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Old 10-21-2020, 11:54 PM   #61
454cid
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

I kinda assumed that the rear subframes were more rust resistant.... with as much rust as I've found under my car, the rear subframe and suspension are in quite good shape, outside of the crusty spindles.
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:32 AM   #62
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by 454cid View Post
I kinda assumed that the rear subframes were more rust resistant.... with as much rust as I've found under my car, the rear subframe and suspension are in quite good shape, outside of the crusty spindles.
Thanks
So they're okay, and I don't have to find new ones yet?
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:38 AM   #63
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 SL1 Canada View Post
Thanks
So they're okay, and I don't have to find new ones yet?
Initially, I was just comparing my car to yours, but reviewing your pictures of the rear it might not be too bad... not like the front, which is horrible.

It's hard to tell from the pictures. I can't see up higher, but what I can see is nothing like the front. It looks like you've got oil or rust proofing, or something all over it. I do see some rust, but it's hard to tell what's under that coating. I'd probably pressure wash that area before making a decision.

When I looked at some pictures you posted the other day it looked like the area where the trailing arms attach to the body, is pretty bad though.... one of the reasons I'm sort of looking to get a different vehicle.
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:47 PM   #64
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

I need a subframe also. One place gave me a quote for $400 installed. I'm low on cash now just trying to get it running it's been sitting for years! I need a little tech help???
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:49 PM   #65
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

The kid at the farm next door to where my SL1 is stored fixed the drag link mountings. He said he didn't need to cut out any metal; it was solid under the surface rust. I suggested putting new rods in, but he didn't think it was necessary. Here's some pictures:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3955.jpg (208.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3956.jpg (193.7 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3957.jpg (205.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3960.jpg (103.1 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3964.jpg (191.1 KB, 14 views)
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:52 PM   #66
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

More pictures of the repair:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3965.jpg (139.3 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3966.jpg (207.5 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3969.jpg (136.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3970.jpg (200.5 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3973.jpg (206.7 KB, 14 views)
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:22 PM   #67
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Drag link rust is probably the most problematic for any Saturn, so it’s great that yours is savable. Pretty much everything else that rusts (front and rear subframe, suspension components, fuel tank straps) can all be unbolted and replaced. The floor pan can also rust out, but yours doesn’t look bad at all. I’m still curious what the rear door sills look like. Even if they are bad, it’s a easier repair than the drag link mounts in my opinion.

The drag links, also called rear trailing arms, will in theory last forever as long as they don’t snap from rust. The bushings do eventually start cracking and become mostly useless. The only way to get new bushings is with a new trailing arm, or with a polyurethane busting kit.
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:21 AM   #68
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Thanks Zeebins, this put a lot of things into perspective. Considering the way they looked beforehand, I was surprised that he could save the drag link mounts. From now on, I'm going to keep a spray can of "Krown Rust Control" nearby and every couple of weeks I need to get under the car and spray down that area, to try to expell water.

Unfortunately if I do get her back on the road, I will have no choice but to drive her on our crappy SALTED roads in the winter. (She's been in indoor storage for about 6 years, but I can't afford it anymore).

The car is far from where I'm working these days. I had asked the kid on the farm next door to open the rear doors and check the sills, but he didn't get back to me about this. I will check when I get up there this weekend.

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Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
Drag link rust is probably the most problematic for any Saturn, so itís great that yours is savable. Pretty much everything else that rusts (front and rear subframe, suspension components, fuel tank straps) can all be unbolted and replaced. The floor pan can also rust out, but yours doesnít look bad at all. Iím still curious what the rear door sills look like. Even if they are bad, itís a easier repair than the drag link mounts in my opinion.

The drag links, also called rear trailing arms, will in theory last forever as long as they donít snap from rust. The bushings do eventually start cracking and become mostly useless. The only way to get new bushings is with a new trailing arm, or with a polyurethane busting kit.
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:33 AM   #69
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

DISASTER!!

-or hopefully not. The kid who did the repair (pictured above) phoned me late yesterday and said that while he was moving the car, something snapped. He said he could not move and the driver's side wheel was not pointing the right way. He said when he tried to apply power, he did not move, but there was a clunking sound.

To me it sounds like the rotten subframe snapped - maybe the driver's side control arm mount came off?....

But what else happened? What is the clunking sound, and why won't the car move? Could the axle and / or CV joint be damaged? Could it be more serious than this?

This happened late in the day yesterday but he is going to go out and take a better look at it now. If the car is repairable, great, but I don't want to put a ton of money into the car and then have to scrap her because of a serious problem.
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:37 AM   #70
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Very likely the driver's side control arm came off and pulled the driveshaft out of the transmission. This would also cause all the ATF to leak out of it. I can't remember if this is an auto or a manual. The sound could be the splines slipping on each other at the transmission.
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:51 PM   #71
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

According to Blake (I am far away so I can't verify this), the control arm mount on the (rotten) subframe snapped and the CV joint pulled apart.

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Very likely the driver's side control arm came off and pulled the driveshaft out of the transmission. This would also cause all the ATF to leak out of it. I can't remember if this is an auto or a manual. The sound could be the splines slipping on each other at the transmission.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_4059.jpg (205.3 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3980.jpg (182.0 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3981.jpg (206.3 KB, 16 views)
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:52 PM   #72
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

I'm hoping the damage is not too serious.
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Old 10-24-2020, 12:58 AM   #73
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

So the driver's side CV joint failed when the control arm mount parted ways. You'll need a new driveshaft. You can get them from Rock Auto, or the parts stor. OldNuc (Saturn legend who passed away last April) recommended getting them from the junkyard.

If you get this car on the road you will have definitely earned the merit badge.
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Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:59 AM   #74
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Thanks. The kid working on the car claims I won't need a new CV joint.... he claims he can just put it back together. Could this be dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
So the driver's side CV joint failed when the control arm mount parted ways. You'll need a new driveshaft. You can get them from Rock Auto, or the parts stor. OldNuc (Saturn legend who passed away last April) recommended getting them from the junkyard.

If you get this car on the road you will have definitely earned the merit badge.
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:28 PM   #75
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

I would not say dangerous. Should it fail you just won't be able to go.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:32 PM   #76
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Okay, good. Thanks Bryan.

I went up north to see the car today, and took the parts I've bought. I have pictures - I'll download tomorrow. The driver's side control arm is bolted to a small piece of subframe which has broken off.

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I would not say dangerous. Should it fail you just won't be able to go.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:50 PM   #77
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

More pictures:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_4073.jpg (158.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4076.jpg (151.6 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4077.jpg (157.1 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4081.jpg (138.4 KB, 5 views)
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:51 PM   #78
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Still more pictures:
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File Type: jpg IMG_4085.jpg (160.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4087.jpg (156.6 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4088.jpg (182.1 KB, 5 views)
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:57 PM   #79
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

Help! Can I only use an SL subframe for my 1993 SL1?
I don't mind having to weld a tranny mount bracket onto a frame. But I'm having a hard time finding any SL subframe in Canada. I only have a short window to work in, so I can't wait for one from the US!

What about L-series, or Vue, or the other Saturns? Will their subframes fit in an SL1?

I've run into a major problem which could scrap the whole project:
My supplier (Cookstown Auto Wreckers) had 2 Saturn SLs, but they contacted me today and said that both subframes are rotten.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:46 PM   #80
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Default Re: Need a Front subframe

The only subframes that will work, or could be modified to work, is a frame from a 92-02 SL/SC/SW. The only thing I can think of that might help is expanding your search in Canada to other junkyards. www.Car-part.com has a decent amount of listings you could try.

On an unrelated note, it’s weird seeing that the plastic splash cover in the drivers side wheel well has a cut out for the transmission. Every other S-Series I’ve seen covers the whole transmission. Maybe it’s a Canada thing, or more likely just a first gen thing (This doesn’t effect anything, I just like pointing out small details for fun, lol)
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