Who knows if anyone here remembers me, but I was active maybe 3 or 4 years ago. I had the Cobalt Turbo, made somewhere around 500ish whp.
Well if you don’t remember that’s fine. But now I own something even stranger. A 1995 Saturn SL2. What began life as a normal cheap economy car sold somewhere in northern Maine was turned into something amazing 13 years or so after it was built.
The second owner, an engineer from a pretty well known company, bought the car at some point, and in 2008 he somehow came up with the idea of dropping the powertrain from a 1997 Volkswagen Jetta(or Passat, whichever got the AHU) TDI. I have no idea what fueled his idea of this, but I can’t complain since I absolutely love the car.
So here is what I know about the car, the engine is mostly stock, has a cone filter on it as well as a custom made downpipe, the injector pump timing was advanced I believe, and the computer has a Rocketchip stage 2, and god damn does this car move surprisingly quick. It weighs in at 2480lb with 10 gallons of fuel and 1 full grown American, so with its 290ish ft lbs and 180ish HP (if anyone knows the exact specs for this set up that would be greatly appreciated) it definitely is not a slouch. Eventually I’ll be getting a larger turbo as I’m at the peak for this stock one at 18psi, any higher than that it just can’t flow the air and turns into a hair dryer and eventually will just kill itself, and paired with a larger turbo I would do new injectors, and go for a stage 3 tune.
The fab work that was done on this car is amazing, it has a custom made subframe to support the Volkswagen Engine and Transmission, custom made axles using the Volkswagen inners with Saturn outers so it uses the Saturn suspension and hubs. The gauge cluster works as intended, everything inside the car works flawlessly (Except AC, it doesn’t have that)
So if you have made it this far I’m sure you’re wondering, “Just how did you manage to acquire this fine automobile?” Well, I was scrolling through Facebook, may have been intoxicated, when I saw someone post that they got this in on trade at a dealership and that he had no idea what he wanted to do with it. So I checked where he was from and noticed he lived basically down the road. We negotiated a price and I got the car the next day. It needed some work though, which explains the $250 price I paid for the car. I had it towed over to my house and quickly tore the old turbo out, which had blown a seal on the exhaust side and basically tore itself to shreds since it isn’t a ball bearing turbo and relies on oil to be the bearing, the compressor side was all chewed up and the center nut was resting inside the fins of the turbo. After I got the turbo done I found the root cause of the oil pressure loss that I assume nuked this turbo in the first place. Once I fired the car up the timing cover started pissing oil like crazy, shut the car down immediately and inspected the area. Turned out a bad seal for the shaft that runs the oil pump had sprung a leak. Ordered all the specialty tools I needed and the next weekend I swapped the seal over.
The car has intermittently been my daily, and have had zero issues at all, all I do is fuel it up, check the oil, replace the oil when it comes time, and the car just runs. Hoping I get some decent life out of a car that really shouldn’t exist in the first place.