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Old 09-16-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
96sl1daily
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Default oil in my coolant bottle :(

well i checked my oil like i normally do every few days. the dipstick was totally dry. i then notice the coolant bottle has oil all over it. so i take the cap off and guess what its full of oil!!! perfect ending to my weekend.

the car was runnning fine and started right up when i moved it out of the driveway this morning. the oil light never came on and the coolant temp never spiked.

do i have the dreaded cracked head? tomorrow im gonna start by draining the hopefully oil from the oil pan. then prolly take the head off.

the car has 187k on her and its been a great car. this really came outta no where. i thought she would go 300k easily.

i could get a junk yard head if you guys think my motor didnt get hurt by this.
any suggestions here? thank you guys

...
current daily
97 sl 5 speed 96k miles purchased 9/22/12
former daily 96 sl1 5speed
bought it 12/10 with 143k miles
9/16/12 head cracked 187k miles now a designated parts car

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

Sounds like the typical SOHC head crack. If so, you will find oil in the coolant, but no coolant in the oil. I have resurrected two SL1 cars by swapping in used motors after the originals died from this fate.

Out of curiocity, what type coolant were you using? Did you ever add straight water to the cooling system? The general consensus here seems to be that running a 60% antifreeze (or better) mixture will help keep boiling point down and prevent this problem. I know for sure that the PO of my 99 SL1 had been having cooling problems and straight water was added to top it off after it overheated.

I would probably not waste time trying to install a used head. A rebuilt head with a new timing chain or just an entire used engine would be a better bet. IMHO.

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

green prestone a little over 50 50. im not sure exactly of the ratio.

does this typicly destroy the engine? any idea what a reman head costs vs a used?

...
current daily
97 sl 5 speed 96k miles purchased 9/22/12
former daily 96 sl1 5speed
bought it 12/10 with 143k miles
9/16/12 head cracked 187k miles now a designated parts car

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96sl1daily View Post
green prestone a little over 50 50. im not sure exactly of the ratio.

does this typicly destroy the engine? any idea what a reman head costs vs a used?
I tore down my '99 sohc motor, just to find actual evidence of what killed the motor. I did find the crack in the cam journal that is right next to the upper radiator hose spout on driver side of the head. The bottom end of the motor looked to be in decent shape for the 130k miles it had. In theory, if you maintained oil pressure, the short block should be fine, but with your miles, I would probably not invest a lot into that motor.

I am not exactly sure of the cost of a rebuilt head, but several her on SFF have found them on ebay for less money than having yours rebuilt locally. Search around here and on ebay directly. I am sure you will turn up the source pretty fast.

Where are you located? You may find some help here from a forum member.

Prices for used SOHC motors are usually pretty good if you are patient. I found a VERY low mile '01 motor for $150 on CL, and a 83k mile used '02 motor for $350 at a local parts salvager. The SOHC motor are not in huge demand, so you have bargaining power.

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96sl1daily View Post
green prestone a little over 50 50. im not sure exactly of the ratio.

does this typicly destroy the engine? any idea what a reman head costs vs a used?
If youre looking for a good SOHC head, PM me.

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Old 09-16-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

what would be the years of the engines i could use if i swap the motor out? i got a 5 speed so that rules out engines that were on autos correct?

...
current daily
97 sl 5 speed 96k miles purchased 9/22/12
former daily 96 sl1 5speed
bought it 12/10 with 143k miles
9/16/12 head cracked 187k miles now a designated parts car

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Old 09-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

As long as you have everything up to the flywheel an engine in an auto will work fine.

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96sl1daily View Post
what would be the years of the engines i could use if i swap the motor out? i got a 5 speed so that rules out engines that were on autos correct?
Any 2nd or 3rd gen SOHC motor should work. Some '99 and all '00-'02 engines came with special holes in the exhaust ports to mate with the air injection system, but they can be mated up to the early (non air-pump) manifolds an will run just fine. Just make sure the exhaust manifold bolt config is the same.

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Old 09-16-2012, 11:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

Unless you already confirmed it's the cracked head, which I won't discount, it COULD still be just a Head Gasket - I don't think Saturns are known for just blowing the gasket, but it's a chance.

...
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

Gaskit would be great. I'm gonna tear into it tonight after work.

...
current daily
97 sl 5 speed 96k miles purchased 9/22/12
former daily 96 sl1 5speed
bought it 12/10 with 143k miles
9/16/12 head cracked 187k miles now a designated parts car

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Old 10-21-2012, 05:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: oil in my coolant bottle :(

what did you find?

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