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Old 03-02-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default Bonneville Story, how I bought mine

Just wanted to share this with you guys since I don't see allot of posts of how we all got our Bonnevilles. Let me know what you all think.

About a year and a half ago I was in the market to buy another car.
So I looked local and out of state, looking for another GM 3800 powered car.
Found nothing local in my price range, but on the Autorader.com site I found the SSEi
From Pittsburg Pennsylvania. So I rounded up two other friends and my wife and we took off for Pittsburg, drove 12 hours one way . I communicated with the owner of the car then all by email up until the day we drove out there.
The previous owner was a older man in his late 40s, bigger guy.
When we got there we where under the impression that there was nothing wrong mechanically with the car as he had told us there wasn’t anything wrong with it.
But that was not the case; when we pilled in his driveway we noticed right away that the hood was open and he was underneath the car.
Oh crap I was thinking right away because we had just driven 12 hours one way to buy this car and here it was found broken.
It turned out that he said it had just broke down just before we got there. The belt for the the supercharger was busted and the pulley was totally shot.
So I thought no big deal because I’ve done this easy job before on other cars.
So I had him buy the parts so we could get it going again. Turns out he was just planning on leaving it that way, because he figured that the car would run with the belt off.
I called a friend from a WI local dealer ship and found out that it was not a good idea to do that. So needless to say we fixed it.

We replaced the belt and pulley taking us 1 hour tag teeming the job.
So then it came time to start it. It fired right up and no noises or anything else that would have killed the sale.
But then I test drove it and come to find out that it had a multiple misfire. The engine light came on and then blinked. I knew this was not too serious so I took it as is.
The oil was horrible because he followed the owner’* manual on doing an oil change every 7,500 miles, and oh my goodness, I would not do that ever!
So we took off and brought it to a local Wally World (Wall Mart) and had the oil changed and good to go.

So get this, when we test drove it for the first time it had hesitated around corners and shifted really weird. He said it was just because of the bad spark plugs, and by the way when I replaced the spark plugs when I got home they where very scary looking. There was three that where melted badly.
So back to the weird shifting, it never cleared up after I replaced the plugs.
So I drove it like that for a while until it really annoyed me. Come to find out that the tranny was going bad. So needless to say that is why I just put in a newer one 3 weeks ago. This guy had said that he fixes things when they brake. Not good for the Bonneville.
I was pretty mad about the whole tranny thing since I new he had known about it and never told me about it before hand.

So here is a list of things that I have done to it since I bought it 1 year and a half ago:
New plugs, wires, gutted the air box, K&N filter, modified the air box so it would take in more air, new drivers side speaker cover (missing when I bought it), higher powered rear speakers (400 watts I think), fixed the display on the Bose radio, installed a smaller supercharger pulley and over sized idler pulley, new belts, new pulleys all around, new ties, buffed and waxed, detailed it (things I do regularly), silver star low beams, modified the fog lights from stock to silver star high beams (very bright, but aimed lower for other cars safety), modified the wiring harness that goes to the fog lights, new rotors and pads and brake shoes in rear, blasted the rear brake drums then painted black (engine high temp black) as well as the front calipers, new valve cover gaskets, newer tranny (70,000 mile tranny), had some door dings taken out via Dent Doctor (have gotten 3 new ones since then), had the computer re-flashed with latest GM codes, rotate tires every other oil change (oil change every 3,000 miles or so), I put in Havoline 10W30 and Car Quest brand oil filter (I change it myself), tinted the windows 35% back and 50% up front, new tie rods and alignment, new end links, removed the resonator.

I think that is every thing I’ve done to it so far.

I put in nothing put premium gasoline.

So what do you think so far?

-toddster
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:04 PM   #2
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You get surprises in any car you buy. Its just the way it is with used cars..

Personally I consider myself lucky in that I bought my SSEi from BillBoost. I know for a fact hes a pretty awesome guy, someone I consider a real friend and he'* pretty handy with a wrench. I also know for a fact he did everything in his power to make sure that the car was in good shape before I bought it from him. The list of parts replaced on this car by him is a veritable laundry list.

Even still, the water pump went on it about 6 weeks after I got it, plus the hose that runs from the reservior to the radiator was bad. Crap happens with a used car. You need to expect it.

I think because of your own skill with turning a wrench you're in good shape. Would suck if you couldn't do all the work yourself.

Edit: Post 1000. Least I used it talking about my car
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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Thanks and because of being part of the BC my skills are getting better

I'm now selling the car hopefully to a member of the BC, and pretty sure he will be very happy with it

-toddster
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:18 PM   #4
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If I can..my first bonne buying experience

I've turned a wrench or two in my life..so I have ideas about what is wrong and I was never so wrong as on the 95 SSEi.

Looked around and once I drove it...I liked it. Guy was super nice, very honest and cared for the car. Not a wrench turner..but receipts for everything you could have one for. Well documented. One day I'll find them and give them to Morty.
Test drive..was w/o plate up his very long dead end road. Exhaust leak..driver side power mirror looks like someone filled the assembly with silicone, front grill emblem siliconed on..dirty motor.. missing an exhaust tip..oil press gauge erratticly jumping around .overall good car.

I get it home and see a broken fog light. and think..the temp gauge is acting weird too. (Happened on way home) Drive to work the next day in the car. 23 miles..all is good. On the way home..temp gauge is funky..oil press is having a fit.. then the ding ding ding starts. Pulled over to find the coolant outlet on the intake manifold let go. Yeah..they are plastic and known over time to fall apart. Get it flatbedded and fixed for the next night. Pull into garage and start working on what I thought was an exhaust donut leak on the crossover pipe. Front manifold was cracked...ugh. fixed, Thanks to BC for a techinfo article I pulled the cluster..oil pressure and temp fixed. Steering radio controls didnt' work...Thanks BC and Harofreak...fixed....one by one things were fixed with a little elbow grease. Ahhhhhhhhhh
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:25 PM   #5
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Yah, please if you guys want to write up what you went through to but your Bonneville, more power to us.

And who nows this could help future buyers with there next Bonneville.

-toddster
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:37 PM   #6
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glad I didn't get that tranny I've been kicking myself since it went on ebay.
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Old 03-02-2006, 01:02 PM   #7
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LOL...what a history i had....In 1992 Parents owned a 92 Linclon Mark VII LSC, that baby was FULLY loaded....it was a nice car...in 93 were looking for a new car....Dad was working at the GM dealer in town and said that he wanted to get a 3800...He suggested a Buick LeSaber, and Mom Said "what about the new Bonnevilles"....so we went to a dealer about 25 min away...they had a White 93 SSEi Fully loaded Tan interior with the white 12 slot wheels....Car was really nice, too bad the driver and passenger rocker moulding was falling off...literally falling off....and they drilled into the front bumper to put on a dealer plate.....dad saw this and we walked off the lot......so we kept tooking, the local Pontiac Dealer just got in a bunch of Bonnes....my SLE was the only white one on the lot....after owning 5-6 Grey and Black cars, the parents wanted White...Mom saw the car, dad liked it he threated them of they drill in to the bumper the deal is off........needless to say we Own it
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Old 03-02-2006, 01:03 PM   #8
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i wonder which b/c clubmember is going to buy it? any clues toddster?
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Old 03-02-2006, 01:28 PM   #9
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I have a pretty good idea who'* buying the car.

-toddster
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Old 03-02-2006, 01:44 PM   #10
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Wow...I'm in suspense here... Is it anyone we know well?
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