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Old 05-06-2021, 08:59 PM   #1
alternator guy
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Posts: 5
Default (Introduction) New Saturn Ion Owner

Hello all,

Figured I would post this here rather than the general intro thread since the Ion is the only Saturn I will own or have owned. Mods please move if you prefer.

We just picked up a silver-nickel 2007 Ion 2 automatic for my 18 year old daughter. This is the first Saturn I have owned. $3000!
  • 99,888 miles, smooth running, no B, C, P or U codes
  • Interior 95% immaculate--just a nick in the RR door vinyl and needs a little headliner glue
  • Minor exterior blemishes but looks showroom from 20 feet
  • 90% tread on some Michelins
  • New calipers/pads/rotors
  • New steering motor
  • New fuel lines
  • New ignition cylinder/lock/switch
  • Recent coils
  • No leaks, cold AC when in motion with no UV spots✝
  • Underbody clean as a whistle, very minor rust here and there, boots intactá
  • Fluids clean but not new
  • Nice and peppy and handling well. On a test drive we got it up to 90 with no vibration and panic-stopped from 60 in the wet and the ABS balance and TC were excellent. No bad sounds in tight loops in forward and reverse.

✝Not the coldest AC when stationary but the pressures check out. We'll have to see how she does when it gets hot out but this is pretty normal for an idling small car. The reverse seek button on the OE stereo head unit is non-functional, but kids these days just bluetooth it anyway.

áThe passenger half shaft inner boot is a bit wet leading me to believe there is a bad seal where the shaft enters. I have done this seal job on a few cars, so if I were to go in blind, I would decouple the lower control arm, swing out the hub and gank the shaft, replace the seal and reverse removal.

First thing I'm gonna knock out is the timing chain and tensioner. it is not clear that this has or has not been addressed, but I don't want to trash the head. While I'm in there, I will knock out that shaft seal.

The guy we bought it from is a horse of a different color. He is a registered dealer, but exclusively of used Saturn vehicles in good condition. Turns out he worked the nearby Saturn plant from day 1 until they shut it down, so these cars are special to him and he has become a bit of an eccentric. He does the major service things needed depending on model and brings them back to spec. He likes the plastic body panels and keeps a bunch on hand. If anyone in central Indiana is looking for a Saturn or some panels, PM me for his info.

I'm 39, and I am the manager and technical sales guy at a unique auto parts store, Van's Electrical Systems in Indianapolis, IN. We are a third-generation family-owned and operated DC electrical specialty shop and warehouse-distributor focusing mainly on commercial, industrial, EMS, fire, law enforcement and antique vehicles and equipment. We reman starters, alternators, motors, carburetors, distributors and mechanical fuel pumps in-house. We can repair (with some outsourcing) most electronics and modules. We manufacture high-output alternators up to 350 amps.

It doesn't pay the best, but I don't play well with others. I never want to work anywhere else. Working is, or at least it can and should be, about more than money.

My dad was the manager at Van's since I was little, and he worked auto parts his whole life. I started out at about 10 stocking shelves summers and weekends. I bounced around for a while before returning, including stints managing a RadioShack, building servers for CompaqHP, selling parts for and building custom gaming PC's at PC Club, and working tech at BatteriesPlus (not in that order). I learned a lot at each of these jobs that prepared me to take on my dad's role, and then dig deeper into specialty DC tech. All in all I have been working for the Van family for about 23 of the past 29 years.

I wrench on all my own vehicles (and vehicles of family and friends), though I generally stop when big parts have to come off... I have only ever dropped and rebuilt the manual transmission on my first car, a 77 Datsun 200SX, and engine swapped a 92 Nissan Sentra I later rolled when I fell asleep at the wheel. I have a metric s***load of tools and there aren't many jobs I can't tackle.

Other current vehicles are a 2005 Escalade and a 2007 Ford Freestyle. We have had a 2004 Trailblazer, a 2000 Tahoe, a 2000 Pontiac, a 2000 Focus, a 1996 Buick, a 1996 F150 and a 1984 F150--which I sold for $300 with 425,000 miles on it.

This post has gone on much longer than I intended, but I have found that it is beneficial to establish a sort of baseline on THE owners' forum when you acquire a vehicle. That way, active members know what you're bringing to the table and that you're not a one-and-done member. Anything I can do to help on electrical, including alternators, starters and components for them, PM me and I will help you out. I hope that I don't have to rely too heavily on this forum, but older cars do like to throw curveballs so I am glad I joined.
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Old 05-10-2021, 01:50 PM   #2
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SLfun will become famous soon enough
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Toronto, Ontario.
Posts: 713

1998 SL2
2006 ION Red Line
Default Re: (Introduction) New Saturn Ion Owner

Welcome to Saturn ownership! They are wonderful under appreciated cars with composite fenders that look good and won't dent for the life of the vehicle.

I have an Ion Redline with the 2.0 Ecotec and the timing chain just started to make noise at 95k miles. I bought the complete kit from Rock Auto including the waterpump, balance shaft chains and all the guides.

Really good call on doing the chains on yours as well, as it seems to be the weakest link on the Ecotec line of engines.
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
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