Last post on May 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM
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#27569 of 29584 Re: 1987-91 Olds 88 coupe... [andre1969]
Jan 15, 2013 (4:19 pm)
Between the Park Avenue and Ninety-Eight, FWD versions ('86 and later), I liked the Ninety-Eights better. I liked the 'cathedral' taillights and the big round wheel openings, front and rear. My friend who was the Studebaker dealer in our town had a champagne-colored Ninety-Eight Regency for his wife, an '86, and it was beautiful and roomy inside. It eventually succumbed to trans failure and some other stuff, and he sold it.
#27570 of 29584 Re: 1987-91 Olds 88 coupe... [uplanderguy]
Jan 15, 2013 (6:13 pm)
I always liked the C pillar and rear window design on those early Buick and Pontiac downsized big coupes. Seems to me that the later squaring off of the rear window area didn't do the cars any favor. They both had nice looking dashes IMHO as well. Now the Olds seemed to cheap out on the dash, but maybe that is because I'm not a fan of horizontal ribbon speedometers.
#27571 of 29584 Re: 1987-91 Olds 88 coupe... [andre1969]
Jan 15, 2013 (6:14 pm)
It's a shame the transmissions in those full-size FWD Olds and Buicks were so fragile in the first few years. I remember that when they were introduced, they sold really well and you saw a lot of them around. A fellow I worked with bought an '86 Olds 88 new and was really proud of it. But like most, the trans crapped out in short order and after a few go-rounds of getting it fixed he quickly unloaded the car. Same held true generally and word quickly got around that they had chronically bad transmissions, which really hurt their reputation. Too bad, as I found them attractive cars, especially the coupes.
#27572 of 29584 Re: 1987-91 Olds 88 coupe... [ab348]
Jan 15, 2013 (6:21 pm)
It's a shame the transmissions in those full-size FWD Olds and Buicks were so fragile in the first few years.
Funny you bring that up. I remember a friend of mine's mom's boyfriend who was a doctor had one of those early fwd Olds sedans that he drove often between Chicago and Indy. I remember him telling me he had 3 transmissions replaced before the first set of tires wore out. IIRC he was driving like 60k/yr. I'd guess it had to be back in '85 or '86.
#27573 of 29584 Re: 1987-91 Olds 88 coupe... [dieselone]
Jan 16, 2013 (6:52 am)
Originally, the FWD 98, Electra, and DeVille/Fleetwood were supposed to debut as 1984 models, but they were held back a bit because that transverse 4-speed FWD transmission wasn't ready yet. They ended up launching at some point in 1984, as early '85 models. But, given the transmission issues, perhaps they should have been held back a bit longer?
Supposedly, by 1988 the transmission was much improved.
Kinda interesting how all of the domestics seemed to have teething problems with their 4-speed OD automatics. Ford's first, which came out in 1980, was supposedly a weak spot for years. GM's 4-speed for the big cars came out in 1981, and was troublesome at first, but I think they worked the bugs out quicker than Ford did.
GM's transverse 4-speed was troublesome too, and I believe Ford's first, which went in the 1986 Taurus/Sable, also had issues. The Corvette had to be pushed back enough that there was no 1983 model, because its 4-speed automatic wasn't ready yet. And that 4-speed 4L60E that they've been using in trucks has been spotty for as long as it's been in production...although supposedly the older 700R4 version wasn't too bad.
And, Chrysler's "UltraDrive" from c1988 goes without mentioning. I don't know that they ever truly worked the kinks out of it. I think they simply began designing it to upshift long before the engines would hit their peak torque. When Chrysler started putting 4-speed automatics in their trucks, they were troublesome at first, as well.
I wonder if the Japanese had the same issues when they started migrating to 4-speed automatics?
Interestingly, these days, it seems like the move to 5- and 6-speed automatics has been relatively drama-free, with the exception of, perhaps, the early Honda 5-speeds mated to the V-6.
#27574 of 29584 Re: 1987-91 Olds 88 coupe... [andre1969]
Jan 16, 2013 (7:28 am)
You mentioned Ford's early 4 speed. That is one you do hear the least about. The AOD received revised internals sometime in the late 80s, but overall is a really good transmission. Many, many failures of AODs are not the fault of the transmission, but rather a 25 cent grommet that fails causing the TV pressure to go too low and destroy the transmission.
I had this happen on my 89 MGM and it wouldn't stay in 4th gear above 65. I just drove it as a 3 speed for a good while.
#27575 of 29584 Re: 1987-91 Olds 88 coupe... [tjc78]
Jan 16, 2013 (12:28 pm)
Happened to me too!
#27577 of 29584 Re: Weirdness from Japan [wevk]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jan 16, 2013 (6:03 pm)
nobody does weird like the Japanese---they are very imaginative about things like this.
#27578 of 29584 Re: 1987-91 Olds 88 coupe... [uplanderguy]
Jan 16, 2013 (7:38 pm)
Nineteen eighty five was the the first model year for the FWD Park Avenue and Ninety-Eight. I bought a '85 98 Brougham in '88. Nice, roomy, comfortable car, with relatively good performance and reliability for that period.