Vitara 2L V6 - what noises are normal?

headwerkn
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Vitara 2L V6 - what noises are normal?

Unread post by headwerkn » February 27th, 2013, 7:49 am

Hi all,

I've started shopping for a Vitara, had my first drive in one yesterday and am very impressed with them as an overall package. Was originally looking at a Pajero iO but the Vit's separate chassis, better access to parts/upgrades and my limited funds have won me over.

Anyway, the Vit I test-drove was a 1996 2L V6. Had 180,000km on the clock which seems pretty fresh given what most of these vehicles now have on the clock. The sales guy mentioned the car had a somewhat noisy timing chain, which it did... I've owned cars with timing chains (versus belts) before I know that a certain amount of clatter is typical, especially when the engine is cold. The noise didn't seem overly obnoxious, but not having had any experience with these engines before I'm not sure what's 'typical'.

When driving (within CBD, up to 60kph mind you) there was a reasonable bit of driveline noise and a strange rattle.... the latter turned out to be a very loosely fitting knob on the transfer stick - so no worries there! - but somewhere between the engine itself, gearbox and driveline there was a modest whir. Is that typical - or a sign of potential gearbox/transfer case issues?

I understand that Suzukis of this era were a little more agricultural than their Toyota and Nissan breathren, so I'm probably just being ultra-critical... but obviously I don't want to buy something that will need a fresh gearbox or major engine work in the near-term.

Lastly, I found the engine rather lacking below 2,000-2,500rpm... obviously I wasn't expecting V8 torque, but it didn't feel responsive in the way that, say even my old Ford Laser's 1.6L carb'd engine feels when you give the right pedal a modest stab. To be honest it felt more like the old Saab 900 Turbo I owned many moons ago when you got stuck in the wrong gear... revs slowly picking up until it comes onto song. Is this just part of the V6's "character" or a sign of issues? It did rev and go perfectly OK above 2,500-3,000rpm.

I have read that the 4-cylinder 1.6EFI and 2.0EFI engines are superior and more desireable than the V6... is that reputation deserved? To be honest a 4 cylinder appeals simply because there's 33% less 'stuff' to go wrong (!) but there's not a huge number of Vitaras going around for sale down here in Tasmania at the moment, so I don't want to rule them out unnecessarily. I'm figuring any vehicle of this age and engine size will need some engine work (or replacement) within a few years - I'd just rather it not be right away!

Thanks!

Cheers, Ben.

jackal77
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Re: Vitara 2L V6 - what noises are normal?

Unread post by jackal77 » March 9th, 2013, 6:35 pm

They have a habit of blocking up the oil galleries and the inlet to the chain tensioner is a common problem and an easy and cheap fix if your handy, would guess the wir may be a thrust bearing, was it louder when the clutch was depressed? I have one which i have just fully rebuilt and whilst it goes a lot better it is still sluggish under 2000rpm, they like to sing higher in the rev range, its like they are starving for air and fuel. I have larger tyres also which doesnt help.oil is the major problem with them as they should run a 5-30 synthetic and most garages just jam 10 or 15-40 mineral in them. cheers happy hunting

offroadjack
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Re: Vitara 2L V6 - what noises are normal?

Unread post by offroadjack » March 19th, 2013, 9:01 am

the rattle with the chain is just a matter of replacing the tensioner and common on them. i bought one as well and i replaced the whole lot while i had the cover off, chains tensioner etc. complete kit is 230 bucks on e-bay.
you are better of to stay away from the 1.6 unless your a 100% sure the head and / or block isn't cracked.
the gearboxes on them are strong and should not give you any drama's providing it's been looked after.
they do sound a bit whiny but that just the nature of the beast.
and yes they don't pull very well under 2000 rpm but they rev out till 6500 rpm and very willing to go there.
they start singing from 2500-3000 rpm.
those v6's are a strong engine and easily go till 350.000 k's.
10W30 is recommended for them and i wouldn't put anything heavier in it.
only downside with them it's a pain to work on (V6) but it's a suzuki so luckily you don't have to that often ;-)

headwerkn
Getting to know the place
Posts: 13
Joined: November 16th, 2010, 5:54 pm

Re: Vitara 2L V6 - what noises are normal?

Unread post by headwerkn » March 19th, 2013, 10:38 pm

Thanks for the info guys. Sounds like the V6s aren't so bad after all.

So I'm assuming it is OK to put them on high quality full-synthetic oil even if they've got 200,000km+ already on the clock with a lesser oil? I've been told swapping from a mineral or semi-synthetic oil to a full-synthetic can cause gaskets and seals to weep/leak. I managed to get away with putting an old turbo-charged Saab on a strict diet of Shell Helix Ultra every 5000km and that did wonders for both the turbo and the engine, cleared up all the smoking within a few months.

Cheers, Ben.

offroadjack
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1500
Joined: December 29th, 2006, 6:56 pm
Location: Victor harbor, SA

Re: Vitara 2L V6 - what noises are normal?

Unread post by offroadjack » March 20th, 2013, 1:39 pm

i have used castrol GTX3 15/40 all my life and swear by it!
being in tassie you better stick with a castrol modern engine 10/30 as your climats are colder.
a good mineral semi synth. is all you need, don't get fooled by salesblokes or hearsay about full synth oils!!
tests proved ( a year or 2 ago ) that the valvoline durablend semi synth. was the best oil on the market.
it was a long term test with many big brand oils tested in high performance imports and came out best beating high dollar oils that promise a lot but don't deliver.
least amount of wear after 100.000 k's tested.
so that shows that you don't need a full synthetic oil unless you really take it to the extreme!!
10W30 will be fine for your climate.

brimma
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Re: Vitara 2L V6 - what noises are normal?

Unread post by brimma » May 17th, 2013, 6:59 pm

my 98 vitara has over 400k on the clock, timing chains have been changed 2 yrs ago, and it still rattles?
keep up the oil changes and all should be fine, as for lack of power in the lower rev range!!!! its a jap built engine! if it aint reving it aint going!!!

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