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The Zombie Saturn

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  • The Zombie Saturn

    The beginning
    I killed the car once, and it came back to life. I totaled it in the winter of 2005(?) while on Christmas break from college, by locking up all 4 tires on gravel and sliding into the rear of a Eagle vision (Dodge/Chrysler Intrepid). Some guy bought it on auction, repaired it, and was selling it, my wife (girlfriend at the time) drove past it sitting in a neighborhood (for sale) and told my parents (I was 300mi away at school). So mom called me one night and asked "When do you want to come pick up your car?". Thus the beginning of the ZombieSatty build.

    tiny stock pic:

    1998 SL
    Red metallic clearcoat
    manual steering
    AM/FM radio
    optional rear deck speakers

    *to be continued*
    Last edited by ZombieSatty; 06-05-2016, 06:09 PM.
    It's not my fault, blame the radiation.

  • #2
    Re: The Zombie Saturn

    After getting my car back, and reattaching the poorly 'repaired' headlights, I ditched the hubcaps as quickly as possible. I HATE hubcaps, I could care less what people say, they look like crap.

    back in '04-'05

    I think the next thing I did was cut the shifter way down. There was a cheapo CD player in there, but that's how the car remained for a few more months. Some point during that winter, I got an ebay strut brace, and a WAI off of another member. That's how the car was for years until the summer of 2007.

    Things started happening quickly that spring/summer. I moved out on my own, started raiding my local junkyards and got to work. I don't think a month has gone by since that I haven't done SOMETHING to my car.

    I forget the order things went on in, but I think it went a bit like this. I'm only listing mechanical mods, and included what pics I have in about their correct places: polyurethane dogbone inserts, 16in split 4spoke wheels off an ION:

    KYB struts, H&R sport springs (around 1.5in drop), SL2 rear subframe (with disc brakes):

    right after spring/strut install, they have settled lower now

    17mm 3-way adjustable swaybar with Miata endlinks and BWTucker reinforced brackets, Energy suspension bushings, 3g non-frowny TAM, GEO throttle body, SAFCII, ACT Street clutch, Indigo alum flywheel, AEM wideband 02, and a set of BFGoodrich G-force Sport tires to keep me on the road:

    color matching SL2 rear bumper and door handles, 20% window tint, hidden antenna, black badges, 2002 SC2 black & tan leather seats, SL2 black carpet and plastic interior trim, 3g SL2 black door cards, 2g leather shift knob, ebrake handle and steering wheel with cruise.

    Crap DUAL head unit the and speakers are crap Sony Xplods.

    THE CAM:
    The head has been ported, and rebuilt with new OEM lifters and valve seals. I am running one of the fabled SOHC performance cams from Midpenn motorsports. It has a claimed 15hp gain. We shall see.

    rare 'unicorn' cam on right
    Last edited by ZombieSatty; 06-05-2016, 06:18 PM.
    It's not my fault, blame the radiation.


    • #3
      Re: The Zombie Saturn

      Time for an update

      The head and cam are on the car, and it runs very well. It has a pretty good lope at idle, and I love it. I believe the HP claim, maybe not 15, but the car pulls much harder than stock. I know I had to change my SAFC tune quite a bit. I make no claims as to exact numbers, but I will say this; those who were at TOTD '08 know it moves just fine in the twisties. I will get Dyno numbers in the spring.

      Few pics from TOTD '08:

      I am hooked on the Dragon, and will be making every effort to go again. Meeting you guys and seeing/hearing all these cars I only read about and see pictures of was really a cool experience! My wife also wants to drive her SC2 down next year, and we plan to make a week of it.

      Completed Projects:

      SAFC mounting:
      I HATE aftermarket stuff mounted randomly in the interior of cars, nearly as much as I hate hubcaps. That being said, I could not have my SAFCII on top of my dash or anything. I have never used the little cubbyhole in the head unit surround for anything except dust collection. So I got a little creative with my rotary tool and a cut off wheel. After making a cutout large enough for the SAFC to fit nicely, I was faced with the problem of how to mount the unit. I had some 1/2in alum angle sitting around from on one of my scale RC projects, and it lent itself to the cause. I drilled two holes in the back of the SAFC's case and bolted it to the alum with some velcro in between to help with vibrations. The alum was bolted to the 'inside roof' of the cubbyhole with 4 bolts and nuts. I cut a hole in the back of the cubby so the harness could pass through and be ziptied out of the way of other wires and the HVAC controls. The end results is as follows.

      I am pleased with how it turned out. It is mounted down and out of my driving field of vision, but is easily accessible when I feel like messing with the tune. a benefit I did not foresee to this project is that the unit is now very secure and its very easy to adjust the settings. I know when I had it mounted elseware, it was a little loose and made manipulating the knob and button with it with only one finger a pain. I wish now that the SAFC's screen and knob were not that ugly green color, they really don't look good with any other interior lighting.
      I do not like the gaps on either side of the unit, and I plan to fill them in with some spare plastic (also from my RC projects). If I ever feel the need for some switches (I don't know why I would), that space will be perfect. I had thought about putting some clear acrylic there, and maybe some sort of lighting hidden behind the SAFC, but that is just a little to rice for my tastes.

      Groundpounder TAM:
      As with allot of sixthsphere members I got in on the buy in for one of these suckers. The work is flawless and the mount is awesome! The vibrations were bad at first, but the mount has broken in over the last few months, and is very bearable now. Traction, throttle control, and clutch/shifting response are all improved. The traction on launch with my BFG G-Force Sports is simply amazing. Sure its no solid mounts and drag slicks combo, but wheel hop is GONE and the tire(s) claw the car forward while slipping.

      I had no issues with the fitment. The coolant tank was unbolted to aid in torquing of the mount, and when I bolted it back down, I held it away from the mount as I ratcheted with the other hand. There is barely any contact with the Pounder's bolt head, and any there is, I'm sure will wear itself some play over time.

      I cannot wait for the tranny mount!

      HIR headlights + HI/LO mod:
      I ordered a set of the supposedly awesome Toshiba "HIR" headlights so I could have them before the trip to TN, mainly because I was never pleased with my Silverstars and allot of our 14hour drive was going to be in the dark. I must assert that these headlights are everything they are made out to be. The output is amazing, and the color is more pleasant on the eye of driver and traffic. I highly recommend these headlights! I am not skilled enough with the photography to take pictures to show the difference between these and Silverstars, but please trust me, they rock!

      While I was putting the lights in, I did the Hi/Lo relay mod. Besides being a pretty cool little mod for practically nothing, its very helpful on dark highways and such. I just got back from my grandparents farm, at 10pm, and with the HIR bulbs and the both the Highs and Low beams cooking away, it was like daylight in front of me. This is driving 100%unlit gravel roads mind you.
      Last edited by ZombieSatty; 09-13-2011, 11:33 PM.
      It's not my fault, blame the radiation.


      • #4
        Re: The Zombie Saturn

        Current/Over Winter Projects:
        With our recent house purchase, I now have myself an insulated, 4-car garrage with power and lighting to play in! I plan to be very buisy this winter. The idea is to Daily my '88 Suzuki Samurai and put my car up on jackstands as soon as the snow flies. Not that I'm complaining, but I pretty much have to as I only have the BFG's on the car and the tires on my steelies are bald.

        Anyway, my list of crap to to do this winter includes:

        AMR strut bar:
        After a bit of confusion on my part I got the correct 'GEO TB bar' from AMR.

        Unfortunately it doesn't fit. It's not AMR's fault, because it fits on everyone's cars just fine. I guess the SOHC intake is a little farther forward than a DOHC's and thus, the bar still hits the IACV. I am either going to design some sort of manually controlled IACV, or just copy Brad's(?) deisgn. Either way will net me enough clearance to bolt up the beefy strut brace. I hope its worth it.

        IACV removed, bar fits fine. There is plenty of room to make some sort of idle control valve there, I just haven't done it yet.

        3rd gen bumper conversion;
        Unfortunately hasn't made any more progress since before the trip to TN. It will be done by spring, hopefully painted sometime in early spring/summer.

        Fog Lights:
        You may notice in the pics of my SAFCII mounting the defrost button module has the Fog switch next to it. Though my car is not factory equipped with them, I am going to wire up a set how it wold be on a car equipped with them from the factory. It seems all I have to do is make sure there are terminals in the underhood fuse box's FOG location, install a relay, wire form the box to the lights. Most likely I will go with some Wall mart cheapies first, then upgrade both the SL and SC2's fogs to some nice name-brand units.

        Lip 'kit':
        I have devised a plan for a full 'lip kit' for this car. The front is a factory Saturn piece, and the rear is off a Honda (gasp!). I am not 100% on the sides yet, but I have a pretty good idea. Its going to depend on how much lower the front and rear pieces make the body look as to exactly what I need to add to the factory side bubble skirt.

        MP3 swap:
        I need to rebuild this MP3 I got from PlastikRacing. I believe it has a bad syncro, because it grinds/cogs a bit into 3rd gear. Its not Tristian's fault, as he isn't going to load test every tranny he sells, that's just not feasible. He gave me a partial reimbursement for the trouble and I highly recommend him to anyone looking through his store/site.

        GroundPounder tranny mount:
        awaiting the buy-in, will complete my polyurethane conversion. I do think I want to get a set of SDA dogbone's though, as my stocker replacements just don't look the part anymore next to the GroundPounders.

        Lower Control Arms:
        I've been chasing a pop in my front suspension for a while now, and its narrowed down to LCA's or steering rack. The LCA's will be replaced while the car is apart.

        Steering Rack:
        My factory Manual steering rack has 135k+ on it and its getting harder and harder to align the car due to the rust on the links and the slop in the ends. The plan is to put in a Power Steering rack modified for manual duty. I crave the fewer turns lock to lock!

        Steering Column/wheel:
        The coil spring thing in my steering wheel has crapped out on me, making it so my blinkers don't self-cancel, my horn not work, and the airbags inoperable. I hope I can somehow manage to get my hands on a first-gen Scar 3spoke steering wheel and shaft AND make it work in my 2nd gen car. Wish me luck!

        Window Tint:
        I guess next spring will finally get my rear window tinted to match my 20% sides. I would like to get a pretty dark tint strip along the top of the windshield too, the visors on these cars are worthless!

        If I get most of this done while there is snow on the ground, I will be very happy! More than likely, a few projects will drag into spring/summer.

        Here is the car as it sits on Oct 1st, '08. You can just see my Samurai in front of it, and of course my nice big garage! The wife's '99 SC2 is missing as she is at class currently.
        Last edited by ZombieSatty; 09-13-2011, 11:37 PM.
        It's not my fault, blame the radiation.


        • #5
          Re: The Zombie Saturn

          very nice. time to get that obx header on there! i look forward to the dyno result from the cam and head. I also have my head almost finished. i just need to polish it up.


          • #6
            Re: The Zombie Saturn

            nice SOHC build. Very clean


            • #7
              Re: The Zombie Saturn

              Cool story. I own a clone of your SL1. I'm just starting. What tint is on the rear windows?
              MD [img]{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_question.gif[/img]


              • #8
                Re: The Zombie Saturn

                its 20% all around
                It's not my fault, blame the radiation.


                • #9
                  Re: The Zombie Saturn

                  man i hate you urs is so much better than mine
                  &quot;When you stop to fill up on oil, don't forget to check your gas&quot;<br /><br /><br /><br />


                  • #10
                    Re: The Zombie Saturn

                    where'd you get the front bumper cover? Looks like you cut it down the middle, was that to make it fit i assume?
                    - Nate

                    2001 SL2m - Just about everything BUT the boost. High comp./N20 motor on the way.
                    2000 SW2a - Newest member to the fold. .04 factory overbore.
                    1998 Chevrolet 1500 Heavy 1/2 Ton. - Overweight, underpowered, bored .04


                    • #11
                      Re: The Zombie Saturn

                      uh Rock Auto I think, that or

                      yes I had to section it to make it fit on the 2nd gen (its a 3rd gen bumper)
                      It's not my fault, blame the radiation.


                      • #12
                        Re: The Zombie Saturn

                        yes I know I have one lol. i'm about to get another one myself and I am wanting to get one at a good price. about $200 on ebay. mind asking what you paid? pm me if you want.
                        - Nate

                        2001 SL2m - Just about everything BUT the boost. High comp./N20 motor on the way.
                        2000 SW2a - Newest member to the fold. .04 factory overbore.
                        1998 Chevrolet 1500 Heavy 1/2 Ton. - Overweight, underpowered, bored .04


                        • #13
                          Re: The Zombie Saturn

                          *shrug* I'm thinking 160? but its not oem, no saturn markings or anything. I didn't bother going for original since I was going to be cutting it up anyway.
                          It's not my fault, blame the radiation.


                          • #14
                            Re: The Zombie Saturn

                            Nice build. I always wanted to do more with a single cam but I finally gave in and got one with a twin cam and now I'm swapping my SC1 over to a dohc.

                            I have a old hotshot 4-1 single cam header that is a little butchered(happened before I got it), that could be used if you made a downpipe for it. PM me if you might want it.
                            1998 SL2a White Daily Driver- Groundpounder,Billet Dog Bones,Short Ram Intake,OBX Header,Thermal R&D Cat Back,SAFC 2,Fiber Images Hood

                            1993 SC1m Black Project Car-On hold


                            • #15
                              Re: The Zombie Saturn

                              oooooh PM me pics? I assume its better than OBX. If I do take it, I will have to wait till holidays are past, you know the deal.
                              It's not my fault, blame the radiation.


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