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Old 03-21-2017, 04:41 PM   #1
GnilradLeahcim
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2002 SL2
Default 2002 SL2 DOHC Thermostat Replacement?

I have a 2002 SL2 DOHC and I've replaced everything I've seen that would possibly fix my itermitent fast idle except for the thermostat. By cleaning the egr, replacing the gasket, cleaning throttle body/new gasket, replacing the IAC, TPS, MAP, air filter, PCV valve, and ECTS, I've reduced the 2000+ idle in park or neutral to a whopping 1700. Still will go up to 15 without touching gas, but only happens if I get above 35 and then slow back down to a stop. Temp gauge doesn't go above one quarter and I have the stant theromostat that everyone recommends, with the o ring and cardboard tool.(not with housing)
Instead of jacking the car off and removing things to get to the hose from underneath and draining coolant from radiator and engine, can I just go in from above, open the clamp, pull the hose out and let the coolant out through it/engine? There is just enough room for me to reach under the AC compressed. I just want to know if I can damage anything letting coolant out that way instead of through the plugs. Plan is to use a funnel or plastic bag to channel the coolant under the car.
Reason is that I don't have proper jack or anything to stop the car from falling if jack fails. Don't need to save/reuse coolant.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-21-2017, 09:35 PM   #2
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2001 SL1
Default Re: 2002 SL2 DOHC Thermostat Replacement?

No, you won't damage anything letting the coolant out that way.
I just don't think both of my arms could fit in well enough down there and change out that thermostat easily.

But back to your high idle.
Is it possible someone has messed either with the sealed idle screw, OR modified the spring so as to put more tension on the throttle pivot?

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Old 03-22-2017, 07:57 AM   #3
GnilradLeahcim
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2002 SL2
Default Re: 2002 SL2 DOHC Thermostat Replacement?

Where is this sealed idle screw? Since I have had the car nothing could have been tampered with, and I have done all the replacements myself. Everything's tight, and has the proper gaskets.
What I wonder is if my TPS was a bad part. It did fix the problem for about two weeks. when taken off and put back on again, nothing happened and the problem was back. is it possible the part is bad or was damaged by removing and replacing? (It definitely isn't loose).
When I didn't have the tamper proof torx for the tps, I brought the car to a local shop who put the part on right in front of me. to "explain to me how the part worked" he put his finger in the middle and spun it to demonstrate the action... could this have broken or damaged it?

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Old 03-22-2017, 12:27 PM   #4
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2002 SL2
Default Re: 2002 SL2 DOHC Thermostat Replacement?

You are on the right track.....

But if you've replaced both the ECTS and the thermostat with the recommended replacements (as you stated above), then there's something wrong.

My assumption is that the thermostat housing is an aftermarket one that is designed ONLY for the MotoRad thermostat. If you use the Stant thermostat in the MotoRad housing, it will not function as designed. The MotoRad housing "arms" (that hold down the thermostat) are not the same length as the "arms" on the OEM housing. This changes the spring tension on the thermostat causing it to open at temps differing from its given design.

There is a very good picture that someone took of this. It is buried somewhere in this forum. Try a search for "Stant MotoRad thermostat"...or something similar.

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Old 03-22-2017, 12:31 PM   #5
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2002 SL2
Default Re: 2002 SL2 DOHC Thermostat Replacement?

Here are some pictures:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...21&postcount=2

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'99 SL2, 126K, Auto, Silver (SOLD 149K)
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'02 SL2, 149K, Auto, Light Gray/Silver

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Old 03-22-2017, 12:31 PM   #6
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 SL2 DOHC Thermostat Replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GnilradLeahcim View Post
I have a 2002 SL2 DOHC and I've replaced everything ....... By cleaning the egr, replacing the gasket, cleaning throttle body/new gasket, replacing the IAC, TPS, MAP, air filter, PCV valve, and ECTS, I've reduced the 2000+ idle in park or neutral to a whopping 1700. Still will go up to 15 without touching gas, but only happens if I get above 35 and then slow back down to a stop. Temp gauge doesn't go above one quarter and I have the stant theromostat that everyone recommends, with the o ring and cardboard tool.(not with housing)
Did you replace the t-stat or not? Go to Autozone, if you don't have a reader, and have them plug in their reader to display the engine temperature (presuming the car's already warmed up). Operating temps should be between 185F-200F+. Below 185F, replace the t-stat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GnilradLeahcim View Post
Instead of jacking the car off and removing things to get to the hose from underneath and draining coolant from radiator and engine, can I just go in from above, open the clamp, pull the hose out and let the coolant out through it/engine? Reason is that I don't have proper jack or anything to stop the car from falling if jack fails. Don't need to save/reuse coolant.
Ever imagine driving up on a curb (driver's or passenger side) for a low tech version of a car up off the ground? The clearance between the driver's or passenger side wheels on a (high) curb can lift that side at least six inches. Maybe enough to crawl under without needing a jack or jack stand...... Think about it.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg curb parking-4.jpg (167.9 KB, 8 views)

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Old 03-22-2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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2002 SL2
Default Re: 2002 SL2 DOHC Thermostat Replacement?

Here are more pictures... You can really see the differences in the two housings.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...&postcount=414

...
'97 SL1, 136K, Auto, Mint Green (SOLD 146K)
'99 SL2, 126K, Auto, Silver (SOLD 149K)
'97 SL1, 136K, Manual, Burgundy (Gifted to Brother 138K)
'02 SL2, 149K, Auto, Light Gray/Silver

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Old 03-22-2017, 02:12 PM   #8
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1998 SL2
1997 SL2
Default Re: 2002 SL2 DOHC Thermostat Replacement?

Quote:
Instead of jacking the car off and
I think you meant, "jack the car up"

I've only removed the tstat housing from above, on my '98. Took about 1 1/4 gallon to refill.

http://saturnfans3.saturnfans.com/~s...postcount=1032

I've not done the tstat on my '02 SC2 yet. Could not loosen the bottom tstat housing bolt from above and did not want to put more force on the bolt, so I'm going to wait for nicer weather and pull the radiator (and do a full flush) at the same time.

But you can reach the bottom bolt for the tstat housing with a flexible joint and socket. Didn't need the flex joint for my '98, just about 5" total length to reach the bottom bolt

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