1982 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royal Brougham 5.0 V8 from North America


Takes a licking and keeps on ticking


The previous owner informed me that he had replaced the heater core, and the timing chain.

Since I have purchased the car, I've replaced the following...

All the brakes because the brake pedal felt bad and everything was messed up by the previous owner.

Fuel pump (It broke down on the expressway and it wasn't getting fuel to the carburetor so I replaced it in hopes that would fix it... it didn't)

Fuel pump eccentric (the reason it wasn't getting fuel)

Timing cover gasket (had to remove cover to repair fuel eccentric)

Water pump (started leaking out the weep hole after I finished the fuel issue)

Wiper motor #1 (the "squirters" wouldn't quit squirting so I replaced the whole assembly)

Wiper motor #2 (motor failure due to dirt contamination)

Computer controlled torque converter lock up (This didn't need repair, but I set it up with a toggle switch because it wasn't working how I thought it should (lockup under load and release at cruise) )

Alternator (also failed from dirt contamination)

All belts (they were old)

Lazy windows... or not functional (Dr. Front is really lazy and needs help going up and down or it will over heat.) (one of the rear windows doesn't work at all)

Lots of rust in the bottoms of the doors... Also, one of the rear body mounts rusted out thus it sits crooked.

Only one of two speakers work.

The interior is ripped/worn.

The headliner sagged and was ripped out MANY years ago.

General Comments:

Despite the lengthy list of issues, it's actually a pretty decent car. Yeah, I know you're probably thinking "Oh my god what a piece of crap," and you're right.

I bought the car off ebay for $400, and have put a decent amount of time and money into it to keep it rolling down the road. I'm probably up to $900 or $1000 in total costs. It is definitely sucking the cash out of me like something fierce, but it isn't without warranty. Many of the issues were self inflicted.

Right after I bought it, I took it out mudding with the local 4X4 club. Although I didn't get stuck, It did cost me my exhaust system. It fell off after the catalyst on the return trip and I had to drag it home under the car. It didn't survive the trip unfortunately. Now the exhaust is rigged together and dumps out the side in front of the rear wheel. It doesn't look too bad considering it's made of the remnants of the old system, but it is pretty rough.

I'm guessing that the alternator failure can be directly attributed to my poor judgment of taking it in the mud.

My only breakdown I blame on the previous owner. According to him, he put a new timing chain it it only 8 months before I purchased it. It is my GUESS that he did not correctly torque the hold down bolt which allowed it to back out until the fuel eccentric broke and was allowed to free wheel. Unfortunately for me, it broke down almost 5 hours from home and about 3 hours from where I had to be.

If it wasn't for mechanic and driver error, this car would have to be one of the most reliable cars on the roads. It always starts, and goes down the road like a 2 ton car aught to. It simply floats along. I've driven other cars of this size and found this one to have lighter steering and a greater ease of keeping it in the lane.

Parking is not as bad as you may imagine. The car is about 18 feet long (about the same as a 4 door Yukon) but it has very good visibility.

It has a 307ci Olds motor and 2.41 gears so acceleration isn't too much to get excited about. It will get out of the way, but it is by no means a power house. About the only car I've beaten in a drag race was a 94 Mazda 626 4cyl. 5spd. I don't think you could beat a whole lot more unless you put a cam in it, and most probably a lower geared rear end.

In my experience I've hit as low as 13 miles/gallon, and as high as 18. It isn't great, but it does reflect my driving style... erratic.

If you want to see the videos of it out in the mud, I've posted them on "youtube.com". Simply search for "oldsmobile mudding"

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2007

1982 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham 5.0 Liter 307 ci from North America


Excellent deal for $1,000!


I gave the car a major tune up as soon as I bought it. I installed new spark plugs, brass distributor cap and rotor, new wires with original distributor retainer ring/cap, PCV valve and filter, air filter, and timed it to 18 degrees BTDC at 1100 RPM.

Air Inlet Hose 88,900 miles.

Rear axle lubricant changed at 90,000 miles.

Cruise control transducer and speedometer cable

92,000 miles.

Headliner sagging, will be replaced soon.

Trunk matting degeneration.

Worn A/C compressor pulley bearing.

Water leak through passengers side floor pan.

Driver's side power mirror and power antenna inoperable.

Fast idle too high.

General Comments:

This car is a solid, full-frame piece that has American Luxury written all over it. It has dual power seats, factory original from 1982! I have no problems maintaining this car because it gives great service and an awesome ride. The fuel economy isn't even that bad, at 13 miles per gallon in the city, and 23 MPG highway at a steady, I stress steady, 55 mph. Any acceleration or higher speeds dramatically reduce fuel economy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2006

2nd Dec 2006, 06:37

With such low miles, that thing is a STEAL for 1,000. These things are becoming harder to find in decent shape and they are definitely going to be classic cars in a few years. I've owned 2 '85 Delta 88's and 1 '84 Chevy Caprice (same car, different name). Mine all had over 150,000 miles in fact one had over 200k and they were amazingly reliable no matter what. I was younger when I owned them and ashamed to say, I treated those cars like crap. Never changed the oil, drove them hard, abused and neglected them yet they still took care of me. These cars have never let me down. What I'm getting at that with good care, yours is gonna run forever. I'd hang onto it if I was you. Someday I hope to own another one.