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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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11,049 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After seeing ForeverDiesel's thread about servicing his kids car, I thought about my sisters car that das partially rebuilt for her.
It's a 2003 Commodore with that glorious triumph of engineering powering it.... the 3.8 V6.
Now, we all know the 3.8's don't make decent power or torque, they don't go if you don't rev them, when you do rev them they sound like a dying cat, and any attempts by P platers to make them go or sound better fail spectacularly and indeed make them sound worse.

The particular 3.8 in my sisters car isn't a bad donk though. It was partially rebuilt at 150k km, which isn't a great start... but it was only rebuilt after 4 years and 50,000km without a service, and the thing the eventually killed it, a nice big hole in the radiator, which overheated the engine.
It was either we take the car or it goes to the scrappy, so we took it. Topped it up with water and drove it home. A new set of heads, valves, a new water pump and radiator and the old donk was apples again.
Funnily enough my first car had been driven home with cooling problems as well, my red MK had a blown head gasket and got driven over 2 hours to get home... oops...

Maybe the old 3.8 junker isn't so bad after all...

Note: the thread title is sarcastic.
 

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Glasshouse Bogan #1
nissan patrol gu
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9,423 Posts
I remember the first vn commodore that the salesman rocked up in at Nissan to show off we were like wow. But gee it was rough and we just got the gq patrol so we went over each others cars I think we won lol. But those v6s go and go.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Weekend Warrior
Nissan patrol
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10,349 Posts
I think the earlier VN v6's where better as the balance shaft didnt have roller bearings (splash fed sleeve bearing) and they could be removed without disturbing oil pressure??? Not 100% sure.

An unfortunate piece of machinery but there is many people who think they are the ducks nuts.

I knew one bloke who spent 7k on a turbo setup in his VX that was way way overboosted and put out 400kw at the wheels, and when it shat the donk they were a dime a dozen to shove in.
 

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They are awesome motors! Go to any burnout comp that isn't top end and you'll see at least one 3.8 Commy bought for $300 on limiter for 7 minutes, pop both tyres (thanks to the welded diff) and drive past the dedicated top dollar burnout car that blew the engine 30 seconds in!

My mate just finished building a fully forged Super 6 for his VG ute. I could think of many better ways to spend $12,000... One would be to spend it on my S14 and a) make it run and b) would slaughter him in every regard, but he loves that ute and he's worked hard for it.

As for my VS ute, it's absolutely trashed on the outside, kinda sh*tty inside (although I've cleaned it up since I've owned it) but it feels like a race car compared to the NA TD42!!! Pretty sad really :( But again showing the value, it only cost me $1000 running and registered so can't complain too much!
 

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Here To Be Entertained
Currently not a vehicle owner
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12,105 Posts
But they sound sooo awesome with a sports exhaust....








apparently.
 

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3,663 Posts
:headwall:They are fully sick!! What other engine can you buy a fully kectik performance chip for $20 that turns you bog stock v6 into a top dollar burnout machine?
VN VP Drag Chip V6 Commodore Performance Eprom Chip | eBay

Why the hell are us idiots spending thousands on our td's, tb's, rb's and zd's when they all get trumped by these chips?

:headwall:
 

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1,083 Posts
Haha I have a VT commo wagon with the mighty 3.8 V6 :) it's my daily and just keeps going. Keep the oil topped up and no dramas.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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11,049 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My mate just killed his VT Olympic model commodore.
He used to pass out on the back seat when drunk and puked on it one too many times, so that went, half the interior trim had been pulled out or broken and it had 550,000km on it, the engine still ran like a champ but the torque converter let go.
He'd also been trying to kill it for a couple of years.

I've considered buying an old Patrol with a blown engine, chucking a 3.8 in it. It would make for a cheap and dirty basher, plus if the engine blows up, a replacement is about $250 on ebay!
 

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After Monday and Tuesday, even the calender says W
06 Td42ti coil cab chassis
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17,678 Posts
3.8=boat anchor.:rolleyes:
 

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I boiled mine dry twice and both times I just let it cool, fill water and away we go.
Still have the car, awaiting a ride to the wrecker
 

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Master Coalroller
nissan
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3,230 Posts
3.8=boat anchor.:rolleyes:
X2

Owned a VS and a VT. Never again.

From memory, Holden Commodore sedan 1998 V6 & Valliant sedan 1968 slant 6 have exact horsepower at same revs & exact torque at same revs. Same bore and stroke too I think.
Different story if modded I believe, if modding includes appropriate reliability improvements.

Cheers
 

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A bloke at my work had a VS and only sold it 2 years ago it had 870,000 k's on it and only replaced it because the auto was starting to play up.
 

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Weekend Warrior
Nissan patrol
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10,349 Posts
some were built on wednesday, some were built on friday, nearly all of them have been "modded" on saturday by now.
 

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Premium Member
2003 ZD30 Di Patrol (The rare Gold one)
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25,678 Posts
Had a fast VN sports. Was chipped and had a big exhaust. We flogged the guts out of it for over 350, 000km before we sold it. Bloody thing would not die. :)
 

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After Monday and Tuesday, even the calender says W
06 Td42ti coil cab chassis
Joined
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17,678 Posts
A bloke at my work had a VS and only sold it 2 years ago it had 870,000 k's on it and only replaced it because the auto was starting to play up.

And that would have been the 4th or 5th auto.:rolleyes:
 

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After Monday and Tuesday, even the calender says W
06 Td42ti coil cab chassis
Joined
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17,678 Posts
X2

Owned a VS and a VT. Never again.

From memory, Holden Commodore sedan 1998 V6 & Valliant sedan 1968 slant 6 have exact horsepower at same revs & exact torque at same revs. Same bore and stroke too I think.
Different story if modded I believe, if modding includes appropriate reliability improvements.

Cheers
Even modded they were no good.

A mate of mines son through a heap of money at one a couple of years ago and it lasted about a year, had more rattles than a millionair's baby.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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11,049 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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"A mate of mine" had a hi lux years ago that he shoe horned a 3.8 V6 (VP motor) into, 5 speed behind it and it would blow away all the small block powered cruisers and alike. Great car, got me, I mean my mate around the high country for a ferw years with no worries at all. Great conversion.
 
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