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98 SW1 would not crank

08-05-2009, 04:06 PM
Hey there, I am looking to replace my wrecked (not by me) :banghead: Escort so I am looking for a cheap transportation. Found an SW1 that was not moved nor was it started for awhile. The owner says it started fine before (of course) but since it was just sitting and not moving battery died and when he replaced the battery it would not crank, i.e. the starter is dead. From what I can tell the neutral safety switch is fine because when i tried cranking it, it does make that distinct sound of starter trying to engage but apparently starter solenoid is corroded or ??? and it's officially a non-starter. I've also noticed that coolant reservoir was completely dry, so that is a concern for me & i don't know what to do. I am not familiar with the Saturn at all, is 98 a "good" year? Is empty coolant res. a common "problem" or am i looking at a head gasket here?
Anything you can recommend - please!
btw, i offered him $800 and he would not take it...
update - kind of - more questions that is.... I am going there tomorrow & try to negotiate & start the thing again. Should i take out the sp. plugs and squirt some oil inside the cylinders? I just don't want to ruin it, if i am able to start it.

08-06-2009, 09:05 PM
1998 year is pretty good, but the fact there is no coolant is not a good thing. The coolant systems is closed normally, so there should be no way for the coolant to get out. I would add coolant and start the car and see if if the leak is just minor. However if you cant find the leak right away, Id walk away.

Hit the starter with a hammer. Its most likely rusted and olddddd.

Walk away. if he wont take 800 for a car that doesnt work and eats coolant its def not worth it.

08-06-2009, 11:09 PM
Eh, he did end up taking it, but I could not (actually did not want) to start it there, because he would of asked for more money as soon he saw it starting :screwy:. I say this only because I've seeing that done before. And after 10 month of sitting there, who knows how well the cylinders are hugging the pistons :)
I did fill about 1/2 gallon of just water for now & don't see any leaks, had it towed home & have another question :grinno:
I've put some oil inside the cylinders just so it's not that dry on the start. Should/can i do something else to help it @ the startup? I've heard of Lubegard FREE-EZE - can that help to prevent the scouring of the cylinders. Will try to crank it by hand tomorrow if i can. I don't have a breaker bar but about 2ft torque wrench. I see there is a bolt head @ the end of the crankshaft but I don't see any way to get to it from the top. Assuming i need to take fr. passenger tire (same as to get to the starter) and use some king of extension? Any other (slicker) way of doing it?

08-07-2009, 06:32 AM
Leave the spark plugs out when you go to crank it. This will make it easier.

Id also replace the ECTS before you crank it over. Ten bucks at autozone.

Obviously check the oil level before you do anything.

Yes you need to take the wheel off and the inner shroud. You'll then see the crank shaft bolt. Rotate the bolt (and thus crankshaft) clockwise.
watch the direction the crank turns

08-07-2009, 09:28 AM
Thanks a lot!
You mean to get the ECTS b4 I actually start it up or b4 i even turn it over?
When I take out the wheel I'll have the car up a bit that should live me enough room to try rotating the torque wrench from the the bottom, but (there is always one) where (under what component) can i put the jack stand to make it secure?

08-07-2009, 09:57 AM
Yes. Otherwise if its cracked it will shoot wayy to much fuel in the engine and flood it, thus it will crank but never start.

I put the stand under the frame rail. You can also put it under the sway bar (becareful as it moves more here as you let the car down), or under the subframe around where the Bolt is that attaches the subframe to the rest of the car.

08-07-2009, 04:09 PM
Ok, i did put it up and was able to rotate the crank w/no problems. Went & got a new starter from Kragen. That's where my problems begun :shakehead That top bolt is a pain, but it's the same on most of the cars anyway so I can deal with that. The biggest problem now is that I installed the starter and as i tighten the battery cable end to it (very very gently - i know when to stop) it just falls out of the solenoid with all the guts. What am i suppose to do now to get it replaced? Call Autolite directly & try convincing them they make a crappy product or go back to Kragen and try to get it replaced there?
Please help :banghead:

08-07-2009, 09:49 PM
I am a little calmer now :sarcasm1: but really I called and then went to Kragen, the guy that helps me out about 1/4 of the time said no problem, they will warranty it and tried to will-call it at another store that has a replacement. It did not work so I had to go to that other store with broken starter. They took it back and i got my new replacement that i am going to try installing tomorrow.
BTW, i noticed that although the part numbers and everything else was otherwise very similar, my new starter is resembles the original more then my previous replacement that broke & the plastic looks "tougher" it even pinched around the perimeter in a different way, idono, maybe it's just my imagination. Hope this one works for me finally.

08-08-2009, 10:00 AM
While I was potsing around with my starter yesterday, I noticed there is two sensors on the back of the block rite above the starter, should I replace those two as well as the ECTS? I assume (always a faulty thinking) they should be in the same price range, just don't know if they are as important as ECTS

08-08-2009, 10:44 AM
While I was potsing around with my starter yesterday, I noticed there is two sensors on the back of the block rite above the starter, should I replace those two as well as the ECTS? I assume (always a faulty thinking) they should be in the same price range, just don't know if they are as important as ECTS

EEEk bad luck with the starter :/

Nope dont bother. Just replace the starter. And yes the top bolt is quite a pain.

08-08-2009, 11:13 PM
thanks again!
Starter is replaced (finally), ECTS is replaced (the "original" had a copper tip, so i assume it was fine as well, but $10 replacement is a good insurance IMHO) thermostat is replaced, TB intake "somewhat" cleaned, water replaced with 50/50 coolant, oil changed, tires rotated, went around a block. That's about it. I'll open another post if (no when :runaround: ) i have other questions, thanks again for all your help!

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