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Lazarus 05-10-2004 04:32 AM

1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 
I just bought a 1998 sl2. Not 10 minuets after I bought I ran into
some guy that told me that they have a bad problem with breaking
timing chains.
being that I only paid $1000.00 for it I am not to concerned if I have
to replace it but I was just wondering if any one knows about this
problem ( if it exists ) tank you for your time

richard hornsby 05-10-2004 05:08 AM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 
Lazarus wrote:

> I just bought a 1998 sl2. Not 10 minuets after I bought I ran into
> some guy that told me that they have a bad problem with breaking
> timing chains.


I have a 98SL2 with ~75K and since I've had the car (~40K) I've never
had a problem with the timing belt. I haven't heard anything like this
(3 other SLs in my family), and I also don't see anything about it on
the list of TSBs.

BTW: does anyone know where to get the full text of the TSBs? All I
can find is a list of TSB titles, except the 25$/year to alldatadyi.

-rj
98SL2

Jonnie Santos 05-11-2004 01:42 AM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 
I've read that if the car has had normal oil changes and not allowed to run
on low oil levels, timing chain life is really long - something like the
life of the engine (which means different numbers to different folks). And
I've also read they start making enough noise before they fail that most
techs/mechanics can suggest it's time to replace. Since the valves don't
clear the tops of the piston on the compression stroke, i.e. interference
engine, you'll bend and break parts when the chain breaks. Not pretty.

My 97SL2 with 89,200 miles is on the original chain and is fine as far as I
know - I think I hit 6,000 r's on a shift today merging onto the highway and
everything stayed together... (grin)

"Lazarus" <lazarus@mourningwould.com> wrote in message
news:2c843fc9.0405092032.690533d8@posting.google.c om...
> I just bought a 1998 sl2. Not 10 minuets after I bought I ran into
> some guy that told me that they have a bad problem with breaking
> timing chains.
> being that I only paid $1000.00 for it I am not to concerned if I have
> to replace it but I was just wondering if any one knows about this
> problem ( if it exists ) tank you for your time




Barry Schnoor 05-11-2004 02:34 PM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 
I think Jonnie has it right. Oil is the lifeblood of an engine. I have a
'94 with 157,000 miles and the chain is quiet.
Since Saturns have a reputation for using oil, check it every few times you
fill up your tank...until you get a feeling for how much oil you're using.
My car is now using a quart every 1,500 miles. 2,000 miles when it was
brand new.

She's getting old....

Barry

"Jonnie Santos" <see_contact.gif@jonniesantos.com> wrote in message
news:EcWnc.134190$Qy.41551@fed1read04...
> I've read that if the car has had normal oil changes and not allowed to

run
> on low oil levels, timing chain life is really long - something like the
> life of the engine (which means different numbers to different folks).

And
> I've also read they start making enough noise before they fail that most
> techs/mechanics can suggest it's time to replace. Since the valves don't
> clear the tops of the piston on the compression stroke, i.e. interference
> engine, you'll bend and break parts when the chain breaks. Not pretty.
>
> My 97SL2 with 89,200 miles is on the original chain and is fine as far as

I
> know - I think I hit 6,000 r's on a shift today merging onto the highway

and
> everything stayed together... (grin)
>
> "Lazarus" <lazarus@mourningwould.com> wrote in message
> news:2c843fc9.0405092032.690533d8@posting.google.c om...
> > I just bought a 1998 sl2. Not 10 minuets after I bought I ran into
> > some guy that told me that they have a bad problem with breaking
> > timing chains.
> > being that I only paid $1000.00 for it I am not to concerned if I have
> > to replace it but I was just wondering if any one knows about this
> > problem ( if it exists ) tank you for your time

>
>




Napalm Heart 05-12-2004 05:12 AM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 

"richard hornsby" <rhornsby@osuedc.org> wrote in message
news:c7n2nq$b2f$1@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu...
> Lazarus wrote:
>
> > I just bought a 1998 sl2. Not 10 minuets after I bought I ran into
> > some guy that told me that they have a bad problem with breaking
> > timing chains.

>
> I have a 98SL2 with ~75K and since I've had the car (~40K) I've

never
> had a problem with the timing belt. I haven't heard anything like

this
> (3 other SLs in my family), and I also don't see anything about it

on
> the list of TSBs.
>
> BTW: does anyone know where to get the full text of the TSBs? All

I
> can find is a list of TSB titles, except the 25$/year to alldatadyi.
>
> -rj
> 98SL2


No timing belt on your car. It has a timing chain. They aren't known
to break.

Ken



richard hornsby 05-12-2004 05:38 AM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 
> No timing belt on your car. It has a timing chain. They aren't known
> to break.


Apologies. I realized later that I meant chain, and not belt.

Napalm Heart 05-12-2004 04:49 PM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 

"richard hornsby" <rhornsby@osuedc.org> wrote in message
news:c7sd90$r0s$1@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu...
> > No timing belt on your car. It has a timing chain. They aren't

known
> > to break.

>
> Apologies. I realized later that I meant chain, and not belt.


No apologies needed here. The only thing I'm concerned about is that
a true neophyte (not you, you obviously have more knowledge then that)
might change the serpentine belt and think they had changed a timing
belt. If they were having a timing chain problem that could be a
'fatal error'.

Ken



Steven M. Scharf 05-14-2004 04:50 AM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 
"Lazarus" <lazarus@mourningwould.com> wrote in message
news:2c843fc9.0405092032.690533d8@posting.google.c om...
> I just bought a 1998 sl2. Not 10 minuets after I bought I ran into
> some guy that told me that they have a bad problem with breaking
> timing chains.
> being that I only paid $1000.00 for it I am not to concerned if I have
> to replace it but I was just wondering if any one knows about this
> problem ( if it exists ) tank you for your time


It is true.

See: http://groups.google.com/groups?oi=d...m=an_364666954

The same mechanic, and owner of Saturn Services (now 6th Planet after Saturn
threatened litigation), a well-regarded independent Saturn shop in Florida,
suggests changing the chain at 70K miles for preventive maintenance: "saturn
timing chains are failing at an alarming rate, i'm recommending to my
customers to replace them at 75k as preventive maintenance. were now selling
apx 4 engines every week now and most are due to t-chain failures. the twin
cams are failing more than the single cams f.y.i."

OTOH, If you paid $1000, you're probably not going to want to spend $600-700
on a timing chain replacement, and you'll most likely go well beyond 100K
miles. The odds are on your side that you won't have a failure. And as
others have pointed out, a worn timing chain usually makes noise prior to
failing, so you have some warning. However you don't have a frame of
reference as to what the noise level should be normally, if you bought it
used.

Just keep the oil level topped off (you're probably burning a quart or two
of oil in a Saturn that old), and you'll get your money's worth.

A lot of people have been misled on this issue, a timing chain, even though
it is steel, does NOT last the life of the car. As Tom and Ray state:
"Timing chains do last longer, but not necessarily the life of the car. And
when they do break, it's a big job and a lot of money to replace them, and
"Now, with overhead-cam engines, it has to be 3 or 4 feet long, and for that
kind of length, a belt is not only a lot quieter, but more reliable, too.
When you use a chain for that kind of length, it's more likely to loosen up,
slap around and eventually break." See
http://www.cartalk.com/content/colum.../April/01.html



Louis Hom 05-14-2004 12:18 PM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 
In article <reYoc.19656$Hs1.15345@newsread2.news.pas.earthlin k.net>,
Steven M. Scharf <scharf.steven@linkearth.net> wrote:
>
>others have pointed out, a worn timing chain usually makes noise prior to
>failing, so you have some warning. However you don't have a frame of
>reference as to what the noise level should be normally, if you bought it
>used.


What is the kind of noise one should be noticing? Is it rumbling,
rattling, gnashing, whining,...? Hopefully, I'll never need to use that
information . . .
--
__________________________________________________ ____________________________
Lou Hom >K'93
lhom@ocf.berkeley.edu
http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/

Rich Babowicz 05-14-2004 04:50 PM

Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 timing chain
 
Ah. Something I can add my $0.02 worth:


About a year ago, I had the chain replaced on my 98 SL2 (about 38k on it,
but all "hard" in town driving). It came on so slow, I never notice it. The
engine noise (whirring/gear noise/roaring???) just kept getting louder and
louder, but not a "bad" sound. The power dropped off so bad, it would
down-shift on any slight hill/rise in the road. Mileage dropped off a
little, but not enough to alarm me. Here in Texas, I use the A/C alot and
mileage varies.

I thought the A/C compressor was getting loud/bad and dragging down the
engine. Took it in to the dealer (I had the extended warranty about to run
out in 86 days) and asked them to check it. They told me it was the chain
that was going bad. It was about $1200 for them to do it, but it was
covered. They also replaced the wires (covered). I had to pay for plugs and
the injector cleaning. Service manager told me since the chain was stretched
and the timing was so bad it was fouling the plugs and gumming up the
injectors.

I keep the oil changed. It might go 3500 between changes, but it never gets
too low. I use about 3/4 qt. in 3000 miles. So I usually don't have to add
oil.

Now I have a question: Since the plugs and injectors needed replaced, I'd
think the O2 sensors and other emission parts should need to be replaced
also?

Rich


"Louis Hom" <lhom@OCF.Berkeley.EDU> wrote in message
news:c82ddr$2sun$1@agate.berkeley.edu...
> In article <reYoc.19656$Hs1.15345@newsread2.news.pas.earthlin k.net>,
> Steven M. Scharf <scharf.steven@linkearth.net> wrote:
> >
> >others have pointed out, a worn timing chain usually makes noise prior to
> >failing, so you have some warning. However you don't have a frame of
> >reference as to what the noise level should be normally, if you bought it
> >used.

>
> What is the kind of noise one should be noticing? Is it rumbling,
> rattling, gnashing, whining,...? Hopefully, I'll never need to use that
> information . . .
> --
>

__________________________________________________ __________________________
__
> Lou Hom >K'93
> lhom@ocf.berkeley.edu
> http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/





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