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Old 04-03-2014, 03:46 PM   #1
theinternetthug
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Default 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

I have a 2001 L Series Saturn (not sure if the correct model would just be L Series or L100?) with about 147,000 miles on it. Nothing aftermarket. Everything is completely stock. The only thing I've done is replaced a few seals and gaskets to stop some leaks I was having.

Here's my questions:

1. Service Engine light is on. The code reads for an emission leak which I was told is often a gas cap. I replaced that with no success of resolving the issue. About two months later (Today) I can hear the exhaust leak now. I was told it was some sort of seal/gasket that joins the exhaust to the manifold I believe? How hard is this going to be to replace on my own?

2. My e-brake sucks. When I went and got my oil changed a couple weeks ago, they asked if I even use it because it was rusty. I'm not sure if the cable needs to be adjusted, or if I just need to change my brakes. Which I need to do anyways. Which brings me to my next question;

3. Someone told me that with my model and year of Saturn, when I change the brakes, I have to change my rotors because they glaze over bad on my model? I've never heard of such a thing so I thought I would ask. I plan on changing the front and back brakes on Saturday, so the sooner I could have a response on this matter the better.

4. My cassette player will not take the cassette tape that I can plug into my phone. Not sure if it's the cassette player itself, or because of the cord on the cassette isn't letting the cassette door close all the way?

5. Best website to get parts for my model? Interior wise, I would like to replace a few things.

6. What would I need to do if I wanted to turbocharge my car? I obviously don't want my engine to blow on me, so would it even be worth doing? Or would it cost more money then it's worth?

Please leave comments or message me with any advice/hints/tips you have. Thanks all.

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Old 04-04-2014, 12:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
I have a 2001 L Series Saturn (not sure if the correct model would just be L Series or L100?) with about 147,000 miles on it. Nothing aftermarket. Everything is completely stock. The only thing I've done is replaced a few seals and gaskets to stop some leaks I was having.

Here's my questions:

1. Service Engine light is on. The code reads for an emission leak which I was told is often a gas cap. I replaced that with no success of resolving the issue. About two months later (Today) I can hear the exhaust leak now. I was told it was some sort of seal/gasket that joins the exhaust to the manifold I believe? How hard is this going to be to replace on my own?
The item you're referring to is the exhaust pipe flange gasket. There's not much to replacing that gasket: remove the three nuts that connect the upper end of the catalytic converter to the exhaust manifold. I'd recommend spraying the nuts with a penetrating oil to assist in loosening them as they're likely to be very tough to remove initially and you want to avoid fracturing the studs. Allow the oil to work for several hours, or over night if possible. It may be necessary to clean the surface of the manifold and/or the upper end of the converter. The surfaces must be clean in order to achieve a positive seal as the two components are rejoined. Are truly certain that this is needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
2. My e-brake sucks. When I went and got my oil changed a couple weeks ago, they asked if I even use it because it was rusty. I'm not sure if the cable needs to be adjusted, or if I just need to change my brakes.
The cable is adjustable. The parking brake is to be used whenever the car is parked as it reduces the weight/strain born against the parking pawl in the transmission (if you have an automatic trans.). Use of the parking brake maintains proper adjustment of the rear brakes on cars with rear drums. It's set up that way from the factory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
Which I need to do anyways. Which brings me to my next question;

3. Someone told me that with my model and year of Saturn, when I change the brakes, I have to change my rotors because they glaze over bad on my model? I've never heard of such a thing so I thought I would ask. I plan on changing the front and back brakes on Saturday, so the sooner I could have a response on this matter the better.
That rotor remark makes no sense to me. If the rotor/s is/are in need of replacement, then fine, get replacements. OE/factory replacement rotors used a softer metal and were not designed to be resurfaced. I was told that Saturn opted for a softer metal in order to reduce noise during braking by the service writer at the dealership where I had my first front brake job done. I've since used aftermarket rotors which can be resurfaced and have had no unwanted noises from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
4. My cassette player will not take the cassette tape that I can plug into my phone. Not sure if it's the cassette player itself, or because of the cord on the cassette isn't letting the cassette door close all the way?
Sorry, don't have any thoughts to offer for this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
5. Best website to get parts for my model? Interior wise, I would like to replace a few things.
New interior replacement parts are becoming scarce. Check with your local GM dealer or through the sites below.

http://parts.nalleygmc.com/

http://www.car-part.com/index.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
6. What would I need to do if I wanted to turbocharge my car? I obviously don't want my engine to blow on me, so would it even be worth doing? Or would it cost more money then it's worth?
There are threads in the L Series Tech Forum where some members have done this. As to cost and value, that's always a judgement call - relative to the owner's desires or needs - whether or not money should be spent for that purpose. However, I don't think it's wise to turbo charge an engine with high mileage. I believe you'd be safe if you choose to make the engine "breathe" better by getting an intake that brings in more air and getting a larger diameter exhaust system.

BTW, I visited Salt Lake City last Summer while vacationing in Park City (yes, for those of us who don't reside in Utah, even in Summer it's a neat place to stay). I really enjoyed the time there and seeing the sights in the City! Welcome to Saturfans, glad to have you here!

...
273,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 04-04-2014 at 12:30 AM.. Reason: clarity

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Old 04-04-2014, 08:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

1. As previously stated, easy 30 min fix.

2. Replacing rear brakes may fix the problem, cable may be stretched and may need replacement. You mention the cable is rusty, a rusty cable may be binding and may not let the e-brake move full travel.

3. Has nothing to do with year/model. When asbestos brakes were done away with because of the asbestos, manufactures went to bi-metal pads as the defacto standard, metal pads wear the rotor faster than asbestos pads, so much easier for the rotors to wear past the safe resurface thickness on a single set of bi-metal pads.

4. Without looking at it, or at least a pic, gonna be hard for anyone to diagnose.

5. Rockauto is the best I've found. L parts are starting to get hard to get.

6. 2.2 is a highly modifiable engine with lots of aftermarket available and takes to blow pretty well. All you need is cubic money.

...
Jerry N

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."

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Old 04-04-2014, 09:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
4. My cassette player will not take the cassette tape that I can plug into my phone. Not sure if it's the cassette player itself, or because of the cord on the cassette isn't letting the cassette door close all the way?
It's a 13 year old cassette deck. They fail. I wouldn't consider it anything more than that. You can get aftermarket stereos with Aux ports for under $100, and hooking them up isn't too difficult.

For example, Amazon has this unit, http://amzn.com/B0091V0A9U, I've always been partial to Pioneer, but there are other good manufacturers as well. The dangerous part is this usually leads to new speakers as well

...
2001 L-200 2.2l Mileage: 140,000
DOB: 05/08/01 Date Acquired: 07/01/07

2006 Vue 3.5L AWD Mileage: 130,000
DOB: 08/24/05 Date Acquired: 12/15/06

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Old 04-04-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
The item you're referring to is the exhaust pipe flange gasket. There's not much to replacing that gasket: remove the three nuts that connect the upper end of the catalytic converter to the exhaust manifold. I'd recommend spraying the nuts with a penetrating oil to assist in loosening them as they're likely to be very tough to remove initially and you want to avoid fracturing the studs. Allow the oil to work for several hours, or over night if possible. It may be necessary to clean the surface of the manifold and/or the upper end of the converter. The surfaces must be clean in order to achieve a positive seal as the two components are rejoined. Are truly certain that this is needed?

There are threads in the L Series Tech Forum where some members have done this. As to cost and value, that's always a judgement call - relative to the owner's desires or needs - whether or not money should be spent for that purpose. However, I don't think it's wise to turbo charge an engine with high mileage. I believe you'd be safe if you choose to make the engine "breathe" better by getting an intake that brings in more air and getting a larger diameter exhaust system.

BTW, I visited Salt Lake City last Summer while vacationing in Park City (yes, for those of us who don't reside in Utah, even in Summer it's a neat place to stay). I really enjoyed the time there and seeing the sights in the City! Welcome to Saturfans, glad to have you here!
Thank guys! I wasn't too worried about the gasket, just the fact that the heat from the exhaust and the age of the vehicle may make it hard to break to bolts. What oil would you suggest I use? As for the turbo, I think I may hold off. The risk outweighs the benefits to me on this one. But when I get a new car, I think I'll toy around with this Saturn a but more because I really don't see anyone racing them. Especially an L series. Maybe next time you roll through Salt Lake, I'll have a turbo on it and take you for a ride. Lol.

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Old 04-04-2014, 09:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

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It's a 13 year old cassette deck. They fail. I wouldn't consider it anything more than that. You can get aftermarket stereos with Aux ports for under $100, and hooking them up isn't too difficult.

For example, Amazon has this unit, I've always been partial to Pioneer, but there are other good manufacturers as well. The dangerous part is this usually leads to new speakers as well
Yeah I need to replace all of the speakers before I consider getting a new deck. The trunk is plenty big for a small box with some tens in it too. Haha. My only problem is deciding on which brand of speakers to go with. Any suggestions? I already have the stock wire harness and amp kit for it, but I don't want to start hooking anything up without some new speakers you know?

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Old 04-05-2014, 01:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
Maybe next time you roll through Salt Lake, I'll have a turbo on it and take you for a ride. Lol.
If I ever have the opportunity to visit SLC again I be happy to meet up with you. You could have a ride in my stock, regular, not very unusual LS1! It's not that I wouldn't like to do some things to upgrade the vehicle internally and externally, it's just that such money needs to be expended elsewhere (a family, house, typical bills, property taxes...you know how it goes).

With regard to penetrating oils, just type in those two words on a Google search and you'll come up with great brand names and images. Some that I like: Liquid Wrench, WD-40 (a perennial favorite), CRC Screwloose, and I think that Slick 50 even has something of that variety.

...
273,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 04-05-2014, 08:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

PB Blaster is another "Name" penetrating oil. Regarding disc resurfacing, this is usually not required with a pad change. If the disc is toast, it should be replaced. Normal light ridging of the surface isn't a reason to change or resurface the disc. If the disc is at or near minimum thickness or warped/rusted/pitted then it should be replaced (in pairs, of course). E-brake problems are normal on a car this old. Likely the shoes are old, hard, and worn and will need to be replaced. Like any organic material, brake linings age due to heat and oxidation. The e-brake cables can rust and jam, especially if the brake isn't applied regularly. Yes, it is necessary to do this to adjust the rear brakes.

Regarding turbocharging, your questions indicate that you do not have extensive car knowledge. That should dissuade you from taking on a complex modification project. If you want a turbocharged car, then go buy one with a factory turbocharger. You already have an orphan brand, consider a Saab 9-3, which has the same engine turbocharged. The Cobalt SS and HHR SS ditto.

Please post the error code that is causing your CEL, so folks here can give you advice on possible fixes.

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Old 04-05-2014, 09:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

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PB Blaster is another "Name" penetrating oil. Regarding disc resurfacing, this is usually not required with a pad change. If the disc is toast, it should be replaced. Normal light ridging of the surface isn't a reason to change or resurface the disc. If the disc is at or near minimum thickness or warped/rusted/pitted then it should be replaced (in pairs, of course).
It's true that one is not automatically obliged to resurface rotors when replacing brake pads. It's also true that a warped rotor is not always readily seen by the naked eye. Last Summer, some time in late June, I needed to replace my front brake pads and did so without resurfacing the rotors. It appeared reasonable to me that such work may not be unnecessary as the surfaces had not be pitted or scored in any way. So, for the first time ever in my own work, I chose not to resurface the rotors.

Fast forward to some time in February of '14 and the right front brake is no longer functioning smoothly, especially in the morning. As weeks go by the unevenness of the braking on the right becomes more pronounced. In March I pulled off the brakes a resurfaced the rotors. The pads were in fine condition so I kept them in service. The brakes are back to their normal, smooth operation. It took a couple of days for the pads to "seat" into the newly surfaced rotors and therefore it was necessary to drive more cautiously during that time.

In my case this would be a moment of being "penny wise and pound foolish" with my time as the job was, in essence, done twice.

...
273,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 04-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
I have a 2001 L Series Saturn (not sure if the correct model would just be L Series or L100?) with about 147,000 miles on it. Nothing aftermarket. Everything is completely stock. The only thing I've done is replaced a few seals and gaskets to stop some leaks I was having.
Here's my questions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
1. Service Engine light is on. The code reads for an emission leak which I was told is often a gas cap. I replaced that with no success of resolving the issue. About two months later (Today) I can hear the exhaust leak now. I was told it was some sort of seal/gasket that joins the exhaust to the manifold I believe? How hard is this going to be to replace on my own?
Not hard but you should get a Haynes/Chilton book and read up on the exhaust seal/gasket repairs and how to take it apart. As to your SES light for emission leak that mean that gas filler pipe has to be completely replaced itís a complete unit and it cost me close to $400 for the shop to repair.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
2. My e-brake sucks. When I went and got my oil changed a couple weeks ago, they asked if I even use it because it was rusty. I'm not sure if the cable needs to be adjusted, or if I just need to change my brakes. Which I need to do anyways. Which brings me to my next question;
Take it to a local trust shop and ask them to look at the cable and check on its condition donít take it to a Jiffy lube shop to do it a full Auto Service shop is better suited to look at it and see what its conditions are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
3. Someone told me that with my model and year of Saturn, when I change the brakes, I have to change my rotors because they glaze over bad on my model? I've never heard of such a thing so I thought I would ask. I plan on changing the front and back brakes on Saturday, so the sooner I could have a response on this matter the better.
First we need to know which rotors and front or back are they talking about? I do know my rear rotors needed to be changed besides the brake pads because of the excessive wear but most time you can tell if you take out the pads and run your finger in the rotors you can tell if there are grooves that means replacing them and if they are smooth they you are fine.
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4. My cassette player will not take the cassette tape that I can plug into my phone. Not sure if it's the cassette player itself, or because of the cord on the cassette isn't letting the cassette door close all the way?
That depends does your model have the On-Star or not? IF On-Star you canít use aftermarket DIN-I know cause I took mine apart and the On-Star is part of the Audio so that will limit you what you can do here. But if no On-Star then we need to know is it a Full DIN or half DIN that part you didnít tell us? What exactly do you mean are you using a cassette tape adapter to play MP3 from your phone is that what youíre talking about?
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Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
5. Best website to get parts for my model? Interior wise, I would like to replace a few things.
eBay is the best place to look for hard to get parts but you need to know the part number to get the right pieces. But some parts you can still get from GM dealers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
6. What would I need to do if I wanted to turbocharge my car? I obviously don't want my engine to blow on me, so would it even be worth doing? Or would it cost more money then it's worth?
Trust me itís not worth it all the work you do will not make your car any valuable and will shorten itís lifespan. Your better off improving the air box with a K&N filter and switching to K&N oil filter and using synthetic blended oil. These small fixes will improve your fuel performance. Also check your shocks as overtime they age and need to be replaced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
Please leave comments or message me with any advice/hints/tips you have. Thanks all.
Remember this is all from Saturn repairs I done myself and researched and had to learn from trial and errors. Remember when doing anything taken your time and read/learn about your Saturn before starting any repairs.

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Old 04-06-2014, 10:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

If you wanta get cheap horsepower just spray it with a 75 shot of nitrous. That is if u dont care about the engine.

Im only kidding. Stock internals will take up to 10 pounds of boost no problem. With an engine with high miles I would only boost to 5 or 6 pounds. The only was it would be cheap is if u did all the work yourself and found a good used turbo

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Thanks everyone for the feedback! The rotors were absolutely fine, and my breaks weren't wearing unevenly or anything. Next weekend will be the back brakes and e-brake cable. As for the exhaust, I thought it was the exhaust flange gasket, but it turns out I need a weld done. I've attached the exhaust diagram and circled the area that needs a weld. If someone could tell me exactly what joint is? In terms of a turbo, If anything, I might just do an engine swap when my engine decides it wants to give up on me. I'll post a threat in the tech forum when that time comes. In regards to speakers, does anyone have a good brand that they use or swear by?
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

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Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
Thanks everyone for the feedback! The rotors were absolutely fine, and my breaks weren't wearing unevenly or anything. Next weekend will be the back brakes and e-brake cable. As for the exhaust, I thought it was the exhaust flange gasket, but it turns out I need a weld done. I've attached the exhaust diagram and circled the area that needs a weld. If someone could tell me exactly what joint is?
Hold on there! Your vehicle identification is an L100, 2.2L engine. The exhaust system diagram attached in the previous message is for L Series cars with the V6 engine.

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In regards to speakers, does anyone have a good brand that they use or swear by?
The only thing that I would suggest is that your speakers should have greater wattage and therefore larger magnets. Don't purchase anything other than a "woofer" type (no co-axial or tri-axial speakers) as there is no benefit from the additional tweeters with the factory installed CD player/radios.

...
273,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 04-07-2014, 01:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

SORRY!!!!!!! Okay I found the correct one. The problem area is circled. I called Master Muffler and they estimated $20 for a weld job if it isn't hard to get to or is just a simple fix. What do you guys think?

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Old 04-07-2014, 01:13 PM   #15
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Sorry forgot to attach pics.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

I believe that the joint in question is referred to as a flex joint. The price quote from the muffler shop is very reasonable if, as they say, it's not difficult to get at.

...
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Last edited by pierrot; 04-07-2014 at 06:24 PM.. Reason: additional information

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Old 04-08-2014, 08:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Well everyone, bad news for me. After taking it in to get it looked at, We discovered that the flex joint isn't the problem, it's the exhaust manifold that's cracked. Luckily, I know someone who was a mechanic for Saturn for 25 years and is still working on cars so I don't have to do it.

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Old 04-11-2014, 12:20 PM   #18
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2006 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

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Originally Posted by theinternetthug View Post
Yeah I need to replace all of the speakers before I consider getting a new deck. The trunk is plenty big for a small box with some tens in it too. Haha. My only problem is deciding on which brand of speakers to go with. Any suggestions? I already have the stock wire harness and amp kit for it, but I don't want to start hooking anything up without some new speakers you know?
I have these in my L, and they sound great.

Fronts (image doesn't show it, but the tweeters are separate): http://amzn.com/B00A033E28

Rears (also not showing tweeters): http://amzn.com/B00A034HE2

You can either get after market spacers for the front door woofers or just cut off the needed parts from the factory speakers. I just cut them off and epoxied the new speakers to them. I also split the wire off the woofer to go through the bypass and to both the woofer and tweeter. The wire to the tweeter I just capped off.

There is definitely room for the thumper box in the back, but I've been impressed with these speakers without them. Very good low end response.

FWIW, I paired the speakers to this Pioneer deck (guess I'm a bit partial to that brand): http://amzn.com/B006YBQ6Z2

It's not easy to find any more, and bit on the pricy side, but it does everything... short of DVD's which I'm not concerned about. But there are lots of good decks out there, just find one that calls to you.

...
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

Good luck finding a decent manifold! It took me six months and $250 just to get the part here in Canada.

In better news the manifold swap itself was quite straightforward.

Chris...

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Old 04-11-2014, 08:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: 6 random questions. 2001 Saturn L100?

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Good luck finding a decent manifold! It took me six months and $250 just to get the part here in Canada.

In better news the manifold swap itself was quite straightforward.

Chris...
Have you joined another forum site for the jag yet?

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