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Old 08-01-2003, 09:03 PM   #1
SL2PIMP
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Default Help!!!! Head Swap Compatability??

Ok I've been all over the forums and haven't found an answer to this question. Can I swap my 2000 DOHC head with a larger port 98 or earlier head? And if so what will I need to make it all work and is it even worth doing? I'm trying to get decent hp off the engine before turbocharging. Please help no one has been able to answer this question for me yet!!

Matt

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Old 08-01-2003, 09:30 PM   #2
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"Can" you? YES. HOWEVER, the port configuration on the 2000 head will REQUIRE the use of 00'-02' manifolds (plastic intake on the DOHC) IF you were to use a 99' or EARLIER head on a 00' block, you will need to use the "older" style aluminum intake and iron exhaust manifolds on it. The OEM early model "header" WILL bolt up to ANY 91'-99' cylinderhead but NOT to a 00'-02' cylinderhead.

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Old 08-01-2003, 11:58 PM   #3
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Thank you so much!! I here your the resident saturn God around these part and you have my thanks. Besides the intake and header what else would I need to replace for a successful swap and which year head would be the best for a turbo platform? Any and all info would really help thanks!!

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Old 08-02-2003, 12:09 AM   #4
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If your car is a 98', the 98' cylinder head will do just fine. If you are "shopping" for a head for an 00'-02' block a 96'-99' with a fresh valve job including new valve guide seals and some mild porting (gasket matching will do) would be a good choice. ANY intake manifold from 91'-99' will bolt right up to these heads as well as ANY exhaust manifold or OEM or aftermarket header, though I assume if you are going to a turbo set up you'll be fabricating your own exhaust piece. If the car is a 00' or newer with an airpump as part of it's smog equipment, you'll have other issues (including possible legal ones if you have emmissions inspections in your State) to deal with. The FUEL systems on 96'-99' DOHC are ALSO different from a 00'-02' so you'll need those parts as well to put an older head on a newer (00'-02') block.

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Old 08-02-2003, 12:22 AM   #5
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Is there a way to work around the air pump and which parts for the fuel system would I need? Are the 2000 heads really as bad as everybody says they are for boost applications? I'm only looking to create 200 whp tops. A free way terror I guess. My sl2 is a 2000 so in your opinion what would be my best course of action as far as the build up before my boost?

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Old 08-02-2003, 01:36 AM   #6
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The problem with the 00'-02' heads lies in the intake manifold not the heads themselves. In their infinate wisdom, Saturn (GM?) went to a PLASTIC intake manifold on these cars. (DOHC) The plastic just can't hold up the pressures associated with forced induction and the older aluminum manifolds (91'-99') will NOT bolt up to the different bolt pattern newer 00'-02' cylinderheads. While it might be "possible" to modify the bolt/ports of an older manifold to work with a newer head (an adapter plate perhaps) the expensive and labor intensity of doing so would be prohibitive. On the "smog" side (airpump) the connection is actually built into the exhaust manifold of the air pump equiped cars, so if local smog requires you to run air injection, it is theoretically "possible" to plumb this into your turbo exhaust manifold, it would be a difficult thing to do however as the air injection point would have to be AFTER (or "downstream")from the turbo impellor or the pressure build up in the manifold itself inherant to the impellers pressence would make it nonfunctional as the exhaust gas pressure would exceed the air pump's input pressure. The existence of precats in the 96' and up East Coast and CA emmission vehicles is another issue to contend with. It is still very doable provided you have the time, equipment and resources to accomplish it. As far as the fuel parts needed to adapt a 98' manifold and cylinderhead to an 00' and up engine, you would need the fuel rail, throttle body and associated componants as well as the PCM and wiring harness for a 96'-99' car. This in itself would probably amount to a violation of smog laws as you would be installing "old" parts on a "newer" vehicle which is basically forbidden as a practice accross the board. As last I knew, Texas (?) emmission standard inspections still vary by COUNTY. Suburban counties have lower standards while urban counties (such as Harris) have stricter inspections and standards. This may have changed in the last few years however. On a 00' and UP car, you may want to consider SUPER CHARGING rather than turbo charging as you would NOT have to deal with ANY modification of the exhaust system AT ALL and you could simpy have a custom intake manifold made (of STEEL perhaps) to bolt up the super charger of your choice to your 00'-02' cylinderhead. You "could" retain your current fuel system, PCM and all related smog equipment as well as the "downdraft" throttle body currently on your car as it WILL function just as well as a side draft in a custom set up if you desire. I have seen the supercharger out of a Pontiac? 3.8L V-6? adapted in just such a way but it required the removal of the powersteering pump (and power steering) to accomplish.

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Old 08-02-2003, 08:22 AM   #7
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wow. what would we do without you, wolfman?

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Old 08-02-2003, 12:40 PM   #8
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Cool. I checked with the dmv today and I went digging around under the hood of my car and I don't have an air pump and in my county my emmisions laws are almost nonexistant so I'm good to go for what ever I choose. Just one last question though.... Is there an advantage to doing such a big change over just for the intake and head?

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Old 08-02-2003, 07:41 PM   #9
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Nope, not really. Although the 00' and up cylinder heads had "improved" valve train componants the lack of a metal intake manifold subtracted from any "advantage" IMHO. A 96'-99' head with aluminum intake manifold and your choice of exhausts will work just as well if not better.

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