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Old 05-09-2016, 08:28 AM   #1
trottida
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default and so it begins....

So a fellow member of this forum gave me his silver gray 96 SL2 MT a few weeks ago as he needed to unload it quickly and wanted someone who knew these cars well to have it. It's a fully optioned SL2 with a sunroof and I thought it might be a good car for my 16 year old daughter who is in the process of getting her licence.

The car was 500 km away and I had to pick it up and drive it home. It's in decent shape for a 20 year old car but desperately needed front bearings. It was a pretty noisy 6 hour ride home needless to say.

So I had my mechanic look it over for what it needed for certification and it looks like a start of a project for me. It needs...
  • 2 front bearings
  • 2 front rotors
  • 2 rear brake shoes
  • front subframe
  • left rear brake line
  • rear bushings
  • 2 tires
  • 1 front marker light
  • headliner (optional)
  • A/C repaired (optional)
  • foglamps (optional)

Needing a half shaft for my SL1 and pondering the above over I thought that maybe a parts car would be a good idea so this past weekend I picked up a 99 SL2 AT that was 460 km away for $340. I rented a car hauler and floated it home behind my Suburban. So I'm about $500 in so far when you add my fuel costs and expenses.

This car is in pretty good shape with a sunroof and leather interior and everything works except the the motor has a spun bearing. The car was a garage queen commuter with just of 200K km on it. All the body panels (bright silver) are near perfect, headlights look new. It is an early 99 as it does not have the air injection system. It has good bearings and it's history does not indicate it is a bearing eating machine.

I bought it from a mechanic who acquired it from a customer and had plans to repair and resell it but couldn't find the time. He pulled the oil pan to look at the bottom end and it is definitely cooked. According to the him it needs...
  • motor
  • front rotors
  • brake lines (he said some mechanics would pass them as they are borderline)

So now I'm thinking, it's a shame to pull it all apart...maybe I should put a motor in it. 99 is my daughters birth year too and she'd prefer an automatic.

Damn you SLCraig!

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 05-09-2016 at 08:39 AM..

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Old 05-09-2016, 10:01 AM   #2
SLCraig
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Dave

To be honest the mechanic is just being insanely anal. The brake shoes are 1.5 years old.. Uneven wear perhaps, but in that little time it needs new ones? I can't see how. A lot of that other stuff is minor, and I do not believe it needs a subframe or I wouldn't have been driving it. The tires aren't at the wear bars.. They passed 1.5 years ago and I ran winter tires for the last 6 months.. Almost no wear put on them.. Anyway.. Not much I can do to convince him it's fine, but yeah.

The 99 sounds awesome.. I would buy a JY engine and fix it up!!

...
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1997 SL1 5MT
2000 SW2 5MT
All gone, but not forgotten.

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Old 05-09-2016, 11:26 AM   #3
trottida
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLCraig View Post
Dave

To be honest the mechanic is just being insanely anal. The brake shoes are 1.5 years old.. Uneven wear perhaps, but in that little time it needs new ones? I can't see how. A lot of that other stuff is minor, and I do not believe it needs a subframe or I wouldn't have been driving it. The tires aren't at the wear bars.. They passed 1.5 years ago and I ran winter tires for the last 6 months.. Almost no wear put on them.. Anyway.. Not much I can do to convince him it's fine, but yeah.

The 99 sounds awesome.. I would buy a JY engine and fix it up!!
I don't have a problem with his diagnosis; I'd rather use a mechanic that erred on the side of caution than one that didn't. He provided the measurements for the brake shoes and tires. Those are easy to confirm his findings.

Everything on his list I think I can do on my own with the exception of the brake line which I'd rather a professional did the work. Changing a subframe is a bit of a stretch of my comfort level but I think I can handle it. I had an extra subframe in storage and don't need to take the one from the 99.

Changing an engine on the other hand is a big stretch for me and the fact that I don't have a hoist to lift it out and put it back in either is hindering.

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

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Old 05-09-2016, 11:39 AM   #4
SLCraig
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Changing the subframe is honestly not that bad if you decide to go through with it. I did the one on my wagon in something like 6 hours and I had never done it before.

Give it a try if you have one in storage especially!

Put up some pics of the 99 if you get a chance, I am curious what that kind of money got you. It sounds like a nice little car.

...
1996 SL2 5MT
1997 SL1 5MT
2000 SW2 5MT
All gone, but not forgotten.

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Old 05-09-2016, 11:49 AM   #5
trottida
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLCraig View Post
Changing the subframe is honestly not that bad if you decide to go through with it. I did the one on my wagon in something like 6 hours and I had never done it before.

Give it a try if you have one in storage especially!

Put up some pics of the 99 if you get a chance, I am curious what that kind of money got you. It sounds like a nice little car.
These are from the ad on Kijiji which is still up. I'll get some better ones when I get home. I shows better in daylight and it needs a good interior cleaning.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg $_27 (5).JPG (43.8 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg $_27 (4).JPG (42.8 KB, 60 views)

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

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Old 05-09-2016, 12:02 PM   #6
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1999 SL1
1999 SL2
Default Re: and so it begins....

I saw that one on Kijiji last week, and thought "there's a good buy"
Fix the 99.

...
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The SL2..The awesome deal.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: and so it begins....

I hope you all don't mind a newb asking a question here. What condition is the subframe being changed for? Corrosion? Bent? I see one of you mentioning having a "spare"...is this a common issue?

...
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:35 PM   #8
trottida
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DynoDave View Post
I hope you all don't mind a newb asking a question here. What condition is the subframe being changed for? Corrosion? Bent? I see one of you mentioning having a "spare"...is this a common issue?
They said cracked but generally it is corrosion on the left side that deems them unsafe. They rot from the inside out and it is a common issue in the snowbelt due to road salt. I had to replace on on my former 93 SW2 and acquired a parts car a few years that I set aside for my SL1 should the time come.

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

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Old 05-09-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
trottida
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: and so it begins....

Here are more photos from today of the 99 SL2. I have done nothing to it since I picked it up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124535.jpg (197.4 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124547.jpg (192.9 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124602.jpg (151.4 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124612.jpg (196.1 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124724_hdr.jpg (160.1 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124625.jpg (72.2 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124631.jpg (84.2 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124656_hdr.jpg (107.1 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124713_hdr.jpg (163.1 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160509_124746_hdr.jpg (84.3 KB, 50 views)

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

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Old 05-09-2016, 02:59 PM   #10
DynoDave
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Thanks for that info. I'll have to take a look at ours when I have it up on some ramps. Maybe there a drain hole somewhere that I can spray some preventative into.



Oops...I guess along with not being able to post photos, I also can't post links. Was going to reference Eastwood's Internal Frame Coating.

That '99 looks nice!

...
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:17 PM   #11
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1998 SL2
Default Re: and so it begins....

Nice looking car, driver seat looks in better condition than most
Quote:
Originally Posted by DynoDave View Post
Thanks for that info. I'll have to take a look at ours when I have it up on some ramps. Maybe there a drain hole somewhere that I can spray some preventative into.
It's usually a left (driver) side problem because the right side gets covered in oil

Quote:
Oops...I guess along with not being able to post photos, I also can't post links. Was going to reference Eastwood's Internal Frame Coating.
You can post links when you hit 15 posts (anti spam measure - a week or so ago, the whole first page got spammed with some nonsense in Korean)

You can "post a link" by taking out the the www. and everything before it in the URL - we just have to add the www ourselves. If it still doesn't let you, take out the dotcom (but you have to tell us if it's .com, .org, etc)

...
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #12
DynoDave
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
(anti spam measure - a week or so ago, the whole first page got spammed with some nonsense in Korean)
It appears to have happened again today. I already flagged one of the many spam posts for the Mods.

...
DynoDave
1996 Saturn SL2

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Old 05-09-2016, 03:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Eastwood is expensive and in some cases over rated. Make haste carefully.

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Old 05-09-2016, 04:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: and so it begins....

I've used quite a few Eastwood products. The price can be a touch high, but I like their resto products and tools.

In this case, they got the packaging right. I'm not aware of another similar product or dispensing system in the marketplace. Not saying there isn't one, just that I'm not aware of it.

...
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: and so it begins....

The 99 looks awesome. I would totally fix it up and drive it. Great looking car...

...
1996 SL2 5MT
1997 SL1 5MT
2000 SW2 5MT
All gone, but not forgotten.

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Old 05-10-2016, 07:29 AM   #16
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DynoDave View Post
Thanks for that info. I'll have to take a look at ours when I have it up on some ramps. Maybe there a drain hole somewhere that I can spray some preventative into....!
What I've done is clean it out with high-pressure water. Once dry, cover all the holes with peel and stick gutter patch mastic. Use a transmission fill funnel to pour in warm rust-proofing and let it soak. Then, drain it back into the can.

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Old 05-10-2016, 11:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: and so it begins....

So thoughts on moving the 96 engine and transmission into the 99 converting it from automatic to manual transmission?

From what I understand I'd need to use from the 96
  • Engine/transmission
  • Fuel rail
  • Intake manifold
  • Exhaust manifold
  • Gear shift assembly, cables and clutch pedal

Anything else I've missed. What about BCM/ECM?

Are there any known step by step threads for engine swap. A quick search didn't really bring up anything significant.

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

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Old 05-10-2016, 01:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: and so it begins....

-Exhaust SYSTEM to behind cat from 96, add bung for rear O2 sensor if req.

-Use the 99 intake, fuel rail, and injectors on the 96 head.

Any other errors are covered here: http://www.saturnwiki.com/wiki/index...tle=Swap_Guide

-You will have to find a 99 PCM for DOHC Manual that has the same options as you have now. Or pay to reflash the existing box. PCM stays with the car and there is NO BCM. There is a decent chance that the 96 PCM will swap into the 99 chassis and function. Options should match though. Listing of all options is in my photo gallery. Keep in mind that the 99 has the EVAP system and the 96 does not. This will have to be dealt with or it will turn into a real DTC generator. There are a host of time consuming peripheral details to be worked out keeping in mind any periodic government smog nazi inspections. The purge and vent solenoids will function with the 99 pcm as well as the 96 but the plumbing is different. AIR system on the 99 if present is a large issue to get working to avoid DTCs.

There are basic directions for auto to manual. http://www.differentracing.com/tech_...anny_swap.html

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Old 05-10-2016, 01:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Sounds like fitting a squarish peg into a round hole. That's enough said to sway me to either find a 99 engine or go with my original plan to take the parts I need and put the 96 on the road. Thanks for setting me straight.

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

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Old 05-10-2016, 04:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: and so it begins....

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
Sounds like fitting a squarish peg into a round hole. That's enough said to sway me to either find a 99 engine or go with my original plan to take the parts I need and put the 96 on the road. Thanks for setting me straight.
You can use the 1996 engine in the 1999 as it is.

You'd have to have the exhaust adapted at the flex pipe up. Since 1999 uses a different exhaust manifold. A good exhaust shop will have no issue with this. Just use part of the 1996 exhaust (Manifold, downpipe, and flex pipe and have the portion you cut out replaced.

You can bolt the 1999 intake complete to the 1996 head and it will work fine. Everything should fit the same.

You can bolt the 1996 engine to the 1999 automatic with no major changes. You just have to swap the flex plate off the 1996 engine for the fly wheel between off the 1999 engine. They are the same thing.

The 1999 is a nice unusual color and it is in fantastic shape. I would gut the 1996 for the 1999 any day of the week, and this is from the mouth of someone who's swapped and converted engines between different years with still, excellent results (1993 engine in 1995. Not a perfect match)

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