The pinto in North America had cast iron blocks, 1.6L, 2L and 2.3L.
GM made aluminum V8 engines (215 olds) back in the sixties. And the
Corvair(with cast iron cyls). Then there was the ill-concieved Vega -
nothing wrong with the aluminum, but running tinned iron pistons in
them was not a bright idea.Aluminum heads go back a LONG way -
aftermarket Frontenac heads for Model "T" Fords come to mind.
Porsche used aluminum blocks in their water cooled inline and "V"
engines. Many other European models also used aluminum blocks.(Renault
comes to mind - with cast iron "wet" sleaves) as well as many Asian
engines(like the Subaru - with either wet cast iron sleaves or cast in
chilled iron sleaves) The soob goes back to the late seventies.
A well designed and well built aluminum engine can go 1000000 Km
As for aluminum oil pans, cast aluminum pans go way back too. Old Fiat
124 engines had cast aluminum pans.And it was not a new idea then
either. Many engines with cast aluminum pans today also use the pan as
the bottom of the crankcase, and the main-bearing "girdle", so the pan
The metalurgy and casting processes have improved markedly in recent
decades, making the use of aluminum engine parts a much "sounder"
Here's a real shock for ya; they're making intake manifolds out
of plastic now...
Porsche used that exact same technology in their engines and had
little trouble with it. Never underestimate GMs ability to screw
up a promising technology.
Ayup. Aluminum has been the material of choice for pistons for
On the other hand, I have a steel piston from a diesel engine on
my work bench, (makes a dandy ashtray) it must have been replaced
for a reason...
In he context of this thread, it isn't so. The cast aluminum oil
pan will be much more rigid than the light gauge stamped sheet
steel oil pan, more resistant to corrosion also.
Around here, one can -reasonably- expect to get 6 years from a
steel Ford oil pan before it rots out.
FYI, you'd be hard pressed to find any "hardened" or "tempered"
steel in any engine going back many years. The camshaft is about
it, and it isn't all that hard and the hardness doesn't go very
Absolutely, there are these pesky things called emissions
regulations and fuel economy standards.
What type of aluminum and what type of cast iron?
Kind of like asking 'how many bubbles are in a bar of soap' no?
Your right, my Crown Vic has a plastic intake manifold. They tend to
crack. That is why Ford extended the warranty on that part.
I guess I never thought of what pistons and engine blocks were made
ofnow a days . I suppose it doesn't matter as long as you get some
life out of the parts.
I am not particulraly happy with the fact that my ball joints and tie
rods failed on my 98 Crown Vic so early. The car has 107,000 miles but
I do know that these parts failed at about 40,000 miles. I just lived
with lousey handling for a couple of years. I couldn't put my finger
on the problem until I jacked up the car and found loose front end.
The local state inspection did not pick up (or inspect) tihs problem.
This is not proof that FORD is crap as shit for brains HURC has
I have owned other non FORD brands that failed premature such as the
Still virtually all cop cars are Crown Vics. They gotta have some
reliablity for that reason don't they?
Maybe the cops don't care about handleablitly?
On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 03:39:29 GMT, aarcuda69062
Well, I've seen more than one smoking Porsche....
And don't you suppose that the average Porsche owner takes
better care of his car than the average Vega owner?
Anybody that spends big bucks on a Porsche is not likely to
admit they made a mistake. It was pretty easy to admit you
made a mistake when you bought a Vega (even if it was "Car
of the Year"). If you overheated your Vega and cooked the
block, you blamed GM. If you overheated your Porsche and
cooked the block, well Herr Schmidt probably beat you to
If only 10% of the Vega owners had problems in the 70's,
that would still be more problem cars than 100% of
How come nobody mentions the thousand of Honda Civics that
burned oil at incredible rates in the early 70's? Why is the
Vega the poster child for bad ideas? How about the thousands
of Corollas that literally melted away from rust? Even in
the relatively benign climate of North Carolina, you could
hear early 70's Toyotas, Datsuns, and Hondsa rusting away.
My 280Z rusted like there was no tomorrow. Ditto for my
Sister's Accord. In fact, the only cars anyone in my family
have owned that had actual rust holes were built in Japan
I know of several "happy" Vega owners (although none of them
could beat my Pinto in an Autocross:))
GM used the technology first. Porsche went to school on GM.
Or more correctly, the material supplier learned from GM's
At the end, the Vega blocks were OK but by then, nobody
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