2001 SL only goes in 1st and 2nd gear

sdsunsdsun Member Posts: 13
I couldn't find any other threads that addressed my problem, so here goes:

I was on my way to the store earlier today. Started the car, put in reverse, backed out, no problem---just like anyother day. Put in first gear then started rolling. As I neared the RPM to shift to second, the gearbox was wobbly (which was strange), put it into second, then I had to downshift. It felt wierd. I pulled over. Car only goes into 1st and 2nd gear, I have no neutral and can't get into the other gears.

Some nice guy came up to me to see what the problem was. He told me it might be my clutch cable. He was nice enough to stop traffic for me so I could flip a u-turn in 1st gear to head back home.

So I'm home now, clutch can go into 1st or 2nd. Clutch feels normal, gearbox (where shifter is) is loose. Can anyone one please shed some light on my problem? I have a 2001 Saturn SL, I just hit 200,000 miles. I love this car. Runs great until today, just cant get into other gears or reverse. :(

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
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Comments

  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    Sounds like the shift cable end broke at the base of the shifter the inside cable end really common on that car.First go under the hood where the shift cables hook make sure the retaining clip is holding the cables in place on the transmission.Then make sure the clips are holding the cable ends on the shift arms on the transmission.If all is good then pull the center console out and see if the cable end broke at the base of the shifter it wil be easy to see if it did.If it did they sell a cable end repair kit on ebay just type in the search box saturn cable end.Do not by the doorman repair kit its a piece of junk and will short come loose again.I have tried that one get the one piece one that just snaps in place of the old cable end retainer.
  • herk130hherk130h Member Posts: 1
    What is the part number or where can I get retaining clip that holds shift cable to the transmission??? Have a 1998 saturn and it's missing and I can not find one....
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    I got mine on ebay here is the link to the one i got and it worked great.
    http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=180710811728&index=4&nav=SEARCH&n- id=27706011690
    Let me know how it works out for you.
  • slslinde1slslinde1 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2001 SL and the car has 198,000 miles on it it takes up a bit of oil but i see NO LEaks any where do I crack it up to the engine has so many miles or what should i look for? I have not driven it until the oil light comes on so no problems drives like a champ, starts of kinda slow on hills though?
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    How much oil does it use in 3,000 miles?
  • slslinde1slslinde1 Member Posts: 5
    1 quarte but i see NO signs of leaks!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    1Qt in 3,000 miles of oil burning thru the engine is good.Saturn specs allows 1qt in 2,000 miles burning so 1qt in 3,000 miles is good.
  • slslinde1slslinde1 Member Posts: 5
    great just wondering is all i thought it was unusual
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    Its normal for that car.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Need your help, people. My '96 SL-1 shifted great for the 6 years I've had it. Bought it with 88K on it and now it's a little over 129K. I've been experiencing difficulty getting back into 1st gear after I come to a stop. It SHIFTS OK from 1st to 2nd, a little rough into 3rd, fine into 4th and 5th and no issue with reverse! I thought it may be the shift cables, but they seem to be fine. I checked everything I know to check and took it to my local mechanic down the street. He does things for me when I can't. He drove it and pronounced the clutch fine, but told me that he feels the syncronizer(s)may be the issue and suggested another transmission! Just got laid off last week, so that ain't gonna happen. I called a local salvage yard specializing in Saturns, and he tells me that HE believes it's the slave cylinder, not the trans. He tells me to pump the clutch the next time I'm at a stop and see if it goes into 1st easier. Now I haven't done this yet, but I will tomorrow. He said these manual transmissions are very good and he suspects the slave. According to my repair manual, this is a sealed unit that comes with a new master cylinder, hose and the slave to replace as one unit. If this is truly what's wrong with my car, it sure would be a hell of a lot cheaper than a used tranny and the labor to install it! Does anyone out there have any info/suggestions? Thank you!!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    Is the clutch pedal hard all the way down or does it drop some then get hard?
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    The pedal SEEMS fine to me, saturntech9. It doesn't feel like a spongy brake pedal does when there's a problem. I checked the clutch master cylinder reservoir and it's full to where it should be. When the guy at the salvage yard suggested it was a slave cylinder issue and not the tranny, my thinking was how can the slave be bad if I'm not losing any brake fluid? I see repacement slave/master cylinder kits out there and come filled and ready to install for about $90(Rockauto.com has several listings) I'l go out in a little while and re-evaluate it and let you know what I find. Thanks for responding.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    I went out this morning in my Saturn and had NO issues shifting until the last mile or two of my trip which was a total of about 8 miles altogether. So this is just happening when the car is fully warmed up? Makes no sense to me at all. I DID pump the clutch like the guy at the salvage yard said to do and I thought it went into 1st gear a little better. I double-clutched at times and had no issue going from 2nd to 3rd like I did yesterday. So other than having a problem getting back into 1st, all else seems to be OK. The clutch pedal felt like it was a little spongy(very little), perhaps I just didn't notice it earlier. I took a closer look at these components, the master cylinder, hoses and the slave that bolts onto the trans and although it looks like it's more than one piece, it is in fact a sealed system that must be replaced as a unit. Looks like the biggest issue might be getting the master cylinder out from the firewall, past the brake booster AND whether there's enough room to clear the ABS unit. My service manual says that on 98 and later models, the ABS might have to be moved out of the way. I don't want to move anything that might get me in further trouble. I just wish I could really be 100% sure that the hydraulic unit(s) is the issue before I spend $100 bucks that I really don't have right now, but I don't believe the problem will go away on its own either. Any help anyone may have, please advise and thanks very much.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    Sounds like hydraulic issue or bad pressure plate were the fingers are worn uneven.without driving it feeling the pedal for myself hard to say which it is.If only one gear ihas a problem then your looking at a bad synchro.the clutch master save assembly is easy to change don't ever remember having to untold the master to change it.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Thanks again for responding, Saturntech9. At this moment, I'm debating what to do but I'm leaning to changing all the hydraulics. As you know, they come as a complete kit with the master cylinder, slave, and hoses all pre-filled and ready to install. It doesn't seem like an overly hard job. My rather depleted finances all but force me to try and take the cheapest way out. I will NOT be replacing the trans or the clutch components for sure. In order to change the trans, the engine has to come out and I'm not equipped to do that. I'd have to rent an engine hoist and since I'd be working outside with no cover it isn't really feasible. The cheapest hydraulic kit I've found is from Rockauto.com at about $80 shipped directly to me. Autozone is just about $100. I'd rather do new parts for this instead of taking a chance with salvage yard parts. My only concern is that if this doesn't solve the problem, I"m out that $$$ for nothing. I thought about pumping out the master cylinder reservoir and refilling it with fresh brake fluid, driving for a while, pump more out and fill it again to see what fresh fluid would do(if anything) but I really don't think it will help. The guy at Autozone said that the slave or other component could be contaminated and not maintaining proper pressure. I said yesterday that the clutch pedal DID feel a little spongy.

    I'll have to make a decision soon on what to do. But I do thank you for your suggestions. Have a Blessed day.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    You have a blessed day as well I have a 5 percent discount code for rock auto if you want it?I order parts from them all the time.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Hey Saturntech9,

    I am going to order that slave/master cylinder assembly from RockAuto. I was going to get it from Autozone as they have one in stock at their Allentown, Pa. store which is about 20 miles from me. But the price with tax will be about $102, and my Mrs. tells me we have to be careful what we spend. I'm thinking about ordering the first one that comes up on the Rockauto page, can't remember the brand name now, but even with shipping the price is slightly over $80, although I'll probably have to wait a week for it. I'd sure be pleased to take advantage of your 5% discount code as ANY help would be greatly appreciated. I'm going on the site now, but I'll wait for your response before I actually order it. I can supply you with my e-mail addy if that's better for you. Thanks so much!
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Saturntech9,

    I went onto Rockauto.com and the brand name of the part I need is Rhinopac/World Auto. Hope this is a good brand, guess I'll see. I wait for your discount info before I order. Will I have to register with Rockauto to take advantage of the discount? I hope to have the part sometime next week, I think they're out of the midwest somewhere. Anyway, thanks again and have a wonderful weekend.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    here is the discount code you type it in the how did you hear about us box when placing the order then hit refresh to apply the code the number is 149366383242193
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Thanks for the code number, any thing will help me at this time. Drove my Saturn yesterday morning to church and had virtually no trouble for the 8 mile RT. When I did have a problem getting it back into 1st at a light I just pumped the clutch several times and it went right in. Never experienced anything like this with any manual vehicle I ever had in the past. I had a clutch master cylinder go bad on an old Datsun(now you know how OLD I am, LOL) years ago and back then for 5 bucks I got a rebuild kit and that took care of that. Well I'm gonna go with the replacement kit for this car and pray for the best. Thanks again and God Bless!! (My name is Mike)
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    I hope it works out my name is louie.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Hi Louie,

    I got the clutch master/slave cylinder kit from Rockauto last Friday and installed it yesterday(Sunday) It SEEMED like it shifted better at first, but I think I have other issues going on here. Not quite sure what at the moment, but I'm just gonna drive the car and whatever happens, happens. No more $$$ to put into car right now. Got an issue with one of the motor/tranny mounts too, it's either the one down by the crank or the one directly above that attaches to the motor, I can move it with a pry bar. That hydraulic unit change went pretty smoothly, but I did have to loosen the nuts on the brake master cylinder that has the ABS unit on it. Didn't take it all the way out of course, but it helped give me a little more room to get the clutch m/c out.

    Thanks again for the tech help and just pray that the car doesn't give me any more headaches for the time being.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    Your welcome Anytime
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Hi, Louie,

    Well, I tried to solve this problem as cheaply as I could, but I think it just may be the synchronizer in the tranny now. It's doing the same thing it did before I changed the slave, but only after the trans warms up for whatever reason. The car is fine till it comes up to temp then I have trouble getting it back into 1st. Another curious thing is that when I start the car(after it warms up, though) it feels like something's grabbing or holding inside the motor(or tranny)Not sure how to explain it better and it doesn't do it all the time. I know I have a bad motor or possibly the lower trans mount because you can not only feel the engine shake when it starts like that but you can see it too. Funny thing is when I put my pry bar on these mounts I suspect are bad they don't move too much. The one on top of the motor, passenger side that has 3 nuts or studs on top does move back and forth. I'm thinking it's that one and the one on the bottom pass side right in front of the crank pulley or so. But the real issue is the shifting problem that's not going away soon. Since I'm out of work right now, my choices are rather limited, so should it get steadily worse, I'm just gonna have to park it. The car is 16 years old and ran very well until this started happening. You have to pull the motor and trans out together the way I see it, and I'm not really set up to do that, and it would still cost $$$. Just gonna pray for a Blessing to get around this.

    OK, you take care and have a Blessed day!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    If it's only first you're having the problem with then its in the transmission. As far as it grabbing the engine when its warm with the clutch pushed in that sounds like a bad pressure plate. Also the most common Mount to fail is the upper one with the three studs.Have replaced more of those then any other mount.I would get the mount that is the narrower one of the two different styles they sell.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Thanks for the heads up on that upper mount, Louie. You certainly have a lot of Saturn knowledge. Drove the car yesterday and I didn't have much trouble at all, once or twice it was hard to get back into 1st. What I do now when I'm coasting to a stop is get it back into 1st before coming to a complete stop, or I find myself having to shift into reverse, then back into 1st. Anyway, no $$$ for ANY kind of repairs now as I've been laid off for 3 weeks. Do you know what is under the cover on TOP of the transmission, it has 4 bolts and the speed sensor and vent hose is on it, and the shift linkage is attached to it at the other end? I saw it when I was changing the slave/master cyl hydraulics and wondered what was under there. But I feel you're right when you say there is pressure plate and/or internal tranny issues like the syncronizer(s) I'm just praying for a miracle for it to keep running. Thanks again, Friend, and have a wonderful day.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    That's the shift tower also that's the back up switch on it not the speed sensor. If that comes off there are plates etc the arms on the underside.The bottom of the tower has linkage that goes into those plates on the transmission to shifts thru gear.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Thanks for that info, Louie. I have another Saturn related question about my friend's '94 SL1 that I worked on several weeks ago. He had an overheating issue back then and I offered to take a look at it. The car was running very hot and I told him he'd better let me look at it before the head gasket or something equally bad happens. His temp gauge wasn't working and that was because someone else told him that's why the car was getting hot. Wrong advice, of course, but that guy changed the sending unit anyway and the gauge STILL didn't work and the car STILL ran hot.

    I told him that if the water pump was OK, then the problem was most likely a stuck thermostat. He said he got one when he got that sending unit(that he didn't need)so when I got the car I drained the coolant, replaced the thermostat AND put back his original sending unit(he still had the old one in the trunk, good thing too!) I came to find out that the guy who put the new sending unit bent the 2 prongs when he plugged it back in and that's why the gauge didn't work. But the key reason the car got hot was the cooling fan's relay in that box under the hood was bad and wasn't kicking in the fan when the gauge got a little more than half way up! I ended up swapping the A/C relay(same thing)and the fan started working and all was well as far as the overheating issue was concerned.

    This car has nearly 180K on it and seems to run fine. But a few days after I did what I did, he complained that it was shutting down from time to time. He or his girlfriend would be stopped at a light and the car would shut off. It would start up right away usually, but just yesterday he called me and told me that now it didn't want to restart. Before I got the car to work on, he told me about an incident where the car shut down and wouldn't start and somebody pulled the oil dipstick and there was no oil on the stick. There is a low oil pressure switch on these cars and it is designed to do exactly do that; shut down before the engine seizes for lack of oil. His girl put of all things straight 30 weight in it(someone told her it would be OK) but she proceeded to overfill the crankcase to the point that the car was smoking badly because of too much oil. The first thing the day I had it here was to drain the oil and fill it with the proper weight and amount. I use the same oil drain pan I've had for over 30 years and there was so much oil in that crankcase that it nearly came overtop my drain pan!

    What could be causing the car to shut down on them? Could the low pressure oil switch be faulty? I asked him this yesterday, are you low on oil? He said yes, so I told him to put in the PROPER oil and not to OVERFILL it. If the car is that low on oil now, then the car's either burning it or leaking it somewhere. My '96 uses about a half to three quarters of a quart in between changes. Another one his friends, supposedly a mechanic, keeps telling his girlfriend(I think they are related) that the water pump is bad. I checked that when I had the car, no leaks, no movement at the pulley and of course the coolant was being circulated just fine. If I suspected the pump, I would have changed it for him. I did mine last fall and the pump was only $32 bucks. Then this guy tells him it's the crankshaft position sensor shutting the car down. If this were true, wouldn't a check engine code be set? This car had 5 codes stored in it when I checked it before I did my work on it and the only one that mattered was the code 15, the coolant temp sensor. The rest of them were due to that being out of whack. When I was done with what I did, there were NO CODES, all was cleared.

    I know, Lou, another long winded note. But I guess he needs this car, so if you can give me a heads-up on why this shuts down like this I'd be happy. Funny thing is a day or two after he picked up the car from me, he asked me at work to ride with him and I'd see how it shut down when coming to a stop. But the car ran great during that 4 or 5 mile trip! I'm not sure what is more strange sometimes, cars or people!! LOL

    Thanks again for your knowledge and have a great day!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    First of all there is no low oil shut down switches on any of the Saturn S model Saturn's.The switch will just turn the oil pressure light on when the pressure is low on that yeaar.You can run it out of oil and never see that light come on.Second did you only replace the top coolant temp sensor for the gauge?The bottom one on that car is for the engine which controls the fan fuel amount of the engine depending on the engine temp.If bad can cause stalling no starts surging die and not restart for a while.Also the fan s supoosed to come on at
    3/4 or a little past depending on how good the temp gauge and temp coolant gauge is.You said the fan comes on just after half on the gauge.Also the crank sensor can cause those symptoms be bad and never set a code.When it dies and not start see if you have spark?
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Thanks again for that info on my friend's 94 SL1. You must realize that a LOT of the information I get from him is sometimes second or third hand because I think friends and family members on his girlfriend's side are throwing their 2 cents in. Now to answer your questions. My goal the day I had his car here(5 or 6 weeks ago now) was to see why he was overheating, and of course correct the greatly overfilled crankcase he had by at LEAST 2 quarts. The temp gauge didn't work for the reasons I stated above and when I put the old one back in it was fine. On his car there are 2 sensors, one for the gauge(single wire) and one about 2 inches away(2 wire connector). The 2 wire one is for the computer. I know this because I had an issue on my 96 that caused the cooling fan to start the moment I fired up the engine, and the temp gauge went to half way instantly. My problem was I had a bad connector, not the sending unit but I changed it anyway and had to go to a junkyard for a new 2 wire connector and my problem was solved. Now I'm wondering if this might be my friend's issue too because like I said earlier, when that car left my posession, it was running well, not stalling, and I solved the cooling fan problem by swapping the relay under the hood. But a few days later, he's telling me that the car shuts down(not all the time) and now the cooling fan is coming on as soon as the key is turned to the on position and I KNOW that is not right.

    He was supposed to call me yesterday(Sunday)and we were gonna get together and see if we can get this resolved but I haven't heard from him. If I do I'll suggest changing that other temp sensor and see what that does. It's not expensive, about $12. Then we could go from there. Thanks for the heads up on the crank sensor too. I'll also tell him that there is no low oil pressure shut down switch. He was saying on Saturday that the oil level was low, didn't know where it was going. I didn't see any leaks when I had it, but I do know Saturns do use oil, mine does. Remember his car has nearly 180K on it, but when I had it here, a friend of mine stopped by and we took compression readings from each cylinder and all were really good, 170PSI or above while cranking for 5 or 6 seconds. I'll give him a call and see what he wants to do. Thanks again, Pal!
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Member Posts: 152
    Your welcome anytime keep me posted on what you find.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 160
    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 Member Posts: 160
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 160
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 160
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 160
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 160
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 160
    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 EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,132
    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 Member Posts: 160
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 160
    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)
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