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Old 08-24-2018, 07:14 PM   #1
paranoid_cyborg
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Default New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

This car has been in the family since my parents bought it new. My dad drove it to work (he's a concrete foreman) for years, which put most of the first 140k on the odometer. This, coupled with the nature of his job, meant the interior was pretty wrecked by the time I got it.

It passed into my hands after a crazy ex-friend of mine directly caused me to flip my old Civic (RIP). Our old Tercel didn't last long as my daily driver, so eventually my mom picked up a newer but used Scion. With this the SC2 was handed down to me. That was in '12, and I've been cruising in the old girl ever sense. I am to blame for much of the body damage, none of it was really that stupid or catastrophic. Just lots of scraping up against our deck during a year living at a house with an awful parking situation. Since then, I've taken progressively better care of her, but cosmetically, she's a little rough.

So now, at the ripe old age of 25, I'm beginning to be interested in cars as a hobby and not just conveyance. The more I learn about Saturn and these S-series cars, the more I appreciate the uniqueness of the model. Considering this thing still runs and drives quite well, albeit after a pricey exhaust repair last winter, I'd like to keep her going. 170k doesn't seem like a lot to me. There's only a little rust on the door jam for the 3rd door. Not sure about underneath though. Like I said, I'm very new to this.

The only issues not evident in the pics are burnt-out dash lights, a tendency to pull to the left slightly with hands off the wheel, moderate steering wheel vibrations while braking, and sporadic RPM fluctuations at idle. Also, the gas cap door release is hard to move, and the door often opens on its own.

QUESTIONS START HERE:

I'm here looking for advice on getting her back in respectable shape. First of all, I'm curious how I should go about improving the interior. What's gonna give me the most bang for my buck?

What about that rusted area? Any way I can stabilize it, or would it need to be welded?

Should I be looking in junkyards for the bumper parts, or is there New Old Stock somewhere still? Same goes for passenger's side body panel damage. However, I'm wondering if that could be fixed with Bondo or something similar?

Is the paint as screwed as it looks? I actually have a lot of experience refinishing guitars. I also have a LVLP spray gun setup. So I;m considering a DIY repaint. Is that crazy? I know paint is expensive in and of itself.

Finally, what are my options for increasing performance? I'm not trying to go too crazy, I'm just curious what can be done to make this thing as quick as it looks.
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Last edited by paranoid_cyborg; 08-24-2018 at 07:26 PM..

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Old 08-24-2018, 07:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

Exterior pics
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Old 08-24-2018, 07:51 PM   #3
Waiex191
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

Welcome to the forums. For interior and exterior, I'd go to the junkyard. Sure you can Bondo and paint, but it is soooo easy to find the right panels and bolt them on. Your choice. For the idle, I'd pop off the throttle body, clean it, replace the throttle position sensor, and reassemble. Easy on a Gen2, I've never worked on a Gen3.

For the rusty stuff, take and post pictures.

For the shuddering when braking, new pads and rotors. Look for a video on YouTube. It's easy and a great way to convince yourself you can do this stuff. Finally, the pulling to the left, that is generally tires, front end parts, or alignment. Maybe tackle that later. When you are an expert, tackle the really hard jobs, like the instrument panel lights.

Oh yeah, performance. Buy a Gen 6 Camaro. Or head to sixth sphere and turbo up. I'm actually a big fan of stock, but if I am ever rich I'll put an LS4 in a Saturn like SeanR did.

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 08-24-2018, 07:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

Rusty spot, doors, interior:
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Old 08-24-2018, 08:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

Interior II
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Old 08-24-2018, 08:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

Leftovers:
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

First off, you have an SC1, not SC2.
DOHC have the plugs down in wells centered within the top of the valve cover.
Interior broken stuff... auto salvage yards are your best bet, including arm supports, passenger side fuse panel, visors (or these 2 can be recovered at the same time you redo the falling down headliner), even replacement seats.
Does not appear to have cracked or otherwise body damaged panels....since they just bolt on, you could shop the JY for matching panels OR, prep the scratched areas and do a repaint job.

Last edited by toggenburg; 08-24-2018 at 10:24 PM..

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Old 08-25-2018, 08:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
First off, you have an SC1, not SC2.
Yeah, I was thinking that when I saw the interior pics - no adjustable headrests for front seats. Confirmed when I saw the speedo pic, 110 mph instead of 130 max mph. Absolutely no doubt, with the engine pic

Quote:
I'm here looking for advice on getting her back in respectable shape. First of all, I'm curious how I should go about improving the interior. What's gonna give me the most bang for my buck?
Good cleaning of the plastics with soap, then wipe down teh vinyl/plastics with Aerospace 303. Swap in seats from an SC2 (you get adjustable headrests, driver side adjustable lumbar support, more padding). Direct bolt in but depending on the year and model of the donor (SL2 and SW2 seats also bolt in), you may need to bring over the seat belt receptacles and seat belt guide. You need a reverse E10 socket and extensions to remove the front seats

swap the rears too, if you want matching fabric on the seats

While the seats are out, clean the carpet

I had already vacuumed my car, including under the driver seat. But when i removed the seat, a bunch of crap fell out - must have been stuck between the seat and center console



There are many threads on re-doing the headliner. JY for the sun visors, or re-cover yourself
here's one with imgur links
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=180985

It's actually pretty easy to get the headliner out of the 3rd generation coupes with both driver side and suicide doors open. Hardest part is getting the dome light off without breaking the plastic retaining tab

IF your bulbs that are out are in the instrument panel, this thread has you covered for most of your questions
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=140138

Give a shot of penetrating lubricant to the gas door lever inside the car, if you are in teh rust belt, the salt water from the carpet can cause rust at the pivot. Work it in a few times. You can see how the gas door is retained, something may need to be bent back into shape.

Quote:
What about that rusted area? Any way I can stabilize it, or would it need to be welded?
you can wire brush and coat with POR15, the paint, but that's a large section. May want to get a good section out of a rust fee donor and weld in a section

Quote:
Finally, what are my options for increasing performance? I'm not trying to go too crazy, I'm just curious what can be done to make this thing as quick as it looks.
Since you have an SC1, you have the 100 hp SOHC engine. Swapping in the DHC engine from an SC2, SL2, or SW2 will bring you a 20% bump to 124 hp.

swap basics, Low Saturn's site, but about 90~95% the same
http://www.differentracing.com/tech_articles/index.html

Go down to the engine section for the swap link

check out waiex's rebuild thread - may as well rebuild the engine before swapping, right?

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=234273

like waiex said, JY for the body panels. Also for seats and misc interior pieces like the kick panel on the passenger footwell, and your arm rest (optional arm rest with storage cubby, held on with a couple of screws

Maybe better weatherstripping, too, yours looks a little rough and hanging from the driver side

...
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7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

Last edited by alordofchaos; 08-25-2018 at 09:09 PM..

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Old 08-25-2018, 09:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

Just noticed the plates - Iowa, several members here from there. They might have some leads on good JYs

Last pic -might just be the carpet is bunched up. Or is there a trunk leak and the fiber board support is warped? If so, this thread may be of interest
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78228

for "defogging" your headlights, this sounds interesting
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...hlight=acetone

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 08-25-2018, 10:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

I would definitely swap in a fresh dohc if you have any interest in performance. I've driven an sl1 of my sw2s same year, both autos and it's two different cars even with my wagon being heavier. May also want to grab the dohc's matching 5 speed if you can, swap out the 5th gears for a best of both worlds type of thing

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Old 08-26-2018, 09:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: New to the forum- 2002 SC2 owner with a bunch of Qs

Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoid_cyborg View Post
Rusty spot, doors, interior:
Rust, where the entire frame has had a hole in it will need extensive repairs done and metal patching work. I would recommend contacting an experienced welder, which is what I did for the rear frame of my 1980 Chevrolet Malibu Coupe. The G-Body was prone to floor pan corrosion amd the rear frame rails rusting badly.

Much like the door jambs of the S-Series, it was repairable with fresh, sanded metal and some re-priming. Cost me $375 bucks for the labor, but I didn't have a hanging, vibrating bumper anymore.

Your corrosion hasn't gotten too bad, but I wouldn't wait too long on this repair job, because it will get worse. Corrosion to steel is like cancer to a human.

...
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"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."

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