li Arc's Cochenille 85' T16 [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: li Arc's Cochenille 85' T16


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li Arc
29-06-10, 09:19 PM
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album81/0_75_view_front_left.jpg

So after a lot of deliberation, I finally decided to start a project thread. This is mainly because it's a lot of work keeping the thread updated and listing a progress report, but at the same time, there are a lot of things I'm doing that I could use some advice on. To that end, a project thread seemed the most logical course of action, but I'll say right off the bat that this won't be as flashy as IJ's build, or as technically incredible as milos' restoration. If you're looking for fantastic reads, I point you there instead. I'm a poor engineer who decided to do his own car work because it's cheaper that way, and yep, this is my first car. My tools are minimal, my experience limited, and the junk yard is my holy grail.

First off, some history of the car. Originally, my dad owned a 1979 99 T8 3-dr, which had the louvre in the back, super inca rims, the rock guards on the headlight lenses, red interior, airplane-style clip seatbelts, and a turbo gauge that stuck out on the dashboard. It was a similar price to a Corvette at the time, but he got much more stares and compliments from the general public than any Corvette would have gotten. Sadly, with us kids growing up, the 3-dr wasn't as practical, and so he sold it around 1989. My dad bought the 900 in 1989 from the original owner, and we have kept it since. However, growing up I was always enthralled by Saabs, especially when we would make trips down to Seattle and visit the Saab dealerships around Kirkland. Around 2001, my dad cancelled insurance on it because downtown parking was skyrocketting and he decided taking the bus was more economical. The car sat for 4 years, until one day I decided I wanted to drive it. And so began the tale of the Saab obsession. It's my first car, so I knew nothing about vehicle repair before this. But slowly and surely, this car would force me to figure it out, luckily with the help and support of SC!

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/../phpgallery/albums/album81/Saab_Roof_Parking_Side.jpg

This car is a 4-door saloon, which seem to have less appeal than the 3- or 5-door hatchback counterparts. Its code colour is 127G I believe, "Cochenille Red", which my father mentioned was quite popular back in the day, but to date I believe I have only seen one other example in person (at the junkyard). I may have come across one or two other examples online, but just as rare, so I'm proud to keep it in its original colour. Being an 1985 T16, it's the first year of 16-valve production engines, which I have heard uses 8V pistons. It's currently sitting at 385,000km on the odo, with the original engine out for a rebuild and an 86' GM45610 gearbox fitted in unknown mileage. Its original turbo, basically a 0.48AR exhaust housing, 0.63AR compressor housing, stage 1 turbine 45 trim compressor T3 Garett turbo, was taken out around 340,000km's, with a crack in the exhaust housing, but that was all; it still spools strong.

Anyways, since I acquired it with 280,000km's on the clock, there have been some work done on it. In fact, I don't think there's anything I haven't yet touched (except for perhaps the headliner and transmission, but that will change soon). I'm sure some of you are familiar with some of the work that's gone into it.

Engine mods:
3.0bar FPR
-431 30# injectors (back to stock due to issues)
vacuum advance mod

Intake/Exhaust mods:
T3 Super 60 compressor, stage 1.5 turbine, 0.48AR turbine housing internally wastegated
3" turbo-back exhaust with widebend elbow and 3" v-band
ATP Ultimage Wastegate with 3" v-band
Forge FMAC900 adjustable wastegate actuator
2.5" intake aluminum piping
17"x12"x3" FMIC
open air intake filter
Forge FMDV004 BOV using yellow spring

Transmission mods:
SD carbon/kevlar clutch kit with uprated pressure plate

Suspension mods:
Koni red adjustable shocks all around
Brad's Adjustables spring/weightjack setup in rear
Squaab99's custom adjustable spring/weightjack setup in the front
Afco Racing 550lb/in springs in the front, 650lb/in springs in the back
Sportmax/XXR 006 17" mesh wheels in black
205/40/R17 Nexen 3000 tires
EBC green stuff pads in the front
PBR pads in the rear

Electricals:
APC mods as needed
H4-4 HID beams (4-ballast)
Jak's Stage 1/Stage 2 ECU (back to stock due to issues)
LED signal, reversing, and stop lights
Magnecor wires
battery moved to left side under air filter

Interior:
Grey carpets and knee bolster (changed from original beige)
Momo Champion steering wheel
Momo pedal covers
Momo shift knob
Momo leather shift boot
Autometer carbon fibre boost, voltage, and narrowband AFR
LED modified instrumentation lights

Exterior:
Clear corners (need replacing after the last accident)
pre-facelift SPG front and rear bumper extensions and front spoiler
hood (3 times), left fender, windshield wiper support bar, all 4 doors, trunk lid, roof, both rear quarter panels, have all been repainted

That's all I can think of for now!

li Arc

li Arc
29-06-10, 10:29 PM
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/3_inch_exhaust_turbo.jpg
3" widebend exhaust with ATP ultimate wastegate and v-band clip

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Engine_LHS.jpg
air filter, aluminum intake piping with silicone hoses

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Chain_wrench_on_rear_shock.jpg
Brad's Adjustables rear setup with Afco racing springs, before Bilsteins were changed over to Konis

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/FMIC_whole.jpg
FMIC

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/P1080824.jpg
Garrett T3 Super 60, rebuilt with a new stage 1.5 turbine and 360* thrust bearings

Ready to go mods:
Aluminum short shifter with adjustable ball
candy red powdercoated valve cover

Mods that require some planning and integrating but most parts are ready:
EDIS
Megasquirt

Mods considered (no money = no parts):
2.1L Head
forged pistons
Garrett GT2860RS ball-bearing turbo
aluminum flywheel
equal-length headers
new set of wheels/tires
Wilwood front calipers
drill/slotted rotors

li Arc

li Arc
29-06-10, 10:56 PM
This part is a list of regular maintenance work that's been done on the car. Most of it I did on my own, but some were done by someone else. My dad's mechanic friend helped me learn some of this stuff as well; he's a Ford mechanic, but he's always maintained my dad's Saabs for him. I think he's glad to finally be released from this obligation... :p

Parts replaced since my acquisition:

Spark plugs
distributor
wires
coil
ignition amplifier
clutch
clutch master
clutch slave
coolant hoses
radiator
heater core
cruise control switches
headlights
signal lamps
front bumper
rear bumper
alternator bushings
alternator brushes
battery
battery cables
O2 sensor
ECU
shifter
instrument panel
belts
power steering pump
front brakes
front rotors
springs
shocks
upper control arm bushings
transmission
timing chain
timing chain tensioner
valve stem seals
headgasket
fuel filter
fuel pressure regulator
FPR line
injectors
exhaust (someone else)
windshield (someone else)
engine mounts (someone else)
front door windows
steering wheel
turbo
thermostat
thermal fan switch
coolant temp sensor
AIC
air mass metre

li Arc

li Arc
29-06-10, 11:19 PM
At this moment, the engine is undergoing a rebuild, after a compression test proved the piston rings needed replacing. The block has been honed, cleaned up, and checked for tolerances, the crank has been polished, and the pistons resized.

After discussing bearings and rings with a local Saaber, I decided to go with OEM Vandervell rings/bearings, which you can currently only source from SD (in the states). The local Saaber said the Glyco/Deves products were junk, which unfortunately is what the majority of the suppiers sell out there, including the much hated (by me :evil:) eEuroparts. Fortunately for me, the shop came back to me and told me that all I needed was standard size bearings and rings, which is all SD offers in the Vandervell parts.

The head still needs work done to it, and I will be replacing the springs with Volvo springs as well; they are the same size, are a drop in replacement, are stiffer than OEM, plus they are 75% cheaper than the Saab genuine part. If anyone is looking for these, they are off a B230F engine, which you can search up from 1985-1990 (at least) from most online suppliers. I still need to get the valve guides for the head work, but I may or may not need exhaust valves themselves. The shop I'm getting to do the work will do the work my way, but they are quite certain the exhaust valves will be pitted and will need grinding, which I prohibited them to do...so now they ask, "what then? Just replace them?" I'm not certain, maybe one of you know? Last I checked 2 years ago though when I did my headgasket, the valves appeared to be fine, no pitting...

I still need to clean up the block itself and paint it. Although this is a 'budget rebuild', things that should be replaced are being replaced. This includes all new gaskets everywhere, probably a new oil pump, crank sprocket, etc.

I scored a '90 NA intake cam from the yard, so I'm looking forward to putting that in. I'm wondering if I should replace the timing chain as well, since I replaced that 2 years ago. The only thing is though that the new timing chain was a master-link type, and I peened the chain myself (using primitive techniques like a screwdriver, vise grip, and hammer). It's held well, but I'm wondering if I should just get an endless one since the whole thing is out.

I also got myself 2 4-speed boxes from Vince T, who recently sold his SAABOTEUR (sp?) and left the Saab game. One of them is a regular 4-speed, while the other one is the more desirable chillcast box with the 3 ridges at the top. They are in unknown condition, so I will have to tear down the chillcast box and see what needs replacing; parts like gears or shafts that might need replacing will be donated from the other 4-speed, but I'd like to renew all bearings inside. This means rebuilding that part of the box, which I need special tools for, so I am awaiting them (courtesy of mmoe), but I may not get a chance to get the box ready before the engine is done. We'll see what happens there. I'll be getting Timken pinion bearings, while everything else I can source locally (SKF bearings).

The steering rack has also drained itself, so I'm be getting a new rack from eEuro *shakes fist*. I also heard from the local Saaber that the Scantech timing chain guides are junk, and are totally flimsy compared to the Geniune Saab parts. However, these parts are about 3 times the cost and are special order items from eEuro *shakes fist*, so I have my reservations. Has anyone had any experience with these? Since they're deep in the engine, I'd rather not have to deal with them if they *are* junk.

Also, a light mod on the engine: I'm replacing the oil lines with stainless steel braided Aeroquip/Eaton lines custom made by a hydraulics shop in town. These are teflon lines and are good for any type of chemical (oil, coolant, gasoline, diesel, etc) and are high temp resistant. The hard lines are especially hard to work with when swapping turbos, and I've just about had it with them. However, the oil return line is a problem on our blocks because all it is is a hole in the block that the hard return line slips into, and is held in place by the turbo itself. This means a flexible line will just fall out, so a threaded solution is required. This also paves the way for any future turbo upgrades I may be performing (that may not hopefully need water cooling), and makes it easier for me to go to something like the GT2860RS (aka Disco Potato), which requires an oil restrictor inline. Luckily, ATP Turbo can mate a GT2860RS to a T3 exhaust housing, which makes it very easy to plug into our cars.

Pics of the lines to follow later.

That's it for now, I guess...

li Arc

Squaab99t
30-06-10, 09:51 AM
Great to see you consolidated all of your project work in one place. Fantastic list of current goodies, and future items.
I might have to create a project thread on my next car.

How are the front springs working for you? I don't drive my 900t daily, so it would be good to hear how they are working and wearing.

More pics....

li Arc
30-06-10, 10:40 AM
Thanks Sqaab, so far so good! I should definitely take some photos of the front setup, I noticed I don't have any! I have no qualms with the front setup at all, except that I think my springs are too stiff; I think Brad's original setup was 500lb/in so I may go back down from 550. There isn't enough weight transfer when I'm braking, which I've noticed after my rally driver buddy had a go at it. Currently, the suspension action is very even from front to back. It's a little stiff for daily driving (which I hear about ALL the time from my gf) but it corners well. The problem is I tuned the suspension for my 15" tires, which I still use for winter driving. But in the summer, the 17" tires offer little give, and the setup isn't ideal; I seems I can wear the fronts out in 2 seasons under (my) regular driving. I'd like to try some 225/40/17's (correct tire circumference vs. stock 195/60/15) instead of my currently horribly undersized tires. Only, my tires came with the wheels when I bought them, which is cheaper than buying new ones :p And they're actually better quality than I expected of them.

I also forgot to list my suspension dimensions:

Camber: -1.6
Castor: 2.5
Toe-in: almost 0

This needs to be redone anyhow though since I am replacing the steering rack.

In the meantime, state of the engine:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Main_bearing_sleeve.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Rod_bearing_sleeve.jpg

Yep, bearings are totally gone! One rod bearing was so gone that it shrunk and was holding onto the crank fast! Actually had to pop them off! These are being replaced with the SD Vandervell bearings.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Cylinder_bore.jpg

Bores still look very good, factory crosshatching is present. I will take some photos of the new bore after I clean them up on the weekend. I'd like to see how good a job the shop did before I send them my head for reconditioning.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/album87/worn_timing_chain_cover?full=1

This is the surface that the oil pump rests and glides on, I'm wondering if this amount of scoring is really bad? I think I saw somewhere that will sell timing chain covers, but I don't expect it to be cheap. If it's really bad, I may consider getting a shop to weld it in then plane it back down. However, the oil pump itself looks worse:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/album87/worn_timing_chain_cover?full=1

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Oil_pump_rings.jpg

It's quite scored, but at least I can get a new pump from PFS for ~$40, so why not.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Saab_Pistons.jpg

The piston itself has held up well. There is slight scoring on the skirts, but they look good. Since the rings were still in when I sent the pistons into the shop, I still need to clean the grooves to accept the new rings.

For anyone contemplating a more aggressive clutch, consider this before you do so:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Fly_wheel_ridge.jpg

That is a ~1mm ridge in my flywheel caused by the aggressive bite of the kevlar/carbon friction plate. This is when toe-heel/rev matching driving, and has been in for the past...65,000km? Something like that...no loss of grip, but does it ever eat away at the flywheel! Then again, the flywheel is too heavy as is, so it could use some lightening! If I ever get around to getting an aluminum flywheel, I'll probably get a whole bunch of steel inserts! Though, going with a 9000 clutch might work a bit better...

li Arc

li Arc
30-06-10, 04:23 PM
Not that I'm ready to get one now, but has anyone tried the ELH from Speed-parts (http://www..se/index.html?/shop/prod/sp_avg_grenror.shtml)? Seems like a proven part for a good deal...if they still have them, that is. I know there have been many attempts at custom work and group buys here, but since this is available, why not get a (somewhat custom) mass produced one?

Aside from my current gearbox upgrade, this would be my next consideration...if I can scrounge up the cash for it!

li Arc

AlbertaDrew
30-06-10, 09:02 PM
Wow I cannot wait to see the car again lil Arc. Looking very good let me know if you need an extra set of hands. I have a lot of work to do on the convertible this winter and might need a hand here or there. Just let me know!

Looking great!

Drew

li Arc
01-07-10, 01:39 PM
The shape of the pistons after having visited the shop:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/piston_skirts.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/piston_skirts_without_rings.jpg

Since I didn't remove the rings before sending it out to the shop (I didn't realize they wouldn't do that for me), they're still a bit gritty. I can either send it back to the shop (when I get them to do the head) or I might just buy a $10 tool to clean them. The guy at the shop said that the pistons have been resized and jet washed, so the grit in the grooves should be easily scrubbed off too, so I might try some light scrubbing first with a brush.

One thing is the local Saaber I talked to mentioned these are 8V pistons (I read somewhere that the first year production T16's ie. 1985 used 8V pistons...) and that they offered lower compression than the 16V pistons. Hence, if I put on a 2.1L head, the compression would fall to 8.3, which would give horrible low end power. I was advised to stick with the current head, and maybe port it instead. Besides the compression ratio, is there any disadvantage to my keeping the 8V pistons? If we ignore the higher flow capabilities of the 2.1L ports, I assume that the effect of using lower compression pistons on my current head might be very similar to using a 2.1L head with 16V pistons?

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Machined_rod_bearing.jpg

Rod bearing clamps machined.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/cylinder_bore_honed.jpg

Honed cylinder bores. The original photo showed the factory crosshatching, it's not quite as evident in this photo. I'm wondering if they just brushed the cylinder, causing the irregular patterns on it. It's smooth, but I also read that the crosshatching has a purpose, and can't be too vertical or horizontal. In fact, it needs to be roughly 25 degrees from the horizontal, so that it allows the oil scraper to clean the bore but can also keep lubricated, as well as turning the rings (?). I'm not certain how much of that applies to the B202, but at any rate, I'm hoping the crosshatching is still there and the plentiful marks resulting from the honing are temporary and will be removed by the rings. I'll also assume that the marks are designed to aid the ring in bedding against the cylinder wall.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/piston_face_surface.jpg

This is some of the crap still stuck on the piston crown. There are mixed opinions regarding cleaning it; I'll probably just try to wire brush it lightly and get it to flake off, without damaging the piston crown. It's a strange type of grit though; it looks rough, and looks like it's got layers, but I've only really seen healthy combustion face (just black soot, but on a single smooth layer), or HG failure face (shiney clean, from the coolant).

li Arc

IronJoe
01-07-10, 02:05 PM
li Arc, glad to see you making a project thread - your car is very unique and looks great.


That piston however, yuk!

li Arc
01-07-10, 02:07 PM
Sorry for the massive amounts of data, but this car has been a project car long before I started this thread! So, there's some updating to be done!

One of the things I did early on when I got my 3" turbo back exhaust was to move the battery to the other side of the car. I know, some people move it to the trunk, but I neither wanted to drill holes in the car, nor wanted to subject the battery to the often-watery trunk (under the boards). However, it seems some people simply place the battery above the boards, which I guess makes sense, but reduces cargo space. Plus, unless it's a spiral-cell battery, I believe they emit sulfurous gasses that really should be vented. Anyways, when I did this my original air filter went and I put in an open air dual-cone filter from BMC. I did not have a bracket, but thought that perhaps it could simply rest on the battery. Bad idea.

You see, this brings me back to the venting point. Plus, with all the engine vibrations, it kept rubbing against the battery. Although I don't have a shot of the battery, I can tell you there was a buildup of some kind of clumped-together substance, like when alkaline batteries leak (although this is far from alkaline). And the filter?

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/corroded_intake_filter.jpg

Yep, it doesn't filter anymore! In fact, I'm almost worried that some of the acidic paste or fumes got sucked in too, but it's probably not anything to worry about now that the rebuild is going on. So, a new filter from SD is coming in with a proper mounting bracket!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/SPG_front_air_valence_001.jpg

Flatnose SPG front valence. These seem to be quite rare. Since it started peeling, I decided to take it to a car wash to strip the remaining coating on it; it seems to do a good job, but since I ran out of coins at the car wash, the stripping is still in progress! Hopefully I will be able to blast it this weekend with some SEM bumper paint in dark metallic grey; it should be a very similar colour to the rear bumper extensions (which I did last year the same way).

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/crank_timing_sprocket.jpg

Crank timing sprocket. Needs replacing; not sure how it got so knackered, but a new one will be coming in. 'nuff said.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/engine_bay_overview.jpg

This is how my poor baby looks now...but with the 4-ballast HID system, wiring's a mess!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/rad_support_intercooler.jpg

"Here's lookin' at you, kid!"

li Arc

li Arc
01-07-10, 02:13 PM
li Arc, glad to see you making a project thread - your car is very unique and looks great.


That piston however, yuk!

Thanks, probably should have started on a long time ago!

"Yuk - clean it up", or "Yuk - what a piece of garbage, chuck it"? :p I'm hoping to clean it up and see if there's any problems underneath. I think the piston should be in good shape, not too worried about it, but getting 16V pistons has crossed my mind. The wrist pins are in fantastic shape, and besides the purposeful lateral side-to-side play of the rod vs. the piston, there is no axial play in any direction whatsoever. I haven't played with pistons from any other car before, but I assume these generally wear down a bit after a while; these feel like they're brand spankin' new! :o

li Arc

li Arc
01-07-10, 02:50 PM
More existing stuff in the car.

The turbo as mentioned is a rebuilt Garrett T3 Super 60, which I got off ebray as a "new rebuild". It came with a 360 degree thrust bearing, a "stage 2" turbine (which turned out to be a stock stage 1 turbine instead), and the housings were all wrong. The compressor housing was a 2-bolt flange type that goes on Nissans or what-have-you, and the exhaust housing was a 0.48AR internally wastegated mating to a 5-bolt "Mercedes-style" flange. I ebrayed the slip-on style S60 compressor housing (0.60 A/R), then I found a Turbonetics stage 2 5-bolt Ford-style 0.48AR turbine housing (rare!) and fitted it only to have like no boost. When I took it back out, that's when I found out the turbine wheel is actually a stock stage 1, and the exhaust was simply leaking past the turbine wheel instead of driving it! Unfortunately, my stock C900 turbo turbine housing had a crack in it, but I fitted it anyways...it mated perfectly to the turbine wheel. I ran it this way until it blew a month later. So much for the "new rebuild".

It's nice there's a local turbo shop here (industrial, marine, racing, and street), but they wanted way too much for a standard rebuild. So I sent it off to Blaast Performance in Montreal, where the price was much more reasonable. I also requested a stage 1.5 turbine, which was their specialty...apparently, they're the only ones that do it, and it's not a clipped wheel either. I believe the exducer is the same size as stage 1, but the blades on the inducer is 6mm longer than stock. They called it a 55 trim turbine wheel, vs. the stock 69 trim. Anyways, this requires a stock turbine housing, machined at the base, so I was able to trade-in the Mercedes-style housing towards the new housing. They re-did everything in the turbo and put in a new 360 degree thrust bearing as well, which they mentioned is a reliability safeguard if you're boosting past 15psi. Darn tootin'! :cool:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/T3S60_turbo_compressor.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/T3S60_turbo_attached_to_exhaust_manifold.jpg

On the exhast end, you find the v-band clamp style flange on an ATP Ultimate Wastegate, which provides a much smoother flowing exit from the turbine for internally wastegated solutions. I may go with external wastegating in the future, but at the moment, there's really no need.

Unfortunately, since the engine has been acting up (and hence the rebuild), I haven't been able to push this sucker to its fullest, but so far I find the power delivery to be smooth and quick; it kicks in roughly 200rpm later than the stock T3 (~2.3k RPM), but that's mighty good given the much wider range this turbo has. I like my driveability as this is not a track car, so low RPM performance is important. I've only been able to push it to 13psi at the moment before the engine knocks; we'll have more fun after the rebuild!

Also, you'll notice the Forge FMAC900 wastegate actuator. This was put in more for reliability and configurability than performance, since it's a piston design inside rather than a diaphragm. I've had several diaphragm-based actuators destruct on me before; this one's never given me a problem. It was supposed to come with a bent rod though, but they were so backordered that I just decided to go with what was already available. You'll notice I had to shim the actuator against the mounting bracket to get it to angle like that. Which is another nice thing about the Forge unit: it has a little bit of angle adjustability as well.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/3_inch_downpipe_section.sized.jpg

Here's the mating downpipe. It's quite huge, and has nice smooth bends, plus the mating v-band flange that goes to the ATP wastegate for quick and easy removal. This was custom done at a shop that wanted to charge me 3 times the materials cost for stainless, which would push the whole exhaust work over $2000, and I decided that was ridiculous. So, this is in mild steel and is rusting now.

In hindsight, I should have checked some of the exhaust systems from overseas, I think there are some that can be had for ~$300-$600 for what I've basically got, in aluminised steel. But they all mated to the original Saab wastegate, which meant the pipework narrowed down as it approached the flange. So, there's still some benefit to this system! Though it cost me...

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/3_inch_downpipe_v_band_flange.jpg

3" all the way.

Of course, the 3 inches also caused me an unforseen problem:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/3_inch_downpipe_torn_flexpipe.jpg

Riding too low! I may have them remove the flex system when I go get it repaired, but I haven't decided yet. The other problem this presented was it was also too high, so it was close to the inner passenger side CV boot. In the last 3 years, I think I've replaced this boot 3 times, so I believe the problem is related to accelerated heat aging of the boot by the exhaust system. After this gets fixed, I'm going to heat wrap most of it, I think. At least, the part right below the CV boot. :(

li Arc

li Arc
01-07-10, 03:13 PM
Forging ahead...

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/intake_cam_from_90_T16.jpg

1255190, intake cam from a 90' NA. This will be replacing the stock 85' intake cam, which was apparently one of the worst available. I felt guilty taking apart the poor Saab in the yard so I put it back together after I removed the cam...hope the next guy at the car doesn't also go looking for an intake cam or he's going to be surprised after all that hard work! :p

I guess I'll probably junk the 85' cam, which is lying in the middle of this photo of...

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/4_speed_boxes_spare.jpg

Yep, an 870423 chillcast box! The other one is a regular 4-speed turbo box, but unfortunately, both are in unknown condition, so I will have to go in and make sure everything is alright. The other 4-speed box will be donating parts to the 870423 box as needed, but I would like to replace all the bearings in the chillcast box. I would like to consider a chillcast pinion housing as well, depending on where I can find these and if they are just a drop in fit. Someone once brought up that the pinion housings sold from eEuro have a chillcast part number, but there were no conclusions to this hypothesis.

I would like to be able to get this box in on time for when the engine is completed, but it depends how much time I'll need to spend on it and how long it will take for the necessary parts to get in (I'll need to get the Timken pinion bearings from RockAuto in the US, which can take 2 weeks). Hopefully I will be able to source all other bearings from a local bearing shop (SKF).

And here's one for Squaab:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Squaab_s_weight_jack.jpg

This is the Afco weight jack system that Squaab customized to fit the C900. Unfortunately, the car is sitting on its wheels waiting for an engine bay cleaning, so I can't take a photo of the top of the weight jack, but this basically shows you how it is adjusted through a large centre bolt. Once the wheel is lifted off the ground, adjusting the height is very easy. The system has proven quite reliable and easy to use, and does not generate the grinding sounds that Brad's Adjustables do. These are 550lb/in Afco racing springs, which are a bit too stiff. You'll notice a bit of rubbing on the spring; I may consider getting longer bolts and 3mm spacers for the fronts. At ET40 17x7" vs. the ET40 15x5" wheels, the rims are extending outwards from the fender AND inwards towards the wheel well by an inch each, so rub is not surprising.

We may need some solution for the spring perch though. It still seems to tilt the spring towards the back of the car, so the loads placed on it while the car is in motion are not perfectly perpendicular. The current photo shows the state of the spring with the car lowered but with no engine. You'll notice the spring does not sit centred on the weight jack; I haven't experienced any reliability problems with this at the moment (other than having to keep the spring straight as I lower the car back down so the weight jack seats correctly against the unibody), but I wonder the effect it has on cornering.

li Arc

li Arc
01-07-10, 03:32 PM
Anyways, onto the new goodies!

This just came in the mail, and should help me with the gearbox rebuild immensely!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/official_Saab_transmission_manual.jpg

Since the 4-speeds are 1979 I think, this manual will help out. I don't plan on taking my 86' 5-speed apart or adapting it to the 4-speed, but even if I do I think mmoe has mentioned that the critical measurements don't change, and the manual will help nonetheless.

Also, since I'm considering EDIS, I got this from Jared in SK a while back, but never mounted or used it yet (since I still need the VR sensor mount). Now is a good time to put it (and a sensor mount) in since the engine is out; I can worry about wiring stuff up at a later date.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/trigger_wheel.jpg

I'm not sure the clearances required on each side of the wheel for the VR sensor to work though. Say, if I wanted to keep AC in the car, and just used longer bolts and washers, would that work? Obviously, fit (into the engine bay) is a concern, but will the VR sensor not work if the pulley ridges are too close?

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/trigger_wheel_resting_on_crank_pulley.jpg

More importantly, though, some stuff for the turbo while the engine is sitll out. As mentioned, I would like to keep the option for a GT2860RS open in the future, as I am very interested in the spool up and range for this turbo. However, because an oil restrictor is required, it may put a damper on my plans if I don't upgrade the oil supply system now.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/ss_braided_lines_and_fittings.jpg

Lines are Aeroquip teflon high pressure hydraulic lines, stainless braided with Eaton/Aeroquip fittings. The other bits came from miscellaneous places, since they are kind of turbo-specific, but they are all steel. The oil feed line is a -4 AN, 2.5' line, and the return line is a -10 AN 10" line. These are the same lengths as stock, and were put together by a hydraulics shop. However, the oil return line is more of a problem because the stock system is kind of an interference fit mechanism, which doesn't work for flexible lines. So a new solution is required. More on this later.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/ss_braided_lines_assembled.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/oil_feed_AN4_on_block.jpg

The -4 AN 14mm banjo adapter was extremely difficult to find, but it fits the block perfectly.

li Arc

li Arc
01-07-10, 06:30 PM
The main problem with the whole oil drain pipe is as follows:

In order to use the new AN-style fittings going to the block, I need to be able to secure a bulkhead fitting to the block somehow, which the return line would be tightened against. However, the original factory method was to have the drain line simply mated into a recessed hole in the block, with a rubber o-ring to seal, and the line would be held in position remotely, via the turbo itself. While this method may have worked for the stock turbo, it's very difficult to accurately maintain this positioning when swapping (or replacing the stock) turbos since turbos can be clocked differently. When putting in different turbos, the lines may not always align, which is what happened in my case, and in order to get the hard return line to fit both ends properly, an excessive amount of force is required to force them into place, after which there is a certain amount of preload stress applied to the hard line, which also transfers to the o-ring seal. For this reason, the seal may not correctly do its job, and sometimes a bit of oil weeping can be seen from the return line hole.

I've decided to use an AN bulkhead fitting, feed it through the hole in the block, and secure it onto the block from the other side. I considered using a weld fitting, but that would be a permanent solution and may also weaken the block. However, the advantage to that would be that it would be secure, while feeding in a bulkhead fitting to the other side may loosen with vibrations and tighten-loosen cycles of the return line over time. Hopefully, with some threadlocker (and maybe a dual nut solution) that problem will be mitigated. But more importantly, the recess in the hole still exists in the block, which causes some headaches. The block shape around the hole is irregular, so the bulkhead fitting will not seal properly simply by securing the bulkhead fitting without any type of sealing assembly. A washer-seal (like the fuel filter seals and the chain tensioner seal, it has a metal outer ring and an inner sealing rubber o-ring in a single assembly) was placed on the inner side of the bulkhead fitting in an attempt to aid in sealing.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/bulkhead_AN10_outer_non_fit.jpg

Although this seal looks tight, it leaks light on the other side, and the rubber part of the sealing washer doesn't actually contact the metal because the recess diameter it too large. The actual hole into the block is 23mm diameter, the recess is 28mm diameter. The hole just clears the -10 AN bulkhead fitting.

The inside of the block is irregular as well, and so it may require some type of angled shim. I'm hoping it's not far enough in that it interferes with the crank or rods, so I'll have to do some test cranks when the crank is in.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/bulkhead_AN10_inner_non_fit.jpg

My idea is to fill in the recess with something that has an OD of 28mm and an ID of 23mm so that it can contact the sealing washer (seated against the centre section of the bulkhead fitting, shown above) on one end, and I'll re-use the o-ring used on the hard line on the other end. This should give a proper seal to the entire system and not leak pressure or fluids. To do this, I need a sleeve of some sort that will fill this function, but it was not easy to find. Eventually, I found an imperial sleeve bearing, which was 7/8" ID (22.2mm) and 1 1/8" (28.58mm); the -10 AN bulkhead fitting slips right through it perfectly, but the OD is slightly too large for the recess.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/bulkhead_AN10_bearing_sleeve_OD.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/bulkhead_AN10_bearing_sleeve_ID.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/bulkhead_AN10_bearing_sleeve_outside_fit.jpg

As you can see, I've already begun to try shaving it down, since I need about 0.6mm off it before it should fit. Hopefully, I can make some type of drill attachment to make it spin around while I hold a piece of emery cloth against it, and this process will go much faster. I'll need to cut the length of the sleeve as well, but my angle grinder will make short work of that.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Turbo-Clock-Problems/bulkhead_AN10_bearing_sleeve_inside_fit.jpg

I'm thinking of shaving the whole length of this bearing down, which will also give me a shim I can use on the inside of the block since it's not perpendicular to the fitting. The shim on this side will be perpendicular where it meets the nut, but slanted where it meets the block. This will not only locate and centre the fitting properly, but will also avoid damage to the block caused by vibrating the nut against it.

li Arc

IronJoe
02-07-10, 10:30 AM
Where'd you get your oil lines? Those look nice.


As for the oil return to the block, why not just drill & tap the hole in the block to a common size, and have the oil line screw into it?

li Arc
02-07-10, 11:58 AM
Someone here had suggested to get quality Aeroquip lines, so I avoided eBay (and their shipping). I had the lines prepared for me by a local hydraulics shop that sells Aeroquip lines and fittings. Originally, I was thinking of going with the flashy anodized aluminum fittings, but I wasn't quite sure how well that would work with the cast iron block (I did briefly consider a weld-on fitting). Plus, this is a purely industrial shop, and they don't sell the anodized stuff because those are really just for automotive use. When I went to a performance parts shop to check out the anodized stuff, they wanted about 50% more for the parts plus I'd have to put it together myself. When the staff there told me this was not an easy task, I decided that was too much room for error, plus the anodized stuff can't be used with teflon lines, so I had this shop make them for me instead. Took them about 10 minutes. Everything is Aeroquip, and they also specialize in custom brake lines. The fittings were 90% of the cost, in both cases pretty much. One of the nice thing about the aluminum anodized fittings is that they are reusable, so it mitigates costs a bit for racing purposes, but I don't plan on migrating the fittings regularly in my application!

Although the lines can be used with the stock setup, I'm trying to avoid any permanent modifications. Also, the holes at the moment are too large, so I'd have to get some kind of adapter to convert whatever-size to -10 AN. As it is, I couldn't find any information on the AN thread system (pitch and diameter) online, which means finding the taps may be an even bigger problem. Mixing and matching SAE and metric systems on a single car also annoys me! :p

It's a bit more work, but I think once I shave this bearing down, everything will fall into place and I'll achieve my goals for this annoying little problem!

li Arc

li Arc
05-07-10, 04:14 PM
Some new information. I need to have the head machined, which a local shop will do for me, but I am trying to convince them not to grind the valves. They agree to let the exhaust valves be (can the intake valves be ground?) but they are asking what can be done on the exhaust valves then? When I told them to hand lap it, they say that the valves will be pitted and cannot simply be hand lapped. I told them worst come to worse, I'll get new valves, but I don't think the valves are pitted.

So, in short, the head has not gone to the shop yet because I want to ascertain that the exhaust valves indeed do not need to be replaced. I took two valves out, one from cylinder 1 and one from cylinder 3, and attempted to verify they're alright. They seem fine, but there is quite a bit of carbon build up on it so I can't tell if they're pitted or not or even what I'm looking for, so I've taken some shots of them. Each shot has 2 exposures since the texture is very difficult to see without the enhancements.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Cylinder_1_exhaust_valve_angle_1_exp_1.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Cylinder_1_exhaust_valve_angle_1_exp_2.jpg

Cylinder 1 exhaust valve

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Cylinder_1_exhaust_valve_angle_3_exp_1.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Cylinder_1_exhaust_valve_angle_3_exp_2.jpg

Cylinder 1 exhaust valve edge

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Cylinder_3_exhaust_valve_angle_1.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Cylinder_3_exhaust_valve_angle_2.jpg

Cylinder 3 exhaust valve, from two different sides of the valve

What do you guys think? Do they look pitted or are unusable?

li Arc

saabmatt
06-07-10, 06:57 AM
You need to clean and try to lap one in, that will soon show up any pitting.

li Arc
06-07-10, 01:35 PM
Since I don't have any of those materials, and it's going to the shop anyways, perhaps I will ask them to check for me. They have nothing to gain from giving me false information anyhow, since I will get them to check every valve since they are like $28 ea, and I'll be getting valves online anyhow if needed.

I'm also trying to determine if chain guides need replacing. As a general rule of thumb, I would say yes replace them, but the local Saaber advised me against getting new ones from Scantech, as they are crap. He showed me an original vs. the cut-corner Scantech version, and how flimsy it was. He told me to get Saab original if I could, but 2 things: 1) eEuroParts is the only place I've seen carry the genuine Saab part, and they are special order only, which means there's a good chance they are NLA, and 2) even if they are available, they are 3-4 times the cost (~$160 for the two inner chain guides). I decided to try to re-use my originals then, but need a second opinion on them. They look like they're in quite good shape, based on my own opinion of them:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Fixed_side_chain_guide_angle_1.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Fixed_side_chain_guide_angle_2.jpg

Fixed chain guide.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Tensioner_side_chain_guide.jpg

Tensioner chain guide.

They seem to be slightly marked up, but not even a groove in it.

li Arc

Boosted
10-07-10, 11:39 PM
I would replace them with genuine ones from a dealer. You have the engine torn down this far why not replace them and have piece of mind for 20 more years.

li Arc
12-07-10, 12:04 PM
Hmmm, I'm still debating on this. The new ones definitely aren't cheap.

The costs are certainly adding up. Just got a call from the shop and they told me I'll need new exhaust valves, all of them. Guess it's for the best. I'll be getting genuine TRW valves, anyone have experiences with the guides? I assume TRW guides as well, if they need to be replaced...

li Arc

Squaab99t
12-07-10, 02:04 PM
Hmmm, I'm still debating on this. The new ones definitely aren't cheap.

The costs are certainly adding up. Just got a call from the shop and they told me I'll need new exhaust valves, all of them. Guess it's for the best. I'll be getting genuine TRW valves, anyone have experiences with the guides? I assume TRW guides as well, if they need to be replaced...

li Arc

It has been a while, but I recall the guides coming with the full head gasket kit from Erling. I know the parts are not cheap, but look at the savings in time and labor since you have everything pulled apart now.

li Arc
12-07-10, 04:29 PM
That's true...either way it's time, but calculated differently. If I do it now and get those parts, I'll have to wait longer before I can re-assemble the car back together again since I'd have to keep waiting for the next paycheque to buy new parts. The other way of course is if I cheap out now, it'll be time taking the engine out again and apart again, plus maybe the additional cost of fixing whatever the problem propagated to. That could become more costly in the long run I suppose...but autumn and winter are looming up the horizon, and it's worse than hell working on the car (even light work) in -30C...

I'm still going to try to target getting everything back together sometime in August, but it's looking further and further away with each new part I need to get...

Here's an update:

The sleeve bearing was mounted on a long bolt with washers and nuts clamping the bearing against the assembly. To ensure minimal wiggle, I put a socket inside that's closest to the ID of the bearing, but another washer with similar characteristics would probably have been better. And away it went on the drill! Bye-bye zinc coating!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Prepared_sleeve_bearing.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Sleeve_bearing_inserted_into_block_002.jpg

It ended up to be quite a good fit! Now I need to mount it into a vice and cut it down. The inner end of the bearing will be placed against the original o-ring used for the hard line so that I have a complete seal.

And I found the short shifter:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Short_shifter.jpg

This shifter was supposed to be able to accommodate the original reverse lockout, but it seems like it's too deep! If the reverse lockout assembly is placed into the shifter, the pin doesn't clear the ball. I wonder if later shift rods have longer springs? Not a really big deal, but still, would've been nice. Also, this system doesn't have the locating tab on the ball to keep the shift knob from spinning around.

I'm starting to think more about using an aftermarket steering column u-joint (http://www.flamingriver.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=377/category_id=218/home_id=-1/mode=prod/prd377.htm) for the shift coupler, I just need to make some measurements of the shift linkages and see if I can find one that fits. The clamp ones seem like they'll do the job, but I'll need some threadlocker there to ensure the clamp doesn't slip off while in operation.

li Arc

KurBads
12-07-10, 06:38 PM
where/by whom is that short shifter made?

I`m making similar design short-shifters. Currently offered on the bay http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200493455385&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK:MESELX:IT#ht_500wt_976

Squaab99t
12-07-10, 10:00 PM
It has been a while, but I recall the guides coming with the full head gasket kit from Erling. I know the parts are not cheap, but look at the savings in time and labor since you have everything pulled apart now.


Sorry my bad. I was thinking seal when you said guide. When I did my head the machine shop did not chance the guides.

li Arc
12-07-10, 10:53 PM
Hey, nice shifters, I think that is the exact construction of this shifter as well; steel shift rod, aluminum ball and gaiter, with adjustable thread on the ball. I bought this off Vince T as he was exiting the C900 club, but when I asked him the info on it, he said he bought it at a convention, but he couldn't remember who made it or any other specifics about it. He never had it installed, as he bought a Jorgen Eriksson setup shortly thereafter. But that's also where I heard of using the u-joint from, which I'm still looking into.

Again, I'll have to measure up the shifter rods, but I found some more application-specific pieces here (http://www.pegasusautoracing.com/productselection.asp?Product=1494). Still looking for something shift-linkage-specific with a clamp or something for the linkage end (both ends could benefit from it I think).

li Arc

li Arc
12-07-10, 10:56 PM
Sorry my bad. I was thinking seal when you said guide. When I did my head the machine shop did not chance the guides.

Yes, seals will all be changed. But I think the guides actually look in pretty good condition. Did yours look similarly? I imagine the material would just harden over time, but in the case of a chain guide, that's not necessarily a bad thing...it looks like less than 0.5mm off the surface was lost, there's hardly even a trench where the chain rubs on it.

li Arc

Squaab99t
13-07-10, 10:10 AM
Yes, seals will all be changed. But I think the guides actually look in pretty good condition. Did yours look similarly? I imagine the material would just harden over time, but in the case of a chain guide, that's not necessarily a bad thing...it looks like less than 0.5mm off the surface was lost, there's hardly even a trench where the chain rubs on it.

li Arc

I did not pull the valves, so I did not see the guides. I dropped off the head and seals at the machine shop and they did their thing. As for the chain guides, I believe I reused the the 2 main guides, but replaced the cam cover and tensioner ones. 175K miles, so not a large amount of miles.

li Arc
15-07-10, 06:59 PM
I'll just re-use the chain guides I think...they look in good shape. Valve guides are getting replaced, esp. since it's at the machine shop and they're < $5 ea anyhow.

Got my SD bearings in today, and gotta say I didn't expect the Mahle/Clevite rod bearings, so that was a nice pleasant surprise, but it looks like something's missing:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/SD_Engine_Rebuild_Kit_1.jpg

That's right, the thrust washers are nowhere to be found! Gotta check with SD and see what's up with that. In the meantime, however, I'm always weary of parts for our cars...with such few suppliers, if any one of them went belly up, we'd be up the creek with no paddle. So, in the interest of preserving the classic 900's:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Mahle_Clevite_Rod_Bearings.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Hastings_Rings_Part_Number.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Hastings_Rings_Part_Compatibility.jpg

I've never seen the rings anywhere else before, and amongst the myriad of Mahle Clevite offerings I never found the fit for C900's, so hopefully this will also help anyone else requiring these parts to find them easier. That isn't to say don't buy from SD, because I trust them and they've provided good service at reasonable prices and are in fact a benefit to the Saab community. If this kit came from any other supplier, I would probably have been a little dubious as to their fit and reliability. But for people who want to separate the kit, or don't reside in North America, hopefully this will help. Unfortunately, the main bearings don't have any markings on them, and I have a feeling they are as SD said: Vandervell OEM tri-metal bearings, which are most likely NOS and no longer being manufactured.

A bit of light work that needed to get done before I can start on anything else, but wasn't due to the huge amounts of downpour in the last week. Finally a sunny day!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Block_Painting_1.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Block_Painting_2.jpg

It still needs 7 days to cure before I put on a final coat, after which I'll be off on vacation elsewhere. Then, when I get back, hopefully most of the parts I need to complete the block and head rebuilds will be here and I can start putting everything back together.

If time (and cash flow) permits, I may start tackling the transmission mid-August...

li Arc

philb
20-07-10, 02:43 PM
Great work! This is inspiration for the engine/box build for my own car.

li Arc
22-07-10, 10:33 AM
Thanks Philb! I always enjoy reading your posts and ideas! Do chime in because this is more of a "what do I do now?" thread than an instructional thread :p

I've started to entertain rebuilding the chillcast transmission in time for when the engine goes in. Most of the bearings I'll try to get at the local bearing shop, but I'm sure there are unique bearings that aren't really used anywhere else other than the C900 transmission. For example, I'm going to order Timken pinion bearings, but I'm wondering what else I need for bearings. I've read there are around 15 bearings in the transmission, and I'd like to replace them all. I don't have the transmission manual on me right now, but I'd like to see if there's a list for them so I can just go out an order them? I'm still waiting for mmoe to send me his specialty measuring devices I'll need to do the rebuild!

At the moment, besides the Timken bearings (which eEuroparts doesn't stock), they carry:

Layshaft needle bearing (http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/PartDetail.aspx?id=8718660)
Upper chain sprocket bearing (http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/PartDetail.aspx?id=8710865)

...and that's it! I imagine I'll be getting these parts...they're listed under a 79' 900 T8 (though I believe the box is out of a 99). I imagine I'll still need the differential carrier bearings, input shaft bearing, etc. etc. but where will I be able to find these? I don't know how specialized the bearing shop gets, but worse case I can try them and see if they can get me everything else. Whatever they can't get for me, I'll need a supply source for.

Besides Timken pinion (and perhaps the layshaft needle bearing), are all other bearings SKF?

li Arc

li Arc
11-08-10, 01:17 PM
A quick update. I've ordered parts that are coming in hopefully by Friday, but still need to order valve guides (since eEuroParts no longer has any for any year C900). I've been looking at some Beck & Arnley valve guides in a national supplier, which I may very well order from if I can't find TRW guides elsewhere. However, since the machine shop is in charge of the head, they will get the guides when I need the head done, as I'm running out of funds quick!

In the meantime, some good news, incidentally mmoe from the PNW is planning a visit in the area and offered to come by and help me with my transmission rebuild. Having serviced more than 20 C900 transmissions himself, I consider him an expert and welcome his help! Hopefully I can get the transmission rebuilt quickly, but since I am planning to replace most of the bearings in it I will need some data on the bearings themselves so I can source them at the local supply house. mmoe has also advised to possibly swap the 4-speed box internals and make it a 5-speed, as he says the only advantage of a chillcast is in its case structure and not so much the gears.

I will also need to source the dumb dipstick and housing tube for the engine oil, as well as the brass barbed fitting, since my chillcast did not come with these. This is proving very difficult to find at the moment, and neither the seller nor the yard seems to have them.

If anyone has a part-number list of all the bearings that can be replaced in the transmission, this would come in very handy and I could go get them before the rebuild happens.

li Arc

li Arc
16-08-10, 02:11 PM
Another update. It looks like mmoe can't make it, but he'll try to advise me by phone what I need to do, so I await his call.

In the meantime, I've got the measurement tool needed to make sure the pinion gear preload is set properly, so this is a good thing. However, after mmoe told me he can normally rebuild a box in half a day, my confidence in doing the rebuild is improving.

I'm starting to seriously consider performing the 5-speed conversion on the 4-speed chillcast case. In fact, when I talked to Vince again recently, he mentioned it's possible the other gearbox he sold me (not the chillcast) is in fact a 5-speed, and not a 4-speed as he originally thought. Upon closer inspection, if the primary housing hasn't changed (and I don't see why it should have), this box is a G45706, which according to 900aero.com is used in the 1983 and 1984 GLi series. This is good because it means I can perform the transplant from 4-speed to 5-speed without taking apart my existing (still good) 5-speed GM45610. Better yet, it has type 7 primaries, which gives it a 5th gear ratio of 2.86, vs. my too-short 3.07.

More importantly, though, what modifications are required to make this fit? Also, when I put the 5-speed parts in, what do I use for the pinion gear preload? Is it from the 5-speed measurements in the 5-speed box, the 4-speed measurements in the chillcase box, or the stamped value on the pinion gear (which I assume only applies for a gear without wear)? What about the inner driver measurements and shimming?

Also, it's really dumb but I don't want to be stuck being unable to drive the car after all this is completed because I can't find a dipstick for it. I think the newer dipstick will actually fit in the inlet in the chillcast case, so perhaps I can find a brass fitting with the thread for the chillcast case, but with the barbs for the later-style dipstick housing. Any thoughts? Anyone know what type of thread the chillcast case uses for this?

li Arc

Boosted
16-08-10, 11:27 PM
First, I would search for threads by "idiot" saabvant" He rebuilt a 5 speed trans and put it into a chillcast (4 speed) case. Also "sonett" has done the same thing.

Second, I think you are confusing pinion gear preload with the depth of then pinion gear and the backlash between the pinion and ring gears.

The preload is on the pinion bearing themselves and it needs to be 10-15 ft lbs of rolling torque. Here are a couple of scans from my repair manual. I assume you have a factory manual right?

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa139/njames85/Pinion1.jpg

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa139/njames85/Pinion2.jpg
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa139/njames85/Pinion3.jpg


I can scan and post the instruction for shimming and setting up the inner drivers if need be.

li Arc
17-08-10, 10:02 AM
I've fired of a PM to idiot_saabvant asking him the details of his conversion, so I'm still waiting to hear back from him.

I've got the transmission manual as well, but some details seem to be eluding me. To measure the pinion gear depth, I will need to remove the diff first. But do I also need to measure the backlash on the diff before removing it, so that I can place it into the same position in the new case, or do I follow the guide and re-torque and measure instead? This process itself confuses me (at least, according to the manual). I also don't think the settings are shown in the case; what do I set the pinion gear depth to then? The only settings one would have would be the stamped numerals on the pinion gear, or the measured depth from the old case.

In the first section ("Before measuring"), it mentions torque required to rotate pinion shaft in the housing needs to be set to 2.5 +/- 0.5 Nm when the pinion bearings are correctly compressed. Is the compression set by the pinion shaft nut, or by a press? I would imagine the latter to be difficult to dial in. This refers to the preload? I notice on another page their using a string and a scale to determine the 10-15ftlb rolling torque, but I can't quite remember what they wrapped the string around. What about shimming? Where would one be able to find such shims?

The problem is the manual doesn't really help me; it seems to make the whole process seem so much more complex. Sure, it covers all the bases, but it seems overly daunting, when other people have abridged guides that still retain all the important details without forcing an information overload...

li Arc

Boosted
17-08-10, 03:25 PM
After re-reading what I posted I need to correct myself;oops:

Look at the step 3 of 2nd picture I posted. The dial should read what is stamped on the pinion gear and the tolerance for that is + or - .05mm. Even if you put the gear set in another case you still need keep the need the original setting of the pinion and ring gears.

I would follow the guide in the book for setting up the differential. You have to assemble it without the driver shims, figure out how many shims you need, split the thickness between each side, and then adjust the backlash. I believe the backlash should be between .006" to .008".

The preload on the pinion bearings is adjusted by tightening the pinion nut (47mm btw) until the rolling torque is 10-15 ft lbs. On the stock setup there is a crush sleeve that is between the 2 pinion bearings that literally crushes as the pinion nut is tightened up to set the preload. This is a one time use sleeve so when you do it, take it slow so that you don't over tighten it and have to start over.

To measure the rolling torque you simply need a fish scale with a string wrapped around the pinion shaft. Tighten the pinion nut a little bit and pull on the fish scale to see how much torque it takes to turn the shaft. Keep tightening the nut until it takes read 10-15 ft lbs.

Another problem you will run into is that the crush sleeves are discontinued. If you can't find a crush sleeve you can have a solid sleeve machined but you don't know the exact length to make it. You could measure the old sleeve then add .010" to .020" to the length to start.

Then you would assemble the bearing with the solid sleeve, tighten the pinion nut, and check the rolling torque. If the torque isn't enough you would have to disassemble it, machined off a little bit on the sleeve and try again. If the torque is too much, the sleeve is too short and you would have to make a new one and start all over again. This process would be very tedious since you would be taking things apart over and over again and would need a lathe handy. Good luck!

li Arc
17-08-10, 04:41 PM
Getting the shims into each side is easy, it's figuring how many shims is needed and setting the backlash is all what confuses me!

As for the crush sleeve, this sounds pretty crazy complex, especially given I'm not a machinist and don't really know one neither. Should I not be able to bring it to a specialty auto store or something and find a generic part? Or maybe shim the existing one with washers (I know, it sounds kind of hackish)? I found that thesaabsite has crush washers for later year boxes (89+), but mentions crush washers for earlier (-88) are obsolete; since this is a consumable, does it mean that the earlier year parts have been superseded by the later year parts? I'd rather not resort to making one, but if so, perhaps someone who has an extra crush sleeve can measure its dimensions?

I also don't really understand what you're trying to say the procedure for using a homemade sleeve is. When you check the rolling torque, I'm guessing you're actually checking how tightly compressed the sleeve is against the bearing, but in your description you've introduced two variables instead of one: the bearing preload, and the sleeve length, so pitting one unknown variable (bearing preload) against another (the sleeve length) doesn't make any sense, as you'll never get any useful data out of this.

li Arc

crwchf01
17-08-10, 08:02 PM
The preload on the bearings is what you are setting when you do the scale test. You will have two measurements- one for new and one for used bearings (defined as a certain number of miles(kms)). The scale is attached by a wrapped string to the body of the pinion bearing assembly and you set the preload by tightening/loosening the nut. This should be a relatively quick process as you are supposed to be doing this to a loc-tite treated pinion nut. I believe the nut is 42mm, but have found an 18 in adjustable wrench works great. www.napaautoparts.com will have the part numbers for the valve guides, and may have several choices in the area. TRW, Hastings Clevite all are good brands.

li Arc
17-08-10, 09:31 PM
So last week I put the crankshaft back in, with shiney new bearings! I was worried that some of them looked slightly marked, but seeing as they're matte finish anyhow, I'm sure they'll wear into the crank properly and they'll form a proper fluid bearing after a few minutes with the engine running.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/new_main_bearing_caps.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/new_main_bearings_installed.jpg
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/new_main_bearings_assembly_lube.jpg

What that red stuff is is RedLine engine assembly lube, which seems to be doing its job well. I covered the cylinder bores in this with a light coat after I washed the block down to do the painting.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/crank_installed.jpg

As I didn't take a photo of the pulley end of the block before I took it down, I can't recall if the bolts and screws are placed in the correct areas. There are a couple allen screws that aren't holding anything on the plate, and I can't recall what they DO hold (lower left):

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/questionable_chain_guide_positions.jpg

I also did the pistons over the weekend. I first wondered if there was a specific orientation for the pistons, but after searching all over the Bentley and couldn't find it, I gave up. As there are wear marks on both sides of the piston perpendicular to the wrist pin from the skirt slapping against the cylinder and one of the marks shows consistently more wear than the other, I assumed this was resultant of gravity helping with the slap and so faced it downwards. Wrong. The stupid book cheerfully showed me the piston orientation while I was looking up something else, and my assumption didn't pan.

Eventually, I spent the evening correcting my error, first trying to remove the crank so I didn't have to use the piston ring compressor again (what a pain that was!), then, finding that obviously doesn't work, resigned to the fact that the pistons need to be re-inserted. The work was completed grudgingly, once dropping piston #4 on the ground and slightly denting it, but nothing serious.

After this, I put the flywheel end plate back on. I used Loctite 518 to dress the gasket, which it instructs should be done on both sides of the gasket. I think I may have used a bit too much, and perhaps just a finger-smear would have done better:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/flywheel_block_plate_gasket.jpg

...but hopefully it seals well.

Now, for the pulley end plate. However, since I wrecked the new oil seal I bought and need to wait for the new one to come in, I'll leave it out for now. I definitely do not like working with the seals, as driving them in isn't very straight forward, esp. without a seal drift; I left the new one for the flywheel end slightly out vs. original since the seal rubber was absorbing the impact as I tried to hammer it in the rest of the way (with some type of straight edge), and it sticks out a bit less than 1mm (maybe around 0.75mm). I'll take a photo next time.

For now,

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/pistons_flywheel_installed.jpg

Regarding the valve guides, since I don't have any other source now, I guess Beck & Arnley it is. I'll be ordering them later in the week.

li Arc

Boosted
17-08-10, 09:47 PM
For shimming the inner drivers.

Mount the differential in the case and put the left driver on without any shims and without the speedometer gear. Mount the right driver without shims. Tighten the driver bolts in several stages making sure to spin the differential as you do it.

Quoted from the manual

"Measure the gap between the transmission case and the bearing set with a feeler gauge at two points opposite of each other and take an average of the two measurements. Then select shims corresponding to this result plus an increment of .20mm to obtain the correct bearing compression.

Note:

The resulting set of shims should then be distributed between the right and left sides to give the correct backlash. "

So after you put the differential together without shims and figure out how many shims you need on each side, the backlash will be close but may not be quite right.

After you assemble the transmission with the pinion shaft mounted and the differential mounted with the ring gear attached you can verify the backlash using a dial indicator. The dial indicator with have to be mounted to the back of the transmission somehow. My indicator had a magnetic base so I bolted a piece of steel where the diff cover goes and mounted it there.

The indicator will have a little probe that you place on the ring gear. What backlash refers to is the amount of slop between the ring and pinion gears. So you should be able to turn the ring gear ever so slightly without its teeth meshing with the pinion gear. That slop should be between .006" and .008" If it is more or less you will have to more shims around from left to right or vise versus a. The total amount of shims doesn't change.

What you doing with the shims is changing exactly where from left to right the ring gear is position in the transmission so that there is .006" to .008" of backlash between the ring gear and the pinion gear.

Crush sleeve

I do not know if the crush sleeve is the same for later models. I think idiot_saabvant tried ordering one from thesaabsite and was unsuccessful. Sometimes there are parts on their website that are nla but they haven't bothered to take off the site.

The reason there are two variables is because the data is unknown. I can't tell you that a solid crush sleeve that is 34mm long with give you 10 ft lbs of rolling torque. I was lucky enough to find a crush sleeve when I did a rebuild 3 years ago.

All you can do with the solid sleeve is experiment. Figure out the distance between the bearings and add maybe .020" to the length and make a sleeve. Assemble the bearings and tighten the nut tight. Measure the rolling torque with a fish scale. If the rolling torque isn't high enough, then the solid sleeve is too long and isn't allowing the rollers of the bearings to be pushed against the races hard enough.

If you assemble it and the rolling torque is too much then the sleeve is too short and the bearing rollers are being pushed to hard in and are too tight. If this is the case you could add shims to sleeve to increase its width and try again or make a new sleeve and start over.

I would not shim a used crush sleeve because it may crush more as you put it together unless you could put it in a press with a lot of force and crush the hell out of it.

Turbofrenzy
18-08-10, 06:48 AM
For now,

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/pistons_flywheel_installed.jpg


li Arc

Nice work, but one thing that flywheel looks like it's in bad need of a skim, it looks like the clutch has worn a 2mm groove in it.

li Arc
18-08-10, 10:17 AM
For shimming the inner drivers.
Mount the differential in the case and put the left driver on without any shims and without the speedometer gear. Mount the right driver without shims. Tighten the driver bolts in several stages making sure to spin the differential as you do it.

So after you put the differential together without shims and figure out how many shims you need on each side, the backlash will be close but may not be quite right.

This is what confuses me. The bolts you refer to are the bearing housings on the outside of the case, with 6 bolts each, I assume? After you tighten them, won't there be no gap at all? Or is it there will be a gap simply because the housings when tight already press against the diff? Which side do you measure the gap on, or does it matter?


After you assemble the transmission with the pinion shaft mounted and the differential mounted with the ring gear attached you can verify the backlash using a dial indicator. The dial indicator with have to be mounted to the back of the transmission somehow. My indicator had a magnetic base so I bolted a piece of steel where the diff cover goes and mounted it there.

The indicator will have a little probe that you place on the ring gear. What backlash refers to is the amount of slop between the ring and pinion gears. So you should be able to turn the ring gear ever so slightly without its teeth meshing with the pinion gear. That slop should be between .006" and .008" If it is more or less you will have to more shims around from left to right or vise versus a. The total amount of shims doesn't change.

Can I assume a dial indicator is a mechanical version of a (digital or not) measuring caliper? How does one measure the slop? My caliper can measure depth, ID, and OD/length, and I've seen micrometers I can buy, but I'm not familiar with how this tool should work.

All you can do with the solid sleeve is experiment. Figure out the distance between the bearings and add maybe .020" to the length and make a sleeve. Assemble the bearings and tighten the nut tight. Measure the rolling torque with a fish scale. If the rolling torque isn't high enough, then the solid sleeve is too long and isn't allowing the rollers of the bearings to be pushed against the races hard enough.

If you assemble it and the rolling torque is too much then the sleeve is too short and the bearing rollers are being pushed to hard in and are too tight.

This is still what I don't understand. How tight is tight? Isn't the definition of tight defined by the rolling torque? But if the rolling torque is defined by the length of the sleeve, and the length of the sleeve is defined by the rolling torque, it's a vicious circle. Thus, raising or lowering one will raise or lower the other, respectively, which one could reason makes the data irrelevant.

If at least we can find someone with a new crush sleeve to measure it we can assign a fixed value to one of the variables, allowing us to solve for the rest of the equation. Maybe I'll have to re-read this section in the book as well...

Nice work, but one thing that flywheel looks like it's in bad need of a skim, it looks like the clutch has worn a 2mm groove in it.

Yep, I mentioned this earlier, and it's quite a deep groove. But if I take it to a shop to get it machined, it will basically be to flatten it, which means to remove 1-2mm off the rest of the wheel, but it wouldn't necessarily affect the contact surface. If you look closely, the contact surface is quite clean, and uncontaminated. If I machine it now and it wears another 2mm away the next time I check on it, and I machine that too, I'm afraid of the consequences of it getting totally out of spec. Sure, it'll be lighter, but it'll also be thinner as well, and point of clutch disengagement will slide further and further deeper as far as the pedal goes. Besides which, last time I got it machined it cost me $75 and I didn't really notice any improvement...

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Fly_wheel_ridge.jpg

li Arc

li Arc
18-08-10, 05:49 PM
After reading a bunch of posts, it sounds like ideally one would want the internals from an 88-91 box, instead of the 83' I've got. There is a NA 90' at the yard, though I'd have to think twice before pulling a tranny on such a tight schedule (I'd really like to have the car up and running by the end of August). Will the improvements be that big? I assume the pinion housing is different as well?

As it is, I don't really pound on my tranny, but I would like to be able to drive it with less reluctance. If I get my hands on the chillcast pinion bearing housing, even with the older gearbox there shouldn't be too much delta between the chillcast with 83' internals vs. chillcast with 90' internals? The only thing that really bothers me much is the shift shaft centering mechanism, but maybe someone has one they're getting rid of? Can it be used on 83' internals?

Trying to get a hold of a Saab authorized parts and service centre in town to check on the sleeve...

li Arc

mmoe
20-08-10, 02:37 AM
The self-centering components are the spring on the end of the gear selection shaft and a long dowel pin protruding from the primary gear housing into the main case. The gear selector shaft with the self-centering springs should fit into any year case, I don't think it changed in diameter. I'm not certain if all primary gear housings had the centering pin hole located in them, so you may need a later model primary housing.

Personally, I like the later model gears but can't honestly say that I've noticed any significant improvements to their performance when actually driving. An older gearset with new bearings and good syncros really works just as well as anything for daily driving or road-tripping. I'd probably just go with your '86 tranny (I think that's what you said you have?) and rebuild it with new bearings if it were me. It should already be self-centering.

As for crush sleeves, I didn't put one in my latest rebuild. Granted, I would have preferred to install one, but being as I was in the middle of no-where it just wasn't going to happen. After much consideration, I really couldn't arrive at a reason for it to be there in the first place. What force, exactly, does this sleeve resist? The inner races are friction fit to the shaft and can only move closer together once the nut is in place, but with the preload set I can't see that as possible since the races are riding on the bearings which in turn are riding on the race. The crush sleeve only seems relevant if something goes wrong with the bearings to the point of them collapsing, but in that case the transmission will be completely shot anyways. In a properly functioning transmission, the crush sleeve seems to do nothing in my estimation (if anyone has a reason I've not considered, I'd love to know). Maybe I'll find out I'm wrong in the future, but I'm not loosing any sleep over the fact that it isn't there and I'm 2500 miles into using the transmission now without any hint of a problem. I won't recommend that others do this since it's not by the book, but I can say that so far it's working for me. I tightened the pinion nut until the rolling torque was in the middle of specs and had no trouble setting the preload properly without the crush sleeve.

Also, for those rebuilding with limited resources (no press), you can use dry-ice to freeze the pinion shaft and boil the bearings (in water, not oil or you will damage the bearing) allowing them to slip onto the pinion shaft easily with a pipe and a hammer. You must be prepared and work very fast. You can get enough dry ice to do the job for around $5 at many grocery stores. The shaft will end up close to -140deg F, so you should also wear gloves while handling anything that cold. The outer races can be installed in a similar manner by heating the pinion housing and freezing the races, they literally just dropped right in for me without any pressing or hammering required. The outer races must be installed to the pinion housing prior to installing the inner races to the pinion shaft.

li Arc
20-08-10, 10:18 AM
Thanks for chiming in Mike! I've been frantically searching for information on how to properly do the rebuild since I'm running out of time, and was dreading pulling a later model tranny. Yes, the tranny I just separated from my block is an 86' and is self-centering, and if I were to use that I would need to replace the pinion bearings as there is a distinct 4th/5th gear whine (which I actually enjoyed, prior to knowing it meant imminent tranny death). However, I'd rather keep that as a spare at the moment in the event the rebuild goes bad. Besides which, I have heard some very positive reviews of just using the 4-speed box as is, if I find I'm in over my head. According to idiot_saabvant, it seems he didn't have to do any modifications to get his 88' internals into his chillcast case.

I was also wondering if you've got that pinion shaft holder? That's used to tighten the nut, I assume?

I'll be proceeding with the rebuild this weekend, and probably start taking apart the chillcast first; I don't have access to a press, so the dry-ice idea is very useful! But I'm wondering if mating/hammering a hot bearing onto a frozen shaft causes any structural damage? Especially through the hammering action when the shaft has been embrittled?

Also, should I consider getting a the 8720732 chillcast pinion housing? Or should I not worry about it at this point? It looks like eEuroParts has it in stock.

On the engine side of things, I attempted to order valve guides from a national supplier, and they're out of stock as well. I'm starting to run out of options here; I'd go to thesaabsite, but they're charging around $5 each. Anyone know where I can find some guides? Besides places like Napa Auto Parts where I can't tell who the guides were made by? This is getting ridiculous.

li Arc

mmoe
20-08-10, 02:33 PM
I'll see if I can get an estimate as to how long it would take to get the pinion holder to you. I'm back in Seattle as of yesterday, so it may take a week or 2 to ship. I had one with me and forgot to put it in the box for you when I was in Calgary. :( You could also use one of the inner syncro rings from one of the other transmissions you have (such as the '86) and put it in a vise. I can get a good replacement to you next time I'm up there.

I'm pretty certain that you can just put the internals from an '88 and earlier transmission into the chillcast box as well. I'm also fairly certain that the '88 and earlier primary case would go right onto the chillcast box as well, allowing you to keep it a 5 speed. I've driven a 4 speed swapped into a 900 turbo and would not do so myself. The 5 speed is a better transmission for day to day driving IMHO.

Your '86 transmission likely has the chillcast pinion housing in it already, so you could pull that one out and use it while you wait for a replacement. You'll eventually pull it out of there anyways, and once you've torn one tranny down you'll find that the next one is very fast. If you pull the rear diff cover off, remove the inner drivers/housings, and remove the differential, you'll be able to read the pn on the pinion bearing housing. Every '85/'86 that I've opened up has has one (pn/872073 cast into housing). Next time I'm in Calgary I could bring one to you to replace the one you've borrowed from the '86. I've got several laying around. ;)

Personally, I've had great luck with Napa parts outside of their clutch slave. The clutch slave failed inside of 1000 miles and upon removal/inspection I found that there were pits in the outside cylinder wall which were leaking past the o-ring. I had been meticulous in keeping grime out, so I suspect it was a flaw in the casting (it arguably may have been failing from the get go, I put the first 1000 miles on it driving on the interstate). Other than that, all the seals, bearings, etc. that I've used from them have been quite good. I don't think I'd hesitate to use their valve guides/seals.

mmoe
20-08-10, 02:46 PM
This is what confuses me. The bolts you refer to are the bearing housings on the outside of the case, with 6 bolts each, I assume? After you tighten them, won't there be no gap at all? Or is it there will be a gap simply because the housings when tight already press against the diff? Which side do you measure the gap on, or does it matter?

The left hand housing should be tightened all the way down while the right hand housing should be tightened to something like 10 IN/LBS (not ft/lbs).There is some compression of that must take place, so at that torque, there will be a gap. The gap should be measured with feeler gauges at two opposing sides of the flange and then averaged (say .025" on one side, .027" on the other, proper shim stack is .026"). Refer to the manual I left for specifics.


Can I assume a dial indicator is a mechanical version of a (digital or not) measuring caliper? How does one measure the slop? My caliper can measure depth, ID, and OD/length, and I've seen micrometers I can buy, but I'm not familiar with how this tool should work.

li Arc
A dial indicator is not the same as a micrometer (what I think you are calling a measuring caliper). A 1" dial indicator is necessary for the pinion measuring tool I left you. It can also be mounted to a holder which can measure the backlash of the diff. The shim stack which you established by the previously suggested method must then be divided into the two bearing housings so as to adjust the backlash of the diff. If the diff has too much movement (backlash), shims must be moved from the right housing to the left housing so as to reduce the clearance of the pinion and ring gear meshing (decreasing backlash).

Turbofrenzy
20-08-10, 03:13 PM
Nice work, but one thing that flywheel looks like it's in bad need of a skim, it looks like the clutch has worn a 2mm groove in it.

But it will lessen the clamping force and wear out quicker.
It's like skimming 2mm off of one side of the clutch plate.

li Arc
20-08-10, 04:33 PM
But it will lessen the clamping force and wear out quicker.
It's like skimming 2mm off of one side of the clutch plate.

Hmmm, that's true...well, I can worry about that later; I think last time it cost me like $75 to get it skimmed. Maybe I'll go back for more.

I've had several Napa parts before; a clutch master cylinder with a shaft that's too short so that the pedal hits the floor and still doesn't disengage (I had no idea how they did that), CV boots that prematurely wore (6 months...it lasted 6 months), etc. I try to stay away from them if possible. Maybe it's just my luck...but unfortunately ScanTech has an even worse rap. I replaced 3 clutch slaves in 1.5 years with ScanTechs, until I decided it just wasn't worth the effort and work anymore and bought a genuine Saab unit for twice the price instead. It not only looked much beefier, but it was also machined better...after that, I try to stay away from second-rate parts. I'm sure the work I put in to replace those clutch slaves far out-weighed the cost of the genuine unit. Here's a few photo of the master cylinder shaft:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Napa_clutch_mas_cyl_shaft.jpg

It sure made me scratch my head!

I'm desperately trying to source decent valve guides anywhere now, but it looks like I'm running out of choices.

li Arc

li Arc
22-08-10, 01:26 AM
Some progress today. Put in the steering rack, which was almost as messy a job as a CV boot replacement, and got part way through cracking the chillcast.

Strange thing happened though. My circlip pliers were bent nose and weren't deep enough to get the circlip off the top clutch input gear stack, but we were able to get the circlip off the input shaft gear stack. Since we would need to replace the primary housing anyhow, we decided just to take take the lower one out for now, and take the whole casing off. After smacking a couple locating dowels out, we were unable to get the primary casing off. The primary casing is about 8mm out now, but we just can't get it off, and we can't really see what's keeping it in. I went back to the manual, and tried to get the differential out to access the layshaft locking bolt, thinking this might have something to do with the primary casing not coming off. I got the bolt off the layshaft in the differential side of the transmission, but we were still unable to get the primary housing off. Am I missing something? It looked like in the manual, there was some other strange tool being used on the layshaft bolts, plus on each side of the layshaft locking bolt there was some kind of stud or something, but I'm not sure what one would do with those. The manual didn't seem to delve into this.

li Arc

euromobile900
22-08-10, 07:39 PM
Yeah, the same thing happened to me when I was trying to take apart a Chillcast I found. I really don't know what to do. I had to move house rather abruptly and that was one of the things that got left behind, with a 99 enthusiast who really didn't care. It's probably still laying in his yard. Since it's a gear primary, my plan was just to sawzall it up. Never got that far, but I was just as confounded as you, so I feel your pain!

mmoe
22-08-10, 09:33 PM
Some progress today. Put in the steering rack, which was almost as messy a job as a CV boot replacement, and got part way through cracking the chillcast.

Strange thing happened though. My circlip pliers were bent nose and weren't deep enough to get the circlip off the top clutch input gear stack, but we were able to get the circlip off the input shaft gear stack. Since we would need to replace the primary housing anyhow, we decided just to take take the lower one out for now, and take the whole casing off. After smacking a couple locating dowels out, we were unable to get the primary casing off. The primary casing is about 8mm out now, but we just can't get it off, and we can't really see what's keeping it in. I went back to the manual, and tried to get the differential out to access the layshaft locking bolt, thinking this might have something to do with the primary casing not coming off. I got the bolt off the layshaft in the differential side of the transmission, but we were still unable to get the primary housing off. Am I missing something? It looked like in the manual, there was some other strange tool being used on the layshaft bolts, plus on each side of the layshaft locking bolt there was some kind of stud or something, but I'm not sure what one would do with those. The manual didn't seem to delve into this.

li Arc
The primary case should come right off. There shouldn't be anything to keep it in place once you've unbolted it. Is it possible that you loosened the flange bolts holding the primary case to the main case and then missed removing one completely? I sometimes do this once they are finger loose only to discover that I left one behind in a not so visible place. Otherwise, I'd just carefully use some force to get it off. Perhaps one of the locating pins is stuck? I typically like to drift them out before dismantling (not in the instructions).

li Arc
23-08-10, 11:57 AM
I'll take another look at it either later today or tomorrow, but we popped all the bolts off, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to pull it out 8mm. I can't tell what it's stuck on neither, but looking through the crevice, it's just internals (ie. nothing near the edges of the case, like bolts or dowels). The input shaft gear stack is also loose, and not binding, so it wasn't that. Also, it feels like whatever's keeping it in is near the layshaft (there is some wiggle to the primary case at this stage, so whatever it's stuck on it's loose and centered around the layshaft), hence why I attempted to undo the layshaft bolts.

I'll continue prying, perhaps I'll check and see if I can find some kind of hydraulic spreader or something that I can use to really force it open. I've been using a large pry bar, but I also don't want to damage the gasket sealing surface.

li Arc

Turbofrenzy
23-08-10, 02:33 PM
I'm a bit lost with your description here. Post some pics, you shouldn't need to really force anything.
Which part of the primary housing have you got off, if it's just the cover then you need to undo the nut on the bottom sprocket/gear, remove the top and bottom gears/sprockets, chains and tensioner. Undo the 3 bolts in the ally housing at the bottom, remove the side cover, unclip the circlip on the layshaft and slide the coller back, remove the bolt on the layshaft retainer in the diff housing, pull the layshaft shaft, remove the 5th gear extension on the layshaft. Then remove the dowel in the 5th gear selector fork, remove the ally housing with the shaft in it, then undo the nut on the main shaft, remove the gear and then the main part of the primary gear housing will come off.
I think this is the correct sequence from memory, you don't have to really force anything.

mmoe
23-08-10, 02:43 PM
I'm a bit lost with your description here. Post some pics, you shouldn't need to really force anything.
Which part of the primary housing have you got off, if it's just the cover then you need to undo the nut on the bottom sprocket/gear, remove the top and bottom gears/sprockets, chains and tensioner. Undo the 3 bolts in the ally housing at the bottom, remove the side cover, unclip the circlip on the layshaft and slide the coller back, remove the bolt on the layshaft retainer in the diff housing, pull the layshaft shaft, remove the 5th gear extension on the layshaft. Then remove the dowel in the 5th gear selector fork, remove the ally housing with the shaft in it, then undo the nut on the main shaft, remove the gear and then the main part of the primary gear housing will come off.
I think this is the correct sequence from memory, you don't have to really force anything.
He's dismantling a 4 speed, so there is nothing outside of the mating flange bolts that should be holding the primary case on.

The instructions for dismantling do state that the layshaft should be removed prior to removal of the primary case. They show a special tool being used to do so, but I suspect that it is simply something which grabs the "hook" on the end of the layshaft which is normally occupied by the retainer. Try removing the layshaft first, then proceeding.

Turbofrenzy
24-08-10, 03:57 AM
He's dismantling a 4 speed, so there is nothing outside of the mating flange bolts that should be holding the primary case on.

The instructions for dismantling do state that the layshaft should be removed prior to removal of the primary case. They show a special tool being used to do so, but I suspect that it is simply something which grabs the "hook" on the end of the layshaft which is normally occupied by the retainer. Try removing the layshaft first, then proceeding.

Ah ok a 4 speed.
Correct it's a tool that hooks on to the end of the shaft, it has a "T" handle to pull with.

li Arc
24-08-10, 03:37 PM
I took a look at it, and was able to use my 90* circlip pliers to pull the shafts part way out to the point where they're loose, but I recall one shouldn't pull them all the way out or everything will come crashing down in the gear case. This actually seemed to help with getting the primary case off, but I'm still unable to separate it.

I think the shafts were partially binding on the primary case when it was being pulled off, since there was enough wiggle that it may not be coming off straight. In order to free one of the selector fork slider shafts, I had to tinker with selecting something else with the selector fork actuator before I could free it. After I freed the two shafts, I was able to move the primary case out enough that I can see the layshaft gears and the whole primary case actually "wiggles", and is probably out more than 1cm (probably something like 12-13mm). Since I've got a better view of it now, it looks like the pinion shaft is somehow binding against the primary case. I don't know how the primary input shaft is connected to the pinion shaft, but when I wiggle the primary case, I can see the last gear on the pinion shaft wiggle with the case, along with its syncros.

I'm wondering if perhaps one of the other selector shafts needs to be de-selected or something somehow, but I'm still confused. It's almost off, just something is keeping it held together; if it were organic I'd say it's like a tendon or something...

li Arc

mmoe
24-08-10, 05:32 PM
I think there is a bearing in/on the input shaft which the pinion shaft mates with. It should be a very tight fit and is probably binding a little. I'd just give the primary case a good whack with a rubber mallet in opposing places and see if it budges. I'm pretty sure you should just be able to smack it off.

The primary input shaft is basically 4th gear on a 4 speed. The pinion shaft ends where the inner syncro/drive gear for 3rd/4th resides. It is at this point that I'm pretty sure there is also a roller bearing inside of 4th which the pinion rides in. You should have to do nothing but remove the layshaft and remove the bolts mating the primary case to the main case.

li Arc
24-08-10, 10:01 PM
I've smacked it with the 3lb iron mallet quite a bit; I first started off with a rubber shoe to make sure the primary casing didn't get marred, but it just wasn't enough. I can't get enough shock on it with just me, so I'll need my buddy to come over and help me on the weekend. But here's a description of what I can see:

When the primary case is in its 'wiggle' state, the system will bind and you won't be able to turn the primary shaft. When you move the primary case in and out, the input shaft will turn with the helical gears rubbing against each other inside. When you do this, it also pulls the layshaft gearset outwards towards the primary case as well, and in its 'wiggle' state, the layshaft gearset will be out by up to something like 5mm. It will also be pressed against the 4th gear making it bind against the layshaft and one will not be able to push it back in towards the differential case by that 5mm. 4th gear seems to have separated from the synchro inside, since the synchro does not move with the primary case wiggle, while 4th gear does. It seems something is keeping 4th gear and its synchro (or the pinion shaft) together, whatever that may be. 4th looks like it could come right out with the primary case.

li Arc

mmoe
25-08-10, 02:03 PM
Make sure you shift the transmission into third. I wonder if the syncro ring itself is what is binding. In third, the syncro ring will be pulled back and out of the way. You may also be able to see better what exactly is going on there. Keep in mind that the lay gears may be binding as well. The lay gear should be turned by 4th gear which in turn rotates 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears. The lay gear is unable to move more than a few milimeters front to back since it is constrained between all those gears. In the Haynes guide instructions, they actuall suggest that the lay shaft be COMPLETELY removed and the lay gear be allowed to drop into the bottom of the transmission. I would not be concerned about the lay gear being damaged, it's not a long drop and the case is much softer than the lay gear. This may be what is holding onto the 4th gear preventing removal since the syncro on 4th is larger than 4th gear itself. The syncro is likely holding onto the lay gear, but once the lay gear is completely dropped it should clear.

Boosted
25-08-10, 09:47 PM
This is what confuses me. The bolts you refer to are the bearing housings on the outside of the case, with 6 bolts each, I assume? After you tighten them, won't there be no gap at all? Or is it there will be a gap simply because the housings when tight already press against the diff? Which side do you measure the gap on, or does it matter?

Yes, the six bolts on the drivers. The bearings will bottom out against the transmission case so there will be a gap. It shouldn't matter which side you measure.



Can I assume a dial indicator is a mechanical version of a (digital or not) measuring caliper? How does one measure the slop? My caliper can measure depth, ID, and OD/length, and I've seen micrometers I can buy, but I'm not familiar with how this tool should work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dial_indicator

There are some videos on youtube on how to use dial indicators.


This is still what I don't understand. How tight is tight? Isn't the definition of tight defined by the rolling torque? But if the rolling torque is defined by the length of the sleeve, and the length of the sleeve is defined by the rolling torque, it's a vicious circle. Thus, raising or lowering one will raise or lower the other, respectively, which one could reason makes the data irrelevant.

I would tighten it to the standard torque to whatever that ID of the nut is rated for. When I replaced my pinion bearings I used a 24" Crescent wrench with a 5 ft cheater bar. If you use a solid sleeve it does not matter how tight you turn the nut because the bearings are either going to bottom out against the sleeve or the gap between the bearings and the sleeve will be too great and no matter how much you tighten the nut, the won't come together.


If at least we can find someone with a new crush sleeve to measure it we can assign a fixed value to one of the variables, allowing us to solve for the rest of the equation. Maybe I'll have to re-read this section in the book as well...

I have a brand new crush washer. I'll dig it out and measure it for you but I don't know which parts box I put it in.

Boosted
25-08-10, 09:50 PM
http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Napa_clutch_mas_cyl_shaft.jpg


li Arc

The short one is for a model 99.

mmoe
26-08-10, 03:32 PM
Yes, the six bolts on the drivers. The bearings will bottom out against the transmission case so there will be a gap. It shouldn't matter which side you measure.

It matters which side you measure if the pinion is currently in the transmission which would normally be the case if you are assembling the transmission following the Saab Service Manual. If you are figuring out the shim stack without a pinion in place prior to assembly, you could do it from either side. If the pinion is in place and you have no shims, tightening the right hand side all the way down will cause the crown to bottom out on the pinion and likely shift the entire differential diagonally resulting in an improper shim stack (too thick) or potentially damage the crown or pinion. The left side is the one which should always be tightened fully (14-18 ft/lbs), the right side should be tightened to the prescribed torque of 20 inch/lbs done in even stages around the 6 bolts, this should be just a little more than finger tight. The gap must be measured at 2 opposing places with feeler gauges and then averaged to establish the correct shim stack thickness.

Once the shim stack is established, 1/3rd of the stack thickness should be place on the left driver housing, then torqued to spec (14-18 ft/lbs). The remaining shims should be placed on the right housing, then torqued to spec (14-18 ft/lbs). Again, this is to prevent damage to the crown or pinion. The backlash is then measured and shims adjusted to produce the correct backlash. There are also procedures for measuring the rolling torque of the differential, but that would have to be done without the pinion in place. New bearings should have a drag of 16-25 inch/lbs and used bearings should have a drag of 7-12 inch/lbs.


I would tighten it to the standard torque to whatever that ID of the nut is rated for. When I replaced my pinion bearings I used a 24" Crescent wrench with a 5 ft cheater bar. If you use a solid sleeve it does not matter how tight you turn the nut because the bearings are either going to bottom out against the sleeve or the gap between the bearings and the sleeve will be too great and no matter how much you tighten the nut, the won't come together.

In which case you are damaging the bearings. It is so simple to check and set the pinion bearing preload that is really should never be skipped. The preload can be measured with a fish scale and some string. You put the pinion shaft into a vise or fixture to keep it from rotating (which also facilitates tightening the nut) being careful not to damage the shaft (this is where a fixture using spare parts from another transmission is useful). Sturdy string should then be attached to and wrapped around the pinion bearing housing, then attached to a fish scale. Pulling on the fish scale will then rotate the pinion housing once and reveal the amount of torque it requires to roll the bearings. You tighten the nut until the torque required to turn the bearings is between 10 and 15 pounds on the fish scale.

I do not believe that Saab manufactured the pinion bearing housings to be within a tolerance level which allows one to use a solid spacer. If you do happen to tighten against the spacer, you may not have enough preload on the bearings, which will result in a reduced transmission lifespan. Measuring the preload would still be a good idea in this case as well.

My latest pinion holder using spare transmission parts (for clamping into a vise):
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/SaabTools/IMG_2755.jpg

mmoe
26-08-10, 03:51 PM
Due to the necessity of a in/lb torque wrench, I think it is also useful to note that in the absence of a in/lb wrench it is possible to either convert the in/lbs to ft/lbs (divide in/lbs by 12 and you have ft/lbs) and use a ft/lb torque wrench OR use a standard wrench of known length and a fish scale to produce the correct torque. The latter will provide a great degree of variety to what scale you are measuring to and can get results that are out of the range of a standard ft/lb torque wrench. Instead of pulling on the wrench directly, you would pull on the fish scale until the correct reading is obtained.

A ft/lb of torque is defined by 1 lb of force applied to a 1 ft long lever. 1 in/lb is obviously 1 lb applied to a 1 inch lever. It should be obvious that 1 lb applied to a 1 ft lever will be greater than the same force applied to a 1 inch lever. Since 1 ft equals 12 inches, the difference is a factor of 12, so 1 ft/lb is equivalent to 12 in/lbs. From this you can calculate and measure torque applied with ANY kind of lever including standard wrenches provided that you can measure their length (tape measure) and measure the force applied (fish scale/spring scale).

For example:

If you have a 6 inch long wrench and need to produce 20 in/lbs, you should have a reading of approximately 3.33 lbs on a fish scale attached to the end of the wrench. Using a 4 inch long wrench would require a reading on the same fish scale to be 5 lbs. A 12 inch long wrench would require a reading of appoximately 1.66 lbs. What should be noted by this example is that it will likely be easier to get an accurate reading with a 4 inch wrench than a 12 inch wrench due to the resolution/accuracy of the fish scale/spring scale.

As a tip, most fish scales have a hook, so it will conveniently fit onto the closed end of a wrench. Just be sure to measure from the center of the bolt to the point at which the scale attaches, not the outside length of the wrench.

Boosted
26-08-10, 10:14 PM
I had a reverse gear machined down so that there were two flat sides on it and put it in a vise for my holder

New crush sleeve dimensions Width .791" or 20.31mm

Old crush sleeve (crushed) Width .7415" or 18.84mm

Measured with a hand caliper

Boosted
26-08-10, 10:17 PM
I do not believe that Saab manufactured the pinion bearing housings to be within a tolerance level which allows one to use a solid spacer. If you do happen to tighten against the spacer, you may not have enough preload on the bearings, which will result in a reduced transmission lifespan. Measuring the preload would still be a good idea in this case as well.


This is why if you use a solid spacer you will have to experiment with it until you get it right. The bearings may vary slightly as will the pinion housing.

li Arc
29-08-10, 06:42 PM
I finally got the primary case off, since, as suggested, removing the layshaft allowed the layshaft gearset to drop down into the case, out of the way of the pinion shaft. I'll be posting some photos soon, but it's been miserable here (5C??? In August??) so I haven't been able to get more done on it.

Some other interesting news from the shop, but I'll post more on that once I've gotten more info.

I also decided not to skim the flywheel. The clutch has given me incredible grip so far up to now, and I don't think it's anywhere near being worn. At the same time, I'm afraid if I do skim it, the slave cylinder travel (which, as a hydraulic system, travels very little compared to the travel in the master cylinder) will have some slack in it before the beginning of disengagement, and eventually may not fully release by the time the master cylinder has floored out (if I keep skimming it like this; this would be the second skimming), if I'm making any sense here...

Also, still need to know if this is the correct configuration of the bolts/allan screws/guides (or if I'm missing something behind those two allan screws at the bottom; they're not holding anything in) before I seal up the timing end of the block?

As I didn't take a photo of the pulley end of the block before I took it down, I can't recall if the bolts and screws are placed in the correct areas. There are a couple allen screws that aren't holding anything on the plate, and I can't recall what they DO hold (lower left):

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/questionable_chain_guide_positions.jpg


li Arc

li Arc
01-09-10, 05:03 PM
So last week, my daily driver went, due to what I assume is an electrical problem. After spending about a week trying to diagnose it to no avail, I've decided to forge on ahead with the Saab rebuild and focus on getting it back alive by the end of the month...which scares me. But since I have no mode of transportation anymore (except for my sweet gf lending me her car for now...working outside the city is a huge PITA), I need to focus all my efforts now on completing the rebuild and getting the '85 back on the road. This means I cannot use my 86' box for any parts because it needs to remain a backup in the event this gearbox rebuild takes more than a month.

After managing to take the primary case off, I haven't got much else done, but that's all changing this weekend, when I'm taking the 83' case apart as well, doing the measurements, emptying the chillcast case, and hopefully taking the 83' pinion shaft apart to ready it for the new pinion bearings.

I looked at the 4-spd pinion housing from the differential chamber, and it doesn't really correspond to any pinion housing I've seen online before:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/4_spd_pinion_gear_0_75.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/4_spd_pinion_gear.jpg

I suppose it doesn't matter as I won't be using it anyhow, but I haven't really been able to make out the stamped numerals on the pinion gear neither; there seems to a '6' there, but nothing else really legible.

I find it strange there's a disconnect between the 4th gear and the pinion shaft, where it ends with a peened nut. It seems the only thing that will connect the 4th gear to the shaft is the synchro.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/4_spd_pinion_shaft_gear_cluster.jpg

I'll still need the measurement to help me find Saab's pinion depth 'zero', but once I get the measurements, unless I need any component from this shaft, it won't be used.

One will notice the reverse (idler?) gear is chipped here...if the 83' reverse (idler?) gear is good, then I'll use that one, but it doesn't really worry me too much.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/4_spd_reverse_idler_selectors.jpg

I'll be replacing all the easy-to-replace bearings on the shafts, but I'm curious how one goes about replacing the bearings on the differential? Maybe I just need to go look it up a bit, but it didn't seem immediately obvious to me. Or should I even worry about them? How do I go about assessing the condition of the bearings?

li Arc

mmoe
02-09-10, 01:15 AM
IIRC, there were some early 5 speed pinion housings that were smooth like that (die cast) and had a tendency to split at the flange. I'm not sure if that's the same design, but I think the chillcast will be the better option.

As for the disconnect at forth gear, the same is true of 5th gear on the 5 speeds. 5th is combined with the gear that turns the laygears and is disjointed from the 5th gear syncro/hub which are on the end of the pinion shaft. It's nearly an identical situation.

li Arc
10-09-10, 07:00 PM
So I've got my head back temporarily, after it's been emptied and cleaned up, and am planning to port it before sending it back to the shop for the rest of the head work. Since the 85' head is the worst flowing 16V head, I've been reading up some stuff about doing the porting, and for the most part it looks pretty straight forward. Use gasket, trace line, grind to match, plus narrow down the inner separating bridge a bit, make sure to rough up intake surface somehow.

I also saw some more controversial stuff, like grinding down the ridge near the valve guides (doesn't the valve guide kind of rest on this?), and some differing opinions on exhaust port matching (if it should be done at all on a turbo car).

Ideas? I'm guessing this will be a quick venture (just need to make sure the work is consistent between each port, and I will be conservative with the amount of material being taken off), then I can hopefully have my head all done by the shop the week after.

In the meantime, will be measuring the 4-speed's pinion gear depth and dismantling the 5-speed and hopefully the pinion shaft as well. Measurements for this too.

It looks difficult repeating the measurement accuracies if the dial indicator is removed/re-inserted during each measurement operation, as it looks too big to fit in with the rest of the jig through the driver holes. I'm also wondering if I'll need a dial indicator mount for the other measurements, esp. backlash (which I still don't understand too well how to perform).

li Arc

euromobile900
13-09-10, 12:17 PM
IIRC, there were some early 5 speed pinion housings that were smooth like that (die cast) and had a tendency to split at the flange. I'm not sure if that's the same design, but I think the chillcast will be the better option.
This could be one of the cast-iron pinion housings, one of which I met on an earlier 4-speed box I tried to disassemble. I did some research, and these are very brittle as well. +1 for chillcast pinion housing!

Bennie
13-09-10, 03:57 PM
Hi, not trying to hijack you tread but i have a question about my pinion housing!

Is this a chillcast or not, it looks like one but not the same number!?
The number is 872872

Here is a good info page on chillcast gearboxes: http://www.performance96.co.uk/Project_99/99Gearbox.html

li Arc
15-09-10, 01:26 PM
Hi, not trying to hijack you tread but i have a question about my pinion housing!

Is this a chillcast or not, it looks like one but not the same number!?
The number is 872872

Here is a good info page on chillcast gearboxes: http://www.performance96.co.uk/Project_99/99Gearbox.html

As far as I know, part number 8720732 is the only chillcast pinion bearing housing. There are sources that list it as a part for 79-88 transmissions, but most people note that they were only originally available on 85' and 86' transmissions. Someone else who may know more about the subject should chime in though.

There is a similar thread here, under "The Definitive Gearbox" (http://saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136416) that has very similar information. Anyone considering rebuilding or upgrading their gearbox should read the post.

li Arc

li Arc
15-09-10, 01:52 PM
I found I haven't been updating as much as I should be, since I have photos of items that's been in my camera for a while.

For the oil return fitting on the block, I made a contraption to spin the sleeve using a drill, so that I can sand it evenly all around. This took a while to do, since this sleeve was originally designed as some type of hitch bearing or something, and was zinc-plated steel. However, we eventually got it shaved down a bit, and fitted it properly onto the block. The sleeve was too long though and needed to be cut to length to properly give me the seal I needed, after which it was placed onto the fitting against a sealing washer on the outward-facing side, and the original turbo oil return o-ring on the inner side facing the block.

The problem came when the fitting was to be secured by tightening a nut on it from the inside of the block, which was slanted/curved and would angle the fitting when tightened. Also, I worried there may be excessive wear on the inner side of the block due to vibrations if the nut were secured against it like that, so I had to fashion another sleeve, this time matching the curve of the inside of the block, to properly tighten the nut against.

Not only was the inside slanted to the side a bit, it was also slanted to the back as well, so a simple straight slant to one side didn't work. A lot was shaved off the spacer after many trials and errors to get it to match the block shape properly, until we finally got it to this:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Oil_return_spacing_ring.jpg

...with an angle grinder! Yes, it was quite scary to do, but it fits very, very well now, and after this, all I'll need is a bit of perm threadlocker on the inner nut, and the oil return fitting is completely done.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Oil_return_spacing_ring_installed_inside_block.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Oil_return_spacing_ring_overview.jpg

Also, I began to work on the head, since I read the 85' head is the only 16V head where the intakes are smaller than the exhaust, and is the worst flowing 16V head available. I did consider going to a 2.1/2.3L head at one point, but I was told the pistons from the 85' Turbo are much lower compression than regular 16V turbo pistons because they are actually 8V pistons. I assumed this is a good thing then, but that means a 2.1/2.3L head will also lower my compression ratio further and my low end power/torque will really suffer.

So, here we are, tracing out the gasket lines on the shiney head's intake side:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Intake_ports_before_porting.jpg

...and on the exhaust side:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Exhaust_ports_before_porting.jpg

I'm not certain whether or not I'll do the exhaust side yet, but you'll notice they are also quite a bit smaller than the gasket. I also read the exhaust ports on the head are smaller than the ports on the exhaust manifold because they keep pulses from other cylinders from (easily) entering the other cylinders, whether or not that's true I don't know, but it kind of makes sense. I may just port it conservatively.

Some measurements before the porting:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Intake_measurement_width_before_porting.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Intake_measurement_height_before_porting.jpg

I also notice that with the valve seat rings facing the combustion chamber, there is no way to open the port up any further there without replacing the rings *and* the valves with larger ones or you'll destroy them. Which means, the purpose of porting is to increase the smoothness of the flow into the chamber, by removing or reducing the airflow restrictions. This may help flow more air into the chamber by moving the most restrictive link in the head from the port intakes/outlets to the valve seat rings. Hopefully, my reasoning is correct...but either way, I decided to port conservatively. It produced a smoother port inner surface, but I'll have the shop bead blast it to rough it up again to avoid air 'sticking' to the inner surfaces of the port (those of you familiar with this concept will liken it to how a golf ball breaks up the air flowing around it so that the fluid dynamics of the air won't keep the ball from spinning).

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Intake_port_after_porting.jpg

More measurements on the way.

li Arc

li Arc
15-09-10, 04:20 PM
I've also got a bit further in the transmissions, but I need some new tools for the job. I've got the measurements for the 4-speed pinion gear depth now at 0.217-0.218 inches, against Mike's dial indicator fixture. The range occurs when holding the fixture in place, and having my buddy turn the pinion shaft. But it's very repeatable, so I'm confident in the number.

I've also wondered, the whole point of measuring the pinion depth is to ensure that it is seated correctly against the differential, hence why the inner driver bearing mount seats are being used as the reference point. So if we're moving the pinion shaft from the one case to the other, it shouldn't matter that the case is different, the measurement still applies. So whatever I measure for pinion gear depth on the 5-speed, the same value should be used on the 4-speed chillcast case. Or am I out of my gourd?

Since I was stuck with the pinion shaft nut on the 4-speed that I still need the socket for, I decided to start on the 5-speed dismantling. One thing I noticed is that after taking apart the 4-speed, taking the 5-speed apart is much quicker, even if it's different. Knowing the types of tricks and how things are put together definitely helped!

Although the 5-speed box was absolutely filthy on the outside, internally it is very pristine, which is great to see. In fact, it was much cleaner than the 4-speed was, and the internals look quite healthy. A bearing replacement program is still in effect though.

I decided to do a bit of a guide, since not everyone has the transmission manual, plus the photos in the manual only cover some things, while leaving others out. And they require special tools. Also, it helps me remember how to reassemble the whole dang thing!

Step 1:

If you have the time (which I obviously didn't here, or just didn't care since it wasn't my final case), drain the gearbox oil and give it a good cleansing. A clean box does indeed make everything much easier.
Take off transmission covers, including front primary case cover, 5th gear cover on primary case, differential cover, and gearbox oil filler cover.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/1_Gear_oil_dipstick_cover_off.jpg

Make sure you retain the ball and spring behind this cover.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/2_5th_gear_cover_off.jpg

Step 2:

Remove 5th gear selector for plunger (or connecting rod, or whatever).

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/3_5th_gear_connecting_plunger_removed.jpg

Step 3:

Using selector rod, select reverse gear, and slide the free 5th gear selector fork forwards to engage 5th gear. You may need to hold it there to ensure both reverse and 5th gears are in mesh, and the input shaft cannot turn. Next, remove the nut on the lower chain sprockets in the primary casing; I used an impact wrench for this.

Take circlip pliers and undo the upper chain sprocket, and remove the chains and sprockets together. Place them aside.

Step 4:

Remove 5th cluster gear constant mesh sleeve snap ring.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_Removal_of_constant_mesh_sleeve_snap_ring.jpg

Step 5:

Slide constant mesh sleeve off cluster gear shaft.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/5_Sliding_the_constant_mesh_sleeve_off_the_laygear _stack.jpg

Step 6:

Pry 5th cluster gear out by placing pry bar underneath and forcing the shaft upwards, it should pop right out.

Step 7:

Undo the 3 bolts holding the input shaft bearing housing in place from the front of the primary case, and re-place the input shaft nut on the shaft in order to give you some leverage. Using a 24mm or larger wrench and a pry bar to ensure you don't mess up the gasket surface on the case, pry the input shaft along with the housing out together.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/6_Removing_the_5th_gear_stack_and_bearing_hub.jpg

Step 8:

Remove the snap ring on the pinion shaft and remove the 5th gear synchro.

Step 9:

Remove the nut on the pinion shaft end (I did this with an impact wrench as well; you may need to wedge something between the case and the reverse gear to stop it from spinning).

Step 10:

Undo the inner driver bearing housings, and remove them, making sure to keep all the shims together with the bearing housing you remove. It may take some effort removing the housings, since they fit very tight into their mounts; I tapped it lightly from side to side to wedge them outwards on the 4-speed. Don't drop the spring and plugers at the inner end of the shaft, and place them somewhere safe so the pieces all won't get mixed up.

Unfortunately, since my 5-speed didn't come with inner drivers, there are no photos of this.

Step 11:

Remove the differential. Just grab it and twist it out; it may take some doing, but the differential is harder than the case.

Step 12:

Remove the inner bracket holding the reverse and lay shafts in place, to the lower right of the pinion gear. Remove the lay shaft by hooking something to it (I used 90* bent circlip pliers), and having someone pull on it; on the 5-speed, the layshaft goes all the way out to the primary case, so one needs to tap the other end out with a large hammer and drift. Allow the cluster gears to drop to the bottom of the case (on the 4-speed, or it'll just kind of stay there on a 5-speed) by completely removing the lay shaft.

Remove the reverse gear shaft as well with the hooking with the pliers, and take the reverse idler gear out the side opening.

Step 13:

Using a 24mm socket and extension, I punched the cluster gears out of the forward cluster gear primary case bearing by tapping on it through the hole where the 5th cluster gear used to be.

Step 14:

Remove all the bolts keeping the primary case attached to the main gearbox case. You should be able to just yank it off now, but you'll want to tap out the locating studs first (or just whack the primary case, but make sure not to damage it).

Step 15:

Photos again! After removing the floating cluster gears, this is what you should see:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/7_Pinion_shaft_gear_stack_after_primary_case_remov ed.jpg

Step 16:

From here on, it's not explained in the transmission manual, so I took photos of every step so that I don't mix up anything. When taking the stack out, I try to stack them up in the exact same order and orientation I took them out in when I place them aside so that I won't get confused.

Remove mainshaft bearing sleeve.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/8_Removal_of_primary_case_bearing_sleeve.jpg

Step 17:

Remove 4th gear with synchros.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/9_Removal_of_4th_gear_synchro_stack.jpg

li Arc

li Arc
15-09-10, 04:21 PM
Step 18:

Noting the original position of the selector shaft and forks,

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/10_Original_positions_of_gear_selector_forks.jpg

...remove the 5th gear selector shaft.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/11_Removal_of_5th_gear_selector_shaft.jpg

Step 19:

Set aside the selector shaft positioning plunger from the gearbox oil filler section on the side,

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/12_Removal_of_selector_shaft_positioning_plunger.j pg

...and remove the 3-4 gear selector shaft and fork/syncrho hub. This might take some fiddling with the selector shaft and forks.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/13_Removal_of_3_4_gear_synchro_hub_and_shaft.jpg

Step 20:

Remove the 3-4 gear synchro dog gear.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/14_Removal_of_3_4_gear_synchro_hub_dog_gear.jpg

Step 21:

Remove reverse gear selector shaft locator bolt from the side, then remove the reverse gear selector shaft.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/15_Removal_of_reverse_selector_shaft.jpg

Step 22:

Remove 3rd gear stack with synchro ring (I think I messed up the staging of this photo and reversed the gear stack; maybe I'll go and get a better photo if I can).

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/16_Removal_of_3rd_gear_stack_staged_backwards.jpg

Step 23:

Remove 2nd gear stack.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/17_Removal_of_2nd_gear_stack.jpg

Step 24:

Remove 1-2 gear synchro hub and selector fork.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/18_Removal_of_1_2_gear_synchro_hub.jpg

li Arc

li Arc
15-09-10, 04:24 PM
Step 25:

Remove 1-2 gear synchro hub dog gear.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/19_Removal_of_1_2_gear_synchro_hub_dog_gear.jpg

Step 26:

Remove 1st/reverse gear stack.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/20_Removal_of_1st_Reverse_gear_stack.jpg

Step 27:

This is what you should see now.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/21_Pinion_shaft_before_pinion_depth_measurement.jp g

You'll need to remove the pinion housing bolts from the other side, and smack the shaft out from the primary case side.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/22_Pinion_gear_markings.jpg

I may document taking the shaft apart, but I'll most likely take it to a shop and have them press the old stuff off and the new stuff on to save me time.

At this point in time, you can remove the selector shaft if you'd like; I left mine in for now.

That's it for now, I'll continue documenting it as needed, but the case is pretty much empty right now. More work tonight!

In the meantime, the bearing hunt is on! With help from crwchf01, I will try to replace all the bearings in the case. If I'm having a shop press out the pinion shaft bearings, I may as well get them to press everything else out too, such as the input shaft bearings for the 5th gear, and the differential carrier bearings. I'll try to post a list of the parts I'm sourcing once I get in touch with crwchf01 again.

li Arc

li Arc
16-09-10, 10:52 AM
Yesterday, more transmission work. This time, working on the rest of the 4-speed chillcast case. Since it's already been opened and I had some earlier shots of it, I'll just describe it:

Step 1:

Drain the oil first and give the case a good rinse. If you're going to soak the parts in gasoline or something anyhow, don't worry about getting water into the case. A clean case makes everyone's life that much easier.

Step 2:

Remove differential, gearbox oil filler, and front primary case covers. Be sure to retain the ball and spring from the gearbox oil filler side.

Step 3:

Undo the inner driver bearing housings, and remove them, making sure to keep all the shims together with the bearing housing you remove. It may take some effort removing the housings, since they fit very tight into their mounts; I tapped it lightly from side to side to wedge them outwards on the 4-speed. Don't drop the spring and plugers at the inner end of the shaft, and place them somewhere safe so the pieces all won't get mixed up.

Step 4:

Remove the differential. Just grab it and twist it out; it may take some doing, but the differential is harder than the case, so don't worry about bashing it up a little. That said, you don't want to destroy your case neither.

Step 5:

Remove the inner bracket holding the reverse and lay shafts in place, to the lower right of the pinion gear. Remove the lay shaft by hooking something to it (I used 90* bent circlip pliers), and having someone pull on the other side of the case; it should come out quite easily. Allow the cluster gears to drop to the bottom of the case by completely removing the lay shaft.

Remove the reverse gear shaft as well with the hooking with the pliers, and take the reverse idler gear out the side opening.

Step 6:

Remove the chain tensioner in the primary case. Remove the cover on the lower chain sprocket in the primary case. Take circlip pliers and undo the upper and lower chain sprockets in the primary case, and remove the chains and sprockets together. Place them aside.

Step 7:

Remove all the bolts keeping the primary case attached to the main gearbox case. You should be able to just yank it off now. It might take some hammer smacking on the primary case to loosen it from the locating studs, just make sure you don't damage the case. You'll notice 4th gear comes attached to the primary case. Since I won't be dismantling this primary case, I won't be documenting this neither.

Step 8:

Remove the cluster gears.

Step 9:

Set aside the selector shaft positioning plunger from the gearbox oil filler section on the side, and remove the bolt pinning down the reverse selector shaft. Remove the shaft and selector as a unit.

Step 10:

Remove 3-4 gear synchro hub and selector fork with shaft. Remove the gear selector shaft as well.

Step 11:

Now, you should be faced with a relatively empty case and a 36mm nut. Make sure you have a socket for this, as I didn't and dragged on the rebuild.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_speed_Step_1_3_4_gear_synchro_removed.jpg

Step 12:

You'll probably want to try unpeening the nut if possible, or drill it out. Since I found neither to work, though, I decided just to take my impact wrench to it. To keep the shaft from spinning, I wedged a pry bar between the case and the reverse gear near the differential end, but make sure you don't damage anything in there. With a quick activation of the impact wrench, the nut was off.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_speed_Step_2_Pinion_shaft_nut_removed.jpg

Step 13:

Remove the 3rd gear stack. I've got the synchro hub gear at the front here as well.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_speed_Step_3_Remove_3rd_gear_stack.jpg

Step 14:

Some of you may not encounter this step, as the 3rd gear bearing sleeve should have come out with the 3rd gear stack as well. Since it was being a bit stubborn though, I had to use a gear puller on it, which did the job quite nicely.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_speed_Step_4_Removing_3rd_gear_stack_sleeve.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_speed_Step_5_Removed_3rd_gear_stack_sleeve.jpg

Step 15:

Remove the 2nd gear stack. The spacer at the front appears to be some type of thrust washer between 2nd and 3rd gears, since they directly press against each other. I've also got the 1-2 gear synchro hub dog gear behind the 2nd gear here, but you can't see it.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_speed_Step_7_Removing_2nd_gear_stack_and_dog.jpg

Step 16:

Remove the 1-2 gear synchro hub and selector fork.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_speed_Step_6_Removing_1_2_gear_synchro_hub_and_f ork.jpg

Step 17:

Remove 1st gear stack. Sometimes this will come right out with the reverse gear (like in the 5-speed disassembly), but in this case they came out separately.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_speed_Step_8_Removing_1st_gear_stack.jpg

Step 18:

Remove reverse gear. You'll notice it also serves as a bearing for the first gear stack as well.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/4_Speed_Step_9_Removing_reverse_gear.jpg

So this is all I've got for now; the pinion bearing view will be the same as in the 5-speed.

In the meantime, I'm going bearing hunting. I need to know what bearings are most prone to failure, and which ones can wait. Right now, I've already bought Timken M88048/M88010 bearings for the pinion housing, plus a "Genuine Saab from eEuroParts" upper chain sprocket bearing (which was very overpriced, I think; I didn't realize it was a standard part). I will most likely also replace the mainshaft bearing, and any shaft needle bearings along the way.

But, the question is, do I need to replace the 2 bearings on the input shaft housing (5-speed), the bearings in the inner driver bearing housings, and the differential carrier bearings? Which ones are most prone to failure, and how can I check?

The places I've counted bearings (5-speed):

2 x inner driver bearings
2 x diff carrier bearings
2 x pinion housing bearings
2 x input shaft bearings
1 x upper primary case bearing
1 x mainshaft bearing
1 x layshaft/cluster gear front bearing
1 x layshaft aft needle bearing

li Arc

li Arc
20-09-10, 06:25 PM
The head has gone back to the shop now. I decided not to port the exhaust side, as after reviewing the data on 900aero.com, it looks like throughout the revisions (even the 2.1/2.3L head), the exhaust port sizes do not change. Unfortunately, the ports on the 2.1/2.3L head are *much* larger, and I didn't realize the intake manifold ports were as well. Hence, in order for me to get more air into the chamber, I would need the manifold from a 2.1 before I can port it to the same degree. As it were, I ported rather conservatively, matching the intake manifold gasket for an 86' head. The porting will be bead blasted by the shop to roughen the surface and make sure the air and fuel doesn't stick to the walls of the port.

I took some measurements of the ports after the porting (and the stock exhaust port dimensions).

Exhaust side:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Exhaust_port_height.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Exhaust_port_width.jpg

Intake side:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Ported_intake_port_height.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Ported_intake_port_width.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Closeup_of_ported_intake.jpg

I attempted to make sure the air flowing in didn't get caught anywhere. Previously, the central separator was rounder, creating more surface perpendicular to the airflow.

Also, assuming the valve seats and valves are the same across all years, the only thing that affected flow between years was the size and shape of the inlet, not the outlet (valve seat rings) for the intake. It seems like a very bad idea to shave the valve seats, so I assume any porting done will maintain the same outlet size for the intake ports, making the intake inlet the weakest link. Originally, I thought there wouldn't be any point to porting if the intake outlets didn't change, but we'll see how it goes I guess.

On the transmission front, a co-worker has informed me that we have a press at work, and that we could use it to press out the old bearings and press the new ones in. This will make my life a lot easier, and I'll also be able to replace all the bearings in the case, so we'll try to make that happen this week once I get my bearings in from the shop (they're currently arriving from the shop's suppliers).

li Arc

li Arc
30-09-10, 01:47 PM
Transmission stuff is going slow, as the bearings are very stubborn. I'm also waiting on a supplier to get my bearings in. So far, we've removed the driver bearings, the 5th-gear input shaft bearings, and one of the diff carrier bearings. Still to go is the second diff carrier bearing (we broke the bearing puller trying to get it off), and the pinion bearings.

I'm also still waiting for the parts mmoe sent to show up before I can work on the pinion bearings at all, since I need the chillcast housing. Depending on time, I may just end up sending the hard stuff to the shop (ie. 5th-gear input shaft bearings and pinion bearings). But most importantly, once the items come in, I can start re-assembly.

I also just found out about bearings in the 5th gear assembly that no one mentioned, which are basically 14 loose cylindrical bearings placed between the sleeve that sits on the layshaft and the 5th gear. I pulled that apart by mistake and the bearings went flying everywhere; so far I've only recovered 9!! Looks like one more for the bearing shop...

Here's a question for you guys: has anyone found a decent u-joint for the shift linkage shaft? I've got the later version for the C900's that mmoe sent me, but I'm still thinking a u-joint will still be better. After looking around, I think it's possible to just get one off the shelf that will work fine and doesn't require welding, just securing with a clamp (like on the shifter end of the C900), which could work on either both sides or the transmission side you could drill a hole for the pin. However, the dimensions are 16mm OD of both shift shafts (so 16mm ID for the u-joint), and 129mm length. The latter is the problem, as most u-joint manufacturers who supply any type of 16mm ID u-joint typically have lengths around 45-60mm, with the rare exception having a 90-100mm length. When I look at photos of Jorgen Eriksson's u-joints, though, they appear to be slightly modified off-the-shelf components though (ie. nothing welded onto it to make it longer or anything). I forgot to measure how deep the C900 shift linkage sits on the shifter end of the shaft, but I guess it's more important to find out what size the gap is between the end of the transmission selector rod and the shifter shaft when they're both aligned properly (ie. 3rd gear selected on both). Anyone have a clue?

li Arc

saabmatt
11-10-10, 07:13 PM
And here's one for Squaab:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Squaab_s_weight_jack.jpg
These are 550lb/in Afco racing springs, which are a bit too stiff. li Arc

I have the same setup do you know what the rear spring rates are?

Squaab99t
11-10-10, 08:09 PM
I have the same setup do you know what the rear spring rates are?


Matt, according to my records I sent you 500 lbs/inch and 650 lbs/inch, front rear respectively.

li Arc
11-10-10, 10:26 PM
I believe my setup is 550 fronts, and 650 rears...the rears are whatever Brad sent with his setup when I ordered the full set. I think I should have kept with 500lb/in springs instead since the front feels extremely stiff right now and a rally buddy who tried it out tells me there isn't enough weight transfer to the front of the car during braking (which I later noticed as well).

li Arc

Squaab99t
11-10-10, 10:49 PM
I believe my setup is 550 fronts, and 650 rears...the rears are whatever Brad sent with his setup when I ordered the full set. I think I should have kept with 500lb/in springs instead since the front feels extremely stiff right now and a rally buddy who tried it out tells me there isn't enough weight transfer to the front of the car during braking (which I later noticed as well).

li Arc

Need bigger brakes and stickier tires up front. :D
The Afco rate selection in that size has got slimmer. 5 1/2" dia and 8 1/2" length is not very popular industry wide. Do you still have you 500 lbs that are 9 1/2" length? I wonder if you cut the unground 1/2 coil you would get the ride height and the spring rate you desire?
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/album1307/IMG_1737_Large.jpg
This is with my 550 I was getting some arch lip rub. But as you can see she was looking pretty flat on the exit of the hairpin. 4 doors rule...

saabmatt
12-10-10, 12:41 AM
Matt, according to my records I sent you 500 lbs/inch and 650 lbs/inch, front rear respectively.

I'm sure the fronts are marked 550 but rear's didn't have a mark only the name???

Thing is I'm doing more track days now and have just gone to 8X18" so I can fit some bigger brakes and was thinking of going stiffer springs as well.

http://www.terrimoore.co.uk/matt/mallory1.jpg

http://www.terrimoore.co.uk/matt/mallory2.jpg

http://www.terrimoore.co.uk/matt/mallory3.jpg

Squaab99t
12-10-10, 09:17 PM
I'm sure the fronts are marked 550 but rear's didn't have a mark only the name???

Thing is I'm doing more track days now and have just gone to 8X18" so I can fit some bigger brakes and was thinking of going stiffer springs as well.






The rates are engraved on the ends of the ground faces, so it can't be see unless you pull it off the perch.
Fronts they still have 600 and 700
Rears good selection in 50 lbs increments. 5 X 9 1/2

li Arc
14-10-10, 10:59 AM
So I've been steadily chipping away at transmission work the past few weeks, but the going is slow. Pulling bearings is a way bigger job than I imagined, but finally with some help from my dad's buddy, we finally got them all off. I've been battling against time as the temperatures start to dip, but fall's been holding steady at summer temps again lately, so I'm grateful for that. That won't last though, since we're deep into October now.

I also received some parts from mmoe, mainly the primary case from a self-centering box, the self-centering shaft, and a chillcast pinion bearing housing. The housing's a bit messy, so I'll attempt to clean it up. So, it's going to be an almost complete bearing overhaul, and since none of the other components really look banged up, I consider it a full rebuild (with the huge upgrade of the chillcast casing and chillcast pinion bearing housing)! The following are bearings being replaced:

Pinion bearings (2) (Timken M88048/M88010)
Differential carrier bearings (2) (SKF BR35)
Inner driver bearings (2) (SKF 6006/C3)
Main shaft bearing (1) (SKF 6208-Z/C3)
Countershaft/layshaft fore bearing (1) (INA SCH2212)
5th gear/input shaft bearings (2) (Timken M84548/M84510)

...making a total of 10 bearings being done. Bearing numbers are a compilation made from multiple sources, but many thanks to crwchf01 for most of the information. The ones not being replaced are:

Countershaft/layshaft aft bearing: unable to source
Upper chain sprocket bearing: unable to remove
5th gear layshaft rollers: unable to source

Luckily, these are all low failure points, so it's not worrying me at all. I know you can get the layshaft aft bearing from eeuro, but importing it alone up here isn't worth it, and the original one looks in pretty good condition. The bearing houses here have been able to source me all the other bearings, but that one bearing just isn't going to happen. Also, none of them carry rollers, so the 5th gear bearing is out. As far as the upper chain sprocket bearing goes, it looks to be too much of a pain for me (or even a shop) to do, without the special tool. Maybe I'll worry about it at one point (I did already buy the bearing for it), but it's in a not-too-difficult-to-access spot, and I haven't heard of too many failures here.

I began fitting some of the new bearings on, and used the age old method of heating bearings and housings, and freezing races and shafts. Since all I had access to was a fully mechanical arbour press, I had to use all the advantage I could get. This actually worked for a number of bearings, including the inner driver bearings, the diff carrier races going into them, the diff carrier bearings, the mainshaft and layshaft bearings, and the inner input shaft bearing. However, the pinion shaft was too long to fit in the press, and the input shaft bearings required 3 tonnes of force maintained on them and a method to check for axial play. These I had to bring to a shop and have them do, so they are awaiting service now.

While doing so, I got a call from the shop saying they're uncomfortable with machining the flywheel that far in. I'll go take a look at what they're talking about, but I may share their sentiment and just leave it be anyhow. They mentioned something about a hole that a pin goes through (not the 3 pressure plate mounting pegs since I took those out already) that will have too shallow a depth after the machining is done, which they say will cause the pin to fall out. I'm not sure what they're talking about, but I'll find out.

li Arc

li Arc
14-10-10, 08:34 PM
News from the shop: the groove is 28 thou deep, and there's a pin on the edge of the flywheel (around 10* ATDC) that is 29 thou from the surface. This means if the entire surface is machined, there's a possibility that the pin will fall out. Also, another major problem is the flywheel has already once been machined, and the shop mentions most of the time the maximum limit they're normally willing to machine down to is 30 thou. I think this is probably too big a margin for the slave cylinder to compensate for when actuating the pressure plate, so I decided not to machine it. I may look for another flywheel, but since it's really not giving me any problems right now, maybe I'll just leave it. More likely, I'll be looking for an aluminum flywheel in the future, the only thing being I'm not really willing to spend $500 on one...

The bearings are in now; I think the shop mentioned the axial play in the 5th gear input shaft with new bearings while 3 tonnes of force is maintained in the bearing is only a couple tenths of a thou, which I think should be fine. I also eventually (after 1.5 hours) got the nut on the pinion shaft and fully tightened, with a rolling torque of something like 14lbs (I had it maxed out at 12lbs because the reverse gear I used to hold the pinion shaft in the vice kept slipping out, until later I found out the weight scale wasn't calibrated, and was probably adding 1.5-2lbs); it's way more stiff than I imagined!

Anyways, the only thing left now is the mainshaft bearing retainer, which is incompatible with the new primary case I got from mmoe with the shift shaft centering dowel; it seems the dowel is in exactly the same position as the retainer shift shaft front stop boss (as explained by Jim Mesthene). I'll try fitting the pieces together loosely and see if it's at all functional with the self centering shift shaft, which is longer than the non-centering 5-speed shaft.

li Arc

li Arc
17-10-10, 02:43 AM
So get yourselves ready for major updates, as I haven't posted pics in a while!

Here are some shots of the head after I had the intake ports ported but before it went to the head rebuilders for the last stretch. It's got none of the parts in it, but it's quite clean and has mostly been bead blasted already. Luckily, no one was at the office this early in the morning (7AM)!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Head_on_desk.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Head_bottom.jpg

You'll notice it doesn't have the normal domed chamber recesses like later heads, since this is the first year of production for the 16 valve heads. The incredible shine on the intake ports are peeking through; this is actually undesirable, since a rough surface on the intake ports will work like a golf ball: the air won't stick to the surface and will actually flow more smoothly into the chamber. It will also prevent fuel from sticking as well, so we'll need to get this surface roughened up by the head reworkers.

Intake port on cylinder 1:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Ported_intake_cylinder_1.jpg

Intake port on cylinder 2:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Ported_intake_cylinder_2.jpg

Intake port on cylinder 3:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Ported_intake_cylinder_3.jpg

Intake port on cylinder 4:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Ported_intake_cylinder_4.jpg

When I dropped off the head at the reworkers again, I asked them to bead blast the intake ports as well. They told me an effective way of roughening up the surface was to take a drill with a tap on it to trench the surface some, but that seemed a little too aggressive to me. After I got the head back, I decided to check the total thickness of the head to make sure they didn't skim too much away. I forget the actual number now, but it was well within spec, plus the guy also mentioned he tried to skim as little as possible, which is why there are still some pits in it, but in areas that aren't so important.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Revitalized_head_deck.jpg

You'll also notice the intake valves have been ground and reseated, and the exhaust valves are brand new TRW from eeuro. I also got Volvo springs to put in, which fit exactly and are higher rated. Some people have been able to easily push redline up to 7k this way. Plus they are wayyy cheaper than Saab OEM springs! New valve guides were supplied by the shop, so I don't know what brand they are. Damned place charged me $75 for a single helicoil fixup on one of the valve cover threads though!

As one can see, the intake ports have been blasted:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Bead_blasted_intake_ports.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Bead_blasted_intake_port_closeup.jpg

I'm fairly happy with the results, though it did cost me $735 for the work, plus $275 for the valves, and ~$80 for everything else (springs, seals, etc.) So, in all, over $1k...I think I'd better as shyte be happy for that kind of money!

li Arc

li Arc
17-10-10, 03:26 AM
So, after the inspection, it was time to put the head back on the block! After getting the head bolts on through stage 1 tightening, I got the hydraulic lifters on and lubed them up along with the cam bearing caps. I use Redline Assembly Lube.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Lubed_lifters_in_head.jpg

I got in the 85' exhaust cam, and the 90' NA intake cam, and put the sprockets on. Before doing anything with the timing chain, I need to make sure the block is set to TDC, as well as the cams. Once this has been verified, I hook up the chain, taught on the lower side and the slack placed on the side the tensioner goes, and placed in the tensioner. As you can see, the chain is now fully taught, and the cams are in the right positions.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Cams_and_chain_on_head.jpg

The dizzy went on as well, and I decided to spend the extra $10 on new spark plugs, because if things didn't all go smoothly because I scrooged on $10, I'd kick myself. As you'll also notice, the 36-1 tooth EDIS crankshaft position timing wheel is also on, although not yet calibrated since that all depends on where the sensor is going. Hopefully I'll have my mechanical engineer buddy in tomorrow to take a look and try to make up a bracket for me. I'm hoping for something in aluminum or delrin, but my own design requires a nut welded onto adjustable pieces. To ensure the a reliable design, I don't want to use an aluminum nut, so the whole thing may end up having to be steel anyways. I've got a diagram of what I'm planning, but it's at work right now, so I'll have to fetch it another day.

I'm also contemplating fitting the AC pulley behind the timing wheel, and it seems like it should fit, but most problematic is whether or not it will fit in the engine bay that way. Even if it does, I'll also need another piece as thick as the timing wheel to use as a shim on the AC pulley (assuming the AC pulley is held in by bolts like this as well) or the belt won't correctly be positioned. If I can keep the AC, I will...but I won't make too much a fuss if I can't.

I also used Loctite 518 to dress the block endplate gaksets, and decided to check whether or not there was too much applied. I'm worried a bit that it'll break off the edges and gum up the oiling passages. But I won't be able to tell until it's been fully cured with heat, I think, and it looks like they're not in easily break-offable pieces:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Sealant_bead_in_timing_case.jpg

At any rate, I'm not too worried about it. I tried to take the flywheel endplate off, but when I removed some of the bolts, the sealant that was caught in them was all hardened and dusty when it broke off the bolt. So I think it'll harden and I won't have to worry about it later.

Some other stuff:

I did a bunch of painting on the front spoilers while the weather was still warm; this was a few weeks ago, hopefully it turned out...well...okay enough, anyways. I won't have time to do the two front side panels behind the bumper, but maybe I'll do those next spring.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Random_paint_bits.jpg

Also, I got the exhaust pipe repaired, when the welder put a new piece in. Also, because of all the accelerated failures I got from having to constantly replace the inner CV boot on the passenger side due to the heat coming from the exhaust (because there's more heat since it's a larger pipe, plus it's located closer to maintain the same amount of ground clearance), I decided to do a heat wrap on it, and see if that fixes my problem. It's all shiney in its new wrap, unlike some of the fire-resistant cloth heat-wrap some others use.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Repaired_downpipe.jpg

li Arc

crwchf01
17-10-10, 10:11 AM
Lookin' Good!! BTW, 75 for a helicoil install by a machine shop isn't really all that bad. You got charged about 10 for parts and the rest labor. What paint did you use for the block? Will you use the same on the trans? Last time I looked at NAPA parts the valve guides were about $2 each, 8 on fleabay and more from a couple of other places.

li Arc
17-10-10, 11:47 AM
Hmmm...that's what I heard from someone else as well, that it's a lot of labour to do a helicoil install and that $75 is alright. I remember going to a fastener distributor in town before and they had a set of 10 helicoils plus the installing tap for around $35, but I wouldn't have thought it was all that difficult. Perhaps I'll youtube it. The nice thing is it'll definitely be stronger than the original. At any rate, if that's the case, I think the shop did a decent job (not super-stellar, but quite a bit better than what I feared) and charged me similar to what other places quoted as well.

The paint I used on the block is a Duplicolor Engine Enamel paint. It was interesting that my original block was actually grey, and after washing it and all I just put on the red, didn't use any primer. Looks like it's all air cured by now, but the rest of the curing process I imagine happens with the heat of the engine, so it should be fine.

Because the transmission sees so much dirt and grime here, and there was just absolutely no way to get it 100% clean, I decided to just leave it the way it is. In the winter time, the streets get blasted with gravel, sand, salt, and just plain dirt, and the bottom of the trans sees it all. I've also considered getting it powdercoated, but it seems more like a luxury than a need.

For things like seals, I try to go with Elring as much as possible. Even Scantech seals I'd rather avoid if possible, and I've had some bad experiences with Napa parts before. Since I needed a new headgasket with intake and exhaust manifold gaskets as well, I decided to just order the set with the valve stem seals and everything from eeuroparts, which alone costs like $75. Springs were $40 (good deal).

li Arc

li Arc
17-10-10, 12:34 PM
So, transmission update, here we go!

After receiving the parts from mmoe, I finally got around to fitting them together. The primary case is from a transmission with the self centering selector shaft mechanism, which contains a steel dowel to allow for the centering punched into the primary case, which is what makes it different from the original non-centering type. It came in nice, shiney, and very very clean!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Centering_primary_housing.jpg

Look at those gasket surfaces! Anyways, from another thread, I mentioned I had problems with the bearing retainer fitting onto the new primary case. As you can see from the photo above, the retainer has a oil cup and a boss that sticks out of it, located at exactly where the dowel should be. This means I either need to modify it to fit, or to get an original retainer that goes with this type of primary case. Since I didn't know of this incompatibility, I didn't forsee asking mmoe to send up this extra piece, so modification it is! Remember, time is tight, even if the fantastic weather here is still holding out so far!

Before modification, I need to know if that boss and oil cup performs any useful function at all. I don't want to modify it and find out in the end that I broke the whole thing! Luckily, the 4-speed primary case uses the exact same retainer, and I didn't take this thing apart at all, so I used it as a guide when I hooked it up to the old non-chillcast 5-speed housing. I didn't bother cleaning these parts since they're not going to be used, so they weren't pleasant to work with.

After fitting them together, with the selector shaft that goes with this type of retainer, this is what I got:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Bearing_retainer_boss_function.jpg

You'll see in the upper left, the boss seems to be used as a stop for the spring on the selector shaft. I'm not sure what that spring is designed for, I think it's on the 1st/2nd gear end? Anyways, if all the boss is used for is to influence something on the selector shaft, then that's fine and I can modify it since the selector shaft is being replaced with the self-centering one anyways, which was made to be used with the steel dowel.

So, having made this discovery, you can also see that the oil bin doesn't do anything neither, since there's no hole in the primary case for it; I imagine it's a legacy thing for the old 4-speed primaries. This next photo also shows some brand-spankin' new bearings installed:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Self_centering_primary_case_with_new_bearings.jpg

To make my life easier, I tried to install all the bearings with their lettering facing up so that, if ever need be, I can tell what they are the next time I go replace them (if I've forgotten or don't have my bearing sheet on me)!

Next, the selector shaft seal, which many have told me it was a huge PITA. It certainly was, but more in getting it back in than getting the old one out! I left the shaft in, used a screwdriver placed against the lip on the seal, and hammered it out against the shaft, easy. On the new one, however, the seal is interference fit, but it's not like bearings, the metal used on the seal is easily deformed and won't hold its shape. Which is what the whole problem was. The first time I tried getting it in, the edge of the seal caught on the lip of the selector seal hole on the transmission, and kept the seal from fully seating into the hole because part of it is still outside of the hole. This thus began the whole process of deforming and reforming the stupid seal. And you all know what a bi8tch it is to reform a circular part back! Eventually, I decided to be smart about it instead.

I took the seal and filed a taper all around to help get it in a bit easier (even though it now created a bit of a 'blade' that can catch onto the hole a bit easier). Then I went and tapered the outer edge of the hole a little bit, so that hopefully it *won't* catch:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Ground_down_shifter_seal_hole.jpg

...with the same tool as I used to grind down the intake ports, a rotary file!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Rotary_file_tool.jpg

I rinsed the hole out with some brake cleaner fluid, and then decided to use a 1/2" drive extension to keep the seal centered while I drove it in. You could use the selector shaft instead, but the 1/2" drive actually lets you centre the seal and drive it at the same time:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Centering_seal_into_shaft_hole.jpg

The only problem was there was a bit of a taper to the extension, which tried to open up the end of the seal a bit more, but otherwise it went quite smoothly. I don't think I'll really have a problem with this in the future now!

Next up is bearing preloads. These are a pain unless you've got access to some good shop tools and equipment. First is the 5th gear input shaft I mentioned earlier, which I got the shop to do and to check for me. This is mainly because I didn't have access to a calibrated press to ensure I'm placing 3 tonnes of force on the bearings. Luckily, the shop did the measurements for me as directed and found I didn't need any shims at all for the internal spacer to correct for axial play. This is also good because mine never came with any shims. Axial play is within a couple tenths of 0.001".

Bearing preload on the pinion shaft was not easy to set, mainly because there seemed to be no vise on earth that could hold the reverse gear still as I tightened the pinion nut! I tried the vise at my buddy's place, but that was no match. I tried the vise at work, which is much heavier duty, and that still couldn't handle the torque. The original preload on the bearings created a rotational torque on the shaft was like in the low in-lbs realm, so there was a lot of tightening to go.

In finally decided on using a hammer on my wrench, and that finally started producing results. I still had to reposition the reverse gear (which was clamped into the vise as tight as my heel could move the vise lever) every 3-4 whacks, but eventually I got it to what I thought was 12 lbs of force required to pull the string wrapped around the housing. I couldn't get it any tighter, so I staked the nut and went happily on my way. Until I found out the scale wasn't zeroed.

So I decided after going home to try to determine what the exact measurement was. The acceptable range to turn the housing on the shaft was 10-15lbs. I made a ghetto setup in my garage to do the measurements (since I didn't have a vise), and did the measurement.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Pinion_shaft_rolling_torque_test.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Pinion_shaft_rolling_torque.jpg

Wow, it's a good thing I didn't tighten it any further! I don't know how accurate the scale is, but I assume it's within half a pound, and it looks like it's pointing to something lower than 15, so I'm on the limit!

And with that, bearing preloads were all set, and we start setting up the transmission internals.

li Arc

Squaab99t
17-10-10, 01:10 PM
Looks like you are taking your time to think out the whole project. Well done.
As for your trigger wheel and sensor, depending on your engine management you should be able to dial in the crank ref angle relative to TDC. It is all a very moot point unless you share ignition maps. Just make sure your sensor bracket has enough mass and rigidity so it does not isolate throughout the engine's rpm range. I have a friend who made his bracket from a carbon fiber angle. Very sexy and light, but bounced like a diving board at certain rpms. This created a signal loss for the ECU.:nono;
It also needs to be attached to relative to the block. This is to take care of future removal and replacement, so you will not have to re-index the crank ref angle.

Powder coating the gearbox case would look nice, but I'd leave it bare. I believe the coating would add insulation to some value over bare and I want the case to reject as much heat as possible.

Loctite 518 rocks. It cures by the absence of oxygen, so don't worry about extra squeeze out gumming up the internals.

What product is the down pipe wrap? Looks to be self adhesive. Can it handle the temperature?

I paid 75 usd to remove (EDM) a broken ext stud and install a helicoil. Worst part was that I had to remove the head from the newly rebuilt motor. sux.

li Arc
17-10-10, 01:24 PM
Next is transmission measurements, which is part of the reassembly process (which I am also planning on documenting). This will be different from most people doing rebuilds because this will be considered a fully re-calibrated unit, since I'm not using the same case. I can't just keep shims from the old case from where they were and re-use them the way that a regular rebuild can, so most people will probably not need to do this, unless you've messed up somehow and need to re-calibrate. This basically took me the rest of the day.

First up, shimming of the inner drivers. This needs to be done without the pinion shaft installed, and is used to set the bearing preload on the differential carrier bearings. Prior to this, I've replaced both inner driver bearings, both differential carrier races on the inner driver housings, the oil seals (after lubing up the seal lip), and the differential carrier bearings on the diff itself. The inner driver housing oil seals have also been replaced, and lubed up (again, with the Redline Assembly Lube). I don't think I remembered ever seeing a transmission so clean before!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Differential_fitted.jpg

First, clean the bolts! I used a thread chaser/die and brake cleaner to make sure all the grit and the old sealant was gone from the threads, because the torques required are so miniscule that grit can prematurely set off your torque wrench. Now tighten the left side (with speedo gear) inner driver housing onto the case at 14-18ft lbs torque. Next, remove the spring and plunger assembly from the right side inner driver, and fit it into the case. Using a cross bolt tightening pattern to ensure the driver goes in straight, tighten the bolts until you hit 19 IN-LBS, not ft-lbs, or torque. This then sets the proper gap that you'll need to measure to determine the stack of shims you use.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/19in_lbs_inner_driver_shim_gap.jpg

Measure on two opposing sides with a feeler gauge and average the result to get your shim stack. Shims come in 0.5mm, 0.3mm, 0.15mm, and 0.1mm thicknesses, which I determined by feel from my existing stack. My stacks consisted of about 1.73x mm on one side, and 1.62x mm on the other. The result was around 1.675mm. I used 2 x 0.5mm shims, a 0.3mm shim, a 0.15mm shim, and 2 x 0.1mm shims to achieve 1.65mm and called it a day.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Right_inner_driver_shimmed_up.jpg

Now I needed to fit the pinion shaft, so I had to remove all the diff pieces and set them aside. I still haven't measured differential backlash, which I need the pinion shaft in to do, so I'll document that later. This simply involved moving shims from the right to the left, now that I have the cumulative stack size determined.

Now, the whole purpose of the pinion shaft depth location (as well as differential carrier backlash) is to ensure the pinion gear and the ring gear on the diff engage at the correct point to ensure a minimal amount of backlash and noise at the optimal amount of wear. This means the entire purpose of this measurement is to properly locate the pinion gear against the ring gear. Since the ring gear's depth (fore-aft in relation to the case) is fixed due to the inner driver housing mounts, Saab does the depth measurement against the mount locations. For a pinion gear with offset zero stamped onto it, this means the pinion gear face is exactly 60.00mm from the centre of the mounting holes. But for any existing old transmission (which is what we all have), the significance of this is that the location of the differential (which is fixed in relation to the case) relative to the location of the pinion gear MUST be preserved! This will ensure that the gears will mate exactly as they have previously, and thus they shouldn't really even notice they've been swapped into a new case!

What does this all mean? It means what I'm looking for in the new measurement is exactly the measurement I took in the original case. The reason why this is so much trouble and why we can't just follow Saab's advice in their factory manual is because we don't have Saab's precision tool used to measure the pinion gear depth. In fact, Saab even needs to keep their tool calibrated as well, or it won't give you the correct reading. We can't ensure our homemade tools give us the 60.00mm required for a zero-offset depth pinion gear (if there is such a beast). You might be able to interpolate it once you've got measurements from several cases, but that's really not very useful for someone who just does this once or twice.

So anyways, back to the topic. Unfortunately, my dial indicator is in inches and doesn't give me metric readings, but fortunately, I don't really care because all I need to do is to match my original readings. So my original depth, in relation to the jig, is 0.205" on the RHS of the pinion gear (when looking at it), and 0.207" on the LHS. I simply took the entire stack of shims that came from the pinion shaft originally, and shoved them back in and tightened the pinion mount bolts to the correct torque (15-18ft lbs, currently without any thread locker), and measured.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Pinion_depth_measurement_jig.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Reading_the_measurement_jig.jpg

Don't ask me why that measurement looks the way it is, but when I properly held the jig down and moved it around a bit to find the minimum depth (basically then the true depth measured 90 degrees against the indicator), I got 0.2145" on the RHS. I also checked the axial play on it, and there was nothing, so that's good. So, it meant I had 0.0095" worth of extra shims on, which is good because it's easier to take off existing pieces than to source additional pieces (although in this case I'm lucky I've got a spare transmission to take parts from). After some calculations, I found I needed to remove 0.25mm worth of shims to make it work. As with the inner driver shims, Saab shims come in 0.5mm, 0.3mm, 0.15mm, and 0.10mm thicknesses. Unfortunately, the shim stack comprised of a 0.5mm, 0.3mm, and 2 x 0.10mm shims. The shim stack from the 4-speed comprised of a 0.5mm, 0.3mm, and one 0.10mm shim. So, it seemed all I could do was to remove the 2 x 0.10mm shims and hope that works; it will be off by 0.05mm, which is on the edge of the tolerance spec, but that's only against the stamped numeral (I think it says, '1'??? It's really hard to read!). The factory may have already used up its 0.05mm tolerance when calibrating this (although, more likely, since they had access to all their shims, it'll be within half of that tolerance, so up to 0.03mm off). But anyways, the gears have all worn against each other, so hopefully, we can consider that tolerance 'reset'.

After removing the shims and checking again, now I've got 0.206" on the RHS, and 0.210" on the LHS. I may try tightening the LHS a bit more, but basically, this tolerance translates to a 0.002" tolerance, so I'd like to try to get the LHS a bit closer to the original setting; RHS is, in my opinion, pretty much perfect.

Anyways, that's it for now, hopefully I'll be able to put all the pieces into the transmission today!

li Arc

li Arc
17-10-10, 01:59 PM
That sounds great Squaab, coming from you, I'm a lot more relieved about the beading Loctite 518. I was on the verge of taking the plates apart, removing all the excess 518, then putting them back together again. Of course, then I'd be worrying about having re-compressed the gaskets, new lingering pieces of 518 due to my meddling with it, etc. :roll:

As for the wrap, yes, it's self adhesive, but it's actually marketed as exhaust wrap; I got it from a local performance shop. I think the adhesive strengthens/cures with heat as well, sort of like exhaust repair tape, so we'll see how that goes. I think it should serve to reduce the heat going to the CV boot, but if I have problems with it I may try switching to the fire-proof heat wrap fabric. Crazy thing is this pipe is actually the lowest point on the car, hence why I had to get the flex pipe replaced in the first place. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes again in a couple years, after which I'll have to find some new solution to that problem; that means the wrap will have ground off at the bottom of the pipe, but at least that won't affect the wrap on the top of the pipe facing the CV boot.

li Arc

Squaab99t
18-10-10, 12:15 AM
That sounds great Squaab, coming from you, I'm a lot more relieved about the beading Loctite 518. I was on the verge of taking the plates apart, removing all the excess 518, then putting them back together again. Of course, then I'd be worrying about having re-compressed the gaskets, new lingering pieces of 518 due to my meddling with it, etc. :roll:

As for the wrap, yes, it's self adhesive, but it's actually marketed as exhaust wrap; I got it from a local performance shop. I think the adhesive strengthens/cures with heat as well, sort of like exhaust repair tape, so we'll see how that goes. I think it should serve to reduce the heat going to the CV boot, but if I have problems with it I may try switching to the fire-proof heat wrap fabric. Crazy thing is this pipe is actually the lowest point on the car, hence why I had to get the flex pipe replaced in the first place. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes again in a couple years, after which I'll have to find some new solution to that problem; that means the wrap will have ground off at the bottom of the pipe, but at least that won't affect the wrap on the top of the pipe facing the CV boot.

li Arc

I have often thought of a upper half heat shield. Weld three or four, 1/4" - 3/8" bosses or bungs on the exhaust pipe. Your heat shield could be just that, single stainless steel sheet or some double layer with some insulation in between. Pop some holes in the shield for fasteners picking up the bosses and you are set. The main reduction would be radiation heat transfer. It would work similar to the heat shield between the turbo and the ignition dist. Nice thing about this setup it will be worn away like the header wrap.

Another way to skin this cat is with two or three crescent shaped spacers to give an airgap. The heat shield and some tension coil springs to lock it all in place. Might have to tack the spacers to keep the works from walking.
Springs are great for exhaust systems to account to thermal expansion/contraction and vibration.

Yet another project for another day...

li Arc
19-10-10, 12:34 PM
I started looking at getting the VR bracket done, so I thought about how it would go. Like IronJoe, I think I'll mount it on the block against the timing chain cover, but I'd like it to be fully adjustable in order to ensure the gapping between the CPS and the VR sensor is optimal (~1mm). Since that's not a lot of tolerance, we need to be able to dial it in well.

I decided on a simple design, since I can't weld. I have a buddy who was willing to do a bit of welding for me if it's simple, but both me and him experimented with welding for ourselves at the same time, so neither of us are really any good at it; it's just he's got the welder itself! :cheesy:

So, it'll mostly be cuts and bolts. I went with something like this:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/VR_Sensor_Bracket.jpg

...but my mech eng buddy thought that it was too prone to vibration issues. At that clearance, things could easily go wrong and the CPS could easily chew up the whole darned thing. So, I decided to see what he could come up with instead. And so come up with something he did:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/VR_Bracket_in_solidworks.jpg

What a showoff! :p But I like it! I don't know what that tab bit is near the sensor, we can probably remove that. But it looks much more stable than mine, the only thing being the base. But he has access to a milling machine, so he can create it like that, and if we're making it out of steel, he can leave a stub at the bottom to thread later on so that it's a single piece. I think with some nylock nuts, we'll be fine. I'll go and do some measurements tonight, and get some materials tomorrow perhaps.

li Arc

li Arc
19-10-10, 01:23 PM
So here we go, more transmission work. Getting the diff backlash dialed in was a real pain, just because it's more of a trial-and-error process. You put the shims all on one side (or I suppose you can start by splitting them half and half, but that didn't occur to me at the time), tighten both inner drivers to their specified torque, and set up the dial indicator with magnetic base onto the case. Since aluminum isn't magnetic, you'll need to screw in a bolt or a bracket or something stable for the magnetic base to sit on. Then, you go ahead and move the diff back and forth radially to determine the play. If you've torqued the pinion shaft correctly, you won't be able to turn it using the diff, so you can get quite an accurate reading.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Diff_Backlash_Jig.jpg

Once you've determined that your shim settings are wrong, you go and remove both inner drivers, and transfer an estimated amount from one side to another. Moving shims from the RHS inner driver mount to the LHS will decrease backlash, moving it from LHS to RHS will increase backlash. The backlash setting is shown on the differential ring gear, so try to adhere to that as much as possible. In my case, it was -17, which means 0.17mm backlash +/-0.05mm. This meant I want to dial it in to 0.007" as close as possible, maybe just a bit under (0.007" = 0.178mm). My range is thus ~0.005" - ~0.009". I was thinking maybe dialing it down to ~0.005" since less backlash is always good, right? But the setting they give you is to balance backlash with wear, so I imagine the lower the backlash tolerance, the higher the wear. Maybe I'll just leave it alone. It took me 4 tries to get it right, plus one more to put sealant on the threads...only to remember I need access to the countershaft/reverse idler gear shaft bracket behind the diff! So out it went again...it was a long process!

Once that was done, I used my caliper depth gauge and a square as a straight edge to determine if the depth from the edge of the case to the pinion nut is correct at 195.00-195.10mm. After some shims were installed, I got it to 195.00mm exact, so we insert gears next! To be precise, reverse first, then first gear. We'll put plenty of assembly lube on the parts, especially sleeves and thrust parts.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Gear_stack_rev_1st.jpg

First-second gear synchros next. BTW, I made a mistake here: don't put the shifter fork shaft in until you've got the 3rd-4th gear fork in or you'll never be able to get it by the selector shaft!

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Gear_stack_2nd_fork.jpg

Next, the thrust washer between 2nd and 3rd, then third gear:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Gear_stack_3rd.jpg

...and now, 3rd-4th shifter fork. After you put this in, NOW you can put the shift fork shaft in.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Gear_stack_3rd_fork.sized.jpg

Now, 4th gear. I think one of these sleeves we had a bit of a problem with, as it was quite tight, so I just took the old reverse gear I had and used it as a bit of a slide hammer to get the sleeve in :p

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Gear_stack_4th.jpg

Finally, we've got the mainshaft bearing piece, and the 5th gear spacer:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Gear_stack_4th_sleeve.jpg

At this point, we decided to put in the cluster shaft and gears. Make sure you don't forget about the needle bearing that goes inside the aft end of the cluster gear closest the pinion bearing! It was quite tricky to keep the needle bearing in, the thrust washer aligned, the cluster gear positioned, and the shaft through the hole in the case at the same time, so it took us a while, but we eventually did it.

Next came the reverse and 5th gear selector shaft. This was quite tricky, especially to get it around the selector shaft. Once we did though, we decided to doublecheck that it was done correctly, and that we could shift through all the gears. Finally convinced, we stopped for the night.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Gear_stack_cluster_reverse_selector.jpg

Hopefully nearing the end. I'll be continuing sometime during this week, since it's still warm out.

li Arc

mmoe
20-10-10, 11:18 PM
As a suggestion, install the primary case without sealant and test your 5th gear for operation after the nut is torqued. On the first few I rebuilt, I often found that 5th gear was just a little tricky to shift at that point in the build and upon rechecking my clearance from the nut to the case opening found I needed to change the shims between the nut and reverse gear. Until 5th is installed and tightened, it is difficult to know how well your measurements came out, or in more extreme cases whether or not you left something out or installed something backwards (such as the 4th gear thrust/bearing combo thing). You do not want to seal the case and THEN find something wrong, it's a lot of cleaning to get back to where you started.

Otherwise, it looks great and very thoroughly done! Did you mod that bearing retainer?

li Arc
21-10-10, 12:02 PM
Hmmm, I already applied Loctite 518, but it's still liquidy right now, so it shouldn't be too bad. If I need to pull it apart, I'll do it. I pretty much just took an angle grinder to the bracket and tried to chop off only a small section to maintain structural integrity of the (extremely light weight) bracket.

It's a little difficult to see here, since this was using my phone camera, and I was shooting straight downward:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Primary_housing_preparation.jpg

I found out that one of the threads for the 5th gear housing was somewhat not so good, and I couldn't get it to torque to 15ftlbs, so I decided to try to take a tap to it to fix it a bit. Bad idea...I think it holds even less now. I think I'll have to bring it to a shop and get it helicoiled now...I'd really hate for that to fail and have the primary chain crash into the bolt; there isn't a lot of clearance between the bolt and the inner chain! :evil: Now I gotta take it all apart again, which is a huge pain...not good...

There goes another $75...

li Arc

Boosted
21-10-10, 07:19 PM
Good to see your getting things figured out.

Squaab99t
21-10-10, 08:42 PM
Hmmm, I already applied Loctite 518, but it's still liquidy right now, so it shouldn't be too bad. If I need to pull it apart, I'll do it. I pretty much just took an angle grinder to the bracket and tried to chop off only a small section to maintain structural integrity of the (extremely light weight) bracket.

It's a little difficult to see here, since this was using my phone camera, and I was shooting straight downward:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Primary_housing_preparation.jpg

I found out that one of the threads for the 5th gear housing was somewhat not so good, and I couldn't get it to torque to 15ftlbs, so I decided to try to take a tap to it to fix it a bit. Bad idea...I think it holds even less now. I think I'll have to bring it to a shop and get it helicoiled now...I'd really hate for that to fail and have the primary chain crash into the bolt; there isn't a lot of clearance between the bolt and the inner chain! :evil: Now I gotta take it all apart again, which is a huge pain...not good...

There goes another $75...

li Arc

518 should stay soft until the oxygen is cut off. Since that bolt hole has only blow out thread and not a stuck or sheared off bolt, you could buy a helicoil kit and do it yourself. Might cost you about 60 for the kit but you will have the drill, tap, and extra coils for the future. Just a suggestion.
http://www.amazon.com/Helicoil-5546-8-Metric-Coarse-Thread/dp/B0002SREP4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1287708067&sr=8-2

li Arc
22-10-10, 02:03 PM
So the previous night, I continued on the primary case items. The primary case was fitted, and bolted down with the locating dowels in place.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Primary_housing_on.jpg

I don't really know why the 5th gear stack was apart to begin with since the circlips held everything together without hindering disassembly, but it was put back together and placed onto the pinion shaft; you'll notice the spacer sleeve behind it. I've got an older factory manual, which mentions the gear being held onto the shaft via a circlip, and using shims to correctly locate the 5th gear stack; the 83' was a 'later' gearbox, which instead had the staked nut, so no shims were required.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/5th_gear_hub_in.jpg

Note it looks like the layshaft was placed all the way in, but it wasn't, because I would have to remove it again to put the 5th cluster gear in if it were.

Anyways, with the 5th gear stack in, I needed to ensure the pinion shaft wouldn't spin around while I tightened the nut (to 37 +/- 7ft lbs torque). mmoe suggested I engage both 3rd gear and reverse, and even then, the box was going to flip all over the place if it wasn't held down. So I had my gf keep the box in reverse while trying to keep it steady, while I torqued it down.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Reverse_lever_removed.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/5th_gear_nut_on.jpg

I then went ahead and put the 5th gear synchro hub and shifter fork back in. Note the round part of the fork near the pin faces towards the rear of the case.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/5th_gear_selector_fork_in.jpg

Bad photo, but now I put the 5th cluster gear in.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Clustergear_5th_gear_in.jpg

...and primary chains...

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Primary_chains_on.jpg

...and THEN I remembered I'd forgotten to stake the nut on the end of the pinion shaft! :nono; D'ohh!!!

Needless to say, I needed to take everything out (primaries, 5th cluster gear, and input shaft) again and stake the nut, then put everything back in.

That's when I found out the threads for the input shaft bearing housing were damaged.

li Arc

li Arc
22-10-10, 05:28 PM
Lookin' Good!! BTW, 75 for a helicoil install by a machine shop isn't really all that bad. You got charged about 10 for parts and the rest labor. What paint did you use for the block? Will you use the same on the trans? Last time I looked at NAPA parts the valve guides were about $2 each, 8 on fleabay and more from a couple of other places.

That Friday afternoon, beautiful fall day, with glorious weekend temperatures ahead, I went to pick up my head so that I could spend the nice temperatures working on it. It was the first real summer weather we've had all 'summer', heading into fall, and anyone that knows Calgary knows that it gets cool by mid September and freezing by early October. I didn't know how long the great weather would last, so I was paranoid, and really wanted to get this done right away before temperatures had a chance to dip.

The guy at the shop wasn't as optimistic though. It's a small shop, owned by a father-and-son team that split the work: the father does blocks and machining, the son does heads and the cleaning/blasting. The first time around, when I dealt with the shop to get the block done, it was the dad; this time, it was the son. I had a valve cover bolt hole that I damaged threads on, and needed fixed up, so I asked the shop to do it as part of the head work; another shop I talked to claimed their complete head service included up to 10 helicoil replacements, so I hoped this place would too. As it turned out, the son had no idea how to do the helicoils, and said his dad normally did them and he never learned how. Unluckily, the dad had also left the shop for the day, so I'd have to wait until Monday. He thought he could do it within the half hour it took me to arrive after I called. So, I could either just take the head with me then and work on it during the weekend, or have the head done right and pick it up on Monday instead. I opted for the latter.

And hence, I got charged the $75. For the one. Basically, the cost of the helicoil work, plus what the son was telling me, plus what others have also been telling me (as well as crwchf01's statement above), I figured it must've been a lot of work putting them in! But when I went into the shop where I had my bearings pressed the other day, imagine my surprise when they sent me away instead and said I could do it myself easily if I got the kit! After a quick visit to a bolt shop down the road and a online to Youtube, I decided to tackle the job. $57 for a kit that does 12 inserts, plus $3 for the clearance bit for an M8 bolt. Of which our cars are filled with.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Helicoil_kit.jpg

I know most people who have done this before aren't interested, nor is it particularly Saab related, but I documented the process. Heck, I didn't even know what it entailed until yesterday afternoon! When I got home, I quickly took the input shaft out (again), and looked at the threads:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Damaged_5th_gear_input_housing_thread.jpg

They are definitely very damaged, and wouldn't have lasted long in the new case. The aluminum bits may also have gotten into bearings and prematurely worn them if I let it go this way, and the bolt may come loose and grind into the primary chains, but instead, I set my plan into action.

Since everything is greased up right now, it'll easily attract the aluminum flakes and bits I generate with this process, so I try to minimize the impact by using slow, deliberate motions and shielding the closest parts that directly face the work being done.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Wrapped_5th_gear_hub.jpg

I checked the specification on the package, which listed the use of a 21/64" drill bit to fit the helicoil tap. I would have preferred a slower bit, since the bit I had is a bit fast and kept getting caught in the threads, but eventually it got cleared up.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Drilled_out_threads.jpg

It was after I finished that I realized it would have been a lot more accurate with a drill press, but oh well...I think it turned out fine. You'll notice after I've cleaned up the area that near the rear of the hole the old tap pattern still exists. So alignment might not have been perfect, but it's pretty close, and it'll still be strong enough to hold.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Cleaned_up_drilled_out_threads.jpg

Next, we take the helicoil tap and, preferably, apply some tapping lubricant, but it seems WD-40 also works well enough. This also serves to trap all the loose aluminum flakes with the fluid, so it helps minimize metal dust. Tap the new hole made in the aluminum; I dig perhaps 4 turns, then undo 2 turns, then dig 4 turns, and etc. so that the loose bits have a chance to fall out instead of gathering up and gouging the inner surface of the threads more.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Tapping_helicoil_threads.jpg

It turned out quite nicely, and it's not ready for the insert. I've heard of people who have undone their inserts by mistake before, so I also decided to take some threadlocker and apply it to the helicoil threads. Since the book doesn't mention using threadlocker on the input shaft bearing housing, I won't, because it will null my application of threadlocker on the helicoil threds.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/New_1_25mm_pitch_helicoil_threads.jpg

Next, take the helicoil insert tap, and carefully thread one of the inserts onto it, making sure that the tang locks into place with the tap.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Helicoil_insert_on_tap.jpg

Carefully screw it into the new helicoil threads you just made, to avoid breaking the tang prematurely. It needs to go in 1/4 to 1/2 turns below the surface, then remove the tap. Once the tap has been removed, take a punch (in this case I used a flat-head screwdriver and placed it as close to the notch in the tang as possible), and take a hammer to it and knock it out. In this case, if I didn't knock it out and left it in (which is what you can do in some applications), then there's a possibility of it breaking off in service. Seeing the size of the thread/tang, I think it could probably cause some serious damage if that happened.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/New_helicoiled_thread.jpg

And voila! Fixed thread! And I've still got 11 more inserts! I shoulda tried this long ago...!

So then, back to the transmission, I left the threadlocker to dry for about an hour before getting back to it. It now easily holds the 17ftlbs torque required for the housing. I put the input shaft, the 5th cluster gear, the layshaft, and the primaries back in before I realized that uhoh, 5th doesn't engage! The spring on the 5th gear stack just didn't want to seem to compress!

Cursing all the way, I stripped off the layshaft, 5th cluster gear, the primaries, and the input shaft bearing housing again, and fiddled with the selector fork and synchro hub. Somehow, I got the spring to compress, and kept checking selecting 5th gear through each step of putting things back in. Eventually, I got back to the same point I was at before, and now was finally able to lock reverse and 5th in order to tighten the input shaft nut to the 70ftlbs torque operating condition. I'm doing it first with just the lower sprocket because 1) I'd like to make sure that shifting 5th is problem free, like mmoe described, and 2) because I'm getting the upper sprocket bearing done. Yes, I finally crumbled and decided to get a shop to do it (I didn't realize how difficult it would be to get it out before). Some bearing info:

Upper primary sprocket bearing: Timken U298/U261L

Once this is done and I know that I can shift in all gears, then I can finally lock in the shafts in the diff housing. The going from here is quite simple since all the measurements have already been done, so I'm seeing the home stretch now!

li Arc

li Arc
24-10-10, 12:01 AM
So, problems. I've got all the pieces in, and tightened the lower sprocket (by itself) in place to 70ftlbs, and can't get the gears to shift easily. I've got reverse okay, but shifting 1, 2, 3 require some slamming into the gear to get it to fully engage. 4th is much harder, and 5th...don't get me started on 5th! When the input shaft is in without the lower sprocket torqued in at 70ftlbs, I can get 5th to shift okay (as long as the dogs line up). But the other gears don't really shift right.

Any clues? Is it just because the gears aren't spinning, allowing for engagement much easier than when the whole thing is static, or lubrication perhaps? When I measured the pinion nut depth, it was 194.99mm, which I assumed is okay. I have one shim left, but when I placed it in, it gave me 195.14 or so mm, so I assume it's a 0.15mm shim. But I can't get it dialed in any better than that. Do you still think it's shim depth? What does changing the shim depth do, I assume it eliminates thrust of the gear stack between the pinion nut and the mainshaft bearing, but does it affect engagement? I can also understand how it affects the inner gears (1-4), but the stack is located 0.1mm more forward or backwad, so I don't really see how that could translate to a 4-5mm lack of engagement?

Lastly, how would that affect how 5th gear shifts? The 5th gear stack located foward or backward 0.1mm shouldn't affect its engagement? Within the range, it means that the 5th gear is further away from the input shaft, and when the input shaft nut is tightened to spec, the full extent of the gap will be apparent. But having a gap there shouldn't affect the difficulty of shifting? It would be more likely that if there were too many shims and the input shaft is pressed against the pinion shaft that that would cause this problem; but then, torquing the input shaft nut to spec should have alleviated it some, vs. provoking it? When 5th has difficulty shifting, it almost looks like the spring won't allow the synchro ring to move downwards, or perhaps the synchro ring is binding against the dog gear? A simple gap doesn't seem to explain this. Perhaps the spring is in backwards? But how can you tell? Both tangs on the end of the spring point inwards, so I really can't tell which way is correct.

I'll try a couple things tomorrow.

li Arc

mmoe
24-10-10, 02:31 PM
Did you install the side cover gasket on the rear side cover (the one with the spring)? The other covers can be sealed with gasket maker, but the rear side cover MUST have a gasket. The thickness affects the pressure applied to the selector shaft and can make for difficult shifting into all gears.

The shim thickness on the pinion shaft has an effect mostly on 5th gear, less on the rest of the tranny (though does contribute to the alignment of the cluster gear to the gear stack). A thicker shim set will push the 5th gear further into the synchro, while less shims will produce a larger distance from the 5th gear to the 5th gear synchro. I would suggest that the best case is to have the 5th gear synchro closer to the gear rather than further away (thicker shim stack), so that's the direction I typically favor (keeping in mind that it should still remain within the tolerences, just at the thicker shim end of tolerences = more synchro engagement).

A 4-5mm lack of engagement would suggest other problems such as a missing or reversed component in the gear stack, but somewhat depends on your interpretation of "engagement" as well. If you can post a photo of 5th gear "engaged", that would be helpful in diagnosing the problem. Revisit your 1-4 gear stack and be sure you have everything you removed in place and that they are in the proper orientations. The distance from case to pinion nut is one measurement, but the total thickness of all the gears assembled into the stack must also be the right total length or they won't match up.

Also, there are 2 (or more) thread locking compounds, permanent and medium strengths. I use permanent where Saab specifies locktite, and I use medium strength every where else. It certainly won't hurt anything and prevents the possibility of loosening fasteners, so can only contribute in a positive manner.

li Arc
24-10-10, 10:20 PM
So, I took a look at the 5th gear spring today. The spring was engaged into the teeth of the dog gear, and were actually spaced 6 gaps away! I talked to mmoe on the phone and he mentioned it should be 4 gaps away, 3 would be a tight fit (and in my case, 3 wouldn't fit at all). I didn't realize the spring location was fixed in the gear stack, so I just slapped it together, which may have been some of the cause of the 5th gear shifting difficulties.

I also tried using the detent ball and spring to aid in shifting throughout all gears. However, I could never get them all to cooperate, and here's the theory.

With 5th gear, I would try shifting at all stages of assembly: while the input shaft was still out, after input shaft was in, after 5th cluster gear was in, after input shaft was tightened with the nut and sprocket. Aside from the last scenario, I could get them all to shift fine; with the last scenario, I could get it to shift sometimes, but not consistently, esp. after the shafts have turned. I kept wondering what could have changed with the nut being torqued properly on the input shaft, and wondered if it could have, as mmoe mentioned to me, been binding against the pinion shaft. After a quick check without the 5th gear syncrho hub or fork installed, it wasn't, and I can also tell by the clearance between the input gear and the 5th gear dog teeth that nothing in the stack was missing, but I noticed something else. The rolling torque of the input shaft increased by quite a bit after it was torqued, vs. when the nut wasn't present, somewhat like the pinion nut. The pinion nut was also torqued to provide the maximum within the rolling torque limits of 15lbs force to turn it, so both shafts were extremely resistive. Since, for the dog teeth to properly engage, the teeth will actually cause one shaft or the other to displace slightly so they can mesh properly, it means that one shaft or the other will need to rotate to accomodate the dog. If the rolling torque for both shafts is extremely high, it's very possible the shafts themselves (or more correctly, the bearings) are resisting this movement, disallowing gear engagement.

With each gear engagement throughout the gear range, the dog teeth will mesh at a slightly different shaft position, which explains why if I've engaged one of the gears, it will be easy (easier) to re-engage that gear, until I've engaged a different gear, at which point the shaft position has changed and re-engaging the previous gear would once again be difficult. This also explains why slamming into the gear seems to work, because with enough force, the pinion shaft *will* move. But the major thing is that it is possible to fully engage the gears, it just takes a bit of work with the selector.

All this means to me is that it's been put together fine, just that with all the bearings replaced, everything is very stiff with new bearings now (and not even lubricated in gear oil), which shouldn't be an issue when the gears are all spinning inside. Esp. when the bearings have established a wear pattern into each other, the engagement should be much better.

Am I making any sense? Does this sound right?

li Arc

mmoe
25-10-10, 01:24 AM
Do all gears engage properly if you turn the input shaft while shifting? If so, I'd say you're probably in good shape.

Sounds like you have 5th gear right and yes, 3 spaces is nearly impossible, but just to be 100% sure we're on the same page and for possible future reference for others, the 5th gear spring should be like this:

end of spring in tooth, empty tooth 1, empty tooth 2, empty tooth 3, empty tooth 4, other end of spring in tooth.

li Arc
26-10-10, 01:08 AM
I went back today to doublecheck if my theory is correct, and everytime I tried shifting into a gear, it may require some slamming. But once the gear is able to engage, I can continue engaging it without error. However, if I displace the input shaft even slightly, engagement is again a problem. I also tried to engage 5th, and similar situation (ie. slight displacement can throw it off), only since I can see what's going on, it's easier to deduce the problem. If I encounter a problem shifting into 5th, and can shift half-way, I may try to use a 24mm deep socket to wedge in between the shaft and the housing, and help 5th along. When I force it this way, I notice the pinion shaft displacing due to the movement. Lastly, when I installed the diff, making the pinion that much harder to turn, it took a lot of force in order wedge the 24mm socket in and force the pinion shaft to turn.

So, this is all good news because it fully supports my theory that the brand new stiff bearings are causing high rotational resistance, which in turn causes shifting difficulty because the dog teeth naturally attempt to mate with the synchro hubs by adjusting the radial position of either the shaft the dog is mated to or the other shaft the synchro hub is transmitting power from. After enough testing, I'm quite convinced this is the case, so I decided to install the diff and inner drivers, as previously measured.

So, from last time, we continued by:

1) Installing the 5th gear stack, ensuring that the spring has been installed engaging with the dog teeth, with 4 teeth gaps separating each end of the spring.
2) Tighten the nut to 37 +/- 7 ftlbs by locking 3rd and reverse simultaneously. Stake the nut.
3) Placed the 5th gear synchro hub and selector fork in.
4) Placed the input shaft in, carefully aligning the housing as well as the dog teeth to mate with the synchro hub.
5) Carefully tap the housing in, making sure the synchro hub is properly engaged. Make sure to tap the bearing, and not the shaft, or you can loosen the bearing from the shaft slightly and induce the axial play you previously tried so hard to eliminate.
6) Tighten the housing bolts to 17-21ft lbs torque.
7) Placed 5th cluster gear in, and slide collar back to engage the cluster gears; lock the circlip in place so the collar cannot slide around.
8) Insert the layshaft all the way through until it can be seen at the primary case end. You will most likely need to tap it the rest of the way in with a hammer because the shaft is interference fit onto the cluster gear bearing assembly.
9) Install shaft retaining bracket in diff housing side, with loctite used on the threads. Torque to 20ftlbs.
10) Install primary chain and sprockets, making sure to engage circlip inside upper sprocket.
11) Install primary chain tensioner with sealant on the threads, torque to 15 ftlbs.
12) Disenage 3rd gear and engage 5th instead, while reverse is still engaged. Torque lower primary sprocket with nut to 74 +/- 7 ftlbs.
13) Go through all the gears and make sure you can engage them. You may run into a similar problem as I have if you've replaced all your bearings and have rolling torques on the high end of the scale. If they're fine, stake the nut.
14) Install diff. Ensure inner driver shim stacks are correct.
15) Install inner driver housings into diff; tighten bolts in a crosshatch pattern to ensure the bearing housing goes in straight. Remember to install the spring and plunger assembly at the end of the inner driver. Torque bolts to 18 ftlbs.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Diff_installed.jpg

And now, you're where I am. I just need to wash the covers and remove the old gaskets from them, then I can install them with the new gaskets and fill with oil.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Engine_and_tranny_with_installed_diff.jpg

Lots of little things to do yet with the engine stuff, but hopefully after I get the transmission covers done, that'll be the end of that.

On the to do list:

1) Permanent loctite on the turbo oil return bulkhead fitting.
2) Install transmission-engine mating gasket (do I need to loctite the entire mating surface, on both sides of the gasket, or just along the two fore and aft ends?).
3) Prime primary housing with 0.3L gear oil, and fill transmission with 2.7L gear oil (I've got Redline MTL).
4) Install turbo.
5) Prime block oil pump by filling oil filter mount on block with some oil.
6) Install oil filter housing.
7) Install alternator and belts.
8) Install engine mounting brackets on both sides.
9) Double check timing by turning crank two revs by hand.
10) Torque crank pulley bolt.
11) Install valve cover.
12) Install thermostat.
13) Get hoses and install AIC valve.
14) Flush power steering system, and install lines into new rack.
15) Install front road wheels to allow for easier engine installation.
16) Lower engine into engine bay and secure engine mounts.

The stuff after the engine is in can be dealt with a bit later, but hopefully, I can get all the stuff up to before ~14-16 done by myself this week, with help arriving on the weekend to do the actual install.

Let's hope things go as planned!

li Arc

philb
28-10-10, 07:25 PM
Brilliant work, keep it up!

crwchf01
28-10-10, 08:42 PM
Hadn't seen where you had put in the helicoil before. Old field mechanic trick- pack cutting grooves of drill bits with grease to help prevent chip contamination- also works well on the tapping process when packing the flute grooves to trap cuttings. Looks great so far!! I'm sorry if I mislead you on the helicoil labor... I just meant it takes a little time to do it right (as you certainly did!!), and that leads to a high labor cost for a shop.

zachc
28-10-10, 09:08 PM
your car is badass man. the pic on the first page. sick.:cheesy:

li Arc
29-10-10, 02:03 PM
Hadn't seen where you had put in the helicoil before. Old field mechanic trick- pack cutting grooves of drill bits with grease to help prevent chip contamination- also works well on the tapping process when packing the flute grooves to trap cuttings. Looks great so far!! I'm sorry if I mislead you on the helicoil labor... I just meant it takes a little time to do it right (as you certainly did!!), and that leads to a high labor cost for a shop.

Hmmm, should have thought of that. I did let the WD-40 take in the chips, but grease would probably have worked better. I also talked to another Saab nut locally and he said the same thing about the $75 charged for the helicoil, so I've got the same responses from a bunch of people. Personally, do I think the work I did was worth $75? Not a chance. Maybe half of that, maybe.

Anyways, I apologize for the quality of the photos...I'm usually quite proud of them, but since I have been working on the engine every evening after work for the past 2-3 weeks, I've been getting sloppy and the darkness isn't helping...there's only so much you can do with photos when you're exhausted from the day and you don't have light (or at least, good light...which garage lights aren't)!

So, the going has been getting slow...my gf hasn't been very happy with me spending so much time with 'the wife', but I trudge on! This week has been mostly focused on finishing the small details before the engine goes back in. Most of that has been on cleaning gasket surfaces and prepping the new gaskets, which is very tedious work. I couldn't believe it took me 2 evenings of 2.5-3 hours each just to get 3 transmission covers on and the transmission-to-engine mating surfaces prepped! I really, really hate gasket work!

So, updated things done:

3 of 4 covers on the transmission
replaced input shaft seal near upper sprocket on transmission
permanent threadlock on turbo oil-return bulkhead fitting, on the other side
engine-mating gasket surface prepped

The 4th cover on the transmission is just the reverse-gear side cover; the old gasket is extremely resistant to my attempts at removing it, so I will get it later. I'm also planning on just dumping a bunch of oil into the opening this way so it'll be quick. I would have really liked to get a SaabRally steel diff cover, but they haven't responded to my mails for a while, I don't know what's going on. At least, it's not too difficult to get later.

Anyways, like all the other covers, I used Loctite 518 as a gasket dresser, by spreading it across the gasket surface instead of using it in its beaded form. I think it'll definitely help cut down on the future leaking of the engine, but I guess we won't know for a while! I don't know if this is required with the replacement engine-mating gasket, but seeing as that gasket is metal, I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Unfortunately, 518 in a new tube is extremely hard to squeeze out...I was stepping on the tube with all my weight, and it was still taking its sweet time exiting. My strength was drained by the end of the torment...

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Preliminary_transmission_engine_gasket_dressing.jp g

Since I need to dress both sides of the gasket...

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Secondary_transmission_engine_gasket_dressing.jpg

Note the full-sized 518 beads at the ends of each side of the gasket...this part is NOT optional! If you don't do this step, your transmission won't seal to the engine, and you'll need to separate them again if you find out later!

Once this is all done and cured, I will be priming the oil pump, attaching the oil filter housing and alternator on, getting the alt belts in, and mounting the turbo and lines. After that, a quick oil fill, and the last transmission cover, it should be ready for the final touches before mounting in the engine bay.

li Arc

crwchf01
29-10-10, 02:23 PM
Cheer up, on the GF front. My 95 Harley's name is the 3rd Wife (after 2 divorces, decided that if we split I'd sell her and at least break even). My current wife (3rd) has been known to ask me around her co-workers if I've ridden the 3rd Wife hard and put her away wet, keeping in mind I've got my leathers and helmet with me:cheesy:

euromobile900
29-10-10, 09:26 PM
This thread is officially my favorite SC project. It's got everything a man could need--tech info, humor, lewdness... :lol:

li Arc
01-11-10, 01:27 AM
Indeed! When I showed the gf crwchf's post, well, she quite liked it ;)

Anyways, getting so...darned...close! I was almost certain the engine would go in this weekend, but again, snagged! Wish I had photos of this, but I was so frustrated with it that I never got around to taking them...

I had a lot of details looked after this time around, including getting the turbo in. This must have been the most ridiculous undertaking of the month! When I mounted the turbo onto the exhaust manifold, I found out that the centre housing in its stock location worked well for the hard line, but there wasn't enough give for the new -10AN line, which wasn't very flexible, and it was thick. So, I had to reclock the turbo slightly, which I have done in the past, but this was a whole new level of dumb!

First off, the exhaust housing slightly 'rusted' against each other, which required lots of banging and cursing plus a little bit of penetrant to get off. Fine, once that was off now I needed to re-clock the turbine housing. All except one bolt was cooperative, and that one bolt was right behind one of the oil inlet/outet flanges, so one couldn't get anything but an open-end wrench in. Of course, during our escapades, we had to round off the bolt. With that one bolt left plus the fact that because it was rounded off I wanted to replace the bolt, I decided to take drastic measures. This almost never ends well though.

I went ahead and tried to separate the centre housing from the turbine housing mount plate, by undoing the 4 inner bolts, which are 10mm heads. I took a ratcheting box end to it, and made short work of 3 of the bolts, but the 4th bolt trapped the ratchet against the bolt and the housing! Unfortunately, this type of ratcheting box end doesn't have a directional flip lever, so it was stuck but good! As one thing leads to another, I decided to lower the bolt itself to free the ratchet, by getting that turbine housing mount plate loose. This, of course, has to sit between the centre housing and the turbine wheel! Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. I carefully marked the position of the turbine wheel against the shaft, and the nut against the turbine wheel, and yep, finally got the ratchet free! I carefully put the whole thing back together, and re-clocked the turbo. The oil return line is still quite tight, but I think it should be alright; I'll take some photos of it tomorrow. Next time, I'm making the line 2 inches shorter (8-inches end-to-end length), and getting two 45* angled -10AN fittings to go on the line.

Other than that, there were many, many miscellaneous things to complete before the engine goes in, namely torquing the flywheel bolts, sealing transmission mount bolts, getting the engine mounts on, getting the clutch in, torquing the crankshaft pulley bolt, mounting the VR brackets, priming the oil pump, checking that the pistons don't hit the valves, installing coolant lines, more helicoil work, re-tapping one of the turbo exhaust flange mount bolt holes, cleaning the oil pressure relief valve, etc. Luckily, all that has been done now, and there are only a few things left to do before the engine can go in:

1) fill the primary case with 0.3L oil
2) clean up the reverse gear cover and install new gasket
3) fit oil filler tubes, and fill transmission and engine with oil
4) torque the oil filter housing properly
5) flush steering pump and connect steering lines
6) pack grease into inner drivers
7) lower engine into engine bay

I did prime the oil pump with some oil, but I was only able to stuff in about 100mL, and the Bentley doesn't mention how much oil to prime the pump with. Is that enough?

I will also have to figure something out for the PCV breather since my oil catch can hasn't yet arrived. As I mentioned in another thread, maybe my temporary solution will consist of a Coke can filled with steel wool with a port epoxied onto it. We'll see.

I also got around to tapping the VR mount base pegs. The design is to make sure there is limited but rigid adjustability in the bracket so that the VR sensor can be positioned precisely. There are 2 possible tapped M8 mounting points on the base, along with M3 screws used for the positioning pegs. However, you can see there isn't much room beside the pegs to allow for our aforementioned adjustability, due to the proximity of the bolt heads (as one will note by the scoring they have done to the aluminum without washers). The required clearance is at least 6mm between the height of the bolt head and the washer.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/VR_bracket_base.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Mounted_VR_bracket_base.jpg

The next part to design and place in is the swivel base, which benefits from this mounting exercise. Following EDIS-4 parameters, I tried to place 9 teeth inclusive between the missing tooth and the VR sensor location. This photo shows where the base is, relative to the wheel; the crank is at TDC. Some adjustability will be required.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Mounted_VR_bracket_36_1_wheel.jpg

In fact, it looks like the outer pegs can't really be used; we may have to rely solely on the inner peg. As long as we know how to work with that, it shouldn't pose any problems.

Oh, and look what I dredged up from the depths of our garage:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Saab_oil_filter_box.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Saab_oil_filter.jpg

Rare find!

More photos tomorrow...hopefully with the engine in!

li Arc

li Arc
09-11-10, 01:43 PM
So it seems like it's been a while since the last update, which I apologize for, but rest assured I have really been working at it this past week, only I keep forgetting to bring my camera! So some cell phone cameras will have to suffice for now!

Last Monday, between me and my rally racing buddy, we managed to get the engine in the bay, after greasing up the inner drivers. Originally, I thought, "It's just 3 bolts, how hard could it be?", but that would be my ruin. It took us almost 3 hours to get it back in! I had forgotten that the engine/transmission combo won't drop straight in, because you need to get the LHS inner driver in under the driver tunnel lip, which proved to be extremely difficult when wielding its full 500-600lb weight! Plus, we tried to be lazy at first and just drop the engine into the axle tripods, but that wouldn't work (even if it did pulling the engine out), so we had to pull the ball joints. Finally, though, it went in, and getting it lined up so that the bolts would go in took a while as well.

Anyways, with that in, it was time to hook everything up. This was very time consuming, and with only about 2 hours available each evening, by the time the weekend rolled around again, I still hadn't got the rad support/radiator/FMIC, power steering pump, alternator, or that stupid transmission cover on yet. To make things worse, I think I cracked my power steering pump reservoir trying to replace the old supply hose so it's slow leaking all over the place; there are no junkyard c900's right now, so I think I will have to try cleaning out the reservoir and setting some epoxy on it to seal the cracks. I set my other helper buddy to clean up the transmission cover gasket, while I dealt with the alternator/AC, and soon we ran into another problem:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/Transmission-Case-Swap-Rebuild/Incorrect_transmission_cover_gasket.jpg

All the holes lined up but one! As you can see, the gasket was enlongated on that one side, so it won't fit. I compared it to the actual mount on the transmission, and the gasket is incorrect. I didn't even realize there were different sized flanges! Anyways, that's going into the garbage, and we instead made one out of gasket paper. It's not idea, especially since the proper gasket is a metal piece sandwiched between two pliable rubber-like surfaces, which is much thicker than the single-sheet gasket paper we used. I coated both sides of the gasket with Loctite 518 though, so hopefully it'll seal well. The detent spring still feels okay at the shifter, so that's fine.

We managed to get the alternator and AC bracket in (yes, I still have it, no I don't really want to delete it in case I ever use it again in the future, ie. moving elsewhere), some of the wiring, and the rad support, which needed some adjusting the next day I was there.

More work done, and I went in to try to connect the shifter linkages. In the 85, the shift linkage lock in the cabin places the shifter into reverse, so I had to go and do the same at the transmission end. Lo and behold, a problem:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Shifter_linkage_incompatibility.jpg

Yes, it's a crappy photo, but if you take a look at where the linkages meet, it's too short! This is the newer-style linkage that is used on the later cars, vs. the round one originally used in my car! I wanted to go with the later style because the transmission of shifter feel through the linkage should be better, but when I took it out, this is what I found:

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Shift_linkage_lengths.jpg

Yes, it is a LOT shorter! The new style one is 99mm long, the older style one is 130mm long, so I'm missing more than 3cm, or much more than an inch! Disappointed, I set out to clean the old linkage and use that instead. Luckily (or unluckily, depending how you want to view it), the round rubber coupling has hardened considerably over the years, so it's very stiff; good for the feedback. I've never really complained about the shifter feel since I swapped to a self-centering transmission neither, so I guess going back to that is alright.

I am still looking into replacing that linkage with a proper u-joint though, and have ordered one in from the US. However, if I need to find something 130mm long, I think either I won't be able to use the shifter cabin linkage I have now, or I'll have to find a way to enlongate the u-joint; the longest u-joints I have been able to find in the size we need (16mm ID bore, or hopefully a 5/8" one will work as well) is around 90mm. I can move the hole for the shifter shaft pin a little further down, but I won't be able to make up for that 30mm difference with just that. I'll most likely go find myself a 16mm shaft (or lathe one down to 16mm), cut it down, insert one end into the u-joint (and maybe weld that), and couple the other end into a pipe with a 16mm ID and a slit down its side with two clamps on each end. That'll probably be the easiest method; I don't want to weld anything to the original linkage itself as that's irreversible.

The u-joint came in today, but I wasn't impressed; it's the wrong size (1" OD, 3/4" ID), so I'll have to send it back. For a used item, it's in not bad condition, and there's no axial play; a little bit of play in the thrust, but hardly noticeable. The problem with this size (besides being the wrong size) is that it's got an almost 3mm wall, which is too thick to really do any clamping with, although using my new idea with a shaft and a sleeve, that really doesn't matter anymore.

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Incorrect_u_joint_side_profile.jpg

http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/album87/Incorrect_u_joint_sidewall.jpg

Oh well, hopefully I can get something else in and I can start playing around with that. I have a feeling this won't be going into the car before spring though.

As for additional work, at this point in time I've got almost everything in, but a few things left. Battery has been cleaned and is going in soon, but having moved the battery to the left side, the battery tray seems to be in the way of the lower rad hose; I'll have to figure something out. I think I'll also need a new positive lead battery cable, as on mine my battery hold down has removed some of the fabric layer exposing the bare cable underneath; I'll have to figure a better way of mounting the cable. Once that's in, and I fill it with oil and coolant, the car will be ready for its first start!

I'm also having some issues with routing some hoses for the AIC; for some reason the inlets on the AIC are 180* apart, vs. the usual 90* apart for the LH2.2 systems. I've tried swapping over to a regular LH2.2 AIC but they don't seem to be able to hold idle below 1200RPM. I might give it a shot anyhow, since all I've got are straight hoses that won't bend, giving me those routing headaches. Dumb problem, I know.

Also, steering is messed up; they are way off, and I only found out the measurements from my old rack don't apply to this new rack later because the notches you measure the rod lengths from differ between the two racks. However, I no longer have the original measurements or the original rack, so I can't do my calculations! I think I'm going to have to eyeball it, so that I can drive it to an alignment shop. I forsee crazy tire wear the way it's set up right now. It's probably also bad for the rest of the suspension components.

li Arc

mmoe
09-11-10, 03:32 PM
I'm not sure if this is a 99 model vs. 900 model thing or not (perhaps '80 and newer 4 speeds used 5 speed cases?), but the 4 speed side cover has a different gasket than the 5 speed, so the one you ordered was probably a 5 speed version. I was going to have a buddy laser some out for me, otherwise I haven't seen them around at all.

That shifter coupler discrepancy is odd too. Every round rubber coupler I have is the same length as the dogbone version (even the one from my '85). I see now that your photo shows it is short, but I'd suspect the difference is in the shifter shaft itself. Are you using the self centering shaft with the self centering rollers removed? I'll have to check if they differ in length.

li Arc
09-11-10, 04:33 PM
Hmmm, it came in a kit with the rest of the transmission gaskets, from PFS. That's unfortunate, but hopefully the paper gasket will work just as well.

I thought the linkages would all be the same length too, since that's what it looked like in your photos. The shifter shaft is original in this 85', but the chassis centering rollers and spring mechanism was removed. I'm guessing the shaft is actually longer on the later models, but I wouldn't know. If I recall, the distance from the end of the shifter shaft to the end of the selector shaft in the transmission is around 70mm, in my case anyways. This is why anything under 90mm for a u-joint is too short, and I'll have to figure something else out for that. On the transmission end, the shaft sticks out the same as my old transmission.

li Arc

li Arc
11-11-10, 12:37 AM
So a few new things; it looks like photos aren't working right now, so it'll just be a wordy update (which is unfortunate, because it's like spoiling the end of a good book).

In short, most everything is in now. I did all the electricals, hoses, etc., and was quite sure of all the work. Been very nervous about the first start, so I've been taking my time to ensure I haven't missed anything. After filling up with all the fluids, I took a deep breath and tried to start her. She turns over without a hitch! ...but the starting won't catch.

I went and double- and triple-checked all electricals, they are in order: sensors, injectors, ignition, alternator, everything. I checked that fuel is being pumped in, and that seemed fine. I wore the battery down trying to start her (there were a few times it seemed like it would almost catch, but nothing), so it's sitting there having the battery recharged overnight. Hoses are all good too: intake is sealed pretty tight, and no vacuum leaks that I'm aware of.

Just as I left my parent's place, it occurred to me that I'm using a new, unknown condition distributor that I bought over eBay. The guy claimed it's been fully renewed, with all new internals, but I never tested it. Also, whenever I looked at the dizzy, the angle looks wrong, not like what I remember seeing it. It's possible the mark I matched on the old dizzy was incorrect and the timing is way off, so I'll be testing this tomorrow. Since I'm working on it myself, I can't use a timing light on it while I'm trying to start her, so I'm just going to have to keep dialing it a bit, try starting, and cycle. As long as I'm not putting it into a ridiculous angle, I don't think I can damage anything...?

The engine doesn't worry me too much, but the transmission does; I really hope it's fine! I need to get the engine to start, then I can test out the tranny...hopefully it won't give me any problems!

Also, I ordered a surprise part that's coming in soon...lots of fun!

li Arc

nuclear944
11-11-10, 06:41 PM
I am anxious to see how this project ends...take a video of the first start if you want.

Damn those distributers and crank/hall sensors...they can make your head explode...I would know.

Good luck and give yourself a big pat on the back if you get it to run and drive well.

li Arc
12-11-10, 10:30 AM
SHE STARTS!

I replaced the dizzy with my old one with the mark, and she started up just fine! Since I kept trying to get the other dizzy to work by adjusting it in small increments and test-starting it for over half an hour, the battery was worn a bit by the time I did get it to start, and having the clutch engaged in neutral and switching the headlights on would kill it. My voltage gauge shows ~11V while running, which means probably something weird with the alternator, so I'll have to go over that. In the meantime, it's recharging.

There are a few things I noted, from highest priority down:

1) Alternator
2) Steering: after replacing the rack, it looks like both hubs are equally toed-out, I'd say somewhere around 2-3 degrees on each side, when rack is centered.
3) Valve cover.
4) P/S pump: being sealed up, should be ready later today
5) Tranny stiffness.

I'll elaborate. As far as valve cover is concerned, I had a valve cover from a much later car (it says "SAAB 2.0" on it) I had powdercoated a while back; it was beautifully done in candy red, though it cost me $150. I had read that a valve cover from any year car (as long as it was slanted) will work on any year engine, so I never tested it first. Well, after I got the cover back and tried it, it was like there was always a leak; the lifters would click louder than I've ever heard them click before. During the same period, I would swap over my original cover again, and it would work fine, then I'd swap the later cover over and it would again suck. I tried different gaskets, sealants, bolt torques, but nothing ever worked, so I abandoned it. Since this time I got myself an elring gasket and also stuck it on with 518, I decided to give it another go, but it looks like it's not going to work. The other thing is there are two vents in this one vs. the one on my old one, since my 85' head still uses oil spray bars, and it's hard to fit the new cover on because one of the vents keeps hooking onto the spray bars as I put it in. I wonder if it's just not able to build pressure in there with the two vents or something; I'm quite sure all the gaskets are sealed properly and are airtight. BTW, what's with the so-grandiosly-stupid, idiotic design of removing the tabs in the gasket groove that kept the valve cover gasket clamped down from the earlier years (like my original)? It was almost impossible to keep the dumb thing from falling out all the time while trying to get it in, on top of which I have the hooking vents and the spray bars to contend with! :evil: What a waste of Loctite 518!

As for the transmission stiffness, it's definitely due to the new bearings; they need to be worn down a bunch, because the rolling torque is significant enough that if I'm not careful, it can stall the car (in neutral), and I feel a *lot* of resistance when trying to move the car, though all 5 gears and reverse seem to work. Since I can push the car alone (while it's running in neutral since kinetic friction < static friction), it's not brakes or wheels or anything (although the toe-out might contribute some, but not to the same extent). Of course, since the alternator doesn't seem to be supplying power neither, it would explain the stalling, but once I get the P/S pump reservoir back in and a replacement 85' valve cover gasket, I'll try to go and break it in.

Well, that's it for now...pictures when SC's galleries are back up again. And I'll try to upload the video for her first start after I get all the new items sorted out! :cool:

li Arc

mmoe
12-11-10, 12:41 PM
Check that you installed the wire running from the alternator to the engine at the alternator mount bolts. Without this ground wire connecting the 2, the alternator will not charge the system. The wire should attach to the small bolts that hold the alternator together (8mm IIRC) to , usually, the forward bolt fastening the alternator mount to the engine block. I also run a second wire to either the intake manifold or the body of the car to establish a backup ground.

li Arc
12-11-10, 01:57 PM
Ah, good call, I think that's exactly what the problem was. Your description rings a bell, but I didn't find anything like that upon re-assembly. In fact, a fleeting question that ran through my mind was how was the alternator circuit supposed to be completed? But there were a couple other black wires bolted to the alternator so I naturally assumed one of them would be a ground. I'm not certain where a ground would be bolted to on the alternator though, so perhaps something that connects to the alternator housing? Does the ground sink a large amount of current (ie. do I need a large cable)?

li Arc

mmoe
12-11-10, 02:50 PM
The wire running from the alternator to the block is pretty small, like a 14 gauge. I've always been amazed how critical that particular wire is, not only for charging but also for proper operation of the engine in general. I would not be surprised if you find the stalling under load problem completely disappears after that wire is installed.

li Arc
12-11-10, 03:46 PM
Good info. I also found out that I tossed the half-moon seals for the 85's valve cover gasket! The quickest I can get a new gasket in is Monday, but I'd like to put some km's on her so that I can make sure I can drive to work next week, do you think the new gasket I have (with the half-moons attached vs. separate) can fit and work with the earlier valve cover? This new cover is just ridiculous, and extremely frustrating.

li Arc

mmoe
12-11-10, 03:58 PM
I've only had the gaskets with the halfmoons attached, even on the '85. I think the main difference is the diameter of the rope part of the gasket, but it may be close enough that you can use the later (fatter) gasket in the earlier valve cover. I'm not sure if it was a skinnier gasket or not on my '85, but it definitely had the half moons attached.

li Arc
14-11-10, 03:16 AM
Okay guys, we have a problem.

After connecting the grounding cable for the alternator, putting back in my newly sealed P/S pump reservoir, replacing the valve cover with my original one, and eyeballing a new alignment for the steering, this fixed most of the above issues, especially regarding power and electricals. I tried to take her around the block, and found out I've got a couple major problems. Here they are:

1) Lifter ticking won't go away.

The lifters are still ticking away, with the new (post-86') gasket set, and the original valve cover. This after a drive around the block, it's incurable. To me, this means oil pressure is having problems building up (at least, in the head); the oil pressure sensor is connected, and doesn't show signs of low pressure. Oil level in the oil pan looks good, I did prime the oil pump prior, I replaced the oil pickup seal, and I removed and cleaned the relief valve. Oil filter is on quite tight as well, and the oil cooler lines are on good. I will try the original 85' valve cover gasket (with the seperate half-moons), but I don't think this is the problem. I'm not certain what it is at the moment. I'm really hoping it's not the turbo oil return line, but I don't really see how it is neither; the bulkhead fitting is secured against a sealing washer (kind of like the fuel line sealing washers, with the rubber on the inside), which is secured against the sleeve, which presses against the OEM turbo oil return line o-ring, all fitted into the recess from the outside of the block. On the other side of the block, there is that levelling sleeve and the nut; the levelling sleeve makes sure that the outside sealing surfaces are sealing perpendicular to the block surface, and the nut is secured with pemanent threadlock. I don't think this is the problem, though, but I will double check the outside -10AN lines are secured. Is there any way to check the oil pressure from the top of the case (ie. around the head)?

2) Shifting is very not good

I have made sure that I can shift into all 5 forward gears, and that they produce forward motion, but I can't always get into those gears. It may still be attributed to the gearbox bearing stiffness, which is fine, but there are a few strange things that happened.

a) When reversing (at least for the first few meters), there was a strange shudder as the car moved backwards. Handbrake was fully disengaged, but it's possible the pads or yoke stick a but due to not having been used so long. After getting out of the driveway, I didn't re-try reverse again, so I can't tell if it went away, but I will be back to do more testing tomorrow.

b) When the car is stopped, I can (with some searching and effort) get into first gear, and move the car, but it won't really let me into second gear. Yes, it is difficult to find second gear, but when I do find it, and the car is still coasting, it won't sync. That is, with the clutch disengaged between the shift (primaries and input shaft should not be spinning, but the pinion shaft is), when I try to engage 2nd, no matter what speed I'm travelling at except for stopped, the dog will grind; it's as if the synchros aren't working, or worse (though I inspected the synchros and the hubs and they all looked in really good condition). It almost sounded like (and with the difficulty in selecting gears, felt like) the clutch wasn't fully disengaging, but I never opened the clutch circuit when removing the engine, and it wasn't giving me problems before I took the engine out. If I am able to shift into 1st, and keep the clutch pedal compressed, the car doesn't move. My friend suggested I try to match revs and see if shifting gears this way works (which, if it's a clutch issue, this should work), which I'll give it a shot tomorrow, but I'm not convinced that's it. I will also try re-adjusting the shifter again, or maybe a stock shifter instead of my short shifter, but I doubt the problem is that simple. I'm just not really sure what it is at this point. I will be going back to perform more troubleshooting and looking for symptoms tomorrow.

After all this work, I was very excited to do a bit of a trip in it, but at this point in time, I'll be happy if I can just get it running even if I can't take it on the trip. Very demoralizing.

li Arc

nuclear944
14-11-10, 11:02 AM
Damn looks like we're both in a bind; today I'm facing a timing chain recovery at the lower sprocket...with the head attached!


Do you think all of the lifters are ticking or just some? If its only a couple then give them more time to deareate.

I think your short shifter may be giving you trouble; I know from Jeff and Royce at twin saabs that you can have a lot of difficulty finding gears with the short shifter if not adjusted properly. But yet, you are only having trouble shifting when moving.....

Try bleeding the slave. That solved my shifting problems once...

li Arc
14-11-10, 12:45 PM
Damn looks like we're both in a bind; today I'm facing a timing chain recovery at the lower sprocket...with the head attached!

That's a difficult manouever; I've heard (and can see) that the timing chain cover can be removed with the engine in-situ, but it can be a pain getting the crank pulley out, and you'll also need to re-seal the mating surfaces between the block and the cover. If you're just replacing the chain, a rolling-replacement with a master-link chain is the way to go (to me).

Do you think all of the lifters are ticking or just some? If its only a couple then give them more time to deareate.

I'm pretty sure they're all going; I may try posting a vid soon.

I think your short shifter may be giving you trouble; I know from Jeff and Royce at twin saabs that you can have a lot of difficulty finding gears with the short shifter if not adjusted properly. But yet, you are only having trouble shifting when moving.....

I will try to get a normal, stock shifter in today and see if it does anything, but I'm less worried about not being able to get into gear (though it is still annoying, but I think it's still related to bearing stiffness), and more worried about the non-sync gear grinding.

Try bleeding the slave. That solved my shifting problems once...

I might, but to me, it seems as though the sync problem isn't a function of the engine end, but of the wheel end; this worries me very much because it can mean it's the transmission. While the wheels are still in motion, I can't get into second (or any other gear for that matter). I can get into first once the car has stopped (and obviously the engine is still running), and it's also possible to get into any other gear (when it's cooperating) when the car is motionless, but not while it's moving.

What I envision is when the car is stopped and the clutch is disengaged, the input shaft and thus the layshaft isn't turning, and neither is the pinion shaft. Since this is the static case that I've tested with the transmission out, the same symptoms still apply: difficulty in shifting into gear due to stiff bearings, but possible to shift into all gears when dogs are aligned. Expected case.

When the car is stopped but the clutch is engaged in neutral, the input shaft/layshaft spins, and the pinion shaft doesn't. In this scenario, we're not producing any forward motion, and it's fine, since this is where we try to align the dog gears. After a few tries, it's possible the dogs are aligned, and we can shift into first, or any other gear (including reverse).

When the car is moving and the clutch is engaged in neutral, here we have the pinion shaft spinning most likely at a different speed than from the input shaft. Similar scenario as above, where the radial speed differential should help align the dogs. It's possible to try to match the radial speeds of both shafts and try shifting in, but I haven't tried that. This is the theory behind a dog or crash box, where no clutch is used, or if you need to drive or move a car with a bad clutch that won't disengage.

When the car is moving and the clutch is disengaged, now the pinion shaft is spinning and the layshaft/input shaft is not. In my opinion, as far as the shafts are concerned relative to each other, this case and the two other cases (clutch engaged in neutral with car moving, clutch engaged in neutral with car stopped) are all the same, and should not make any difference. Unfortunately, I don't know what the point I'm trying to make is. :p

In a normal transmission, you accelerate in a gear, and everything in the transmission is in sync. When you depress the clutch, the pinion is still moving about the same speed (with the weight of the car), and the layshaft is rotating at a gear-reduced speed, but still equivalent to the pinion shaft. You then go ahead and shift gears, first be disengaging the one gear, which decouples the pinion shaft and the layshaft, and the layshaft starts to slow down while the pinion shaft maintains its speed (with the weight of the car). Next, you try to couple the next gear by shifting into it. When this happens, the synchro system (rings and hubs) will attempt to spin one shaft or the other up to the same (gear reduced) speed while the shifter shaft is engaging the assembly, so that the dog teeth have a chance to align and you can push it in place. Once the dog gears engage, the input shaft and pinion shaft are spinning at the same (gear reduced) speed, and you re-engage the clutch for the engine to match the speed of the upper sprocket driven by the input shaft.

My theory is this. In my case, the two major bearings that affect each shaft's rotation torque are the pinion bearings (at maximum rolling torque spec), and the input shaft bearings (at spec'd rolling torque, but is still extremely stiff). This means this sequence of events happens: You accelerate in gear, and everything in the transmission is in sync because the bearings' rotational friction is overcome by the engine; the engine is driving through both bearings' friction. When I depress the clutch, everything in the transmission is still in sync, until I decouple the first gear. Due to the rolling torque of the input shaft, the layshaft almost immediately stops spinning, while the pinion shaft is still going. When I try to engage the next gear, the pinion shaft is still spinning, the layshaft has stopped, and the synchros are trying to match speeds between the two, but not enough friction can be generated to overcome the rolling torque of the input shaft before the dog teeth engage, one side stopped while the other side spinning at full speed. This is what's causing the grinding, and it won't allow me to engage the gear at all. When both shafts are stopped, the gear will either engage (because all the dog teeth are aligned), or it won't (because the dog teeth aren't aligned, and the rolling torque of both shafts are too great for the dog teeth alone to force the alignment to take place).

I hope I'm right, and all it needs is some wear-in. If so, to perform the shifts then, I need to match the input shaft revs to the pinion shaft so that the dog teeth have a chance to align (ie. clutch engaged in neutral while shifting). Remember, static friction > kinetic friction, as having the shafts moving offers a greater chance of engagement than one shaft not moving at all.

I know that factory boxes come out with specs close to this that probably don't exhibit the same problems, but it still seems the most likely scenario; as far as synchros go, I remember commenting many times how fantastic a shape they all seemed to be in. Going through my mind (and the thread photos) I can't really point out anywhere that I might have done something wrong, or at least, not by the book. Does this make sense at all? Or am I living in a fantasy world?

li Arc

mmoe
14-11-10, 06:29 PM
and the input shaft bearings (at spec'd rolling torque, but is still extremely stiff)

If the input shaft bearings are under any significant amount of preload, this may be the resulting problem. The input shaft bearings should have a preload of as close to zero as possible, meaning that the bearings should not be producing any rolling friction, but at the same time tight enough that the bearing rollers of both cones are in contact with the race on both sides of the housing to carry any load produced. That's what the test under 3 tons of force should produce. A rolling friction of zero, but a resistance to deflection under load.

Here is an excerpt from a Saab Service Manual regarding the issue:

"The input shaft is carried by a pair of tapered roller bearings much like the pinion shaft. Unlike the pinion bearings there is no preload, the bearings are set up using shims and spacers so that there is zero drag on the bearings. Preloading these bearings would place unacceptable loads on the synchro rings, excessive clearance would cause rapid bearing failure. "

Based on your description, your theory regarding how the relationship between pinion shaft and layshaft/cluster gears is correct. Unfortunately, if you are correct in your assessment of your own transmission regarding tight bearings, the input shaft bearings may very well be too tight.

li Arc
14-11-10, 10:29 PM
Strangely, though, there was no "purposeful" preload applied to the input shaft; the shaft had almost no rolling resistance when I received it back from the shop, but when I brought it back to the shop to have the axial play tested with the 3-tonnes force applied, then a rolling torque was present. I assume that if Saab specified that 3-tonnes of force be applied to the bearings while seating them and testing for axial play that they didn't mean for the assembly to be pulled back apart after it was determined the shim stack is appropriate to reduce the rolling torque back down to zero.

In fact, the only way to put any additional preload on the input shaft bearings is to torque the input shaft/lower primary sprocket to the proper specs. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, torquing the nut at the lower primary sprocket tightened the rolling torque of the input shaft further, which means that regardless of what the preload was on the input shaft bearings before, by tightening the nut for the lower sprocket a preload is automatically placed on the bearings.

As far as I know, there's nothing been done to the input shaft that wasn't specified in the manual...

li Arc

euromobile900
14-11-10, 11:16 PM
Strangely, though, there was no "purposeful" preload applied to the input shaft; the shaft had almost no rolling resistance when I received it back from the shop, but when I brought it back to the shop to have the axial play tested with the 3-tonnes force applied, then a rolling torque was present.
Unless I'm missing something, I think you need to have no rolling resistance when you've got the 3 tons force on it. The shim adjustment should be to "balance" play and rolling resistance, much the way you would adjust the wheel bearings on a bicycle. There should be a "sweet spot" where there is no rolling resistance or play, with three tons of force pushing down on it.

This way, when you do take it apart, it probably will have play. But then when you put it back together and torque the nut, there'll probably be about 3 tons of force on the thing from the nut. If it's got play when torquing the nut down, I'd say you need to adjust that shim stack. And it would seem to _me_ that you could just do that by assembling and torquing it with a nut and lower sprocket, and then testing it for play or resistance yourself.

The point is that, with the load of the nut, you don't have any preload on the bearings. The press will seat the bearings, and the preload of the press is designed to simulate the nut. See what I mean? Ideally, under the 3 tons, regardless of whether it's supplied by nut or press, the shim compresses just enough that there's no play. Free of nut or press, the thing will probably be wobbly.

mmoe
15-11-10, 12:14 AM
Unless I'm missing something, I think you need to have no rolling resistance when you've got the 3 tons force on it. The shim adjustment should be to "balance" play and rolling resistance, much the way you would adjust the wheel bearings on a bicycle. There should be a "sweet spot" where there is no rolling resistance or play, with three tons of force pushing down on it.

This way, when you do take it apart, it probably will have play. But then when you put it back together and torque the nut, there'll probably be about 3 tons of force on the thing from the nut. If it's got play when torquing the nut down, I'd say you need to adjust that shim stack. And it would seem to _me_ that you could just do that by assembling and torquing it with a nut and lower sprocket, and then testing it for play or resistance yourself.

The point is that, with the load of the nut, you don't have any preload on the bearings. The press will seat the bearings, and the preload of the press is designed to simulate the nut. See what I mean? Ideally, under the 3 tons, regardless of whether it's supplied by nut or press, the shim compresses just enough that there's no play. Free of nut or press, the thing will probably be wobbly.
This closely resembles my thoughts.

li Arc
15-11-10, 12:31 AM
Unless I'm missing something, I think you need to have no rolling resistance when you've got the 3 tons force on it. The shim adjustment should be to "balance" play and rolling resistance, much the way you would adjust the wheel bearings on a bicycle. There should be a "sweet spot" where there is no rolling resistance or play, with three tons of force pushing down on it.

It's not possible to press the bearings together with 3 tonnes of force and get no rolling resistance in it. 3 tonnes of force is more than enough to press the bearing onto the shaft, which means that amount of force *will* move the two bearings towards each other. The shim adjustment, as I understand it, is *only* to eliminate axial play. According to the manual, if axial play cannot be eliminated, the bearing needs to be pressed off, the shims adjusted, the bearing pressed back on with the 3 tonnes of force maintained on it, the bearings seated, and the axial play checked again.

This way, when you do take it apart, it probably will have play. But then when you put it back together and torque the nut, there'll probably be about 3 tons of force on the thing from the nut. If it's got play when torquing the nut down, I'd say you need to adjust that shim stack.

The shim stack should only be adjusted when there is axial play, which is the purpose of applying 3-tonnes of force on the bearings and seating them. By the time the input shaft is placed into the transmission, there should be no further adjustments required. I have no doubt that the 'preload' placed on the bearings after the axial play check is less than 3 tonnes since the bearings will push away from themselves after being removed from the press, so it's still possible the 'preload' applied by the nut equals or is close to 3 tonnes.

The point is that, with the load of the nut, you don't have any preload on the bearings. The press will seat the bearings, and the preload of the press is designed to simulate the nut. See what I mean? Ideally, under the 3 tons, regardless of whether it's supplied by nut or press, the shim compresses just enough that there's no play. Free of nut or press, the thing will probably be wobbly.

The point I was trying to make in my previous post was that any 'preload' applied to the bearings is irrelevant; the final rolling torque of the input shaft will be set by the torque of the nut. Since this creates a rolling resistance that exceeds the rolling resistance of any such 'preload', whether the 'preload' is zero or some value less than the final rolling resistance, the result will still be the final rolling torque that it is now.

li Arc

euromobile900
15-11-10, 12:53 AM
The shim adjustment, as I understand it, is *only* to eliminate axial play.
As I understood it, it was also to eliminate rolling resistance. But the official manual is obtuse in its wording. If you have too few shims, you get resistance. If you have too many, you get axial play. Obviously, you can have too few shims and still have no axial play, but then the bearing will have rolling resistance. This is the situation I think your gearbox is in now.

I base this off of a quote from the '86 transmission manual, which reads as follows:
If correctly shimmed, bearings should have no rolling resistance and no play.
I believe that both these conditions (no resistance and no play) are to be achieved under a load of 3 tons. I am anxious to see what Mmoe says about this though, as I haven't enough confidence in my reading of the manual to make sure.

Also, re your tapping tappets, have you checked that your oiler tubes are lined up, as per SaabHat93's amazing writeup (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=176711)? That's one thing. You sound pretty confident your pickup tube is seated, and an unseated pickup tube seems (from the threads I've seen) to result in NO oil pressure. Barring that, I did have a friend who tried to change his oil pump O-ring and while he was mounting the pump housing, it came unseated and got sandwiched between housing and timing cover. This resulted in a big leak when the car was on, pressure enough to put out the light, but not enough pressure to quiet the tappets. Those are the only trouble spots I can think of at the moment ;)

mmoe
15-11-10, 03:31 AM
The above is correct regarding input shaft bearings. The shims should provide the space necessary to prevent preload under 3 tons of force, but should not be thick enough to produce axial play under the same force. It's a very delicate balance between the two which is hard to properly produce.

While I haven't had time to verify, I suspect that the shim set used in a given housing can be maintained with new bearings and produce the same result as was factory within reasonable tolerences (provided the housing is not damaged when removing the races). I don't usually keep them together when dismantling transmission (shims and housings, which along with other parts get broken down and sorted into bins of similar parts), but plan to check a couple in the not too distant future. Bearings seem to be manufactured to such tight tolerences that I find it hard to believe they would be the source of any significant variance. The main source of variance seems to be the bearing housing.

li Arc
15-11-10, 11:40 AM
As far as oil pressure goes, I am 100% certain the oil pickup tube is doing its job, as there really isn't any way of screwing that up and still being able to bolt it in perfectly. However, I noticed some oil splashes around the block already, which means something is very leaking. I'm going to have to trace the leaks, but I think there are a few potential spots:

1) -10AN return line from turbo: the fittings are so huge that simply getting a tool in there to tighten the connection is difficult, though most people mention 1/4 turn past finger tight is all that's needed. I will need to revisit, but there's a couple splashes near the bulkhead fitting, and I wouldn't be surprised if the turbo end isn't tight enough.
2) valve cover gasket: there is some oil on the right engine mount, which I think the only way to get that there is from the head. This might have come from moving the valve cover on and off after having had oil reach the head, but I've since replaced the new cover with the old cover using the newer gasket; it should seal just as well, so I'll have to clean that mess up and check again.

I reread the transmission manual this morning, and found the passage regarding "no resistance to movement". The manual seemed to make such a big deal about the axial play that I completely missed that part; I always wondered how the shims could produce axial play, and what its whole purpose was in the assembly. But I took the original shim (with the original housing), and had that placed back in between the bearings.

I think you guys are most likely right. And if you are, it means it needs to come back out. For it to come back out, the inner drivers and diff need to come back out, the retaining bracket removed, the layshaft punched back out, the constant mesh input gear pulled, the primaries removed, and finally the input shaft itself removed. This most likely can't be done with the engine in situ (or won't be worth doing this way), so the engine needs to be pulled again. A shop will need to remove the bearing, put shims on, press the bearing back on, check, remove the bearing, remove shims, press back on, check, etc. The new piece done, it needs to go back in the reverse way, the engine put back into the bay, and everything reassembled.

Given the amount of time it took me to get to this point and the imminent onslaught of winter tonight, I don't think I have the time, energy, or patience to complete the work this year. I don't think I'll be giving up on the Saab anytime soon, but I think I need a hiatus from it, probably until the weather warms up again in the spring. As fun as some parts of this project were, it was a real financial, mental, and physical drain that I'll need time to recouperate from. Unfortunately, when reality hits again, it doesn't pull its punches. I may just hold off on MS for another year...I haven't really been able to just go out and enjoy the c900 for a long time.

Hopefully, one day, this car won't need to be in a project thread any longer.

li Arc

Squaab99t
16-11-10, 01:22 PM
As far as oil pressure goes, I am 100% certain the oil pickup tube is doing its job, as there really isn't any way of screwing that up and still being able to bolt it in perfectly. However, I noticed some oil splashes around the block already, which means something is very leaking. I'm going to have to trace the leaks, but I think there are a few potential spots:

1) -10AN return line from turbo: the fittings are so huge that simply getting a tool in there to tighten the connection is difficult, though most people mention 1/4 turn past finger tight is all that's needed. I will need to revisit, but there's a couple splashes near the bulkhead fitting, and I wouldn't be surprised if the turbo end isn't tight enough.
2) valve cover gasket: there is some oil on the right engine mount, which I think the only way to get that there is from the head. This might have come from moving the valve cover on and off after having had oil reach the head, but I've since replaced the new cover with the old cover using the newer gasket; it should seal just as well, so I'll have to clean that mess up and check again.

I reread the transmission manual this morning, and found the passage regarding "no resistance to movement". The manual seemed to make such a big deal about the axial play that I completely missed that part; I always wondered how the shims could produce axial play, and what its whole purpose was in the assembly. But I took the original shim (with the original housing), and had that placed back in between the bearings.

I think you guys are most likely right. And if you are, it means it needs to come back out. For it to come back out, the inner drivers and diff need to come back out, the retaining bracket removed, the layshaft punched back out, the constant mesh input gear pulled, the primaries removed, and finally the input shaft itself removed. This most likely can't be done with the engine in situ (or won't be worth doing this way), so the engine needs to be pulled again. A shop will need to remove the bearing, put shims on, press the bearing back on, check, remove the bearing, remove shims, press back on, check, etc. The new piece done, it needs to go back in the reverse way, the engine put back into the bay, and everything reassembled.

Given the amount of time it took me to get to this point and the imminent onslaught of winter tonight, I don't think I have the time, energy, or patience to complete the work this year. I don't think I'll be giving up on the Saab anytime soon, but I think I need a hiatus from it, probably until the weather warms up again in the spring. As fun as some parts of this project were, it was a real financial, mental, and physical drain that I'll need time to recouperate from. Unfortunately, when reality hits again, it doesn't pull its punches. I may just hold off on MS for another year...I haven't really been able to just go out and enjoy the c900 for a long time.

Hopefully, one day, this car won't need to be in a project thread any longer.

li Arc

Sorry to hear of your difficulties. To quote a good friend and long time Saab Tech "This stuff is not like pulling teeth." There are a huge amount of steps to get it all correct. Hats off to you for doing it yourself with little or no experience. When I did my engine overhaul I was constantly calling on my friends for advice or wrench time. I had my ups and downs, but in the end perseverance wins. It is easy to throw in the towel, so hang in there. Take a break, plan, regroup and try again.

Boosted
17-11-10, 06:03 PM
While I haven't had time to verify, I suspect that the shim set used in a given housing can be maintained with new bearings and produce the same result as was factory within reasonable tolerences (provided the housing is not damaged when removing the races). I don't usually keep them together when dismantling transmission (shims and housings, which along with other parts get broken down and sorted into bins of similar parts), but plan to check a couple in the not too distant future. Bearings seem to be manufactured to such tight tolerences that I find it hard to believe they would be the source of any significant variance. The main source of variance seems to be the bearing housing.

That was not the case with my rebuild. After putting in new bearings the shim stack did have to be changed. The bearings were a little loose in my case and required an additional shim.

li Arc
07-03-11, 12:03 PM
So spring is on its way, and hopefully in about 2 months' time, it'll be nice and warm out here again. It's been a nice relaxing winter as far as the c900 is concerned, since I literally did not do anything with it for the past almost-4 months. However, when it does get warm enough to work on it again, I would like to make sure it's quick and (relatively) painless so to ensure minimum down time and maximum enjoyment!

In order to do this, there are 3 main things I need to do:

1) Since this is the easiest I may as well get it done and over with: fix the PS reservoir leak, or replace the tank. I must've cracked it when I replaced the feed hose to the pump, and when I couldn't find the crack I tried applying epoxy to any seams I could find. The leak persisted.

2) Get the engine back out, the diff and inner drivers removed, and the primary sprockets off so that I can get the cluster gear shaft out again and pull the 5th gear/input shaft and have the shop re-do the shimming/axial play test again. This time, I'm making sure there's absolutely no preload on the bearings before I put it back in!

3) Before taking the engine out, I'll have to first clean it up a bit and get some UV dye in the oil so I can find the leak around the block. I'm still thinking it's most likely the turbo oil return, but I hope not since I put a lot of effort into getting that right. Worse come to worse, I replace it again with the stock return pipe. But I'm also worried that it's somewhere else, like the oil filter mount or something else. After reading about the oil pressure relieve valve at the back, I also cleaned that out last year, so I may have to retorque as well. Oh well, UV dye will help me pinpoint it.

Hopefully this won't take too long, but it really depends on how much help I can find as well. We'll see how things go. But I've been thinking more and more about doing the work again, so hopefully I'm not as frustrated with the whole thing as I first thought!

What I'll need to source, most importantly, are the shims between the bearings in the 5th gear/input shaft. I'll need a selection of the thin ones (ie. not the large ~8mm one), so if anyone has any out there, let me know...I'd like to have them ready by the time I start!

li Arc

li Arc
04-07-11, 01:55 PM
I've resumed work on the C900 now, which is a little late in the season, but hopefully I can get enough work done on it. I've since replaced the PS reservoir, and it seems to have done the job, so one less problem. I also still need to pull the engine to have the input shaft tapered bearing assembly shimmed correctly, which will be fairly quick (and hopefully painless). Having pulled the engine once, I believe with help I can get it out again in a day. It's just really sitting there waiting. Yes, I know, the hood is askew...it still fits, but not nicely enough. May need a new one in the future, after the engine stuff is done.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Z-BdbWmKAi0/ThHZB_a7KYI/AAAAAAAAAjU/RsitLNR14E4/Front%252520no-bumper.jpg

However, the number one priority right now is sorting out the valve ticking issue, which I attribute to oil pressure. Right now, the oil pressure lamp is not indicating any issues, but the ticking is fairly obvious, and it's not just one or two ticking valves, they're all doing it. So, here's a few things I've been trying in order to sort this out:

1) Turbo oil return line.

The ss-braided teflon -10AN Aeroquip line I had made was apparently not flexible enough for my application, and it gave some slight creaks when I last forced it into place. I wasn't very comfortable with this, plus the old line was slightly too long since I forgot to compensate for the adapter on the turbo end, so I went back to have a new line made up. I found out that the teflon line was like built for 1200psi, so it was definitely overkill; the hydraulics shop said I should be fine with a high-temp rubber line (also Aeroquip). They're simply push-on fittings, but the guy said that the hose will pop long before the fittings will fly off...he recommended not using clamps on the ends or the clamps will damage the outer jacket under high temps. Seeing as the hose is built for 17 bar, I wasn't worried.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-OSHUrq9KTc8/ThHZBxpnkaI/AAAAAAAAAjY/LkatK5hTY7w/Aeroquip%252520return%252520line.jpg

Also, I wasn't sure that I torqued the line properly the last time around, since I was told finger tight, then 1/4 turn more. The area is pretty tight around there, and I couldn't get a spanner in well enough, so I decided to go out and get a 1" crowfoot wrench. Man, not cheap...but hey, definitely solid this time around!

2) Tightening the turbo lines all around. Same rules applied: finger tight, then 1/4 turn more. Did this to the feed lines as well.

3) Checking oil pressure relief valve.

This is tricky. I know I took it apart when I rebuilt the engine, and examined it, but I didn't actually clean it or anything. This might have dislodged something, but we'll have to see what happens when I take it out again. Unfortunately, it's been an exercise in futility trying to undo the valve bolt: the area is so tight there's hardly any space for the wrench. And even when I do get it on, there isn't enough space to turn it! I've been trying to put a shorter wrench on it, then whacking one end with a hammer, but to no avail because of space restrictions. I'm also perplexed how I'll be able to get anything in there (like a rifle cleaner or anything) with the amount of space in the area? And no, it's not accessible through the drive tunnel because it's above it. Ideas?

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-PObumbxrS_E/ThHZBrfWl8I/AAAAAAAAAjQ/d5Ud4hZOhes/oil%252520pressure%252520relief%252520valve.jpg

4) What I will try also, if all else fails, is to seal the valve cover gasket with loctite 518 as well, and see if that does it. Otherwise, I don't know what else it could be. I'm worried that it's possible the head wasn't done correctly and that something in there is messing the head up, esp. since the oil pressure light isn't on.

Here's a vid of me looking around, trying to figure where there are leaks. This is after I replaced the oil return line.

C900 Valve Tick

li Arc

Squaab99t
04-07-11, 03:44 PM
Good to see you are still giving it the effort. I feel you pain. I'm pulling my engine too after my rebuild just 20k miles ago. Have a bad ring or crack piston because I get blow by and pressurizing the crank case. Compression is at 50 psi on cyl 3.

That oil return line is tricky when switch to a different turbo center housing.
This is what I recently cobbled together to get mine squared away. I also used a more flexable hose, Aeroquip Starlite which has a Nomex over braid in lieu of stainless steel.
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2282_Custom.sized.jpg

http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/P1030938_Custom.sized.jpg
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2281_Custom.sized.jpg
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2273_Custom.sized.jpg

li Arc
04-07-11, 07:40 PM
Hey Squaab, sorry to hear about your compression...that's what led to the rebuild for me too! Of course, I'm finding that the engine rebuild, although precise, isn't as bad as the tranny rebuild, which is many other things as well as precise!

That's a really good idea for the return line inlet...I never thought of that before! Now I kind of wish I did because that's a LOT easier to troubleshoot than having to pull the engine and transmission if mine is giving me problems! However, I'm beginning to think that the bulkhead fitting isn't the cause of my oil pressure problems, so I'll have to continue hunting that down. That said, I did consider 1) 45 degree fittings on both ends, but that might not quite be correct (70 degree might be better), and 2) aluminum racing fittings from Earls. At this rate, having to make new lines every time I face a problem is starting to get expensive, and using aluminum reusable fittings is starting to make a lot of sense! But coupling aluminum to steel worries me a bit, just because the aluminum will be softer. Anyways, I've still got a bit of rubber hose left, and I can try getting some of those fittings at a local shop. I'm suspecting the kink in the return line isn't helping matters even if it's not causing the problems, so I still need to figure a way to solve that.

I have since removed the trigger wheel which was oscillating on the pulley end, which I'm worried may have had an impact on the engine bearings (but probably not so much since I've probably run it less than 20 mins in total), and I'm going to have another go at the pressure relief valve once I can figure out how to get at it. Still, I recall during the last inspection of the valve that there weren't really any problems with it.

I may consider getting an oil gauge to check oil pressure, but somehow, I don't really think that will help, unless I can move it around and find spots of low pressure. If the oil filter pressure sensor isn't indicating any problems, oil is circulating and at a decent pressure. I know that the oil pickup tube is good, because I replaced the o-ring and retorqued to spec; I just hope there's no diff between old 4-speed oil depth and 5-speed oil depth (I know that manual and autos use different pickup tubes). Another thing that has occurred to me is whether or not it's possible some of the oil passages are blocked in the head, if it seems like pressure is low there and maybe pressure is good everywhere else? The head came back quite clean from the rebuilders and they did blast out the passage ways, so I'm not very convinced this could be the case.

li Arc

Squaab99t
06-07-11, 12:01 AM
Hey Squaab, sorry to hear about your compression...that's what led to the rebuild for me too! Of course, I'm finding that the engine rebuild, although precise, isn't as bad as the tranny rebuild, which is many other things as well as precise!

That's a really good idea for the return line inlet...I never thought of that before! Now I kind of wish I did because that's a LOT easier to troubleshoot than having to pull the engine and transmission if mine is giving me problems! However, I'm beginning to think that the bulkhead fitting isn't the cause of my oil pressure problems, so I'll have to continue hunting that down. That said, I did consider 1) 45 degree fittings on both ends, but that might not quite be correct (70 degree might be better), and 2) aluminum racing fittings from Earls. At this rate, having to make new lines every time I face a problem is starting to get expensive, and using aluminum reusable fittings is starting to make a lot of sense! But coupling aluminum to steel worries me a bit, just because the aluminum will be softer. Anyways, I've still got a bit of rubber hose left, and I can try getting some of those fittings at a local shop. I'm suspecting the kink in the return line isn't helping matters even if it's not causing the problems, so I still need to figure a way to solve that.

I have since removed the trigger wheel which was oscillating on the pulley end, which I'm worried may have had an impact on the engine bearings (but probably not so much since I've probably run it less than 20 mins in total), and I'm going to have another go at the pressure relief valve once I can figure out how to get at it. Still, I recall during the last inspection of the valve that there weren't really any problems with it.

I may consider getting an oil gauge to check oil pressure, but somehow, I don't really think that will help, unless I can move it around and find spots of low pressure. If the oil filter pressure sensor isn't indicating any problems, oil is circulating and at a decent pressure. I know that the oil pickup tube is good, because I replaced the o-ring and retorqued to spec; I just hope there's no diff between old 4-speed oil depth and 5-speed oil depth (I know that manual and autos use different pickup tubes). Another thing that has occurred to me is whether or not it's possible some of the oil passages are blocked in the head, if it seems like pressure is low there and maybe pressure is good everywhere else? The head came back quite clean from the rebuilders and they did blast out the passage ways, so I'm not very convinced this could be the case.

li Arc

I left the transmission overhaul to the experts at Scanwest.
I'm pleased the way the return line ended up. I followed your install, but I had tried the same bulk head style fitting on my diff cover. I did not like the way if you loosened the fitting it was possible to break the bulk head loose and possibly loose the nut inside.
The fittings are 60*, so good guess.

The trigger wheel oscillation should not have caused any damage. Too little time, low speed, and the inertia is pretty minimal.

Ticking:
Check the oil level? The oil cooler and plumbing use up a fair amount.
Did you reinstall the black bolts on the inner cam carrier cap bolt holes? They have a special groove for the oil to travel in.
Sure it is not an exhaust leak? Head to the manifold.
Might search on SaabRally about the oil pickup length. I recall reading something, but it maybe the auto versus manual.

Good luck,
Dennis

crwchf01
07-07-11, 02:08 PM
Good to see you are still giving it the effort. I feel you pain. I'm pulling my engine too after my rebuild just 20k miles ago. Have a bad ring or crack piston because I get blow by and pressurizing the crank case. Compression is at 50 psi on cyl 3.

That oil return line is tricky when switch to a different turbo center housing.
This is what I recently cobbled together to get mine squared away. I also used a more flexable hose, Aeroquip Starlite which has a Nomex over braid in lieu of stainless steel.
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2282_Custom.sized.jpg

http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/P1030938_Custom.sized.jpg
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2281_Custom.sized.jpg
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2273_Custom.sized.jpg
Nice work there, do your own welding? Got a pattern for us mechanically challenged out here? And a material list? AN10 or 12? Also you know they make a copper washer seal that will install if for some reason the mating surfaces are damaged. I believe they are called cone seals.

Squaab99t
07-07-11, 11:28 PM
Nice work there, do your own welding? Got a pattern for us mechanically challenged out here? And a material list? AN10 or 12? Also you know they make a copper washer seal that will install if for some reason the mating surfaces are damaged. I believe they are called cone seals.

Thank you. Yes that is my design and fabrication. I've been TIG welding for a few years and practicing on various projects has allowed me to get better and better.
AN10 unplated steel bung counter bored out to the Pipe's OD, stock Saab return pipe cut to 1.625".

http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2167.sized.jpg
If you do not have access to a metal lathe, you could skip the counter boring, but it helps center the pipe and makes it easier to weld since the joints are of similar wall thickness.


http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2168.sized.jpg

http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2183.sized.jpg
The lower saddle was made from a closet shelf bracket scrap steel. I used a spare block to locate the holes and cutout to go around the return opening in the block.
http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2267_Custom.sized.jpg

http://www.saabphotos.com/gallery/albums/GT3071R-Turbo/IMG_2271_Custom.sized.jpg

Squaab99t
08-07-11, 09:15 AM
http://www.saablink.net/forum/performance-modifications-classic-900/13510-3.htm

Check out post 49 and 51. It might be worth a shot?

li Arc
18-07-11, 06:47 PM
Very nice work, could be very useful for others in the future! Most generic AN-based oil return line parts are -10AN, which makes it fairly easy. I decided to take the same route, and make myself a line with re-usable fittings. Which was a good thing, because I ended up having to make and remake my hose about 3-4 times! I even had to fine tune it twice, shaving several millimeters off the length of the hose...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-bZGt4-nFU7g/TiO6uU1cgaI/AAAAAAAAAj0/X9I3PpQo_mc/New%252520hose%252520and%252520fittings.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0xBixoPRnBo/TiO6od9FjxI/AAAAAAAAAjs/0O7tPuTgjJ4/Assembled%252520hose%252520compare.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-4XIzFX0qk1E/TiO65ZdsABI/AAAAAAAAAj4/Ui3BcnWsuxQ/s912/New%252520hose%252520in%252520place.jpg

I did end up marring the fantastically beautiful anodized aluminum fittings with my steel wrenches, but I didn't really care about that too much...I wasn't making these for a show car, I just needed something that fits without burning a hole in my pocket! Well, at least I got the first part of that...

It's a good fit, and I think that eliminates any possibility of the line being my point of pressure leak. I've been posting in the workshop forums to try to troubleshoot the stupid ticking, and it's just driving me nuts...I'm really starting to run out of ideas. My gut feeling is that it's something head-related, and the engine pressure is fine (the pressure lamp does go out, but I haven't done an oil pressure test yet since it's hard to find the equipment here, apparently).

I've:
1) ensured my turbo oil lines are secure
2) checked oil level (mid-way between min and max)
3) checked the oil spray tubes; new ones are coming in whenever eeuro gets off their butts (stupid 3 week ETA)
4) checked oil level in the head

All I've got left now is:
1) check cam bearing bolts are in correctly
2) check oil pressure relief valve
3) perform an oil pressure test
4) maybe replace all the lifters

I posted the photo for checking my oil pressure relief valve in the workshop area, but I'll post here again: I really don't see how one can get the bolt off and even access the relief valve, let alone clean it:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-PObumbxrS_E/ThHZBrfWl8I/AAAAAAAAAjQ/d5Ud4hZOhes/oil%252520pressure%252520relief%252520valve.jpg

Yes, that is the LHS engine mount just to the left of the oil pressure relief valve bolt that my wrench is on. And the reason why the wrench is up there is because there's not enough space to leverage the wrench from underneath, it's ridiculous!

As for #4, I don't really think this is the issue, since these are the same lifters, in the same positions, as they were when I pulled them out before the head rebuild. But who knows...

Also, thanks for the post Squaab, but I think that only applies to the later heads (89- and up?). Good info though, I think it's also stated in the Bentley.

There are also absolutely no oil leaks, so I'm stumped at the moment. I really need to get this dumb oil problem sorted out, then I can move on to pulling the engine again and fixing the tranny problem from last year; I imagine this should be relatively painless, but I also want to make sure if it is indeed an engine problem that I fix it when I do pull the engine instead of finding out again after and having to pull a third time!

li Arc

li Arc
21-07-11, 12:43 PM
So I think I understand what the problem is now. As peva pointed out in the workshop section, there is a clearance spec between the valve stem end and the lower camshaft bearing that must be maintained; this spec is the operational range of the hydraulic lifters, and is a relationship between the depth of the valve seat and the length of the valve. If the valve is too high, the stem needs to be ground down, if the valve is too low, the seat needs to be machined. Thus, also, one cannot mix-and-match valve positions.

When I brought the head to the shop, I asked them to replace the exhaust valves with new (which I brought in for them having sourced TRW valves from eeuroparts), and they ground and lapped the intake valves. However, I never mentioned to them this spec since I wasn't aware of it, so the work was likely not performed. Also, it's possible that the intake valves didn't go back to their original positions, but I will have to ask them about this.

At any rate, after doing some very preliminary measurements (I need better tools), I think at least 5 of the valves are quite out of spec, though I will try to get a better measurement tool and ascertain the depth of every valve. I'll likely bring the head back to the shop and have them fix it for me, which will hopefully be the end of this problem. I'm also hoping I didn't damage the lifters running them like that for a while, but I may be able to (inexpensively) get my hands on a set of new ones if need be.

My main question is this: if I ascertain the valve depths are incorrect, is this the most likely cause of the ticking in the head? If I perform an oil pressure test at the filter and the spec is good, can I basically determine there are no (other) oil pressure problems and that the problem I'm seeing is solely located in the head?

If so, it's time for a pulling this weekend! ;ol;

li Arc

B202NUT
21-07-11, 02:25 PM
When I brought the head to the shop, I asked them to replace the exhaust valves with new (which I brought in for them having sourced TRW valves from eeuroparts), and they ground and lapped the intake valves. However, I never mentioned to them this spec since I wasn't aware of it, so the work was likely not performed. Also, it's possible that the intake valves didn't go back to their original positions, but I will have to ask them about this.
li Arc

I imagine a reputable head shop would have known and done those things as standard practice wouldn't they? it was the case with my head/valve job about 5 months ago. When i called to try to explain the valves needed to go back to its original location and tried to remind them of specified clearance,lapping and so on, I was told to get back to my day job and let them handle the head work as what I was trying to explain is standard practice. I only had 1 experience so not sure if it was simply the way they did business or standard practice regarding head shops.

I am not to skilled in the area your traveling but I been following your thread and it seems like your getting close to being done;ol;

li Arc
21-07-11, 05:05 PM
Well, unfortunately labour in Canada is very expensive, and what I paid these guys (around $750) is on the low end of service; I think they're probably alright, but I had to hold their hand most of the way, mostly because I understand a lot of shops work on American muscle cars and Japanese ricers and some restorations, but the Saab is like no other car, and (for better or for worse) they do things very differently sometimes. So, although they know how to do their job, the Saab work may not conform to their 'job', plus c900's are extremely rare here so I doubt most shops have ever touched a c900 or even 9000 head before.

That said, every car manufacturer has different specs and tolerances since they engineer things differently, and due to the rarity of the c900, this information isn't easy to come by. If they had no spec to go on, they'll probably just do what they can, or perhaps they figured that this head uses shims or something instead which would compensate for the positional differences. I'm sure since I didn't say anything about it, they didn't know...so I won't blame them for that. But I did notice variations out of spec across the valves, so it'll have to be corrected one way or another. If they don't have a queue, I should be able to get it back in a few days...hopefully.

Word to the wise out there: if you're replacing valves, getting them ground, or are getting the valve seats machined, get this checked! Even if not and you're bringing it to the shop, make sure they replace the valves back in their original positions! :nono;

li Arc

B202NUT
21-07-11, 06:04 PM
Well, unfortunately labour in Canada is very expensive, and what I paid these guys (around $750) is on the low end of service; I think they're probably alright, but I had to hold their hand most of the way, mostly because I understand a lot of shops work on American muscle cars and Japanese ricers and some restorations, but the Saab is like no other car, and (for better or for worse) they do things very differently sometimes. So, although they know how to do their job, the Saab work may not conform to their 'job', plus c900's are extremely rare here so I doubt most shops have ever touched a c900 or even 9000 head before.

That said, every car manufacturer has different specs and tolerances since they engineer things differently, and due to the rarity of the c900, this information isn't easy to come by. If they had no spec to go on, they'll probably just do what they can, or perhaps they figured that this head uses shims or something instead which would compensate for the positional differences. I'm sure since I didn't say anything about it, they didn't know...so I won't blame them for that. But I did notice variations out of spec across the valves, so it'll have to be corrected one way or another. If they don't have a queue, I should be able to get it back in a few days...hopefully.

Word to the wise out there: if you're replacing valves, getting them ground, or are getting the valve seats machined, get this checked! Even if not and you're bringing it to the shop, make sure they replace the valves back in their original positions! :nono;

li Arc

I will admit the shop that did my head job the owner was actually. Pleased to see a C900 head. He explained he use to do them all the time. You paid hefty price for ameature work (by US standards). My head was completely remanned including a fresh coat of whatever they paint heads with for $350, an vav
Valve lapping.

It definately sounds like you filled the gap for them though. Hope you get her rollin soon.

Cheers,

li Arc
22-07-11, 12:54 PM
So I went to get myself a depth gauge yesterday, and tried my hardest attempt to prove that the exhaust valve clearances weren't within spec. I was surprised to see, however, that they were all actually within spec, and I should have known given I saw evidence of the stem heads being ground down. I still need to check the intake valve clearances, but I'll be more careful; I guess my measurement tools from the previous night gave me a wildly different perspective, even if I could get consistent readings from it. I was also desperate to find any possible hard explanation for why the lifters weren't behaving as they should, though I am quite convinced that the oil pressure is adequate, and there is nothing wrong with the block.

I'm pretty sure anything that's wrong is within the head now...but I need to prove that to myself before I pull the engine or I'll be kicking myself after finding out something is wrong with the block after I've pulled and replaced the engine, for the second time! :nono; I'm going to achieve this by doing an oil pressure test from the filter, and ascertain the oil pressure is within the correct limits. Unfortunately, these kits seem really rare in town, and though there are a couple places that have them, they range anywhere from $50-$200, with the median being around $90 for the tester...I only need it one time! So, I'm going on the hunt, either to source a cheap one or to make my own. Anyone know if the pressure sensor port is a 1/4" NPT fitting? :roll:

So I'm still trying to diagnose the ticking problem. I'm starting to really run out of ideas. One thing I came across is that I'm using an mid-86+ valve cover gasket, which I now remember is because I threw away my 85' gasket because I was certain the powdercoated head (that uses the newer style gasket) would work (which it didn't); I may give that another go again, but I really don't know why it's not working, only that I get this same crazy valve tick with it on; there's no hard evidence to suggest what's wrong with that cover. So if I were to believe that the tick is the result of the gasket itself, then that should be easily proven once my elring gaskets come in (or should I just try the "Victor Reinz" one I've got on hand?).

I also mentioned in the workshop that perhaps tired springs pushing tired hydraulic lifters didn't show up as a problem before I rebuilt the head, but now that I've uprated the springs to brand new, stiffer Volvo springs, it's possible that the lifters are going to show their true age and tick no matter what. Should the "poke with a wooden stick" trick easily show this? Perhaps I will try on the weekend, since I can get a full set of lifters for not too bad a price.

As usual, any input is appreciated, it definitely feels less hopeless with help around the corner! So...darned...close! :cry:

li Arc

white65
24-07-11, 09:55 AM
Get a mechanics stethoscope to find the ticking noise.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQpS42kWvze0ADxh0R42J0i09crnwlzd ht2nXK0BWa9nTdCAHSt
They're a cheap, useful tool to have around to pinpoint noises.

crwchf01
24-07-11, 12:19 PM
You have solid exhaust valves, right? If the sodium filled valves, they should NEVER be ground, only replaced. The cap that holds in the sodium is what would be ground, and thinning that out can have NASTY results. But verify first they should be the sodium valves.

crwchf01
24-07-11, 02:12 PM
Had a thought...is it possible that you have a noisy injector sounding similar to a bad lifter? An impromptu stethoscope is a long screwdriver that you place the blade end on the area to be listened to and the handle you place your ear on to listen.

li Arc
25-07-11, 02:43 PM
The problem with using a stethescope is I think I'll go deaf before I can pinpoint it; you can hear it from within the cabin with the doors closed and as it is it makes a horrendous racket because there must be more than three of four lifters ticking away...it sounds like the entire train, to me. Also, the lifters are located close enough together that you won't really be able to distinguish the location of the noise from one lifter to the next, especially if you're just listening through the valve cover, which is isolated from the actual sound via the gasket on the edges and air right above the lifters. Obviously, you can't run the head without the cover on. And I don't really think it's the injectors, unless it's all of them...check the video, it sounds like the whole valve train is going!

The exhaust valves were never ground...they were replaced, and the stem ends (lifter contact point) had evidence of being ground. I made that very clear to the shop that if the old exhaust valves needed grinding in their opinion, they were to dispose of them and I would supply brand new TRW valves in their place.

So over the weekend, I attempted to measure the valve stem depth over several days, but it was impossible because there was no way I could get a consistent depth measurement. This was after I tried using a digital caliper and a depth gauge to do the work. Finally, I decided I had enough, and that 3 days trying to measure 16 valves was ridiculous. So I went to work to fashion a tool in order to ensure I can get correct readings, or at least, fairly close very repeatable readings.

Since the camshaft was 28.90mm in diameter (or about 1.140"), I went and bought a 1 1/8" (1.125") wooden dowel, cut it down, drilled a hole for a dial dial indicator, and went to work.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DE1zpjVK7hc/Ti0Ej0FxKDI/AAAAAAAAAko/gfGPELTLNU4/Cam%252520tool%252520dowel.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-L-VL86_YSLo/Ti0ENyMhsbI/AAAAAAAAAkg/qE1RuzO72H4/s640/Cam%252520tool.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-oWwkcZsBj1M/Ti0EunTEWcI/AAAAAAAAAks/sHUPcUrVA4c/Cam%252520tool%252520clearance.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-HtmCCNbtcuo/Ti0EGhWBObI/AAAAAAAAAkc/FJ6sPs-RbgM/Cam%252520tool%252520in%252520use.jpg

The major problem was I couldn't get the perpendicular part of any depth measuring tool level enough with the camshaft bearings that I can ensure that it is indeed perpendicular. Well, I made sure that this tool would rest on the bearings instead and ensure that it always rested across two bearings, so that perpendicularity was guaranteed. Thus, it always needed to be rested across two bearings.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-o4Jb3gjr6H8/Ti0D9pYywtI/AAAAAAAAAkY/x331Y52AqJ4/Cam%252520tool%252520bridging.jpg

Now that that was done, I measured all the stems...I'm not sure what type of accuracy I can claim on this tool, but even if I gave it a leeway of +/- 0.20mm, all the measurements I made were within the spec. So, unfortunately, I don't think the valve clearances are the answer. I'm beginning to suspect the lifters more and more now, but I still need to do my oil pressure test...I won't be able to do it tonight, but I'll try to get on it tomorrow.

Other than that, all I have left to try are:

1) proper valve cover gasket
2) head oiler tube kit
3) entire lifter set

li Arc

crwchf01
25-07-11, 03:05 PM
After all this, I do have to ask...I have heard muttered rumors (to me), that the pistons are uni-directional, to prevent piston slap of the cylinder walls, but it is not obvious as to the proper orientation as the off center is less than a mm. May be an area to look at, or I may be full of it:o. Good luck on the search.

li Arc
25-07-11, 04:13 PM
Yes, actually, I do recall this, and it may even be in the Bentley. I believe there's a notch somewhere that indicates the direction of the piston, and I'm pretty sure I followed that guide. Since it was a year ago, I can't recall the specifics, but I probably knew it then and followed the instructions.

Besides, I'm quite certain the sound isn't piston slap...it's quite evident it's coming from the head, and only one thing can make that kind of sound in the head...

Oh, and before anyone else asks, yes, I did check the engine oil level! This didn't occur to me until later, but it checks out! :p

li Arc

white65
25-07-11, 07:59 PM
The problem with using a stethescope is I think I'll go deaf before I can pinpoint it; you can hear it from within the cabin with the doors closed and as it is it makes a horrendous racket because there must be more than three of four lifters ticking away...it sounds like the entire train, to me. Also, the lifters are located close enough together that you won't really be able to distinguish the location of the noise from one lifter to the next, especially if you're just listening through the valve cover, which is isolated from the actual sound via the gasket on the edges and air right above the lifters.



Believe me, you would be able to distinguish and pinpoint the noises with the stehoscope, even with the valve cover on. Best $10 I ever spent for engine diagnostics. It has saved me a lot of time and trouble. Had a Mazda 929 that had 24 lifters buried deep in the engine, it told me which lifter was bad with slow pump-up.

Question? Are the cam gears on tight? Torque them down along with lock-tite?

li Arc
28-07-11, 02:09 AM
Hmmm, well, it wouldn't hurt to try...maybe I'll have a go at it on the weekend.

Cam gears are on tight and torqued to spec, I doubt thread locker will do anything to it given it was on just as tight when I pulled the engine this time as it was when I did the last headgasket. Everything is torqued to spec, cam bearing caps and valve cover as well.

So, I decided to try an 85' valve cover gasket from Victor Reinz, since I had a new one lying around, and sealed it as per Bentley with Loctite 518, but no go, not like I was really expecting any change. But I did manage to use my $6.99 oil pressure gauge to find the block pressure:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Fdktadu952o/TjD4sKsBBRI/AAAAAAAAAlE/y-qPGtIeMh0/s640/Oil%252520Pressure%252520at%252520Idle.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XrTbtRflNN8/TjD4suwA-fI/AAAAAAAAAlI/P1ju025BOSk/s640/Oil%252520Pressure%252520gauge%252520fitting.jpg

Well, it certainly tells me that the block is air tight as far as oil goes, as this pressure reading was taken from idle, not even 2000RPM (as the Bentley suggests, requiring a minimum of something like 39PSI). This means, as far as I'm concerned, oil at the block is not a problem, and that any problems going forward are located in the head itself. Which means, from what I can tell now, is either oil spray bars, or lifters. Since the former is less concrete and less likely to cause a full lifter train of problems, without much logical explanation for it (one of my sprayers is missing a bit of plastic, but hardly even leaves a crack of oil to exit), I'm leaning on the lifters. Particularly because I still think that these (original) lifters were tired lifters being counteracted by tired springs, which thus didn't show problems until I not only replaced the springs with new springs, but I got uprated springs to boot.

I'll try to narrow it down, but does it make logical sense for me to pinpoint the problem to the head thus freeing me to pull the engine at my convenience? Replacing the lifters is easy, and I can do it whenever, but I need to pull the engine while I still have the time and the chance to, so I can fix the transmission bearing problem. I'll probably do the lifter-poking and pinpointing with the stethescope on the weekend, I've got two brand new lifters on me right now, but from the sounds it's making, I'm going to need a whole lot more lifters than just two. I guess hopefully the stethescope will tell me exactly how many.

Meanwhile, even down, she looks beautiful:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0TUy71MU5Fo/Ti0EfKbMcdI/AAAAAAAAAkk/5PXpd_gao_g/s512/HDR%252520hood%252520open.jpg

li Arc

li Arc
04-08-11, 04:22 PM
I decided that there was an extremely low likelihood that the ticking in the head would require me to do an engine pull to rectify, since it seemed like it was some problem in the head, whether it's bad oilers or worn lifters. Another way to look at it is if I absolutely could not for the life of me fix the problem, would swapping in an entirely other head assembly (complete with its own fixin's) fix my problem? Probably. I know there were people who advocated for having the problem solved before I pull the engine, but I have a rant on that.

Unllike many other worldly places, in Calgary, we have 6 months of winter, 3 months of spring, and 3 months of fall. Only the latter part of spring and the former part of fall is actually weather where you can work on the car. No weather is guaranteed in Calgary, and, true to its self, we had huge douse and golf-ball sized hail yesterday, while I had the engine on the crane, trying to get it out! In fact, there has been no time here where I've ever seen consistent weather: I've seen rain, hail, thunder, snow, and sun all on the same day, whether it's in August or it's in January. I can't be guaranteed weather here for more than a few hours tops, though the likelihood of good weather is prevalent only in July and August; after that, anything goes. So, in other words, I have an extremely limited time frame whereby I can actually do an engine pull, and won't be physically suffering from doing so. I assure you, working on the car in any capacity in -35C with -45C wind blowing at you is not at all pleasant. One of these times when I was in such a situation and attempted to do clutch work resulted in frozen ratchets: yes, frozen ratchets. My tools gave up on the job before I could. Therefore, given the length of an engine pull cycle (probably 3 weeks, at least: 1 to pull, 1 to get shop work done, and 1 to put it back in), there is no chance I'm waiting on a simpler problem like head work when I can do it later (easier jobs are preferred if I have to work in the cold). With warm weather also comes vacation, which I still like to enjoy, and true to eeuroparts' horrible service my 7-day oilers would take 3 weeks to get in, before they can be shipped out to me. As of this moment, I still do not have the oiler kit in my hand after having ordered a month ago, and I am away on vacation next week. So if I decide to do the pull before I figure out what's wrong with the head, nothing short of aliens coming to burrow in our bodies and feed on our minds is going to stop me. I've done due diligence to ascertain the problem is solely in the head, so unless you live where I do, understand the climate dilemma, and are part of the rebuild, lay the he11 off!

Now that the rant is over, let's get back to business! So, over the course of the last 5 days, I did the engine pull myself, no help (well, my dad lent light help yesterday when the engine was on the crane and we were moving the crane about the garage). Turns out less stressful when taken in mild doses of 2 hours each, but still not a fantastic experience...mostly messy, as usual. But I've removed it, and it's sitting on the floor awaiting my eager hands to pull the output shaft back out so that the shop can have a go at the bearings and remove the preload. Since the shop is relatively quick, I don't anticipate any delays; I need one more 2-hour day to get it out, but it'll have to wait until I get back.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-KrzmZE_1o_U/Tjq3scYYOrI/AAAAAAAAAlY/lCB4-1RZKT8/s720/Engine%252520overview%2525202%2525200.75.jpg

In the meantime, now that the engine is out, I'm starting to feel the anticipation again for the drive, which is helping me put the thing back together as well. Nothing much new is going in from this point on (except for one thing, but that comes later), but it'll be like a new car to me: new steering, new engine, new head, new transmission...yes, it was all last year, but I still never got to drive it, so I'm making it this year! I decided to take some artsy shots of my components to keep me psyched, so that I'll have the steam to keep going when I get back from vacation.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-dtXiShJAV5s/Tjq3rk00YII/AAAAAAAAAlU/4xPwKh7PyaY/BW%252520XXR%252520006%252520Skim%252520Closeup.jp g

Part: Rims/Tires
Type: XXR 006/Nexen N3000
Dimensions: 17x6.5" 4x114.3mm 205/40/17

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GrOqqoqZruQ/Tjq3suQ2FJI/AAAAAAAAAlc/zrnUA1tZ5Ws/Forge%252520FMC900%252520Closeup.jpg

Part: Blow off valve
Type: Forge Motorsports FMAC900
Design: positive pressure dual-piston

li Arc

white65
04-08-11, 11:06 PM
li Arc,
Under thoses circumstances I would have made the same decision on the engine pull. Keep at it, it'll work out.

li Arc
05-08-11, 01:31 AM
Thanks man, sorry it's just been nagging at me, so I just had to let it out! But I will certainly heed all the other wisdom you guys imparted on me!

In the meantime though, I'll be laying off the updates for the next week while I'm away, so come back in a week and a half and I should have more news! Have a good one!

li Arc

jamengual
05-08-11, 02:39 AM
I'm with you, I always go against the flow....and I know what kind of weather your are talking about, I helped a friendo to move back to BC and puting stuff on the truck until 3 am in -16C is the painful thing ever!!!, I can't imagine -34C.

li Arc, your pictures are awesome.

what camera do you use ?

li Arc
08-08-11, 01:58 AM
Heh, thanks! Amazingly, the day after I posted this, we had this:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-KhP-kRXs8lg/TjyZv0q6JKI/AAAAAAAAAlw/XKddNWWuVVE/s400/1312592271354.jpg

Just had to take a photo of it, it had hailed and I'm sure snowed a bit, plus it was raining crazy hard, and flooding the streets here. I went up hill one street that was flooding an avalanche after it popped out 3 man hole covers and it was sunny and hot! This place is nuts! This photo I took with my Android phone camera.

The camera I use for the car photos is actually an amazing point and shoot...I used to shoot film SLR and know how to make a good image, but with this point and shoot I can still make amazing shots without needing the tweakability, I just need to know what the camera does in SLR terms in each of its modes! It's older now, the Panasonic ZS3, but it's such an amazing camera that they keep superseding the line with newer versions, now they are at like ZS9 or something...but very highly recommended!

Unfortunately, I can't afford a DSLR yet...

li Arc

jamengual
15-08-11, 07:06 PM
ahh Panasonic are good camera indeed.

Calgary!!!...the only time that I went there was to help a friend to move back to BC with freaking -16C until 3 am moving stuff to the huge track in the street.

I will never go back to that place unless that is summer and I just go for the day to visit someone, but that's about it.

so what happend with your lifters and the Head ?

li Arc
16-08-11, 04:13 PM
Heh yea, and -16C is warm for our winters! I guess I can be glad I don't live in Saskatchewan! :p Just got back from vacation in Vancouver/Seattle as well, not as warm and moist as I would have liked it this year, but still very nice! Next time, when this car is running, we should do a meetup!

Back to the grind now, after enjoying some time off. Hopefully my parts have come in to do the head stuff with, but in the meantime, I've gotta get the transmission output shaft fixed before I can get the engine back in and meddle with head work. Tearing down the transmission to get the output shaft out should be relatively quick, maybe an hour or two, so I want to get it done and out of the way ASAP!

In the meantime, I've commissioned a mech. eng buddy to solve my u-joint linkage problem for me so that I can adapt my off-the-shelf u-joint as my shifter shaft linkage. This should provide fantastic shifting and hopefully longevity to the linkage, if done right. I know there are others who are interested in the specifics, which I will comment on once I've had a chance to try it out.

I'm also contemplating fixing that trigger wheel, but we'll see what happens...it's not a large priority on my list now, since I'm currently more interested in enjoying the car and a reliable drive than the performance and fuel economy gains of MS. That being said, I realize the benefits of MS and am still interested, but it might be a few years later before I try it again. But I'm still open minded.

Also, I've been toying with the idea of fixing my AC again. The main reason why it's not working is because I removed the condenser in favor of the monster FMIC, but if I can get an aftermarket condenser in in a different location, I'd do it. I'll probably need new lines as well as a recharge, but I imagine that shouldn't be too difficult (and maybe the hydraulics shop can make me new, easier-to-route lines; one of mine is busted). Has anyone else tried this before? I can't put it where the FMIC is right now, but perhaps I can put something somewhere else, like where the stock IC used to be (or on the exhaust side, taking air in from the mirror of the engine oil cooler). It's not imperative, but it's a step in getting my girlfriend to make nice with my car...most of the time, they just don't understand each other. :roll:

li Arc

S900t8v
17-08-11, 10:25 AM
Hey Li Arc was just re reading your thread and wondered about these

Countershaft/layshaft aft bearing: unable to source
Upper chain sprocket bearing: unable to remove
5th gear layshaft rollers: unable to source

So you mentioned that the aft bearing is available at eeuro.Where exactly is this bearing located?

Same question with the 5th gear layshaft rollers, where is this?

And the sprocket bearing, where exactly is this, in the housing or in the sprocket? and why couldn't you remove it?

If you have any photos of any of these would you mind putting them up? :)

Hope everything is going well!

crwchf01
17-08-11, 12:21 PM
The loose layshaft rollers can be had. They do exist in the Saab part catalog and some are still available. IIRC the last time I priced them they were around $6 US each (OOUUCCHH:o). Talking to Scanwest and East of Sweden, they both indicated they had never had to replace these particular rollers unless lost. Upper chain sprocket bearing is I believe the BR9 But will confirm. Easy to find if you go to a bearing house and ask for a BR9 bearing. Saab is currently the only known source of the aft needle bearing for the countershaft bearing.

S900t8v
17-08-11, 12:32 PM
The loose layshaft rollers can be had. They do exist in the Saab part catalog and some are still available. IIRC the last time I priced them they were around $6 US each (OOUUCCHH:o). Talking to Scanwest and East of Sweden, they both indicated they had never had to replace these particular rollers unless lost. Upper chain sprocket bearing is I believe the BR9 But will confirm. Easy to find if you go to a bearing house and ask for a BR9 bearing. Saab is currently the only known source of the aft needle bearing for the countershaft bearing.

crwchf01 why is the sprocket bearing hard to remove?

crwchf01
17-08-11, 01:12 PM
crwchf01 why is the sprocket bearing hard to remove?

If using a drift method, you stand a high chance of breaking the bearing. the sidewalls are not particularly strong, and IIRC, removal is usually referenced as destroying the bearing. Inner race is relatively difficult to get to. Now as to my sarcastic response "Cause it can!!":cheesy:;ol;

euromobile900
17-08-11, 01:19 PM
Upper chain sprocket bearing is I believe the BR9 But will confirm.
Yep, BR9. I'm running one now, which I got from my local Napa. My friend who works there cross-referenced part numbers all the way from the original Timken to the BR9 number. Quite a feat, involving three phone calls, but at least I can sleep at night knowing I've got the right bearing. :)

li Arc
17-08-11, 02:22 PM
I actually did eventually get a shop to replace the upper sprocket bearing, sorry I didn't update! I forgot what the part number is, but BR9 does sound familiar. I got mine from eeuro (http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/PartDetail.aspx?id=8710865) because they listed it as "Genuine Saab Part" when it was an SKF part when I received it.

For some reason, I thought the aft bearing was available at eeuro, but I can't find it now. In their diagram, it's part #4. None of the local bearing houses had anything remotely similar, and I was unable to find the part number through cross-referencing online, so that was that. The 5th gear layshaft rollers, according to mmoe, don't need to be replaced, and are located in a recess in the 5th gear you remove from the primary housing side access. When I attempted to peer at the rollers to check their condition, I sprayed the rollers all over the garage floor, and ended up missing a single one. Luckily, mmoe had extras he sent me, but otherwise, I wouldn't really recommend checking them, or at least, be careful when you do. As crwchf01 mentioned, they most likely won't need replacing, and mine looked just fine.

li Arc

euromobile900
17-08-11, 06:55 PM
I actually did eventually get a shop to replace the upper sprocket bearing, sorry I didn't update! I forgot what the part number is, but BR9 does sound familiar. I got mine from eeuro (http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/PartDetail.aspx?id=8710865) because they listed it as "Genuine Saab Part" when it was an SKF part when I received it.
Ahh yes, I thought about going that route, but I'd be damned if I paid that much. I think the OEM was Timken (Australia) anyway, not that it matters. Mine from Napa was also an SKF and it cost me $25, plus eight hours of research. :roll: Guess it depends what your time is worth...mine is obviously worth nothing. :lol:
I punched my old one out with a drift. It had partially seized and spun on the aluminum arbor in the gearbox case, but was still pretty easy to hammer out of the backside of the gear with no special tools. The new one, I installed with a block of wood and a mallet.

For some reason, I thought the aft bearing was available at eeuro, but I can't find it now. In their diagram, it's part #4.
I'll see what I can drum up. It looks somewhat familiar, and I'm visiting my parts guy the week after next so I'll ask him. What part numbers do you have?

li Arc
18-08-11, 02:00 AM
I actually got it done for something like $75 or so, seeing as there was really no other alternative and I've already spent a ghastly $60 on that single bearing getting it form eeuro (if I knew earlier it was not a Saab-specific bearing, I would have got it much cheaper and in town). As for the aft cluster gear needle bearing cluster, I don't have a part number for that.

I've started on the transmission and I'm actually at the point (again) where I'm trying to get the upper sprocket off the aluminum arbor. However, for brevity, I decided to not dismount the engine from the transmission, so I don't have the space to get a drift and hammer in behind the sprocket, and I can't remember what I did the first time around (I seem to recall the bearing didn't give me any problems slipping off). I think I'll head to the supply shop tomorrow and get a slide hammer, but I'm having difficulties imagining how I'll get the sprocket off without a special attachment. Guesses?

After that's off, all I'll need to do is to undo the 5th gear collar, release the cluster gear shaft stop, punch the cluster gear shaft out enough to pull the 5th gear out, then undo the output shaft mount and bring it to the shop. As long as I can get the dratted upper sprocket off!

I'm also contemplating replacing the 3 drive chains, since I kept the old ones. I can get new ones for <$10 ea, from Iwis, but I'd have to get them in from elsewhere so time and shipping costs will ensue.

li Arc

li Arc
19-08-11, 01:37 PM
After using a bit of ingenuity, I was able to get the upper input shaft sprocket off by using a gear puller, the input shaft itself, and my trusty 3lb hammer! I had to wedge it out with 2 of the arms on the lower portion of the sprocket, the centre punch pushed too long against the input shaft, and smacking my hammer upside the puller so the 2 arms could yank outwards against the centre punch before I got to this stage, after which I just used the puller as normal (with a wrench).

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-2_rOJKl1CGY/Tk6AZFy6y7I/AAAAAAAAAmM/sqArGPBn_qY/Gear%252520puller%252520on%252520input%252520shaft %252520sprocket.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xJEX-PVeYy0/Tk6AdLe0dWI/AAAAAAAAAmg/GoRGPv6yjV8/Input%252520shaft%252520used%252520as%252520gear%2 52520puller%252520leverage.jpg

Be careful of the thread on the end of the input shaft though; if you can, cover it with a piece of metal or tighten a bolt into it. Once I figured this out, the sprocket came out easily, and I was on my way! You'll notice I was pulling on the chain; I'm not too concerned about this, because I've got new chains coming in (I decided to replace the old ones with new ones, since they're <$10 ea and still iwis). Be aware of the chains though, if you do decide to do this.


If you have any photos of any of these would you mind putting them up? :)


So here's the sprocket with the bearing inside; you'll see why it's difficult to remove. Also, I've got a totally different bearing number?? It's not a BR9...

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0HjvHFVHVNw/Tk6AbMy9qCI/AAAAAAAAAmU/DZnKi1vQEis/Input%252520shaft%252520sprocket%252520bearing%252 520number.jpg

I think it says Timken U298, though I can't recall any more if it's a full bearing or a bearing and a race.

As for the 5th gear, it pops out and looks like this:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-U4LRVa1UsH8/Tk6AYQ1ClAI/AAAAAAAAAmI/grevRf9Wgqg/5th%252520gear.jpg

...and you need to be careful not to loose these:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OCOEGgvtkEA/Tk6AaowRBgI/AAAAAAAAAmQ/5hR9g8bBJg4/5th%252520gear%252520roller%252520bearings%252520a nd%252520race.jpg

They're the rollers in the 5th gear we refer to, that are really difficult to find. When I pulled this apart by mistake (it's only held together by oil), the rollers fell all over the garage floor and I lost one. I headed to the bearing shops but no one carried these, so I had to ask mmoe to see if he had replacements; luckily, he did! :p So don't make the same mistake! These are a low failure rate point, so don't worry about replacing them!

And finally, the bane of my transmission problems, the reason for the entire engine pull:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-8BS-hVDqFVM/Tk6Ac9i8quI/AAAAAAAAAmY/cC8QfZTcQ1M/Output%252520shaft.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-XTeKh48Or4M/Tk6AdGD_uEI/AAAAAAAAAmc/PACpREhSXBg/Output%252520shaft%252520bearing%252520number.jpg

...the darned output shaft! As others have mentioned previously, this shaft should have NO rolling resistance, none whatsoever! This is achieved by placing shims between the two bearings so that they don't get crushed against each other, but maintaining no axial play. Since I didn't realize this the last time I put it together, when I tightened the nut against the lower sprocket, it essentially loaded the bearings and produced a fairly high rolling torque: enough that I can hear the engine bog down on it even when in neutral. So, it's out again now, and I'm taking it to the shop today for them to play with. Since I haven't been able to source shims, I'll have the shop make some; I don't think it's an irregular request. It's a pain to push and pull bearings to insert or remove shims until you get the right preload (none) and the right axial play (also none). I just hope this time it's done right.

li Arc

S900t8v
19-08-11, 08:17 PM
Li Arc have you seen how this process is described in the manual.

With the new bearings in put all the shims back in the housing and apply the 3t force.

Using a dial indicator measure the axial play whilst applying the 3t force. Subtract the measurement shown on the dial indicator worth of shims to achieve 0 axial play. If they remove too many shims then you get the preload on the bearings > I'm trying to figure out exactly how this happened? :confused:

You said that you tightened the nut and you think that put preload on the bearings, that's what the 3t force is for, to replicate the torque of the nut on the bearings in the housing so you achieve 0 axial play and 0 preload when the nut is torqued. Are you sure it wasn't the shops fault, maybe they removed enough shims to get 0 axial play but by going too far they preloaded the bearings?

li Arc
20-08-11, 01:33 AM
Nope, the fault was entirely my own...I didn't realize the purpose of this whole exercise is to ensure there was zero rolling resistance to the shaft; for some reason, I must've read it but it never registered. So I told the shop to press the bearings together and make sure there's zero axial play after seating the bearings and applying 3T of force against them; I never told them that there was to be no rolling resistance. I didn't have any additional shims, nor did the output shaft I took apart have any, and obviously I didn't understand the role of the shims. Sure enough, of course, there was no axial play, and so I went away happy. Until, that is, I couldn't shift into any gears easily because the rolling resistance was so high that once the engine disengaged the cluster gear immediately stopped spinning and resisted any rotation at all, which was necessary for the synchros to ease the dog gears into place.

Too bad the shop wasn't open today, guess I'll have to drop off the part on Monday instead. I just hope that making the shims is easy for them and they won't charge me much for it...it's mainly the multiple pulling apart and putting back together of the bearings that scares me monetary-wise.

li Arc

S900t8v
20-08-11, 01:41 AM
Nope, the fault was entirely my own...I didn't realize the purpose of this whole exercise is to ensure there was zero rolling resistance to the shaft; for some reason, I must've read it but it never registered. So I told the shop to press the bearings together and make sure there's zero axial play after seating the bearings and applying 3T of force against them; I never told them that there was to be no rolling resistance. I didn't have any additional shims, nor did the output shaft I took apart have any, and obviously I didn't understand the role of the shims. Sure enough, of course, there was no axial play, and so I went away happy. Until, that is, I couldn't shift into any gears easily because the rolling resistance was so high that once the engine disengaged the cluster gear immediately stopped spinning and resisted any rotation at all, which was necessary for the synchros to ease the dog gears into place.

Too bad the shop wasn't open today, guess I'll have to drop off the part on Monday instead. I just hope that making the shims is easy for them and they won't charge me much for it...it's mainly the multiple pulling apart and putting back together of the bearings that scares me monetary-wise.

li Arc

I was looking up the stainless steel hardened shim material over here $130 per square meter. Not that you would need that much. Good shops use laser cutting and computer stencils to cut out the shims on either 0.1 0.15 0.25 0.5mm sheet but you could just get them to cut you 10x 0.1s if you needed - that would allow them to get a nice precise shim depth / no axial play and no preload / rolling resistance.

li Arc
22-08-11, 04:44 PM
I headed to the machine shop today to ask them about the job. The tech that would be working on it told me he was a bit concerned about the discolouration on the bearing edge as you can see on the photo, and that it may indicate that the bearing was subject to high temperature (400 degrees, I assume F), while he said normally they shouldn't show that discolouration and bearings can normally reach 250 degrees without any problems. He pulled the bearings apart for me and looked at the races and bearing rollers of each bearing, and he mentioned that the wear on the rollers seems not bad, but for the amount of time I ran it it shouldn't look like that; the rollers on the inner bearing (closer the gear) show less signs of wear.

In my mind, it's possible that these particular bearings (unlike the pinion bearing) aren't designed for such high preloads, and when they spun around like that under 3 tonnes of load, they generated so much heat and undergone such high wear that they prematurely worn. I myself was actually surprised at the amount of wear that the bearing rollers and the race showed given how little I ran it like that. So, the tech told me that I could probably still use the bearings like that, but given the amount of labour required to get this part out, he recommended getting new bearings.

He also recommended me get the original shims in just due to the shop labour they charge ($100/hr) and that they're cutting them by hand, but I don't think I'll be able to get them in on time even if I could get them now...I just told them it's alright if I have to pay them for making shims as well, because the timeline is more important to me at this point.

So, now I'm on wait for new bearings, hopefully coming in by next Tuesday. Guess I'll enjoy another week/weekend of fantastic summer weather, and hope that summer doesn't characteristically ditch us like a hot potato...if I get the timeline that I got last year, it'd be perfect.

li Arc

S900t8v
22-08-11, 08:20 PM
I headed to the machine shop today to ask them about the job. The tech that would be working on it told me he was a bit concerned about the discolouration on the bearing edge as you can see on the photo, and that it may indicate that the bearing was subject to high temperature (400 degrees, I assume F), while he said normally they shouldn't show that discolouration and bearings can normally reach 250 degrees without any problems. He pulled the bearings apart for me and looked at the races and bearing rollers of each bearing, and he mentioned that the wear on the rollers seems not bad, but for the amount of time I ran it it shouldn't look like that; the rollers on the inner bearing (closer the gear) show less signs of wear.

In my mind, it's possible that these particular bearings (unlike the pinion bearing) aren't designed for such high preloads, and when they spun around like that under 3 tonnes of load, they generated so much heat and undergone such high wear that they prematurely worn. I myself was actually surprised at the amount of wear that the bearing rollers and the race showed given how little I ran it like that. So, the tech told me that I could probably still use the bearings like that, but given the amount of labour required to get this part out, he recommended getting new bearings.

He also recommended me get the original shims in just due to the shop labour they charge ($100/hr) and that they're cutting them by hand, but I don't think I'll be able to get them in on time even if I could get them now...I just told them it's alright if I have to pay them for making shims as well, because the timeline is more important to me at this point.

So, now I'm on wait for new bearings, hopefully coming in by next Tuesday. Guess I'll enjoy another week/weekend of fantastic summer weather, and hope that summer doesn't characteristically ditch us like a hot potato...if I get the timeline that I got last year, it'd be perfect.

li Arc

Would it have been the 3 tonne that cooked your bearings or rather that you had heaps of rolling resistance/preload on them - when there was meant to be 0. the friction would have been significant, at the top of the box too they aren't in a constant river of oil I don't think are they? That oil catcher delivers oil to it that's flung off other gears?

li Arc
23-08-11, 11:32 AM
The preload was quite significant, I think probably more than half what was present on the pinion bearings. The 3 tonnes load by itself wouldn't have done anything to the bearings, but it's running the bearings against its races at 3 tonnes force, without support on the other side to eliminate preload. This means that the bearing stack itself experienced 3 tonnes load (at whatever the taper angle was), which caused accelerated wear and generated excessive heat; I'm guessing this differs from the pinion bearings because the pinion bearings are indeed rated for this type of load (or greater) while these output shaft bearings are not. The inner bearing closer the gear was in a bit better condition, but most likely because its proximity to the gear allowed it to dissipate heat through it like a bit of a heatsink; the discolouration wasn't as apparent on the inner bearing.

But you're also right; the inner bearing most likely had a better supply of oil to it than the outer bearing, which helped keep that particular bearing better cooled (and technically better lubricated, but I don't think this is a result of lack of lubrication). Although there are oil passageways between the 5th gear chamber and the primaries sprocket chamber, even Saab recommends filling the latter separately from the main transmission oil inlet port (the main cluster gear chamber), adding 1L oil to the primaries and 3L oil to the rest of the gear chamber.

li Arc

euromobile900
24-08-11, 08:07 AM
Also, I've got a totally different bearing number?? It's not a BR9...

That's normal. You'll find that, in the Timken system, both the inner and outer races of that particular bearing have their own part numbers. The U298 is an inner race/roller set, and the outer race has its own number. I think there's an SKF part number for the set as well, but the bearing is also identified as a BR9 for all manufacturers.

li Arc
02-09-11, 05:44 PM
So I got a call from the shop, and they've got it all fixed up to the point where they say there's about 0.0005" axial play. It's quite annoying when the manual doesn't have a spec, since "0 axial play" is not practically achievable; even when no shims were present in this output shaft's last incarnation, there was about 0.0001" axial play. He said there was about 0.043" that he needed to compensate for, so he fashioned a new sleeve for me instead to shim up. He did mention though that Timken bearings typically will heat up and expand a bit so the 0.0005" axial play may not be enough, and cautioned me to perhaps consider adding another 0.001" shim to it, though he said that may cause ~0.0015" axial play, which I decided against. Now, the shaft rolls as smoothly as a cuban cigar now under 3T force, and the guy did it entirely by the book, so he seated the bearings each time he re-pressed them on. It's amazing working with people who care about your project as much as you do!

So I'm quite happy with the result and that he managed to get it done for me before the long weekend so that I can take the time to put everything back together and the engine back in! Hopefully, it'll be much more straight forward for me than it was last time!

li Arc

li Arc
04-09-11, 11:43 PM
That's normal. You'll find that, in the Timken system, both the inner and outer races of that particular bearing have their own part numbers. The U298 is an inner race/roller set, and the outer race has its own number. I think there's an SKF part number for the set as well, but the bearing is also identified as a BR9 for all manufacturers.

Yep, you can cross-reference it now, found it (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2061437&postcount=107). At the bottom:

Upper primary sprocket bearing: Timken U298/U261L

li Arc

li Arc
04-09-11, 11:56 PM
So I started putting the transmission back today, and everything was going fine: the input shaft now had no rolling resistance, so after everything was bolted down and the lower sprocket was torqued to spec, shifting was still just as easy going through all the gears. So I sealed it up, and proceeded to put the left inner driver back in when my brain had a null-moment and crapped out on me. For some reason, it didn't occur to me that the splined shaft had to mate with the splines on the diff and when I kept tightening the housing and didn't know what was wrong, I just assumed somehow the shims were getting in the way of the bolts and kept tightening. Well, you can imagine what happened next:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-uS9EMWhxT-8/TmREbR928EI/AAAAAAAAAnM/aAznfdAgXxw/s720/Broken%252520inner%252520driver.jpg

Idiocy setback. Luckily, I had one more driver housing in my arsenal, which was slightly mangled where the seal goes, but I can smooth that down later and pull the seal from this busted one and push it in the good one. Unfortunately, however, the bearing and race will need to be replaced again on this: they are both crap on this replacement inner driver. I don't think it's a good idea pulling the bearing from the busted driver since it'll probably get contaminated while I work on it, so it'll be another week of waiting for the order to come in again; I was thinking of attempting the race, but I may as well get that new as well.

At least, this is kind of external and I can replace it with the engine in situ, so I will put the bad housing in as a placeholder, and pull it when I replace it. Work on the rest of the transmission is almost done, and the surprise I mentioned last year will become apparent when I put everything together before I set the engine back in the car tomorrow!

li Arc

S900t8v
05-09-11, 12:16 AM
I thought for a second we were looking at the input bearing housing, I almost wept for you! hahah

Good to see you got the input bearing sorted, probably don't want to hear it, but that's a really good lesson for everyone else!

li Arc
05-09-11, 01:24 PM
S900V8T, I just read up your post on the "gearbox debate" thread, which I now refuse to participate in since it seems the major players are simply too bullheadedly stubborn and follow instructions blindly without excercising their cognitive abilities, if any. So I decided to post my info in my own thread for the benefit of others, instead of engaging in pointless bickering with people who for some reason think they are so far ahead in the business they can ignore the foundation basics. A true engineer and any machinist worth their salt will agree that wear patterns cannot be ignored. Those who argue that wear patterns are not priority #1 above everything else in the pursuit of longevity should be questioned as to their true experience and qualifications for making that call.

I mention again, there is no debate: this is my thread, which I humbly invite people to post in for help or for advice, but not for misinformation. If you are planning to argue this post for I don't care what reason, please kindly get the hell out. You can flame all you want in the "gearbox debate" thread.

That thrown aside, SV800T I didn't realize that the official transmission manual mentioned something about pinion/backlash position relative to transmission wear, but when I went to re-read it:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-stqIdhuh_uk/TmTzSBRa1aI/AAAAAAAAAng/bWpqRBcTq_s/s640/Transmission%252520Measurements%252520excerpt.jpg

There is no dispute about it: Saab certainly recognized the importance of maintaining wear patterns over the life of the transmission, which is in line with my original argument that the wear pattern needs to be maintained which is why Saab asks us to obtain the pinion depth/backlash measurements before the transmission is taken apart. Wear patterns are important because parts that move against each other will wear, regardless of the hardness of the material or its manufacturing process or treatments; this is simply a fact of physics and materials engineering. When surfaces first mate against one another, they microscopically do not mesh: ridges on one surface are pressing against ridges on the other surface. This accelerates wear, because under operating conditions these ridges hit against each other millions of times, until one ridge (the surface that might be slightly harder than the other) wears the other ridge down into a valley; it's also possible they both wore each other down into a flat, or anywhere in between. Once this has happened, the two material surfaces mate with each other perfectly, one's ridge into another's valley, to the point where they are almost like micro-gears: everything fits together. When that happens, wear is drastically reduced (almost zero), and when they reach this point, the surfaces can be sustained almost indefinitely and no further material is being lost from the surfaces. If at this point you decide to change the configuration of the surfaces, even moving the surfaces over by the slightest amount can undo the wear process and now the surfaces need to go through re-wearing all over again. The down side to this? Accelerated wear for the next while until wear patterns are re-established.

So how does this apply to pinion bearing measurements? Both backlash (horizontal position of the crown wheel relative to the pinion) and pinion depth (vertical position of the crown wheel relative to the pinion) will affect the wear pattern between the pinion and the crown wheel because the two gears are tapered against one another. Once the wear pattern has been established, the original stamped numerals on the pinion gear no longer matter. The manual was designed for new gear boxes, and the numerals are really used internally for Saab to QC and repair boxes before they headed out the door. There are some provisions (like the above photo) for old boxes that have developed wear patterns, but most of the manual is intended for Saab internal use only. How do I know? This is how engineers work, and has been for the past half century. Saab's engineering methods and ideas may have been different, but an engineer is an engineer, and all great minds think alike.

What about depth due to pinion bearing wear? Stop. Think about it. There are two tapered bearings that counteract the forces against each other. There is a trend in the manual where new bearings are set to higher preloads (whether pinion or diff or whatever) than their worn counterparts. Why? Because when the bearings wear, they will wear against each other, and equally so, so that the part they are attached to will maintain its position regardless of bearing wear! In fact, this simply reinforces the fact that "wear is all"; new bearings have not yet formed a wear pattern with their repecitve races, which is forced upon it through the increased preloads. Once the bearings have worn in and developed their wear pattern, the bearings will continue to follow that pattern, where wear is now minimal. If throughout the life of the pinion bearings the pinion shaft starts to "loosen", this can create axial play, which will destroy the transmission (and is what I assume to be the dreaded pinion failure problem that Saab transmissions are well known for). There is a bearing on the other end of the pinion shaft that will lessen the chances of gearbox detonation, but it will not be able to withstand the same loads as the pinion bearings do and does not perform the same function as the pinion bearings. Can the pinion shaft shift due to the pinion bearing wear? It's possible. This is why we measure depth before taking the transmission apart. But it is inconsequential: if the pinion bearings have worn and have shifted the pinion depth, it probably didn't occur overnight, so new wear patterns have been established that match with the new pinion depth. Do we want to maintain this wear pattern even with new bearings? Hell yea! Don't you want your gears to last? In fact, this is even better because with the worn bearings the position continually shifted and keeps creating new wear patterns along the way until what you see there when take the transmission apart. But when you put in new bearings and maintain that same wear pattern, that pattern will now remain static until the new bearings wear down to the point where there is axial play, which means as long as the bearings haven't worn down yet, you're minimizing wear on the gear surfaces because you're maintaining the last known wear pattern. There really is no benefit to resetting the pinion depth back to factory under these circumastances because now you're going to go back to the accelerated wear stage. Can you? Sure, just know that you'll be losing gear surface material for another while before the wear sets in and the pattern is re-established. Is it bad? If the wear is acceptable to you then go for it!

Any exceptions? Well, sure. If your box runs until failure and your pinion housing is destroyed, then yes, you're never getting your pinion depth measurement again so go ahead and reset it to the stamped numerals: it's a good starting point, or you can go out and having a gear specialist mark your gears for contact points to find the optimal depth. Blindly setting the mark is NOT recommended. But either way, you'll be creating a new wear pattern again, which will accelerate surface wear of the gears. I don't think you'll have much to worry about if this only happens once or twice, but if you keep doing this, pretty soon your gear surfaces will have worn so much that even if you try to set backlash you'll have play in your gears and a lot more noise. That's really all I can think of; remember, these are still passenger cars, and noise is a big concern for Saab, which is a very good reason to ensure minimal wear. That and longevity of course, but I doubt you can wear it so much the teeth no longer mesh correctly and a tooth ridge will hit another tooth ridge and blow up the whole thing.

Conclusion? Maintaining wear patterns = king. If something as high wear as bearings require it (when you replace a bearing with a separate race, you ALWAYS replace that race) you'd think perhaps they're onto something. But if you do decide to return to stock pinion depth measurements, be educated as to what this does for you and what happens to your transmission when you decide to take this route. And if your transmission blew up but you're still using the pinion shaft and crown wheel from it? You can no longer re-establish the existing wear pattern, so you will need to re-create a new one. But don't just do it without any rhyme or reason: it's very important (even more important than wear) that the gear faces mate properly. You can search this up online, but if you're at this stage, I would either 1) reset to factory stock (that can't steer you wrong) or 2) take it to a qualified transmission or gear shop so that they can mark the gears up and find you the optimal pinion depth and backlash. Know that your gears will have to undergo a period of accelerated wear, but your gears will get over that eventually and head into a stasis where a pattern is re-established and it's off on its merry way again.

li Arc

S900t8v
05-09-11, 06:38 PM
Hey Li Arc

I agree with you as much as an amateur can about the wear patterns, it seems wrong to ignore those. But wouldn't that just cause increased wear on the ring and pinion? The rest of the gearbox would be fine wouldn't it?

I can see the evidence for defence seems to point to that when pinion bearings wear the result is the pinion gear sits deeper on the ring gear. Nutcases rebuild shows that and it makes sense - as the rollers wear.

I guess the theory behind resetting to stock is that you are going shallower than any previous depth (the worn distance would be deeper on the ring than the factory level) and so by resetting to factory you are going to a safe depth. The wear pattern doesn't really matter because shallower decreases noise...... but then again may increase wear on leading surfaces/edges because there is more force across a smaller surface area. I think the validity is in if yes the pinion bearings are really stuffed, it's better to go back to stock (maybe 0.5mm deeper than stock to be closer to where it left) It's a very interesting debate and I honestly haven't completely committed to one school of thought yet.

I think it really depends on how worn the gearbox is, nutcases point isn't too bad regarding the fact that the manual expects Saab techs to pull pinion bearings straight away at first sign of noise. That is a good defence, but you to hear pinion whine (the first sign for an owner and rather late sign) then the depth would easily be more than 0.05mm out of tolerance, by the very inference that Saab designed that tolerance anything within that range DOES not effect the noise of the transmission. Now my understanding of pinion whine is the pinion contacting the ring too deep which causes friction & noise. I can't imagine the noise coming from the gearsets although it could be as the layshaft gets loaded from axial play?

When I do my rebuild, I am going to take measurements with my tool before hand and after, and I will reshim with same shim pack and take measurements again and then take measurements with professional tool and compare to mine, hopefully they will be similar. I will then probably decide a midground based on current wear patterns and the factory setting. I think if everyone does something different we will all have some good feedback :D

I hope me posting here doesn't annoy you,but I really like talking about it :lol: and it's good to see someone who follows this school of thought.

If you want I can remove this post if you don't want it here> :)

li Arc
06-09-11, 12:52 PM
Actually, I appreciate a well thought out, logical debate, vs. what the other idiots call a 'debate', which is basically hitting your head on a door and going back for more. The very fact that the argument was "because they said so" just doesn't sit well with me: I'm a thinker, not a follower, and I can be swayed by logical arguments and scientific and physically proven basis. Hence why I always try to present my cases in the same fashion.

But yes, the rest of the gearbox will be fine as long as the pinion shaft doesn't experience axial play and cause the gears to misalign, after which your gears will blow up (what happens when you leave a whining pinion noise too long).

If you think about it, when the pinion bearings wear, whether or not they wear equally, the pinion shaft doesn't swing one way or the other, it basically gets 'loose', in other words the two bearings no longer counteract each other with as great a force because the races or bearing rollers have decreased in depth. This produces axial play, which means that there can now be an angular component to shaft forces; if this is severe enough, the gears will misalign and everything blows up. This also means that no, the shaft doesn't necessarily move one way or the other; it could just as easily move away from the crown gear as into it. I can't tell for sure if it will 'jiggle' between the two extremes during regular operation; I don't think so though. For that to happen, it would have to be very poorly designed and the wear patterns will be all over the place: I'm not certain Saab would let that happen. I can say though that if the wear pattern has been established with the pinion depth repositioned, you should maintain the same wear pattern as that given worn pinion bearings. The position probably shifted throughout the latter half of the life of the bearing, recreating new wear patterns along the way, so with new bearings, at least through the first half of the life of the new bearings, that same position will be maintained, so you won't be continually recreating new wear patterns.

Though I don't know what causes the pinion whine, I have a few ideas: it's possible that it's axial play that causes minute gear misalignment, which still allows operation but the rest of the gearbox gears will experience increased wear as they force each other into position as they mesh because the shaft isn't aligned. Another thing I can think of is that there's a possibility this same axial play causes the pinion gear to mate with the crown gear at a slight angle, so the same thing happens. I imagine that with such axial play present, the entire shaft can shift angles one way while the gears are rotating one direction, and then the other way when the gears go the other way. If this is the case, switching between reverse and forward gears exacerbate the problem as the bearings now wear against the races at unintended angles, creating unexpected and highly accelerated wear. Hence, no, I don't think the noise you hear when the pinion bearings are worn is the same noise that Saab is trying to eliminate with the pinion depth setting.

The noise that Saab is trying to eliminate is perfectly meshed gear teeth that are basically crashing into each other because there is too much spacing between gear teeth: this is evident in checking for backlash. Therefore, I am proposing that backlash is used mainly to reduce both play between the crown gear and the pinion gear, and to reduce drive noise. However, because backlash is just as much a component as pinion depth in determining optimal gear face contact, they are set together. Noise elimination isn't as simple as "deeper, less noise, shallower, more noise", it's an equilibrium point. If the gears are too deep against each other, there will be accelerated wear and heat generation as points part of the gear that do not need to come in contact with each other are forced against each other, which will create noise. If the gears are too shallow against each other, you introduce so much space between the gear teeth that they basically crash into each other as they 'mesh', and create noise. That plus, whichever the case, optimal contact must be maintained; in the former, the contact point is too low, in the latter too high. As I mentioned in the last post, yes, wear pattern is king, but contact point is queen: the girl always gets her way!

Here is an excerpt (http://www.differentials.com/install.html) from West Coast Differentials, a differential manufacturer for a variety of automotive applications, if you'd like a better explanation of contact position, they'll know their stuff. As you read on, you'll realize that if you use gear marker and are analytical, you can probably set your own depth, or get a gear shop to do this for you. It doesn't necessarily have to correspond to Saab's instruction booklet, and this is what many aftermarket and custom installers do. Again, there are a few things to keep in mind doing something like this: the priority is to ensure contact points (which will ensure longevity), it will reset your wear pattern (secondary to longevity), and you can adjust for noise (optional). It's because of this knowledge that I mention if you lose your measurements or the bearings were completely gone, then you should return to stock, because most likely at stock the contact pattern will have been optimized. For the amount of wear on these gears, it is unlikely that the contact points will have moved even with stock depths due to surface wear, so it should be fairly safe.

I'd like to mention that when I got my 5-speed tranny, it came with one inner driver and no shims, so there were no existing backlash points I could measure. Hence, in all likelihood, I am creating a new wear pattern on my gear set, but I'm alright with that, because I had no former reference for it. Ideally, I would have re-started from stock measurements, but as I mentioned, it's very unlikely that the contact is no longer optimal due to wear, which really all I care about...so re-using the existing measurements is just as good. In my case, it's unavoidable that the wear pattern will have to be reestablished.

li Arc

li Arc
06-09-11, 03:29 PM
So over the weekend, I attempted to work with what I had. Since I busted the inner driver, I'll have to move to another, less 'nice' inner driver, but it'll work regardless. I did briefly consider just using it as is, but with uneven pressure against the transmission casing, the differential bearings would probably self destruct pretty quickly, and I quickly dismissed the thought. For now, since I want to keep moving, I just secured the broken inner driver and will be replacing it with the unbroken inner driver whenever I get new bearings in and have them pressed in. At least that can be done with the engine in situ.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mcCboVNVmvc/TmWhabRnINI/AAAAAAAAAoI/97jtYtTQXPM/Broken%252520inner%252520driver%252520installed.jp g

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yAOsm3hDaxs/TmWh5CyQCeI/AAAAAAAAAok/AW6TPX55hkI/Newer%252520left%252520inner%252520driver.jpg

The replacement is a bit knackered up on the front edge, but this is inconsequential and I'll remove the burrs after I pull the seal out. Other than that, the bearings need to come out, the new ones go in, and I'll be back in business again. Strangely, and luckily, this is the only inner driver I have left: I had 2 lefts and 1 right. Well, from my spare trannies' pile.

Anyways, so on to the rest of the project, I went and replaced the ps pump bushings since they were pretty much doing nothing anymore:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Y-RwyHSuzJs/TmWiBOQ1tQI/AAAAAAAAAos/huctb51_omY/s1152/PS%252520Pump%252520bushings.jpg

...and went ahead to check the oil pressure relief valve, just in case. Since my oil pressure test came back at 52psi, I'm pretty sure it's not stuck open, but just in case anyhow, I went and pulled it out to clean it. However, its location is horrible; I'm not certain how one would go about getting this bolt off while the engine is installed.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-nTGwyM8OgiA/TmWghr7SsfI/AAAAAAAAAno/Lyw01kqmANc/Recessed%252520oil%252520pressure%252520relief%252 520port.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ycEHOWls-Ys/TmWgbSmQ0jI/AAAAAAAAAnk/lkWdVd5P_D8/Accessing%252520oil%252520pressure%252520relief%25 2520port.jpg

I eventually had to get it off with the open-end, but it's still horrible access. I always thought that it was supposed to be a ball and spring assembly within the valve, but imagine my surprise when I got these:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-p1o6hD-oTQU/TmWh5qW1ZWI/AAAAAAAAAoo/okyiyvHVROk/s640/Oil%252520pressure%252520relief%252520parts.jpg

Is this right? Well, anyways, I put these guys back in after cleaning, and since there was no torque spec on this bolt, I just put it in tight and snug; I'm guessing it'd be ~25-30ftlbs; there is absolutely no way to fit a torque wrench in there.

li Arc

li Arc
06-09-11, 03:31 PM
Before I put the engine back in, I decided to break out my new surprise part:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ribHm7RIayA/TmWhIRvAdXI/AAAAAAAAAn8/cGQ2NOSPJ9Y/Alum%252520flywheel%252520serial.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-pHqeNsWELy0/TmWh4qhdgQI/AAAAAAAAAog/btECCMEoqwQ/New%252520alum%252520flywheel%252520package.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AaEN9LGzQ14/TmWh0dGHk0I/AAAAAAAAAoc/s7WiMp-vGpY/New%252520alum%252520flywheel%252520backside.jpg

Yes, that's right, it's an SD aluminum flywheel! Woot! :cheesy: Always wanted one of these, but didn't want to pay premium price; luckily, SD had an eBay division that I got this from! So, time to pull the old, worn flywheel:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-r0iUc9JJDkk/TmWhojRsXqI/AAAAAAAAAoM/oC_p67sriOY/Flywheel%252520side%252520by%252520side%252520fron t.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OtX9N479mUE/TmWhx6zp1PI/AAAAAAAAAoU/rNxBR6yy8IE/Flywheel%252520side%252520by%252520side%252520rear .jpg

When I pulled the flywheel, I decided to check the friction plate as well. As you know from earlier in the thread, the friction plate is quite aggressive, and gouged out a groove in the flywheel. I wanted to make sure it still had life left in it, given how much life it took away from the steel flywheel!

Pressure plate end:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-10mt70Rnz-Y/TmWh0bSutgI/AAAAAAAAAoY/OP4o8AQcKA8/Friction%252520plate%252520pp%252520side.jpg

Flywheel end:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-k939Ggf9C_w/TmWhpWTNSuI/AAAAAAAAAoQ/2c8sjdSXNB8/Friction%252520plate%252520flywheel%252520side.jpg

Yep, it looks like it didn't even take a beating at all. Good thing, because the new flywheel has a replaceable hardened steel insert, which SD has mentioned should mate quite nicely with this friction plate. One thing about the plate is that it's made to fit both the 9000 and the 900, which have different timing points. So they do not include timing marks on the flywheel, which means you need to make your own. I know, there are some professional ways of doing this and/or tools you can get to do so, but having forgotten to obtain said tools, I took a screwdriver and hammer and chiseled my own on. Unfortunately, chiseling any round numbers was out of the question, so I improvised, plus I did 0's, 3's, 5's, and 8's.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AP9fvvyVA_A/TmWhQWKrL7I/AAAAAAAAAoA/8BkuTX_dNkY/Alum%252520flywheel%252520timing%252520markings.jp g

This probably took the most amount of time, but I also didn't want to just write some numbers on it. Maybe one day I'll get a tool engraving kit, that should help.

li Arc

li Arc
06-09-11, 03:35 PM
So, on it went:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Tag4bpap_Pg/TmWhYdemDKI/AAAAAAAAAoE/rnjpJsIF_mY/s912/Alum%252520flywheel%252520installed.jpg

...which is when problems ensued. After I tightened down the bolts, the crank wouldn't budge. I loosened the bolts again, and tried to turn the crank, and it was free again, so I pulled the flywheel off, and saw this:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-euw6jm8YVAQ/TmWgwc01_3I/AAAAAAAAAnw/LBupSn83kBU/Alum%252520flywheel%252520radial%252520score.jpg

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-1OKwT6N_eMM/TmWgmZYpxeI/AAAAAAAAAns/O4zkvUDagYc/Alum%252520flywheel%252520backside%252520nick.jpg

It was also very obvious where exactly the problem point was, since I installed and pulled the flywheel at exactly TDC.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-MenQsOGssQ0/TmWhCfDeQ8I/AAAAAAAAAn4/79xXBfXG8AI/Alum%252520flywheel%252520score%252520point.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-17N_594CffU/TmWg3-_QPjI/AAAAAAAAAn0/WNt35NvjnCU/Alum%252520flywheel%252520score%252520point%252520 horiz.jpg

I also knew this because there was a thin sliver of aluminum hanging from this point. So it looks like this 9lb flywheel is going to lose some weight at the machine shop...it's too bad because I thought it was supposed to be a drop in fit from SD, but someone screwed up. The flywheel is also specifically for -91 9000's, and -94 900's.

Perhaps I'll get my inner driver bearings done at the shop at the same time, if they're going to charge me half an hour anyhow.

Anyways, since these things weren't critical path, I decided to get the engine back into the bay while I still had time, and it actually went smoother this time than it did the first time. However, my front mount clips are missing, so I need to go sort that out! At least, I can just leave it in with the bolt without the clips for now, and get back to that later. In the meantime, it'll be all about hooking things up again. And flywheel fix. And inner driver housing replacement.

li Arc

S900t8v
07-09-11, 04:10 AM
Hey Li Arc

Nice flywheel, shame about the machining required, you'll get it in!

Just wondering, what did you use to hold your pinion shaft when you undid and did up the nut. I see MMOE's thread about dry icing pinion bearings shows him using what looks to be a bushing and a sleeve off the pinion shaft, but neither of those objects have teeth to mesh with the teeth on my 92 (trashed) shaft.

Any ideas, thinking cheap, and what I have available (one pinion gear stack from a 92)

Also where did you buy the 47mm spanner to undo the pinion nut, cheap one anywhere?

Don't know if I want to use the synchro hubs because I think they are the same as earlier years aren't they? OH WAIT maybe they are different because they changed the synchro rings in 92.... The hubs don't wear do they? Like if I ever got a 92 box I wouldn't have to worry about worn synchro hubs right?, I guess the reverse gear could work, its damaged, maybe just the bushing cut off that?

li Arc
07-09-11, 12:25 PM
When I got some parts from mmoe, he sent me a reverse gear as well to use as the clamp down on the shaft. So I basically used a vice to hold the reverse gear, and stuffed the pinion shaft through that. I think even if I were to use the reverse gear in the rebuild, I wouldn't have too much of a problem vising it up since the gears are hardened steel and I doubt the vise will damage it. Still, though, if you have an extra one lying around, I'd use that instead. I wouldn't use the synchros since they don't have as much surface area as the reverse for the vise to grip on, and if you're not careful and put the brass-coloured rings in, that could ruin them (I don't know what type of material they are).

I remember finding that wrench was not easy, and in the end, I decided to go with an adjustable wrench instead, since the nut is so large, so there's a very low chance of rounding the nut. Unfortunately, the wrench wasn't very long, about 1', so it was impossible to do the nut up simply by hand tightening. I eventually had to use my 3lb hammer to smack the wrench to tighten, and I had to do that from when it started getting tight to the final torque. The vise (which was a good medium-sized vise) would not keep a good enough grip on the reverse gear neither, so that had to keep getting re-placed after 2 or 3 whacks. All in all, I think I spent 1.5 hours smacking, re-setting the gear, measuring with the scale, then repeat; it took ridiculously long. As you'll note from my earlier posts, I actually got it at the tight end of the rolling resistance range, and you'd be surprised how tight it feels...I'm still surprised the ring gear can turn the pinion gear when the wheels are just coasting!

As for the flywheel, I'm starting to think maybe I should just cheap out and take an angle grinder to the endplate; it doesn't appear to have any function, and it's impeding mine! But then that also means it's possible the flywheel won't fit anywhere else say if later I sell it or move it to another c900...hmmm...doing it right the first time around always saves some hassle down the road...

li Arc

crwchf01
08-09-11, 02:05 AM
1 7/8 open end wrench on e-bay- found them for $12 USD. works great right size - 47 mm.

S900t8v
08-09-11, 03:14 AM
1 7/8 open end wrench on e-bay- found them for $12 USD. works great right size - 47 mm.

crwchf01 or Li Arc how did you get the rear bearing off the input shaft housing without the special tool? I assume it can be done!

crwchf01
08-09-11, 04:26 AM
crwchf01 or Li Arc how did you get the rear bearing off the input shaft housing without the special tool? I assume it can be done!

Pin punch and patience- little at a time walked it out since I was going to replace it. Now that I am going to do a few more transmissions, I may source a piece of tube and cut three slot to press the bearing out.

li Arc
08-09-11, 11:58 AM
I imagine that would be the way to do it; since I wasn't dealing with shimming and re-shimming the input shaft (it required a 3T press to maintain pressure on the bearings and I don't have access to a hydraulic press) I just had the shop take it off. If you do a lot of them, you will definitely need some type of press tool, maybe have it made from steel.

li Arc

li Arc
08-09-11, 07:00 PM
Went to the shop today and asked them about the flywheel. They said there's a taper on the other side of the flywheel near the mounting bolts that matches the taper on the back side of the flywheel, and cautioned me against changing the angle of the taper. Instead, they either recommended me grind down the endplate on the block, or to simply put in a divot/trench along where it's currently contacting around the wheel, making sure to make it smooth so no stress points occur. Hopefully, that doesn't affect the structural integrity of the flywheel.

I'm on the fence about the whole thing now, but I really don't want to grind down the endplate. That said, they won't be able to get to it until next week, so if I change my mind I can still do it before then. It just annoys me that SD didn't have it made properly the first time around (or perhaps their endplate didn't have the mounting slots like mine does). The flywheel didn't come cheap, even if I did get it from their eBay division, and I haven't gotten a response from SD when I queried them about it.

li Arc

Squaab99t
08-09-11, 10:32 PM
I vote you modify the starter plate. I can not see the tabs adding any value were they are located. I would not modify the flywheel. It is moving around at pretty good clip at 6500 RPM.

li Arc
09-09-11, 01:06 PM
Yeah, I've actually been leaning that way lately...it's not only better for the flywheel, but it's cheaper for me too. That's right, those slots don't do anything, and since neither my 86' transmission nor this 70's chillcast uses the slots, I doubt they were ever used, nor whether I'll ever need them. Guess I'll go pick up my flywheel later today...luckily I'll be working on the inner driver as well, and getting that fixed up today.

li Arc

white65
09-09-11, 06:31 PM
I 2nd it, Grind the endplate tabs.

li Arc
13-09-11, 11:26 AM
So I went and got my flywheel back on Friday before any work was done on it, and brought it back to the office. I used the arbour press we have in the shop to press out the eeuroparts' bearing I knackered up with my hammer and drift, and pressed in a brand new SKF Explorer bearing I got from the bearing house here. Yes, this pilot bearing isn't super vital, but all the other SKF bearings I put in the transmission are also SKF Explorer, which my Mech Eng coworker said is an especially superior bearing, even compared to many of SKF's other lines; his father used to work at SKF. So, cool! Oh, how I rant about the little things!

So the result of heeding your advice, guys...before:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-IExLpr8qD10/Tm7leXt1XfI/AAAAAAAAApA/c4ejlLXyjGM/Flywheel%252520block%252520endplate%252520pre-grind.jpg

...and after:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GUC0HiKwljo/Tm7lfktGfDI/AAAAAAAAApI/PicEAznN-FE/Flywheel%252520block%252520endplate%252520post-grind.jpg

After grinding, I put the flywheel back on, but it was still catching on something. It was after a bit of lining up the increasingly marked up rear of the flywheel with the endplate items and some measuring before I figured out the lower two bolts (closest to the ground points) were sticking out just a little too much! Just the littlest things! So I swapped them for non-flanged 13mm-head M8x25 bolts, and it brought the depth down enough that it was no longer hitting the flywheel. Annoyingly, troubleshooting the flywheel problem took half my afternoon. But finally...

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-eWwHubntVSU/Tm7lfX9inQI/AAAAAAAAApE/weKw3of-KUs/Alum%252520flywheel%252520installed.jpg

...and it spins! So, the clutch is put back together now, and bits and pieces are starting to fall into place. I hooked up the alternator and the starter, got the power steering pump back on and tightened down, got the RHS axle assembly fitted to the transmission and the ball joint and caliper torqued, and fixed the turbo oil supply line adjusted so it's not rubbing on anything now.

There are a few things left now, including:

1) Coolant supply line to the throttle body
2) Oil cooler lines
3) LHS axle assembly
4) Front end (rad support, rad, FMIC, etc)
5) Oil catch can
6) Shifter linkage
7) Hood
8) Troubleshoot ticking lifters

So 1) is a result of my having eliminated the PCV going back into the intake in favour of using an oil catch can, and we know all about 8). As far as 3) goes, my coworker took it to the lathe for me and smoothed it out a bunch. I nicked the inside lip too when I took the old oil seal out, so he smoothed that out on the lathe by hand; I added some Loctite 518 on the contact point with the housing lip. It turned out pretty good, and we got the bearings in. However, when I started punching the inner driver shaft through the housing bearing, the interference fit was tight enough that it pushed the bearing back out of the bearing housing, which was a bit annoying. I was home at the time, so I didn't have access to a press of any sort, so I basically used the inner driver shaft to help punch the bearing back into the housing. After that, I used a drift and punched the inner race of the bearing onto the inner driver shaft, and added the circlip. Now I've still gotta get it mounted back onto the transmission.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-i_xUsc2P4nU/Tm7leAxryUI/AAAAAAAAAo8/g2LufyZdFfs/Inner%252520driver%252520housing%252520machined.jp g

li Arc

Shan
14-09-11, 10:27 AM
My transmission had 2 screws where those tabs are located. There doesn't seem to by any holes on the metal gasket on yours. Doesn't yours require those 2 screws ?

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-17N_594CffU/TmWg3-_QPjI/AAAAAAAAAn0/WNt35NvjnCU/Alum%252520flywheel%252520score%252520point%252520 horiz.jpg

li Arc
14-09-11, 12:47 PM
Tha'ts actually a good question; I reviewed the original photos of the transmission, and they've got the two holes there as well. However, I think the Bentley doesn't mention these two points when mating the transmission to the block, and obviously the metal gasket doesn't have these holes neither. Perhaps they're not used? At any rate, however, I only skimmed off a little, so if they are needed in the future (and I remove the metal gasket or something), then they're still there...

Now I might have to check up on the Bentley again...

li Arc

li Arc
15-09-11, 11:35 AM
Okay, just got the inner driver in yesterday, but it was NOT a pleasant experience! The process is MUCH easier with the transmission out!

1) Started trying to mount inner driver, found out there was no room with the tripod right there, even with the upper ball joint already separated
2) Had to detach brake caliper from hub to get clearance from tripod to fit inner driver
3) Took a few tries and a lot of time to fit the inner driver to the tripod and pull it back through the mounting hole; the fit was very tight, and the tripod almost didn't want to let the inner driver in at that angle
4) Found out that the plunger was missing, had to pull it back out and fit the plunger
5) Pushed inner driver through, remembered about splines, realigned, then fit to diff
6) Couldn't get it all the way in, pulled it back out, found out plunger fell out
7) Took a magnet to fish it back out, axle tunnel had so little room fitting the magnet in far enough to get to the plunger took a lot of time and patience
8) Fit back onto inner driver, and carefully inserted inner driver so that splines wouldn't hit and shoot the plunger out
9) Couldn't fit, pulled back out, plunger is gone again, fished out again
10) Fit the plunger, and VERY carefully pushed inner driver in until fully inserted, then started to fit bolts
11) Found out the shims weren't there, had to pull out again to fit the shim stack
12) Very carefully inserted inner driver into diff
13) Plunger fell out, heard a 'plunk'
14) Fished for plunger, couldn't find it
15) Getting pissed off, jacked car up further
16) Pulled rear diff plate, getting MTL all over the place (I only filled the primary case, thought it stayed there if the transmission wasn't operating) and destroying the new gasket I had on
17) Found plunger, fit to the inner driver again
18) Since it was open anyhow, decided to rotate diff (clutch is back in, so did this by rotating engine) so that I can see what's going on and ensure that the plunger will just drop into sight if it does dumb things again
19) Fit inner driver to diff again, very carefully, and started inserting bolts
20) Tightened and 518'd 4 bolts until I found out some shim holes weren't aligned
21) Pulled inner driver again to align shims, and to ensure all 6 holes were clear
22) Re-inserted inner driver to diff again, and this time mounted all 6 bolts with 518, fitted tripod to inner driver, re-mounted caliper (only to find I'm now missing one of the two mounting bolts) and fitted ball joint.
23) Crossing my fingers that no axle tunnel crud got into the inner driver grease from all this stupid movement.

Total time: 2.5 hours. Retarded.

li Arc

li Arc
19-09-11, 01:07 PM
The inner driver after it was prepped:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-LXqT5cVsbqA/TnbdhVWKMwI/AAAAAAAAApc/_eWo5WM7OPg/Inner%252520driver%252520prepared.jpg

A strange thing I noticed was the original plunger I was using on this inner driver:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DJJlXKFkaLE/Tnbdgn4KTXI/AAAAAAAAApY/-ZfQ-1_mZ5k/Busted%252520inner%252520driver%252520plunger.jpg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cdkf8MmhFcE/TnbdfSmOp0I/AAAAAAAAApU/HeiwssPDA_g/Busted%252520inner%252520driver%252520plunger%2525 200.75.jpg

Luckily, I had one plunger left that was in decent condition, so I used that instead. I'm not sure if this would have broke while operating, but I wouldn't want to take the chances. Something that big getting into the transmission gears will just blow the box and all my hard work with it!

So I spent the rest of the weekend just plugging things back together, putting back together the wheel hubs, getting the rad support on, all the lines, electricals, modifications, cleaned out the intercooler, filling up on Redline MTL, etc. I realized it takes me a long time to do this because I know I'm nearing the end, and I'm keeping myself from rushing into getting everything completed from excitement. So I go over small details, keep reminding myself of to do items, checking for anything I forgot, etc. all 3-4 times over the day, then 2-3 times again after I did it. I guess it's good to be thorough, but man is it time consuming!

When I don't think things out thoroughly, I end up with something like my fuel rail...one of the mounting bolts stripped the threads a while back, and this was before I knew how to do a helicoil job. So I drilled it out, and tapped it as an M10. Now the M10 threads have stripped, and I tried to do an M8 helicoil job on it, but that didn't work...I can now either get an M10 helicoil kit (almost single-use, as all aluminum threads on our cars are M8) or I can get a new intake and fuel rail from the yard. Leaning on the latter right now...

It looks like this weekend will be nice and I can go to the yard and dump off the old 5-speed transmission parts as well. Pondering whether or not to keep the gears and pinion shaft, but since I'm dumping the diff (too large, too heavy), I might just dump the pinion shaft with it (they are mated to each other). Besides, it's a 4-speed shaft, which is shorter than the 5-speed shaft...all the other gears can be kind-of interchangeable though. For when I rebuild my 86' 5-speed box, if I ever decide to do it as a backup.

Unfortunately, I got as far as filling up MTL, and ran out of time for a previous engagement. I still need to fill up on coolant, but other than that, she's ready to start, which hopefully I'll get to do tonight! If everything is good, I've still got to troubleshoot the valve ticking, but I've got my oiler tube kit in so we'll see what that does. Shifting feels good so far, so that's all fixed now, and I've also got my co-worker helping me make a rod that couples to the mil-spec u-joint I'll be using soon for my shift linkage instead! Fun!

Right now:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0wfnlyOU92E/TnbdhkMgI_I/AAAAAAAAApg/BEd439dviQc/Engine%252520bay%252520overview.jpg

li Arc

Squaab99t
20-09-11, 12:55 AM
Keep it going. I understand what you mean by how time consuming a engine build can be. You are being very through for one, that you care and two you don't want to screw it up and have to do the rebuild/pull again.

I'm at the point too with my rebuild and I'm triple checking for left over parts or missed procedures. http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6164/6159592162_ed206b9d95_z.jpg

li Arc
20-09-11, 02:49 PM
Love that trigger wheel Squaab! Wonder if that will work with the EDIS? I gave up on my trigger wheel for now, since it's not centered properly. Maybe I'll get it fixed up and put it in later, but I'm not going anywhere near MS right now, so I'm not worried.

I filled it up with fluids yesterday, some last minute fixes (like oil lines and tightening the fuel rail!) and started her up. Took a little while for the fuel to make its way back through the lines, but once it did, it started up fine. Transmission shifts fine now, though I'm awkward at it now since I'm used to my beater's shifter. I tried moving it down the road a bit, then driving it back up into the garage, and no problem. Steering is smooth and tight (courtesy of the newly rebuilt rack), and moving through gears R, 1-3 was fine; I'll need to test the other two later. Of course, the crazy ticking is still there, so I'll be swapping out the oilers tonight.

After having driven my seriously underpowered beater for 1.5 years, it definitely is a huge jump going back to the c900; I can feel just how under-utilized its power was during my test (although I didn't want to push it with the ticking lifters), and the aluminum flywheel makes clutch-work all tricky again; I stalled it 5 or 6 times, and did some paranoid anti-stall clutch work trying to get it back into the garage (we've got a fairly steep driveway). Also, the flywheel feels a bit slippery, but that's a given since the wear plate on the flywheel has a coating on it right now that will eventually wear through and expose the good stuff. All-in-all, it feels like a beast, and I was actually a bit scared driving it around. Of course, that's probably because I'm looking for anything that could or might have gone wrong with my engine remount, so being a bit paranoid at this stage is alright.

I will decide what to do if the oilers don't fix it tonight, which I'm almost certain of. If changing the oiler fittings don't change anything, then I guess the first thing I will do is to take all the lifters and immerse them in oil, then poke at them with a stick to determine which ones are bad. I've actually got 2 brand new lifters somewhere in my stash, so I can replace at least two. But if there are more, then I'll have to get a new set. Is this the last frontier? Is there anything else it could be? I'm really hoping the shop didn't screw up the head in any way that could cause this, but I think if I ultimately had to choose between the cost of the head and just finally being able to drive the car, I may choose the latter.

We'll see what happens tonight I guess, one step at a time.

li Arc

li Arc
20-09-11, 11:32 PM
So I changed the oilers but no change. I made sure to tap them in good, then ran the car for 15 minutes, even tried revving to 4k RPM, but they still ticked like mad. I will see if I can do the poke test later in the week, but I'll be damned if the lifters are all ok. I'll post to the workshop for help with this though, for more coverage.

I will be off to the yards on the weekend to get myself a new intake manifold and fuel rail I guess. While I'm doing that, maybe I'll try to snatch myself a backup head, just in case. I hope I don't need it though, because that'd be such a waste of money I spent fixing the one I've got on right now...:evil: Oh, I may need to get myself a proper AIC as well, as you can see the hacked up result of a Volvo AIC my uncle got my dad originally. Strangely enough, I've tried the proper AIC for the '85 LH2.2 before but it didn't work (or at least, idled at 1.2k). It might have been bad though, so I might try to snatch another one at the yard too.

li Arc

li Arc
21-09-11, 11:56 PM
So I tried the suggestions on the workshop board about just running the car under load for a while to get rid of the lifter ticking, and apparently it worked ;ol; All except for one lifter, anyways. Which is still very good, so I went to take a spin in it. There was something unusual I couldn't put my hand on, but I just wanted to take care of things one at a time. It was funny because I couldn't get the hood on the car by myself, so I just drove it out the way you see it in the photo, with signals to make it kinda road legal, and since the tank was almost empty, I drove it to the Costco gas station to fill up. One of the attendants came by and commented on the whole scene, and we had a nice chat.

After I left, I decided to have it run a little while longer to ensure the lifters get primed good, so I went down a main strip at 70km/hr. In 4th, that was about 2k RPM, and this is when I started to notice the problem. I didn't even realize it at first, but the engine is vibrating unnaturally, especially at low RPMs. Although I haven't gotten an alignment since I replaced the rack, the vibration is directly correlated to engine RPM and not road speed, so the transmission is also off the hook. The vibrations feel like they lessen in effect (although maybe not physically) as the RPMs go up over 2.5k, but I never went past 3.2k as I want to take it nice and easy with the engine break-in. The vibration effect is also apparent when the engine freely rotates in neutral, and the counter-effect is no such vibration when engine is idling and vehicle is moving at 70km/hr.

Two things occur to me: either the flywheel isn't properly balanced, or an aluminum flywheel naturally causes this effect, causing some people to say that the lightened flywheel isn't good for engine bearings. Of course, it could be anything else as well, but I'm not certain what. The trigger wheel has been removed, and when I got the crank back from the shop he said he balanced it. So, the only other culprit I could think of is if the pistons went in the wrong way or something, but I'm quite certain I put them in the right way (I think the notch faces the oil pump).

Any other suggestions? If not, I think I will try putting the steel flywheel back in and see what happens. I really hope this fixes it, because then I can just take the flywheel to the shop and have them balance it. Otherwise, I'm in trouble, and I REALLY do not want to pull the engine yet again! :nono;

li Arc

S900t8v
22-09-11, 12:04 AM
So I tried the suggestions on the workshop board about just running the car under load for a while to get rid of the lifter ticking, and apparently it worked ;ol; All except for one lifter, anyways. Which is still very good, so I went to take a spin in it. There was something unusual I couldn't put my hand on, but I just wanted to take care of things one at a time. It was funny because I couldn't get the hood on the car by myself, so I just drove it out the way you see it in the photo, with signals to make it kinda road legal, and since the tank was almost empty, I drove it to the Costco gas station to fill up. One of the attendants came by and commented on the whole scene, and we had a nice chat.

After I left, I decided to have it run a little while longer to ensure the lifters get primed good, so I went down a main strip at 70km/hr. In 4th, that was about 2k RPM, and this is when I started to notice the problem. I didn't even realize it at first, but the engine is vibrating unnaturally, especially at low RPMs. Although I haven't gotten an alignment since I replaced the rack, the vibration is directly correlated to engine RPM and not road speed, so the transmission is also off the hook. The vibrations feel like they lessen in effect (although maybe not physically) as the RPMs go up over 2.5k, but I never went past 3.2k as I want to take it nice and easy with the engine break-in. The vibration effect is also apparent when the engine freely rotates in neutral, and the counter-effect is no such vibration when engine is idling and vehicle is moving at 70km/hr.

Two things occur to me: either the flywheel isn't properly balanced, or an aluminum flywheel naturally causes this effect, causing some people to say that the lightened flywheel isn't good for engine bearings. Of course, it could be anything else as well, but I'm not certain what. The trigger wheel has been removed, and when I got the crank back from the shop he said he balanced it. So, the only other culprit I could think of is if the pistons went in the wrong way or something, but I'm quite certain I put them in the right way (I think the notch faces the oil pump).

Any other suggestions? If not, I think I will try putting the steel flywheel back in and see what happens. I really hope this fixes it, because then I can just take the flywheel to the shop and have them balance it. Otherwise, I'm in trouble, and I REALLY do not want to pull the engine yet again! :nono;

li Arc

Glad to hear about the lifters, (grins to self) I had a feeling that was going to work out!

Shame about the vibrations! Hope it's the flywheel as opposed to the Pistons. can you swap your original flywheel back on? Probably easier to get it balanced than to go triple swapping. Time consuming.

You should be proud of the phenomenal job you have done with that car! Very impressive! ;ol;:D

Squaab99t
22-09-11, 02:46 PM
First, nice work being able finish the rebuild.

Some questions or ideas:
Did you have the pressure plate balance and harmonic balance pulley too?
Did you torque down the crank pulley bolt?
Is the pilot bearing installed in the flywheel?

Hoping to turn mine over this weekend.

AlbertaDrew
22-09-11, 10:01 PM
Good luck brother and if you need another pair of hands or need to borrow some tools dont hesitate to contact me!

By the way, just going through the posts and I dont see any familiar names but yours. Did even SAABKEN peace out?

Jesus murphy!

Drew

li Arc
25-09-11, 02:56 AM
First, nice work being able finish the rebuild.

Some questions or ideas:
Did you have the pressure plate balance and harmonic balance pulley too?
Did you torque down the crank pulley bolt?
Is the pilot bearing installed in the flywheel?

Hoping to turn mine over this weekend.

I'm not sure, how would you go about balancing the pressure plate? And crank pulley? The crank pulley bolt is torqued correctly. The pilot bearing is in the flywheel, but I did poke at the centre a bit when I tried to get the transmission input shaft in; I think I may have moved the bearing a bit, but I think it should still be fairly straight. Of course, one look at it when I pull the flywheel out and I'll know.

I tried to torque the engine mounts, but they were all torqued to spec already. Which means I will be pulling the flywheel tomorrow. Also, in the workshop thread, someone mentioned checking accessory bearings, which I will also try, as well as seeing if there is a difference between clutch in and clutch out (I don't think so though, since I don't remember there being a difference when I toe-heel). I just hope it's nothing deeper than this.

Tomorrow, I will be heading to the yard to pull an intake manifold, and perhaps I'll pull a steel flywheel as well if it looks fine, since mine has such a deep groove in it. Of course, if pulling the flywheel did fix the problem, then I may just have it balanced. Unless of course, the steel flywheel somehow counter-balances the crank in some way...hope not though.

I also tried getting the bumper on, but this is a very good example of why a new frame/shell would be nice. The body shop screwed up on the bumper mount after my last accident (I am still furious about that guy hitting me, insurance saying it was my fault, and the body shop messing my car up), and the LHS mount is about 1cm too high. Which means getting it on is a real PITA. It took me 2 hours today to get it right. Man I hate the whole insurance industry.

li Arc

S900t8v
25-09-11, 04:21 AM
I thought you once said the alloy flywheel was designed for 90+ 900s and early 9000s? If that's the case why is it on your 900? what year model crank are you running?

I might just be tripping out but I thought you said it was like direct fit for 90+ 900s and earlier ones required modifications?!

shaverjeff
25-09-11, 09:44 AM
I wish I would have found this thread a bit earlier, A few years back I went through the same flywheel issues in my 94 vert (with 4 speed chillcast) I installed the SD aluminum "direct replacement" and had the same grooving problem. I spoke with SD and their response was that there should have been instructions with the flywheel about removing the tabs.

The tabs don't really serve a purpose and I wasn't opposed to cutting them down either, just a bit bummed I scratched that shiny piece of aluminum...
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l150/shaverjeff/Saab%20Stuff/Flywheel/Flywheel1.jpg

From my experience the aluminum flywheel only added a minimum amount of vibration but I swapped to a solid front motor mount at the same time so that could be part of the source, but still not bad, I think something else must be amiss based on your description.

li Arc
26-09-11, 01:13 AM
Wow Jeff, I coulda sworn that was my flywheel! SD lists the flywheel as 900 pre-94, 9000 pre-91. So it's the correct flywheel. I never got any instructions with the package, so I've never heard that any modifications were needed at any time. The crank and pistons are stock '85, which has not changed. As far as I know, the shop balanced them (together? I dunno) but never got a hold of the flywheel. So if the set was balanced, they were balanced true pre-flywheel, meaning if the flywheel was true, the whole thing should be balanced.

I went to the yard today to grab a new intake manifold and to drop off the old 5-speed case and the 4-speed diff, and found a nice older gentleman who was taking the spring mechanism underneath the seats, since his collapsed. It was out of a light blue '87 notchback, and the seats themselves were in excellent condition, though they had the blue-purple faded look. I'm still hoping to find some grey velour seats. He said the yard wants $106 for all 3 seats though. We had a nice chat, and I tried to answer his questions for troubleshooting some stuff, but since it was an '85 8V I wasn't as knowledgeable about it. At least it was injected. So I asked him to come on to SC and seek some help here. So I was out recruiting!

Anyways, I managed to get the intake out of the 87', just as a huge dust storm hit. It seemed strange though, because it's got additional vacuum ports on it, which I may have to plug, and it's got plugs in two coolant holes that my '85 manifold has blanked out, which seems useful for if I ever want to go with a water-cooled turbo. I will still need to clean it out good, and then ensure the grommets are still good, then I can install it again. Also will need fittings for the ports, and figure out what to do with them.

In the meantime, I tried revving again to try to discern the vibration across the RPM range, and I think it seems to me not really proportional to the RPMs as much as a static vibration that pretty much remains the same whatever RPM it's at. Resonance kicks in most at 2k RPM and drops off on both sides, but the base vibration seems to be always there. I also tried clutch in, out, no change. I took apart the thing until I got to the clutch, had my gf hold the clutch down while I got the ring in the PP, then took off for the night. More work tomorrow getting the steel flywheel back in. If this works, I may have to see if I can have the shop analyze the steel flywheel balance and mimic it on the aluminum flywheel. If it doesn't work, then I will be checking the accessories and seeing if they're causing problems. Backwards, yes I know, but with the clutch ring I need a helper, while the accessories I don't.

li Arc

li Arc
28-09-11, 02:02 PM
So I did this:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ZWZdXN8O5oU/ToM-iBBM2WI/AAAAAAAAAp0/iLkRyP5RM_o/Running%252520aluminum%252520flywheel%252520only.j pg

Then this:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-JPIv7s5cYa4/ToM-i1PPJRI/AAAAAAAAAp4/5BTKtCYcFz4/Running%252520steel%252520flywheel%252520only.jpg

...with no change...surprisingly. Without the clutch in place, it felt exactly the same as with, so the clutch itself isn't a problem, and neither is the pilot bearing or the drive shaft. Between the aluminum and steel flywheels, there was absolutely no change as far as vibration goes; they both felt exactly the same, and exactly like it was when the car was moving. Which means that they are both perfectly balanced, and are done so independent of the crank.

I did notice the power steering pump bracket wasn't fully secured down, so I tried tightening everything up, but nothing changed there neither. My next step will be to remove all the belts and do a test, and see if it's still vibrational. If not, then I will add the p/s pump separately from the alt/water pump, and see if each of those will cause vibration. If they both do, separate from one another, I will assume the crank pulley is bad (although I normally hear that the symptoms are usually squeaking or something). Can this be replaced in situ? Otherwise, I will have narrowed down the problem device. I really hope it's just the alternator (p/s pump and water pump have both been replaced before) since I have a spare in the garage. Will you be able to just simply turn spin the accessory and feel roughness or something to discern whether it's the water pump or the alt?

In the meantime, I decided to put together the front end, and was about to put my front air dam back on when I remembered I took the front valence off. When I went to re-attach it, I was reminded of all the problems those mounts gave me in the past, especially from rusting and widening of the holes every time I scrape the valence by mistake. Saab's original design had small L-shaped brackets that helped keep the valence straight even if curbed, but they were also rusting and were somewhat...minute. So, I decided to try to fix these problems with some new brackets I made:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Kp-kWnIiM-0/ToM-duhfhEI/AAAAAAAAApk/OaXvBXwHEAg/Drilling%252520a%252520front%252520valence%252520b racket.jpg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-NPgGt7hMYX8/ToM-gtro-TI/AAAAAAAAApw/BE2gM16SjXE/Finished%252520front%252520valence%252520brackets. jpg
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-JGm_JWV4K0U/ToM-gFXsxUI/AAAAAAAAAps/em44ZfQMDyU/Front%252520valence%252520with%252520brackets%2525 20installed.jpg
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-dmVw7M9mCWk/ToM-lLLdPMI/AAAAAAAAAp8/_DHURQ8GGcg/Top%252520of%252520front%252520valence%252520with% 252520brackets%252520installed.jpg

Compared to the original mounts, these are quite beefed up, if I may say so myself! Because the whole thing is plastic, the small mounts would rip open the holes a little more each time the valence was curbed, but this way, it's the snow shoe effect and the force is not only distributed across a larger area, but also the original L-shape has been maintained to keep the valence in place even when bumped. Plus, these are bars of aluminum, with stainless bolts and nuts, so they're not going on me anytime soon.

As this is as far as my fabrication skills goes, this is as far as it gets, and I'm quite proud of it...no, it's not like making an equal length header or even a down pipe, but I still like it, even if it serves only to keep my sanity a little longer every time I bump the front end a little by mistake.

Anyways, I also pulled an intake manifold from an '87 N/A LH2.2 car in the yard, which seems to have extra holes in it compared to mine. So I will have to get some grommet fittings to plug up or make use of those holes. I also managed to get a proper AIC from this car, instead of my jimmy-rigged Volvo one that I used copper piping on; the other spares I had were apparently all bad. I was going to leave the injectors at the yard, but then when I was about to pull them, I found out the injector tips were very different from mine, which simply has a rounded end:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Pwn12gqiors/ToM-eNrpjnI/AAAAAAAAApo/SNRgYWu51aQ/87%252520injector%252520tip.jpg

It seems there is a cone shape to it, which I assume is to optimize the spray pattern. Since mine are originals (I don't think they've ever been changed before), I thought I might try these. Of course, I may not see any change at all, or worse one of them may not be working, but seeing as mine seem to have fitment problems (they don't go all the way down, and the fuel rail, when tightened, seems to allow some vertical play which is only dampened by the injector o-rings) I'll give them a shot. Dumb idea? Maybe.

li Arc

nuclear944
28-09-11, 02:27 PM
I admire your patience with this. When I sell my 500k mile sedan I am going to start looking for a pre facelift turbo 4dr or notchback.

So now that you've eliminated the flywheel, I am thinking accessories.
When I think about it, when the crank pulley on the SPG went, it had similar vibration issues. But it was always accompanied with extremely loud squealing and loss of power steering. I replaced the whole pulley with the engine in place, and it wasn't terribly difficult, but quite fiddly due to the A/C pulley bolts. If you do decide to do it, you'll need a breaker bar and large, ground down socket to fit the whole thing there. I can give you information about socket sizes and pictures if you want.

li Arc
28-09-11, 03:35 PM
I did remove the a/c pulley for now, since I'm not using it. The 30mm socket I'm using fits with the regular 1/2" drive right now, which is how I usually turn the engine, but it doesn't fit with the torque wrench, so I may need to grind it down anyhow. I can't remember if 30mm is used anywhere else in the car at all?

I also can't remember how the pulley goes on; is it just remove the bolt and slide it off? I also need a way to immobilize the engine doing so; while normally immobilizing the flywheel by inserting something into its teeth against the block is what I do, it's annoying to get to when I'm just trying to get the pulley bolt off. I imagine it's alright putting the car into 4th or 5th and untorquing (or torquing) the bolt off (on). Anyways, I guess I'll worry about this if it turns out to be the case.

I want my first official ride (ie. not test) to be absolutely problem-free, and it should handle and feel like a dream. I'm really trying to get to that point, so I've really tried to fix every little thing I can along the way. Although there are only a few things left, it's the little things that take a lot of work that really annoy me, like the intake manifold thing; I've gotta replace it with a fully new (to me) one because the threads were stripped. Even if I were to take it to a shop to re-weld and tap, it would still take just as much work and probably cost a little more. But, I'm getting close...so close I can taste it...

li Arc

nuclear944
28-09-11, 04:37 PM
I did remove the a/c pulley for now, since I'm not using it. The 30mm socket I'm using fits with the regular 1/2" drive right now, which is how I usually turn the engine, but it doesn't fit with the torque wrench, so I may need to grind it down anyhow. I can't remember if 30mm is used anywhere else in the car at all?

I also can't remember how the pulley goes on; is it just remove the bolt and slide it off? I also need a way to immobilize the engine doing so; while normally immobilizing the flywheel by inserting something into its teeth against the block is what I do, it's annoying to get to when I'm just trying to get the pulley bolt off. I imagine it's alright putting the car into 4th or 5th and untorquing (or torquing) the bolt off (on). Anyways, I guess I'll worry about this if it turns out to be the case.

I want my first official ride (ie. not test) to be absolutely problem-free, and it should handle and feel like a dream. I'm really trying to get to that point, so I've really tried to fix every little thing I can along the way. Although there are only a few things left, it's the little things that take a lot of work that really annoy me, like the intake manifold thing; I've gotta replace it with a fully new (to me) one because the threads were stripped. Even if I were to take it to a shop to re-weld and tap, it would still take just as much work and probably cost a little more. But, I'm getting close...so close I can taste it...

li Arc

The pulley is held onto the crankshaft by a really big bolt. There is woodruff key that locates the pulley on. Once the bolt is removed, the pulley slides off without problems. One thing to remember is putting some RTV on the inner bolt surface and threads. Just in case, and it is also recommended by Mesthene.
Putting the box in 5th should do the trick. I didn't bother using a torque wrench in there and just got it as tight as I could. 5,000 miles later, it hasn't budged.

li Arc
29-09-11, 01:21 PM
Unfortunately, after removing the belts and running the engine less than a minute through the safe range (up to ~3.5k RPM), the vibrations have not changed; they still feel exactly the same as before. So all I can think of that's left really is the oil pump (doubt it), and the crank and pistons. Unless the break-in process has something to do with it, I'm not really sure what to think anymore.

To clarify, the vibrations are, from a subjective point of view, around triple what I'd normally feel in the car. They're a bit uncomfortable, but not super worrisome. At its worse (around 2.1k or so) it can cause some slight rattling in the dash, though the tightness of everyone's dash is different. As I mentioned before, after a bit more analysis it seems to be a base constant vibration, rather than related to RPM; RPM vibrations obviously add to it and subtract from it depending on where the peaks and valleys hit, either summing up the vibrational amplitude or cancelling each other out (at around 3k RPM, they cancel). But also as I mentioned, it is not related to road speed (and vibrations are maintained when stationary).

The only thing I've got left is if say the crank pulley is unbalanced now, regardless of whether there are belts on it or not. The visible rubber on the pulley is cracked in some places, but it never squeaked. But also if that were the case, then vibrations would be more RPM-correlated. I suppose I could grab a pulley from the yard, a new one is >$100, which is a very expensive test if it doesn't fix things.

Or should I just drive it as it is? Is it bad for the bearings?

li Arc

jamengual
29-09-11, 02:56 PM
with all the awesome work that you have done to the engine I will not drive it like that. If I where you I will change the crack pulley and if that doesn't fix the issue I will start taking things apart.

Does anything on the transmission make such vibrations ?

S900t8v
30-09-11, 09:24 AM
with all the awesome work that you have done to the engine I will not drive it like that. If I where you I will change the crack pulley and if that doesn't fix the issue I will start taking things apart.

Does anything on the transmission make such vibrations ?

With clutch in the transmission should be disengaged from the crank shouldn't it?

Squaab99t
30-09-11, 09:35 AM
I was hoping for you that we would not be at a point we start talking internals. Can you recap or link to the page how far and what you did on the engine rebuild? I'd like to just hear the facts. Replacements parts, machining done, measuring....


As for the pulley experiment, If you can find one off a junker cool. Spending a 100 for a new one you will eventually need versus pulling the engine, your call.

My link to my recent rebuild might have some ideas.
http://www.saabrally.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2158

li Arc
30-09-11, 03:17 PM
Yes, disengaging the clutch rules the transmission out of the equation. As does removing the clutch altogether.

Squaab, you think I should replace the pulley anyhow? The yard doesn't have a c900 right now, and I have been slightly tempted to replace it as well. If I did get one from the yard and it changed the characteristics of the vibration, I would know that it was the problem and I'd have to get a new one anyhow. I'll think about it.

All the engine stuff is on the first few pages, funny how most of this thread turned out to be transmission stuff. Pages 1, 2, 3, and 5 hold most of the engine information. It includes all the replacement parts and the work done by the shop. There is an ongoing engine vibration thread (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218891) in the workshop where I'm trying to understand the vibration problem, and I also had a block work thread (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183275&highlight=engine+rebuild&page=2) in the workshop prior to starting this project thread; it shows the condition of the pulley.

While, I'm at it, I may as well reference the valve ticking thread (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215577), with suggestions from other members until I decided to just take a drive which fixed it!

The guys on the vibration thread have a point, and I'm becoming more and more convinced it could be something loose on the exhaust end. Besides the crank and the flywheel, there aren't many things else I can think of that has enough mass to vibrate like that. I guess I'll find out more on the weekend.

li Arc

li Arc
03-10-11, 02:22 AM
After being dismayed about this whole problem today, I decided to do a simple test: I rested my hand on the intake manifold, or other part structurally connected to the block, and revved the engine at the engine bay, trying to detect increases in vibration, similar to what I felt in the cabin, directly through the engine. I revved from idle to 4k or more (the tach was inside the cabin), but to my surprise, I detected no increase in vibrations. This told me that the engine was in no way unbalanced at all, and that the vibrations felt in the cabin were perceived, because it was somehow transmitted through the chassis instead of being an actual engine vibration issue. Elated, I decided to go for another test run.

While I was driving around, I noticed that when I was moving along at any speed and steering left, the vibrations would go away, even at 2k, and when I steered right, the vibrations would double, especially at 2k. When the car was stationary, steering alignment didn't change the vibration intensity, and would exhibit the same vibration as I've been experiencing all along. I found this very strange, and reported it on the engine vibration thread. I thought perhaps that the steering pump was doing something strange, or that the steering rack (which I replaced while doing the engine rebuild) wasn't torqued down properly. Jim's reply was to check the axle lengths, and ensure the tripod bearings weren't bottoming out on the inner drivers. This didn't really help, however, since I didn't know how far deep the axles were, and I would have to pull them to fully know their length. To me though, the theory made sense: the engine wasn't structurally connected to anything that could transmit that vibration, unless it was through the axle if it bottomed out on the inner driver thus the entire chassis was subject to the vibrations. I searched around a bit more in old threads, and found something that pointed to exactly what was wrong.

When I received the two transmissions from VinceT, one had both inner drivers on it, and the other only had one. When I received some parts later from mmoe, he also sent me some inner drivers; I ended up with something like 5 inner drivers, not including the ones from my original '86 transmission. What I failed to realize, though, is that there is a difference between 86+ and 86- inner drivers. According to this thread (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=180453), the 86+ and 86- inner drivers must match 86+ or 86- axles and tripods, respectively. This means you can freely switch between 86+ and 86- inner drivers as long as you acquire and install the same corresponding axle. This is because not only is the axle lengths different (6mm), but the tripod bearings are 34mm diameter for 86- tripods, and 37mm diameter for 86+ tripods. And that the easiest way to tell the difference between the two inner driver cups is that 86- inner drivers have 3 ridges along the outer diameter of the cup, while 86+ inner drivers only have 2 ridges. Since the car is an 85, guess what number of ridges my inner drivers should have? Guess how many they currently have (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1866189&postcount=101)? The irony? How many ridges do my 2 original transmissions (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1799003&postcount=14) have?

This means that my axles were indeed bottoming out on the inner drivers, but also that the backlash on the inner drivers was horrendous, around 3mm. At least, if it went the other way, it would not have fit and I would have known right away. I will have to go through my stash of inner drivers, but worse come to worse, I can pull them off my '86 transmission. Looks like I'll have to spend another small fortune on Redline MTL...yet again. Given the pain I went through to get the inner driver housing back in with the engine in situ, I'm going to have to be very careful this time not to drop the stupid plunger inside, making me have to pull off the diff cover and lose more fluid and with my luck tear the gasket again.

Now, pull wheels, brakes, upper ball joint, pull the hub outwards, drain some transmission oil and hope I've got enough out, pull the damned inner driver housings, and replace inner driver, and reverse. Then replace intake manifold as well. Sounds easy, but it's a huge pain. It's not going to be fun, but at least I've finally got it figured out...I hope.

li Arc

S900t8v
03-10-11, 03:01 AM
I'm going to do it but holy sh** Jim Mesthene knows his stuff, to provide advice over the internet and hit the nail on the head. That is phenomenal. ;ol;

Glad to see you've got it figured - so it seems :D, why don't you just change the axles/tripods?

PS Li Arc, what are you going to do for your run in procedure with your engine. Have you ever heard of doing a hard run in? The original Saab manuals say never push the car when cold and don't exceed 5000rpm for 2000km. To me that sounds like at least they are doing a harder style run in than the typical - drive it like a baby for 1000miles

http://www.hondatech.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=117

Its an interesting read and I know people personally that swear by it.

li Arc
03-10-11, 09:42 AM
I've been trying to drive it under 3k RPM (and only because I've been doing testing), so yes, babying it for the first while. No boost during this time neither. Since I'll need to put some km's on it and I work out of town, I will eventually hit the highways, but it's nice to know I can still run it up to 5k RPM if need be (hopefully highway driving will be more like 3k RPM in 5th gear). I'm thinking I'll be changing the oil after 1500 km's. After that, the rings will need to be bedded in; the guy who did by block and crank mentioned that if they are chrome rings (I'm not sure though) that the best way to bed them is to beat the tar out of them. Not sure what I think about that though.

li Arc

B202NUT
03-10-11, 11:12 AM
I've been trying to drive it under 3k RPM (and only because I've been doing testing), so yes, babying it for the first while. No boost during this time neither. Since I'll need to put some km's on it and I work out of town, I will eventually hit the highways, but it's nice to know I can still run it up to 5k RPM if need be (hopefully highway driving will be more like 3k RPM in 5th gear). I'm thinking I'll be changing the oil after 1500 km's. After that, the rings will need to be bedded in; the guy who did by block and crank mentioned that if they are chrome rings (I'm not sure though) that the best way to bed them is to beat the tar out of them. Not sure what I think about that though.

li Arc


I think you are going in the right direction; I have a similiar but diffeent problem. My car is constantly detecting knock despite the car is well tuned and I keep high octane gas in the tank although its an S car. Me and my indy shop have been over every aspect of the car and cant understand why its knocking. He told me a story about a guy he helped with a similar problem. The guy would get into boost and the vibration from the driver would go to the block signaling the knock sensor and dialing back to base boost; the car was modified and tuned to spec.

He put the car on the lift and he explained the passensger driver had play. The vibration at high speed/boost, was making the engine detect knock and dialing back the timing.

he suggested I change the passenger side driver cup along with thew tripod bearing and the issue should go away.

I am praying to the same gods you are thats the issue; Similiar but different problems.

Good luck...

S900t8v
03-10-11, 05:03 PM
I've been trying to drive it under 3k RPM (and only because I've been doing testing), so yes, babying it for the first while. No boost during this time neither. Since I'll need to put some km's on it and I work out of town, I will eventually hit the highways, but it's nice to know I can still run it up to 5k RPM if need be (hopefully highway driving will be more like 3k RPM in 5th gear). I'm thinking I'll be changing the oil after 1500 km's. After that, the rings will need to be bedded in; the guy who did by block and crank mentioned that if they are chrome rings (I'm not sure though) that the best way to bed them is to beat the tar out of them. Not sure what I think about that though.

li Arc

What oil are you using?

li Arc
04-10-11, 01:55 AM
I know most car manufacturers use conventional oil for the engine break-in period, but I'm using Mobil 1 for it. I've always used Mobil 1 for the engine, even though I haven't done oil changes frequently enough in the past (I will now!).

I found out that I have tripod bearings 37mm in diameter, and that the 2-ridge inner drivers are 37mm drivers, whereas the 3-ridge drivers I had were 34mm drivers. In total, I have four 2-ridge inner drivers (two on this transmission, two on my original '86 transmission), and three 3-rdige inner drivers (spares). This contradicts the inner driver thread I talked about earlier, as they mention that the 2-ridge drivers are used for later 86+ cars, whereas the 3-ridge drivers were used for 86- cars. Obviously, 34mm tripod bearings would have fit in 37mm driver cups, but 37mm tripod bearings won't fit in 34mm driver cups. Since the axles have never been replaced, I'm quite inclined to believe that 86- axles have 37mm tripod bearings and fit into 2-ridge 37mm inner drivers. Since such is the case, the inner drivers I've got installed are already correct. Interestingly, the 37mm tripod is 196mm long, while the 34mm tripod is 190mm long, exactly 6mm shorter. From what I can tell, this shortness only involves the cup portion, and that the shaft itself is the same length. The RHS axle is about 63cm long.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-56i4LBCaePU/Toqe1we1eKI/AAAAAAAAAq8/Gc-sATLTMT8/Axles%252520Removed.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SuSaJptjEqw/ToqeyXqxr8I/AAAAAAAAAqo/CH75x941N1o/Triple-ridge%252520vs%252520double-ridge%252520driver%252520cup.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bNyE1M28Ipk/Toqe0OMcI2I/AAAAAAAAAqw/YpU7zY6Pb-Q/s576/Triple-ridge%252520vs%252520double-ridge%252520driver%252520length.jpg

There seems to be two categories of the drivers: one has a 45-degree taper before hitting the flat portion behind the cup, and one does not have this taper. Although the 3-ridge drivers did not have this taper at all, it seemed odd that one of the 4 2-ridge inner drivers also did not have this taper, while the rest did. The purpose of this taper eludes me, but I think it might take away from the depth of the driver cup. So far the argument has been that the tripod is bottoming out on the driver cup, thus the engine vibrations are being transmitted to the chassis through the axle.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-bOdKQ7hjHJ4/ToqeytUpE8I/AAAAAAAAAqs/BOa_QYElZ8Q/s640/Non-45-degree-tapered%252520double-ridge%252520driver.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-KgqIEZs5554/Toqe0YdBTUI/AAAAAAAAAq0/q5c0lC_M-lA/s640/45-degree-tapered%252520double-ridge%252520driver.jpg

I did go and pull them out anyhow, and decided to punch the LHS driver (non-tapered rear) further onto the bearing housing, in case it was certainly bottoming out. However, after doing so, I put everything back together and bolted up the ball joint, then left the nut untorqued on the axle to the hub. Seeing as the vibration problems are greatest when turning right, I turned the steering wheel and tried to detect the depth of the inner driver cup by leaving the axle nut off and pushing the entire axle in and seeing how far it would go. On the LHS, I stopped at 10mm (it would definitely go more) and on the RHS I saw something like 20mm. Which means that it is in no way bottoming out.

So I'm still convinced that somehow the axle is being transmitted the engine vibrations, but I'm not convinced it's through bottoming out on the inner driver cup. I was considering maybe swapping left and right since one has the 45-degree taper, while the other does not. But given the amount of play they currently have, it may not amount to anything for a lot of work.

Any other reasons why turning right would transmit engine vibrations to the axle, while not when turning left? Vibrations return to their normal amount (still an issue, not smooth like originally) when the car is stationary, regardless of steering alignment. What I will probably do tomorrow is to punch the RHS inner driver in some more, or maybe even swap it with the one on the '86 transmission. I've never had such vibration issues with the 2-ridge drivers on the '86 transmission.

li Arc

li Arc
05-10-11, 12:06 AM
Starting to get really pissed off. I decided to do a positive test today, by removing the axles, putting everything back together, and starting the car to ensure that the vibration is gone. If it is, then I need look no further, and I will most likely swap inner drivers with the '86 transmission.

So after I got everything ready and I was all excited to confirm that vibrations are gone, suddenly, the ignition switch is dead. Dash lights up, turning the switch feels weighty, the starter return spring is dead, and no voltage at starter and no fuel pump sounds. Problem is now I don't know how to remove the switch to analyze it, as it's not in the stupid Bentley, forum search didn't help, and everyone on the forums seems to already know how to remove it without instruction. I did adjust the shifter, so there's a good chance it's related to the reverse-gear lockout, or perhaps some wire in the vicinity. Need some guidance here, ready to smash something but good.

li Arc

nuclear944
05-10-11, 12:25 AM
Starting to get really pissed off. I decided to do a positive test today, by removing the axles, putting everything back together, and starting the car to ensure that the vibration is gone. If it is, then I need look no further, and I will most likely swap inner drivers with the '86 transmission.

So after I got everything ready and I was all excited to confirm that vibrations are gone, suddenly, the ignition switch is dead. Dash lights up, turning the switch feels weighty, the starter return spring is dead, and no voltage at starter and no fuel pump sounds. Problem is now I don't know how to remove the switch to analyze it, as it's not in the stupid Bentley, forum search didn't help, and everyone on the forums seems to already know how to remove it without instruction. I did adjust the shifter, so there's a good chance it's related to the reverse-gear lockout, or perhaps some wire in the vicinity. Need some guidance here, ready to smash something but good.

li Arc

Your barrel has broken. Mine did the same exact thing when I stalled it on an intersection-it wasn't fun.

You can hotwire the engine and get it to run using the wires on top of the ignition switch. Search "push button" on the forums.

I wired a push button very easily but have now grown tired of it. I'm going to take apart the console soon and see if I can fix it.

li Arc
05-10-11, 01:14 AM
I actually found the entry in the Bentley finally, and yes, it seems the barrel and the switch are separate entities. It seems to get the barrel out, I will need to pull the whole shifter housing...I don't know how painful this will be, but it looks like it's time to take the front seats out (to make it easier to remove the housing). The photos and descriptions aren't very good though, so I'm still not certain how one gets the barrel out of the housing. What a PITA. Does this sounds like the barrel is busted, or did the spring slip out of its seat on the barrel or something and wedge itself between the barrel and the housing? In other words, can this be an easy DIY fix, or does it require a new part in order to repair?

I also saw in some thread I think that mentions if I need to start it, I can short the grey wire to the red/yellow wire? If I need a new barrel, maybe I'll do that to ascertain that my vibrations are gone first while I'm waiting for the part. Then I can continue to use my time instead of wasting good weather. Also, does replacing the cylinder suddenly require me the use of two keys, one to unlock the door and one to start the car??

li Arc

S900t8v
05-10-11, 07:07 AM
I actually found the entry in the Bentley finally, and yes, it seems the barrel and the switch are separate entities. It seems to get the barrel out, I will need to pull the whole shifter housing...I don't know how painful this will be, but it looks like it's time to take the front seats out (to make it easier to remove the housing). The photos and descriptions aren't very good though, so I'm still not certain how one gets the barrel out of the housing. What a PITA. Does this sounds like the barrel is busted, or did the spring slip out of its seat on the barrel or something and wedge itself between the barrel and the housing? In other words, can this be an easy DIY fix, or does it require a new part in order to repair?

I also saw in some thread I think that mentions if I need to start it, I can short the grey wire to the red/yellow wire? If I need a new barrel, maybe I'll do that to ascertain that my vibrations are gone first while I'm waiting for the part. Then I can continue to use my time instead of wasting good weather. Also, does replacing the cylinder suddenly require me the use of two keys, one to unlock the door and one to start the car??

li Arc

Only need to remove one seat - driver is easier, remove the rubber in front of the inbetween floor and center console undo two screws, remove the rear ashtray undo two screws then one screw in the middle underneath the front piece of console just near the ignition switch, lift the plastic floor console away, then draw a diagram or take photos of the ignition wires as you remove them for easy re-installation, I don't know if you can remove the switch with the shifter housing in situ, I dont think you can, it's easy enough to remove that housing though. Just flat blade and a mallet on those nuts. If you need to remove the ignition barrel then you put the key half way between off and ACC and then shove a coat hanger into the hole in the side of the barrel to push the spring back, then pull the barrel away. Can't see why you'd need to do that. Think the electrical switch is just underneath the barrel so if you remove shifter housing you should be ok... I had the shifter housing off once but never played with the switch (I was wrecking my parts car)

Sorry I can't be much more help,but I figured since no one else replied I would. I saw you asked different questions in this thread, thats why I replied to both. Hope you don't mind :P

S900t8v
07-10-11, 03:36 AM
Hey Li Arc

Some off topic questions when you have time

what threadlockers did you use for the tranny 270 and 243?
270 for the pinion nuts ?
243 for the other ones ?

what did you use for slave cylinder bolts, inner driver housing bolts etc? 518?

Also when you removed the pinion nut did you drill out the stakes? Did you do anything other than apply a heap of force to remove the nut?

li Arc
07-10-11, 11:48 AM
I used Permatex red threadlocker for permanent bolts, and blue for medium strength. Since Permatex is owned by the maker of Loctite, many shops and suppliers have since switched to stocking Permatex products over the Loctite products. When I've spoken to some, they've mentioned that they are equivalent and replace Loctite thread lockers, for general purpose. I haven't been able to locate any Loctite suppliers locally that stock Loctite parts that couldn't be replaced with Permatex parts anymore, so I assume that Loctite knows what they're doing shrinking their offerings into the Permatex equivalents. I didn't use any thread locker on the pinion nut, just staked it, but I used blue thread locker where indicated by the transmission manual (ie. reverse gear actuating arm pivot bolt, cluster shaft/reverse gear shaft locking bracket bolt, etc.)

For any sealing surface, I've been using 518, since it is the recommended general purpose sealant in our cars. I believe there was another one (520? or something? I believe there was a discussion on it) that has very similar characteristics with a higher temperature range but did not specifically list aluminum surfaces in its description. Some people have used this in combination with 518, but it is apparently not as versatile and more expensive; definitely more expensive if you have to have tubes of both 518 and 520. There are a number of people who have also altogether replaced paper gaskets with 518; I decided instead to use paper gaskets dressed on both sides with 518, which should offer the best of both worlds. 518 was used on all sealing bolts as well, such as those you mention.

In my case, I think when removing the pinion nut, if I remember correctly it was a bit loose, but because of the stake it wasn't coming off, so it was just brute force.

li Arc

li Arc
07-10-11, 12:29 PM
One unrelated thing I wanted to post is that I measured my chain deflection through the tensioner on my brand new, endless link IWIS chain, which happened to be 10.49mm, with maximum chain deflection at 11mm. However, I wouldn't be surprised if this has a little to do with the chain guides (which don't really look in bad condition, but have probably lost a bit of material over the years), and the very light skim on the head (well within specs, however).

In my analysis, the maximum spec'd chain deflection has no business here because chain stretch is detrimental to timing, not deflection; deflection is simply a means of measuring chain stretch given a known starting parameter. If a new chain with new guides and a new head gives you a deflection of 8mm, then you have a maximum deflection delta of 3mm (an indicator of stretch along the chain). Let's say there are to be 15 links between the two cams, and for conjecture, 82 links between the exhaust cam and the crank sprocket (the tensioner side, as I understand it, is irrelevant to the actual timing). If your chain stretches, you may have the equivalent of 15.4 links from a brand new chain between the two cams, and 84.2 links between the exhaust cam and the crank sprocket, which will totally throw your timing off, regardless of chain deflection on the tensioner side. Whereas, even with a new chain that has a high deflection on the tensioner side, it'll be a straight 15 links between the two cams, and 82 links between the exhaust cam and the crank sprocket.

Timing is dictated by the turn ratios of the crank vs the two cam sprockets, which is not directly tied to chain length, but is directly tied to the chain link spacing, which is what changes in a stretched chain; chain length (and hence deflection) is simply a representation of this link spacing, because it is more easily measured since it is an amplification of the spacing.

What does this all mean? It means don't worry about it if your brand new chain is near the spec limit, but do measure it to know your starting point. As for the deflection delta allowed, one may need to obtain the factory specs on new chain deflection in order to determine how much deflection is allowed. If 3mm deflection is allowed, then my maximum deflection limit is 13.49mm before I need the chain replaced.

In other news, the plan will be to figure out the vibration first, then install my intake manifold, then worry about the ignition switch afterwards; compared to the other stuff, the switch is a mosquito in my bonnet. I will still have to get to it eventually, and I'm hoping that I can analyze it and fix it by hand instead of ordering a new part, but as long as I can hot-wire it (fat grey wire to fat red/yellow (+12V) wire, as I understand it, with the key in the Run position), then I will work around it for now.

li Arc

S900t8v
07-10-11, 04:57 PM
I used Permatex red threadlocker for permanent bolts, and blue for medium strength. Since Permatex is owned by the maker of Loctite, many shops and suppliers have since switched to stocking Permatex products over the Loctite products. When I've spoken to some, they've mentioned that they are equivalent and replace Loctite thread lockers, for general purpose. I haven't been able to locate any Loctite suppliers locally that stock Loctite parts that couldn't be replaced with Permatex parts anymore, so I assume that Loctite knows what they're doing shrinking their offerings into the Permatex equivalents. I didn't use any thread locker on the pinion nut, just staked it, but I used blue thread locker where indicated by the transmission manual (ie. reverse gear actuating arm pivot bolt, cluster shaft/reverse gear shaft locking bracket bolt, etc.)

For any sealing surface, I've been using 518, since it is the recommended general purpose sealant in our cars. I believe there was another one (520? or something? I believe there was a discussion on it) that has very similar characteristics with a higher temperature range but did not specifically list aluminum surfaces in its description. Some people have used this in combination with 518, but it is apparently not as versatile and more expensive; definitely more expensive if you have to have tubes of both 518 and 520. There are a number of people who have also altogether replaced paper gaskets with 518; I decided instead to use paper gaskets dressed on both sides with 518, which should offer the best of both worlds. 518 was used on all sealing bolts as well, such as those you mention.

In my case, I think when removing the pinion nut, if I remember correctly it was a bit loose, but because of the stake it wasn't coming off, so it was just brute force.

li Arc

Thanks Li Arc, one more question, what did you do about the pinion crush sleeve problem. Just bang yours out (or stretch it with vice clamps) or shim it or?

li Arc
08-10-11, 02:20 PM
Yeah, for the sleeve I tried to flatten it out a bit, but everytime I did that, the sleeve got a little less round. This was using a pair of pliers and a hammer. I suggest if you do this to get a solid bar that fits between the sleeve, then just go to town on it with a hammer (evenly on all sides), at least until you think it's the right length.

For me, I just re-fitted it in loose; mmoe has mentioned that he's put quite a bit of mileage on one that he simply removed the sleeve from. We were collectively trying to figure out the purpose of the sleeve, but were unable to find a practical use for it except under destructive conditions.

li Arc

li Arc
08-10-11, 08:27 PM
So I removed the axles from the car, and hot-wired with key to engage starter, and started the car without axles in. However, absolutely no difference in vibration reduction! It still feels exactly the same! Which obviously means it's not the inner drivers or axle, but it has to be some type of engine vibration transmission to the chassis because the engine shows no inccrease in vibration from the source (ie. resting hand on engine) and is as smooth as butter when turning left.

This also means that whatever the problem is is somehow related to steering as well. When inner drivers/axles were mentioned, I thought that must be the holy grail, because there really are no other possible structural vibration transmission from the engine. But now that that has been ruled out, I don't know what else can transmit vibrations to the chassis this way, AND be related to steering. It's somewhat inconsistent though, because when steering the car must be in motion to create the variations in vibration; even if the steering angle were either left or right while the car is stationary, the amount of vibration felt in the cabin is what was originally described, without any reduction or increase such as seen when steering and car is in motion.

What the heck could this be?? Structurally, the only things that connect the chassis to the engine are the axles, the mounts, and the shifter linkage, and heck knows if the shifter linkage were vibrating any more than usual, you'd feel it in the shifter first before you'd feel it in the cabin.

li Arc

li Arc
10-10-11, 02:48 AM
Although the vibration problem is the biggest one right now, there have been other things weighing on my mind that just makes me feel more frustrated with the whole thing, so I decided to "take a day off" the vibration issue and sort out the other stuff first. Well, it's not entirely a day off, since I did something related.

I decided to tackle the intake manifold problem, because as we all know one of the mounting holes on the manifold to hold down the fuel rail is toast. Now, I've currently got it jimmy rigged with a zip tie to hold it down, but if that goes and either vibration or pressure is enough to send the rail outwards the other way, suddenly I've got an engine with open combustion and fuel spraying all over the engine bay: a deadly combination. So, as absolutely stupidly retarded as the problem is, I had on hand an intake manifold from an '87 and a new elring intake gasket, so I went to do the job.

First thing was of course to lower the coolant level, which turned out to be an absolute nightmare when I tried to undo the radiator drain plug and it snapped on me: it's the plastic type. I don't know whether I'm more glad it's stuck in or if I should have wanted it stuck out, but now I need a new way to drain the system. At this stage, any method I use is going to be super messy, but I wanted minimal coolant loss so I pulled the dash coolant temp sensor out and made a mess everywhere; I was careful to make sure none of it spilled onto the flywheel or friction disc.

After the mess was cleaned up, I undid the fuel rail bolts, took a while to drain it, then unbolted the throttle body and the manifold. Parts of the old gasket were still stuck on, so I had to take a razor to that and remove all the old crap. After that was done, I put the new intake manifold back on, along with those new-fangled injectors, bolted it up, and started her right up. Although this sounds easy, it took me 3.5 hours to do, because everything that could go wrong did. Well, some. Anyways, now that the new one is in, I'm no longer worried about exploding my engine.

I also went ahead and checked a DIY guide to checking alignment, specifically toe-in, which showed how one takes a track width measurement on a certain point on the tire (I chose the outside edge of the wall, but technically, using a mark or pin on the tread is more accurate), as well as the vertical position of it (4" off the ground), using the same point that was measured on the tire at both points. The higher the vertical position (up to the edge of the tire), the higher the resolution on the difference between the two points, so it's more beneficial to find a higher point, but one needs to ensure they are measured at the same vertical. In my measurements, I obtained 164cm front, 166.5 cm rear, and the distance between the two points is 44.7cm. This means a toe in of tan-1(2.5/44.7) = 3.2 degrees, which is super high. If I reduce each side by 1.1cm, I'll end up with tan-1(0.3/44.7) = 0.384 degrees, which is more acceptable. The only thing is that I don't know if a 1.1cm reduction at the tie rods translates to the same on the tire; I imagine I should start at 1cm first then re-check. Hopefully, eliminating alignment problems will help eliminate one of the vibration variables and allow me to pinpoint the problem a bit better.

li Arc