Everything you need to know about your Grand Prix...
WARNING: Some of these items are not legal or advised; they exist here for
learning purposes only. Make sure you know what you are doing before
attempting to implement or try anything discussed here. These are not suggestions, they are only questions and answers. Grand
Prix Net is not responsible for the accuracy or use of this information;
please use this information at your own risk.
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I just ordered a Grand Prix from my dealer.
They told me I'd be waiting for six to eight weeks for it to arrive, but I've
heard otherwise. Can you explain how the ordering process works, and what I
can expect to happen from here? How long can I realistically expect to wait,
and what do the terms "preferenced" and
"on restriction" mean?
When you go to your dealer to order a car,
you pick from a series of options. Once the dealer knows exactly what you want,
he goes to the computer and builds out your car. The order then sits in a
queue at the dealership waiting to be acknowledged or pulled by Pontiac.
Every week, Pontiac pulls a group
of orders. In other words, Pontiac
may pull orders for GT coupes in a block, SE coupes in another, and GT sedans
in another because they build cars with similar features in groupings. So if
you place your order for a GT sedan (or GTP) right after they just pulled a
bunch of GT sedan orders, you might have to wait until they start pulling GT
sedan orders again. When the order is pulled from Pontiac,
it is preferenced and assigned a build week. That
means that your car will be built. The build week is usually 4 to 6 weeks
after the preference date. The build week is the week that your car will be
completed, and once it is completed, it is usually shipped the next day.
Shipping takes 10 to 14 working days (including Saturdays), so the actual
arrival date could be around 2 to 3 weeks after the build week.
Order times are highly dependent on the dealer's allocation with Pontiac
and the options you choose. The dealer's allocation is based on how many cars
they sold during the previous quarter. So if you go to a smaller dealer who
doesn't sell many cars, they may not have a high allocation, and thus it
might take longer to get your car. Also, some of the options you chose may be
on restriction. Restriction means that dealers are only allowed to order a
certain number of cars with that option. The three options that seemed to
have cause the most delay and that have been on
restriction many times for long durations are the sunroof, the high polished
wheels, and the dual-zone air conditioning. So if a couple of people ordered
the same model (at the same dealership as you) with the sunroof before you,
you are going to have to wait longer, because your dealer may only be allowed
to order one GP with a sunroof per week.
Finally, anyone who orders around Christmas should be aware that GM shuts
down for 2 weeks which can also add a delay to the order process.
Basically, most people who end up waiting 3 or 4 (and sometimes 5) months
most likely have a dealer who could not place their order for 1 to 2 months
after they requested or have ordered option(s) that were on restriction.
There are some people who have received their cars 6 to 8 weeks after they
ordered them, so it can happen, but just don't bet on it. Go into the waiting
period expecting the car in 12 to 14 weeks, and you probably won't be
How much over dealer invoice should I expect
to pay for my new Grand Prix?
From what I know, people have paid anywhere
from around $200 to upwards of $1000 or more above dealer cost (not including
using the GM card or employee discounts, this means for regular folks) for
their Grand Prix. If you order, you are more likely to be able to strike a
bargain than if you want to buy off the lot, although this seems to be
changing. Definitely don't pay sticker price for the car, and if you're not
in a hurry then I would suggest ordering your car (from a company like ACS
which charges a flat $275 fee above dealer cost) with exactly the options you
want. To make sure you know how much the car shoud
cost you and how much each option adds to the bottom line, check out sites
like Edmund's which tells you both the
sticker (MSRP) and dealer (invoice) cost of the car. To figure out how much
to pay, add the base dealer price to the dealer cost of the options and
delivery charge and then add a few hundred dollars. Don't let a dealer make
you believe that he is only making a few hundred dollars on the car, because
he is making that money plus a holdback of about 3% (for Pontiacs). This
means he is actually making well over a thousand dollars off the sale, even
if he sells to you at cost! Read about holdbacks on the Edmund's site.
Bottom line: I would suggest not paying more than $500 over dealer cost, and
less is always better. I bought mine for $199 over dealer cost through ACS
back in April of 1997 when the GTPs were still
selling for sticker price off the lot. Saved me $1800 when compared to the
sticker price! You can do the same, too.
I'll be picking up my Grand Prix from the
dealer soon. Is there anything in particular that I should check or ask for
before taking delivery of the vehicle?
Dressing the wheels may mean that you will
experience the dreaded yellow spots on your car. This is especially
noticeable on white cars. Ask the dealer not to dress the tires - you can do
it yourself using your favorite tire dressing after you've picked up the car.
I know that I can order a sunroof from the
factory, but some say it opens into the roof and other say it sits on top of
the roof like a spoiler. Which is correct, and is it see-through (made of
glass) or solid? What if I don't want to wait the extra time because the
sunroof is on restriction? Are there alternatives?
The factory sunroof (referred to as a
"spoiler" type sunroof) does not retract into the roof of the car.
Rather, it slides along a track and sits at about a 10 degree angle over the
roof of the car. To some owners, this type of roof is undesirable because of
appearance, wind noise, potential damage to the glass from rocks, and a
smaller opening. The roof is made of glass and has a retracting sunshade.
Some people also refer to the glass with sunshade roof as a moonroof. The spoiler roof has the express open feature, and the venting feature as well.
Many buyers opt to purchase or order their Grand Prixs
without the sunroof, and have the car sent out for an aftermarket sunroof for
either one or both of the following reasons: 1) they don't want a spoiler
type sunroof and 2) they don't want to wait the extra time it takes to order
the factory sunroof due to restrictions. There are several aftermarket
sunroof companies, but the most well known and recommended company is the
American Sunroof Company, or ASC. They have a website with more information.
They have pictures of the Grand Prix with the ASC sunroof model 750VSS (VSS
stands for venting, sliding sunroof). However, some people have been able to
get the ASC model 925VSS, which is a larger sunroof. The ASC sunroofs come
with the extra feature of closing automatically when you shut off the car,
and they retract into the roof. The trade-off is that in order for the
sunroof to retract into the roof, because of the curvature of the roof, you
lose approximately 2-3 inches of headroom. This can be a significant impact
for drivers and passengers over 6 feet tall or with long torsos. The
aftermarket sunroof with installation should cost you around $1000 - don't
let your dealer convince you that you have to pay more because that means he
is imposing a mark-up on the feature. You can call ASC to get the actual
price and the nearest installer. Installation time is usually about one day.
I heard that I can disable the Daytime
Running Lamps (DRLs) in my Grand Prix. Why would I
want to do this and how would I do it (this is not recommended)?
If you want to disable the DRLs but not the automatic headlights, unplug the voltage
reducing diode in the DRL circuit. It is a large, finned object located on
the outer wall on the left side under the dash. It is visible through the
small access panel the you can see when the driver's
door is open. If you unplug this diode, you will turn off the DRLs and not affect anything else. If you do not wish to
have the automatic headlamps or DRLs active, simply
pull the appropriate fuse in the fuse block located to the right of the glove
box. Remember, though, that you may be eligible for a discount on your
insurance premium for having and using DRLs and
they are meant as a safety feature so that other drivers will see you more
easily. They aren't cool, but they could save you and your shiny new GP from
getting into a mishap.
Why does my "Low Fuel" warning
light come on when I've only used 13 or 14 gallons of gas (according to my
Driver Information Center)?
This is a safety feature. GM does not want
owners waiting until they are "riding on fumes" to fill up.
Although your tank holds 18 gallons, waiting until you have only half a
gallon left is not a good idea. Also, the Driver Information Center (DIC) is
not as accurate when you get to about 13.5 gallons, so don't trust the reading
as gospel. It is the opinion of many GP owners that GM has made this feature
read correctly until you get below a half tank at which point the reading
begins becoming biased by a "fudge factor" so that you are kept
from driving too far with little fuel. Many owners do not like this and wish
GM would simply allow the owner to decide when to put in fuel based on an
accurate reading, which is not available. Take this as you will.
Where can I buy a Grand Prix GPX? What about
a GTX? An F.1? What is the difference between these three and my GT or GTP?
You can't buy a GPX. This was a prototype
vehicle shown by Pontiac at the
1995 Auto Shows. See the Limited Editions
page for more information on this car. You can buy a GTX from Pontiac
in select markets. The GTX is a special add-on package for SE, GT, and GTPs that adds a functional ram air hood as well as other
options. Check with your dealer for availability. Pricing and details are
available on both the Limited Editions page
and the SLP web site. The F.1 is a
super-high-end packaged designed for the true enthusiast. Power upgrades and
appearance upgrades including a functional ram-air hood, functional rear
wing, larger wheels and tires, and much more were available until the end of
1998, when MPD was shut down.
Sometimes when it's raining and I haven't
used the brakes in a while they won't work right away if I go to use them.
Why is this? What can I do about it?
This is most common on Grand Prixs equipped with the 5-spoke wheel design, but has
been known to happen on all Grand Prixs with differing
severity and frequency. With the rim having such a large opening, it allows
the water to saturate the brakes and rotors. The brakes must then shed the
water between the rotor and the pad before they will work properly. Some list
members have suggested wheel covers (a plastic disc which mounts behind the
rim on the rotor bolt pattern). But, while this will help reduce the water it
can also reduce air flow to and from the brakes which could cause the rotors
to warp. Another suggestion has been aftermarket performance rotors which
have holes on the face of the rotor (called cross-drilled rotors) or grooves
(called slotted rotors) to allow the water to disperse properly. At any rate,
when driving in the rain it is a good idea to use your brakes every once in a
while to make sure they don't fail on you when you need them in an emergency.
Why does my coupe's passenger seat not lock
into a vertical position? Is this a design flaw?
The seat is locked by an inertial mechanism.
What this means in English is that the engineers who designed the seat
thought it would be nice to be able to push the seat forward with little
effort, and so the seat back does not lock unless you brake very hard and the
nose of the car dives to a certain angle which triggers the seat back to
lock. Contrary to many people's beliefs, this is not a design flaw, and was
meant to act in this manner.
Why does the air conditioner light stay on in
my dual-zone equipped Grand Prix when it's 40 degrees outside?
The automatic climate control system strives
to keep a constant, comfortable temperature and humidity level inside the
car. This has the added benefit of reducing inside window fogging. The air
conditioner is designed to run on dual-zoned cars at any temperature above 37
degrees F. On previous GM cars, the A/C light stayed on even when the air
conditioner was disabled due to low outside temperatures. Owners and service
departments bombarded GM with questions about this, so now the air
conditioner light goes out when the A/C is disabled due to low ambient air
temperatures. Finally, if you do decide to use the automatic feature, just
set it and forget about it. It is not necessary or even
a good idea to set it lower or higher because of extreme temperatures
outside. In other words, if it is 95 outside, it will not cool the car any
faster if you set the climate control to 65 instead of 70. If 70 is what you want, then set it to 70.
The traction control system (TCS) on my
1997/98 Grand Prix doesn't seem to work like I think it should. How is it
supposed to work?
The ABS kicks in first, and if the ABS is not
effectively reducing wheel spin, the PCM reduces engine torque by pulling
spark. There are 7 modes of TCS, and as wheelspin
continues, additional modes are activated, each with increasing spark
reduction. As a last resort, injectors are turned off in a certain pattern.
The low traction indicator only comes on when wheel spin occurs and not when
the TCS is activated.
What is that small thing that looks like a marble
in the middle of my dashboard? What's the other little thing that looks like
a hole right next to it?
The marble-looking thing is a sun sensor used
by the automatic climate control system to increase fan speed and compressor
time when the sun is heating the cabin of the car. Inside the hole is a light
sensor used to operate the automatic headlight control. When low levels of
light are detected, the headlights automatically illuminate.
It seems every time I drive my car I get a
new paint chip in the hood or front fascia. What can I do to protect my car?
This is a common problem due to the sloping
grade of the hood. Some recommendations from other owners are hood covers,
bras, bug deflectors and clear plastic adhesives made by such companies as
I've heard that there are some different
types of shop manuals for the Grand Prixs. Why
would I want to own a shop manual in the first place, and which kind should I
There is a set of three large books by Helm
Publications which detail (and I mean detail) everything about your Grand
Prix. Usually a company called Chilton's writes manuals, but these are skimpy
on details and do not suffice for do-it-yourselfers to get any real work done
on their cars. I highly suggest the Helm manuals; they are the same manuals
used by your Pontiac service
department when you get your vehicle serviced, and are the official GM repair
and maintenance manuals. Helm can be reached at 1-800-782-4356.
The other day I was driving very fast, and
once I hit a certain speed my car seemed to just cut off and didn't let me go
any faster. What happened? Do I have a problem with my car?
All Grand Prixs are
equipped with a speed limiter that will retard the fuel delivery to your
engine at a pre-set speed (108 for normally aspirated 3800's and 126 for
supercharged 3800's). This will prevent the car from exceeding the speed
limitation of the factory tires' speed rating. This operation was designed by
GM to prevent lawsuits and dangerously high speeds, and will not harm your
Grand Prix. Currently there are no known speed shops that can replace or
reprogram the system to remove this limitation.
I have a GTP and it has a selection for
"Performance Shift." What does it do, and in what driving
situations would I want to use it?
Putting your GTP into "Performance
Shift" mode raises the RPM level at which the transmission shifts into
the next highest gear, and may allow your RPMs to
go a bit higher than in normal mode. Use it for getting up to speed more
quickly, passing (except when in 4th gear; it won't help here), racing, etc.
According to those more sensitive to the shift characteristics,
"Performance Shift" mode feels quite a bit more firm and quick
during shifts than normal mode.
A friend said I should use synthetic motor
oil in my car for better performance and protection. Will I see a performance
difference with the synthetic oil? Should I use it anyway?
While synthetic oil will probably not
increase your car's performance, it will protect and retain its viscosity
better than standard oil. It is up to you whether this benefit is worthy of
the cost delta. The owner's manual states that only standard oil with the
starburst symbol of approval (found on all major brands) is required to
maintain warranty coverage. Some people believe that the higher temperatures
generated due to a supercharger (or turbocharger) warrant using better oil
such as synthetic. Standard oil tends to break down at lower temperatures
than synthetic oil and is believed to help during cold starts. For more info., check out Ed
Hackett's excellent oil FAQ, posted irregularly on the Usenet newsgroups rec.motorcycles and
If I had a problem with my old car, I could
check a list of Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)
for a mention of the problem which told the dealer what it might be. This car
is very new, and I can't find a TSB listing for it. Can you help me?
Alldata maintains a
list of TSBs for all cars,
however their online list is not always complete. Check it often for details.
However, in the event you have a problem, check with your dealer who always
has a list of the lastest TSBs.
Someone told me that my tank holds 15 gallons
of gasoline. Another person told me it was 18 gallons. Who's right?
The person who told you it holds 18 gallons
is correct. This applies to 1997 and 1998 cars. Apparently Pontiac
changed this for 1999; the new capacity is 17 gallons.
Is there something I can use to get defects
out of my paint? What should I use to polish the car afterward?
According to many users, products like ClayMagic (use the blue clay only) really help remove
surface contaminants (including rail dust and acid rain defects) from the clearcoat of your Grand Prixs
paint. After using the clay on the surface of your car (make sure to read the
directions thouroughly before starting), many
owners prefer to use Zaino Bros. Show Car Polish
products to protect the newly-cleaned surface. They are easy to apply,
remove, and last longer and resist dust more than other brands.
How do I reset the tire pressure warning
system on my Grand Prix?
As stated in the owner's manual, there is a
yellow button underneath the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel.
Depress the button for a few seconds to reset the warning.
How many Grand Prixs
were built in 199x? How many were GTP's?
Here are the numbers according to Pontiac.
The numbers of cars that were GTP's were assumed
from the fact that only GTP's come with the
supercharged 3800 (the numbers were not stated explicitly as SE, GT, and GTP)
1997 Total Domestic Production
(not including Canada
or any Foreign shipments) - 143,653
Table 1. 1997 Combined GT/GTP by color: Color Number
Silvermist (#17) 951
Mulberry (#89U) 4,158
Jade (#42) 5,946
Taupe (#49) 7,046
Black (#41) 27,238
Red (#81) 27,542
White (#16) 30,016
Teal (#35) 30,166
Green (#47) 39,010
Total GTP's (assumed) 25,185
1998 Total Domestic Production (not including Canada
or any Foreign shipments) - 126,321
Table 1. 1998 Combined GT/GTP by color: Color Sedans
Mulberry (#89U) 481 539
Medium Blue (#26) 0 1,499
Gold (#60) 2,231 1,170
Silvermist (#17) 8,807 7,563
Red (#81) 9,026 6,573
Dark Green (#34) 9,407 5,250
White (#16) 9,644 5,745
Black (#41) 10,605 7,563
Total number of GTP's
(assumed) 28,185 (22.31%)
42,718 SE Sedans
50, 201 GT/GTP Sedans
33,402 GT/GTP Coupes
16,727 GTP Sedans
11,458 GTP Coupes
Someone challenged me to a race. S/he has a
19xx (Make) (Model). Am I gonna get my butt kicked?
This depends on so many factors it can't be
discussed without a lengthy discussion. Weather, car, manufacturing
tolerances, weather, launch, conditions, and more all come into play when
discussing who will win a race. You simply can't tell by looking at the
"published numbers" for horsepower, torque, weight, and performance
to compare. Your friend may have a modified car, you may have a modified car,
the race may take place at high speeds or low speeds, in a straight line or
around curvy roads, etc. Please do not ask this question on the Grand Prix
Do I really need to use premium gasoline in
my GTP? Can't I just use regular?
Yes, you really do need to use premium
(defined in the owner's manual as 91 octane or
above) fuel in your GTP. This is because the higher output of the engine using
the compressed air from the supercharger will be more prone to detonation
(premature ignition of the air/fuel mixture) than a similar normally
aspirated engine. Higher octane fuels prevent detonation and knock. In
extreme cases you may use regular octanes, but do
not do so for long.
I know that Pontiac
specified the fuel economy of my car, but I've been getting lower or higher
than their numbers. Why?
As with any vehicle, your fuel economy varies
with driving conditions and habits. If you travel hilly roadsides you will
get fewer miles per gallon than someone who travels on flat roads. If you
accelerate with a heavy right foot, you will get fewer miles per gallon than
someone who lightly taps the gas pedal.
What is a K&N filter and why is everyone
talking about it? Do I need one for my Grand Prix?
K&N is an aftermarket manufacturer of air
filters for your car. The air filters from K&N provide higher flow (and
thus increased power, although maybe not noticeably) of air to your engine.
The more air your engine has to use, the more power it will output. You don't
necessarily need one for your Grand Prix, but it's not a bad idea. The filter
is re-useable and can simply be cleaned and put back in (as opposed to paper
filters like your stock filter that must be discarded at certain intervals).
Also, some studies have shown K&N filters to be more efficient filters
(that is, they filter better than paper OEM-style filters). You can buy a
K&N filter right here online (either drop-in replacement or cone-type) in
the PFYC.com's Grand Prix Store. You can also pick up a cold air intake
from PFYC – they offer several types that will really give your
horsepower a boost.
I keep hearing about getting a ram-air hood
and intake for my late-model Grand Prix. Where can I order from? Does the
hood increase my horsepower?
There are several styles available at PFYC.com's
Grand Prix Store
Before buying something such as a completely new hood for your Grand Prix, be
sure to check the product for quality and reliability. Some manufacturers
have been known to cut corners in order to achieve lower price points on
items such as ram-air hoods. Remember: you get what you pay for. PFYC.com sells only the highest
quality hoods – better than almost anything you have ever seen on the
As for the power increase, the ram effect is most noticeable when the car is
moving. It is most people's opinion that many ram-air designs do not increase
power much above an open-element, well-placed air filter such as a
cone-shaped K&N. In general, a new intake, whether it be open-air or
ram-air, will increase power almost to a noticeable level.
Do any companies make an aftermarket chip for
my Grand Prix?
No. Unlike older cars, newer cars don't use
replaceable chips. Instead, they have ECUs
(electronic control units) or PCMs (powertrain control modules) that must be reprogrammed
with a special unit. Hypertech is an example of a
company that makes such a unit, but as of now there are none available for
W-body Grand Prixs. You can purchase low priced
reprogrammed PCMs from PFYC.com's Grand Prix Store
I keep hearing a discussion on a smaller
pulley for my supercharger (GTP only). What will this buy me and should I go
ahead and put one on? How much will it cost me? Will this void my warranty?
You can upgrade your pulley with any size:
3.4 inch, 3.5 inch, and many more. All are available in the Grand Prix Store. The
stock pulley on a GTP's supercharger, which is an
Eaton Model 90, measures 3.8 inches in diameter. This turns the supercharger
at a rate of 7 divided by 3.8 (or 1.842) times the speed of the crankshaft,
which in the case of wide open throttle (WOT) at 6,000 RPM (assuming redline
at 6,000 RPM which does not happen in a GTP with stock PCM calibrations)
which is 11,050 RPM. This rotation of the supercharger pulley drives two
impellers that compress the air from the intake and throttle body and force
it into the lower intake manifold as compressed air.
If a smaller pulley than 3.8 inches is used, you increase the rate at which
the pulley turns and thus increase the compression of the air that's taking
place inside your supercharger, called boost. Your stock pulley will
translate into a maximum of about 7.5 to 8 pounds per square inch (psi) of boost, whereas a 3.5" pulley will increase
that to over 11 psi of boost. In terms of power
output you can expect around 30 more horsepower and at least the same amount
of torque, a noticeable difference in power.
Be warned, though: this upgrade voids your powertrain
warranty and puts your drivetrain at a higer risk of damage. Take proper precautions such as
installing a transmission cooler, synthetic transmission fluid, and anything
else that will help your car stay strong. See the Upgrades page for details
on how to do these things.
Another product you can use to increase boost in the same manner is a
Magnuson nose drive. This upgrade, however, assumes mechanical abilities in
that you must remove several components, including the supercharger, to
upgrade the pulley. But the benefit to using a Manguson
nose unit is that the pulley is then easy to swap out in the future: just
loosen a nut and take off the pulley. Different sizes are available for this
unit, right now 3.4" and 3.6" are the most popular. Anything less
than 3.4" will require reprogramming of the PCM (according to Magnuson)
to take advantage of the additional power. If programming is not available
and you use a smaller diameter pulley, the PCM will sense knock and
detonation and decrease spark timing such that the power output of the engine
might actually be less than with a larger pulley. Be very careful! You can
now purchase a Magnuson nose drive for your car right here at the Grand Prix Store.
So if I want better handling, I can install
lowering springs? Why did someone tell me not to because I'd have a power
steering pump problem if I did so? What can I do about this problem? Do I
need upgraded struts in order to do this upgrade?
In most owner's
opinions this is true. After installing these springs (which work with the
stock struts, wheels, etc.) a noticeable difference in cornering can be felt.
The car no longer leans excessively on sharp turns but does ride a bit more
harshly over bumpy ground. When driving over a large bump, the car will jolt
skyward but will return to normal ride position immediately. They take some
getting used to, but are well worth it in my opinion. You may purchase Eibach or B+G springs at a good price right here at the Grand Prix Store.
Remember to consider better struts, such as Koni or
KYB, also available from the Grand Prix Store.
What are some ways I can get more power and
performance out of my car? Where can I find more information on these and
In general, to increase the output power on
any vehicle you should first look at optimizing the intake of air and the
exhaust of gases from the engine. Once these have been dealt with, add-on
performance items such as superchargers or turbochargers will be the best
improvement in output power that you can get. If you already have such items,
tweak them for more power. All the while you should pay close attention to
the drivetrain as in most cases the rest of the drivetrain wasn't designed with the extra power in mind.
See the Upgrades page for Grand Prix-specific upgrade ideas. And check out PFYC.com's
Grand Prix Store for more ideas.
What's the deal with this "cone filter
upgrade" I keep hearing about? Why would I want to do it and will it
void my warranty? Will I get a lot of horsepower out of it?
The cone filter serves to increase the amount
of air your car's engine can use for combustion. You will notice a power
difference on both the normally aspirated and supercharged engines with this
upgrade. The upgrade will void the warranty on the parts you remove (i.e. the
stock airbox and intake plumbing) but if done
correctly should not damage anything and should not void the warranty on
anything else, although Pontiac
could argue otherwise. Check with your service department and call
1-800-PMCARES to inquire about this in further detail. Open a file and write
down the number for future reference. Make sure you know what you are doing
before attempting this upgrade. Instructions detailing how to do the upgrade
(using either of two different methods) are available on the Upgrades page.
If you desire increased power, this is a good and low-cost upgrade to
perform. You won't get a whole lot of horsepower out of it, but you will at
least feel a difference while driving, especially in second gear. To purchase a cone filter and easy to
install installation kit, check PFYC.com's
Grand Prix Store
I want to get larger size (either 17" or
18") wheels and tires on my car. How do I know which sizes of wheels and
tires will be as close to the stock measurments as
possible? Why not just get the largest size wheels and tires that will fit?
Here is a very limited tire size comparison:
The first line shows the stock configuration. The second line shows a
close-fit combination for 17" wheels and tires. Other combinations will
work, but will have a different percent error. Check other size comparisons
at the Miata site.
For a great selection of wheels that are custom fit for your car,
check out PFYC.com's
Grand Prix Store
What's a "remote starter" and why
would I want one? Can you help me install it?
A remote starter allows you to start your
car's ignition without being physically inside the car and turning the key.
It is controlled by a button on your keyfob. You
might want one if you park your Grand Prix outside during cold or hot months
so that you can start your car from inside the house and let it warm up or
cool down before getting in.
Is it really true that if I get a new exhaust
that I can gain 20 HP? How much will this cost me?
In general, no. Beware of false power gain
statements made by any companies. A general rule-of-thumb for exhaust power
says that for each pound of decrease in backpressure (pressure translated
back to the engine by restrictions in your exhaust system), you gain
approximately one horsepower. Read the backpressure study done by Thrasher
Engineered Performance on a stock Regal GS (same powertrain
and exhaust as a stock GTP) for more details. The bottom line: even if you
dropped the whole exhaust system off of a GTP from the
catalytic converter backwards, you'd only get a 14 to 17 HP increase.
Realistically, you need mufflers and possibly a resonator or glasspack of some kind, bringing the real-world possible
HP gains to less than 10.
As far as which kind of system to go with, this is wholly a matter of
personal preference. If you're looking for a better sound and don't care
about performance improvements, one type of muffler might be better for you
than another. If you'd rather increase the performance and sound, you'd be
more likely to replace not only the mufflers but also the resonator and
complete piping from the catalytic converter to the tail pipes (hence the
term cat-back system). At this time, Borla, Corsa, Dynomax, and SLP are
known to make a full bolt-on cat-back system for the Grand Prix. Many owners
have opted for a custom solution (that is, they choose mufflers and tips and
specify to the muffler shop how they want the pipe routed and sized). A Borla system will cost you around $599 or more, while a
custom solution could be done for as little as $350 to $400 including labor.
You may purchase a Borla, SLP, Dynomax,
or Corsa cat-back system for your Grand Prix at the
Grand Prix Store.
Some other car owners have installed gauges
in their cars to monitor information that wasn't provided in a stock gauge.
Why did they do this, and should I do it? Where could I mount the gauges?
Many enthusiasts prefer to monitor important
parameters, especially when they begin modifying their vehicles for more
power. If you change your car's performance, you should probably maintain
checks on certain parameters to make sure you don't do any damage (an example
is transaxle temperature). Also, you may be curious as to how a certain
parameter runs in your particular vehicle, such as "how much boost do I
get at WOT or idle?" In this case, you'd install a boost gauge (the
electronic boost gauge is not very accurate nor does it show values, just a
percentage of full boost). A custom-made A-pillar gauge mount is available
for your Grand Prix so you can mount two gauges of your choice within easy
view on the A-pillar. Purchase one through the Grand Prix Store.
Can I replace my factory head unit while
retaining the use of my steering wheel radio controls? Can I also retain the
HUD display of radio information (if equipped)?
There are head units that, along with an
adapter, allow you to retain the steering wheel radio controls. Sony is the
only currently known manufacturer of such head units. The adapter is made by PAC
and can be obtained through Crutchfield if necessary. Unfortunately, the HUD
radio display can not be retained with any aftermarket head units. To purchase this adapter and many
other excellent adapters and audio equipment for your Grand Prix, check out PFYC.com's Grand Prix Store
I saw a Grand Prix the other day but instead
of silver letters it had gold letters. Where did he get those from? Can I get
One known gold kit is made by Morgan Design
Group. They are an authorized supplier and will only sell to a GM Dealer.
Morgan Designs warrants the emblems for 3 years or 36,000 miles. The kit
includes three Grand, three Prix, two GT, two round Special Edition badges, two vinyl lettering stick-ons
for the 3800 and one Pontiac
arrowhead for the front. The kit includes instructions and a plastic emblem
puller for removing the old emblems. They could make a kit for the GTPs and SEs. See the
Multimedia section - one owner has posted pictures of his car with the gold
emblems. Contact information for Morgan Design:
Morgan Design Group / Stripes of AmericaSuite
18W100 22nd St.,
Oak Brook Terrace, Il. 60181-4448
Phone: 630-916-1800 / Fax: 630-916-1858