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Old 06-11-2008, 05:23 AM   #11
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From a body work perspective they are a thing of beauty. The panels are cheep and easy to install and never rust. I just looked up some pricing and replacement fenders are less than half what a metal fender costs. I have several friends that work in body shops and they all say that Saturns are the easiest to fix.

As to why more car makers don't use them? I don't know.
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBob View Post
In my trips through the junkyards, I see a LOT of late '80s, '90s and early 2000s Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs with plastic front fenders. As far as I can tell, they seem to hold up very well, unless they get bashed.
I wish the same could be said of my 1980 Buick:

The first 10 or 12 years of its life were spent garaged out of the sun/UV, too.
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:00 AM   #13
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i once jumped over a ditch in my kadett (mostely my fault...don't care to repeat that)... anyway, the car survived but the front did impact the ground, the ugly plastic bumper was ok, exept for a minor crack at the tow hook, but the radiator support beam behind it was all bent upwards.... however this sort of plastic can't be painted and it colors with age... still if the whole car colored that would still be cool.

also why not make a car from fabric! silly? bmw doesn't seem to think so
check out their gina concept
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=kTYiEkQYhWY
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by usedgeo View Post
I am not familiar with the 91 but on the newer models the vibration you report is a strongh indication that the upper right engine mount should be replaced. Some replacement ones are a bit too firm also. I got one from Autozone that was cheap and nearly as soft as the orginal. On a 91 you might need a few more mounts but I don't think that shake is normal.
hey thanks for the heads up! how do i go about diagnosing which ones need replacing. I'm gonna need to pull the engine for this one huh.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dutra2418 View Post
hey thanks for the heads up! how do i go about diagnosing which ones need replacing. I'm gonna need to pull the engine for this one huh.
No reason to remove the motor- just use a jack under the oil pan to take the weight off the motor mounts as you replace them
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:19 PM   #16
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the new smart cars have plastic body panels. to change the color of the car, all you have to do is buy the panels ($800) and change them yourself. if you are feeling lazy, you can get the factory to do it for another $400.

I am sure the panels all but explode on impact though.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:08 PM   #17
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As for the "no rust" take a closer look at the rocker panel (frame) and the chassis and suspension components, they're likely ROTTEN and broken even... my '96 Saturn has needed tons of the parts under it replaced due to rot and it only has 140k on it!

As for the engine vib. in the SC's... you need an engine mount, plain and simple.

For the Saab/EV1 comment, I've heard nothing about EV1 other than this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EV1

It's GM based, essentially a Saturn.

Plastic is cheaper, that's for sure, but it is prepped differently than steel and many shops neglect to approach that topic when repainting panels. The front and rear bumpers on my white Saturn have been repainted due to minor bumper benders (oh, and since it's plastic, when you get into a VERY low speed collision, the paint explodes off the panel) and both bumpers are chipping away like the paint is 50 years old or something. There is no easy fix for this. Also, you don't always break a panel, sometimes the panels will just crack, which just like a windshield, tend to get worse and worse w/ heat cycles of summer and the frigid winters.

BUT... I have no door dings to speak of, and upon taking the door panels off to install speakers, it looks like they planned ahead for the collision testing and installed 2 horizontal braces and one diagonal brace in the door... I fear no side collision after seeing that.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:15 PM   #18
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how do i figure out which one needs to be replaced?? is there a crack or any other tell tale sign??
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:18 PM   #19
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Plastic body panels don't bother me at all. My Camaro had plastic front fenders, and door panels and I didn't mind it at all. They weren't cracked, faded or worn in any way, and the car was straight as an arrow because you can't door ding it!

One of my good friends hit a deer with his Camaro and all it did was put about a 6" crack in the front fender. I was pretty impressed.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BEEF View Post
the new smart cars have plastic body panels. to change the color of the car, all you have to do is buy the panels ($800) and change them yourself. if you are feeling lazy, you can get the factory to do it for another $400.

I am sure the panels all but explode on impact though.
You beat me to it Beef about mentioning the Smarts have all plastic panels. They aren't too bad about exploding upon impact. They can take a hit better than metal any day.

Here's a pretty good wreck - or bad. However you look at it.
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