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Old 08-15-2015, 11:05 PM   #1
Murphys_ghosy
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1998 SW2
Checkered Flag Frankensaturn!

I've been posting about my project to merge my old SL's and my SW together into one vehicle, and for the sake of consolidation, I'm putting everything into one post to chronicle it - it's a fun project, y'know?

Well, I finally got the hunk of junk that died out of my 98 SW2, which I've opted to keep because it's got cargo capacity, a tint, and a redone interior, as well as a few other options I'd like to keep and a solid frame. The 99 SL1 has an engine that I've BABIED, but after a couple of brutal tows, the last of my teen years and a hydroplaning incident, the frame and steering are practically destroyed, so I'm making my ideal daily driver from the both of them!

My project is coming to a close, so I'm going to start putting the pictures up. Thanks to everybody that offered me pointers along the way! I've learned more about cars from the folks here than the Haynes guide could have ever dreamed to do! Also special thanks to my neighbors, they've shown me everything I couldn't figure out and lent me tools when I was at a standstill.

This is a DOHC/auto to SOHC/5spd swap, and I'm also throwing a shiny new AEM cold air intake for the heck of it
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (122.5 KB, 22 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-15-2015, 11:08 PM   #2
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Keeper engine in the SL
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...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-15-2015, 11:09 PM   #3
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

250,000 miles of abuse that I'm donating to Bridgehouse, I can't afford to keep two cars insured anymore so this is getting dropped in the SL1.
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File Type: jpg image.jpg (117.2 KB, 19 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-15-2015, 11:23 PM   #4
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Sorry, my phone's acting up and does not want to post more than one picture at a time. So far, I've installed the PCM, cluster, and clutch pedal. Next up is to remove any other compromised parts, switch the shifters, bleed the new clutch master cylinder (old one broke off at the reservoir... Whoops), hook it up, fill the fluids, etc.

I opted to keep my old PCM because it did not have any weird bugs, except for an EGR related error code which I've already taken care of. I also installed the matching instrument cluster and handled all the internal stuff except for removing the grommet from the old auto shifter and replacing it with my stick.

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-15-2015, 11:50 PM   #5
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

The engine being lifted from my SW. I unbolted the wiring harness from the fuse box and pulled the entire wiring harness with it, as I would suggest anyone in my shoes to do - it saves a lot of time and confusion. What I found in the cavity was a mass of dirt and oil similar to peat which I can attribute to missing fender liner parts and a nasty oil leak. This car evidently sat for months and was run hard before this point. It had also been reassembled partially incorrectly at some point and its rebuild is beyond my capabilities.
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File Type: jpg image.jpg (122.9 KB, 16 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-16-2015, 04:59 PM   #6
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

The shifters are a very easy direct swap, four screws retaining the cover, four nuts retaining the shifter, two lightbulbs (three on auto) and the power connection to the lighter (snaps on). I'm keeping the light from the auto shifter inside my console and inevitably I'll do something fun with it

Has anyone tried an opaque, illuminated shroud around the stick? That would be pretty neat, but I like the leather for now.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (132.7 KB, 14 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-16-2015, 05:06 PM   #7
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

When you swap the PCM, you also want to swap instrument clusters, otherwise you will get inaccurate readings (only if you're switching between sohc/dohc). Two screws in back (remove dash cover) and two screws in front (remove trim and steering column cover). In order to get it in and out, you'll also need to unbolt the steering column, but once you do, you can slide the cluster directly out.

I also used this opportunity to swap out lightbulbs so that my odometer lights up again. It's easiest while the unit is removed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (133.8 KB, 8 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-16-2015, 05:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Yes, that's an old truck muffler where my cat should be. The guy I bought this car from built rat rods for a living and thought it was cool (and it does sound pretty throaty for a Saturn). Seeing as a negligent tow truck driver destroyed the exhaust I was going to replace it with, I'm REALLY glad I don't live in California right now
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (122.4 KB, 12 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-16-2015, 07:10 PM   #9
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Pro tip! Make sure you plug this connector in the right way, although there are guides like on the other connectors, you can plug it in backwards with a little haste. Engine harness is center, headlight harness is on the left (cable bundle exits same side as engine harness).

I have extra connections on the fusebox for the various features I am no longer using, and if you are mixing parts as I am, it may not be obvious which way to plug it in. I determined this by making sure every terminal on the harness was connected, and the others are disconnected until I decide to reprogram my EEPROM and modify the living heck out of it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (176.8 KB, 12 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-16-2015, 11:34 PM   #10
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Getting there... Next step is to reconnect my hoses and electronics, reattach my motor mounts and exhaust pipe to the manifold, and reinstall the starter and the alternator. I've already reattached the exhaust manifold and A/C compressor. This would normally be quicker, but I'm working alone with handtools

While slowly lowering in the engine, it's important to angle it in and watch out for hoses that may have moved in the way, as not to compromise anything that did not get pulled. It's also important to do this step by step and slowly so you can ease the exhaust pipe back into place.

For the kids!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (128.5 KB, 7 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-17-2015, 08:26 PM   #11
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Power steering brackets are not swappable! You can get one used for $5 from a local lot. I can't upload the photo I took earlier for whatever reason, but there is a different mounting setup. The bracket I'm using for a 99 SOHC block was pulled from a 02 SOHC block to replace the bracket from a 98 DOHC block. They're both designed to fit the same pump though.

Here's my progress so far. The engine is mounted on new DEA mounts and all I have left are a few electrical connections, the reinstallation of my alternator and starter, and a WHOLE lotta tightening/snapping. Oh yeah, and the clutch hydraulic system. If you pull it before removing the engine, you can save yourself some serious headaches.

FINALLY gonna get that braketag
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (156.2 KB, 6 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-17-2015, 10:18 PM   #12
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Trust me - this looks WAY better than what I was dealing with before. You'll hear a million things about buying used cars, but this exhaust sensor wasn't even soldered. Just twisted and taped., and bread tied to a hook. It's the only piece of the old harness I'm keeping, so I soldered the terminals, retaped them, and then taped them into a bundle. It isn't what I suggest, but it'll work, and as long as I find a decent, dry place to snap it, it'll work better than before (killed my power steering every time I hit a deep puddle).

The old setup somehow had the SES light disconnected. I've done a lot of rewiring to this car to make sure that there isn't the same BS compromise...

The only other thing I have to solder is two tinned leads to lengthen a busted back wiper cable on the control - some idiot ripped them out of their terminals previously and didn't leave enough lead to correct it.

This car gives 'ghetto rigged' a bad name. Did I mention that I found bullets in it when I bought it? Hollowpoint .22's at that... On the bright side - free ammo! And rolling papers, and every size bud light can that they manufacture, crushed and empty of course...

This car has been a lot of work. Inspect a used car thoroughly, test drive it for as long as possible, and don't sign any papers until you're sure it won't drop a deuce on you in the middle of the highway. Also beware of sketchy notaries! I'm going to the courthouse from now on
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (89.9 KB, 4 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-18-2015, 10:10 AM   #13
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2001 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Interesting project. Even better name. I say that because SWMBO calls my 2001 SW2 "Frankencar" because it has parts from three different wagons in it.

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Old 08-18-2015, 06:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Frankensaturn!

That's basically what my car is: two sedans and a wagon, and I even have a window from my blackberry SL1

It's the one that's not tinted, that'll get fixed soon.

I hit a wall today - my exhaust doesn't fit the manifold. Luckily, I had a brand new front end exhaust lying around, so five minutes with a sawzall and it's ready for welding, completing the project as soon as I install the starter and tighten a few bolts (took a break, then it started raining). Got an estimate today from a local muffler shop that's cheap.

More pics soon! I still need to pull a clip for my transmission - the small one went missing so I'm off to the hardware store in the morning and I'll take pics then, AEM cool air intake installed!

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-19-2015, 01:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Air intake installed - it's a bit of a hackjob down here, but I had to guess my cuts and I accidentally snapped off a bit of fender liner under the pipe - inconsequential, hopefully.

Cool air intakes require a bit of modification, i.e. Sawzall, safety glasses, and some patience. If I were to do this again, I'd get a helper and cut more patiently, but I've been working in 10-minute gaps in the rain so I kinda botched it a little.

Thunder's rolling in the distance, I have a very short gap between bands to work so I have to make it count. When properly assembled, this isn't an issue, but when working with electrical components, you don't want a spark next to your fuel lines.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (90.4 KB, 3 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-19-2015, 08:14 PM   #16
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1998 SW2
Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Getting there, still working out the bugs. My battery may have died, or I may have plugged something in wrong, but this is certainly progress.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (103.1 KB, 2 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-19-2015, 09:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: Frankensaturn!

On automatic transmissions, there's a big yellow cable that goes from your ignition onwards. In manual, it is interrupted by the clutch start switch. Two bolts hold the switch in, and one plug.

Since I'm switching from auto to manual, I snipped the connector from the old car with as much length as I could and stripped them about 3/4". I did the same thing with the big yellow wire in the harness, except upside down because it is not a pleasant wire to reach without removing the harness. Purple towards the engine, yellow towards the ignition, as it was previously wired in the car I pulled it from. Some screw on caps and voila!

My back is killing me now though
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (194.1 KB, 1 views)

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-20-2015, 01:23 AM   #18
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Default Re: Frankensaturn!

It runs! Running the bugs out now, as best as I can.
Attached Images
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...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

Last edited by Murphys_ghosy; 08-20-2015 at 01:29 AM..

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Old 08-20-2015, 01:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: Frankensaturn!

All done! No weird exhaust either
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...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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Old 08-20-2015, 01:28 AM   #20
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Default Re: Frankensaturn!

Got it running tonight, with no exhaust hooked up so I got the wrench telling me I'm an idiot. WHATEVER, it's going to be fixed in the morning.

The first few times I tried starting it, it killed immediately, that weirded me out a lot, near panic. Many hours of my life seemed utterly futile for a few minutes, so I bucked up and turned the key *slowly* and whadaya know? It turned over... *slowly*, followed by all the tell-tale signs of a dead battery.

One jump later, and it's back to life, just like before the swap!

Few bugs - 1) I have a broken coolant level gauge, which I could've replaced before the engine swap and decided not to. This sensor is inside the expansion tank, and requires draining the cooling system to replace. Pro tip: don't get lazy - use parts that you know haven't been compromised, and test everything you decide to keep. In this case, an e-meter is the route to go, because you need to probe the sensor itself for proper readings. You can find your values online or in the haynes manual (in some cases).

2) Somehow, the power locks still work, but I have several signs pointing me towards a busted servo on my drivers side (always been that way). Simple fix if you want to invest in the part. My fix? Pull two big fuses and lock them by hand, like I did in my SL1.

3) the exhaust is simply a downpipe, it ends where the catalytic converter should be. It causes an error message from the readings on the exhaust sensor, but otherwise it sounds REALLY cool. I hate service lights, so I'm rectifying this in the morning.

4) I broke my wiper fluid hose, and have since had fun playing with it with my dad (he doesn't know cars that well but he knows a good time!) and squirting wiper fluid all over creation. Easy fix if you have a parts car.

5) SES light came on when I put it in gear, drove a whole mile *gently* on jackstands to test the transmission. Evidently my EGR valve needs work. This'll be a thread for another time though.

My goal was to build this car so that I can be free to work and be a dad and whatnot, and it has been wildly successful. Attached is the finished engine, idles around 780 rpm's, doesn't leak, doesn't overheat, and responds easily. If anyone has questions about the procedure - shoot, if I can't answer them, then fetchitfido'll probably pick up on it and knock any uncertainty down like it's the Hindenburg

The swap is a success! Frankensaturn is alive!

...
98 SW2 - 184k
04 Bonneville SE - 215k

RIP
99 SL1 - 167k organ donor/future rat rod
99 SL1 - 300k towed to car heaven

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