa

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    I agree totally , the VR V6 Calais we had , used to bark , surprisingly quick off the line .
     
  19. immortality

    immortality Moderator Staff Member

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    I used to have a 70mm TB on the VN, the throttle was very touchy and too sensitive for regular street driving I went back to a 65mm unit instead.
     
  20. monstar

    monstar Donating Member

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    No reason to doubt that for the stock cars mentioned but I have found that there is a diminishing point of return in a VE A6 SS with a short diff and you are better with tall gears, even starting in second gear, and stock stall, than turning it into a engine case screaming ricer.
    Boils down to tractive effort (force) vs traction (grip). I’ve done mods to increase 6.0 torque level and manage bandwidth, and swapped back stock 2.92 and deleted first gear from the tune, because both were counter productive:

    Below calculator is by HP Tuners, uses detailed specs to provide accurate bench testing of results.
    Here is high torque VE 6.0 take-off street tyres, 2.92 diff, stock stall, both identical. Blue is stock first gear vs Red second gear ratio result (cos setup as 5 speed second shows as first etc):
     
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