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Old 07-16-2012, 09:21 PM   #1
Japanrot
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Default 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

I recently bought a 2000 SL1 with 302k for cheap with engine problems. When I got it back to my house, I was able to observe the coolant mixing with the oil, and heavy smoke from the exhaust that smells like oil burning.

I am curious wether I should dig into the engine to repair it or to just throw a used engine into it.

I have rebuilt European engines before, but I have never tore into an American car before. I have an extensive tool collection, access to a lift, and access to a Tech 2.

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Old 07-17-2012, 10:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Japanrot View Post
I am curious wether I should dig into the engine to repair it or to just throw a used engine into it.
Could be a head gasket, could be a cracked head - the head seems to happen at an abnormal rate for the SOHC engines.

I'm told taht SOHC engines are cheap and easy to find, but that depends on your area. Of course, you are paying your money and taking your chances.

Proper DIY rebuilds are usually said to run $1,500~$2k but may be worth it if you plan on keeping the car. Add a clutch if needed while you are at it, and you will be good for many miles.

These engines are very easy to work on. The only surprise IMO is that you will find no oil-drainback holes in the pistons and this is the usual cause of Saturn's oil burining issues. New pistons will have some holes, or you can drill your own.

It sounds like you are better prepared for a rebuild or replacement than most people who tackle this

Some pictures from a recent rebuild by motrhed79 - engine rebuuilds for these cars are pretty well documented. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho....php?t=181982#

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Old 07-17-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

If you dont wanna spend money use an engine sealer, check out Blue Devil.

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Old 07-17-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

About a year ago I tore into my SW2 because of a blown head gasket (oil in coolant). I had never even changed my own oil before. A buddy of mine walked me through the process and introduced me to how easy it was to work on these cars. Did it with the engine in the car. Since you already have familiarity with engine work, should be a no-brainer, depending on how extensive you want to get.

Throwing a used engine into it just depends on how much effort you want to put in and what kind of a baseline on engine condition you want. A used engine is an unknown (potential) time bomb. A bought-rebuilt probably costs as much or more as if you did it yourself, and you don't have the opportunity (likely) to fix the oil drain problem or other things. Rebuilding it yourself gives you the opportunity to "reset" the history of the engine, and with a few maintenance issues done properly can likely run the engine for several 100k miles.

Time, money, how soon you need the car running all factor into trade-offs of which route to take.

It seems that it needs a new head or head gasket. Either way (I was told) the head *should* be inspected, leak checked, maybe the valves redone, while it is off. When I did mine, the cost of the work was about as much as what people here report a reman head would cost. I believe J&C (?) has the highest recommendation here. So maybe replace the head while at it.

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Old 07-17-2012, 09:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

Could be a head gasket, could be a cracked head - the head seems to happen at an abnormal rate for the SOHC engines.

I'm told taht SOHC engines are cheap and easy to find, but that depends on your area. Of course, you are paying your money and taking your chances.

Proper DIY rebuilds are usually said to run $1,500~$2k but may be worth it if you plan on keeping the car. Add a clutch if needed while you are at it, and you will be good for many miles.

These engines are very easy to work on. The only surprise IMO is that you will find no oil-drainback holes in the pistons and this is the usual cause of Saturn's oil burining issues. New pistons will have some holes, or you can drill your own.

It sounds like you are better prepared for a rebuild or replacement than most people who tackle this

Some pictures from a recent rebuild by motrhed79 - engine rebuuilds for these cars are pretty well documented.



Wow, I just researched prices for a used engine, and I am shocked at how cheap they are. The last engine I bought for a BMW ran me $3,500. I guess on Saturday, I will take the head off and check for cracks.

Just curious, do these cars have the same problems as the aluminum block BMWs that when the engine overheats that the threads pull out of the block with the bolts? I have had to timesert many because a new engine was simply too expensive.

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Old 07-18-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

I don't recall reading about the threads pulling out - but the bolts are torque to yield, so you will want new bolts on hand

See OldNuc's post 19 for torque procedure here
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=172438

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Old 07-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbetz View Post
About a year ago I tore into my SW2 because of a blown head gasket (oil in coolant). I had never even changed my own oil before. A buddy of mine walked me through the process and introduced me to how easy it was to work on these cars. Did it with the engine in the car. Since you already have familiarity with engine work, should be a no-brainer, depending on how extensive you want to get.
Time, money, how soon you need the car running all factor into trade-offs of which route to take..
I wouldn't bother with just a top overhaul because eventually the oil control rings will go on the pistons and you'll be back where you started. Once you replace rings you need to machine the cylinders. Machining the cylinders requires pulling the block and sending to a machine shop.

-Robert

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Old 07-23-2012, 10:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

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Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
I wouldn't bother with just a top overhaul because eventually the oil control rings will go on the pistons and you'll be back where you started. Once you replace rings you need to machine the cylinders. Machining the cylinders requires pulling the block and sending to a machine shop.

-Robert
I am going to get a local used engine for $300 with 90k on it. Should I go ahead and tear it down to freshen it up or toss it in?

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Old 07-24-2012, 03:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

Throw it in. Those engines are extremely durable. As long as it doesn't have a bunch of oil leaks, you should be good to go. Check the intake gasket, If it is the original composite gasket, change it. They are a little easier to replace with the engine out.

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Old 07-24-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

sure they are durable but just throw it in ? thats taking a roll of the dice if thats what you choose so be it check the ects and replace intake gasket with fel-pro gasket as these are thicker and better qualityfollow all torqing procedures on these engines or ask for trouble down the road

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Old 07-24-2012, 07:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

It might be worth the few extra bucks for a lower mileage engine. These engines like to burn oil later in life, and this is often the reason why they are in the junk yard in the first place.

Depending on your skill and motivation level, this might be a good opportunity for a DOHC swap. The head cracking issue which you have probably inherited isn't present in the DOHC. It's also harder to find a DOHC in decent condition. You'll need a number of things specfic to the DOHC, including the PCM with matching options, DOHC wire harness, and fuel rail with injectors. I believe you also need the intake and exhaust manifolds.

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Old 07-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

I'd say, it depends on what you want

Just to get it on the road quickly and cheaply, thow it in. You might have some oil burning, but if you don't mind checking it and filling, it's not an issue. You can always get another cheap engine and freshen that one up, or build start collecting parts for a DOHC freshen/swap down the road if you want an extra 24hp (there's also something you need to do to synch the new PCM to the BCM, but I'm not real familiar with 3rd gen)

There's a video thread on the front page today for drilling your own drain holes in the pistons, if you want to freshen it up with new rings, etc.

The intake gasket is a good idea, as that's a lot easier while the engine is out. There are a few other "what I should do while the enigne is out' threads... i think most of the suggestions center around the sensors and stuff that are in hard to reach places. Gently back-flushing the heater core and replacing the top starter bolt with a stud are some other ones.

You can minimze SOHC head cracking by keeping the antifreeze concentration at around 57% - many threads on avoiding 50/50 premixes

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Old 08-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2000 SL1 Coolant in Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I'd say, it depends on what you want

Just to get it on the road quickly and cheaply, thow it in. You might have some oil burning, but if you don't mind checking it and filling, it's not an issue. You can always get another cheap engine and freshen that one up, or build start collecting parts for a DOHC freshen/swap down the road if you want an extra 24hp (there's also something you need to do to synch the new PCM to the BCM, but I'm not real familiar with 3rd gen)

There's a video thread on the front page today for drilling your own drain holes in the pistons, if you want to freshen it up with new rings, etc.

The intake gasket is a good idea, as that's a lot easier while the engine is out. There are a few other "what I should do while the enigne is out' threads... i think most of the suggestions center around the sensors and stuff that are in hard to reach places. Gently back-flushing the heater core and replacing the top starter bolt with a stud are some other ones.

You can minimze SOHC head cracking by keeping the antifreeze concentration at around 57% - many threads on avoiding 50/50 premixes
I got it in, and 3000 miles later, no oil consumption at all. This car is going to replace my BMW as the daily driver, as my daily commute is over 30 miles each way. The premium fuel is eating me alive, and the BMW isn't exactly friendly on fuel.

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