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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 09-25-2006, 08:36 PM   #1
bil
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Default some front suspension help

good evening all;


i've had a fun day with pontiacs. took my sse in this weekend with some noises in the front and steering problems and found out i have a busted coil spring. the springs are original but the struts look like they've been replaced in the past. here'* where to follow the bouncing ball;

phoned my local napa store( here in ontario) - they said for 89 they can still get springs for an le or se but not an sse
phoned the dealer - same story
buddy who does the work on my car tried his local parts store- they said they can still get sse front coils but need to know if luxury or sport suspension ???? there'* a choice?
been reading back in the forum and in a previous message found codes for an le are f41 for sport and fe1 for luxury, can be found on spare tire cover. presuming this is the same for sse, will check in the morning as it is a dark and stormy night and i remember thats how all the snoopy mysteries started in peanuts!
car also came from factory with trailer towing package

question 1) the info i read on the codings are the same for sse'*?
question 2) does the trailer towing package make a difference?
question 3) they are giving me a price of $150(canadian) apiece for the front coils...i paid about that for both back coils in spring! does that make sense?

monkey wrench 1) i have a buddy who said he can get me a set of coils from an sse from a wrecker out his way for $40(canadian) for a pair. however this is quite a distance away so when i get them i'm stuck with them + gas to go get the darn things. can i get away with this seeing as i know nothing about the wreck other than its an 88-91 sse or am i blowing money out the old wazoo?

thanks in advance and if you can make sense out of this i'll happily admit you're a better person than me!

bill
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:04 AM   #2
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I didnt want the hassle of searching for all the parts to put my air suspension back together. Get some heavy duty shocks and springs, they may ask if you have a sport suspension, my answer was yes and they had them in stock at Advance for the shocks. The springs were a great deal on ebay, search there first. I took out the compressor and the ride control module and have been very happy with the ride I have now.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:00 PM   #3
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Bil,

Being an 89 SSE you should have the FE2 RPO listed on the Spare tire cover... Possibly F41... But that remains to be seen...

It appears that 88-89 SSE'* used the Moog or TRW CC646 front spring, these are after market springs... Have them hunt around and see if they can get them...

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Old 09-27-2006, 09:21 AM   #4
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i've checked my car and i guess according to the coding i have the 'luxury suspension". i have to admit i'm impressed. if that'* "luxury' and it corners that well, it must be hell on wheels with the sport suspension!

i'm trying to avoid changing things if i can help it because basically the rest of it works! the air ride runs ok, none of the struts leak and i put new coils in the back in the spring.

its just with some of the luck i've had in the past with other cars, i'm fully paranoid i'm gonna get a used set of coils, get it up in the air, torn apart and find out the stupid things won't fit! (you're talking someone who once had trouble getting parts for his chevy caprice cause "chevy never built them that way!" and i had gotten the car off the original owner so i knew it was untouched) i went back to the dealer again and even they couldn't tell me if 'sport' and 'luxury' front coils will interchange.....just that they couldn't get either!

at least now i know what to look for so i will try ebay(thanks,never thought of that) and have some aftermarket names to work on.
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:42 AM   #5
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You have the FE2 suspension... Trust me... This is the ride and handling suspension... The Load Rating for the FE2 springs are a little bit more than the FE1( Soft Ride )... I would reccomend that you stay with the proper springs... Go to the local Parts store and see if they can get the Moog or TRW springs for you in the above listed part number... If you can find those on E-Bay then you have found gold

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Old 09-27-2006, 02:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bil
it must be H*** on wheels with the sport suspension!
It is! My 1990 LE has the F41 suspension and it corners quite well. I also have factory 16 inch wheels with 215/60/16 tires.
The springs themselves will interchange, but unless you upgrade to a heavier duty strut cartridge you won't get the full benefit of the upgrade. The original sport handling package is just that- a package. As in more than one component that contributes to the ride and handling quality.
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bastard
Quote:
Originally Posted by bil
it must be H*** on wheels with the sport suspension!
It is! My 1990 LE has the F41 suspension and it corners quite well. I also have factory 16 inch wheels with 215/60/16 tires.
The springs themselves will interchange, but unless you upgrade to a heavier duty strut cartridge you won't get the full benefit of the upgrade. The original sport handling package is just that- a package. As in more than one component that contributes to the ride and handling quality.
Yes but in some cases like the now defunct Monroe Reflex you could get a good sporty strut...

I think Gabrielle sells a sporty version that will cross to the Bonnevilles and I think one or 2 members have used them...

I have been using Monroe Matic Plus struts and have been very pleased with them even on my soft ride suspension.. And to make matters worse there was a change in the front spring / Strut design in the 90 production year... All of the 91'* went to the newer front strut spring combo as the 92-99'* had...

I have also heard good things about Monroe Sensatrack

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Old 09-30-2006, 12:22 AM   #8
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thanks to all for your help.

i did find a moog store here in peterborough that sold the cc646 struts and confirmed they will mount my car. however i also got a line on an identical 89 sse for parts. went to see it today and it has matching suspension and not bad front coils. new ones were $267(canadian) and i got the whole car for $200. the body and interior are pretty beat but i figure i can cannabalize it for electrics and mechanics so its worth the shot once i get it out of the cottage road its back on.....anybody got a spare huey they can loan me to fly it out? actually i figure it drove in there....it'll drive out. makes you glad cars are inanimate objects tho.....otherwise i'm sure my poor old bonne was wondering how it went from a pampered city car in my aunt'* garage to the rock strewn off road course it drove today!

thanks again bill
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:00 PM   #9
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Wow those springs are expensive up there...

I can get a set of front springs for $70 US... I'm just shocked

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Old 10-01-2006, 01:05 AM   #10
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i was kind of shocked at the price myself. when i got the back coils in the spring they were around $150(canadian) for a pair. i had someone else check the price and they came back the same, that was why i figured for $200 i might as well go with the whole car.

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