Q's before purchase 2000 Bonneville - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-16-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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Question Q'* before purchase 2000 Bonneville

I have an opportunity to purchase a 2000 Bonneville naturally aspirated with 178K miles. Needless to say it has a few issues. I am very good at working on cars myself, so most repairs I will be handling. I can get the car for $1000.
The issues –
No AC for unknown reasons
Fuel gauge always says full
Head liner is falling
Head Lights are fogged
Needs tires
Shudder on highway under load – PCS?
Shudder in right hand turn under mild acceleration – CV Joints?
The shifter release button is broke.
The Traction control button doesn’t do anything.

That’* all that I have found thus far. Should these cars have keyless entry? The owner doesn’t have a key fob. The exterior is in decent shape with no rust. All the windows work. The engine seems to have plenty of power.

I am looking for any suggestions, opinions or comments about purchasing, what could be solutions and any cost estimates for the repair parts. Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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is it a se?

a/c could be a ton of things from a simple leak to compressor failed
gauge full is a usually an open somewhere, bad connector messed up sender, etc.
as far as noises tires can cause all those or mask noises you may need bearings or cv'* you may not. hard to tell until you replace the tires. does the tc work if you jam on the gas?

so the deal is its full of unknowns. what do you need the car to do? reliable dd, cheap transportation? how long you intend to keep it?
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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I can hammer down on the throttle and it will down shift and take off. I think it is the SE, not for sure. I know it is not supercharged. What do you think about the price? If I have to fix all these things, is $1000 for a car with 178K miles worth it? Or, will it just be a money pit and stuff keeps on breaking? I just don't know these cars well enough.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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theres several na models, a sse like mine, sle or se.

if i wanted cheap transportation for a couple of years and could live with the issues id go for it. if its something you want to keep and fix up theres too much wrong. aside from the a/c being expensive, the bearings are 150 each and so are the cv'*. thats just parts if you do it yourself. and the trans usually goes around that mileage if it hasent been rebuilt already.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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Just looking for a cheap ride for a couple of years. I will have to fix the AC for sure. I have a new little girl and can't have her overheating. I will feel comfortable putting $500 into it to last a couple of years. Are there any distinctive markers I could look for to determine if the tranny has been rebuilt? I will be doing all the work myself. Any suggestions on the best replacement parts for the CV'* and bearings? I've always been a fan of Timken bearing, but no clue on CV'*, MOOG?
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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all the cv'* ive done end up being rebuilds anyway, i just get one thats got a decent warranty. you'll spend 4-500 just for tires probably. if the compressor is bad your looking at 2-300 plus labor to have it put in plus flush, orifice and filters. some of the condensers are pretty expensive too. as far as the trans look to see if the bolt heads look like they've been taken out and put back in. if you think about the expensive parts that could be bad in the systems which is what you should be doing, i see probably 1500 in just parts if i did the work myself. alot more if you cant.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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I can and would do all the work except the tranny. I HATE transmission work. I plan on getting a better look at it this weekend. I will let you guys know what I decide and find wrong.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:02 PM   #8
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Check the lower intake manifold gasket for continuity if you can, if it reads OL then I'd highly recommend you replace the lower intake gasket with the FEL-PRO Part # MS98014T Aluminum framed gaskets, also if the upper intake can be cleaned up and reused, then you can get this UIM Kit, make sure to remove the EGR Stove Pipe and replace it with the reduced diameter one.
UIM Kit. DORMAN Part # 615207

If your upper intake has any softened plastic around the EGR port, or around where the throttle body gasket goes, then I'd consider replacing the upper intake manifold with one from IneedParts, it has a steel bushing where the EGR Stove Pipe passes through, so that with the reduced diameter stove pipe, and you should not have to worry about leaks, or having the engine hydra-lock on you when the old Nylon 6,6 LIM Gaskets fail, they are known to fail from around 60k and up, if that happens and you get coolant in your cylinders, then you can count on needing a new motor.
Here is the UIM Kit I recommend if you have to replace it.
http://www.ineedparts.com/auto-parts...kit-17806.html

At the mileage it is, I'd consider replacing the water pump, if you do I recommend the AC Delco one with an aluminum framed gasket, of course you could wait till it leaks and replace it then.

Check your EVAP hoses, and connectors, I'm betting all of the soft ones are dry-rotting by now, I had one under the right rear of my Park Ave that dry-rotted so bad it came off, and I was getting shudder under light acceleration from it.

I'd jack the front end up and tug on each front wheel from the 12 and 6 o'clock, and from the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, see if you hear any noise like clicking, at that mileage I bet the tie rods are starting to get play in them, you'll know if the tie rods are bad when you tug from the 3-9 o'clock, at 133k I had one inner tie rod that had totally failed, and the other starting to fail.
That, along with rotors that had a bit of lateral runout caused me to have a lot of shudder when turning, after fixing all of that I found that the struts are worn out and were adding to the shudder/wobble felt.
My ball joints bushings are getting dry-rotted at 133k, so I'd check yours as well, I'm betting they are starting to dry-rot if they were never replaced with grease-able ball joints.



As for your fuel gauge problem, for around 65.00 you can get a Dorman Fuel Sending Unit to replace it.

If all the other problems are not too pricey I'd guesstimate you'll be investing around 2,000.00, possibly up to 3,000.00 in parts in the long run.
In there I'm figuring for new plugs and wires, coolant, oil, and the maintenance basics it probably needs at the mileage it has on it.
The car is listed at around 3k in Kelly'* Blue Book, that is for good condition, I'd say with the current issues it has, and the money you'll need to put into it if you want it to last a while, are worth it due to how solid of a motor these 3800 II'* are once the UIM/LIM intake issues are taken care of.

How is the body overall?
If it is good then I'd get it, but try to see if they will cut a deal with you, offer 850.00 cash, I'm betting they'll take it, or counter offer at 900.00, if they do you save 100.00 to out towards the many repairs it will need.


Oh yea, if you want something to help keep the transmission holding on if there are any problems with things like the torque convertor causing shudder, then this stuff works really well to help add a little life to the transmission, note that if there are real transmission issues causing your shudder under load, then this would just be a band-aid..
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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Whoops, forgot that link, sorry about that, it has been a rough/hectic month.. :o

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Old 04-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #10
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WilliamE - Thanks for all the great info. I will be able to go thru the car this weekend and report back. I think I can get the car for a little less when I discuss the issues with the owner.
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