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#2701001 - 07/31/12 04:26 PM 1993 Pontiac Bonneville
bigdreama Offline


Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 1234
Loc: Fl & Vt
I am looking for a car for my 17 yo son. We have looked at several cars including a Taurus wagon that I had a thread about a couple of weeks ago.

So now we are on to the Pontiac. It is owned by a 90 yo widow who just happens to be my Dad's neighbor. It is an original owner 35000 mile garaged Florida car. I have not seen it but Dad says it is in "like new" condition.

I have tentatively agreed to buy it for $2000. I know that there may be sludge issues and am aware of the fact that 20 year old vacuum lines may not be in the greatest shape.

I won't have any pics until after I decide to buy it or not but what do you guys think about this?

I value your opinions and you guys always seem to throw out something that I had not considered so fire away. popcorn
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#2701013 - 07/31/12 04:38 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 9761
Loc: Upstate NY
BUY IT!!!!

It's a Series I 3800, so it's about bombproof. No Dex-Kill issues to worry about with the '93 Series I. I'd still replace the LIM gaskets for peace of mind, though. There are TONS of them in the junkyards around you, so used parts are plentiful and cheap.

And, there are very active online forums for the Bonnevilles, with tons of information about the car, and how to fix any part on the car. I do mean any part, as with the age and various condition, questions about every part have come up.
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#2701015 - 07/31/12 04:41 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
dave1251 Offline


Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 8135
Loc: Maricopa, AZ
Buy it!
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#2701017 - 07/31/12 04:42 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 6756
Loc: Virginia Beach
What a great 1st car - the proverbial little old lady car. Big, safe, reliable...if you don't buy it, then please post the phone # - I'll fly down to buy it!
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#2701023 - 07/31/12 04:46 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
thorromig Offline


Registered: 03/22/12
Posts: 548
Loc: BerksCounty/Pa.
Garage kept--with that mileage, you "better" jump on that. Even take Granny out to dinner for that price on top of it.
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#2701029 - 07/31/12 04:54 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 29581
Loc: ME
There are hardly any vacuum lines on that car, get it.

If you have a 4T60 trans (no E) I would put an adjustable vacuum modulator on it, a "red stripe" for $10 from advance auto. The stock setup is, IMO, too slushy. Do a pan drop and change the filter, but not the gasket, even though a cheapo new one is included in the box.

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#2701035 - 07/31/12 05:01 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
scurvy Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 2339
Loc: Chicago IL USA
Hot dang, a rolling couch! Spent many a quality hour rolling down the highway in my then-GF now-wife's 1995 Bonneville (and more than one quality time in the back seat IYKWIM). Frankly a very reliable car, comfortable and a decent amount of pickup when you need it. Probably way too fast for a 17 year old - the 3.8 liter has ample power to pull that boat.

Access to the rear spark plugs was horrible, it leaked from one of the fuel injector rail fittings until we discovered the leak and eventually a leaking IMG (thanks, Death-Kool!) hydrolocked it. But we drove the snot out of it until then, took it on multiple cross-country roadtrips and it was a dependable car even receiving only a modicum of maintenance typical of city cars.
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#2701058 - 07/31/12 05:26 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
71Chevyguy Offline


Registered: 07/10/11
Posts: 392
Loc: Martinsburg West Virginia
IIRC that was the year they had no EGR on them. If that is the case they had some pinging issues and ended up burning vales and ended up with some head issues. Still a great car just make sure it is not pinging and repair anything that needs attention to make sure it no longer pings. Those were great cars and amazing engines. I have been looking for one of those and would never pass up one as good as that for any reasonable price. +1 on the tranny filter but not the gasket. Would not hurt to use Maxlife ATF in it as well. I used MerconV in mine and it shifted perfectly till I sold it at 155K.
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#2701116 - 07/31/12 06:16 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
UncleS2 Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 3202
Loc: Far North East Texas
One more vote for Buy It Now! If you're concerned about sludge from years of short hop driving, for its first fill go with something like Shell Rotella in 10w30. thumbsup
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#2701120 - 07/31/12 06:20 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: 71Chevyguy]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 9761
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: 71Chevyguy
IIRC that was the year they had no EGR on them. If that is the case they had some pinging issues and ended up burning vales and ended up with some head issues. Still a great car just make sure it is not pinging and repair anything that needs attention to make sure it no longer pings. Those were great cars and amazing engines. I have been looking for one of those and would never pass up one as good as that for any reasonable price. +1 on the tranny filter but not the gasket. Would not hurt to use Maxlife ATF in it as well. I used MerconV in mine and it shifted perfectly till I sold it at 155K.


1992 was the year with no EGR. 1993 was when GM installed EGR to correct the issues you mentioned.

Maxlife ATF in the 4T60 is a great idea. It'll help that old transmission hang on longer, especially in Florida with a teenager behind the wheel.
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#2701141 - 07/31/12 06:38 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
OtisBlkR1 Offline


Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 3214
Loc: Indiana
BUY ! BUY ! BUY !
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#2701147 - 07/31/12 06:42 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
Corvette Owner Offline


Registered: 01/22/03
Posts: 1676
Loc: Waldorf, Maryland
I had a 1995 Bonneville, it was one of the best cars I ever owned. I also kept it the shortest time, about 85,000 miles.
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#2701294 - 07/31/12 09:39 PM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
dja4260 Offline


Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 895
Loc: Chicago
a 92 bonneville was my first car. I loved that car and the bench seat was cool.
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#2701489 - 08/01/12 03:57 AM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: dja4260]
bigdreama Offline


Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 1234
Loc: Fl & Vt
Well the consensus seems to be to go for it. I kind of thought you guys would like it.
I am taking the family to visit my Dad this Saturday so we will get a chance to check out the "Bonnie" then. I will report back with pics and let you all know how it turns out. drive

Thanks for the replies. thankyou
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#2701504 - 08/01/12 05:26 AM Re: 1993 Pontiac Bonneville [Re: bigdreama]
bachman Offline


Registered: 07/29/12
Posts: 17
Loc: CO
I might have had the same motor or a variation of it in a 1988 Olds, 3.8l V6. Loved it as it was sporty / peppy with great mpg. It wasn't even broke in when we went from MI to FL (720 miles on it) and I drove 75 mph all the way to Atlanta straight getting 24 mpg.
It even had a nice exhaust note.
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