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Old 10-14-2012, 11:58 PM   #1
wheatabix
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1997 SL2
Default HELP, no garage

I have just moved to ST Louis into an apartment with no garage. usually willing to do stuff myself, the bad driveway, worse street scenario has pushed me to need a mechanic. three possibly major situations
1) I am pretty sure my car needs a new clutch (it is a manual 97 SL2)
2) I still have a highly mysterious coolant leak, that still may or may not be coming from the ECTS that i installed (sadly without thread tape) or the head gasket (the grease monkey at Midas in Illinois said "its ok its leaking out not in, just keep an eye on it"
3) the first ten minutes the car runs I often get a very strong gas smell, like it is running insanely rich or leaking fuel, I also have a fair decrease in my fuel economy
I do not think my car likes STL
any advice on what these things might be or where I can take the car to get it serviced?

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
cityhawk
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Default Re: HELP, no garage

Hi there,

Not sure about your problems, but I feel your pain about the garage. I just had my car trailered to NJ to a garage I have the use of to finish my transaxle replacement project since the city won't let me continue it on the street.

Can you actually see where the coolant is coming from? I had a coolant leak that I traced to a poorly-sealed upper radiator hose of all things, but some diligence can track down the source. As to the gas smell, there are probably people on this forum who are much more qualified than I am to answer that question (or at least ask the right questions).

Good luck!

...
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
RobertGary1
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Default Re: HELP, no garage

You don't want thread tape on the ECTS. The FSM calls for the threads to be sealed with Locktite. (they use a GM P/N but its just locktite). Just a bit will help seal it, prevent corrosion from seizing the connection and keep it in snug.

-Robert

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Old 10-16-2012, 12:44 AM   #4
Keblar
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Default Re: HELP, no garage

Regarding coolant leak: If it's on the right side toward the firewall, might you have the dreaded cracked plastic intake manifold seam? Not trying to scare you, their could be a dozen other potential leak points; I'm just keying in on what the previous Mech said and wondering how common it is.

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: HELP, no garage

By Right I meant right facing engine - Driver side.

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:04 AM   #6
fetchitfido
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Default Re: HELP, no garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keblar View Post
Regarding coolant leak: If it's on the right side toward the firewall, might you have the dreaded cracked plastic intake manifold seam? Not trying to scare you, their could be a dozen other potential leak points; I'm just keying in on what the previous Mech said and wondering how common it is.
If he's posting about the '97 SL2 in the profile, its in the year range ('91-'99 DOHC) that doesn't have the idiotic plastic intake manifold so he can't have that particular leak. Pretty much, by design, it will happen at some point to every '00-'02 DOHC (SOHC's kept the aluminum intake manifold).

My SW2 had a mysterious coolant leak as well, tried a new coolant cap, nothing on the radiator showed a leak and I couldn't find a leak anywhere else. Got the 5spd & cradle swapped into it, held new coolant fine until I started it...THEN the stupid water pump leaked. Continued leaking as long as the engine was running, then would dribble to a stop once I turned the motor off. Evil bugger that was to find

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Old 10-17-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
wheatabix
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Default Re: HELP, no garage

Thanks all,
no I cannot see where the leak is coming from, there are some wet/clean running looking spots coming down from somewhere near the headgasket, I dont know if that was it, it just looked like a drop had run down and washed away the road grime there. however the leak lessened a lot when i tightened the ECTS, so maybe I just need a little locktite, or it could be another mysterious leak that will eventually make itself painfully known, just like the rest of them (heater core and water pump gasket and radiator).

my biggest concern right now is the clutch, it is getting very picky, and i dont like driving through st louis with all it ridiculous stop signs either having to jam it into first or start in second. weird thing is, sometimes it is great, shifts smooth and not trouble getting into first, other times, nearly impossible.

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Old 10-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: HELP, no garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatabix View Post
my biggest concern right now is the clutch, it is getting very picky, and i dont like driving through st louis with all it ridiculous stop signs either having to jam it into first or start in second. weird thing is, sometimes it is great, shifts smooth and not trouble getting into first, other times, nearly impossible.
Sounds like it could be an issue with the clutch hydraulics, or either end of the shifter cable, rather than the clutch itself. run through these tests posted by barnowl a while back
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94634

Note that if you are moving more than a couple miles an hour, it's really hard to get the car into first gear. I think that's a "feature"

You are only having trouble with first and second gear?

On your rich fuel/low mpg question, did you inspect or replace the ECTS connector when you did the ECTS? I tried cleaning out the connector when I did mine but it was completely dead.

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