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Old 01-12-2016, 12:55 AM   #1
saturnracecar
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Question engine swap

what engines will fit my 2000 Saturn SL? It being the base of base Saturns, it has no power. And i want to build a car people don't expect. So im starting at the front with the powerplant. Need ideas of what will fit with minimal bracket mods.

And exhaust. Need exhaust ideas.
**Btw, New York State sucks for emissions.

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Old 01-12-2016, 01:00 AM   #2
fetchitfido
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2001 SC2
Default Re: engine swap

People have made everything from the LSJ to a Chevy 350 V8 fit but anything not the factory LLO (the better engine the S-Series came with) is not going to be "minimal bracket mods".

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 01-12-2016, 11:18 AM   #3
SC2Sick
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1997 SC2
1995 SW2
Default Re: engine swap

You may read this as me telling you you can't do it, or an attempt to crush your dreams. It's not.

Your options for performance and passing NY state emissions are as follows:

00-02 DOHC with provisions for AIR
95-99 if you find a 00 PCM that doesn't use the AIR system (earlier has vacuum EGR so you can use 93-94 if manage to find an adapter)

If you don't have a manual transmission you're wasting time.

Building the SOHC for power is a waste of time, period. If you think buying the SOHC OBX header is going to help you feel better you're wasting time. It'll cost you as much as a DOHC head or possibly a full DOHC engine depending on the pick-n-pull type yards in your area... and you'll gain maybe 2 HP, tops? Also if you buy it and then realize your mistake and go and do the DOHC swap you'll have to part with the header, because it doesn't bolt to either style DOHC head.

I could go on, but it's your first post, so I'm not sure yet if you'll actually come back and read any of this so I'm not going to type it if not.

...
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1997 Saturn SC2 Turbo
sixthsphere.com/showthread.php/89737

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Old 01-16-2016, 01:04 AM   #4
brokendown
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1999 SL
Default Re: engine swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnracecar View Post
what engines will fit my 2000 Saturn SL? It being the base of base Saturns, it has no power. And i want to build a car people don't expect. So im starting at the front with the powerplant. Need ideas of what will fit with minimal bracket mods.

And exhaust. Need exhaust ideas.
**Btw, New York State sucks for emissions.
Outside of emissions issues turbochargers on a DOHC are the way to go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDyD5bXYlmg I researched it all myself years ago back when I was hoping to go fast for cheap and a turbo DOHC is pretty much the be all end all up to around ~320hp 20psi and the upper 11 second quarter miles. Anything more to put a different model engine in would involve fairly serious fabrication.

A DOHC swap would probably be emissions legal and a first step but only adds a little power, doing to the DOHC trans also gets you a little more gear and makes it feel a little faster, nitrous kits are potentially emissions legal but more than a 40 shot (and sometimes even a 40 shot esp if people drive stoopid or have cars otherwise not in good tune) can break stuff. It's the turbos that break emissions.


** Rethinking things honestly if I wanted something likely to fit under a hood with no firewall modifications, i'd tune up a VW VR6 engine with turbos which might get to 500hp or more. (there are some running around with more than that) You'd first be fabbing up a VW transaxle to fit like the guy with a TDI diesel in his though requiring either great talent or $$. Anything beyond this will be $$$$ though - potentially the full custom tube chassis with custom suspension level cuz a saturn chassis isn't built for the torque of even 300hp though something to tie subframes together would go a ways in helping.

That said the better VW transaxles should both also take the power and solve the lack of limited slip that stock saturn transaxles are always going to be limited by. (i'm not aware if an LSD was ever made aftermarket for a saturn, other guys here might know) So that's your progression really - turbo DOHC up to ~320hp, VW VR6 engine/transaxle swap to somewhere in the 500-600hp range with custom subframe connectors (note this is a guess I don't know of anyone whose even done this/high 11 saturns are about the limit of what i've seen run) which is likely deep in the 10's due to the light weight, and full custom tube chassis levels for beyond due to chassis limitations. (this based on my own scribbles, and yes I thought it'd always be fun to have a 'different' sleeper too before the daily grind of bills and stuff squashed most cool thoughts like this)


There will be no easy bolt in nissan SR20's or ford v8 swaps like a miata has or anything like that for a saturn - they don't exist or at least nobody else ever did the research and bothered to figure out some "surprisingly easy to swap in kit" for such thru present and weve had two decades. I'm pretty sure the above information will be absolutely canononical by nearly anyone else here.

Last edited by brokendown; 01-16-2016 at 01:18 AM.. Reason: keep thinking more

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