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Old 09-22-2018, 04:47 PM   #1
TheFuzzyMuffalo
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Default Saturn Performance Advice

Hello everyone, Im super new to forums and Saturns I bought a 2001 sc1 a few weeks back and its in decent shape and I already own a nice car and truck (well truck is kinda broken at the moment). so I wanted a little project car and I know a little about car performance. Saturns so far people either like it or hate it and everyone has tried to turn me away from this as a platform and go with a Honda or some jp car that has tons of mods and tons of resources for it. But saying that I like sleeper cars always have and I think Saturns are really underrated because of this. Im looking to get hopefully really hoping for 300 HP out of it or at least 250. I know I need to do the DOHC swap which I plan to once winter passes. So in that mean time I wanted to work on the body, suspension, handling, braking and any other mods that will transfer easy to the engine swap. Im not super broke so I can spend some money but reasonable at the same time Im looking for a speedy little sleeper. If anyone can give me a shout back or keep a forum going that would be awesome ill be on here lots. Thanks and have a good day guys

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Old 09-22-2018, 09:43 PM   #2
jpsuli
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

I don't believe the gear box will be able to keep up with such a powerful engine, though I could be wrong. You can of course swap the engine. I have seen a Redline engine in a Saturn S-series, but I assume one must be pretty handy with cars to get that going. Otherwise there is one person with an LS in theres. On the Saturn subreddit, there is this link, though I can not vouch if any of the information is still valid today, Here is the link.. This link may be the best if you wish to keep the 1.9L DOHC once swapped.

I can't help you with handling, but replacing suspension parts; ie, struts, rubber, sway bars, etc. will just make the car feel nicer. Motor mounts with alleviate the car from vibrating as much as it does.

It's not the answer you want to hear, but the fact of the matter is that these cars are kept because they are reliable and cheap to maintain. JP cars are nicer in the fact that their aftermarket scene is much richer in parts than the Saturn.

...
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

There is one guy on youtube who swapped an ecotech from an 07 ion redline into a sw2. He hasn't posted a new video in a while but one of the more recent ones is of it actually driving for the first time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI29ciPxaPQ

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Old 09-23-2018, 07:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Energy Suspension for the bushing kit, front & rear. I believe the front sway bar to control arm bushing should stay OEM rubber, the ES stuff wears out pretty quick in that location.

Front & Rear DOHC sway bar. Front bar just bolts in, no other changes while the rear bar requires the brackets to be added (subframe and strut).

KYB makes the closest we have to bolt in performance struts, though with modifications to the mounts Subaru struts bolt in.

H&R sport springs are the most available performance springs, they have the downside of lowering the car about 1.3in.

Until recently there was no way to control the automatics when swapping to a standalone PCM so everyone pushing 200-500hp is using a stock 5spd, maybe with a welded/reinforced differential pin.

150-160hp would be doable with stock parts, no turbo required but 250-300 requires around 10psi.

Go browse sixthsphere.com, they have tons more mod information.

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Old 09-23-2018, 07:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

For 300whp I think you want an Ecotec swap; it would be pretty expensive to build the LLO to take that much power... just doing an LSJ swap would make a really quick S series... they can approach 300whp pullied and on E85 (with supporting mods and good tune) or you can turbo swap the LSJ and approach 400whp with relative ease and without opening the engine up...

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Old 09-24-2018, 02:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Unless you enjoy causing yourself pain and suffering, just go with a different platform. Yeah, you'll have to deal with fanbois, but at least they have an aftermarket solution for just about everything.

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Old 09-24-2018, 09:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Take Fetch's advice on the suspension upgrades, and get some P195/60 R15 H-Rated tires and 15" SC2 wheels for it.

Since you are shooting for 300 HP, you will want to invest in a MegaSquirt standalone ECU, and definitely a 5-speed manual transmission. The automatic can only hold about 200 HP, before the clutches start slipping. The manual transmission has more precise gear ratios for the powerband rpm range as well.

Automatics shift @ 6k, back to about 4,200 rpm and peak torque is @ 4,800 rpm, so the auto shifts below the power band, which hurts acceleration.

The stock block 1.9L engine can handle 300HP, but will need a decent turbo kit and properly matched set of manifolds and exhaust system, as well as an intercooler.

Do NOT use the Scrap-O-Tec boat anchor swap ideas mentioned in this thread.

Those engines are known for trashing the valves with carbon deposits, on the "direct-injection" turbo models. The early supercharged/turbocharged Scrap-O-Tecs have a porous block that is prone to cracking.

The water pump is geared into the timing chain, which means WHEN it begins leaking, the oil mixes with the coolant and seizes the engine up.

And aside from all that, the Scrap-O-Tec engine family is prone to timing chain failures due to a design flaw with the tensioner, and I am sure the power steering pump being driven by the intake camshaft has no ill-effects or adds load to the timing chain at all.....(sarcasm).

And as far as JP cars, well you COULD go that route, but most of those cars can't break 12s in the ¼-mile on a stock block engine(meaning they HAVE to swap from a more powerful engine family designed for the larger JP platforms), racing slicks, and 110-octane race fuel.

Here is a video, of a first-gen SL2 that is turbocharged and runs 11.937 @ 119mph as a daily driver:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C9uIOHK5JQ0

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Old 09-25-2018, 03:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexofNazareth View Post
Unless you enjoy causing yourself pain and suffering, just go with a different platform. Yeah, you'll have to deal with fanbois, but at least they have an aftermarket solution for just about everything.
I have to agree.

...
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:20 AM   #9
TheFuzzyMuffalo
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Thanks so much for all the reply's guys. I know im asking for alot with this kind of car I was hoping for the 220+HP out of it not 300. it seems alittle high and I wanna keep my 5pd manual transmission and not redo the whole car I knew for sure I would need a turbo kit to push anything above 200 and I wanted to swap out a Geo throttle body and shave the heads a bit for more compression a true cold air intake and a new exhaust would you guys think this might be a little more feasible ?. (I have the sc1 manual 5pd transmission so i know I have the right transmission just need to do the drop and these mods ) Im not looking for a race car or I would of bought a JP car. I just like getting the most out of my cars without breaking them you know ?) I think with the car being as lightweight as it is and add that 120HP to it would make it really quick. If anyone has pictures or links that would help lots and Ill take pictures as I go

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Old 09-29-2018, 02:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

The only way to gain 120hp is a turbo. Then guesstimate 3 grand and 1-2 years that it sits as you start adding junk on and most likely break stuff.

Just DOHC swap it, leave it NA and enjoy driving it.

...
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFuzzyMuffalo View Post
Thanks so much for all the reply's guys. I know im asking for alot with this kind of car I was hoping for the 220+HP out of it not 300. it seems alittle high and I wanna keep my 5pd manual transmission and not redo the whole car I knew for sure I would need a turbo kit to push anything above 200 and I wanted to swap out a Geo throttle body and shave the heads a bit for more compression a true cold air intake and a new exhaust would you guys think this might be a little more feasible ?. (I have the sc1 manual 5pd transmission so i know I have the right transmission just need to do the drop and these mods ) Im not looking for a race car or I would of bought a JP car. I just like getting the most out of my cars without breaking them you know ?) I think with the car being as lightweight as it is and add that 120HP to it would make it really quick. If anyone has pictures or links that would help lots and Ill take pictures as I go
I dropped a link to a daily driven(pump gas), first-gen SL2 that runs 11s i the quarter mile. So, tell me again about how great JP cars are for racing, when most of them do not male torque until 7,000rpms.....

And if you have the SC1, you have the MP2 transmission. This is better for a turbo/DOHC build, because the turbo will add low-rpm torque and widen you power band rpm range.

Do NOT shave the head for higher compression, because it retards mechanical camshaft timing, which also changes dynamic compression and causes performance LOSS.

With a boosted engine, you want to reduce compression, from 9.5:1, to about 8.0-8.5:1.

Don't believe me? Check the compression ratio of the Supercharged 3800 Series-II/III engines.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_V6_engine

As quotedSeries-II 3800 V6) "The L67 is the supercharged version of the 3800 Series II L36 and appeared in 1996, one year after the normally aspirated version. It uses the Eaton Generation III M90 supercharger with a 3.8" pulley, a larger throttle body, and different fuel injectors, different cylinder heads, as well as different lower intake manifold and pistons than the L36 uses. Both engines share the same engine blocks, but compression is reduced from 9.4:1 in the L36 to 8.5:1 for the L67." Emphasis added by me, before you build an engine incorrectly and blow the cylinder head sky high.

...
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

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I dropped a link to a daily driven(pump gas), first-gen SL2 that runs 11s i the quarter mile. So, tell me again about how great JP cars are for racing, when most of them do not male torque until 7,000rpms.....

And if you have the SC1, you have the MP2 transmission. This is better for a turbo/DOHC build, because the turbo will add low-rpm torque and widen you power band rpm range.

Do NOT shave the head for higher compression, because it retards mechanical camshaft timing, which also changes dynamic compression and causes performance LOSS.

With a boosted engine, you want to reduce compression, from 9.5:1, to about 8.0-8.5:1.

Don't believe me? Check the compression ratio of the Supercharged 3800 Series-II/III engines.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_V6_engine

As quotedSeries-II 3800 V6) "The L67 is the supercharged version of the 3800 Series II L36 and appeared in 1996, one year after the normally aspirated version. It uses the Eaton Generation III M90 supercharger with a 3.8" pulley, a larger throttle body, and different fuel injectors, different cylinder heads, as well as different lower intake manifold and pistons than the L36 uses. Both engines share the same engine blocks, but compression is reduced from 9.4:1 in the L36 to 8.5:1 for the L67." Emphasis added by me, before you build an engine incorrectly and blow the cylinder head sky high.
*Sigh*....no

...
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Yeah I want to do the swap and put the turbo in it to try and make my goals and the reason I wanted to work on it in the first place is because its different and no one thinks a Saturn is fast lol, so winning a race will be that much sweeter. Having the torque will be fun to drive around and for the comments about breaking things and hurting my wallet I thought that was the whole reason for a project car ? I have a good working driving family ride this is just my beater/project car. So I know things will break Im pushing the limits of this engine and i know parts should be harder to find but I like the challenge. I was wondering though for the people that don't mind showing the support ( Which is super greatly appreciated ) Could I use a ECO turbo from a mustang (which i think would be to small ) or from another vehicle I could find ?.

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Old 10-01-2018, 09:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Quote:
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Yeah I want to do the swap and put the turbo in it to try and make my goals and the reason I wanted to work on it in the first place is because its different and no one thinks a Saturn is fast lol, so winning a race will be that much sweeter. Having the torque will be fun to drive around and for the comments about breaking things and hurting my wallet I thought that was the whole reason for a project car ? I have a good working driving family ride this is just my beater/project car. So I know things will break Im pushing the limits of this engine and i know parts should be harder to find but I like the challenge. I was wondering though for the people that don't mind showing the support ( Which is super greatly appreciated ) Could I use a ECO turbo from a mustang (which i think would be to small ) or from another vehicle I could find ?.
We all start with that feeling. And after all the time/effort/facepalming, you really begin to question why.

Go to sixthsphere.com for all the turbo questions. We are better equipped to handle your inquiries over there.

...
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:52 AM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Low Saturn's car is always fun to look at, and the tech articles are good, too

http://www.differentracing.com/

+1 on going to 6s for performance info. I don't really follow what is going on at 6s, since I have limited time, skills, and budget at the moment, but there was an interesting front end swap (with either a cobalt or Ion?) that looked like it might be fun in a few years. Probably more aftermarket support for parts, too.

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Old 10-08-2018, 10:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: Saturn Performance Advice

Basically you looking at swapping in a dohc/megasquirt and put together a turbo set up for 250hp at the crank if I understand your goal. All if doable if you have the skills or will pay someone else to do.
Butttttt it's the small things that stop people. You'll need to upgrade your fuel system in areas to meet this goal, I'd personally build the bottom end and have it balanced. Weld that diff pin before it flys out, if you have the transmission opened up and come this far why not toss in a quaife? Megasquirt will make life much easier on you for tuning.
6S has all the info you need on this subject as well as some starter tuning files for simple turbo set ups to get you started.

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