Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: PowerStrokers secret Saturn S Series fetish


FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:
PowerStrokers secret Saturn S Series fetish


While there is no doubt I love Ford trucks, I just can't seem to justify the fuel expense of using one for a daily commuter any more.  I currently own 2 such trucks; a 2000
F150 that I have been driving everywhere, and a 76 F150 which is in storage right now for the winter.  In my search for a daily shooter that gets good mileage, I just couldn't seem to fall in love with any Ford vehicles in the price range I want to pay.  I think Fusions are wonderful and stylish cars, but they didn't come out till 2006, so they still cost more than I can justify for a commuter, and I hate having car payments.  Though the newer Focuses are much better vehicles than the original ones were, I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the old ones, and I'm really not thrilled with their styling.  Tauruses were ok, but they had v6 engines and their styling left a bit to be desired too, so I'm turning to GM as a solution for this specific dilemma.

In college, I bought a 95 Saturn SL1 with 89000 miles, and drove the hell out of it.  I traded it in on my 00 F150 when it had 240000 miles.  Granted I replaced or rebuilt everything on it at least once... including the engine, but I loved how easy it was to work on.  Nothing with a blue oval was ever that easy to fix, and it was a really reliable and efficient car.  It was fun to drive too with the 5 speed manual, and when that car finally went away, I felt a piece of me was gone.  I've always liked the S series Saturn's, and was disappointed when GM took over and discontinued that line in favor of the piece of shit ION and L series.

Recently, Princess Putz told me one of her co-workers had a broken down 97 Saturn, so I thought to myself why don't I acquire that car and fix it up, so I did.  It was in pretty rough shape, but I didn't care...  I'm PowerStroker after all, I can fix anything.

It would crank but not start, and I noticed it cranked really fast indicating a possible timing chain issue or low compression.  It ended up being really low compression.  Cylinder 3 had 0 psi from a burnt exhaust valve, and the other 3 had 35 psi from really worn rings.  So I overhauled the engine without even removing it from the vehicle.  I sublet the head to a local machine shop for a complete valve job, and I freshened up the short block myself.  The cylinder walls were badly glazed, and the rings were stuck.  These original Saturn's you see, had a little design flaw in their pistons, in that there was insufficient drainage in the oil ring lands that would cause oil to stay in the oil rings and bake in to carbon.  When that happened they became oil burning pigs.  I resolved this problem by drilling some drainage holes in the piston oil ring lands.  I took measurements and found the cylinder walls were still within standard production specs, so I simply honed them out, replaced the rings and rod bearings, then reassembled with new gaskets.

Here's the burnt exhaust valve in #3:


Here's a complete view of bottom of the head:









I just finished honing the cylinder on the left, the one on the right shows how glazed they all were:


Here's the drainage holes I drilled in the Pistons:


Re-ringed pistons installed back in block with new rod bearings:


Cylinder head back from machine shop:






Manifolds installed, ready to go back on the short block:






It's all done now and I've put almost 200 miles on it.  It runs perfect and doesn't burn a drop of oil anymore.  Compression is now 180 psi in all cylinders.   I've decided I miss the manual transmission too much, so once the state sends me the title I'm going to list this car for sale and get one with a stick... Probably do the same process all over if needed.  Till then I'll drive this one around and save money on fuel.

Thanks for looking.


__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

* faints * falls on floor * gets back up *

Did you say Saturn!?

Well I guess we all have our soft spots. I too have done extensive repairs to Saturn's, however never once have I bothered to go to the extreme you have. I find it rather odd you would go thru such effort on a vehicle you plan to sell. Problem with the Saturn (at least here anyway) is that they don't fetch much in terms of re-sale. Then again if you guys have been slow down there at the dealer it's better to stay busy, yet that wont change the fact that a head job, gaskets and necessary trimmings didn't just fall out of the sky.

It's funny you mention the Saturn though PowerStroker. Back in 1999 I repaired a Saturn SL2 for an auto broaker and was paid with my very first ever Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL. Back then I had to replace all the lifters, timing chain and guides. I think they are the same lifters used in the quad 4 and many other vehicles as well. I guess Fords likes to call them buckets as per the last video you posted on the 3.5 liter.

Never would have taken you for a Saturn guy though.



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Well, I just couldn't wait. I found a really good deal on craigslist for an 02 SC2 and bought it tonight. It's home in the garage and really looks good. Until this past year, it spent it's life in California, so it's in really nice shape. Since it's an 02 (the last year of the S series) It represents what I feel was Saturn's peak. After 02, the S series was replaced with the absolute garbage Ion, and the L series was still available - also junk.

Mine is a blue sport coupe with a manual transmission and just about every option except a sunroof - which I didn't want anyway. I could tell by the drive home that it needs front brakes because they pulsate, also the front wheel bearings are growling, but that's not a big deal, I just did all of that in the maroon sedan shown in the pictures above. Also the check engine light is on, the prior owner told me their mechanic said it needs an oxygen sensor - we shall see, I'll do my own diagnosis.

So now I play the waiting game for the great state of MN to send me the title for the maroon one so I can unload it on somebody. It's a nice car and will serve someone well, it's just not my style.

Anybody want to buy a maroon Saturn? I have too many vehicles, I may even sell the 76 F150 since I really don't need it with the nice 2000 F150 that now represents my backup car.

Bring on the $4/gal gas, I'm ready now bitches.

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

Jeebus... You don't think you might take a bit of a loss on the maroon whip? I mean for gawds sake man, wheel bearings, brakes, pretty much an engine R&I and overhaul... Sound's like you would be lucky to break even on that, unless of course you were donating your time. I think you are going to have to drive that maroon biscuit for 6 months to even make it worth your while.

Now you have gone on and purchased a blue one? You better be careful, sounds like your getting Saturn fever. Before you know it your going to have a driveway and backyard full of them. Trust me I have seen it happen *Cough*, but not necessarily with Saturn.

I have thought about getting a "Zipper" aka "Sipper" to get a little better gas mileage than the 12-14 MPG's I am seeing now, but I just can't justify it. If anything I am considering a Diesel Mercedes W126, as they get upwards of 30 MPG but I really hate the smell and the noise in a luxury sedan, it's not too bad in a truck. Plus when it's cold the Diesels are a pain in the ass to start, and I dont want to be running up my electric bill heating a Diesel. With my gasoline 560 it could be below zero and it fires up on the first crank.

I do know what you speak of though, small cars are fun to whip around and rack up miles but I just don't want my family in a small car.

What kind of mileage are you seeing in the Maroon Saturn? How about the Blue one?  



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

I haven't calculated my mileage yet on the maroon one because I wanted to let the engine break in and do an oil change at 500 miles first.  The old 95 sl1 I used to have got about 33mpg avg.  The person I bought the blue one from said it was getting 37 on the highway.

As far as taking a loss on the maroon one, it's possible, but based on what they're selling for on craigslist I might make a few hundred bucks.  I only paid 200 for it originally, and put another 1100 in parts.  Labor is free for me, so if I sell it for 1800 I should make a quick 500 bucks for my trouble.  With what gas prices are expected to do, there may even bidding wars for reconditioned mileage getters in a few months.  It was something to do anyway, we dealer guys don't get to do much rebuilding these days, so it's nice to get back to basics once in a while.

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

So you are getting a little over twice the mileage that I am seeing in the city (MAYBE), on the highway I can see anywhere from 16-18 MPG, but I do not do a lot of freeway driving.

Some how I don't think that's worth having to drive around in a vehicle with plastic fenders, a 4 cylinder engine and somewhat dated styling. Let us not forget it's still a compact car, not very good for a family of 4 in my situation.

If you turn a lot of miles to and from work every day, and it's just you, then I can see your angle, and it makes sense.

With regards to the maroon vehicle.... Well if you are in the business of rebuilding entire engines and putting on entire front ends for a few hundred bucks, then I would be happy to hire you! Let's face it, you can't honestly say that your going to make a few hundred bucks on that car unless you are saying your time is worthless.

I find it hilarious you want to sell the Maroon car, and you went out and purchased a BLUE one... Your not a little bit politically partisan are you? LOL!

Looks to me that the hood on the Maroon one was "At one time" blue, but must have been re-painted to match the vehicle. I can see you want to be conservative, but your liberal demon must have been screaming in your ear.

-- Edited by SELLC on Wednesday 2nd of February 2011 04:48:59 PM

__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Nah, that's just the lighting, the hood was never repainted. The great thing about plastic though, is it don't rust!!!

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

I dont know dude... You might want to check again.



Look at the back part of the hood, where the hood pad ends... It's blue! Now look over to the right and you can see a portion of the Maroon fender. Look's like a re-paint to me buddy!

__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Nah dude it's black, they didn't color match the underside of the hood from the factory. This is Generous Motors we're talking about after all, they're not going to waste any of that expensive maroon paint if they don't have to.

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Sold the maroon Saturn today to my step sister for $2300.  The receipts I had for it including the innitial purchse of the car and all the parts needed to fix it totaled about $1400, leaving me a cool $900 for my labor.  Plus I swapped the year old tires off of the maroon one with the blue ones tires which were soon to need replacement, so that saved me a few hundred bucks at least - we'll call it 200 cause they were still used.  I figure I had about 22 hours of labor in it, so by my calculation I ended up making $50 per hour for my trouble - which is more than they pay me at the dealership, so I may do more of this kind of "flipping" in the future.

Time to buy new kitchen cabinets!!!

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

Well good for you PowerStroker! Now you got some extra mad money.

See how much money can be made in the private world? You would make upwards of $60-$110.00 per hour as a self employed shop owner plus parts mark up.

But you did screw up and break one of the rules.... #1 rule in the car flipper world is "NEVER SELL VEHICLES TO FRIENDS OR FAMILY". Reson being is everything that the car will need in terms of service down the road will undoubtably be your fault.

Ah well... 

 

__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

I was thinking about that too. My preference would have been to sell it to a stranger, but cash in hand gets my attention.

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Well it's about time to freshen up the engine in the blue sport coupe.

I'm currently looking for opinions on Sealed Power vs Keith Black pistons. Any thoughts fellas?

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

I never cared for the Keith Black line, so I never purchased a set.

I have stuck with what has done right by me in the past and that's Sealed Power, even though they always seem to have something out of stock.

Who the hell pays to freshen up a Saturn anyway?

I could see someone sprucing up one of them Saturn convertibles, but to each their own I guess.



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Thanks! I was leaning toward Sealed Power anyway, but I may go cheap and just drill holes in the oil ring lands of the originals depending on my cylinder measurements. This project started the other day when I felt my clutch slip a little bit. 170000 miles is a pretty good run for a clutch, but if I'm yanking the trans out anyway, I may as well yank the engine out too and re ring it.

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1437
Date:

SELLC wrote:

I never cared for the Keith Black line, so I never purchased a set.

I have stuck with what has done right by me in the past and that's Sealed Power, even though they always seem to have something out of stock.

Who the hell pays to freshen up a Saturn anyway?

I could see someone sprucing up one of them Saturn convertibles, but to each their own I guess.


 BITCH PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE..................... YOU ARE TALKIN OUTTA YOUR ASS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WRENCHIN ??????? SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT.................. BOY BUYS A TOOL BOX AND ALL OF THE SUDDEN THINKS HE IS MCGUYVER!!!!!!!!



__________________

 

 



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

I almost forgot this was a 2 part thread!

There is them photos of your "hand scraped" surfaces! Look at all the trace amounts of gasket left over! The only thing that looks close to clean is the cylinder head, which appears to have been milled and blasted.

Now I can help but to notice how rough them pistons are, athough you did appear to clean them well... So well in fact I don't even think there was any friction coating left when you got done! LOL 

I find it funny you would lecture me about cleaning surfaces while you're stuffing worn out pistons in rebuild. By all rights the crankshaft should have been turned, pistons replaced and the cylinders bored over. A fresh chain, guide and tensioner would have also been a good investment.

Ah well, it's better than it was but no where near as good as it could have been.

I think it's safe to say with oil consumption @ 1 qt every 3k after 20K miles, at 40k it will be at 2 quarts? At what point will the car become a smoking, ticking and piston slapping beater? Do you only expect 60k miles before having to do it all again? 



-- Edited by SELLC on Wednesday 15th of January 2014 05:08:34 AM

__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Well this thread is about the maroon Saturn which has been sold to my step brother and is still running great btw.

I expect to get a lot more than 60k thank you very much. Once I hit 60K I'll let you know how it's going.

Did you ever get your Benz painted yet? the color match on that fender sticks out like a sore thumb.

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

PowerStroker wrote:



Did you ever get your Benz painted yet? the color match on that fender sticks out like a sore thumb.


 I agree, the color match on that left front fender is horrible, of course the fenders on my Benz aren't plastic like your Saturn.

The fender is a used replacement from another vehicle, which is why it don't match.

So you're saying that you installed old worn out pistons in TWO rebuilds?  Kind of makes a slight color match issue seem insignificant. 

Almost forgot you got a newer saturn. Guess you do have a fetish.



-- Edited by SELLC on Wednesday 15th of January 2014 03:17:35 PM

__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

PowerStroker wrote:

Sold the maroon Saturn today to my step sister for $2300.  


 Step brother? Or step sister?



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Well, they're married so technically it belongs to both of them, but since she doesn't do anything of course she gets the new Chrysler, and he works and goes to schools so he gets the old Saturn.

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

You do know I'm just giving you shit for all them PowerStroke years!

Hell, I save used brake pads from donor cars! Haven't purchased a pad or rotor in 12 years! 

Plus it's been slow around here, so I'm finding things to complain about... If this keeps up I'll have to start bitching about Obama! LOL



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

Why would you bitch about Obama? He tried to send money to your state so you could get healthcare, but your Governor said helping your family is less important than playing politics.

I'm waiting for your rant against Rick Snyder, but he's white so I'm not going to hold my breath :)

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

Wow!

Looks more like where YOU stay.



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

How many dirty diapers in that pile Rex?

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

I don't have any kids in diapers.. Better ask Stoma, it's his photo.



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994



FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

Status: Offline
Posts: 3417
Date:

I wasn't talking about your kids Rex, adult incontinence is a medical condition and nothing to be ashamed of, so don't worry.

__________________

~ Ford Senior Master Technician

~ 2 "mandatory vacations" from this site for being way too qualified

~ Is America whi... I mean great again yet ???



OUT-OF-HAND

Status: Offline
Posts: 8667
Date:

Sorry PowerStroker but I had to take out the trash. That included Stoma and his dirty diapers.

You have to know by now the only thing I like more than banning Stoma is yanking your chain! LOL



__________________

State of Michigan Certified Master Auto Mechanic +2

Specialty Certified Since 1994

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.



Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard