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hello all, I will make this both an introduction for myself and a place to ask a question im having trouble finding via google. introduction first then my question.

I have owned 2 saturns in my life, an old 1994 SL2 that got up to around 500k miles before i blew the motor up, and a 1999 saturn sc2 "white hot coupe" edition. i am joining the forums because i am in the process of being approved to finance a 2006 saturn ion redline. i was originally looking to buy a chevy cruze or sonic but when i happened across this ion redline with the supercharger i felt drawn to it due to my previous experience with driving saturns and how easy they had been to repair or replace parts. the sl2 and sc2 were some of the first few cars I owned and i did all the major repairs myself at 16 years old. i have not been much of a car junky the past 10 years since then but i am at a point in my life where i want to get back into it.

after seeing this saturn ion redline i have spent the past few days researching it, trying to figure out what problems i may want to look for, and prepare myself for my first supercharged car. so first i will give a little info on the car and then ask my question.

as i said it isa 2006 saturn ion redline, it has 125,000 miles, taxes, tags, and everything included shes costing me $5060.94 which from what i am reading is a little much for one of these as some users have claimed to have found them for 3 grand. the car has had 3 owners and the last owner who put the majority of the miles on the car was a mechanic and supposedly took good care of her. he was a middle aged fellow so i feel as though the car likely hasnt been abused as it was his DD car to work and back. the car vin is 1G8AY11P56Z122947 for anyone who cares to look it up. it is black, not my favorite but a paint job is easy to come by later, and mostly stock from what i can see aside from perhaps the intercooler fluid cap and body which may have been replaced, and perhaps the intercooler pump as well though im only guessing for now. once i have the car and more pictures to upload im sure you guys can give me more info on if it is stock or not.

now to my main question. i know that the 04 nad 05 saturn ion redline intercooler pumps were wired backwards in many of these cars, did they correct this issue in the 06 model? secondly what type of fluid is used or added to the intercooler? i wanted to check the cars intercooler coolant pump to see if it was working, as i am told after 60k miles these pumps tend to fail, however it seemed as if it was nearly bone dry on the fluid. none could be seen. if im buying this car id like to know what is the proper fluid to add to this reservoir. from what i could find online it uses the same coolant fluid that your engine does, simple antifreeze 50/50 mixture. but i do not want to ruin a new-to-me car by adding the wrong mixture or coolant fluid so i am here to ask what it is i am suppose to add to the intercooler line. this will also allow me to check and see if the intercooler coolant pump is working or if i will need to replace it as that seems to be a common part that neds replacing.

what esle should i look out for with these cars, what type of upkeep? i want to treat her right when i add her to the family and make sure she is in top working condition. just took her for a test drive today and i enjoyed it a lot. everythign seems to be working fine on it other than lacking coolant fluid in the intercooler pump lines and whatnot.

my apologize for my lack of proper terminology. while i am more knowledgeable than the average driver about cars i am by no means an expert or well versed, but i would love to be educated and learn more about these cars. thanks for reading my long post this far! welcome to the forums. i havent been on a saturn forum since i was still a teen. i hope to enjoy my time here and ask lots of questions!
 

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Welcome!

IC pump issue was fixed mid 05. You'll see the coolant moving in the filler when the car is on if it is working.

Carefully listen to the trans for nice. F35s arent that great.

Also control arm bushings is another one. But that's on all Delta cars.

Check for rust of you live near that too.

Oh, ask about the timing chain.
If you feel the tensioner on the back of the head, a hump on the bolt is the revised one. Otherwise chances are you'll need to do that in the next 25-30k
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome!

IC pump issue was fixed mid 05. You'll see the coolant moving in the filler when the car is on if it is working.

Carefully listen to the trans for nice. F35s arent that great.

Also control arm bushings is another one. But that's on all Delta cars.

Check for rust of you live near that too.

Oh, ask about the timing chain.
If you feel the tensioner on the back of the head, a hump on the bolt is the revised one. Otherwise chances are you'll need to do that in the next 25-30k
do i assume correctly that the needed fluid for the intercooler is the same as radiator fluid?

on the test drive, though i havent driven a manual in years, the transmission felt nice as did the clutch. shifting was smooth when i could find it properly and watching the salesman drive it some it seemed rather smooth. but without driving it for a longer period i doubt i will notice anything. there is a warrenty on the cars engine and transmission with the dealership for 30 days or 3000 miles.

and yes i had control arm troubles with my white hot SC2 back in the day though i always felt that it came from ramming it into a curb once. she was never right after that despite replacing nearly the whole underside of the car. frame damage just threw off the alignment bad. having looked under the car i at least do not see any obvious damage but im not sure how i would even check the control arm bushings.

thankfully i do not live anywhere where rust is typically an issue for cars, and it has not been owned in any states near large bodies of water or the ocean. with a lot of the car being plastic rust wasnt even on my mind really but i will double check.

what exactly should i be asking about the timing chain? i assume i should take the car to a mechanic friend of mine to look at some of these things before i buy it and ask them to check the chain and tensioner.

having gotten ahold of my credit union they will only cover the base value of the car up to 4000 dollars so i may be waiting a week or two for my next payday to put 1000 down cash to be able to get it. i appreciate the answers. hopefully i can still get the car and it will still be there. if not it wasnt meant to be. i could perhaps also use the credit unions value of the car to talk down the seller since i truely think 4800 is still a little high for the milage of the car.
 

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Yes. The IC system is the dexcool also.

As long as it felt smooth and didnt make any noise, youre fine.

And good on the no rust. Control arm bushings are common on this. I pretty much do mine once a year since theyre so cheap.

That price is a tad high. But its a dealership. Privately youd still be looking at 2500-3k for one. So not far off

Just ask if the timings been done to their knowledge. If not, just be prepared to do it sooner than later
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes. The IC system is the dexcool also.

As long as it felt smooth and didnt make any noise, youre fine.

And good on the no rust. Control arm bushings are common on this. I pretty much do mine once a year since theyre so cheap.

That price is a tad high. But its a dealership. Privately youd still be looking at 2500-3k for one. So not far off

Just ask if the timings been done to their knowledge. If not, just be prepared to do it sooner than later
thanks for the speedy replies. looking to do another test drive before i buy it in the next couple weeks.i was very gentle on her the first time but if the dealer is ok with me going WOT id like to see how she preforms.

a question i have is: for the time being, since the intercooler coolant system seems void of all fluid, can i simple add water to it to check and see if the pump is actually working? from what i understand using straight water is fine so long as their is no risk of freezing temps. i assume from what i have read that flushing the intercooler is not all that difficult, and should be done about once a year if using dexcool. i also see a lot of posts on here about using water wetter in the mix. not sure of the benefits to that but im all ears.

if i do get the car i intend to have it looked over well, including the timing chain and tensioner as you mentioned. the dealership does offer a short 3 month warranty on the car and engine and from what i can tell this includes the timing chain and whatnot. though i will be sure to find out what all it includes. ill be sure to have them check the control arm bushings as well especially if they are cheap. i believe i replaced this or a similar part on my sc2 many moons ago when i ate a curb and had to replace most of my underside sway bar and steering components.

i am fairly certian, looking at the car fax, that the timing has not been done on this car ever unless that is included in "recommended maintenance preformed" when the car was serviced or under a "maintenance inspection"

so far as i can tell the only part really ever replaced was the ignition switch which was replaced and new keys were cut.

again its had 3 owners, and the last owner used it as a DD and was the brother to the seller at the dealership. they owned the car from about 40k miles up to 125k miles so its mostly been with them its entire life.

thanks for all of your help, i wanted to get the car by the 17th since that is my birthday but it looks like i wont have the 1k down i need until a week later. but i will take all that extra time to keep researching the car and deciding if its what i really want to risk a loan on. my experience with saturns has mostly been positive and i have loved how easy they are to learn and work on. i would love for this to be the first true car that gets me into after market mods and tuning. i have been pouring over the internet and the forums for all sorts of useful info and i appreciate what you guys do here. i hope to join the family soon before the end of the month!
 

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If you need to top it off with water it'll be fine. Just flush it whenever you get home.

You do have the right to bring a mechanic with you. Or ask them to get a second opinion from a shop you trust.

Ignition was a recall. And so was the power steering.

Honestly if you just want it as a DD, timing chain, intercooler pump, suspension components, and it'll be reliable. Keep the TB and the maf clean it'll be happy.

Once you get into modding is when the history of the vehicle will show its true colors
 

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i figured a flush would be worth it anyway since i doubt it has ever been done before and i hear some nasty stuf can build up in the lines for the intercooler and pump. I also read i should use distilled water and not tap or well water due to impurities.

im not sure i know any mechanics that well to take one with me, i got ahold of a friend of a friend who has worked on the LSJ engine and cobalts before at a shop and i plan to take it to him for the timing chain and such but im not so sure he'd be willing to go do a test drive being i dont know him at all really. but i can always ask!

it will be my DD most likely, though i will keep my altima, but i do have a notion to do some learning and modifying on the car. i wanted to put a stage 1 or 2 kit on it and maybe some new headers, downpipe, and exhaust. if i do downsize the pully i dont expect to go any lower than 3.0 even if even that small. like you said when you get into changing things and asking the engine to work harder or handle more boost thats when other issues may arise that otherwise wouldnt if it were kept stock. im not looking for insane gains in power or anything but something a little more perhaps. but that all depends on getting the car, making sure it works properly and its well taken care of, then save the money for some of these parts and of course a tune to make it all come together.

most likely wont be able to afford it this friday, depends on my paycheck, but im almost positive i can by the next friday with my paycheck from my 2nd job. just gotta make sure i can afford gas and such as well since it will be expensive. its had 93 put into it all its life from what i have been told and i intend to do the same since its readily available here.
 

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Modding is a whole different conversation

And yea, only use 91/93 in them. They won't run right on less
 

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When you do start modding go straight to stage 3 with bigger intercooler, long tube headers and exhaust which can all be done for under $2000.. that is where you will see the biggest gains for your money. All of those parts can be installed by you in a weekend. ZZP is the best website to use and they have payment plans just fyi.
 

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Theres also The turbo option.
Longtube isn't necessary for an m62. The downpipe is the restriction. And the section over the axle.
The front mount is also a waste.
 

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When you do start modding go straight to stage 3 with bigger intercooler, long tube headers and exhaust which can all be done for under $2000.. that is where you will see the biggest gains for your money. All of those parts can be installed by you in a weekend. ZZP is the best website to use and they have payment plans just fyi.
i have been looking at the stage 2 or 3 kit. its a good price at 500-750 for the stage 3 kit depending on how i do the core fee. also was looking at the headers and downpipe. Both my neighbors are pretty handy with cars and may be able to help me a good bit with all of this. though i may wait till i get the car, replace the coolant pump, and make sure its running well for a month or two before i decide to buy anything. after all i wont know what gains im getting till i have driven the car more in its current state and THEN upgrade it to see how much more powaaaaah i get.

all in all for the stage 3 kit and the header long tube kit it seems like it will cost around $1250.00 to $1500.00 which is about as much as im putting down on the car to buy it. im sadly going to be about 100 dollars short as of my payday tomorrow from having the money i need to buy the car, so i will need to wait one more week till next payday from my second job before i buy it. i actually STILL havent got my stimulus money yet so perhaps i will use that for the stage 3 kit and whatnot when it finally comes in. just sad i wont be able to buy the car tomorrow on my birthday.

thanks for the input. hopefully i manage to swing getting this car sooner than i think. just gotta sell a few cacti or something
 

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Theres also The turbo option.
Longtube isn't necessary for an m62. The downpipe is the restriction. And the section over the axle.
The front mount is also a waste.
the aftermarket zzp headers will be alright though yes? but not the downpipe or the rest of the pipes? is the headers the only part worth replacing and perhaps the exhaust?

in other good news looks like i will be getting the car friday, tomorrow, or saturday. whenever my check clears. i will have the 1060 dollars down i need come to find out! yay selling cacti FTW
 

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Theres also The turbo option.
Longtube isn't necessary for an m62. The downpipe is the restriction. And the section over the axle.
The front mount is also a waste.
Are you speaking from experience because the picture in your avatar is not a redline....Being someone that did all my upgrades in stages and header being the first, I can tell you that a long tube header and down pipe alone make a massive difference. That is where the majority of the restriction is. Not to mention it makes the supercharger much more efficient. The stock exhaust is already 2.5" which is plenty unless you plan to go turbo.
 

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Yes I am speaking from experience. The avatar is my 03 sedan and my 06 redline next to it.
The ports on the stock exhaust manifold are larger than the ports on the head. The manifold is plenty for the m62.
Upgrading the downpipe is going to be the biggest gain. And as I said, the restriction in the cat back is over the rear torsion beam. It bottle necks before going back.
Just like the stock intake is best if staying m62
 

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well i put $1065.00 down on the car, credit union isnt open on the weekend sadly so i wont officially have the car till monday or later. hope they can direct transfer the remaining 4000 to the dealership instead of mailing it or else ill be waiting till sometime mid this week before shes mine 100%. but they took her off the lot for me since i put money down and shes basically mine.
 

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here are some pictures guys! im headed over to pick her up tomorrow morning so long as my credit union will do a direct transfer to the dealership. this is 2020 and not 1994 for i would expect they can get them the money directly and without much trouble. hopefully i will be driving to my job in my new car! gotten a lot of comments from people saying the engine bay is rather clean. it is. though the seller claims not to have washed or cleaned it.
 

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Ignore the dipchits on Facebook giving you crap about what you paid. I saw these pics the other day. Just didn't realize it was you. Haha
I'm not really active in them anymore because of the childish behavior.
 

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But yes, does look pretty clean. Could use some new headlights and a polish. But that'll come with time! Good job!
 
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