Hey there everyone. First of all let me start by saying that its refreshing to actually find a forum dedicated to the Bonneville. I have a blue 1990 SSE with all of the options. If you'll bear with me, I'll give you all a basic rundown of the car so far with some plans I have in the works for it, and along with those I'll probably be asking a few quick questions. But first, a little about me.
My name is JB Walters, I'm 22, married, and I live in Toledo, Ohio (NW corner of the state near the MI border). I've loved cars for a long time, and I know enough to change my oil and fluids and do basic bolt-ons/simple stuff, but i'm no gearhead when it comes to major mods...I'll often seek help from the pros or skilled friends when major stuff goes down. I'm a big fan of Imports (ack!! I know I know...), and I currently own a slightly modified 1995 honda accord EX coupe (http://www.cardomain.com/ride/1176295
if you're interested). I'm trying to sell it though, so please, no flaming me
Lately though I've been drifting away from the rice bullshit and toward the luxery European stuff (Audi, BMW, Benz) thats way out of my price range lol. But anyway, enough about me and my off topic car banter, and back to the Bonneville, which is my current focus.
The only mods so far are the rice-pipe intake from autozone that I'm almost finished with. The pipe is on, but I need to work on a different mount for it due to the air compressor for the suspension being in the way...the filter is resting on it. Not a horrible situation, but definetly not good for long-term. My tenative plan is to relocate the compressor if there is enough play in the wiring, and use the bolt holes for the compressor brackets to mount a custom aluminum heat shield covered w/ heat wrap. After that I think I'll go for a custom exhaust. OK, question one:
My exhaust is pretty shot. Recently the weld at the back of the cat broke, causing the manifold pipe and cat to hang down (V6 LOUDNESS, weeeee!
lol )...then I made the mistake of backing down a driveway that was too steep, caught the cat on the lip of the driveway, which forced the front manifold pipe into the front swaybar (at least I think it was the swaybar) giving the pipe a nice big dent (yay for flow impediments!!). I took it to midas who quoted me over $740 to replace the exhaust system!! I promptly told them to kiss my ***, and rumbled over to the Andersons store to get a fix-it kit. Long story short and two Rockcast exhaust patch kits later, the cat and rear section of the exaust tubing were rejoined and the car sounds fine. Well, fine might be a strech. It sounds "ok" for the most part, meaning its quiet again, but there are leaks that you can hear upon acceleration coming from the manifold flange (I think). Sorry, I get very descriptive and long winded, lol. FINALLY, the question. Most shops will charge you close to $225 plus about $70 labor for a new cat...if I decided to go the "off road only" route (yeah right lol) and had a custom shop make up a straight pipe 2.5" OD manifold back exhaust system with a flowmaster 80 series crossflow and duals, do you think that it would sound crappy without the cat? The sound I'm looking for is on this page: http://bonneville.fearthepearl.com/index.php?page=mods
Its the 6th video clip down, "1992 SSEi with Flowmaster 80 series". Very badass, very angry sounding. I realize that its an SSEi...but how much does the supercharger change the sound exactly? Oh well, thats what I'm looking for sound-wise, or pretty close. Think its possible with no cat? I just dont want to shell out so much $$ for one. Would a high-flow be cheaper than a OEM one? Ok, phew, got that all out. Start typing your responses now, becasue theres more to cover lol. Moving on, I'd like to discuss the body of the car.
As most 15 year old cars are, its a little worse-for-wear on the outside, particularly in the headlight, signal and tail lamp areas. While the headlights really arent that bad, the drivers side marker assembly (not the bumper lense, the signal next to the headlight) has a large chunk missing from the outer clear section...presumably from a large rock thrown by a semi or somthing. As far as the taillamps go, they are in decent shape for the most part, but there are some cracks. There also seems to be two layers of plastic on the lense (an outer layer and an inner layer of plastic...maybe I'm on crack? lol), and there is a film of water sandwiched between these two layers that has never gone away...it really detracts from the appearance of the car, and on top of that my taillamps short out all the time...I have a @$$load of spare fuses laying around, lol (I've gotten pulled over a couple times for it at night..luckily, fixing it on the fly right there in front of the officer has bailed me out so far, knock on wood).
Now for my next question- is there ANY place where I can find NEW turn signal assemblies and/or tail lights? I've used the search function but i've only turned up the "go to the junkyard" and "try gmpartsdirect.com" responses....a junkyard would be ok I guess, but the Mitchell cataloge at gmpartsdirect.com has nothing. Any idea what I could do with those taillamps to clean them up?
I'm thinking about doing the VHT NiteShades treatment and tinting them myself, but the backup-light section has that pesky water-layer problem too, and I wouldnt want to tint that section over bc I'd lose too much seeing ability at night while backing up.....so basically it will look like crap if I don't tint it, and I won't be able to see if I do. Does anyone know if theres a way to separate the lamp assembly from the actual lense, and completely clean out the front part of it from the inside? That would probably work out well, actually, if its possible. Anyone ever try it? Well, this has turned into a hell of an introductory post...sorry for getting so carried away, everyone. Thanks for your time, and I'm sure you'll be seeing more of me on the forums in the future.