Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible. - First Generation Forum

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Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 12:36 PM
Next week I am going to purchase, and haul home, a clean, rare 1987 sunbird convertible. Physically the car is in good condition. Body, top and interior all ok. Not in running condition, but an original unmolested garaged car from daughter of original owner. It has been sitting for the last couple of years. It will be a crap shoot as far as what the car will need mechanically. I have always really liked this particular model year 1987, ever since i laid eyes on it so many years ago. I have a thing for flip up headlights, LOL!!! I have never owned a j body before, as I am a firebird, trans am guy. Can't afford to drive my gas guzzlers anymore, LOL!! BTW, I am getting the car for $700.00. I do have a few ?? for you j body experts. I do believe that most, if not all of the 1987 sunbird convertibles came in a gt turbo package, but the one I am going to get appears to be a non turbo LE edition? Did pontiac produce a non turbo sunbird convertible in 1987? If so what motor and fuel injection would it have? Please, if anyone out there has any info about this let me know, thanks, Rob in Fla.

Re: Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 9:44 PM
Well I am not super fluent with the pontiac side of things (but) being it is not a turbo it should have the Engine code O(letter) with a 110 cu inch ohv 1.8 liter engine 4 cyldr obviously TBI (throttle body injection) meaning it has a single injector over a pretty much carburator mount.As for not running has it sat a long time?.If so drain the oil change filter,replace fuel filter at the fuel tank it has hard lines,clean the tbi with throttle body cleaner (not carb cleaner)!!.Do plugs,wires cap,rotor button and check ur pcv and if auto or manual drain and and refill or do a filter being u did not say.I am pretty sure u have a good idea of the what to do's before getting it running? but suggesting this stuff before firing it up.I could ramble on more but will let this be the start.And good luck with it and price not to out of line espec not running what ever that really is.Pull the rear drums and clean the dust out and check the brake fluid (I would flush it out) if black.Cool find post a pic or two on here and make sure to use the htttp etc and click the preview button on the bottom to make sure it works before hand.

Re: Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Monday, March 28, 2011 5:39 PM
Pretty sure 1987 was the year all sunbirds went to 2.0 liter, turbo or not.

Re: Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Monday, March 28, 2011 5:56 PM
1987 Pontiac Sunbird Sedan
Production: 41,248 units (4-door sedan base)

Price List
Base 4-door sedan - $ 7,999
base 5-door wagon - $ 8,529
SE 2-door coupe - $ 7,979
SE 3-door coupe - $ 8,499
SE 2-door convertible - $ 13,799
GT 2-door coupe - $ 10,299
GT 4-door sedan - $ 10,349
GT 3-door coupe - $ 10,699
GT 2-door convertible - $ 15,569

96 horsepower 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine
165 horsepower Turbocharged 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine
5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission
101.2 inch wheelbase
173.7 inch length (2 and 3-doors) / 175.7 inch (4-door) 175.9 inch (wagon)
Big news for 1987 was a larger base engine - 2.0 litre replacing the 2.0 litre engine. Horsepower increased by twelve. The SE models now had new headlamps and taillamp treatment similar to GT models. A total of 106,769 Sunbirds were built in all. Some wagon versions were labelled Safari.

Re: Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Monday, March 28, 2011 7:57 PM
'verts could indeed be purchased w/ or w/o the GT turbo option.

Sunbirds were equipped w/ either the 96 HP 2.0 OHC TBI as noted above, or the 160 HP 2.0 MFI turbo from GM Brazil.

You didn't mention the trans but the 5 speed was rated around 24/36 mpg (give or take) and light foots often got low 40s on the highway. 3 speed auto only a bit less around 23/33

IIRC, by '87 , the 2.0 OHV, standard on Cavs and Skyhawks, might have been dropped as a no cost option if shopping Sunbirds or Olds Firenza- it was available from the start thru '86 but very rarely chosen. There was little power difference between the two thru '86.
Re: Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Monday, March 28, 2011 10:52 PM
Well at least my books not first hand knowledge threw up the maybe specs.I think if u check the vin number once u get it that will clearly answer the ? bc it is to a degree hard to see a major diff btwn the 1.8 and 2.0 bc of the distrib location and valve covers are subtle different btwn the chev/pontiac side.There all the same at least GM picture of things.Books,manuals whatever gm varied so much on the Js espec on mid year changes.

Re: Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Friday, July 22, 2016 8:48 AM
Hi! I actually own a 1987 Pontiac Sunbird Turbo GT Convertible; I am the second owner; bought it from an older lady in my town when I was 16 because she never drove it. I store it in winter and always have. She runs and looks pretty good! Right now I need to get an issue fixed with the fuel injection or something as it stutters a bit when she gets up to speed. I just moved to North Carolina from Michigan though and don't have a trust mechanic to work on her. I'm so happy to find other people interested in my "baby" lol. I almost sold her when I left as I had to get her moved by truck to NC (didn't want to risk the drive and not have a trusted mechanic on the way, nor did I want to put the miles on her), but I didn't get any good offers and I wouldn't want to sell her unless I was comfortable with the new owner.
I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine!
Sunbird.jpg (139k)

Re: Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Sunday, July 24, 2016 8:56 PM
Anna where are you located in NC?I am in Greensboro and maybe able to suggest things that would contribute to the running issue your having.My just general thoughts are it could be in the fuel system as a injector,fuel pump or the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve or the IAC idle air control and these are the basics of what could be the issue.I will say as a 1st gen owner since 1998 I trust well NO one to touch my car as finding a true person who is savy on the 80's gm cars are not always easy to find and honest and cost effective.I do not want to overload you with too much mechanical aspects but,I am being very upfront and will not steer you wrong.If your close enough I would gladly make a effort to help diagnose your cars issue free of charge and even fix it if I can make that happen with in good means.Ron

Re: Getting ready to purchase 1987 sunbird convertible.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 8:29 PM
That looks familiar!

87 RS Convertible - 2.8V6 - 3-Speed Auto, Digital Dash - Complete LED / HID Conversion - Alarm/Keyless Entry
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