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Old 05-21-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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How good were the GM 2.8 Liter V6 motors?
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Not very. If I recall correctly, they had issues with bad head gaskets.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Up until 1986 they were known to throw rods and sometimes break cranks. At least the ones I saw were.

In 1986 they finally beefed up the bottom end, then went from carburetion to fuel injection. Power and torque increased a little, but not much. Can be a bit of a gutless turd on an automatic; a manual helps bring out the best in them.

I have the original 2.8 liter in my 1993 S-10 with 184k on it, bone stock, never been opened up or apart and I've beaten the whiz out of it and it still keeps running. Only things I've done is kept the oil changed at 3000 miles and tuned it up here and there. Believe it or not this engine has a lot of life left in it.

I've not heard of the 2.8's having bad head gaskets, but I have heard of this on the 2.2 liter engines.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
Up until 1986 they were known to throw rods and sometimes break cranks. At least the ones I saw were.

In 1986 they finally beefed up the bottom end, then went from carburetion to fuel injection. Power and torque increased a little, but not much. Can be a bit of a gutless turd on an automatic; a manual helps bring out the best in them.

I have the original 2.8 liter in my 1993 S-10 with 184k on it, bone stock, never been opened up or apart and I've beaten the whiz out of it and it still keeps running. Only things I've done is kept the oil changed at 3000 miles and tuned it up here and there. Believe it or not this engine has a lot of life left in it.

I've not heard of the 2.8's having bad head gaskets, but I have heard of this on the 2.2 liter engines.
Didn't the 2.8 Liter V6's have carburetion problems?
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:49 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopac1980 View Post
Didn't the 2.8 Liter V6's have carburetion problems?
I don't know if they did or not. I just remember thumbing thru the trader ads and always seeing a Citation/Celebrity/Cierra/Sunbird/Camaro/Firebird/S-10 listed as a "mechanics special" and it usually was due to 2.8 engine failure.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:58 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopac1980 View Post
How good were the GM 2.8 Liter V6 motors?
I don't think they were their best engine.

About 10 years ago I replaced a cam shaft, cam bearings and lifters for somebody. The way the parts man talked, it was very common for those engines to grind the lobes off the cams - and often with not too many miles on the engine.


I do think, though, that they had better luck with them in the cars than in the S-10 & S-10 Blazers.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Floribama
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My sister had a '86 Firebird with the 2.8 Multi-Port, she drove the hell out of it and had no problems with the engine itself, most of the problems were external, things like the MAF or fuel pump. In the end the transmission went before the engine did.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:17 PM
Status: "Stay in Florida, scrape ice off truck. Voila." (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: H-town, TX.
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Good enough to rummage through a GM Goodwrench catalog (crate engine) or through any other GM product with a 3.1L or 3.4L and repalce it with one of those.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
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Had a 84 S-10 with auto tranny...piece of CRAP.

Within a few months had to replace the head gskt and a valve job same time.

Couple of yrs later had to replace entire engine due to bad piston (starving for fuel). (water & head gskt combined problem). Think that the intake manifold might be the problem of the left head starving for fuel.

Few yrs later another head gsket (always the left bank).

Anyone see the picture?

Gas mileage was always around 12-14 mpg...nothing to brag about.

Friend had a 86 S-10 4.3 FI engine that ran good for him. He was a mechanic business owner as was myself. Always liked GM cars but that truck was the pitts for me but kept it for haulin parts etc.

Steve
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,825 posts, read 23,242,151 times
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The 2.8 has a breathing issue, Edelbrock does or did have an improved intake manifold for it, but it's not a motor that will make much HP. IIRC the Edelbrock has unequal size ports, so you can tell they were having to do some serious voodoo to try to get the damn thing to breathe.

As Alfred noted, you can get kits *from GM* to replace it with a 3.1 or 3.4, and if you have an otherwise good truck with a 2.8, if it's at all worn, this is very likely your best option. I have not done one of these but IIRC it's a good complete kit, with all the nuts and bolts, brackets, etc. included so you literally just bolt the uprated (and new) engine in and drive away. If you can find a mechanic who has done a couple of these he might be willing to give a firm estimate for labor to do the deed; you generally won't get that for an engine swap. The Devil is in the details...

The 2.8 will last a lot of miles if well cared for and not beat too bad. A buddy had one in a Blazer, drove it around pretty much with his foot on the floor most of the time, he did do head gaskets once but got well over 200K out of it, it was running well when he sold it
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