Wrench (1k)  92 SC (4k)Enhancements / Modifications -
92 SC


Jump to: Custom Low-Amp Alternator Sparco Hood / Trunk Pins Kumho Race Tires
   Longer Front Lugs Corbeau Forza Seats H&R Front Wheel Spacers
   Hardened Tapered Wheel Bearings Konig Helium Wheels   (more on next page)

Custom Low-Amp Alternator

Due to the mileage on the car, I decided to add the alternator to the list of parts that should be replaced (since Saturn alternator failure seems to be a more common problem).  With all of the wiring & electrical accessories that were junked in favor of weight reduction (HVAC, pwr windows, pwr mirrors, pwr locks, sunroof, mouse belts, radio, headlights, rear defog, dome/trunk lights, etc...), the alternator no longer needs to produces as much current as it used to.  The stock alternator was replaced with one custom-wound to produce 63 amps.  Add to that the 20% underdrive pulley (installed in pic at left), and that should put current output right around 50 amps - plenty to run the PCM, gauges, and fuel pump.  And, it'll require less of the motor's power to turn it.

Alternator (13k)
Added 12/2001

Since I had seen a huge variety of high-amp & custom alternators being sold on eBay by Beavco, I knew they'd be able to put a low-amp model together.  I was very impressed by this unit assembled with all new components, and shipped fast for a great price.

Will the low-amp alternator combined with the underdrive pulley actually free up a measurable amount of horsepower?  That's a good question.  Even though Boers has hp gains listed on his website, I really don't have any expectations.  Hey, even if it frees up one horsepower, it all adds up.

Added 12/2001
Lugs (9k)

Longer Front Lugs

With the front wheel spacers I'll need to run in order to fit wider rims along with the coilovers, the lugnuts will have have less of the stock lugs to hold on to.

I don't know what car these longer lugs are meant for (Corvette possibly?), but they are available from any GM dealer and have the same thread pitch as Saturn lugs.  In the photo at the right, the silver lug is stock, and the black one is the replacement.  The GM Performance Part # is 22551491.

After removing the knuckle/hub assembly from the car, I pressed the old lugs out with a bench vise and a socket.  Unfortunately, it looks like the new longer lugs don't quite fit in the limited space between the knuckle and hub.  So, in order to press them into place, I had to visit my local Saturn and have them separate the hub from the knuckle with a hydraulic press first.

I tried using a lugnut, a bunch of washers, a breaker bar with a socket, and a lot of swearing to pull the new lugs into the hub.  Using this method, it was nearly impossible to get the lugs in straight.  Pressing them into place with a socket and a bench vise was easier, but another trip to the dealer to use their press would have been the best thing to do.

While the hub and knuckle were apart anyway, it was the perfect time to take care of something else...

Hardened Tapered Wheel Bearings

With the car's high mileage and all the track time in its future, the front wheel bearings needed replacement.

I got these from SPS, and also have them installed on my 94 SC2.  These roller bearings are a bit more heavy duty than the stock ball bearings.  A hydraulic press is required to remove & reinstall the bearings in the hubs.

It's funny how one job sometimes leads to another.  :)

Wheel bearing (5k)

Added 12/2001

- During an alignment at my local Saturn dealer, the tech realized that there was some play that shouldn't have been there when he grabbed ahold of a front wheel.  I had thought that one of the bearings was bad, but he reached for the impact wrench and let loose with it on the axle nut.  Apparently, the axle nuts need to be incredibly tight (even tighter than the factory torque spec) or the wheel bearings have play and will self-destruct over time.  After hitting the nut with the impact, all was well and the play was gone.


Added 3/2002

Larger pic HERE.


Sparco Hood / Trunk Pins

Plans for the car include weight reduction everywhere that is possible, and part of that will require removal of some of the hood and trunk lid structure, as well as the trunk lid's latch and torsion bar hinges. Of all the pins I'd seen, these looked to be made with the best quality. Where most others of this captive pin style were made out of aluminum, these are made of steel and feel to be of pretty nice quality.

Update: They were blasted and powdercoated mirror black (photos can be seen on my powdercoating page).

Corbeau Forza Seat

I've had a chance to try this seat out at a race shop along with quite a few others.  The seat weighs 16 lbs, which is significantly lighter than the stock seats.  It's also very comfortable with nice support, and a great deal for the money.  I decided to initially get only one seat to make sure the fit in the car was the way I wanted it to be before I sprung for a passenger seat.  Corbeau also sells tracks/rails to mount this seat in a Saturn, but it seems that they don't produce a run of them often.  If you consider one of these seats, be sure to take that into account.

It is possible to remove and modify the tracks/rails from your stock seat to fit, but it's not an easy job.  It required seriously destroying the factory seat, lots of cutting and test fitting, and a bit of welding too.  I don't know how much I trust the end product, so I've got a set of Corbeau tracks/rails on order (and will likely have to wait quite some time to receive them).

Corbeau seat (6k)
Added 3/2002

I purchased my seat from Jim who runs MotorsportSeats.  He was very helpful, his shop is open late, and has some of the lowest prices on the web.

1/2003 - Received the Corbeau rails, and after some modification, they were installed.  Details can be seen HERE.

Update: After verifying that the seat fit the car, and the driver fit the seat, I ordered a second seat from MotorsportSeats once again.

Added 4/2002

Konig helium (13k)

Larger pic HERE.

Konig Helium Lightweight Wheels
(15" x 6.5", 40 mm offset, 11 lbs)

Most OEM Saturn wheels weigh between 16 and 19 lbs.  (More info is available on my wheels page.)  Since the weight of the rim is unsprung as well as rotating, a reduction of 5 lbs per corner will have a large effect on how the car and suspension performs.  Plus, it makes the whole car lighter too.   For a more technical description of the affect of wheel weight on performance, take a look at this article.

I found these wheels offered on GroupBuyCenter.com by G-Force Performance for an amazing deal.  When holding and looking at these wheels, it's hard to believe that they'll be strong enough to withstand some rough off-track excursions that are sure to occur.  I'll be sure to report on how they hold up after I get some track time on them.

8/2002 - I used these wheels/tires on my 94 SC2 at Gingerman Raceway during the 2002 SPC Rally.  I had one off-track excursion where the car left the track and went sideways through rough dirt and grass at a pretty good speed.  I'd give the wheels one mark in the plus column for durability, but only time will tell.

The intense brake heat caused one of the plastic wheel center caps to deform and come apart (you can see a photo HERE).  The composite plastic hubcentric ring (which is more durable than the center caps) that was supplied with Konig no longer fits snug into the wheel.  While it will still work just fine, the heat obviously affected it also.

5/2003 - Ordered two additional wheels to use with some Mickey Thompson ET drag slicks that I'd purchased.  See my writeup of them HERE.

Kumho Race Tires (Victoracer V700, 205/50-15)

I've been using these tires for quite some time on my '94 when I'm out on the track.  These are classified as competition tires (DOT legal), and perform best when heat-cycled and shaved (even though there is barely any tread on them).  The treadwear index stamped on the tire is 50, and you can tell that the rubber is extremely soft.  The cornering grip from these tires is amazing.  If you've never driven with race tires before, it's hard to believe that tires could make such a huge difference in how the car handles.

I removed these tires from my 19 lb stock teardrop alloy wheels and mounted them on the Konig 11 lb wheels - a change that should really make a difference.

My last set of these lasted 600+ hard track miles and 10 events over almost 2 years.  That amounts to about 50 heat cycles, and was a surprisingly long life.  (You can see a picture of new vs. old HERE, and a look under the rubber HERE.)

Kumho logo (4k)

Kumho tire (7k)
Added 4/2002

Traction didn't fall off all that much as the tires aged or became more worn.  I'll continue to use these tires on the track, as they are a great value for a whole lot of traction.

7/2006 - Set #2 of these was pretty well worn and one started to show its cords at the end of the 2005 season, so it was time for set #3.  I was again able to get several years and quite a number of events out of this set, and I continue to be amazed by how many miles they're good for before they're used up.  They're a great tire for the money.

Added 9/2002
Front spacers (7k)
Pic courtesy SPS (thanks!).

H&R Front Wheel Spacers

With the Carrera strut housing's larger-than-stock body, lots of negative camber, and a wider aftermarket rims/tires, front spacers will be necessary to get everything to fit.  Even with stock tires, rims, and camber, you can see the lack of clearance in this picture.  These spacers go between the hub/rotor and the rim, and will add 5mm of clearance between the inside edge of the rim/tire and the strut housing.


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