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Old 02-02-2013, 12:23 PM   #1
Spazzfrom1989
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Dazed 97 SL1 Blown Headgasket and bad Subframe

Hi everyone, back in October..I was driving my saturn attempting to go up a driveway..it was smaller than usual so my entire passenger side collided with the curb..sending the right side of the subframe out of whack..I looked at pick a parts for the part..$100..and already viewed some labor video (cradle) I'm planning on replacing the subframe, sway bar, and both lower control arms and ball joints..on these parts alone..I have gotten it down to where I should spend no more than 170 for all these parts..I have about 215,000 miles on it..just did a full tune up..will have to do another one again after this project :/..I have noticed recently on start up during the cold I have been getting white and grey smoke at start ups..dissipates after engine heated..oh and my oil change was a weak ago and already is black..I guess I will need to flush it before the project get it nice and clean..other than that the engine idles fine..usually around 800 to 1000 on park..more around 800..and in drive it sits under 700..my question is and please if im not giving enough info ask me more questions..my question is if I am going to take out the engine should I go ahead and replace the head gasket? That is probably my problem..I checked coolant..no notable leakage after days..since I put oil..no notable leakage..things seem to be running pretty good..I just need to get those 3 parts for my suspension..subframe, stabalizer bar, lower control arms and ball joints..is it possible though that it may not even be the headgasket and maybe something else..but it seems like it might be the headgasket indeed..if someone could get back to me on this I'd really appreciate it..I love my Saturn..been in the family for almost 16 years this may..and I'd like to keep it for another 3-5 years..

Thanks!!

Last edited by Spazzfrom1989; 02-02-2013 at 12:24 PM.. Reason: lol not as imporant but I meant to say I foujnd the parts for no more than $120..discount at pick-a-part

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
hoseppi
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Default Re: 97 SL1 Blown Headgasket and bad Subframe

Winter months tend to result in more condensate (white smoke) coming from the tailpipe. Do you have any other symptoms that would indicate head gasket or cracked head issues?

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
magtec
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Default Re: 97 SL1 Blown Headgasket and bad Subframe

how's the compression?

if you're pulling the motor and planning to keep the car for an extended period of time, the timing chain and guides should probably be replaced (if they haven't been done within the past 100k miles or so).

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Old 02-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #4
Spazzfrom1989
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Default Re: 97 SL1 Blown Headgasket and bad Subframe

No no other symptoms..I guess it's just them cold winter nights then..and I haven't checked the engine compression..but perhaps after what you say I shouldn't worry about the compression..is replacing the chains and guides difficult? And it will be two people doing the whole job..myself and my cousin.

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: 97 SL1 Blown Headgasket and bad Subframe

Damn the timing belt thing looks like a lot of work..from videos I watched I plan on pulling the entire subframe..detaching the old one..and putting the new one on..so I don't actually want to pull the engine itself..mm I guess what I'm saying is I'm not sure what the best way to go about it is..sounds like either way it's going to be a big project.

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: 97 SL1 Blown Headgasket and bad Subframe

Found this neat little timing kit package..$90! think the kit is worth it and may as well replace all the parts..at partsgeek

It comes with chain, both guides, cam, crank and tensioner

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