Replaced rear calipers, rotors, pads, and parking brake cables. It got hit by the traditional GM rear caliper lock-up syndrome. This was a common problem from '87-'92 because people were not told that they had to pump the parking brakes in order to reset them if the car was equipped with 4-wheel ABS discs.
I wanted to see if the AWD would hold a fairly sharp corner at 50. It did, but I broke the bracket that connects the rear control arm to the rear strut in the process. I ended up having to buy the "dealer-only" strut for $330. Ouch!
I now need to replace the radiator. (another common GM problem due to the fact they used plastic!)
Other than that, it's been oil changes at every 2,000 miles. With the exception of the radiator, nothing has been the car's fault yet.
Ever since I discovered and bought my first '86 STE, I have developed an obsession with them. They led the American revolution of sport-luxury cars, and they were built to last. Periodic problems are common (water pump, alternator, injectors, etc.), but are you looking at the mileage on some of these vehicles? Most cars would have been in the junkyard long ago instead of causing minor repairs! I bought mine with 164,000 and it finally lost a rod at 215,000! (And that's with my brutal driving style).
It took me 3 years to find my current '89 because so few were built! It was the last year of the STE package. I looked long and hard the entire time I had the '86 to find one.
Why so obsessed? How many cars have 12-way power seats with air adjustable lumbar or a steering wheel covered in radio controls? How about full gauges on a digital dash with a digital driver information center? How many cars even today offer self-leveling air struts in the rear to lift the car when there's too much weight in the back or use the same compressor as a tire inflator built into the trunk? How many good-looking passenger cars (in other words, excluding Subaru, Volvo, etc.) come with full-time all wheel drive and a differential lock mode for really bad conditions?
It would cost a fortune to buy a car like this today. In fact, it was over $25,000 in '89! The features and advancements in this car are truly something to marvel at and rival even the most expensive modern luxury cars.
The only down fall is that no one knows it exists. Parts are getting scarce and every year it's growing closer to becoming extinct. Pontiac has discontinued everything for it,and I'm getting sick of being treated like an idiot when I ask for a part for a 4 wheel drive 6000. "Front wheel", they say. "You mean front wheel drive.".
Inspite of all this, I LOVE THIS CAR!!!
With any luck, I'll find a few more and I will make them last as long as I can.
If you can find any STE in good, well-maintained condition (this is the key), I strongly suggest buying it. You won't regret it!!!