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Reply #157: Also take into account OHC vs. OHV. [View All]

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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-08 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #24
157. Also take into account OHC vs. OHV.
I think the longevity that LTx and LSx series GM V8s is greatly due to their OHV construction. It seems to me that overhead cam engines were created for two reasons. The first was to allow smaller displacement(not lighter, mind you, but smaller displaement) engines to perform better at higher RPMs and the second was so that manufacturers had greater control over intake and exhaust timing. As GM has proven with their latest OHV engines (which seem to all be V8s, but I'd love to see them make a V6 or two from their LS line like they did with the old 262 which was a 350 with two cylinders lopped off), that you can achieve everything desirable in an engine (torque, horsepower, smoothness, quietness and fuel economy) without resorting to a more complicated overhead cam design. Then you add in things like cam in cam technology which allows for a degree of variable valve timing to be integrated into OHV engines, and you've got an engine with great power, smoothness and fuel economy. I really believe that GM has created damn close to the perfect engine with the LSx series V8s. I hope in the near future, we see more simply RWD, V8 powered sedans and coupes that are easy to work on and provide great value. We're seeing that to an extent with the new Pontiac G8 and Chevy Camaro, but I'd like to see more FWD cars phased out for RWD replacements. I've never understood why all economy cars are FWD, I would have thought that at least one car manufacturer would have a cheap, small RWD 4 cylinder that sold for the same as the Cobalts, Civics, Corollas and Focuses yet was a lot more fun.

Your points about FWD cars are very valid, but the problems with FWD cars are not reserved solely for imports. I think a large portion of the decline in quality of domestics during the 80s and the early 90s was due to the big 3 switching the great bulk of their vehicles to FWD and lacking the experience that the foreign competition had with them. I think if they had focused on making their existing RWD vehicles more fuel efficient rather than creating entirely new FWD compacts, they'd be in better shape now. All these years later and it still seems that old school OHV technology and RWD is still the way to go. RWD is not only cheaper and easier to produce, but RWD cars are so much more fun to drive than their FWD counterparts.
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