No real serious engine problems except for:
Power transistor module in dizzy kicked the bucket on a hot day leaving me stranded in the Safeway carpark unable to start the car.
Crank angle sensor died right after a service at K-Mart tyre and battery, I was stupid to take my car there.
Replaced dizzy cap and ignition leads.
First muffler replaced.
New brake master cylinder.
Front and rear shocks replaced.
Front brake pads renewed.
Water fills up the tail lights causing them to short out occasionally.
Plastic interior parts and bumpers crack at the drop of a hat.
Rear brakes need attention.
A bit of rust here and there.
There is no doubt that the VL Commodore is a great car, the strength and unique smoothness of the motor was really what made the VL special.
But one has to take into consideration that VL's like mine are 15 years old. Although the motor itself has a good reputation and in many cases have been known to run well over 300,000 kms, many other engine sub systems like the distributor and braking systems usually become suspect after 200,000 kms.
But the only real design fault of the car was to have the radiator sitting below the block which directly leads to overheating when the radiator fluid levels are not checked.
For street performance (and great looks) you cannot surpass the VL, especially the turbo model. A mate of mine has spent over 30 grand on his Calais turbo and reckons he can get over 350 kw from the motor and run the quarter mile in ten seconds flat.
The cult that surrrounds the VL is something of a myth, one of the reasons why the VL was replaced by the gruff Buick V6 in the 88 VN model is because the motor was becoming too expensive for Holden to produce.
At the end of the day VL's are only really a cheap Commodore chassis with a killer Japanese motor under the bonnet.