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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/11/23 8:40 a.m.

We lived through the ’80s and ’90s and spent a lot of time with the era’s greatest hits–drove them, raced them, even knew them when they still had that new car smell. We fondly remember shopping for Kamei air dams, Hella lamps and 14-inch tires.

But were the cars of those times really that rad? 

We wondered that ourselves, so …

Read the rest of the story

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/11/23 8:43 a.m.

I have such a soft spot for the SCX. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/11/23 8:55 a.m.

This story is actually the first time I had ever heard of the SCX, so color me interested.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/11/23 9:45 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

190HP 7800rpm 2.3 in 1991. GM was making high hp high revving chain driven DOHC engines better than honda.... fight me. 

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
4/11/23 9:49 a.m.
bobzilla said:

GM was making high hp high revving chain driven DOHC engines better than honda.... fight me. 

I won't. I don't think GM really got credit for what a good motor it was at the time.

Love me some Quad4, I still have a set of each, H.O. and W41 cams in my shop just in case.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/11/23 10:39 a.m.
bobzilla said:

In reply to Colin Wood :

190HP 7800rpm 2.3 in 1991. GM was making high hp high revving chain driven DOHC engines better than honda.... fight me. 

Seeing as Honda wasn't making chain driven engines...

I do love me some quad4.

iansane
iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/11/23 10:47 a.m.

My mother had a base achieva as a G car for a few weeks and holy hell was that a disappointing turd. I was just about to start driving so I rolled it around the neighborhood a few times. Yikes. It wasn't until years later and understanding transmissions more that I realized that thing was very berkeleyed up.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/11/23 10:48 a.m.

The Quad 4 was a great engine.  The cars that it came in were significantly less so.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/11/23 10:51 a.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:
bobzilla said:

In reply to Colin Wood :

190HP 7800rpm 2.3 in 1991. GM was making high hp high revving chain driven DOHC engines better than honda.... fight me. 

Seeing as Honda wasn't making chain driven engines...

I do love me some quad4.

Nor many dohc engines at all. 

EDIT: in 1991 Honda was struggling to make 150hp from their 2.0L DOHC B20. It wouldn't be until the mid 90's that honda was making the same power but less torque with the B18C5

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/11/23 10:57 a.m.

JG was driving this car when we met. :) 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
4/11/23 11:08 a.m.

I really liked these; a co-worker had one with some level of goodies on it (couldn't tell you what model / trim level).

I remember a racer named Lou Ryba who ran one of these in a pro series.

As for the quad 4; the yellow sports racer in this picture is powered by a quad 4.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/11/23 11:18 a.m.
APEowner said:

The Quad 4 was a great engine.

Although not a particularly smooth one, IIRC?  2.3L 4-banger without balance shafts.

 

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro SuperDork
4/11/23 12:19 p.m.

I had a 1992 Achieva SCX W41, it was a fun car. Rev limiter was factory set to 7200, which I found a few times as it was still pulling hard at that point. Surprised quite a few people with that car, as only the SCX on the side gave any hint to what it was.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UltraDork
4/11/23 12:47 p.m.

GTZ Beretta rocks my socks.  A kid in high school had one, it was awesome looking and real fast for the time.

GM definitely doesn't get enough credit for their late 80s early 90s stuff.

Just off the top of my head...

  • Turbo Trans Am
  • Syclone
  • Typhoon
  • 454SS
  • Impala SS
  • Northstar
  • Quad 4 HO
  • GTZ and GTU Beretta
  • Lumina Z34 and "Euro 3.4" 4 doors
  • Turbo Grand Prix
  • 3.4 Quad Cam Grand Prix
  • Fiero GT

And most of the above could be had with a manual transmission too!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/11/23 1:31 p.m.
Peabody said:
bobzilla said:

GM was making high hp high revving chain driven DOHC engines better than honda.... fight me. 

I won't. I don't think GM really got credit for what a good motor it was at the time.

Love me some Quad4, I still have a set of each, H.O. and W41 cams in my shop just in case.

I would not call it a good motor unless you were a fan of NVH and head gasket issues.  Powerful, yes.  When the HO was introduced, it made the same power as a BMW M3, from the same displacement.

GM fixed the head gasket issues with the 2.4 and its roughly twice as long head bolts, and they fixed the NVH with the Ecotec (which IMO is a third generation Quad 4) with its much better engine mounting and an aluminum timing case instead of what was effectively a sheetmetal speaker on the Q4.

So, where is that Achieva now?  Or, when is the last time anyone saw one?  

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/11/23 1:50 p.m.

In reply to Danny Shields (Forum Supporter) :

I actually saw one on the road last fall. I don't remember where though. It was like a time capsule

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/11/23 3:58 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
Peabody said:
bobzilla said:

GM was making high hp high revving chain driven DOHC engines better than honda.... fight me. 

I won't. I don't think GM really got credit for what a good motor it was at the time.

Love me some Quad4, I still have a set of each, H.O. and W41 cams in my shop just in case.

I would not call it a good motor unless you were a fan of NVH and head gasket issues.  Powerful, yes.  When the HO was introduced, it made the same power as a BMW M3, from the same displacement.

GM fixed the head gasket issues with the 2.4 and its roughly twice as long head bolts, and they fixed the NVH with the Ecotec (which IMO is a third generation Quad 4) with its much better engine mounting and an aluminum timing case instead of what was effectively a sheetmetal speaker on the Q4.

It's all relative.  By today's standards the Quad 4 wasn't all the great.  However, it was pretty impressive compared to the other offerings of the time.  Particularly GM's other offerings.  I never found the NVH objectionable, at least when compared to all the other things I hated about the cars the engine came in and while there was clearly enough of an issue with the head gaskets for GM to have a recall I only changed a handful of them and I was doing engine and transmission repair at a Buick, Olds and Pontiac dealership when they came out.  They generally lasted 90k miles and by that time the rest of the car was scrap and it was probably on its third or fouth steering rack and its second transmission.

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
4/11/23 4:21 p.m.

Nor did I find the NVH objectionable and never blew a single head gasket.

I didn't find them particularly harsh, or vibratory, but that noise...  especially in a higher performance application, it definitely sounded the part. I still think for the time, and if you were into performance, it was a good engine.

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/11/23 4:57 p.m.
Danny Shields (Forum Supporter) said:

So, where is that Achieva now?  Or, when is the last time anyone saw one?  

I see one most mornings.  No idea what time warp it fell from, it looks really clean.

obsolete
obsolete GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/11/23 6:11 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

GM fixed the head gasket issues with the 2.4 and its roughly twice as long head bolts...

Well, that begs the question, how hard is it to put the early HO head on the late block? Sounds like a combo that might not suck.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb UltraDork
4/11/23 9:16 p.m.

My friend had a base model in college. We called it the "Under-achieva".

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/12/23 11:04 a.m.
Danny Shields (Forum Supporter) said:

So, where is that Achieva now?  Or, when is the last time anyone saw one?  

Last we heard of it when we sent it back to Olds was it was heading to a team in South America running the Brazilian equivalent of the Firehawk series. So it's probably been destroyed several times over at this point.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/12/23 11:58 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

JG was driving this car when we met. :) 

Tell us more about your first date, we want to hear about it!

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/23 1:38 p.m.

Regardless of what think about the car, it is cool that GM was offering factory upgrades designed for grassroots motorsports. When is the last time you heard of a so-called trunk kit? The Neon ACR? If I worked at Honda or VW or Hyundai, I'd be slipping crash bolts and bigger sway bars and suff out the back door on an RPO or COPO or whatever. 

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