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Pontiac Bonneville



  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    In the 70's life was simple. You slapped on headers, a 4 barrel intake and Holley, put in a 50 dollar crane cam, tinkered with the distibutor and shaved off seconds of quarter mile time and made outstanding burnouts at the local hamburger joint. THESE were mods we did to our parents or family's car (we were a wild bunch back then). We would snicker when we heard the engine lope on my dad's 72' Catalina. He never realized we souped up the engine on sleep overs at friend's houses. My best friend's mom's Torino wagon was turning 13 second 1/4 miles... they had the trailer package which gave a nice ratio posi rear end. We basically didn't know what the hell we were doing, but we did it anyway... low end cam and a high end intake... stuff that didn't always work together. As I got older and wiser (I'm a teacher now) I messed with heads, valve springs, cam duration and induction issues. I made some fast Chevy's and Pontiacs. The Grand National was pretty much as fast as I ever needed to go...had a bumper sticker WARNING: I BRAKE FOR CORVETTES! It was cool but had no chasis dynamics or handling
    at all (solid axel). This SSEi has outstanding chasis dynamics and the potential for improvement (has anyone tested the stabilitrack and does in shut off when you defeat the traction control?)I think the front wheel drive platform has inheirent weaknesses that will never be overcome totally, but why is changing exhaust systems got to be so hard. I want to remove the resonator and go with twin mufflers (not nosiy). But with the talk of backpressure or lack of, I'm scared to touch it....I wish my son would borrow it and change a few things for me.
    P.S. The day after the 3.4 went on I embarrassed the Lesabre... I vanquished him earlier when the temperature was down in the 50's. Like my old GN, these things appear to be highly sensitive to the surrounding environment. I'd like to see pics of any intake or exhaust work anyone has done.
  • I recently purchased a 92 Bonneville SE, an I am trying to find out what kind of fuel consumption I should expect from this car; It is rated 18-28MPG, and I am getting about 21.7 in combined city highway driving. I have had other vehicles with the 3.8 V6 engine, and have gotten closer to 26 driving the exact same way to work. I tried highway driving and managed to get 23.6MPG.
    Is this the norm for a Bonneville?

    Thanks for any inputs or comments.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    My grandmother drives a 1992 Bonneville SSE with the NA 3.8 litre V-6. I kept track of fuel use on a recent trip from East Texas to West Palm Beach, Fla, and the car averaged about 28.5 MPG. I was actually disappointed in this performance, because on cross-country jaunts in my V-8, RWD Thunderbird, I get about 27.5. I was really hoping the Pontiac, with FWD and fewer cylinders, would do better than one MPG more than my T-Bird, but that's the way it goes. 28.5 is nothing to sneeze at.
  • snicklesnickle Posts: 147
    I don't think pulling the resonator would cause any real performance problems. It should improve overall and maybe cut a little into low end, but I doubt it. Just disconnect the battery for an hour afterward. Let the PCM recalibrate from scratch.

    My concern with the resonator is volume and tone. So I am going a little step at a time.

    The new muffler I hope to have on next week.

    My exhuast desire are:

    Eliminate the resonator or replace with an performance aftermarket.

    Go to 2.5 piping from cat to split for the mufflers. Leave the 2.25 after the split.

    RAT ported exhaust manifolds. I talked with them, the porting they do does not significantly increase the manifold volume, just smooth flow. If that is the case it should help performance without decreasing the post pulse vacuum.

    We'll see what happens at some point.
  • snicklesnickle Posts: 147
    Anyone going to try it?
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    I sent you pics of my T-Type and SSEi. It took about 20 minutes to upload. Please be patient when downloading.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    Got the pics today...wish I has a DSL. As soon as the monsoons here in St. Louis stop I'll roll the firebird out for a Photo shoot. I see u have the pin stripe on ur SSEi. (SNICKLE) What are odds of finding an aftermarket resonator... if gtp guys don't have one available .... we won't see it. I too would like to eliminate it altogether, add 2 1/2 pipes to low restriction mufflers. I wouldn't mind an authoratative growl aka. like a vette, but not like a Viper or Harley. The factory put a hell of a lot of thought installing the factory mufflers didn't they?.....GO CARDINALS!!!!!!
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    No additional comments on the Regal T-Type? Don't you at least like the aftermarket American Racing wheels? What about my SSEi? Do you like the pinstripe or not? I'd also like to see a pic of your SSEi along with the T/A. I'm sure I'll have compliments for you.
    I'm sorry I can't root for the Cardinals, but ever since the '67 World series, us Sox fans need to back a different team. It can't be the Mets or Yankees, so I guess it will have to be either the Giants or Oakland!
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    OK, I loved the t-type. I always thought they looked cooler than the GN's anyway. I would have to see a pin stripe in person to evaluate it completely. I remember seeing 87 t=types with similiar wheels. Much better than the GN wheels. I just realize I sent the pics to the wrong guy. I hope dmckeown enjoys them (sorry I hit reply... the rest is history.) Some history in all those pics... my T/A a throw back to the 60's, big block, 4 speed, and 4-barrel. The t-type is a transistion between the T/A and the SSEi. The T/A is sooooo different than the SSEi. The 3.8 is like an electric motor driven car. Quiet reserved, efficent, and extremely high tech. The firebird is a viseral rush with rubber smoking, quadrajet roar, and slamming gears... they actually compliment one another quite well.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    In a perfect world, the SSEi would have a shaker hood feeding ice cold air right into the induction system. They (pontiac)invented it with the gto, improved it with the T/A, and re-invented with the new Ram Air Firebirds...too bad the one car that would benefit the most, was left OUT of the cold. Everytime I hear air being sucked into my 400 (even at idle) I wonder why not an innercooler or tastefull hood opening... what are they afraid of... the STS has 300 HP.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    Ezrapon - Thanks for the pic. Your T/A is really special. I also like your Midnight Blue SSEi. Are you sure you are a teacher!?
    At first I did not go with the pinstripe, but after bringing it home and listening to my wife and son, and reading other posts in the beginning of this forum, I went for it and am glad I did. It does add something to the wide body panels.
    I just got back from test driving my neighbor's 2000 Camaro SS. With standard tranny and over 300 horses, talk about a throwback. I really enjoyed driving it. It threw me back in my seat the way my T-Type did. I miss that.
  • dmckeowndmckeown Posts: 107
    Thanks for sending the picture of your SSEi and your Trans Am , they do look nice together , makes me wish I never sold my 69 TA back in 75 , that one and a few others , oh well .
    I will try to get a picture of my CAI modification this week and send it to you , although it looks like rain till Wednesday around here and I don't drive the SSEi in the rain if I don't have too. I'll snag a digital camera out of a lab or something . Doug
  • intense01intense01 Posts: 107
    OK guys, I have another idea on how to wake up our SSEi's a little bit more.

    Camshaft lobe lift on the stock L67 engine is listed at .258"/.255" (Intake/Exhaust). With the stock 1.6:1 roller rocker arms, this gives theoretical valve lift values of .413"/.408".

    They make an aftermarket set of 1.8:1 roller rockers for the LS1 engine. If these will fit our heads, we should get valve lift of .465"/.459".

    If these rockers will work on our engine, I would guess that the exhaust note would become 'crisper', and we'd gain a minimum of 10 horsepower. With improved intake and exhaust systems, I think the gains would be significantly higher.

    I've searched high and low through the '00 LS1 and '00 L67 Helm manuals, and can't seem to verify if these rocker arms would be interchangeable. So, I am forced to do the next best thing. I have sent my girlfriend off to the Pontiac dealer to buy one an L67 and an LS1 rocker arm. If they are interchangeable, I plan to order a set of the 1.8:1 arms from Crane Cams.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    I have done this before in the old days with pontiac 400 engines. Using the ram air engine ratio rocker arms on the standard 400 head for performance gains. This was sort of a poor man's cam swap. The Ls1 is so different than the 350 buick small block.... the fore father of our 3.8, I'd be surprised if they were even close, but stranger things have happen. I think the GTP guys would have stumbled onto any quick HP fixes, but again... stranger things! I'm guess a cam change on a transverse mounted engine would be too much.
    After each mod, I'm having more torque steer issues... almost too much traction, i guess this is the nature of the beast... didn't seem so unpredictable in the 300 hp STS... better engineering in the caddy????
  • dmckeowndmckeown Posts: 107
    I guess when I say no drawbacks to my last modifications I'm ignoring the torque steer , probably cause I've had front drive cars for so long now . My car is a handfull when WOT is applied at low speeds , I never have the traction control on . Two hands are needed on the wheel to minimize this effect . Probably intense with his 18" tires has a little less of this then we do with stock 17" tires
  • adomeradomer Posts: 2
    Intend to look at both cars next week. Would like to hear any thoughts from others who looked at both and chose the Bonnie.

  • dmckeowndmckeown Posts: 107
    I wanted more performance then the 300M offered and the stock SSEi had it . I am VERY HAPPY now that I have found out how easy and cheaply I was able to modify my 2000 SSEi for even more horse power and driving pleasure
  • dmckeowndmckeown Posts: 107
    Ezrapon , did you get the pictures I sent you of the Thrasher CAI and the pinstripe ?
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    Got the pics. The CAI looks better than I expected. It actually dresses up the engine compartment. Too bad you had to modify it to fit.
    I guess we will always be the GTP step-children. I guess I'm the only guy who chose not to opt for the pin stripe. Still have not seen one in person up close.
  • dmckeowndmckeown Posts: 107
    SMFRAN got me thinking about a pinstripe . So after having my car for a week or so I took it back to the dealer to have them remove some swirl marks they left when they buffed and waxed it . They put the pinstripe on for free for the inconveince of bringing it back . Only problem , they put white on instead of gray so I will replace it some time with two thin gray ones instead of one thick one thin like it has .
    As for the Thrasher CAI I think it looks better in the SSEi then in the Grand Prix because of the brace going over it in the GP . If anyone else wants to see the pictures post your E mail address
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