1990 Holden Commodore VN Executive Sedan 3.8 Litre V6 from Australia and New Zealand
Adequate, tough as nails, old but a known quantity
Nothing yet. For a high km 1990 model it certainly is a bit rough around the edges, but feels like the VN Commodores I remember driving as fleet cars back in the late 1980's and early 1990's. "Clunk" when shifting from shifting from neutral to drive or reverse. Shudder under acceleration as usual for early Commodores.
Bonus - has LPG conversion and runs smoother (especially at idle) on LPG than on petrol. Not so bonus - tatty plastic interior, rattles and squeaks. I suppose it is typical of a 19 year old car though. Plenty of power and somewhat heavy power steering. I would not like to "push it" too hard through corners. Front suspension needs alignment of course.
Now if I installed the cat in the car I wonder would the squeaks be found and eliminated?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 14th June, 2009
Clunk going in and out of gear can be the torque converter bolts coming loose, and a shudder can be the gearbox cross bar mounting bolts loose or missing.
The "Clunk" when shifting from shifting from neutral to drive or reverse is more than likely the drive shaft centre bearing assembly. It's either this bad design from Holden, or the long, whippy single piece tailshaft from Ford, which restricted the top speed (regardless of engine size, the tailshaft needed balancing) of their models of that era to just a bit over 205km/h, compared to 240 in the V8 powered VN Commodores.
So, top end versus ongoing maintenance costs. How often does the average driver max out their cars' top speed? I'm a Holden bloke, but Ford wins this one.
Shudder under acceleration with the Buick V6 can be the engine mounts, or as stated by another commentator, transmission mounts.
My VN used to shudder when I accelerated if I left it in overdrive. I panicked the first time I did it, but as long as you put it into overdrive after you hit 100, she was fine; never shuddered again.
Mine was an awesome car. Wish I had never sold her.