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Which engine do I use....

01-30-2011, 11:01 AM
Yes this another Ford vs GM thread.... but not one that is said to cause an argument.... I'm simply here for information.... I want someplace where the pros and cons are factually highlighted for both.

Since I had the idea of getting an old VW LT and putting an American V8 in it; although I'm almost sold on using a Ford Racing Powerplant, I want to do this right and put in the best engine despite my preferences.
I've been doing a bit of research online; going through various articles and history and the engines of both Ford and GM seem to even each other out.
I'm not a mechanic, so I cannot say which one is better, although I know a few good mechanics who swear that GM engines are better because they are simpler in design and more reliable.
A few others that I spoke to say that the Ford engines are actually better since they don't use up as much oil and even though are little more complex, are just as reliable and are more potent in terms of power....

I know that those who build hot-rods like to use Ford bodies because they are much nicer looking, but use GM powerplants because they are easier to work on (supposedly)...

I have to say that I'm partial to the Ford V8 sound. I think its more tuned sound and very bassy.... Has anyone heard the engine note of a TVR S??? Its heavenly and it uses a Ford 6 cylinder engine.
I like the GM sound and its lovely when mated to a good Magnaflow exhaust, but its not as lusty to me as the Ford V8.

Another thing I'm looking for is a performance engine that uses a timing chain rather an a belt...... So far none of the articles that I've read said that the GM performance engines use chains.... I know that a performance Ford BOSS engine does....

Anyone out there with a simple explanation as to what the actual differences are???

01-30-2011, 12:04 PM
Either engine is great in my opinion. As for complex, I find them both equally as simple. As for timing chains, both use a chain but have aftermarket belts available instead. It really comes down to personal taste and budget. If money is an issue then go GM, same performance level upgrades are half the cost of a ford.

01-30-2011, 01:18 PM
There are many issues here.
Ford V8's come in overhead cam versions (which are technically more modern) and pushrod versions (which are older, more simple designs, but VERY effective when built right.

The overhead cam engines are physically bigger and more bulky than the pushrod engines. Unless the LT has a lot of room in the engine compartment, a pushrod engine is easier to fit. All pushrod American V8's used timing chains. No belts.

Are you buying new or rebuilt? There are quite a number of suppliers who can provide a virtually brand-new, high performance V8 ready to install. This is easier than buying used parts and getting them to work.

What kind of transmission are you using? It would be much easier to use a transmission intended for use with the V8 of choice. The original VW trans would likely be difficult to adapt and may not hold up to the power.

Both GM and Ford V8's came in different sizes and displacements. The determining factor may be simply what physically fits in the engine bay. The 5.0 Fords are relatively compact. The 5.7 liter Ford and Chevy engines are a bit bigger. The 7.4 liter v8s are physically a little bigger still.

The configuration is also important. Both Ford and GM aftermarket engines can be built to perform differently, depending on application. You can specify anything from a mild, high-torque truck engine, to a high revving race-only engine. Simply put, the options and tuning makes a bigger difference than the brand.

So.... generally, the size, the fit, the configuration,and transmission choice are all more important choices than the brand.

01-30-2011, 02:57 PM
Magic rat I fully agree. I was staying a bit generic as not enough info for more than that. After thinking of it, in that kind of set up i might go with the 302 ford for the higher rev in a light body. Also with the compact size. True it is all up towhat is available and what the budget says.

01-31-2011, 06:43 AM
I'm guessing more info is required. The van is exactly like the ones attached...
According to the specs, the biggest engine used on one of these is a Volkswagen D24TIC is a 2.4 litre inline six cylinder diesel engine with single overhead camshaft.

I'm not sure on how that works out in terms of replacing it with a V8. I'm guessing it should be OK since the inline 6s are usually the same size I think.... :uhoh:

From what I can figure out so far... many talk about the GM engines 'coz they are abundant in number, simplicity in design and ease to get parts for.....
I like Magicrat's response which was informative....
I would like to go in for a new engine design....
Ford - Modular V8.
So... between these two what are the differences, pros and cons????

01-31-2011, 12:24 PM
Ward's 10 Best Engines (

I saw this article and counted the number of times I saw a Ford V8 vs the number of Chevy V8s there....
Ford - 14 times
GM - 6 times
Chrysler - 7 times

If this was about who builds the better engines... I probably would have counted in the 6 cylinder entries too. But it isn't....

Does this mean something??? Or is this just a useless poll???

02-02-2011, 03:31 PM
When I bought my Alfa, while many kept talking about how wrong my choice was in terms of reliability, by doing a bit of research, the Alfa Romeo proved to be quite reliable. The car is in the shop now for a new engine, but that's not the car's fault... its my own. (That's what you get for letting others to drive your car... especially brothers who fancy themselves as racers :crying:).... The point being that I like going against the tide...

From everything I read online and heard from friends over here, all 3 (Ford, GM and Dodge) have made some awesome engines... some so iconic that they're being made by other companies... and these guys have made some duds too... (Chevy 350 & Ford Boss 302)

However more noise has been made about how Chevy / GM ones standing out as being more simpler in design and therefore more plentiful in number and easier in terms of maintenance and parts.
In some ways I think its right given that even BBC's Top Gear recognized the Chevy small-block as a phenomenon; one of the all time greats. But on the other hand when they did the review of a new MGT, the Ford mustang V8 engine used was called as one of the worlds greatest engines...
I'm sure that the Hemi is no exception in this aspect.

If that is the case, all 3 do remain as equals and there are no right and wrong answers to this.... so it remains a matter of preference. Or is it????

02-04-2011, 10:32 AM
I just saw the new Green Hornet movie. I was impressed to hear that they used a Chevy ZZ / 454 custom V8 for the engine. Being a Chrysler Imperial, you'd think they'd use a Hemi engine. The noise of a Hemi would be awesome on a car like that.
But I now see that when someone thinks replacing the engine in a car, the first choice is always a Chevy (for the obvious reasons stated before :lol:).

Do Ford V8s and Hemi V8s have a reputation of being a hassle to sort out and everyone chooses Chevy V8s just for peace of mind??? :uhoh:

02-09-2011, 04:35 PM
I still haven't made a decision yet. You know what I would really like... owners of cars with GM and Ford V8s (small-block, big-block, modular, LS) to be honest and post issues they've had with those engines; even if those are just tiny insignificant annoyances...

I've also downloaded the complete catalogs from GM Performance and Ford Racing... I'll go through these in fine detail and make comparisons...

02-10-2011, 01:43 PM
I heard that both, i mean Ford & GM have made some very good engines... but its really tough decision to choosing 1 better from 2 the best.

02-10-2011, 01:56 PM
I was again searching online for more info and came across this link...
Camaro Z28 Forum (

Over there I saw the following quote....
Re: Modular ford VS LS1 Gm powerplants.
Well first some of the advantages they do have over our motors.
1: no noise at idle and smoother running engine.
2: better gas milage in stock trim and modified trim.
3: less maintanance when it comes to the valve train.
4: Less compression stock which enables better boosting.
5: Overhead cam ability which enables high RPMs.

Advantages of LS1 motor
1: Cubic inches over fords modular 346 to 281.
2: more compression to help the NA guys (like me)
3: Great flowing heads and intake, unlike a mod motor an ls1s intake flows well.
4: Great bottom end that is probably stronger then your adverage 281 Gt motor (unless compared with cobra motor)
5: more aftermarket and cheaper parts.

These are some things i can think of right off hand, although i must say a 4 valve head on a cobra motor makes exceptional flow over an LS1 head. I have seen 320 CFM out of a 4 valve head, and i know that it is capable of more. This is a limiting factor with LS1s, even know they flow almost as well with half the valves i dout that they could ever flow as well as a 4 valve head. Anyone have any ideas yet?

... and this guy is a GM fan?

02-12-2011, 08:35 AM
I've looked into this further. Yes the modular engines are quite large when compared with the rest.

The VW stock uses a 2.0L 4 Cylinder diesel to a 2.4 inline 6 Cylinder diesel. I was hoping to swap the diesel engines for petrol V8.
I wanted to use a V8 from GM or Ford because their reputation. Choosing between the two however is a hard choice for me.
I know the newer engines have a lot to deal with; but it is agreed that they are more efficient. Reliability is another issue. We know that the older engines use more tested and tried designs.
If space was an issue when choosing a newer engine design, I'd probably would have to go with a GM LS engine. God knows they're a bit more simpler to deal with and use the old pushrod technology so they're obviously smaller in size.
Could be worse, I could have opted for an engine off a Toyota Hiace. Those are the same size as the stock VWs, practically indestructible and reliable to the ends of the earth; but I wanted something that sounds much more cooler.. ;)

02-12-2011, 01:57 PM
I've narrowed my choice among these:

427 Cobra engine built on Z351 block (
5.0L 415HP Mustang modular engine (
427 Cobra engine built on BOSS 351 block (
GM LS6 (
GM LS3 (
GM ZZ427 Big block (
GM ZZ454 Big Block (

Another question is about the compression ratios. Which would be better... 11.0:1 or 10.4:1???
I notice that all the newer engines (LS and Mobular) have higher compression ratios...

02-13-2011, 08:30 AM
I came to my attention that possibly all except the 5.0 Mustang engine and the GM LS's are carb'd.
Any idea how we can find out which one uses fuel injection and which doesn't???

02-19-2011, 09:02 AM
Since the engine has to go in a van, I need more torque.
I heard that pushrod engines give more torque than the DOHC engines.
I know that the LS engines are based on the old pushrod designs, but how do they stack up to the old small block pushrod designs from GM and Ford???

02-22-2011, 06:31 AM
Wow... this is becoming more like a blog than a thread :lol:

Anyways, my friend just told me of a Ford work truck that is just simply abused week after week and just goes in for the odd oil change. Being a 2009 model it hasn't been idle since... day in and day out its moving, hauling sports bikes and their parts and has done well over 100,000 kms on the clock. The interior is shot with scratches and dents and its been in 3 accidents as well.

Inspite of all this abuse the truck just runs... The engine still works the same way that they got it from the dealer with no issues to speak of and they figure it is extremely reliable for that and when asked why not use a Chevy, they said Ford sticks to that slogan.. "Built Tough" and they ain't joking.

Probably a good testimony for Fords, especially over here. They pretty much have quite a bad rep here in Dubai.

02-28-2011, 12:29 PM
I came across this on the Ford site...

F150 EcoBoost Torture Test (

Proof of how good Ford's engines are in my opinion....

Does anyone know if a similar video from GM??

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