I have a 1998 Saturn SL2 with 150,000 miles on it. The car was not taken very good care of by its previous owner (my dad -_-) and the engine just seeps oil everywhere. It was even ran for two years with the spark plug cables in the wrong order and misfiring! But anyway, I'm pretty sure the timing chain is about to break as I hear rattling coming from the front of the engine when I turn the car on, rattling when I hit big bumps in the road, and I hear cranking coming from the engine after I turn the car off. I also have a hard time going past 60mph without the car starting to shake from the engine having a heart attack and problems going uphill easily. I called my local mechanic and asked for a quote on the new timing chain, he told me about $1400 because it would require 1.5 days work and some new parts to go with it. This seems a little extreme so I was wondering if I could just have the chain replaced only, he said absolutely not, I would be a fool and so would any mechanic who would do that. For $1400 I could get a used engine installed from the boneyard. I only need this car to get me through two more years of college, any suggestions?
I have done a whole timing assembly on an sl2. And you need to put new gears in if your ganna put a new chain on cause all chains wear differently, and your gears will eventually break with the new chain which will give you more headaches, if your somewhat handy the easiest thing is to pull the motor take the cover off and replace it your self its cheaper, and not that hard to do if you have a haynes repair manual, it gives you tourque specs, and step by step procedures on how to do everything.