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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:24 am 
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 10:40 am
Posts: 1921
Location: West Point
Year and Trim: 2003 SSEi
I had to go look. I have General G-Max on mine. They're about due for replacement it looks like. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:35 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 9316
Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
New tires are always exciting though!

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"Penelope" - 2003 SLE - 226k Miles
"Sydney" - 2000 Honda S2000 - 88k miles
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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 1:11 pm 
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Posts like an LN3
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:57 pm
Posts: 407
Location: MUSKEGO,WISCONSIN
Year and Trim: 2005SLE CRIMSON
2005SLE WHITE
1975 MONTE CARLO
It is amazing what a difference new tires make.
The car rides like it is brand new.
On both of my 2005SLE I put the Firestone Champion Fuel Fighter 235/55R17 99H 70K.
So far so good.
Curious to see how long they last.
I am running 30PSI in them.
I had Good For One Year tires before and they did not last.
I also had Cooper Tires before and the car rode rough and they were really noisy.
The Firestone's so far ride nice and are quiet.


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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:41 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 9316
Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
My favorite all season tires were the Pirelli P7 Cinturatos. I used 2 full sets and probably did over 100k miles on those tires in this Bonneville. They were awesome. Quiet. Good in snow. Wore like rock iron. They are not cheap though and I decided not to spend the extra money this time around for a car that may be done at a moment's notice.

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"Penelope" - 2003 SLE - 226k Miles
"Sydney" - 2000 Honda S2000 - 88k miles
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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:12 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm
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Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
Been a while since I updated this one! Lot of changes for me this year in terms of work, and in some ways, it feels Penny has officially retired at the ripe old mileage of 226k. I left Tesla and went to Rivian. The job involves a lot of remote work and travel, so none of my cars see a lot of use anymore other than for fun purposes.

Went from doing 400+ miles a week for the last few years, to maybe one tank a month now! Last year we got a dog and these days it feels like Penny is the dog's car. I basically drive it to the gym, and on walks with the dog, and the occasional camping trip.

For the most part, she's been pretty reliable. I changed the AC compressor in July due a persistent rattling noise, but all of the other accessories are still original. The crank position sensor also started to finally show symptoms and was changed out. A very simple job with an impact. She just passed emissions as well! Still has yet to leave me stranded.

I still really want to hit 250k with it but I'm driving so little now it may not happen before she rusts out. Nonetheless, still a great daily and will see more use in the winter time as the S2000 goes to sleep. Been trying to come up with a replacement for this car, but not only is it a terrible market to buy a used car, I can't figure out what would be similar in space, comfort, reliability, ease of maintenance, and relatively decent fuel mileage.

I performed an experiment where I drove the S2000 and the Bonneville on the same 150 mile stretch of road at 65 mph. The Bonneville hit 29 MPG and the S2000 hit 28... I'm sure the S2000 would have done better if it were not on RE71Rs, but still shows how amazing this 3800 drivetrain can be on the open road.

Overall, I'm proud of how far this thing has come. It has beat all of my expectations and more. The headliner is starting to fall down and I'm debating whether to change it out with a cool pattern or something. Who knows!

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"Penelope" - 2003 SLE - 226k Miles
"Sydney" - 2000 Honda S2000 - 88k miles
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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:12 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 11:47 pm
Posts: 6541
Location: Philadelphia
Year and Trim: 95 SLE
Always cool to see this thing turn some more miles. It sucks that you might not make it to 250k but it'll have a story to tell either way.

Grats on the job change also.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:52 am 
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 10:40 am
Posts: 1921
Location: West Point
Year and Trim: 2003 SSEi
I'd love a Rivian, but my wallet wouldn't. I like everything about it except the headlight look.

What's the basis for ditching Penny? Tired of the little nuisance things? If not, just drive it when you can. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:14 pm
Posts: 204
Location: Macedonia, OH
Year and Trim: 2002 SE, 2013 Regal GS
If you MUST ditch your lovely car, and want something similar, maybe looking into a Buick LeSabre (sister car) is a good idea. Even though prices are ridiculous right now. Maybe even a Toyota Camry/Lexus ES 350 might be a good option - I know the new Camrys get 32 mpg highway.

If that replacement time does come, be smart and do what I didn't do with my Bonnie: Sell it to Andrew so he can help many others keep their Bonnevilles going.

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'02 Pontiac Bonneville SE 108,539 miles, N/A, SSEi exhaust system, boat roller mount. Gone, but not forgotten.
'13 Buick Regal GS 79k miles, 270 hp, 295 lb/ft of torque.
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 Post subject: Re: Penny the 2003 SLE
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm
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Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
I have no real basis for getting rid of it, but I am not ignorant to the fact that it is pretty rusty and contains a 226k mile 4T65 lol. I will be this car's last owner. But I would hate to be caught with my pants down in the middle of winter with no car. I refuse to drive the S2000 in the salt since it never has been, and both sets of wheels I have for it are summer tires as well.

I have been debating between an ES350 to keep the old man vibe going, or on the sportier/more character side of things, a 2015+ Honda Accord V6. I casually browse for cars, but like you all have said, the market is pretty terrible. I really wanted a truck, but don't want to deal with the fuel economy. My dad is kind enough to let me borrow their Lexus GX470 for off-roading and camping use. I took it to Colorado this Summer and fell in love with it.

I missed the chance to buy a manual Chevy SS before the market absolutely exploded and I'm kicking myself every time I think about it. In general, I'd want something manual but I do also share the car with people who don't want to drive manual. Boohoo to them you might say, but I do already have the S2000. The GF has a 2011 Honda Fit, and I love that thing. Hers is auto, but a manual would be so much more fun. Kinda dumb getting the same car though, haha.

There are only a few things on Penny that are a nuisance, but nothing that bad. The front rearmost passenger subframe mount makes a ton of noise if tightened to the right spec... So I literally leave it hand tight and it's quiet. I did cut a hole in the wheel well thinking the cage nut was gone, but it is just fine. This makes me thing the subframe bushings I got are incorrect. But whatever. I believe this is why the alignment won't hold and the steering wanders around. I have changed the inner and outer tie rods, but the original rack must be pretty worn at this point. I'm procrastinating checking on the state of the brake lines as well.

Despite having new tires, one of them leaks steadily. It is actually corrosion around the valve stem. Tried many times to clean it up, but these wheels are pretty chewed up by corrosion and replacements are hard to find. Luckily, it is a slow leak so I just top it off every week or so. I literally change the front trans mount every 6 months. I've tried hockey pucks, boat rollers, N* performance, everything... But all of them translate too much vibration and make the car feel like a *shoot*.

There are numerous cosmetic issues. The headliner is falling down. There's a weird exhaust leak which is very ticky under load, but somehow the car is still whisper quiet otherwise lol

In any case, thanks for coming to my TedTalk. I will be driving this thing until a catastrophic failure happens, but if I can find a replacement vehicle for the right price I plan to jump on it. This doesn't mean Penny will be gotten rid of though. When she does die though, hopefully Andrew will want it! I'm not sure what could be of use to him from it though. I will say, the interior minus the headliner is still really good. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a small guy, but the seats are still in very nice shape.

The Rivian headlights look a lot better in person, I must say! I've been driving them a lot and the performance and off road capability is astounding.

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-Car Guy Carl
"Penelope" - 2003 SLE - 226k Miles
"Sydney" - 2000 Honda S2000 - 88k miles
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