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2000-2005 Discuss your 2000-2005 Bonneville SE, SLE, and SSEi Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 02-08-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
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I've put about 500 miles on this 2000 Bonneville SE now, mostly highway, and the suspension stinks. The car has 164k on it, and looking under it, it hasn't been touched in a long time if ever. The best way to describe it is it floats. It dosen't have that firmly connected feel to it, especially in the rear end. There is also quite a bit of body roll. I'm not sure how firm these should be, but i'm guessing sport coupe type feel. This one is almost enough to make you sea sick. Anyone have any reccomendations on suspension components to stiffen it up a bit? Preferences on shocks (struts) and bushings? Thanks for any help.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:37 AM   #2
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Well an se model is not desighned for performance but if all appears to be original i would go with struts and sway bar end links to help make it stiffer or yoi could upgrade your sway bars to the bigger ones from an ssei model front and rear
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:01 AM   #3
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mostly everything sle/ssei suspension wise would be a upgrade
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:20 AM   #4
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Check what suspension you already have. GM rates its suspensions from mush to whoa in order of FE then a number (usually).
FE1=Ride and comfort (ie, mushy)
FE2=Ride and handling (more sport, less mushy)
I've heard and seen FE3 and 4 components, but none specifically for H body cars. I think Saturn ION Redline had FE3 as options, but couldn't tell you more about them.

Then you get into scary, the FE5. FE5 in H body form only came on the Bonneville GXP. It could also be had on the higher trim W body Grand Prix GXP

You can check the code for the suspension you have, and replace the worn out parts with originals, or possibly upgrade some of it to the next level.
I went all the way from "mush" to "ouch my back hurts" in my 04 LeSabre. Looks stock, but has the whole Bonneville GXP suspension under it, which took a bit of time and money to find. But, there aren't a lot of upgrades for our cars in the aftermarket.

That said, no its not that bad on the back. It corners like you wouldn't believe, and I scare the crap outta people who don't realize a Buick can be made to handle. I'll assume you start with FE1, as I did. Replace the struts in the front, shocks in the rear. They are probably worn out, hence the floaty feeling. Then get an SSEi front and rear sway bar and some good Moog end links and new mount bushings.
The biggest difference came from the sway bars when I did my swap. The shocks and strut combos were good. But the difference really wasn't felt until the bars went in.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. I think I saw a SSEI over at the junkyard. Easy enough to get the sway bars off it and get new end links. Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:52 AM   #6
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i put the kybs on everything i get, they make it ride better than new, with similar handing characteristics but more control. on my bonnie which has ssei susp. from the factory its as compliant now but slightly better control. its kinda why i like the car in the first place its comfortable over crapy rural roads around here but not floaty either.

just for discussion sake some of the monte ls or ltz'* i think had the fe3 and the imp ss had the 3. fe4 was the monte ss
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