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Old 01-14-2007, 04:21 AM   #1
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Hello, I'm new here, Although I've had a few 3.8 buick-powered cars, (84 cutlass, 85 olds 98, 88 buick electra/park ave) I'm looking into buying a 1996 SSEi, and not knowing all of the things to look for on a H-body-or a series II supercharged, I am looking for any and all advice/what to look for on it as far as major issues go. I've looked over this board a bit and i must say this is probably the most informative and well moderated car board i've seen. Thanks, Dan
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:31 AM   #2
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Hah, it definitely has gotta be in the top ten somewhere.

Welcome to the club!

Oh and if you plan on modding, go with something 97+ That way you have just a little more support from Intense for any speed your heart desires.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjcollier07
Hah, it definitely has gotta be in the top ten somewhere.

Welcome to the club!

Oh and if you plan on modding, go with something 97+ That way you have just a little more support from Intense for any speed your heart desires.
The only thing INTENSE doesn't support is a 96 PCM. And you can get a DHP PCM for it. From a modability standpoint, there'* no real difference from a 96 to a 97.

There are no real problems, other than when you get the car, you should plan on replacing the lower intake manifold gaskets with the new aluminum frame design (60 bucks or so) and flush out the dexcool, replace with Prestone longlife Dex compatible. The DEX eats away at the plastic framed gaskets.


You have a few members in the PA area that may have scantools if you're interested in scanning that car before purchase, or just having an experienced owner look it over with you.
That'* the ONLY common problem for the 96 SSEi, and it affects every car here that runs DEX.
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Old 01-14-2007, 03:54 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot for the replies!

As far as the car goes, it has 159,000 miles on it. The SC'er, radiator, brake lines, fuel pump/filter have all been replaced in the last year by a dealership. It has newer tires on it and passed PA emissions/inspection in 12-06.

The three big problems i've noticed with this car is 1- the car recently developed a transmission fluid leak (trans cooling line?) 2- the interior lights don't work, and 3- the pneumatic seat functions don't work, although the regular motor-driven parts work.

The transmission shifts feel crisp as long as the transmission fluid doesn't fall low.

I also noticed that the compass says "calibrate" and doesn't display the direction. I'm guessing this isn't really much of an issue though.

and now the good news: the car is a friend'* and i can get it for 700$... I know it'* probably going to have some problems- but the engine starts right up and sounds good, and the bit i drove it around, it handled real good.

Any of the other SSEi'* i've seen for sale around here havn't really been in better overall condition (trans. leak aside) and still go for 1500-2000$+
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:23 PM   #5
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very nice....your "near" piksburgh.....how close are you
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:40 PM   #6
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im about 30 miles away from pittsburgh- weirton, wv to be exact
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
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Hi Rusted.
Check into a local GM dealership. A while ago they had a recall for leaky tranny lines and would replace them, as they posed a fire hazard.
Maybe this car will qualify?
The interior lights don't work because of a fuse on the passenger side fuse panel. The car has 2 panels inside.
This fuse also powers the power antenna. My car suffered this problem too. If I use the remote trunk button while the antenna is in motion, it will blow that fuse. I now wait for the antenna to do its thing before using the trunk remote. No problems since.

Check the drain tubes for the sunroof. Make sure all 4 are connected.
You will have to remove or very least lower the headliner to do so, but it will save you a lot of trouble down the road. Take if from me, I know!
If you find one disconnected, rip up the carpet and underpad and check the floors. You can get an idea of whats going on without removing the seats.

The compass is easy to recalibrate. The owners manual explains how it'* done, and I'm sure there are some threads on this site available.

Other than that, tell your passengers to get in, sit down, buckle up, and shut up. These cars really move.

Adam
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:04 PM   #8
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Much of these issues are covered in Techinfo.

Let'* make an effort not to troubleshoot mechanical problems in this section of the Forum. Future members won't find the information if they search specifically in the Mechanical sections. In addition, our Gearheads don't typically look here for mechanical problems they may be able to help with.

We encourage all our new members to post their mechanical issues in the correct sections for discussion/help.
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