1994 Saturn SL1 Is engine repair feasible?

Tiny
THOMEDON
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 SATURN SL1
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
Engine cranks, won't start. Measured 2 out of 4 cylinders and did not see any compression. Removed head cover and noticed a few small chunks of tan plastic scattered around cylinder head. Able to grip timing chain with fingers and dislodge about 1/16" from cam sprocket. Appears tensioner failed, timing chain skipped, and engine out of sync. Have not yet torn it down to look. Question now is are head cylinder valves trashed? Engine is 1.9L SOHC. Does this kind of failure require a head cylinder rebuild or major engine overhaul/ replacement? This car was running OK before the failure. I'd like to fix it but not "beat a dead horse" either.
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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 AT 1:16 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
First of all thank u so much for ur donation it really helps to keep this website going and answering everyones questions. As far as being worth the repair u do have alot miles on the car does it burn oil if so how much?If the valves didn't hit u could probably fix it for maybe 250-300 for parts if u did the work urself.I have seen the valves go both ways hit and not hit it's like playing the lotto. So take this info and think if it's worth it u to repair I guess it really depends on if the valve hit which we don't know if they did without pulling the head. Let me know what u find and if u need anymore help.
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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 AT 1:42 PM
Tiny
THOMEDON
  • MEMBER
I put in 0.5 quarts per week, however, it does appear to have a leaky oil cover seal. Before car broke it ran well and power was good for 4 cylinder. I don't mind having head cylinder rebuilt if chance of recovery is good. I need car to last about 1 year more and then I don't care. Had traces of oil in coolant a few months ago so added head gasket repair fluid and have not noticed new instance of this for months. So must replace head gasket also when I pull head cylinder. Starting to sound like a fool's errand? I hope not.
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 AT 6:55 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I doubt that ur loosing a 1/2 quart of oil from the valve cover ur car would be smoking really bad with all the oil burning off. How far do u drive in a week?Also u said u were getting oil in the coolant that's not the head gasket on the single cam engines the cam journal cracks usually the number 3 or 4 one it starts off small then fills ur coolant with oil. Another thing to consider with ur decision it's up too u what ur going to do. Let me know what u find.
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 AT 12:45 PM
Tiny
THOMEDON
  • MEMBER
After considering the age of the car, how much oil it burns per week, the cost of parts (at least $300, probably closer to $500), and the amount if time I would need to invest in the project, I said to myself, "Self, this project looks costly, odds for success appear lower than I'd like, my family needs reliable transportation now, and life is way too short. I'm junking this car and putting all my money and resources into purchase of newer, hopefully more reliable used car." That's what I did a week ago. So far, so good. Thanks for your help.
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Sunday, February 28th, 2010 AT 12:58 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Thank u for ur donation and glad I could be of help to u. Thanks for using 2carpros feel free to use us anytime.
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Sunday, February 28th, 2010 AT 1:24 PM

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