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Pontiac Bonneville



  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Seems like the forum has been away from the SSEi modification discussions for at least a couple weeks now. What's happening? Haven't seen any Intense01 posts or any other reports of the kind. Has this thread moved to another forum or site?

    I've been compiling a list of regular posters here and would like to fill in some blanks (perhaps others are interested in doing the same). It would be very much appreciated if everyone would post the following info:

    Year, model, color, your first name if you wish to be identified. Hoping to hear from some of the less frequent as well as regular posters and maybe some lurkers will speak up as well.

    Ken (00 SE Spruce Green)

    FANTASCP - Chuck - Going back I see you have a white SE with bench - what interior color is it?

    JAKEC1 - Did you find out anything about the carbon fiber dash? I have that charcoal gray interior and think it might be a great addition.
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    First of all, Bonneville owners, an apology. I'm sort of a lurker in this forum since I do not actually own a Bonneville. Consider me a first cousin; I'm driving an '01 LeSabre Limited. But I thought most of you would enjoy this.

    The other day, I came across a 300M and we were driving on a highway where the speed limit is 55, yet there are a few stop lights here and there. We were stopped at one and he decided to launch his car at the stop light when it went green. So, when we got to the next light, I figured it was time for a "spirited acceleration test".

    Score the first one for General Motors. He pulled away quicker at the light, but once I hit second gear, it was all over. Next stop light, pretty much the same thing. I had to turn off at the next light, but I was totally satisfied with the tried and true 3800SII mated to the 4T65E.

    One thing I've noticed about this setup is that if you hit your shift point just right, you come out of first gear right around 4000rpm. I think thats why this car moves so well in second and third gear -- it's right at the 3800 power band. Pretty impressive for old technology.

    I agree with Ken -- where has this intense01 fellow been??? His stuff is great. He's the best R&D post in this column. Given me a few ideas I might try once the warrenty runs out.

    Happy cruising, Bonneville owners. Hope you don't mind if I lurk from time to time. The LeSabre forum is pretty slow, but then, I expected it to be.

    '01 Medium Red LeSabre Limited
    Gran Touring Package
    16" chrome wheels
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Good to see you Vtech! You're always welcome to post here - no apologies ever needed. We certainly share many commonalities with your car and experiences. BTW - great story - I bet that adrenaline was pumping! And thanks for the stats - you're on my 'Other cars of interest' list and I subscribe to your forum too - it's very much like the Grand Marquis / Crown Vic forum - pretty sleepy most of the time.

    Have a great LeSabre weekend.

  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I guess I'll be the first to respond. We have a light bronzemist 2000 SSEi. We ordered it so it has every available option right down to the engine block heater.
    When vtech mentioned the "old" 3800 Series II, I was just thinking the other day that as nice as this engine is and as tried and true as it is, it still is a 12 valve pushrod engine that is a derivative of the one GM made in the 60s, I would think that the 3.5l or 4.0L that are in the Auroras might be a better setup. Perhaps keep the 4.0L in the Aurora and put the 3.5L in the Bonneville, with a supercharger of course.

  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    It was pretty fun. The 300M was on my short list, but I felt that the LeSabre was a better overall buy. I figured I would sacrifice a little performance to get a much more solid, safer, and feature rich car. Well, I guess I didn't have to sacrifice the performance at all.

    By the way ... you mentioned in an earlier post that you were going to check out the headroom in the LeSabre and compare it your Bonnie. A friend of mind at work has a 2000 SSEi with a sunroof. The headroom is identical. The power seat controls are the same in each car and both seats offer the same degree of movement.

    If you get a chance to sit in a LeSabre, you'll know what I'm talking about.

    You have a great weekend too.

  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Do you all have power lumbar adjustments in your front passenger seat as well as the driver one?? LeSabre only comes with power lumbar on the driver side.

    Also, does the fold-down console in the rear seat have any type of flip-up storage compartment?? I thought I saw this in a picture recently.
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    I'm a 2000 Bonneville SSEi owner. I bought the car back in October and I absolutely love it! My previous car was a '99 Buick Regal GS and it had that great 3800 SC V6 so I knew the Bonnie would be great, too. Mine is Galaxy Silver and loaded execpt for heated seats (not often needed in Florida!).

    So far, 0 problems and only one defect involving the headliner around the astroroof, which my dealer rectified immediatly.

    My only complaints are a lack of a cruise control indicator, an obscured Driver's Info Center, and the fact that you must have the parking brake off in order to access the DIC. But, they're very minor and don't really affect the overall experience of the car.

    One of my favorite features is the built-in air compressor in the trunk. Recently, I ran over some debris in the road at night and got a flat. I used one of those fix-a-flat cans and the air compressor to get back home. Excellent idea, Pontiac!

    Well, I'll stop ranting now and just conclude that I look forward to many happy years with this great automobile.

    Best Wishes
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    The 2000/2001 SSEi does have power lumbar on the passenger seat as part of the option. And the rear seat center console has a compartment in addition to cupholders.

    BTW: Great story with the 300M! I'm sure he was taken back by a LeSabre beating him!
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    did you order the grand touring suspension with the 3'05 axle ratio on your lesabre? with the 3:05 and the traction control off, you should blow away any 300M, including any stock SSEi (car and track stats). Before mods, by brother in law beat my ssei like a circus monkey. A pulley and a K&N set up later... he can't get close. I guess my sad story about tearing down the Chrysler plant killed the intrepid forum... pitty. Evidently Intense made enough mods to leave the planet. Actually I saw hin on the problem sight with some serious engine control problems. I still believe once you change heads cams headers etc., you'd probably do better off without the super charger and it's complexities.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    Dark Pewter Cloth

    It goes pretty good with White- also its a good color if down the road i ever decided to re-paint the car a different color. - I did like the possibility of maybe going to the midnight blue metallic that SMFRAN has.- that car must look real SHARP!!!- but I wanted a WHITE BONNEVILE for a long time- so I'll stay pat for now- i'm happy!
    BTW- on emblems- on the 2000 SE- besides the rear trunk- BONNEVILLE- emblem and the
    name PONTIAC on the right side of the rear bumper- also on the left front headlight (on top)
    is the word BONNEVILLE.

    V-tech- as I am no great lover of Chrysler, (you can check out my posts if you want on the
    INTREPRID VS BONNEVILLE Forum ) I found your episode with the 300M very refreshing to
    say the least!

    Our second car is a 91 Buick Skylark- with a little Tech 4- engine- but a great little car-
    We had TWO 1991 Skylarks.- i traded mine in on the Bonneville in 2000- she had over 187,000 miles on her- The one we have now has around 110,000 miles and running great- i use her to commute back and forth to work- about 90 miles round trip each day-.

    Just another reason (IN MY OPINION OF COURSE) why GM is better than Chrysler.

    Have a Happy,

  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    Are you out there h? I was thinking of you as I was checking out my neighbor's new Vette. He sold his 2000 Camaro 6 speed and just got the Vette he always wanted. It is an amazing vehicle. I was thinking of you because I wish I could afford my SSEi and a Vette like you have. In addition to the Vette he has a Lexus SUV (his wife's) and a LeSabre. My fantasy is to have a selection of automobiles to choose from depending on the driving situation. Maybe someday.......
  • Read the posts daily, I just don't have a lot to say I guess. My 2000 SSEi is Black with Charcoal leather interior. It joined the family in March of 2000. I have done several modifications and have missed the lack of posting from intense01.
  • Picked up my 2001 SSEi Wednesday night (in the rain) and I am loving the ride (graduated from a 94 Accord). The increased power is definitely going to my head!

    It is dark bronzemist with the taupe interior.

    I learned a valuable lesson though: NEVER pick up your new car at night. No matter what the lighting conditions are, you won't be able to properly check the vehicle out. While I got a great deal from the dealer, the interior was not as clean as it could be. I have a small spot of grease (maybe) just below the speaker in the passenger side door. Not sure how to clean it - I cannot tell if the inside door panels are leather or not (probably not). I don't want to guess wrong and make the spot worse than it already is.

    I haven't tried to use the cup holders yet (no food or drink allowed in the *new* car - how long will it be before that rule wears off?)

    Two very minor things I would change: between the steering wheel and my hand placement, I cannot see either of the odometers without craning my neck. And, as mentioned by someone else, I would like to use the DIC with the parking brake engaged.

    But so far I am in heaven. Now I just have to find a baseball cap with the Pontiac emblem on it...

    -Bruce in NJ (not the Boss)
  • intense01intense01 Posts: 107
    Please add me to the Bonneville database:

    2000 SSEi Dark Bronzemist Metallic

    I didn't realize so many folks liked hearing about my horsepower struggles. Here's an update, with only eight days left until National Trails Raceway opens:

    I've bolted many aftermarket parts on the engine, but haven't yet been able to hit the perfect tuning combination. Although I did get a lot closer today.

    My procedure has been basically trial and error. I make a small change, reset the PCM, and log two 0-100 mph runs in opposite directions on the same stretch of road. (My neighbors love me). Using the Autotap, I have been logging current time, vehicle speed, engine RPM, ignition timing, knock retard, fuel trims, MAF sensor frequency and flow rate, and front oxygen sensor voltage. I've checked many other parameters, but these seem to be the ones holding the keys to performance...

    I've been doing lots of experimentation with spark plugs - trying different types - platinum, copper, iridium, etc., and different gaps. Today I learned that my car runs best with NGK TR55IX Iridium spark plugs set at the factory gap of .060".

    I've done a lot of experimenting with different fuels - the higher the octane, the better the car performs. I settled on 108 octane VP racing fuel ($7.00 per gallon).

    I've done a lot of experimenting with fuel pressures. At idle, and all the way up to around 3/4 throttle, the car seems to run best with the factory fuel pressure of 46 psi. I know they say the GTP's are set to 52 psi stock, but my SSEi was 46 psi. Anyways, at full boost (now 13 psi), I seem to need around 70 psi of fuel pressure for best performance. I see two solutions here. First, I can run the Casper's adjustable fuel pressure regulator at 57 psi, and this increases to 70 psi automatically under full boost. The problem with this choice is that the car smells like a '71 Catalina and runs WAY too rich all day long. The other choice is to use my brand new Vortech SFMU, which I am still trying to figure out how to adapt to the SSEi. It should allow me to run the factory setting of 46 psi static fuel pressure, and set the boost gain to 2:1. At 13 pounds of boost, I should have an additional 26 pounds of fuel pressure, or 72 psi - which I think will be just right. That would give me the best of both worlds - retain full driveability and mileage, and still melt the tires on command.

    I can't seem to get enough ignition timing to make the car really perform the way I want it to. Under full boost, I only had 2 or 3 degrees of total timing advance a couple weeks ago. Racing fuel got me up around the 6 degree mark. Fuel pressure experimentation got me as high as 10 or 11 degrees, but I was actually running too rich and losing more power than I was gaining.

    My next step is to back up one pulley size, and see if my ignition timing will increase enough to increase my horsepower more than the reduced boost will sacrifice power. The problem is that I broke my pulley puller/installation tool earlier tonight. So, right now I'm stuck with no pulley at all on the car. It is actually slower than a Chrysler 300M.

    I have been measuring my performance using the Autotap, and using current time versus vehicle speed to determine actual performance. My best run today was 0 to 90 mph in 12.0 seconds. I think stock was around 15.9 seconds, so I was impressed.


    p.s. - I think I am the only Bonneville owner who hasn't complained about the cupholders yet. For the record, I also think they suck.
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    Yeah, they aren't great. I like them better than the ones on my Regal. At least these can hold my cell phone. Oh well...back to the drawing board!

    Congrats on your new Bonnie! Bronzemist was my favorite color, but I didn't like the taupe interior, so I settled on Galaxy Silver. As far as the cap goes, the Pontiac site probably has one. I got an insulated thermos and a keychain from them.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Thanks all, for providing the specs on your cars.

    Hey there Cuzin Brucey - it's a great family here! Congrats on that gorgeous SSEi - I love that color combo. Best wishes to you for many years and miles of satisfying driving in your new Bonneville.

    Intense01 - glad to see those modification reports again - got to get myself a car mechanics primer and try to figure out what you're talking about! But $7 per gallon for fuel? Out of my league for sure.

    Smfran - going to have to start building yourself a carriage house for all those cars you want - you surely wouldn't want any to get wet or dusty between times out!

    Have a Bonnie weekend everyone

  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Certainly unlike me. Ken: add my 2000 SLE to your list (dark bronzemist exterior, "neutral" Prado leather interior).

    Okay, question for everyone: what the heck is a Prado? And why should we care?

    Glad to see you back Intense - I think you remind us all that, at the core of this large luxury family sedan beats the heart of a performance car.

    see you all soon!

    the iceman
  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    A product called "Scrub Free Soap Scum Remover". It is a bathroom cleaner, comes in lemon scent, and is made by Benckiser. Spray some on a rag and wipe it on, does not take much rubbing. I happened across it when I found a small black grease spot on my Aurora when it from the body shop. It does wonders, just follow it up with a damp rag and whatever you would normally use to protect the surface.
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    A few days ago, iceman wrote that there were 60,000 Bonnevilles sold in model year 2000. Any idea of the breakout between SEs,SLEs, and SSEis?
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    tpken: For the record, my stats are 2000 SSEi - Midnight Blue - Chrome wheels - Heated seats.

    cuzinbrucey: If you think you can not remove the grease easily, do not touch it. Make a list of anything that you notice over the next two weeks and make an appointment with the dealer to take care of it. You paid good money for delivery of a new car. It is not necessary for you to clean it.
    Don't be concerned yet over the placement of the wheel and your view. Over the next 1,000 miles or so you will be making various adjustments to your driving position until you reach a final comfortable situation. Things will change.

    intense: With all your modifications, are you still using the car for standard commuting?

    iceman: Prado must be Connolly's cousin.

    Has anyone found the personalization of the side view mirrors useful in terms of them shifting position when in reverse? I shut that option off as I don't use my mirrors when parallel parking.

    Well got to go now. It's time to break ground on the new carriage house!
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    They're useful to me when I back out of a tight space next to a concrete median. Helps reduce tire-scuffing! It actually works quite well if you do use your mirrors to parallel park. I do, but I don't parallel park that often. I still leave the feature on though.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Pontiac keeps quoting sales figures breakdowns of 65% for SE's and the balance roughly equally split between SLE's and SSEi's. If that's how the 60,000 sales went in 2000, then we're looking at:

    SE - 39,000
    SLE - 10,500
    SSEi - 10,500

    Given that Canada usually accounts for 10% of those figures and other exports account for another 5%, you can probably count on less than 10,000 of each of the SLE and SSEi sold in the States.

    Personally, I have only seen one other SLE (besides mine, that is) and, if this forum is any indication, then perhaps SSEi's actually outnumber SLE's.

    No word on how sales are going in 2001.

  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Just read the 2000 auto issue (April). Boy, they do seem to like the Bonneville - giving it +ve marks for reliability and customer satisfaction but a black mark for depreciation. And an overall recommendation! Add that distinction to the others it has already racked up:
    "best pick" in the IIHS offset crash tests (large family sedan)
    5&4 star NHTSA crash test ratings
    Intellichoice's (JD Power) "Complete Car Cost Guide Best Overall Value of the Year" among large sedans for 2000.

    Guys, we chose well. The only mystery that remains is why Pontiac doesn't (can't) sell more of them. I think lack of advertising, high sticker prices and competition from the Grand Prix are high on the list of explanations.


    P.S. If Prado is Connolly's cousin, they are distant cousins - perhaps thrice removed. I've been treating the leather to give it a softer, "kid-glove" like texture and it is getting better.
  • refinerrefiner Posts: 59
    Intense hows the torque steer? Just with the mods I've made I noticed a increase. By the way did your boost psi decrease when you put on the headers? I'm still waiting on my stage II MAF. Its been over 2 months now. Got my rear sway bar and end links. Going to put them on tommorrow. I've got a 2000 SSEi black with chrome wheels. sunroof and heated seats.
  • intense01intense01 Posts: 107
    I still drive my SSEi every single day. There's nothing more fun than running into a punk in a Mustang GT. I'm to the point where most stock Mustangs (except Cobras) don't really have a fair chance...

    Yesterday, I stayed dead even throughout first gear with my girlfriend in her stock 2000 Ram Air Trans Am. She was mighty surprised, but informed me that she can't be having any 4-door FWD V6 keeping up with her. So as soon as I hit thirteens in the SSEi, I'll have to start bolting some fun parts on her car...

    My boost gauge has been pegged since last summer when I first put on the 3.25" pulley, so I can't be sure exactly what happened with my boost. Here are my best guesses:

    Stock - max of 5.75 pounds (measured)

    3.5" Pulley - max of 8.5 pounds (measured)

    3.25" Pulley - max > 10.0 pounds (according to dashboard gauge)

    Last Round of Mods - max of 13.0 pounds (measured)
    Without the special cylinder head work, and a completely free-flowing exhaust system, I would guess my boost would be in the 16.0 psi range right now.

    My next step will be a step backward to the 3.25" pulley. I think 10 - 12 psi will probably be the right number for me.

    Regarding Torque Steer, I only feel it when the tires are breaking loose. This is only an issue at WOT under 40 mph, and during the 1-2 shift when the tires break loose. I've got some mighty sticky tires which I believe help out considerably. My philosophy is to keep both hands on the steering wheel under full throttle...

  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    This thread seems to deal more with modding the newer SSEi's, but I figured I'd bounce this question off you guys anyhow. My Grandma's 1992 SSE got to where it almost wouldn't stop, the front end floated enough that it made a Town Car look like a Vette, and it pulld to the right when you hit the brakes. I got the car up on blocks, and started looking, and the sway bar had come completely loose on the right, and two of the rubber bushings on the bolt holding the left side dwon were gone. Replaced all the bolts, spacers, warshers, bushings, ect on the sway bar ends, and it calmed the front end down to levels you'd expect from a Bonneville. The brakes gave me another problem though. When the brakes were pumped up and held, and I opened the bleeder screw, brake fluid barely oozed out on the right, shot out hard on the left. New right side caliper and the problem's solved, right? Wrong. It stops a lot better, but is still way below what it's supposed to be. No problems with ABS or parking brake, it just doesn't have the brakes it once did. Anyone have any idea what could be wrong. I can't afford the time or money to go throwing parts at it in hopes of randomly fixing my problem.
  • Hi everyone, I enjoy reading all the postings and I guess I should add to the list, especially since I don't see anybody with my particular car: 2000 SLE in Maple Red with pewter leather. I bought it in July, 00, trading in my '93 SE. It has 9700 miles. It's a great car and when I see it freshly washed I feel like that guy in the KIA commercial ("Yes, that IS my car, isn't it!). When I first looked at new Bonnevilles, I thought I would go with the black color but once I saw a red one my decision was made.

    I wanted to relate one thing I discovered during this long Minneapolis winter. One night after we got 8 or 9 inches of snow dumped on us,I got stuck in a rut in my alley. I got a couple of neighbors to help push but the Bonnie wouldn't budge until AFTER I disengaged the traction control. Then I could "rock" it out with little problem, in fact I don't think I even would have needed anyone to push. Maybe this is only logical but I haven't read much about the traction control. I don't recall ever getting stuck in my '93.

    Looking forward to some great (Spring) Bonnie-driving weather....
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Welcome jhgoodman (gawd, me wonders how many lurkers we get here). I think your maple red SLE is a real looker. In fact, I said as much back my post #764 where I posted a pic of same. I've never actually seen one up close in red but I've seen the same colour on other cars and man, it is rich.

    Anyway, traction control dramatically improves your ability to move and to move straighter when one or more of your wheels loses traction. But it absolutely sucks out loud when you're at a dead stop in an icy rut - it doesn't allow you to rock! It's a pity that your sales rep. didn't walk you through that when you bought it (of course, who'd be thinking of that when you buy in July)?

    On that subject, Please Please Please somebody bring an end to this winter!!!!

    the (well-named) iceman

  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    Has anyone heard why GM couldn't/hasn't linked the DIC to the diagnostics in the OBDII? It would seem that there would be zero hardware cost and only a minor amount of programming to have the DIC display a diagnostic code and the couple of words that go with it. While these cars are new, it is pretty much a non issue but later on, dealers and mechanics charge a nice sum to hook up the computer to spit out the codes. With the DIC, you would think that this could be done for next to nothing. In today's world, many people wouldn't know what to do with the information, but some of us would understand a reading of the code rather than a generic "check engine" light.
    Smfran, I see you received your sway bars. You've inspired me to e-mail Saner as soon as I get off of this site and see where mine are.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    Thanks for the numbers on the Bonneville. How about some comparative figures? How does it compare to the competition like 300M, LHS, Buick Ultra, etc.?
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