1988 Bonneville SSE- NEED HELP - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 12-01-2005, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default 1988 Bonneville SSE- NEED HELP

Hey I am an amateur. but i do know my way around machine shops and mechanic shops. Im my bonneville the stock engine is going to go soon. I was wondering if anyone could give me a variety of info on the choices i can make. I really do not want to modify the engine comparment as much but i have no problem doing a little fabrication. in addition more power would be great. i read very little on the 3800 series engines but not as much as i wanted. also i was wondering if anyone could give me info on a better transmission for different engines and better suspension choices. i have been looking on line and there is really nothing to help me out in the mass market arena. i was wondering if anyone could give me a list of options in those areas. i know it is a lot to ask for but i need something.

P.*. where can one get relatively cheap tools that are needed for engine swapping

P.P.* does anyone know of a good and trusted mechanic in NJ.
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:00 PM   #2
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First, get a good pic of the RPO list on top of the spare tire cover....

Look up the codes in Tech Info at the top of the forum, look under specifications and you should see the 87-99 RPO listing, most of them will be there... This will tell you what options your car came out of the factory with...

Second, lets get a little bit more in detail as for what you are looking to do...

Any Vin C 3800 will work for you, you can swap in a Vin L 3800( tuned Port Injection ) as well but a couple of changes will have to be made...

as for the transmissions, for 88 there was 3 gear ratios... 2.73, 2.84 and 2.97.... The SSE had the 2.97 gear ratio, I feel this was the best overall ratio for the 3800...

In 89 they added the GX3 or 3.33 Ratio transmission, made the car a little more fun to drive, but the engine was designed to be a cruiser, so with the 3.33 gears they tend to run out of breath... Not sure if I like the 2.97 or 3.33 more, but I still feel that the 2.97 trans makes the best use of the 3800'* torque curve and HP peak...

Let us know exactly what you want to do and we'll see what we can answer for you..

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Old 12-01-2005, 04:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
as for the transmissions, for 88 there was 3 gear ratios... 2.73, 2.84 and 2.97.... The SSE had the 2.97 gear ratio, I feel this was the best overall ratio for the 3800...
I'd hope the other ratios are better - the GX3 ratio likes to string out the gears a little too much for my liking. Makes noise, makes revs, but still not that fast
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Old 12-01-2005, 08:05 PM   #4
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Well i like the sound of the transmission deal. the 2.97 i read a little bit about and they seemed very nice. personally what i would like done to the car is to be able to go on a the parkway and local roads without having to worry about anything. soemthing that can handle stop and go traffic of local roads and something that can handle highway speeds. right now i feel the car is straining to get up to speeds on the highway. i wouldnt like that to happen. i cannot access the car right now due to it being used, but what options do you need to know. i pretty much know the entire car inside and out. thanks for you help
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