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Old 12-18-2005, 08:30 AM   #1
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Default Another Winnipeg Bonneville owner

First post here ever but I'm a member of another board or two.
I am looking forward to car meets and Sunday night driving through the summer, and giving & getting advice & information.

My initial question or salvo of them: WIRES. Wise to have them replaced at this time? They are a bare minimum 2 years old; or for all I know from 1995 when the car was built as a 1996. Also at some point the engine was replaced with a "2001 or 2002 LeSabre engine" said the salesman, "with 10, 15, OK maybe 20,000 KM on it, absolute maximum" ....yes I asked, but never got a straight answer. That was at 110,000 km and it'* now 150,000 (in just 2 years)
So: Wires: The ones at Part Source, made by Niehoff? I am told Accell is inferior, is that correct? I exceed 3000 rpm about 2 minutes a month, and that'* March through October if the roads are dry. What brands should I look for; Taylor? Bosch? NGK? Beldin? MSD? Stock switch with plain GM wires? Which brands should I avoid? BTW I just bought new AC-Delco (by NGK, LOL) Iridium plugs for it.
I'm regularly emailing the mechanic, about how much the scope and mission should be allowed to creep in the "while you're in there anyway" deal. Serpentine belt looks like it'* from 1996. Intake manifold plenum gasket is going to get done. I'm happy to do the PS fluid at the drop of a hat. Tranny fluid done when I got it and again under 1 month ago.
If you have ideas / suggestions, please speak up ASAP.
What about brake fluid? If it should be changed, should it be 'rinsed' with normal-quality stuff and then perhaps changed again after a few months? Or upgraded to something like GS610 by Quadriga / MotorSports Emporium, Inc? (Andretti'* go marketeering $15 (I suspect US) for 500 ml (16.9 fl oz) The 610 in the product name is the typical dry boiling point (F)
I spent $1100 on it in the past month, I am sure this visit will be $1100+ as well. Also spent $184 on one new tire. So please don't post suggestions about the Getrag 7-speed manu-matic that I really should get, LOL

Despite the fantastic new Hydro-Edge on the front along with an 11/12th'* new Hydro-Edge on the other front, I rear-ended a flat-bed tow truck. If I stopped 6" shorter it would be a non-issue. Passenger side headlight smashed but not completely inoperative, and pushed back the logo'd part of the (centre) grille about an inch. Is this sort of damage (and moreso the potential damage done in the foot or so behind that) best done at a GM dealership or is it pretty easy and straight-forward for any old body shop to do? Anyone know if I can option up to a premium light for that side (HID or something), I haven't asked or reported to MPI yet.

THANKS
Rob
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:39 AM   #2
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Oops, I'm too tired. As the handle suggests it'* a Buick engine. 3800 Seies 2.
Another question on exhaust: A buddy had some real nice ricey & racey stuff on his car. Got nuked by the cops and over $800 in tickets so he decided to go back to total stock. I got his old muffler, which he was NOT ticketed for, a muffler he paid $400 for.
One non-mechanic refused to install it, saying it would ruin the engine from the back-pressure being too low. I say he'* full of bean-gas. The 3800 Series II is available with supercharging, turbocharging, dual exhaust, quad tips, on and on...surely all those variations don't all have different exhaust valves / cams / car-specific back-pressures!
I also got the resonator that came with it, which in addition to mine should sound unique and lovely.
Your input on the muffler would be appreciated.
Thanks
Buick Engine
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Old 12-18-2005, 12:26 PM   #3
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Your NGK plugs were OEM, so good choice.

Accel is very inferior, and stay away from Bosch anything. Most here seem to prefer Belden wires. Taylor has a good reputation, but not in my book. I've had 3 bad sets on one of my Bonnevilles in a year. Go Belden premium (dark blue color).

Add an O2 sensor, belt, PCV, and fuel filter to your list, and if you really wanna do it right, remove the throttle body from the car, set the MAF sensor aside for seperate cleaning with alcohol and a q-tip (gentle on those filament wires), and remove the IAC. Clean the TB and IAC paying close attention to the IAC passage and seat using intake cleaner and a small brush.

O2 sensors typically 'get tired' on our cars at about 50k. Use AC Delco sensors only.

Bonnevilles were never turbo or quad outlets from the factory, but a couple have been converted.

We need pics of your front end damage and a better description of that muffler to know what it is. Keep your OEM resonator and don't change it.

For lights, most here prefer the Sylvania Silver Star lamps. Try them in your low beams, and I believe you'll be happy. An upgrade of your foglights at the same time to 55W H3 lamps in an aftermarket light will amaze you. Post some of your ideas in the proper sections, and we can guide you to the right answer for you.

Post pics of your front end damage as well. We may be able to help you locate parts.

If you add "96 SE" to your signature, we'll be able to help you quicker.

Welcome to the forum, and glad to have you here. We have quite a few here already!
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:08 PM   #4
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Welcome to BC!
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:33 AM   #5
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The damage is entirely the lamp, none of the painted surfaces. It really does not look bad to me at all, upon closer inspection. The right turn signal indicator is always on, because the right front turn signal won't work (understandable) but the painted surfaces like the hood are OK. The centre grille is a plastic, fake chrome, and that now has a gap / break that looks like a fine job for Crazy Glue. The Pontiac logo in the middle is also pushed back but I can't see any damaged areas behind that. It'* going into a dealership tomorrow anyway, the mechanic is a long-time friend and he speaks quite highly of a certain co-worker who knows my car perhaps even better.
You suggested the belt be replaced but the belt is being replaced. An oopsie or am I missing something? I agree, PCV and fuel filter are minor items that can make a big difference if they become inoperative. I'll add that to the work order
I'll ask for the Sylvania Silver Star but all the glass on the right / passenger side headlight is gone. The whole unit (high beam, low beam, maybe turn signal) will have to be done and the GM replacement parts would be $300 bare minimum and quite possibly twice that. Not counting labour or tax.
Bummer you got me started on fog lights: A year ago a tow truck hooked it up and the next thing I knew one of the fog lights was missing, so there went about $200, sorry I am poor and cannot go for such nicities.
I'm not 100% certain that I have an SE. I love the car but I'm not certain and have had a few print-up reports with errors that are far greater than that.
Granted no Bonnevilles were ever turbo-charged or quad-tipped, I'm just saying I think that one guy, the non-mechanic who said the back-pressure would be way off and cause damage, is wrong, because there are a zillion 3800'* with many many different exhaust systems, including headers, no mufflers, and for all I know someone has a clone to my car, except with 4 mufflers. I don't take that person'* advice as easily as I take advice to get a new PCV or O2 or fuel filter. I don't think a change in back-pressure will be that significant or cause engine / valve failure.
I sure hope posting pics is a LOT easier than it is on the other discussion board I belong to. There, we talk oil and oil filters and stuff. My 2 favorite oils are Redline, and "GC" for "German Castrol." It'* a 0W30 that is best picked up and turned around in the store first. On the back it says something like product of Germany, not to be sold outside US & Canada (specific verbiage varies with year and lot numbers) and that stuff is great. It used to be $6.66 at Walmart (no joke!) and last I saw it was $7.77. Also available at Canadian Tire. Apart from that I am NO fan of Castrol, it really took something to break my 10+ year personal boycotting of Castrol. Redline unquestionably saved me thousands in my previous car, an import with a 5-speed. I have Redline clothing like nuts, and freely gave them a glowing testimonial.
I haven't lurked that much but it seems there is little if any discussion as to oils, filters, and so on. Anyone here take apart a used oil filter? Send in a used sample of oil to be looked at by a lab? UOA or Used Oil Analysis?? And has anyone ever heard of or used a by-pass oil filter (the 1 micron things that are used on Diesels that are usually over 5 litres) ?? Or is being anal / obsessive / compulsive about your engine (as well as the car) NOT a status symbol on this board?
Thanks again everyone!
96 SE with a 3800 Series II from a Buick LeSabre
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:07 AM   #6
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welcome to the family, seems like you're at the right place.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:55 AM   #7
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Welcome!
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:06 PM   #8
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Buick_Engine
Welcome.
I have oil analysis done on all three of my vehicles. I use Blackstone labs. The cost is $20 a pop US Dollars. Worth every penny of it.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95SLE
Buick_Engine
Welcome.
I have oil analysis done on all three of my vehicles. I use Blackstone labs. The cost is $20 a pop US Dollars. Worth every penny of it.
what type of information does this provide?
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toastedoats
Quote:
Originally Posted by 95SLE
Buick_Engine
Welcome.
I have oil analysis done on all three of my vehicles. I use Blackstone labs. The cost is $20 a pop US Dollars. Worth every penny of it.
what type of information does this provide?
Quite a bit of useful information on what is in the oil make up and based on the readiings what you may need to do to fix the problem.
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