Why the Bonneville makes a great lifeboat - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 12-16-2004, 04:30 PM   #1
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Default Why the Bonneville makes a great lifeboat

Aaargh!

Sorry, that had nothing to do with Bonnevilles; it had to do with work and home crises, of which I have had way too much recently, and consequently not been seen here for quite a while, which hopefully will explain how somebody could accumulate as many stars as I have without apparently ever showing up on this website.

But I'm taking a few minutes to vent because I need a break. The work stuff has nothing to do with this forum so I won't burden you with that, but the home stuff is kind of connected. Basically our Bonneville SSEi has been acting as a lifeboat recently, Gawd bless it. (No, we're not _sleeping_ in it; things are not that bad.)

For the past week or so, out of three cars in our garage, only one has been running. The Bonne has been doing all the work, and doing it perfectly. I wish the others were this good. They are:

-- a 1993 Escort LX, which is in fact a really nice little car, except that I'm supposed to be selling it for my sister who lives in the city, and nobody wants to buy an Escort, and the plates on it have expired, so even though I'm still paying insurance on it, I can't use it on the road right now (and I'm not going to pay $200 to relicense it right now).

-- a 1996 Pontiac Trans Sport, which blew its lower intake manifold gasket due to a really inspired bit of stupid engineering on the part of GM, which apparently thought you could torque down a casting in three different directions at once without having anything leak. It actually didn't leak _much_ for the past 20K miles or so, nothing that Bar'* Leak couldn't handle, but finally last week the floodgates let loose. Studying the manual showed that repairing it myself was way more than I had time for (jeez, you have to rotate the engine forwards with a come-along hitch just to get at the back side), plus this was the family daily driver vehicle for ferrying three kids around, so we needed it fixed pronto.

-- the Bonneville, which transported the whole family in leather-wrapped comfort on a 200-mile round trip last weekend. More on this in a minute.

So the van needed a repair that would take the shop a whole day to handle, meaning that they couldn't even schedule it for almost a week. We were supposed to be going to a Christmas party 100 miles away, which we could not miss. I figured we'd feel like sardines, jamming the whole family into the Bonne, but with my wife and I in the front, three kids (two in booster seats) in the back, and only a minimum of inter-kid punching along the way, it really wasn't that bad. The ALC kept the headlights from going up in the air from all the people on board, the supercharger handled the acceleration with no problem, and I had the thought, as we were cruising back home @75 mph or so with everyone except me snoozing, sleeping or playing Nintendo, that riding this way was more like being in a plane than a car.

No, really, think about it: there was the muted, constant roar of a high-powered engine in the background; a nice sound system; leather seats; red lighting on all the many gauges; heck, there'* even a compass for guidance. Does that describe a car or a plane?

We all agreed when we got home again that the ride was much nicer in the Bonne than it would have been in the van. Sure, the van has its practical uses, and it is a Pontiac so you still have the red gauges and stuff, but it'* just not as... pampering? comforting? ... as traveling by Bonneville. I forgot how much I missed those long trips.

Oh, well, the van got fixed yesterday by a couple of mechanics who did their usual thorough, excellent job, and who obviously hoped they won't be seeing any more repairs like it anytime soon. I'm still not happy that I have to use the Bonne as a train-station car in all kinds of weather (which is certainly helping the rust coming through over the rear wheels), and I'm not happy that it'* had to bail out the family by acting as a general workhorse recently, but I _am_ happy that it'* done all of this in great style and comfort and with no problems or hiccups... which is why I bought it in the first place, so many years ago. Long may it run.
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Old 12-16-2004, 05:15 PM   #2
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and another bonne saves the day
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Old 12-16-2004, 06:56 PM   #3
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that would have been the perfect time for a...coughL67Transportcough...

Good deal on the bonneville saving the day.
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Old 12-17-2004, 01:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyFloyd
that would have been the perfect time for a...coughL67Transportcough...
Is that the 3800 V6 option? Yeah, I thought about that.

Actually the 3.4L is only, what, 400cc smaller than the 3.8, and I gotta admit it'* always been pretty good at haulin' a**, considering the weight of the minivan. (I know: I've pushed the minivan around the garage often enough.)

You can, after all, have high performance from a poor engine design, such as in this case. You just can't have it as _long_ as with other designs...
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Old 12-17-2004, 07:13 PM   #5
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Yeah... some vans had the 3800. I think 92-94ish. My parents had one for a while. Good van. I know there was a guy on here looking to do a S1 L67 swap into one. Not sure where that ended up.
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Old 12-17-2004, 07:17 PM   #6
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yes I remember seeing 3800 badges on Olds and Pontiac vans
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Old 12-17-2004, 07:23 PM   #7
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You can always trust the Bonnie. My dad drives my old one currently, but I had the luxury of driving it around yesterday while the GTP was getting a sway bar installed. I have to say, it was nice driving it around for a while.

I have come to the conclusion, that these cars cannot break if you treat em right. They just can't break.
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