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Old 07-05-2003, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default Suggestion needed in choosing a used Bonneville

Hi guys:
I am currently looking for a used Bonneville, I have two cars on my list, I will go to take a look and test drive.
One is 97 SE with 65,000 miles
The other is 95 SSE with 84,000 miles

Anyone has some suggestion, shall I pay attention to some details in checking these two cars?


Thanks a lot for any suggestion!
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Old 07-05-2003, 07:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Suggestion needed in choosing a used Bonneville

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardywang
Hi guys:
I am currently looking for a used Bonneville, I have two cars on my list, I will go to take a look and test drive.
One is 97 SE with 65,000 miles
The other is 95 SSE with 84,000 miles

Anyone has some suggestion, shall I pay attention to some details in checking these two cars?


Thanks a lot for any suggestion!
How about a 95 SE Bonnie just north of TO....lol, sorry
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Old 07-05-2003, 08:27 PM   #3
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Well.. they are both Series II L37'* under there.. see if you can find the VIN# on it and post in under free Vin# check that DrJay has graciously allowed us to use to check the history of the car. The notorious head gasket failure is a concern but it'* hard to check that unless you can actually get a mechanic shop to take a look at it and do compression test and coolant system check. Other then that.. I can't think of much. Let us know how it went and or if you have a link to it so we can see pics of these possible car. Welcome aboard.. I notice you're from the T.dot area.. great.. don't forget to post under gatherings so we know you would be interested in any future meet and or you can email me your email addy so I can add you into the Ontario Chapter BonnevilleClub group email list so you will be informed of any future meets.. good luck on your hunt.. you won't be dissappointed with a Bonnie
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Old 07-05-2003, 09:19 PM   #4
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Thanks man for your information, I will post something if I eventually buy a Bonneville....
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Old 07-05-2003, 09:22 PM   #5
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Just curious what is the percentage of "Intake Manifold Leaking Coolant" problem in 95 and 97 Bonneville? I am just wandering if there is statistics.
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Old 07-05-2003, 09:34 PM   #6
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Almost all of them are affected by this problem. I'd look at an supercharged Bonneville if you can, or be wary of any Bonne that has near or nearing 100K. Ask about it as well. Better to be safe then sorry
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Old 07-05-2003, 09:41 PM   #7
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I couldn't tell ya bout as far as percentage.. but lets just put it as a common problem IF IT WAS TO GO kinda situation. It is the same engine that is in Rivera'* Grand Prix'*, Impala'* and others that I can't remember and such so don't think that only Bonnies have this problem. Fortunetly I think only 3 - 4 ppl on this board of 1200 had have this problem occur to them. There are precautionary acts to help prolong the life of the engine ( nothing last forever ). Such as 180 T-stat and tranny cooler.. both can be bought for under 100 bux for both Canadian with Tax and both aren't hard to install. Whereabouts are you willin to travel? Maybe I'll look some up for you and or what'* the price range? I know of a kick *** place up in Gravenhurst.. but don't know if you're willin to go that far.. but is worth it. Any certain features you're lookin for or want? I can see bout places closer to you
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Old 07-05-2003, 10:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89BonnieSE89
Almost all of them are affected by this problem. I'd look at an supercharged Bonneville if you can, or be wary of any Bonne that has near or nearing 100K. Ask about it as well. Better to be safe then sorry
Damm.. the PostWhore beat me to it.. yes the */C'd engine has aluminum gasket.. but you have to be worried about the */C bearing and check the */C oil when you go take a look at.. that and insurance rate will be higher for it.. ( unless you can find those Rare SE */C'd models )

The 100K shouldn't be much of a worry as it really depends on previous owners.. if they drive mostly on highway ( not including rush hour ) there would be sufficient air to keep the engine cool vs. a lower mileage car stuck in city driving and rush hour that there isn't sufficient air to cool it down and the gaskets of N/A'd starts to melt. I've seen cars that has 400K+ ( Tamara'* dad old truck ) that runs beatufully on original engine tranny only replaced was rear axle cover ( leakin oil ) and seen 97 Cutlass with 110K with nothing but problems with engine and tranny.. so it really depends on Maintainance of the car. If you are worried.. you can also check to see if the engine was ever rebuilt..
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Old 07-05-2003, 10:15 PM   #9
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Drifter:
Thanks for your quick reply. Happened to notice you own a supercharged engine, do you mind selling it to me? Kidding....
I live inside Toronto, and I don't have a vehicle right now, so I think Gravenhurst is kinda too far from me right now. Anyway, I don't limit my selections to only Bonneville, I am also looking for Lumina, Century, Regal, Le Sabre, Monte Carlo LS, Grand Prix GT and Olds Eighty Eight under $10,000, of couse mileage should not be too high, ideally around 100,000 KM, not more than 150K.
OK, some questions, do you think only dealerships can do such compression test and coolant system check? If so, problably I cannot make any decision tomorrow, since dealers are closed. I have no idea how much it will cost to replace this gasket and 180 T-stat? I don't think I can do it by myself right now.... too limited knowledge of machine.
Not sure if you have some idea, if the vehicles I will check tomorrow have such problems, what is a reasonable price range?
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Old 07-06-2003, 01:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardywang
OK, some questions, do you think only dealerships can do such compression test and coolant system check? If so, problably I cannot make any decision tomorrow, since dealers are closed. I have no idea how much it will cost to replace this gasket and 180 T-stat? I don't think I can do it by myself right now.... too limited knowledge of machine.
Not sure if you have some idea, if the vehicles I will check tomorrow have such problems, what is a reasonable price range?
No.. any mechanical shop with the right tools should be able to check it, not just dealership. The 180 T-stat could be picked up at Crappy Tire and only cost about 5 bux, you'll need to get a Thermostat housing gasket from the dealership parts store. Which will run you 8 bux the most. If you know how to turn a ratchet.. you can do it..

As for the actual head gaskets upper/lower I don't know.. but it'* going to be up there ( I pressume 1000 at least Canadian cause the whole top end of the engine has to be ripped open and is labor intensive.. ) hopefully the pros around here will Chime in and let us know how much effort was it to do themselves and how much a shop would've cost
( I believe 95SSEI may have done it himself and/or JR )
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