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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 07-24-2004, 06:46 PM   #1
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Default Speed chip?

I was looking at Fast Chip.com and I see they have available a speed chip for my engine (90 bonneville SE 3.. Is it worth it? Its only 159$. I can maybe get a stage 2 but then I have to upgrade my thermostat to 160. Is this worth it? Do they really work? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-25-2004, 01:40 AM   #2
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There is no magic "fix" for the "C" engine, the limits are more mechanical (intake, cam, exhaust). They probably dial in a bit more advance (and require premium fuel) but that does not help the top end which just does not breathe.

As far as "chipping" I just lowered the cut on temperatures for the fans and run a 180F thermostat but that is more for longetivity than anything else.
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Old 07-25-2004, 04:51 AM   #3
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I always use premium no matter what. The previous owners had it for 14 years on preimum so I wont change it. But is it worth the 159$?
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Old 07-25-2004, 12:57 PM   #4
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Default Gas is Gas

There is no reason to run premium with a stock "C" engine. The BTU/lb is almost exactly the same for 93 and 87 PON. What premium does mostly is to burn slower and has a higher ignition temperature.

This is necessary to avoid pre-ignition (ping) with a high compression or boosted engine. It has no effect on a normally aspirated engine with a relatively small bore (under 4") and 8.5:1 compression (of course if the engine is defective and particularly if running over 220F, all bets are off, I keep mine under 190F (180F thermostat and reprogrammed fans) all of the time.

The only thing you are doing running premium in a stock 3800 is *retarding* the effective timing (see "burns slower" above) and paying 10%-15% extra at the pump.

If you doubt me, get a scan tool and watch the OLDPA3 (knock counts) while driving. Normally you will see a bunch on startup while the computer is just guessing, and maybe a couple on sudden bursts of accelleration (takes a moment to pull the spark off) and that should be it.

BTW there was a reason that the old GM Standard Test #20 was for "maximum power and detonation" - my feeling is that no detonation at all, like a rock smooth idle means the engine is running retarded and "retarded" means "lost mpg". Not only are you paying more at the pump but the mpg is lower also (2-3% typically).

Sorry but that is one of my pet peeves, the mythconception that premium gas gives you more power. Just the opposite.

All of my street cars get 87 PON (except the Judge which gets 93 plus a number of additives, it is rather elderly).
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Old 07-25-2004, 02:39 PM   #5
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Maybe you didnt understand. I know preimum doesnt boost power, by any means, however, the person that had it before me used preimum for 14 years of its life, and im not going to change it. I ran a tank of regular when I first got it and it ran like ****. Ever since I switched back it has run like it should, and I happen to get 1-2 mpg better on preimum. Thanks for all the technical jargon, but every engine is different and mine just doesnt run as well on regular fuel. Rather than waste a bunch of money trying to beef up the engine I will just wait a few more months and buy a newer car. Either a Regal GS, GPGTP, or a Bonneville SSEi. Thanks anyways for the help.
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Old 07-25-2004, 03:53 PM   #6
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Hello.

Thanks for the input. My car is a 1990 SE. Power options is about it. I live in Maine. It has 122k on the clock. Not bad for being 14 years old. The only reason I run preimum is the previous owner ALWAYS ran nothing BUT preimum for the 14 years he had it, as I am the second owner and when I ran 87 octane it ran different. If you wanna buy it im sure I could sell it pretty cheap

Heres a pic of it.

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Old 07-25-2004, 04:28 PM   #7
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hehe. Yeah its a travel.

I will try and sell it locally. Should be able to get 1500 for it.
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Old 07-25-2004, 04:32 PM   #8
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We ordered our 90 SE from the factory - wife does not like buckets and it is her car - has the steering wheel controls and crosslaced wheels - about the only extras. Had to pay extra to get monochrome paint, factory was offering a special on two-tones.
See: http://6007.us/bonne.htm
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Old 07-25-2004, 04:47 PM   #9
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I guess the only options I have on mine are the 16" wheels and A/C. I also put a cdplayer in it. If you want, you can fly up and drive it back
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