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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP

The wife and I got a new daily that we kinda share back and forth. 2004 Grand Prix GTP. Click the thumbs for a larger preview, then click the zoom to see it full sized.

EDIT: Now fixed the links. Enjoy!
EDIT EDIT: Fixed fixed images to be thumbs, now that the forum seems to allow that. Click for biguns.

Exterior:


Interior:


Engine:


Got a good deal and though there are some imperfections she looks pretty good for her age and pulls like a mofo. Staying as she sits for a while, perhaps some tweaking down the road...no car stays stock long around me, heh.

EDIT: Check down the thread for the updates.
 

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PFYC.com, CarID.com, and good ol ZZP is a good place to start for mods. Flowmasters really wake up the 3800 in regard to sound. Looks real nice, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not much in the way of updates as of yet. Removed the supercharger cover as I really don't like engine covers anyways and it could cause supercharger heatsoak. That and I like looking at my supercharger when I pop the hood...heh. Did plugs/wires with Bosh wires and Autolite coppers in 1 step colder. Also, fixed the coolant overflow hose(since the factory moulded hose leaned against the supercharger belt and the car was blowing coolant out of the hole that made), changed thermostat (stock temp for now), and purged the coolant.

Recently did her first oil change since I've had it, and swapped out the old oil for some Pennsoil 5-30 and switched the old Fram for an AC Delco filter. I thought the car ran awesome before all this...it's already pulling noticably harder and knocking less. The plugs and wires made the most dramatic change, since the old AC Delco coppers were probably original and had 130,000 miles on them if so...heh. Gaps were up to .080-.082 on the front bank due to ground strap and electrode wear, spec being at .060. The rear 3 were wore badly also but much closer to spec, something like .070-.075ish. Suprised the thing was running right at all before all that.

Next steps: not sure when the fuel filter has been changed and it's somethign nobody ever thinks of, so I'll probably change it. I'd also like to rebuild the SC snout with a new coupler/oil and get a new SC belt/tensioner or perhaps both belts while I'm at it since the contact with coolant...which can degrade rubber. Have the basic maintainence out of the way before putting much more load on the thing.

First mod is going to be the obligitory cold air intake. I'd also like to do up the exhaust after reading about how terrible the front manifold is...explains that odd spark plug wear on the front 3 only. The front bank is choked for flow. Once the intake and exhaust are opened up That'll probably be it for a while, since she's just a daily. Might eventually go from there and intercool, drop sizes on the pulley and see what can get out of her tuned for 91-92 octane. I'm thinking with a header/3" back exhaust, intercooled 3800 SC, 300 WHP or so. If not as that, then with rockers or a cam for sure. WHP isn't the goal here though, just a fun daily...and that she is already, really. I'll be sinking more money into my toy for the magical WHP numbers...heh. That's down the road, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Cai/fwi

I now have my Intense 2004 Grand Prix fenderwell intake in hand and ready to be installed. I'll get some photos and more detailed writeup once I get over to mom and dad's place to utilize the garage. I'm sure I could do it in the apartment complex's parking lot, but I'd rather not since it requires pulling off the tire to get the filter into the bumper cover it seems. That and I'll probably be taking the bumper cover off to see how hard it's going to be to get more cold airflow to the filter. Thinking of perhaps removing some material around the driver's side foglight area, but I have to make sure I reduce water splash onto the filter and any electrics like the foglight wiring. That and I want it to be somewhat subtle, not just big circular hole-saw cuts, heh. Also, I got the Seafoam intake treatment to help with my idle stabilization issue...hopefully. I'll edit this post with the updates and photos.

EDIT:

Did the install last night (Feb. 25, 2013). Just put the intake in, no further airflow mods. While I had the wheel well liner pulled back, I noticed you can see light coming past the fog lights already, so there is some cold air flow there. Much larger and I'd be worried about water splash and probably make some sort of splash gaurd to divert water away from the cone filter. Also, I'd be looking at blocking off the back side of where the filter sits as the radiator and engine bay are exposed there and might let some hotter air get to the filter.

Install wise, the first thing I did was toss the directions...heh. While the kit Intense sells is model specific for the 2004, the instructions are generalized and not very well written. FWI installs are pretty straight forward though, just pull out all the stock junk from the throttle body forward for older models with the built in MAF, and from the MAF forward on 2004+ models. Take the now loose ECM and secure it to the spot where the air box used to sit using the provided self-adheasive Velcro (acturally Velcro brand, no expense spared). Then, pull off front driver's side tire and unbolt the wheel well liner enough to pull it back out of the way. Attach the filter to tubing using the provided clamps and set the filter back into the bumper just behind the fog light (if you don't do this first, it's a pain to get in there...heh). Then, route the tubing though the hole in the fender well and into the engine bay. This was the biggest pain of the entire thing, as the hose only just fits and you have to do a lot of wiggling. The coupler piece provided in the kit didn't seem to work out well enough for my liking, so I just bolted the hose onto the MAF directly using the last provided clamp. This also leaves the "bellows" in place, but I read on here somebody did tests and it prooved not to be enough of a restriction at the power level they were at...which I assume is higher than what I'm at or ever will be, heh. After this, re-assembly of everthing that was taken apart...can't forget to bolt that wheel back on. xD Optional step, apply K&N and Intense Racing decals to the car for an extra +10 HP each. ;)

IMAGE EDIT: Before/After and detail shots. The Velcro is offset so I don't cover up the identifying numbers on the PCM label.





On the supercharged 3800 this intake makes a pretty serious difference in sound. It actually sounds like a supercharged car should now when you get some throttle down and seems to pull a tad harder. Throttle response is much better. Should see a sleight increase in MPG down low, if I can avoid spinning up the thing and letting the boost bypass close down.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Headlight and fog/signal housing...cleaning?

Intake pictures are uploaded and ready to post, finally...heh. I'll update that post with the pics. These are from the headlight cleaning I did a day or so before the intake install (note these still show the stock airbox). I don't call it a polish as the driver's side is a bit far gone for a hand polish with PlasticX, and that isn't really even designed for clear coat anyways just plastic directly. First pic is before, second is after and then on the car.




I popped both headlights and fog/signal housings out of the car and brought them inside. Some Maguire's PlasticX did the clean/polish. Fog/signal housings look a bit better, and the headlights...well, got cleaned pretty much. Does look a bit better than it did.

Fuel filter and Seafoam intake treatment are next ot the list. While I have the car near dad's garage again, I'll look into the rear brakes as well, since the parking brake seems to lock when you try to set it. Hopefully, I can loosen up the linkages as those cables are probably pretty high and the calipers are about 80-90 a piece for parts place remans. So expensive since those parking brake bits are built into the rear brake calipers, I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bump update. Wife and I have moved, and on one of the last trips to get stuff from our old apartment the car's display sounded a ding. I thought it was telling me that the tire was low again (as we have one very slowly leaking and need a new set), but it said something along the lines of "AC shut down to protect engine". I look at the temp gauge and it's high in the red. I pull off and shut the car off as quickly as possible and pop the hood. Plenty of coolant steam and it's hard to see what is going on. I contacted my dad and he came with some water to top off the system and we found the leak when we re-fired the car. Coolant elbows had cracked. I knew it was a matter of time with the milage. Got nice aluminum replacements and now I'm in the process of flushing the system. I'm going to flush it out very well and convert to regular anti-freeze instead of Dexcool. I also plan on a new supercharger gasket and LIM gaskets in the very near future.
 

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Really good idea to change those lower intake gaskets real soon! Nice ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Anyone who messes with cars will tell you a project is never completed, heh. You may reach your initial goals, but there's always one more thing you can do. Since this is a daily, it's going to be simple and efficient instead of maximum HP. Haven't had extra cash to do many updates, been focused on reliability since I DD it. Need 4 matching tires since the previous owners slung what they could on there, heh. Also, still need to do those gaskets and such.
 

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I did an upper and lower intake job on our 95 Transport 380 a few months ago. The lower intake gaskets were changed by Pontiac a number of years prior to this work. The destruction of the lower intake gaskets was pretty bad.
I use universal coolant in our van.
A member on this site said that was getting on the highway and had his engine lock up from hydro lock. He said it was a pretty sickening experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
We're finally going to be doing the LIM gaskets (lower intake manifold), as well as some other things. The GTP is ingesting a little bit of coolant so they're pretty high priority at this time and the car is no longer getting daily driven (I have taken over the wife's Regal 3800, heh). The parts list:

lower intake manifold gaskets, supercharger gasket, fresh AC Delco spark plugs (1 step colder) and Bosch wires, supercharger coupler and fresh supercharger oil. Also, spent the money on GM gasket sealant for the LIMs and got the "coupler kit" from Intense Racing that includes the proper sealant for the supercharger snout.

All the parts I ordered from Intense should be here very soon, that's everything except the wires which I got locally. I've found it's difficult to get the average parts store idiot to source you a step colder plug and few places around here even stock these so I just order those as well. ;) Just before we get ready to do it, I'll source a few gallons of coolant and brake cleaner if dad doesn't have any in the garage. I watched a video on 3800 LIM replacement, and after cleaning off the gasket material they recommend brake cleaner to clean the valley pan gasket, lower intake manifold and head surfaces before applying the LIM gasket set and sealant. As a de-greaser and cleaner to insure a good surface. I could use it on the brakes as well, since I still need to check into that rear brake/parking brake sticking issue.

EDIT:

Seems I also never posted here that I finally got some fresh tires, around February of this year (2014). Big O brand "touring" tires. Tread depth like the Grand Canyon, heh. 3 years full replacement warranty. They're very good in dry, very good in the wet and good in snow. Great for an all weather daily driver where speed rating isn't a consideration. I'm actually surprised they didn't make me sign a waver for putting tires on that are lower than factory speed rating (these are T I think, 118, and factory was something like V, 149, for this car if I recall). I'll never get them close to that, so I'm not worried about it. Well, perhaps "close" to it, but yea they suit my needs perfectly. Haha.
 

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KennyL- Definitely change your oil after doing the intake job. You do not want ANY coolant that my have gotten mixed with the engine oil. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It was in the plans since I'm pretty well due for an oil change anyways, but thanks for the tip. Parts from Intense should be here very soon, the rest of the stuff I'll get Friday and then off to dad's garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Deferred maintenance makes me ashamed to call myself a car guy, heh. I have yet to do the LIMs, but I do have all the stuff now. Just did an oil change and the rear brake pads and rotors (as one pad separated and was casing the horrific metal to metal scrape sound). A lifter is collapsing on me, and the oil change did help it pump up faster. It clattered about all the way to mom and dad's place and after the oil change pumped up in a couple of minutes. Still rattles the rocker a minute or two when cold.

Tax time is just around the corner, and I don't want to pull the engine apart/do LIM/pull apart AGAIN later for lifters and I don't have the cash at the moment for more parts. The engine is ingesting a small amount of coolant at the moment, I top off the resevouir about once each month or two and she never overheats. So, I figure I'm fairly safe until we get our tax refund and then...

THE PLAN: Fresh oil/filter/coolant of course. LIMs, supercharger gasket, supercharger coupler and oil, Cometic .060 stock bore MLS head gaskets, Comp OE R lifters and valve locks, Manley titanium retainers, LS6 medium load springs, new Viton valve seals, Yella Terra roller rockers in 1.9 ratio and Intense oil restricted pushrods of the proper length.

I'll most likely drop the thermostat from a 195 degree to a 180 at this time as well, and do the small hole drilling trick. I ran a non-drilled 180 in this car, so I know it won't mess with the PCM fan control like I've read that a 160 will. Swapped for an OE 195 when I thought that was what was casing my erratic heating issues, but that was at the time I was still flushing the dexcool and converting to standard coolant. Run regular coolant and have no issues now. Also, will be pulling the heads to have a look at the cyl walls/piston tops/etc. and currently the only valve spring compressor dad has is the kind that you use with the head off of the car. The in-car kind would be neat, but I want to pull the head anyways. Might even clean up the ports a bit.
 
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