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Old 03-21-2012, 11:03 AM   #1
topCONsurveyor
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Default Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Hello my Saturn people!


Well my old 95 SL2 had been down with a spun rod bearing for a couple months now. I'm very cheap and picky so finding a replacement engine has taken a while.

I finally found a deal on a wrecked gold 95 SL2 that has a perfect engine in it for $400 on craigslist! The engine was replaced with a rebuilt one less than a year ago and it sounds and runs great. The front end is wrecked pretty hard however I went and picked it up and drove 60mph for a 3 hour trip to get it home. It does have a pretty loud crunchy grinding shaking noise under the front while driving, it's worse from about 30-45 mph then quiets a little after getting up to speed. I also found a new strut tower in the trunk from the previous owner so I'm thinking someone was planning a DIY fix then gave up and sold it cheap.

I'm posting a couple quick pics of the front end to get some opinions on if this looks fixable, if so I may just keep this car. I do have an identical 95 SL2 with a blown engine for a donor car if necessary.





I haven't got very far into it yet, but I can see the the tips of the front of the frame are bent towards the driver side, front clip is torn from the passenger side, lots of stuff out of alignment. Not sure if this will be worth the repairs or should I just pull that engine an drop it in my other SL2.

Thanks!
topCON

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Those photos are too big to make sense of what's going on at once. Can you resize them and resubmit?

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

It doesn't look like that poor car will ever align again or drive the same. It will probably be a lemon the rest of its life

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

That's a lot of damage. It could certainly be fixed, but it wouldn't be economical to do so. If you like it, it would be more prudent to buy another similar model and keep this one as a parts car.

If the car has some sentimental or other value to you (much greater than its blue-book value), it can be fixed, but it will take some work. The subframe and plastic panels can simply be bolted on from a junkyard car, but there's a lot to do before they'll even fit right.

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Thanks for the quick replies, sorry I forgot to downsize the pics, if you right click one of the pictures and hit "open in new tab" it will resize it for ya.

I'm working on it right now, going to strip down the front end to get a better look at what's going on, if nothing else it will make the engine removal easier.

WISH ME LUCK !

topCON

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Old 03-21-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Honestly, i'd use it for your original intentions. Motor donor. Strip and part out the rest, get some of your $$$ back and be done with it!

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Old 03-21-2012, 01:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by topCONsurveyor View Post
if you right click one of the pictures and hit "open in new tab" it will resize it for ya.
No such option. Copying the URL and pasting into a new tab worked. Look at the orientation of the fuse box. That tells you how far off the whole front of the spaceframe is tweaked. Even with a new cradle, the spaceframe would need some very precise realignment, and even that's no guarantee. ^^^^^^+1; it's a donor.

Def. pull as much of the electronics (cluster, fuse boxes, PCM, dash-pod switches, etc.) as possible from this car and store them, since much of that is very specific to the '95 model year, and getting harder to find. Even the seat belts and associated interior trim would be worth scavenging, for someone interested in converting a mouse-belt '91-'94 sedan to manuals.

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Old 03-21-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
No such option. Copying the URL and pasting into a new tab worked. Look at the orientation of the fuse box. That tells you how far off the whole front of the spaceframe is tweaked. Even with a new cradle, the spaceframe would need some very precise realignment, and even that's no guarantee. ^^^^^^+1; it's a donor.

Def. pull as much of the electronics (cluster, fuse boxes, PCM, dash-pod switches, etc.) as possible from this car and store them, since much of that is very specific to the '95 model year, and getting harder to find. Even the seat belts and associated interior trim would be worth scavenging, for someone interested in converting a mouse-belt '91-'94 sedan to manuals.
I just got the front end off, and yea, it's FUBAR! It was hit so hard sideways on the front passenger corner that the straight part of the frame by all the pulleys was smashed into the water pump pulley that the frame bent several inches. I can see where it hit the water pump pulley and scraped on the bolts for a couple revolutions, I'm praying I don't find the block cracked anywhere.

I know these 95's are getting hard to find, it took me 2 months to find a sweet deal on one like this. So I am in the process of stripping this sucker down to its broken bones then scrapping it.

Thanks,
topCON

will add some pics later

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Old 03-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Offset impact would explain the crooked-nose look. Driver was probably swerving a bit left as s/he hit, thinking it would soften the blow.

Might want to put a fresh water pump on while the engine is out on the stand, just in case....

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Old 03-21-2012, 09:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Thought I would throw some more pics on here real quick if anyone wants to check it out.
I'm trying to figure out how to get imgur do downsize my photos also.










































The last pic is my recipient 95 sl2, they're both parked nose to nose.
I thought this engine removal from the wreck was going to be easy
since I'm not worried about saving anything, but it's all crunched in there
so tight I can barely even get to the pulleys, I'm almost done now though.

topCON

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Old 03-21-2012, 10:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

So _that's_ how far a polymer fender will flex.....

Once you get the engine secure in the hoist, you may just have to go gonzo with a reciprocating saw on the spaceframe. Option 2 - put the front end on a rolling jack, put a chain through the spaceframe and wrap the other end around a nearby sturdy tree, and push the car sideways.

Shoot, Paintbrush will resize. Most photo software, it's under Image->Resize or Edit->Resize, or some such. But this thread will forever have that crazy horizontal scroll-bar that makes ya dizzy....

Edit - dang, that engine mount bracket is going to be the thorn. I was thinking just removing the bracket would buy you the room need, but there's barely room to get a box wrench on the bracket-to-spaceframe bolts, and as they back out, they'll probably hit the timing cover. Hmm, maybe back them out a turn or two and just saw/grind the heads off, then the bracket should slide off.

Last edited by madpogue; 03-21-2012 at 10:32 PM..

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Old 03-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wrecked front end (pics)....fixable ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Edit - dang, that engine mount bracket is going to be the thorn. I was thinking just removing the bracket would buy you the room need, but there's barely room to get a box wrench on the bracket-to-spaceframe bolts, and as they back out, they'll probably hit the timing cover. Hmm, maybe back them out a turn or two and just saw/grind the heads off, then the bracket should slide off.

I just now read your edit, you would be correct, after a few tries I am now waiting for a cutting torch or sawzall or maybe even a jaws-o-life LOL!

On the bright side, a guy is on his way here to give me $50 for the sunroof!

topCON


EDIT: BY the way, I'm just now ready to remove the blown engine from my green SL2 and this is actually my first time swapping and engine in any vehicle. What is the standard procedure on the removal when it comes to the lower engine mount? I'm not sure whether to unbolt the block from the mount or unbolt the mount from the frame, I've read a few threads and watched the richpin video a few times but nothing really goes into the detail I need.

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