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Century7667
11-22-2011, 05:54 PM
What was it that made the "X" so awful and how did the "A" improve on it?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thanks,
Ken T.

SCREECH
11-22-2011, 06:20 PM
There were reliability issues - the cars quickly garnered the reputation as "lemons", but I haven't ever done the digging involved to ascertain exactly what sorts of problems they experienced.

The steering rack being mounted on the firewall certainly wasn't the best idea - just like the J-bodies the mounts can rot and then you're hosed. They did change this in '82 when they started with the same cradle as the A-bodies that were released that year - the racks were then mounted on the back of the cradle for the final 4 years of production. The dash design with the vertical radio was certainly a very unwelcome design. Thankfully the A-body dash will apparently bolt into the X-body.

It should be noted, one user one time raised a very interesting point that I certainly don't believe is without merit: the X-bodies were seen as an "econo-box" when first released, so if people neglected them as such, reliability could easily be affected. In the hands of an "enthusiast" the car could be a completely different story. Personally I could see myself having an X-body after my current projects are completed.

lemons bob
11-22-2011, 06:35 PM
I think part of the problem was that the x body's had a lot of recalls for the first year or two. I heard someone say one of the x body's has the record for recalls for a car, followed closely by the others. These recalls were probably fixed in the a-body platform.

RIPBARNBURNER
11-22-2011, 09:48 PM
What was it that made the "X" so awful

I want one. And apparently I only want 'crappy' cars rofl

a1veedubber
11-22-2011, 09:48 PM
The problem Citations were the first two years. The Citation was redesigned in 82 and it and the A are the exact same cars with different bodywork. The firewall, floorpan and inner structures are almost exactly the same. If the bodylines were the same Citation coupe doors would even fit a Celebrity!

I always think of the Celebrity as a Citation MkII.

The Eurosport should have been the Celebrity X22!! :)

RIPBARNBURNER
11-22-2011, 09:54 PM
The Eurosport should have been the Celebrity X22!! :)

I like that!

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-22-2011, 10:54 PM
The steering rack being mounted on the firewall certainly wasn't the best idea


L platform (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_L_platform)

1987–1996 Chevrolet Beretta coupé
1987–1996 Chevrolet Corsica sedan
1987–1992 Pontiac Tempest (Canada)

Last time I looked on my Beretta, it has steering rack mounted to firewall.

"L platform was very similar to the GM N platform," and "Both platforms were used to replace the GM X platform platform."

86euro
11-23-2011, 03:06 AM
L platform (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_L_platform)

1987–1996 Chevrolet Beretta coupé
1987–1996 Chevrolet Corsica sedan
1987–1992 Pontiac Tempest (Canada)

Last time I looked on my Beretta, it has steering rack mounted to firewall.

"L platform was very similar to the GM N platform," and "Both platforms were used to replace the GM X platform platform."

The Grand Ams and others also had the rack mounted on the firewall. I've seen them rust right off the firewall too. I had a Beretta for a while and was not really happy with the rack setup, for reasons I really can't recall though.

Sport Omega
11-28-2011, 05:09 AM
The other problem with the rack mounted to the firewall was that under cornering situations the cradle which is mounted with the usual rubber sandwiched body bushings is that the cradle deflects ever so slightly(almost negligible). So as the cradle shifts under hard cornering the rack does not move with it. Of course I know this is not much, but when you're running through a slalom course such as the car magazines do when testing them for handling this produced some ill effects. With the rack bolted firmly to the cradle it is a much better idea.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-28-2011, 05:24 AM
The other problem with the rack mounted to the firewall was that under cornering situations


Here's what my 1988 Beretta GT has:

Z51 Suspension Package (http://www.beretta.net/model_info/1988.htm) (only available with Beretta GT, consists of a special rally tuned system, featuring larger solid stabilizer bars, firmer bushings and performance tuned front struts and rear shocks on Goodyear Eagle GT+4 P205.60R-15 all season radials mounted on 15 inch styled steel wheels).


these cars were capable of 0.92 G on the skidpad, (http://www.motortopia.com/cars/1988-chevrolet-beretta-24931)

Century7667
12-01-2011, 10:28 PM
There were reliability issues - the cars quickly garnered the reputation as "lemons", but I haven't ever done the digging involved to ascertain exactly what sorts of problems they experienced.

The steering rack being mounted on the firewall certainly wasn't the best idea - just like the J-bodies the mounts can rot and then you're hosed. They did change this in '82 when they started with the same cradle as the A-bodies that were released that year - the racks were then mounted on the back of the cradle for the final 4 years of production. The dash design with the vertical radio was certainly a very unwelcome design. Thankfully the A-body dash will apparently bolt into the X-body.

It should be noted, one user one time raised a very interesting point that I certainly don't believe is without merit: the X-bodies were seen as an "econo-box" when first released, so if people neglected them as such, reliability could easily be affected. In the hands of an "enthusiast" the car could be a completely different story. Personally I could see myself having an X-body after my current projects are completed.

I heard also that the x-bodies had handling/braking issues. So long ago, I just can't remember.

Ken T.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
12-02-2011, 03:13 AM
I heard also that the x-bodies had...

10 Cars That Damaged GM's Reputation (With Video)
(http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/vintage-speed/4293188?page=2)
...
...
...
2. 1980-1985 X-Cars

The problem wasn't so much the basic engineering of the X-Body cars as it was that no one apparently spent any time doing the detailed engineering that determines a car's success. So customers complained of disintegrating transmissions, suspension systems that seemed to wobble on their own mounts, and brakes that would make the whole car shudder every time they were applied. There were so many niggling faults and a seemingly endless series of recalls that sales of the car almost tanked by its third year. Still, through 1985, a few million escaped to the public, souring hundreds of thousands on GM.

Century7667
12-02-2011, 05:33 PM
10 Cars That Damaged GM's Reputation (With Video)
(http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/vintage-speed/4293188?page=2)
...
...
...
2. 1980-1985 X-Cars

The problem wasn't so much the basic engineering of the X-Body cars as it was that no one apparently spent any time doing the detailed engineering that determines a car's success. So customers complained of disintegrating transmissions, suspension systems that seemed to wobble on their own mounts, and brakes that would make the whole car shudder every time they were applied. There were so many niggling faults and a seemingly endless series of recalls that sales of the car almost tanked by its third year. Still, through 1985, a few million escaped to the public, souring hundreds of thousands on GM.

Ironically, the Aztek was listed. Nissan is selling something that looks like a Aztek rip off. Except that now, the styling of the Aztek would look fine. It was before its time.

Ken T.

Zaloryan
12-07-2011, 03:56 AM
Ironically, the Aztek was listed. Nissan is selling something that looks like a Aztek rip off. Except that now, the styling of the Aztek would look fine. It was before its time.

Ken T.

You're right, but I must say: The Aztek isn't very attractive to begin with.

white89euro
12-16-2011, 06:20 PM
The big difference is that all the A-body cars are named with a "C" or soft "C" name - Ciera, Century, Celebrity or 6000. The X cars on the other hand all start with "X"
For example the Buick Xylophone (had musical door chime), the Olds Xanax (a real sleeper but had a calm, tranquil ride), the Chevy Xenurine (owners were pissed off about that one), and the Pontiac Xerox (people said it looked too much like a copy of the Olds Xanax).

George

1980 Olds Xanax pictured below

http://www.joesherlock.com/11-08-80Omega.jpg

white89euro
12-17-2011, 08:51 PM
More about the X-body cars here:
Curbside Classic: 1980 Chevrolet Citation – GM’s Deadliest Sin Ever
By Paul Niedermeyer on December 21, 2010
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/curbside-classic-1980-chevrolet-citation-gms-deadliest-sin-ever/

It's a great write-up except that the author is not aware of the changes and improvements to the X-Cars that were mentioned above. He does mention the A-body cars having their foundation in the lowly X-body cars - but even then says too little about the PHENOMENAL success of the A-body cars.

George

Krash Kadillak
07-01-2012, 06:38 AM
Older thread, but hey, it's still on page 1...........

I've had an X-body and an A-body, both as company vehicles. Also didn't get to keep them into the higher mileage area, so I can't really speak to their long-term reliability.

I will preface all this by saying that prior to these two GM company vehicles, I was driving a '78 Buick Skylark 4-door with a 350 as a company car.

The X-car was a '80 Pontiac Phoenix hatchback. I was able to equip it with heavy duty suspension, tilt wheel and power windows, in addition to the company-specified 2.8 V6, automatic and power steering. (also ordered bucket seats, but the order got screwed up)
Initially, I loved how it drove. Much firmer than the Skylark. Excellent visability. The bench seat wasn't the most comfortable (this was not the upmarket LJ) As to reliability, hard to remember that far back, but there may have been a minor power steering issue. Only actual breakdown was maybe a flat tire. Oh - it hauled a lot, too. About as much as a small station wagon.

Got the A-body next - a '83 Pontiac 6000 4-door sedan. Also had the 2.8 and automatic. Standard trim. I added power windows, tilt, sport buckets and console. As much as I liked the Phoenix, I liked the 6000 so much more. Drove like a much more substantial vehicle. Where the Phoenix was jarring (possibly because of the heavy duty suspension I ordered), the 6000 was smooth. Much more comfortable seats as well. I liked it so much, I had every intention to purchase it for my own use when it was time for a new company vehicle, but I left the company before that came about.

I would just say the X and A were similar, but the A was about 100% more sophisticated.

Zaloryan
07-02-2012, 07:51 PM
The big difference is that all the A-body cars are named with a "C" or soft "C" name - Ciera, Century, Celebrity or 6000. The X cars on the other hand all start with "X"
For example the Buick Xylophone (had musical door chime), the Olds Xanax (a real sleeper but had a calm, tranquil ride), the Chevy Xenurine (owners were pissed off about that one), and the Pontiac Xerox (people said it looked too much like a copy of the Olds Xanax).

George

1980 Olds Xanax pictured below

http://www.joesherlock.com/11-08-80Omega.jpg

What a riot! I can't believe I haven't read that until now, are you sure you didn't work for GM marketing back in the day? :naughty:

Century7667
07-03-2012, 05:29 PM
Older thread, but hey, it's still on page 1...........

I've had an X-body and an A-body, both as company vehicles. Also didn't get to keep them into the higher mileage area, so I can't really speak to their long-term reliability.

I will preface all this by saying that prior to these two GM company vehicles, I was driving a '78 Buick Skylark 4-door with a 350 as a company car.

The X-car was a '80 Pontiac Phoenix hatchback. I was able to equip it with heavy duty suspension, tilt wheel and power windows, in addition to the company-specified 2.8 V6, automatic and power steering. (also ordered bucket seats, but the order got screwed up)
Initially, I loved how it drove. Much firmer than the Skylark. Excellent visability. The bench seat wasn't the most comfortable (this was not the upmarket LJ) As to reliability, hard to remember that far back, but there may have been a minor power steering issue. Only actual breakdown was maybe a flat tire. Oh - it hauled a lot, too. About as much as a small station wagon.

Got the A-body next - a '83 Pontiac 6000 4-door sedan. Also had the 2.8 and automatic. Standard trim. I added power windows, tilt, sport buckets and console. As much as I liked the Phoenix, I liked the 6000 so much more. Drove like a much more substantial vehicle. Where the Phoenix was jarring (possibly because of the heavy duty suspension I ordered), the 6000 was smooth. Much more comfortable seats as well. I liked it so much, I had every intention to purchase it for my own use when it was time for a new company vehicle, but I left the company before that came about.

I would just say the X and A were similar, but the A was about 100% more sophisticated.

It's good to hear from someone from back then to drove the cars new. When the a-body came out, I was using one for drivers ed. classes! 1982!

Ken T.

mechanizeddeath
07-06-2012, 08:16 AM
My driver's ed car was the 2nd gen Taurus. Most of the area schools in the mid 90s when I learned to drive were running those or the A-body, though it seemed to come down to what dealership was closest to your school, in my case the local Ford dealer. Strangely, we had a SHO for our manual transmission car, and I still wonder who thought that was a good idea.

Never drove an A-body when they were new, though I did ride around in a '85-ish 6000LE for most of my preteen years as that was "grandma's car" until she traded it in for a Plymouth Acclaim in '92. Her 6000 was bought by a local mechanic and it was still on the road at least up until '99 or so, when I last saw it. Prior to that she had an '82(?) Calais, and prior to that a '76 Cutlass Supreme. I would have loved to have owned any of those cars, except perhaps the boring Acclaim. Sadly, the only car of hers I ended up with was the craptastic '99 Toyota Camry she had for a few years after the Acclaim, which was a soulless appliance with a Corolla 4 banger and a really bad mouse infestation. The perils of living in the woods I guess, but none of my other cars ever got infested, just that one.

Century7667
07-06-2012, 05:09 PM
"Soulless Appliance." :rofl:

The SHO had an option for manual trans?

I had the pleasure of driving a new '82 Celeb, and my '96 Century. The thing that really goes away with age is the nice clean, supple interior, and.... of course new car smell. When the '96 was new, it was so awesome. Alas, Texas heat really has taken it's toll on the interior. :tear:

Ken T.

occupant
07-06-2012, 07:22 PM
"Soulless Appliance." :rofl:

The SHO had an option for manual trans?

I had the pleasure of driving a new '82 Celeb, and my '96 Century. The thing that really goes away with age is the nice clean, supple interior, and.... of course new car smell. When the '96 was new, it was so awesome. Alas, Texas heat really has taken it's toll on the interior. :tear:

Ken T.

The first gen SHO was manual ONLY. Automatic was offered I think beginning in '93 or so. The 1996 and up models with the V8 are automatic ONLY. Only a couple people have managed to put manual transmissions behind the V8 SHO engines and they do not hold up well, they either eat the trans up or they eat the clutch up or they eat the axles up. Front wheel drive just isn't meant for tire boiling performance, I guess.

Skalor can attest to the fact that front drive transmissions and axles can't put up with obscene amounts of power. I would love to build a twin turbocharged 3400/3500 hybrid A-body putting 350-400hp to the wheels but I know I wouldn't be able to USE that power without breaking something.

I would love to have a 2-door hatchback Citation to restomod. I just don't know if I'd want to make it a mileage queen or a speed demon. It could go either way, hell, build the right 3500 engine and put the 6-speed automatic behind it and it could probably get 35mpg without breaking a sweat and still pull a 12 second quarter.

mechanizeddeath
07-07-2012, 11:19 PM
"Soulless Appliance." :rofl:

The SHO had an option for manual trans?

I had the pleasure of driving a new '82 Celeb, and my '96 Century. The thing that really goes away with age is the nice clean, supple interior, and.... of course new car smell. When the '96 was new, it was so awesome. Alas, Texas heat really has taken it's toll on the interior. :tear:

Ken T.

Indeed they did. I knew little about cars at the time, but I knew what a Taurus was and it seemed odd to see a "Taurus" with ground effects and a stick shift. I knew something wasn't right about it.

Regarding the Camry, it was the most soulless thing I've ever driven. I could actually feel my enthusiasm for cars and driving draining away every moment I sat in it, kind of like the life sucking scene from The Princess Bride. These days I regret letting the car go to hell, because for as much as I hated it, it did have working AC and lower miles than anything else I've ever driven. I'll be the first to admit I was an ungrateful prick for trashing a car that was practically free to me. Thankfully, I've since learned my lesson, and I'm a better person because of it, and that's one of the big reasons I've tried to take such good care of my Ciera.

Century7667
07-15-2012, 05:23 PM
Indeed they did. I knew little about cars at the time, but I knew what a Taurus was and it seemed odd to see a "Taurus" with ground effects and a stick shift. I knew something wasn't right about it.

Regarding the Camry, it was the most soulless thing I've ever driven. I could actually feel my enthusiasm for cars and driving draining away every moment I sat in it, kind of like the life sucking scene from The Princess Bride. These days I regret letting the car go to hell, because for as much as I hated it, it did have working AC and lower miles than anything else I've ever driven. I'll be the first to admit I was an ungrateful prick for trashing a car that was practically free to me. Thankfully, I've since learned my lesson, and I'm a better person because of it, and that's one of the big reasons I've tried to take such good care of my Ciera.

ROTL! Nice imagery about about the torture device from the Princess Bride! I think though, it was Detroit that was in the sucking machine and Toyota running it. Toyota is the #1 car maker in the world now. Despite that, I will not drive any soulless appliance either. That's probably the best description I've every heard. They make cars for people who just don't care, or don't want to shop.

Ken T.

white89euro
07-24-2012, 12:02 AM
Actually the Citation group at yahoo is really popular. Worth taking a look. All the posts there on the first page are from today, and that says a lot in the age of Facebook, when message board groups are no where near as popular as they used to be.

Here's the link: the guys there are really into the X11 Citations
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/chevycitationsforever/

George

Krash Kadillak
07-24-2012, 05:54 AM
Regarding the Camry, it was the most soulless thing I've ever driven. I could actually feel my enthusiasm for cars and driving draining away every moment I sat in it, kind of like the life sucking scene from The Princess Bride. These days I regret letting the car go to hell, because for as much as I hated it, it did have working AC and lower miles than anything else I've ever driven. I'll be the first to admit I was an ungrateful prick for trashing a car that was practically free to me. Thankfully, I've since learned my lesson, and I'm a better person because of it, and that's one of the big reasons I've tried to take such good care of my Ciera.

So that's why my daughter let her Camry fall apart! Didn't have enough 'soul' for her. She likes her RX-8 now. :lol:

Century7667
07-24-2012, 05:09 PM
So that's why my daughter let her Camry fall apart! Didn't have enough 'soul' for her. She likes her RX-8 now. :lol:

Probably. Can you get more dull than a Camry?

Prospeeder
07-28-2012, 01:38 AM
Probably. Can you get more dull than a Camry?

No

RIPBARNBURNER
07-28-2012, 01:44 AM
Probably. Can you get more dull than a Camry?

It may be up for debate, but I believe you can.

Take yer pick:

http://images.pictureshunt.com/pics/s/sienna-7329.jpg
http://static.blogo.it/autoblog/honda-insight-02/honda_insight_01.jpg

Century7667
08-02-2012, 01:58 PM
It may be up for debate, but I believe you can.

Take yer pick:

http://images.pictureshunt.com/pics/s/sienna-7329.jpg
http://static.blogo.it/autoblog/honda-insight-02/honda_insight_01.jpg

Yeah...you might have a point....

Krash Kadillak
08-02-2012, 04:56 PM
Hate to say it, but the absolute dullest vehicle I ever owned was a '88 Olds Ciera sedan. This was during a bad financial period, and we needed to find a cheap car quickly. It had low miles and was inexpensive, but it didn't have much. 4-cyl, crank windows, base trim, horrible handling. But it was safe for a family with 2 small kids. (This was around 1991...). Didn't have it long........can't remember what we replaced it with.......

sky81
09-28-2012, 03:57 AM
I can respond to this because I have owned two X cars and two A cars.
The Xs were an 81 Skylark Limited with the 4 cylinder and an 85 Skylark Limited with the V6.
The As are a 90 Ciera (base model) with the same 4 cylinder as the 81, and a 94 Century (Special) with the slightly larger 60 degree V6 as the 85.

I really liked my X cars and never fully understood why these cars got such a horrible reputation.
If I compare the 81 Skylark and the 90 Ciera, which are the two I drove the most, both of which were bought brand new, and both of which have the same 2.5L 4 cyl motor, what I can say is that the 90 Ciera was a more reliable car. I mean it has been super reliable, hardly anything ever broke on the 90 Ciera. The 81 was more average in terms of its repair history.

It wasn't like the 81 Skylark was really bad, I drove it until it had 220,000 miles on it, and it was 20 years old.
But it did have more problems during its life than the Ciera.

I never had any problems with the engine in the 81.
The 81 did have a computer controlled carburetor on it, versus the 90 Ciera's TBI.
The carburetor did have problems every few years, but it was typical carbureted car stuff- like the choke going out of adjustment or the float going out of adjustment.
I can remember it flooding and being very hard to start.

It had a lot of vacuum controlled emissions equipment that the 90 Ciera never had.

I remember the top motor mount/torque strap on the 81 needing to replaced a few times.
The 90 Olds never needed that.

The power steering rack needed to be replaced in the 81 once.
The 90 Olds never needed that done.

I don't know if it was the fault of the design, but I can remember the c/v boots getting torn on the 81 and the joints needing replacement.
That never happened on the 90 Olds.

The 81 had the steering rack mounted on the firewall.
I never had a problem with that design, except I did notice if you turned the steering wheel while the car was stopped, you'd get a vibration from the firewall that you could hear inside the car. It wasn't objectionable, but it was noticeable to me.
I think moving the steering rack mounting onto the engine cradle was a better idea and it eliminated this problem.

Because the 81 Skylark was a Limited, it had a really nice interior in it.
It was quiet, smooth, pleasant to drive.

I read about problems with rear brake lockup on the X cars.
I never had anything like that happen. I think that was with the 1980 models.

The early ones had automatic transmission problems which I believe were corrected later.
I did have to have the transmission rebuilt in the 81, but at 150,000 miles, which I considered acceptable.
The 90 Olds never needed the transmission rebuilt in 260,000 miles of use.

I think the problem was that they sold so many Citations that first year, 1980.
It was like 800,000 cars or something.

They didn't have the bugs worked out with the steering racks, the transmissions, the motor mounts.
Also apparently with the rear brakes in 1980.

Also the Citation interior was much cheaper and more plasticky than that on an Oldsmobile or a Buick version.

I think too many people had problems with the 1980 models and that damaged the car's reputation.
I don't think it was really fair to blame all of the X cars throughout their production, for the faults the early ones had.
I also think the higher priced versions were better in terms of interior trim than the lower priced ones (Citation).

The 90 Olds and the 81 Skylark have the same engine, transmission, steering, suspension, brake system, etc.
I'm still driving the 90 Olds after 260,000 miles. The 81 went 220,000 miles.

The 90 Olds is still basically the original X design, just with various updates.
(e.g. the change with the 2.5L engine from carburetion to TBI and the change from distributor type ignition to distributorless igniton)

I think this shows that the basic idea behind the X cars wasn't really bad.
If you consider the X cars and A cars to be the same vehicle, which I think for all intents and purposes, they are, I'd say they just hadn't worked on the refinement of the vehicle in the early years.

They just needed to work out a couple of things to make sure they were top notch, and they didn't do it until after they were already in production.

I could compare the 85 Skylark (V6) and 94 Century (V6) also, but those were bought used, so I don't know the entire history of those cars.
But I can say that I think with the V6 both cars had much more power than with a 4 cylinder.

The X cars usually had carburetors (the V6 did for the entire run) and therefore had so much emissions related equipment to deal with unburned hydrocarbons, etc.
The A body cars only had carburetors up until 1986 or so, so they had 10 more years of production with fuel injection, and with all of that extra emissions equipment eliminated. Less junk like air injection pumps under the hood = less to break.

I'd buy an X car again, I wasn't unhappy with the ones I had.

sky81
09-28-2012, 04:04 AM
I should also say that the 90 Ciera gets slightly better gas mileage (around town and highway) than the 81 Skylark did.
I attibute that to the change from a carburetor to TBI, the change from 13 inch wheels to 14 inch wheels, and the introduction of the torque converter clutch in the transmission.
Maybe about 2 mpg better.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
09-28-2012, 12:13 PM
90 Ciera gets slightly better gas mileage...than the 81 Skylark did. I attribute that to...the introduction of the torque converter clutch in the transmission.


There you go, perfect. Lockup torque converter does make a difference in mpg...just like a manual vs automatic does back then. Now with six speed automatics, not much difference between autos and stick shifts.

With the transition to no-lead fuel, around 1975, OEMs had to back down compression ratio; it wasn't until "electronic" engines with knock sensors that they increased compression, which makes engine more fuel efficient, for a given cubic inch.

a1veedubber
09-29-2012, 05:18 PM
I think a lot of the better reliability of the later cars can be attributed to the change to fuel injection (and its vastly simplified emmissions controls) and the fact that GM just got better at building them as the years wore on. I've not ever really differentiated much between the FWD X and A bodies.....they really are the same cars!

86euro
09-29-2012, 07:30 PM
There you go, perfect. Lockup torque converter does make a difference in mpg...just like a manual vs automatic does back then. Now with six speed automatics, not much difference between autos and stick shifts.

With the transition to no-lead fuel, around 1975, OEMs had to back down compression ratio; it wasn't until "electronic" engines with knock sensors that they increased compression, which makes engine more fuel efficient, for a given cubic inch.

You can't just completely overlook the fact that fuel injection often offers better mileage too, and it was likely responsible 60% of that mileage improvement.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
09-30-2012, 01:30 AM
overlook the fact that fuel injection often offers better mileage too

Rambler American (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambler_American) was a yearly winner of the best fuel economy in the Mobil Economy Run and the Pure Oil Company Economy Trials

Five-day event in 1959, that covered 1,898 miles (3,055 km), a Rambler American Deluxe topped the 47-car Mobilgas Economy Run field with an average 25.2878 miles per US gallon (9.30150 L/100 km; 30.3694 mpg-imp)

...
...
In the 1960 Mobilgas Economy Run, a Custom two-door sedan returned 28.35 miles per US gallon (8.297 L/100 km; 34.05 mpg-imp) over a route of more than 2,000 miles (3,200 km), finishing first in the compact class. Further proof of the American's exceptional fuel economy came when an overdrive-equipped car driven coast to coast under NASCAR's watchful eyes averaged 38.9 miles per US gallon (6.05 L/100 km; 46.7 mpg-imp). However, the most astounding demonstration was the record set in the Pure Oil Economy Trials, another NASCAR-supervised event: 51.281 miles per US gallon (4.5868 L/100 km; 61.586 mpg-imp), which AMC sagely noted, "No car owner should expect to approach in everyday driving."[17]


PS: This was before radial tires.

Mike
10-02-2012, 06:01 PM
I think it simply comes down to the fact that the A bodies are what the X bodies Should have been all along, and when they went on sale they stole x body sales. once they got the x body right it as a good car but with 800k first year citations not to mention the other brands, hitting used car lots, handed down throughbout the 80's they soured many on GM for life

85_Ciera_Rebuild
10-02-2012, 07:07 PM
You can't just completely overlook the fact that fuel injection often offers better mileage too....

In terms of absolute fuel efficiency:

1. Direct Injection to each cylinder

2. Throttle Body & Carb with electronic metering needles (O2 feedback loop)

3. Carburetor

That said, older vehicles with manual overdrive (with Georgia Overdrive; free wheeling), might beat the pants off of similar sized engines today:-)

sky81
10-03-2012, 04:32 PM
I'd have to agree.
When you think about it, sales of the J cars and of the A cars had to have reduced X car sales also.
1982 was when X car sales really dropped sharply, the same year the other two car lines were introduced.
The J cars were the new economy cars, for buyers looking for fuel efficiency. The X car was less efficient on gas than a J car.
Then the A cars had a little more room and were a bit more modern looking than the X cars, so for buyers who wanted that, those were available.

In 1982 a buyer looking at an X car now had 3 choices at a single dealership, depending on exactly what it was that they wanted in their new car.
So you could say that the drop in sales was due to poor quality or reputation, which I'm sure had a lot to do with it, but having other options from within GM, let alone other manufacturers, was part of it, too.

In 81 Chrysler came out with the K cars, so there was competition there, and in 82 or 83 Chrysler started offering K car variations that were more upscale (e.g. Dodge 600, Chrysler LeBaron). So that had to take away from X car sales, too.

Sales of the X cars probably would have dropped off even if they hadn't developed a poor reputation, but the poor reputation obviously didn't help.
By 1985 there was really no need to have the oldest of the 3 car lines (X, A, and J) around.
Plus in 82-85 the Xs and As had the same engines available, same transmissions, pretty much the same everything, what was really different?

Though what GM could have done would have been to not offer all of those choices to each brand.
i.e. Say they gave Buick and Pontiac an X car model, Oldsmobile and Chevrolet got an A car model, or something like that.

Well, GM did what they did.

Century7667
10-03-2012, 05:59 PM
I think it simply comes down to the fact that the A bodies are what the X bodies Should have been all along, and when they went on sale they stole x body sales. once they got the x body right it as a good car but with 800k first year citations not to mention the other brands, hitting used car lots, handed down throughbout the 80's they soured many on GM for life

I completely agree with this. The "A" was nearly a "X" 2.0 or 1.1 or 1.0 SP1 except larger. It took them 3 years to get it right too; a lot of X-bodies hit the road (and the scrapyards) in that time.

Ken T.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
10-09-2012, 02:10 AM
I think a lot of the better reliability of the later cars can be attributed to the change!

Did you miss this 1962 commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=audiepFUsFI)?

Century7667
10-09-2012, 04:37 PM
Yeah... 3 years before my time. ;-)

a1veedubber
10-12-2012, 10:08 PM
12 before mine. I love those old Amazons though. It may be sacrilege, but I'd trade my Celebrity for a well sorted one any day! Preferably a wagon.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
10-12-2012, 11:03 PM
I love those old Amazons..Preferably a wagon.

1966 in Helena, MT (http://helena.craigslist.org/cto/3328108490.html), but for that price range, I'd get this 1973 P 1800 ES. (http://boulder.craigslist.org/cto/3310341140.html)

Volvo are uni-body construction...any potential buyer needs to examine underside for any signs of rust.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
10-12-2012, 11:08 PM
Yeah... 3 years before my time. ;-)

25 mpg, back in 1962...and with non-radial tires, which did not come out until late sixties.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
10-14-2012, 06:25 PM
...It may be sacrilege

When getting a vehicle, I consider reliability, and cost of repairs. GM has made some good motors and transmissions, just as other OEMs. A-boides with good engine/transmission have been good vehicles, and parts wise, one does not spend an arm/leg for most all parts bought via auto supplies and salvage yards.

Volvo redblock series engines are quite reliable, if previous owner(s) changed oil/filter, but unless one is resourceful, one can pay too much for some parts.

For me, a vehicle is just a means of transportation, so, I want a vehicle to run, run, and run, without costing an arm/leg. RWD vehicles tend to be lower cost, and FWD tend to be a bigger pill to work on.