GM Engines 4.3 Vortec Specifications

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      The General Motors-made Vortec V6 was modeled after the company's existing V8 motors but featured two less cylinders. The motor, which would go on to be featured in many GM vehicles, made its debut in 1986. The engine is named the "Vortec" because it contains technology designed to create a vortex of air flow in the combustion chamber.

    Physical Size

    • The Vortec style of engine, after being introduced as a V6, evolved into many different sizes that used the same vortex air flow technology. Specifically, those designated as 4.3 Vortecs are V6 engines with a displacement of 4.3 liters. These engines have a bore of 101.6 millimeters and a stroke of 88.4 millimeters, similar to General Motors' 350 V8 that served as the model for the V6. The 4.3 Vortec V6 features two valves per cylinder and a hydraulic roller.

    Power Output

    • When the motors debuted in 1986, they were capable of producing 175 horsepower at 4,400 RPM. The motor also produced 240 foot-pounds of torque at 2,800 RPM. The motor redlines at 5,600 RPM and is rated at 17 miles per gallon in city driving conditions or 21 MPG on the highway. In later model years, the motor was capable of higher horsepower output. In 2005, the last year the engine was used in Chevrolet's Astro models, it produced 190 horsepower and 250 foot-pounds of torque. This model had a towing capacity of 5,400 pounds.

    Technological Features

    • A kidney bean-shaped combustion chamber produces the vortex of air flow that earned the motor its common name. According to Hot Rod magazine, a production 4.3L V6-90 is a true even-fire engine. Other advancements on the 4.3 Vortec engines are a high-energy ignition distributor and coil and a cast aluminum oil pan designed for strength and noise reduction. The motor uses gasoline but can be operated with natural gas or propane. The motor received a major redesign for the 1996 model-year, and other minor updates have been offered in the years that followed.

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