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Old 05-09-2016, 08:28 AM   #1
trottida
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North of North of Toronto, Northern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,681
 

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!

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

: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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1996 SL2
2000 SW2
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!!

...
1996 SL2 5MT
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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Join Date: Oct 2005
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
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.

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 05-09-2016, 11:39 AM   #4
SLCraig
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1996 SL2
2000 SW2
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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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North of North of Toronto, Northern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,681
 

1999 SL2
2001 SL1
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, 82 views)
File Type: jpg $_27 (4).JPG (42.8 KB, 72 views)

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 05-09-2016, 12:02 PM   #6
Steve44
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Scarborough, On. Canada
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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.

...
The SL1...The Lucky Car
The SL2..The awesome deal.
The #3 Silver SL2 FIVE SPEED!
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