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alfredh8mermaids

introducing myself to the forums with a backstory

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Hi am not going to say much but i will say this. I do not currently own a w-body car however I have loved first gen gm w body cars cars since I was 6 years old. As an aunt of mine had an early 1990s Pontiac grand prix 4 door. It was rusty and well worn out and junked a couple years late due to needing new head gaskets. I liked the styling that it had. several years later a cousin of mine got a 1995 Pontiac grand prix coupe that honestly wasn't in much better shape than the 4 door I mentioned above. I did like that it felt very roomy for a 2 door car. probably since the only 2 door car my parents had at the time was a geo metro convertible. And that I was only 10 and not very tall at that time. it was sold 3 years after she bought it when some lowlife vandals broke the windows on it then she decided it wasnt worth replacing the windows and bought a new car instead. fast forward to today. I am getting a job soon. And intend on saving up money to buy an early 1990s Pontiac grand prix 4 door in good shape or at least in ok shape. So that is my introduction. I hope to have a great time here. also it is safe to say I love pontiacs.

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Welcome! You had me at "Loved First Gens".

 

Hang out and look through some build threads and such, that way you may narrow it down to a Y/M/M that's your favorite. Feel free to join in the Whatever thread as well.

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Welcome!   I also joined this forum before I purchased my first w-body.

 

I'm glad to hear you're looking at 4-doors.   I think you'll get a better condition car than a coupe for the same money, but you might be able to find a non-GTP coupe in good shape for cheap, too.  But when buying a car that old, I would make sure you have a few hundred dollars extra in the bank for repairs beyond your purchase price.   I've been daily driving a 1995 Cutlass for a few years, and I've had to repair quite a few things but it's still running strong at 225,000 on my 3100.   I always check w-body first before diagnosing or repairing anything, there is ton of great info on here.   

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I do have a specific w body car in mind. I would like to have a 1990-93 pontiac grand prix sedan. however the main reason I don't have a car like that yet is because the only place I could work on it is in my driveway and garage which the driveway is currently covered in snow. and the garage is not ventilated and is currently full of lawn furniture. also it has been too cold to work outside or in the garage. so no car until spring is here. I do want to know the following now however when it is time for me to look for one: 

 

what is a fair price on one that has major, engine, transmission, or suspension issues?

 

did any of the engines or transmissions that this car was equipped with have common and major mechanical weakpoints I should be aware of?

 

how badly did these cars rust?

 

what engine/transmission combination would I be most likely to find in a 1990-93 grand prix sedan?

 

I live in the iowa region how hard would it be to find a 1990-93 grand prix sedan?

 

how common was head gasket failure on these cars and how hard would it be to find new head gaskets?

 

not as important but still good to know:

 

how easy is it to access areas of the engine bay to top or change transmission, brake, or other fluids? or to also change belts?

 

what size tires were used on this car's factory wheels. and how easy are they to find new?

 

did this car come with digital dashes and were they any good?

 

 

please point out anything else I need to know when buying one.

 

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Welcome fellow Iowan!  Everyone here knows I love CL and I found only one car that's in our area right now.  I'm sure there are more at little dealerships/private sellers that clutter our region too.  This car is in KC and the price has been updated to $1300 but that seems a little high yet and maybe you could do some more dealing.  Seems pretty solid and by the way, grandma's are cool too!  Where we live, you have to look at the normal places like the rockers and quarter panels but really pay attention to the rear trailing arms and mounts.  That's where they really like to rust.

 

01212_5smPIlc0lzF_1200x900.jpg

 

https://kansascity.craigslist.org/cto/d/1993-pontiac-grand-prix-grand/6487762646.html

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Why do you hate me? ;)

 

Good luck finding a GP sedan, they are out there and can be had cheap.

 

dont worry i dont actually hate mermaids.  and my real name isnt even alfred. and no i am not going to say my real name.

 

also i looked up prices on the grand prix sedan i want on carsforsale and they are definetly affordable cars.

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I used searchtempest to find my GS, you can search the entire country region by region. If you find a steal on a rust free one way south shipping isn't always that bad. I bought mine from pictures and had it shipped to Erie PA from Wichita KS for about $1100 (just the shipping) but it was a car you just don't see often here.

 

If it was an option I'd have asked the guys from this forum to scope them out before I bought but none of the cars I looked at were in cities that had forum members in them.

 

https://www.searchtempest.com/

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dont worry i dont actually hate mermaids.  and my real name isnt even alfred. and no i am not going to say my real name.

 

also i looked up prices on the grand prix sedan i want on carsforsale and they are definetly affordable cars.

 

It's all good. :) I'm not a real mermaid, I just play one on TV.

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Responding to your laundry list of questions:


 


I do have a specific w body car in mind. I would like to have a 1990-93 pontiac grand prix sedan. however the main reason I don't have a car like that yet is because the only place I could work on it is in my driveway and garage which the driveway is currently covered in snow. and the garage is not ventilated and is currently full of lawn furniture. also it has been too cold to work outside or in the garage. so no car until spring is here. I do want to know the following now however when it is time for me to look for one: 


 


what is a fair price on one that has major, engine, transmission, or suspension issues?


 


One that DOES have these issues? I wouldn't pay more than couple of hundred bucks. Whatever scrap value is.


One that DOES NOT have these issues? Depends. I would obviously pay a premium for a Turbo STE vs a base LE.


 


did any of the engines or transmissions that this car was equipped with have common and major mechanical weakpoints I should be aware of?


 


How mechanically inclined are you? Not at all? Stick with a naturally aspirated 3.1. (1990-1993)


Not scared of a challenge? Feel free to check out a 3.4 DOHC (LQ1). (1991-1993)


Total sadist? 3.1 Turbo (1990 STE only).


 


None of the automatics were stellar, but generally the cars don't make enough power to break them.


 


The manual transmissions feel like you're shifting a tractor.


 


how badly did these cars rust?


 


By today's standards, badly. If you're in the north get it Krown coated if there is one nearby.


By 1990 standards, they were pretty good.


 


what engine/transmission combination would I be most likely to find in a 1990-93 grand prix sedan?


 


Without a doubt 3.1 and 440T4/4T60


 


I live in the iowa region how hard would it be to find a 1990-93 grand prix sedan?


 


These cars were hard to find a decade ago and the sedans undoubtedly got the short end of the stick as no one particularly cared for or wanted them.


 


how common was head gasket failure on these cars and how hard would it be to find new head gaskets?


 


Not at all common.


 


not as important but still good to know:


 


how easy is it to access areas of the engine bay to top or change transmission, brake, or other fluids? or to also change belts?


 


Idiot proof.


 


what size tires were used on this car's factory wheels. and how easy are they to find new?


 


Depends on year and trim level. Can't really find any true performance tire in these sizes anymore.


 


did this car come with digital dashes and were they any good?


 


No. The last year for the ugly and shitty digital dash was 1989.


 


please point out anything else I need to know when buying one.


 


Avoid anything 1990-1991 with ABS.


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