1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Brougham 3.8 from North America


This is a fine car. I would buy another


1. The harmonic balancer on the engine went twice. This was a $US200 bill for each occurrence. No one I have ever talked with had this problem on any of the GM 3.8 liter engines.

2. The original air conditioning compress burned out at about 120,000 kilometers . A $600 replacement was faulty and lasted only a few months. The second replacement, under warranty lasted another six months. The repair shop had gone out of business; ergo no chance of a third warranty replacment. I replaced the second one with a used compressor from a wrecker at $25. Once re-charged, this one worked fine as long as I owned the car.

3. The winter salt started to win the battle and a few rust spots appeared on the lower doors and under the trunk.

General Comments:

It is important to keep the brakes as close to factory specifications as practical. Brake parts such as calipers, pads and shoes were very inexpensive and can be changed with minimum effort.

A fine car with lots of power, style, comfort and room.

Handling is fine. Especially keeping the tires up the factory specified 35 pounds. A lot of shops seem to standardize on 32.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2005

14th Jan 2005, 20:13

I've experienced the harmonic balancer failure twice with the GM 3800 engine. First was my '89 Delta 88 then my '88 Delta 88. It's quite annoying as it causes the engine the make a racket and the bolt is hard to remove.

30th Mar 2009, 19:28

The harmonic balancer center portion is just press fitted into the outer ring. Take the balancer out and have the center brazed (not welded) to the outer ring. It will never give you problems again..

1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88 royale broughm 3.8L from North America


Fantastic car, but transmission was too unpredictable and picky


At 100k the power steering rack had to be replaced, but wasn't as hard to do as I had expected.

At 125k I rebuilt the transmission, which I had herd was difficult. This model of transmission (THM 440t4) was only used in 86 1/2 and 87 GM vehicles and has been known for having problems. I rebuilt it myself, and it kept working until the car had 263k miles on it. I did have to replace transmission mounts several times because of the awesome power the engine produced.

The throttle cable stuck open on the highway and almost caused a wreck, and I found out afterwords that there was a GM campaign to replace these, and it hadn't been done on that vehicle yet.

Another item there was a campaign on was the mass airflow sensor, which also went out and had to be replaced. The part didn't cost anything, and was very easy to swap out.

At 115k miles the timing chain had to be replaced, and when I got the kit, the parts store gave me one for a 3800 instead of a 3.8, and the oil pump wouldn't work, so I had to take everything back apart and put the correct one in. Unfortunately the harmonic balancer went out after being taken off and being put back on several times.

When the transmission froze up at a stop sign after 268,000 miles, I decided to sell the car to a mechanic at a aamco transmission shop.

General Comments:

The gas mileage was incredible, averaging 38-42 Mpg on the highway. I could fill up in Wichita, Ks. and make the drive to Little Rock, Ar. on a single tank of gas.

The ride was so smooth, that a long trip wasn't a chore, but a relaxing trip, and the delco/bose sound system was as much a help as the smooth ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2004

1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham 3.8 V6 from North America


If you see this car for sale, it is definitely worth the buy


AM/FM radio antenna is stuck in the "up" position.

Cassette player does not work. I did install a CD player, and the speakers work like brand new.

Brakes are not the best. It takes about 20 feet to stop the car from 35 mph.

The hood is very hard to open. The release does not work or something, because it won't seem to open.

Air conditioning is busted.

Passenger side power window button doesn't work.

Windows are extremely slow. They also squeak when rising.

Passenger seat is hard to move.

General Comments:

First off, this car is almost everything I ever asked for in a car. Although it does not have air conditioning, it has power everything which is extremely convenient.

When I inherited this car, I was surprised it was a 1987, it seems like it should be a 1995...or somewhere in the 90s. It even has power seats and cruise control!

I don't think I have the words to explain the comfort level in this car. I could fall asleep in it any time. I recently vaccuumed the car, and cleaned it, and it was amazing. It looked brand new on the inside.

I think the heater makes up for the loss of the air conditioning. Once I turn it on, its hot. Its very nice to have on the way to school. But, the windshield defroster does not work too well.

This is seriously one of fastest cars I have ever driven. Yeah, its big, but when I slam on the gas, its at 45 mph in no time. That car usually beats anyone that wants to test it. Its also filled with power. I open the windows, and just listen to that engine roar. The control in this car is amazing.

This car has been running fine for 17 years, and I anticipate it will be for another 17 years, but hopefully by then, I will have moved onto a newer car, with air conditioning of course.

I would recommend this car to anyone. It is completely amazing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2004

15th Jul 2004, 13:31

Get the A/C fixed... that way, you'll have a complete car!

11th Jan 2005, 15:32

My 1987 Olds Delta 88 used to give the impression of spongy or under-performing brakes from 25 MPH to 0. The last few feet seemed to take longer than they should to fully stop. I believe that the best solution is in having the brakes as close to manufacturer’s specifications as practical. On my car this meant the following:

• New front calipers. I bought some re-manufactured calipers for about $15 each. Changing the calipers is not much more work than changing the front disk pads. The prime tool good is a quality Torx socket.

• High-end front disk pads.

• New rear shoes. The often-heard comment is that most of the stopping is done by the front brakes. Even so, the backs make a contribution, say 25% or more.

• Thorough bleeding at all four wheels.

• There is likely a little more to be gained in new rotors and drums. However, these relatively easy to achieve fixes made considerable difference in stopping.

As nearly all of the reviews say, the 1987 Delta 88 is a very satisfactory automobile.

27th Mar 2007, 15:12

I have a car like this. It's my first car that I have liked. It has taken me to New York, and back home to Nebraska. It doesn't have power windows. but every things works in it. It is the same year of car and every thing. I am the third owner of this car. I have had it for three years now. It is in good shape. It seems to run better than yours it sounds, but it could be the car and it's mechanic check ups too. I have over 250,000 miles on my car and it cruises like a boat in calm water. These cars are really worth buying because they don't make them anymore, and they are great to have.

1st Jun 2007, 21:51

I just bought my 1987 Delta 88 and it runs great. The car has no rust and 79,000 miles. Everything works on the car except the electric antenna. Does anyone know how to install a new one? I also noticed the transmission doesn't shift very smooth. Other than that the car seems to run and look great.