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What happened to my 1996 Saturn
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogMy Saturn was in an accident almost 2 years ago with a SUV. The SUV hit the front right of my car, busted my flip up headlight and slightly crumpled the radiator support bar as seen in these pics. The left flip up headlight was destroyed a few days later at Sam Dell, the car dealership my insurance made me take my car to for a damage estimate. The Sam Dell idiots ripped the good headlight off instead of taking it off to look at the bumper closer, which had no real damage. But because they are idiots they damaged my car more than the accident did by doing their front end dismantling to finish their estimate. F*cking money grubbing assholes f*ck up my car so much I had to get it towed out of there so they couldn't hold it hostage in an attempt to force me to use them to repair my car. Instead, I have been going to the scrap yard "Pick 'N Pull" and have been getting new pieces, namely: headlights, fender, hood, and wheel well. I now have all the pieces I need and now I just have to put everything back together.
Saturn radiator support bar
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogWell, I drilled out a spot on the fender bar so I could attach a chain mount to it for a connection point for my tow strap hook. Heres the hook attached to the chain mount: Another angle: Attached to a pine tree for an ancor support. Pulling resulted in slight movement of the crumpled bar, before the metal started giving away on the chain mount. So, I used a rubber mallet and started whacking it and hitting parts back into place. Another angle: The hood does close a little more level now. I'm going to use a small pry bar and rubber mallet to try and straighten it out more. As long as I can get it straightened enough for my headlight to mount back in correctly, it'll be good enough.
Right side almost done.
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogAfter my last attempt at straightening out that radiator support bar, I purchased a $10 nail puller that looks like a mini crow bar. It worked out great for fixing the rest of the crumpled metal because both ends were the perfect size to fit in the pre-existing drilled holes in the metal. So, using that and a rubber mallet I was able to whack most of the metal back into place. I also fixed up another spot to use my tow cable on and with chelle's help we were able to pop out a very crumpled part. So, now that the bar has been straightened out enough to put the headlight back on, I did just that. After 6 hours of work yesterday, I got the old wheel well off, drilled off the busted fender support bar, put on the right headlight, right turnsignal, new support bar and fender. I also replaced the headlight bulb and both turn signal bulbs. I would have taken pictures as the work progressed, but I didn't want to dirty up the camera and I didn't want to stop working while I was making so much progress. Heres the finished pics of the support bar and all the work I finished yesterday. In the end, the bar was still off by so many centimeters, and thats all that was needed to not have the headlight and fender aligned 100%. Oh well, I just want the car back on the road and running again.
Pretty much done
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogThe very next day after posting about the right side being almost done, I put the other headlight and turn signal on the left side. Since then I've put in quite a few more days and alot of hours into the car and now its pretty much done. All I had left was to bleed the brake lines. I bled the driver's side, then when I went to bleed the passenger side, the bleeder nut snapped off. x_x So I replaced the caliper and when I went to bleed the line, the hood latch release busted. Anyway, even without bleeding the line the braking felt alot better so I figured it would be best if I replaced the other side too. So I replaced the left side and messed with the hood a bit more. No luck. Today tho, I got lucky. After fashioning a coat hanger into a crude pulling rod and inserting it at the driver's side headlight to blindly attach it to the hood release... It didn't work and I got extremely fucking pissed. After 30 minutes I said fuck it and attacked the problem from under the car. The air deflector under the hood was already broken off to begin with from a snow issue about 2 years ago, so I had access to the top portion of that piece of plastic without having to first remove that large deflector piece. Anyway, three bolts later I found out I could bend that piece of plastic towards the radiator and access the hood latch release spring thru a small access hole with a screwdriver. A couple seconds later and one quick, light push with a screwdriver, my hood pops up. Turns out the cable did not break and the hood latch was still working. I lubricated the hell out of it so it would stop being a bitch to operate and the cable somehow got dislodged from two retaining clips on the inside of the engine compartment and another two clips from under the dash. After zip tieing those couple spots and pushing the hood release cable back into position I was able to tighten it all up and it works again. The real bullshit was that the cable still worked. I was just afraid of breaking it when I pulled on the cable with a pair of pliers in the drivers seat. I could have saved myself quite a bit of time if I'd have just yanked the damn thing. Of course one of the little metal wires is broken on the cable so it'll probably fail on me again someday and completely snap now... but at least now I know how to pop that f*cking hood without a cable. As of now, I have 5 bolts left to put back on the car, bleed the brake lines and go for a test drive. The car is already insured and re-registered but I still have to get it inspected. Once I finish up the little things I'll take some new pics.
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogThe bleeding nut on the passenger side front caliper broke and so I replaced the caliper. Instead of just doing that side I felt it would be best if I replaced both calipers in the front and thats just what I did. $80 later for the calipers and a bit of work a week and half ago and the job was done. Bleeding the brake lines was time consuming, but after I got it done I took it over to midas and had them replace the fluid and re-bleed it all.
Oil pan leak fixed
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogAfter I got an oil change done, my oil pan started leaking like a son of a bitch. Almost a quart a day. My friend Scott came over a couple days ago with his metal car ramps and we took a look at the problem. He found a couple pin hole leaks, at least they weren't too big. So we wiped the entire thing down with rags and sandpapered the area with the leak and put some quicksteel epoxy putty on it to seal the leak. It worked. It worked so good I decided to sandpaper the entire damn rusted oil pan and patch up every part that was rusted. Which was the entire front and bottom of it. Heres some pics of what it looked like with the front part of it done. I didn't take any pics after I was finished because I so much epoxy on my hands I had to scrub them down with a steel wool pad. After that I didn't feel like even going back outside at that point. Car on ramps: Shitty walmart ramps I'm returning. The pieces of shit started buckling under the weight of a saturn! WTF!? What a shit product. Old steel ramps: Me working on oil pan: Patched Oil pan: Quicksteel: It took 7 tubes of quicksteel for the front, bottom and most of the sides of the oil pan, at least the part of the oil pan I had access to (the rest is over top other parts, thankfully it wasn't leaking in a place I couldn't reach). If anyone reading this attempts this, make sure you only pinch of an inch of this stuff at a time, knead it up and press that crap on there good... Its a bitch to do, but it'll eventually bond with the metal. If you try to do half a tube at a time, it hardens up too fast to make sure all of it is sticking good to the metal. Take your time doing it and it'll be strong as hell. Hopefully I won't get any more leaks but if I do have to eventually replace the oil pan, I made sure none of the epoxy is touching any other parts of the car and none of the epoxy is on any of the bolts holding it in place. I wanted to make sure I didn't screw myself more in the long run. Also, its been 24 hours since I patched it up and no leaks!
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogAside from getting the right colored hood and a couple new fog light housing pieces (damn pieces holding the lights in place are busted up pretty bad), the car is done. It passed the NY state inspection the other day and I've been driving it to work all last week. Check out the before and after pics:
Damn exhaust pipe
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogAs I was driving home from work last monday I noticed my saturn kept getting louder and louder. And then, right on the last couple streets to get to my house, my car started screaming at me. The car drove fine, felt fine, but the f*cking thing sounded like a drag racer. I got home and checked my exhaust and sure as hell, the joint where the exhaust pipe connects at broke. A car with no exhaust connected to it is so friggin loud you almost need earplugs. The joint was pretty rusted, but the reason it broke is because another support piece further down the exhaust pipe broke and that caused the pipe to have enough back/forth and up/down movement to finish off the joint. I don't have any pictures of it or my repair job. But it should be all fine now since I quicksteeled the support and main joint back together again. Thank goodness for quicksteel. Aside from duct tape, this epoxy steel is versitile as all hell. *rubs my sore fingers from all the kneeding* x_x
Saturn front brakes and rotors
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogThe brakes have been pulsating pretty bad for about 2 weeks now. The pads looked good, so it must have been the rotors. I replaced the front rotors, brake pads and brake hardware clips yesterday and now it seems to be braking good again. I still have to give it a longer road test, but it is braking pretty solid now. BTW, rotors at NAPPA were $18 a piece while Autozone was $38 a piece. But for some reason the brake pads were actually cheaper at autozone than either NAPPA or advance auto parts. Surprised me. I'm not surprised I had to replace the brakes tho, they were the same pads and rotors that sat for almost 2 winters with the car. The bolts that held the caliper bracket on were rusted to all hell. Freeze off, an 18mm wrench and a rubber mallet and bam. I'm lucky the damn bolts didn't break.
1996 Saturn SC2 - Valve cover and gasket job with oil change
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogA while ago, I had some serious engine rocking problems and misfires happening with my car. The end result was a $700 repair bill at a local mechanic. Part of the repair work about $150 of it, was for replacing the valve cover gasket. Well, a few months after it was done, it started leaking oil and over the past 6 months it started leaking really bad, causing oil to leak down onto the exhaust manifold and cause grey smoke to come out from under the hood on a daily basis. Seeing as the valve cover already had a new gasket and still leaked, I figure the valve cover itself needs to be replaced as it has become warped with heat and/or damaged somehow. I went to the local pick n pull and found the only saturn that had the same valve cover as mine. I lucked out pretty good. I have pictures of the valve cover before and after cleaning and what the factory gasket (black gasket) looks like. Maybe I'll post those pictures in another blog entry. But why did I buy the valve cover at the scrap yard? Because it only costed $11 compared to the close to $400 the dealership wants. This tutorial isn't completely in-depth on how to change a valve cover gasket but it does cover all the steps. All I can say is that for a saturn, it is easier to change your valve cover than to change your front brake calipers and bleed the brake lines. 1) First off, drive the car up onto car ramps (not those shitty plastic ones, unless you want a car to fall on your head), put an oil drain pan under the oil pan, drain the oil by removing the oil pan plug, then remove the oil filter and also let that drain. Then screw back on your oil pan plug and put on a new oil filter. I have no pictures of doing all that. X'D 2) Disconnect your battery at the negative terminal. Now you'll want to mark the number order of your spark plug boots with duct tape and pull them out and set them to the side. Then disconnect the hose and unplug the pcv valve from the valve cover. 3) Now you'll remove the bolts holding the valve cover on. I would take them off in the order as specified in the haynes/repair manual. Then take the valve cover off, be careful, its an oily mess. The old gasket should come off rather easy, but you might have scrape the gasket off the manifold or valve cover, if any rtv was used. This is a picture of the old valve cover and gasket (the gasket is blue). 4) Here is a picture of the engine head after I cleaned it. You have to have a clean oil free surface for your gasket or else it will leak. I used Brakekleen and a rag. 5) Here is another angle. I'm posting these next couple pictures because I didn't know where I was supposed to apply the rtv when replacing the gasket. All over the internet, people would say "where the timing chain cover meets the head." or "on the timing chain T-joints." 6) Which are right here. I felt stupid. I've never messed with engines before and I didn't realize that the timing chain had its own cover that covered a large chunk of the engine on the passenger side. 7) Here is another angle. If you can make it out from my blurry picture, there is a slight recess in this joint. That is what you want to definitely be filled in with rtv. When I applied rtv, I smeared it on with my thumb and made sure air didn't get trapped in it. Now remember, do not apply rtv until you are ready to put the valve cover on and tighten all the bolts! rtv sets very fast and you don't want to have it harden up before you put everything back together. 8) This is the new slightly used valve cover from the scrap yard. I cleaned it quite a bit with engine degreaser and then with brakekleen the day before and then let it thoroughly dry. The gasket easily fits snug into the valve cover's grooves. 9) These are the locations where I put a small amount of rtv to make sure I got a good seal. I also applied rtv to the engine head at the same spots so the rtv will grab itself when I put the valve cover on. 10) And here is a picture of the valve cover bolts with their little gaskets on them. Remember to keep all the gaskets oil free! 11) Now apply your rtv on those spots I pointed out, (I used the blue rtv), and then very carefully place the valve cover back on, without smudging your rtv! and then put the bolts back on by hand at first and then follow the tightening sequence as shown in your repair manual. 12) Here is another angle of what it will look like properly tightened. My old valve cover was flush with the head which shows how warped it must have been, considering this one is a more uniformly even spacing all around. 13) Now put those boots back on your spark plugs and reconnect the hose, pcv valve and then your negative battery connection. 14) Then let your car sit for 24 hours so your rtv will fully cure. Once thats done, put in 4 quarts of oil and test the car for leaks. I just did this job yesterday and put oil in around 6 tonight. It looks like everything is holding up well. But I'm still keeping my eyes open for leaks. Hopefully I won't come across another problem related to this. x_x
Saturn Muffler - Patch job
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogSo I noticed my muffler was sounding louder than usual and I knew there was a small hole right on the end of it. So I bought a tube of muffler/exhaust patch goop and took pictures of my patch job. Make sure your car has been off for quite a while before doing this yourself. Your exhaust pipe and muffler should be cold when using this stuff because heat will only harden the goop too fast and you risk burning yourself. So yeah, to do this job yourself, all you need is the following: 1 tube of Exhaust system joint & crack sealer (purchased at NAPA for $2.95 or so) 1 throwaway latex glove (purchased at NAPA or walmart, an entire package for a few dollars, usually near the toilet scrubbers at walmart or auto chemical section) 1 can of brakekleen or any brand of spray on brake parts cleaner (all you need is a couple sprays out of it for this). ($3) Here is the hole in my muffler. Here is a pic of the Exhaust system joint & crack sealer that I used. Autozone or Advance Auto Parts probably have the same brand or something similar. Here is the hole in my muffler after I sprayed it with some brakekleen to get the harmful chemicals off it. Then I let it air dry and then sandpapered it lightly to remove excessive rust or grime. Then I sprayed it again with more brakleen and let it dry once again so the goop will stick good. And just as I was about to put the goop on, I noticed this hole, and yes those are metal coat hangers holding up my muffler, the strap rusted away about six months ago. LMAO, holy shit! No wonder it got so loud! X'D So I put on the throwaway blue rubber glove and smeared some sealer onto the hole. I also cleaned, sanded (And wow, after rubbing it lightly with the sandpaper it became an even bigger hole) and then cleaned the huge hole and smeared almost the entire tube all over the hole. Since the sealer goop starts stiffening rather quickly, it was easy to just keep applying blobs to the edges of the hole, let it harden slightly and then just keep building on that edge until it covered the entire hole. Because it kept wanting to cling to my finger and reopen the hole when I touched it, I had to let it dry for an hour and apply another layer over top of it to finish the patch. I then let it sit over night and it was noticeably quieter the next day. Not normal of course. If all I had was just that little hole, once it was patched, you would think the muffler was new. But that huge gaping hole affects the noise the muffler makes now. I'll have to get a new muffler soon, but at least until I do it doesn't sound like I'm driving some old diesel truck down the road. X'D Btw, if you have a small hole like the one on the end of my muffler on any part of your exhaust pipe, do this quick easy fix yourself and it'll cut back on alot of noise.
Saturn Timing chain... the car will soon be dead.
Sledgstone posted a blog entry in Sledge's BlogLast weekend I heard a noise and I knew the end was coming for the car. The timing chain is going. It started making a slight noise months ago which is why I stopped driving it on the freeway... but now its so loud just idling I was able to take a video of it. saturn_timing_chain I haven't gotten a quote to replace the $35 part, but I know it will be huge because to replace the timing chain, you have to remove the engine and take apart half the engine. That would cost more than what the car is worth. As it is, I'm pretty certain the chain will break the next time its driven somewhere. And when that thing breaks it'll seize up most of the engine. The car is in it's death throws now. But I can't complain too much, seeing as its been totaled previously, been resurrected, and driven for almost an additional 2 years.
GM to shut down Saturn as sale talks fail
Sledgstone posted a topic in News Columnhttp://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2009/09/30/saturn_closing.html?sid=101 Wow. I just assumed Saturn would have been bought... but then again GM turned Saturn into crap over the years. Its a shame tho, Saturn started off so good.