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Hey everyone, brand new member here! I just inherited a Saturn Sky from my grandfather (I'm currently still at college so I don't have any details on the year or model yet). Is there any N2K information before I get my hands on the car? I plan to take care of it like a baby and would hate to do something stupid. Also, what's your recommended first modification for both performance and design? Lastly, this looks like a nice community and I'm glad I found it
 

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Number one thing is to give it a good shakedown to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed.

Before you mod, you need to have a healthy car. Get all the basics done. Fluids, plugs, brakes, etc ad theater needed.

Did your grandfather keep a maintenance record?

The DDM probeam and backbone braces seem to be a lit of folks' #1 recommendation.

EDIT: here is a checklist from the Sol forum:

It was put together by Rob, who is one of the more senior members of the forum, checklist his build too. It's pretty bad ass.
 

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I was going to post the link to Rob's checklist, but @Matthew Huffman beat me to it.

You need to know if the car is a normally aspirated 2.4, or a turbocharged 2.0 (Redline), as that will make a significant difference to your performance mod options.

You really do need to get to know the car and definitely take care of the basics before you start changing things. The Sky is really capable out-of-the-box, and many of us have made relatively few modifications.

I do second the recommendation for the DDM ProBeam as the first and most crucial performance mod.
 

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Honestly IMO, the most important thing to know is that whatever you need to do mechanically, the good news is parts are fairly easy to come by regardless of the engine being a 2.0 vs 2.4, automatic vs manual trans. Caveat to that though, there are a few unique parts due to the engine being primarily a transverse mounted engine on other cars and for parts that were only used on the Sky or Solstice.

The body items and cosmetic items are becoming rarer and rarer. Body panels, lights, convertible top, interior pieces, etc are hard to replace if they are damaged or if you choose to modify them. There is very few NOS parts laying around unless a fellow member has them stashed away or you find someone parting out a car is your best bet. Also be aware the aftermarket support is very limited for our cars as well. There are a few vendors, but you're not going to find aftermarket support like you would for other cars on ebay and amazon. Keep in mind they made like 30k total Skys so it's a very niche market and the aftermarket support is really just holdovers from the early days when the cars were still in production. When those vendors decide to roll up shop, it will be a sad time for the community.
 

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A few things that come to mind...

  • Be careful to not crack the speaker grills with your feet.
  • Your fingernails will scratch the stock radio face plate; it's stupidly soft.
  • The OEM tunnel cup holder won't last long if you use it.
  • Without extreme care, mechanic's lifts will break the front fenders.
  • Don't lean on the front wheel well liners when working on the car.
  • Refilling the car with coolant requires special tools and procedure.
  • The oil filter is a cartridge type. R&R is much easier with the special tool.
  • You can bend/dent the rear lid by applying too much force in the wrong location.
  • The hood interferes with the door opening in some positions.
  • Be wary of the metal strip glued on the plastic door sill popping loose and up. If it does it will catch on the bottom of the door.
  • The front lip is very low and will scrape on parking curbs.
  • Some of the stock charge air hose clamps are junk and will eventually leak intermittently, causing limp mode and codes (turbo only). Recommend replacing them with t-bar hose clamps.
 

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Don't worry about Mike. He's like Oscar the Grouch in Sesame street.
He's an ongoing problem, especially for new members. My advice: Put him on block like I did years ago and you'll never see any of his posts, unless they are unfortunately quoted.
 
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08 Redline. RPM"s CAI, charge pipes, Intercooler, CAT delete & ECM Tune. DIY tunnel brace. ProBeam.
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First and foremost:
Learn how to lift up car to prevent screwing up your quarter panels. Why? Well to really get a feel of the condition, you ought to take a look underneath, too. These cars ride low and even large squirrels might cause damage. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration there. But seriously, be CAREFUL lifting your car. No: shops don’t often know how to do it right, either. It’s not rocket science, just easy to get it wrong and there are few to none as for replacements.
The go to the advice above starting with ignoring Marlboro Mike lest you get convinced to put white walls on your new toy.

This of an awesome car and you are one lucky SOB to inherit it. Don’t bang it up like I did my first one: You’ll never get over it.

welcome to the community from Michigan. And when you get your hands on it, POST A PIC!
 

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First thing I did when I bought the SKY was to learn about the top prior to any attempts to lower it. Items I learned on the forum were:
1) release the lever and don't restore the lever, leaving it unlock, as you lower the top into the trunk. Only restore the lever when you put the top back up. (you can bend the lever's ability to restore the top in a locked position if you don't follow.)
2) in windy conditions, open the trunk ONLY when the wind is toward the rear of the SKY.
3) always assure the doors are closed when you close the hood. (expensive body work can result to the hood and/or doors otherwise)
4) as mentioned, understanding the lifting points is imperative to avoiding service shops busting the fiberglas front fenders. I always have a discussion with the shop manager before any one lifts my SKY. (many shops rarely work on the Saturn SKY. A VERY IMPORTANT ITEM)
5) parking in head-in stalls, care to avoid the cement parking bumpers will avoid breaking the front bumper center. The BEST RULE I have found is to pull into the parking stall as you estimate you are adjacent to the rear door of a four door sedan that is or could be parked next to you, either side. This will assure you nearly every time that you are parked into the space far enough. (having owned my SKY for some 11 years has allowed me to qualify for senior parking pass privileges, thus a nice benefit to avoid door dings, :))

These are my top five items and I agree with all the items listed above too. Keep all of the points in mind and understanding them will pay many benefits to your SKY. Follow the Forum, you will be glad you did. Enjoy your ride. (y)
 
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