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Old 04-01-2015, 06:32 PM   #1
LastL4Banger
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2004 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
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Default 2003 L200 needs love

I just bought a 2003 L200 off Ebay to work on. my 2004 L 4 cyclinder has really spoiled me. I needed something to do. The new one has 140K miles on it and the engine and transmission are in very good condition. The body and paint is also very good. The interior looks like it was lived in and the oddest pieces are missing. I will be eventually replacing the struts and brakes. My biggest problem seem to be electrical. I have 2 key fobs and they don’t work. And there doesn’t seem to be an alarm. I have to unlock it with the key and there is no dinging to let me know the alarm is about to go off. If the Haynes fuse diagrams are to believed, the mirror light and sunshade mirror lights mean I should have at least have keyless entry.

Here are the things I know that don’t work:
Cruise control, horn, Unlock button (lock works), sun shade lights, lights, side mirror adjust, driver speaker (comes and goes). So the first place I’m going to start is the driver door. I expect a nice surprise. A little info about the Lock button. It doesn’t work without the key. If I put the key in, it will lock all the doors and then 2 seconds later all doors unlock. If anybody has any tips or suggestions, I’m all ears.

Here's a picture. I had never seen that green color before. It also has Saturn alloy wheels. The tires on it are 215/55/16. Tire rack doesn’t show that as an option tire. It shows 205/55/16 as the option. Can you put a 215 on a 205 wheel or is it from a different Saturn or year?
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:06 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

Quote:
Originally Posted by LastL4Banger View Post
I just bought a 2003 L200 off Ebay to work on. my 2004 L 4 cyclinder has really spoiled me. I needed something to do. The new one has 140K miles on it and the engine and transmission are in very good condition. The body and paint is also very good. The interior looks like it was lived in and the oddest pieces are missing. I will be eventually replacing the struts and brakes. My biggest problem seem to be electrical. I have 2 key fobs and they don’t work. And there doesn’t seem to be an alarm. I have to unlock it with the key and there is no dinging to let me know the alarm is about to go off. If the Haynes fuse diagrams are to believed, the mirror light and sunshade mirror lights mean I should have at least have keyless entry.
Key fob can only be reprogrammed to the Saturn with a GM Tech II that dealers have. Check your fuses and I do recall some on here have mentioned that you can do a learning program with key fob but I don't recall those steps. Ask fdryer about this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LastL4Banger View Post
Here are the things I know that don’t work:
Cruise control, horn, Unlock button (lock works), sun shade lights, lights, side mirror adjust, driver speaker (comes and goes). So the first place I’m going to start is the driver door. I expect a nice surprise. A little info about the Lock button. It doesn’t work without the key. If I put the key in, it will lock all the doors and then 2 seconds later all doors unlock. If anybody has any tips or suggestions, I’m all ears.
Check your fuses and relays...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LastL4Banger View Post
Here's a picture. I had never seen that green color before. It also has Saturn alloy wheels. The tires on it are 215/55/16. Tire rack doesn’t show that as an option tire. It shows 205/55/16 as the option. Can you put a 215 on a 205 wheel or is it from a different Saturn or year?
I found the 215/55R16 tires on tire rack. So where are you looking that you can't find it? For the tires size look at the owners manual and door panels that list the tire size and also check with the GM dealer to be sure on the tire size.

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tir...5r15-215-55r15

Stock Sizes
195/65-15 cur new
Plus Sizes
165/80-15 cur new
205/60-15 cur new
205/65-15 cur new
215/60-15 cur new
225/60-15 cur new

195/60-16 cur new
205/55-16 cur new <----- tire rack
205/60-16 cur new
215/55-16 cur new <----- your tire
225/50-16 cur new

205/50-17 cur new
215/45-17 cur new
215/50-17 cur new
225/45-17 cur new
215/40-18 cur new
215/45-18 cur new
225/40-18 cur new
215/35-19 cur new
225/35-19 cur new
225/30-20 cur new

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Old 04-05-2015, 10:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russet View Post

Check your fuses and relays...

I found the 215/55R16 tires on tire rack. So where are you looking that you can't find it? For the tires size look at the owners manual and door panels that list the tire size and also check with the GM dealer to be sure on the tire size.
Thanks for the reply, sorry I wasn't clear. I can find 215s at Tire Rack. Tire Rack doesn't show 215 as the option tire for 16 wheels for the 2003 L200. I'm wondering if I can just put 205s on it instead of the 215s but I don't know if the Saturn wheels came from another car or the previous owner just put wider tires on it. I look on ebay and see wheels that look just like mine and they are 16x6.5. So I suspect the previous owner put wider tires on it.

I checked the fuses and relays for the door lock system. They all checked out. for what its worth, when I was trying to figure out the circuits for the lock system I could not “complete the path” for lock or unlock. I guessed that the three relays (door unlock, driver door unlock and door lock) are connected to ground on the 87A point (if I’m reading it right). It seems the door lock actuator uses the other relays as a path to ground. My “unlock” command worked. So I pulled the two “lock” relays and unlock no longer worked. I wanted to test it with my volt meter but I need some type of test plug because the leads wont fit into the relay slots.

I realized that a lot of my electrical problems had a common point and it was the BCM. I figured it out looking at the sunshade mirror lamps diagram. I was thinking “why is the BCM involved with that?”. So I started checking the BCM fuses. The fuse labeled “BCM, ECM, Cruise” was blown. Unless someone says otherwise, I’m going to replace the fuse. Wish me luck.

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Old 04-05-2015, 04:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

okay, first thing it wasn't the 'BCM, ECM, Cruise' fuse. It was the 'BCM 2' fuse and it blew right away. I should have put it in and then checked it before I started the car. I'll do that as soon as I get some more fuses.

Since its possible that the BCM could be bad I looked in the Haynes manual on how to replace it. Is it my imagination or is there nothing in Haynes about replacing the BCM?

Also, I pulled the front tires off to check the brakes and the Saturn alloy wheels are definitely 16x6.5.

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Old 04-05-2015, 05:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

It's not as simple as you may think. The hint that the bcm has power supplied to it thru three(3) fuses would make me pause and think about replacing one. In fact, bcm's are not plug n' play - factory security requires either a 10 minute GM procedure or at home 30 minute procedure to 'marry' electronic modules otherwise plug n' play simply disables the EFI system. Search threads about the differences between using used bcm's and new.

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Old 04-05-2015, 05:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

Haynes is good for general info but electronic modules are technically advanced requiring much more info than given by soft cover copies. I doubt anyone not serious about car maintenance are willing to pay $150 for GM service manuals. I did and winced but knew these manuals pay for themselves as they're used; repairing my a/c system, understanding Passlock and how remotes work with bcm programming, learning more about EFI systems for troubleshooting, and more. Haynes and Chilton's cannot possibly cover everything.

Last edited by fdryer; 04-05-2015 at 06:01 PM..

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Old 04-07-2015, 08:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
It's not as simple as you may think. The hint that the bcm has power supplied to it thru three(3) fuses would make me pause and think about replacing one. In fact, bcm's are not plug n' play - factory security requires either a 10 minute GM procedure or at home 30 minute procedure to 'marry' electronic modules otherwise plug n' play simply disables the EFI system. Search threads about the differences between using used bcm's and new.
I did find a number of threads on the issue. Its slowly dawning on me that I'll be going to the dealer to fix it. I was holding out hope that wire to the BCM was shorted but that was quickly dashed. I just hope its not a short past the BCM that failed it. Going to the dealer is like going to the dentist. I'm going to put it off as long as possible. I’ll update the price and result when I do it.

Looking to do the struts in the next couple of weeks and been reading all the threads. I do have a question. How do I get the 'tab' holding the brake line off the strut? I sure its simple but its got me stumped.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

Google 'brake hose clip removal' and select images. "Pictures are worth a thousand words."

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Old 04-07-2015, 09:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

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Originally Posted by LastL4Banger View Post

Looking to do the struts in the next couple of weeks and been reading all the threads. I do have a question. How do I get the 'tab' holding the brake line off the strut? I sure its simple but its got me stumped.
You're right, it is simple. You can use really strong pliers to pry off the "U" clip, or tap it out gently with a light hammer and a small punch if space permits. The clip is "sandwiched" tightly between the mounting on the strut and the fitting (an intermediate location, I believe) on the hose itself.

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Old 04-09-2015, 08:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
You're right, it is simple. You can use really strong pliers to pry off the "U" clip, or tap it out gently with a light hammer and a small punch if space permits. The clip is "sandwiched" tightly between the mounting on the strut and the fitting (an intermediate location, I believe) on the hose itself.
thanks. that's what I figured but my "figuring" tends to break tabs and clips. I also took Fdryer's advice and googled it. I was getting no where with "brake hose clip" until I added "+ saturnfans.com". I found a nice picture in this thread.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=144246

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Old 04-26-2015, 08:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

Okay first let me say, the brake hose bracket tab came right off with the pliers. Its the little things like that always trip me up. thanks again.

I've got the struts completely off the car. I got the spring compressed on one. Now I know I can just hit the 19 mm shaft nut with my impact wrench but I want to make sure I do it right. So I'm trying to figure out how to put it together. I'm going to get a 19mm offset wrench to "reach down" to the nut. Fdryer has posted the installation instructions in this thread (thanks F)
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=160222
Now the instructions say:
Tighten the shaft nut with a wrench while holding the shaft with a TORX™ socket. TightenTighten the nut to 55 N•m (40 lb ft).”

It doesn’t look like a “torx” bit at the end of the shaft. It’s shaped like a regular hex nut at the top. I thought it was 9 mm but a 11/32 nut fits perfect. So I check the Monroes I got from Rockauto and sure enough, the end of the Monroe’s is neither “torx” nor hex. It has two flat sides connected with rounded ends. (like the Vue strut knuckle bolts). So now there is no chance of me holding the shaft nut with a offset wrench and a torgue wrench on the shaft end. Every post I find pretty much says hold the shaft with vice grips. Is there no other way? I’ve seen some posts where people just grab the top end of the shaft (with nothing wrapped around the shaft) because that end wont go into the strut but the L strut mount “housing” doesn’t let me grab it at the top. So I'd have to grab it in the middle of the shaft with something wrapped around it to protect it. But I'd rather not.

I just cant find this explained or discussed anywhere in the L forum. I’ll buy whatever I need to buy but I don’t know what to buy or what to do.

On a side note, the shaft nut was already on one strut and in a plastic bag in the box for the other. I can't hand tighten the shaft nut past a couple of turns (for both). Is that normal?

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Old 04-26-2015, 08:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

" I can't hand tighten the shaft nut past a couple of turns (for both). Is that normal?"

While I haven't seen your particular nut, often regular nuts are made into lock nuts by distorting one or two of the threads. I've seen this called "prevailing torque". Take a close look inside the nut to see if this is the case. Sometimes the threads are bent and wavy looking. Other times there is a small rectangular recess in the hex face where a punch hit the nut after it was threaded.

Along the same lines, a center punch can be used on any old nut to bend the threads on the end, in one or two places. While not as good as a factory locknut, this might help to keep a nut from loosening. It can be hard on the bolt (the mating external threads), so YMMV...

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Old 05-04-2015, 05:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

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Originally Posted by DougLW300 View Post

While I haven't seen your particular nut, often regular nuts are made into lock nuts by distorting one or two of the threads. I've seen this called "prevailing torque". Take a close look inside the nut to see if this is the case. Sometimes the threads are bent and wavy looking. Other times there is a small rectangular recess in the hex face where a punch hit the nut after it was threaded.

Along the same lines, a center punch can be used on any old nut to bend the threads on the end, in one or two places. While not as good as a factory locknut, this might help to keep a nut from loosening. It can be hard on the bolt (the mating external threads), so YMMV...
Thanks for the reply. I thought that might have been the reason but I had bought some monroes a few years ago and one of them had a visible 'burr' on the shaft (not the nut) so I assumed it a quality issue. The Moog strut mounts came with replacement nuts for the strut mount and the "strut to body" mount. I used them before I read your post.

I solved my problem with the strut mounts by taking to a local mechanic to torque. He did it for free. For all I know he just "feathered it on" with an impact wrench which is what a lot of what I found on the internet said to do. Once I get past the "torgue" issue, the struts were really easy.

I couldn't torgue the "strut to mount" nut because the mounting disc starts to turn. So I "feathered it on " with the impact wrench and then checked with the torque wrench.

And I used Moog strut mounts. I had bought them last year when I first planned to do my 2004 L and had not read all the posts not to use aftermarket mounts. So once I start driving my new L I'll be a good test case for the quality of the Moog mounts. I did buy ACDelco mounts for my 2004. they cost more than the struts.

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Old 06-22-2015, 05:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

New struts, new Continental tires, and front brakes have made quite the difference. The back brakes however have thrown me for a loop. They have a little bolt to hold the drum on. I've never seen this before in my very limited experience. I guess that is a function of the tires using screw in bolts instead of having studs. The problem is the drums I got from Rock Auto have no hole for that bolt. Is the little bolt something that people just ignore and leave out because it's not necessary or did Rock auto send the wrong drum? It was the Pronto drums if that matters.

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Old 06-22-2015, 05:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

You can look at this error from several points of view. If they're the wrong parts, call r/a and ask before proceeding with suggestions.

Either accept it and simply take the extra step to align the new drums to bolt holes so each wheel bolt hole matches drums and wheel hubs for putting on bolts or send them back. You can also choose to drill a new hole in each drum to allow bolting the drums on as the original ones did. Measuring will require accuracy and a drill press. This can be done if you have the skills to do it.

If you choose to return drums, call r/a first to relay your concerns so they can follow up with a solution.

I have four wheel disc brakes with the rears using the interior of the empty space in the center for the parking brake. With similar wheel bolts to hold wheels on, these discs are held onto the wheel hub by a single flush head screw.

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Old 06-24-2015, 05:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

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The back brakes however have thrown me for a loop. They have a little bolt to hold the drum on. I've never seen this before in my very limited experience. I guess that is a function of the tires using screw in bolts instead of having studs.
Yes, exactly! These locating screws are on both the front and rear discs and well as the rear drums on the L Series cars. .
Quote:
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The problem is the drums I got from Rock Auto have no hole for that bolt. Is the little bolt something that people just ignore and leave out because it's not necessary or did Rock auto send the wrong drum?
The lack of a hole in the drum for the locating screw relates directly to the drum manufacturer's error in omitting it - unless the part is mis-boxed. One could mount the drums without them, but with greater difficulty. The lug bolt holes in the drum must remain in the correct position as the wheel is mounted against it to the rear hub, and there's no guarantee that the drum will stay in place without using that locating screw.
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It was the Pronto drums if that matters.
I would think that trying another brand of drum would solve the problem. You could contact a manufacturer with the part number you're considering and have the technical service rep find out if the drum was made with the locating screw hole in place.

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Old 06-29-2015, 05:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

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The lack of a hole in the drum for the locating screw relates directly to the drum manufacturer's error in omitting it - unless the part is mis-boxed. One could mount the drums without them, but with greater difficulty. The lug bolt holes in the drum must remain in the correct position as the wheel is mounted against it to the rear hub, and there's no guarantee that the drum will stay in place without using that locating screw.
You are so right. Without the screw holding the drum, it was a serious PITA. I didn't realize it but one side had the screw and the other didn't. I figured I would check both sides before returning the drums. I took the screw out to get a matching screw so had to do it on both sides.

To Fdryer, RA said it was the right part and the hole was not necessary. Sorry, the Autozone drum had the hole. The pronto drums are going back.

On an unrelated note, I need to get parts for this car and my son's vue. Where do you guys get used Saturn parts.

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Old 06-29-2015, 05:44 PM   #18
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

While mine shows age related wear and tear from NYC use, I haven't broken parts yet. Most parts are either OEM engine parts or aftermarket thru r/a.

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Old 06-29-2015, 05:45 PM   #19
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2004 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
2004 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

As a Saturn owner.....The Junkyard will be your best friend! http://www.car-part.com is an excellent resource for junkyard shopping.

Some new parts are also still available through GM.

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Old 06-30-2015, 08:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2003 L200 needs love

Thanks to cityhawk for sharing this link. I've called them and they were able to tell me, without missing a beat, that they had the part I was seeking. These folks seem to know their inventory very well. I expect that I will make use of them in the future.

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