You can knock this car all you want, but at least they were reliable.
There are much worse examples of GM cars from the 1980's until recently: Chevy Chevette/Pontiac 1000/Acadian, Chevy Citation, Chevy S10 GMC S15/Sonoma Rust bucket pickups, Cavalier/Sunbird-J2000/Cimirron/Skyhawk and Firenza were generally terrible as well.
Most of the final Oldsmobiles were really bad too, especially the Alero. I can tell you the Buick in this review was built a lot better than a lot of new cars designed today.
"I am complaining about poor design and engineering from GM."
- One of the reasons that GM hit the skids.
I have also owned many cars equipped with the Oldsmobile 307, but all from the 1980-1984 period (and in my case all were Delta 88s). You are correct that the cars from those year were adequate performers.
What I'd like to ask is this - and anyone could answer - is it possible to replace the heads on these later motors (6a or 7a numbers instead of 5a), with the heads off an earlier motor? Or would it be necessary to change the motor out entirely?
I think it has been done before, you would need to get the 5A exhaust manifolds as well (the newer ones were different) Possibly use the rods from the older motor too I'm not sure. Also as the reviewer stated, the A.I.R. emission tubes (smog pump tubes) are different, but the car will run fine without those or the smog pump. And will usually pass emissions too.
I thought the same thing about the 307 until I drove a 1988 Cadillac Brougham with a properly tuned 307. Seems most mechanics have no idea how to properly set the timing.
Also this engine is prone to carbon build up in the EGR ports and the ECM cannot detect insufficient EGR flow or failed EGR valves. Excessive carbon build up overheats the fuel/air mixture and leans out the carb making these run sluggish. Also the excessive heat overheats the intake manifold causing an intake gasket leak.
To keep these Olds 307's running strong, replace the EGR valve and clean the EGR ports every 50,000 miles. Also set the timing using the procedure on the emissions decal under the hood.
You just about took the words right out of my mouth. I also inherited mine from my grandfather 10 years ago. I drove his a few times when it was new, and even then the words SLUG and SNAIL fit it perfectly.
The body and interior are nearly perfect on mine, it runs like a top, but 27 years of city driving and 182,000 has it leaking oil from about every gasket imaginable.
I am thinking of trying to swap in a 350 Chevy when I have some time and build a real engine, so the car can move the way it was meant to.
The Oldsmobile 307 was a bit underpowered. However, I still like it because it was reliable and never let me down. A lot of the 1980s land yachts had small, underpowered engines in them; however, they ran forever with few issues.