SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-24-2015, 11:54 AM   #1
ghawthorne
New Member
ghawthorne is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 9
Default 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

Hi all! Back again about my winter beater. I bought a '98 SL2 a couple weeks ago, paid $750, just looking for something to limp through til the snow melts, then it can fall apart.

Since I got it from a friend of a friend and it only has to survive til April, I took the PO's word that it just needed a front driver's side tie rod.

Turns out that yeah, it does, but also the front subframe just ahead of that tie rod had rust-rotted through so there was about a one-inch gap. A Mavis mechanic showed me how the whole wheel was shifting around while driving.

Another friend welded a couple of foot-long pieces of L-shaped 3/16" thick steel across the gap, and welded around where rusted metal had separated from a bolt further up in the frame. Pics below of the gap and the bolt before the welding job - the big hunk of metal to the side is a sledgehammer head we used to help the jack reach. We were just trying to make sure it at least wouldn't fall apart on the drive home.

I was only planning to drive this thing once or twice a week about five minutes to the grocery store or similar short trips through the winter. What I'd like to know is, is this car now too dangerous to drive and I shouldn't risk myself and others by putting it on the road? What is likely to happen? I can cut my losses and just part it out or something, but I'd like to know if it can survive for such limited use.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20151019_115722.jpg (119.8 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg 20151019_115737.jpg (101.2 KB, 58 views)
ghawthorne is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 10-24-2015, 12:51 PM   #2
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,254
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

How about pix after the weld repair?
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 04:50 PM   #3
ghawthorne
New Member
ghawthorne is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 9
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

Ack, yeah, that would've been a good idea.

This is the best shot I could get without driving back to where the ramps were...it's two pieces of L-shaped metal running lengthwise across the gap, back to back. We ground down the rust first to get a bite on good steel before welding.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20151024_162016[1].jpg (92.5 KB, 60 views)
ghawthorne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 04:59 PM   #4
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant future
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 14,493
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

That's probably the sturdiest part of the car now as the L brackets are thicker than everything else the car is built on

Not sure how well you can get anything welded to multiple thin layers of steel like the subframe is built of but it should hold for the winter as long as you don't do anything extra "interesting" with it...lol
...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 07:21 PM   #5
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,254
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

^^^ +1
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 02:28 AM   #6
el diablo viejo
Senior Member
el diablo viejo will become famous soon enough
 
el diablo viejo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,419

1994 SW1
2000 SW2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

That should keep the car going straight through deep snow
...
97 sl2 a/t 104 K
1989 GMC 3500 454 129 K, 1969 442 455 rat rod
el diablo viejo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 11:19 AM   #7
ghawthorne
New Member
ghawthorne is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 9
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

Thanks guys! I'm definitely granny-driving it, and only when necessary.

el diablo viejo: You mean steering wise, keeping the car going in a straight line? Will it put too much stress on that part of the frame, tie rod, etc, trying to steer through snow?

This is the kind of stuff I'm trying to find out - I'm a repair/car newbie in general, and I've heard things from "wheel could fall off" to "engine could drop out", so I'm looking for info to know what real dangers/problems to expect.
ghawthorne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 11:44 AM   #8
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,254
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

I think that was kind of a joke, that those "fins" hanging down would act as rudders. Don't worry about that.

You are taking a gamble with this car now, but I don't think it is a big one. Keep the speeds and such reasonable, keep proper spacing from other cars, then even if something does fail, it should be a non-tragic event. Those patch pieces are quite strong, but they are welded to rusted-out "quicksand"; and if there is rust like that there, then there are likely to be bad spots elsewhere, even in places you don't know about.
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 06:17 PM   #9
ghawthorne
New Member
ghawthorne is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 9
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

Lol, maybe I can weld on some longer steel and shovel people's driveways with my undercarriage.

Thanks Bill, and everybody else. I'll keep an eye on the quicksand and check the steel every time before I go out to make sure it's still in place. Fingers crossed we make it til April!
ghawthorne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 01:55 AM   #10
el diablo viejo
Senior Member
el diablo viejo will become famous soon enough
 
el diablo viejo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,419

1994 SW1
2000 SW2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
I think that was kind of a joke, that those "fins" hanging down would act as rudders. Don't worry about that.

You are taking a gamble with this car now, but I don't think it is a big one. Keep the speeds and such reasonable, keep proper spacing from other cars, then even if something does fail, it should be a non-tragic event. Those patch pieces are quite strong, but they are welded to rusted-out "quicksand"; and if there is rust like that there, then there are likely to be bad spots elsewhere, even in places you don't know about.
More like a keel if you will, and yes I was joking. The picture does not show the LCA bracket, which would be another critical area of concern if it was severely corroded. Otherwise, the repair looks like it should hold up well enough for what you need.
...
97 sl2 a/t 104 K
1989 GMC 3500 454 129 K, 1969 442 455 rat rod
el diablo viejo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 08:48 AM   #11
westwind999
Senior Member
westwind999 will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,707
 

1999 SL2
1999 SW1
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

If the subframe is rotted out there you need to carefully check the other points. The transmission mount, control arms, sway bar, are all important things that need to stay attached. If you feel comfortable that they are ok, some corrosion inhibitor might slow down the progression of the rust.
westwind999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 08:58 AM   #12
billysvue
Master Member
billysvue is a jewel in the roughbillysvue is a jewel in the roughbillysvue is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: san diego
Posts: 4,355

2005 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghawthorne View Post
. What I'd like to know is, is this car now too dangerous to drive and I shouldn't risk myself and others by putting it on the road? What is likely to happen? I can cut my losses and just part it out or something, but I'd like to know if it can survive for such limited use.

Thanks in advance for your help!
And we have a crystal ball from two pics and a descrip of a repair you expect us to render judgement?

Do you have life insurance? Do you have a will?

YOu make the call.
...
'05 ,2.2L, FWD,5-speed stick with transaxle death rattle is history,,,
'17 Suby Forester

245216 mi. VUe is off to the dealer auction
I'm a secondhand vegetarian.
Cows eat grass, I eat cows.
billysvue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 04:37 PM   #13
alordofchaos
Super Member
alordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud of
 
alordofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central MI
Posts: 12,912
 

2002 SC2
1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 Sedan - Rotted Subframe Danger?

If you or your friends are interested in swapping the front subframe

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=155369
...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles
alordofchaos is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Satty failed inspection :( Rotted subframe Midnight13 S-Series Tech 20 08-29-2012 07:04 PM
Will 1998 SW1 subframe fit 1996 SL1? Tommie S-Series Tech 5 08-24-2010 02:43 PM
Rotted subframe on driver's side... what to do?? aaron7 S-Series Mods 3 07-11-2009 09:22 AM
How to fit a subframe in the back of an s-series sedan. pimpin88 S-Series Tech 4 01-07-2009 01:42 PM
1998 sl2 cradle replacement(subframe) gman41 S-Series General 5 01-08-2006 01:56 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:43 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.