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Old 06-26-2020, 01:42 PM   #21
jpsuli
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1997 SL2
1999 SW2
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Overdue update:

Lots have happened since my last post, the rear suspension and brakes were re-done (Photos coming). Looks like the brakes were done by a Midas in the Chicagoland area by reading my CarFax. Shame on whoever did this and decided to use zipties to tie the brake line to the fuel hose, fixed that!

The carpet was very dirty and had salt spots from the rough winters. I can only assume that since the carpets weren't ever cleaned the salt spot made the carpet hard and began to change shape. I removed the carpet from the car and used a carpet cleaner to attack it. After 5 cycles of oxiclean, carpet cleaner, and rinsed water I still was collecting black water from the carpet cleaner. The rear carpet looks brand new, the fronts cleaned up very well but clearly the abuse of not touching them has taken their toll.
front_carpet.jpg
carpet.jpg
Since we got rust on rust at the bottom of the car (near where the emergency brake cables exit) new patches were made and installed (currently only on the drivers side). It is pretty bad but needs to be repaired. After cutting a piece of metal and welding it in place, gaps were filled with tar.
bad_floor.jpg
fixed_floor.jpg
Removed the driver door to fix some rust on the bottom door; I was going to steal the door from my SL2 but it had the same type of rust.
door.jpg
removed_door.jpg
Also, some rims came in from eBay that will have some new tread on them this Saturday (seen from the new tire thread. The rims in question are from a 92 SL2, but the process of remanufacturing them is hard and it looks like the inner hub area isn't perfect.
rims.jpg
I don't have any of the caps and will attempt to 3D print them if I can't find a source of okay looking ones (trying not to spend $40 on eBay yet)

Also, I know some people drive around with manual swaps without hooking up the shift light (causing the service light to always shine). The black cable that clearly isn't in the main wiring loom is how you fix that (2nd blue connector on the PCM to cluster). All clusters I've dealt with have a light in the shift up area already, so no need to put something in there. Worked on my 97 and 99, so I assume this functions on all 2nd gens.
shift_light_pcm.jpg
shift_light_upper.jpg

I also tested my double din 10 inch android auto radio, was on sale at walmart for 199. I intend to make a bracket that allows me to place it on the dash. I found a 25 pin serial cable so I can extend the 24 pin wiring for the screen. I tested it with my height and it is nowhere near close enough to blocking my view.
radio.jpg

My horn wasn't working, bought one from Victory here in Chicago, but it is dead too. I checked the 3 wires and they all seem fine (12v and constant ground are good, as well as the center wire sending ground when pressed). I have a 2 wire horn but can't find a relay locally that won't blow up the horn buttons. Also, when locking the car with the remote, no horn signal is made. I am unsure if this means that there is no alarm system, or it was set up in such a way to not have the horn sound. I was under the impression that past 96, all Sx2's had the alarm system as standard.

Lastly, I was going to redo the headliner, but it seems there is a shortage of headliner material on the market as my usually supplier (Joann fabrics) doesn't have any tan headliner material across th entire state.

Overall:
This has become much more work than I'd like to admit. The rust has really slowed everything down. While I'm sure my SL2 is probably rotted out in the same spots (thanks to the wonderful roads/weather of the midwest). It just really blows attempting to fix a car that clearly hasn't been cared for.

I don't think I will be able to get to painting the body panels (most likely only the rain guards) this time as all the repairs are eating all my time.
...
'97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k (M. swapped) - In storage, awaiting an engine rebuild
'99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k (M. swapped) - Daily Driver

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Old 07-05-2020, 01:53 PM   #22
PrestonIII
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1994 SL2
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

I had nasty stained tan carpets in an old Caprice Estate wagon years ago. I decided to change them for nicer ones from a wrecked car.

I pulled the old carpet out and had the idea to take it to a car wash. I then hung it on the wall in the wash bay as if it was a floor matt and sprayed it with the car wash wand. I washed it as if it was the outside of the car; MULTIPLE times. I washed it until the water runoff was clear. It worked very nicely!

I put the old carpets back in the car after letting them dry for a couple days in the sun baked garage.

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Old 07-05-2020, 02:17 PM   #23
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

OP's subframe. Looks nice!
https://us.reddit.com/r/Saturn_Cars/...nted_subframe/
...
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:12 PM   #24
jpsuli
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1997 SL2
1999 SW2
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Long time, no update. Sorry about that!
sat_new_2.jpg
I have finally moved into my new house and have been driving her around for a bit, I am already almost at 96,000 miles! I have made the Chicago to Minneapolis trip multiple times, and doesn't seem to burn oil driving around town <60 mph. Though I do drive 75-80 mph when I drive between states (3100-3500 rpm) and that turns my oil consumption to 1qt/1000 miles which I found isn't terrible for a 5-6 hour drive.

My new house has a garage (small as it may be), so I will finally be able to work on it without the Minnesota snow!
sat_new_1.jpg


I'll be adding more pictures tonight along with future items I plan to do.
...
'97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k (M. swapped) - In storage, awaiting an engine rebuild
'99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k (M. swapped) - Daily Driver

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Old 09-17-2020, 01:24 AM   #25
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Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Impressive workmanship, JP.

Nice that you know how to retro the upshift light!

The floor damage in rear compartment may--or not, be a bad sign.
My '97 SW from Wisconsin had a small drain hole beneath the driver's
gas pedal heel, and light rust beneath/around the pads on the front floor,
but the rear compartment was clean.

Some 80k miles later (including some gurgling puddles) the section at the rear
of the rocker panels -- where attach the rear seatbelt, and rear suspension
trailing arm -- kind of dissolved. So might want to check that rear floor area from the outside/bottom.

I will try to avoid all water deeper than 3"....

...................

The car Looks gorgeous!

...................
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:01 AM   #26
jpsuli
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1997 SL2
1999 SW2
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Sorry about the lack of updates, I got into a fender bender the other day and ran around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to find a new bumper that doesn't look worse than my current one.

Crash was completely my fault, I was looking to the left on a highway entrance and slowly moving while the person in front of me was about to go until a car behind us honked causing the person ahead of me to go on their brakes. Didn't notice they did that and I tapped them. Their car is fine but the Saturns bumper paint just flaked off. Just glad everyone is okay though.
scratch.jpg
Bought a can of 'matching paint', read the reviews and unfortunately, it's pretty far off as many describe. Not sure if the gold was this vivid when the cars were new but it looks laughably bad due to the contrast of almost grey-gold to sparkling-gold. I didn't do a stellar job on masking, but I was under the impression it wouldn't be so different. I will touch it up tomorrow morning, but expect this will be enough before I can find a decent tan bumper at my junkyard.
scratch_fix.jpg

Ran a compression test tonight too, did multiple on 2:
COLD
REAR OF CAR
LEFT 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 RIGHT
FRONT OF CAR
1 : 175
2 : (135 > 150 > (moved to plug 3) > (came back after plug 4) > 165 > 170 > 175)
3 : 180
4 : 185


Not super happy with those results, looked like cylinder 2 acts the same as cylinder 3 in my 97 but went up without adding oil. Not sure if I mucked it up but it doesn't sit right in my stomach that it was so low. I imagine this was in part of me doing it cold, any input as to the improvement would be appreciated. Every spark plug looked pretty much new with no oil on them.

It has been 2700 miles since my first initial oil change, and so far I have burned 1.8 quarts of oil. This comes out to 1500 miles/qt, which most of it was above 3k rpm on the highway. I am tempted to do a soak but still unsure as last time it only got worse shortly after.

Anyhow, tomorrow morning I plan on taking the wheels off as I've had pulsating while braking. I imagine it is due how I did the break(brake) in with the rotors and pads. I was under the impression you do a full stop but I believe I've caked pad material on the disc. Hoping to take of the wheels and inspect the rotors.

Here are some photos from a month ago as we were finishing up installing additional electronic accessories, more photos tomorrow after I do my oil change:
outside.jpg
outside_1.jpg
outside_2.jpg
outside_3.jpg

Lastly, that I have photos of, I bought the Weathetech rear mat for our cars. Sits pretty well after resting in for a few days:
weathertech_rear.jpg

My new desktop background of the SW2:
https://i.redd.it/c7bghnyzcfn51.jpg
middle_st.jpg

Edit:
Also forgot, my junkyard has 4-5 manual Saturns, 2 of which had block heaters on them! No more cold starting in the winter for me, I've never found one on a car before so this is great!
...
'97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k (M. swapped) - In storage, awaiting an engine rebuild
'99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k (M. swapped) - Daily Driver

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Last edited by jpsuli; 09-20-2020 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Added link
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:07 PM   #27
jpsuli
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1997 SL2
1999 SW2
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Did an oil change today and unfortunately my reman Cardone CV axle, about 3 months old at this point, boot ripped and the following was greeting me when I went to change the filter:
Sat_CV.jpg
My return through RockAuto is accepted, but frankly with this one only lasting 3 months, probably failed well before that, it stands for reason that the 'new' one won't differ.

Looks like she will be sitting in the garage until I get it sorted.
...
'97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k (M. swapped) - In storage, awaiting an engine rebuild
'99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k (M. swapped) - Daily Driver

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Old 09-20-2020, 10:53 PM   #28
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Iíve been thinking of getting one of the Weathertech trunk mats. Good to know it fits well.
...
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:26 AM   #29
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2001 SL1
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

What is the Weathertech part number? Their site does not bring up an option. I wonder how well it would fit in the sedan...probably a bit small as it does not have the trim bits and such.
...
1999 SL2 MT (298,000 km @ 06/2021)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
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Old 09-21-2020, 12:16 PM   #30
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1997 SL2
1999 SW2
Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
What is the Weathertech part number? Their site does not bring up an option. I wonder how well it would fit in the sedan...probably a bit small as it does not have the trim bits and such.
I purchased it from Amazon via here. You can also search on their website under the SW and it should show the other colour options (grey, black, and tan iirc).
...
'97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k (M. swapped) - In storage, awaiting an engine rebuild
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:39 PM   #31
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Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
What is the Weathertech part number? Their site does not bring up an option. I wonder how well it would fit in the sedan...probably a bit small as it does not have the trim bits and such.
40072 is for the wagon

40059 is for sedan and coupe
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:58 PM   #32
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Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Thanks! I swear that when I looked this up last week the WeatherTech site pushed me over to the generic fit versions. Weird...
...
1999 SL2 MT (298,000 km @ 06/2021)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

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Old 10-15-2020, 12:45 PM   #33
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Default Re: Money pit - SW2 Build Thread

Hey all,

Since my last post, I have since replaced the passenger axle as the boot broke and the entire axle was replaced under warranty. Installed new rotors and brakes to help with the pulsating while braking, it did help but I feel like the front right caliper is sticking, so I will need to look into that.

While stopping is important, kind of, an amplifier is more important. Got a good deal on both the amplifier and radio, had the radio installed for a while but didn't bother with the amplifier as the stock wiring doesn't seem adequate for anything but for the stock radio.

Planning out my wiring, I decided to run the new wire through the roof as I had to take off the headliner anyway since it began sagging again, here is my route for the rear speakers:
20201011_172308.jpg

I ran accessory power through the driver fender and got it through the side of the car, all hooking up to the fuse box post. This had only powered my dash cam and powered mirror up until then, I didn't want to place the radio on it quite yet as I didn't trust the 4 gauge wire to power the items in the fuse box along with the radio @ 15 amps.

Here is the plan for the 4 gauge amplifier wire and re-routing the accessory power (yellow: Amp (50a max) & blue: accessory (30a max))
Screenshot_20201008-120446_Gallery.jpg

Began with the doors, if you ever do this, push into the grommet and then pull it out, it'll make your life easier.
20201010_155515.jpg

After removing the doors, I had extra sound foam but ended up removing it as the door panel and metal are too close:
20201011_155442.jpg

Additional wiring photos:
20201011_130514.jpg
20201011_130533.jpg
20201011_130545.jpg
20201013_174629.jpg


Finished install under the passenger seat, will make a bracket in the future to fix it to the floor:
20201014_180237.jpg

Radio:
20201014_180247.jpg

Sounds better at higher volume, atleast I think so. Planning on installing a 3rd gen center console while keeping the 2nd gen window switch and just replacing the housing.
...
'97 Saturn SL2 @ 146k (M. swapped) - In storage, awaiting an engine rebuild
'99 Saturn SW2 @ 92k (M. swapped) - Daily Driver

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