Don't listen to the previous two comments, you drive your car and enjoy it. What is the point in keeping it stored away until 2000 - whenever when it MIGHT be worth a lot of money? And keep the original engine in it. If it craps out, then go with a 307 or Olds 350 if you want, but don't do a swap just because "everyone else's crapped out". But enjoy your car, if you truly waited this long to own one, why would you not want to? You only live once right?
I'm the original poster above. After a few minor body repairs, replacing the heater core (which was leaking coolant), putting in a new battery, and rebalancing the tires- I have to say I have a wonderful automobile. I'm pretty pleased with the performance of the V6 for daily driving, but if it needs a rebuild down the road I may opt for the 307 V8. Everything I read leads me to believe it would run smoother without much increase in gas consumption. Do the V6 and V8 use the same automatic transmission? I read online that the Cutlass downsized to a lighter duty transmission (200 series?) for these cars that can be overwhelmed by the torque of a more powerful engine. So far my transmission has been trouble free.
If you put in a 307 V8, also get rid of the TH-200 that's there already. It can actually barely handle the V6. Get the TH-350 for the V8.
Yeah the 'turbo 350' transmission is probably going to be the cheapest transmission you can find anywhere, and it fits the 307 perfectly. It's also very strong and durable.
The best drive train in these cars is a 305 5.0 liter engine and a 700R4 transmission.
The Canadian model came with the GM 305 instead of the Olds 307. The 307 is good too, but the 305 is bulletproof reliable.
The car came with a 200R4 transmission, but an upgrade to a 700R4 is highly recommended.
I have this drive train in my Cutlass, and it is flawless, super powerful, and reliable as all heck.
These are great cars, I love mine.