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Old 09-24-2010, 12:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 389

2003 Ninja EX250 - '03 Kawasaki Ninja EX250
90 day: 78.57 mpg (US)

Saturn - '99 Saturn SL1 Base
90 day: 47.27 mpg (US)
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Finally bought a cage: 99' Saturn SL1 5spd

Welp, I had been talking about buying a cage for quite some time (I've been riding my Ninja 250 as a daily driver). I finally found a good cheap car to use as a commuter when i can't ride my Ninja.

I bought her real cheap. Price of car + registration + title + 1yr of car insurance hasn't even exceeded $1000... can't really beat that! Its a 99' Saturn SL1 5spd. Its blue with the blackish plastic bumpers. 150,000 miles but still has good compression, no abnormal engine noises, transmission is good. Grey cloth interior in excellent condition. Body was in ok shape, it has the common GM paint failure on the front of the hood... nothing i can't fix. It also had the common saturn shift bushing issue (PO had the shift linkage zip-tied to the cable linkage). I temporarily fixed it by tapping the shift arm and using some a bolt with washers.

I've been reading about people getting well over the EPA on this car (around 30 combined). I plan to reach near 50mpg combined with the car using tried and true driving techniques that I have practiced on my Ninja 250 to achieve 101mpg.

I'd like to do some aero mods to the car. I think I'll start with a mostly full grill block and then go from there.




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My 101.5 MPG 2003 Kawasaki Ninja 250




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Old 09-24-2010, 01:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
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90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
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theycallmeebryan -

Fantastic! I love seeing those unpainted bumpers because it means a bare-bones fuel-sipper. Don't forget to visit saturnfans.com for care and feeding (you probably already do).

CarloSW2
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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And keep a bottle of oil under the hood. Nice cage, btw.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
I have to start over?
 
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Posts: 214

Big inefficient truck - '94 Dodge Ram 2500
90 day: 12.1 mpg (US)

Honda Civic - '84 Honda Civic DX Hatchback
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I know someone who is the original owner of the same car as you have just picked up (same engine, year, transmission, etc) and with his "normal" driving, it gets around 30 MPG.

He is the original owner, and aside from the shift linkage, the car has needed no major repairs in 175K miles. Unless you count a rattly steering rack.
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Central AK
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escort - '99 ford escort sport
90 day: 42.38 mpg (US)

scoobaru - '02 Subaru Forester s
90 day: 28.65 mpg (US)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
And keep a bottle of oil under the hood. Nice cage, btw.

And a case in the boot. I had a sw 2 the "sport" version. got 30mpg without trying before I learned about hypermiling. 70+ was common on the commute. The thing burned and leaked more oil than was normal for the things. Other than that I liked it a lot.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 389

2003 Ninja EX250 - '03 Kawasaki Ninja EX250
90 day: 78.57 mpg (US)

Saturn - '99 Saturn SL1 Base
90 day: 47.27 mpg (US)
Thanks: 25
Thanked 58 Times in 37 Posts
Thought i'd give a brief update on my car.

What engineer thought it was a bright idea to have a plastic to metal junction on the shift cable eyelet (connects shift cable to shifter shaft)? I've read that its a very common problem with these cars. Shortly after i got the car, the junction broke. I had to pay the rape shop (mechanic) 285$ in labor to change the cable, and i got the cable for 65$ online. Ofcourse, two weeks after that the junction on the new cable broke.... it was the same design.... Plastic to metal connection. Most likely it's very sensitive to heat and gets real weak when the car is sitting in the sun all day. After more searching, i found a replacement eyelet piece that has 2 set screws to attach to the metal cable. This is a more permanent fix and have not had problems since. I have not really had oil burning issues like others have mentioned.

About the FE of my car.... In the winter months i was averaging around 42mpg. Now that its warmer I've been averaging 50-52mpg (485miles on 9.5 gallons is the norm). This is with 0 modifications to the car, all driving technique.... Pulse and Glide, Lots of EOC, Engine off while stopped, DWL and using the brakes as little as possible. All 4 tires have 65psi in them.

Not bad for a car that EPA's 30MPG combined!
__________________
Doing my part to reduce dependence on OIL
Doing my part to reduce congestion
And enjoying it!

If you have to use your brakes, you are driving too fast!

My 101.5 MPG 2003 Kawasaki Ninja 250




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Old 06-16-2011, 08:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
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90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
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theycallmeebryan -

Sorry to hear about the bushing failure, saturnfans.com knows all about that. The problem was that Saturn parts would always sell the complete cable assembly + the bushing when all you needed to fix the problem was the bushing. If I recall, a metal bushing setup can break the cable if it's not done right (sorry, I can't recall the specific saturnfans thread).

I got a Delrin plastic bushing from this guy, but my OEM bushing hasn't failed yet, so It's not installed :

eBay My World - saturnbushingann

CarloSW2
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 389

2003 Ninja EX250 - '03 Kawasaki Ninja EX250
90 day: 78.57 mpg (US)

Saturn - '99 Saturn SL1 Base
90 day: 47.27 mpg (US)
Thanks: 25
Thanked 58 Times in 37 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
theycallmeebryan -

Sorry to hear about the bushing failure, saturnfans.com knows all about that. The problem was that Saturn parts would always sell the complete cable assembly + the bushing when all you needed to fix the problem was the bushing. If I recall, a metal bushing setup can break the cable if it's not done right (sorry, I can't recall the specific saturnfans thread).

I got a Delrin plastic bushing from this guy, but my OEM bushing hasn't failed yet, so It's not installed :

eBay My World - saturnbushingann

CarloSW2
It wasn't the bushing that failed. It was the Eyelet (loop) on the actual shift cable that connects the cable to the shifter. I ordered my replacement eyelet through that guy and it's been working fine ever since.
__________________
Doing my part to reduce dependence on OIL
Doing my part to reduce congestion
And enjoying it!

If you have to use your brakes, you are driving too fast!

My 101.5 MPG 2003 Kawasaki Ninja 250




Crude Oil Price Today
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,864

1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
Team Saturn
90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 439
Thanked 528 Times in 355 Posts
theycallmeebryan -

Ok, my bad, your way on top of it.

CarloSW2
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Impala FFV - '10 Chevy Impala LT
90 day: 29.54 mpg (US)

XFE Coupe - '09 Chevy Cobalt XFE
Team Chevy
90 day: 37.23 mpg (US)

Penny's Rogue - '15 Nissan Rogue SL AWD
90 day: 29 mpg (US)

Cam's Rogue - '11 Nissan Rogue SV AWD
90 day: 26 mpg (US)

Elantra - '17 Hyundia Elantra SE
Team Hyundai
90 day: 3.39 mpg (US)

Cruze Limited - '16 Chevy Cruze Limited LT
90 day: 40 mpg (US)
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Had a 1997, sold it to an uncle after 150k and he's still driving it, has recently I'm sure it's at 250k by now had tranny cable problems, I got 34 mpg normal interstate 70 mph driving, I should have kept that car.

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