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Old 02-12-2018, 08:18 PM   #1
Jsmith123
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2001 SC2
Default Couple questions...

2001 Saturn SC2, manual, ~160k miles

Overview:

1) Car makes screeching noise when stabilizing after a right turn... Wheel bearings were replaced ~15k miles ago (along with the steering system)

2) Coolant boils out of reservoir cap when in stop and go traffic, but not on highway... Seems related to the fan. Cooling system was recently rebuilt with all new parts, including ECTS

3) Are there any sport engines that are an easy swap into a manual 2001 Saturn SC2?


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Full Post:

First)
I've replaced my wheel bearings (front) recently, but have started hearing a screeching noise when I straighten out after making a right turn or when I go over a significant bump. It doesn't do it every bump/right turn, it's very intermittent.

Last time my bearing went bad, I could hear this speed-dependent, constant noise... It's not there this time but I'm not really sure what else could be causing this kind of noise, it definitely sounds like rotor scraping brake pad at a weird angle.

I'm going to check for play in the wheel, but assuming the shop guys didn't ***** up my bearings when they pressed them in, there's no way they should be dead yet. They probably have ~15k on them.

What else could it be? Could it be the rear wheel bearings? It's difficult to tell if it's front or back, but it's definitely coming from the left side of the car. I was under the impression that the back bearings last forever since there's not much stress on them.

Should also mention, when I replaced my bearings I re-did the brakes and steering... New power steering rod + tie rod assembly, new CV axles, new control arms, new calipers, ceramic brake pads, new rotors. Any ideas on what it could be are definitely welcome.

Second)
My car's cooling system works perfectly fine if I'm on the highway... I had low coolant, filled it, and drove thousands of highway miles without losing any. Then, I had to drive around town and kept running into closed roads (California mudslides...). It was a lot of stopping and going, and when I finally got to my destination and parked, my coolant was boiling out from around my reservoir cap.

I rebuilt my entire cooling system and thought I had fixed this problem. I had coolant leak at the intake manifold (because the plastic nipple broke), and replaced it with a metal aftermarket nipple. I also replaced everything (radiator, thermostat, ECTS, reservoir tank, heater core) so I don't think there are any pressure leaks anywhere. I ordered a pressure tester to be sure but it's not here yet.

I was noticing when it was parked that the coolant would start to boil out from around the reservoir cap, my fan would kick on after this started happening, and then the boiling would stop. Removing the ECTS kept the fan on all the time and it worked to prevent boiling, but that's really noisy and annoying. I decided to replace the reservoir cap (which was brand new since it came with my new res tank) and decided to up it to an 18 PSI cap. The 18 PSI cap seemed to be working until I drove around stop and go for ~an hour.

If it isn't a pressure leak, is there a reason my fan would be kicking on late? Is there a way to reprogram the computer to make it come on earlier?

If it is a pressure leak, is it possible that my head has started to micro-crack and it can lose pressure without a bunch of water running in to my oil? (Oil looked fine, changed it at the same time as my coolant system rebuild)

Third)
I know swapping the engine for a more powerful one would require upgrading the suspension and transmission... Are there any engines that are commonly used for swaps that have a semi-impressive amount of power and don't have too much custom fabrication required?

Basically, has anyone turned a Saturn SC2 into a sleeper car? If so does anyone have a link? Over the summer I'd love to rebuild this guy with a new engine and rear disk conversion... Not a very practical project, but it's a labor of love


------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you made it all the way through my post, you're a trooper! Sorry for it being so long, just wanted to include as much detail as possible.

Thanks for the help, this forum is why I'm a dedicated Saturn lover <3

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At this point... Feel like I've had to do everything but replace the engine.

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Old 02-12-2018, 08:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Couple questions...

On the coolant issue:

What does the temp on your gauge read when you're stopped after running around for a while? Where is it at when you're normally cruising?

It should be min 3/8 and max just a hair over half. At just over half your fan should kick on (that's 221F). If the fan is not kicking on, it could be a bad ECT sensor. I had replaced one and found shortly thereafter that the 'new' one was actually reading about 40F colder than actual... so the computer thought the coolant was at 180 when it was really 220, so it would do the same thing yours is doing... as long as you're moving, it's fine, but when you stop (especially after some hard driving) it would boil over.

You could wire a separate radiator temperature switch to the fan relay, then if it got above, say, 200, it would kick the fan on.

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Old 02-12-2018, 10:00 PM   #3
Jsmith123
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmcn View Post
On the coolant issue:

What does the temp on your gauge read when you're stopped after running around for a while? Where is it at when you're normally cruising?

It should be min 3/8 and max just a hair over half. At just over half your fan should kick on (that's 221F). If the fan is not kicking on, it could be a bad ECT sensor. I had replaced one and found shortly thereafter that the 'new' one was actually reading about 40F colder than actual... so the computer thought the coolant was at 180 when it was really 220, so it would do the same thing yours is doing... as long as you're moving, it's fine, but when you stop (especially after some hard driving) it would boil over.

You could wire a separate radiator temperature switch to the fan relay, then if it got above, say, 200, it would kick the fan on.

It kicks on at ~half... The coolant starts to boil for like 2-3 seconds and then the fan kicks on and cools it to below boiling. How do you test the ECTS? I'd assume place it in some boiling water and see what resistance it's putting out? Do you happen to know what resistance it should be reading?

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Old 02-12-2018, 10:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Couple questions...

The ultimate sleeper, in my opinion.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=215499
You will need the photobucket embed fix to see the pictures. He has a YouTube channel too.

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Old 02-12-2018, 10:25 PM   #5
Jsmith123
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
The ultimate sleeper, in my opinion.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=215499
You will need the photobucket embed fix to see the pictures. He has a YouTube channel too.
Haha, definitely epic but not exactly the "easy swap" I was hoping for... I'm more hoping to replace my engine when it fails and want to throw in a newer model, low mileage, more powerful engine instead of some super old junkyard S-series engine.

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Old 02-12-2018, 10:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Couple questions...

UPDATE:

Jacked the car up, there's no play in either tire... The tie rod has leaked some grease from its boot, gonna pull the tire off and check for play some time later this week. Doubtful the tie rod has gone bad, it's only 15k miles old... Still open to suggestions, everything looks normal

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Old 02-13-2018, 12:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Doesnt seem like theres any drop swaps for these cars and you already have the quickest stock config anyways. You could do the high compression build that people have done before on here (no one ever answered the important info though, like gas milage or what kind of of gas is required) or, slap in a turbo.

That might cost. There is a guide on how to quickly turbo the car and get about 200 hp or so, which would be a pretty awesome saturn.

http://www.scottjsousa.com/tsn/artic...0whpOrBust.htm

...
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1999 Saturn SC1(CURSED)-156K at purchase(october 2016)-178k currently (jan 2018)

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Old 02-13-2018, 12:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsmith123 View Post
It kicks on at ~half... The coolant starts to boil for like 2-3 seconds and then the fan kicks on and cools it to below boiling. How do you test the ECTS? I'd assume place it in some boiling water and see what resistance it's putting out? Do you happen to know what resistance it should be reading?
I just used the scanner to tell what the PCM thought the temperature was and an IR scan of the block and radiator hoses. I pulled the sensor and did dip the sensors in a glass of water and used the scanner to see what the PCM thought the temp was a various water temperatures too, so I could compare three different sensors I had. I know there's a chart somewhere that shows the correlation to resistance, but I didn't look it up. You could compare it to the IAT though, as it's the same sensor and has the same connector

If the fan was kicking on at the right temp, which it sounds like it was, then I think you might be looking for a pressure problem... either the cap or your system isn't holding pressure like it should.

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Old 02-13-2018, 12:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Couple questions...

^^ Right on. Replace the pressure cap.

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Old 02-13-2018, 02:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmcn View Post
I just used the scanner to tell what the PCM thought the temperature was and an IR scan of the block and radiator hoses. I pulled the sensor and did dip the sensors in a glass of water and used the scanner to see what the PCM thought the temp was
That's pretty clever.

Scanner reading live data; dip the ECTS into a glass of boiling water and scanner should show 212F at sea level

You may be on to something with the ECTS reading. I know OP said it was around half when teh fan turned on, but the temp gauge is not all taht accurate

Has teh ECTS connector been changed?

I just posted links on another thread for a manual switch or a separate automatic switch (DIYguy's soft on controller) for the fan, post 9 here
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=233746
Quote:
either the cap or your system isn't holding pressure like it should.
OP did replace the cap, twice, it seems

Quote:
I decided to replace the reservoir cap (which was brand new since it came with my new res tank) and decided to up it to an 18 PSI cap. The 18 PSI cap seemed to be working until I drove around stop and go for ~an hour.

...
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:26 PM   #11
Jsmith123
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post

Has the ECTS connector been changed?
I did not change the connector... I just saw a richpin video where he says to make sure the connector is clean of corrosion but I would reason that a faulty connector would cause a voltage drop which would cause the fan to turn on too early, not too late... Unless of course rust has formed a bridge between the connector leads and is allowing voltage to slip across...

I believe my understanding of the ECTS is pretty solid. It's a thermo-resistor that raises resistance as temperature increases. This causes a voltage drop which is read by the computer and leads to the fan turning on. I'm thinking of wiring in a small resistor after the ECTS that would drop the voltage by ~.2volts making the fan kick on just a hair bit sooner...

Before doing this, I'll pressure test my system (and the cap)... Assuming pressure is right, I'll read what the current is coming from the ECTS and use Ohms law to calculate what size resistor I need for a .2volt drop. Only problem I foresee with this method is it could theoretically cause my car to run too cold... But seeing as the coolant is currently boiling off I don't think this is too bad of an option.

Let me know what you guys think!

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Old 02-13-2018, 05:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonasan308 View Post
Doesnt seem like theres any drop swaps for these cars and you already have the quickest stock config anyways. You could do the high compression build that people have done before on here (no one ever answered the important info though, like gas milage or what kind of of gas is required) or, slap in a turbo.

That might cost. There is a guide on how to quickly turbo the car and get about 200 hp or so, which would be a pretty awesome saturn.

http://www.scottjsousa.com/tsn/artic...0whpOrBust.htm
I would love to throw a turbo into my 2000 pound car, but the main reason I want to engine swap isn't the power (that's just a bonus)... I want to put in a newer engine that will last long enough that I never have to worry about it going out on me.

...
At this point... Feel like I've had to do everything but replace the engine.

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Old 02-13-2018, 07:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Couple questions...

This is easier then:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=230898
The motor bolted right back in when we were done.

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Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!

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Old 02-14-2018, 04:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsmith123 View Post
2001 Saturn SC2, manual, ~160k miles

Overview:

1) Car makes screeching noise when stabilizing after a right turn... Wheel bearings were replaced ~15k miles ago (along with the steering system)
I would have the shop, that performed the work, perform an inspection and test drive of the vehicle. You can simply pull the wheel, off the car, to verify if you have a sticking brake caliper or rotor rubbing the pads, as the surface pf the rotor will be badly worn/gouged and the brake pad will be extremely thin when compared to the right side brakes. This issue will likely require a visual inspection.
Quote:
2) Coolant boils out of reservoir cap when in stop and go traffic, but not on highway... Seems related to the fan. Cooling system was recently rebuilt with all new parts, including ECTS
You replaced both the cap and reservoir, which unless they were both cracked/faulty, did not need replaced. However, with this car having Dex-Cool from the factory and knowing what Dex-Cool loves to do to head gaskets, you should pressure test your system before going to a junk yard and getting a used factory expansion tank. The aftermarket caps have an unusually high "out-of-box" failure rate, and aftermarket tanks aren't known to have a very precision edge for the sealing ring of the cap. The proper torque for these caps is 1/4 turn, after you feel the seal make contact with the surface of the reservoir. Overtorque will destroy the seal and cause the symptoms you describe, as well.

Quote:
3) Are there any sport engines that are an easy swap into a manual 2001 Saturn SC2?
You can swap an LS4, out of the Impala SS models, which does require some fabrication and a transmission swap to the 1995-2002 J-Body Cavalier/Sunfire

It easier, and cheaper, to do a turbocharger conversion and you can build the Twin Cam 1.9L to about 450hp.


https://www.bar.ca.gov/Industry/Engi...uidelines.html

Here is a link to the laws, concerning what you may do to keep it "street-legal", if you so desire.

"California Certification

A federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified (federal or 49-state) engine cannot be used in a vehicle that was originally certified for California."

If you plan on swapping the engine out, you MUST use an engine that was originally setup for California emissions at the factory. It MUST retain ALL emissions systems that originally came with it, at the factory, if you plan on driving this car daily around CA.

One user has already swapped an LS4 into his 1999 SL1. Search this site, for a user by the name of SeanR. His posts are in the "S-Series Mods" forum.

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Old 02-14-2018, 04:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsmith123 View Post
I would love to throw a turbo into my 2000 pound car, but the main reason I want to engine swap isn't the power (that's just a bonus)... I want to put in a newer engine that will last long enough that I never have to worry about it going out on me.
Factory engines can last up to 800,000+ miles, as long as you properly car and maintain them.

I am at 186k, on my 1995 SC2, as we speak. Previous owner never changed the oil. The valve seals are trashed, the rings leak, and I burn one quart of oil per a out 80 miles of driving. As long as I keep the oil level topped up, it runs fine.


These engines actually do not "die", in the sense of most other cars do(from "overlooked" defects such as the Chrysler 2.4L main bearing failure recall). When GM pioneered Saturn, under the leadership of Roger Smith, they did so with the idea of building a quality car that could rival the quality of the import manufacturers. Looking through automotive history, you will see that Saturn is the exact OPPOSITE of every other GM brand, because of the X-Body catastrophe, the Chevette debacles(this car was actually reviewed as "an engine with four pieces of dry wall around it" by one automotive review I had read some years ago), and the Cosworth 2.3L used in the Chevy Vegas.

So, they really kicked up the rugged quality and reliability, since that was why they were losing market share and people were buying Japanese cars back then.

The Saturn brand, particularly thanks to the S-Series, is considered to be the highest-quality brand ever produced by GM.

The only way to really "kill" a Saturn S-Series engine is neglect or abuse.

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Old 02-14-2018, 11:13 AM   #16
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Do you have an OBDII scanner that can show you live data? You can compare IAT temp to ECTS temp on a cold engine.

you may also be interested in the chart in post 4 here
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=119105

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Old 02-14-2018, 12:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsmith123 View Post
Only problem I foresee with this method is it could theoretically cause my car to run too cold... But seeing as the coolant is currently boiling off I don't think this is too bad of an option.
The thermostat is what really controls the temperature of the engine. You could run your fan continuously but the engine temp shouldn't get below 180-185 (even if it's a 195 thermostat, you can still lose some temp if the HVAC fan and heat is set to high). The fan just cools the radiator and the thermostat regulates flow to the radiator.

Turning the fan on more than necessary just makes more noise, uses electricity and possibly shortens the overall life of the fan, but will have no negative impact on engine temp.

Telling the computer that the engine is running slightly hotter than it really is MIGHT cause a few issues, but most likely not if you keep it within reason... say 10-15F of being correct. The engine will think it's warming up faster on a cold-start and may lower idle sooner than it should, but that may not be a noticable issue.

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Old 02-15-2018, 02:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Good point, I didn't even think about the thermostat lol...

I've never had anyone else do anything on my car so there's no taking it back to the shop :P

The rotor isn't scraped at all but I also barely drive the car. It's seen maybe ~30 minutes of driving since the scraping started, possibly just not long enough to damage rotor yet.

When I get the chance, I'm going to take the wheel off and check brake pads/inspect rotors/metal shield/etc... It's midterm week so I was hoping one of the fine mechanics on this site could give me a heads up of where to look.

Oh well... I'm actually thinking about buying a Saturn Vue for $1750 and recycling the car with the California buyback program and getting $1500. The car's interior is really beaten up, it's squeeky, stereo just went out, still having problem after problem pop up and an SUV suites me better. Figure if I'm going to put in the hours I might as well do it to something I want to keep forever. Kind of outgrew my bright red coupe.

It's sad to think about junking it after all the work I put in, but realistically no one will pay me $1500+ for this thing. It's KBB value is terrible.

Still gonna try, I'll figure out this cooling problem and squeaking problem and update the thread when I do

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Old 02-15-2018, 06:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Couple questions...

Well, if you do decide to get a VUE, make sure it does NOT have the CVT transmission. And you may want to request maintenance records of WHEN the timing chain was replaced(on 4 cyl models, and notice I said "When", not "IF"......)

The V6s weren't much better, as they were merely a transverse version of the Catera boat anchor, that was prone to timing belt tensioner failures, intake gasket leaks, and head gasket failures. The head gasket failure can be avoided by flushing the Death-Kill orange of of the cooling system and refilling with 50/50 universal/green coolant.

The V6 has a 4-piece intake manifold/plenum setup, so when the intake gasket fails, expect a LARGE repair bill.

...
"What does a Saturn owner do, at the gas station?"

"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."

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