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Old 08-13-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
saturnsl02
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Default Build thread: The L

Hey guys, I just wanted to share my experience and grab help from anyone whom can.

I am publishing this not only here, but on toptierimports.com, saturnfans.com and sixthsphere.com. Therefore references to any users will be followed by the website of which they are a user on.

-----

Welcome to my newest purchase, as I like to call, The L. Purchased on July 24 2013



This is a 2000 Saturn LW2. Yes, this comes with the V6. I acquired it for 250 bucks, one previous owner, came with brand new winter tires and 2 summer tires. The things that attracted me to this vehicle is:

- the price
- roof rack
- the price
- winter tires
- the price
- 8 speaker sound system
- the price
- cargo cover
- and the price!

All in all, I've spent about $270.00 and now it's mine and insured under storage insurance. Oh, btw, it's got this many KM on it:



You probably guessed that there was a catch.

This car's timing belt let go, and therefore because it's an interference engine, means the valves are most likely toast. It runs like a diesel, yet I've had it looked at and apparently it's salvageable. When it cranks over, it cranks normal, and there is no hesitation.. which tells us that there is no miss in a cylinder. It just knocks like a veedub diesel in the winter cold.

This thread is intended for discussion and volunteers on helping me get this vehicle on the road! I should mention, this is more of an import than my current car! It's a European platform.













The rear seats fold down!











Aaaand the two areas that need work:





Main post to be updated as time goes on.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Build thread: The L

Day 1 - Initial Teardown



Well, popping the hood this time around was more of a last minute chance for me to stop here. No going back. So this time, I popped the hood knowing after I close it again, my car would not be able to run.

Steve (stevejr47 - sixthsphere.com) was readily available through FB for any guides and information we may need about the L.

We cleared the air box out of the way, and got the intake manifold off. Surprisingly hard to do, considering there was tons to move and unbolt.

The first intake manifold, belonging to the cylinder bank closest to the front had an oily residue inside it, which lead us to believe we weren't going to like what we seen inside. The second manifold, belonging to the cylinder bank closest to the cabin, was dry and cleanish. We weren't sure what we were going to find by going further.

Getting under the intake, and looking into the valves, we could see that there may have been bends, but it's too hard to see in there. We closed it up, now knowing what we were dealing with, and could now more effectively get it apart in a faster timespan.

Dave (boostfreak - TopTierImports.com) came over and took a quick look. Upon what we told him, he suggested that the timing is most likely off, to adjust it to a correct position and see where we go from there. For all we know that can fix the whole problem, or it could do nothing.

Only one way to find out, so on Monday, we lift the engine and begin correcting the timing... Stay tuned!
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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Couple weeks later - At a standstill



So here is what has happened. We went at it. Picture heavy, due to the nature of the build and me probably needing help somewhere down the line.

The vehicle ran when I first got it. Sounded like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEBIdIPnN40

After this I had someone whom has fixed many-a-car before. And he started to rev it. I was like what the hell are you doing man?!?!??? Then it died. He said he was diagnosing it, but I'm still angered about this, as it most likely made the problem worse. And it did. Here is the video of right before we started taking it apart for realzies:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmHO7oqjH2U

So we started digging in. Unbolting, moving, storing..









We noticed the serpentine belt was new, but the timing belt was factory. This was strange as the lady who had it before me said she got the timing belt replaced. Maybe she was confused between the two?





End of day one:



So this was about the point after my above post. Now to progress forward..

We start here and move along







Strange now, crossthreading.. Someone has been here before..



It's weird because the thermostat (which looks new by the way) seems to not need this piece off.. So that means someone has accessed this area before.. My heart starts dropping right around this point..





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Old 08-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #4
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Valve cover seals looked alright. Newer oil which is nice. The cam lobes have little markings on the edges which I learned later are supposed to be there. Had a minor heart attack. This whole area looked quite alright, but then again I've never done this before. That's why I'm here after all.









Tear it down a bit more to get those cams out



Spacers have no wear on them, ****ty picture, I apologize



A few hours, and a lot of unplugging/reaching for stupidly placed bolts and some pulling to get the heads off, we find:



Holy piss. Let me stroll you through all of them up close.











All the bent valves are on the intake side, the exhaust valves are fine. In fact, leak testing the exhaust valves, they leaked none. How are the pistons you ask?

Well pulling off the heads resulted in me getting coolant everywhere (drained it all, but some stayed in the engine)

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Old 08-13-2013, 08:35 PM   #5
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Soaking this up, revealed:















So you can see, the timing was obviously off. A lot of this can be smoothed out with an emery cloth, or so I'm told. However Dan (Js594 - toptierimports.com) and Aaron (darkstar - toptierimports.com) advised that using this engine is no longer an option if I want a reliable DD.

So after coating the cylinders with oil, this is where I'm at:



I'm either going to have to buy a new motor, or find out what's required for an ecotec swap, the engine from the L100 and L200. Sourcing an engine is pretty hard for this car, none at Bucks and the one that's available right now, I can't obtain yet. Rebuilding this is an option, but probably will cost as much as the new engine. I just feel bad because this block has such low km. An ecotec swap, I feel would be a longer process. Although the engine itself is way more reliable, I feel I wouldn't get it done by the time I need to.

I just want to get this thing on the road asap before it gets cold out.. Ca va mal..

That's my progress report thus far.

Published on:
TopTierImports.com - http://toptierimports.com/index.php?topic=5241.0
Sixthsphere.com - http://sixthsphere.com/showthread.ph...uot-The-L-quot
SaturnFans.com - http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=193846
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Build thread: The L

Have the same problem on a car I bought. Bought a pair of heads off of EBay for $50, and just got gasket set and timing kit from Rock Auto. Plan on doing this with the engine in the car.

How long did it take you to get the heads off?
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #7
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I would have no problem with taking a dremel tool and smoothing out the rough edges on those piston dings and reusing them. Rings and bottom end bearings are probably in good shape too considering the cylinder walls and cams, so all you'd need to do is grind seats and replace valves. I fail to see how this would not result in a reliable DD.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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Yeah it might be slightly ghetto, but I'd clean up the piston crowns and be done with it too.

Looking at the damage it's pretty unlikely to have bothered the rods or pinions, I think all the shock would have been taken up by the piston crown and the valve stem. Even the valves look only mildly bent, I've seen a lot worse!

Chris...
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Build thread: The L

I'm in the middle of this same project, just dropped off the heads for a valve job, $75 a head plus $10 a valve if required. I'm pretty sure in my case all the intakes are bad. Car that I'm doing this on has only 66K miles.

Why are you being told to replace the motor?
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:49 PM   #10
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What the hell, I guess I didn't update this further. Let me catch you guys up to speed:

Oct 7:

Found a donor car:


(similar car, was a write off from a minor front end collision that didn't have any effect on the engine or radiator..)



Oct 25:

Sooo,

The new engine was transported to my friends farm and we got to work on removing the old block and transmission. The new engine was swapped in and on it's mounts. The drivers side axle needed to be replaced so I bought that.

The engine is sitting in the bay, on it's mounts.. but not yet plugged in/attached to everything. That's a job for this coming Saturday.

Oct 23:

Pictures?









Oct 26:

Start of day:

+ Started plugging in the harness to the body of the car, realized the engine harness that we kept on the engine from the other car, is not compliant with the wagon.

Progress:

+ Removed old engine harness
+ Installed new engine harness
+ Replaced bad CV Axle on drivers side
+ Installed the fourth and final engine mount
+ Bought a battery
+ Connected fuel lines
+ Other little stuff

Left to do:

+ Connect exhaust
+ Connect coolant lines
+ Install rad fan
+ Finish plugging in on the drivers side electrical area
+ Install battery tray, and battery. Put together the fusebox
+ Top up oil and coolant
+ Try starting it.

Other tasks completed today:

+ Me and Shaun went for an adventure to get a battery from a *****y woman
+ Merrick shot a bird
+ Shaun shot Optimus Prime
+ Dan asked a girl on a date
+ Aaron gained ab strength from leaning over the engine for such long periods at a time
+ I found out I really don't like whatever beer was in Ryan's dads fridge

Monday evening is when we are back to work on it, and I hope we can get it going and I can report back here with happy news!

I don't like posting updates with no pictures, so here is a picture of Shaun while heading to Bucks.

Will report back Monday!!

Oct 29:





After installing everything, I looked under the car and seen a slight, slight leak of transmission fluid. This is caused from a VERY minor slit about the size of half your thumbnail and as thin as paper, on the side of the transmission. We must have bumped it when installing it, as it's in the wide open area and no one seen it when installing the engine. At least it's very easy to get to, and not a problem to try and fix. I applied Permatex cold weld on it yesterday to stop the leaking, will return to it today and see if I can get a better bond with some more of the cold weld stuff, and a heat gun to get the surface to a room temp. If the leak cannot be stopped, then I have a second transmission, I just really don't want to swap it since we are so close to completion.


Progress Yesterday:

+ Installed last engine mount
+ Connect coolant lines
+ Install rad fan
+ Top up transmission fluid
+ Cold welded transmission leak
+ Installed battery tray and battery
+ Finished wiring
+ Installed serpentine belt


Left to do:

+ Connect exhaust
+ Inspect transmission leak
+ Put together air box, install air filter
+ Bolt the power steering fluid reservoir (2 bolts)
+ Bolt radiator in
+ Top up oil + coolant
+ Try starting it.

Oct 31:

Progress is stopped.

There is a leak on the side of the transmission, the size of the edge of your thumbnail (left to right) and as thin as a few pieces of paper.

Which means I either need to find someone to weld it, (since this cold weld stuff isn't working) or I replace the transmission with the one that was originally in there to begin with.

This must have been caused when we put in the transmission, as this wasn't noticed before and is literally impossible to have been from the slight collision the donor car was in.

So yeah, if we can't locate someone to weld it, looks like it's going to be stored for the winter and completed in the spring. The days are too short, and the days get too cold too quick to get any real progress done.

It's a shame because everything is in, and it was almost ready to go. Disappointed, I am.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:51 PM   #11
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Well time to post in this thread again with a few decision updates:

The car is a snowbank in a field at the moment, when it warms up where we don't have our hands cold and the days last longer, the engine and transmission will be removed and the original transmission put in it's place. After that, back in it all goes, plug it in and go from there. The upside is the original transmission only has 80000km, so it's almost like new I guess..

After of which, assuming it starts, would go for a safety inspection and see how that does.

This said, although I'm sure all of the bolts are kicking around, it's really unorganized at the moment. Pulling it all back apart will require a trip to Bucks to grab some extra bolts and things.

I hope to have this thing going at some point in the spring. As I said, for now it's gonna chill in the snow, being patient sucks.. But when the time draws nearer I will be posting some general info for our own reference and go from there.

Re-read through the whole thread, and really do appreciate the assistance with this, and the participation of many in this thread. Makes me look forward to getting into this again!

- Darcy T
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:22 AM   #12
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Well boys, she has been moved to a garage to get this shiz done. Here is how the situation was when we parked it.

We had everything almost in and ready to go, but we noticed a transmission leak. We halted progress due to cold. A few weeks ago, my good friend at Tow Mator Towing said we could use his garage, and hope was restored.

First step was to dig out the car for towing to the city.



Next step? Remove the hood and take a look at what we were dealing with. We weren't expecting this when taking off the hood though..



Dug some of it with our hands



Dan and Ryan got most of the rest with a shop vac.



After some melting action, we finally can see what we have to work with. Now to get to removing the engine.



Axles out, transmission fluid makes a guest appearance.



Engine out, again.



So at this point we called it a day. Both engines are out.

DAY 2 --

We decided to just take off the transmission side cover from one transmission, and replace the cracked one on the donor transmission. This went smoothly.



We got her in there. Almost ready to go.



Now this is the first start attempt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmQJc4Q6T1Q

Here is where are the problems we are currently trying to fix to get this car running.

+ Wiring harness near the battery tray getting warm/hot when turning over for more than 5-10 seconds at a time (smoked when turning over for over 10 seconds)
+ Shifter linkage (when turning over, the shift indicator beside the shifter flickers from park to 3 rapidly
+ Get the car started

We got it to putter for a second but so far we are so damn close, we just ran out of time. Any thoughts or input?
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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At the beginning of the day we tightened the radiator plug, tightened a loose ground on the transmission (hence the weird shifter flashing and the heat and smoke from the wiring). Now the wiring is nice and cool, and doesn't get stupid hot. We tried a few times to get it running and couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. Then I looked down, and realized, GM's passlock is stopping it from starting. This system cuts fuel to the engine, which makes sense. So we had to do a passlock relearn which took half an hour of sitting around doing nothing.




After all that was said and done, this happened:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8GBywR0ChM

She ran! Kinda rough-ish but the year old gas will do that. The service engine soon light tells me the EGR needs replacement at some point, the low washer fluid is well, for low washer fluid, and it also tells me I need an oil change. Duly noted car.. Duly noted..



So after a bit of driving the engine runs nice and smooth, no problems so far. Threw a temp permit on and am driving it for a few days to get it worked in, then she goes for a safety! There are only minor issues right now to work on, such as the hood release cable, and cleaning it out etc.

But for now, she is home.

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Old 01-29-2014, 04:44 PM   #14
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Congratulations.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:09 PM   #15
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Whoo hoo!!!
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:30 AM   #16
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The best feeling after a long project, it runs no major BS and you get to enjoy it now!

Now you get to sit back and smile at what you have created!
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:38 AM   #17
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Awesome. Do you have an exact, final/total cost? Including original price and all parts?
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:22 PM   #18
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Great JOB congrats. I would have polished the piston tops replaced those intakes in valve job and called it a day regardless great job,
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