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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:36 PM   #1
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1990 oldsmobile calais quad 442

I just went by the local mechanics and he has a Red oldsmobile calais quad 442 5speed. He wants $700 for it and its running but all it needs is tires, and it has a new radiator and new clutch. Well my budget was $1350 so im planning on making the car better any ideas? I was going to repaint the hood cuz it is weather worn, than buy a stereo with a cd player. After that I wanted to buy some black rims and make it look nice. And finally add a cherry bomb muffler to the car. Does that sound good so far?

Last edited by jamesh23; July 30th, 2008 at 07:48 PM.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #2
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I special ordered a 2 door Burgandy red Calais in 1985. I loaded it to the nuts except for moon roof and AT. Man there was so much eye candy and gadgets it looked like a rocket cockpit. So I had the tech 4 with the 5 speed too. I really liked the tight shift pattern and clutch. That car had really decent performance and incredible fuel mileage.

Somehow I just can't see this car with cherry bombs, but to each their own. I don't know what it would look like with black rims, but black and red have always been hot cominations. Mine had the slotted aluminum wheels and they looked pretty awesome. I saw lots of these cars that just had wheel covers and it's not the same.

Bottom line? This forum can give you lots of tips and comments. Some you'll like, some you won't. It's your car so be as creative as you want with the money you're willing to spend. But remember one ting bud, it's an Olds so do right by it.

If you get a chance, pop a few pics for us. Doesn't matter whether they are before or after. Sometimes it's even nicer to see before and afte pics.

Have fun with your new Olds. I loved driving mine. BTW the only reason I didn't keep it was I traded it in so I could go back to a full size 98 Regency Brougham.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #3
442=A perfect 10
 
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Sounds like you have a plan...looks good! Before you purchase make sure that you check the engine out thoroughly. The quad four is a great engine (I had a I-series with the H.O. engine) but you must check the compression to make sure the head gasket is not leaking. The Quads had one weak area...around sixty thousand miles the head gasket would start to leak. Other than that the five speed with that engine is a screamer. Best of luck.

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Fred
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:28 PM   #4
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They are decent cars. Like the others said make sure it is mechanically sound and then jump on it like a rat on a Cheeto. Definitely a good car to start with, especially with the price of gas.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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thanks guys and it sounds sweet without the cherry bomb but I heard one with it and it sounded awesome. And I agree with red and black being great together. The car has 170,000 miles so ya idk, ill check the head gasket but thanks guys by the way im 16.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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All but the cherry bomb. Most V8's don't sound all that good thru one, and I think a Quad 4 thru a cherry bomb would sound like ***. Save up for a good system like MagnaFlow or Borla, and stay away from a fart can muffler for same reason as the CB.

Quad 442 are a fairly rare little beast and they have the HO Quad 4 rated at 180 HP- the same HP as 80s RWD VIN 9 442 and Hurst/Olds, and they weigh about 800 lbs less. So these things will scoot. Friend had a W41 version and regularly embarrassed Mustangs and tuners. Downside is they are 10:1 compression engines and will probably have to have premium fuel.

Lot of folks don't like the Quad 4, but it was a tough engine and capable of making some real power. It powered the Aerotech thru its land speed record runs. They're known to have head gasket issues. Plus you're dealing with a Calais. The N cars weren't the best products GM ever built, though GrandAMs seemed to be everywhere.

If the little beast runs good and doesn't need any major work, $700 is a good buy for one of those.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 09:17 PM   #7
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why would it require premium fuel? and I think the guy just put a new head gasket on it.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 07:03 AM   #8
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If the engine has 10:1 + compression it will definitely need high quality fuel. You will have to run high quality fuel to prevent pinging and predetonation.

If the previous owner put a new head gasket on it make sure he machined the head at the same time. A new head gasket without a repaired head could lead to trouble. You have to ask yourself... why did the head gasket fail in the first place?
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Old August 1st, 2008, 07:00 AM   #9
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well idk about the head gasket ill talk to him.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
........ make sure he machined the head ........
Waste of time, and money, unless it is actually needed.

Heads should be checked, with a straight edge, anytime they are off.

Norm
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Downside is they are 10:1 compression engines and will probably have to have premium fuel.
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If the engine has 10:1 + compression it will definitely need high quality fuel. You will have to run high quality fuel to prevent pinging and predetonation.
Hmmm, I'm with the kid on this one. Why? My 98 is 10:1 and runs on 87 octane. In fact the owner manual recommends 87.

I ran 87 in my Calais when I had it and it NEVER had any issues with starting, pinging, going like hell, or just regular driving. Worst thing that ever happened was the safety neutral broke and it wouldn't start one day. Easy fix.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 04:34 PM   #12
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If a 10:1 engine will run on 87, by all means. The computer will adjust for it but I don't think you'd get the best performance/mileage. Plus most 87 brands are bare minimum detergent-wise and will create deposits, meaning carbon buildup, which translates to detonation.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 05:01 PM   #13
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I don't think you'd get the best performance/mileage
I am with RocketRaider on this one. I think if he used cheap fuel it could cause pinging. He might be able to overcome it by tinkering with the timing but then he will be changing settings on the engine that would be better left alone or stock.

I guess he could always use the cheap stuff and see what he thinks. However, I wouldn't want to run cheap stuff and then get pinging that could lead to engine damage... in the long run.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 12:53 PM   #14
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James23
Check your owners manual and see if it recommends use of Premium fuel. And check the dash to see whether it says "Use premium fuel" under the gas gauge. If it does, Ignore the rest of my comment. From previous posts it sounds like your engine is pretty much stock. Like I said, mine didn't require it, so I'm curious why your's does.
Check out this link: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question90.htm it explains in simple terms that 87 octane is NOT cheap, it is designed to ignite a lower compression than 91 or 93. GM designs their engines to match octane ratings. So does Ford, Chysler, Toyota, BMW etc.....
And I'm still not convinced that 10.5:1 needs premium. My car has this compression. I use regular. The car goes like stink, gets EXCELLENT mileage city/highway and doesn't rattle or ping. And there's no way in hell that I'm going to fork out an extra 10 bucks a tank if I don't have to.

Now maybe if we were talking about stroking an older small block or big block , ya I'd go with what the other guys are saying. But thats modifying it from original.

What you can also do is check out say 1/4 tank of 87 and compare how it runs with 1/4 tank of premium (91 or 93 depending on where you get it). Also keep in mind that your car isn't new. You might consider a compression test? Anyway ultimately it's up to you. If you "feel" that the car runs better on one grade than another, stick with it. You should also shop around with stations. I found that gas from Exxon causes premature fouling of the forward air sensor. But (same grade) gas from Shell doesn't. Good luck with your Calais.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 09:26 AM   #15
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I drove a 1988 Calais Int'l for 12 years. The head gasket blew at 60,801 miles. My dealer (Gene Stevens Oldsmobile in Findlay, Ohio) machined the head 0.010" and installed the "revised" head gasket design. After that it required 89 octane to avoid detonation (pinging). I drove the car until 179k miles and the kid I sold it to drive it 50K+ additional miles without an engine issue.

I installed a Walker Dynomax muffler on it in the late 1990s and it had a GREAT sound! It had dual square-ish tips which were polished. I highly recommend this exhaust if it is still available.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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