I couldn't agree more. People don't seem to understand these car were designed with materials set up to be run with the emissions and computer systems. Most people who try it may initially gain a measly amount of horsepower. Eventually after not having enough back-pressure from a catalytic converter, and the other systems the engine was built to run on, the valves will overheat and warp, and the engine will start misfiring, dieseling and overheating, turning the car into an even more gutless pig.
Leave the factory engine alone. If you want power, rip out the whole works and get a big block from the late 1960's to early 1970's, and do it right.
On the other hand, I actually installed the complete Computer Command Control (CCC) System from a 1982 Buick Electra 307 V8 onto a 1978 Oldsmobile 98 Regency with the factory Oldsmobile 350 V8. I have messed with the timing, spark and compression just a fraction to get a little more HP, but not enough make the computer panic. Everything was installed, even all the vacuum lines and A.I.R tubes. With 2.56 gears in the rear and a rebuilt, beefed up 4-speed automatic TH200-R4, I am averaging close to 24.5 MPG on long highway trips. I installed a tach and my car is barely turning 1900 RPM's at 75 MPH. No toggle switches or cheater switches. It was pretty time-consuming and tedious to do, but well worth it.
For those having difficulties with the late 80s 307, particularly if you have one in a Cadillac Brougham (which is becoming somewhat collectible), or of course a Cutlass, which is already collectible, I think it would be well worth just getting a rebuilt 307 from the 1981-1984 series and installing it. Anyone have any idea how much that would cost? I seem to remember having Chevy small blocks rebuilt and installed in Caprices years ago, for maybe $700-800 or so.
I would say forget the 5.0 Liter V8's of this era altogether. The Chevy 305 and Oldsmobile 307 are reliable and indestructible, but you will never get decent performance out of them. The 1980-1984 307 is really not much of an improvement over the 1985-1990. The fuel injected 305 Chevy V8 from I believe 1986 on up is probably the best of the bunch. But even so, you're still not matching the standard power of GM's old titanic 350 motors.
If you go through the trouble of ripping out the motor, you are better off just going with a good strong Chevy or Oldsmobile 350 V8. The old Cadillac 425, 472 and 500 are nice, but parts are very hard to come by. I also prefer to get more than 10 MPG City and 18 MPG on the highway. No way you're going to do that with a Cadillac Big Block. With a car this big, there truly is "No Re-placement for Dis-placement."
Can you give a step by step of how you installed a tachomter? I would like one in my 87 Cadillac.
You know what, I may sound like I'm on something for saying this, but I actually like the Chevy 305 and the Olds 307 V8 engines. Yes, they're not that fast, but they are sturdy and reliable, and they deliver decent fuel economy in the larger cars. I'll give some performance up for sheer reliability. And I don't know why, but these engines have a sort of charm about them for me.
I agree. I'm quite fond of the 307, as it was extremely reliable and durable in all three early 80s Delta 88s I had through the years. I've had many 305s in Chevy Caprices as well, and they were fine, but for some reason - I think torquey-ness and smoothness - I prefer the Oldsmobile 307.
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