upgrading your engine [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: upgrading your engine

29th May 2011, 06:00 PM
i have a blown head gasket and am going to fix it this week, and i was wonderings if theres anything else i can upgrade or change to help benifit my engine better, and does anyone on here use amzoil for there car? if they do what kind do u use?

'97 Saab SE Turbo
29th May 2011, 06:37 PM
If you are going to pull the head, I would change the timing chain and guides, and have the valves lapped and change the valve seals and head bolts... Ron

29th May 2011, 08:22 PM
should that be done by a machine shop?

30th May 2011, 08:56 PM
Valve lapping is fairly easy (as long as you have a decent valve spring compressor) you can get the tool and the lapping compound at most parts stores for under $20. You pull the valve out, put a couple dabs of compound on the seat, set it back in place and use the to to go back and forth with it (the parts store guy should be able to show you how to use it or you can look it up on youtube), until you stop hearing it grind. The seals are just rubber grommets, pull them off and pop them on. Be careful not to loose the V shaped retainers. Any mechanic can do this for you also.

30th May 2011, 11:00 PM
PLEASE dont try to use "lapping" compound you are asking for trouble.

30th May 2011, 11:28 PM
PLEASE dont try to use "lapping" compound you are asking for trouble.
I've lapped valves on dozens of T5 and C900 heads, why are you saying not to do this?

31st May 2011, 12:54 AM
yeah thats fine, you and i have experience.

to tell a possible beginner, or even semi experienced person to do that is asking for trouble. i have seen many a head ruined by people trying to do it on their own.

we used to have a stack of at least 25 homebrew unuseable heads at my buddys shop.

1st June 2011, 10:37 AM
I like to think of myself as a very competent mechanic, but when I rebuilt my engine I just brought the head to a machine shop. They clean it, check it for cracks/warpage, flatten the mating surfaces, and do a full valve job. In total I think it cost me somethinig like $300-$400 (tough to remember, it was 7 years ago) but the peace of mind of knowing it was done right was worth it. To do these jobs properly you really need the right equipment, stuff that your average garage mechanic doesn't have. IMO, its best to leave stuff like that to the pros.

+1 for the timing chain and guides. Balance shaft chain as well. I'm not sure how much of this can be done with the engine in the car since the timing cover is awful close to the chassis. I've only ever attempted it with the engine removed. Good luck.