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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • avuxavux Posts: 12
    I need to know how to remove the valve cover form a 93 SSE 3800 engine,particularly the one against the fire wall. Will it squeeze out after removing the 4 nuts or is there more to it. Thanks, Al
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The procedure varies. What's the engine code, 8th digit of the VIN? Should be 1, 3, C or L.
  • avuxavux Posts: 12
    The 8th digit of the VIN is L.

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Here you go:


    Valve Cover

    GM Bonneville/Eighty Eight/LeSabre 1986-1999


    3.8L (VIN 1, C and L) Engine - Except 1995-99 VIN 1 Models1




    Disconnect the negative battery cable.

    Remove the serpentine drive belt.

    Remove the alternator-to-brace bolt, then remove the brace.

    Remove the spark plug wire harness and position aside.

    Remove the valve cover retaining bolts and remove the cover. It may be necessary to tap the cover lightly with a rubber mallet in order to dislodge it.

    Thoroughly clean the gasket mating surfaces and clean and dry all parts.


    To install:


    Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.

    Place the gasket into position, apply a suitable thread-locking compound to the threads, then install the bolts and tighten them to 89 inch lbs. (50 Nm).

    Connect the negative battery cable.

    Run the engine and check for leaks.




    Disconnect the negative battery cable.

    Remove the accessory drive belt(s).

    Without disconnecting the fluid lines, unbolt the power steering pump and position it aside.

    Remove the power steering pump braces.

    Tag and disconnect the spark plug wires.

    For 3.8L (VIN C) engines, perform the following:

    - Remove the EGR pipe.

    - Remove the EGR valve and adapter from the throttle body adapter.

    Unfasten the valve cover retaining bolts, then remove the cover. It may be necessary to tap the cover lightly with a rubber mallet in order to dislodge it.

    Thoroughly clean the gasket mating surfaces and clean and dry all parts.


    To install:


    Place the gasket into position, apply thread-locking compound to the threads, then install the bolts and tighten them to 89 inch lbs. (50 Nm).

    If equipped with a 3.8L (VIN C) engine, perform the following:

    - Install the EGR valve and adapter to the throttle body adapter.

    - Install the EGR pipe.

    Install the power steering pump braces.

    Place the power steering pump into position and secure with the mounting bolts.

    Install the accessory drive belt(s).

    Connect the negative battery cable.
  • avuxavux Posts: 12
    Thanks for your quick reply, I'll give it a try this beautiful New Years day.

  • avuxavux Posts: 12
    I only just saw your post. My wife's 93 Bonny with climate control just had a blower control module short out. The blower motor came on all the time and ruined the battery, all overnight. You maybe have a problem w/ the same module, it seems to be a type of relay.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    How many miles are on your wife's Bonny, avux? My sister has a '93 SSEi with 125k on it now.


    Also, to any of you out there who may be interested, but have you looked in your owners manual and read how it recommends you operate the transmission? My sister's torque converter is going out, so she can't run it in OD anymore. According to the manual, OD is "for interstate driving only." She feels that had the car been driven in Drive all along, with the exception of the occasional interstate trip, the life of the torque converter and transmission may have been lengthened. You may want to tell your wife that, avux, to save replacing the transmission at a cost even with how much the car is worth.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    The GXP's reduced fuel economy with only marginal performance gain is precisely why I went looking for a new '03 SSEi last spring. It took a bit of looking because I needed one without a moonroof and there were only two available within 500 miles.


    Happy to say I did find one that was ideally equipped (chromes, HUD, and heated seats).


    It is hard to beat the 3.8 on any count - fine economy, good performance, reliable, durable, and smooth running.
  • Glad you were able to find the car you wanted.


    The 3.8 is indeed an example of an excellent compromise - it does everything pretty well! I am saddened that even the SCd version in the Grand Prix is going away this summer to be replaced with an alumimun small block V-8 with some Corvette heritage. Here comes premium fuel and not so good mileage. Of course, GM could come up with a 5-speed auto that allows a deeper final drive for performance and a really lonnnng OD 5th to bring the revs back down when cruising.


    I am tempted to replace my wife's 2000 Ultra with a new one just to get one last 3.8 with a SC.


  • This complaint is a nit, but the gauges on my 02 SE are noisy. They grind both the tach and the spedo at low speed. I got a new cluster under warrantee, but the replacement has started grinding again. Just curious if other 02 owners have experienced the same.
  • I have a 2000 SSEi with 64K miles on it. About a month ago I was driving it and noticed the tachometer fall to zero, but the car was still running. Then it progressed to the tachometer dropping off with a slight vibration or a stall. I took it in and it was the crankshaft position sensor.
  • I have a 2000 SSEi and the only complaint I have about the car is the power windows. I had to have the power window assembly in every door repaired except for the drivers window. Anyone else had any power window problems?
  • I had that happen on 3 different windows on my 2000 SSEi. 2 were repaired under warranty and the other I had to shell out about $450 to the dealer. I had to place with the window to get it to hold up. I ended up using a little wooden wedge like the kind a locksmith would use so he could insert a car-opening tool.
  • I have a 2000 SSEi and the trunk leaks. I like the car except for some poor quality like the 3 power window assemblies/drives breaking and the leaking trunk. The car had plenty of performance, but I am planning on going back to a truck this Spring.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    Hi Everyone- Have not posted in quite awhile- car has been running great- this is just info I'm passing on in case anyone else might run into the same problem


    I have a 98 SSE- auto climate control- back in Dec. the blower for my climate control would work one day then stop working the next day- sometimes it worked in the morning and later on the same day it stopped working- after checking out all of the obvious area's- fuses,connections etc.- still keep working on and off- I checked with my friends at the BONNEVILLE CLUB forum for help also.


    The problem was a BAD SPOT on the blower motor- had it replaced last week- Climate control blower is working great. (Nice to have HEAT again!!!)


  • im thinking about buying a 2003 ssei with 20k on her, what are some of the things i should look out for when test driving it. just want to have the upper hand on things to look out for thanks
  • k & gk & g Posts: 5
    My '98 Bonneville SLE - 105K, had a new Plenum assembly installed Feb. 2, 2005. The next morning, all seemed fine during my 40 min. commute to work. However, when it came time to leave for lunch, big trouble began as soon as I turned the key.


    The engine light began flashing immediately and kept flashing. The car sputtered and misfired repeatedly and thick, blue smoke spewed from the tailpipe. It didn't smell like oil at all. It smelled like nothing I've ever smelled - or would want to smell again! The smell filled the interior of the car even though all the windows and outside vents were closed. My eyes stung from whatever it was.


    The drivers manual said it was ok to drive (right back to the garage) so I took it slow and easy. The smoke and misfires got worse. At one point I pulled over to check under the hood to see if anything was leaking and to check the oil level. Didn't see anything unusual. Throughout the drive the engine light continued flashing. A couple of times it stayed on, but then resumed flashing.


    The garage couldn't look at it until the next morning. Guess what? They said they couldn't get the car to repeat the problem. They kept it an extra day to drive it; still no problems.


    This doesn't surprise me, because except for the blue smoke, that was what the car did BEFORE we replaced the Plenum. It either started and ran great, or it did what I described above. I'd let it sit a day and try it again, and it would be fine.


    Should I mention that the antilock brake light stayed on for months in spite of repeated trips to the garage- and they couldn't determine what the problem was? Did I mention that my heads-up display works off and on as well?


    This car has made more trips to the garage in one year than my Corsica has in the 15 years, 179K miles I've owned it. I bought the Bonne to replace the Corsica. Good thing I didn't give up the old car!


    I just spent a bundle to repair a problem that still isn't fixed. No wonder these cars have low resale value! I'm really at a loss, financially and otherwise. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    If coolant got into the exhaust system during the plenum replacement it could cause the symptoms you describe. Shouldn't be a problem if it's running ok now.
  • k & gk & g Posts: 5
    Thank you for your quick reply. I really appreciate this forum. Drove it all day, going from car lot to car lot looking for my next car.

    Had no problems, except that I discovered that a Bonne is the only car in my price range that I really like. I can't believe after all the problems my '98 has given us that I'd ever consider buying another.


    Two more questions: First, can you suggest which Bonne model years from 2001-04 seem to offer the fewest problems? Second questions, what is the difference between a series II and series III engine? Which is more reliable/trouble free? My thanks.
  • jwallyjwally Posts: 71
    1)I have gas that leaks near the quick connect fitting when the hose(line) going from the connection to the filter is moved in a particular way by hand or by road vibrations.The three metal lines of the fuel sender are very rusty(flaking). I was told I need a new fuel sender which is leaking at the quick connect fitting.I was wondering if anyone has experienced this? What about getting a used fuel sender from a salvage yard? I was told the Fuel sender I need is an AC Delco Part# 25162242 Does anyone know where to get this part from the cheapest New and used? I found the cheapest around $285. Does anyone recommend changing the strainer while apart? My Email is JWALLY063@MSN.COM


    2)I just got a check engine light with the code P0401 EGR insuffient flow. Any Ideas of what to do or how to correct this? No noticable performance problems.
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