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I'm tired of driving my old Ford in the winter (I've only just started driving it again a few days ago :eek:) and I want something comparable, or preferably more fuel efficient as my winter beater. Ideally I'd like Fleetwood Brougham, even if it had a tiny engine, and it may very well be what I get since they are so cheap around here. Anyway, I'm looking for a second Caddy that will be a good Winter beater, decent on gas, and cheap (2000 or under). To compare, I need a Caddy as fuel efficient or moreso than my 3.8L 1984 Ford LTD, it has smaller than standard jets in the carb if that makes a difference in fuel economy I'm not certain. I was hoping someone could justify an olds 307 but I think that'd guzzle a fair bit of gas compared to my 3.8. Anyways, suggestions?
 

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Why of all Cadillacs would you want a Fleetwood Brougham for winter? It's not a very good winter car. I mean its RWD, Carburated, gets about 13mpg. Personally, If I was gonna buy a winter beater caddy, It would probably be a 1989-90 deville, but any FWD caddy from 89 or 90 would be a good winter car. Its relatively heavy,fwd, the 4.5 V8 makes good power, big, safe, it's got either Digital Fuel Injection in '89 or Sequential Port Fuel Injected in '90 and they're plentiful and cheap! A 307 Brougham will probably get around 12-13 mpg city, and they're SLOW. A 4.5 powered deville will get around 14-16 in city and they're decently quick, with a lot of low end power. If you could find a cheap enough 91-93 deville (High miles) thats pretty much the same car, except with the 4.9 liter V8.

heres a good example of a '89 sedan deville.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/89-SEDAN-DEVILLE-MECHANICS-SPECIAL-DRIVES-GREAT-NICE_W0QQitemZ4586819809QQcategoryZ6146QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 

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there are no paragraph breaks I had to edit 1 smilie out, and it deleted all the spaces, I am not going back to add them in right now so it'll be a paint to read... but worth it

a $2000 Caddy thats good on gas....
Cimmarion? :)
Really the *best* fuel efficent cars would probably be 4.5/4.9 FWD DeVille/Eldo/Seville..... the Northstar is similar, but alot more money, and I couldn't see using a N* Caddy (or any Caddy :( ) as a winter beater.
Now if you weren't set on Caddy, and I don't thnk you should be....
I thought go with an Oldsmobile/Buick/Pontiac
ahh.... which one? the '85-'93 DeVille was the C body... this chassis had a close, near identical sister.... the H body.
The H body is 1985-1991 Oldmsobile Eighty Eight Royale/Ninety Eight Regency, 1986-1991 Buick LeSabre and 1987-1991 Pontiac Bonnieville. I think the body codes went further then 1991, but that isn't for us.
First, these cars are so identical that the door panels are the same, the engine bay, strut bar, underbody, exhaust system etc.... the H body is only a midsize version of the C body which is full size.
Now all 3 of these cars are powered by the Series I 3800 V6.... you could even get then supercharged from the factory! but for our purpose, we'll stick with NA :)
I did the same thing, 1989 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight Royale (IMO the *best* year, and the best brand of the 3 :) ) for $500, it was a winter beater, the first 2 weeks I owned it I was like eh junker and stuff.... then within 2 weeks I grew to like it so much, that when I renewed my insurance, I put it back ont he road with its own plates... many times I chose to drive it over the Caddys! is is an AMAZING car.
I REALLY like this car! first I'll talk about the engine, the 3800 V6... is such an amazing engine, powerful, VERY reliable, easy to work on, cheap parts etc... Runs on regular gas and for being 17 years old with 131k miles, she gets 22mpg around town and 32mpg+ on the highway.... when I semi-moved in NY I was 30mins from work, the roads were a steady 40-55mph, on these hilly roads (not using cruise control) plus various in town driving, I was getting 400 miles to a tank of gas (same 18gal tank as my DeVille) this car was GREAT on gas!
It has the 440T4 trans (4T60) a pretty solid transmission.
it IS the poor mans Caddy... the Ninety Eight had the electronic climate control and stuff... you don't need that. Mine has power steering/brakes/windows/locks/AC/6-way power driver seat/cruise and I am forgetting more.
The *only* issue with these cars is rust, the most common places are the bottom of the A pillars and right behind the rear tires... oh yeah, and fadded paint thanks to GM
I can't say enough about these cars, I truely like mine so much that I am not selling it, I had the chance... but for the whole $500.... even $1,000 I would get for it, it means more to me to keep.... rotted out A pillars and all.
I threw a strut bar on it for $10 form the junkyard ('92 Bonnieville) that tightened up the front end and made it handle even better.
BTW if speed is your thing, the average '89 Olds Eighty Eight will run a 16.9 @ 78mph.... yup, I took it to the track :) it dosn't sound like much, but the car NEVER felt underpowered, it tops out at 110mph, will climb hills with the AC crankin and a fully loaded car..... the only time the power wasn't there was when I was going up a pretty decent long hill doing 55mph, me and my friend, I decided to put my foot to the floor (I do that often) she went to 75, right befre it would shift into 4th and just kinda stayed there... it was a pretty steep hill though... hardly not a problem.
165hp/220ft-lbs torque. lays rubber? yup, my friends ghot a kick outta it when I laid a patch of rubber leaving the school parking lot :)
Serisouly, $1,000 will buy you a mint, low mileage H body..... try to get '88-'91 as there were advancements with the engine. '89 looks the best for Oldsmobile. in 1990 the 3800 got Tuned Port Injection which added 5hp and 5 ft-lbs torque and 1mpg, but in 1990 the Olds got real ugly.
I can't say much for the Pontiac/Buick as far as changes... though the Buick was sweet, the hood was hinged on the front, so it opens oppisite then normal.... like a Saab or Ferrari
Oldsmobile is my favorite there... hell, Olds is my 2nd favorite car brand ever besides Cadillac.
in 1988 the Olds had a chrome strip down the center of the hood, and a hood ornament... UGLY on the small body cars. Also, check out the tail lights, bottom was red, top was amber, looked ugly.
1989 no hood ornament/chrome strip, kept the traditional split water fall grille that Olds has had forever, all the tail lights were red, and it looks real nice.
1990, the sweet grille that I love is gone, now is some nasty 4 square thing, the tail lights/rear panel are these weird black stripeed clear lens... ugly...
oh and BTW....
this freakin car is a beast in the snow! I swear, it never got stuck, never slid around... nothing.... no ABS, but it wasn't needed, not for me atleast, even with the worn old tires that were on it when I bought it (used them the first winter) it was amazing! I would drive thru unplowed roads, go baja'ing in open snow covered fields with snow coming up over the hood... never once did it get stuck! it was an excelent winter car. Actually, it got stuck once, in my driveway.... and that was my fault :)
I could go on and on, really, if you are interested in these, let me know, I know so much about this chassis, and I would fully 100% support it... in fact, you'll like the car soo much, that you will keep it on the road all the time and always drive it.
my friend loves small, German manual trans cars... really hates big boats... at the time he had a '94 Jetta 5spd, neat car, I learned to drive manual on it... well I told him to drive the Olds once (in its banged up glory) and within 5mins he was like, woha.... this IS a nice car... he loved the way it rode and handled and such, the car has a loveable personality that my '93 Coupe or '79 Sedan don't have... hard to explain... my friend liked it so much that he has to sell his new car because money is tight ('01 Jetta 1.8T 5spd) and what does he want? late 80's Olds Eighty Eight/Buick LeSabre :)
ahhh gosh, thiking back... I miss the car (back in NY) grrrrr..... such amazing cars....
Here is a video of my Olds, may have seen it, either way it is cool, you can kinda get a feel for it too. I will admit at first it had problems, it sat for a year and a half in the dudes yard, so stuff rotted out... radiator was rotted (brand new one at junkyard for $30 :) ) rear brake lines were rotted, trans fluid/filter was nasty, oil was really dirty, rotors were warped etc... it drove 15miles like that from the guys place to my house (I didn't drive it) airbox unhooked and all! So those inital things needed to be fixed, it also got a full tune up.... then it was smooth until December (watch the video) when it was one thing after another... small stuff though that was somewhat expected, and I could fix easily. Besides that, there was not many problems... I had to replace the starter a couple months before I left for FL, so it has a brand new starter now, but worth it.
ah gosh, I gotta stop going on about this... I would say for a cheap car, forget the Caddy get this.... get an Oldsmobile to stick it to GM for killing them! *IF* you were to spend $2,000 on one of these, that could buy you a showroom example....really. 100k is nothing at all on these... the cars usually go to 220k or so, then the trans goes... rebuild the trans and I have seen many of these go on to 300k+
So, here is the video I made, check it out :)


http://inoventionseast.com/Oldsmobile/Oldsmobile1.wmv
 

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I~LUV~Caddys8792 said:
Why of all Cadillacs would you want a Fleetwood Brougham for winter? It's not a very good winter car. I mean its RWD, Carburated, gets about 13mpg. Personally, If I was gonna buy a winter beater caddy, It would probably be a 1989-90 deville, but any FWD caddy from 89 or 90 would be a good winter car. Its relatively heavy,fwd, the 4.5 V8 makes good power, big, safe, it's got either Digital Fuel Injection in '89 or Sequential Port Fuel Injected in '90 and they're plentiful and cheap! A 307 Brougham will probably get around 12-13 mpg city, and they're SLOW. A 4.5 powered deville will get around 14-16 in city and they're decently quick, with a lot of low end power. If you could find a cheap enough 91-93 deville (High miles) thats pretty much the same car, except with the 4.9 liter V8.

heres a good example of a '89 sedan deville.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/89-SEDAN-DEVILLE-MECHANICS-SPECIAL-DRIVES-GREAT-NICE_W0QQitemZ4586819809QQcategoryZ6146QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
well-tuned/running 307 Brougham will get 16mpg city and 24mpg highway.

well running 4.5 should get 17mpg city/27mpg highway, slightly less for the TBI system.
 

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BAM! check it out:

deals like this are ALL over....

you get the extra comfy seats!, ugly steering wheel cover, ugly fabric roof... and for whatever reason... the hideous tail lights on an '89! looks like alloy wheels.... no white walls :( these cars look good with white walls....but, the car is clean, nice shape and CHEAP!

BTW the Amber tail lights, the amber is turn signal, red is brake... ugly.

the real '89 tail lights (like mine) the whole thing (top and bottom) is tail light/brake light, and then blinker... it looks soo much better... plus, the tail lights on these cars are very big.... good, because it really makes sure the person behind you knows you are stopping... safer... bad... because when running form the cops, big tail lights = easy to see.... and killing all lights in the middle of a dark night kinda sucks ;) :)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Oldsmobile-Eighty-Eight-1989-Oldsmobile-clean-daily-driver-teacher-owned_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6406QQitemZ4588536294QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

these are ended, but still good examples:

leather seats and 50k miles! (BTW I don't like leather seats in these cars.... I like my cloth seats alot)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Oldsmobile-Eighty-Eight-88-ROYALE-1989-OLDSMOBILE-88-ROYALE-BROUGHAM-50-200-MILES-CLEAN_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6406QQitemZ4586858172QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

Here is a Ninety Eight... same car, different grille, differnt (cool) tail lights..... lot more creature comforts inside, fake wood trim instead of brushed alimium look, electronic toys and goodys.... this is a rare one with factory air bag and stering wheel controls for the radio and climate control!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Oldsmobile-Ninety-Eight-1989-OLDSMOBILE-NINETY-EIGHT-CALIFORNIA-CAR_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6407QQitemZ4586813466QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

This was JUST searching "1989 Oldsmobile" so look for '85-'91 Olds/Pontiac/Buick, you'll be sure to find something nice....

'85-'87 had the, IMO ugly front end... ugly grilles with the quad sealed beam classic headlights, '88 switched to the nice newer looking ones, also the engine got some nice advancements,.... other then that they are all the same... I would personally find a '88-'91 for mechanical reasons, but a '89 for pure sweetness ;) :)
 

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I~LUV~Caddys8792 said:
Why of all Cadillacs would you want a Fleetwood Brougham for winter? It's not a very good winter car. I mean its RWD, Carburated, gets about 13mpg. Personally, If I was gonna buy a winter beater caddy, It would probably be a 1989-90 deville, but any FWD caddy from 89 or 90 would be a good winter car. Its relatively heavy,fwd, the 4.5 V8 makes good power, big, safe, it's got either Digital Fuel Injection in '89 or Sequential Port Fuel Injected in '90 and they're plentiful and cheap! A 307 Brougham will probably get around 12-13 mpg city, and they're SLOW. A 4.5 powered deville will get around 14-16 in city and they're decently quick, with a lot of low end power. If you could find a cheap enough 91-93 deville (High miles) thats pretty much the same car, except with the 4.9 liter V8.

heres a good example of a '89 sedan deville.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/89-SEDAN-DEVILLE-MECHANICS-SPECIAL-DRIVES-GREAT-NICE_W0QQitemZ4586819809QQcategoryZ6146QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Wow, that is REALLY nice shape.... defintly something I would drive. I just coudln't see such a nice car being used as a "winter beater" he biggest issue with '89/'90 to me.... I just don't like the nose at all... far better then the '85-'88 thing, but '91-'93 finally made a sweet car....amazing :)
 

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I agree with Nightwolf. I have owned a 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991 Bonneville in various trims from LE,SE, to SSE and they are great. They share the same platform with the Olds 88, 98, Buick Park Avenue and Lesabre. Good running cars. My mother's Park Avenue has almost 300,000 on it and she drove it from MI to MN and back,round trip of 1600 give or take, with no problems. I have a 95 Bonneville with almost 200,000 on it with no problems whatsoever. A 89-93 Deville, Eldorado, or 89-93 Seville with the 4.5 and 4.9 engines as mentioned are also great.
 

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addison_ii said:
I agree with Nightwolf. I have owned a 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991 Bonneville in various trims from LE,SE, to SSE and they are great. They share the same platform with the Olds 88, 98, Buick Park Avenue and Lesabre. Good running cars. My mother's Park Avenue has almost 300,000 on it and she drove it from MI to MN and back,round trip of 1600 give or take, with no problems. I have a 95 Bonneville with almost 200,000 on it with no problems whatsoever. A 89-93 Deville, Eldorado, or 89-93 Seville with the 4.5 and 4.9 engines as mentioned are also great.
Aren't these such amazing cars? Those stories about yours are great!

the '92-'98? not sure... very nice cars too, but I left them out as it is a newer generation and they seem to be more money.... the H body is one car that was a home run for GM, such amazing, solid, relaible and nice cars... the "only" complaint that wopuld keep them front being "hott" cars, is the bland styling from 1985-1991... then again most cars that era were bland.... but my Olds has nice nice hints, the grille and stuff, I am really happy.... atfirst I hated the way my Olds looks, now I really like it, all the small details, tail lights...everything.

BTW for some truely rare and fun H bodys, look at a Ninety Eight Touring Sedan sometime.... gosh, the leather seats look like something from a luxury-roaster type car.... SWEET floor shifter, full analog gauges, performance gearing and suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes... I am talking all out nice.

BTW my car has the 2.97 gears, which are the performance gears... 2.73 and 2.84 was also offered. I also have the "firm ride and handling package" my car als has heavy duty coolant system and heavy duty electrical system...pretty neat.

2 days before I took the Olds off the road, the front left bolt holding the seat down came thru the floor, the seat rocks... the mounting point is all rusted out, I left it as I am not drivng the car, but when I start driving it again, it'll need to the fixed... the cheap and easy way would be to just stack washers that get bigger on the underside and put a nut on it, keep the seat down.

the front left hub *I think*.... is making a noise, turn left it is quite, go stright it is just a bit, turn right and it gets worse... it may be the hub, or maybe the pad/rotor, I spent 0 time with it.

all 4 (origanal) struts are pretty shot... didn't realize how bad it was until I rpelaced all 4 struts in the '93 Coupe... the Olds bounces alot... it also has the rear air leveling system just like the Caddy.... with that being said, when I start driving it again, I will replace all 4 struts... those bolts are pressed in tho and everything is rusty, so I may say to hell with it and bring it to a shop.

What does all this mean? that in a moments notice, as the Oldsmobile is right now, I would drive it from NY-FL without thinking twice. Well, the seat needs to be fixed... it is a safety issue and not very comfortable/good for the seat frame... and, eh before it goes on the trip it needs an oil change (I was goona change it so it had fresh oil in it while sitting, but ran out of time... my father said he would do it, I have the oil and the filter, but he hasn't done it yet.... ditto for the '79)

When the water pump went, my mother was driving the car, she was about 10 miles into town, said she heard a grinding noise and the coolant light went on so she drove home... no coolant at all in the system and the serpintine belt hardly on the pullys (look at pic in video) yet it drove home, started right up when I went to go look at it, and never looked back once. I swear, nothing will ever kill that 3800.

the only *engine* issue I have had.... I don't know if it is an engine issue or not... but the harmonic balancer literally broke off, it was banging and clanking.... the only way the pullys were turning was becuase the bolts holding the pully together were hitting the spaces in the frame of the pully....yup, drove it around for a couple days like that too.... so I got a new crank pully and put that on, problem fixed...... actually that isn't even engine related... but it got a nice tune up, oil changes every 3-5k miles using Mobil Drive Clean 5,000 5W-30 and AC Delco filters..... and is happy as could be.

the car only left me stranded once.... the day after I got it stuck in the driveway, 5:45AM at the diner I get in and the left CV shaft broke... the night before it was binding up bad..... upon takig the wheel off, the left sway bar bolt was broke/bushing missing... replaced those... but who knows what the tow truck guy chained the car up to (I wasn't there) but both the CV shaft and the sway bar had damage after that, I do NOT put any of that on the cars fault, as I know for a fact it was from the tow truck.... for that same reason, I do not really say it left me stranded because it was some dork trhowing a chain around random parts of a car to pull it out (and that was alot of weight to move, stuck like that)

oh and BTW....

the headlights on this car... are simply the BEST head lights I have EVER seen on ANY car.... they are perfect, simply put.... these headlights are amazing, makes driving the car at night really enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well the reason I wanted a FWB was because I really like them, and it'd be an excuse to get one even if it wasnt the rigth car for the job. However the car you pointed out seems to be a pretty good match, winter around here involves very little snow but tons of rain, so the term "beater" basically just means I don't want to drive the '70 around in the rain as it needs paint still and both windshields leak. Night wolf, you certainly appreciate you olds, I will definately keep an eye out for a nice 98, I liked the 98 best out of all the olds and pontiacs you showed me. My sister has an 89 ciera which has a lot of nice features but has a wussy engine (3200 or something I think) and it doesnt look as nice or have as many features. Rest assured if I do get an olds buick or Caddy, it will be treated well despite its title of "winter beater" :)
 

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I hear ya on the Fleetwood thing, they *are* really nice cars.

I drove the '79 thru the snow a few times... keep in mind this was with the *old* set of tires, the fornts were down to warning indictors, the rears...heh... lets just say alittle too much on the go-fast pedal took its toll on them :)

I drove it to school one day, it was 45* out, nice morning, since i went to vo-tec, I was bussed 30mins away, it was at that time my school had an emergency early dismissal... I am still at vo-tec, there was a freak storm coing, it dropped like 20* in no time and was snowing heavy.... everyone at the school got out and went home at 10:30AM..... here I am, 11:30, I am still at vo-tec.... 11:45 the bus comes, it is snowing hard already so the bus does like 40mph all the way back, turns our 30mins ride into about 50mins, now it is about 12:30, but alot of the kids on the bus didn't have a car, they took the bus to school... but since this is the bus everyone is on, it was 1 bus having to drive ALL over.... 3 of us had a car back at school, me, my friend and another friend, the other 20 kids didn't. Instead of going to the school to drop us off WE WERE 5 FREAKIN MINUTES AWAY! nooo... we had to drop off all 20 kids.... do you know what its like sitting on a bus for 90mins waiting? back and fourth, back and fourth... it was hell! I swear we passed close to the school soo many times, and instead of dropping everyone off in order, bus driver would just ask random kids where they lived and drive there... at one point we were about a mile from MY house...ugh...

now it is about 2:00PM, everyone else at school has been home for atleast 4 hours now. 1 friend has his parents 4x4 Explorer, so he left, then there was my other friend with an older (box style) V6 2WD Dakota.... and me, with a freakin barge that is front heavy with bald rear tires. We take advantage of the fact the parking lot now has about 5" of fresh snow, and nobody around at all... so we literally do donuts and fish tails in the school parking lot for about 10mins.

my normal 10mins drive home was about 45mins.....

This was the *only* time I was happy I did *not* have Posi..... I swear the whole ride home the speedo was around 65mph while the car did 10, and the right rear tire kept spinning... no matter what I did to the throttle it woudln't grip, it was freakin bald. The roads are small back country roads, twisty, hilly, blind turns etc.... I coudln't get going faster then about 15mph because there was no traction, I really didn't want to go faster then 15mph because there would be no stopping this thing..... sooo many times I slide sideways and came reeeeeal close to side swiping a guard rail. Oh yeah, turning was fun too... the car responded for about, oh, half a turn of the wheel, then it would push the wheels stright no matter where I turned it... what did that mean? even going 15mph, making any sort of moderate turn (which all the turns were) was inpossible. Braking? ha, tap the brakes all 4 tires lock up, that was neat.

I decided not to go the real back roads because they were really bad, now there was about 6" of snow on the ground, to turn, it was an interesting combination of, turn the wheel where I want to go, hit the gas quick to break both rear tires loose, fish tail the rear end of the car, then let off the gas and counter steer..... on every turn. Then because I didn't take the back roads, the way I went had a huge hill going up then down.... to make matters even better, there was a school bus in front of me dropping off kids, I knew if I stopped, there would be no going again, not on a decent hill in a RWD car with bald tires to say the least.... so I slowed wayyyy down, good thing because the bus stopped, doign about 5mph I kept going, trying to keep any momentum I had, bus started going, then went over the hill, so no bus, but now I have to get over the hill, and I am out of room to gain speed, to I hit the gas....hard... the whole way up the hill the car was nearly sideways, as I corrected for it I went up the hill that way.... still unsure how there was traction for that...... then going down the hill was fun... remember about the brakes... either tires locked or not? I downshifted to 1st, but only doing 15mph, with 2.28 gears it dosn't do much to hold back the car... I basically locked the tires up, only letting go of the brakes to make steering corrections, this actullay slowed the car up as it allowed all the snow and junk to damn up in front of the tires... there is a sharp S-turn going down the hill, that is what I slowed up for, right before the turn I let it coast thru and made it ok... then after that was another down hill and S-turn, someone decided to STOP right on the side of the road, idiots, so I quickly hit the brakes around the turn which caused me to go off into the grass, close to the ditch, but I got it back on the road then the house was about 1/2 mile down the road.

Fun.... yeah, it was cool... but not when I had to worry about the car for every single second. Like I said, 10mins trip easily turned into 45mins at least.... that was one of the last times I drove that car in the snow, I am glad the 425 held out and didn't stall for any reason, because no throttle, no power brakes and no power steering ment i wasn't stopping or turning at all.

Moral of the story.... if you drive one of these cars in the snow, which are already front heavy, make sure the tires are not bald. My mother got real snow tires on her '89 Brougham... I gotta say, that thing plowed thru pretty good, those snow tires were nice.

The funny thing? it was a Friday, 45* and sunny, in the winter but it was nice, I figured, eh, I'll take the '79 out (over the '93, Olds was getting painted and stuff) had I have takent he '93 out, while i woudln't have liked it, with FWD, *new* tires all around and ABS, it would have been easy.... have I had the Oldsmobile in that situation, I could have probably made the 10mins ride home in about 15mins..... that car just tears thrut he snow.

little snow but tons of rain? either way, the Olds handles amazing in any bad weather, I have never locked the brakes up on the Olds in the rain, even in emergency stopping, traction is only an issue if I am pulling out going uphill and turning, and I hit the gas hard... any FWD car will do that.

I have 4 brand new Goodyear Weather Handler LS tires on there now, they were $55 each from Sears, lifetime balance and rotation etc... These are very good matched tire to the car, in all aspects.

Thats another thing, unless your car has the alloys, the factory steel wheels are 14" with the wire hub caps (like mine) IMO they actually look nice size/design wise (with white walls please) what that means is, 14" tires are cheap... from $30 for a "tire" to $70 for a decent performance tire.... everything on this car is cheap. IIRC the size is 205/65/14.... though I don't remember.... maybe they are 195, because the 15" stock Caddy steelies called for 205/75/15... hmmm

I know what you mean by "beater" its a knock around car that you wont trash :) that was the case with me.... I didn't baby it like i did the '93, I wasn't worried about door dings, so I would park close (magcially it got 1 or 2 small dings after all that... go figure) stuff like that, I *NEVER* did stupid stuff kids in my school did, like neutral drops, fly fast in reverse then go to tdrive and floor it to spin the tires (the Olds would do that from a stop :) ) etc.... but i did do stupid things with the car... running over snow banks, baja thru the apple orchards/snow covered fields, jump a nice hill on a cool road back in NY (actually I jumped all 3 of my cars... too fun not to) stuff like that... if you ever see the floor boards and frame rails on the underbody, you would think I raced the baja 1000 :) ah well, not like I plan on selling it or anything... oh yeah, GM made a cool system with their floorbaords... in case you run over something (like a semi-iced up snow bank) and the floorboards get smashed up, all you gotta do is stop your feet down, and bam! back to normal :)

With that said, I *always* did all the maintenace on the car, fixed what needed to be fixed, used quality parts etc... basically, mechanically, my Olds is probably of of the best 100k+ daily drivers around... like I said, I would drive it cross country right now if I had to.

Also, that 3800 uses about... oh, maybe 1/2 quart of oil between changes... about 4k miles... not bad at all. Dosn't burn oil, leak oil or anything, its a solid engine.

weather you want a 98 instead of an 88 is up to you.... I personally like the 88 better, simply because in this car, for me, used as a work car, 2nd car, knock around car, go to junkyard car, pack alotta friends in and go to the movies car etc... I didn't want leather seats... the seats in my Olds, I swear they look new, no a tear, rip, worn area etc... cloth is just so much more durable... the leather in the '93 Coupe is creased, worn etc... Also I did not want electronic climate control, more stuff to break, I like the little sliders and knobs that GM put in every single 80's car that had manual climate control :) oh BTW, for winter use, the heater in the Olds kicks major ass! blows hot and fast.... well, once all the dead mice and mice nests were vaccumed out from the cowl (remove blower motor)

Bascially, in my case, I didn't want any of the fancy things the 98 had, yeah the trip computer or digital dash would be neat, but I didn't want it. In fact at times I wished my car had crank windows, everyone knows (most) GM power windows get slow over time (except my '79 :) )the rears were fine, the fron were SLLLLOOOOW, atleast with the new driver side door, that window is alot faster now, but the passenger window, alot of times you gotta help it up when its at the bottom... just the nature of the beast ya know?

1989 Cutlass Ciera is a totally differnt car, that had the 2.8 V6..... MAYBE the 3.1 but IIRC that wasn't until the 90's.... they had the TH125 3-speed trans too.... decent cars, cool, and the 60* Chevy V6 is a very good engine first made in 1980 and still being used today.

But my 88 was Oldsmobiles top car... yeah the 98 was higher, but it was the same chass and same drivetrain, just more features.... but in the late 80's line up, this was near the top.

On another note about engines... I dunno if you know or not, but the 3800 is (not) a 60* block like most V6's are, its a 90* block, which near all V8's are... reason being, because the 3800, made by Buick goes back to the 60's when they cut 2 sylinders off the V8 and made the V6, it was called the Fireball, great engine back them, great engine today. Because of the design of it, you now have a V6 that things it is a V8.... somewhat low RPM operation... I think the Series I redlined at 5,300RPM, decent HP but even higher torque low in the rev band.... that coupled with the 2.97 gears in my car made the Oldsmobile quite snappy off the line.... defitnly faster then the ;79 and give the Coupe a decent run... yeah the Caddy has more power, but the Olds weighs 350lbs less, and has the 2.97 gears (vs Caddys 2.73) so it wasn't bad.

Oh yeah, stock '89 88's can also completly beat V6 Mustangs.... well the pre '05's atleast... sooo many freakin good times in that car, me and my friend were driving, guy in V6 Stang pulls up next to me, looks at me then hits the gas... yeah, because 17 year old family sedan with a smashed up fender and door (wasn't fixed at the time) screams race me.... ah well, I sped up to pace him, then i hear the downshift and he floors it... I was like wow, lets have some fun, so I floor it... within no time the Olds has caught up, and passed the Mustang, my friend in the passenger seat was laughing so hard and the driver of the Mustang was picking up his chin from the ground.... GM3.8 V6 > Ford 3.8 V6 :)

Parts are cheap....examples?

set of Xact 8mm spark plug wires - $35

spark plugs, OEM AC Delco - $2.50/ea

water pump - $40

brake rotors - $20/ea

brake pads - $30 all 4

O2 sensor = $20

etc...

Oh yeah, BTW the 1985 3800 V6 was the first production engine to use both a distrubutorless ignition (has coil packs) *AND* port fuel injection. While both these systems were new for their day, they are extremly robust and there are never issues with the ignition system or the fuel system on these cars.

Also the 1985 H body was the first production car (I think at all... but it *may* be within GM, not sure) to use 4 wheel fully independant McPherson strut system, and... gosh, I forgot the other first for that chassis.... so as you can tell, in its day it was quite a new car.

Did I mention this is THE best engine I have ever worked on? with the engine bay the size of the '93 Coupe, but a smaller engine, there is so much room, the water pump? remove 2 nuts holding the coolant/washer fluid containors, and thats it! full access to water pump. EVERYTHING is easy to get to on that thing.

Really, its an extremly well rounded car, yeah it dosn't have the "status" of a Caddy, but its still a fun car :)
 

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Rick loves to type :p

But yeah, take Rick's advice, he really knows what he's talking about. Personally, I wouldn't get another Caddy as a winter beater, I would do like Rick and get an Oldsmobile with the 3800, but I would get the Ninety Eight or a Buick Electra. But if you really want a Caddy winter "beater" if I was you, I would get an 89-90 Deville or a Seville. I say the Seville because I already own a 92 deVille, and for as good of a car as that is, I wouldn't really want two. The 89-91 Sevilles are the small boxy types that are loaded with gadgets.
Here is a 90 Seville:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NO-RESERVE-INSPECTED-LOW-MILES-MOON-LEATHER_W0QQitemZ4587504061QQcategoryZ6151QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rick sure does know what hes talking about! Thanks for all of your advice Rick I do really appreciate it! You have me convinced, if I see a good deal on one of those beasts, I think I'll have to take it. Does the '89 88/98 have overdrive? Thats one thing I have been missing on every car I have ever owned, and I'd sure like to have it.
 

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yes, the oldsmobile eighty eight or ninety eight has overdrive. I believe they started with the 4 speed O/D trannys in 1982 If I remember Correctly.
 

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Yup, there is OD

the transmission is the 440T4 AKA 4T60... sound familer? it is the same trans in my '93 Coupe, and behind any 4.9 Cad, GM later made it a little stronger with the 4T65 and the 4T65HD

Only difference, all those mentioned besides the 440T4, are electronic controlled, so the '93 Caddy has a 4T60E. The Olds is not, it is vaccum controlled (kick down switch) hence the lack of the "E" and it is just the 4T60...... but 440T4 sounds better :) same thing though

I will say one thing, the weak point on the cars (besides the rust issue) is the trans.... while it isn't a big deal, its just that the car is soo reliable, that it'll often go into 200k miles without issue, then something may happen. The average life of the trans seems to last between 180k-280k depending on service and use etc....

All I am saying is, if you get one, do it a favor had have the trans fluid and filter replaced/changed, thats all. Sicne you are in Canada and heat probably isn't an issue, you don't really need an aux. trans cooler, but if you were in the South, i would defintily reccomend one. I don't have one on the Olds and it has been fine.

My trans was shifitng really bad and wacky.... first the filter was completly clogged (from sitting and stuff...previous owner) and the fluid was really nasty.... then the vaccum modulator was bad, these go sometimes... it isn't a big deal, only like $25 at a trans shop... but if you don't know its that problem, you will think the trans is shot (like i did)

with that being said.... lots of luck in finding a car! just look for the rust/rot on the bottom of the A pillars and behind the rear wheels... if there is no rust, do yourself a favor and add a pair of generic splash guars or something. mileage dosn't really matter, more important to me was how does it look like it was cared for? I bought my Olds with 116,316 miles and put 15,000 miles on it, and only stopped driving it because I moved, for the $500 I paid for it initally, I feel as though I have more then got my fair share of use from it, and I will continue to drive it in the future.

If car stereo is your thing, these are pretty decent cars for that too... mine had factory AM/FM/cassette, but i put that used Pioneer CD player in it, they have 3.5" speakers in the dash kinda angled back and 6x9's in the rear deck. My factory front speakers were ruined (foam surronds fell apart) so I bought a $40 demo pair of 2-way Blaukpunkt (sp?) from a audio shop and threw them in, I gotta say for an extremly simple sound system, it sounds really good! bass from the factory 6x9's is nice and the new front speakers really helped with the highs.

Oh yeah, interior lighting is simple at best, only thing that is lit up is the speedo area, the climate control and the radio, but its nice... the factory coloring for the lights is a really nice blueish green.... IMO alot more cooler then white that Caddy used. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Well I found an '87 Olds Delta 88 within about 5 miles of where I live, I have arranged to go look at it this weekend, I have to work until midnight tomorrow so tomorrows nixed. Anyway its a mere $400.00 asking price, and he says the water pump is shot which as you said is an easy fix, but the paint and interior are very very good. I'll be the judge of that but if shes a good deal, I might finally replace my aging 84 Ford LTD with something a whole 3 years newer and with more miles (LTD: 150,000 Delta 88: 170,000) on it that my ford, but hopefully in better shape. Do you think with more miles that Olds could still be a better car? I know it has nicer features, he says it even talks to you when your door is ajar :), and has a digital dash (Could it actually be a 98?)
 
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