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2001 SL only goes in 1st and 2nd gear

2

Comments

  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    Your welcome anytime keep me posted on what you find.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Hi Louie,

    I talked to my friend this morning as he was leaving for school(he's going to Barber school) and he says that his girlfriend's uncle has the car now. I'm not sure what this guy knows or doesn't know but from what he told me it seems to add more to the problems than to solve them, know what I mean? He tells me that this guy says that the battery wires are wrong, of all things! Now if that were true, the thing would never start at all, right? This is what I mean by second hand info, this uncle tells his niece, then the story changes by the time she tells my friend, so who knows? I explained to him what you said about the sending unit for the cooling fan and PCM just as I told him a while ago and I had the same issue with mine 4 years ago. But now he has to wait to see what this other guy says/does and go from there. If I hear anything at all, no matter how rediculous it sounds I'll let you know. Later!!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    Battery cables don't match the symptoms at all people have some crazy ideas when they try to figure out what's wrong withthere cars lol.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Louie,

    You ain't gonna believe this, but my shift cable on my 96 SL1 just broke as soon as I pulled into my alley in back of the house! Had to get wife to steer it into driveway while I pushed it. I'm in the process of taking everything off to gain access now. It's the one on the RIGHT side of the shift lever from what I can see at this point, the left one is intact. I'm going out now to remove the console and see just what I have. I think I remember you or someone else a while ago saying you can just replace the broken END of the cable, is that right, not the whole cable? Now I'm wondering if this has been my problem the entire time! Please let me know anything you can on this as soon as you can. Thanks!
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Follow up to above- The CABLE itself did not break, what happened is the inside of the black clevis that fits onto the ball(looks like a mini trailer hitch ball) let loose, so the clevis will not stay on the ball. Took a picture of it and went to my local GMC dealer who took over Saturn parts in our area. He had a set of 2 replacement cables there and I saw how it's supposed to look. The end of the new cable just fits over that ball on the shifter. I asked him how much those cables were and I wish I was sitting down when he told me- $220! That sure isn't gonna happen, ain't no way! Rock Auto has the cables for $65 but I can't afford them now. Here's what I want to ask you: Rock Auto also has what they call a Shift Cable Bushing. It's a Dorman part # 14043. Now this thing LOOKS like it will fit into my clevis and then onto the little ball. Do you agree with this? Could this work? You can see it if you go on their website('96 SL-1) Believe it or not, I just got off the phone with my local NAPA store asking for cables, and he didn't even have a listing for them. But when I told him about this Dorman bushing and gave him the part number, they actually had that in stock, not at his store but one about 5 miles from me. It's $10 bucks more than Rockauto, but seriously, Louie, could this part work for me? My only option at this point would be to go to a local salvage yard and get a WHOLE cable, might as well get both of them if they would be any good. I have a couple of leads, but with the weather we've been having here in Pa. lately, I'm not sure when I can get there.

    Let me know what you think about the above and please advise. And as always, thanks so much and God Bless!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    OK here's the deal with the doorman fix piece of junk I fixed a lady's car with it lasted three days.I bought a derlin plastic one in eBay has lasted at least a year and half so far.I will get you the link tonight before I Go to bed.It even tells you how to fix it till you get the part to fix temperoliy.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    Here is the link sorry it doesn't have the temp fix in the listing like I have seen in the past.But basicialy it was just looping zip ties to hold the cable on the shifter ball.heres the link.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1996-96-Saturn-SL-SW-SC-Delrin-Shifter-Cable-Bushing-Lif- etime-Warranty-Free-Ship-/180967283844?fits=Make%3ASaturn&hash=item2a227d9c84&vx- p=mtr
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Thanks again for all your help. Louie. I ordered that new bushing a few minutes ago from Ebay, only $11.47 and free shipping. Now I managed to jury-rig the cable back on the knob with a plumbing fitting I had laying around. It fits pretty good and I overwrapped it with a piece of rubber and used a couple of wire ties to secure it. Drove it and it seems to be OK, but I still have that tranny/syncronizer issue, so I have to be careful. I just put the console back in loosely in case I gotta get back in there if it pops off. What a hell of a job I had to disconnect the power window switches! Guess they were in there since new. Thanks again for the good advice and have a great day!! Mike.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    If you have pulled as many of those switches as I have its pretty easy to pop them out. Also your welcome for the info anytime.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Sure sounds like you've dealing with Saturns for a while, Lou. I guess like anything else, you get to know quite a bit after doing it for so long. While this Delrin bushing will be better that what I have now, it's not gonna make the syncro/transmission issue go away. This means that sooner or later, my car will be gone, I hope later. I did get called back to work on Thursday, I go back July 15th, so that is good news. By some Blessed miracle maybe I can replace my Saturn in the near future. I wouldn't hesitate to get another Saturn. We had a 2005 Vue AWD until early 2012 when I had to sell it, had it less than 1 year. My wife LOVED it, only had 48K when we bought it and about 51K when we sold it. A friend of mine from work bought an '07 Ion and he said he loves it, no problems with it at all.

    OK, thanks again for the help and we'll keep in touch. I should give you my Email addy if you want it. Let me know.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    I am a factory trained Saturn service tech I worked for the Saturn dealers over 16yrs so I know those cars.You should think of getting a used transmission if your engine is running good.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Well, that tells me how you know so much about Saturns! As for swapping the tranny, I just don't have the facilities to do it here at home. I'd use a good strong tree branch and a sling and a hoist if I thought I could do it. The problem is where do I put the engine/trans when I pull it out? I'd have to clear out my shed and that stuff would be laying around, etc. Not to mention the fact that I just don't have the $$$ now although thankfully I got called back to work starting the 15 of July. That whole job would cost me nearly a grand if I had my local garage where I go for state inspection. You figure labor in and out, the cost of another tranny and then it'd make sense to put in a new clutch and related parts, probably another $150. I'll just have to get by for now on a wing and a prayer, prayer mostly. Thanks Lou and have a great day.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    You don't need to remove the engine get a engine support fromharbor ffreight find a 20 percent off cupoon and the supports about 60 something. Then you can remove the subframe then the transmission. Totally do able on jack standsit comes out the bottom.Have done them on jJack stands myself.Don't do it till you get a transmission and you don't have to worry about where to put anything.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Thanks again for that info, Lou, but I'm not really sure this'll ever get done anytime soon. I have a quick question for you. I got that Delrin bushing today from Ebay. I will try to put it in tomorrow if it ever stops raining around here! Here's what I want to know: Can I (or should I)put a little white lithium grease inside of the shift cable clevis BEFORE inserting the bushing? Let me know if you think it's necessary or not. Thanks, Pal! (Mike)
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    Go get some powder graphite and put in there works great that's what used.The white grease will dry out and the grease could cause a hydro lock and split the bushing.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    It just so happens that I have both the powdered and spray graphite lubes that I keep for locks and such. I will use the powdered like you say, Lou. Now if it ever stop RAINING around here!!!!!!!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,870
    I just wanted to add my "I second that" to shopdog's thanks. You're incredibly detailed and patient helping members troubleshoot vehicle issues, and it's great that you give Saturn owners someone to turn to - not many folks around anymore who know these cars well enough to give specific assistance.

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  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    You're spot-on with the praise, Kirstie. That's what I love about this site- So many people out there who have gone through various issues with their cars can find help in most cases to get out of a jam, simply because the average Joe can't afford to take them to the shop for repairs. People keep their cars longer now and with a little TLC, you CAN extend the life of your ride. And these forums truly help those like me even though I've been around cars for over 40 years. When I started driving I had better learn to fix my car if I wanted to keep driving. I patched many exhaust leaks with soda cans and hose clamps in my day because even back then when things were a little cheaper, the money simply wasn't there. My pal SaturnTech9 (Louie) and others like him really help us that know something about cars and even those that don't feel like it's not impossible to get a few more miles out of them. So yeah, it's "HATS OFF" to all of you!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    Your welcome I believe in the pay forward theory it works for me I get a lot back from that way and I love to help people.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Saturntech9(Louie) This is for you, Bud. It's been a while since we've talked. My car is doing OK since I put that Delrin bushing in my shift cable, still have the internal trans problem but the car is running just fine. But I allowed myself to get involved with my young friend's 94 SL that I told you I worked on before and that his girlfriend's uncle was working on. Man, what a mess he made of this thing. He told my friend that the PCM was bad so he got one from Ebay. Still didn't start, so he had it towed to my place for one last ditched effort to get it running.

    I spent most of this morning just putting back together what this guy took apart, most of it were thing he really shouldn't have bothered with. To make a long story short, I got everything back together and I re-connected my friend's original PCM and put it back in its place. This guy had the fusebox under the hood unbolted and laying on its side. He told my buddy he was looking for a bad wire! I saw no damage and put the thing back to normal. I checked everything and hooked up the battery and the motor turns over nice but won't start. There is NO SPARK at the plugs. I had #1 out and hooked up to another plug and held it to the exhaust manifold and my wife cranked it for me, nothing. That's where I ended the day for now. One thing I noticed when I was cranking was I didn't smell gas in the throttle body.

    But the issue is there's no spark. Now I'd be appreciative to know where to look from here. You may remember that I told you that shortly after I worked on it before(and it ran fine when I gave it back to him) that the cooling fan was coming on just by turning the key and I had that happen to my 96 and needed to replace the 2 wire connector to solve that problem, but it always started. My troubleshooting section of my manual says to check the CTS and the Crankshaft position sensor as well as the coil pack. Would a bad CTS OR CPS not make spark at the plugs? I see the test methods and I'll look into doing them sometime later in the week.

    What would you suggest I start with first. Another friend of mine did a compression test on this car back in May and we got nearly 180psi out of 3 cylinders and 170 out of the last one. I had the valve cover off today(this guy had THAT loose for God only knows why) and I swear that head is super clean and shiny. I wonder if whoever had it before my friend got it had it replaced or serviced.

    Any help you can give me on what to focus on with this car is always greatly appreciated, Lou. This is the last stop for this car, my friend says the next stop is the salvage yard! I may have to get some salvage yard parts as he doesn't have a lot of money to put into it. We have a local U Pull It about 15 miles from me. I'd just like to do what I can to help him one last time with this car. One last question that just came to me: Can I pull off the fuel line where it goes into the rail(I have the disconnect tool) and see if I'm getting fuel? All I have to do is just start cranking, right? I tried to hear if the pump was making noise when I first turned the key to the start position, but I'm not sure if I did or not. Thanks again and have a Blessed day! (Mike)
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    Yes a bad crank sensor can cause no spark you can check the sensor with a multi meter the sensor sound read 800-1200 ohms if its good.Also I believe the pink wire to ignition module should have battery voltage with the key in the run position.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    As always I value your input Louie and I will make that crank sensor check and other component checks as I have time. Working night shift takes a lot out of me so I may not have time till this weekend. I just went out and plugged in my code scanner and it just reads a code 12, all normal(so far) Any reason why when I plug the reader in and turn the key on the fan starts running? Just curious. I managed to put the one wire to the CTS back in and it stays in now because I bent the very tiny tabs out that when I pushed it into the connector the wires now stay in place. There's supposed to be a white retaining tab on the connector, its missing for whatever reason.

    I'm hoping this will not be a long process to get this thing started. I still may want to see if I have fuel coming up into the TB. There seems to be a cap on a port on the fuel rail where I believe you can hook up a fuel pressure gauge. If I take this cap off and have my wife turn the engine over will I see fuel or do I have to disconnect the line? Or does a faulty crank sensor disable the fuel pump as well? Let me know pal and I'll keep you informed and thanks so much again! (Mike)
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    The fan coming when your flashing codes out is normal its part of the self test when you check codes.The crank sensor stops spark .Check the actual fuel pressure no just it squirts fuel they rent fuel pressure gauges at auto zone that will fit that car.That cap is where you check the fuel pressure.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Hi, Lou. I did take that cap off this afternoon and I noted that it's like a tire valve stem fitting. I pushed on the stem and gas is there for sure. Gonna stop tomorrow on way home from work and pick up the crank sensor at Autozone, it's only $16. Now if this works and the car runs OK, there are still a host of issues he's gonna have to deal with in the near future not the least of which is that his front tires are shot and several other things that's going to require more $$$. Hey the car is going on 20 years old, right?

    I'll keep you posted on how I make out. Later!!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    So have you checked for spark yet?
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Lou, I did change that CPS this afternoon and now I have my spark back. There was also a blown 7.5 amp fuse, I think it was the DIS under the hood in the fusebox. I also know the fuel injector is working, I can see fuel spraying into the TB when I asked my Mrs. to crank the engine over. When I first attempted to start the engine I thought it was gonna fire. Well, I DID get fire... out of the TB!! I thought, well, at least I know I have spark now but the motor did not start because the battery went kaput. It must have been bac all along from one or more persons trying to start the car. I even tried to jump it with my other car and it still wouldn't start, must not have enough CCA'S. I took it down to a garage I go to not far from me and asked the mech to put it on charge for me overnight and we'll go from there.

    But even if it does start I'm gonna tell my friend that he needs to get rid of this thing ASAP. There's too many other things wrong with this car, after all it is 19 years old. When I was under it changing the CPS the passenger side CV joint boot is GONE and grease is all over the place, so that halfshaft will need to be replaced and his front rotors and pads are really chewed up, wouldn't be surprised to find metal on metal if I took a wheel off to look. He'd be ahead if the game if he just sold it for salvage at this point in my opinion. Too bad because when I took care of it before it really did run great. But sooner or later those other things come back to bite you in the end and it just doesn't make sense to me to keep putting money in such an old car.

    Thanks for the help and I'll let you know what happens. Later!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    If the did fuse was blown you won't have spark I wonder what blew that fuse.Also the engine is probably flooded try holding the gas pedal to floor all the way while trying to start the car.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Hi Lou. Got the battery back from my local garage and it is at 98%, so it did take the charge. The mechanic also gave me new bolts because the original ones were pretty well stripped so now both cables are nice and tight to the battery. The first thing I did was disable the fuel pump because I wanted to check for spark without any more gas going into the TB. I pulled one wire off and used another plug and held it against the manifold while the wife cranked. I HAVE spark, but my question is, is it enough? Should the spark be more bluer than yellow? And I only did that one wire, #4 cylinder(far right). I didn't the coil tests yet and have to wonder if the coil could be the culprit even though there IS spark.

    Now after I tested for spark, I put everything back and proceeded to start the engine and a nice sized ball of flame shot up from the TB. My friend told me that the car backfired sometimes when he or his girlfriend would let up on the pedal quickly after accelerating. It didn't to this at all the first time I had it here and all the times I drove it. My Haynes manual says some causes of backfiring are: Mal-functioning Emission system, faulty secondary ignition system- bad plugs, bad wires, or COIL, faulty fuel injection system, vacuum leak at fuel injectors, intake manifold, air control valve or vacuum hoses. What about if the car somehow jumped time? What do you think the main reason is that I'm backfiring and getting flames out of the TB? All emission lines (and I only see 2 from the back of the TB to a port on a vacuum valve(??) right above the starter. All else seems to be OK.

    So that's where I stand as of right now. I'd sure like to get this thing running and see if it stays running and let my friend decide what he wants to do with it. I told him at work last night that if I do get it going, he shouldn't put his kids in it till he solves the brake and tire issues. He said he'd be the only one to use it so that's good. Not sure if I'm going to do much with it this weekend except maybe trying to locate a used coil pack if I can. Let me know what you think and I really appreciate your advice as always. Have a great weekend!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    Take off the spark plug wires off the coil towers crank it over if spark is jumping from tower to tower spark is good.As far as the fireball my guess would be too much fuel getting into the engine.So this is a single cam with a throttle body injection its not multi port fuel injection where there is a injector for each cylinder?I answer so many questions online its hard to keep track.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Yeah, it's a throttle body with only 1 injector. I'm thinking about doing the coil testing now but like I said above, COULD the timing chain have jumped a tooth or two? Would that make fire come out of the TB? You know, when I had this car 2 months ago and solved that overheating issue I heard what I thought to be timing chain slapping noise coming from that area of the motor. Do you know if these models had nylon or steel timing gears? I had heard there were issues with the nylon ones. My Haynes manual shows me how to change the chain and gears. I could do it but it would take me some time, and the timing chain kit ain't cheap even on Rockauto.

    Thanks again, Friend. Have a great weekend. I was gonna take a nap, just got home from night shift at 8AM. Later!
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