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Chadeux Reader
8/6/16 6:59 p.m.

So went on craigslist and ended up with a running Saturn on the trailer. More details when I get to a computer.

Chadeux Reader
8/6/16 7:59 p.m.

My phone takes blurry photos at night

But I just bought a single cam 5 speed Saturn that lost a fight with the rear bumper of probably an SUV. $200 and the seller drove it on the trailer with the AC on. 1st order of business is putting a radiator on it, then the nose job puzzle begins.

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
8/6/16 8:13 p.m.

Saturn's are stupid simple to fix. Cant wait to see this build progress!

AClockworkGarage Reader
8/7/16 12:42 a.m.

Yeah, they're pretty much Legos. I used to work for a Saturn only junkyard. 10mm and a T-40 and you could take the whole car apart.

What is the end goal for this car? Daily, Auto-X, Rally-x, Nitrous-bomb?

Chadeux Reader
8/7/16 12:51 a.m.

Daily and possibly autocross. Mostly a daily though.

Chadeux Reader
8/7/16 2:31 p.m.

So upon further inspection. Looks like I need to find a driver's side fender, hood, possibly hood latch, headlights and related brackets, and a radiator. AC condensor appears to be bent as well but I feel that if they AC still works (I've been told it works, haven't proven it to myself yet), then it probably isn't leaking. So if it doesn't interfere with radiator mounting, I'm probably going to leave it. The fun part is going to be figuring out what the radiator support is supposed to look like and bending it back into that shape. I have a friend with a nearly identical car, so I'm probably going to find myself using it for reference.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
8/7/16 4:50 p.m.

My recommendation would be to find another $200 - $500 Saturn and make one out of the two. Super bonus if you can find the same color.

Sample from my area. Likely similar in your area.

1997 saturn sl 400.00 obo - $400 http://akroncanton.craigslist.org/cto/5688567073.html

Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
8/7/16 6:51 p.m.

^^ excellent advice right there

Chadeux Reader
8/9/16 7:56 a.m.

New radiator and battery in it, and I've driven it for the first time. Even discovered how easy it is to break 185 section tires loose because my clumsy feet are just now learning how to work 3 pedals at the same time.

Chadeux HalfDork
8/19/16 9:56 p.m.

So I finally took pictures.

So I got pieces parts, lets try putting the bumper on.


Well that's not going to fit without some motivation, So lets try putting the hood on and ignore that for a short while.

Well the hinges fit, haven't tried the latch yet but I have a feeling it will need some adjustment as well.

While I was there I decide to see how the bumper cover looked while I was here.

Ordered new headlights and driver's side fender, didn't order the passenger side fender because it looked fine, but then I found a crack in it while I was doing this. I'll just ignore it for now.

Chadeux HalfDork
8/28/16 3:21 p.m.

After some bending, hammering, and pulling, the hood latched. Now it won't unlatch. I guess this is progress...sort of...

Chadeux HalfDork
9/4/16 3:01 p.m.

Now the hood latch works in both directions, the passenger side headlight fits, but the driver side is roughly 12 miles away from where it needs to be.

ssswitch Dork
9/4/16 3:05 p.m.

It looks surprisingly good for $200. In my local market it'd be a stolen liquor-store pallet with a mouldy passenger seat ziptied to it.

Also, the cops would somehow have an APB out on it.

Chadeux HalfDork
10/31/16 6:01 p.m.

Minor update. I sold this one to my dad, it looks like this now.

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
12/8/17 9:02 a.m.

This is still sitting in the yard next to my Bravada. Anybody know how bad it is dealing with shifter cables on these things? I might fix it again and start driving it soon. Still for sale if anyone needs a really ugly high mile Saturn.

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
5/1/18 11:44 p.m.

Here we see the unmistakable mark of a lawn ornament that suddenly moves.

I finally bought the new shifter cable bushing and stole the battery out of one of my trucks. It fired on the first try and I drove it up the street and back. This car is probably 10-20lbs heavier than last time I looked at it due to all the filth and spider webs. Blurry phone pic does a terrible job at capturing this. 

And then the ignition lock cylinder jammed up and I couldn't start it again to move it from this spot. This victory was fun while it lasted. 

Basically, this project is getting revived because I spent the past weekend helping a friend work on his Camaro and it made me realize how much I've been neglecting my own crap. The GTA is still in full analysis paralysis lockdown and my blue truck most definitely needs transmission work I'm not ready to do on my own or of capable of farming out right now.

So here we are, I'm playing with my old scratch and dent appliance again. 

SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
5/2/18 1:42 a.m.

I’d love to see this out Auto Xing. I miss all the Saturns that to be out there tearing up the track. It’s unfortunate that the company lost its direction. 

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
5/2/18 2:09 p.m.

Battery I stole from the grey truck was actually a group 78 that doesn't fit in the battery box. I remembered the group 75 I bought for my Bravada was still under warranty, so the SL1 has a new battery in it now.  I can report that it does respectable one wheel peels with the dry rotted 185/whatever/14s it has on it. 

Mndsm MegaDork
5/2/18 3:08 p.m.

That reminds me of the time I had 5 cars and only needed a 35r to make it all work. It was hilarious. Two toyotas, two Mazda, and a mini. 

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
5/2/18 5:21 p.m.

I found that almost every GM product from the 80s to the mid 2000s uses either a 75 or a 78.  My 2000 Dodge 1500 shouldn't have a 78 but it does anyway, because reasons. 

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
9/14/18 12:13 p.m.

It only took 2 years but it's registered and insured now.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
9/14/18 7:30 p.m.

In reply to Daylan C :


Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
9/15/18 11:11 a.m.

Put the plate on this morning and took it for a drive. Learned a clumsy dumbass like me can in fact do a hill start in 3rd thinking it's in 1st. The tires are definitely past their shelf life, and the throttle wants to hang a bit from where the car has been sitting for so long. 

But overall, I like it. I like it a lot.


Indy-Guy UltraDork
9/15/18 11:27 a.m.

In reply to Daylan C :

As I know you're discovering, Saturn's are super easy to work on, fairly entertaining to drive, and parts are stupid cheap for them. That's why I've daily driven one for the last 17 years.  The DOHC engine is a bit more fun too.

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
9/20/18 9:43 a.m.

So I cleaned the windows, replaced a dead turn signal bulb, put some fuel treatment in the half tank of 2 year old gas then topped it off with fresh gas and started driving it as much as possible. The radio only picks up static and the tape deck is also broken it seems. But all the important stuff is working great.

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