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Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? #2074854 11/12/10 11:43 AM
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meangreen01 Offline OP
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We constantly hear discussion of how certain engine families have evolved into near perfection and heaps of praise are then hoisted upon them.

Nissan's VQ series comes immediately to mind. So does VAG's VR6 and 1.8/2.0 four cylinders.

But Ford's Duratec never seems to get the acknowledgment it deserves.

The engine's R&D involved input from Ford's Cosworth division, and Porsche.

The Duratec appeared for the first time(in the US, anyway) in the 1995 Contour. 175hp, DOHC, all-aluminum construction, and improved gas mileage highlighted the new, modern powerplant.

In '96 the 3.0L stepped in the new Taurus/Sable. As an optional upgrade over the aging iron block, OHV, Vulcan engine, it put out 200hp vs the aging Vulcan's 160hp with no penalty in MPG's.

Since the debut of the Duratec back in the mid-nineties, there have been numerous evolutions and varients. Power for the 2.5L increased in the SVT Contour in '98 to 200hp. In '03 Mazda stuffed a version of the 3.0L into it's new Mazda6 with VVT. It put out 220hp.

Today, the Duratec line powers many different vehicles. Fusion, Edge, Flex, Mazda6, Mazda CX-9, MKZ, MKX, MKS, and more Im not thinking of at the moment. In these various applications it appears in 3.5L, 3.7L, and 3.5L w/ecoboost dress pumping out 250-350hp. That's what I call progress!

Supercar manufacturer Noble recommends the Duratec 3.0L as the donor engine of choice for a radical build-up that includes twin-turbos to power it's M12.

So, again I ask, does the Duratech get it's just due? When introduced, it definitely trumped any modern V6 lineups of the other two of the big three.

GM' mish-mash of sixes still utilized archaic technologies that were on their way out in favor of the DI lineup they have today.

Chrysler didn't have much to brag about during that era either. They sourced some of their sixes from Mitsubishi, and some of their own developments like the 2.7 and 3.5L proved to be pretty unreliable and have since been sent out to pasture.

IMO, the Duratec has evolved impressively over the past 15 years, and deserves to be equally well-regarded as other such long evolving engine families like Nissan's VQ series, for example.


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074870 11/12/10 11:55 AM
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addyguy Offline
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I absolutely agree 110%. Couldn't have said it better.


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074884 11/12/10 12:02 PM
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d00df00d Offline
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I'm pretty sure I agree as well.

Wasn't this engine available in the Ford Mondeo overseas? I seem to recall a lot of love for that car and a lot of respect for that engine from Top Gear, at least...


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074890 11/12/10 12:08 PM
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The 96-99 Vulcan had 145 HP. I think the DuraTech's are nice engines as well. But working on my Vulcan is much easier.........


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074891 11/12/10 12:09 PM
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meangreen01 Offline OP
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Yeah, the Mondeo got the 2.5L in '93 or '94 IIRC.

The Mondeo is still being produced in Europe and the UK. And it's still powered by newer, more powerful versions of the Duratec.


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074904 11/12/10 12:17 PM
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The Eco Boost engine aside...

Every car company has a ~3.5 liter V6 making 270~300 hp now. Honda, Toyota, GM, Mopar, Nissan.

Does everybody need an award now to feel good? Participant ribbons?


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: oilboy123] #2074907 11/12/10 12:22 PM
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punisher Offline
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Originally Posted By: oilboy123
The 96-99 Vulcan had 145 HP. I think the DuraTech's are nice engines as well. But working on my Vulcan is much easier.........


Absolutely. The old expression "familiarity breeds contempt" applies to the Duratec.

Access to anything under the hood (especially AC components)is a nightmare, but to be fair, it is a packaging concern, not a base engine problem. They are a well thought out, durable engine.

Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: bepperb] #2074929 11/12/10 12:48 PM
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meangreen01 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: bepperb
The Eco Boost engine aside...

Every car company has a ~3.5 liter V6 making 270~300 hp now. Honda, Toyota, GM, Mopar, Nissan.

Does everybody need an award now to feel good? Participant ribbons?


No. I agree it's no big deal to have a modern six in that power range. Domestically speaking, Ford's was ahead of the curve with the duratec and been successful in developing a world-class engine line that's evolved nicely, and has been very reliable.

In the automotive world, for whatever reasons, designs that stay with us and are improved upon seem to be generally more endearing and praiseworthy. Sure, people like new, also. One example is that Chrysler just dumped it's old V6 line and is introducing it's all-new 3.6L. Probably because those old designs were incapable for whatever reason to be adapted to compete with the competition. Some engine designs are able to be modified and improved upon and therefore stick around, which I think speaks to the quality of initial design.

Seems to me that many long-lived engine designs are constantly applauded, just throwing out a deserving plug for the Duratec, which seems to be regularly overlooked.


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074948 11/12/10 01:20 PM
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FWIW, the new 3.5-3.7 V6 Duratecs (Cyclone family) are totally unrelated to the traditional 2.5/3.0 Duratecs (Mondeo family).

The 3.0L Duratec is one of the most reliable V6s of all time, it doesn't get credit because it never made a lot of power from the factory and people complained it wasn't as smooth as some of the newer V6s. They are robust engines that are capable of making a lot of power though, this can be seen in the Nobles.

The 3.5-3.7 Duratecs don't get the credit they deserve because people think they are enlarged 3.0Ls, when in fact they are clean sheet designs that share absolutely nothing with the 3.0L.

The Cyclone V6s are world class, and IMO have supplanted the VQ as the "best" 6-cylinder family going. The Duratec 3.7 was the first engine to make over 300 HP (305) while returning over 30 mpg (31) from the factory.


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074960 11/12/10 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted By: meangreen01


No. I agree it's no big deal to have a modern six in that power range. Domestically speaking, Ford's was ahead of the curve with the duratec and been successful in developing a world-class engine line that's evolved nicely, and has been very reliable.


No slam against the Duratec, but "ahead" of the curve? Not really. Chrysler's 3.5L was producing 215 horsepower in 1993, and 253 in 1998, just off the top of my head, which puts the Duratec more "on" the curve than ahead of it. Its now the old Chrysler engine that's fallen behind the curve a bit (no wonder, given the comany's financial problems). Also the ones I mentioned were reliable. Chrysler took a huge mis-step with the (totally unrelated) 2.7L, which has shorter bore-centers to better fit smaller cars. That's an engine that will never be "great" and no-one will miss. But the original Chrysler v6 (3.3/3.8 pushrod versions, 3.2/3.5/4.0 SOHC versions all use the same bore spacing and are therefore related despite other differences) has persisted for over 20 years. That's a good run for an engine design.

Quote:
In the automotive world, for whatever reasons, designs that stay with us and are improved upon seem to be generally more endearing and praiseworthy. Sure, people like new, also. One example is that Chrysler just dumped it's old V6 line and is introducing it's all-new 3.6L. Probably because those old designs were incapable for whatever reason to be adapted to compete with the competition.


See above... the "old" Chrysler engine has been around for more than 20 years, and by any measure that's a great run. But technology moves on, and it was time for Chrysler to do a substantial update. But it should be noted that the new "Phoenix" v6, while indeed putting down impressive horsepower numbers, was developed as much for lower per-unit cost as for performance.

All in all I have to agree with the poster who says that there's nothing really special about a potent v6 these days. I never understood the hoopla over the Nissan VQs. They're nice, but not special. The most "special" v6 I can think of now is the Ford Ecotec. IT is to today what the Buick turbo v6 was to 1985.




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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074965 11/12/10 01:50 PM
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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074974 11/12/10 02:09 PM
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maybe the duratec never got the recognition because the cars they put them in were less than popular with the exception of the taurus.

or maybe it was the ax trans axle that had a bad reputation making owners hate the car( and the motor by association).

maybe since the variant is now making it into the f-150 it will get the praise it deserves? i think it will do well in the future! how can it not: replacing the worst v-6 1/2 ton truck motor ever (4.2L). mike


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: Y_K] #2074977 11/12/10 02:11 PM
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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: meangreen01] #2074979 11/12/10 02:12 PM
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I'm on my 3rd Duratec, and all have been good for the amount of time I had them. It's typically the trannies they are mated with, that cause people to frown.


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Re: Is Ford's Duratec line of V6's underappreciated? [Re: caravanmike] #2074987 11/12/10 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: caravanmike
maybe the duratec never got the recognition because the cars they put them in were less than popular with the exception of the taurus.

or maybe it was the ax trans axle that had a bad reputation making owners hate the car( and the motor by association).



I agree the ATX trans almost always took a dump before the engine.

But, I'm willing to bet many of the trans issues coulda been avoided if the owners kept up a good maintenance routine.

Which brings me to remember- wasn't the Contour the first car marketed as no maintenance 'til 100k miles, LOL?


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