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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:47 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1998 ssei
Hi. First post in the forum. I've seen other threads about heat issues. Just bought my 98 bonne SSEI used. Only thing previous owner said it needed was a coolant elbow. Tried to replace it and was not aware the bottom elbow was cast as part of the tensioner assembly so ended up breaking it and had to replace the whole assembly. After I replaced the part, I tried to bleed the coolant as well as possible but still just getting cold air. If it sits idle a while it will start to blow warm, but not as warm as it should. If I drive it gets cold again. My bleeder screw actually has a flat head screw and when I was tightening it down, I sheared the screw head clean off. Continued trying to bleed the system by just turning the whole bleeder valve with a socket wrench but it seems tons slower.

I think I might know why I'm not getting the air all out. On the tensioner assembly, there are 2 metal things that the hoses go over, and they fit into the assembly and are bolted to it. When I was trying to remove those, since the new assembly did not come with them, I slightly bent one of them where the hose slips over it. they were really stuck in that assembly and I had a hell of a time removing them. Seems like here in MI, nothing just ever comes apart easily. Probably part of the reason I broke the original assembly. When I attached those metal things to the new assembly, I put the slightly bent one on the out instead of the in, hoping that the little bend wouldn't affect operation since its flowing INTO the hose from the less than round hole. It seemed like the hose fit on it pretty snug, especially with the hose clamp, but I do see a little coolant on the assembly and im assuming thats where it came from. My question is, what are those things called? I searched oreillys website but having a really hard time finding them. If the issue isn't the slight bend, it might be because I couldn't get new o-rings for those things when I reinstalled them. Just jammed them in the new assembly with their half melted o-rings and like I said, seemed pretty snug.

Any help at all I would greatly appreciate. It is seriously not warm out and driving almost 2 hours to work in the morning and 2 hours home at night is torturous without heat. I also appreciate any kind of advice or guidance in general. Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:36 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1993 SLE
1998 SE
2001 SSEI
2002 SSEI
All of us who live in colder areas know what you mean.
It's brutal driving without heat!

Rockauto is a favorite source for parts. Amazon is typically good, too, if you have Prime and want the part the fastest (usually).

http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/pont ... ing+system

Look in the Vendor's forum of Pontiac Bonneville Club for a Pontiac Bonneville Club member discount code.

I generally opt for the higher quality ACDelco Original Equipment parts but it can make sense to buy cheaper Dorman parts for a simple bleeder .
Thermostat housing ACDELCO 1510585
Bleeder screws
ACDELCO 10070107
or
DORMAN 902112

Heater hose connectors
DORMAN 47214
and
DORMAN 47212

To get all of the air out, with the car off I first open the bleeder screw and then fill the radiator with coolant--squeezing the upper radiator hose a few times to help air get out of it.
I let it sit that way for a few minutes.
Next, top off the coolant until the radiator is full.
Close the bleeder screw. It doesn't need to be super tight just snug enough not to leak.
Put the radiator cap on with the Arrow pointing to the overflow tank's hose.
Now fill the reserve tank to the hot full line and put its cap back on.
Start the car and turn the heat on.
When the lower radiator hose is very warm, rev the engine to 2500 rpm and open the bleeder screw for about 10 seconds.
Close the bleeder and repeat a few times until only coolant comes out.

Less likely--but possible--- is that the air is all out but you have a stuck open thermostat.
If the thermostat is working and all the air is out, there's the possibility of debris clogging the heater core.
This gem is found in the TechInfo tab
care-and-feeding/topic15064.html
You can use a regular garden hose to backflush the heater core, which usually resolves this problem.

While the car sits idling, there is far less air passing over the radiator fins than when you're driving---that's why the heat is OK at idle but trapped air could be the culprit, so I'd bleed the system first.

Nothing comes apart easily in most parts of the country, especially on 19 year old cars.
This is one reason many people don't work on their cars.

Kroil , Penetro or PBBlaster are good penetrating sprays to aid in loosening up rusted-on parts.
Use only 6 point sockets to remove nuts & bolts to avoid rounding the heads.
This won't do you any good when removing hoses that you want to reuse, though.
For hoses that you aren't going to resue, just cut them off.
Spraying nuts and bolts with a good penetrating oil, especially if you give it time to work, often makes removal much easier.

You can look on Rockauto at pictures of parts in case you aren't sure and need to know what comes apart and what doesn't.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:40 am 
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Year and Trim: 1998 ssei
Thanks for the tips Mike. I don't usually order parts because I'm impatient lol. That's exactly how I initially bled the coolant when I filled it after installing the tensioner assembly. It was tough getting my hand down on the lower rad hose with the supercharger belt right there and the fans so close and I got my thumb smarted pretty good by the fan blades lol. I'm really not a big guy so how the heck does anybody else manage check that hose without skinning their arm? I may not have got all the air out of the bleeder though. Also, I wasn't able to fill the reserve tank initially because I didn't have enough coolant to do so and couldn't afford another bottle at the time. I did, however, fill the rad completely, just didn't have enough left over to fill the res. Don't know if that is relevant to the issue or not. This all came right after I replaced a few feet of brake line, a few feet of fuel return line, my rear drums, shoes, and cylinders, and get 4 used tires and a battery. Then I had to buy that assembly which wasn't very cheap either.

I did use liquid wrench penetrating oil to help remove the heater hose connectors. I held a torch on them too. Watched a video of a guy replacing that assembly and he pulled those connectors out with his hand which made me feel great about my situation lol. I had the assembly in a table vice and tried to wrench them off with a big pair of pliers which is how I slightly bent the tip of one. Smacking the crap out of them with a mini sledge while the assembly sat on the ground is how I managed to break them loose finally.

I do have a 2000 park ave sitting in my yard that hasn't run in years. I can steal the bleeder from that. As long as the engine is cold, I can just take the bleeder right out of my Bonne without losing coolant right? Did you have a link for those O-rings that go on the heater hose connectors or do they just come with the parts? In the pics it looks like they do. I can't afford to buy them probably until next payday, and I still have to get an oil change and some gear oil for my supercharger too. I'm not sure how I'm gonna be able to. I need to be able to cut as many corners as I possibly can here, which I seriously hate. I didn't know that those connectors were 2 different diameters so could that be part of my problem too?

edit: are these the o-rings? ACDELCO 24502846 GM Original Equipment Info One of our most popular parts
Belt Tensioner O-Ring; O-RING http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php ... 85&jsn=585


Last edited by Gillroyale on Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:58 am 
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Year and Trim: 1998 ssei
I forgot to mention that there seems to be something wrong with my actuators too. The air only blows from the windshield vents at first. After a little while it will switch. Seems like its sticky or something. I noticed on another thread somebody mentioned there being 2 actuators, and one might be stuck blowing over the AC which would cause a lack of heat. If one is stuck, then I guess it may be likely they both are? But I have never had the cold air turned on in this car. I've only had the heat on, and that worked fine before my coolant elbow adventure.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:02 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Year and Trim: 2000 Bonniville SSEi L67
yes, before you start throwing parts at it, bleed the coolant again

from cold start with rad cap off and bleed valve open, idle with heat on full - be on level ground and from time to time, bring idle up to about 2000 rpm for 2 seconds - do this a few times
when it gets to 180, the thermostat will open and you will see the level drop in rad
fill the rad and put cap back on.
close the bleed valve when there is a steady stream of coolant - I leave it open till I cap the rad
fill overflow to hot mark and go test drive - when it cools off, the level should read at cold mark.

while you bleed, check the hoses to heater core and feel if they are getting hot - if they are, flow is good.

your only blowing from the dash and floor sound like a nipple vacuum issue I had in my 96

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:34 am 
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Can you explain the nipple vacuum issue and how to diagnose/repair it?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:28 pm 
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NO, not with confidence, but if your 98 is like my 96 - the vent selection is done by vacuum from a central module that's near the pass kick panel - the nipples collapse and reduce vacuum causing failure - you can bypass this nipple by routing another hose.

pics dont work -...viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2884&p=27612&

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:08 pm 
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My coolant started to leak faster. I replaced my heater hose connectors because they were pretty shot. That wasn't the while problem though. Now I have a steady drip under the car. It's coming of the crank pulley, and a little on my oil filter. So I'm guessing at this point my water pump is show now too. I can see where it's leaking anywhere else. I found something online about checking the weep hole. I have no clue where that is or how to get my eyes on it or what to look for. Any help? Is it likely it's my water pump? It doesn't have any play when I pull on it and it's not making a sound, but I don't see any leaks from the tensioner assembly I installed and it seems like that's the only place it can be coming from since right above the crank. Just such perfect timing for it to fail.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:55 am 
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2002 SSEI
Could be worse--could be February!
The weep hole is not visible without an inspection mirror.
Most people just feel behind and below the pulley mount for wetness.
Don't bother with the cheaper brands.
Get an ACDelco water pump so you only have to do the job once.

As for the vent issue, check the vacuum hose that runs from the engine compartment into the firewall on the passenger's side.
Over time, that gets crumbly/cracks and it causes a defrost mode.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:35 am 
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If it was Feb I would be cryin. Good news is I'm somehow getting good heat now, just leaking so much coolant. I tried to get my fingers behind the pulley between it and the crank pulley but there isn't enough clearance. There's a motor mount in the way. Looks like I'm gonna have to rent some puller to get the PS pulley out in order to back out one of the bolts too. And I saw someone using some blue sealer stuff. There's almost no way possible its just leaking from out of my crank pulley right? It's almost certainly my water pump? I'm not overheating, but it seems to have a hard time KEEPING temp which I find odd. I'm driving almost 2 hours at highway speeds and see my temp gauge falls a bit below the center.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:02 pm 
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You might need to replace the thermostat if it's not maintaining the actual coolant temperature. But I would verify the temperature with a scanner or a real gauge before jumping to conclusions on that because the gauge in the cluster isn't exactly well-calibrated and your temperature might be actually correct just the needle isn't pointing dead on.

And no, there's no way the crank pulley can leak coolant.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:55 pm 
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you can get a stick/wire and wrap some white paper towel/tp to the end and stick it behind the tight spot - you will see if its wet

you can get a little cosmetic mirror that every chick has at least 2 in their purse - borrow it and you can see the weep hole

a digital compact camera is also good to see whats up

if your ect drops at continuous highway speeds, Id say the pump is circulating well - just below the centre mark is fine as long as it stays steady at speed.

no, i dont see any way coolant can come from the case - if it was, the car would be a ship anchor

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:34 pm 
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I was able to squeeze an old phone in there on camcorder mode and saw the drip. I'm positive its the water pump I have to replace now. I might take the one off that park ave sitting in my yard. It would be alot cheaper albeit maybe temporary. Still gotta stop and grab a gasket and some sealer I guess. My question is has anybody done a waterpump on one of these 98 bonne SSEIs? I'm wondering if I'm gonna have to do something with the motor mount right there. It looks like there is almost no clearance to work around it. I know this motor is common but I need the experience of someone who has been in this exact setup to tell me what I need to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:11 pm 
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could you post a pic of this buried bolt - it could be a shorter one so I would back it out with a wrench to see if it will clear.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Sorry for crap camera quality. Image


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:04 pm 
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I've done the WP on my 98 SE.
Since yours is an SSEI, I looked in the service manual.
Here's what it says:
1)Disconnect negative battery terminal.
2)Remove bolts from AC compressor splash shield & remove it
3)Drain coolant
4)Remove belts
5)Unbolt Coil pack/ICM assembly
6)Remove engine mount bracket
Details here:
1992/topic33247.html
AND
here:
viewtopic.php?f=53&t=2652
7)Unbolt power steering pump
8)Remove idler puller
8)Remove water pump pulley & water pump
9)Clean all mating surfaces
When installing new pump, tighten shorter bolts to 11 Ft lb
Tighten longer bolts to 22 Ft lb
I always clean the bolts on a wire wheel.
More threads on WP replacement
post405553.html
post405597.html


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:18 pm 
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I can't see any of the pics posted on those threads. I tried looking at them on the photbucket website too but it just shows the same stupid please update your account message. I've never removed a motor mount. on top of that, I have to remove a supercharger tensioner pulley? With my luck and the amount of rust I've found everywhere else on this car there is no way I'm gonna get by without breaking those welded bolts inside that frame rail, then I won't be able to reattach my motor mount and drive my car. I don't have anything to cut metal with.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:36 am 
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Everyone dislikes it when additional parts have to be removed to replace something.
The engineers never repair these vehicles.

You might search through past forum threads to see if there is any type of workaround for the mount.
If you elect to DIY, then it's advisable to get some good penetrating oil, such as Kroil or PBBlaster to presoak the bolts with for a day or more before doing the job.
Forget about WD-40. It's better used as a lubricant, not as a rust dissolving penetrating oil.

You can always hire a mechanic for the task. There's no shame in that.
They get paid to do all the aggravating work that most people won't do.
You can use one of the websites that estimates repair costs, such as https://repairpal.com/estimator to make a determination of expected cost for the job.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:07 am 
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I need a detailed walkthrough to move the engine mount. I haven't ever done anything with an engine mount before and I'm not super confident, but like i said, I don't have the money to take this in. I looked on repairpal.com and a water pump job would cost between 387-500 dollars. I have no other choice than to do this myself. I already have a used waterpump off my buick.

I can't afford to mess this up either because this is my only vehicle and I would have no other way to get the 71 miles to work every day. If I miss too much time I'm fired. If something goes wrong messing with this engine mount I can't even drive the *dang* thing and I'm just as screwed. Water pump failure while driving could be catastrophic and the roads are just getting worse, so if that happens it could be really bad.

I'm between a rock and a hard place. I looked around on the forum and can't find anything that really describes the job in detail. The engine mount looks like a 3d jigsaw puzzle to me. I've been soaking the bolts in Liquid Wrench penetrating oil. Could some guru post a walkthrough of this with pictures? Mainly the supporting the engine and which bolts to remove from the mount in which order and how it comes apart?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:01 pm 
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Year and Trim: 2000 Bonniville SSEi L67
if you need time, for cash, to further investigate mount or spring, you could put some stop leak in - I've used rislone/bahrdal heavy duty stop leak - works great for about a couple of months and wont clog anything but the leak.

keep an eye on the coolant level and refill as needed - nothing bad will happen if you stay on top of level - I drove my 92 gtp for three months adding a litre of water every 50 klm or 30 minutes - the pump is buried in that engine - alternator is 8 hours by the book


http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/rislo ... p.html#srp

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2000 SSEi
past rides:
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1992 GTP
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