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View Poll Results: Keep SL2 or Get SW2
Keep the SL2 5 50.00%
Get the SW2 5 50.00%
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:02 PM   #21
jpsuli
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1997 SL2
1999 SW2
Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheyne View Post
OP will have to determine how long they plan to keep the car and if extending the search will prove beneficial in the long run. Also, be patient for the right one to come along. It doesn't sound like the vehicle is in need of immediate replacement.
Extending a search is no issue, my plan is to be here for as long as I can get parts. Immediate replacement is not needed, but if I find a good wagon then I would be more than happy to replace my sedan.

The only thing I hate about road trips is the thought of a car getting sold half way there, I know someone on Craigslist will say they will keep it but it wouldn't be the first time I offered to pay full price but they still sold something on my way to buy it.
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Ethel: '97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k
Un-named: '99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k

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Old 07-16-2018, 07:20 PM   #22
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I wouldn't entirely rule out a saturn for a filthy interior. I have a friend whose cars are always filthy but he gets them serviced on schedule Saturn seats are easily swappable, too.

I like Saturninin's idea of a road trip to pick up a car. A day's drive and you are far enough to avoid a lot of rust. You can search CL by city and ask for better pictures so you aren't wasting your time.

Heck, I don't know if ShawnV is still fixing cars, but shoot him an email and see what he's got. Might have a wagon to sell. It's a long day's drive from Chicago to NC, but he'll be straight on the car's condition.

I always liked teh VUE but I don't really need the space, and the lower MPG is why I never went with either a Vue or L series. I might pick up a southern vue after I retire and mpg doesn't matter as much.
He's not fixing S-series anymore (I've brought back 2 loads of parts from him, from trips down to NC), but I do have another NC connection around the Winston- Salem area, but he's a used car dealer, (runs 2 SWP, an auto wagon for his business) not bought a car from him before, but have done some parts buying from him.

With the VUE/S space wise... it's more for people then stuff I would say... I feel when I pack it right I might be able to move a bit more in my wagon then the VUE, but that's when I was moving computers
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:56 AM   #23
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Thanks for the update on Shawn.

Weird about the VUE space vs SW space.

For the foreseeable future, will probably always have a minivan - tons of space and flexible passenger set up. fold down the middle seats, kids ride in the third row and have mucho leg room. our grand caravan pulls around 26 mpg hwy (I don't drive it much but that's what I remember)
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:35 AM   #24
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1997 SL2
1999 SW2
Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Update on the search, due to some issues the search has slowed down. However, I went to see a SW2 with a friend and unfortunately didn't buy it. The rust underneath the car was so bad, the owner told me it was garage kept and had none. I suppose plastic doesn't rust so it's fine, right? The muffler, with a hole in it, was being held by coat hangers and zipties. The part that made me walk away from it was that I asked about the windshield wipers, because I believe they can go bad on the rear hatch easily, and said it worked great. I turned it on with the washer fluid and liquid went all over the interior trunk.

It was a shame cause it is in that lovely blue. My Saturn was purchased through a family friend, but trying to buy car locally is tough (Although maybe I'm looking for too much for too little money). When I buy used goods through Facebook or Craigslist the seller is almost always honest about the item but maybe cars are a different story. May buy a ticket to florida for a weekend because the south has great cars for cheap.

I still had a great time with my friend and the 60 mile trip we went to go see it. He agreed with me that not purchasing it was a good idea.
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File Type: jpg sw1_blue.JPG (61.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg sw2_blue1.JPG (59.4 KB, 11 views)
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Ethel: '97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k
Un-named: '99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k

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Old 07-19-2018, 07:42 AM   #25
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
trying to buy car locally is tough (Although maybe I'm looking for too much for too little money).
Nope - the key is time. Wait and you will find the right car for the money. Your SL2 will keep you going until the right one comes up.
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:12 PM   #26
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1997 SL2
1999 SW2
Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Found a SW2 Manual in the rust belt for $1500, it's 125k miles so I don't mind paying more for something that seems to be pretty hard to find. The car itself is pretty far from me so I asked the dealer, a small one that I have been to before, to see if the rust was pretty bad since I didn't want to drive 3+ hours to find out it was bad. They were glad to take photos of the rear doors / panels and told me they thought it had no rust.

I found this in my inbox,


It took me a second to realize that this was just a photo of the rear door. I called again and described the area behind the door, they told me that part is a tad rusty to the point of no holes even when pushing on it.

Bit hesitant to drive so far for it.

Edit:
Found out they replaced the muffler strap, not sure if that is a sign that the rust is bad under the car.
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Ethel: '97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k
Un-named: '99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k

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Old 07-25-2018, 01:26 PM   #27
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

I would say skip the drive. If the muffler strap is bad the rest is probably bad too.
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:54 PM   #28
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Thought I would update this as I originally started the search for a wagon 2 years ago:

I finally bought a tan wagon here in Chicago on a visit here. It needs a lot of love and I am very sad to see my trustworthy, sometimes, SL2 not be my daily anymore. The only issue is that my new wagon has some issues and is an automatic though it has 92k miles, 30k of which were from 2006-2020. It's had some work and proper maintenance though it sitting has taken a beating to the car.

She's not perfect, in fact, I drove her home and as soon as she got into my driveway the brake line snapped and I no longer have brakes. Many of the hoses are garbage and she'll need lots of work but I am happy to have a wagon. (No more roof racks anytime I want to get something big-ish).

It'll be a busy few weeks, that I thankfully have off.

ethel2.jpg
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Ethel: '97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k
Un-named: '99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k

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Old 05-23-2020, 05:45 PM   #29
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Nice! I'd like to have a wagon but I'm also coming to appreciate the sedan is the best for junkyard parts availability.
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:00 PM   #30
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1995 SW2
Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Is both an option? #SaveTheSaturns! (Edit: Apparently BOTH is an option...Congrats!)
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Last edited by MetallicWheat; 05-23-2020 at 06:03 PM. Reason: didnt read the replies
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:24 PM   #31
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsuli View Post
Thought I would update this as I originally started the search for a wagon 2 years ago:

I finally bought a tan wagon here in Chicago on a visit here. It needs a lot of love and I am very sad to see my trustworthy, sometimes, SL2 not be my daily anymore. The only issue is that my new wagon has some issues and is an automatic though it has 92k miles, 30k of which were from 2006-2020. It's had some work and proper maintenance though it sitting has taken a beating to the car.
Congrats! I regret not getting one of those. Now I'm married to my sedan.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:27 PM   #32
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

I don't seem to see the wagons around, but the pictures I see here make me want one, and I'm not really a wagon person.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:54 PM   #33
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Where are the rear speakers mounted on a wagon?
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:39 PM   #34
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
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Where are the rear speakers mounted on a wagon?
They're on the inside of the hatch.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:15 AM   #35
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsuli View Post
I will need to make long road trips every couple months to Minnesota for college. I plan on bringing my two roommates with me along with lots of stuff every couple months..
How is that working out? (After two years)
I used to move my daughter back and forth to college and filling my SW2 although impressive, still wasn’t enough.
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• 1997 SW2 used 12/29/2011 with 124,200 -27 mpg
• 2004 Ion3 new 11/2003 (totaled) 11/2011 -23 mpg
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:59 PM   #36
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
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How is that working out? (After two years)
I used to move my daughter back and forth to college and filling my SW2 although impressive, still wasn’t enough.
My SL2 was a trooper throughout all of it. I always just stopped at the rest stops to top off the oil. We couldn't always find enough room but when it's just me I could make it work.

Thankfully, I have the roof rack but is not ideal to put stuff there (didn't at the time of the original post).

The biggest issue was tall items, think like monitors and desktop towers. I could never fit them in vertically and when placing them horizontally in the trunk it would take a lot of room. I am now done with college so most trips will just be me.

With the extra room, less people, and additional roof rack. I think I will be fine for most trips.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:27 PM   #37
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Have you started collecting parts for the 5 speed swap yet, or are you just going to convert the sedan back to automatic?
...
Bryan Cotton
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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:55 AM   #38
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

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Have you started collecting parts for the 5 speed swap yet, or are you just going to convert the sedan back to automatic?
Yup, but we are holding off for about a week until I know the engine is a good runner. Looks like the company that owned this car didn't really care for it, found service records saying it needed the front exhaust pipe from 2015, and it still needs it , can't imagine driving with an exhaust leak this loud for 5 years.

Anyhow, I have most things I believe; though I plan on getting the following locally:
  • PCM (Might have found one from a 99 SC)
  • Transmission
  • Shifter Cables (May just do with new)

Otherwise, I will also be planning on buying these new similar to the SL:
  • Clutch w/ Pressure plate
  • Clutch MC
  • Throw out bearing
  • Flywheel
  • Bolts off of McMasterCarr for said items

Otherwise, I brought over some items in Minnesota like the shift knob and spare clutch pedal I had.

Last time, we were able to do an entire front suspension rebuild and the manual swap in a weekend with the worst weather possible. Now we have a garage and some knowledge of how this goes. We dropped the subframe entirely last time because it seems nearly impossible to get this transmission out, even seeing videos of it being done.

I'd rather just not dismantle the SL2, odds are if I tried converting it to automatic I would either run out of time or interest. Not sure if it will stay in the family, sit for a month or two until I get a better living situation, or sell/junk it.
...
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Last edited by jpsuli; 05-29-2020 at 02:02 AM. Reason: spelling and things
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Old 05-30-2020, 11:28 AM   #39
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

All further additions to the car will be logged by the following thread: link.
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