July 25, 2012

New Axles

A few weeks ago the car donated another perfectly good part to keep downtime with the daily to a minimum.

On a drive home from Portland, ME (about 35 minutes north of my home in Wells) the passenger side front of the SW started exhibiting a vibration at speed, with a distinct clunk every time the clutch was engaged or depressed - a bad CV joint loading and unloading. I was short on time with a looming alignment appointment, so I jacked the SL2 up and swiped the passenger side axle to get the daily squared away. I turned this into an excuse to purchase a new set of axles for the SL2. Given the mileage on the SW I'd gamble the drivers side axle may not be far behind its counterpart, so a fresh pair on the SL will leave me with a good axle left over (hopefully I won't need it anytime soon). Replacement axles for these cars have always been hit or miss as a lot of the reproduction units have inconsistencies. In a lot of instances the CV boots are larger than stock, making them prone to rubbing on various areas of the drivetrain or chassis. I did my homework to narrow the field down to axles others have been successful with, and ended up purchasing a set of EMPI axles through Rock Auto.

July 22, 2012

Vented Cam Cover Preview

This is another long-term project that is finally coming to a close. Once again I've gone overboard for a stock motor build, but I couldn't help myself.

This project started as another "might as well" moment. I knew at the very least I wanted an aluminum cam cover with the full "Twin Cam 16V Saturn" script that was found on the '95 DOHC's for that year only ('94 and early only said "Saturn" while '96 saw the introduction of composite cam covers). Years ago a local Sixthsphere member turned one up for me, only to sit around in the trunk of the car while I tackled other portions of the build. With the intention of getting the car to run this year, I finally unearthed it. By this point I had it in my mind that I was going to build a vented cam cover. I poured over various applications (namely Honda B-series and Mitsubishi 4G63's) for ideas to determine an adequate size and placement of a pair of male AN fittings before choosing -10AN. For some time after I continued to toy with various locations for my fittings until I settled on mimicking the two other vented S-Series cam covers that I knew of - already proven to work right?