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 Post subject: 97 LeSabre Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:38 pm
Posts: 1666
Location: Cambridge, OH
Year and Trim: 95 LeSabre Custom
01 Bonneville SSEi
09 G8 GT
So, this is something I've been thinking about for awhile, but finally started this past weekend (7.14.18): working on my mom's 1997 LeSabre. My parents bought it in '99, and currently only has 165K miles on it. The problem is it's gotten a lot of abuse over the years, being parked outside all its life and driven in the winter. As a result, the rocker panels have rotted. The passenger side isn't too bad, but the driver side is gone.

Because the engine and trans, and most of the rest of the body, are still good, I thought it was worth trying to save the car. First, my mom can't just go out and buy a replacement (especially at a price where it wouldn't need work), and second, this will be good practice for my LeSabre. It has a bit of less rot than mine (both rear wheel wells are in excellent condition, mine aren't), so I thought it a good project to cut out all the old metal from and weld in new.

Here are a few pics:

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So far Tim and I made it as far as getting the interior apart and inspecting the problem areas. As soon as we can, we are going to start cutting. We don't get a lot of time to work on our projects, so this may take some time, but I plan to keep this as updated as much as possible.

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- Greg | -- Project Prasinos -- |
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1995 LeSabre Custom: 312K Miles | Custom K&N CAI | Edelbrock SDT Muffler | Camaro Tips | 180 T-stat | LED Interior
& Exterior | 20% Tint | PA Grill & Portholes | Limited Trim | GTP Rims | Ported LIM | Plus Many More Mods | Restoration Thread
2001 Bonneville SSEi: 216K Miles | Instense FWI | Intense MPS (3.4") | 180 T-stat | ZZP Plog | Ported Rear Manifold |
ZZP 3" Downpipe | Magnaflow High Flow Cat | Retrofitted HIDs | Cleared Corners | PIAA Bulbs | 35% Tint | Plus Many More Mods |
2005 Bonneville GXP: 92K Miles | Stock
2009 G8 GT: 88K Miles | 35% Tint | Roto-Fab CAI | SOLO Mach Exhaust | BMR Tunnel Brace | BMR Sub Frames | BMR STB |
Kooks Headers | QTP Electric Cutouts | BMR Sway Bars | Elite Engineering Catch Can | Innovative Dual Wideband Kit
1984 Caprice Classic Wagon: 86K Miles | Restoration Project


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 Post subject: Re: 97 LeSabre Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:04 pm
Posts: 25342
Location: Browerville, MN
Year and Trim: 2004 GXP - plus a handful of other Bonnevilles
Daunting. For an amateur, this will be overwhelming. Are you sure the subframe mounts are solid? If not, don't waste your time.

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2004 Bonneville GXP | White Gold Tricoat | custom built supercharged 3800 hot rod | garage queen
2005 Town & Country Limited | Butane Blue Metallic | 290k | Family Hauler
2002 Ram 1500 Quad Cab Sport | Black| 210k | Official Bonneville Hauler


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 Post subject: Re: 97 LeSabre Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:10 pm
Posts: 34
Year and Trim: 2002 Bonneville SLE
Its not my wish to be Negative Nellie here- but if the frame is that rotted I have to question the integrity of the metal brake & fuel lines too. Also, what causes rust isn’t the car- it’s the climate and local road salting. If your moms not planning to move anytime soon all that rust is gonna come back , and in five years you’ll be back to square one .

Good luck on the job if you still want to go forward.


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 Post subject: Re: 97 LeSabre Project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4420
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
You won't know until you start poking around and cutting just how bad the rear frame really is. Just because it looks intact doesn't mean squat. Has to do with the fact that the frame in these area's rots from the inside out. I would do some poking around those frame rails in front of the wheel well before getting too far into this project.

For the rocker panel, again the rot starts from the inside, between the inner and outer structure stampings. So by the time the rocker, which is mainly 'decorative' rather than structural, rots out the entire bottom of the outer structure is usually also gone. Pardon my not at all to scale representation of that cross section:
Image

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Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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