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  1. #1
    rpcope's Avatar
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    Greetings from Colorado

    Hello Sixthsphere!

    First, I just want to say as a long time lurker, and now a first time poster, I'm really thankful for all of the technical knowledge I've picked up about these cars between here and Saturnfans. Just a little about me: I live just north of Denver in a little town called Mead. I'm the proud owner of a 2001 Saturn SL1, and enjoy working on it a lot. The most recent thing I've done to the car is to put a Torrent cluster in it, after seeing the howto on here. I'm currently fixing some brake pulsation problems on the car, and about to throw new rotors and pads, and possibly wheel bearings and hubs on there.

    I also wanted to share, and maybe get some input from those of you who know way more than me on some interesting parts I picked up recently. I was browsing Craigslist for metro Denver, and happened to run across a real nice guy who was selling the top end off a high compression DOHC build; I think he told me he was a mechanic at Saturn North in Denver way back when it existed (he certainly knew way more than I did about all things Saturn, and had a real slick looking 700+HP Corvette build going on, but I digress). I ended up picking up the head, intake and exhaust off of his build, which have been sitting for a while (sadly the bottom end was since parted out and gone), and an low mileage MP3 transmission for a pretty reasonable sum. I've got some pictures of my car and the parts I picked up here: https://imgur.com/gallery/sMsvO . I was pretty stoked to get just the Hotshot header, and he told me the head and intake had been ported and cleaned up by Saturn Motorsports, back when they were a thing (the receipt in the album is for the head work). If the receipt is anything to go by, it looks like the head is the good second gen head, with the older flat faced valves in there. One interesting take away I got in talking with Dustin, who sold me the parts, was that when the build was done (probably 10 years ago now), instead of needing to run an aftermarket ECM or fuel management system, there was a shop somewhere in California (maybe also Saturn Motorsports??) that was able to tune the stock computer to run with his super high compression build. The build apparently was pretty crazy, and it sounded like it was pretty much track only (he told me it didn't pass emissions).

    I am hoping to source a good third gen DOHC bottom end, and put the head on there and put it in my car. I don't have any particular HP goal in mind (the SOHC already seems like a speed demon compared to the Iron Duke in my first gen S-10), but I'd like to build something that's fun and pretty street-able and reasonably capable on a road track, as much as one can do this with a Saturn S-series any more. I think I've read that the flat faced valves alone probably add half a point compression (and it just occurred to me that I should make sure the head hasn't been decked or anything), so I'm not sure if it makes sense to change pistons or anything to further increase compression. I also have to contend with emissions (though the car is old enough that the OBD-2 can be non-functional and just needs to pass the IM240 test), so that will probably put a damper on anything too wild or running a ridiculously shitty tune. I am thinking about getting an MS3 Extra ECM for the car (and as dumb as it sounds, seeing if I can't learn it initially without a bunch of extra confounding variables by trying to use it to control the SOHC currently in the car). It sounds like the MS3 works better out of the box than the original or MS2 (especially with the noisy crank sensor?), and I kind of like the data logging abilities that the MS3 Extra has. This is all a little bit new territory for me, as the last time I've been into an engine was helping my old man put together a small block Chevy with a carburetor, but I like turning a wrench and learning new things, and I've got plenty of time and patience (and couple other vehicles to drive when I inevitably fuck something up).

    At any rate, thanks for reading my post, and I just want to say that I'm pretty stoked to be among plastic turd enthusiasts.

    ~Robert

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  3. #2
    6S Moderator S.Bretz's Avatar
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    Thats a lot of words and I have had many beers...so I will leave it at: Welcome to the site!
    -6S Resident Mechanical Forensics member #001.
    1995 SC2 Turbo 3.6L DOHC, 6sp manual, Ford 8.8 rearend running on MS3x.
    1998 F-250 5.4L triton...stock.

  4. #3
    rpcope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.Bretz View Post
    Thats a lot of words and I have had many beers...so I will leave it at: Welcome to the site!
    Thanks! I apologize, I error a little too far on the verbose side sometimes.

  5. #4
    Approved Vendor ZombieSatty's Avatar
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    I'm with Bretz, so ya, hi!
    It's not my fault, blame the radiation.

  6. #5
    punkboySL2's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site! If you think the SL1 runs good as is, the twin cam / mp3 swap will be a pretty good bump in power.
    98 SL2m - Intake, Raceland coilovers, daily driver
    94 SW2a>m - slammed and boosted 9 PSI - sloppymechanics.com inspired. Now owned by Importsdontlikeme.
    94 SC2m - Build in progress, Ford EDIS, 720cc's, stock engine, MS2v3.57 7 on the road again

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