By on July 18, 2015

2015-Chevrolet-CorvetteZ06-016-sm

While track testing the latest Z06 Corvette, Gary Gastelu of Fox News experienced an issue that’s becoming a trend for Chevrolet’s supercharged sports car: engine failure.

“After a few lapping sessions, the engine in mine unceremoniously called it quits,” reports Gastelu in his review.

Unfortunately the cause is still unknown in this instance, though engine failures are increasing in occurrence for the 650-horsepower Corvette.

Late last year, Corvette Forum’s member “Lawdogg149” had the LT4 V-8 in his Z06 implode after only 891 miles on the clock. The failure was with the valvetrain, though root cause of the failure wasn’t reported. GM instructed the dealer servicing the car to return the engine to the mothership unopened for further analysis. The Z06 received a new powerplant covered under warranty.

GM Authority stated as many as three failures have been mentioned on Corvette Forums as of June 2015.

Other issues have been reported, such as reduced power after hard launches or track use, in order for the engine to “survive for 100,000 miles as well as allow the Z06 to meet stringent US emissions regs,” reported Jalopnik last year.

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138 Comments on “Another Corvette Z06 Engine Fails, This Time In Journalist’s Hands...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    Three engine failures? Stop the presses!

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    These aren’t ISSUES – these are PROBLEMS.

    Interesting situation, though.

    After years of trashing the Corvette for, essentially, Not Being A Ferrari (and focusing on minor niggles that would be forgiven were the car European), the elitist, anti-America automotive press finally has something LEGITIMATE to complain about regarding the car, rather than subjective nonsense about “a horrible interior” and other crap they conveniently can’t put a yardstick to.

    Still, sooner or later GM will no doubt have this PROBLEM sorted out.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      Meet the new GM same as the old GM, letting customers do the road testing and product development.

      • 0 avatar
        EvilEdHarris

        Oh you mean like Ford has done with all of their stuff…

        Every auto maker does this to a certain degree.

        • 0 avatar

          That is any production’s first year. I once bought the first year of something…there is a reason it is a rule not to.

          BMW introduces new engines on an opposite cycle from the bodies. New engines come out on the refresh of the old model, and new models have tried engines. Avoids a double lemom.

          The performance versions are hugely lower production, higher stressed, used way harder, and probably tested less by the company as well. BMW replaced a lot of M engines over the years. You don’t build up the record that a massive production run does of failures and fixes; hopefully.

          When the warranty claims come in, they know what didn’t work….till then, how the company supports your beta test, er, ride to work, important.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            We have a first year(2004) Acura TSX, a first year(2007) Civic Si sedan, and a fist year(2012) CR-V. The dealer placed the state inspection sticker in a place where it blocked the light meter’s view of the CR-V’s climate control. Other than that, the first year Hondas have been close to perfect. After about 8 years, the TSX developed an intermittent passenger door lock solenoid issue. It’s still closer to trouble free than any of the other non-Honda new cars we’ve ever owned.

            To be fair, Honda is one of the companies that proofs most new technologies in its domestic market. The V6/automatic combination that gave them a black eye in the US had no Japanese market relevance. The Germans also tend to sell new cars for a year in Europe before dumping them in the US, although that is rarely enough to bring their quality up to Japanese standards. UAW cars are usually here first, unless they’re old Daewoos. That might be why people who buy UAW cars say you shouldn’t buy a first model year car, or a Monday car, or a Friday car, or a labor dispute car, or a car that’s been in production long enough for the tooling to wear out, or…well, you get the idea.

      • 0 avatar
        dantes_inferno

        > Meet the new GM same as the old GM, letting customers do the road testing and product development.

        It’s more like letting the bean counters from the old GM regime do the road testing and product development.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    In GM’s defense, most civilian cars used on tracks in actually track use, will fail. Watch an Indyrace and you see that those cars will fail on occasion even with factory teams constantly supervising and pampering the cars.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t trust GM with street-legal engine use, so this isn’t a surprise.

    anything known about how they drove? Like with 100% power for 30 minutes, or just track usage like my grandma would drive on the track? I’d say if a professional driver really drives at the limit for an hour, almost any car would fail.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I used to go to a couple of track days a year. I never saw an engine fail. I saw brakes fail in my buddy’s Porsche, cooling issues for a supercharged Miata, and a coupe of electrical issues that were the result of stupid modifications, but zero catastrophic engine failures. That includes cars in the race group, which were driven by competent drivers at a fair clip. Only one of the race group cars was a racing car. The other top competitors drove 996 GT3s, an F430 Challenge Stradale, and a few C6 ZO6s. Popular cars in the group I went with were Porsches, Honda S2000s, Lotus-Toyotas, and E36 BMWs(these were typically full race, although no faster than the stock sports cars).

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        Yeah, but those cars probably weren’t being driven very hard. My dad (who spent 20 years racing in SCCA GT1 and Trans Am) took his 350Z to a track day at Watkins Glen and said that he was blowing by cars with double the power of his on the straight. Guys are afraid of them. Just because you take your 500+hp car to the track doesn’t mean you’re driving it like a race car; if you do, you’ll find that the vast majority of street vehicles won’t survive long at all.

        • 0 avatar
          HerrKaLeun

          +1

          when most people say they were on the track, that meant they used maybe half the power of the car because they (rightfully) were afraid to go faster.

          I’m not defending GM… if those Vettes were driven as i assume by normal people they should not fail. If driven by a professional Indycar driver with enough practice with that car, for an hour (with the obvious fuel stops) those cars are toast… regardless of manufacturer.

          Drive your car redlining at full resistance for 30 minutes and report back.

          I kind of doubt this was the case here since journalists most of the time don’t know how to drive, though.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “when most people say they were on the track, that meant they used maybe half the power of the car because they (rightfully) were afraid to go faster.”

            That hasn’t been my experience. Novice drivers are slower because of lower apex and corner exit speeds, but they’re still going full throttle on the straights. They’re trying to get around the track as fast as they can. Absolutely nobody is shifting at 3500 rpm out there like you suggest.

            I don’t think you have even the slightest bit of knowledge or experience about track driving.

          • 0 avatar
            HerrKaLeun

            No I don’t drive track and if i did i would be one of the slow drivers. But I’ve seen track and races as audience. and there are the midlife-crisis gray haired Porsche drivers, and the ones that actually drive the car like a race. big difference on engine wear.

            I generally think GM builds shitty cars, so I’m not a GM apologist. but before we know how the car was driven, and what actually failed, the bashing should halt. Maybe the journalist shifted into 1st gear at 100 mph (not sure this would be possible, though…) or something like that.

            Anyway, chances are 80% GM shotty engine, but there is a 20% chance this was engine abuse.

            Since it was a journalist, he probably drove at 3000 rpm and shit his pants, so maybe you guys are right after all.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            LOL cranky old men sharing tribal knowledge over here , when none of you have been to a track day…oh but your friend has so you know all about it. You don’t have to be fast to be hard on the car in fact novice drivers tend to burn up the brakes, and any monkey can stomp on the go pedal on a straight, only the most timid driver is not going WOT, those types you see once in a blue moon in the novice groups, they are rare.

            If you had been to any track days you would know the Corvettes are one of the fastest cars and also tend to be solid, reliable and cheaper to run than the more exotic hardware they keep up with. The reaction to engine failures are more about letting that reputation down, than some sort of typical GM problem.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            This is a ridiculous argument. Who the heck is Gary Gastelu? I think it was a guy named Kyle Busch that won today. Gary has run one race, in the AER jalopy class. Most of my friends have done instructor duties at track days, and their laptimes at Laguna Seca would sound absurd compared to what magazines accomplish in comparison tests. This car blew up driven by a rank amateur. Many other cars are driven harder and don’t blow up. I’m embarrassed for even addressing this piece of ignorance.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “In GM’s defense, most civilian cars used on tracks…”

      Are we talking normal civilian autos or fire breathing sports car civilian autos that kill Porsches and Lambos? No sports car or pony car or work truck, should catch on fire or blow the engine or lose its brakes or simply stop working just because it’s tested on a track for performance or performance towing.

      Excuse are like… Everybody’s got one and they all stink.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        Please, watch a professional race like Indy or Formula 1. You will see that multiple of the cars will fail. Their engines also only last a few races (before regulations only one race). And they have full sponsor/manufacturer team support, perfect engineering and maintenance and still fail.

        Are you seriously telling me you can take your car to the track and race it the same way (at 100% power output most of the time) and it won’t grenade after an hour? Even the Hellcat papers are proud of something like being able to provide full power for 20 minutes or so… so don’t tell me your normal car can survive an hour at 100% power output.

        Drive your car hard enough for 2 hours so that you wear out 3 sets of new tires. If your engine still didn’t fail, we can talk again about how much better your car is.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yeah, yes I can. Why don’t we hear of Hellcats, GT500s, Boss 302s, Z28s etc blowing engines off the showroom? Heck or even Porsches or M3s??

          Hard use and even abuse is expected. Or they’re doing it wrong. Intended use. If they sell me a commercial truck, do they think I’m buying it for *show*???

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Actually, Porsche engines grenading far earlier than they should was an issue with the Boxster once upon a time.

            V10 Lambo engines have a glorious history of immolation in both Audi and Lambo products.

            There were Tesla’s catching on fire from the batteries getting pierced on early production models, requiring changes to the armor protection in the batteries.

            Not in defense of LS4 failures – you said we haven’t heard from other makers these kind of issues – but we most certainly have heard about major problems in other makers performance cars far earlier than they should rear their ugly head – or say in the case of V10 powered Audi R8s – should have never raised their heads in the first place.

            Shoot, have people already forgotten that quickly about the paper transmissions that came with the first model year Nissan GT-Rs. You know, the one that if you used launch control you voided your warranty and a long list of angry complaints of grenaded transmissions from nothing more than spirited street driving?

            Forget semi-exotics and high performance cars, have we already forgotten bearing failures in brand new FR-S/BR-Z in their first model year?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Stuff that’s simi or fully exotic? The engine you at least expect not to eat itself, right off the showroom floor, no matter the hot shoe journalist.

            Except American Hot Rods like the Corvette you expect more from. A lot more. Same with the Hellcat, SRTs, GT500, Ford GT, Viper, Z28 etc, etc. Even the SS Camaro and Mustang GT. They all have engines based on commercial and civilian trucks. Some with a billion+ miles of real world abuse and neglect.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Serious race cars are designed to last the duration of the race. They are made to be as light as possible for their power output and intended lifespan. Huge difference between a lightweight, high-revving 1.6L 800 hp turbo race engine and a relatively heavy, low-revving 1.6L 130 hp street engine.

          Street cars are designed to last much longer. A typical engine design test, and the exact one used by Ford, is to run the engine full throttle, cycling between the torque peak and power peak – so, 4500 to 6500 rpm on my engine – for 300 hours straight. It needs to be able to survive that before it even goes into production, whether it’s for the base Fiesta or the Ford GT.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            I’d be more impressed if they ran it at the resonate frequency of everything on the engine side of the motor mounts for 300 hours. I’m betting they pass through the resonate frequency somewhere between idle to redline and with motors like the ford 3 cylinder, would be something I would want tested or to test myself.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @rpn453 Serious race cars are designed to be seriously refurbed after every race, though, not replaced. And I doubt that corners are cut in engineering strength into con rods, pistons, blocks, etc. Lighter materials, perhaps, but shaving weight off just to save a few ounces while weakening the machine? I doubt it.

            Though the claim elsewhere on here that GM would do a few hundred power launches back to back fails to test one form of heat stress…sudden changes from low heat output to high heat output, followed by a cooldown to more normal temps, followed by long enough runs to fully re-heat the block, then pause til its cooled, etc.

            A few hundred cycles between low heat output and ambient temp to high heat output and high ambient temp, and back again, leaving enough time for the engine to go form low temps right to high temps and then right back to low, over and over, might have produced some stresses and failures that wouldn’t show if the car was kept at a steady high operating temp, due to stress runs being too closely spaced, and thus not inducing repeated contraction and expansion.

            I’d even question of Ford’s torque peak to hp peak cycle fully covers that, but then their engines are not pushed to such high levels of heat stress, at least not the non turbo ones, and the turbo ones are not engineered to the last bit of hp per cubic inch, apparently, either, whereas the Z06 is engineered to the limits of performance.

            And the closer you get to that edge, the greater likelihood of new failure modes appearing, and more frequently.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I doubt any F1 or LMP1 teams are re-using engine internals. If any part of the engine is that durable, then it was overbuilt and is giving away an advantage to the competition. Those aren’t spec engines.

            Ford was getting 550 hp out of the supercharged 5.4L engine on the GT, and the Mustang GT500 got 662 hp out of its supercharged 5.8L. In the case of the GT500, that’s even higher specific output than the current Z06. I don’t know if they stood up any better to track use.

            The engine test I mentioned was an early design test. They’re just making sure none of the main components will fail. I’m sure there’s plenty of other testing to ensure that the engines can deal with long-term concerns like stresses due to thermal expansion.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “I’d be more impressed if they ran it at the resonate frequency of everything on the engine side of the motor mounts for 300 hours.”

            Maybe they do!

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @rpn453 You mentioned a couple of high output Ford motors, and then said that you didn’t know if they “stood up any better to track use”.

            To which my reply is, well, it is the Z06 we are talking about, that seems to be having trouble in that area, and I don’t see or hear any similar stories about either of those two high output Ford motors.

            I’d say that is a fairly good indication that they are in fact standing up to track use better.

            Ford has occasionally made engineering miscalculations, such as when they put plastic composite in their intake manifolds for certain modular motors. But that was a mistake that seldom if ever resulted in grenading, was a failure that only showed up after long term use, and could be repaired for well under a grand.

            Whereas GM has a track record with this kind of early failing with catastrophic and high cost results, that doesn’t just start with the Z06 and “heat soak”. After all, as far as I know, they are the only manufacturers who ever tried using a bottom end that was essentially identical to approximately ten to one compression ratio gasoline four strokers, as a bottom end ofr approximately twenty to one compression ratio diesel engines.

            While I am not happy about Xytel intake manifolds being used, (a) they didn’t destroy the motor on my Panther and (b) the original owner got stuck with the bill, though I think Ford probably should have warrantied it.

            But a guy I worked with who was in the beginning the proud owner of a diesel engine full-sized American car, quickly became a disgruntled owner of a GM motor with an open to the air bottom end.

            You can call this GM bashing if you want, but I call comparing Ford’s apples to GM’s lemons, all based on fact.

            GM engineering a new motor technology makes me cringe. Ford doing so makes me look into the internals to see how they pulled it off.

            I marvel at some of the stress loads that must be generated inside of some of Ford’s high output EcoBoost motors, but based on their track record so far, I wouldn’t be afraid of them.

            In fact, I’d even consider trying to pull off a swap of one into an Aero-body Panther, though I don’t have any idea at this time what that would entail.

            And the diesel on a gas bottom end wasn’t the only time GM tried to step into the future but ended up stepping on its johnson. I seem to recall a little engineering experiment involving Nikasil coated cylinders and/or combustion chambers that ended pretty badly, also. And I’m sure there were others.

            I really love the styling of most Corvettes. I love what they are trying to do with the car, somewhat in the spirit of the Shelby Cobra of past years…a world-beater at a fraction of the price of its competitors. But the execution takes the whole thing and sends it off on a tangent into scary land.

            Perhaps GM will figure out a way to let the Vette run hard in temps up in the 90’s in a future edition. But as it stands now, all the Vette is in racing trim is an expensive embarrassment that can only do its thing under highly limited conditions, such as confining racing to Canada during the cold season. Not my idea of a versatile track-ready machine.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “I’d say if a professional driver really drives at the limit for an hour, almost any car would fail.”

      If a team of professional drivers entered a brand new production vehicle in a 24-hour race, there would be very little chance of any serious mechanical failure over the duration of the race.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      >>In GM’s defense, most civilian cars used on tracks in actually track use, will fail.

      In endurance racing that might be true. 24 Hrs of LeMons certainly sees plenty of allegedly bulletproof street engines self-destruct every weekend.

      However, the last several generations of Corvettes have been perfectly capable of failure-free track-day and journo flogging. Until they got their hands on the 2014 and 2015 models, no journalist who I recall had observed a testing-related Corvette engine failure.

      Now, in the short time the new ones have been available, engine failures have been observed by multiple publications… some more than once.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    While cars like this get coverage when the engine blows, average cars don’t see such coverage. Following from various stories, etc. I can count a minimum of 10 confirmed engine failures in various C7s. At this point I guess about 80-85K of these cars have been sold. Is this more than average? Maybe somebody in B&B land knows. But no way is this a widespread disaster like the Porsche IMS bearing fiasco. I hope it stays that way…I like to wind my LT1 out…glad I have the long powertrain warranty, not the watered down on on the 2016 models..

    There are certainly more failures than GM Authority mentions. Car and Driver blew two. On CF, lawdogg is not the only poster with failures either.

    As for the Fox news driver, maybe he tried to turn left….

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Same SDD from GM. They’ll never change. Quality is Job #365th.

    And it’s not just new Vette motors self-grenading during hard & heavy track sessions, either, but a general running extremely hot issue, also, for example:

    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Overheating on a Mountain Road

    http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/corvette-stingray/2014/long-term-road-test/2014-chevrolet-corvette-stingray-overheating-on-a-mountain-road.html

    Transmission overheating problems:

    http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c7-tech-performance/3463286-automatic-c7-trans-overheating-on-track.html

    Randy Pobst frying a C7 Z06 after just 4 laps of Road Atlanta:

    http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c7-z06-discussion/3662182-zo6-overheating-issues-mega-merge.html

    AND “Earlier this year, Car and Driver experienced engine failure on their long-term C7 Corvette Stingray, caused by metal shavings breaking loose in the oil filter. Then, not long after, the C7 Corvette Chevrolet had given them for their Lightning Lap test also broke down due to “contaminated oil” in the engine.

    Now, the first 2015 Corvette Z06 has decided to lunch itself with only 891 miles on the odometer. Corvette Forum member Lawdogg said he was accelerating from 35 mph and shifted below redline when he heard a loud noise. The car began knocking, so he pulled over and popped the hood. He discovered a knock coming from the no. 6 cylinder, and another “serious, grinding, metal-on-metal sound coming from the supercharger area.”

    http://gmauthority.com/blog/2014/12/2015-corvette-z06-experiences-engine-failure-after-only-891-miles/

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think there might be a reason why the Australians kept using the L67/L77 and LS3 for the VF Commodore and its derivatives..

      Holden seems to know what’s up (or they just get lucky). They kept the LN3’s single piece metal intake on their version of the 3800 when the US versions switched to a two piece/upper plastic system. They kept that Ellesmere 54-degree V6 disaster out of the Commodore, and they kept the older style V8s in this generation.

      • 0 avatar
        outback_ute

        The reason is it would cost too much to adopt the new engine when they don’t need to.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The correct answer would be they were just lucky.

        As a bit a red headed stepchild of a brand for GM they always had to overcome, adapt and improvise. The sad thing is when they got a real R&D budget, we got Zeta. Zeta just came at the worst possible time in the history of old GM, and never got a chance to get much further than out of the crib.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      DW – have you ever read “PeterMJ’s” blog? Entertaining blog, IMO, on the shortcomings of Tadge Juechter, The C7 and GM in general.

      – Nurburgring lap of 7.18
      – Overheating: engines, transmissions (A&M), electric p/s, diffs
      – Superchargers self-destruct
      – AFM increasing oil consumption & harmonics yet nominal fuel saving
      – Orange peel paint, structural issues

      Just a quick run down of some of the PROBLEMS PeterMJ outlines in his blog. An entertaining read if you’re a hater if GM’s current state.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Anybody with no life, a computer, and internet connection could do the same for pretty much any man made item. PeterMj needs to get laid.

        Nominal fuel savings? 33 MPG out of a 460 HP car is nominal? Now about that orange peel….

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          I don’t have empirical data, I do not own a GM product, I read PeterMJ’s blog for recreation. Lol Same reason I read TTAC. What PeterMJ seems to suggest is that MPG gains attributed directly to AFM are nominal. So if you’re realizing 33mpg hwy with AFM active, you could tune AFM off and net 31mpg hwy. The benefit here, at the expense of 2mpg, would be less oil consumption, decrease chances of a collapsed lifter, clogged rings, etc etc.

          Similar theories and corroborating evidence can be found on the forums of other GM AFM equipped vehicles, granted, none of them are C7s. Goodluck with your LT1, unlike PeterMJ, I find the aesthetics appealing.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      > Same SDD from GM. They’ll never change. Quality is Job #365th.

      That is highly insulting to the number 365.

      “No one sweats the recalls – like GM.”

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I wonder, is the viper having these issues? Is a handful of failures indicative of a serious, wider issue with the corvette or LT engines, or within normal expectations of failure rates?

    It always sucks to be the customer that gets a car that has a failed motor and for a customer who isn’t understanding that sometimes things happen or if GM doesn’t treat the situation right, it will definitely be the end of the customer/manufacturer relationship. Failures do happen in machinery, it simply can’t be avoided, Tesla’s cars even have mechanical failures, despite their much less mechanically complex propulsion system.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “such as reduced power after hard launches or track use, in order for the engine to “survive for 100,000 miles”

    I think RAM has similar power restrictions on the trucks equipped with the 6.4L when they get worked. Makes towing heavy loads up a hill a b*itch. Interestingly I don’t think the restriction exists on the 5.7L ones.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I wonder if the viper is having these issues? Is a handful of failures indicative of a serious, wider issue with the Corvette or LT engines, or within normal expectations of failure rates?

    It always blows to be the customer that gets a car that has a failed motor and for a customer who isn’t understanding that sometimes things happen or if GM doesn’t treat the situation right, it will definitely be the end of the customer/manufacturer relationship. Failures do happen in machinery, it simply can’t be avoided, Tesla’s cars even have mechanical failures, despite their much less mechanically complex propulsion system

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Viper? No.

      Hellcat engines? No.

      In a video floating around somewhere the Chrysler guys actually said that the Hellcat can fly around the track on very hot days without suffering from “power loss”. The more that the guy talked, I knew he was talking about the GM LT4.

      SRT Quotes:

      Engine power will not be de-rated due to cooling demands, even after 20 laps of a grueling 3.1-mile road course at an ambient temperature of 100° Fahrenheit.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “Engine power will not be de-rated due to cooling demands…”

        I’d like to see that claim put to the test. I very well may be wrong, but I can’t see a manufacturer not programming an ecu to pull timing (or reduce power in another way) if an engine is getting too hot.

        NA engines will run cooler than FI so that’s always an advantage especially in a car that experiences significant track use.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Read the entire sentence:

          “Engine power will not be de-rated due to cooling demands, even after 20 laps of a grueling 3.1-mile road course at an ambient temperature of 100° Fahrenheit.”

          Power probably will start to be de-rated after so many laps, but unlike the GM engine the Hellcat can run 20 lamps without any issues.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    This is a big deal for GM. The Corvette is their pinnacle of engineering and design. Epic failure means GM’s best have failed.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Besides enthusiasts, who cares as long as the trucks and CUVs keep selling?

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      ” Epic failure means GM’s best have failed.”

      I’m not defending GM, the Z06, or the LT4 but is seems that sometimes people have a slobbering, pavlovian response to “bad” news for certain brands.

      Is there a problem? It’s certainly possible but I don’t know. I do know that when you manufacture complex mechanisms that require tight tolerances, sometimes ca ca happens. You’d like to get it right the first time but that isn’t always the case.

      It’s the response and correction you want to look for (if one is warranted).

      Here’s a few examples of vehicles that didn’t get it right from jump. I’m sure the commentariat could think of many more.

      1. F-14 Tomcat: remember that scene on Top Gun when Maverick flew into his wingman’s wake, experienced a compressor stall and entered a flat spin. That wasn’t all Hollywood hype. The F-14 was prone to unrecoverable flat spins as well as low speed, high angle of attack, compressor stalls.

      2. AH-64: Early production versions of the worlds most lethal attack helicopter experienced cracked rotor blades.

      3. Ferrari 458: I think were aware of the fires that consumed some cars.

      4. GT3: I also think we’re aware of the engine problems this car experienced. And don’t forget, the car was developed by Porsche’s vaunted GT division.

      5. Porsche M96/M97 engine: let’s not forget the intermediate shaft and rear main bearing issues.

      6. RX8 Gen I: The Renesis had a few issues in early cars. Sorted out by Gen II.

      7. BMW Motorcycles: Early S1000RR engines failed to the point where BMW issued a recall. New owners of R100RT’s we’re told not to ride the new bike they just spent 20 large on because of the very real possibility of a complete rear suspension failure.

      Sadly, you can’t just sprinkle pixie dust on a piece of technology and expect it to perform flawlessly. There will be issues. Some little, some big. How those issues are addressed determines success or failure.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Interesting how the Nissan GTR never got this kinda coverage when owners began complaining about broken transmissions, strange warranty voids, etc.
    http://www.carsurvey.org/reviews/nissan/gt-r/

    Same for the Scion FRS’s trackday performance:
    http://jackbaruth.com/?p=942

    But GM? Now THATS prime material!

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      It’s not notable because it’s GM, it’s notable because it’s happening to a model that is known for long-term durability under hard use. The C6 Corvette fleet at Bondurant when I attended, for example, had many tens of thousands of hard, hot weather track miles on each car. At $5000 for four days of driving, they’re not making any money if failures are occurring frequently.

      I don’t think anybody outside of the people who owned those GTRs believed that some fancy dual-clutch automatic could essentially do side-step full throttle launches on an AWD vehicle on sticky tires without destroying the transmission. Everyone aside from the people doing them knew that such a thing was abusive and taking big chunks out of the life of the drivetrain every time it happened.

      It certainly is ridiculous that Nissan would void the warranty for a feature they provided, but it doesn’t seem any different to me than voiding someone’s transmission warranty for doing the same with a manual transmission, and I’d have no sympathy for those owners either.

      • 0 avatar
        MeJ

        “…people who owned those GTRs believed that some fancy dual-clutch automatic could essentially do side-step full throttle launches on an AWD vehicle on sticky tires without destroying the transmission.”
        But I saw a guy do just that FIFTY times in a row to a Porsche turbo!(it’s online somewhere) It’s clear who make durable drivetrains…

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Like Corvettes, GTRs supposed to be a “budget supercar”, Porsches are the real deal.

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          > It’s clear who make durable drivetrains…

          It surely isn’t Assan Motors. Or GM.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          That’s a RWD, MeJ. Though I don’t doubt that Porsche’s transmissions are more durable than the GT-R’s regardless of drivetrain configuration.

          The primary consideration when designing launch control for a RWD vehicle would be managing wheelspin. For an AWD vehicle with an automated clutch, it’s all about managing the stresses of shock loading. In that case, I’d rather just avoid the shock loads and obviate the need for any launch control by using a torque converter.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    I’ve been to the Bowling Green plant and wasn’t impressed with what I saw compared to other plants I’ve been to. Their emphasis was on engineering excellence unachievable by the Germans and Japanese- in his exact words. I don’t believe it whatsoever, especially on a qualitative standpoint. Compare that to Honda that hasn’t experienced reported failures with their 16+ million VTEC system in their engines. At least GM could have made certain that their “show off” cars were built to last the first thousand miles or so.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Honda really claims that they have never suffered a VTEC-type engine failure in the warranty period?

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        They sure do (or did, the first v-tecs are getting old now).
        They also managed to keep all the Indycars running without any engine failures for years (although at a considerably higher cost than any street driven engine)
        And people say Honda can’t build a V8…

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Well they need to update their claims then. Just searching “S2000 engine failure” gave me more than three examples of a replacement needed under 70k miles.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I think the claim was made directly in regard to the cam timing and lift system and its oil pressure actuators and sensors.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Yeah, it’s been a few years since I heard they said there was no failures.
            Doing the same search I find they had problems with crank wear and dropping the odd rod , most between 80 and 90K miles. (just out of warranty :P)
            That is out of only 110,673 cars made. Though, even if we calculate in some underreporting, there would still be far from 0.1% of an engine that revs to 8800 rpm that has failed so far.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Honda has always had plenty of technical know how. Just look at the NSX in comparison the Ferraris and Porsches it competed against (until Acura let it wither on the vine.)

      Was that last statement about “show-off” cars necessary? Remember, Porsche’s “race car” for the street, the GT3, didn’t exactly have a smooth start.

      Perhaps we should compare Honda engines to Porsche’s. Remember the M96/M97 IMS issues? How ’bout the issues with the coolant pipe in V8 Panameras and Cayennes?

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Honda had engine failures just as other car companies have, only difference is the press keeps its lips shut.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        And the owners and shops and the junkyards and the dealers and the video cameras and… Last time I was at the Audi dealer there was a mountain of crates that had been used to ship replacement engines to the dealer that were then filled with engines that had failed. I worked at a Honda dealer for a summer and never saw a Honda engine out of a car. Subarus? Every day. Mopars? Almost as bad as Subarus. Saabs? They were the worst cars overall, but their engines never seemed to fail under warranty. Of course we sold about 10% as many as any other brand.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Talking about replacement parts. Japanese airlines refuse to take a re manufactured part for a plane, even a minor defect part has to be totally replaced. Not true for many very cost conscious Airlines

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          ‘Cus the main thing we have security cameras for is keeping check of dead engines, right?

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          100% Agreed CJ. The only time I’ve had a Honda engine out of a car was when their owners wanted to “swap” their D16 for a B16 or a B18 (more hp). Once upon a time, I replaced a J30 when it threw its timing belt. The belt had 130k + miles on it.

          I’ve replaced/repaired more Subaru engines than any other make. Owners tend to love their Subarus and rationalize that their cars will give them a good return on their investment in the form of service. They’re likely correct.

          VW/Audi, in my experience, by far the most failure prone. Owners who experience catastrophic failure would rather not replace an engine. The work is expensive and often the rest of the car is too far gone anyway. Junk’em! 1877 Kars 4 Kids.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        The most recent engine issue that comes to mind were the porous blocks on the first 1-2 years of the R18 engine (06+ Civic). So yes Honda is definitely not perfect, but it seems that they have issues (generally) at lower frequencies.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Shiite happens. The rate of failure is probably quite low and statistically irrelevant; some failures will happen, and you just happen to know about these because of our fantastical interwebs.

    What is troubling is that the guy on the Corvette forum has a motor that grenades with less than 900 miles and they don’t just replace the entire car as a gesture of goodwill. That’s what would make me hesitant about buying one — why burden him with repair downtime and the potential for a compromised dealer installation when they could just give him a new car from the factory?

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      So, let’s inconvenience him more by making him wait 6-8 weeks (probably longer) for a factory order. No frickin’ way there is a stock z06 like his model.

      Maybe if the owner Yelped about it things would be different.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I can understand why you’re such a staunch GM supporter. Like them, you have lots of excuses, but not many solutions.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          No excuses in my post buddy. Just thought it was amusing that you mentioned a replacement to avoid the ‘inconvenience’ of waiting for a replacement engine as if identical z06 units are just sitting on the shelf somewhere.

          Then, I made fun of your belief that people stroking out on Yelp and other outlets demanding things they are not legally entitled to actually influences people that much anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      That is exactly what Porsche did a year or so ago when their latest 911 GT3s stared self immolating. I don’t recall anyone calling for Porsche to replace otherwise perfectly good cars because of the issue.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If I had a dead Kia with less than 1,000 miles on the odometer, then I would want a lemon law buyback for that, too. I’d certainly want that for a Corvette or a Porsche.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I expect that most Z06 and GT3 buyers are loyal true-believers who likely feel bad for inconveniencing their favorite brands with exploded engines.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Heh… like to the religious, nothing is ever their god’s fault.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I prefer to remain an agnostic. Sacred cows are good for burgers.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            As long as they don’t get transubstantiated into crummy, tasteless wafers.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Give some people free wine, and they still find something to complain about.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @pch101 “Sacred cows are good for burgers.”

            “I’m going to make me a slider out of a sacred cow, when I get me down to Flora-dee;

            They got mosquitos the size of Mercurys,
            down there in Flora-dee.”

            The Butthole Surfers, I think the album was Locust Abortion Technician. And the song was called something like “Going down to Florida”.

            Nice idea, pch, but they beat you to it.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        I honestly don’t think you can compare how Chevy has dealt with the Z06’s powertrain issues with what Porsche did for the GT3. Porsche actually went back and redesigned the problem prone parts and then recalled every single gt3 for an engine replacement. Whereas GM basically has been making blog posts about how the engine and transmission overheating issues are because it’s not meant to be driven when its hotter than 85 degrees out and apparently if you bought the car for track use you shouldn’t have bothered buying the automatic. The odds of GM ever redesigning this motor and then recalling all the already sold cars for an engine swap are probably worse than the odds of you winning powerball, though of course Porsche has a lot more margin to work with.

    • 0 avatar
      Drew8MR

      Eh, I would happily take a new engine only if I wasn’t counting on resale or it was 20 years ago. There’s no way it doesn’t come back to bite you at trade in time though even at the dealer who did the work I’m guessing.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      The owner of the involved vehicle seems ok with the resolution and was back on the road and track within an acceptable timeframe.

      You mentioned that a new z06 should have been offered rather than just a new engine as a way to satisfy the customer as you apparently thought it would avoid ‘repair downtime.’

      I suppose it is just a ‘can’t do’ attitude that keeps z06 models from being readily available on a shelf in all shapes and colors like a white iPhone when you get a bad one?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Always doing the bare minimum. Outstanding, really.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Except he’s not getting a new engine. He’s getting a “new” engine, re-manufactured by the lowest bidder in the 3rd world. The only new engines come in new cars.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          Replacement Corvette engines come from the 3rd world? You are now surpassing PCH in absurdity on this topic.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            When the dealer installs a new “original equipment”, OE part on your car, are you one of those that thinks it’s actually “new”?? It doesn’t matter if it’s the alternator, power steering pump or the entire engine, it’s a “reman”. Ask them and they’ll have to tell you the truth. Otherwise it’s just keep thinking it’s “new”. And yes they’re re-manufactured overseas, in places you’d never vacation, even if the car was 100% American built.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You would make an outstanding parent. “You did as little as you could. I am so very proud of you, kid!”

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            DM

            What is this?

            http://www.corvetteforum.com/articles/blown-engine-corvette-z06-dominates-road-atlanta-track-day/

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What does “fresh-out-the-crate” mean to you? Do you think rebuilt engines from the 3rd world aren’t “fresh” and don’t arrive in “crates”??

            The OEM and dealer are far removed and completely unrelated when it comes new car builds vs. warranty claims/repairs. They want to spend as little as possible. Claims are sub’d out to the dealer that kind of only cares about fulfilling the minimum “requirements”. And they do just that. Even on Corvettes.

            Hate to burst your bubble that way.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Good Grief ! That is part substitution and I thought that was banned? Parts from Chinese factories that copy OEM parts. Dodgy repairers used to do this , but it was stopped before it could get to the Aviation Industry

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – What in gawd’s name are you taking about??

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            DM, there aren’t enough of these motors around for them to be remanufactured in some third world country. The Z06 engines are hand built, so a brand new one for essentially a brand new car is completely believable and realistic.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            This
            “When the dealer installs a new “original equipment”, OE part on your car, are you one of those that thinks it’s actually “new”?? It doesn’t matter if it’s the alternator, power steering pump or the entire engine, it’s a “reman”. Ask them and they’ll have to tell you the truth. Otherwise it’s just keep thinking it’s “new”. And yes they’re re-manufactured overseas, in places you’d never vacation, even if the car was 100% American built.”

            I hope this is NOT happening in the U.S.! Pretty poor if it is

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @JMAL
            They re manufacture parts , not whole engines bit of a copyright issue there. Dealers will supply OEM stuff under factory warranty. The non factory part repairers will generally ask you if you want cheaper non OEM parts from a respected manufacturer i e Robert Bosch

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Where the engine is assembled doesn’t mean much. (And it’s fair to presume in this case that the replacement motor will come from the same place, given what it is.)

            The issues are that the reconditioned car will be worth less, and the odds of a botched installation are higher when performed at a dealer than on an assembly line. I’d want an entire new car.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Ford Racing ‘crate’ engines use remanufactured, ‘stress-relieved’ short blocks, which means they’re junk yard parts. Whether or not other companies’ standards are as low as Ford’s is up for debate.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @CJ in SD
            Crate engines not supposed to last as long as the originals as they are used mainly for racing or other short use applications

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            These are engines sold for street cars, not racing. If they are racing them, then 340 hp isn’t going to accomplish much.

            http://www.vividracing.com/catalog/-p-150952992.html?utm_cmp=FullFeed&gclid=CjwKEAjwla2tBRDY7YK9uKXe8R8SJAAhG6LGHlj5VLHs1NW1XpzE3WkHv9Qc4kRFWe9l_grv_Q9_xhoCME7w_wcB

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @CJ in SD
            That market for refurbished replacement street engines has basically died out in Australia. Used to be big in the 1950’s till mid 1970’s . Now Crate engines are used for Drag Racing, highly modified Hot Rods etc

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – You’re not special. It happens everywhere there’s cars. But riddle me this: When you walk up to the new car dealer’s “Parts Department”, get the “new” power steering pump, do you ever wonder why they demand a *core*??

            Or they charge you a “core charge”.

            The OEM doesn’t do the rebuilds. Nor their new parts “suppliers” for the assembly line. Look this up: “Factory Authorized Re-manufactured Parts” That’s where your “new” parts come from and where your old cores go. The cores are shipped overseas to the lowest bidder for the rebuild and back to the new car dealer’s parts department. Rinse, Repeat..

            And the “Reman” or “new” parts you buy from the new car dealer are never as good as the parts it left the assembly line with, from the OEM’s “supplier”. Complete junk mostly. Except I’ve had better luck with parts from the *junkyard*, than “new” parts from the new car dealer.

            You can rebuild a car with all “new” parts from it the “dealer”, from bumper to bumper, but it’s never the same as when it rolled off the assembly line. Nowhere near the same.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Core Charge? Sounds like US only thing, maybe Canada who knows. Unique like your Pickups

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Core charges are just an inseparable part of car ownership, new or used. Both are obviously foreign to you. I’m not one to judge, except why comment on something you know absolute zero about? If it’s a warranty repair, you don’t have a core charge since they pull the part right there and send it back for rebuild, without you even knowing.

            A “core charge”, you could say, is a “deposit” you leave with the retailer. Once you return the old part, whether it be the AC compressor, PS pump, transmission or engine to the retailer, you get that deposit back. Most opt to bring the *old* part in with them and exchange it right there and then. Then you’re only paying for the rebuild, not the physical piece (hard part) too.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Core Change has nothing to do with Australia, it is a U.S. concept like I said before, it is as foreign as your Pickups

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Your system of laws and practices are way different, but in the end, someone has to pay.

            Take our ‘car batteries’ for example. Replacement batteries all rebuilt from “cores” unless they’re in new cars/trucks from the factory. It doesn’t matter if you get them from the new car dealer (Parts Dept), or aftermarket retailer/re-builder.

            If your replacement batteries can only be brand new, *from scratch*, some has to pay more. I get the feeling it’s the consumer. What do you think?

            What about engines and transmissions? Recycle, melt down all the bad ones and the ‘replacements’ are all brand new from raw materials only??

            Stup!d waste. Is that fair to the Aussie consumer???

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            lawdogg got a new, factory fresh engine, not a reman.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Well lawdogg is a luckydogg. You would’ve got an F’d over reman.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          So the guy in question gets another engine in a car that now supposedly wasn’t designed to be driven hard above 85 degrees.

          “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

          With that new pronouncement on the heat sensitivity of the new Corvettes, there go a lot of dreams of middle-aged guys who thought they’d retire to FL, buy a new Vette, and cruise around reliving their youth, at least on the highway.

          Zora Arkus-Duntov must be doing about 7500 rpm in his grave at this news.

          One of the best sports cars for the money (one of them, not the only one), and they build it so you can’t drive it hard for major parts of the year in a large part of the US?

          What were they thinking in the hallowed halls of GM management?

          Or was it, “What? Were they thinking?”, in the hallowed halls of GM management.

          While admittedly not as fast a car, my 88 Thunderbird SC was a hard-running, high top end car that never had an overheating problem at any time, in any weather. And its sticker price was about 20% of a Z06.

          For five times as much money, I’d expect something more robust, not less so.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            About a year ago, there were people here among the B&B attempting to claim “heat soak” wasn’t a legitimate condition in highly strung, high compression, forced induction motors.

            I and many others stated a long, long time ago that it wasn’t coincidence that, by and large, Honda, Toyota and most of the Japanese manufacturers with great reputations for producing reliable, durable motors were resisting the turbocharging trend.

            It is a Herculean task to keep any FI motor adequately cool, especially when under load for extended periods of time, and heat is thy biggest enemy of motors (hand in hand with oil/lubrication starvation).

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Yes, Deadweight, you are right about the amnesia regarding heatsoak.

            It was the same thing in the eighties, when turbo was sold to the public as the great new way towards more power for less.

            Only problem was that most of the turbo vehicles of that time had seriously worn out their engines by 100K, often much less, while normally aspirated cars were beginning to regularly climb well beyond 100K before bad things began to happen to the drivetrain.

            Part of the problem was doubtless the heat soak, the chronic extreme expansion and contraction caused by wider heat ranges, but another problem was the tendency of owners to shut the motors off hard as soon as they stopped, instead of letting the turbo run for ten to thirty seconds after coming to a stop, in order to better relieve the pressure and reduce the amount of combustion residue buildup.

            The few people I knew who had turbo vehicles and followed that discipline had few problems. The remainder were looking for a non-turbo for their next car, just a few scant years after purchasing a turbo’d vehicle new.

            I believe this also contributed in part to the decline in Volvo’s reputation for quality, as that was about the time that they touted “turbo intercooler” technology as the wave of the future. And the owners who bought them, expecting them to be quick but long-lasting successors to earlier Volvos such as the 240, were extremely shocked and disappointed to discover the truth.

            However, cognitive dissonance caused many of them to shut up and just take their lumps, still touting Swedish engineering to any who would listen.

            In my neck of the woods, at any cocktail party of any size, there would always be a new Volvo owner either holding forth on the great new technology, or moaning about how they had just gotten a stiff repair bill from one of their darling tech marvels.

            I would head to another corner of the party, in accord with Dylan’s dictum “If you cannot bring good news, then don’t bring any.”

            And the only good news I could bring was how my normally aspirated Thunderbird seemed to perform much better than the more highly touted Thunderbird Turbo Coupe of the late eighties.

            Not something Volvo owners cared to hear…they were so self-assured that they were in the company of someone who just didn’t get it.

            Though it must have chilled their rear ends when Volvo was acquired by Ford.

            But all I can add is a thank you to Ford for an almost completely trouble free nearly 300K mile run on the great normally aspirated 5.0 V8.

            Meanwhile, my suburban neighbors with Volvos went through them like they were trying to reward their salespeople for putting them in one.

            It was their smugness and self-assuredness about their being correct about auto quality that used to really frost me.

            But they, not I, were the ones who paid the price for it, in broken turbo motors.

            And how quickly people forget…25 years later, it is as if that is a totally forgotten bit of auto history, and people are rushing to the GM heat soak slaughter as if it was the second coming of a new version of a fifties Vette.

            Sorry, folks…the concept of a Vette is really kind of cool, but the execution of it once again leaves a lot to be desired.

            Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and that is exactly what is happening with today’s rush to turbo everything.

            There is a good chance that eventually material science and engine design will be able to deal with the problems of heat soak.

            But right now, GM’s record on heat management in the new Vettes is reminiscent to me of GM’s building diesel engines with gasoline engineered bottom ends.

            Only this time it is block technology for normally aspirated engines being asked to do duty in an environment that is throws off far more BTU’s than a normally aspirated engine ever could.

            It took GM a couple of decades to live down their diesel fiasco.

            Bets are now being taken on how long GM will pay for the turbo heat soak fiasco in vehicles that cannot take that kind of not only absolute heat stress, but also such rapid rates of change of such heat stress, the derivative of amount of heat per unit time, with respect to time.

            In other words, the sudden rates of change at which heat is generated, as well as the rates that heat is being generated per se.

            The repeated flexing and eventual cracking will primarily be the result of sudden changes in the rate at which heat is being generated, in situations where the vehicle is cruising, and then the driver puts the blocks to it.

            Not all turbo’d vehicles have those kind of failure events, though not all turbo’d engines generate such large amounts of heat, nor do they tend to generate sudden deltas in the rate that such heat is generated.

            And on top of that, surely some manufacturers may have better anticipated the problem, and built engines to specs that can better resist these kinds of heat-related stress.

            But GM historically has under-engineered engines to accommodate new technologies and the related stresses caused by them. And this is nothing more or less than prima facie evidence that GM is doing it again.

            As I said elsewhere, Zora Arkus-Duntov must be hitting redline spinning in his grave, as he sees this happening.

            And sad that it is happening to what is in many ways a fine car, though clearly one that has acquired more than its share of “warts and all” along the way.

            Well, I guess there goes my chance to get a factory supplied Vette to review. Oh, well…

  • avatar

    One was a press car that got flogged by a myriad of journos. The other died at 891 miles which makes sense if something is flawed in the engine, while also being used hard to generate impressive numbers on the performance recorder.

    As Pch101 mentions “shiit happens”, there is a warranty exactly for that.

    All motors with blowers generate a ton of heat and when installed in a street car the cooling is not engineered to deal with all the heat generated on flat out situations.

    The same small block will run all day long in a NASCAR racer at over 8,000 RPM with hardly any failures, with no blower.

    The Germans are installing twin turbos inside the V of an 8 cylinder. Would be interesting to see after how many hot laps the engine will shut down to preserve itself.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      It helps before opining to know, for example, that the NASCAR V8 engines have an iron block, and specially made Compacted Graphite Iron* blocks at that. And special valve gear, and rods and so on and so on. Plus a giant engine bay to keep things cool.

      The LT4 is an aluminum block with direct injection and supercharging stuck in a tiny engine bay.

      This “small block” stuff is PR nonsense. Any resemblance between a current Chev V8 and the so-called “small block” from 1955 is pure fantasy beyond being a 90 degree pushrod V8 and having the same 4.40 inch bore centers.

      Compound this with running the so-called oil in use today, and the lack of decent main or connecting bearings in any engine since about 2007 (when lead was removed from the flashing), plus crap low-tension piston rings and no wonder engines go t*ts-up these days. Or burn oil or generally don’t have the anvil reliability of a cast iron block.

      * Compacted Graphite Iron blocks are used by VW in the latest 2.0t engines in the GTI (previous use in many diesels) and Ford in the new 2.7 TT Ecoboost. It’s better than aluminum under high thermal stress, and can be cast thin for weight savings. Google CGI engine block. Ford claim they are the first to use CGI in a mass-produced engine (2.7TT), but this is just another fantasy from the PR department to whom a Google Search is still a mystery.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Do we really know the engine blew up. All we know is it died. It would most likely be just a small gremlin popping up.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      but if we waited for facts, we couldn’t have this “informed” discussion because most of the above comments would be void :-)

      I agree it probably doesn’t look good for GM. But an engine stopping to work could be dirty fuel or lose ignition cables or lack of oil or lose battery cable for all we know at this point

      • 0 avatar

        Read the original review. There was oil and metal and pride pouring out of it.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          The fun part is watching people beg for this treatment from GM.

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          > There was oil and metal and pride pouring out of it.

          That was crude…;)

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @dantes_inferno wrote

            “That was crude…”

            Crude, but effective.

            And pride is sort of like toothpaste, once it is poured out, it is almost impossible to get it back in the tube.

            Bad day at Black Rock, except they weren’t at Black Rock.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          …oil and metal and pride pouring out of it.

          Sort of like the old paratrooper song, eh, Mark?

          “There was blood upon the risers, there were brains inside the chute,
          As they pulled the bloody trooper from inside his parachute.”

          Sung to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

          I would not have wanted to be one of the GM engineers assigned to talk with the press the day that scenario unfolded.

          Talk about a bad day at the office.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Pffffft…you want facts?

      The ignition switch failed right before the plastic manifolds got eaten by Dexcool which resulted in a timing chain failure that shredded the valves as the engine consumed large amounts of coolant, the driver panicked, because they couldn’t comprehend what to do with the loss of power steering and brakes, and crashed the car into the nearest tree – he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, and then the cables to the tailgate snapped, dumping his passenger who was riding shotgun on the tailgate onto the ground, where he was run over by a Hummer H3 that had a flaming climate control situation – the driver couldn’t stop because their ignition switch failed.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      A grenade is a small thing too, @MBella, but I doubt that someone on the receiving end of a grenade, or a grenaded engine, would consider them to be just a small gremlin, popping up.

      From a little acorn a mighty oak can grow, as my grandmother always used to say.

      And from a little engineering problem, a big repair bill can crop up, also. And suddenly that little problem no longer seems so little.

  • avatar
    FastIndy

    And let’s take a moment to remember how at least one of those cars that failed have been being used, with a video of one of Lawdogg149’s redline-banging 0-60 runs:

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Sounds scary, but not much of a big deal. They’ll fix the cooling next model year, GM will replace engines, all the forums will make a note to NOT buy the early Z06 models, and everything is okay. The majority of drivers who won’t their car to the track anyway will never know.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      I doubt they’ll fix it. This was a problem on the previous generation ZR-1. If they knew about it then and didn’t fix it, what makes you think they’ll fix it now?

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Finally we can call the Corvette a proper Supercar. This was the one thing Chevrolet never got right with this thing. The spectacular breakdowns :)
    Ferrari, Porsche, Lambo, even Hondas new NSX, managed to catch fire too though. Has any Corvette spontaneously combusted properly yet?

  • avatar
    pbxtech

    Things break, I understand that. Will GM and their dealers stand behind it? It sounds like they did the right thing in this case, but, as they say, “your mileage may vary.”

  • avatar
    hotdog453

    It was discussed in the linked jalopnik.com article, but the bigger issue to me is the whole ecu-self-throttling going on. That’s something that’s not going to be fixable without 3rd party.

    There’s a reason the c6 z06 worked so Damn well: natural aspiration is much “better” for track stability.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    The author of the original piece was being diplomatic, no doubt wishing to be able to live to drive a Vette another day, but from the limited description of the failure, it was not something simple like a blown fusible link or a dead battery due to a failed charging system.

    There was oil, meaning a breach of the block. There were parts, meaning something came off forcefully, and likely not in a way that they could just be bolted back on, as it was multiple parts, not a part.

    And there were bad sounding noises. It sure didn’t sound like in that context he meant bad as in a throaty roar as it accelerated, more like bad crunchy sounds as the car ground to a halt.

    The cause may not have been determined, but the nature of the failure was clearly catastrophic and not a minor part failing and needing replacement with thirty minutes of shop labor and a seventy dollar part…the failure as described was clearly at the Bad News Bears end of the failure mode spectrum.

    Let’s be clear about that…it WASN’T just a minor bit of fallout. It was a subatomic event with nuclear fallout from the engine. Not good in anyone’s book, at any time.’

    So let’s all just get off the idea that it wasn’t any big deal, that we still don’t know what happened. We don’t know what happened, but we know that whatever happened wasn’t good, and it wasn’t going to be cheap or easy to repair.

    That kind of narrows down the set of appropriate reactions to the event, does it not?

  • avatar
    zbnutcase

    Why does everybody think GM/Chevrolet builds such great engines? I spent 28 years of my life as a marine mechanic. The random, stupid, failures were amazing. And I am not talking about neglect or failure to winterize. Both small blocks and big blocks. Chevrolet engines put a lot of food on my table, and beer in my fridge.


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