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 Post subject: An update worth posting!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:10 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Orlando FL
Year and Trim: awesome blossom
01 Bonneville se
So quick shout out to all the members that chimed in on my transmission issue, LSS I got a serious piece coming in from triple edge performance, kinda a "1.5" build ( between his stage one and 2 offerings, I'm getting everything the stage 2 has hard part wise but with the valving and programming of a stage 1, the fact he was building a trans for an N/A Bonneville kinda gave him an interesting plot twist!) It's also coming with 3.69 gears instead of the factory 3.05, so that alone is gonna put some pep in the step too! Anyways I'm gonna also take a long minute and divulge some stuff that happened just before last time you seen me, probably going to have to post the pics in a second post ( I was never good w/ imgur I'm afraid) but I found some other updates along the same lines as the radiator project that will definitely be worth knowing.

1st off I got fresh brakes all around, replaced everything from the hoses down. ( 21 years and 276k miles on everything but the pads and rotors, the only real problem was the P/R caliper had stuck open. Shout out to the OG's @ GM who made this thing, your work lasting that long is an inspiration and standard I try to hold my work up to ;) too bad we'll probably never see that kinda love again. Anyways she got fresh hoses, calipers, ( except the P/R... If you want to know the story ask in the replies, comes with a cool song...) And stoptech drilled rotors and pads all around. Also got the SS sized front calipers so my front brakes grew about an inch in the process. Got an awesome hook up on rims and tires through a now former employer, got the BBS looking style SS rims wrapped in a fill set of fresh BF Goodrich g force comp2/AS's, picked them out after seeing alot of the autocross sport sedan kids in the SCCA started rocking them and gave them killer reviews, and finding out Chevy made them factory issue for Camaros w/ the big V8's was a definite confidence inspirer. I got 20 years of Auto mechanics and an ASE or 2 behind me and by far best tire's I've ever drove on, including anything a customer or a factory has done or gotten. That double "AA" traction rating is no joke.

So after the brakes but just before the gearbox started giving me warning signs, I also redid the whole suspension; front and rear. And I made a monster in the process ( good monster though!;) I can say that I have one of those legendary bonneville's with a "clone" GXP front end and a stock(ish) rear end and the rumors and legend were true... Best story ever: coming in hot on a clover leaf kinda deal where I75 and I4 meet... Passed a BMW 5 series, he was already doing well into the triple digit's, and I passed him on the OUTSIDE. Had me Rollin! He even jerked his steering wheel as I came around him like" wait a minute, there's a car PASSING ME!?!? And straight up that worry about oversteer was straight bolonie. This thing will do a U turn at close to 35 and using only 3 lanes ( keep in mind I'm in the first lane, and the car is full 180 in lane 3) and the back end just rotates around the Apex with NO feeling of it's going to overshoot or anything even close to a loss of control. Now, there are probably going to be some definite differences between my car and what the kids up north in the SCCA did with their bonnevilles ( he'll they found the core of the whole break through by accident by just swapping front end struts) so I'm going to give an itemized receipt of exactly what parts and where so anyone that wants to similar results will have a definite baseline
Fornt end:
Moog kit #42 ( police/commercial grade front end kit; included the following; inner tie rods, outer tie rods, new and improved control arms, new and improved sway bar links) I actually got this kit for 3 reasons: 1) control arms are aluminum, and they also. Have fewer casting holes than both the factory aluminum and my original steel units too, and the bushings have a metal sleeve on them that's noticeably thicker than stock. Appear to be bronze or brass too, which is ideal in this spot. 2) inner tie rods; they genuinely appear to be 2-4 mm thicker than OE size pieces. 3) the sway bar links were the good poly kind, and the sleeves gave me a Lil bit of a way for adjustment, being it was goin to be maybe a lil bit lower...
Custom coil springs from CSS.
I asked them for what they thought the GXP springs would've been like. They made me a set that are supposed to drop my front end 1 inch from stock and be 25% stiffer... I never really noticed the drop cause of how bad off she was when I got these in, but honestly didn't care. They got wrapped around some of the A/C Delco struts I've seen some of the elite members of the club recommend.
Outer tie rods- I ordered these separately, they're called "tough terrain" TTX by mevotech. And OMG these things are like the M1A1 Abrams battle tank of the outer tie rod world. These things are YUGE, and I won't say their industructable but at the very end of this section you'll know why I'll buy them again if I ever had to.
Strut mounts- originally I had just regular moogs, but something happened... I live in Orlando FL, and because of politics involving a less than ineffective Mayor, it's not a series of roads, but a series of construction mishaps and results of local imbezzelment. One day I had a choice, either hit a box truck head on or run over a complete cinder block that fell of the overpass above... Well I bent a strut and straight broke the mount on the P/F. I bandaged it up so I could get around but I was wondering: " everything survived amazingly but the strut mount, the rod bushing went right into the hood. Wonder if there's a tougher bushing. There was. The strut mounts for the Buick Lucerne ( sound familiar lols!?) Are a 2 piece design instead of the 3 piece we came with, but it lined up to the whole assembly perfectly and actually feel better than the 3 piece. Lil more feedback but nothing alarming or bad enough to complain about, and seemed much quieter and smoother than the 3 piece. Very glad I found that Lil cherry
So on to the rear:
Found a sway bar off a Buick, you know what kind by now, it was the 19mm diameter kind, paired up with some nice energy suspension poly bushings. Being an SE my car never had a rear sway bar before, but the factory was nice enough to drill and tap the holes out for it anyway ( there's another example of that love again!) Went in like it already belonged there too!
Didn't get new control arms (even with Rock Auto prices it's almost a grand for the pair!!!) But I rebuilt them with fresh bushings and camber plates behind the bearings.
Moog had another "cop car" updated part for the toe links. They are serious! Like those outer tie rods, serious combat grade hardware. Instead of stamped steel these are full on high carbon tubular steel pieces, that seriously have a massive diameter advantage over the OE style.
Rear springs are stock Delco, but an updated variable rate instead of the original fixed rate spring design. Picked these out on purpose cause I know the variable rate stuff can actually help with traction by giving a lil more compliance at first before firming up under serious loads. Plus I got my kid in the back...
Shocks were actually a cardone kit that replaces the factory air ride setup with something more serious. They're conventional shocks but come with their own coil spring preinstalled on them. They also came with a cool orange label that said " when replacing air ride with this kit the cargo capacity of the rear axle can be increased up to 200 lol bs above factory recommendations. For police vehicles there is no change" NICE cause my kids only getting bigger, my wife fatter, and the grocery trips... Well anyways!
The new stance of the car can be described in one word: killerake! Seriously it kinda looks like even sitting still it's about to do a stoppie. But I love it and it handles better than cars that costed WAY more

So I got one last thing I'm going to throw out for input... Is it me or are the alternator's the stores are all carrying right now total garbage? Anyways was poking around a bit, thinking how us tuner's think, and thought to myself, what would drop in that just by design would kick out just a lil more juice? Seen custom pieces but they included kits and warnings that sounded like rewiring the whole car would be necessary at some point. But thinking along the cop car lines found out the Impala cop cars came with the same 3.8, and the alternator they got was almost indentical to ours, except it's rated for 20 more amps and the plug faces a different direction ( still same shape and prongs though!) Anyone tried running a cop car alternator? Might gimme an excuse to get some cool lights later on!
Bonneville club post 10/13

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