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Old 02-05-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
topCONsurveyor
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1995 SL2
Default 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

I got the oil pan off of my 1995 SL2 and found the #3 rod bearing was gone as I suspected. I had to drive the car with the engine like that for a mile so it probably did a lot of damage. I have the engine almost ready to pull out and the best deal I can find on a replacement so far is an engine on my local craigslist from a 1996 with 99k miles looks clean as can be and tested good for about $400. I have the link if I'm allowed to post it here.

My main question is would it be a better idea to just have my original engine rebuilt and roughly what would that cost to have done professionally? I live near Indianapolis and need some recommendations for a place that does quality saturn engine rebuilds at a very good price.

Also I've looked for some detailed step by step engine swap threads in the how-to section and here but nothing really pops up except the richpin 2 part video which is pretty helpful.

Thanks,
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1995 Saturn SL2 1.9L DOHC MFI (4-Door) Automatic (113,000 miles) (Purchased 07/11/2011)


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Old 02-05-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

For 400$, I would go with the used engine (the 96 is a good plug and play swap). You will have a lot less downtime. The machine work and parts to rebuild your motor will cost you more than that, plus your time. I've done it both ways, and will not even contemplate rebuilding now.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

Thanks for the advice.

I also forgot to ask an important question, what is the usual list of things to do "while the engine is out" since some important maintenance items are impossible or extremely difficult to do without removing the engine?

Thanks again,
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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1995 SL2
Default Re: 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

The replacement engine is definitely the most cost effective way to go.

There is one issue: '95s have two separate coolant temperature sensors (one for the PCM and one that just controls the gauge). '96 and newer have just a single sensor that does both. You will need to drill and tap a second hole for the second temperature sensor. Also, be sure to swap in the injectors and fuel rail from the '95 as the '96 injectors will not work properly with the '95 PCM.

If it were a manual, it would be wise to do the clutch while the engine was out, but obviously that doesn't apply for an automatic. You might want to change the belt tensioner and all the motor mounts (particularly the top and transmission mounts, with dealer parts only). They're all relatively easy to do with the engine in, though.

Another thing to consider is the starter. There's no reason to replace it as it will almost certainly last for years, however, you can replace the two mounting bolts with studs (the intake/exhaust manifold studs will work, and you should have a few extra from the two engines). This will make it A LOT easier to replace the starter in the car, if you ever need to (and it's free and only takes a few minutes.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
The replacement engine is definitely the most cost effective way to go.

There is one issue: '95s have two separate coolant temperature sensors (one for the PCM and one that just controls the gauge). '96 and newer have just a single sensor that does both. You will need to drill and tap a second hole for the second temperature sensor. Also, be sure to swap in the injectors and fuel rail from the '95 as the '96 injectors will not work properly with the '95 PCM.

If it were a manual, it would be wise to do the clutch while the engine was out, but obviously that doesn't apply for an automatic. You might want to change the belt tensioner and all the motor mounts (particularly the top and transmission mounts, with dealer parts only). They're all relatively easy to do with the engine in, though.

Another thing to consider is the starter. There's no reason to replace it as it will almost certainly last for years, however, you can replace the two mounting bolts with studs (the intake/exhaust manifold studs will work, and you should have a few extra from the two engines). This will make it A LOT easier to replace the starter in the car, if you ever need to (and it's free and only takes a few minutes.
Thanks for the tip on the starter bolt studs, I forgot about that one. I've changed s-series starters many times now though and my fingers already know where to go to get to that top bolt . I have a brand new starter on my trashed engine that I'll be swapping onto the new engine. I thought about replacing the tensioner and water pump or anything else maybe if they seem worn out. I also thought it might be a good idea to drop the oil pan and clean out the crank case and pan and do an inspection then do a good job on the new oil pan gasket.

I did know about having to drill/tap a hole for the second temp sensor but I didn't know about the fuel injectors and fuel rail, thanks. I was thinking about taking my entire intake manifold off my trashed engine so I could purple soak it for a while and get it clean as new then use it on the new 96 engine.

Thanks,
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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1995 SL2
Default Re: 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

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Originally Posted by topCONsurveyor View Post
I didn't know about the fuel injectors and fuel rail, thanks. I was thinking about taking my entire intake manifold off my trashed engine so I could purple soak it for a while and get it clean as new then use it on the new 96 engine.

Thanks,
topCON
Sounds like a good idea.

The fuel rails are actually identical, I believe, but the injectors are different: OBDI used low impedance (peak and hold) injectors and OBDII switched to high impedance (saturated) injectors, which require a different type of signal from the PCM.

There shouldn't be anything to clean out of the crankcase. If there's sludge or other buildup in the engine (you should be able to see it with a flashlight through the fill hole in the cam cover) I wouldn't consider using it. Unless you suspect that the oil pan is currently leaking, it's probably better to leave it alone (if resealed properly, they rarely leak, but it's just another thing that could go wrong).

You may want to replace the rear main seal. I don't think they leak that often, but it's cheap and not terribly difficult, so it might be worthwhile. I'd probably do the front main seal as well, but that's not hard to do in the car, if it were to ever become necessary in the future.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

Ok, I really appreciate everyones advice so far on my first engine replacement. I have the bad engine all but removed now and it is going pretty smooth.

I need to seal the deal on this replacement engine soon and I would really love it if some you could take a quick look at the craigslist ad and tell me if this engine looks like it is indeed a 1996 as claimed and if this seems like a decent deal. The pics are pretty good quality.

http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/pts/2808848515.html

Thank you,
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

The connector for the oil pressure sender is different 96 to 97 but you can just swap over the sender unit.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1995 Auto SL2 DOHC (spun #3) swap or rebuild?

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Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
The connector for the oil pressure sender is different 96 to 97 but you can just swap over the sender unit.
Thanks, this engine I'm buying is supposedly a 1996 and my car that I'm installing it into is a 1995.

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