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Old 05-02-2009, 03:57 AM   #1
Saturn #4
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1996 SL2
1996 SL1
Default Easier to Swap engine, or swap tranny?

OK, so gold '96 has choco milkshake coolant, red '94 has tranny popping out of gear while driving (both auto). Problem appeared after tranny ran completely out of fluid (bad friend for not checking fluid...bad me for not fixing leak before selling).

Gold '96 is "prettier" - has body/interior that are in better shape, RKE, etc. but has salvage title. Only 112k miles
Red '94 has dings/dents/ some wear, etc, odometer broken but nothing horrible.

Soo...the question is, is it better to swap the tranny from the gold car to the red one, or to put the engine from the red one into the gold car?


Gold tranny has reverse slam, but not bad...hadn't had a chance to try reverse slam "cure" before milkshake syndrome appeared. Hasn't affected driving.

Red engine has a tensioner(?) squeal, and probably about 140-150k miles - gets great mileage though. Squeal goes away if you stop and re-start the engine.

It may matter --- Emissions sticker on '94 says "NB", while the sticker on the gold '96 says "CB" --what do those letters mean?

...
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:51 AM   #2
ruley73
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2007 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Easier to Swap engine, or swap tranny?

Swapping the transmission is easier if you don't have access to an elaborate shop equipped with a lift. However, in the end I don't think swapping the engine is much more difficult. I've never done either myself. I'm just going off of my knowledge of these cars. Somebody who has done this before could certainly have a different opinion.

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Old 05-02-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
madpogue
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Easier to Swap engine, or swap tranny?

The '96 is def. the preferred car to commission, esp. since it will be easier to support (salvage yard part supply, etc.) in years to come. You'll need to use the '96 fuel rail.

Alternative - I dunno automatics, but ask around here if the '94 tranny problem might be solved with a new valve body. In fact, you might be able to transplant the valve body from the '96 into the '94. That would be the least work, if it worked.

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Old 05-02-2009, 08:41 PM   #4
P.DADDY
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2000 SW1
Default Re: Easier to Swap engine, or swap tranny?

If you are going through the top, you have to pull the engine to remove the tranny. On the other hand, the tranny can stay in the car if you are just swapping motors. So my answer would be...the engine swap would be a little easier and less time consuming. Just my two cents, I've changed out three trannys and one engine tranny combo.

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Old 03-15-2016, 12:59 PM   #5
Chaotic66
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1999 SL2
2008 AURA XE
Default Engine swap questions

I have a 99 sl2 with a broken timing chain cover. I have the chance to get an 01 with a blown trans. Should I use the 01 motor in the 99 or the 99 trans in the 01?

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Old 03-19-2016, 03:26 PM   #6
Nekomimi
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1996 SL1
Default Re: Easier to Swap engine, or swap tranny?

Wouldn't changing the timing cover be easier then swapping one of those out? Changing the engine or the transmission is a heck of allot of work and best not if you don't have to. ( I had to swap my trans twice right, one after the other...)

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Old 03-21-2016, 09:44 AM   #7
Highmile
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Easier to Swap engine, or swap tranny?

The 94 to 96 engine swap is going to have an issue with the EGR valve.

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