Owning a Bonneville is a disease, called Bonnyitis - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat
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Old 06-11-2006, 02:56 AM   #1
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Default Owning a Bonneville is a disease, called Bonnyitis

Hello from Grande Cache in Northwest Alberta, Canada. Have been lurking for some time on this wonderful forum.

Let me explain my username, "Bonnyitis". I have come to the conclusion that owning a Bonneville is a disease, especially with a Series II.

My first infection occurred in 1998 when I was shopping for a used car to move 2000 miles from Quebec to Alberta. It had to be full sized and able to pull my trailer. I first looked at a monsterous 1984 Ford LTD, but when I put my finger through a hole in the floor, I said sorry, bye. Then I went to see a red 1989 Bonny SE. It was beautiful and ran great! It was my first car, and I never realized how much work it would be to own a Bonny. Ball joints, cruise control, alternator, power window, ECM, clogged cabin intake, leaky aluminum rims, tape deck, parking brake cable, CV joint boot, leaks from brake line, PS line, heater coolant line, oil pan leak, and a hundred other things. Meanwhile, my father'* ‘87 Celica needed a timing belt (note: NOT a timing CHAIN), and umm...oh ya, we had to oil the parking brake cable once. But I loved my Bonny anyway! Those repairs were almost fun to do, and I learned a lot about cars.

When the 2000 Bonny came out I went like Wow!, I'm gonna get one when they come down to US$7000. Just didn't care for the 92-99 look. Seemed pretty plain and tame to me. When poor ‘89 Bonny got car cancer, I shopped till I dropped to hit the target price, but my area was more like US$10000 so off I go flying to Detroit, 2500 miles from home to look at a ‘00 SLE for US$7000. Oh she was a beauty! Red violet metallic, and SPIFFY! But kinda slow to start and quite the clonking going on in the steering. Well, I can handle that! So I deduct $700 for a steering rack and $300 for the hard start and got it for $6000, ‘AS IS'.

Went to check out GM world headquarters in Detroit. Awesome buildings and lobby.
Click the image to open in full size.

Driving back from the Ford Rouge assembly line tour (sorry Pontiac Bonneville Orion plant tours not available), traffic is slow on the highway and it STALLS! Got her going, and the next day at the motel, it wouldn't start. A mech says it'* the fuel pump, so US$330 later I install a new fuel pump, crawling in trunk and hammering like mad to get that freekin ring back on. And it worked! False joy. Over the days of the long drive home through awesome Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana, it got harder to start every day, until it just refused. That was at the top of King'* Hill, 70 miles from Great Falls, Montana, where it was cold (30 deg F) and high (7200 ft). $300 later for towing, the mech just pulls off the fuel pressure regulator vacuum line and it starts like, voom! Could have kicked myself! The diaphragm was leaking fuel into the intake, and the dealer fixed it for free on a RECALL that was NEVER DONE. Could have caused a FIRE and BURNT the car down!

After US$700 at the border and Canadian Registry of Imported Vehicles shenanigans, I fixed that steering clonk for 3 cents of lithium bearing grease to the intermediate shaft thanks to the BC. Changed out or repaired all the cockpit lights including the ones behind the radio display. Got pics and info (CM7219-ND lights from digikey.com) if anyone wants. I got one mod on it now: tried to silence the loud flasher with foam padding. It'* a bit muffled now, but still annoying compared to my ‘89 Bonny flasher. Broke the hazard light switch doing that, but got a CKN1191-ND from digikey.com. Got pics for that too.

Now I was happy! I sold my ‘89 SE for US$1250. Boo hoo, bye bye!
Click the image to open in full size.

and poured Champagne over the ‘00 SLE hood.
Click the image to open in full size.

Nice custom line work!
Click the image to open in full size.

Love the way my neighbours' houses are wrapped around Bonny'* fender in a relativistic speed-like distortion! There'* the signature of the line artist too.
Click the image to open in full size.

Like I said I was happy and took it for a pedal-flooring joy spin with three friends up the two mile long, 900 foot high hill just out of town at 86 mi/hr.

Then I found out the above troubles were just a taste of Bonny adventures.

The PLASTIC UIM WARPED and it started leaking Dexcool. Researching this on BC, led to a wild goose chase for UIM'*, UIM gaskets, LIM'*, and LIM gaskets with of multitudes of choices for each part. Trying to decipher the reasons for each change and choosing the best parts took FOREVER. But I got it done, and was dang proud of it. So I took it back up that cursed hill and...

Let'* move over now to the thread: "How to evaluate a junkyard engine? (UIM, LIM fix then spun bearing on 3800 SII)" in Mechanical and Maintenance, 2000-2005. Oh the joy!

So, about this disease, I KNOW Bonnies are unreliable, could have gotten a rice rocket and be out flying an ultralight plane by now. Instead, I got my head under the hood trying to figure out my first engine swap, while my landlord is starting to bitch about ‘that car on the grass', like how long is it gonna be there? You gotta LOVE mechanics and fixing MAJOR problems if you wanna be a Bonny owner. That'* the price to pay. It'* an IRRATIONAL behaviour, a compulsion, a DISEASE, called Bonnyitis. You can't expect to HAVE A LIFE and be a Bonny owner too. It'* comforting to know that there are so many INFECTED people on this forum. I'm not the only one. Together, we can help each other out coping with this CONDITION. Feeling better already. HA, HA (laughing insanely).
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Old 06-11-2006, 03:03 AM   #2
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wow...nice car..too bad about the engine problems, but that same problem is SOO common with the L36s...

too bad about the SE tho...looked like a nice one...
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:15 AM   #3
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Nice back drop around your house. The view is awsome. Nice cars. Welcome, lots of good info and people here.
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Old 06-11-2006, 10:39 AM   #4
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singscountry1967 is on a distinguished road

Wow...not THAT'* an introduction! How many miles on her? Excellent choice in color and rims.
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:42 PM   #5
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Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, _______Canada._______ West Coast Bonneville Fest ___05,06,07 Survivor___
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You found a red one in Alberta..thats rare..lol
...im in Red Deer..and HAD a red 93.. lol
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