tell me about oldsmobile intrigues

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Jun 15, 2003
I just picked up a 99 olds intrigue gx real cheap. Has 193,000 miles but doesn't feel it at all. Still not home yet I have to get plates and a ride over to it.

Has the 3.8 which apparantly only went in some 99s, and 99 was the first year. (?) The "olds" 3.5 went in the rest of them and is apparantly northstar/aurora derived and not the gasket blowing 60-degree piece of junk. But I have the trusty 3.8.

The car looks like a million bucks but I can't figure out what "GM" it is. That's a good thing. My best guess is it's a W-body like the grand prix and buick regal.

Thankfully the rear discs have the "top hat" style e-brake with the little parking brake drum in the middle. I've heard horror stories of the older rear calipers and hope I'm immune.

Apparantly it'll need a hub/bearing in front to pass state inspection; it seems tight to me but we'll see. The part crosses to some minivans which make me feel like it's heavy duty. The price is heavy duty too.

The rotors actually look like they have some metal to them; hurray GM. Will check the RPO codes to see if I have the "autobahn brakes" (edmunds' term).

It feels snug, like an excellent driver's car. Lots of widgets on the steering wheel and around the cockpit.

Anyway any good resources for this vehicle? I like GM as much as the next guy and was psyched to find this (I need an automatic "beater" for some houseguests) and this seems to surpass their usual parts-bin engineering.
Sounds like a good buy. I'm pretty sure you're right about the platform they are built on, and obviously the 3.8 is pretty soild engine. I drove one once and had the same impressions - a very responsive, peppy and good drivers car. Enjoy!
It's built on the same chassis as the Grand Prix and Buick Regal. Should be a fine car with that engine. Well done! Congrats & good luck!

The L36 3800 is prone to LIM and UIM leaks. However there is a new, OEM aluminum LIM gasket set, part # 89017816, that should permanently fix that issue.

For the UIM, either the Dorman UIM or the L26 Aluminum manifold and a TB adapter, will help make this engine near bullet proof.

Do a UOA to see if she is currently leaking. If so, I would do both LIM and UIM at same time as labor is almost the same.

Yes, the Intrigue is a "W" body. Some models have the "Autobahn" handling package which spec'd 12" rotors. Even if your's doesnt, they can be retrofitted with rotors and brackets as mentioned earlier.

I would love to find a nice '01 or '02, but I dont want the 3500, so I will defer to the Regal LS instead.
Definitely a W-body, according to the service manual. The 3800 Series II is a great engine. The torque curve is amazing. I have a 2000 Monte Carlo with that motor. The off-the-line power is just as strong as the passing power on the highway. The 4T65E is a good trans, too, but sometimes the solenoids start to act up, causing things like sloppy shifts, shuddering, and jerkiness. The fix is $100 worth of parts for all 4 solenoids and 8 - 10 hours of labor. (Can you tell I've had this problem?) I've fixed mine myself and, while it was a tough job, I'm extremely glad I did it. If you run into this issue (which is probably unlikely if it hasn't started already), don't let anyone tell you it requires a rebuild.

About the brakes, some W-bodies have 11" front rotors, some have 12". If you have 11", I believe you can just buy new rotors and grab the bracket from a junkyard car to upgrade to 12". You need to be sure the wheels are big enough to support it, though. A popular mod for Monte Carlos, which all have 12" rotors, is to upgrade to the Firebird/Camaro calipers, which have a much bigger surface area on the pad and are dual piston I think. This is a bolt-on upgrade, except there's some thread that needs to be drilled and tapped for the bolts to thread into the bracket.

I've done two hubs on my car. The front driver's (bad bearing) and rear passenger's side (bad ABS sensor). Neither were difficult jobs. If you can do brakes, you can do a hub. You just need a 35 mm axle socket for the front hubs. The price was about $100 or so for the front at AutoZone.
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