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Was the Alloytec a dud?

Calaber

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Those of us who have experienced Holdens over many years know that Holdens have been fitted with a multitude of 6 cylinder engines. Until the Alloytec, the only really "advanced" engine was the Nissan six in the VL. While the other engines were basically unrefined, they were reliable. In the case of the Ecotec, its overall reliability, durability and economy are well acknowledged.
The Alloytec, though is a different matter altogether. Chronic and very well publicised failings like timing chains, sludging, poor crankcase ventilation and complexity have given the engine a bad name. It's not only in Australia. I looked through a number of videos on YouTube and the Alloytec has just as bad a reputation in the US.

I had a 3.2 alloytec in my 2006 Captiva, with 206k when I sold it, with none of the problems evident during the 3 years I owned it. My sons VE Omega, purchased s/h in 2010, drove across the country for 4 years, travelling from Melbourne to Darwin, and also never missed a beat, so they can be reliable. Some members of this forum have mentioned how reliable their VE's have been but more commonly, when a newbie asks for advice about purchasing a VY or VZ for a first car, we advise the older car, because it didn't have an Alloytec.
So, is the Alloytec a dud? Opinions?
 
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Noeleter

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They are an advanced engine and fine generally if properly serviced. Some older engines can handle more abuse but are not as refined.
 

Zehq

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You don't even need to compare it to international cars, just compare it to the Barra. You still see FG Falcon taxi's and fleet cars with a million+ km on them but don't see any VE commodores...
 

Calaber

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They are an advanced engine and fine generally if properly serviced. Some older engines can handle more abuse but are not as refined.
That's true but the Alloytec suffers from numerous serious weaknesses. That's the reason I posted this thread. Japanese and European engines are very refined too, and while they all have their problems, the Alloytec seems to have more, and more frequently.
 

JMP

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I thought it was only the early Alloytec that had issues and they ended up sorting most issues out. I was always told don't buy an early VE V6 but to go the V8 and I was more a ls guy by the time the VE came out anyway so don't know much about it
 

_R_J_K_

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Alloytec wasn't a dud, Holden's implementation of it was. Cheaping out on the timing chain (Audi already made that mistake) and putting a woefully undersized PCV system on it. Other problems associated with the VZ got that lumped with the Alloytec i.e. the crap build quality ECU they put in the VZ which seemed to be failing in epidemic proportions a few years ago.

Disappointing that Holden didn't introduce some more fun versions like the twin turbo variants, but I guess that would have just made a lot of things worse. As an engine standing on their own I really like them as GM doesn't really seem to think outside the box for engines really. The LS is a great motor but the good old 'Murican way for performance development at GM is to just add more displacement to a pushrod V8.

Outside of that I thought they revved and pulled really well (disregarding certain gearboxes that were behind them). I'd like to see somebody do a low stroke version of it where they use a crank from an LP9 Alloytec in an LLT or LFX to destroke it to 3.1L and maybe turbo it, or just run really aggressive N/A. Would probably spin to like 9 or 10,000.
 

Calaber

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Alloytec wasn't a dud, Holden's implementation of it was. Cheaping out on the timing chain (Audi already made that mistake) and putting a woefully undersized PCV system on it. Other problems associated with the VZ got that lumped with the Alloytec i.e. the crap build quality ECU they put in the VZ which seemed to be failing in epidemic proportions a few years ago.

Disappointing that Holden didn't introduce some more fun versions like the twin turbo variants, but I guess that would have just made a lot of things worse. As an engine standing on their own I really like them as GM doesn't really seem to think outside the box for engines really. The LS is a great motor but the good old 'Murican way for performance development at GM is to just add more displacement to a pushrod V8.

Outside of that I thought they revved and pulled really well (disregarding certain gearboxes that were behind them). I'd like to see somebody do a low stroke version of it where they use a crank from an LP9 Alloytec in an LLT or LFX to destroke it to 3.1L and maybe turbo it, or just run really aggressive N/A. Would probably spin to like 9 or 10,000.
It wasn't Holden who cheapened out on the chains. Its a common US problem too and would have occurred in far greater numbers than Australia.
 

_R_J_K_

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It wasn't Holden who cheapened out on the chains. Its a common US problem too and would have occurred in far greater numbers than Australia.
Eh, regardless, it was a material/component issue and not a platform one if that makes sense. If they'd made the PCV hole a bit bigger and spent an extra 10 or whatever dollars on the timing chain.
 

EYY

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Silly idea to run chains - belts are the way to go.

Just look at the 3.4L toyota 5vz-fe. Dohc 3.4L, non interference, 5500rpm redline, very torquey and pulls a 2.5t+ load daily and can do more than a million km without issues. It's just properly engineered and has a hell of a hard time pulling all that weight compared to an alloytec.

May have been okay in other countries/vehicles but not here. Aussies tend to like big torquey engines that'll push you back in your seat but at the same time can be a little too relaxed when it comes to services and regular maintenance. The old 253, 304, 308, 3.8 v6's and the ls series of engines are very simple and very hard to kill even when not properly maintained - which is what commodore owners were used to prior to the release of the alloytec. The younger generation tend to like the alloytec a little more - probably because they haven't experienced the resilience and cost effective maintenance of older models.
 

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I like the motor. It’s misunderstood a lot. Weaknesses have been pointed out already.

I feel what this motor really did was highlight the relationship of Holden and GM. A heap of forced compromises made.

As also pointed out is Fords attempt at a more sophisticated motor. Holy **** did they get that right. Now becoming one of the world’s best motors. Maybe if Holden had been allowed to design their own engine, they may have achieved a similar outcome. I say this ignoring obvious costs and economics in doing this.

Wow did Ford do something great or what!
 
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