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Old 09-09-2021, 11:43 PM   #1
lanxer57
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Default Me and my saturns

I have been complaining about issues with my saturns on other threads. I see this as getting off topic, so I decided to start a thread specifically to share things I have been doing, and problems I have been having with my saturns, and ask for advice about them. The first posts will involve problems from before I started this thread.

WARNING! INSANITY LIES AHEAD, AND MAY BE CONTAGIOUS...
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
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Old 09-10-2021, 12:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Before I found Saturn...

Having gone out of business when I was only 7 years old, and my family having no prior interest in saturn, I had no idea what a saturn was until 8 years later. When I started learning to drive in 2017, I had been looking mostly at classic cars, but I noticed that my cousin had left a running car in our driveway: a 1997 v6 Mustang. That seemed conveniant at the time, and the rest of my family thought so too. I cleaned it out, boiled in it because the power window on the driver side did not always work, did some routine maintinance, and rebuilt the front suspension. The suspension never had a chance to break-in, because I do not have X-ray vision, and failed to see the sign behind a corner until cones were already making the lane smaller. There were too many cars to change lanes, but I am not smart enough to have known that, and did not brake until it was too late (knew I should have upgraded those brakes!) Bang! I was not going very fast by the time I hit the ugly hatchback, but the airbags went off (no one told me about the smoke). The aftermarket headlights also fell out, and the horn would not shut up, but otherwise we could have driven it home. Airbags are still enough to total a cheap car, and it went straight to the crusher, Mom said "this could be a blessing in discuise.
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-10-2021, 12:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

now back on topic...

How I found Saturn (the S series)

Immediately after I wrecked the mustang, I started looking for another car. I knew I wanted a small cat that was not ugly, not a convertible, and was older, with less technology. Mom had some conditions: It must have front airbags on the driver and passenger side (ruling out most cars older than 1994), It must have back seats with seatbelts, It can not be RWD (no more mustangs, this is Denver), It must have 3 stars and above for NHTSA crash-testing except for the rear seats (that one cut my list in half, eliminated most smaller cars, as well as my dads 2000 pontiac grand prix, and the S series barely made it, else I would be on Buick fans.com)and it can not have a manual transmission (Because I am not a good driver, I had to pass-up several saturns because of manuals).
Armed with this information, I made a list of cars, and eliminated many as I learned more about them. Some cars I almost bought earlier in the search, such as pontiac grand ams, and any oldsmobile from the 1990s except the 88 were crossed out later. The top 3 cars that stayed on this list, basically on top the entire time were the ford probe after 1994 (rare, hard to find), DSM cars (also hard to find), and the saturn S series. Others included the cobalt/ion/G5, buick lesabre. the results I was getting on craigslist were mostly S series, buicks, and cobalts. The differance was that I could not find anything about the S series that I did not like (still have not found it). I rejected a few of them because of manual transmissions, even one I did not find out until I saw it in person, and one 1995 SC2 (my holy grail) because dad thought the seller was... not nice.
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-10-2021, 01:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

After almost a year of searching, I finally got to one before someone else did: a 2001 SC1 with "power nothing" in my dads words, I liked it even more as a result. I changed out the front wheel bearings, replaced a couple panels, drove it for a while, developed the "famous crack" in the radiator, but did not get a chance to fix that before I was doing a left turn, when a subaru appeared in the lane I was trying to get into, and pushed me into the foundation of a lamp post, spilling a passangers soda EVERYWHERE. The airbags did not go off, and I thought the frame was intact until closer inspection... for the rest of this nonsense, you can read this thread: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=268362
Attached Images
File Type: jpg my 2001 sc1 8.jpg (208.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg backwards rear driver corner.jpg (177.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg front parked backwards.jpg (155.6 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg my 2001 sc1.jpg (179.2 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg my 2001 sc1 6.jpg (206.6 KB, 8 views)
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-10-2021, 01:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

After a few months of searching for saturns with dead engines (and some tears when I heard that the junkyard no longer sells entire cars because of the plague, many of the cars there are in better condition than any I have ever owned, and I have a perfectly good engine and trans at home), I found a 1999 SC1 with mostly intact body but transmission problems that have yet to be diagnosed (until it is test driven) for only $550. It came with stupid looking aftermarlet rims, and dry rotted tires, and we towed it 50 miles home. Having been left with windows down for 6 months, the interior was VERY dirty, but I compensated by cleaning it to satisfactory levels. The previous owner discribed the transmission losing 1st, and high gears after 30 minutes of driving, but I need to test drive it to see what he was talking about. Any specific symptoms I should look for?
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-10-2021, 01:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Another thing that happened with my 2nd saturn was completely unexpected: I locked it up at night, only to find the next day that the key that goes to the ignition does not fit in the external locks! (the ignition switch was likely replaced at some point) I broke one of the locks getting it open, but luckily, I just happened to have a key to the locks from my 1st saturn, so I now need 2 keys to use it: one to enter, and one to start it!
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Here are some photographs with my 1st, and 2nd saturns. Both SC1s, the 2001 was my 1st saturn, and is now little more than a frame... The 1999 is my 2nd saturn, I have since cleaned the interior, the previous owner complained of transmission issues, and I have not yet test driven it, because we towed it home.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg my 2 saturns back.jpg (123.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg my 2 saturns down.jpg (151.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg my 2 saturns driveway.jpg (117.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg my 2 saturns front.jpg (103.9 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg my 2 saturns side.jpg (147.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg towing my 2nd saturn.jpg (120.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg towing my 2nd saturn pf.jpg (102.2 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg towing my 2nd saturn road.jpg (53.3 KB, 6 views)
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Some more pictures of my 2nd saturn. See the cracks in the driver-side quarter panel? I might get around to it. See those 18 inch aftermarket rims? They look sporty, but stupid on this car. The tires are also shot, that would be $300. Not affordable for a broke kid, they will be switched out with the stock rims with okay tires on my 1st saturn.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg my 2nd saturn dd stupid rims.jpg (110.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg my 2nd saturn dr stupid rims.jpg (104.5 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg my 2nd saturn ff low.jpg (95.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg my 2nd saturn ff.jpg (95.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg my 2nd saturn pp stupid rims.jpg (107.7 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg my 2nd saturn pr stupid rims.jpg (101.9 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg stupid rims.jpg (99.9 KB, 11 views)
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-11-2021, 01:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

I am having currently having 2 problems with my current saturn.

1: The previous owner said that the automatic transmission was failing in its highest, and lowest gear after 30 minutes of driving. I cannot confirm exactly what it is doing yet, because I have not yet had a chance to test-drive it. I have previously been told that it may be a condition known as "reverse slam" involving the valve body, and input-output shaft nuts, and have been shown threads on ways to fix that, but still want to test drive it before spending lots of money (I spent most of mine on my 1st saturn). Does anyone know what syptoms I should look for specifically?

2: I started it a few days ago (yes, it runs, the fuel stabilizer worked well, and yes, it has oil in it) but I did notice that it seemed to be running a bit rough, shaking a lot, and making a deep (reletively) thumping/gurgling sound almost like a bigger, older engine. I got an OBD2 code for a misfire in cylander 1, and believe that is what makes it run like that, but spraying brake cleaner on the intake manifold did nothing. Dad suggests fuel "Lucas" additives. Any ideas on what else I should check?
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Until the experts reply, I would do the following:
1) Replace the “valve body” , which is conveniently located on top of the transmission, because the designers had linear thinking capability.
I am not sure where to get a valve body. You don’t want to spend big money right now. It’s almost a case of borrowing one from a known good running car.
2) Replace the spark plugs. Post pictures of the old spark plugs.

Careful driving out there! Smashing cars is time consuming, at best.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Today, I started the process of tightening the input/output shaft nuts on my transmission, only to run into a small problem: none of dads sockets will fit on the input shaft nut. We do not even have a 23mm socket. It was already too dark to leave home when I noticed, and we will buy one tomorrow. The cover that I removed showed no signs of rubbing, and I did not notice any visible damage to what I could see. the fluid that I drained out looked to be the color of blood, so I think it was a bit dirty. The dead gasket material is really stuck on there, how can I get it off without damaging anything?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg clean inside tranny.jpg (124.7 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg tranny nuts.jpg (80.6 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg tranny side.jpg (79.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg bloody ATF.jpg (76.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg bloody tranny fluid.jpg (80.2 KB, 6 views)
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Quote:
Originally Posted by lanxer57 View Post
Some more pictures of my 2nd saturn. See the cracks in the driver-side quarter panel? I might get around to it. See those 18 inch aftermarket rims? They look sporty, but stupid on this car. The tires are also shot, that would be $300. Not affordable for a broke kid, they will be switched out with the stock rims with okay tires on my 1st saturn.
Agreed! The trend for bigger rims and lesser tire height just puts more stress on the car's suspension components. There's a reason tires haven't been made of solid rubber for over 100 years. The more flexible your tires are (taller sidewall) the smoother your cushion-of-air ride is going to be.
...
• 1997 SW2 used 12/29/2011 with 124,200 -27 mpg
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Today I tightened the input shaft nut. I had to grind down a brand new socket, and jamming a screwdriver in the clutch-pack caused one of the holes to elongate. I noticed that residual fluid on the cover looked contaminated as I scraped the old gasket material off with a putty knife. Unable to locate a new gasket, I used sealant (the one on top). The entire tube of was used, and I am letting it sit for 24 hours, as the instructions say. I also replaced the valve body with the one from the wrecked 2001, it worked fine before, and after the accident, but I will not know of any problems, or leaks until I pour fluid in it, perform Wolfmans procedure on it for good measure, and drive it for 30 minutes. The sealant should come off easier than that gasket when it inevitably fails! Are 25MPH neighborhood roads sufficient for it to relearn shifting, or does it need to go faster?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ground socket.jpg (89.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg elongated hole.jpg (84.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg contaminated ATF.jpg (138.4 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg putty knife.jpg (76.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg sealants.jpg (171.8 KB, 1 views)
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1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-21-2021, 11:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Update: I poured 4 quarts of ATF in the transmission, as well as 1 quart of "lucas" additive. It was not enough, even after adding what was left of the bottle I used to top it off before, it still barely touched the end of the dipstick. It does not seem to be leaking. (at least not enough to widen the puddle of old fluid that I spilled) I also switched the spark plug wires with some better ones, it ran better, but the code "P0301" for cylinder 1 misfire came right back. I also did a quick test to see if it would move, starting with reverse, and it moved forward. My 1st thought was "OH $#!%, I am going to hit the traverse", I hit the brakes, and shifted to neutral, and it went forward again! I even tried selecting drive, and it went forward. I tried selecting park, but the selector did not want to go into park, I thought I would snap the cable if I pushed any harder. I eventually got control of the situation by shutting off engine, putting it in neutral, and pushing it back into the garage. Any ideas?
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1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Today, I pulled the spark plug wires, and plugged them in the correct order. I then started the engine... and immediately switched it off when I heard what sounded like a broken dentist drill. I tried again with the same result, and recorded it.https://youtu.be/vp1_6WBBx2Y
...
1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
1999 SC1 2021-now(working progress)
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:12 AM   #16
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

The noise seems to have been made by the manual valve link getting grinded by a gear. that was also what caused it to move forward in reverse, unless the garage is just not perfectly level. The picture of the bent link is very dark, because it was in the garage, and cameras require lots of light.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bent link.jpg (72.1 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg intact rod.jpg (128.9 KB, 2 views)
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1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

It works in reverse now, as well as forward, but it is leaking, probably because I used sealant instead of a gasket. (I will never be able to afford that)
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1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:23 AM   #18
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Also, this is what the 2001 saturn looks like now, the engine should be gone tomorrow. I also got the VIN.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg skeleton closed side.jpg (156.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg skeleton front.jpg (145.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg skeleton open corner.jpg (162.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg skeleton open side.jpg (189.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg skeleton PR.jpg (122.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg skeleton rear.jpg (122.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg skeleton soch.jpg (138.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg inside skeleton.jpg (102.9 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg skeleton name.jpg (104.7 KB, 8 views)
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1997 V6 Mustang coupe 2018-2019(wrecked, airbags went off)
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

Get a gasket, it will leak if you do not. On ebay you can get a top pan gasket and side cover gasket for around $25.
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Old 09-30-2021, 01:11 PM   #20
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Default Re: Me and my saturns

I can buy them on the internet? I should have thought of that, my generation is supposed to be good with computers. It is leaking, but at least I got it in the driveway. I expect it to take multiple attempts over several days to get the right part on the internet. I will still need to diagnose the error code to pass emissions testing.
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2001 SC1 2020-2021(wrecked, frame was bent)
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