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Old 07-18-2023, 07:28 AM
 
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https://jalopnik.com/heres-why-the-q...ngi-1829719965

Interesting article on an important engine for GM. At the time, the only overhead cam engine offered by GM in USA was the GM Brazil built 1.8L single overhead cam available in certain J-Body cars like the Pontiac Sunbird and Buick Skyhawk in either naturally aspirated or turbo charged. By the time the Quad 4 was put into production, other makers had already had heir twin cam 16 valve engines fully developed and smoothly running. The engine developed to become the Twin Cam which was replaced by the Ecotec series engines. These Quad 4 engines could have made a difference in vehicles like the Fiero and J-body sport versions, even if slightly detuned.

Why did American car makers take so long to develop any 4 cylinder overhead cam engine for the USA market?
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Old 07-18-2023, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
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Well, both the linked article and the above post ignore a considerable amount of history. I believe the Quad 4 is probably the first North American 4-valve DOHC engine developed by GM. But it's far from the first anywhere - see Adam Opel - nor is it the first OHC engine - there were at least the Vega engine (yeah, I know, I know, but it WAS a SOHC engine) and the Pontiac Firebird SOHC engine that only a few old farts like me even know existed.
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Old 07-18-2023, 08:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
Well, both the linked article and the above post ignore a considerable amount of history. I believe the Quad 4 is probably the first North American 4-valve DOHC engine developed by GM. But it's far from the first anywhere - see Adam Opel - nor is it the first OHC engine - there were at least the Vega engine (yeah, I know, I know, but it WAS a SOHC engine) and the Pontiac Firebird SOHC engine that only a few old farts like me even know existed.
The Vega engine was built by Cosworth, not GM. As I said in the first post, at the time of development of the Quad 4 the only GM produced overhead cam engine offered in USA was the 1.8L engine built by GM Brazil. Believe it was a GM Family II engine developed by GM division Opel in Germany. They offered this engine in other sizes and could have been a good fit for the Chevette. I didn’t say the Quad 4 was GM’s first overhead cam engine. It was their first DOHC engine fully developed by GM and offered in GM vehicles for sale in the USA.
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Old 07-18-2023, 08:24 AM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
68,329 posts, read 54,373,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
Well, both the linked article and the above post ignore a considerable amount of history. I believe the Quad 4 is probably the first North American 4-valve DOHC engine developed by GM. But it's far from the first anywhere - see Adam Opel - nor is it the first OHC engine - there were at least the Vega engine (yeah, I know, I know, but it WAS a SOHC engine) and the Pontiac Firebird SOHC engine that only a few old farts like me even know existed.


Or Peugeot's DOHC race engines in 1912.
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Old 07-18-2023, 08:30 AM
 
5,813 posts, read 2,940,694 times
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Mustang still had live axle out back till about 2014.
Banking on old investments till wheels fall off is what’s it’s all about it appears.
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Old 07-18-2023, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
4,534 posts, read 2,669,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
The Vega engine was built by Cosworth, not GM.
.
The Cosworth 4 valve engine was built by Cosworth. The standard Vega engine was an overhead-cam engine built in the GM plant. Your initial post said:

"Why did American car makers take so long to develop any 4 cylinder overhead cam engine for the USA market?" Well, the Vega engine was a 4 cylinder OHC engine developed 25 or so years before the Quad 4.

The Pontiac Firebird OHC engine I referenced was an inline 6, so not strictly in accordance with the question, but it was developed even before the Vega engine.

But individual examples that disprove categorical statements aside, the real question is "Why did GM North American consistently screw the pooch on small cars, from the late 50s on, to the point where now their small car business is basically defunct?" and I think the underlying answer all along has been "the executives didn't like that kind of car."

GM more than almost any other company has been subject to the "charismatic CEO/exec" syndrome. When it works, it works (Harley Earl's styling in the 40s) and when it doesn't work it really doesn't (Roger Smith - how can I count the ways) and it also leads to each new CEO or major exec having to be a new broom that sweeps clean and eviscerates every program beloved of his predecessor. Thus the starving of Saturn, as well as many other instances. So when, occasionally, a top exec got interested in small cars (Ed Cole), first of all there wasn't a deep bench in the design departements that understood them and knew how to execute them, and secondly the other execs would do everything they could to torpedo his pet small car project; by making his project fail you can make yourself succeed, and damn the company, the customers, the stockholders, and everyone else.
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Old 07-18-2023, 07:34 PM
 
17,619 posts, read 17,656,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
The Cosworth 4 valve engine was built by Cosworth. The standard Vega engine was an overhead-cam engine built in the GM plant. Your initial post said:

"Why did American car makers take so long to develop any 4 cylinder overhead cam engine for the USA market?" Well, the Vega engine was a 4 cylinder OHC engine developed 25 or so years before the Quad 4.

The Pontiac Firebird OHC engine I referenced was an inline 6, so not strictly in accordance with the question, but it was developed even before the Vega engine.

But individual examples that disprove categorical statements aside, the real question is "Why did GM North American consistently screw the pooch on small cars, from the late 50s on, to the point where now their small car business is basically defunct?" and I think the underlying answer all along has been "the executives didn't like that kind of car."

GM more than almost any other company has been subject to the "charismatic CEO/exec" syndrome. When it works, it works (Harley Earl's styling in the 40s) and when it doesn't work it really doesn't (Roger Smith - how can I count the ways) and it also leads to each new CEO or major exec having to be a new broom that sweeps clean and eviscerates every program beloved of his predecessor. Thus the starving of Saturn, as well as many other instances. So when, occasionally, a top exec got interested in small cars (Ed Cole), first of all there wasn't a deep bench in the design departements that understood them and knew how to execute them, and secondly the other execs would do everything they could to torpedo his pet small car project; by making his project fail you can make yourself succeed, and damn the company, the customers, the stockholders, and everyone else.
Didn’t know about the Vega and Firebird engines. It’s sad that they didn’t really bother much on small cars. I found it sad that they would occasionally sell an Opel at a Buick dealership (at higher prices than Japanese and German competition and then point to a lack of sales as “Americans don’t want small cars”. Ford did something similar with the Ford Capri being sold at Mercury. If the cost of production and import makes it expensive then build it in North America. Opel Manta would have been a better vehicle than the Vega/Monza and the 70s Ford Capri would have been better as the Mustang II than the vehicle Ford gave us.
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Old 07-19-2023, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Floribama
18,949 posts, read 43,596,850 times
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I had an '89 Sunbird that had the 2.0L OHC. That was a rough and noisy little engine.

My sister had a '95 Grand Am, and that was the first year they used balance shafts in the Quad 4. I don't remember it being all that bad.

GM also had a SOHC version of that same engine that they used in the base model Grand Am from '92-'94. I think they called it Quad OHC.
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Old 07-19-2023, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Wooster, Ohio
4,141 posts, read 3,050,632 times
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I had a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am with the quad 4 and automatic transmission. I only kept it a couple of years, because the sedan body style severely limited what cargo I could carry. This was the last sedan I owned, and the 1988 Mercury Tracer wagon that I had previously was the last vehicle I owned with manual transmission.


The quad 4 was a nice engine. While it only got 24 mpg on 91 octane (The Tracer got 30+ mpg on 89 octane), the extra power was much appreciated. I could enter freeways with a part-throttle downshift, instead of full-throttle shifts near the redline. The balance shafts were nice, too. Inline 4s need balance shafts. My 2019 Buick Encore 1.4L direct injection engine does not have balance shafts, and I can feel the vibrations. The Buick gets 26.5 mpg on 93 octane, and is about as quick as the Pontiac was. However, there is a lag at full-throttle starts until the turbo has time to spool up.
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Old 07-19-2023, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Western PA
10,846 posts, read 4,525,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
Well, both the linked article and the above post ignore a considerable amount of history. I believe the Quad 4 is probably the first North American 4-valve DOHC engine developed by GM. But it's far from the first anywhere - see Adam Opel - nor is it the first OHC engine - there were at least the Vega engine (yeah, I know, I know, but it WAS a SOHC engine) and the Pontiac Firebird SOHC engine that only a few old farts like me even know existed.

u guys need more jeeps of olde.....the tornado anyone?
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