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Technical Saturn Sky Discussion Technical and performance aspects of the Saturn Sky Roadster. Sky Problems | Solutions | Repairs | Recalls | Tech Bulletins | Tech Tips | In the Manual Basic Tech

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Old 09-23-2009, 12:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Update on project - chop, cut, rebuild Sky

I can use this thread to provide updates on my project cars.

Summary: '07 Autos black ext, one RL, one base. both wrecked, one donor and one better one, hit on opposite sides. The plan was to take the good parts from the 2.0 and the entire shocks/springs/sway bars, engine trans and computer, body parts, seats, etc and move them to the 2.4.

Body man and I finally walked the cars and looked at his estimate. He said he thinks the car (the 2.4 better shape one, to be referred to as "the car" here forward) might have a bent frame on the pass side although the actual impact missed the frame, as the mag wheel was broken that side and the control arms mounts were ripped from frame. He won't know the extent of it until he gets it on the frame machine and measures it. He did some research on these cars and said the frame is atypical and made from "high strength steel" ("HSS") and that is a bugger to work with. Apparently it tends to revert back to its original shape, and resists straightening. He was scaring me at this point as I'm seeing dollar bills flowing out of my bank account and him buying a new 24' dual engine fishing boat and matching trailer. He mentioned he could install a new unbent frame rail if necessary which really started freaking me out. Just was thinking....if the HSS reverts back to its orginal shape, why is it staying bent now??

There is a Lincoln LS on the rack now that is awaiting one more part and then to the paint booth and off the rack, so we've been waiting. The car does not roll with the one wheel banged up and mounts broken, so they are using dollies and were moving cars around as they just got in a banged up 350z convert, both bags blown front end damage.

I had to firmly introduce the shop to the concept that the sides are very fragile and low, that you cannot jack like a regular car, so they are aware now and work on other lowered cars...just that one guy who is a genius at some things like fiberglass but not mechanical work.

The shop owner told me he would play nice and let me help reduce the cost and remove the parts from the car to save some money on the project during the rebuild and repaint process. We're going with a color change and will have the entire car body opened up to paint everything like factory. He recommended House of Kolor paints for most bling-like appearance, something that was suggested here on the forum. Wife and I are thinking of a lighter color as I like the Sky with bright colors, I think the black hides some of the unique styling too much for me.

I just noticed when I was there, that the engine control computer for the
2.0 had been removed or was broken off of the car on impact (big hit was right where it was mounted), so I will have to add that to the list of parts needed. Also major parts needed: driver's airbag. windshield. front bumper cover. headlight.

Anyway, that's about it. Thanks to Rick for selling me his hood and rims, and I've been parting out some interior parts to folks as I can.

I have yet to drive the car, or any Kappa for that matter! Might have to go buy a dealer for the experience, mine might be a while!

Scott
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The frame is hydroformed. The first thing to understand is that by using mechanical force, like a chain pull, to straighten a frame, you are not really straightening it. You are only bending it in a different direction. The stresses in the steel still exist in a cold form. There are methods, such as heat and impact loading, to help the metal conform, but it would be difficult to make it precisely in its original, formed shape. There is always some springback when pulling a frame, which is why they pull it beyond the pick up point and let it spring back some. This is really a skill and the more experience the person doing the work has, the better the outcome. All the pick up points will be where they're supposed to be, though. I would avoid welding in new frame sections except as a last resort.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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pull

Thanks for note. I'm hoping these guys will do it right, the body guy is a specialist and does this sort of thing all day long, so it should be within his skill and experience level. I really don't even think the thing bent to be honest with you, the impact tore off the lightly tack welded hood mount and broke the pass side mag wheel, tore off the light metal and no so well welded tabs for the A arm mounts, but the frame should be OK I'm hoping.

Here's a shot of the frame and hood hinge mount.

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Old 10-05-2009, 11:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Update: getting started

Body shop has done some pulling on rear quarter panel dent. For those of you who are unaware, the rear wheel house liners, trunk is all made from one big piece of composite material. The rear quarters are glued on, I'm not sure how the best way is to remove. Body shop told me that they would rather keep my rear quarter and repair than try to put a new one on. I guess I'll keep the other rear-end in my garage in case i need it(wife will love that).

Here is a photo of the dent after some work, but still in progress.

We are putting the car on the rack Wed and will know a lot more then.

Scott

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Old 10-07-2009, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was out there today getting my hands dirty to save on the cost of the repair. I removed the pass side front wheel and all the suspension - brakes, hub, A arms, shock/spring to hang on the other car. I also removed the battery from the donor car see if I can get it to charge.

I then removed the battery support using a 4.5" cutter for welding on the other car possibly, as the other is smooshed bad.

The biggest pain was the wheel locks on the custom wheels on the RL. They were horribly soft and when I was using a socket to "force" on there and after that they got jammed on there terribly. I since bought some easyout type product that will remove most wheel locks.

I think we may pull the 2.4 to allow more room to work on the frame, we found a spot that need straightening by the upper rear A arm mount.
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Last edited by Dirkdaddy; 10-08-2009 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Great thread Scott! Your wife is going to have a great car when it's all said and done.

I hope you keep this going. I'd love to see the final result. And of course, I just love work,...I could sit and watch it all day.

Good luck with the project!
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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More pics. I spent a day at the shop while the guys were on other projects. Nice and sweaty with very high humidity.





and then the damage to pass side of keeper car - ripped the A arm upper front mount clean off! But the aluminum A arm is intact! Don't let anyone tell you the are not strong! The frame has a good sized dent in it, so they are going to pull it out, may be easier they say w/o engine so I guess I'll swap motors in it.

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Last edited by Dirkdaddy; 10-09-2009 at 10:59 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wish me luck

Going to the body shop tomorrow to remove the 2.4 engine so they can better access the front frame, and then I can also put the 2.0 engine in....

bringing my dad for assistance and my engine hoist, and some printouts from my crappy alldata manual.

I'll take some pics.

Scott
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yanking 2.4 engine

Wow... just showeredd and removed a LOT of grime, my work clothes were filthy. Today took my pa over and we attempted to pull the engine on the 2.4 Sky. I did not have my Helm manual yet, and the *#&% crappy All-Data or whatever it was lacked a lot of detail on how to remove the engine. So, like usual I winged it.

Drained coolant. Removed radiator hoses. Dad started disconnecting the wire harnesses on the engine. I removed the radiator bracket, plastic cowling in front, the electric fan, Disconnected the power steering belt which is separate on the 2.4 for some reason - packaging I guess they could not match the serpentine belt to it. Removed serp. belt, alternator. disconnected the exhaust, removed the cat, and then in order to find a place to lift the rear of the motor, I removed the exhaust manifold and used one of those bolts. Removed the bolts on top of bellhousing facing toward motor. On the intake side, boy is the 2.4 cramped! That rams horn intake and brake booster, ABS system and all that totally blocked getting at the belhousing bolts. Had to remove the air cleaner and induction part, throttle body, injector harness in order to remove the intake manifold. Some of the bolts for intake are blocked by the throttle body. Lots of grounded things on the block.

There is a bellhousing bolt by the starter, which is buried under all that stuff. We found out to remove the block from the trans/bellhousing, you have to remove the starter and rotate engine around to access the bolts holding the torque converter to the flex plate. these gave us fits, 18mm and very sturdy, also very cramped and difficult to put muscle to. Not a straight shot, did not get them off. Next day will remove that side engine mount and have hoist hold the engine, then I can get a impact gun to have a straight shot at the darn thing.

Also, FWIW, if you ever have a problem with the ac compressor, you might be in for a LOT of labor. I'm not sure how anyone can remove the lower bolt w/o lifting the engine or possibly removing the steering rack, but the *(#&@ thing is very cramped and difficult to access. We opted to leave it until we have the engine lifted up a few inches so I can access it with a socket. Otherwise, it was near impossible with the angle and access. Removing a wheel and working from the side was somewhat better, but frame was in the way.

In the end, we did not get the torque converter bolts removed, and that was the only thing holding up removing the engine. B/C we did not want to loose the refrigerant from the AC I did not move the radiator/condenser, and taking the trans out with the engine would be difficult w/o removing the radiator and condenser. Plus the complication of having the driveshaft fixed with rear IS, and the bottom of the car plate over the drive-train made me opt for the quick and dirty. I will swap transmissions for the turbo, not sure what differences are but they are usually sturdier.



A busy day! I should know the Sky very well after doing this project !



Scott
ps. I'm removing the engine b/c the body guys said we need to straighten the frame a slight bit and its easier to push and pull, so removing the engine was recommended, and I was going to swap for 2.0 of the other car anyway....
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Last edited by Dirkdaddy; 10-14-2009 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Posted on: 10-15-2009, 12:10 AM by MARVIC 1
Hoping for the best Scott....
Keep us posted on your tremendous project...


Can't believe its been that long Rob with nothing to show for but a beautiful blue paint job....

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Old 10-15-2009, 01:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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glad to hear they are fixing the rear n not cutting it off for a new one u never wanna cut or mess with convertible quarters. between the trunk and the roof and doors u open up such a can of worms for leaks it not even funny.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hate to say this Scott...but I would like to see this car when it gets back together and u turn the key...It is guaranteed that the idiot lights will go on...the question remains, how many. Best of luck and keep us updated.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hey, doesn't look like you're using the right lift points. Be careful or you'll crack your fenders

Love the pics ...

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Old 10-16-2009, 11:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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LOL

All my fenders are already cracked!

Scott
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My car will be worth a fortune someday as the only surviving black Red Line....If people don't keep resurrecting the dead ones.

Seriously though, good luck on getting the job done quickly, so you can enjoy the ride.
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