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Old 10-02-2011, 11:06 PM   #1
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Default 2002 Bonneville second gear start

Can second gear start be added to a 2002 Pontiac Bonneville?

I must be able to get to work reliably. The following are the problems:

- I have a driveway that is almost impossible to get out of after an ice storm without second gear start. It is short, slopes up at 15%, and has a 2 inch lip at the top, placed there by the city to keep rainwater from diverting into the driveway. The surrounding terrain prevents modifying the driveway.

- The traction control that is provided gives up after two seconds of trying to get the car out on the ice. It shuts itself off.

- My old car had second gear start, and could easily get out of the driveway with it engaged. But it was damaged, and this car was provided as a replacement in the settlement.

- The old car could not get out of the driveway on ice without the second gear start.

- I can't trade the car until the settlement period ends.

- The alternative is to spend a fortune on sand and salt.

- The city is run by environmentalists, and does not reliably clear ice from the roads. So buying sand and salt does not fully solve the problem.

Is there any way to add second gear start to this car? Some websites have said it was possible, but gave no precise details. Some of them say it is as simple as adding a switch and wires.

The car has the 4-speede transaxle and the 3800 engine.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:08 AM   #2
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Pull the shifter into 2. You will now only get second gear. For start and everything else.

Once you are ready for normal operation, select the D or OD (whichever your selector shows) and you'll have all 4 gears again.

GM incorporated this after having put a second gear start button on some cars in the early 90'*.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BillBoost37 View Post
Pull the shifter into 2. You will now only get second gear. For start and everything else.

Once you are ready for normal operation, select the D or OD (whichever your selector shows) and you'll have all 4 gears again.

GM incorporated this after having put a second gear start button on some cars in the early 90'*.
im not sure if his car will do that. our fleet of buicks all start in first if you put it in 2 or 3 and just wont shift any higher. maybe reverse up the drive? reverse is a lower gear ratio than first
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:31 AM   #4
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I already tried that. It shifts between 1 and 2. GM put that in trucks, but not cars.

Reverse??? I need a higher gear ratio, not a lower one.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Troubleshooter View Post
I already tried that. It shifts between 1 and 2. GM put that in trucks, but not cars.

Reverse??? I need a higher gear ratio, not a lower one.
you'll have to excuse me, i was still half asleep when i typed that lol. i meant that reverse should be like 2nd or 3rd gear, because in most cars if you could realistically max out reverse it would take you to a speed much faster than the first gear. i dont know what kind of environment you pull out into though, so use that information at your own risk.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:22 PM   #6
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I want the technical info on adding second gear start, not tips on getting my car out of the driveway the way it is. I already tried all of the common suggestions on how to drive the car.

I have wrestled with this with many different cars over the years (most of them not mine, but stuck in my driveway). The key turned out to be the ability to start in a gear ratio around 1.5:1.

I was hoping the people who had a post on adding second gear start to 1990s cars were still around.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:24 AM   #7
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this has been discussed before but i coudnt find where someone got the trans to do what they wanted, i would be interested. the posts usually die it seems. but if someone wanted to do the work i think you could set up a controller and manually control the signals to the trans.

http://www.tripleedgeperformance.com...Tech_Info.html
https://www.gmforum.com/showthread.p...=trans+signals
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:24 AM   #8
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Reverse??? I need a higher gear ratio, not a lower one.
I believe your gear ratios are 2.92 (1st), 1.56, 1.00, 0.70 and 2.38 (reverse). The suggestion of using reverse is a valid one since the 2.38 gear ratio is lower than the 2.92 ratio for first gear. You want a lower ratio, not a higher one. After all, you are asking to start out in 2nd gear which has a gear ratio of 1.56:1, and is a lower gear ratio than 1st gear.


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Originally Posted by Troubleshooter View Post
I want the technical info on adding second gear start, not tips on getting my car out of the driveway the way it is.
You aren't by any chance a teacher, are you? You certainly communicate like one. I recall teachers (some, not all) that only accepted the answer they were looking for, and rejected other equally correct solutions.


I don't believe we have the specific solution you are looking for. As an alternative, I would suggest installing good all season tires and try it in reverse. You may also want to invest in traction strips which certainly will not be long enough to get you up the driveway, but may help you to get started, and the initial momentum may carry you up the rest of the way with less spinning. Something as simple as a couple of strips of old carpet might work quite well.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:37 PM   #9
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Get a tech1 and force 2nd gear engagement.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:31 PM   #10
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How does a Tech 1 do that? The website said it could read material, but not change it.

I need a control I can use while driving, not a computer full of menus.

Using reverse is out of the question, due to sight obstructions that would prevent view of the street with the car turned around. Remember, the driveway slopes down from the street too.

I just love how this site tells me to "refresh the screen and log in again." That destroys the post.
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