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pitzel

Why not Quad 4

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Why did the Quad 4 disappear in the W-body cars in the early 1990s?  

Were there problems with the engine, or was it just too hard to sell a 4 cylinder engine in a non-economy car at the time?  

 

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The 2.5 Iron Duke Lumina was an okay seller. Every so often I run across a 2.3 DOHC low output 1990-91 Cutlass or GP but they are pretty rare. The LG0 DOHC Quad 4 was 1990 Cutlass only then the 3.4 DOHC came out in 1991.

Edited by ManicMechanic

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Interesting...  I've never seen a Quad 4 engine'd W-body in a junkyard, but I only started going to junkyards in the early 2000s.  The owners must've junked them very early, or they simply didn't sell many in Canada.  

Was there any way to make them reliable, ie: updated head gaskets?  Kind of like the LIMs have been the Achille's heal of the 60degree engines?  Or were they deemed a 'lost cause'?  

Edited by pitzel

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6 hours ago, pitzel said:

Interesting...  I've never seen a Quad 4 engine'd W-body in a junkyard, but I only started going to junkyards in the early 2000s.  The owners must've junked them very early, or they simply didn't sell many in Canada.  

Was there any way to make them reliable, ie: updated head gaskets?  Kind of like the LIMs have been the Achille's heal of the 60degree engines?  Or were they deemed a 'lost cause'?  

I'm not good yet with the Quad 4 output offerings yet, still learning.  I have seen 3 maybe 4 CS sedans with the Quad including this 90 sedan with the auto.  I'm guessing it's the low output but like I said, still learning.  I have seen thru the web a few Quad 4/5 speed CS sedan, remember Jay!  Those are rare and pretty amazing.

 

 

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7 hours ago, pitzel said:

Interesting...  I've never seen a Quad 4 engine'd W-body in a junkyard, but I only started going to junkyards in the early 2000s.  The owners must've junked them very early, or they simply didn't sell many in Canada.  

Was there any way to make them reliable, ie: updated head gaskets?  Kind of like the LIMs have been the Achille's heal of the 60degree engines?  Or were they deemed a 'lost cause'?  

There was a 90 Quad GP coupe on a site somewhere for sale, a blue car I think in Mexico.  It was an auto car and it's the only GP Quad I've seen so far.  I've seen quite a few Iron Duke 4 cylinder Lumina's on sites and found my first one down in a KC junkyard.  They look so strange in the engine bay of a W-body but I like them!  I took the floormats from it for my International.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, pitzel said:

Interesting...  I've never seen a Quad 4 engine'd W-body in a junkyard, but I only started going to junkyards in the early 2000s.  The owners must've junked them very early, or they simply didn't sell many in Canada.  

Was there any way to make them reliable, ie: updated head gaskets?  Kind of like the LIMs have been the Achille's heal of the 60degree engines?  Or were they deemed a 'lost cause'?  

Then there's this gorgeous low mileage 90 CS International coupe for sale right now for just $2500!!!  It's a Quad 4/5 speed car!!!  I believe these have the High Output version.

00808_1g8N9uZhNez_1200x900.jpg00K0K_8PFsMIx9l4P_1200x900.jpg00i0i_koSZ01yI8fY_1200x900.jpg

https://tricities.craigslist.org/ctd/d/elizabethton-1990-oldsmobile-cutlass/6939640577.html

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I'm very tempted to go pick that up. However, the fact that the engine was "replaced" gives me pause. If it was a 72k engine in a 72k mile car, that price is a no-brainer. However, there's a nearly 0% chance he found another similarly low mileage engine to put into it. I guess there's a chance it was rebuilt, but the ad says "replaced motor". 

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3 hours ago, digitaloutsider said:

I'm very tempted to go pick that up. However, the fact that the engine was "replaced" gives me pause. If it was a 72k engine in a 72k mile car, that price is a no-brainer. However, there's a nearly 0% chance he found another similarly low mileage engine to put into it. I guess there's a chance it was rebuilt, but the ad says "replaced motor". 

Could be a remanned or crate engine too.

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Too much complexity and expense for a four-popper in a "big" car.  Remember, rental agencies called the W-bodies "Full size" cars and charged accordingly.

They could sell iron duke cars because the engine cost about fifteen cents to make, and there's lots of stupid people who will buy a cheap car no matter how bad it is--look at Chevy Chevette, Ford Escort, Volkswagen, Renault, and Yugo, for example.  For those who don't know, the "Pontiac" "Iron Duke" goes all the way back to the Early 1960s, when Chevy cut two cylinders off their 230 Six Popper, and stuffed the resulting rough-as-a-cob Four into the Chevy II.  That engine went through about two hundred variations until it was almost unrecognizable as having been based off of a turd of a six cylinder.  But even with decades of redesign, the Iron Duke was the crappiest GM engine of modern times.  "Inexpensive" wasn't a feature of the Quad 4, yet it's still going to be torque-deficient and inherently rough like an Iron Duke.  Far as I know, they didn't get balance shafts until '94 for the '95 model year.

I'd WAY rather have a plain-Jane 3.1 than a fancy four popper.  The 3.1 is twice the engine the four cylinders are.

NO motor vehicle should have an engine with fewer cylinders than it has road wheels.  Might as well be a lawn-mower.  An equal number of cylinders to wheels can work, but usually not very well.  More cylinders than wheels is optimum, and X2 and X3 works very well indeed.  (Exceptions, of course, for Wankel-power and gas-turbine.)

Edited by Schurkey

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At the very least, I'd argue there is a pretty substantial difference in driving excitement between a wheezy automatic iron duke or LH0 and a 180 HP HO Quad 4. You are correct that until the LD9 there were no balance shafts.

At this point, I'm willing to take the tradeoff between the "run it on no oil for 5 years of it's life and nothing will go wrong" reliability of a 3.1 and the "sure, the headgaskets pop every 36,000 miles, but at least it's fun while it lasts" nature of the HO Quad 4.  The LG0/282 combination remains the one oddball 1G W-car I want to own but haven't. 

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3 hours ago, digitaloutsider said:

At the very least, I'd argue there is a pretty substantial difference in driving excitement between a wheezy automatic iron duke or LH0 and a 180 HP HO Quad 4. You are correct that until the LD9 there were no balance shafts.

At this point, I'm willing to take the tradeoff between the "run it on no oil for 5 years of it's life and nothing will go wrong" reliability of a 3.1 and the "sure, the headgaskets pop every 36,000 miles, but at least it's fun while it lasts" nature of the HO Quad 4.  The LG0/282 combination remains the one oddball 1G W-car I want to own but haven't. 

If I'm seeing the specs correctly, the Quad 4 had 160 ft/lbs of torque at 5400 rpm, compared to 180 ft/lbs at 3600 rpm for the 3.1.  Horsepower was 180 at 6400 vs. 135 at 4400 for the V-6.

The 3.1 would be far more fun to drive at least around town.  A drag-race might favor the Quad 4...maybe.

 

 

 

The Iron Duke is not even a contender.  Although I do know of one with an Ultradyne cam and BBC rocker arms that was mounted in an S-10, and could tow a full-size pickup at highway speed.  Apparently there's hope for them, if you're willing to put in the time and money.

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5 hours ago, Schurkey said:

If I'm seeing the specs correctly, the Quad 4 had 160 ft/lbs of torque at 5400 rpm, compared to 180 ft/lbs at 3600 rpm for the 3.1.  Horsepower was 180 at 6400 vs. 135 at 4400 for the V-6.

For that year/model, it got 180HP for a 5-speed, and 160HP for an automatic.

From:
https://consumerguide.com/used/1990-97-oldsmobile-cutlass-supreme/

=======
In 1990, both the base Cutlass and the sporty International Series came with the new 180-horsepower, 2.3-liter High Output version of the Quad 4 engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. For those preferring an automatic, the standard 3-speed gearbox required dropping to the meeker 160-horsepower Quad 4.

The High Output version delivered 160 pound-feet of torque at 5200 rpm while the basic Quad 4 did nearly as well, with 155 pound-feet of torque at 5200 rpm. In 1990, the V6 provided to be the weakest engine offered, producing only 135 horsepower at 4400 rpm and 180 pound-feet of torque at 3600.
========

 

About the Quad4, also see:
https://jalopnik.com/heres-why-the-quad-4-was-one-of-gms-most-important-engi-1829719965

From:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quad_4_engine
=======
From 1989 to 2009, the Quad 4 held the title of being General Motors' most powerful naturally aspirated regular production four-cylinder engine (with the exception of the 2.92L I4 Atlas engines used in 2007-2012 Chevrolet Colorados and GMC Canyons). Only recently was the LG0's 180 bhp (134 kW) rating eclipsed when the 2010 model year 2.4 L (2,392.3 cc) Ecotec LAF was launched in the Buick Lacrosse and Chevrolet Equinox. The LAF has a rated output of 182 hp (136 kW) but does so with an 11.4:1 compression ratio, gasoline direct injection and variable valve timing.
=======

 

Edited by Cutlass350

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I owned a 1988 Olds Calais International with the Quad 4. Ran great when it ran. Notorious for blowing the head gaskets. Pretty fast little car and was fun to drive. However went through alternators quite a bit even when it was brand new. Sold it a few years later.


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