CUTLASS More Oldsmobile G47 Crap You Thought You Knew And Then Found You Were Wrong


Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
From a post I made in a thread last year on April 13, 2021....I bolded my screw-up below.

Note in the picture above, it's sort of a mish-mash of drawings that the illustrator people must've got the "intern" to fix real quick before going to press and it just became a fugging mess.

Check it- the header panel is for the "new Euro nose for 1986" that actually got pushed back to 1987. Thus, they had to do a lot of fixing on parts in the front end. They decided to continue the current grille set up from 1985 into the 86 model year. Then, since they didn't have a different grille for the 86 (as they tended to change the design every year), they went back and recycled the 1981 grille. The 86 Salons got a new treatment of BLACK grille centers that 81 never got, which, IMO, was one of the best looking grille sets in the 80s.

So what you see in the picture above, they forgot to change the header back to the OG 81 style, and the nose emblem shouldn't have been there either. And look at the screw for part #19. Someone forgot to tell that intern that it shouldn't be there. Again, another mishap from the Euro nose. Euro grille pieces have screws that come in from the front since they were stationary. But the 81-86 spring hinge grilles have the screws in the back.

Another trivia note about the 86 Cutlass line was that at least the G47 models were supposed to get Monte SS style wedge side mirrors. Didn't happen either, but the 86 brochure still shows them on the cars as they forgot to air brush that out like they did the front ends. The parts book even shows the side mirror glass on the driver side, IIRC, as a Monte SS mirror glass. "The object called the mirror is different than it appears."

The thread itself

Another self-learned lesson in the nuances of the differences between Oldsmobile G-body G47 model years. Why I remembered that thread, I don't know. But yesterday I was piddling around out in the shop and ran across some NOS 86 Salon grilles I had on a shelf. As I started gandering at them trying to decide whether to keep or sell, I noticed the tab with a hole in it for the J-nut then it hit me.

It appears that while 81-86 spring hinge grilles actually DO have at least 2 screws coming in from the back, the majority of my dealings were with 84 and 85, and 87 grilles. I swapped a couple of 83 grilles for someone one time, but I just took the hinges off with the grilles attached not paying attention to how they were screwed onto the hinge.

The difference is that from 81-83, they had only 2 screws that held the spring hinge on that go in from the back side, and the outer screw is indeed sent through the front of the grille, and is a captured washer M4.2x 1.41 x 20 hex head SEMS screw, and landing on a corresponding J-nut. I mis-remembered the older grilles having this nuance, and although I did realize the 86 grilles were recycled 81 grilles, I totally brain-farted the fastening situation on the outboard side of the grilles would have been the same as the older 81 grilles.

That said, the 84 and 85 grilles ONLY have all 3 screws (M4.1 x 1.41 x 16) going through the back of the spring hinge and mounting on their respective mounting bosses.

Corrected for the record, and for anyone needing this info going forward.

81-83 and 86 setup below-

81-83 G47 Grilles Mounting.jpg

84 and 85 setup below- note the extra screw hole more inboard on the lowest boss. Spring on above early version has one hole, the later versions have 2 holes from 84-86. Apparently, you can use a later "2-hole" spring on earlier models but to use the one hole spring, you would likely need to make an extra hole for the low boss, and make a slot on the inboard mounting hole of the spring. Otherwise the spring wouldn't line up on the 84/85 outer boss correctly. I've never attempted it, but it MIGHT work if you're changing to 84/85 grilles and using early spring hinges.

84-85 G47 Grilles Mounting.jpg
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