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Old 04-27-2006, 04:35 AM   #1
KAdams4458
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Default Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

My friend and I looked at a beat old '93 SL today. Being sick in the head, we've decided to tackle the project and bring the car back to life.

Ugly, isn't it?



Here's the issue I'm currently trying to sort out. We were told that the engine is newer than the car, but after being replacing it, they couldn't get the transmission to work properly.

I stuck my camera phone in to the darkness of the engine compartment and snapped a shot of the codes.



If I'm reading the code correctly, it appears that 81Z273441 tells me that the engine is from a 2001. Then I realised that the transaxle has a matching code. Hm. If I read the year right, that would explain why the transaxle doesn't work! it's not compatible with the '93 computer!

So, my big question for my fellow Saturn family members is this: Did I read it right? I'm sure I did, but I could be wrong. I'd like to verify the year of the engine and transaxle with someone who does this more often.

Secondly, to my knowledge, there's nothing I can do to make the "01" transaxle work with the '93 car, is there? Time for a tranny swap, isn't it?

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Old 04-27-2006, 04:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

Thats why it won't work correctly (the automatic transaxle) the PCM for a 93' cannot operate a 01' transaxle. The engine and transaxle currently in the car are a matched set (numbers match) meaning they came from the same car. A picture of the engine itself may help me to determine what was done to it to put it in that car, as the FUEL SYSTEM is also incompatable..amoung other things....

...
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

Thanks for taking the time to post, wolfman.

I don't have a photo of the engine right now, but I can tell you what they seem to have done.

The SOHC engine has the single injector TB and intake bolted to it. Fuel system also seemed to have been converted to the '93 flavour.

I know only a '93-'94 SOHC auto should be in the car in order for it to work. Can you verify that this is a '01 drivetrain?

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Old 04-27-2006, 04:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

Well that is also an SL2 (at least it looks like one...as the front and rear bumpers match the body color. The SL and SL1's in 93' all had black textured plastic bumpers (front and rear) this just keeps getting more interesting. Got the whole VIN# handy?

(It should have a DOHC not a SOHC engine in it OEM)

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Last edited by wolfman; 04-27-2006 at 04:57 AM..

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Old 04-27-2006, 04:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

The photos I saw on the Internet of it fooled me too. It has black, textured front and rear bumpers, black textured door handles, no trunklid reflector panel, and the grey tweed bucket seats with no seperate headrests. It's an SL through and through. No twin cam here.

Believe it or not, I don't have the VIN handy. Don't even have the car handy. Can't get it on a trailer and bring it home for at least a week and a half.

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Old 04-27-2006, 05:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

Ah.. Well, that being the case, and assuming from the information you posted, (That the car RAN, but the transaxle would not shift correctly) you will need only swap the transaxle. The SOHC engines remained virtually unchanged (other than the TBI to MPFI injection change in 95' ) right through to 02'. I am not 100% sure of this (so take it with a LARGE grain of salt) but I think you might even be able to just change the upper valve body of the transaxle as the issue is with the impeadance of the solenoids. Though there may be a difference in the gear ratios between 2nd and 3rd as well (what is perhaps giving the 93' PCM fits) Provided the engine's fuel system is the 93' version, and the 93' version sensors, DIS module, wiring harness, etc...are all in place. The engine itself should work fine.

...
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

Yes, it did apparently run. Since the tranny was an issue, they gave up and later robbed a few parts from it for other cars, so it's not currently running.

I had thought of swapping valve bodies, but thought that the gear ratio issue would still cause problems and generate diagnostic trouble codes. Heck, I guess it's worth a shot. It wouldn't be too hard to swap in a '93 valve body and see what happens.

Thanks, wolfman.

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Old 04-27-2006, 01:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

Keep us up to date on this masochistic exercise.

I have to wonder if some hound dog peed on your car every morning after waking up in that doghouse.

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Old 04-27-2006, 01:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

Poor Saturn! Good luck with it and have lots of fun! You sound like you have the experience to tackle what you need to do!

...
Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take

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Old 04-27-2006, 08:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

actually if it wasnt for all the leaves, flat tires, and whatever is on the roof, it looks better than my car lol

...
3x CFR SCCA autocross champion with a 95 SL2 & 98 SC2

Currently own a 02 L200 with no plans to mod.

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Old 04-28-2006, 08:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

You know, that's the seller's yard. Didn't see a dog, but it makes me wonder, too. Good thing I have to put new wheels on it.

That thing on the roof? That's actually the front driver side door skin.

As for the transaxle, I'm thinking that even with the valve body swap, it will still have issues generating incorrect gear ration codes. I looked up the specs for the original tranny and compared them to the '01 that's in the car now, and they are definitely different.

Looks like we may end up swapping it to a manual version. Depends on if I can find the correct version of the '93 MP6 transaxle in the local yards.

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Old 04-28-2006, 09:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

Quote:
Originally Posted by KAdams4458
You know, that's the seller's yard. Didn't see a dog, but it makes me wonder, too. Good thing I have to put new wheels on it.

That thing on the roof? That's actually the front driver side door skin.

As for the transaxle, I'm thinking that even with the valve body swap, it will still have issues generating incorrect gear ration codes. I looked up the specs for the original tranny and compared them to the '01 that's in the car now, and they are definitely different.

Looks like we may end up swapping it to a manual version. Depends on if I can find the correct version of the '93 MP6 transaxle in the local yards.
If you are going to swap to a manual transaxle, ANY "S" series manual for ANY year will work. The manuals are:

MP2 for SOHC
MP3 for DOHC

...
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

I got it, wolfman. It never hurts to share the information again, though.

I do wonder one thing, though. What about the '93 SOHC auto transaxle changed after VIN PZ156140? Haven't figured that one out, yet.

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Old 04-29-2006, 08:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

possible that's when the transaxle lost the huge honkin front mount. It was only connected on 91s but was still cast into the bellhousing till 93ish.

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Old 04-30-2006, 02:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: Identity of engine/transaxle in project car

You might be right. I noticed that a supposed '93 I pulled parts from a while back still had the ear on the transmission.

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