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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:12 pm
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 1991
Hello.

I am looking to buy a Pontiac Bonneville between 1987-1991. I live in Sweden so the prices are a little different here. Mercedes, Jaguar, BMW, Volvo, Saab and other cars that are expensive in the U.S., cheap cars here. Very cheap. A BMW 750 costs about 10 000 (1 569.86 US dollar ) here. In Sweden bonneville SSE costs like 600 US dollar.

First of all I want to say I love Pontiac cars. But I would like to have answers to any questions about rust and what to look for when purchasing a bonneville etc.

1. How much is usually a bonneville automatic take per 10 km? In Sweden we count liters per mile. One mile here is 10 km. One gallon gas is 3,78 liters gas.
2. Are they quiet in the cabin?
3. How about the door-closing?
4. Do they rust mutch? If yes: Where?
5. How about the atomatic transmission and engine? Do they have god quality like a old Mercedes diesel?
6. Has the cars good quality? If I take care of the car and it still get broken?
7. What shall I look at the car when im going to buy it?
8. How is the interior? Is it solid or loose?
9. What usually breaks on these cars?
10. How is the comfort to drive them?
11. What equipment is usually available on these cars?
12. Anything else I should know about these cars? I want to know everything! :)


- Persson121


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:42 pm 
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Welcome!!!

FWIW, 1 mile = 1.6km. Just so everyone here has a clear conversion.

1. The car should get well over 20 US MPG. 22 US MPG is 10.7L/100km, 26 MPG is 9.05L/100km.
2. Yes, provided the car was maintained well they are very quiet.
3. Not sure what you mean, but the doors close well, however it may require new bushings and pins in the hinges for quiet, tight closing.
4. They can, depending on condition. The major points are where the front frame bolts to the body, if that's rusted the car is junk. Other cosmetic rust spots are over the wheel wells and the rocker panels. If it gets bad it can go up into the door.
5. The engine is excellent, the 90-91 transmissions are the best of these years. The earlier ones did have some problems. These engines will go 350,000km+. The transmissions are relatively simple and cheap compared to other cars.
6. The cars are overall good quality, they don't seem to have any major issues.
7. Typical things for the car, wear, overall condition, the rust I mentioned, any maintenance records the owner might have, the condition of belts, tires, plug wires, hoses, oil leaks, etc. Check the color and level of all fluids.
8. It seems that you're looking for an SSE, and the interiors seem to be of good quality and very tight, but 25 years on the road takes its toll on any used car.
9. Typical older FWD car things, struts, water pumps, items that have a definite life.
10. They drive very well, and are extremely comfortable.
11. Some had CD players, though those are rare, but leather seats, AM/FM, cassette players, Air Conditioning, power adjustment seats, tilt steering, all the things you would expect of a car from that vintage.
12. I have never owned one, only driven a few and seen what's in here, but they're very good cars and if well-maintained last for a long time. Take a while and peruse this section and see what issues other owners have had, and things they have done.

Hope I was able to help.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:41 am
Posts: 248
Location: Lockport, IL
Year and Trim: 2000 Bonneville SSEi
1987 Bonneville LE
Good luck getting an impartial awnser from all of us Bonneville nuts on here lol, but i have 2 Bonnevilles currently and i absolutely love them both. I hope you end up getting one and loving it as much as i do!!! :banana:

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"CERTIFIED BONNIEHOLIC"
B I-1999 Bonneville SE -My First Bonnie- gone forever
B II-2000 Bonneville SSEi (black) 7/3/09 ZZpcm 1.0, Thrasher Cold Air Intake, Magnaflow hi-flow cat, 180 thermostat, Autolite 104's, solid hockey puck front mount, Intense 3.4 MPS. (OCT 2010 COTM Nominee)
B III-1987 Bonneville LE (burgundy) 7/22/10 -- Gone to Heaven
B IV-1991 Bonneville LE (black) 12/6/12 Parts Car -- Gone!
B V-1998 Bonneville SE (green) 9/11/13 -- 270,000+ and going strong! -- gone 287k+
B VI-1989 Bonneville SSE(gray)9/23/15
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:12 pm
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 1991
00Beast wrote:
Welcome!!!

FWIW, 1 mile = 1.6km. Just so everyone here has a clear conversion.

1. The car should get well over 20 US MPG. 22 US MPG is 10.7L/100km, 26 MPG is 9.05L/100km.
2. Yes, provided the car was maintained well they are very quiet.
3. Not sure what you mean, but the doors close well, however it may require new bushings and pins in the hinges for quiet, tight closing.
4. They can, depending on condition. The major points are where the front frame bolts to the body, if that's rusted the car is junk. Other cosmetic rust spots are over the wheel wells and the rocker panels. If it gets bad it can go up into the door.
5. The engine is excellent, the 90-91 transmissions are the best of these years. The earlier ones did have some problems. These engines will go 350,000km+. The transmissions are relatively simple and cheap compared to other cars.
6. The cars are overall good quality, they don't seem to have any major issues.
7. Typical things for the car, wear, overall condition, the rust I mentioned, any maintenance records the owner might have, the condition of belts, tires, plug wires, hoses, oil leaks, etc. Check the color and level of all fluids.
8. It seems that you're looking for an SSE, and the interiors seem to be of good quality and very tight, but 25 years on the road takes its toll on any used car.
9. Typical older FWD car things, struts, water pumps, items that have a definite life.
10. They drive very well, and are extremely comfortable.
11. Some had CD players, though those are rare, but leather seats, AM/FM, cassette players, Air Conditioning, power adjustment seats, tilt steering, all the things you would expect of a car from that vintage.
12. I have never owned one, only driven a few and seen what's in here, but they're very good cars and if well-maintained last for a long time. Take a while and peruse this section and see what issues other owners have had, and things they have done.

Hope I was able to help.


Can i have som pictures of the front frame bolts of the body? It's easier to look at a picture first. Then i know where to look. I'm very good at welding in cars. I drive a Volvo 740 and I have welded on to the floor to fix rust. :)

Ok. I will buy a bonneville from 90-91. I have heard from others that the automatic transmission has a bad quality on these cars.
How do i know/feel that the atomatic transmission is in a bad shape or god shape?

Is it more bonneville models that SSE?
Do all V6 have 170 hp?
Is the a tuningchip avilable for these engine to lower the gas per mile?


Last edited by persson121 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 10:19 pm
Posts: 5530
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Year and Trim: .
2015 Buick Enclave
2013 Buick Regal GS
As an owner of a 1989 Bonneville LE, the first question to ask is "do they salt the roads there in the winter?"

If they do not salt the roads, then there will not be a lot of concern for the rust. The salt eats away at the undercarriage. My 89 is totally rust free throughout the whole car,but what I am running into is the drying out of a lot of the rubber components. The door seals are very bad, but the doors still do not leak. You can hear quite a bit of wind, but the water does not enter the cabin unless there is a lot of wind.

You are talking about 20+ year old cars, so expect the normal work to be done. Struts will be a big issue, if you jump on the bumper and it bounces more that 2-3 times after, they are bad. Tune ups etc. The 3.8 is a very reliable engine and lasts for many miles.

As for mechanicals, they are very reliable. There are a few upgrades to help with different issues. The first would be to upgrade the ignition from the single coil (Magnavox) set-up to the 3 coil newer version. A strut tower brace from a 92-99 model helps a lot with the front suspension.

I own an 89 and 2000 and used to own a 95 that the daughter claimed. Of all of them, the 89 is my pick for a nice comfy ride across the country. I love my 89 and there are others on here who like their 87-91 just as much.

If you have a certain car you are looking at, post the link here and a few of us can evaluate it for you.

Happy hunting!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:12 pm
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 1991
myfirstbonnie wrote:
As an owner of a 1989 Bonneville LE, the first question to ask is "do they salt the roads there in the winter?"

If they do not salt the roads, then there will not be a lot of concern for the rust. The salt eats away at the undercarriage. My 89 is totally rust free throughout the whole car,but what I am running into is the drying out of a lot of the rubber components. The door seals are very bad, but the doors still do not leak. You can hear quite a bit of wind, but the water does not enter the cabin unless there is a lot of wind.

You are talking about 20+ year old cars, so expect the normal work to be done. Struts will be a big issue, if you jump on the bumper and it bounces more that 2-3 times after, they are bad. Tune ups etc. The 3.8 is a very reliable engine and lasts for many miles.

As for mechanicals, they are very reliable. There are a few upgrades to help with different issues. The first would be to upgrade the ignition from the single coil (Magnavox) set-up to the 3 coil newer version. A strut tower brace from a 92-99 model helps a lot with the front suspension.

I own an 89 and 2000 and used to own a 95 that the daughter claimed. Of all of them, the 89 is my pick for a nice comfy ride across the country. I love my 89 and there are others on here who like their 87-91 just as much.

If you have a certain car you are looking at, post the link here and a few of us can evaluate it for you.

Happy hunting!


Yes, they salt the roads. But i vill buy a SSE who passed the carinspection. Whey are worth like 600 US dollar.
First, as I am considering buying a Mercedes-Benz W116 or a W126 for around 300-600 U.S. dollars. They are very cheap, but it gets a lot of work on these to get them approved by the inspection, and think I will buy a Pontiac SSE because I want it as a daily car to drive. But i don't know if a old Mercedes have more comfort that a SSE Pontiac. I don't even know why many people choose an German car like a BMW or a Mercedes before an American car.

I will post an ad when i see one that i like.


Last edited by persson121 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:22 am 
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Posts like an L27
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:48 pm
Posts: 622
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada WCBF '11 Survivor
Year and Trim: '98 LSS L67
I need an update! I love these cars, but really, are replacement parts that easy to come by in Europe? I have to admit I like the idea of cruising Europe in a big H-body, but I wonder if it's all that practical? I had a bit of a time finding a second one, and I live in North America! Albeit a somewhat isolated, desolate rock, (kidding) but yeah, it was tough here to find one here!

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1996 Olds Eighty Eight LS/L36, 146K miles, mostly stock
1997 Olds LSS/L36, 95K miles, raided for dent free parts and sold
1989 Bonneville LE Gem (sold)
1987 Bonneville LE (retired)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:53 am
Posts: 321
Location: Margate, England.
Year and Trim: 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88

1989 Buick Le Sabre
Mechanical parts are easily obtainable in the UK, I think they would also be easy to come across in any European country that had a strong US miltary presence.
Sweden hosts the Power Meet at Vasteras, the largest American car show outside the USA, try looking it up online and see if there are any suitable links.

Hope this helps.

Roger.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:34 pm
Posts: 174
Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
I have owned a mercedes and several h-bodies... my first one of the box vintage (mine is a '89 Olds 88) No the are not as solid as the 80s Mercedes those were like a vault and a swiss watch rolled into one... however they are slow. Unless you have the big 500 motors. The SSE will run circles around the deisel Merc. Think of the doors like a Volvo 740. Solid feeling but light. Door handles will break( at the button) i have two broken right now. Actually an automatic 850 turbo is about the same in reliability terms... They will run on zero maintenace but will choke out all performance .. I had an 850 and (4) 240s. The 850 was a blast but lack of maintenance made her run at about 65% of her true ability. Watch for rust in the shock towers as well... a car might look clean and have hidden rust in the engine cradle... that holds the motor to the car with 4 to 6 bushings. Look out for rust there... replacing a cradle is a nightmare and if the car rots off the unibody its mostlikely done. Interior trim is not up to standards of european cars, be prepared for broken plastic here or there. However the Bonneville has great seats and the plushness of american cars actually helps the fabric last longer... be prepared to replace the headliner, I was very lucky mine was done about 8 years ago... watch for leaks at the windshield and rust at the door handles... Ive seen more rust on Bonnevilles they get acne rust on the doors and by door handles... And be prepared to repaint panels as the clearcoat on these cars last about 20-25 years if not taken care of

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:15 am 
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Posts like an LG3
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:53 am
Posts: 321
Location: Margate, England.
Year and Trim: 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88

1989 Buick Le Sabre
A bit late :) The OP only made three posts six years ago.
Maybe he didn't buy an H Body after all.

Roger.


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