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Old 10-08-2019, 07:23 PM   #1
Squiir3ly_joe
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1999 SL2
Default SL2 standard transmission problems

Hey everyone, pretty sure this is my first post on here, but I've spent hours on here researching and learning about my car. I bought a 1999 SL2 about two years ago, and it's been awesome. No major problems, and i love driving it.

About six months ago, it got where it would kick out of second, and eventually, fourth gear while driving. Turned out to be a bad shifter bushing, which i learned is a common problem. Bought a a delrin bushing and endloop from saturnbushingman (great service btw) and it's been 10x better since. No issues, and it shifts a lot smoother.

Well I was leaving work a couple of days ago, and it came out of second again. And over the past couple of days, it has been intermittently kicking out of second; sometimes it does and others it doesn't. It stays in every other gear fine. I did some searching on here, and i have yet to find anything similar to this? Transmission fluid is fresh and full, so I'm wondering if it's the shifter cables maybe? I just broke 200k on the odo, and I'm willing to wager it has the original cables still. I know they stretch and wear over time, so my question is: should i chance buying new cables for $200? I hate to buy new cables if it's something internal like an input shaft, you know? This is my daily driver and i really don't have the time nor money to drop a transmission right now. If anyone has had a similar problem or can shed some insight i would GREATLY appreciate it. Sorry for the long post also

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Old 10-08-2019, 09:12 PM   #2
Waiex191
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Location: Poplar Grove, IL
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: SL2 standard transmission problems

Welcome to the forums! My '99 has its original cables and they are still good. There is a pin that wears on the shift tower. Not too hard to spin it 90 degrees and it costs nothing. You will need to make a new gasket. You also have to pull the battery and intake tube to get to it.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...9&postcount=70

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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 10-08-2019, 09:25 PM   #3
Melissa_M
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1999 SL2
Default Re: SL2 standard transmission problems

I don't think new cables are what you need, just yet. However, if you do end up going that route, be aware that aftermarket cables are regarded to be vastly inferior. Find a set at the bone yard.
I have the same issue in 1st and 3rd, but it is due to the replacement rubber boot cable I installed.
Waiex191, you are *so* awesome for posting those (and many other) photos, very helpful to me to see this stuff.

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1999 SL2 MANUAL ~78K

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Old 10-09-2019, 12:20 PM   #4
SC2Sick
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1997 SC2
1995 SW2
Default Re: SL2 standard transmission problems

Yep aftermarket cables are junk

https://forum.sixthsphere.com/forum/...p-shift-cables

https://forum.sixthsphere.com/forum/...e-poor-quality

You're better off w/ junkyard OEM that have been sitting in the rain for 20 years.

Also consider replacing the shift tower. I've had one wear out on me.

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2002 Saturn SL2 - RHD

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