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Old 10-05-2011, 08:51 AM   #1
Bernie
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1998 SL1
Default Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

I used the method outlined by , see How-To Library http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ch+replacement, to replace the clutch in a 1998 SL1 without ABS. All my comments will address the original document instructions that resides at http://www.cristhomas.com/cars/Clutch/ClutchHowTo.html. The document includes pictures and details not present in the one found in the How-to-Library.

The instructions given are of good quality and done well enough for most anyone to replace their clutch successfully. Since cris_thomas doesn’t permit reproduction of his document, I’ll share my observations as outlined below.

Tools And Parts Needed, add the following:

A 15mm deep socket to remove the two upper transmission stud bolts where ground wire connections are made.

If the shifting tower on the top of the transaxle is removed, then the gasket is part number 21001244. Black RTV or gasket material can be used if making your own.

The drive axle nuts are torque prevailing and should be replaced.

The tie rod nuts must be replaced if of the torque prevailing type instead of castle.

Four cotter pins

The clutch slave cylinder plunger retainer is part number 21005847. The hydraulic system is a one time install system, but the retainer does not need to be replaced. It is tricky, however, to install the clutch slave/plunger without it, risking the possibility that the plunger might fall out into the clutch housing. See http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...170045&page=22 post number 422.

Supporting the engine from the top frees the work area underneath. Use three 2X4s as long as the engine compartment is wide. Set one of them on top of the flat portion of sheet metal at the front of the car, another from one strut top to the other. You’ll need a block of wood under both ends to make sure the center of the 2X4 clears everything. The third piece can be laid across the other two pieces right over the rear engine strap. Chain or use a piece of threaded rod to secure the engine to the support.

Line 13 add: Crack loose wheel and axle nuts on both sides but do not take off.

Line 15 add: Remove speed sensor (24mm) and rotate the wheel until the differential pin is visible using a mirror. Verify that both ends of the pin are flush with the carrier, then re-install the speed sensor. A Richpin video on checking the differential pin is available from the How –To Library.

Line 17 add: Measure and record the distance from the CV shaft to the transmission for both axles. This is to make sure that the axles are properly seated after re-insertion.

Line 19 add: Put a rag underneath the pry bar where it makes contact with the sway bar, etc. to prevent damaging the paint.

Line 20 add: There are 3 separate pieces to the plastic mud shields inside the wheel well. Remove all 3 on the driver’s side and just the 2 bottom ones on the passenger side.

Lines 21-3: Axle removal, refer to http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...=170045&page=3 post number 53 and 62. I tried but could not get the axle out without separating the lower ball joint.

Line 27: My transmission separated from the engine very easily. I supported it from the top with 2 straps and was able to coax it on and off the car frame by myself.

Line 28: To prevent the flywheel from turning while unbolting, insert the tip of a wide blade screw driver into its outer teeth and wedge against the housing.

Line 29: Refer to Richpin and ehunter videos on clutch disk, plate and throw out bearing installation.

Line 30: The clutch alignment tool comes with the Luk Replacement kit

Line 39: Clean tie rod end with acetone or brake cleaner before reinstall ends. If the end turns while tightening, use a clamp on the joint, making sure that the rubber seal does not get pinched.

Torque Values (Accuracy not guaranteed):
Rear engine mounts to cradle 37 ft-lbs, to block 52 ft-lbs
Flywheel to crankshaft 59 ft-lbs, torqued in stages in bolt sequence of 1,3,5,7,2,4,6,8.
Pressure plate 19 ft-lbs
Transaxle to engine studs (top bolts) 66 ft-lb
Transaxle to engine bolts (lower bolts) 96 ft-lb
Engine to transaxle stiffening brace 40 ft-lb
Intermediate shaft to engine 40 ft-lbs

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Old 10-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #2
ehunter
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Location: Pacifica by San Francisco – 5sp – Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 205k.
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1996 SL2
Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

good write up Bernie...

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Old 10-05-2011, 12:26 PM   #3
Bernie
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Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

Thanks ehunter, but nothing like what you produced.

I put in the same clutch that you did in yours but with a Sachs flywheel. The clutch actuator went on the first try. Unbelievable what a difference this made. Like you also observed, the pedal is much softer and I can get my gears in with one finger.

There is an SW2 for sale that the owner's kid ran out of oil and seized the engine on. I'm debating whether to take it on as a project. I've owned nothing but manual trans and while having a wagon is appealing, I'm not sure I'd be happy with the autotragic. But if I go for it, rest assured your rebuild thread will be front and center on my work bench.

I wonder what the chances are of a seized engine being salvageable? It likely would need a new block, don't you think?

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Old 10-05-2011, 01:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie View Post
Thanks ehunter, but nothing like what you produced.

I put in the same clutch that you did in yours but with a Sachs flywheel. The clutch actuator went on the first try. Unbelievable what a difference this made. Like you also observed, the pedal is much softer and I can get my gears in with one finger.

There is an SW2 for sale that the owner's kid ran out of oil and seized the engine on. I'm debating whether to take it on as a project. I've owned nothing but manual trans and while having a wagon is appealing, I'm not sure I'd be happy with the autotragic. But if I go for it, rest assured your rebuild thread will be front and center on my work bench.

I wonder what the chances are of a seized engine being salvageable? It likely would need a new block, don't you think?
Probably a crank and rebore to clean up the mess in the cylinders. The crank may be usable, just depends. Rods will all have to be checked also for bow and bend.

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Old 10-05-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
caliper
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1997 SC2
1997 SC2
Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

I used the ChrisThomas list to do a 93 SL2 then a 97 SC2. I copied and pasted the list to a text document and printed (without the pictures), then highlighted the major point of each line. Some one said to use ziplock bags to mark where bolts came from - what a life saver that was. The toughest part was getting the sway bar pried down, until I raised the passenger side, took the three nuts off the top of that strut. When you lower one side, the sway bar can then go down on the other side. And of course the members here pitched in.

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Old 10-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #6
Bernie
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Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

caliper said
Quote:
Some one said to use ziplock bags to mark where bolts came from - what a life saver that was.
Absolutely, and it was recently suggested by OldNuc in another thread. What I also do is replace the bolts/nuts/fastners etc., finger tight in their original places on the part itself or where it mounted. Saves time in writing, storing and sorting especially if you have different sizes associated with one part. Some things you have to bag as you said.

Quote:
The toughest part was getting the sway bar pried down, until I raised the passenger side, took the three nuts off the top of that strut. When you lower one side, the sway bar can then go down on the other side. And of course the members here pitched in
The problem with that approach is that you'll never get the strut back to the same place and will likely need an alignment. Otherwise yes, it can be a challenge but is doable without touching the strut if extra help is available. Loading the joint by pushing up on the strut with a jack after blocking the sway bar against the body and/or pulling down on the sway bar works too. I was fortunate to have a 7 foot pry bar and my wife to do the pushing while I beat the ball joint. There is a Youtube video somewhere of a guy doing it by himself as easy as pie, again the trick is to load the joint.

OldNuc, how hard is it to get the pistons out of a seized engine? How do you minimize further damage?

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Old 10-06-2011, 10:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie View Post
There is an SW2 for sale that the owner's kid ran out of oil and seized the engine on. I'm debating whether to take it on as a project. I've owned nothing but manual trans and while having a wagon is appealing, I'm not sure I'd be happy with the autotragic.
It's just begging for a manual transmission swap

Excellent notes on the clutch job, thanks! I saved a link to this thread for when I finally have to tackle my first clutch job

...
...Wait, what, I actually won that eBay auction?
Guess I now (12/2008) own a 1998 SL2, silver, 5 spd :p
102k @ purchase, now 167k
And now (7/2010), a Craigslist 1997 SC2, white, 5 spd

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Old 10-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie View Post
... OldNuc, how hard is it to get the pistons out of a seized engine? How do you minimize further damage?
Usually not real difficult. The big risk is the have to come out the top so do not put a big block of wood on the crown and hammer on it as if it lets go and firs out the bottom the ring will lock it into the cylinder and breaking it up will be required. You have to pull the crank out and drive them out from below.

In very bad cases you pack the inside of the piston with dry ice and alcohol. That will shrink it significantly. It is the lower skirt area that has to be shrunk.

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Old 10-06-2011, 04:44 PM   #9
Bernie
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1998 SL1
Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

Since the SW2 is off topic for this thread, I'll open another called Seized Engine.

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Old 07-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

I know this thread is a little old but what about a 93 sl1? Should be the same setup right? This will be my first time working on a saturn. I have done everything there is to do on chevys.

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Old 07-27-2012, 08:01 AM   #11
Bernie
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1998 SL1
Default Re: Notes on Saturn SL1 Clutch Replacement How-To

Hi Razorback,

Wish I could help but I know nothing about the '93s. I do know that there were design changes to the pressure plate & disk, and that requires machining the flywheel that came with the car for use with the new clutch kit. I'm sure someone in the community can help.

According to Caliper, see post #5 of this thread, he used the same instructions for his '93.

Last edited by Bernie; 07-27-2012 at 08:11 AM..

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