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Old 08-09-2005, 08:14 PM   #1
tedsmith
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Dizzy Timing belt or timing chain?

Okay sorry for my ignorance, but I just purchased a 1997 Saturn SL1 manual transmission. This car is immaculate. Issue is I asked the owner if they ever replaced the timing belt and they said they did not know. Does this year and model have a timing belt or chain. Car runs smoothly. Has a vibrate noise but I got under hood and put hand on light assembly and noise went away. Other than that no noises. Runs like a top. But if any knows what it has I would love to know. Also, it has 150,000 miles if its running smoothly why replace the chain if its a chain?
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:24 PM   #2
Bill Murray
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1997 SC1
1997 SC1
Default Re: Timing belt or timing chain?

All 4 cyl Sats are chain drive cam(s)
All 6 cyl Sats are belt drive cams
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:31 PM   #3
tedsmith
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Default Re: Timing belt or timing chain?

Thank you so much for the information. This one is a 4 cylinder. Guess I got lucky and have a timing chain. My understanding is they last much longer. Any feedback on timing chain life span. This seems to be running like a clock. No issues. What is cost of replacing a timing chain anyway?
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:51 PM   #4
justin_zink
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Default Re: Timing belt or timing chain?

I replaced mine on my 95 at 186 thou, still had some more clicks on the tentionor, so as long as it has been well taken care of then you should be allright. But if you want the parts are pretty reasonable. It is a pain to do it yourself, but they would probly charge alot at a garage.
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timing belt or timing chain?

just because there is no recommended interval for replacement, doesn't mean it lasts forever. it's still mechanical, and it does stretch. a new chainset on an old dog really freshens things up. expen$ive for a shop to do, though...
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for the first time in 8 years, I don't own a saturn.
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timing belt or timing chain?

Actually IMHO you got one of the better cars from Saturn. Only thing that could make it better would if it were a twin cam. Actually all S series cars are 4 cyl. The main differances for the powertrain is whether it is a single cam or twinn cam, automatic tranny or manual.

As for the timing chain, they are usually quite reliable on the Saturn S series cars as long as regualr maintenance has been done, primarialy oil changes. I can't say how much the chain set costs for the single cam as all my cars are the twin cam. It can be easily done by yourself if you have pretty good mechanical abilities but will be tedious. The twin cam chains generally make a pretty good racket before they fail. Don't know about the single cam chains.
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Old 08-10-2005, 12:13 AM   #7
dieseljack
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Default Re: Timing belt or timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedsmith
Thank you so much for the information. This one is a 4 cylinder. Guess I got lucky and have a timing chain. My understanding is they last much longer. Any feedback on timing chain life span. This seems to be running like a clock. No issues. What is cost of replacing a timing chain anyway?
369,000 original miles on mine ('95 SL1), and baby, she still purrs.
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Old 08-10-2005, 12:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: Timing belt or timing chain?

I was wondering are there many Saturns out there with over 300K miles with the orginal timing chain on them?
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