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Old 03-17-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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In the August 1973 Consumer Reports issue a Dodge Dart 318 V8 and an Olds Omega 350V8 4 bbl carb were tested along with an Audi and a Saab

As can be expected the gas mileage of the domestic compacts was about 9 mpg less than the imports

The Dart managed a respectable 15 mpg on a 300 mile trip but the Omega had a paltry 11 mpg on that same trip

To me something was really wrong, because the Omega weighed in at only about 3500 lbs. Even the Century with the same engine managed 13 mpg, a Fury wagon 360 V8 and New Yorker 440 V8 both managed 13 mpg, Caprice and LTD managed 13 mpg. A Monte Carlo managed 15, a Grand Prix managed 16

This put the compact sized Omega on a par with the Impala wagon with a 400 V8 which also managed only 11 mpg

Can anyone explain why a compact sized car with a 350 V8 can rank with the thirstiest? To me it indicates some kind of mechanical problem. this always interested me
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Probably because the ignition timing was so retarded it wasn't burning all of it's fuel? Or the car wasn't tuned right? Of course that's probably an Olds 350, I think they might have been bigger pigs on fuel than a Chevy 350.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Oswego, IL
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What were the rear end gears. There may be a big difference. I'm guessing the Omega was built to accelerate and was geared as such.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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Default It was tested by Consumer Reports which meant that the car was optimally tuned

before they even tested the mileage. Could you imagine what the mileage would be if the car wasn't tuned?

the car had a 4 bbl carb with the 350, maybe that did it? i recall the testers said the powertrain even felt sluggish at full throttle

I also recall a publication that had auto owner's satisfaction reports entitled the 73 Olds Omega report with " "Olds Omega: An Alpha for size but economy rates a Delta!". Thw worst complaint owners had about the Omega was the gas mileage, owners were saying they bought the Omega because it was a small car but actually got better mileage from their old Delta 88's than with their Omegas
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:51 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
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actually, these cars were carburetor equipped not fuel injected. This was the beginning of the emissions era too. All the emissions devices on a carbed engine does not equal a smooth, gas sipping engine like today.. These were the absolute worst times for automotive history. Don't go by anything from this era.. Nothing made sense.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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Default you're right,

however, the unpredictable nature of these things is what made the 70's era so exciting, like why on earth the big Mopars for 1969 had the ignition key hole on the left side of the steering column instead of the right and why Valiants and Darts kept the pull hand brake until the cars were extinct
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Earth
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If the Omega was geared low, yes that would cause excess fuel consumption, but then again a 1973 Omega was a basic family car, and would really have no need for a low geared rear end. I don't think the Olds 350's were even high revving engines. So again no need for a low rear gear.

I still think the car was not tuned right. Perhaps the carb was even flooding the engine a little and making it run rich? That would cause excess fuel consumption.

Never heard of a Delta 88 getting better MPG than an Omega. I have heard in 1977 the full size Delta 88 was lighter and more fuel efficient than the mid size Cutlass.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:52 AM
 
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Default remember

the Buick Appollo? Didn't that get introduced in mid 73 instead of early in the model year like the Omega? At some point it became the Skylark around 76?
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Apollo was introduced around the same times as Omega. Yes it was later renamed the Skylark. Knew a guy that had a 77 Skylark, was just like a Nova.
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:18 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
actually, these cars were carburetor equipped not fuel injected. This was the beginning of the emissions era too. All the emissions devices on a carbed engine does not equal a smooth, gas sipping engine like today.. These were the absolute worst times for automotive history. Don't go by anything from this era.. Nothing made sense.
You're absolutely right about the emissions garbage. That was a HUGE factor in the early-mid 70s.

My parents had a 1972 Oldsmobile Delta 88. It had the moster 455 engine, with a 4-barrel carb. Un-freaking-believable power!

Even so, it regularly got 18+ mpg on the highway. So really, it makes no sense to me why a car that is much bigger and much heavier than and Olds Omega (Chevy Nova) get so much better mileage than the Omega.
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