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Pontiac Grand Am



  • Does anyone know if the 95 ga gts have disc brakes all the way around? My husband is not sure he likes that.
  • gzagza Posts: 1
    so erm i heard that there is a governer at 95 mph on the grand am, is this true?
  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    The more I drive my 94 Mazda 626 LX/V6 with over 100K miles, the more I realize just how much I DON'T miss my 00 GA/V6 coupe that only had about 5K miles. My seven year old Mazda rides so much more tighter and handles so much smoother than my previously owned brand new GA. It's so true that Japanese cars are built to last. BTW my 94 has the Japanese engine and not the Ford version (before they took a big piece of Mazda's pie), in which the quality of Mazda has declined since then.
  • schaffs3schaffs3 Posts: 4
    I'm new to the board, and I'm wondering if there's anything that can be done to enhance the performance of a 199 Grand AM GT Sedan. The car has all the performance options that were available from the factory. Alas, I have a friend who believes that her baby Grand Am needs more power. Anything that can be done for 500 or 1000 dollars to give her the extra oomf she wants? The car has the HO 3400 V6 and the auto tranny. Ideas would be appreciated.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    are available on-line:

    Personally, I would switch to synthetic oil at 10k miles, to synthetic transmission fluid at 30-40k miles, and to good performance tires at about the same mileage. Firehawk SH-30, or Michelin Pilot, or something of comparable quality:

    it does not cost much, and will only improve the reliability / safety.

    By the way, the stock GA is rather fast car with V-6. Roughly comparable to base Camaro / Firebird / Mustang. Substantially faster are only cars with inline 6 (BMW), supercharger (GP GTP / Regal GS), and/or with 8 cylinder engines. Or motorcycles.

  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    Here is another Grand AM URL link:
  • tsribeyetsribeye Posts: 7
    I have a 2000 GA SE1 V6.
    Has anyone installed the rear sway bar or the front/rear strut tower brace from

    Has it changed the car's handling? I'm looking at getting the rear sway bar and was curious if anyone had any experience with it.

  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    > Has anyone installed the rear sway bar or the front/rear strut tower brace from

    Good question! I'm curious about that myself. I'd like to know if the ride is made more harsh.
  • spin360spin360 Posts: 8
    I dont know about '99 or newer but I've personally had a '97 Grand AM GT up to around 108 MPH before the fuel cutoff/speed limiter started "lurching" the car. It definitely felt like it could go faster... I dont recall the RPMs exactly but it seemed like it had a ways to go before redline.
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    If the ramairtech unit is stiffer than the factory bar, it will make the car's rear take more of the cornering load and the car should be more neutral (as in the front of the car not pushing towards the outside of the turns as much). The stiffer rear sway bar increases the slip angle of the rear tires making the back end more responsive. However, if its a little too stiff the back end of the car will tend to come around and spin the car. Definitely unsafe. (I added a bar to a car that did this).

    Does ramairtech describe in detail the effect the particular sway bar has on the GA? If not beware.

    I'd start with the front tower brace first. It will sharpen the cars reflexes. I thought the GA handling was pretty good already and would play with the rear tire pressures before changing the sway bar. You can increase the slip angle of the rear tires by increasing the pressure modestly (2 or 3 psi). This will have a similar effect as a stiffer bar.

    Try the rear tire pressure route before deciding on the bar.
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    The '99 and up GrandAm SE are rated at 105 MPH fuel cut off, the GT is rated at 125, I believe.

    Regarding third party sway bars..., I appreciate heng's comments. Actually, I would love to just have the GT's sway bar. I don't want a "rally" or road competition type bar. Just didn't want to put on a sway bar that goofed up the ride for normal riding. My problem with suspension is my obvious ignorance on how the components function. Heng's explanation helped a lot. Interesting about the rear tire inflation pressure. RamAirTech claims their bar is a one inch bar. That doesn't tell me much although I have noticed that the bar for the stock SE and the one for the stock GT is certainly different.

    One problem I have discovered with "enthusiasts" buying third market items is that their enthusiasm for products tend to blind their objectivity in this stuff. So, I tend to try to find reviews and opinions from others who are more in the know. I tend to shy from messing around with suspension components, but would like to tighten up my SE's handling.
  • I just recently purchased the Next Level front strut tower brace bar from

    I had heard from many people the advantages of adding a front strut tower brace, and how much better their car handled afterwards. I decided to go with the Next Level bar because it was a little cheaper than the one from Ram Air Etch. Both front strut tower braces are 1" bars by the way, the key difference is that the Ram Air bar is a one piece unit while the Next Level bar is a three piece set (two mounting brackets and the bar itself).

    I just installed the bar this weekend and I immediately noticed a difference in handling. The car is definitely more solid while turning, most of the front end flex is taken away. The car really feels like it is hugging the road and doesn't mind taking sharp turns.

    It is a good investment, I would recommend installing a front strut tower brace. It takes all of about 3 minutes to install, so you don't have to worry about being a mechanic. All you have to do is attach the brackets to the bar, bolt the one side to the drivers side strut, bolt the other side to the passengers side strut and then twist the bar to tighten everything.

  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Great info, thanks! This is one of the things I was thinking about doing to my GA.

    What about ride comfort? Afterall, the comfort is nothing to write home about to begin with, did it get "harsher"?

    Thanks again.
  • nerssnerss Posts: 43
    I just brought our Grand Am into the dealership and they told me that I need a new drivers side front strut,tower and some bushing or something to resolve this flunking noise that I have heard when cornering and taking bumps. The service peps are going to bill Pontiac since it is obviously a defective part, which translates into something like $50 in labor for me ONLY :) The interesting part is that I learned of a new TB that they have out for this problem, but it is not available to the public. They now qualify them as Is and only dealers can get this info. They call a 1-800 number and enter their dealer code to get the necessary info. This way a truck load of people don't bring their cars in under warranty and get free parts for noises and other problems. Apparently this is caused by people having more access to the Tabs on the Interned. I personally find this rather shad. If they make the parts wrong they should be responsible to provide the information to us, not try to hide it.

    I have been experiencing a rumble when I park nose first on steep hills. The whole car shakes:(
    I was told that this was caused by a small problem in the transmission, but GM has no fix for it... so of course this TB is only found on that PI line. There is no danger of having any problem...just a pain in the butt. Other than that this is the first mechanical problems that we have had with the car. Happy Motoring To All
  • schaffs2schaffs2 Posts: 12
    It's Schaffs3 in a slightly different form. In anycase, thanks, yurakm for the leads. We found a Borla Cat-Back exhaust and a set of racing brakes that we think we're going start with and go from there. I have a slightly strange question though- has anyone heard of swapping the 3400 V-6 for the supercharged 3800 V-6 from the Regal/GTP or even putting in the new V-8 from the Aroura? I thought that since there's still a few inches and the 3800SC is really ONLY .4 liters bigger that it just might work. Our goal: 300 horsepower or bust. Any input would be appriciated!
  • jdexter23jdexter23 Posts: 94
    Not that I am implying that the brace doesn't do a good job, but if such a cheap, simple part can make so much difference, why doesn't GM put them on to begin with. There must be some down side...
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    > Not that I am implying that the brace doesn't do a good job, but if such a cheap,
    > simple part can make so much difference,why doesn't GM put them on to begin with.
    > There must be some down side...

    That's a good point and I'm curious about that myself. However, recently I had to rent a couple of cars and was given a Buick Regal which had the braces and a Buick Century which did not.

    The Regal's brace was typical---going across the towers, and in addition, had an x-member going from the tower to the front middle of the radiator area.

    The Century, which has the same chassis as a Regal had no braces at all, but the mounting brackets were there for braces.

    As a side note, the Impala and Monte Carlo have strut tower braces.

    Soooo, I dunno. Not sure why they don't go ahead and include these as standard issue for all the vehicles.
  • jdexter23jdexter23 Posts: 94
    Let us know how that Borla exhaust works out once you get it.

  • I am thinking about purchasing a 97 Grand Am GT with 58k on it....looking for as much advice as I can get within the next few days. Likes/dislikes and problems/positive remarks are welcome!! Thanks in advance!!

  • truckdude1truckdude1 Posts: 88
    WE bought a new 4 cyl Grand Am it only has 15,888 miles and is complete junk, the motor is hard to start since about 11000 miles and we took it in four times, but it takes four or five times to get the motor running, the reliability is horrible, and its a rough engine, if any grand am owner had any sense they would get a new camry our late model camry is 1997 with 82,556 miles and runs immpeccably with no problem its soo smooth and its only a 4 cyl with SOME REFINEMENT..grand am is horrible they shall quit making it for all we could care
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    So, how many cars do you own? What is the truth? You seem to be buying a lot of the same cars based on the GM N-Body. I don't think your story holds much weight:





  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    He also has a Kia. His name is Paul Pattillo and has posted about these:

    Kia Rio
    Hyundai Elantra
    Chevrolet Malibu
    Chevrolet Cavalier
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    ..for someone who hates the GA, he keeps buying the same car from different GM divsions.

    I smell a forum troll!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    It's an open forum, so bogus postings are going to occur. Those of us that are experienced here can usually smell those out right away, and just ignore them.
    I've checked around with aftermarket suppliers without success. Does anyone know where I can get replacement lug covers for the black plastic ones on the aluminum wheels? I was hoping to find stainless steel, but found none. Any ideas?
  • mfuller1mfuller1 Posts: 17
    This is a few days late, but I wanted to answer some of your questions regarding swaybars and strut tower braces for the Grand Am and the Alero.

    1. Both the Grand Am SE and the GT do in fact have a rear swaybar. It is a hollow bar, 15.3mm in diameter. The Alero also has this same swaybar. The Grand Am GT does, however, get a 24mm SOLID front swaybar, as does the Alero with the FE3 suspension option. The regular Alero and Grand Am SE get a 24mm front bar also, but it is hollow.

    The Ram Air Technologies rear swaybar is solid and 25mm in diameter. It increases roll stiffness SIGNIFICANTLY to the point that the car will oversteer when pushed. The back end of the car can whip around and cause a spin if the driver cannot control the car with more throttle. The ride will also be rougher. There have been problems with end links breaking, so use at your own risk. Inexperienced drivers, you have been warned. You can carry more speed through the turns, however.

    2. Strut tower braces are designed to take the flex out of the vehicle's unibody during hard connering. The car responds to steering inputs quicker as does not seem to roll over and die as much. I highly recommend them as cheap chassis upgrades to any Grand Am or Alero owner. I personally have both front and rear bars on my Alero, and the car is much happier at the track.

    For other great info on the Grand Am, visit the Forum at

  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    When you recommend bars, you are talking about the STBs, right? I actually like the understeer effect (safety feature for the wife), so do you recommend just installing the front STB? I'd love to get rid of some of the lean my 99 GA SE2 has when taking curves.

  • mfuller1mfuller1 Posts: 17
    Yes, I am talking about the STBs, and I recommend both the front and rear braces. STBs have virtually nothing to do with understeer or oversteer or body lean; they only help keep the unibody from twisting and flexing during cornering. This helps the suspension to do it's job more effectively.
    If you like the safety of understeer, leave the stock swaybars installed. Body lean is more a function of springs and shocks, not strut tower braces and swaybars.
  • jdexter23jdexter23 Posts: 94
    I went and looked at other areas that you have been posting and am curious about what modifications you have done to your alero. In the aftermarket exhaust system page (post 13) you mentioned that you have increased your HP and torque to 195 and 215. What products have you used to achieve this. Thanks.
  • jdexter23jdexter23 Posts: 94
    HAHAHA. your so witty. thanks for your post.
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