23rd Dec 2011, 22:47
The VariJet carburetor on the 2.8 V6 was the precursor of fuel injection that provided (almost) fuel injection levels of throttle response, if not acceleration when young. The fun begins as it ages, when the carb starts wearing out, and/or getting dirty. When you put a dwell meter (remember those?) on the mixture control solenoid, and it gives readings in the single-digit range, the MC solenoid/Engine Control Module is trying to compensate for the lack of fuel flow - it is holding the metering rods up for extended periods of time, but can drive the air/fuel mixture stoichiometric - exactly enough air is provided to completely burn all of the fuel.
Other than that, short life of MacPherson struts, alternators, and A/C compressors are the only other reliability issues.
Should you get a 2.8 Multiport fuel injection engine, the cylinder heads are aluminum - head gasket can be a problem, and driveability can be an issue.
Redeeming features are generally well-appointed interiors, a smooth ride, and good packaging.
28th Jul 2014, 20:43
I have a 1985 Buick Skylark Limited. This is my parents' first new car they ever owned. My dad would wash this car every day, and in the winter when it snowed, he would wash the salt off in the garage. My parents had this car for over 15 years and it was totaled in an accident. My Dad to this day said it was his favorite car he ever had. I finally found a 1985 Buick Skylark and am buying it for him for his 70th birthday; it is mint. I remember this car so well, and driving it, I as a 16 year old kid, loved it as well. I have read many stories about the GM X-cars, and my dad says they are all crap (LOL). I think he will be overjoyed, and I can't wait to drive it as well.
29th Jul 2014, 17:33
The idea that the X-cars were really such crap is pretty suspect, since their successors - the 'A body' Buick Century/Oldsmobile Ciera/Pontiac 6000/Chevrolet Celebrity were among the best-value, most durable, and cheapest to operate ever sold. As far as I know there weren't really huge changes made between the X-cars and the A-body cars, other than being very slightly stretched in length and the addition of a few more engine choices over the years.
29th Jun 2015, 17:16
I'm not positive, but I think Buick used Cor-Ten Steel on the 1985 Buick Skylark. I've done a search online and no one else has mentioned it that I've seen. I only saw vague comments like "weird rust". Maybe I'm the first to figure it out? Buick wouldn't answer when I asked. Just said, frustrating I know at first. My friend told me a car showed up in the neighborhood with exactly the same weird rust, so I started looking into it.
The rust is only surface. It scrubs off. It can stain the concrete under it. I've had cars that rust, but never like this, at all. When I bought it from an old lady it shined like a brand new car, but was 20 years old. I assumed she'd painted it, though it only had 35,000 miles on it. Within about 7 months the surface rust started. I then thought, she painted over a rusty car and have thought that for the past 10 years as I've put on 35,000 like her. I now know she'd been scrubbing the rust off faithfully.
BTW, best car I've EVER had. The engine purrs. I don't do maintenance like I should, but it doesn't care. It's never once had one problem and always starts right up. I only had to change the battery, alternator and tires. I forgot to check the oil on the way back from CA, 1800 miles, and it was bone dry when I remembered to check. Didn't bother it a bit. Purrs. I find that quite spectacular and have taken to calling it immortal. They tell me at O'Reillys that it's well known to be amongst the best demo derby car.
I put into searches the properties I was observing in the rusting. What came up was Cor-Ten Steel. They put copper, nickel, and something else into the steel. The rust doesn't eat through because that alloy is a protective mechanism to RESIST rusting. It's used in fancy homes and works of art because once it's rusted, its patina is beautiful. In fact, they put something on the metal to get it to rust prematurely.
There's a spot by the gas cap where the paint is worn off and I can see the beauty of it. It's dark brown and maybe purplish a little and like old worn weather. Once it's rusted there's NO maintenance required. So, I think I'm going to try to verify it's really Cor-Ten and then sandblast the entire car with baking soda and my immortal car will also be a work of art. If anyone knows, please post.
I wonder if Buick got flack from people that owned these cars, due to having to scrub, and it rusting concrete underneath. Maybe that's why I couldn't get an answer. I would never hold it against them as it's the way to go if you're going to build a car with steel. Just don't paint it and you won't have to scrub! The paint covers the beauty.