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Old 06-12-2011, 05:03 PM   #1
Blacktree will become famous soon enough
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 73

2001 SL1
Default The Daily Driver Project

I recently bought a 2001 SL1 to use as my daily driver. I got a good price for it, since it had some maintenance issues. But I'm a mechanic. So I can fix it up.

I don't have any plans of turning the Saturn into a show car, or "pimping it out", or anything like that. My main interest is just to keep it in good running condition, with a presentable appearance.

This thread will be a journal of sorts, where I record the issues I run across while owning the car, and how I address them. Since this is my first Saturn, I will need to negotiate a learning curve. But I can handle it. And with the forum's help, I'm sure me and my Saturn will get along just fine.

I'll start off by describing the car. It's a 2001 SL1 with the SOHC 1.9 and 5-speed manual transmission. It had about 166K miles when I bought it. It does not have very many options... no power door locks or windows; no powered seatbelts; no ABS. It's simple and to the point, which is exactly how I want it.

When I bought the car, I noticed a few issues:

-- Front suspension clunk
-- Grinding noise during turns
-- Second gear tends to grind
-- Noticeable vibration from engine
-- Windshield washer tank doesn't hold liquid
-- Battery goes dead after awhile
-- Front marker lights are damaged

After buying the car, and getting a closer look at things, I noticed a few other issues:

-- Spare tire is damaged
-- Mounting hardware for spare tire and jack is missing
-- Spare tire cover is damaged
-- Rear trailing arms are bent (both of them!)
-- Slow oil leak from back of engine (probably rear main seal)
-- EGR solenoid is bad

The GOOD things about the car (and what convinced me to buy it) are as follows:

-- Engine runs smooth, and doesn't visibly burn oil
-- Interior is in very good condition
-- Chassis is practically rust-free
-- Body is in very good condition, with recent re-paint
-- Window glass is immaculate, no chips or cracks

Now, let's get on with the project!


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