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Old 04-06-2007, 12:12 PM   #1
mr18436572
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2000 SL2
Default Question about the air dam

the cover underneath my front bumper is missing, along with the air dam that sticks down. never really noticed this until the other day when i was my friend's SL2 up on the lift. so ive never had any problems with cooling or A/C performance. would adding the cover and air dam improve engine cooling and the performance of A/C?

...
2000 SL2 auto - 167k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 161k - sold
1997 SC2 auto - 105k - sold
2000 SC2 auto - 117k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 250k - sold
2001 SC2 5sp - 160k - sold

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Old 04-06-2007, 01:00 PM   #2
1994Saturn
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Happy Re: Question about the air dam

I don't have it Either (thanks ditch) and i also do not notice a difference in cooling, and a/c performance.

...
Current:
1998 SL2 Auto issues 112K
1995 Eagle Vision 3.5L TSI 117K
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:07 PM   #3
Sky King
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Question about the air dam

This has been debated here. My answer to this would be yes, it will have an effect on engine cooling and air conditioner efficiency.

My wife used to have a 93 SC-2 that she was constantly knocking the air dam off of on curbs and parking blocks. Every time she knocked it off and the wheather got warmer, she would complain that her car was running warmer than normal. When ever I put the air dam back on, the temp came back down where it is supposed to be.

There are those who will swear that theirs has been missing for a long time with no effect.

...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:48 PM   #4
PurdueGuy
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

seems to have more effect on 1st gens...

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Old 04-07-2007, 01:19 PM   #5
bad mikey
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

Are you talking about the black plastic splash shield? The front bumper cover is molded to direct airflow, the other parts are splash shields they do not direct airflow. They mainley protect from splash up and road debris.

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Old 04-07-2007, 08:39 PM   #6
eRic 02sc2
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

Saturn wouldn't have installed it if it didn't do anything. I'd put one back on if you have air conditioning. A/C equipped cars have a different fan too.

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Old 04-08-2007, 08:13 AM   #7
DonP
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

The air dam contributes to managing air flow around the car, especially flow under the car, which has ben described as an aerodynamic night mare. The effects are mainly at higher speeds such as on the open road. But I suspect the effect on radiator/engine cooling air flow is relatively modest.

Thus the dam may provide an improvement on fuel economy, and an any case should improve handling/hold on the road at higher (freeway) speeds, especially for a relatively light weight car.

The dam probably reduces air flow under the car, reducing some drag there, and also reducing the air pressure under the car thus off settng the tendency of air flow to lift the car thereby providing an improved hold on the road tahn without it.

Anyone care to test the car with and without their ari dam at freeway seepds to see how it effects handling and MPG. You may find that at 75 mph the car tends to dance and be effcted by cross winds more without it.

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Old 04-08-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
Luke
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1995 SL2
Default The Air Dam is a critical part of the air flow through the radiator

Quote:
> Fm Don P <

> The air dam contributes to managing air flow around the car, especially flow under the car, which has ben described as an aerodynamic night mare. The effects are mainly at higher speeds such as on the open road. But I suspect the effect on radiator/engine cooling air flow is relatively modest. <

Actually, from my direct observations on this very issue, I've found that a vacuum is created 'behind' the air dam, when the car is moving as slowly as ten miles an hour, resulting in the air flow 'through' the radiator to be considerably inhansed, thus the effect is considerable, and highly contributive to the engine's overall cooling. I, personally, would not drive without it. [And I discovered this, when it was necessary for me to drive for a couple of months, without it.] Simply put, driving without it is not a good idea.

...
> 95 SL 2 = 649,619 Miles 40.4 MPG, as of 4/19/11. My manual Radiator Fan Switch, courtesy of Wolfman's patient installation guidance, continues to be.......invaluable <

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Old 04-08-2007, 08:27 PM   #9
Jim Dunlop
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

Mine caught on a curb and one side broke off. I "finished the job" by ripping the rest of it off with my bare hands. This occurred maybe 6 months ago.

Even with the warmer weather in the worst driving conditions (stop and go traffic jam on the highway), the needle only gets a little above half and certainly does not go into the red. The fan kicks on and off.

When I say "worst driving conditions" for the engine temp., what I mean is demands larger than the baseline idle RPM but speeds less than that which would cool the engine without the fan (if that made any sense).

A very nice, articulate discussion going on here. Perhaps I'll consider replacing the dam in the interest of gas mileage. How much does one cost?

...
2002 SL 1.9L SOHC 5-spd mods:
-Custom HAI
-K&N Airbox Filter
-Custom Air Dam
-PCV Catch Can
-Drilled & slotted rotors
-14x6 König Incident's, Yoko AVID's
-Grille Block (aluminum)
SCS! DD.

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Old 04-09-2007, 07:57 AM   #10
94SW2
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

The air dam is missing off of both of our gen 1's. They both still get 35mpg and I have noticed no issues with cooling.
I suppose I should mention that most of the miles are freeway and that our driving habits are fairly gentle "eggshell-on-the-pedal" type...
I don't doubt that the dam does serve a purpose, but I also don't believe it is totally imperative that it be in place.
Just my $.02

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Old 04-09-2007, 10:04 AM   #11
madpogue
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Question about the air dam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Dunlop View Post
A very nice, articulate discussion going on here. Perhaps I'll consider replacing the dam in the interest of gas mileage. How much does one cost?
Did you retain the springs when you removed the old one? If so, the plastic part itself is, IIRC, about $12 at SofMadison. I had to get all four springs with mine; came in just under $20. At that price, it's not worth slogging thru Schmidt's et al to pull one off a cadaver.

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Old 04-09-2007, 08:52 PM   #12
mr18436572
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

im gonna put the parts from my friend's car on to mine and test it out. will let u guys know if i feel any difference or not.

...
2000 SL2 auto - 167k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 161k - sold
1997 SC2 auto - 105k - sold
2000 SC2 auto - 117k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 250k - sold
2001 SC2 5sp - 160k - sold

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Old 04-10-2007, 07:20 PM   #13
Jim Dunlop
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

OK!

thx madpogue.

...
2002 SL 1.9L SOHC 5-spd mods:
-Custom HAI
-K&N Airbox Filter
-Custom Air Dam
-PCV Catch Can
-Drilled & slotted rotors
-14x6 König Incident's, Yoko AVID's
-Grille Block (aluminum)
SCS! DD.

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Old 04-11-2007, 02:08 PM   #14
saturnhouse
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

It occurs to me, in reading this thread, that the air dam could have a dramatic effect on air flow, and yet you might not notice any difference when its missing. It's probably a case of the radiator fan being triggered more often to offset the missing air flow produced by the air dam. So you could wear the fan motor out quicker, and be in deeper do-do when it goes, if the air dam is missing.

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Old 04-11-2007, 02:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

For years I thought the only purpose was to let me know when I ran into a parking block... .

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Old 04-11-2007, 11:30 PM   #16
ttreibel
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

My feeling is that the only thing this air dam may do is help the car stick to the road when experiencing strong frontal wind gust. Just like the spoiler on some of the Sl's and Sc's looks air king and effect is mostly a state of mind.

...
1995 SL1 oil burner school commuter looks nice...1997 SL1 Gold 5-speed with new junk yard wheels and tires just got 40.4 MPG....2002 SL1 sometimes 45 MPG on a spring highway drive

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Old 04-13-2007, 11:29 AM   #17
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

The air dam has been removed from both of my cars. At the same I'd I did a coolant flush/refill and added a bottle of waterwetter.

I have never noticed a significant amount of heating or loss of handling in high winds (of what little of it there is to start with.)

I've noticed on my SL2 that engine temp dropped considerably after adding a CAI.

...
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Old 04-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

Does anyone have the part number for this? I would really like to order it online since the only saturn dealership around here charged me $20 for a radiator cap... Anyone know what websites might have a saturn airdam?

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Old 04-14-2007, 07:02 PM   #19
Jim Dunlop
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

Madpogue I made a trip to Saturn of Madison today to pick up a bunch of stuff. I found out the part I ripped off (and thus the one I need) is actually the splash guard. I can re-use the air dam since I didn't break it.

The splash guard is $51 -- too much for me to spend to ensure the fan doesn't turn on during driving conditions I rarely see.

...
2002 SL 1.9L SOHC 5-spd mods:
-Custom HAI
-K&N Airbox Filter
-Custom Air Dam
-PCV Catch Can
-Drilled & slotted rotors
-14x6 König Incident's, Yoko AVID's
-Grille Block (aluminum)
SCS! DD.

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Old 04-14-2007, 07:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Question about the air dam

Quote:
Originally Posted by strongboy2005 View Post
Does anyone have the part number for this? I would really like to order it online since the only saturn dealership around here charged me $20 for a radiator cap... Anyone know what websites might have a saturn airdam?
Try www.saturnparts.com and click OEM catalog. Also www.saturnparts.net and click parts catalog. If they don't have it, try calling them. They are usually reasonable. One is located in the east coast and one is located in the west coast.

I would also keep an air dam on my car...I currently have one...even though one of the springs is kinda screwed up....damn parking blocks and trash in the road.

...
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