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Old 12-15-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
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got another saturn. time for mpg.

So my previous saturn blew its motor a few weeks ago and i picked up a newer replacement. I decided to go for an sc model due to its size and aerodynamics. My friend came across one at auction for $400 that ran and drove. Unfortunately its an automatic DOHC. I had really hoped to find a manual since i still have my lower ratio tranny out of my sl1 but for the price i couldnt argue.
My plan is to base line it then start modding it. I already have the torque app and wireless obd scanner for my phone. Ill start with the easy stuff like tires and tune up then move to the harder items. If anyone has been down this road with this type of saturn id love to hear some advice. Looks like i should be seeing low to mid 30's as is. Im hoping to get to at least 40 mpg with only a little work and driving technique. Ill drive it like its supposed to be driven for the first few weeks then ill transition into my regular driving habits.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kit352 View Post
I had really hoped to find a manual since i still have my lower ratio tranny out of my sl1 but for the price i couldnt argue.
Since you have a complete donor, why not convert?

Or, put the good engine in the manual car...
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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I dont really have the time to do the swap and doing it in my drive way would suck. I may pull the parts and install them in the summer but for now its a no go. I commute to nyc every day for work now and use the weekends to do all the normal stuff i miss.
Doesnt seem like a huge pain to swap the the tranny, just time consuming to remove the parts then again to install.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:50 AM   #4
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HAI then aero mods, tires at 50psi, you'll get your 40+ if you run all highway between 55-65mph but going to 70mph you'll dip way down into the low 30's.

You will probably find that during winter months of commuting on city roads you'll average 24-26mpg, highway it should hit 32-34 stock if kept at 65mph or so.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:44 PM   #5
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little update on my sc2. Im still driving to nyc daily and havent even had time to register the car until recently. Im still baselining it before i go crazy. Im getting about 35mpg doing mostly highway and traffic. Speeds are about 65-70mph.
Car needs a tune up really badly. Filter is filthy and the spark plugs are old and worn. Oil change probably wouldnt hurt either. Tranny oil looks ok but probably should be changed but im afraid to do it with the history of these cars and autos. Its also running snow tires but they are almost new so itll take alot for me to change them. I sold the old set off my sl1 so i dont have that option.
Im planning on doing a wai intake at some point and maybe some aero mods to. Might try taking off the rear wing and maybe weight reduction. Im not sure how much pressure these winter tires can take, i dont want to snap any belts again.
I think with a tune up and some tlc i can start seeing 40mpg. my goal is about 45mpg sometime by summer. I just hope the car responds to mods well.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:47 AM   #6
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You didnt say what year your SC2 is. Your tires will have a max inflation on them if you look. Definately do a tune-up and fiters and change the oil. Sounds like it hasnt had much mantanence. That is the biggest problem with the Saturn S-series, people think because nothing ever breaks on them that they dont need to do any mantanence either! If you use cheap oil or dont change the oil regularly, the oil will grl up in the rings and harden. When that happens, the rings stick and it will use oil. There is a way to fix that, so if you wank to know more on that I can walk you through it. CHECK YOUR OIL AT EVERY RE-FUEL! The best spark plugs for these are regular copper core NGK brand plugs (2-3bucks each), i can getyou the part number if you need it. The NGK's will help it idle better too. On your 94 SL1 did it run out of oil or what happened? My personal opinion if you want good mpgs would get the SC running good and sell it. A SC1 with a manual trans will give you about a 40% increace in mpgs with no mods. My 95 SW1 manual gets 48mpg at 60-65 mph, stock. Just my $.02.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
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Another update on the car. Ive been baselining it for the last few months till the season and gas changed to the summer stuff. Car gets a solid 35-36 mpg on the highway cruising at about 70mph.
I started today with some of the easy stuff and some not so easy stuff. Oil change to rotella t, removed the a/c and power steering pump since they were both blown, gave everything a quick once over so i can see were i stand and what i have to work with and finally cleaned her up.
Tires are still winter tires and i dont think im going to add much if any psi to them. They are nearly new but very scary to drive on in the hot days. The back end really likes to slide on off ramps way to easily. Its gonna force me to buy new-ish tires for it in the very near future.
The a/c and power steering removal should net me some gains. I left the a/c condenser in place since i didnt have time with trying to monkey it out but everything else is gone. I have a lot more room to work with now. It really adds to the HAI play room. Ive already removed the massive resonator box on the intake and im working on a nice intake. Im probably gonna go with a log style manifold across the exhaust and i will reuse the accel filter from my old sl1 with a bit of modding. Looks like the air sensor will be moved from the cold air tube to further down stream and closer to the throttlebody.
I pulled the plugs and found something interesting. The car is fitted with a hotter range plug. Im not sure if the PO did this for mileage or for a driving issue. Its super rare to find anyone who ever strays into the heat range adjustment territory. Im running autolite copper 3926 instead of the 3924 that are recommended. I put them back in till i can get some data on the mods i just made then i will start playing with them. Probably side gap the ones in it now since they look to be in good shape then move onto new ones once i fgure out what the car likes.
Car has also gone on a slight diet. Ive started removing un-needed brackets and interior bits. No spare tire or jack, just an airpump and patch kits. Im looking into what can be removed or modded from the engine compartment and still be functional. I want to free up some space so i can try internal grill blocking and maybe outright isolation of certain areas.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:51 AM   #8
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If/when you want to change tires, let me know. I live in Worcester, and have a garage in Reading with a full set of tire machines.

When I had an SL2, the only time I found it beneficial to block the grille was in cold weather.

Also, ensure that your car as the "new" temperature sensors. Off the top of my head, the original ones were plastic but should be changed out for brass.

-Bob C.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:55 AM   #9
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thanks for offer but i have a tire changing machine installed in my basement. i got it years ago to test various types of tires.
Poor little saturn conked out on the mass pike this morning. The belt tensioner let go. i left it at the state police barracks in natick and hope to get out there tonight to repair it. ive already got the older tensioner out and a new one in hand. could find a new belt but my old one will get me home.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Nother update. I did a tune up on the saturn which consisted of new plugs, air filter and oil. The plugs i had in the car originally which i thought were wrong were actually correct. I guess the site i got the plugs numbers off of was wrong. They are infact supposed to be 3926 plugs. I also changed out the coolant sensor just because. The old one was a metal one so i guess i didnt really need to change it but i did. I also moved the air intake sensor into the tract leading to the throttlebody. Same day temp reading should about a 20 degree difference just from the relocation. Im now getting about 38-39 mpg depending on traffic. I keep it fairly close to 65-70 simply because if i go slower on the mass pike i will kill myself or someone else. I have a reoccuring ses light that maybe hurting my mileage but im unable to read it. I simply have the light on but no codes. The car does run rough at start up though. I need to get some time to check it out.
I still havent bumped up my tire pressure either. Its just not safe with the snow tires. Its feels like im riding in the rain on nice days and adding even a little pressure makes it much, much worse. I just dont have it in my budget for new tires either so im probably gonna sit on these till they wear out which will be pretty fast.
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