Wrench (1k)  Motor Mounts and Testing
First, a bit of background info. Click any of the thumbnails below to view a larger-sized image.

1991 S-Series Mounts

1991 Saturns had a mount system that was an exception compared to all other years.  It used a cable set up, and was different than all the later years.  At the left, you can see a photo of all the mounts from a '91.  Sorry, I do not have a picture of the location of them when they're installed.
1992 and up S-Series Mounts

From 1992 to 2003, S-Series Saturns shared a mount system which had a total of 4 motor/trans mounts:

  • Torque axis mount, located on top of motor next to valve cover
  • Torque strut mount (commonly referred to as a 'dogbone'), located on bottom of motor on under pulley side
  • Torque strut mount (commonly referred to as a 'dogbone'), located on top of transmission case
  • Trans mount, located between transmission case and cradle

Lower Transmission Mount

The lower trans mount is located on the driver's side of the car, between the bottom of the transmission case and the cradle.  It is visible in the photo at the left (strut, axle, wheel, and splash shield have been removed).  I've never seen a lower trans mount that has gone bad in all the wrenching I've done over the years (2 of my cars, a parts car, and a handful a the salvage yard) and I'm not aware of any aftermarket performance models that are available.
Engine Torque Struts


These mounts are commonly referred to as dogbones, and you'll find two located on opposite sides of the vehicle.  One is under the air box & battery tray on the top of the transmission case on the driver's side.  The other is located between the crank pulley and cradle on the bottom of the motor, on the passenger side of the car.  Note: left-most photo shows an aftermarket mount.  It is not the OEM mount.
There have been at least 3 designs of dogbone mounts that I have seen over the years.  During the first month I owned my car, one of the design 'A' cast aluminum mounts shown below broke when I attempted to merge into traffic from a stop quickly and the pavement was wet and some wheelspin occurred.  I suspect that these cast aluminum mounts may have been brittle and therefore replaced by the later designs, which were made from steel.

Design A, cast aluminum

Design B, steel, molded
over edges of rubber

Design C, steel, not molded
over edges of rubber

Performance-minded owners look to replace their OEM mounts with stiffer aftermarket versions for several reasons.  Most commonly, it is to remove the compliance of the stock rubber from the equation, and to control & limit the motion of the motor a bit better.  Most owners will say they want to do this to help control wheel hop, to improve throttle response, or to make sure that as much hp/torque as possible is transferred to the wheels and reduce the amount that is absorbed by the deflection of the mount.  I use the term "most owners will say" since I'm a bit more objective in this area.  I'd like to say that there is a measurable reduction in wheel hop with stiffer mounts, but I can't say I'm positive that there is.  If you're a regular reader of my site, you can see that I'm an objective, "show me the numbers" kind of guy.  Unfortunately, I have not seen much evidence that supports the perceived benefits listed above.  But this is just my take on the subject - you're free to make your own judgements & come to your own conclusions.

Several designs of stiffer aftermarket dogbone mounts have been made.

SRW Handling once offered a set of dogbone replacement mounts that they referred to as "ETTL"s (engine transmission torque links).  The mounts were made from what looked like several bolts and rod ends, along with hard Delrin bushings.  You could essentially consider them a solid mount.  The photo at the left was provided by Conemower (thanks!), and you can read more about these mounts on his website.
I'd ridden in a car with these mounts and the noise & vibration was so great, I thought the car didn't have an exhaust system on it.  A fellow SPC member who used these mounts also had one break and tear his CV boot while at the dragstrip.  These mounts were only available for a short time, and SRW Handling appears to have gone out of business long ago.  I had a set of Delrin swaybar bushings that they also made, and you can read about my experience with them HERE.

SPS offers a set that are mildly stiffer than stock, and look identical to the stock design C.  I've had these mounts on my '94 SC2 daily driver for years,
and you can read about my my experience with them HERE.

The mounts at the left were purchased from Twistec,
although the company no longer appears to be in business.  They're significantly stiffer than stock and use polyeurethane bushing material.  I've had these mounts on my '92 SC race car for quite some time, and you can read about my experience with them HERE.  While these mounts may no longer be available from Twistec, a similiar (and even slightly beefier) design is available from SDA.  A version is also available from Saturn Motorsports.

Photo courtesy Summit Racing. Thanks!

Polyeurethane inserts are also available from Prothane (part number 7-510, available on eBay or from Summit Racing).  These are press-fit into the OEM design C mount shown above.  The guys at DifferentRacing have an excellent write-up on their website detailing installation of these mounts.  You can read it HERE.
Continued on next page...


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