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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Remove the plastic engine cover and wiring harness shield. The supercharger oil check/fill plug is located at the front, toward the bottom rear of the drive gear housing, and requires a 3/16" allen wrench. Do not remove the plug with the engine running or warmed up, wait till it's completely cooled down (2-3 hours) or pressure may blow hot fluid out of the filler hole. Use only G.M. Supercharger Oil, P.N. 12345982. Fluid level is correct when at the bottom of the filler hole. BTW, the noise you're hearing is probably the powdered metal drive gears with some backlash developed. They're not rebuildable. Your mechanic should have verified the source of the noise with a stethescope before throwing parts at it.
  • carnutcasscarnutcass Member Posts: 1
    My Bonneville is a '96 SE. I had the same problem with a "dead" ignition system recently. When I attempted to start my car I got cranking engine, no dash lights, nothing. And when the car started after a brief wait the clock on the stereo was reset at 12:00 and the climate control came on full blast. When I took it to the shop they could not replicate the failure. The problem turned out to be with the positive cable from the battery. Try this......the next time your car fails to start, open the hood and give the positive connection a gentle twist. I realize this sounds rather primitive, but I think it will confirm my suggestion that the problem is with the positive cable.
  • dw22racerdw22racer Member Posts: 1
    My '93 bonny ssei (102k miles) recently developed an oil leak that was driving me crazy.The leak appeared to be coming from the oil filter, but on closer inspection it was the corner of the engine where the oil filter adapter, timing gear case, and oil pan all come together. Bought a Chilton's manual for help only to find no information on the oil filter adapter(the casting the oil filter sppins onto). I haad to pull the timing gear case & replace the gasket- leak haas stopped, but I would not waste any money on a Chiltons book - buy the factory manual if you are going to do your own work.
  • fastlinefastline Member Posts: 7
    Here's one for the record folks. At my last regular maintenance, my dealer just informed me (4 years later) that my car is missing a Cross Engine Stabilizing Bar. Seems that the factory forgot to install it or maybe the dealer removed it and forgot to put it back. Any idea what the long term impact of driving without one may be? I have approx. 45k on the car and few problems in the past 4 years...
  • dmckeowndmckeown Member Posts: 107
    Alcan or others . How often are you finding you need too add oil to the supercharger ? A friend has a 99 Grand Prix GTP with about 30k on it and has added oil a few times allready . His car has been modified with a 3.40 pulley , cold air induction and CAT back exhaust and he does get into it a lot , so maybe that is why he has had to top it of . I have a 2000 SSEi with 15 k and it also is modified for performance so I am concerned and as soon as I get some GM oil I will check it .
  • ayratayrat Member Posts: 26
    I'm not quite familiar with specific terminology, so please excuse Me, here is my problem:

    During the break test at inspection station (normal conditions, no ABS engaged)it was found that breaks on my Pont Bonneville'92 are working only on Left front and rear Right wheels( though still providing sufficient deceleration).
    I'm trying to understand if it could be somehow related to ABS or is just a regular breaks problem(like master cylinder or air/water in the system?). My breaks are having a "low pedal" syndrome, but at the moment when ABS is engaged pedal stays high while vibrating till car stops. Sometimes after that the "low pedal" syndrome disappears for short time, but it happens very intermittently.
    This days everything is covered with snow here so I had a chance to see ABS in work (though i do not know if the car still stops with only those two wheels)

    Let Me ask you another thing: in conditions when you apply the break pedal and ABS is engaged, does ABS only provide modulated anti-pressure to prevent locking, or it is also provides positive pressure along with your foot stepped on pedal?

  • vecoveco Member Posts: 1
    I own a '94 Bonneville, and I am very pleased with it. I bought it one year ago, it has now 84,000 miles.

    The only problem I have with it is something strange in the electrical system. I have all maintenance records about the car, and the battery and/or alernator have already been replaced 3-4 times.

    Last month, I stopped the car for 5 minutes, then couldn't start it again. Dead battery. Battery replaced, car is fine again. However, I notice on the voltmeter that the voltage (around 13.7V normally) drops sometimes down to 8V, specially when the engine is idling. Using the blinkers will also induce a small drop.

    It seems to me that the voltage regulator is bad, but somebody told me it's included in the alternator, and this one has been replaced several times.

    Does somebody have any idea or advice ??? I plan to go to see some Pontiac dealer, but I am afraid of what they can do, apart from swapping the alernator again...

    Thanks !

    -Fred ([email protected])
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    '91 - '94 Bonnevilles use the Teves Mark IV ABS system, which is classified as an add-on system. That means it's in series between a conventional master cylinder/booster and the brake calipers/wheel cylinders. As such, it's invisible to the foundation braking system.

    ABS responds to impending wheel lock-up by 1: energizing the isolation solenoid to the affected wheel's brake, isolating it from the master cylinder and preventing any further master cylinder pressure increase from reaching that brake, then 2: if necessary (usually is), energizing the dump solenoid to reduce pressure at the affected brake, allowing the tire to regain traction. It does this 12-15 times per second, which is the pulsation/vibration you may experience during an ABS event. What any add-on ABS system absolutely CAN NOT do: 1: apply the brakes; 2: increase brake pressure to a higher value than the driver's input to the master cylinder via the brake pedal. I've read countless posts from misinformed individuals to the contrary, but that's how your system works. Front wheel brakes are controlled individually, rears as a pair for cost saving. BTW, if also equipped with traction control the system CAN apply the brakes to the drive wheels only, to reduce wheelspin. It also, if necessary, commands the ECM to shut down fuel injectors (up to 4) at one second intervals to reduce engine torque and regain traction.

    As to the left front/right rear brakes, this is a function of the master cylinder only. Almost all front wheel drive vehicles use a diagonal split brake hydraulic system (left front/right rear & right front/left rear), to ensure at least one front brake will work in the event of a hydraulic system failure. Required due to the high weight bias on the front tires, and weight transfer when braking. It's also inviting trouble to drive a car with a defective master cylinder.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Mine has used about 10 oz. in 60,000 miles, which I consider to be well within acceptable limits. It should be checked at 20,000 mile intervals. When making pulley modifications, keep in mind that the powdered metal drive gears used up to 1995 weren't the most reliable. Cured in 1996. Also, it won't hurt to use a large syringe and hose to extract all the old oil and any abrasive grit before refilling.
  • oldram51oldram51 Member Posts: 5
    Hello Everyone! I'm a new member so this is my first post. Please excuse any first time mistakes.
    I have a 98 SLE with 74,000 miles that seems to be losing anti-freeze, they have had to refill at the last 2 oil changes and after about 1500 miles on the last oil change the overflow bottle is empty again. Nothing is obvious, no puddles in the garage, exhaust smells normal, and I believe nothing in the oil. I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this problem, or has a good place to start.
  • chevydude2chevydude2 Member Posts: 36
    Help... My '98 SE just developed an engine miss -- put new plugs in and it was O.K. for a few days, but has come back. Some days it runs very strong, and other days is feels like it is running on 3 cylinders. Had it diagnosed and the code only showed "engine misfire". My thoughts are: bad coil pack?... bad engine sensor? I guess the plug wires could be bad, but seems like it would miss all the time. Any ideas? Thanks Brad
  • whogaultwhogault Member Posts: 27
    I have a 94 bonnie and have the exact same problem! At idle, especially at night, the volt meter shows a drop to around 8 volts, and idle drops as well and becomes unstable. Would love to fix this! I have had 4 alternators and three batteries. !40,000 miles and the car still is tight and kicks [non-permissible content removed]! But I am selling it to my son and would love to fix this problem. Has anyone any ideas?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    If not already done, update to the larger 140 amp alternator. Requires a different serpentine belt. Pontiac dealers have the service bulletin.
  • ayratayrat Member Posts: 26
    Thank you, alcan for reply on my posting.

    I went to different mechanics, pep-boys and sears
    trying to get master cylinder replaced, but all of them were scared by the fact the car has ABS and recommended to go to dealer.

    I just have a checkup for $105 with local dealer, and they said that problem is with master cylinder and powerbooster. (If you remember the problem with my car was that brakes are working on one diagonal-set and do not work on the other) They said that apparently there is an internal leak within the booster(?does the braking fluid go into the booster at all?) But why should it make working one pair of brakes and should not the other? I might be wrong but I thought the booster is just helping to push master cylinder's piston, thus affecting both lines at once.
    The price was called $1073(mcyl$264 +boost$395 +labor$420)

    Dealer said that replacing the master cylinder alone is not going to solve the problem, but he still can do it if I wish for $487( parts$264 +labor) Does this make any sense - what he said?

    I can understand that there is a problem with the booster, but if it is not connected to the main problem, i wish to leave it there for now.

    By the way checkup included the engine check, but he started saying that it is not safe to road-test the vehicle with this braking problems, thus
    refusing to check the engine.

  • ayratayrat Member Posts: 26
    I'm sorry for taking too much space in this group,
    just remembered that dealer told Me that changing a master cylinder does not require bleeding the whole system (he said - "bleeding the master cylinder alone can be enough"), but changing a booster does require complete bleeding.

    Is this correct?

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    You are right. The booster has a large rubber diaphragm/power piston inside. With the engine running, brakes off, vacuum is applied to both sides of the diaphragm. A return spring holds the diphragm/power piston in the released position. When the pedal is depressed, vacuum is cut off to the rear chamber and air is admitted. The presure differential across the diaphragm pushes the diaphragm/power piston toward the master cylinder, providing assist to the m.c. push rod. It has NOTHING to do with, nor is it connected to, the hydraulic system.

    As stated before, your m.c. is a diagonal split type, with separate hydraulic systems for l.f./r.r., and r.f./l.r. If there are no external leaks, the only possible cause of the low pedal and 1/2 of the system inoperative is an internal leak in the m.c. Not the booster. Not the ABS modulator. Not Jupiter aligned with Mars. The master cylinder. Regardless of what you've been told.

    Re bench bleeding the m.c., any time the hydraulic system is opened up there is a chance of admitting air into the system. I've replaced more m.c.'s than I can count in 35 years in the trade, and sometimes have gotten away with bench bleeding only. Other times I've had to bleed the whole system. In any case, especially with ABS you should have the system flushed anyway to purge the moisture contaminated fluid in there (check "brake fluid flush - a needed service?" topic).

    One final point, don't bother with a reman m.c. They're more hassle than they're worth, with a high failure rate. Find a competent tech to replace it, and spend the extra few bucks for a new unit.

    BTW, does your m.c. have a plastic reservoir with a wiring connector to it, and a rubber hose going down to the ABS unit at the front of the car?
  • ayratayrat Member Posts: 26
    Thank you, again.

    >BTW, does your m.c. have a plastic reservoir with a wiring connector to it, and a rubber hose going down to the ABS unit at the front of the car?

    Yes, it has a plastic reservoir with the round unscrewing cap, wiring connector and rubber hose going down to ABS unit.

    Does the price for $487 to change m.c and flush the system sounds reasonable?

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    My Mitchell Labor Estimating Guide states:

    Master Cylinder - R&R
    (Includes: bleed system)
    exc. T1000........... 1.0 hr
    w/ABS add............ .2 hr

    So you have 1.2 hours labor at whatever door rate the shop charges. Doing a full flush and replacing all the fluid in the system might top out at another .8 hours if the tech takes a nap along the way. So 2.0 hours would be an absolute limit for labor. A new aftermarket master cylinder is worth about $60.00 Cdn. Call around, including a Pontiac dealer, to verify parts prices where you are.

    If I'd been able to get $487 for every master cylinder I've replaced, I'd have a 100' yacht and be retired for 10 years by now.
  • ayratayrat Member Posts: 26
    Does the process of bleeding the system on this car ('92 bonneville) with the given type of ABS require some sort of special equipment that may be not available at certain shops?

    Does the layout that you've mentioned (a plastic reservoir with the hose going down to ABS unit) make any steps easier/harder during the process?

    sorry for asking too many questions.

    Well, GM dealer's retail price for new m.c. is US$264 overhere, but on I saw them much cheaper(do not know what brands are good, though)

    Thanks again

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    I only asked about the hose from the reservoir to verify that it's a Teves Mark IV system, same as the Cdn. versions, which it is. No difference in bleeding/flushing the system, the fluid goes right through the ABS modulator. The only difference is having to syringe the fluid out of the reservoir before removing the hose so as not to pour fluid all over everything. Brake fluid is an excellent paint remover. Check around for master cylinder prices. With parts and labour it's a $200 job here.
  • n3jhvn3jhv Member Posts: 1
    MSG 111 by Oldram51: Had the same symptoms on my 93-turns out it's leaking only when it gets very cold, between the throttle body and the intake manifold housing. Apparently the TB is warmed by the coolant. When the engine is cold, look for the leak under the TB assembly. May help to remove the plastic tube from the air filter assy. Hope this helps.
  • jadek2000jadek2000 Member Posts: 1
    The rear door latches in my 89 SSE like to stop working. After having them fixed by a dealer 3 times in the last 10 years they were not working again! Ahhhh! I decided to fix them myself. The doors were stuck closed. I unscrewed all screws in the door pad. I pried it back near the rear of the door and stuck in a flash light. I operated the levers and by chance pushed a lever down and presto the door opened. I sprayed lubricant all over the latch mechanism. The rear doors now open again. BUT, if I lock all doors and try to open (via handle button) a locked rear door, then when all doors are unlocked, the rear doors stop working again! BUT, if nobody touches the rear doors while they are locked, they will continue to operate just fine! This is just insane! My next step is to install new latches. What bugs me most is the 3 trips to the dealer to band aid this obvious bad design.
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    I have just purchased a '94 SSEI, third bone, first SSEI. I knew upon purchase that there were problems with the AS/Traction control. I had the dealer scope it, and I am told there is a failure in the pressure module valve. However, the ABS system growls away at times for no reason, even when parked, in park. This does not sound like a valve to me, but an electrical sensor or computer problem. Any suggestions? Pull the ABS pack clean up all the contacts and re install? I hate to have the dealer do it, they make old Captain Hook look like a saint, and before you know it I will have a gazillion dollars in parts installed, most of which might not even be needed.
  • ejm200ejm200 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 97 SSE and the inside trunk release stopped working. Does anyone know if this could be something simple I could fix ( like replacing a fuse ) or what could cause the problem. The key-fob trunk release works fine. The trunk release button is on the driver's side door.
  • bshorebshore Member Posts: 1
    Interesting to hear about the voltage drop problem. We were never told this--no mention of a service bulletin at our trusty Pontiac dealer. We had this problem appear in 1999, the dealer replaced the instrument cluster. When the vehicle was returned to us, the A/C was inoperative, which was repaired with a new evaporator coil. hen, when the vehicle was returned to us the A/C still did not work>bad solenoid. So that was a $ 2000 repair. A year later, same problem with the voltage drop. We just had a new battery the prior winter, so the repair shop put in a new alternator (rebuilt $ 400.) By the way, the A/C also went bad a year later and we had the entire system replaced with the new refrigerant type. So far, spent about $4500 in repairs in the last 3 years. I'm seeking a new vehicle-since the repairs are costing me as much as a payment lately. I now avoid the dealer at all costs--they have been unable to make competent repairs that fixed the problem. Too bad since the vehicle has only 60,000 miles on it and looks like new.
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    Could be a number of issues, however, I just got rid of my '92 and it had the same problem. A new switch in the door fixed it, and it was relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. However, the problem still persisted at times, for reasons I am not sure of. Sometimes it works, sometimes it did not. The switch is a cheap fix, and the solenoid is obviosly working and you do have power to it as it works when you use the key fob. To replace the switch you may destroy the old one in the process, but so what. The new switch construction should be self explanitory as to how the old one is hanging on, and you should not have to remove the door panel.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    What ABS codes were retrieved? Without that information it's impossible to make an accurate diagnosis or suggest an appropriate repair strategy. "It needs a pressure module valve assembly" is too vague. Btw, that's "pressure modulator". There are about 16 trouble codes relating to the pressure modulator. Some are fixable, some aren't.
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    Thanks for the response. In looking at the printout from the dealer, I see no codes. "Tested system and found failure in pressure module (as spelled by the printout, modulator sounds correct to me) valve and right front hub and bearing assembly." To the tune of $ 1,300.00

    What I know is the computer command ride option also lights both ride types and I understand may be related. The ABS/traction control lights are not on all the time, but come on quite quickly after driving. The system activates in ABS mode when the system lights are off while parking the car, say backing into a parallel spot, going 2 mph.(you can feel it in the pedal and hear the "growl") It will then activate in traction control mode when "taking off", even if taking off consists of lightly touching the accelerator to adjust that same parking position. Obviously way over sensitive like my first wife. This is not a real issue as the lights seem to come on rather quickly after driving a short distance, and the system seems inoperable at that time.

    I am suspect of certain parts of the diagnosis. I had the Pontiac dealer do a diagnostic check for a number of issues, as I was buying the car used from a Chevy dealer down the street. I wanted the ABS issue checked by a Pontiac dealer due to different electronics than Chevrolet. The Pontiac dealer that did the diagnostics found noise in the Supercharger among other things (I hear no unreasonable or obvious noise)and although this may be true, I don't think it needs $700 dollars worth of supercharger work. I wonder about the spindle and bearing assembly and will check that thouroughly myself, however, I do wonder if this could be causing my ABS issues. It would seem the spindle/ bearing would have to be quite bad to affect the sensors, and I cannot really tell of any problem. I already replaced the wire set as they recommended, which fixed a runability problem I had them check. Let's just say, with a half a dozen used Bonnevilles on the Pontiac lot, they may have been a bit bias on the diagnostics of the car from the Chevy lot?


  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The ABTCS system processor does a self check on all it's electrical circuits at startup, and another one at 2-8 MPH to check wheel speed sensors and cycle the pressure modulator solenoids. A failure at either of these checks disables the system and turns on the warning light. An intermittent loss of WSS signal can cause the system to repeat the self check at slow speeds. The right front is most common (guess which side most curbs are on), and the sensor is integral with the wheel bearing/hub assembly. Other causes can include a chafed through sensor harness, or a mis-routed harness causing harness strain when tight cornering.

    The appropriate repair strategy would be to correct the WSS condition (the sensor output can be checked on an oscilliscope to verify it's signal to the processor, before spending $200+ on a sensor/bearing/hub), clear any stored trouble codes, then road test to see if any other codes reset. There may be a pressure modulator problem, but WSS faults can set a lot of "ghost" codes.
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    Well, I contacted the dealer found out the ABS diagnostic code was 74. This of course tells a layman like myself absolutely nothing, however, I will do a complete hub assembly inspection myself, and see what that nets me.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    DTC 74 is Pressure Modulator Valve pressure switch circuit failure.
    If, during a traction control event the brake pedal is depressed, the pressure switch signals the ABTCS control module to disable traction control and allow manual braking. The pressure switch is part of the Pressure Modulator Valve and is not serviced seperately.
    -circuit # 1659, control module teminal 13 to PMV connector 1, terminal 11, open or grounded
    -circuit # 853, PMV connector 1, terminal 12, to TCC/ABS switch (at brake pedal) open
    -failed pressure switch (or PMV internal switch circuit)
    These systems use a mylar circuit board at the PMV to carry signals to the solenoids and switches. Due to repeated heating and cooling, the mylar flexes and cracks can develop in circuit tracks. I've repaired lots of them by paralleling a wire across the broken track, from connector pin to pin.
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    Well Alcan, thanks again, piece of cake. And here I thought it might be technical or difficult. Sounds like I may have to think about this for a bit................
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA......... sorry about that. I get carried away sometimes. OK, Reader's Digest version: The pressure switch is in the Pressure Modulator, and can't be serviced seperately. The switch might be defective, or there could be a problem in the wiring. The Bonneville factory manual has a diagnostic trouble tree for that trouble code, and any good tech who follows the tree EXACTLY (checking various circuits as the tree dictates) will locate the source of the problem. If it turns out to be the Pressure Modulator, it can usually be corrected if he's willing to open it up and do a circuit board repair. The diagnosis to determine the exact fault shouldn't cost more than 1 hr. labour, including checking all the associated circuitry. Make sure the shop has the appropriate year/model factory manual.
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    Well Mr. Alcan, I must say you do sound like an asset to any service department. Believe it or not, I am quite capable mechanically, and after reading very closely what it is you have written, both the technical and the Readers Digest versions, I do get a picture. I believe with a manual that pointed out where these specific parts were, I could at least do a physical inspection for wear, damaged or cracked insulation, dirty connections, etc. Circuit board stuff would be an entire other issue, however, I have done some detailed electrical soldering in my day. Still sounds like a tech needs to diagnose the exact problem. Like I had said, the first diagnosis gave them the code 74, and their immediate answer was to toss $ 1,300.00+ worth of parts into the car. For right now, I am going to observe what I can, clean up what I can, and see what happens. There have been times in the past few days, when the lights have not come on for quite a few miles. Makes me wonder if it may be a connection somewhere. I know the ABS does work, because it comes on and growls occasionally when the car is barely even moving. I will keep note of all you have said, if nothing else it is ammo for the service department. Thanks again, and I look forward to more and better discussions through this medium.

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    E-mail me your fax # and I'll send you the appropriate diagnostic trouble tree and schematics. PMV board repair is actually quite easy. Each track terminates at a pin, so it's a matter of locating the open circuit and soldering a fine gauge wire pin to pin.
  • tch65tch65 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 93 SE with 120,000 that has been a flawless performer up till this point and need an answer ASAP if anyone can help me.

    Last night my wife parked the car as usual and today when she went out to start it, it wouldn't start. The radio plays, all gauges and lights work including headlights and all, but when you turn the key, it doesn't do a thing. I tried juming it with no affect whatsoever and then tried to 'jump' the starter with a screwdriver. This started the engine with no problem (meaning I had plenty of battery juice) but it would not stay running. Is this a problem with the key chip? I removed both battery cables checking them for corrosion and being loose and they were fine. I went ahead and cleaned them to make sure and left them off for awhile thinking maybe the computer would reset itself if it was a key chip problem. I am thinking about running out to the store and purchasing a diagnostic reader (would like to have one anyway) to see what it might tell me. Anybody else have any suggestions?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Take a look at the ignition key and in the ignition lock, and see if the terminals for the key resistor pellet are clean. If not, the lock terminals can sometimes be cleaned with an aerosol contact cleaner and a q-tip.
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Member Posts: 419
    This might sound too obvious but does the car have a valet switch in the trunk next to the latch? This happened to me when I first got the 96 SE that I had and I felt like a moron when I put it on my service list for the dealer to take a look at.
  • tch65tch65 Member Posts: 3
    You guys aren't going to believe this. After going out and purchasing a code reader, it told me that everything was fine with my ignition system AND my vehicle anti-theft system. After extensive research and several trips to a few good mechanic friends, the problem was revealed. In these early 90's GM vehicles, there was an inherent flaw built into the setup of the wiring and ignition switch. The ignition switch has 2 wires coming off the outer cam area that lead into the steering column to connect your VATS system with the computer. Each time you turn your ignition switch, these two wires will turn with your cam mechanism too. After a period of time, one of the wires will eventually break in half which doesn't allow the computer connection with your key. I tore down the steering column (still in the process as a matter of fact) and there it was. One very small wire off the switch that was indeed cut in half. I am fortunate as it broke a couple of inches away from the switch so I think I can rejoin the wires and put it back together without any problem. I little extra wire won't hurt either to allow for movement. It normally breaks against the switch causing you to have to replace the entire ignition switch assembly and key. Assembly: $45.00 Key: $26.00 This procedure is very time consuming and calls for a couple of specialty tools too. Luckily I'm just out for my time and a few electrical parts and tools. Hope this helps anybody else with this kind of problem. Thanks for all your help too.
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    Thanks for the schematic and trouble shooting tree, I did receive it and do appreciate it. You have gone well above and beyond the call of duty.

    It is going to take some hunting for sure, the system has been working properly on and off of late, however, it is also working at times it should not be. The idiot lights come on, they sometimes stay off. ABS / Traction control will kick in at a near standstill, causing the car to be very sluggish just starting out, or even cycling the ABS "growl and braking" without using the brake pedal. All of these occurances are at very, very low speed 1-4 mph. Or is kph up there in Canada?

    Anywaya, thank you again sir. And I shall let you know of the eventual outcome.
  • rayfordsteelerayfordsteele Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a white '93 Bonny SE and have been trying to figure out what my car's trim level package actually is. Basically it's an SE but it's got quite a bit of SSE stuff.
    I have SE badging, a high chrome-line in the plastic trim, the low-mount foglights, a deck spoiler, power moonroof, leather, buckets, floor-shifter, am-fm cassette with auto-seek and 6-way speakers and 6 way equalizer, gold-plated spoke wheels, (aluminum?) orange rear turn signals, and the single-opening in the grille, (no cross-shape). All factory stock.

    Can anyone tell me if I can swap my rather boring plastic trim for the racier package?

    A couple more questions. Car's got 127,000 miles on it, I've got this front suspension thunk going on that's getting worse. Seems to be mostly suspension related, but can be instigated if I zig-zag hard enough.

    I was told my inner tie rods were bad when I got new wheels, so I've already replaced the inner tie rods. Any clues? Just struts loose or something?

    Also have a weird sound that happens whenever I start cold, back up out of a parking spot, turn, and drive away. Sound usually (or maybe always) happens when straightening the wheel from the turn. Sounds like a 'whoonk' or a 'vroomp' or something. Only happens once per cold start and only occurs when turning in the one direction, (when turning the wheel to the right I think from a sharpish left.

    Finally, anyone know if you can drop a 3800 Series 2 or whatever the latest of the 3800 line is under the hood of the '93? Any packaging / compatibility issues?
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    Are you Remington's brother? Anyway, I am sure you could search far and wide and find SSEI ground affects from a bone yard, or you could certainly order them through Pontiac. They will then have to be painted to match your vehicle. You will need to relocate the fog lights and will need whatever hardware is required for the same.
    All of this may run into a bit of coin, not to mention the hassle.

    Although I am quite sure you could install a series two 3800 in your car, there would be considerable issues to deal with most probably. Different computer chips and sensor packages, exhaust setup perhaps, hose configurations, etc. Again the cost seems quite scary, assuming you could find a long block and all the toys to make it work, without having to pledge your firstborn male.

    Although the 3800's have a great reputation for long life, one must look at the value of the car first. A '93 DE with 127k on it, depending where you live, is probably not much more than a $4500 car, at best, assuming it is in good condition. It would seem that for the money you would have to invest in this car to arrive at your goal, your funds might be better spent moving up into an SSE or SSEI of a later model year. I think you would be happier. It would likely cost less overall, and when all is said and done, the ewer car will have a much greater resale value, not to mention the most important item, value to you. Consider this: Moving up will also likely move you down in the mileage department. Even with a newer, or new engine in the '93, everything else on the car is still 8-9 model years old and still has 127k on it. Trans, suspension (which you have noted is groaning a bit), switchgear, power windows, systems, etc.

    Personally, I would drive the wheels off of it as it is, or git while the gittin's good and move into a newer ride. Less miles, more smiles long term.

  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    I want to go on record as stating that the spell checker on this medium does more harm than good.

    There, I feel much better after venting.
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335
    Spell checker is EVIL !!!

    A fix is being planned for the (not near) future.

    Maintenance & Repair Message Board
  • girlwithtoolsgirlwithtools Member Posts: 26
    Two nights ago, I changed the oil in my 97 Bonneville from 10w-30 to 5w-30 Mobil 1. Eighty miles after my oil change, I started my car and when the engine temp hit 200* my pressure gauge started to spike off the charts! The oil level is good and the filter is on correctly (I double checked). I'm am curious what is causing this. Any ideas?

  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    Just a thought. 200 degrees is very likely normal, my '92 and '94 both ran at about that temp, which isn't unrealistically high.

    I know of a few others who have had gauge problems, including myself. My '92 would "spike" off the charts too when the rpm's got up just a bit over a fast idle. It was the gauge. Not to worry as long is it reads high, and not low. Might just be a coincidence that this happened in conjunction with your oil change.

    Have fun, don't blow a gasket.

  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    eye desided not two youz it anymoor. eye dont think anywon wil knowtis
  • girlwithtoolsgirlwithtools Member Posts: 26
    1. I knew 200* was average temp for that car, but wasn't certain why, at a normal temp, it would relate to the oil gauge going out of sorts. The pressure reading was normal as it was warming up. It has been mentioned that perhaps the oil change caused some gunk to be flushed up against the oil pump. I would think it would cause the pressure to remain a constant the entire running time of the car.

    2. Grate komentz ahn spel chekeng!

    Too much fun in auto-land. . .hs
  • zzahhzzahh Member Posts: 47
    A gal who changes her own oil, and then, actually looks at gauges too! Wow. Tell me you love to golf, road ralley, and find Monday Night Football in conjunction with a wonderful steak dinner, an excellent way to spend what are otherwise historically dismal Mondays. Tell me you live in SE WI. Tell me you are single. A girl after my heart...... sigh.......

    PS Do you do brakes???
  • girlwithtoolsgirlwithtools Member Posts: 26
    Ironically, I do love golf, my dream job would be a race car driver, I'm a big football fan and find roots in steak-n-potato country. Alas, I am married to an auto-illiterate guy.

    I come from a history of "serve yourself" folk. My father taught me all I know, including changing brakes. My favorite summers were those spent grease packing wheel barrings on school buses. Even as a career gal with fake nails, business suits and makeup - I am certainly not scared to get dirty.

    The pressure issue on the Bonnie bugs me, though. I miss the old cars where you could pop the hood, spend a few hours and come up whistling. Now, you have to take them to have the computers analyzed and wait for the guy to speak kindergarten lingo (it happens with girls) about the repairs at hand.

    If it is gunk up against the oil pump, would it be worth draining the oil again to see if it flushes out?

    Dirty in IA . . .hs
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