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Old 04-18-2015, 10:56 PM   #4221
StarLady
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1992 SC
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Turkey-basted some of the nasty looking power steering fluid out of the reservoir, and replenished with Valvoline Power Steering fluid. A few more rounds to go to achieve "clarity."

...
1992 SC - TwinCam (Automagic)
Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

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Old 04-18-2015, 10:58 PM   #4222
Zephy
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1994 SC2
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

I got rid of my thermostat. Hopefully that will fix the overheating issues. Oh yeah, mine's a track only race car, fyi lol.

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Old 04-18-2015, 11:55 PM   #4223
tr3sie7e
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Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nels View Post
Changed the alternator on the 96 SL, and I hope to never have that 'pleasure' again. Removal in my case was further complicated by my decision to run the taller oil filter. I wish I had known about the bad alternator before I changed the oil last week, so I could change it while the filter was removed. And whose bright idea was it to put that top bolt up under the power steering pulley where you can feel it, but not see it? I have a bruise on my arm from trying to get it threaded back in. Ah, the pleasures of wrenching on a Saturn . . . .
I just replaced my alternator on my 99 SC2 today as well. I've never messed with the serpentine belt before so I made the dumb mistake of taking the bolt off the tensioner instead of just loosening the belt. I was wondering why it took so long. I agree that it was hard getting at that top bolt... even after I got all the bolts off the damn alternator still didn't want to budge. I had to spray lots and lots of PB blaster in it for it to finally start moving. I had the same problem using the extended oil filter. It was like... damn. This thing would slide right out if the oil filter wasn't in the way!! But I got it out. This is the first real bigger repair job I've done though, so makes me feel accomplished. It feels rewarding... I got the part from RockAuto for around $120 total including shipping, but I'm getting $54 for sending back the old one, have to pay $10 to ship it back, so comes out to $76 total to put in a remanufactured alternator. I saw a commercial on TV today talking about cars.com's new repair cost estimator, it suggested it could cost $334-$539... so I saved a couple hundred dollars and got to get my hands dirty fixing my car. It was fun.

...
Manual '99 SC2 - 90k
Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin' :)
Auto '88 Pontiac Firebird TA - 66k

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Old 04-19-2015, 05:55 AM   #4224
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1998 SC2
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarLady View Post
Turkey-basted some of the nasty looking power steering fluid out of the reservoir, and replenished with Valvoline Power Steering fluid. A few more rounds to go to achieve "clarity."

Excellent StarLady!!


I wish more people would change out their PS Fluid..... (Hint-Hint to those that haven't yet...)

...
'00 SL2. "Creampuff" 89 YO lady car. 20 oil changes 1st 33k miles. Now 85k.

'98 SC2 "Red Hot" 5-Speed. Pennzoil + Lubegard. $1600

'01 SL2 BIL's 10th Anniversary Edition

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Old 04-19-2015, 10:19 AM   #4225
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1998 SC2
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephy View Post
I got rid of my thermostat. Hopefully that will fix the overheating issues. Oh yeah, mine's a track only race car, fyi lol.
If you remove the thermostat you will reduce the cooling capacity as the short cycle path is now permanently open. The thermostat has noting to do with how much cooling you have at elevated temperatures. The thermostat merely determines when you start cooling through the radiator and terminates short loop radiator bypass flow. It determines only the Minimum engine temperature.

You will be running the risk of cylinder 3-4 overheating.

In the S-Series cooling system there are 4 separate cooling flow loops, 3 external and 1 internal loop. These loops are in parallel with each other and all terminate at the water pump suction and the water pump provides the driving force to the coolant flow in all loops.

1) The deaeration line flow is from the water pump discharge into the block up into the head to the high point of the head(SOHC) or intake manifold(DOHC) to the reservoir then from the reservoir to the pump suction. Flow in this loop is continuous.

2) Heater loop flow is from the water pump discharge into the block up into the head to manifold to heater core to the pump suction and the reservoir also sits on this heater loop line. Flow in this loop is continuous.

3) Internal loop flow is from the water pump discharge into the block up into the head and back down from the head area through an internal passage to the pump suction. Flow in this loop is controlled by the thermostat secondary poppet which is of its seat to establish flow.

4) The radiator loop flow is from the water pump discharge into the block up into the head and out the head outlet into the radiator and back to the pump suction. Flow in this loop is controlled by the thermostat primary and secondary poppet, secondary closing/closed and primary open and controlling temperature.


The radiator loop(4) and internal loop(3) flow are both controlled simultaneously by the thermostat. As the radiator loop flow increases the internal loop flow decreases. The poppet on the back end of the thermostat is what moves to close the internal loop as the radiator loop flow opens. Both thermostat poppets move in the same direction, one is opening increasing loop flow as the other is closing reducing loop flow.

The total cooling system flow passes the ECTS so you should always know what the bulk coolant temperature is. The thermostat control element is sensing the coolant temperature in the water pump suction chamber.


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Old 04-19-2015, 11:07 AM   #4226
J N Winkler
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1994 SL2
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tr3sie7e View Post
I just replaced my alternator on my 99 SC2 today as well. I've never messed with the serpentine belt before so I made the dumb mistake of taking the bolt off the tensioner instead of just loosening the belt. I was wondering why it took so long. I agree that it was hard getting at that top bolt... even after I got all the bolts off the damn alternator still didn't want to budge. I had to spray lots and lots of PB blaster in it for it to finally start moving. I had the same problem using the extended oil filter. It was like... damn. This thing would slide right out if the oil filter wasn't in the way!! But I got it out. This is the first real bigger repair job I've done though, so makes me feel accomplished. It feels rewarding... I got the part from RockAuto for around $120 total including shipping, but I'm getting $54 for sending back the old one, have to pay $10 to ship it back, so comes out to $76 total to put in a remanufactured alternator. I saw a commercial on TV today talking about cars.com's new repair cost estimator, it suggested it could cost $334-$539... so I saved a couple hundred dollars and got to get my hands dirty fixing my car. It was fun.
There is a deformable bolt collar in the bottom rear mounting eye on the alternator that tends to apply enough friction load to the engine block to hold the alternator firmly in place even when both bolts are removed. When I did this job on my car, I eventually had to hit the back of the alternator with a hammer to drive the collar back into the eye so the alternator would release.

The top bolt is usually hard to remove and reinstall because it is steel in aluminum, which expands when it corrodes and holds the bolt firmly in place. I had to pull on the case to get the bolt (coated with antiseize compound) started in the tap without cross-threading.

I don't know about the second-generation Saturns, but the FSM for the first-generation Saturns advises unmounting the power steering pump so the generator can be taken out from above.

As regards the serpentine belt, removal is easy with a fairly short wrench, but I found it convenient to purchase a serpentine belt tool ($17 from Harbor Freight) to keep reinstallation a one-man job.

My car is on its third alternator. The first replacement was done under warranty, but the second was not, and cost $230 for parts and labor back in 1998. The R&R job I did is the third in the car's history, but it is still on the third alternator since I simply removed it, had it rebuilt locally for $50, and reinstalled it. Removal and reinstallation took me about four hours each, so if I paid myself minimum wage ($7.25/hour), the total job would have cost a little under $120. The alternator was not completely failed; current output had just declined noticeably below specification, so it was browning out the ignition coils and transmission solenoids.

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Old 04-19-2015, 11:27 AM   #4227
lil_buddy
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1997 SC1
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Dear J N Winkler,
Do you know or care to speculate as to why your vehicle is prone to alternator failure? I am curious.

Thanks!

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Old 04-19-2015, 12:16 PM   #4228
ddamian67
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1997 SW1
1996 SL
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Check all Fluids day

Last edited by ddamian67; 04-19-2015 at 12:24 PM..

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Old 04-19-2015, 12:39 PM   #4229
J N Winkler
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Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lil_buddy View Post
Do you know or care to speculate as to why your vehicle is prone to alternator failure? I am curious.
My car is 21 years old and has about 140,000 miles on it. The first 125,000 miles are city commuter miles and were racked up from 1994 (year of first purchase) and 2009 (year it was replaced with a Honda Fit). With the exception of a brief trip to Kansas City in 2003, it was never driven out of Kansas until the summer of 2014, and saw very little long-distance highway driving overall, though it was driven on a more or less daily basis from 1994 to 2009. Typical trip lengths were about 4 miles (home to work or vice versa) and 0.6 mile (home to grocery store or vice versa).

The previous owner routinely waited to replace the battery until the car failed to start. He also did battery replacements himself, usually buying the new battery from Sears, and never chose them by freshness. There was a period from 2009 to 2011 when the car was driven very infrequently but was not kept on a battery maintainer--indeed, it would have been impractical to do so since it was parked outdoors. The battery failed during this period and had to be replaced in April 2011 so the car could be used again for errands.

The first two alternator replacements were at 33,000 and 64,000 miles (IIRC) and I suspect the first two units (factory OE and first replacement) were just duds. The third was factory remanufactured and lasted for 15 years and 95,000 miles before I removed it for rebuilding, and it still passed the standard parts-store tests (as Saturn alternators will do even while exhibiting early signs of failure such as rumbly idle and bumpy shifting).

There are some commonly quoted rules of thumb on this forum--replace a battery every four years, or use a battery for just two summers and three winters--whose stated purpose is to prevent a battery staying in service until it is so weak it results in failed starts that flood the cylinders with gasoline that has to be pumped out through the spark plug wells. Following one of these rules for scheduled battery replacement has the incidental benefit of keeping a generator from failing prematurely trying to pump charge into a battery that won't hold it.

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Old 04-19-2015, 12:57 PM   #4230
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1998 SC2
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

The Gen-1 ignition system is considerably more sensitive to low voltage and starts to clip every other pulse from the CKP cutting off 2 of the 4 cylinders. This happens at voltages that the hillbilly wisdom declares as satisfactory. The Gen-2 and 3 are less prone to this failure.

The transmission for all generations is less than happy with low voltage and shifting suffers noticeably.

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Old 04-19-2015, 09:12 PM   #4231
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Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

I detailed lorettas Saturn inside and out , engine bay and the trunk. 2 coats of wax by hand.

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Old 04-19-2015, 11:46 PM   #4232
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Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

I replaced two little gears on the odometer that supposedly will break over time. It was preventative maintenance, cost about $60 and was a headache to take the instr panel off and then take it apart. Hopefully, it will save me or a future owner from the sad situation of the odometer quitting completely.

...
Bobby Rae
Alameda, CA
1993 SL2 A/T, 78k miles, 22/33/43 mpg
1982 Accord 5-speed, 302k miles, 23/32/40 mpg

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Old 04-20-2015, 03:32 AM   #4233
StarLady
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1992 SC
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

Quote:
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I replaced two little gears on the odometer that supposedly will break over time. It was preventative maintenance, cost about $60 and was a headache to take the instr panel off and then take it apart. Hopefully, it will save me or a future owner from the sad situation of the odometer quitting completely.
Good move. I wish I had known about the plastic gear problem. My odometer quit at around 81K

...
1992 SC - TwinCam (Automagic)
Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

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Old 04-20-2015, 12:30 PM   #4234
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1999 SL2
1999 SL2
Default Re: What did you do to your S-Series today...

i took off the manifold to HOPEFULLY releave the p0410 problem i had on both Saturns. i already did the pump and divertor as well as cleaning the tube from head to divertor. they were both necessary was getting water into the pump. on both cars there was quite a bit of carbon build up. the ports in the center of the head were decrease to less than half the size they should have been.

i hope this works. taking one for a drive tonight to see if the light reappears!!

wish me luck please!!!

...
99 SL2 maroon/beige
99 SL2 maroon/black
87 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe --- maroon/maroon - completely stock
85 Monte Carlo SS --- silver/maroon - not stock

tom

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