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  #1  
Old 22nd May 2008
L0WRIDE L0WRIDE is offline
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Question Do-it yourselfer needs Help! pulling engine/tune up

Well I've got a few questions for you all if you have time and dont mind answering. I currently have a 1990 900 Classic non turbo 16v with a manual tranny.

Yes Yes... I know there are tons of threads on this, but it seems that there's not a good comprehensive all in one "what to do" on pulling an engine for preventitive maintenence?

My question is this... I've read a few of the threads where people are pulling their engines and wondering what they should do and mine isn't much different.

I'm pulling the engine this week and I want to know what the best bang for the buck is... What should I replace? I've already replaced the TPS, AMM, distributor cap and rotor, plugs, wires, and ignition coil.

What mechanically can I do? I've got the electrical done pretty good, now I just want to keep everything sound with the engine. I've replaced the Head gasket about a year ago... but now I want to really do it right...

I've got about 200,000 miles on it and im about to document a summer journey across the US. I'm planning on a 16,000 Mile trip and my baby's got to make it.

  1. What should I do to the actual engine top end and bottom.
  2. What mounts and bushings should I replace?
  3. what should I do to the manual tranny?
Now I know that what I've just asked is a book in and of itself and I totally understand if you can't or dont have time.

If you could just hit some of the big points I'd really appriciate it.

stuff like, should I replace the rod bearings, thrust bearing etc... what about piston rings and things like that? I've all new gaskets on hand to tighten up the leaks.

and lastly I'm sorry, but I was curious about the steering? I got a lot of leaking coming from somwhere? could it be the rack?

I'm really sorry about how detailed this is, but i've fallen in love with my first saab and I really want to do this right... if anyone could just give an overview of the major things I should replace I would be really really be grateful!

Thanks for any help you can give!
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  #2  
Old 22nd May 2008
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There isn't really any preventative maintenance made easier by pulling the engine/transmission.

I wouldn't touch main bearings and piston rings unless the engine has a problem with knocking or oil burning or low compression. You might end up with a "worse" engine if you touch these when they are still good

Oil leaks at power steering could be the rack.

Mounts, well often on the 900 the engine/trans mounts will break. So check if they are good, and if broken, replace. That will make it nicer to drive.

Suspension bushings sometimes get old, you'd have to look. There aren't very many in the 900 suspension so it isn't a big deal. But on an old BMW

Manual tranny I guess change oil
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  #3  
Old 22nd May 2008
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Why are you removing the engine ?
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  #4  
Old 22nd May 2008
L0WRIDE L0WRIDE is offline
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The reason is two fold... A.) My seals are leaking pretty bad... Im loosing oil constantly and pressure as well and B.) my tranny has got some major issues so I need to pull it anyway? I guess the biggest reason is to permanently and correctly fix the engine and prevent any future issues. I want this to last and I figure if I'm pulling it now, I might as well give it a one two.
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  #5  
Old 23rd May 2008
AUSSIE900 AUSSIE900 is offline
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As said previouly , Leave the bottom end alone , assuming currently runs well .

Check the tension of the timing chain , any noise from chain when cold ?

Follow the tensioner check in the FAQ's .

Make sure Cooling system is spot on , New thermostat , good hoses ...

If you are replacing Front crank seal , do oil pump O ring as well , Check the harmonic balancer (crank pulley ) Replace now if in doubt , Can be done in car , but way easier out . Check A frame bushes , Do alternaror bushes , new Belts . Check Brushes on Alternator ,
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  #6  
Old 23rd May 2008
L0WRIDE L0WRIDE is offline
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Question

How would I know if I need to replace the harmonic balancer? what are the signs of this? The tensioner seems to be pretty good I don't hear any noises or anything of that matter... But I will for sure check the FAQ.

I'm going to get the cooling system spot on... but, if I go to a 82C thermostat am I going to need to change anything else on the cooling because of that change?

Here is a list of what I have and this is what im going to do...

Redoing the clutch as well;
  1. Clutch Master Cylinder Rebuild kit
  2. Slave Cylinder seal kit
  3. Clutch Kit 7pc
  4. Bottom end Gasket Kit
  5. Oil Pump O-Ring
  6. Oil Pump Seal
  7. Water pump Gasket
  8. Oil Pressure Sensor
I figured that the clutch would be way easier out of the car... is that assumption right?

Also what about rebuilding the head? I was reading another post that seemed to show the view that rebuilding the head wasn't that hard that? would rebuilding the head be worth it if I have no exhaust leaks or smoke coming from the exhaust?

also what about the primary drive chain? It seems that when I let of the clutch inbetween shifts that a click/clank happens... This could be that the clutch isn't totally disengaging, but I was wondering if you manually have to tighten the primary drive tensioner?
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  #7  
Old 23rd May 2008
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If the inner part of the Balancer looks like it's separating from the outer part, replace it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L0WRIDE
... if I go to a 82C thermostat ...
That would be a mistake. Use the 89 degree that the car was designed for.

Don't try to rebuild the Clutch Master Cylinder, it will almost certainly fail. If you need one, get a new one.
Quote:
Bottom end Gasket Kit
Just buy the individual gaskets you need.
Quote:
Water pump Gasket
Why?
Quote:
I figured that the clutch would be way easier out of the car... is that assumption right?
Yes.

If you don't have any engine problems, don't rebuild anything. If your oil pressure is low, a set of Connecting Rod Bearings would be all you need.

Primary Drive Chains never need anything. Look elsewhere for your noise.
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  #8  
Old 23rd May 2008
L0WRIDE L0WRIDE is offline
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Well the only reason for replacing a lot of the gaskets was because I was going to dissasemble some things for paint, and I figured I might as well replace them while I got the engine out.

As for the rod bearings, will I need to replace the main bearings and the thrust washers as well? or is it just the Rod bearings that need it?

The issue with the tranny is that my reverse gear has a tooth broke off of either the idler, or the actual rev gear... I've heard that it's more common for the idler to have issues than the actual rev gear? any truth to that?

if so, does anyone know where to get any deals on gears other than eeuroparts?

I've got no real issues with the engine... it runs strong and is smokeless... I just want to keep it that way... the oil lights has been flickering arounf idle but no unusual engine noise occurs... I think its the pressure sensor, but lately its been causing the engine to almost stall out at idle... could that be because of the oil light reading and the engine trying to compensate?
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  #9  
Old 23rd May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L0WRIDE
Well the only reason for replacing a lot of the gaskets was because I was going to dissasemble some things for paint, and I figured I might as well replace them while I got the engine out.
Let sleeping dogs lie.

Quote:
As for the rod bearings, will I need to replace the main bearings and the thrust washers as well? or is it just the Rod bearings that need it?
Just the Rod Bearings.

Quote:
I've heard that it's more common for the idler to have issues than the actual rev gear? any truth to that?
That has not been my experience.

Quote:
if so, does anyone know where to get any deals on gears other than eeuroparts?
Check with your local SAAB dealer, ask him if he'll beat the price. Better yet, consider buying a rebuilt unit from Eriksson Industries in CT. Their producta are as good as the ones SAAB supplied.

.
Quote:
.. the oil lights has been flickering arounf idle but no unusual engine noise occurs...
Slip in a new set of Rod Bearings. It may just be the Oil Presure Sender, but at that mileage I'd spend the $50.
Quote:
I think its the pressure sensor, but lately its been causing the engine to almost stall out at idle... could that be because of the oil light reading and the engine trying to compensate?
No, keep looking for the real cause.
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  #10  
Old 23rd May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Mesthene
That would be a mistake. Use the 89 degree that the car was designed for.
Umm, I wonder what that Genuine Saab 82deg 'stat I put in mine was for, then...?

Having said that, I will be swapping back to an 89 at some stage - the 82 doesn't seem to get it warm enough, and I'm slightly suspecting it's behind my massively increased fuel economy now the weather's warmed up (or is that just the price of juice affecting my right foot...?)
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  #11  
Old 23rd May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooMany2cvs
Umm, I wonder what that Genuine Saab 82deg 'stat I put in mine was for, then...?

Having said that, I will be swapping back to an 89 at some stage - the 82 doesn't seem to get it warm enough, and I'm slightly suspecting it's behind my massively increased fuel economy now the weather's warmed up (or is that just the price of juice affecting my right foot...?)
You don't tug on Supermans cape.... You don't spit into the wind...... you don't pull the mask from the old lone ranger... and you don't mess around with Jim.
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  #12  
Old 24th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooMany2cvs
Umm, I wonder what that Genuine Saab 82deg 'stat I put in mine was for, then...?

Having said that, I will be swapping back to an 89 at some stage - the 82 doesn't seem to get it warm enough, and I'm slightly suspecting it's behind my massively increased fuel economy now the weather's warmed up (or is that just the price of juice affecting my right foot...?)
The turbo model The turbo was the 82 with 89 (88?) as the "arctic condition" version, nonturbo was the 89 and the 92 as "arctic" and I think the 82 was some sort of "desert" version.
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  #13  
Old 24th May 2008
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change your Belts and alternator bushings!!! Motor mounts and power steering rack bushings are easy when the engine is out.
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  #14  
Old 25th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 900t
The turbo model The turbo was the 82 with 89 (88?) as the "arctic condition" version, nonturbo was the 89 and the 92 as "arctic" and I think the 82 was some sort of "desert" version.
Ah... So 82 is right for a turbo?
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  #15  
Old 25th May 2008
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I think that when saab specced the thermostats, traffic was a lot lighter.

For modern UK traffic (urban especially), i prefer 82 for summer and 89 for winter.
My normal commute probably involves about 15 mins waiting in queues and 15 mins normal driving. With an 89, after about 5 mins of slow moving/queue the needle creeps above half way and starts running the fan (and repeat).
With an 82 it takes longer to creep up to half way and stays there for much longer.
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  #16  
Old 25th May 2008
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I run two thermostats....

82 deg for October thru to end of April, 89 deg for May thru to end of Sept. (Remember, twisted seasons down here........)

I'm a little weary that the oil is not 'exercised' properly as the engine does not get hot enough in winter for the distance travelled to work each day.
When I do make a long distance journey, the temp is rock steady.....I have the turbo sized radiator installed.

As for the other things you want to do, we can blab on what we think you would be better off doing or what to change, but I would offer that you take your time, pace yourself. A lot of this can be done with the engine in the car............ the scale of what you propose to complete is going to test you mentally if you get half way through and find out something isn't working to plan and leaves you without a car for a while.
I commend you for your enthusiasm and drive but suggest you listen carefully to the elders on this forum.

Good luck.
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  #17  
Old 25th May 2008
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  • set aside a nice lump of cash
  • set the car aside (preferably out of the rain) for a month or two
  • strip the engine and inspect
  • buy all the parts that need replacing or are coming to the end of there life
  • replace seals as you go, i.e main seals for bottom end, replace top end seals
  • get a new gearbox, dont rebuild yours. waste of money
  • do bushes that need doing, check all other engine bay items as you go.
  • remake your main earth connection (nice and easy when the engine is out)
  • do some rust prevention
  • put it all back together and pray you never have to open the bonnet again in anger
a cheaper option to rebuilding the engine is to get a whole engine that works and just swap it....much less hassle
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  #18  
Old 25th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomarse
... after about 5 mins of slow moving/queue the needle creeps above half way and starts running the fan (and repeat).
I did the Pre-Delivery Inspection on hundreds of new SAABs from 1983-1994. Every one of them did exactly what you describe.
If you want your car to work the way it was designed for the US market, use an 89c Thermostat.
I don't know what was Factory Specification for other markets.
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  #19  
Old 25th May 2008
Mr.Wallace Mr.Wallace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooMany2cvs
I will be swapping back to an 89 at some stage - the 82 doesn't seem to get it warm enough, and I'm slightly suspecting it's behind my massively increased fuel economy now the weather's warmed up
Its just a thermal contact switch, it does not effect engine warm up, its only function is to make a circuit at 82 degrees and power your cooling fan, I don't remember the relationship but for ever single degree rise in water the head is X degrees higher, not enjoyable for the head gasket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooMany2cvs
or is that just the price of juice affecting my right foot...?)
Yeah

Quote:
# get a new gearbox, dont rebuild yours. waste of money
Rebuilding a gearbox cost 5 times less than purchasing a new one.
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  #20  
Old 26th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Wallace
its only function is to make a circuit at 82 degrees and power your cooling fan
Umm, thermostat, not fan switch.
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