Newbie questions regarding my 1994 SSEi - 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 05-06-2003, 09:56 AM   #1
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Default Newbie questions regarding my 1994 SSEi

Hey all, i'm new here (and only had my bonnie for about a year) so i have a couple questions regarding all the information i've seen here-

-are there any DISadvantages of switching to the 180 thermostat?

-What'* the main advantage of replacing spark wires?

-any suggestions on light replacements for headlights and fog lights? I don't want to go to a different "color" look (like cool blue or such), just want some visibility upgrade. I usually can't even tell if the foglights are on when i'm driving, and on wet roads it'* sometimes hard to see.

-How hard is it to replace the oil pan gasket? I've been under the car and it looks as though half the bolts are really hard to reach. A friend even said i might have to remove a bar which is holding the tranny/engine(??!) I have a general manual for Pontiac 3800'* but it doesn't seem to cover this.

-is there a noticible power difference for switching to the K&N filter, given the higher price?

-i read here about flowmaster mufflers getting a better sound from the car- is this about a $350 investment??


Sorry if any of these are obvious questions. I'm just getting into this.....

-Supercharged 1994 Black SSEi.
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Old 05-06-2003, 11:03 AM   #2
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Hey, welcome here. I have pretty much the same car as you. Black supercharged with 35 tint. check it out sometime. There are no real disadvantages to switching to a 180 t stat. Everyone here as pretty much done it. That is a good first mod becuase it keeps your engine running alittle cooler and that helps performance.

The K&N filter is not that big of a deal. If you are looking for a better intake, I'd recommend getting a cone air fiter intake. Angryducktofuracing.com has them in development but they are alot of money. You could also do what I did, find one on ebay.

The oil pan gasket was easy to replace. The only thing you might have to move outta the way is the plastic shield for some gears that sit right next to the drivers side of the oil pan.

As for the wires. Whenever I get a new car, I like to tune it up as best I can (ie wires, plugs, t stat, air filter, oil, and coolant flush. The advantages of wires are that they deliver a better spark for your wires and better combustion overall. If you want some really good wires go for taylor or msd.

As far as lights are concerned, I have no idea which ones are good. I just have the stock GE bulbs in there.

Exhaust is a big investment. I have a dynomax muffler designed to bolt up to a camaro. I liked the sound at first then I didn't like it. Now I love it. I dont know much about flowmaster but I did pay about 550 for my custom exhaust system from the cat back.

Hope this has helped.
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:08 AM   #3
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<<-are there any DISadvantages of switching to the 180 thermostat? ANSWER: Here in Ohio, in winter, it takes longer for your overdrive to kick in on a cold morning cause it won't kick in until system feels water temp is hot enough. I'm not sure what that trigger temp is though.

<<What'* the main advantage of replacing spark wires? ANSWER: If they are leaky or of a high enough resistance you will not get as high a voltage to your plugs. Check the resistance of each wire by the book. If within limits, new wires probably won't achieve much, unless you go racing for 1/10 sec. advantages.

<<any suggestions on light replacements for headlights and fog lights? I don't want to go to a different "color" look (like cool blue or such), just want some visibility upgrade. I usually can't even tell if the foglights are on when i'm driving, and on wet roads it'* sometimes hard to see. ANSWER: I don't know, but I agree our fog lights are a little useless. I don't think I've ever had mine on.

<<How hard is it to replace the oil pan gasket? I've been under the car and it looks as though half the bolts are really hard to reach. A friend even said i might have to remove a bar which is holding the tranny/engine(??!) I have a general manual for Pontiac 3800'* but it doesn't seem to cover this. ANSWER: Nothing really to remove except a plastic flywheel cover (easy) and some pan bolts! A couple of different size 3/8" drive sockets, a 12" extension, and a ratchet is about all you need for an easy time getting all those little bolts off (there are a pot-load of them too). Oh yes, don't forget to torque the bolts to specs and in the order indicated in the manual. Get the surfaces squeeky clean and absolutely dry to the touch.

<<is there a noticible power difference for switching to the K&N filter, given the higher price? ANSWER: I have a K&N on my cherished '95 C4 vette. She is "rated" at 300 HP, but I have to be honest... I cannot detect a noticeable difference in power and that baby winds high and strong. I doubt you would feel much in the seat of your pants in the torque curve of a 170HP like our '92 SSE'*. I've heard that 1/4 mile times can improve by 1/10th or so, but I don't know for sure. I don't race my Bonne.

<<i read here about flowmaster mufflers getting a better sound from the car- is this about a $350 investment??>> ANSWER: Probably, but I can tell you this......for a cheap way to get neat sound just punch a few holes in the mufflers. At least that'* what we use to do for cool sounds when we bagged groceries for a living a FEW year ago .

Have fun with you Bonne. She should treat you well.
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:10 AM   #4
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Oops. I stepped in something. I just noticed you have a '94 SSEi. I still think my answers should still apply, except the puny 170 HP of course.
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Old 05-07-2003, 08:38 AM   #5
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Default re: Future Mods..

If i understand it right, the main advantage of the 180 Tstat was for cars 1995+ which had plastic intake which might crack at higher pressure. I don't know if this applies for a 1994 then. Actually it seems like 1994 is right in the middle of a transitional period- I can't find a stock CD player (want to use my steering wheel controls) that will fit. I would have thought by 1994 they would put a CD player in a top of the line SSEi!

I appreciate what folks have said about the oil pan, i think i can handle that myself (it'* had a small leak for perhaps 4 months, nothing major but i kinda like fixing things if i'm not afraid of wrecking the car!)

I don't know that i'd ever go to the track, so from what it sounds, the mods i suggested (K&N filter, new spark wires) probably won't do anything noticable.

I'd still REALLY appreciate advice on good bulbs for lows/highs/fogs. As i mentioned earlier, it can be really hard to see on dark wet nights. Someone here mentioned matrix ultra-whites i think but from what i can tell they're not legal for road driving.
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:20 PM   #6
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Most all the other questions have been answered accept the light one. Go to your local auto parts store and start comparing bulbs. I think the bonnevilles came out with a 880 standard or maybe a 885. If you start comparing bulb you will find that alot of other bulbs have the same connection and design so they will plug right into our fog lights. I think the stock ones are 27W. I replaced mine with some that were 50W i think. If you look at my cardomain page you can see my fog lights are almost brighter than the regular dim lights. I am getting ready to take a final right now. I will check to see what bulbs I have in mine when I get home this afternoon. One other thing when you look for bulbs you will probably have to look at the package to see the watts I almost never found any that says the wattage on the bulb itself.
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:38 PM   #7
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Here is a little update

This is what the standard should be.

880 27 Watts
885 50 Watts
893 37.5 Watts3

These are the bulbs that shoud fit our cars with out any adapters

880, 890, 892, 893, 884, 885, 899

So check to see what you existing bulbs are if they are the 880 you can switch them out to the 885.

Becareful how much wattage you put in them though if you put to much you could melt you fog lights.

Here is a link
http://www.teamforwardmotion.com/tfm...fogs_2000Z.htm
I know it not for a bonneville but it just shows people are doing this with other cars.
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