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How often to do you 'beat' on your car and how hard?

Brettly-2008

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Bit of a general thread/chat about the pros and cons of nanny-ing or flogging cars like V8 or V6 Commodores, and people's experiences with wear, tear, durability, reliability etc.

Like most people on here, I like cars and I like driving. I love the sound of my SS climbing through the rev range and the associated acceleration. It actually feels 'bulletproof'. I also don't mind hustling my V6 Statesman occasionally.

But I also have a healthy sense of mechanical sympathy and believe things last longer if you don't abuse them too much. But is that true? Is the durability of all the factory mechanical systems like engines, trans and diffs, and their associated safe tunes all capable of being flogged repeatedly and are there example of abused cars racking up super high mileage and still driving great?

On the flip-side, does baby-ing a car ensure a trouble-free, reliable future?
 

VS 5.0

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I can't answer your questions specifically, however I do believe that vehicles of our type should be well exercised.
 

rognvald261

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I know a guy in South Australia with an worked L77, 640 BHP / 600 ft⋅lbf, driven daily with 500kg+ load, travelled same distance as the Chang'e 4 probe (355k km). Third diff, second tear down, original trans, seems to have the bugs worked out. No planned service issues before 520k km.
Veteran advocate in the US has original unopened L76 original AFM tune done almost twice that (620k km).
 
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Calaber

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There's definitely a clear distinction between working a car hard and abusing it. I believe that it's possible to dive a car to its limits without causing excessive wear on the mechanicals, but it depends very much on driving technique. I love making gear changes up and down in a manual that are so smooth there is no sensation of them being made - revs and road speed are perfectly matched. Heavy braking done with gradual release of pedal pressure so that the stop causes no discomfort to occupants and cornering always with something left, never at the max.
My cars don't break but they aren't pampered. (Present car excepted - who pushes Captiva hard?)
 

Brettly-2008

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There's definitely a clear distinction between working a car hard and abusing it. I believe that it's possible to dive a car to its limits without causing excessive wear on the mechanicals, but it depends very much on driving technique.
Just out of curiosity. How would you see two identical cars driven by two different drivers, where one was always given half throttle take-offs at every set of traffic lights verses one driven gently off the line. Both serviced the same, would there be any noticeable differences at 200k kms?
 

rognvald261

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Just out of curiosity. How would you see two identical cars driven by two different drivers, where one was always given half throttle take-offs at every set of traffic lights verses one driven gently off the line. Both serviced the same, would there be any noticeable differences at 200k kms?
Yes, the more our engine is WOT before torque peak the healthier it will be at 200k km. Throttle blade is the main obstruction to efficiency and longevity.
 

Zehq

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Surely not running through the whole rev range every now and again is worse for the engine? Bouncing it off the limiter doing burnouts is terrible though.

I did one year of city driving to work and another year of highway driving to work (taking it easy in both cases, except maybe WOT at the on-ramp), as well as many spirited driving trips on the weekend. 80,000km later (110 to 190) and I've had to replace my water pump around the 160,000km mark. A bit early IMO which is probably attributed to fanging it every couple of weekends.

It'd be interesting to hear what yall would consider abusing a car. Calaber is on point IMO.
 

Calaber

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Just out of curiosity. How would you see two identical cars driven by two different drivers, where one was always given half throttle take-offs at every set of traffic lights verses one driven gently off the line. Both serviced the same, would there be any noticeable differences at 200k kms?
Let me turn the answer around a bit to two drivers driving the same car. In the late 70's and early 80's, one of my mates had an LH SLR 5000. Every six weeks or so, he had to rebuild the mechanical clutch mechanism. Every few months, out came the box for replacement of synchro, bearings or gearsets. He was absolutely brutal in his driving technique. Heavy take-offs, hard, fast shifts, never double shuffled back through the gears, the synchro did all the work.
Occasionally, I got to drive it from his city workplace to his home if he had a work vehicle. His wife, who worked with him, would be in the car with me.
I drove the car in my manner. Smooth up shifts, double shuffle down shifts, even braking, sensible take-offs. I'd give it a squirt where traffic permitted.
She was amazed at how smooth the car could be when driven that way. She thought, being a largish V8 in a medium sized car, that it required a firm, or heavy, hand to drive. She realised that the car wasn't the problem, it was her old man, who just couldn't drive it properly.
To give a definitive answer to your question.. If I'd owned that car, you would have happily bought it from me at 200k. If he owned it, it would have been rooted at half that distance.
 

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In my opinion, I've only every thrashed my car once, at a track day doing lap sprints (1 out lap, 3 flying laps, 1 in lap), maybe 5 - 6 runs. I put fresh oil in before the day, and the next day after the track day.

On the road though, I do baby it. Very rarely sees north of 3000rpm. I do just putt around town (Mount Barker, Adelaide Hills), at 40-50km/h.
But on the freeway down track where I hold it in 4th gear to maintain 90km/h, and also hold 4th gear going up the freeway so it doesn't labour, sits at 3500ish. I do this trip fortnightly.

I haven't had any of the typical VE problems, no oil leaks, no noises, no squeaks.
I have a freak SIDI SV6 that is completely stock but puts out 200rwkw(with dyno sheets), yet maintains 11L/100km around town, 6-7L/100km/h highway.

I have a strict maintenance schedule which I have had since day one (I've owned the car since new - Apr 2010)

Oil change - 10***km (if I don't do 10***km in a year, I change the oil and filter anyway)
Oil filter - 10***km
Spark plugs - 50***km
Coil packs - 50***km
Brake fluid - annually
Coolant - annually
Diff oil - annually
Pwr steering - annually
Transmission fluid change - 2 yearly

Car has 160***km on the clock now. Still drives like she did from day one. I do **** all km's each year now.
First 5 years she did get a work out though.

Out of curiosity, I recently bought a borescope, pulled out each spark plug and had a look at the top of the pistons, and also inside the intake manifold through the throttle body. Happy to report not one spec of carbon build up.

If your constantly thrashing the car V6 or V8, and you keep boiling the coolant, or engine oil, it gets to thin to be able to do its job, which leads to engine wear. Same goes with cooking the trans fluid, diff oil, coolant etc - cook it to many times and wont end well.
 

Brettly-2008

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I'm sure we've all heard to old wives tales about grandma's Kingswood that never drove above 60 km/h gumming up the back of the vales and glazing bores and needing a premature rebuild. Is there truth to that with modern cars?

My uncle has an interesting theory regarding engines that rarely see a decent rev. He believes if an engine never saw redline for 100s of thousands of kmls and suddenly got revved hard it could destroy. His theory was that a little extra flex in the con rod could allow the rings to bash against the ring land and cause catastrophic damage at redline. It was just a theory mind you.

I put a freshly rebuilt performance 308 on an engine dyno a few years back. Big dollars spend, lots of shiny parts, only to watch it get abused on the dyno from the second it fired! Nothing like a bit of piston thrust to bed in rings!
 
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