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Old 04-20-2008, 12:11 PM   #1
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Wrench 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Okay,

So to those that have been following my posts about the 94SL2 that I bought for $725 back in September; that was sitting in my driveway for 7 months...and is now up and running. I have some observations and questions regarding the whole process of getting this car running again:

I put the following into the car since the beginning of the month:
New Battery
New Spark Plugs/Wires
Oil Change

Last night I started working on the car to fix up a couple of other things...I started at 10PM and went to bed at 6AM this morning.

I changed out the following:
Drained and replaced Coolant
Manual Trans Axle Fluid Drain and Refill
Brake Pads
Instrument Cluster Odometer Gear (the infamous red gear)

I still have the Coolant Temp Sensor to replace, although the car runs well with the sensor in the car (runs at the 1/4 mark below 12 o'clock position). I know I should have replaced it while I had the coolant out, but I was more concerned with getting the brakes done and really didn't feel like pulling out the air filter housing and EGR valve to get to the sensor position.

I also have a replacement Serpentine Belt that I will change soon. The Belt that is in it now is a Saturn Belt; that looks like it is in good shape.

Now some observations and questions:

The Manual Trans Axle Fluid was BROWN when I drained it out. Is this normal? It smelled burnt too...I replaced it with some trans axle fluid that was rated for Dexron II-E/Dexron III. The old fluid looked like oil almost. Why would it have been this color?

Third time getting into an instrument cluster to replace the odometer gear. That went fine, and the odometer/trip odometer work perfect now. My issue that I have now is that as with my 94SC1 when I replaced the gear...most of the instrument lights worked...but now with replacing the gear in the 94SL2...I only have the Tach Light working...how can you assure that the lights will all work when you get everything put back together?

The Rotors on the car weren't too bad..I wanted to change them, but the bolts that hold the Brake Shoe Holder in, were seized...I tried PB Blaster on them and was only able to get the lower bolt loose on the right front. Any other ideas to get the bolts loosened so that I can change out the rotors? I don't want to have to go to the dealership to have them loosen the bolt for me.


Also the car passed the salvage inspection and now has license plates on it too.

Any suggestions on the above would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 04-20-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
Dr B
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1992 SL2
1993 SL2
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Those upper caliper bolts often are seized,due to not being lubed correctly ,or in the snow belt (rust) from all the salt on the roads.
often they just break off ,as you try to take them out ,then you need to take the bracket off ,apply heat ,then twist them out with a really good pair of vise grips (no cheap imitation ) if you have time you might soak the bolt in vinegar ,or P B blaster before going further,or maybe another bracket at pic-n -pull could be found.
When i was doing my cluster ,i tested the illumination lamps in the upper sockets ,then moved the good ones down ,until i had full set,I had two clusters to take from ,I wasn't able to find the lamps at Advance Auto.

...
Have A Great Day , it is YOUR choice !

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Old 04-21-2008, 07:24 AM   #3
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

*Bump*

Still looking for ideas on why the transaxle fluid was brown. This was the first time for me changing out manual transaxle fluid.

On my automatic, I've always had the dealer do that.

Any ideas on brown transaxle fluid?

Was it just really old?

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 04-21-2008, 10:11 AM   #4
madpogue
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Could a previous owner put engine oil or gear oil in your tranny? Sometimes folks who've "been working on cars for 30 years" and "know for a fact that ALL manual transmissions take gear oil" will do this. I suppose the only way to know for sure would be "forensically", that is, with a used oil analysis.

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Old 04-21-2008, 10:51 AM   #5
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Could a previous owner put engine oil or gear oil in your tranny? Sometimes folks who've "been working on cars for 30 years" and "know for a fact that ALL manual transmissions take gear oil" will do this. I suppose the only way to know for sure would be "forensically", that is, with a used oil analysis.
The guy who owned it before the towing company had it (I bought the car from the towing company)...I think the previous owner may have been a plumber...because there was a huge Plumber's union sticker on the back bumper that I took off after I bought the car.

But to give you a description....the manual trans fluid when I drained it out the other night was a real dark brown liquid...almost like liquid chocolate in color, and it smelled burnt too.

I've been doing a little research that apparently when trans fluid has outlived it's usefulness it turns from red to brown because of all the contaminants, etc. that get into the transmission over a period of time in daily driving.

So I guess I had burnt transmission fluid...well it's gone now and has been replaced....so I'm planning on getting this car on regular fluid changes, as it seems the previous owner didn't care too much for this car.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 04-21-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
madpogue
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
I've been doing a little research that apparently when trans fluid has outlived it's usefulness it turns from red to brown because of all the contaminants, etc. that get into the transmission over a period of time in daily driving.
The tranny is a pretty closed system; there should never be contaminants introduced to it over time. ATF can break down, or, as you say, outlive its usefulness, as ATF, in an automatic tranny. But ATF in a manual tranny doesn't act as hydraulic fluid. It's not even pumped / pressurized lubricant. It's just a bath oil. It doesn't "flow", it just sloshes. It should never get anywhere NEAR the temperatures that it does in an automatic tranny. I would think that any temperatures high enough, or other conditions severe enough, to break down ATF in a manual tranny would have done a lot more severe damage to the engine.

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Old 04-21-2008, 11:27 AM   #7
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
The tranny is a pretty closed system; there should never be contaminants introduced to it over time. ATF can break down, or, as you say, outlive its usefulness, as ATF, in an automatic tranny. But ATF in a manual tranny doesn't act as hydraulic fluid. It's not even pumped / pressurized lubricant. It's just a bath oil. It doesn't "flow", it just sloshes. It should never get anywhere NEAR the temperatures that it does in an automatic tranny. I would think that any temperatures high enough, or other conditions severe enough, to break down ATF in a manual tranny would have done a lot more severe damage to the engine.
Okay,now that raises another question. When I went to autozone over the weekend, I was looking for Manual Transaxle Fluid. I was looking for fluid that was rated for Dexron II/Dexron III as it is stated in the owner's manual. After looking and only seeing bottles that said "Automatic Transmission Fluid", I asked one of the clerks which would be the best for a manual transmission and they reccommended a few of the bottles, which were labelled "Automatic Transmission Fluid", which is what is in the Manual Transmission in the car right now...it's been in there for since Saturday night/Sunday Morning. Should I have not put that in there and actually go back to Autozone and buy "Hydraulic Oil" and put that in the Manual Transmission?

I'm confused now, as this fluid change was the first time that I have changed out fluid on a Manual Trans before.

So basically you are saying that ATF (even rated for Dexron II/Dexron III) SHOULDN'T be used in a Manual Transmission?

Please advise....I don't want to have to be putting money into a manual transmission rebuild. 1994 SL2 Manual Transmission car that I am talking about here.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 04-21-2008, 11:55 AM   #8
richpin06
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Always if in doubt refer to your owner's handbook for the correct fluid.


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Old 04-21-2008, 12:06 PM   #9
samsr
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
1997 SC2
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

The fluid you put in is fine. As long as it says dextron II or Dextron III on the container.

...
15 S-series put back on the road.
Now working on a 2000 LW2 v6 auto. Timing belt, 2 intake valves and more getting discovered.

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Old 04-21-2008, 12:14 PM   #10
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Okay,

I feel better now. I put in non synthetic ATF that was rated for Dexron IIE/Dexron III....so I will continue to use that for as long as I have the car....hopefully for a while, considering that it seems the car wasn't taken care of by the previous owner. Most of the stuff is new under the hood, so that is a good thing; so at least my wife will have something to drive to work in for a time; until we save up some money to get something a bit newer.

I appreciate the help/feedback. I enjoy working on my Saturns; when they need the maintenance. My goal for this 94SL2 is to see how long it will last mileage wise, compared to my 94SC1 (which has 332,xxx miles on the original engine/auto trans)....

Here's to many more miles of happy motoring!

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:15 PM   #11
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 94 SL2 Running----Now some observations/questions

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought that since you described the drained fluid as brown, you knew that it takes ATF. I was just pointing out that the kind of conditions that break down ATF, and make it turn brown, can't possibly happen in a manual transmission, since they don't get nearly as hot as an automatic, and aren't under pressure, and the fluid isn't being pumped.

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