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Vega Engine
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in September 1970, GM introduced the 2300cc Vega engine with OverHead Cam! It wasn't the first OHC from GM, but the first OHC with light alloy block. It produced 110hp and 138 lb-ft torque. Once again GM had outdone the imports and millions of buyers lined up (more than 2 million sold in the next eight years)

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It had a sleeveless aluminum block and was diecast. Molten aluminum was transported from Reynolds and Alcoa reduction plants to the New York foundry, inside thermos tank trucks

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With a finished weight of 16 kg, the block weighed 23 kg less than the cast-iron block in the Chevy II 2.5 four-cylinder. However since it was fitted with a cast iron cylinder head, the completed engine was not a lightweight

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Posted on: 10/26 3:01
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Re: Vega Engine
No life (a.k.a. DattoMaster)
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Actually it was a sleeveless design and in the works since the 1950s.
The SR20 or Honda F series are sand casted blocks.
However the Vega "Cossie" designed block was not really made for racing
and many cracked when used in circle track remedied with plate alloy
tig welded in certain areas but still a great achievement as it was a die cast
block as Honda and Nissan finally were able to achieve after the introduction
of the K series and QR series so almost 30 years later than GM!!!

In reality GM should have just halve a small block like the iron duke
but 10 years earlier than in the 1974.

Quote:
GM Research Labs had been working on a sleeveless aluminum block since the late '50s. The incentive was cost. Engineering out the four-cylinder's block liners would save $8 per unit a substantial amount of money at the time. Reynolds Metal Co. developed a hypereutectic aluminum alloy called A-390, composed of 77 percent aluminum, 17 percent silicon, 4 percent copper, 1 percent iron, and traces of phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and titanium. The A-390 alloy was suitable for faster production diecasting which made the Vega block less expensive to manufacture than other aluminum engines. Sealed Power Corp. developed special chrome-plated piston rings for the engine that were blunted to prevent scuffing. Basic work had been done under Eudell Jackobson of GM engineering, but final production engineering work was finished by Chevrolet. The Vega engine block was cast in Massena, New York, at the same factory that had produced the Chevrolet Turbo-Air 6 engine for the Corvair. Molten aluminum was transported from Reynolds and Alcoa reduction plants to the foundry, inside thermos tank trucks. The block was cast using the Accurad process. The casting process provided a uniform distribution of fine primary silicon particles approximately 0.001 inches (25 μm) in size. Pure silicon provides a hard scuff and wear resistant surface, having a rating of 7 on the mohs scale of hardness, the same as quartz, as compared to diamond which is 10. The blocks were aged 8 hours at 450 F (232 C) to achieve dimensional stability. The technical breakthroughs of the block lay in the precision die-casting method used to produce it, and in the silicon alloying which provided a compatible bore surface without liners. Before being shipped to Tonawanda, the blocks were impregnated with sodium silicate, where they were machined through the outer skin.[2] From Massena, the cast engine blocks were shipped as raw castings to Chevy's engine plant in Tonawanda, New York. Here they underwent the messy etch and machining operations. The cylinder bores were rough and finish-honed conventionally to a 7-microinch (180 nm) finish then etched by a new (then) electro-chemical process. The etching removed approximately 0.00015-inch (3.8 μm) of aluminum leaving the pure silicon particles prominent to form the bore surface.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_2300_engine

with todays cnc processes the same technology with no iron sleeves
could be used with success due to their experience and problems learned.

Posted on: 10/26 4:33
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Re: Vega Engine
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Yeah it's not a Cosworth block. The block was GM-designed and GM-made

The thing i don't get is why GM made the block aluminum and then stuck a heavy cast-iron head on it. I guess they were trying to wow the public (and they succeeded) but then had it backfire on them when people found the engine was unreliable

And people liked the sporty looks, the handling and the the Vega fuel economy until time showed that the imports got far better fuel economy and were more reliable

Last night I watched a 1971 Chevrolet in-house film where they talked about how the imports were taking big market share from them. They showed lots of VW and Datsuns being unloaded, including 1200s. And because Chevrolet were making the best cars and engines, the Chevrolet workers were urged to show up on time and do better work ... In hindsight the main problems were all managerial and product problems. Like the Vega problems were not the cause of the workers

It was a brilliant product. With poor design choices by executives. Those Vegas were everywhere. And then 10 years later were disappeared

Posted on: 10/26 11:19
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Re: Vega Engine
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Wow, its amazing how perceptions can differ.
In my Unhumble opinion Vegas were poor running , unreliable , rattling, poor quality tin cans of the era. Ranked up there with the likes of the other great America POS cars such as the Pinto, Chevette, Monza & Citation. Plymouth at least imported a Mitsubishi to badge as an Arrow or a Colt.
I dont know about the Cosworth motors as I never saw one in the shop but trust me the above list were always in there plagued with repairs....the Citations less so as they were 80s era tech.

I just remember working on Vegas and test driving them thinking how poorly they drove and handled. One gals car was in all the time for clutch cable adjustments, brake issues, constant out of tune and body integrity issues inside and out-oh yeah, panels on those rotted out very prematurely too.

The big 3 were good at mid and full size cars, not the new econobox types like a 1200. Seemed like every import mfg-er had Detroit beat except perhaps Yugo.

Look back at GMs 68 firebird with a Sprint 6 OHC motor- reliable, good tech, 4 barrel carb, belt drive cam I believe. That was pretty decent setup for the era and it was older they then the Vega era.The Vega and others were a rush to market solution to compete against everything imported.

Sorry if Im raining on anyones parade , purely my unhumble, bias opinion based on my experience of working in a shop back in the day.

Posted on: 10/27 1:26
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Re: Vega Engine
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Oh I agree with you. But apparently when they were new they drove well, at least at first -- from what people told me. Certainly 2 million americans ponied up and bought them, even if they later regretted it

I remember particularly this one guy told me that he and his buddy each bought one at the same time, they drove them hard and treated them like throwaway econoboxes, and they only lasted like one year! Hard to believe

The Pinto was quite a bit different, the engine was tough (unlike the Vega engine) but Pintos always had something needing repairs. I remember fixing one Pinto the cam tensioner got loose and it still ran but not so well. Fixed that and the customer drove it for many years afterwards

Posted on: 10/27 10:08
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Re: Vega Engine
No life (a.k.a. DattoMaster)
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I agree with you all in everyway and prob was a bit
too nice to say Chev made any kind of fantastic effort
However these Giants have so many departments Im sure
the guys in charge of the twin cam 16v all ally engine
had the best of intetions but let down by the rest of
the companys assembly, design and its politics.


There was no way Chev could make this complex engine reliable
in that era and believe it was the most ridiculous idea they ever had.

They prob got hold the japs were making twin cam headed
econoboxes so tried to offer more than them.
However also supplying the lesser version with an iron head!
was a totally wacked out move beyond stupidity.

Dodge did the same thing with the Slant 6 ten years earlier!!!!

Chev could have learnt from that but no and the same factory
that cast the flat 6 for the corvairs seems to be connected
to the worst cars ever made by Chev.

I think they looked amazing but take all you guys for your word
they sucked in every department.

Sure the idea of a 16v head all alloy engine was insanely courageous
but due to their usual world famous poor execution it ended as a joke.

Posted on: 10/28 3:43
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Re: Vega Engine
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Even worse ... it was a single-cam head

Posted on: 10/28 8:49
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Re: Vega Engine
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Here's that Chevrolet corporate film

YouTube: CHEVROLET AUTOMOBILES VS. FOREIGN CARS

2:58 is where they start talking about Toyota and Datsun

Attach file:



jpg  0259.jpg (36.94 KB)
174_5db753486e7cb.jpg 598X439 px

jpg  1200.jpg (28.00 KB)
174_5db753537c54f.jpg 598X443 px

Posted on: 10/28 20:45
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Re: Vega Engine
No life (a.k.a. DattoMaster)
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Great links! yep single cammed iron heads that belonged on iron blocks
definitely not high tech all alloy blocks with no experience or durability
testing over time to expose its issues.

However Nissan or Datsun were amongst the best in the US but no more
My Jap father in law would not go near a new Nissan with a 10 foot chop stick
and neither would many Muricans these days.
The truth from SK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h_r_OuJU-w

Posted on: 10/29 4:02
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