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Old 09-14-2011, 09:19 PM   #1
Littlenardo
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1995 SC1
Dizzy Temp sending unit

I have recently acquired a 1995 SC1 coupe. The owner mentioned that he was having some trouble with the temp sensors. What I found is that the sensor on the left has a gray tip and the right one, tucked underneath, also has a gray tip. I just noticed this second one on the right,which isn't connected and couldn't figure out why there was two extra wires and a white connector. I realized that there is a white sensor and gray sensor.

Where do each of them go and what are their functions?

I purchased one of each so i can put in new ones. Also, what threw me, is that these wires look like they have been spliced together. Doesn't seem like factory to me.
I would appreciate any thoughts on this.
Thanks

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Old 09-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #2
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Temp sending unit

The sensor with a single wire to the connector is for the gauge and the one with 2 wires to the connector is the ECTS. Those splices must be soldered or you will have problems later on down the road. Do not mix up the sensors as they look identical. They are wired different internally.

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Old 09-14-2011, 11:55 PM   #3
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Temp sending unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The sensor with a single wire to the connector is for the gauge and the one with 2 wires to the connector is the ECTS. Those splices must be soldered or you will have problems later on down the road. Do not mix up the sensors as they look identical. They are wired different internally.
Yeah.

The connectors are keyed to only fit on the correct sensor. The single-wire one should be the top/front one. Just to clarify, the ECTS is the sensor that tells the computer how hot the engine is, and is used to control many engine parameters (the other one just controls the gauge). The original sensors were made of resin (plastic) and had a very short life expectancy. The failed by cracking, often leaking coolant into the connector (which usually corroded and ruined it). Thus, the connector is usually replaced with the ECTS (unless the ECTS is replaced before it fails). The dealers and probably all secondary shops use crimp splices on the connectors (which often become problematic after a few years). Because the ECTS is an important sensor and can be very difficult to troubleshoot, the ONLY good solution is to re-do any splices with solder and shrink wrap. The replacement sensors are now all made of brass (even dealer ones), so the problem should not reoccur.

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Old 09-15-2011, 12:32 AM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Temp sending unit

Actually they will swap just fine, it has been accomplished several times. The sensors are keyed identical and the connector is mirror image. The sender has both pins connected to one end of the thermistor and the other is grounded to the shell. The ECTS is isolated from the shell and connected between the pins.

Last edited by OldNuc; 09-15-2011 at 12:39 AM..

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Old 09-24-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
Littlenardo
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Default Re: Temp sending unit

Thanks,
The connectors must have been corroded. Now I understand the splices. The two wire has crimps and the one wire is just twisted. I'll redo the connections and change the sensors.

Thanks for the help

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Old 09-24-2011, 10:20 AM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Temp sending unit

That should help correct the problem.

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Old 10-31-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
WrightSL2
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Temp sending unit

Where can you find a replacement connector for the ECTS, if one were to accidentally crack the connector while trying to pull it off to check if a recently acquired SW2 had a brass ECTS?....You know, not that I did anything stupid like that, but just out of curiousity I tried browsing Rock Auto and did not find anything, but I'm guessing I must just not be using the right keyword, because from what you guys are saying, it sounds like you can get replacement connectors.

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Old 10-31-2011, 05:55 PM   #8
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Temp sending unit

The key words are: Dealer($30.00+), Low Saturn, or IAC connector at junk yard. Solder the splices don't even try crimp connections.

This works while you dig up the correct waterproof connector. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ageV7g6eyw

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Old 10-31-2011, 06:49 PM   #9
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Temp sending unit

Darn, I was afraid of that...guess I'll be paying a visit to the junkyard around the corner from where I work, I know they've got a Saturn in the yard. For right now, I didn't destroy it so the car still runs fine, it just cracked the plastic of the connector a little bit and I just stopped what I was doing and pushed it back in place. Is there any trick to getting those connectors loose other than just careful wiggling? I just took one off the other day and replaced my buddy's ECTS, and that just took a little wiggling and it popped off. This one was being rather stubborn and I tried pulling on it from all angles before getting stupid and sticking a pair of vice-grips down there that I adjusted to just touch the sides of the connector and went about 1/8 turn tighter. I guess for now I'll just leave it as is until it gives me trouble and if I have a chance to pick one up I will. That richpin video is brilliant, haha. I never ceases to amaze me how for every possible situation that you can encounter for a saturn, he seems to have documented the solution, haha.

...
'95 SL2 Auto 264k: First car/Saturn, sold to a friend in need of a cheap car
'95 SW2 5 spd 160k: Replacement for the SL2
'98 SW2 5 spd 185k: Back-up Wagon

Last edited by WrightSL2; 10-31-2011 at 06:58 PM..

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Old 10-31-2011, 07:08 PM   #10
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Temp sending unit

PM LowSaturn if you want to save a trip to the junkyard. He's probably got 50 ECTS connectors!

As for removing them, squeeze it where the ribs are. Best done with your fingers but can be done with needle nose pliers. If you hit Richpins YouTube channel he has videos on removing them. Bookmark his YouTube channel, he has lots of great stuff.

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Old 10-31-2011, 07:16 PM   #11
WrightSL2
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Default Re: Temp sending unit

Haha, why am I not surprised that not only does he have a video showing what to do if you break the connector, but also how to avoid breaking it in the first place! Even though I've been a Saturn owner for 8 years, my brother was always the family Saturn guru and I'd just ask him rather than search the forum, but he has used the forum for years to maintain his fleet, so I've long been familiar with richpin and OldNuc and such. I just recently converted my buddy to Saturn, and he is rapidly realizing that one of the best parts of owning a Saturn is that if you don't mind doing your own maintenance, there's an enormous support base online that I doubt many if any other vehicles can compare with. Thanks for all the help!

...
'95 SL2 Auto 264k: First car/Saturn, sold to a friend in need of a cheap car
'95 SW2 5 spd 160k: Replacement for the SL2
'98 SW2 5 spd 185k: Back-up Wagon

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Old 10-31-2011, 07:20 PM   #12
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Temp sending unit

If you will look at the IAT connector located in the intake horn of the filter box you will see that it has 2 ears on it that are longer than the remainder of the end of the connector. Squeeze the ears and it slides right off. The IAT connector will be corrosion free and will work just fine. Clip off as much wire as you can when you remove it.

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Old 10-31-2011, 07:37 PM   #13
Signmaster
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Temp sending unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by WrightSL2 View Post
Haha, why am I not surprised that not only does he have a video showing what to do if you break the connector, but also how to avoid breaking it in the first place! Even though I've been a Saturn owner for 8 years, my brother was always the family Saturn guru and I'd just ask him rather than search the forum, but he has used the forum for years to maintain his fleet, so I've long been familiar with richpin and OldNuc and such. I just recently converted my buddy to Saturn, and he is rapidly realizing that one of the best parts of owning a Saturn is that if you don't mind doing your own maintenance, there's an enormous support base online that I doubt many if any other vehicles can compare with. Thanks for all the help!
Richpin and OldNuc are similar creatures. They just work in different formats, one typed and one visual.

Just search here to get the torque and other specs from OldNuc, then search Richpins channel to get the visual on turning the wrenches.


And before I forget, I have a photo in my pictures that shows the "usual" placement of the two senders in the SOHC head. Some have reported the units swapped, but most are as in the photo. It may even have the correct wire colors since our car is also a '95.

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