1. Can’t make it to the GIE+EXPO 2017?
    LawnSite brings the trade show floor to your fingertips with our new GIE+EXPO 2017 Sneak Peek video series debuting now in the Lawn Mowing forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Ecoboost or 5.3 Vortec?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by joed, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    I look at it plainly. A 3.5L V6 is still a 3.5L V6. A 5.0L V8 is still a 5.0L V8. Again, you boost a modern N/A V8 and the EB35 will be nothing more than a modern V6.

    Ford should keep its boosted engines on light passenger vehicles, such as the 20EB; soon to be out in the latest Explorer iteration. People who want bigness in a vehicle and have the money for it, but want decent fuel economy for the size and weight of the vehicle although they'll mostly never use the vehicle to even 1/4 of it's real work capacity. I'm not against the EB engines here. A V8 is still prime for everyday work in a pickup. One thing however that I'm not entirely fond of is Ford telling people that you can run 87 octane in a boosted engine where 91 is commonplace. Even the best knock sensors can't always be as efficient running regular fuel. After 100K miles with my luck, I'll develop an engine knock and have to run 91 octane to quell it. Making the $2K engine purchase over the 360hp 5.0L V8 even more irrational. The EB35 and the 5.0L V8 are nearly identical for highway mileage, so there's no benefit there. From what I've read Ford has done a good job on eliminating the turbo lag, but with a V8, there is no lag at all.

    For the record, I bought a 2000 Saab 9-5 with the high output turbo I4 engine and manual transmission. It's still in the family as my father uses it as a second vehicle as a weekend toy as it's cheap on fuel when he rev's the crap out of it. It has 296,000kms on it and still runs great, burns 0 oil. As I was the only occupant in 90% of the miles and commuting was the strong point at the time, it was the obvious choice. Highway average still remains a frugal 6.5L/100km. Not bad for a 230hp engine. If I loaded the car up with three other adults and luggage, performance suffered noticeably and that was the only downfall. Turbo lag was ZERO over 2100rpm which was the determining factor in the purchase. Price wasn't a factor. Again, I don't use trucks to commute, even if they get better than 'average' mileage when compared to other trucks. A truck is a truck is a truck and should be spec'd accordingly to the WORK at hand.

    I'll vote Ford for the BEST chassis. Dodge has the better one and GM is average.

    Dodge will knowingly be the first in the half ton diesel market. Cummins requires no Urea fluid limiting build complexity and a 4-4.5L V6 is doable. I think GM has held off not only for funding purposes on getting their 4.5L diesel to market, but because they don't want to be the first one with a half ton diesel. The problem with North American manufacturers is that they wait to see what the import guys do before they implement something similar into their vehicles. By the time this happens, the import guys take the majority of the market share! Fools. They need a small diesel, and it will sell.
  2. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    There is a misunderstanding about what a modern automotive engine has.

    1) Variable intake and exhaust valve timing: absolutely essential to control the intake valve closing based on the air flow. Impossible to do correctly without separate intake and exhaust camshafts.

    2) Direct fuel injection: typical fuel injection can be spraying into the intake port the entire time the valve is open. Excess gets pushed back into the intake. The higher pressure is directly into the chamber at a finer atomization.

    3) Variable intake manifold length: The optimal length changes over the engine speed range. Forced induction eliminates this issue.

    4) Variable valve lift: It allows a change in cam profile aggressiveness depending on engine demand. Long ago Honda and then Toyota and Porsche attempted to address this with an alternate intake cam lobe: Honda's VTEC. They continue this, no having added variable valve timing: iVTEC. BMW and Nissan vary the rocker arm ratio; this provides a broader range of adjustment but doesn't change the duration. However, varying the rocker ratio is sufficient to allow BMW to let it replace the normal throttle restriction.

    5) Stiff valvetrains: valvetrains flex and that flex reducing the accuracy of the valve timing. The flex is reduced by reducing mass, number of components, and increasng stiffness. Pushrod designs are very flexible. To overcome this racing setups use shaft rocker arms and monster size pushrods. OHC designs have a lot less mass; older designs had the camshaft acting directly on the valve stem through a bucket. They were a PITA to adjust as were pushrod systems that used a rocker arm stud girdle.

    NONE of the US V8s have these. Only the Fords are OHC. The new 6.2L is only a single OHC. The EcoBoost is one of the first US engines with DI.

    Second, a manufacturer's full warranty EPA certified engine tested in extreme's of climate and for durability for years and supported by their entire dealer network is a different proposition than an aftermarket kit. Again, no US manufacturer sells a forced induction gasoline V8 truck; GM has a few in cars though (Cadillac CTS-V, Corvette ZR1).

    Third, for street use do you really care what peak hp is? The issue is accelerating the heavy load which requires a broad torque curve. That is suited to direct injection and forced induction. It is one reason diesels work so well. It is also the reason the EcoBoost is so good a design. In real life it is better than a variety of older, high peak HP designs.

    Sidebar: when MB introduced the 201hp diesel E320CDI magazine commented that it was faster to 60mph than the 221hp gasoline version. They attributed it to the 369 ft-lb. peak torque rating. They were wrong; in the standing start 0-60 run the engine virtually never was below 3000rpm where peak torque had already dropped significantly.

    What they missed was that the average power in the 3300-4400 range used in foot to the floor acceleration averaged about 195hp while the gasoline engine with peaked torque and power curves averaged about 188 in its 4500-6200 range.

    The GM 6.2L isn't a half bad design. GM has been doing a lot of research in combustion chamber design and as made wonders out of their performance pushrod engines. In this case they get 6.2L to almost match a modern 3.5L V6 turbo:


    Net: the EcoBoost is a class leading and expensive engine. However, the engine is only part of the total package.
  3. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Great discussion going on here. I'd like to ask a question. When it comes to maintenance over say a 10 year period of truck ownership, which engine will likely be more costly to maintain:
    1. Ford's Ecoboost
    2. Or a hemi V8 or GM 5.3 which uses cylinder deactivation to achieve fuel economy?
  4. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    Currently the GM will be cheaper as parts are everywhere. The EB35 is still relatively new. If you have engine problems shortly after the 3 year warranty they will be expensive, as parts won't be as easy to find. In 6-7 years parts for both engines should be relatively on par. As GM doesn't consider their 5.3L a premium engine, parts are currently no longer at a premium price. As much as the 5.3L engine dates back nearly a decade already, it works for what it is.

    As an example, my Durango R/T with the 5.9L block, dates back to the 1970s, and parts are everywhere. Same goes for the GM 305/350 mills.

    Now, cylinder deactivation works best when using the cruise control on the highway, even then you won't see above 19/20mpg. GM has been known for better mileage, as their trucks weigh more than the competition. Rear axle ratio will also play a factor with mileage, and how the vehicle performs when towing.

    The HEMI V8 is a maintenance hog. 30K tune up intervals (16 plugs), to the tune of $240 or so at the dealer.... Too rich for me. I'm not sure of the EB35 maintenance schedule, but GM V8s can go upwards of 100K before a tune up. If the EB can match GM then it's a few bucks back into your pocket.

    In ten years it's a bit of a mixed bag really on which engine will cost less to maintain. If GM stops production of the 5.3L in 2-3 years, in ten years parts should still be fairly easy to find, but cost might increase.
  5. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Every once in a while a great thread comes to be on lawnsite. This is one of them.

    DavidNJ you have some outstanding insight, keep the posts coming!

    I too have a 5.3 Silverado. I am extremely satisfied with the durability. 151k hard fought miles of towing, plowing and not one single failure. Its lacking in the power department when towing mowers, nursery stock etc.

    Yesterday I was at the Buick/ GMC/ Dodge dealership with managements minivan :cry: and took the time to test drive some trucks.

    I drove a Silverado diesel, a 6.0 liter Sierra, and a Dodge Ram with the 5.7 Hemi.

    If I had to decide today what to buy, the Dodge Ram wins hands down. The engine engineering is outstanding, (390 hp and 407 lbft torque) the ride quality is excellent, and it offers the auto 4wd feature that the GMC models no longer do.

    The Sierra/ Silverado design is good but outdated and underpowered.
  6. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Is maintenance on Dodge's 4.7L V8 any cheaper than that Hemi? I found a pretty good deal on a used 2011 Ram with the 4.7L engine? Don't know much about it though.
  7. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    I believe the 4.7L shares the same 30K maintenance interval, and since Dodge upped output from 245 to 300hp, it now uses two spark plugs per cylinder as well. Ford's new 6.2L also utilizes two plugs per cylinder.... Gotta love new emission regs!

    That's not to say you can't put in better plugs, such as platinum or iridium, instead of the standard copper core but make sure you can do this as it might void warranty. Dealers make their $ in service!
  8. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    One off the issues is matching your truck to your need. There are people who use a 3500diesel crew cab duelly to go to the supermarket.

    First, a 5L pushrod NA engine is not the equivalent of the EB. The Ec0Boost is an alternative to the Ford and GM 6.2L V8s and bests them in all areas except peak power.

    The EB definitely has more expensive parts for long term maintenance: turbos, direct injection, etc. The question is how many modern cars get to the point where they need maintenance on those items? Gone are the day when 60k engines needed a valve job and new springs. The low speed nature of the engine will further reduce wear there.

    Over 100k miles, is $500-1000 in scheduled maintenance really the biggest maintenance cost? Non-regularly scheduled stuff could easily exceed that: brakes, shocks, exhaust, driveline maintenance, tires, etc..

    GM parts should be around even after the company goes under, so parts and maintenance facilities won't be an issue.
  9. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    Technically, GM did go under, and was saved by the taxpayers, ha.
    As much as it's been problematic considering I hardly drive it, my Pontiac g6 GT still has plenty of parts available at dealers, including the aftermarket.

    Routine maintenance such as brakes, tie rods, tires etc, is regular maintenance overall, not engine related as it's similar for all variants of say the F150, despite the different engines. To be frank, if I could get the 3.7L V6 in other than a 4x4 longbox config I'd knowingly stick with that engine over the 5.0L V8. However, even an extended cab short box 4wd you have to get the V8 or option up to the EB35. Ford had better update their E-Series with a couple of the lower trim engines on the new F150.

    Geeze. I keep forgetting to tune and clean my carburetor!
  10. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    New GM is still in business, but I doubt it has any legs. The company is run by people who don't understand cars and the new product pipeline is hammered.

    The auto industry is a product centered business. When it is run by non-product people, such as the Roger Smith era, it is never good. Do you remember the 1982 Corvette? it used a basically 15 year old body (introduced in the fall 1967) on a 20 year old chassis (introduced in the fall of 1962) with an emaciated engine that produced 16.8s@88mph 1/4 mile times.

    Now GM is selling or working on totally absurd products. For the few years before the government takeover, GM's new product introductions were competitive or even class leading: CTS, revised Corvettes...a Chevy Cobalt's handling had gotten good enough to produce faster lap times than a Mitsubshi Evo in a Car and Driver test.

    Now, the new Cruze is not considered that impressive. It is priced with competitors mid-sized cars; a problem the new Focus will also be burdened with. Meanwhile, GM is building it into a half-baked serial, plug-in hybrid that has a price of over $40k and relies on government subsides to get it to a still uncompetitive $33k.

    Other products languish. Buick only lives because GM needed the brand in China, although not the US Buicks. Barack Obama will be lucky if it doesn't need new subsides before the 2012 election.

Share This Page