V-6 Technology Takes Center Stage

2014-4.3L V-6 EcoTec3 II

Yes, we've driven the snot out of the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 half-ton V-6 and it is impressive. It will be the biggest engine in the segment, with the most torque of any base engine (excluding the Titan, which doesn't have a V-6 base engine) in the class.

We respect General Motors for staying true to its heritage with overhead valve technology, but we have to wonder if this is something GM might regret down the road. Of course, GM also has the opportunity to borrow some cool technology from the likes of Cadillac in the form of the twin turbo 3.6-liter V-6 going into the new ATS and CTS sedans. Naturally, although nothing was announced at the Silverado intro, we'd expect these engines to be more appropriate for something like a Silverado SS or Raptor-fighting Silverado ZR2. Just spitballing here.

In the meantime, horsepower-heavy and "low-torque" dual overhead cam competitors will need to respond in some way. And we can't wait to see what they do. Here's the most up-to-date direct comparison information of all the V-6 engines (and their vital specs) in the half-ton segment.




You are a stupid and dangerous person. you are dumber than dog s.................Terror tactics (union tactics) don't work on me.

If PUTC wants the UAW or whatever to control this site I suppose it's their decision.

It's not kids like I've been told by PUTC.

Terror tactics (union tactics) don't work on me.

If PUTC wants the UAW or whatever to control this site I suppose it's their decision.

Sorry, I more or less posted the same twice. The first comment didn't appear to work.

I just made a post and it is no longer on the site.

I was talking about the influence CAFE/EPA and all of the other regulations and barriers have on vehicle design.

I'm sorry that DenverMike is trying to make this into a competition.

Believe it or not what I mentioned has a significant bearing on vehicle design.

CAFE in particular is making the biggest changes. Hence my comment on the differing regulations determining vehicle design and where full size trucks will end up. That is what this article is about.

People like DenverMike are low lifes who try and play mind games. He's already trying to change the direction of what I have stated. That's a usual ploy of his.

But like I've told him in the past, stay on the debate.

A couple of people have stated their concern on my recent posts, but if they were in my shoes how would have they reacted?

It seems quite apparent who is behind these attacks.

the UAW

Read this link.

This has been what I've been talking about for the past year. All I get from some of you guys is $hit (not Jeff S).

Open your market and let mid sizer compete and adopt UNECE regs like most of us do and you will still have full size trucks.

Not as many because midsizers will take sales away. Irrespective of what DenverMike/Greg Baird states midsizer will sell more.

But you will still have your V8 pickups.

Read and weep.


As we have seen, the old CAFE rules are pretty much what killed the mid-size truck and why full-sized trucks are so big--as DWFields calls them, Road Whales™. The bigger they are, the less they have to comply with the tight economy rules of smaller vehicles, which means they get to keep the big gas-drinking engines. The problem is, as they grow they also get heavier. Today's F-150 for instance is almost a full 10% larger than an F-150 of 25 years ago.

The interesting thing is that the new CAFE rules change the playing field because those same trucks have only 2 more years to attain 25mph and only 9 more years to attain 35 mpg while when taking every model in a brand's fleet into account they need to average 50mpg combined. You simply can't do that with a big truck without making some drastic changes in weight and power train.

So yes, it is very possible that the F-150 will be forced into Class V or higher status, taking it out of the hands of the average consumer and even farmer. This also means that a 300 hp engine in a much lighter weight compact or mid-sized truck (as small as the original Ranger, perhaps) won't have to work so hard to run down the highway and fifth-wheel campers, like many others (caravans in OZ) will shrink concurrently back to a mere 5,000 pounds or so as many did back in the '80s.

I like diesels, I have a Duramax.
The reasons you dont see more diesels in light-duty trucks and midsize trucks is this:
-Manufacturers are scared by the price premium of diesel fuel
-Diesel engines cost 100's of millions of dollars to get through the EPA
-Diesel fuel quality in the US is poor compared to Europe
-Diesel injectors often fail at ~100,000 miles because of the above
-Diesel injectors cost $600-$1000 EACH to replace!!!!
-Manufacturers worry about the engine cost premium vs gas ($3500-$7000)

I think that a lot of you guys predicting that half ton pickups will continue to grow in size due to CAFE restrictions and such are taking way too linear a viewpoint of the regulatory environment. Regulations are fluid, and if regulations begin to make peoples' beloved pickups become too large/expensive/non functional you will see a public outcry that will result in said regulations being altered to appeal to the aggrieved.

@ GeorgeC

I am familiar with the engine. It puts out 290 ft lbs of torque, but also puts out 344 peak horsepower (regular gas). That engine is purposefully tuned to put out peak power at high rpms. I have seen a few torque curves for the motor and from what I recall it puts out ~ 82% peak torque at 2000 rpms. That means it pulls with roughly 240 ft lbs of torque at 2000 rpms.

I haven't seen any torque curves for the new GM 4.3L V6, but if we assume it puts out 90% peak torque at 2000 rpms that would leave it with 305*0.9= 274 lb feet. So as it stands the Hyundai engine comes within 35 lb feet of the GM engine at low RPMs, with the Hyundai engine tuned for track performance (genesis coupe r spec). The fun thing with DI is that it can be setup to yield a higher peak torque figure at lower rpms with a retuning of the ECU.

As it stands I would rather have the current Hyundai V6 in any V6 truck I was purchasing. Sacrifices 13 hp down low to have an extra 60 hp higher in the rev range (especially since it is currently paired with an 8 speed). But given that a motor like the 3.8L V6 would be completely retuned for a truck application I would *absolutely* take it over the new GM motor - at least if performance were the desired goal. We will have to wait and see how the fuel economy numbers work out. My anecdotal experience has been that OHV motors always seem to net me better fuel economy that OHC motors.

I also have no idea about the relative size/dimensions of the two motors, but I would guess that the Hyundai motor is considerably larger and heavier than the GM motor. That said I think that the 3.8L V6 (is it still codenamed lambda) is the best NA V6 out in a mass produced car at the moment. I keep reading about the potential of the pentastar, so perhaps that will overtake the others in the future, but right now if Hyundai were to make a mid sized truck off of the Vera Cruz platform and put this V6 in it I think it would be incredibly successful.

@ Mark Williams

All F-150s after 2011 had 9.75" rear end and NOT the 8.8" stated above in your chart. The 8.8" rear end was dropped in 2010 along with the old engines.

Nevermind my previous post. The 3.7L is the only F150 engine that comes with the 8.8 rear end, and the rest of the engines come with the 9.75.

As for as the topic, I don't see why towing numbers over 5K lbs would mater in a base engine. I would think anyone towing more then that on regular enough bases would be smart enough to just get a more powerful engine anyways.

IIRC, cam location has little do with torque specifications. The advantage to overhead cam engines is that they will hold together better at high rpm but in the context of most North American engines, most don't rev all that high. That allows for pushrod/cam in block to be just as reliable as OHC. I suspect that cam in block makes it easier and cheaper to allow cylinder deactivation since Ram and Chevy are the only ones with it, and are the only cam in block engines.
One can argue greater parasitic loss in an overhead cam engine due to drive mechanisms but is it really significant? We've seen better mpg out of the OHV engines relative to their OHC counterparts so it may be part of the picture. Cylinder deactivation is probably a bigger factor yielding better mpg.

Bore and stroke coupled with head design, valve size, number of valves, how the fuel is delivered, compression ratios, etc. are going to affect torque and HP.
I haven't looked up the bore and stroke on the Ecotec 4.3 but I bet it will be a long stroke motor, at least when compared to the Ford 3.7 and Ram 3.6.

@Baf0 - You talk all this nonsense about the UAW or CAW and whatever 'user name' rolling. If it was me, it would be between me and PUTC. Of course you revert to your tactic of changing (or trying to change) the subject, when you have zero reply to the topic and so you'll skirt the question asked of you, every time. Of course, you don't have and answer.

"Terror"? Wtf are you talking about???

But say someone was from the UAW/CAW. Is his question or reply to you (or anybody) no longer valid? What if he's right and proves you absolutely wrong??? You're wrong about 10 times out of 10. It's not that you're ignorant, it's called trolling, Trolling to see what the other person may know.

Take any and all questions, statements, links or replies AT FACE VALUE. Or quit. Anything else is a complete waste of bandwidth.

We all know that gear ratio can multiply torque.

IMO the Pentastar's 17% 1st gear advantage, and more importantly 33% 2nd gear advantage, is going to make up for the 13% torque advantage the 4.3 has.

The only measure I see the GM truck outperforming the Ram is Fuel Economy while loaded.

Torque is not power.
GM's 4.3 makes more power than the 3.6 Pentastar from idle to 5650rpm.
And then if you use the Ethanol fuel for enhanced power, that region decreases to 5900-6400 (and consider that the 4.3 has a 5800rpm rev limiter)

The Pentastar, being the most carlike engine, actually makes more power than the Ford 3.7 in a very small window of 5400-6400rpm.

And for what it is worth, seeing as Nissan never installed their VQ40 4.0 V6 in the Titan, the Toyota 1gr-fe 4.0 V6 makes more power than Nissan from 4300rpm up.

@Phillyguy: Based on now 40 years of history, fuel economy rules have never been weakened but rather strengthened. There has been no public outcry about them, only corporate as it forces the auto manufacturers to work ever harder to meet those rules. As it is, the auto manufacturers couldn't care less as they just pass the cost on to the buyer--which is one reason why the average pickup truck now costs well over $30K where at one time they cost less than the typical sedan. (Yes, I personally remember when a pickup truck cost about $3500 while an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme cost $5200--almost exactly 40 years ago. Then again, back then pickups were almost exclusively utility vehicles and not family cars.

What I am predicting however is that full-sized trucks are going to be forced to shrink back to their roughly 1970 size while a more compact size will come out to help their overall fleet mileage ratings. Insurance companies have begun reclassifying certain SUVs from "truck" to "wagon" simply because of their lack of hauling capacity and I've noticed that the EPA tends to follow the insurance companies lead within only a few years. For now I believe the difference is marked by whether it's unibody or body on frame. My Vue's rating changed, if I remember correctly, in 2010. I would note that I also regularly exceeded 30mpg highway with that Vue and never went below 20mpg city that I can recall. (I don't calculate my mileage on every tank.)

I've noticed some of you commenting on how you need 300+ hp to tow even a 5,000 pound trailer. Now, I'll grant 40 years have passed since the anecdote I'm about to give and things have changed, but those things have changed for the better in most cases.

My family and I started camping with a rented Apache pop-up trailer back around '73, using a Gran Torino with a 302c.i.d. (5 liter) engine. If any of you care to do the research, the Windsor engine was noted for torque but only put out about 175 horsepower and the car itself weighed in at just over 2 tons. Of course, we enjoyed camping so much with that rented pop-up that we decided to buy a full-on camper--a 16-foot Prowler that weighed in at just under 5,000 pounds. Yup, we used that same Gran Torino to pull it.

Now here we are 40 years later and many of you insist that 300+ horsepower is needed. Ok, today's 6-cylinder engines put out that 300+ horsepower as well as strong torque. Claiming that you HAVE to have a full-sized truck with a massive V8 is simply overkill. Sure, it pulls the load more easily, but if you're only pulling that load a few times a year and running mostly empty the rest of the time, you're simply wasting money. A V6 in a smaller truck can meet the need for such short-term use more economically in the long term.

George c

Here's a guy who doesn't understand how gear works!!!

@George C: Torque is power. Torque is what gets the load moving in the first place. You will also note that in almost every engine torque peaks long before horsepower peaks. When a transmission upshifts in a performance car, it chooses the horsepower peak normally to change gears and hit that torque peak. Even with manual transmissions, you'll feel a relatively weak push until the engine hits about 2,000-2,500 revs at which point the seat back comes up to meet your spine.

Diesel engines produce this torque earlier which is why almost all commercial transportation vehicle use either straight diesel or diesel-electric drivetrains. And Audi is proving that diesel is just as effective on the racetrack simply because it can put that power down earlier than gas.

The only engine that will exceed diesel in torque isn't an engine, it's a motor. Electric puts down maximum torque at 0rpm and fades as the rpm is increased. Properly designed, an all-electric race car could outperform either gas or diesel until it runs out of battery.

@Paul: so when are you THINKING Ford FIXXED the Ecoboost? Yesterday? Redesigned intercooler, or covered intercooler, people are still having issues. Hit the gas, it stalls, or goes into limp mode, shakes. Yeah, that's what I want. As a extra, you get a check engine light.

@Lou: the 4.3 probably has the same 4 inch bore, 3.48 inch stroke, it's just 3/4s of a 350. It might lose the least gas mileage when towing, but then most that buy the v-6 don't buy them to tow much regularly, I would think. Not when the Hemi gets just 1 mpg city and 2 mpg highway less then the Pentastar in 4x4 form. I would expect the 4.3 to barely better the 5.3 in 4x4.

There is a reason Ram passed on MDS (AFM) for it's v-6s.

@George: No 3.92 gears with the Ram V-6. It has no problem winding up. It will pull all the rpm needed, and more gear just adds more rpm. The 3.6 can use more torque, or the operater needs to step up to the diesel or Hemi. It doesn't need more gear. As it is with the 3.55 gears, it runs about a 2.98 final gear in tow haul (7th gear) while the Ford with 3.73 gears tows with a 2.50 (good thing those Fords come with tiny 235/75 R17 tires, too bad they suck when you go any bit fast around a corner with a load.) So lets see, more 1st gear with the Ram 3.55 gear, a taller final gear (numerically) in tow haul, and one more gear to use when towing=more gears, closer together.

Maybe they should tow 96% of the Ford 3.7 max like they did the Pentastar, that thing will barely be in 6th gear.

As much as you want 3.92 in a 3.6, aint happening. Or 4.10s in the Ford 3.7, which somebody tried to tell Mark they don't make the 8.8, but they are wrong, all they need do is look up Ford fleet f-150 tech specs.. 8.8 rear axle used in 2013.


Tom, I've read a lot on it and if it still does it after the fix, most change plugs and gap them to .030 - problem solved. There is something about fouling out the plugs when the truck had the issue. Ford messed up the gapping on the OEM plugs and this is part of the issue. Over 15,000 F150 EcoBoost sales each month says that this is pretty much a non issue...

@Paul, I don't care if Ford FIXXED the Ecoboost or if it is a non issue. It seems like Ford screws up the spark plugs on every generation. PUTC covered the Pentastar issue when it didn't eve have anything to do with the Ram. The Penstar was fixed before it even hit the Ram pickups. Mark Williams AND PUTC should cover the Ecoboost story. Everybody else is and the USA Today just did a story on it. It is the right thing to do. If they don't something is rotten in Denmark.

Paul: So you are saying gap them to a spec Ford doesn't recomend? Sounds like a hassle. What if a person gets the plugs changed at the dealer? Is that a DEALER FIX or a FORUM FIX? Sounds like a FORUM FIX. Or a MAYBE SORTA HOPEFULLY FIX.

15,000 Ecoboost sales says that they need to hire more mechanics, because there is getting to be more and more pissed off people.

Are you in sales?

Ford and GM, big liars. I looked at the Ford 3.7 tow specs, sure is funny how Ford re-rated those trucks. Like a heavier Ford with the above issue of only 6 gears and letting you tow in top gear, and with a whopping 9 more ft pounds of torque, at pretty much the same high rpm, and they RATE those Fords to tow 100-250 pounds more weight then the Ram, with a bit less torque and a lighter truck, and more gear ratio in TOW HAUL. Enough to make the Ford tow 200 rpm lower in top gear @ 55 vs a 3.55 geared 8 speed Ram v-6 in top gear in TOW HAUL. Meaning the Ford runs 1500 rpm with the little tires, and the Ram runs 1700 or so in 7th gear. So which one will constantly downshift? The overated Ford!

@TRX-4 Tom

Are you sure about AFM on the V6 I would think it would help. I would think the reason that Chrysler didn't do to it with the 3.6L is because of the cost of adding it to the Pentastar a DOHC. I want to say Mercedes and Audi are the only companies that I know of that have put AFM with the more expensive DOHC engines. I would love to see start/stop added the EcoTec 3 along with the Ford and GM new tranny which I would think that FE would trump that of Ram. That new tranny will solve the problems of the high axle ratio performance issue.

Ford changed the gap for the 2013 models. .30 is the stock gap on the 2013's.

As Paul stated, Ford messed up the gap on the OEM plugs and this is part of the problem with the Ecoboost shudder at 55-60mph on the 2011-2012. The spark plug gaps were all over the place from. 035 to. 046 on just one member's engine. A lot of members are checking and have found the same issues and after gapping them to. 030 the engines run better along with the shudder disappearing.

No need to worry about it really. 2012 trucks after a certain date have the intercooler on it already from the factory and as previously stated they also closed up the plug gap to around .30 on the 2013's.

The next shootout is happening now. Keep practicing your talking points for when your truck loses.


In the new shootout, will Ford win? You know it and here's why it is true...

Give GM fuel economy, but they will lose towing.

Ram will lose fuel economy and lose towing.

Ford will split the difference in fuel economy but win towing.

@Dave - what if the Ford loses?

"Keep practicing your talking points"

I would like to make the first pointless complaint "no fair they didn't use the 2014 Tundra." LOL

If not Ford, who will win? GM with the 5.3? Maybe if they get much better fuel economy.

Aaron Bragman‏@BragmansWorld21m
Any doubts I had about the @FordTrucks EcoBoost motor being suitable for trucks are now thoroughly dispelled. #lightdutychallenge


Dave, I'm guessing you've never driven a 2013 Ram? Your comment is the dumbest #$%$. I've ever read.

Fuel economy: Ram gets 15 mpg and 21 mpg on the highway in a V8. This matches Ford's V6 for fuel economy. Which would you rather have a V8 or a V6?

Towing: The all new 8 speed will beat Ford's 6 speed while towing heavy loads. We all know a V8 is better than a V6 while towing heavy.

Pair that with: smart engineering like segment first 4-corner new air suspension+ that keeps heavy loads level and sophisticated Ram technology like standard Trailer Sway Control+, standard Electronic Stability Control+ (ESC), and standard Hill Start Assist, and you'll keep your payload on the right road.

Victory is sealed.


If Ford still built an OHV V8 we would have bought that over our E-boost for our 150. As is, we went with the 6. I like it and it's fine for 90% of what we use the truck for so. There's still nothing like a V8. OHC or not, I will stick with a V8 in my 250 even if they offer the 6 sometime. For the 150, I didn't find the 5.0 enticing enough.

@ Dave, Jealous much? I see your jealousy has gotten the best of you again. What ever hope you had of winning the 2013 light duty shootout has been dashed by the 2013 Ram. The best truck on the market today. 2013 Ram 1500 Hemi 4x4 with the 8 speed.

Now why would I want a high compression premium price TT V6 with less horsepower then a V8 with the same m.p.g? Doesn't add up in my book. High compression means high octane fuel.

I agree with highdesertcat. Because I tow a heavy trailer I want a V8. I do not worry so much about m.p.g. My truck has 35's a lift and 4.56 gears. All are not good for m.p.g. I want capability over m.p.g. My next truck I want a 390 cubic inch engine. 430 horse 450 torque. Lift and 37's and 4.56 gears or higher.

@390 CUBIC INCH HEMI - Chrysler doesn't build a 390. 6.4 = 391.
The bore and stroke is 4.09x3.72 = 390.99 or 391.

I'm amazed. I make some jokes about 6.4 being the same displacement as the Fe block Ford 390 and you swallow it, hook line and sinker.
What else have you swallowed?

@Lou, Nobody even listens to your jokes. You are just jealous.

I am tired of this site with the RAM bashing..You anti-Chrysler people are the worst for spam, only bashing RAM daily because you are jealous!

@HemiRam - you are right and I'm sorry.........................

I'm lying........................................

you are right and I'm sorry..........................

What else have you swallowed?

you are right and I'm sorry.....................

Are your ears that big because that is what everyone grabs?

you are right and I'm sorry.............................


Until they come up with something better than the V8, I'll take one in anything they'll allow. And in some things they WON'T allow! That would make the ultimate Tacoma... No doubt get better MPG too!!!!

I like the ecoboost idea but the current problems and class action suit worry me. I know it worries ford. They spent 100's of millions developing the ecoboost .

Funny Dave, you had to copy the words of a tester/journalist that has maybe 150-200 miles tops in a BRAND NEW ECOBOOST. thats when it runs the best! Add two that some condensation that you wont have in the desert where they testing, and a bunch of people not using the reccommend 91 octane....tic tic tic....

Just hope they do the trailer tow fuel mileage test somewhere that it works the engine, sure the eco will tow, but now it will suck gas. Off course Ford lets it pull at such a low rpm...

@DlM, aka DenverlllMike,
You say.
'Until they come up with something better than the V8, I'll take one in anything they'll allow'

I say.
They have, it's called a diesel.


"They have, it's called a diesel."

Diesels HAD their 'day'. When I started driving, diesels gave you every advantage. In cars too.. Simplicity. Unbreakable. Anyone could fix them if they did. Cheap to buy. Cheap to maintain. Cheaper fuel. 'Smog Check' exempt.

Then came diesel emissions. EGR. ECU. Direct Injection. Sensor dependent. High temps. High initial costs. High maintenance. High repair costs. DEF. High diesel fuel tax. Smoke tests. Party's over!!!

If you're NOT constantly pulling a 20 to 30,000 lb loads, up and down mountain ranges, diesels are more of a 'fetish' that a necessity. Gas V8s rule anything less. Mid-size Road Whales™ would especially benefit from V8s!

this 4.3 will sell in more trucks than both the 3.7, 3.6 from the competition overall. it will have better fuel mileage than the 5.3 that has stellar numbers already. gm has better drive train efficiency than the other brands, they always had that up on everyone that's why they would get better mileage from less sophisticated engines. for has had more ohc designed 5.4's in the last decade than can be counted on one hand and they dumped the motor in the end anyway! after seeing all the head problems and timing chain problems on all fords from explorer ohc v6 to the 5.4. ill never trust a ford motor unless it says v10 on it. only reason why is cause I own one and know how much abuse it has taken.

@Gladiator: drivetrain effecientcy or just that GM just gears them up higher? Have they done anything in the way of warming the oil or coolant quicker to operating temp? No better thermal management?

Or they can just gear it up higher then the others, and put on tiny tires, right? Pretty much.

The new 4.3 will end up just barely better then they have been with the last, 2nd and 3rd place.

yeah it is the UAW here. Or maybe ACORN. JC what a bunch of cetins

Why is the community at this site so sour about anything and everything?

We've got V6's putting out numbers that V8's struggled to years ago. We've got V8's putting out MPG's that they've never been able to do. We've got drivelines that are stronger than ever. This is something to be proud of, not sour upon.

Site staff, please, step up and start moderating as you said you would for the new years revolution.

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