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Old 06-27-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
JoshandChristin
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1993 SL2
Mad New car, sub frame is junk

So, as you all know by now, I purchased a 1993 Saturn SL2 and the guy told us it needed new brake lines and a new lower ball joint/LCA. However, he said everything else with the car was fine.

My boyfriend went to start working on the ball joint today and when he got the tire off, he noticed that the control arm bracket was broke. And upon looking further, the sub frame is junk. It is all rusted and flaking. Just basically, falling apart. We called our local scrap yards and they're paying $275 per net ton, the weight of this car 3380 lbs. Don't know if anyone would want to buy it, if it's even worth the fix, or if we should just junk it. We would get about $470 back, we paid $530, so it's a loss of $60, which we can live with, lesson learned I guess.

Just looking for some feedback from you guys.. anything is appreciated!

...
Josh & Christin
New owner of a 1993 Saturn SL2 DOHC
Replacing engine cradle/sub frame.
Replacing Lower driver side ball joint/LCA

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Old 06-27-2011, 10:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

The 3380 is the Gross vehicle weight (vehicle +1000lb towing capacity), so the car really weighs 2380.

If the engine runs and it drives, I'd try and fix it or at least relist it on CL for parts. The subframe is fairly straightforward of a repair.

If you can find a subframe in a junk yard they go for around $40.

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Old 06-27-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
JoshandChristin
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnV View Post
The 3380 is the Gross vehicle weight (vehicle +1000lb towing capacity), so the car really weighs 2380.

If the engine runs and it drives, I'd try and fix it or at least relist it on CL for parts. The subframe is fairly straightforward of a repair.

If you can find a subframe in a junk yard they go for around $40.
Our junk yard is $70 for the sub frame. We just worry that if we replace that, the bolts with all be rusted, and who knows if the back of the car is just like the front of it. We are already working on an Intrepid (my car) swapping the engine from a 2.7 to 3.2. So this is all so time consuming. We don't want to lose anymore money..

Is there any type of forum we would need to look to for the subframe? Or is that something that my boyfriend will be able to go into and just know by looking?

I appreciate the input.. Just need help making a decision. Thanks everyone.

...
Josh & Christin
New owner of a 1993 Saturn SL2 DOHC
Replacing engine cradle/sub frame.
Replacing Lower driver side ball joint/LCA

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshandChristin View Post
Is there any type of forum we would need to look to for the subframe? Or is that something that my boyfriend will be able to go into and just know by looking?
You mean, like a How To Library ?

Direct link to ShawnV's How To video
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=155369

Here's a thought... if your boyfriend starts on the subframe and decides it's not worth doing, you still have the scrap value of the car. You're only out the $70 for the new subframe, and you may be able to sell that as well.

Also - ShawnV recently posted a video link here, "How to part out a Saturn" - another option, and if you have the time and space, you may be able to make money on the car. For example, sell the engine for $500~800, sell the trans for $200, etc.

...
...Wait, what, I actually won that eBay auction? Guess I now (12/2008) own a 1998 SL2, silver, 5 spd :p 102k @ purchase, now 169k
And now (7/2010), a Craigslist 1997 SC2, white, 5 spd

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
sell the engine for $500~800, sell the trans for $200, etc.
I think they only have one of each.

...
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Just had mine replaced in my 1993 SW2. A local shop did it since I didn't have the place to do such a repair (no garage & my driveway is occupied by my 1966 Corvair project car), so I have to do repairs on the street.... Where I can do some repairs, but not that one. Anyway, don't throw away a good S-series for the subframe. It's not that big of a job. I paid more for my exhaust repair than I did for my subframe replacement.

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by cityhawk01LW30093SW2 View Post
Just had mine replaced in my 1993 SW2. A local shop did it since I didn't have the place to do such a repair (no garage & my driveway is occupied by my 1966 Corvair project car), so I have to do repairs on the street.... Where I can do some repairs, but not that one. Anyway, don't throw away a good S-series for the subframe. It's not that big of a job. I paid more for my exhaust repair than I did for my subframe replacement.
Two thumbs up on the 'Vair. I have two 1966 Monzas.

Steve

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshandChristin View Post
lesson learned I guess.

Just looking for some feedback from you guys.. anything is appreciated!
This is the most important thing. Always a risk when buying a used car.

Don't know how handy you guys are with repairs, but IMO, it is never as easy as some people make it out to be.

Don't be afraid to cut and run.

As Chaos stated, it depends on how much time, space, and extra cash you are willing to spend/use.

...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
Sticker: $13,995 As of 07/14/14: 194,301 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
Sticker: $20,850 As of 07/14/14: 10,364 Miles

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

It's great to see so many Vair fans on SaturnFans.com. I do feel that there is a sort of connection between Corvairs & Saturns... Both innovative sporty/economy cars with timeless styling that represented bold thinking, but ultimately sadly orphaned by GM.

I'm hoping that Saturns, especially the S-Series has the kind of following and devotion that Corvairs have so that parts (including repros) are easily available for a long time.

Last edited by cityhawk; 06-27-2011 at 01:42 PM..

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Old 06-27-2011, 05:53 PM   #10
azrocketman
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by cityhawk01LW30093SW2 View Post
It's great to see so many Vair fans on SaturnFans.com. I do feel that there is a sort of connection between Corvairs & Saturns... Both innovative sporty/economy cars with timeless styling that represented bold thinking, but ultimately sadly orphaned by GM.

I'm hoping that Saturns, especially the S-Series has the kind of following and devotion that Corvairs have so that parts (including repros) are easily available for a long time.
Maybe Clark's or Corvair Underground need a second line of parts?

Steve

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

4 bolts and jacked up engine and used subframe is all u need to get er back on the road or sell it to some1 that can fix it.... I WOULD FIX IT since its cheap to fix it.....

...
now with problems and getting a newer car but not a saturn :(
My 95 SL2 white top of the line car Priceless..

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by azrocketman View Post
Maybe Clark's or Corvair Underground need a second line of parts?

Steve
Lol, I think we should suggest it. Seriously, if you've ever read the story of how Cal Clark built up Clark's Corvair parts, I think there is an opportunity for someone with a passion and some ambition to do the same thing for Saturn.

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:28 PM   #13
JoshandChristin
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

I do believe we are going to go for it. We just have to figure out how we can get it to his dads garage.. It's a 2 minute drive, but, I am sure he wants to fix it. We would lose a lot of money scrapping it. Plus I would think any car is subject to rust and damage, it's worth a shot. My boyfriend kind of likes the idea of another project. In all honesty, I just want a car to drive haha. But thanks guys. I will keep you all posted. It's great to be on a forum like this, never met so many people that respond so quickly, there is nothing out there for the Intrepids..

...
Josh & Christin
New owner of a 1993 Saturn SL2 DOHC
Replacing engine cradle/sub frame.
Replacing Lower driver side ball joint/LCA

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Old 06-27-2011, 09:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshandChristin View Post
I do believe we are going to go for it. We just have to figure out how we can get it to his dads garage.. It's a 2 minute drive, but, I am sure he wants to fix it. We would lose a lot of money scrapping it. Plus I would think any car is subject to rust and damage, it's worth a shot. My boyfriend kind of likes the idea of another project. In all honesty, I just want a car to drive haha. But thanks guys. I will keep you all posted. It's great to be on a forum like this, never met so many people that respond so quickly, there is nothing out there for the Intrepids..
Excellent! One of the great things about these S-series Saturns are the plastic panels. When I climbed underneath the car, the only thing rusted was the subframe. Even the floor pans looked good. Best of luck to you both. I hope you enjoy your S!

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Old 06-27-2011, 09:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Not to rain on the parade I agree with the vote for R&R the sub-frame but have to ask the other obvious (in my mind) point. What do the rear door sills look like if you pull off the plastic plate?

...
1997 - SL2, barebones, 161k, Auto - Rebuild complete and.. burnt a valve 20k later Arrgh!
Purchased 114k 10/07
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

+1 on Subframe swap. I bought a Saturn wagon a while ago knowing it needed a subframe and the swap was like 6-8 hours having only ever done it once.

Very worth it.

...
1996 SL2 5MT. 239KMs. Gone, but not forgotten.
2000 SW2 5MT. 133KMs. Gone, but not forgotten.

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Old 06-27-2011, 10:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Oh yes, the door sills too. For some reason, the right rear door sill seems to be the worst for most people. I will need to make this repair to my 93 SW2. It will be small potatoes compared to the amount of welding I will need to do to my Corvair though.

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Old 06-28-2011, 07:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshandChristin View Post
Our junk yard is $70 for the sub frame. We just worry that if we replace that, the bolts with all be rusted, and who knows if the back of the car is just like the front of it. We are already working on an Intrepid (my car) swapping the engine from a 2.7 to 3.2. So this is all so time consuming. We don't want to lose anymore money..

Is there any type of forum we would need to look to for the subframe? Or is that something that my boyfriend will be able to go into and just know by looking?

I appreciate the input.. Just need help making a decision. Thanks everyone.
The 2.7 to 3.2 is a great engine swap. That 2.7 was a big problem. But hey if your BF can swap an intrepid engine he should be able to do a frame swap standing on his head. Far less complex than doing that Dodge.

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Old 06-28-2011, 01:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by cityhawk01LW30093SW2 View Post
Oh yes, the door sills too. For some reason, the right rear door sill seems to be the worst for most people. I will need to make this repair to my 93 SW2. It will be small potatoes compared to the amount of welding I will need to do to my Corvair though.
I did a half-***** repair on my rear door sills, I just grinded out the loose rust, slathered everything with por-15, painted it with rust-oleum, and then glued the plastic plates back on the the por-15 patch stuff. Not worth any more to me, I paid under 1k for the car, put another 1k into the engine rebuild, already got my money out of it. The engine runs great, but the car was more of a fun project for the experience of the rebuild, I'm kind of getting tired of driving a 15 year old car. Also, it's too tiny for me! I'm 6'3" 250lbs so it is like a one man clown car.

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Old 06-28-2011, 01:41 PM   #20
JoshandChristin
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Default Re: New car, sub frame is junk

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
The 2.7 to 3.2 is a great engine swap. That 2.7 was a big problem. But hey if your BF can swap an intrepid engine he should be able to do a frame swap standing on his head. Far less complex than doing that Dodge.
Thanks, he appreciated that when I told him what you said.. haha. This is all just a pain, we're hoping to go get a subframe on Wednesday or Thursday, and then maybe in a week he will get to it. He works swingshift 7 days a week, with 2 days off at the end, so finding time is hard, he is about to start his midnight shift on Thursday evening. Plus now we are looking for a house.. we've got new neighbors and good Lord are they just people you wish had never moved in. Dog that barks CONSTANTLY. With us, it's always one bad thing after another, does good luck ever come around haha.

Thanks again guys.

...
Josh & Christin
New owner of a 1993 Saturn SL2 DOHC
Replacing engine cradle/sub frame.
Replacing Lower driver side ball joint/LCA

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