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Pontiac Bonneville



  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    dmckeown talk about performance. As far as style the SSEi is High-Tech the 300M is retro. The 300m has much better cupholders.
  • bonnieperfbonnieperf Member Posts: 5
    My e-mail is Rock_17@hotmail.com
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    The double thin gray striping is what I have, with a custom-look detailing at the points (ends). I truly think it adds subtle flair.
    As far as Bonnie SSEi vs. Chrysler 300M is concerned, I test drove both at a Pontiac sponsored test track at Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts. The Bonnie way out performed the 300M. The bottom line is that it boils down to priorities.
    1) GM vs. Chrysler
    2) Styling
    3) Performance
    4) Individuality
    For me, I prefer that GM feeling (I've had 10 GM cars and loved them all). The styling of the Bonneville is fresh and new. With the Chrysler family of cars, you are one in a million; my car turns heads. Also I like having one of the fastest production cars made.
  • ezraponezrapon Member Posts: 348
    My brother sells Chrysler products and I could have had one at dealer cost. He told me there is still build quality issues (as with all Chrysler products) and horrible resale. In one year they drop well over 10 grand... this may be a St. Louis factor due to so many lease returns. The Lesser Bonnevilles (se) don't seem to stand up to close scrutiny of resale either. I would seem Chrysler inflates there H.P. ratings... GM products with much less H.P. are turning in a whole lot better track times... maybe it's the torque output.
  • room2zoomroom2zoom Member Posts: 6
    Sorry couldn't help but peruse this topic comparing big "fast" cars.

    I guess smfran is right, he does have one of the faster big cars in production, the key word being production *grin* unfortunately the general killed off the last of the true big cars that you can actually tinker with in the garage, race at the track and haul people and @ss all day long with -- The 94 to 96 Impala SS

    With about 200 dollars worth of performance mods I have shaved my quarter mile from 15.6x (same as tested by MT) to 15.1x a full half second.... the next half second won't be a cheap but it will still be thousands less than a new 300M or Bonnie.

    My track times are with a fully loaded car, full tank of gas, full size spare in trunk and higher than stock tire pressure. If I can hook the tires better next time and lower my 60 foot times I should break high 14s. A few guys from my Impala club run low 13s without NOS and get into 12s with NOS... you should see a car that big move that fast it seems to defy physics.
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    If you are familiar with this forum, you know I've had five Bonnevilles. I was quite interested in the '94 Impala SS, thinking at the time that after two Bonnevilles (an '88 and '91) I would check out something different. I did like it but couldn't go for the shift on the column. I know that Chevy added a console in either '95 or '96, but by then it was too late. I became hooked on the Bonneville.
    You may also know that I owned the fastest production car made in '86. The Buick Regal T-type with 3.8 intercooled turbo. It was great to read at the time how upset the Chevy people were with Buick about them surpassing the Vette. I really enjoyed going from 0 - 60 in 4.7 seconds!
  • room2zoomroom2zoom Member Posts: 6
    Yeah of course Chevy fixed the Impala perfectly for 1996 shifter on floor with a tach still at bargin price and then got rid of it, good thing I have a 96 :)

    I'm not super familiar with the turbo 3.8 but wasn't there at least 2 flavors of that engine. I thought the real stormer hipo one came only in the GNX and that one was the 4.7 to 60 range car. Weren't the others like the T-type and regular GNs more along the lines of high 5 seconds? Either way they were awesome sedans (and yes I'll call them 2 door sedans because they were big and bad)

    My hope is that Chrysler will really build the Charger R/T because that is the only car I can see trading in my Impala for. This thing has ruined me for all other cars. My dad's Intrepid ES with autostick and sport suspension is a smaller snail. I hope Dodge supercharges that gem of an engine the 4.7L. I drove a dakota with one of those and man is that a great engine for such small displacement. It even pulls hard down low like a 350.

    My neighbor is a nut he traded in his Z06 world beater for a 2001 STS the only thing I like is his HID headlamps which are truely awesome. At least now I can bench race him now that the STS is getting heavier and slower it won't turn high 14s off the showroom floor anymore.
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    You are right about a more powerful version of the 3.8 turbo. The regular intercooled one in '86 and '87 was rated at 235 HP and 0-60 @ 4.7 seconds. The '87 GNX (only 500 produced), was rated somewhere around 300 HP. I don't know it's 0-60 time.
    The closest I've come lately to feeling the power that my T-Type had, was when I tested out my neighbor's '00 Camaro SS last week. With 300 HP and 6 on the floor, it moves! I know it's too small for you so maybe you should check out an SSEI!!
  • intense01intense01 Member Posts: 107
    The front sway bar is installed.

    Stock front bar was 30mm., and is now 32mm.(1.25"). Stock rear bar was 20mm. hollow, and is now 25mm.(1") solid. The car had rubber frame mount and end link bushings originally, and now they are all polygraphite.

    The SSEi feels very well balanced - front to rear. With the P255/45ZR18 tires it will now change lanes hard enough to smash a passenger's head off the side window. Not that we'd ever want to do that to anyone we let ride in our cars...
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    Where did you find the FRont Bar? Did you replace the bushings and endlinks?

    I have new endlinks for the front, just have not put them on.
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    Got the 3.25 pulley on and the 180 degree thermo?

    Question: I have been having a noise and vibration from the front end, when I turn the wheel at low speeds (i.e. parking lots) I thought maybe the belt got messed up, when they replaced the alternator. I replaced the belt and same thing. Any ideas? Power Steering pump?
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    Fluid level and color OK? How's the three twenty five feel , even more fun right ? You are still running an open cone or what
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    Sounds like your having fun with your SS ! Now if you have been following us you know that any GM supercharged 3800 since 97 model year are easy and cheap to get 35 or more horses out of , a smaller pulley and a K&N air filter , after that it does get more diff. and expensive . Some of those GTP guy's are really turning some good times at the tracks
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    Color and level seem fine.

    No I am not running the cone at the moment. Took it off for vacation. I may slap it back on and see. I need to find time to build the CAI.

    With the 3.25 it seems much more responsive at the low end. Have not had a chance to push it yet. I had discaonnected the battery for 2 hours to clear the auto tuning. I wanted to run the car some before I pushed it. I modified the install of the PVI unit. We'll see if it helps, if not I will return it.
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    I was very pleased when I had to reset my codes by unhooking battery that there is a memory battery so you don't have to reprogram every thing . Do you know where that battery is located ? Just wondering
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    I don't think it is a battery per se. Just nonvolatile ram. I'll check the Helm when I get home.
  • intense01intense01 Member Posts: 107
    Have your wife sit in the car, and turn the wheel to it's limits while you hang out under the hood. Use a large long-handled screwdriver or a piece of heater hose to determine the noise source. If you use a screwdriver, you can put the blade right on the side of the alternator while the handle is pressed right up against your ear, using your cupped hand to filter out other noises. Move the screwdriver or heater hose from component to component until you find the noise source.

    By the way, did you use a smaller supercharger belt when you switched to the smaller pulley?

    I got Saner to build a prototype 1.25" front bar. His part number is SPFGM25. I also added polyurethane frame mount and end link bushings.
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    Yes I switched to a 71.5:" belt. I'll try the suggestion on the noise.

  • room2zoomroom2zoom Member Posts: 6
    You bet I follow all big fast cars, I know that the 3800 is a great engine. If there was no car like the SS I'd probably have a supercharged Bonne... or I actually had my eye on the ultimate sleeper LSS *wink* now that car can really come out of nowhere to surprise people would be nice to soup up one of them with some really nice underpinnings.

    I wonder, do any of you guys take the Bonne to the track? Are you guys getting into the 14s with your pully and exhaust mods? The one thing you have going for you is less weight than my SS. Kinda looks weak when you clean up the front tires in the waterbox though :( I imagine it is hard to launch a front driver with that torque. With my SS I need to let the suspension set up a bit before I roll into and eventually bury the throttle or I'll burn up the Comp T/As.

    The one nice thing about modifying the LT1 is that little things can make a big difference cause they are multiplied over 350 cubes...
    Just freeing up the intake and exhaust nets you about 20 rear wheel hp. I don't know if you guys are familiar with the B-body intake but it is sickeningly restricted I pulled mine and use a Camaro elbow connected to PVC that hooks up with the stock airbox. (not the best setup but gets you 90 percent of a $300 system for 50 bucks)

    I think it would be big fun to race a few Bonnes at the track who knows when I got on Friday maybe I'll see some. Usually the only big modern 4 doors are GM B-bodies or the ocassional Northstar Caddy.
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    I been meaning to get to the track and see what numbers I can post. Time is hard to come by. Hopefully by next spring all my mods will be done and I can let her rip.
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    At this point I still have a was to go before I try to post times at a track . My 2000 SSEi is about 3850 lbs , 400 more then my 93 Bonnie . 0 - 60 times will suffer in this car because of high gear ratio and only one front tire pulling for you. I time my car a bit under 7 seconds 0-60 . But once above 20 mph I can floor it and then it really goes . The scary part is that it really comes on after 70mph !
    What are the Grand Prix GTP's posting at your track ? I saw in the Grand Prix site one posted an 11 sec quarter mile!!
  • room2zoomroom2zoom Member Posts: 6
    well 11 seconds is nuts some Impalas run in the 11s and pretty soon they will be in the 10s too but that is extensive mods.

    The GTPs around here seem to be running low to mid 14s and that is with sticky tires and pulley and exhaust work.

    I'm going to the track Friday to see if I can't break the 14s. Talk about heavy my car is 4371 lbs... yikes thank god I have some real torque. I'm eager to put 3.73 gears in but then I'll need some better tires and lower control arms.

    The best thing about the Impala is that there is a plethora of aftermarket things for the car. There are people that autocross the Impala with numbers that would humble a stock Corvette.

    What does a stock Bonne run these days mid 15s I think? I thought I saw a test in the high 15s I guess its not as fast with the added weight... stock GTPs run about 15 flat.
  • intense01intense01 Member Posts: 107
    OK. I've been thinking about all this IAT Spoof stuff on the Grand Prix list. There are three possible ways to connect a spoofing resistor - in series, in parallel, or instead of the IAT sensor.

    Someone said that SLP's 'product' is a 5 ohm resistor. According to the Helm manual, that would make the PCM set a code for the temperature being out of range (>212 degrees Fahrenheit) if it replaced, or was in parallel with the IAT sensor. In series, this value of resistor would have no measurable affect (less than one degree difference at all points).

    Someone else said that SLP's 'product' is an 8.12k-ohm resistor. This is more believeable because it could have a positive impact. According to the Helm manual, that would make the PCM see a reading 20 to 80 degrees colder (depending on temperature) than actual, if wired in series with the IAT sensor. If wired in parallel, this resistor would send a signal representing a higher than actual temperature (not what we want). If wired to replace the IAT sensor, this resistor would send a constant signal somewhere between 34 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit. This last option is my best guess on what SLP has done, although I have not seen their product.

    I myself designed what I thought was a cool little circuit recently. I connected a microswitch to my throttle. Under full throttle, the microswitch would trip a small relay. The relay would then bypass the IAT, and substitute a 52.7k-ohm resistor. This resistor value made the PCM see a temperature of -22 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about as cold as we can go without setting a code. Bottom line was that I could not detect any measurable performance difference.

    Does anyone have any additional knowledge of IAT spoofing that I may have overlooked? And, does anyone have any tried and true method of getting better performance in this manner?

    Scott - 2000 Dark Bronzemist Metallic SSEi, 18 x 8" Konig Villain wheels, P255/45ZR18 Michelin XGT Z4 Pilot tires, 1.25" front sway bar, 1" rear sway bar, polyurethane frame mount and end link bushings, 3.25" supercharger pulley, 180 degree thermostat, NGK TR55VX spark plugs (gapped at .055")
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    The purpose of an IAT spoof or any other IAT mod, as I understand, is to richen the fuel mixture as our mod'd cars tend to run lean. I have a philosophical objection to misinforming computers. I understand the need, since we can't reprogram, but...

    Off the soap box. IAT spoofing is really aimed at WOT performance. It will only be effective if the fuel system can inject enough fuel to richen up the mixture. Too much is almost as bad as not enough.

    I think either a small resistor or repositon the iat to a cooler location (fender wall or front of CAI) would benefit daily driving. Don't want it too rich.

    As for the micro switch, I think the sudden change will not be recieved well by the PCM. really need to phase in the tempature change prior to going WOT.

    How about a small inline resistor and then a switch to bybass the sensor and the resistor with a 50 kohm or so when you figure to be going wot alot. Would let you give the PCM time to adjust.

    As far as not seeing a performance increase, I suspect that is due to the fact you are not running as lean as a lot of the GTPs. Primarily caused by your stock intake. You are not getting as much air as the average mod'd GTP or Doug's SSEi.

    Quick test since cooler weather is here. Get the re-0870 filter and the cone filter kit from the gp store. Total cost about $100. Reset the PCM and train it for a tank. Then try the manuever. Though just changing to the cone will be an instant improvement, when the engine is cool.

    We both need a CAI. I need to finish building mine or breakdown and buy the thrasher kit to mod like Doug.
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    Finding a way to spoof the MAF might help more. That is what RAT does in their stage II unit, ported and recalibrate to adjust for the turbulence.

    Though we can probably do most of the same thing by just by using a fuel pressure riser to boost the amount of fuel being fed to the cylinder and letting the PCM back it off.
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    After sending intense the pictures of my Thrasher cold air induction he had some questions. One in particular has got me thinking , that of adding an additional inlet hose to the passenger side of CAI box and running it down to a scoop under driver side of air dam . At that point I could resume sealing off any suspect hot air inlet areas resting assured I had provided full air flow with the cold air ducting and not suffer lose of power as I did in earlier experment with duct tape . I might go to hardware store and look at some PVC pipe and fittings for duct , but what about the actual scoop ? I would put a screen filter on the scoop to duct junction to keep some debris out and maybe a finer screen up at the opening into box . Even if scoop became plugged I still have two stock opening left . And when moving it should have a ram effect with proper size scoop and ducting and assure cold air
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    An additional source of air would help. I don;t think you will get much ram air effect. Even a RAM air hood does not really ramthe air. Just give a well ventilated opening. I worry about the additional dust with a low scoop. I company in Hawaii makes systems like that. I'll find the link.
  • panchomanpanchoman Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE with 35,000 miles and was wondering how reliable this car has been. Panchoman
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    I had a '94 and '97 and both were very reliable. The only time the '94 let me down was my own fault. The battery warning light came on and I ignored it. Eventually the car died due to the alternator. If I had replaced the battery, this would not of happened. Good luck.
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    I have a 93 Bonneville with 110 k which has been very good . Do you know the history of car , service records , how it was driven and if it was in an accident , these things can be a factor . Best luck with a car well maintained and highway driven and never in a collision . If car is good you should expect reasonably trouble free till 75 k or so when you will be looking at struts and maybe that alternator problem , although mine is orig. at 110k
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    Good morning , I replaced my battery at about 75 k when I noticed slow starting in cold weather , maybe that saved my alternator . Did you see the post on Bonneville maintenance about battery terminal screw length , interesting
  • okkidokkid Member Posts: 4
    Do any of you know about the odometer settings. I t seems as if my car is racking up the miles to much. I can drive what I know is a 50 mile round trip and my car will register 65 miles. The dealer says there is no problem with my car but I know that there is.
  • ymandjymandj Member Posts: 10
    I own 1996 Bonneville with 45K on it. Recently I was driving, stopped at a store and when I came back I couldn't start. Dead silence. I started from a booster. Voltmeter showed appr. 13V. Went to my repair shop. They change battery and alternator. It seems to fix the problem, but since then when I switch gears to Reverse, voltage goes down to red zone (11V?), light (if it is dark outside) almost goes off and then voltage slowly goes back up to 12-13V. Is it normal? Is it short somewhere? My mechanic seems puzzled with it.
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    Your advice to ponchoman was excellent. I believe I've read posts from you like this before. Knowing history, etc. is definitely the key when considering a used car.
    I treat my cars very well and keep meticulous records. It turns out though that this maintaining of records only helps ME. I can review situations (like alternator experience) and expenditures, but when I go to trade it in, which is what I've always ended up doing, the dealer couldn't care less about my records. This is probably due to two reasons:
    1)Dealers don't get involved in giving maintenance history to buyers of used cars.
    2)By the time I'm done with my cars, they have high mileage only worthy of the auction; not the dealer's lot.
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    I talked to John at Saner. He was waiting to hear your review before he sent me an email. After driving it or a few days, what do you think?

    How does the car steer? over, under neutral?

    Any noticeable ride effect?
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    Your best bet is to find a defined mile stretch and confirm how much teh odometer is off. I am assuming you have made no mods. A 50 mile round trip registering 65 miles implies a 30% inaccuracy. Should be easy to prove. Find a set of mile markers around the dealer. Drive it with your car and then a friends car compare teh readings to the .1 mile. Your friend should show 1.0 miles you 1.3. If that is the case, duplicate the test with the service manager comparing your car and his or one off the lot.
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    Check out www.autophysics.com.
  • panchomanpanchoman Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the information on potential alternator problems with my 96 Bonneville. It's something I will keep an eye on. I don't have a history since I bought it from a dealer, but I checked with LemonCheck and the car was bought in Illinois and registered in Nevada with only 19K in 1998, so I think it may have been owned by a couple retiring to Las Vegas. I just did my first mileage check and got 24.5 mpg with a mix of highway/local driving. I'm very pleased especially with such a big car. The car runs VERY smooth. I love the Magnasteer steering. I wish it had a computer and the stock FM/CD radio sounds just average, but I do like the radio controls on the steering wheel. This is my first GM car in 15 years after driving mostly Chrysler products.
  • ezraponezrapon Member Posts: 348
    I just read an article by Dave Hill, the head of development for the Corvette. It was in one of the recent car mags... anyway, he was asked why the vette gauges swing from zero to 100% back to zero, then to the proper setting upon each start up. Hill said for no other reason than it looks cool. I thought damn, that is cool! I went out to my SSEi for work this morning and watched my gauges... I smiled and thought to myself... damn, that really is cool!!!!
  • intense01intense01 Member Posts: 107
    Snickle - I'm 1,000 miles into my new front sway bar already. Very happy with the balance front to rear. 1.25" front, 1" rear - polyurethane bushings all around.

    No affect on the straight line ride. Significant improvement to transient response, and overall cornering capability (with the traction control turned off), as with the rear bar. This modification is an excellent value for the money.
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    Go out and check your battery terminals for fit . By this I mean grab a hold of one with your hand and apply a twisting motion , they should not turn . There was a post indicating some Bonnevilles had terminal screws too long and they would bottom out in the battery terminal before fully tighting surface of battery to wire . This of coarse caused all sorts of battery and alternator problems . The fix was to back screws out of wire and put a washer under head of screw . Just a thought and easy to do . Doug
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    Have you every sold your cars yourself through want ads ? I know it can be a pain , but with the way you maintain cars people tend to trust an individual selling and pay a fare price . You get much more then any dealer will give you even with tax diff. and every body is happy (except dealer) . I have sold many over 125 k cars this way . Also , when I was looking at 2000 Grand Prix for my wife I saw the ad for the 99 Grand Prix I ended up getting her , so I also will buy from a private owner and I got a great deal . It is harder to sell cars for over $10,000 privately I think
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    One of the "stupid things" about Pontiac and specifically the Bonneville that have kept me loyal, is the dashboard red/orange lighting and the gauges swing. It is one of the elements that makes Pontiac different from the mainstream. To my knowledge, Bonneville has the highest percentage of repeat owners. Not too stupid is it?!?!:)
  • ldevineldevine Member Posts: 9
    i have a 2000 bonny ssei i just put on second gen. pully 3.4 and ravin mufflers computer display reads exp 144 ?? and low tire presure ?? i have on order set of 8.5 mm spark wires and a second gen. msd ignition box any body try box yet ? any computer changes needed or problems.
  • ezraponezrapon Member Posts: 348
    No help on the computer problems, but how did the mufflers work out... sound... performance gains? Did you remove the resonator? I'm thinking about the Ravin mufflers myself, but don't know what to do with the resonator. My computer loses its compass memory... they have replaced the module and it still won't stay right. The chiming and orders to recalibrate are real annoying.
  • ldevineldevine Member Posts: 9
    ravins sound good cant tell performance with new pully had muffs put on at midas res. still on am going back for new pipe guy at shop wanted to change but didnt have my ok i live 4 hrs away from shop i just got e mail from saner on anti sway bar so i should be going back 1-11/2 weeks ill post agin then.
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    Are you ordering the 1" rear, 1.25" front or both?

    Intense has both with 18" wheels. I have the rear and just ordered the front.
  • snicklesnickle Member Posts: 147
    I have an appointment for Thursday to put the flowmaster on. I you don't hear from me after that, you knmow they were too loud and my wife killed me for the insurance money.
  • ldevineldevine Member Posts: 9
    1" rear urethane front end links first i heard of front bar let me know how that works out i got the tire upgrade but still only 17"
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    I'm thinking of painting my exhaust tips with chrome spray paint. What do you think of the idea?
This discussion has been closed.