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Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/1/17 9:17 a.m.

Automatic Saturns 

Taurus SHO

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
12/1/17 9:18 a.m.

I don't understand the appeal of Biturbos in the first place - there's a lot better examples of Italian styling, and the performance numbers look, well, all right for the time. And it's not exactly the sort of car where I get the impression that trying to double the boost with an aquarium valve would be a good idea. I'd rather try to make a Camaro handle like a Maserati than try to make a Maserati as reliable as a small block Chevy.

Hmmm - the Mercedes SL AMG cars might fill those shoes pretty well, although they are a lot better in the performance department. But they also are a two seater with a curb weight heavier than a Buick Roadmaster, so there's the "I don't get it" feature. I drove one, and my reaction was that it fit the saying, "You can't make a race horse out of a pig, but you can make a very fast pig." The driving impression would have been great if it had been a large four door sedan, and if the C55 AMG didn't exist. Compared with something like a Corvette, the SL55 couldn't hide its weight.

And the AMG cars also have the same "depreciate to the point that somebody who really can't afford to maintain them  will try to buy them" factor in play as the Biturbo as well.

fanfoy
fanfoy Dork
12/1/17 9:52 a.m.

Another vote for Mitsu 3000GT VR4:

Fast, sexy, unreliable, hard to work on and to find parts for. Like the bi-turbo, I don't think I've ever seen one with more than 100k miles on them. 

The0retical
The0retical SuperDork
12/1/17 10:40 a.m.

In reply to fanfoy :

Oh that's a good one. My father had the ES version of the Stealth (N/A DOHC and no goofy looking RT body kit) when I was growing up instead of the RT/TT/VR-4 because the turbo models  already had documented problems as early as 1993. The NA car went for 270k miles and 22 years I don't think a RT/TT/VR-4 would have done that.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/1/17 10:43 a.m.
mad_machine said:

I think most of you missed the point on the BiTurbo. It wasn't that it cost a lot to fix, or that parts were hard to come by, it was the fact that they would break just sitting in the driveway waiting to be repaired for something else. Even when they were new, and this is a relatively affluent area, I only sever saw ONE moving under it's own power. We even had a local dealership who also sold Lamborghinis, the dealer dropped Maserati as quickly they could.

 

The Biturbo was all the performance of a Ferrari with all the reliability, depreciation, and build quality of a Fiat Strada

Well, the performance of a 328i, anyhow.

fanfoy
fanfoy Dork
12/6/17 10:55 a.m.
fanfoy said:

Another vote for Mitsu 3000GT VR4:

Fast, sexy, unreliable, hard to work on and to find parts for. Like the bi-turbo, I don't think I've ever seen one with more than 100k miles on them. 

I thought of this thread when I saw this pop-up for sale locally today:

A VR-4 with it's engine in pieces that the guy is trying to unload after spending a fortune on it. Even comes with the engine crane. He would take a 4x4 ATV or pretty much anything in exchange. ... The new bi-turbo

The0retical
The0retical SuperDork
12/6/17 11:46 a.m.

The engine hard parts are the easy part (if you can get to them.) Heck RockAuto carries basically everything you'd need to rebuild it minus the short block and transfer case.  They're not even that expensive. If you want upgrades 3SX Performance has you covered.  Troubleshooting the technical tour de force of early 90's electronic is what will kill you.

I wonder if anyone has run down the aftermarket engine control path with one yet while retaining the twin turbos?

Grizz
Grizz UberDork
12/6/17 12:35 p.m.

If you could get rid of the extraneous bullE36 M3 like the 4ws and slim down the vacuum lines to a normal level I can't imagine the vr4 would even be that unreliable.

I still desire one from my time in them as a child. Those things were rockets when they were on the freeway and sex in the looks department.

I wonder how bad the SL versions we didn't get in the US(as far as I know) were? 4wd without the turbos and fancy crap.

fanfoy
fanfoy Dork
12/6/17 1:32 p.m.

In reply to The0retical and Grizz :

You guys realize that's bi-turbo speak right there:

 

"It's a great car, you just have to change........insert long list of excuses" 

And then after 10 years of frustration, you sell the heap to the next sucker that thinks: "It's a great car if......"

codrus
codrus UltraDork
12/6/17 1:40 p.m.
The0retical said:

I wonder if anyone has run down the aftermarket engine control path with one yet while retaining the twin turbos?

IIRC, unlike the FD and Supra, the 3000GT was non-sequential.  Two turbos for packaging reasons (one on each bank), but it's not trying to run all the exhaust gas through one of them to spool it up and then add the second for high-end power.  So controlling both turbos should just be a case of having a tee in the boost control solenoid line.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
12/6/17 2:00 p.m.

I thought the 6G72 wasn’t that bad of an engine.  The bigger issue was it was already a tight fit in the 3000GT, and adding two turbos didn’t help?  Not too mention all the other gadgets it had.

I’m guessing being the only FWD based of the early 90’s Japanese supercars didn’t help it’s cachet when it got to its third owner, either.

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
12/6/17 2:07 p.m.

The real problem with the 3000gt vr4 was the dsm. DSM is smaller, lighter, still turbo, still AWD, still sexy, much more reliable, and the 4g63 can arguably make more power than the 6g.

Probably THE classic case of letting your lower end car out-perform your supercar.

The0retical
The0retical SuperDork
12/6/17 4:45 p.m.
Grizz said:

If you could get rid of the extraneous bullE36 M3 like the 4ws and slim down the vacuum lines to a normal level I can't imagine the vr4 would even be that unreliable.

I still desire one from my time in them as a child. Those things were rockets when they were on the freeway and sex in the looks department.

I wonder how bad the SL versions we didn't get in the US(as far as I know) were? 4wd without the turbos and fancy crap.

God it is the new Bi-Turbo...

We didn't get the AWD N/A SL's here in the US just the FWD DOHC cars. I agree about them being straight sex, that early 90s era of bubble cars, mainly the FD and 3000GT, are what got me into cars. I drove my fathers 93 ES back and forth from Pennsylvania to Florida probably 4 times. It was a great car for that trip since it acted basically like a big GT car.

Dodge Stealths got all the weird variants of the car:

  • Base with the N/A SOHC
  • ES from 1991 to 1993 with the N/A DOHC and no Body kit
  • RT with the N/A DOHC and a goofy body kit
  • RT/TT which had the goofy body kit, AWD, 4WD steering, and Twin turbo motor but didn't have a lot of the active aero stuff the 3000GT VR-4 had.

The 3000GT came in the SL DOHC and VR-4 TT DOHC trims.

They're tanks too. I knew someone that t-boned an Excursion doing 70 without hitting the brakes. Got out and proceeded to have at it with the Excursion driver. I've always had a thing for them but knew in the back of my mind it would be financial ruin. So I started to play with rotary powered cars... Obviously I don't make terribly rational decisions.

fortee9er
fortee9er New Reader
12/6/17 8:47 p.m.

Can some of you tell me what is the deal with Audi reliability. My mechanic has an S4 (not sure what year) in the shop right now. I checked under the hood and it looks like a V8 with twin turbos. It is for sale but I am not buying just curious as to why so many people hate them. 

Grizz
Grizz UberDork
12/6/17 9:41 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :
Two different markets I would think. Eclipse was small sporty corner carver and the 3k was "luxury" sports highway bomber. Between the two of them stock to stock a vr4 is going to walk all over an eclipse on the freeway and likely be a nicer place to do it in. 

In reply to fanfoy :

Well as has been pointed out, the regular 3000gt is a very reliable car, my post was mostly brain farting about what you would have to do to make the VR4 more like that. In fact, take a regular 3k, single turbo the 6g with a reasonable amount of boost, and put the ass drive from a vr4 in that. Why wouldn't that work?


OR, and this idea hits really dumb levels for me, find a way to make the Mivec v6 from the newer turd wagon eclipse work in a vr4.

E: Case in point, the extra E36 M3 is the problem.

codrus
codrus UltraDork
12/7/17 12:35 a.m.
fortee9er said:

Can some of you tell me what is the deal with Audi reliability. My mechanic has an S4 (not sure what year) in the shop right now. I checked under the hood and it looks like a V8 with twin turbos. It is for sale but I am not buying just curious as to why so many people hate them. 

 

They never sold an S4 with a V8 and twin turbos.  They had a single-turbo I5 (C3), a twin turbo V6 (B5), a naturally aspirated V8 (B6/B7), a supercharged V6 (B8), and now back to a turbo V6 (B9).  A twin turbo V8 Audi sedan is probably either a C5 RS6 or a C7 S6.

The B6 & B7 S4 that everyone loves to hate has a timing chain at the back of the motor, where it's completely inaccessible without dropping it out the bottom.  The tensioners on that chain wear faster than they're supposed to, so somewhere between 80K and 200K miles it's likely to need a very expensive service or you'll have pistons and valves hitting each other.

IME, Audi reliability, overall, is pretty similar to BMW.  Which is to say, not great.  They're expensive German cars with lots of gadgets to break, expensive parts, high labor rates, and not a lot of room in the engine bay so multiply that high rate by a lot of hours.  They depreciate a lot, so first owners pass them on to people who can't afford to maintain them and if you buy one with that much deferred maintenance it's a money pit.  For some reason people hate Audi more for this than they do BMW, I don't know why.

bluej
bluej UltraDork
12/7/17 6:48 a.m.

The vr4 3000gt's aren't in biturbo territory. A has been noted, the base motor is actually reliable, provided you change the timing belt in a sane timeframe. Sure, it's not an easy service because of packaging, but every 60k isn't unreasonable. There's also a lot larger following than the biturbos, and I THINK more were made.

The stock ecu's have been pretty much fully hacked at this point, and there's MSx support.

They've got every gizmowhatzit that mitsu could think of in 1989, but most of that won't keep the car from being drive able. The bigger systemic killers are turning up the boost without other supporting mods tends to kablooie the rod bearings, and the biggest is that the trans and some other drivetrain parts are unique to the particular species. The trans in the NA dohc models is the same as the awd dsm motors, sans the extra driven wheels, while the vr4/rt-tt trans/transfer cases are distinct getrag units.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
12/7/17 10:14 a.m.

 

Going to be hard to beat the Maserati Bi-Turbo at this game. Marketing failures of that magnitude don't come along that often.  If it does, I have to agree that Maserati might be the only car company that can carry it off. I honestly believe that if it is not already so, the word "Maserati" should be defined in the Italian dictionary as "Broken"

 

In a sentence "

"Il governo Italiano è Masserati"

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
12/7/17 10:21 a.m.

Corrado with g60 engine?

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
12/7/17 1:21 p.m.
Patrick said:

Rx8

 

Agreed.  

These seem more often than not to be broken, and they also presented themselves as a sleek sporty car.  Most modern cars, even bad ones, are still pretty darn good in terms of reliability.  The exception to that rule might just be the rotary.  :p

fortee9er
fortee9er New Reader
12/7/17 4:37 p.m.

In reply to codrus :

Thanks for the education. Too many cars out there to keep up with.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 HalfDork
12/7/17 5:40 p.m.

You guys are making me want to search CL for VR4s again, which is the exact opposite of how I should feel after reading this thread.

The0retical
The0retical SuperDork
12/7/17 7:39 p.m.

In reply to gearheadE30 :

I did the other night... I remember when they were 5 to 8k cars a few years ago because they didn't benefit from the F&F bump. Apparently they're appreciating. 

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
12/7/17 9:26 p.m.

Every time I see a comment (or a whole thread) about how bad the BiTurbo was, I have to laugh.  Growing up, the neighbor 2 doors down was a sales rep of some sort for Maserati.  This was mid-'80s, in the heart of the BiTurbo production.  I was just developing an interest in cars, but I was decidedly "meh" on the BiTurbo.  Why?  Because my neighbor drove down the street in one practically every day.  Yes, really.  Looking back on it, I imagine as a Maserati employee he had like 5 of them in rotation.  But I wasn't paying close enough attention at that point, so they seemed as commonplace to me as a Chevy Monte Carlo or Honda Civic.  

 

They moved in like '90, and he had moved on from Maserati by that point.  He was working for Sterling by then!  I bet he's got a helluva lot of stories.  No ideas where they moved to, they weren't close w/ my folks, just a friendly neighbor we'd chat to occasionally and wave to as he drove by in his working BiTurbo.  

 

A few years ago I was reading an article about the history of Maserati, and it mentioned that during the '80s, their US base was like 2 offices that they shared with a body shop or something in Baltimore.  I grew up in a suburb of Baltimore, so it suddenly made sense.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
12/7/17 10:25 p.m.

The real problem with the 3000gt vr4 was the dsm. DSM is smaller, lighter, still turbo, still AWD, still sexy, much more reliable, and the 4g63 can arguably make more power than the 6g.

Probably THE classic case of letting your lower end car out-perform your supercar.

I mostly disagree with that. Only one of those cars was bound by the silly Japanese HP 'limit' thing.  And i don't think there's any question that the 6g can make more power than the 4g. I do think there is a disproportionate data set of people spending ludicrous money building 4gs vs 6gs, and that may give the illusory effect that the 4g can make more power with ~33% less headflow. 6gs were making 4-digit horsepower well before it was 'commonplace', but most of the action on the platform died before the internet was in a place to spread that info far and wide. People who have looked into them are able to find that info, but it's not like you're bombarded with videos of VR4s on Youtube like you are of CTS-Vs and Coyote Mustangs etc. I dont really know why, but the 3000GT enthusiast base peaked really early and has been in decline for a long time. There was no Fast and Furious pop culture moment for the 3000GT, yet one guy who dyno'd a 6g72 and 2jz at various boost levels found that their power tracked very closely. Too bad it's harder to mount a PowerGlide in a 3000gt.  Anyway, i digress. cheeky

I still have a never-started 3000gt project car..

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