There was a time when we owned Pontiacs almost exclusively. We had three tin Indians, or Ponchos as they're sometimes called, and we used the screen name "3 Mad Ponchos" in online forums. Now, we don't own any Ponchos, but we still use the screen name. Go figure.
We still get a lot of Pontiac tech questions, though, and this is our archive of old ones.
If you'd like to make a Cave Drawing of your own, please report to the Main Cave.
From Barb Cronshaw on 14 November 2003:
my 2000 Grand Prix developed a leak that shorted out the heater fan. 2 mos. after
dealer repair, I have a puddle inside the passenger side. Dealer says it's not the
same problem. Anyone else with this type of problem?
It may not be the same problem, but gee whiz, you'd think they would have looked over everything real carefully while they were in there.
From Kathy Whitaker on 15 September 2003:
My husband is having a devil of a time trying to get the harmonic balancer off a
1992 Bonneville. Any hints on how to do it?
With a harmonic balancer puller.
From Rick Goebel on 2 September 2003:
My first visit to your site and your comments are great!
I have 2 questions that I need help with (at least with the car).
First, My Bonneville just started in the last month making a whining
noise when the car is idling. I canít tell where itís coming from. Of
course it seems to disappear when the car is going faster and changes
tune when the AC in on or when the car has been running for awhile. Do
you have any ideas? Alternator? Belt?
The other thing is the cooling system. Weíve had some hot weather here
over the past month (>90). The car does fine until driving home then the
temp gauge inches up more and more and going up hills. Then if it gets
too hot (not near the red zone yet), the car almost stalls out (almost
like itís misfiring) and chugs up hills. Any ideas on this one? Iím sure
it needs a radiator flush. (I saw your article on the Tefba filter; is
it really that good? Would it work on the Bonneville?)
Thank you for your help. I await your great comments.
Sooooo...... you have a noise around the engine somewhere, and at the same time the car has taken a propensity to overheat. Sniff, sniff, is that a water pump I smell? Sometimes those buggers can go bad from the inside out with no visual warning at all. The one on my Bonneville just totally seized one day out of the blue. Anyway, that's where I'd look. As for that Tefba filter, it really is a great device. It'll work on anything.
From Charles Davis on 17 August 2003:
I have a 1989 Bonneville LE and the heater core is giving me problems. I am
considering fixing it myself this will be the first big job of such on the car
usually I can handle the small stuff myself. I was just wonder is this a job for the
small guys or the professionals. Just want some advice before I move too fast.
On most cars, this job seriously sucks. Once in a while you'll find a car with an access panel that makes it easy to replace, but for most cars you have to remove the entire climate control system. It is tedious, frustrating, and messy. It is not, however, rocket science, so the technical aspects of it is well within reach of the do-it-yourselfer. The only real question is whether it's worth it.
From Terry Filumena on 12 August 2003:
To Alexandru Tutu on 1 July 2003:
The problem with the 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP sounds like the problem I
had with my cougar and Jeep. Both times the catalitic converter was the problem.
It didn't happen all the time, just when pieces from the converter moved
around and caused it to clog.
Hope this helps.
Okay, thanks for the tip! Now, what are you doing that causes your catalytic converters to melt down regularly?
From Rhrayak Majere on 17 July 2003:
97 Pontiac Grand Am GT Oxygen Sensor Location
Hi. My engine diagnostic revealed that I had bad
oxygen sensors, but when I looked in my manual to
locate them, not only was the diagram unclear, but it
only showed a 2.4l engine when mine is a 3.1. Please
tell me where I might locate both of my oxygen
sensors. Thanx in advance.
You'll find 'em poking out of your exhaust pipes, near the catalytic converter. You should probably have one before and one after the converter.
From Alexandru Tutu on 1 July 2003:
To start with I just wanna say that your web site is great. Now I have a question
for you. I own a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, and since about a month ago it's been
running really [crappy]. I took it to the dealer twice and they couldn't figure out
what's wrong with it, so I tought I'd try you guys. Sometimes while driving it seems
like the motor just starts choking, it feels like it doesn't get gas or backfires
kinda, and it also stals. But again this isn't happening all the time only about 2-3
times a day. The funny thing is that every time I took to the dealer it just ran
fine. Can you help me out please, let me know what you guys think the problem might
be. Thank you!
That's not much to go on. Are you doing anything in particular when it happens, or is it random? Have you had any service lately that might have caused a problem? Does your check-engine light come on? Start with the easy stuff: swap the fuel filter and run a bottle of Techron through the fuel system. If the problem persists, there's a number of things it could be, and if the engine computer hasn't got a code, it'll be hard to diagnose without reproducing it. My next guess would be the fuel pump, but that's really just a guess without more info.
From Ken Splinter on 17 June 2003:
1992 Pontiac Bonneville SSE
I'm amazed with your knowledge of Ponitacs, so thought I'd give you
a challenge. :)
My dad was an auto mechanic all his life so I learned early and have
been maintaining my cars (and my kids') for more than 50 years.....
yes, that does make me pretty old! This one has me stumped:
As you recall the SSE has two radiator fans and according to the
3 volume set of GM service manuals (I always buy them) one fan
should run at half speed and one at full speed when the engine is
up to normal temperature. At a higher than normal temp, the fan
running half speed should switch to full speed.
The problem is that unless you force the fans on by using the air
conditioning or defrosters the fans do not run. I didn't know this
for quite some time as my wife used the car almost all the time until
I retired, and she always has the climate control on "normal" which
runs the A/C.
Installing the "test" jumper on the diagnotic connector will force
the fans to run half and full speed as they should and the test
declares the fan controller "OK".
The temperature guage works fine, it ALWAYS tells me when things
are getting to warm... like when idling at red light in very hot
According to the wiring diagram in the shop manual the temperature
sensor has two wires... one to ground, the other to the bulkhead
connector. If I look at the page which contains the temperature guage
the wire is color "X" (can't remember the exact color" and is wire
number (e.g.) 123. But, if I look at the page containing the fan
controls the wire from the temperature sensor is color "Y", and is
wire 456. Two relays, a resistor, and a diode (I believe) are in
the fan circuit. I first swapped the relays, then replaced them.
No help. I know the sensor is good because the guage works, and
I know the fans will operated because the do with the test jumper
installed, or the air on. But even with the air on the halfspeed fan
will never run full speed when the temp goes above normal. And,
I cannot seem to find where the wire 123 and wire 456 are tied
together, and they would have to be.. somewhere.
I suspect it's in the bulkhead connector, but if the book is correct
(and they aren't always) the bullhead connector shows no common
connection. I suspect these fans weren't working properly when I
purchansed the car new in 1992. But, with less than 50k miles,
it's certainly worth finding the problem.
What could I be missing??
My guess is that your gauge is getting its reading from the engine computer: the computer reads the sensor, then tells the gauge what to display. 1992 is really straddling the line for when the engine computers really took over the car, but the Bonneville is an upmarket vehicle so it may well have the more advanced controllers. Anyway, the easy solution here seems to be to continue driving as you have been, with the A/C on. It worked, right? But if you are hellbent on fixing it, I'd suggest picking up a used fan controller from a junkyard and swapping them. See if it behaves differently. Before tearing up your car, you don't mention HOW warm you let it get before futzing with it. Many cars have thermostatically controlled fans, and if the engine isn't getting too hot, the fans don't run at all -- even at a standstill, waiting for a light. Maybe your idea of "getting warm" and the engine computer's idea of "getting warm" aren't in sync?
From Jack Davenport on 13 May 2003:
I have a fiend whose trying to get information on 1977 Pontiac Gran Prix
SJ with moonroof. Info on how many were produced, value of 77 GP. Can
you make any suggestions on where to find this information? Thanks for
A fairly unusual automobile. It'll be hard to find much about it. Your best bet is to find some personal websites on the big ol' internet.
From Allison McLaughlin on 29 April 2003:
I have a 98 grand am gt.
When I put the car in park and go to turn the key, the
key will only shut turn so far and then will not come
out of the ignition, usually it takes a few minutes
and a clicking noise comes from the left side of the
steering wheel area and the the key will turn all the
way and come out of the ignition.
I have had someone bring it to her Mechanic and they
are not sure what it is, but say there is a button
under the steering wheel that you can push and the key
will come out.
Does anyone know much about this kind of problem?
Tried replacing the ignition cylinder?
From Karen on 21 April 2003:
where do I look to find the numbers on my engine & transmission that
will tell what year they are, they are both suppose to be from the
1970's, The engine is a Pontiac 400, The transmission is a T.H.400
Pontiac. I plan to put them into 1970 LeMans
The engine numbers are stamped on the bottom of the block and the transmission numbers are stamped on the side of the casing.
From Barth Babe on 11 April 2003:
So, where did you buy the knobs from? I called the dealer..they want 31
bux each. Help!
Haha! That's nuts! I got a whole bag of 'em for like 16 bucks! Try a different dealer, and if you don't have any honest dealers in your area then send an e-mail to Dal Slabaugh, who always has fair prices.
From Bryan Schaefer on 1 April 2003:
I've got a 2k bonneville se and have been searching far and wide for
performance engine/transmission/etc parts for it. I haven't been able to
find much in the way of engine modifications for the 3.8L, which is seen
more and more in GM midsize cars. Do you know of any companies that
specialize or carry parts for it? Thinking turbo/bigger supercharger than
the 15hp one gm sells, cold air intake/other burn enhancing products, etc.
I'm currently working on replacing the driving lights with dryer venting and
air filters for a ram air type intake system, but I'd prefer to get
something prefab before I go inventing.
Whoa nelly, you must be looking in all the wrong places. Look for performance parts meant for the Pontiac Grand Prix or the Chevy Monte Carlo and you'll be sure to turn up all kinds of stuff -- still no Camaro, mind you, but a pretty good selection for a V6 car. I don't think you'll find much specific to the Bonneville (though, last time I checked, Addco carried anti-sway bars for it) but keep looking for things intended for the GM intermediates and pay attention to what interchanges. I get this question often enough that I'm surprised there isn't a list of compatible parts online somewhere.
From Bob Merriam on 12 February 2003:
I have a 97 Bonneville 3.8 v6 not supercharged. It is just a se. I need
to change the waterpump I think. I have a coolant leak on the right side
of the motor. Where can I get more information and a diagram to do this.
I hear it is a pain in the but to do. Also when it is cold out it
doesn't want to shift out of third for a mile or so. Do I need to
replace the shifting solenoid also? Please help. Thanks.
The water pump is on the front of the engine... but the engine sits sideways, so the front of the engine is facing the right-hand side of the car. I presume you mean that the leak is coming from the right-hand side of the car's engine bay, because if it's actually coming from the right-hand side of the engine, then it's not a water pump causing your problem.
Aaanyway, swapping a water pump on a front-drive car isn't ever going to top your list of fun ways to spend a day, but it's do-able. Go to your auto parts store of choice and seek out a Chilton's or Haynes manual that covers your car. One of those should explain the job well enough. If you don't have a decent parts store nearby, Amazon.com also sells them.
Re: automatic trans. Most people never service this, even though they run better if their fluid and filter are changed every 20k miles. So, if you haven't been doing this, go have the trans flushed (not just changed) and have 'em swap filters too. If you still have problems after doing this preventative maintenance, then start investigating other alternatives.
From Kurt Sandwich on 9 March 2003:
I own a 2000 SLE bonneville with the performance handling package which
i still can not find what the package consist of,the car has automatic
leveling and traction control ,i bought the car with 22,000 miles and
had the tires rotated at 27,000 miles and also had a brake inspection at
this time and was told that they were ok at this time,two months later
at 33,000 i had metal to metal on one pad (front left out side i
believe) and the other three pads not far away,i brought it to another
dealership because i was a distance from where i had it looked at
previosly who then relayed what they found to the first shop and then
fixed my brakes by turning my rotors and brake pads which i was really
not happy with,now 5 months later at 44,000 miles again i got new tires
and had my brakes checked and was told the left was wearing faster then
the right side but that i had somewhere around 5 or 10 thousand miles
left on them,two weeks later metal on metal again on this time the
inboard front left and at least 1/2 the life gone on all other pads but
never did i hear a warning or feel a difference in breaking or pull to
one side.this time they replaced the damage with new rotors new calipers
and pads,and i may have 100 miles on them but my car to me feels slugish
and like the brakes may be dragging ,any suggestions on what i can do to
see if there is still a problem? or is this a known problem? and what
does the handiling package consist of? does any of it require diferent
brake parts? and lastly my exaust to me sounds different then when i
brought it in there and also looks older then i remember it looking is
there a way i can tell if this is the same exaust that belongs with the
2000 bonneville? i just dont trust them because they were not happy at
all to perform the work under warranty and had refused but the area rep
authorized it and all the respect in the world to him,thanks
Hahaha, Kurt, first I have to stop laughing. No matter how much they hate you I don't think they're gonna take revenge by removing your exhaust system and replacing it with an older one. Come on man! But it definitely sounds like you're wiping out your brakes too quickly -- perhaps you're going with cheap pads instead of good ones? I dunno. I'm very skeptical that your brand new front brakes are dragging so badly that it's overpowering your 200 hp V6; I think it's in your head. My suggestion is to start fresh, find a new mechanic that you can actually trust instead of second-guessing him all the time, and quit worrying so much.
I don't know exactly what the handling package consists of, but you can be pretty sure brakes aren't involved. It's probably just different sway bars and struts.
From Barbra Omelian on 17 January 2003:
hello, I own an 89' Bonneville Engine vin C. It leaks oil a bit so I
would like to check/replace the pcv valve. Where the hell is it?!!!???!
I need a cave drawing, I think.
Also, to whom it may concern, don' t ever swap for a k&n filter. It
puts a nice oil slick through the intake ruining all sensors along the
way (right around $700 worth)
PCV valves usually are stuck on the valve cover -- but not always. Your service manual will tell you for sure. As for the K&N filter, sounds like yours was severely over-oiled.
From John Holliday on 17 January 2003:
hi, i own a '89 pontiac lemans , I took the head off to replace the head
gasket and put
it back together and now it won't start and the injector is not working
..could i get some mechanics advice to get it back on the road again. thanks
Quit wasting money on a 1989 LeMans. In the meantime, start with the source of the problem and work backwards. The injector won't fire? Find out if it has power. If not, why not? If so, what else would cause it to not fire?
From TreVonne Jordan on 12 January 2003:
I need just a little bit of assistance. I am
attempting to change the brake pads on an 87 Grand Am,
but the pads haven't been changed since Jesus had a
repair shop open! After I remove the screw, I can't
get the caliper off. Is there something I can do?
What "screw" are you referring to? Brake calipers are usually short on screws, preferring large bolts to hold them together. And there's gonna be more than one. Methinks you are undoing the wrong stuff.
From The Ronster on 20 November 2002:
1993 Pontiac Bonneville
Heard a loud noise from the Trunk. The Electric release, releases' the
lock, but the lid no longer puffs open, nor, when raised, will not stay
open. The lid has become a dangerous weapon for a non holder-upper of
the lid. Need to know what part to get, how to fix it by myself? How
expensive can this repair be? I do not see where any spring, etc.
The trunklid on that car uses a torsion rod for a spring. If you crawl into the trunk and look up under the rear window, you'll see a couple of steel rods going across the car. One of these has come loose or broken off.
From S. Catherine Dailey on 12 October 2002:
2001 Grand Prix GTP
Are there any long term service issues I should be aware of?
GM cars are notorious for developing squeaks and rattles, and having minor trim pieces age poorly. That said, the Grand Prix is one of their better cars, and should serve you well. The 3.8L engine is nearly indestructible.
From Red Chief on 4 September 2002:
will the 3.4L or the 3.8L convert into a 1995 pontiac sunfire SE; also transmission
From Andy Anderson on 30 August 2002:
I have a 93 Bonneville with the climate control knobs in dis-repair. I have
tried to fix them with glue and other means but to no avail. On an 8 hour trip,
I once noticed that the metal knob (connects to the plastic knob) got extremely
hot regardless of which function I had on. This could be the cause of the
I have contacted Pontiac and the dealer and they have not noticed any problems
or have any campaigns in progress. The cost for one of the three knobs is $15.
$45 for all three.
Do you have any suggestions or know where I can buy after market knobs? I have
check with the local salvage yards and nothing exists.
Your dealership is ripping you off. Try a different one, or buy 'em from Dal Slabaugh at Vadevere Oldsmobile by mail-order.
From Mike Diaz on 16 August 2002:
Thanks for the fast reply. Two tiny questions:
1. Is the dust cap holding my rotor in any way (at least, should it be?)
2. Once I finally get it loose, do U just pull off the dust cap or
should I leave it on?
Thanks again, great site by the way!
Leave the dust cap alone. It's not party to this process in any way.
From Mike Diaz on 16 August 2002:
I got an '87 bonneville and today I went ahead and tried to give the do
it yourself front disc brake job a go. Your guide was great but I had
one problem that maybe you could help me with. My rotor didn't slide
off like you said in your article. I'm guessing I may still have an
original rotor (from '87? how?) and maybe I still have those assembly
tabs. Can I ask you how the tabs look like? What I see on mine is a
sort of like almost wavy cirlce of metal behind the rotor. it
encompasses the majority of the rotor with the exception of the area
where the caliper goes. When I look close in the space between it and
the rotor I see a small tab from the wavy metal thing going into the
space in the concavity of the rotor and another tab at the bottom of the
little well in the rotor. Is this the assembly tab and how do I remove
them? I may buy a rubber mallet and try to beat the rotor off but I'm
weary of that. Thanks for any and all help you may give me.
That wavy disc is the dust shield. It belongs there. Leave it alone. The little tabs look like lock washers; they sit on the wheel lugs right in front of the rotor where they're easy to see. More than likely your rotor is just stuck and needs a good wallop from a BFH.
From Heloise Frame on 21 July 2002:
Dear Brian: First of all: thank you for responding so quickly and fully and
Second of all: I was wrong about the year! My kids pointed out
to me that Dad's car is a '92 SSEI !! Oh well. I assume it isn't that much
different. But it wold be interesting to know whether the '92 supercharger
was not as sealed as the '93.
Thirdly: I checked with my son in law... the thing that caused
him to pull the car over in '97 was that the engine refused to run. He then
had it towed to the Cooperstown dealership which said that the supercharger
was out of oil and filled it. (It had been being serviced by Lewis and Sons
in Delhi, N.Y from whom my husband had bought it in '92.) They said that
there was no way that it could have been given oil...that the oil resevoir
was sealed. (Which is what you have said the manual from the '93 says.)
Fourthly: After I received your email I double checked with the
dealership in Onoenta, NY (Otsego Automotive) which has serviced the car
ever since the '97 incident There is definitely an oil leak from the
supercharger into the engine. There is a plug on the supercharger which can
be opened to refill the supercharger with Mobile oil #1. They do this
regularly. Before it is done there is a lot of noise. After it is refilled
the noise diminishes but does not go away. We have been happily going along
with the oil refill solution until now.
BUT: I have JUST learned from the shop manager that the new
problem is that the plug is getting more and more difficult to remove and
they believe that it is going to freeze up in the near future. Thereby
bringing that solution to a close.
THEREFORE: given your marvelously well reasoned summary, I
believe that the bottom line is that I have explored 1 and 2 and arrived at
3. and that your conclusion is that the car is worth the investment and the
risk is now high enough that I should "go for it."
THANK YOU! May God give you the happy surprise in the judgement
day that in so far as you did it unto the least widow of His you did it unto
ASincerely, Heloise Frame
Well, I'm glad my essay helped you out some. Hey, even I have to be nice to my readers once in a while!
From Heloise Frame on 17 July 2002:
Hello: I am the 73 year old widow of a good man who has gone home to the
Lord and whose SSei remains behind with me. It has been well cared for over
the years with one very major exception. In '97, shortly after my husband's
death, I discovered that the mechanic who had been servicing it in several
previous years did bot know that the supercharger required oil. He had
believed it to be a sealed model.
We discovered this problem because the car suddenly began behaving very
stressed out and my son-in-law, who was driving it at the time, pulled it
over and had it towed to the nearest Pontiac dealer who said that the
supercharger was out of oil. That mechanic did not believe that it had been
seriously damaged. However it has ever since leaked oil into the engine, as
I understand it (which, believe me, is very little indeed!) and so far as I
can determine, makes a very significant noise when the engine is idling or
running. The noise gets worse if the oil gets low and when I have it filled
it gets better but doesn't go away.
Recently I came into several thousand dollars which I want to put into the
Bonneville. I have had it looked at by the Pontiac dealership that saw it
in '97 (Gary Enk, Cooperstown NY) and by two independent garages. The
opinions are two to one. The dealership and the one independent garage say
that the serpentine belt tension adjuster is the problem. The other
independent mechanic (who is actually a kindhearted man who has helped me
out with other small machinery problems too.) says that that can't be the
problem since he replaced that recently for me and the noise is still there.
He wants to replace the supercharger with a rebuilt one (which he is not
taking a mark up on, out of kindness to me) He is anxious that if it should
seize up I would lose the power steering and since I drive on curving
country roads (often dirt and gravel) it would put me at serious risk. He
doesn't think saving about $ 1400 of the money I have by not replacing the
supercharger is worth the risk. The other two think the risk is so minimal
that it isn't worth the money to replace the supercharger.
What do you think???!!!
This has to be one of the most interesting questions I've received in a very long time. And, it's your lucky day. I used to own a 1993 Bonneville, and never got rid of the GM factory service manual for it. This is what General Motors has to say about the supercharger that they installed on your Bonneville:
"NOTICE: This oil reservoir is sealed for life and requires no service. No attempt should be made to check, add or change the synthetic oil as parts damage may result."
So there you go. Your longtime mechanic friend was right all along: the supercharger does not require routine maintenance. Therefore, if the supercharger has failed, it is not the fault of this man. Your Bonneville was, in fact, well cared-for. If you have to refill the supercharger's reservoir periodically, then something within it is quite wrong. You should never have to service the supercharger. It probably does need to be replaced.
But. (There's always a "but".)
$1,400 is a LOT of money to spend. The tensioner is, what, 50 bucks? Replace that first. Spend the $50 before the $1,400. By the way, your car has TWO tensioners (because it has two belts) so it is entirely possible that your friend truthfully did replace ONE tensioner, and the dealership is truthfully reporting that the OTHER tensioner is now dead. My belief is to not spend the $1,400 until you have ruled out every other possible option. Even if you *are* adding oil to the supercharger (which, again, should not be necessary), go ahead and keep adding oil for as long as it keeps working. Synthetic oil (you should at least be using synthetic oil) is a lot cheaper than $1,400. Your friend's concern about the power steering going out if the supercharger breaks is overly cautious. While I can't strictly tell you that it would be impossible, I can say that it is highly unlikely. The power steering is served by a different belt than the supercharger. If the supercharger seizes, the worst that should happen is that the engine overpowers the supercharger belt and breaks it. But that will not affect the other belt, the one that your steering system uses. It is exceedingly unlikely (but, I concede, not entirely impossible) for a supercharger seizure to cause an engine seizure. The engine should still continue running even if the supercharger comes to a dead stop.
Well. I've rambled on quite a bit. Let me provide you with a summary.
1. Determine beyond a reasonable doubt that it definitely is the supercharger that requires you to add oil from time to time. If yes, then the supercharger is damaged and needs to be replaced (but maybe not right away, since adding oil is cheaper than buying a supercharger).
2. Replace the tensioner to see whether the noise goes away. This will also show you who is the better mechanic.
3. Replace the supercharger if, after 1 and 2, you still feel the car needs it.
The Bonneville is a good car, and should last you a long time. Let me know if I can help you in any way.
From G.B. Wentworth on 5 July 2002:
1984 sunbird convertable
Looking for the rubber striping that is sometimes known as the dew strip on the top
of the doors where the window drops into the door....
This is a convertible....
Please let me know if you find any replacement parts...
Try Pontiac dealer.
From Tony Geez on 15 June 2002:
I have a 92 Bonneville. Replacing the waterpump is almost unbelieveable. The
rightside engine mount has to be removed. What is the best way to go about this?
Thanks. Great site.
Take a good long look at it, decide that some challenges do not come with sufficient reward, and pay a mechanic. That's how we did it when ours died.
From a wandering Grand Prix guy on 1 June 2002:
I NEED TO RAISE THE REAR END OF MY 2001 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX ABOUT 2 TO 3
INCHES. THE PROBLEM IS I HAVE A CUSTOM STEREO INSTALL IN THE TRUNK THAT MAKES
THE STRUT TOWERS NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO GET TO. IVE TRIED THE RUBBER SPRING
BOOSTERS AND THE METAL ONES BUT THEY BOTH SUCK. ALSO I WAS LOOKING FOR WAYS
TO MAKE THIS CAR FASTER. CAN YOU HELP.
Okay, let me make sure I've got this right. You want to jack up the back of your front-wheel-drive Grand Prix like a highboy roadster, but you can't because you have so much stereo junk in your car that you can't even access the suspension anymore, and then you want to make this tail-up sled go faster? Is that about right? I think you need to sort out exactly what it is you want from your car before you keep throwing money at it.
From a slow raver on 22 April 2002:
Hi, im not sure if im at the right place. I own a 92 Grand Prix SE and i
cannot find any performance parts! Im looking for a cold air intake, a
hypertech module, and a good place to find an oversized cam! Plus anything
else that will add HP!! I love the grand prix and i want to make it scream!
Can you help?
Your chances of finding performance parts for that car are not good. To put it bluntly, a 1992 Grand Prix is not a strong contender for tire-shredding performance. You would be better off trading the car for something that has a large aftermarket, such as a Fox-series Mustang or a third-gen Camaro or Firebird.
From Kristin Starrla on 21 April 2002:
I have a stupid girl question for you,
the serpentine belt broke on my 1996 grand am and i need the pattern to put the
new one on. Can you explain or have any idea how i can get the pattern??
in pittsburgh stranded, kristin
Your question is not stupid because you are a girl. Here at Cave Drawings, we get tons of stupid questions all the time, and gender is certainly not a determining factor for the stupidity of the question. In answer to your own question, there should be a diagram under the hood of your car that shows the proper belt alignment. If the sticker is not there or is illegible, get a service manual.
From Melva Benson on 7 April 2002:
hey do u know were i can find a supercharger or turbo charger for a 1986 pontiac
fiero se it has the V6 in it and which do u think would be better for it and how much
do they cost please email me back asap at email@example.com thanx
They're expensive, and whether you want a turbo or supercharger depends on how much you want to work on it and where you want to make the most power. You might start by checking with the major manufacturers for a bolt-on kit; failing in that, check the ads in the various Pontiac and GM enthusiast magazines.
From Cameron Sprague on 27 March 2002:
I'd just like to thanks for your excellent website. I have an 1992 Pontiac Bonneville
SE and your brake job write-up really helped me out when it came time to do them on
my own car. Also, I read your day at the track with amusement. You should post some
more stuff for the car! Anyway, thanks again for the cool site.
No, thank YOU for being one of my crazy Bonneville enthusiast fans! Who knew there would be such a following!
From Michael Holloway on 11 March 2002:
I would like to know if possible and how much work it would take to make
a regular 96 3.8L Series II, supercharged. Other than buying a supercharger
and replacing the intake manifold with it I am not very sure. I have seen
some websites saying the heads will have to be replaced and other components
also. It looks like most superchargers use a different serpentine belt so
that makes me think I would have to replace the current harmonic balancer
with a different on with two pulleys. Then new problems comes in effect to
be able to run another belt it looks like the engine mount would have to be
remove, moved or something.
This has the potential to be a rather involved swap. Your engine management system will be different for sure, and it's a possibility (though I don't know for certain) that the supercharged engine may have a lower compression ratio, or a heavy-duty bottom end. You might call a Pontiac dealer and find out whether the part numbers for the piston, cylinder head, and crankshaft are interchangeable between the engines. If they are not, it is probably too large of a project, when you could just as well pick up a good used complete engine from an auto recycler. You'll still need to sort out the engine management system; not insurmountable, but you'll need to figure out which components differ.
From Ron McPhee on 7 March 2002:
I have a 93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi with a bad supercharger, any idea who rebuilds
these superchargers? A new one from the dealer is 2093.00 thats a little high! any
info would be greatly appreciated.
You're almost certainly better off just getting a used one from an auto recycler.
From Sherri Warren on 23 December 2001:
I own a 1993 Bonneville Pontiac SSEI and had the front brakes replaced in July at Les
Schwab Tires. By November, I got very tired of the black carbon (in huge amounts
that splashes back to the rear tires also) and returned to Les Schwab. To make a
long story short, they replaced the pads installed in July and said they were on the
recall list as causing this problem. It is now almost January and you cannot tell
the front wire wheels are gold. There is a patch of black that runs the entire
length of my car after three weeks.
Is there a reason for this that can be solved that I am unaware of. I am sure that
it is not right for the brakes to be doing this in the degree it does it. I had no
problem before I got new front brakes.
If you could answer this question, it would be appreciated.
That doesn't sound right at all. Remote diagnosis is always tricky, but my first guess is that they're using cheapo organic brake pads. Try taking the car somewhere else, and making sure they install semimetallics.
From Chuck Collazzi on 27 October 2001:
Do you sell knobs? I need a "mode control" a/c-defroster-etc. knob for a
1994 Pontiac Grand Prix.
Any help would be appreciated.
No, but I've got a line on a doorknob...
From Chris Brown on 9 July 2001:
I was just wondering where you are located at. I see your at 75&80 often . I live
about 5 miles from there. I own a 79' Grand Prix (301-V8), and an 89'
Bonneville(3800 V series 1). I'd be interisted if you have any reccomendations for
performance upgrades for either car. A few of the people in the yahoo message
boards with bonnevilles say they race theres at drag strips. so I thought it would
be a pretty cool idea. The bonneville has a K&n filter, and the Grand prix, does
not have any upgrades.
I'm in Virginia. The nearest quarter-mile track for me is 75/80, so I go there a lot. Well, I
USED to go there a lot, but lately I've been pretty lazy about going to the track. With the Grand
Prix, I suggest replacing the engine. The 301 was an oddball with almost no aftermarket support.
Lose it. The 3.8 in the Bonneville has some potential, as there is an aftermarket for it, but you'd
get more bang for the buck if you worked on a different car. I'd say put a better-supported engine
in the GP and leave the Bonnie alone. I've seen the Yahoo Bonneville guys. They seem nice
enough. All I can say is, people will race anything. You will do much better with a lighter and
more cost-effective package. I ran my '93 Bonneville once for funsies but I would never spend a
dime on it for race prep when you can buy an F-body for almost nothing and run much faster for
almost no money. A fast Bonneville would be pretty trick, but you'll have to wade through the
world of GM 3.8 performance and figure out what'll work on your car. Buick used turbo 3.8L
engines in the mid-80s, but those cars are RWD so I dunno whether you could make a turbo 3.8
fit in a Bonneville. It'd be a screamer if you could do it, and if the transverse tranny could
From Jon Pritchard on 25 April 2001:
Hey what's up guys? i have a '95 bonneville and i am trying to make it
good also. i want to get air intake and possibly some other things but i
cannot find a single thing? can you help by naming some sites or brands?
and aftermarket items are of intrest to me.
Is yours a supercharged model? If not, the first upgrade you might wanna think about is
trading up to a supercharged one... Regarding performance parts, the pickins are slim for the
Bonneville. It is just too big to be a popular performance car. But with a little ingenuity, you don't
have to be left high and dry. Your engine, the 3.8L V6, is shared by many other GM cars. In
particular, parts designed for the Grand Prix can probably be made to work on yours. Start out
with companies like SLP and RKSport, and also see if you can hook up with some sort of
3.8L performance enthusiast organization.
From Ron Melle on 19 June 2000:
I would like to obtain some technical info. for a 1970 Lemans Sport.
Stock 350 engine HP? Automatic tranny ratios? Rear end gear ratios?
And other tech. info..
Could you tell me, or tell me how to find that info.? Thank you for
your time, Ron
Ron, for that kind of information you're going to have to find a specialist. One way to do that
is to visit a largish bookstore like Borders and browse their transportation section for a book that
covers the subject. Or check out the offerings of Classic
Motorbooks or good ol' Amazon.com. You
also wish to consider a membership in the Pontiac-Oakland Club
International, a large group of Poncho junkies.
From Tara Dale on 3 March 2000:
I live in DC and have been interested in getting a 1969 GTO Judge for some
time now. I saw on the net that there is an organization called the Royal
GTO's. Can you forward some information to me on these guys?
Thanks so much!!!!
I'm not a member of their club so I don't know a lot about them. I went to one of their
test-n-tune sessions at MIR so I know they're real cool and very friendly. They don't have a web
presence that I know of; the only contact info I have is a phone number: 301/464-4322. If that
doesn't work let me know and I will feel through the Pontiac community till I get you an answer.
From Shy Mike on 15 November 1999:
Hi - you guys look like you know what you're talking about, so here's a
question: I have a 1993 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible with 8-lug
wheels, with the brake drums inside, and want to mount radial tires. I
haven't been able to find the size and style I want: 225 75 14, with a
1" whitewall. Any suggestions?
Mike, we'll forgo any rude jokes about convertible '93 Bonnevilles with 8-lug wheels and four
drum brakes which come from the factory with bias-ply tires. Because you've asked us for help
nicely and do not deserve to be mocked over an obvious typo, unlike most of the people who
write us. I don't know what it is about the tires you want, Mike, but they're hard to get. The Tire Rack has nothing in 225/75-14, never mind one of
any specific appearance. You may do better at Kelsey
Tire, who sell vintage tires. I don't know whether they sell radials in vintage styles however.
The last place we know to check is Kanter Auto Parts
who definitely sell vintage tires and MAY sell what you want also. Good luck and let us know
how you fare!