DBeaSSt

Last Gen Cutlass Supreme

36 posts in this topic

Okay guys, I KNOW one of you out there has some history on this car. One of my favorites, especially the convertibles. Here's what I (think I) know: '89 - 2.8V6 changed to 3.1 mid year. first year for electronic four speed? '95 - last model year When did they dump the horrible digital dash (my '89 lemon had it)? Was '95 the last year for the convertible too or was it '94? What engines were in the last models? 3.4 twin-dual cam? Pics are always appreciated! :)
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I don't have pictures, but I do believe that this mediocre car is one major factor in the death of Oldsmobile. Had the car sold half as well as the previous RWD Cutlass Supreme, Oldsmobile would still be alive today. Last year's engines were 3.1L OHV and 3.4L DOHC V6's.
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'96s just had the 3.1 '95 was the last year for the 3.4DOHC and the last year for the convertible. '95 saw a much more modern interior Mid '94 saw some engine changes in the 3.4
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I agree these cars had a hand in killing Oldsmobile, at least in the hearts of many people who loved "their father's Oldsmobile" meaning, big cushy V8, RWD...but on the other hand me being someone who has owned/owns two late 70's Oldses, I happen to like these Cutlasses for some reason, I think they are the best looking out of the bunch, Grand Prix, Lumina etc....and I like the digital dash too...There is a white coupe for sale near me, its a 92 I believe...very nice car, only needs a new armrest as it is torn....its going for $2,500
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Although I don't hate the FWD Cutlass Supremes it does pale in comparison with the old school RWD BOF ones.
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88-91 W cars had a thirst for turn signal switches! Look for the smoke coming up the column! I had a 1990 International Series sedan that was a great car the 1st 25,000 miles, it fast became a pice of junk the next 30,000 miles. I got smart then and replaced it with a 1994 Impala SS.
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Thanks for all the info guys. I didn't realize it was around until '97. I miss having a convertible and since a new Sky is out of my price range I've been thinking about looking for a last-year Cutlass convertible. Always loved that built in roll bar. :)

Although I don't hate the FWD Cutlass Supremes it does pale in comparison with the old school RWD BOF ones.

[post="37849"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

I totally agree! I remember my Grandmother's '76 (or was it a '78) Cutlass Supreme, great car!
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If you are Cutlass Supreme shopping, I'm the guy you wanna talk to. I had one for 2.5 year and I know a lot about these cars. Stick with the 1995, the upgraded interior is worth it. If you can find one with rear buckets intead of rear bench, grab it. The rear buckets are supremely comfortable, the rear bench is a park bench. Go for the 3.4 DOHC. In the coupe the 3.1 was adaquate, but in the convertible the extra weight really hurts things. The 3.4 has some issues you should know about. The alternators have trouble and they are a major bitch to change. If you have the alternator go, make sure and take it to the GM Goodwrentch dealer. Once they replace it, it's under lifetime warrenty. Check the timing belt with every oil change once past 60,000 miles. It's only two screws to pop the timing belt cover off and look. The timing belt job is expensive and shouldn't be attempted on your own, but you only have to do it every 80,000 miles or so. Watch your transmission fluid level. I had a few instances where I would be driving "enthusiasticly" and make a hard left turn and the tranny would slip out of gear. If your fluid level is low and you're making a hard left, all the fluid sloshes to the right and starves the tranny. Never put the top down without closing the release handles first. You can bend some of the mechanism. The boot is a bitch to put on. If you have any other questions, let me know. You know where to find me. P.S. And let me live vicariously through you, I miss my Cutlass convertible a lot.
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Okay guys, I KNOW one of you out there has some history on this car.  One of my favorites, especially the convertibles.

Here's what I (think I) know:

'89 - 2.8V6 changed to 3.1 mid year.  first year for electronic four speed?

'95 - last model year

When did they dump the horrible digital dash (my '89 lemon had it)?
Was '95 the last year for the convertible too or was it '94?
What engines were in the last models?  3.4 twin-dual cam?

Pics are always appreciated!  :)

[post="37594"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Good place to look: http://www.w-body.com/
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A big part that killed GM, and Oldsmobile directly, was the horrible quality of the W-bodies more than the overall ride or design.
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A big part that killed GM, and Oldsmobile directly, was the horrible quality of the W-bodies more than the overall ride or design.

[post="38518"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



This is true, however I think switching to FWD, and the onslaught of new name and new Rocket logo and so on, all had a hand in Oldsmobile's demise...that and poor marketing
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I drove an '90 Cutlass Supreme for 14 years. Great car; never gave me a lick of trouble except that it needed to be repainted after most of the paint on the hood and roof flaked off. That car drove straight and squeak and rattle-free until the day I sold it - and it only took me one day to sell it!
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I've been driving a 1996 Cutlass Supreme Coupe, its actully been a very reliable car, although it does have the 3.1. Im at 126,000 miles and going strong.
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Some facts about the W-body Cutlass The W-body Supreme went from 1988-1997 The 2.8 liter V6 was in all 1988 models and some 1989 versions. The 3.1 was an option mid way through the year with automatic trans only with the 2.8 being teamed with the stick The infamous "Quad 4" was introduced in 1990 while ABS was an option first seen in 1989 models 1990 was the first year for W-body 4-door Cutlass and the convertible The 3.1 was available with 4 speed automatic only in 89,90,91,94-97. 1992 and 1993 has 3.1 with standard 3 speed automatics in base "s" versions The 3.4 DOHC was introduced in 1991 as the International series engine and an option on regular versions and was paired with the new 4T60E electronic tranny. The 3.1 carried on with the regular non-electronic 4T65 1992 saw new front and rear styling and the Quad 4 was dropped. SL becomes an option package this year. The SL model had new side moldings, bucket seats, rallye guages, fog lamps and 16' tires The 3.4 DOHC wasn't available on converibles untill 1993 as an option but with automatic only. The 3.4 was an option on all other versions, again with 4 speed automatic only. Mid year saw an oddity in the newly available 3100 engine on SL value models. This was a heavily upgraded, quieter engine with 20 more hp and much better top end response. This engine did not make it's appearance in any other 93 model but was the standard engine in many other 94 models including the Supreme. 1994 sees the 160 hp 3100 and 4 speed electronic 4T60E as std fare. SL series I and II special value models were offered. The 3.4 DOHC was an option across the board. Anti-lock brakes and drivers airbag are now std also along with theatre dimming lights 1995 saw a new and improved dash and door panals and switches. SL value models and the convertible were the only cars offered this year. This was the last year for the convertible! 1996 was a carry over except for 4 available series models instead of last years 2. This was the last year for the 3.4 DOHC! 1997 was the last year for this design and could only be had with the 3100 engine and 4 speed automatic. 3 different series models were offered.
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Might have a little knowledge here.

Posted Image
'88 Cutlass Supreme International
- digital dash
- billion way power seats
- rear buckets w/ console

Posted Image
'94 Cutlass Supreme SL
- 3.4 DOHC
- almost every option


As far as the DOHC, yes the timing belt needs to be maintained. I had a mechanic buddy do mine with my help. Changed it in the driveway for the cost of the belt ($30) and a 6 pack. Dealer quote: $800.

Other than chewing up brakes, I didnt have any problems with either car. Seemed like they both wore out the brakes quickly, but I think that was common on the W cars.

I liked the interior on my '94 better than the redo in '95. I waited to see the '95 before I made the decision to pick up the '94. But thats my opinion.
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The 3.4 DOHC wasn't available on converibles untill 1993 as an option but with automatic only. The 3.4 was an option on all other versions, again with 4 speed automatic only.


That is a slightly inaccurate. the 3.4 DOHC was available, though extremely rare, with a 5-speed manual.
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I've always thought that generation Cutlass had a nice steering wheel for its time period. Too bad it sounds like a taco.
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That is a slightly inaccurate. the 3.4 DOHC was available, though extremely rare, with a 5-speed manual.

[post="41304"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


not in 93 they werent, 4sp only, 91-92 had 5sp and 4sp
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That basically sums it up. Also, interesting and little known fact... Oldsmobile began offering a sport package on the base Cutlass Supreme in 1990 and again in 1991, basically International Series ground effects and foglamps (and duals on the sedans), option code BYP. The 92+ "SL" was actually equvilant to this car, as there were no true SL models. Even the VIN on my 96 decoded as "Cutlass Supreme S". I had a '96 coupe for almost seven years with the very rare (for the coupe) bench front seat, which was available only on the four-door for '97. '96 was also the last year for the red cloth interior (although mine was beige).


Some facts about the W-body Cutlass
The W-body Supreme went from 1988-1997
The 2.8 liter V6 was in all 1988 models and some 1989 versions.
The 3.1 was an option mid way through the year with automatic trans only with the 2.8 being teamed with the stick
The infamous "Quad 4" was introduced in 1990 while ABS was an option first seen in 1989 models
1990 was the first year for W-body 4-door Cutlass and the convertible
The 3.1 was available with 4 speed automatic only in 89,90,91,94-97. 1992 and 1993 has 3.1 with standard 3 speed automatics in base "s" versions
The 3.4 DOHC was introduced in 1991 as the International series engine and an option on regular versions and was paired with the new 4T60E electronic tranny. The 3.1 carried on with the regular non-electronic 4T65
1992 saw new front and rear styling and the Quad 4 was dropped. SL becomes an option package this year. The SL model had new side moldings, bucket seats, rallye guages, fog lamps and 16' tires
The 3.4 DOHC wasn't available on converibles untill 1993 as an option but with automatic only. The 3.4 was an option on all other versions, again with 4 speed automatic only.
Mid year saw an oddity in the newly available 3100 engine on SL value models. This was a heavily upgraded, quieter engine with 20 more hp and much better top end response. This engine did not make it's appearance in any other 93 model but was the standard engine in many other 94 models including the Supreme.
1994 sees the 160 hp 3100 and 4 speed electronic 4T60E as std fare. SL series I and II special value models were offered. The 3.4 DOHC was an option across the board. Anti-lock brakes and drivers airbag are now std also along with theatre dimming lights
1995 saw a new and improved dash and door panals and switches. SL value models and the convertible were the only cars offered this year. This was the last year for the convertible!
1996 was a carry over except for 4 available series models instead of last years 2. This was the last year for the 3.4 DOHC!
1997 was the last year for this design and could only be had with the 3100 engine and 4 speed automatic. 3 different series models were offered.

[post="40987"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

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I loved and still love the coupe. But, I have to say, when I see the sedan on the street...it is not as successful....only liked it in black. Black pulled all the black elements together and looked much better. Swithgear on early ones was terrible....everything wobbled, terrible tactile feel.
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Might have a little knowledge here.

Posted Image
'88 Cutlass Supreme International
  - digital dash
  - billion way power seats
  - rear buckets w/ console

Posted Image
'94 Cutlass Supreme SL
  - 3.4 DOHC
  - almost every option
As far as the DOHC, yes the timing belt needs to be maintained.  I had a mechanic buddy do mine with my help.  Changed it in the driveway for the cost of the belt ($30) and a 6 pack.  Dealer quote: $800.

Other than chewing up brakes, I didnt have any problems with either car.  Seemed like they both wore out the brakes quickly, but I think that was common on the W cars.

I liked the interior on my '94 better than the redo in '95. I waited to see the '95 before I made the decision to pick up the '94.  But thats my opinion.

[post="41160"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Olds Guy, where is that building you're parked in front of that reads "Oldsmobile" at the top? I presume Lansing? Is the Oldsmobile name still there? The script looks very 1960s.
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Olds Guy, where is that building you're parked in front of that reads "Oldsmobile" at the top?  I presume Lansing?  Is the Oldsmobile name still there?  The script  looks very 1960s.

[post="50532"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

That's in Lansing at the birthplace of Olds. I took the exact same photo in front of that building when I was there for Olds' 100th birthday party in August 1997. Edited by I hope GMRULES again
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