Little to no oil pressure HELP!! I love my Bonneville - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 12-02-2007, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default Little to no oil pressure HELP!! I love my Bonneville

OK, I had the problem with the leak around the intake manifold. And my heater core just went out so I just had it in the shop and had both of those replaced. When I got it back I noticed the heater core sounded like it made some noise well yesterday the car started sputtering and stalled a few times the bell dinger was going off and then I realized myoil pressure was dropping into dangerous levels. My husband went out today and said that the car is toast. I am so upset. It is the oil pump but since the engine had some coolant in it which is a common problem that it probably whiped the bearings. Is it true its not fixable? I loved my Bonneville. He said if we change the oil pump that it will still ping and that is the bearings so he is not putting anymore money into it. See he loves the older cars, man my bonneville is my baby......its my FROG....my big green FROG! We did find another Bonneville but I think its an SSE that was wrecked in the rear quater panel. Can we take that Bonneville and put the SSE motor in it would it work. Isn't that the supercharged model. Please help fellow bonneville lovers...I really do love my car!

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Jackie
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:18 AM   #2
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Welcome to the club, Jackie.

Sorry to hear about the frog. Bearing failure is common following ingestion of coolant through leaking lower intake manifold (LIM) gaskets or perforated plastic upper intake manifolds (UIM) on these cars. Replacing the engine with a good, used one is usually the least expensive repair option, although you will want to carefully check out the "new" engine and make sure it has the problem parts replaced before you install it. The problem and the parts you need are described in a Techinfo article here: http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...e=article&k=38

SSEi models came from the factory with supercharged engines. Most SSE models did not. SSE refers to the higher level body/interior trim package, but not the engine. The SSE could be ordered with a supercharged engine but most of them came with the normally aspirated version. So, if the donor engine is from a compatible model year, the engine should swap OK.

A quick way to check compatibility is to go to http://www.car-part.com Put in the information for either car and see what comes up on a nationwide search.

Please indicate the year and model of your car in your signature. Create your signature using the "profile" button at the top of the page.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:14 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about another also. This is why we stress the importance of draining the oil immediately after the symptoms hit you. Getting that water-oil-coolant mix out of the oil pan and away from the crank bearings is very important early in the failure. This still doesn't save all of them, though. It just increases your odds.

From what I've seen here on the Forum, about 10-20% of LIM failures eventually result in the loss of an engine. Usually within the first 3 monts or so. If you make it to 3 or 4 months, you're good to go.

Yours went pretty quick. How much did you drive it with the problem before you realized what it was? How long did it sit with the oil in it afterwards?

On sourcing an engine, I agree with the other Bill above. www.car-part.com will be a good place to start searching for a used motor, but you have to be very picky. I recently did that (for an unrelated issue), and took 3 months to finally select a motor that met my standards. Your engine should be alot easier to find.
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:13 AM   #4
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Default My heart is crushed

It figures right before Christmas and it was the only thing beside my kids that I cared about. Thanks for the news. I am sorry that at 271,000 miles it took a poop. But it has had the intake problem since I bought it 4 yrs ago. I just never got around to it. If I would have known it was going to do this I wouldn't have spent the 300.00 to fix it. Now I guess I need to make some decisions if I want to change the motor or just drive the other one. The other car is a 1992 Pontiac Bonneville SSE and it was wrecked in the rear quarter panel. But the positive is that one has sunroof and a 12 CD changer. But its white....yuk I hate white cars....I want my green frog.. you know that love hate relationship. The frog never let me down, till lately. I put 120000 miles on that car. Its been from WV to FL and to OH many many times. Just this past spring it started acting up alot I knew it was coming to an end. They are die hard cars.

Thanks for everything.

Jackie
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:32 AM   #5
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Jackie, can you clarify exactly what the Frog is in your Signature? If it'* there, we can help you better.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:57 AM   #6
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Default The Frog

"The Frog" As I call it was my 1992 Pontiac Bonneville SE. I really wish I could just change the stupid oil pump and be done with it. It had 271,000 miles plus a few and was still going it just didn't have any heat so I decided to put it in the shop and change out the intake which has leaked for a while and go ahead and do the heater core while they were in there. Boy was that a mistake, I would rather have gone with no heat than to see my Bonneville sitting there all blown up. She misses me you know...I know I am a nut. I didn't realize that people could really love cars, till now. But I found out this other Bonneville that we found has a sunroof and and 12 disc CD changer. woo hoo.

jackie
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:58 AM   #7
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The heater core is typically starved of coolant before the engine when there is a coolant leak. That'* why it is a good thing to check the coolant level when the heater goes cold. And, any time you find a coolant leak that does not end up on the driveway, it is best to find and fix the problem early rather than wait. Internal leaks that eventually find their way into the engine oil destroy bearings. It also may be that someone tried a stop leak product as a cheap way to fix the internal leak and plugged up the heater core.

The good news is that you have a Series I engine that does not have a problem with the upper intake manifold failing. You do, however, have a similar, plastic-frame lower intake manifold gasket set, that, while much more reliable than the newer Series II, does eventually fail. That is probably what happened to the Frog. But, it is not uncommon for the Series I normally aspirated engine to make 300,000 miles. So, if you find a good used one, especially with low miles, you can expect great service.

And, by the way, low oil pressure is hardly ever caused by the oil pump. It is almost always a result of worn bearings in the engine. Occasionally, a stuck relief valve, high engine temperatures or diluted oil will cause low oil pressure, but not often. In the rare case where the oil pump is really the problem, a new or newer (junkyard) front engine cover (that houses the oil pump) can be swapped.
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