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Buick LeSabre

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  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    vtech83 - my '94 LeSabre has belt height adjuster..I am sure your's would have one too.
  • jimsxn:

    Nope. They don't have them. Kind of a pain, but no car is perfect.

    - vtech83
  • the 2000 and 2001 LeSabres do NOT have seat belt adjusters for height and the free extension will not change the comfort level on your shoulder. When buick went to the "All belts-to-seat" design on the LeSabre in 00, I believe it was a mistake not having adjusters on it. I only sell them, I don't build them though. The reason your 94 had them was because the seatbelts were tied into the car, not the seat. Having them tied to the seat is actually safer. The seat is designed to shift a small amount in a front end collision to help absorb some of the force. If the seat belt was tied to the car, you would be strangled by it. They also came with the "Catchers Mitt" seat. This is designed to have the side bolsters come in (kind of like a hug) during an accident to help hold you in the seat and protect you from the air bag. Because of this design, there was no room to put the motor in the seat for the seat belt adjuster. And now you have the rest of the story...good day! (I always wanted to do that!)
  • Hey Woodybuick:

    I was wondering what, if any, kind of latitude we have in modifying our cars and not void the warranty. I've been considering some suspension modifications and some larger wheels and tires. The LeSabre I have right now handles great with the Gran Touring Package, but a few tweaks here and there would really make a difference. I've been considering a larger and stiffer front stabilizer bar and one for the rear as well since it doesn't seem to have one.

    Also, I was wondering about the stereo. I have copies of the service manual and I was looking through the stereo section, but I saw no mention of a seperate amplifier. It doesn't seem to show up anywhere in the wiring diagrams. I'm assuming that there is an amplifier in this thing somewhere; I didn't think that the actual head unit on the dash contained an amp at all. The stereo in the LeSabre is marginal at best; it could use some improvements too.

    Let me know. Thanks.

    - vtech83
  • I'm the original owner of a '97 LeSabre Limited purchased in June 1997 (fully loaded w/Gran Touring, etc.) Car ran fine for almost 2 years. Then, just after the 3/36k warranty expired (around 39k miles), the tranny would slip at 55-60 mph and then bottom out. Buick dealer said it needed a new valve body and/or torque converter (at least $1200). Escalated to GM Regional rep to see if they would cover under a TSB or "secret warranty." Not helpful at all! GM offered only to pay for the part ($200) and nothing more. Needless to say, I took it elsewhere and had my friends (master mechanics)try to figure it out. We sequentially replaced torque converter,valve body,entire tranny, changed sparks and wire harnesses (which were fried at 39k miles!), computer control module, etc. After a few weeks the problem came back and continues to this day.
    I obviously bought a lemon, and GM didn't care about customer goodwill. I usually keep my cars for 120+k miles or 7-10 years, mostly highway miles, and often get good $$ when I sell them. I'm a stickler for good maintenance and service intervals. But there's no hope for this car. It's a shame, as it's an attractive and comfortable sedan. However, this persistant tranny defect is unbearable. Now it's basically a manual transmisson, for lack of a better description. We will soon rid ourselves of this jinxed LeSabre. Has anyone had a similar problem with Buicks or other GM sedans with the 3800 engine??? Anyone seen the new Hyundai XG-300L (loaded "luxury" sedan from Korea)? I hear it's very well-received by former Camry and LeSabre owners.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Thank-you for the info on that "Catcher's Mit" seat design. I have the '00 Bonneville SE which also has that seat per the brochure and I've wondered how it works. I understand that there is also a rear end collision function to the seat - I wonder if it's the same "hug" feature or something additional.

    Thanks for your informative postings.

    Ken
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    That was such a great car in the 60's - all the power of the old 454 4 bbl coupled with a smooth automatic and fitted into a big chrome adorned highway cruiser. My favorite was a '68 silver coupe with black buckets and black vinyl top - a gorgeous chrome covered console really made the interior and those flashy road wheels (were they chrome too?) perfected the exterior styling. I can see that car today - brand new in the dealers showroom - remember opening the enormous door and settling into that comfortable power seat and looking out over the enormous hood past the Buick hood ornament - man what a day that was - and I was 12 yrs old and in love for the very first time (how appropriate for Valentine's Day).

    Now wouldn't it be great if Buick brought that idea back on a specially optioned LeSabre - the performance package, the buckets and console, the supercharged 3800, special paint ( my choice would be the Royal Blue that Maxima offers on the 20th anniv edition). I tell you - I'd be ordering one of those babies in a NY minute.

    What do you think?


    Ken
  • If you want to order one, you'll have to wait behind me first! I'll take mine in medium or dark red. If only GM would listen to their customers.

    Someone asked me the other day if my LeSabre was a Jaguar. No kidding. He couldn't believe it was a Buick. Told me it looked like a big Jag S-type.

    Pictures coming up soon.

    - vtech83
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Are the American Jaguar...really nice styling...enjoy your rides.
  • Vtech, the only amp is in the head unit. No aux amp anywhere that I am aware of. And I know that there is 53 pounds of paint on the car! (I happen to know all the useless knowledge also)

    tpken, you are very welcome. Yes, the catcher's mitt design helps out in rear end collisions.

    Any other product knowledge questions, fire away. As far as service goes, can't help ya there..as I said before, I can sell 'em, not build 'em.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    What does it mean..it is on my 94 LeSabre.
    Thanks.
  • Well, that explains the subpar audio. Time to do some research about this. I need better tunes.

    Fifty-three pounds of paint, huh??? With all the polish and wax I've added, I've probably got 70 pounds by now. I've been pretty lucky with the weather as far as washing my car goes. I always seem to find time to wash it at least once a week. I'll be glad when spring gets here, though.

    - vtech83
  • Dynaride is a phrase coined by Buick when they came out with their suspension system many many years ago. Basically, the struts have a separate valve in them that lets the plunger go into the strut housing a little further than most. This gives it a much softer feel compared to most other brands.
  • GM issued bulletin 00-08-48-002 in Jan. 2001 telling the dealers how to correct this annoying
    "hot weather" noise. The only problem is we won't
    know until June or July whether it was effective.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    Appreciate your response. Tell me one more thing...How can I find out if my LeSabre (94 Ltd) has Y56 suspension. I bought it from a dealer who bought it as a trade in. Are these cars marked in some way?
    Thanks.
  • I recently purchased a 97 Olds 88 LSS with the same 3800 engine and 4T60E transmission as you have. I no sooner drove it a couple of days when I noticed the surging under light throttle application just after the transmission went into lockup. Needless to say I was quite annoyed and didn't know what it was. I pulled it out of O/D and problem went away and noticed it didn't happen at heavier throttle or higher speeds. (mostly at 80-90 Km) 45-55 MPH.
    I decided to talk to a very friendly and informative technician at the local Chev-Olds dealer and he new exactly what I was talking about. He then printed off the GM Service Bulletin #87-71-75 which describes my problem to a tee. It affects only 97 Buick Lesabre, Pontiac Bonneville and Olds 88 with the 3800 engine VIN K RPO L36 and Hydra-matic 4T60-E RPO M13. To fix the problem the valve body must be replaced with part #24212569 or 24212571 depending on specific model of your transmission. The part is $380 retail US or $580 Cdn. with $50/75 back for your core. The labour is very high due to the left front end you have to dismantle to get at it. By the way this was the last year for this version of the transmission as they later brought out the updated 4T65-E. What is actually happening is the bore for the valve that pressurizes the transmission fluid to lock up the converter was machined too large and as the miles get on the tranny the fluid bypasses the valve in the bore and causes the converter to come out of lockup. Immediately, the signal goes back to the valve to lockup and it is a continuous cycle of locking up and unlocking. Perhaps,I'm not sure, but at higher revs there must be more pressure to keep the valve pressurized. It is not unlike the inside a brake master cylinder where the brake fluid slips by the brake rubbers and your foot goes to the floor. In my car I can see the tach moving back and forth about 200 or 300 RPM indicating the change in revs and therefore the surging feeling. You can see the bulletin titles for your car on ALLDATA.com, which will indicate this surging condition. I also contacted GM and because there was no history of this condition by the previous owner while it was under warranty they "couldn't" do anything for me. They offered to set up a case to document my problem. - wasn't that big of them. It is an actual defect but they won't pay to fix. The technician told me it doesn't show up until approx 40,000 miles or so. They tried everything on a gentleman's car and nothing fixed it until they replaced the valvebody. The dealership here has had to do 4 of them.
    I noticed this same problem on the Pontiac Bonneville forum. (#89 jm200),(#13) and one other (dated March 9,2000, I didn't keep the number)
    I hope this gives you some useful info. I had just sold my 89 Park Ave for this 97 LSS which was an excellent car - kind of disheartening to to buy a newer vehicle and run into an expensive quirk like this. I am undecided at this point as to what I'll do but I like the car otherwise. This is a GM Hydramatic problem and not a Buick problem as such.
    Rocketman71
  • Time for the first oil change, so I thought I'd pass along an update on the LeSabre. The only real issue right now is a vibration right at 65mph; happens everytime. I did have a fight with a pothole about a month ago, so I'll have the alignment checked during the oil change.

    And I'm sad to report my first body ding. I noticed a scratch on my driver's side mirror casing and upon further inspection, it's actually a crack. Goes all the way through the casing. It's a small crack right now, but it will probably grow over time. Had to have been someone in an SUV swinging their door open; a passenger car could not have hit the mirror like that.

    What a great ride, though. I can't believe the punch this thing has, and without a supercharger no less. The 3800 really hits it's stride around 4000rpm and just keeps pulling. I did an impromptu 0-60 run the other night - just a hair over seven seconds. This thing is alot faster than advertised. When the warrenty runs out, I might have to see what this sucker is really capable of.

    - vtech83
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    This thing is a gas hog! I am getting 16 mpg on a 17 mile commute.
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Might need a tune up. How many miles are on it???

    I'm getting about 20mpg on my commute; about half highway and half stop-and-go. That will probably get worse over the years, though.

    Good luck.

    - vtech83
  • under the cover for the spare tire in the trunk is a list of all the options on the car. Or, if it has 16" tires, you got the gran touring. 15" tires is the dynaride suspension.
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