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Old 03-31-2004, 11:09 PM   #1
Lurker1999
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Default Help this person with a 94 SL1 engine rebuild..

From another message board that I frequent one of the posters had a question regarding her car. Her post is as follows:

I have a '94 Saturn SL1 that needs a new engine. It was in for repairs to the timing chain (which is covered under warranty) when they discovered the additional damage. I have replaced the clutch (standard), the engine fan (twice) and the alternator (twice). Repairs under warranty are the timing chain, set, cover gaskets, tentioner and guides ($1,000 right before I went on maternity leave.) Oh, and the odometer doesn't work (or whatever tells me how *far* I've gone). On the bright side, the body of the Saturn is in very good condition (inside & out).

My question is whether it is worth it to replace the engine or buy a used car. Since the service station is unsure of whether their work caused the damage (some or all), they are willing to replace the engine for cost ($3,000) and not charge me labor.

Why a used car? DH totalled the family SUV in Nov., which we replaced with another SUV and are comfortable with the monthly payments. However, I can't see our handling two car payments. And unfortunately, I NEED a car (job, childcare, etc.). The used car in question would be around the cost of a new engine, $4,000.


Any information I can bring back to the person? I'm assuming they are NOT willing to do work on their own so ordering a crate engine and dropping it in herself isn't gonna fly.
...
93 SC2a 69k
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Old 03-31-2004, 11:16 PM   #2
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If they are willing to replace the engine and not charge her.... why not go for it... She gets a new engine for free. IF she doesn't go for that, she spends $4000... makes sense to me to keep what she's driving now. She's got a new clutch and Alternator.

I vote... KEEP IT
...
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Old 04-01-2004, 04:55 AM   #3
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I say get rid of it...book value on a 94 sl1 definately wont be 3 grands...hell, my 93 sl2 isn't worth that much...and crate motor? hahhaha...they're already here...no such thing.unless the saturns from japan are hitting their 50k limits...wow...actually that would be really nice! She can get another w/o the problems (seems like she's already put too much into it) and keep the current as a parts car. Just my opinion...

TOSS THE SATTY!
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Old 04-01-2004, 09:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
[i]My question is whether it is worth it to replace the engine or buy a used car. Since the service station is unsure of whether their work caused the damage (some or all), they are willing to replace the engine for cost ($3,000) and not charge me labor. [/B]
Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin94SL
If they are willing to replace the engine and not charge her.... why not go for it... She gets a new engine for free. IF she doesn't go for that, she spends $4000... makes sense to me to keep what she's driving now. She's got a new clutch and Alternator.

I vote... KEEP IT
I think what they meant was the new engine would be sold to them at cost $3000 and labor would be free. While a new car would be $4000. I would call around to junkyards - im sure you could get a junk engine for $1500-2000. Take this engine to the garage and let them install it for free!
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Old 04-01-2004, 02:33 PM   #5
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I'm sure they wouldn't install an engine the person brought in themselves for free! I'm sure mechanics aren't THAT nice. They have to eat, too you know?
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Old 04-01-2004, 02:45 PM   #6
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Tough choice, but I'd see what kind of Used car I can get with $4k (or under) first.

If lucky enough to get a '99 or '00 SL1 S-series with low mileages (< 25k mileages), I'll go for Used. (But this is a time-consuming, and luck dependent route).

Otherwise, it's less hassle to get a new motor to the '94 SL1 for $3k only. Like she said, the body is still in good shape, with new clutch and alternator already. New drop-in engine itself should also carry some terms of warranty too.
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Old 04-01-2004, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by 94SL2withphone
I'm sure they wouldn't install an engine the person brought in themselves for free! I'm sure mechanics aren't THAT nice. They have to eat, too you know?
Read the original post! They are only going to charge for the cost of new engine and include free labor!!!
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Old 04-01-2004, 06:26 PM   #8
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A junkyard motor generally runs between $700 and $900 depending in the mileage, they already know the car, you can't buy a car with a history you know for $900, and if they are gonna eat the labor, I would start calling around to junkyards. It doesn't make sense to put a brand new engine into a 10 year old car, especially to the tune of $3K. If the car was running when it was brought there for a timing chain concern, and now it needs a new engine, what happened? Did they screw up the timing and try to run it? If so, all that would need to be done is replace the bent valves, check for piston damage, and put it all back together. Sounds like the garage doesn't know what they're doing. A timing chain on an SL1 is about the easiest thing out there. Different colored links on the chain, couple o dots, it damn near installs itself. Of course I've probably done more of them than your average garage, but still, it isn't brain surgery. I woudl want to know exactly what the damage is to the engine that would necessitate its replacement and go from there. Where is she located? I know a couple places around here that sell engines cheap....
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Old 04-01-2004, 07:04 PM   #9
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Sorry.. misread the first time through. Agree with SaturnTech though.. especially with a new clutch, alternator etc in the car
...
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Old 04-01-2004, 08:49 PM   #10
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I'm more courious as to how a car "Under Warranty" wound up at a "Service Station" for repairs...? Sometimes the choice of repair facilities DOES make a BIG difference...
...
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Old 04-01-2004, 09:20 PM   #11
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She's had the car towed to her local Saturn dealership it seems for a second opinion. Should hear back soon..
...
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Old 04-01-2004, 09:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by splat
TOSS THE SATTY!
You can buy a decent SL2 for $2500.
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Old 04-02-2004, 11:28 AM   #13
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Thanks to Lurker1999 for pointing me to this site.

Update on my car. $3,000 is for a remanufactured engine w/a 12mo/12,000mi warranty. I agree $3,000 is a bit much for a 10yr old car. I found someone who will replace the engine for $1800 (pre-owned parts & labor) w/a 12mo/12,000mi warranty or for $100 more 24mo/24,000mi. Toss in free towing and replacement of any needed belts or hoses (also free) and I'm once again a happy Saturn owner.

...
'94 SL1, 5spd ~132K
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Old 04-02-2004, 11:33 AM   #14
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Yikes! I forgot to say thank you to everyone who posted. And I should have specified, the car was towed to Goodyear for the timing chain, then to Saturn of Austin (Texas). Has anyone heard of American Engine Installations? They are the ones quoted at $1800.
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Fm K Kondoff
Has anyone heard of American Engine Installations?
I haven't; but, thank you for the name.
...
> 95 SL 2 = 653,369 Miles 40.4 MPG, as of 5/20/11. My manual Radiator Fan Switch, courtesy of Wolfman's patient installation guidance, continues to be.......invaluable < The car was retired
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Old 04-03-2004, 01:16 PM   #16
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I sure hope you went for the 100dollar 24/24

But congrats!
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:05 PM   #17
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I must not have seen this thread before so it is probably too late.

Labor to do an engine swap will run you around $700-800. Used engines can be had for as little as $300 on up. Fewer miles on the engine, the higher the cost.

I had a low mileage (20K) engine swapped in a 96 SL1 for $1400 including a new clutch last December.
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