1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread - DIY Electric Car Forums
Go Back  

DIY Electric Car Forums > EV Conversions and Builds > All EV Conversions and Builds

Register Blogs FAQ Members List Social Groups Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-23-2011, 10:29 AM
dladd dladd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Novato, California
Posts: 684
dladd is on a distinguished road
Default 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

Alright, I’ve decided to make a re-build thread for my new (to me) 1995 Saturn SL2 EV.

I’ve been thinking about an EV for a while, and did quite a bit of preliminary research over the last few months. My requirements are modest. 50 mile range, 5 seats (only kids in the back, so weight/space is not really an issue, just need 5 seat belts), sporty-ish (0-60 in the 9 second range with decent handling), able to cruise at 65 for 10-15 miles, and be easy for anyone to drive. No tricks, no funky shifting, no heaterless/air conditioning less cars allowed here. I settled on the idea of a basic 4 door compact car with a DC motor and lithium batteries, which I figured would fit the bill pretty well. Hopefully something new enough to have air bags and shoulder belts in the rear seats, but not so new that it’s completely computer controlled.

Right about that time, I saw this post here in the classified forum. Hmm, a free roller, that could be a nice way to get started! I have always liked the first gen Saturns, and I can’t weld so there’s definitely an advantage to buying something that already has battery boxes and motor mounts made. I emailed back and forth a bit with the owner, one thing led to another and I ended up buying it from him as is. Broken motor mounts, damaged Warp9, all electrics, 48x 130ah CALB cells and all!

Definitely a ‘fixer’ rather than a conversion at this point, but it still needs plenty of work. In addition to the obvious fixes needed to repair the damage, it also has no air conditioning (which I figure I have until next summer to figure out a solution), a non-functioning (but still installed, so hopefully fixable) clutch, a Logisystems 750a controller (one of the few still working from what I can tell, but I don’t hold high hopes for it in the long run) and it needs to have another motor mount added to prevent excess rotation of the motor. In addition to whatever else I find as I tear into the car…

I set up a transport to get the car from there to here (not cheap to ship a non running car!!), and in the meantime while I was waiting I came across this thread and now have a used Warp9 in my garage waiting to be installed.



While I was waiting for the car, I also procured a big, ugly, rusted engine hoist from Craigslist, bought a hand powered winch to get the roller up the driveway (which required drilling into my concrete floor and installing a half inch wedge anchor), and proceeded to clean out a space in my garage to work on the project.



More in a bit…
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 09-23-2011, 10:38 AM
dladd dladd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Novato, California
Posts: 684
dladd is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

Car arrived! Here’s my girls trying to figure out which one is our new car…



and here they are trying to figure out where to hook the winch line. (yes, the wheels are chocked...)



I was able to pull it up the hill into the garage without problem, I had one kid in the driver’s seat covering the brake, and the other in the passenger seat ready to yank up the e-brake on a moments notice! They took their jobs VERY seriously. Alas, there was no drama, it just pulled right up and in.

I fooled around with it for a little while, mostly making a wiring diagram and trying to figure out how everything was wired up. I also pulled the hood off, but that was the extent of my actual ‘work’ tonight. Most of the components have to come out in order to pull the motor (and replace the component shelf that was broken when the motor jacked up) so I want to make sure I’ve got a good complete wiring diagram before moving forward. Here’s a few ‘before’ pics of it nice and snug in the garage.







This is not going to be a quick project, I’ve got a lot of other stuff going on and really want this to be fun, not work. I’m also hoping to involve my daughters as much as I can (which will certainly slow things down a bit!). My hope is to get it up and running in a month or so, then take my time over the next few months fixing the little things.

I'd love to get the motor/trans out this weekend, but that's probably optimistic. We're in the middle of soccer season and the weather is real nice right now. Probably won't spend too many hours in the garage.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-23-2011, 11:32 AM
TomA TomA is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 270
TomA is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

Good luck with the project.

Just a heads-up from a long-term Saturn SL owner:

These cars have an Achilles' heel in the transmission- there's a roll pin that retains gears in the cast differential carrier that works its way out. When it does that, the pin clips the transmission case, and the whole tranny grenades. Don't ask me how I know.

There's a pretty good overview of the problem and the various solutions here:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/arc.../t-121625.html

There are some things NEVER to do with a Saturn SL: Never spin the tires. Never drive the car with the small spare tire on the front axle. Never use tires of different size on the front axle. Never spin one tire coming out of a corner, etc.

Since your electric motor puts a lot of torque into the transmission, and you're going to have it out on the bench during your rebuild, do yourself the favor of looking into this problem and taking it on.

TomA
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-23-2011, 01:25 PM
dladd dladd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Novato, California
Posts: 684
dladd is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

Thanks for the link Tom, I found a youtube video showing how to check the pin without opening up the trans. Should be easy to do with it out of the car.

if it looks centered and OK, I'll probably just let it be. No need to open things up and make it worse by trying to fix something that isn't broken yet.

Thanks for the tip!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-23-2011, 05:39 PM
dexion dexion is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: detroit
Posts: 194
dexion is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

Good luck david.

I think in this case (at least now) the trans wasnt the cause of the damage.
The lower trans mount let go which shifted the trans up to the battery box snapping the passengerside cv joint and bending the warp9 enough to make all sorts of naughty sounds. Ill be watching with a tear in my girlfriends eye heh.

Careful in reverse...
__________________
_________________________
Dex
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:49 PM
dladd dladd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Novato, California
Posts: 684
dladd is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by dexion View Post
Good luck david.
hey thanks! Hope I do the car proud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dexion View Post
I think in this case (at least now) the trans wasnt the cause of the damage.
The lower trans mount let go which shifted the trans up to the battery box snapping the passengerside cv joint and bending the warp9 enough to make all sorts of naughty sounds. Ill be watching with a tear in my girlfriends eye heh.

Careful in reverse...
fixing the clutch ought to help out. Or a smoother controller. Maybe both.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:52 PM
dladd dladd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Novato, California
Posts: 684
dladd is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

A bit more progress today, I pulled out all the components mounted over the motor. First I made a good wiring diagram, then started disconnecting and labeling everything. It was a shame to pull it all apart, it was wired really cleanly! Anyway, with the tray and components out of the way, I could get a good look at the motor.





In the closeup below, you can see the damage. The closer I look, the better it seems! It looks like it possibly is just that the metal screen rotated and pushed up against the terminals and the plastic connector. It broke the connector out of the case, but the terminals actually look decent, just the plastic insulators got thrashed. I may not need that second motor after all! Too soon to really tell though…





The picture below really shows how far up the motor twisted. It pulled the rubber motor mount clean apart on the right side.





below are a few photo’s showing the ripped apart CV joint (which sprayed grease on everything near it!) and the lower torn trans mount. It also completely separated.





so far so good! I just may get the motor and trans out this weekend after all!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-25-2011, 09:59 PM
dladd dladd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Novato, California
Posts: 684
dladd is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

well, no more garage time over the weekend, so not much else done. I did spend some time translating my scribbles into a readable wiring diagram. I am not an electrical engineer! But I think it all makes sense. What do you think? See anything wonky? This was a running car for over a year, so I know it works. Anything you'd change?

I did not put in the details of the heater or BMS yet, just the inputs to their 'black boxes'.

edit: hmm, I can't seem to get the .pdf to display in the post, but I think it did attach correctly.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf saturn wiring diagram 5.pdf (326.8 KB, 78 views)

Last edited by dladd; 09-25-2011 at 10:12 PM. Reason: picture issues
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-26-2011, 05:57 AM
mora's Avatar
mora mora is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jyvaskyla, Finland
Posts: 286
mora is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

Is relay on top of 12V battery (in the drawing I mean) rated for full pack voltage (DC)? I'd change that if it is regular 12V automotive relay there.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-26-2011, 08:34 AM
dladd dladd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Novato, California
Posts: 684
dladd is on a distinguished road
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 re-build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by mora View Post
Is relay on top of 12V battery (in the drawing I mean) rated for full pack voltage (DC)? I'd change that if it is regular 12V automotive relay there.
Here is what it says on it:

White-Rodgers
120-10571-6
Coil 12v DC Cont
120-901

this is what it looks like:
Pg_052_53.jpg
Reply With Quote
Reply

Share or Bookmark this

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

 
Support DIY Electric Car
Sponsors

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Ad Management by RedTyger