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Old 03-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #1
ςατμяη gμψ
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2002 SC2
Happy 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

I was returning from a hockey game the other day and noticed that the air dam under the front bumper of my car was loose and hanging really low on one side. When I washed my car today, I decided to secure it to the bottom of the radiator with two zip ties, which looks like it will be a good temporary fix.

My questions are, how important is the air dam? If I removed it completely are there drawbacks in doing so? Should I attempt to repair it properly or replace it? If the zip ties look like they will hold it in place, is this good enough? Looking at it today after I secured it with the zip ties, it looked pretty good and straight. Thanks!

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Old 03-04-2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

I do not have one, never had one and have never overheated. The function of the thing is to create a partial vacuum behind the fan so you suck more air through the radiator. This is only going to be effective in stop and go city driving. So, if you do not do much of the stop and go city driving you don't need it. It is supposed to be held on by springs so it does not beak something when you run it over a parking bumper.

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Old 03-04-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
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2002 SC2
Dizzy Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

You are fast, my man! Thanks. I think I'll probably just be content with the zip tie fix, although I might replace the white ones with black so it doesn't show from the outside. The air dam is the least of my problems. I need to change trans fluid, antifreeze, fix sunroof, fix minor body damage, etc!

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Old 03-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

Quote:
Originally Posted by ςατμяη gμψ View Post
My questions are, how important is the air dam? If I removed it completely are there drawbacks in doing so? Should I attempt to repair it properly or replace it? If the zip ties look like they will hold it in place, is this good enough? Looking at it today after I secured it with the zip ties, it looked pretty good and straight. Thanks!
it is important. your car may overheat without it. Saturn would not have installed it if it was not functional.

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Old 03-05-2011, 12:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

The cooling system can cope without it, but I personally recommend to keep it there.

Neither of my cars had the airdam on them when I got them and I have since found some used ones and reattached them with the dealer supplied airdam springs.

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Old 03-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #6
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2002 SC2
Devil Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

Do you think my zip-ties are good enough or do I need to restore it to factory condition?

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Old 03-05-2011, 12:55 AM   #7
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2002 SC2
Wrench Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

So is my jank zip tie fix good enough, or should I bring it to a mechanic? I would post a pic, but it is dark now.

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Old 03-05-2011, 01:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

If you keep it springs would be better. You can probably find replacements at the junk yard. The thing was required on the gen-1 front end design to get adequate low speed air flow but the gen-2 and 3 do not have the same inlet aerodynamics. If you drive in city rush hour stop and go traffic with the A/C on in July and August it helps.

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Old 03-05-2011, 01:42 AM   #9
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2002 SC2
Dizzy Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

So what do you advise? I mean, seriously, do you expect local mechanics to know what to do on a Saturn SC2 specific problem?

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Old 03-05-2011, 02:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

as i recall theres 4 holes where either end of 2 springs go through, my springs were stretched out and let the air dam flop around when i bought the car. i have a nut and bolt in each of the 4 holes now, think theyre about 1/4 x 1/2long been that way for several years now and havent ripped it off or had any trouble with it.. maybe i'm just a little more carful about what i park the nose over.....

my theories on cooling are at odds w/ oldnuc. i've been running a full grill block since the first time gas was $3/gal to help aerodynamics, and my rad only gets air from what it catches off the airdam. normally i think the saturns would get plenty of air through the grill to stay cool enough w/o the airdam, however alot of GM's cars are designed to be bottom breathers, and a would recommend definitely keeping it on.

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Old 03-05-2011, 02:31 AM   #11
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

There is a large number, approximately 1 X E10, posts relating to this air dam. I don't think you will find a single post where a true case of overheating was cured by installing the air dam on a gen-2 or 3 car.

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Old 03-05-2011, 03:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

Yeah I've got a gen 3, removed that dam awhile ago to do something else..... Can't remember what but I never put it back on and never had problems with cooling (canadian summers though)

I think yours is fine (as I've never had problems), others though may not agree

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:22 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

its a hunk of useless plastic, it justs get broken, and rebroken, and it drags on the street.

Just toss it.

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Old 03-05-2011, 07:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
I do not have one, never had one and have never overheated. The function of the thing is to create a partial vacuum behind the fan so you suck more air through the radiator. This is only going to be effective in stop and go city driving. So, if you do not do much of the stop and go city driving you don't need it. It is supposed to be held on by springs so it does not beak something when you run it over a parking bumper.
+1.

Had cars with it, had cars without it. No difference. Cars see highway and NYC so driving conditions varied and still no issues.

The only reason I would leave it is because during EXTREME wet weather situations where you going through large puddles, it protects the engine & its components.

My '02 does not have it and going through a large puddle on the Saw Mill in NY the engine stalled. I THINK if we had this cover we would have been ok.

Then again if we didn't go through the large puddle we also would have been ok haha

We did make it through btw.

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Old 03-06-2011, 02:11 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

I've had mine off in the past at times and never noticed any difference in cooling, but at the same time it surely isn't hurting cooling either. The way I see it if nothing else it might protect the other section of the air dam tray from debris on the road (and the cat that made ours break the first time).

IMHO if you are going to keep it on use the proper springs, or at least time type of spring or bungee cord setup. Otherwise you can just end up tearing up the larger air dam section if the deflector is mounted too solid.

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...&siteid=214643

The dealer part # is 21030793, and a search shows the springs costing $1.30 each. You will need 4 of them if you want to replace them all.

Richpins spring install video

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Old 03-06-2011, 02:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

The only S-Series I think that really could overheat without the air dam would be the 1991-1992 SC / 1993-1994 SC2. There is no direct air flow through the radiator from the front of the car like all other S-Series. That "grill" on the front does nothing. Its not even a grill. Its solid plastic behind it.

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Old 03-07-2011, 11:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
I don't think you will find a single post where a true case of overheating was cured by installing the air dam on a gen-2 or 3 car.
The only car that I know of that had overheating cured by an air dam was an ex-girlfriends late 80's Trans Am. True bottom breather, no openings in the front of the nose at all. But then again, the big V8 put out a little more heat than the Saturn's 1.9

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Old 03-07-2011, 01:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

The Saturn air dam is spring loaded and will tend to fold back at speed to lessen drag. It is a low speed device and as long as you have a clear intake you do not need it. Refer to Low Saturn's post above.

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Old 03-02-2017, 10:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

If it was bigger I would say fix it as it is for areodynamic porpoises, but as small as it is, it's pretty optional.

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Old 03-05-2017, 08:40 AM   #20
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SC2 Air Dam

Six year old zombie thread revival!

But since it's revived, some input beyond that I said back in 2011....

During a period of changed commute and lots more traffic snarls I discovered just how much the air dam can make a difference at lower speeds. On my car, only really in stop and go traffic at speeds less than 25 MPH or so. But in those conditions, having the air dam in place saves a lot of cooling fan cycles, and the car starts cooling from "above normal temp" down to normal even when crawling along at 15 MPH or so.

My car has the smaller straight air dam too. I'd imagine the longer ones would make an even greater impact.

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