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Old 04-03-2020, 01:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 110

1998 SW2
Wrench Tuning SW2?

Iíve used google extensively, but there is so much information to compile and I am hoping someone here can tell me from experience the best thing I can do!

I have a 98/99 frankensaturn SW2 with the manual/sohc setup that I built for mileage several years ago, it is a fun car but Iíve been driving a Bonneville with a 3.8 more recently and the extra power has left me wanting more...

My SW2 originally came with a DOHC/auto setup, of which I kept every part. The transmission got stuck in first/reverse and I believe that every gasket on the thing was blown by 248k miles. I swapped it with a wrecked carís guts, but kept everything in the garage just in case. I know I will be getting rid of the auto trans, PCM, shifter, perhaps harness and can do the swap, but I want to rebuild the engine in it as a twin cam. Swapping heads and the actual rebuild are not what Iím worried about, but Iíve never actually tuned a car. My head is spinning with everything Iíve read and I donít know where to start.

I want to build the most reliable, powerful, naturally aspirated engine possible. Itís a car to have fun with when Iím not in my work truck, but it will also give this car to my son one day - it was the car I took him home from the hospital in. My current plan is to rebuild the head off of the block and meticulously rework it until I have the pcm, trans, a new gasket set, and some new clutch parts ready to swap in, then make a weekend out of it.


Does anyone have a good spec for porting heads? Should I invest in intake and exhaust parts? What about boring the block? What is the best build I can put on this car? Iím currently only interested in drivetrain mods, but should I eventually put attention into steering and suspension? Links and testimony are greatly appreciated, I am just looking for the best and most reputable information, and this forum has never let me down

As a side note, is there any reason the front of a gen 1 SC with flip-up lights will not bolt up? Fenders, hood, bumper, lights, etc. i was staring at the two models sode by side and I realized that the look would be superb on this little beast. I can modify parts if need be to some extent, but Iím not a machine shop, just a capable guy with some decent tools. Are the body lines mismatched to the point of being ugly? If it wonít work, Iíll just do a gen 2 or 3 sc front clip, as Iíve seen it done already.
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 249k
94 Ranger XLT - *rebuilding currently*

RIP (well loved organ donors)
99 SL1 - 167k
99 SL1 - 300k
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dohc, manual, sw2, tuning

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