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Old 06-01-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
wolfehunter
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1998 SL2
Default 98 and 99 Saturn SL2 comparisons?

I have a 98 SL2 5 spd with 166,000 miles on it and I'm looking at a 99 SL2 5-spd with 73,000 miles on it. Can someone tell me if there are any differences or changes that were made to these cars mechanically? Same engine, tranny etc? Any dependability or problem areas noted on a 99?

Thanks for any input.

Scott
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: 98 and 99 Saturn SL2 comparisons?

If it's an early '99 then the only difference is the mileage. If it's a late '99 then it's pretty much a 3rd gen ('00+).
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: 98 and 99 Saturn SL2 comparisons?

Any distinct way to verify if it is 3rd Generation? Manufacture date or any visable differences? Did the 3rd Generation cars have the oil consumption issues or any other common mechanical defects?
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: 98 and 99 Saturn SL2 comparisons?

It's not a gen-3. Some engine components on the late '99s are the same as the gen-3, but it's still a gen-2 car. Gen-2 body panels, gen-2 interior. No BCM. User-configurable RKE. Etc., etc.

Look at the cam cover and the exhaust manifold. Later DOHC cylinder heads had the cams spaced closer together, so there are no tabs for the spark plug wires molded into the cover. Later exhaust manifolds were on nine studs/nuts, rather than 5. IIRC, all '99s still used the aluminum "side draft" intake manifold, like the rest of the gen-1/2 DOHC cars.

AFAIK, the practice of drilling the oil ring lands, to eliminate the oil consumption issue, didn't start until at last the 2000 model year.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: 98 and 99 Saturn SL2 comparisons?

Thanks so much for the information. Pretty much the same car with less than half the mileage. Dealer is asking $2995. I've done quite a bit of work on my 98 so I know the car pretty well and would feel comfortable working on a 99 if it's the same car. Thanks again.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:43 PM   #6
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 98 and 99 Saturn SL2 comparisons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
AFAIK, the practice of drilling the oil ring lands, to eliminate the oil consumption issue, didn't start until at last the 2000 model year.
No personal knowledge, but I've seen (here on saturnfans, of course) mid-01 as the year when Saturn added the holes and 02 as the year of the brass ECTS
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