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  #1  
Old 8th August 2008
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Default Crankshaft pulley aka Harmonic Balancer

I'm getting the tell tale signs of a bad harmonic balancer and I want to give this a go myself since funds are low and its a good opportunity to learn something new...

I've got an 89' Non turbo that came with a catalytic converter but I've since removed it. Parts for saabs lists two types for my car, a catalytic and non catalytic converter for the 89' non turbo.

Am I right in assuming that I need to get the crankshaft pulley for the catalytic converter fitted 89' even though I've removed mine?

Parts for saabs: Crankshaft Pulley - 89' Non Turbo, Cat fitted $106USD

Has anyone in Australia done their crankshaft pulley? How much and where did you get it from?
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Old 8th August 2008
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The only difference between the two versions I know of are three holes in the pulley to mount the "shutter-wheel" for the crank position sensor on n/a cars.
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Old 8th August 2008
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I haven't needed to do one before on my cars, but I suspect the one on the engine I pulled in January from the 82 turbo car I stripped is sus as the belts would slip (they were tight), and there was a stack of squealing from the back of the engine.

Depending where you are in Sydney, you could visit one of the Saab service places and talk to them about it. Or if you're out in the north-west, visit Saab Salvage down at Riverstone and talk to Steve about the problem.

The main issue is getting a socket to fit over the big nut that holds the pulley in place. It needs a long breaker back and a shallow 30 mm socket from what I've read in a lot of places, plus either way to lock the engine from turning or the use of the starter to crack the nut free.

If you do replace the crankshaft pulley, do the rear crankshaft oil seals at the same time if they are showing any signs of leaking oil.

Craig.
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Old 15th August 2008
Anson38 Anson38 is offline
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Default Harmonic Balancer Saab Non Turbo

Just replaced on on a 1991 900S convertible (non-Turbo)
Price at Saab dealer was $205 (US).
Be careful! be sure you get one for a non turbo as the bolt holes on the turbo are a different pattern.
Andy
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Old 15th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anson38
Be careful! be sure you get one for a non turbo as the bolt holes on the turbo are a different pattern.
Andy
Well, that's a new one....................

I can't determine any valid reason why or how to differentiate the two.

Yet, EPC suggests just that........

9107665 Turbo
8789315 N/A

Now I wonder if the pulley on mine (2yrs old) is the right one............






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Old 16th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodentmaster
Well, that's a new one....................

I can't determine any valid reason why or how to differentiate the two.

Yet, EPC suggests just that........

9107665 Turbo
8789315 N/A

Now I wonder if the pulley on mine (2yrs old) is the right one............
The Crankshaft pulley I got has: 878931 stamped into it, missing the 5 at the end btw

I'll make a worklog during it and post it up here when I am done.
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  #7  
Old 25th August 2008
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Ok so I managed to change the harmonic balancer over the weekend, it was hard but I think the average person who hasn't worked on cars before can do it. I didn't take many pictures because my hands were so dirty the whole time.

I took the AC compressor off to get to the belts and stuff.



I tried to use a screwdriver to brace the flywheel but that was impossible so I used a chunk of metal I drilled a hole through to bolt up to the gearbox I guess and then sit in the teeth of the flywheel, worked great.

Took all the belts off, unbolted the harmonic balancer and the AC pull in front of it and the it was time to put it all back together with new belts.




I also did my front engine mount which was a cakewalk, jacked the engine up and popped a new one in!
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  #8  
Old 13th December 2010
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Default Harmonic balancer replacement on the SAAB 900i.

Harmonic balancer replacement on the SAAB 900i.

I thought I’d share some thoughts regarding the replacement of a harmonic balancer on a SAAB 900i. You’ll know you need to replace the balancer when you get a high pitched squealing noise when cold. To further test the balancer in situ, turn on the air conditioner. This will aggravate the squeal. Likewise a lot of steering wheel winding will aggravate the sound.

I had been told by a number of mechanics that:

The engine needs to come out (it does not; the harmonic balancer can be removed in situ.)
It will cost several hundred dollars.

Firstly, the engine does not need to come out. However, a hoist would be very desirable. Fortunately for me, a mechanic friend loaned me the use of his hoist.

Parts you will need

Harmonic balancer. This will have three (NOT four) pulley grooves in it. The 4th rearmost pulley is actually a separate pulley wheel that bolts off the rear of the harmonic balancer.
Set of 4 belts, including A/C belt, power steering belt and the two alternator belts.
One or two cable ties
One or two plastic bags, sandwich size
One or two elastic bands.
Fresh power steering fluid. Reminder – DO NOT use ATF fluid, it must be power steering fluid for a SAAB 900.

Tools you will need:

10 mm combination spanner (i.e. ring and open end on same tool)
18 mm flare nut wrench (looks like a combination ring / open end with a piece cut out of the ring end to fit over a pipe)
13 mm combination spanner
27 mm ring spanner
Cheater bar (an old piece of galvanized pipe or a 1 metre piece off an old cyclone fence, internal diameter so it fits over the other end of your 27 mm offset ring spanner)
300 mm shifting spanner
Large slot screwdriver
Small to medium pry bar (looks like a very large slot screwdriver but sharper)
Side cutting pliers or wire cutters
900 ml container to catch power steering fluid.


Tools you will NOT need
Harmonic balancer puller

No, that’s right, the SAAB harmonic balancer is not a taper fit, it really does just slide off the end of the crankshaft.

If you cannot get the 18 mm flare nut spanner for the power steering line you can use two 200 mm shifting spanners. You run an appreciable risk of rounding the nut, these lines in my experience do not torque up but rather go from finger tight to lock solid in 5-10 degrees of rotation, i.e. they tend to crack loose rather than gradually come loose.

With car on hoist (ahh!) or on good axle stands locate the fitting for the power steering line. Undo the connection, on my SAAB there was a cable tie holding the foam covered section of this pipe to the steering rack. If yours is so held cut the cable tie. You should now use the 18 mm flare nut wrench and another spanner to hold the other end of the fitting. DO NOT attempt to crack the fitting without holding the stationary part, you WILL break it. Loosen the fitting. Only 5-10 degrees of rotation, it will then be finger tight. You will then be able to move that pipe via its flexible mounting out of the way. Note the small O ring on the end of the pipe; do not lose it, unless of course it needs replacing.

Be now prepared for a mess, you will need to catch about 400 -800 ml of power steering fluid.

Once the fluid has stopped draining, place the plastic bags over the pipe ends to prevent dirt from getting in.

Remove all the accessory drive belts. For the truly lazy, you can “sproing” them over the pulleys without backing off the adjusters, however you’ll not likely get them back on. Do it. Loosen the adjusters, if you must, you can remove the adjusters and slacken the belts completely. If you do, be careful not to lose the coach head bolt that holds the adjuster for the power steering. It is NOT a captive bolt. I found out the hard way when I wondered where it was, I found it hiding in the chassis rail. Had I lost it in long grass (my usual place of repair) I’d still be out there instead of writing this…

Label the belts, if you mix them up (or are using 4 new belts) they are:

Longest – A/C compressor.
Two of the same size – alternator
Smallest – power steering



From underneath the car, look up at the pulley. You will see three bolts in the rearmost wheel. Using the 10 mm ring spanner, remove the three bolts. If you lose them, they are M6 or 6 mm with a 1.0 mm pitch, about 25 mm long. This pulley with the 4th groove is for the air conditioner.

Take the A/C pulley wheel off. You will NOT get a new one with the new harmonic balancer.

Looking under the left hand side of the engine facing towards the front of the car you will see an exposed section of the starter ring gear. Locating your pry bar, wedge the pry bar or large screwdriver in the ring gear with the pry bar generally facing towards the right side of the car, if you make an error here the pry bar will simply fall out in the next step.

Putting the car in gear and holding the foot brake will not work.

Using the 27 mm ring spanner, loosen the bolt in the centre of the harmonic balancer. It is tight, damm tight. People, I did not have the luxury of the ring spanner and had to use a shifter for which I am ashamed. Unless you are Charles Atlas or have been really working out lately you will need a cheater bar. This is any length of pipe that slips over the end of the spanner, making it longer and multiplying the amount of torque to remove the bolt. An old piece of galvanized pipe or a 1 metre piece off an old cyclone fence or scaffolding works well.

If the whole pulley rotates, you have most likely wedged the pry bar in the wrong way. Reposition it, you should be able to jam it in place, if not you will need an assistant to help.

Now that the large bolt is loose, remove it. You will note there are two (?) large washers, on my car they were glued together.

Now that the bolt is out you ought to be able to slide the harmonic balancer off the crank shaft. It should do just that, slide off, if not, prise it GENTLY from either side using the pry bar and large screwdriver. There is just sufficient room between the face of the harmonic balancer and the firewall to slide it out. Lower it past the steering rack, down under the car.

You will notice a Woodruff key in a keyway (parallel groove) in the end of the crank. Mine was facing upward so no risk of loss. The Woodruff key is a small half-moon shaped key that prevents the harmonic balancer from rotating freely on the crank shaft. You do not need to remove the Woodruff key. However it is pointing downwards and you have to leave the car as is, it might be worthwhile removing it and storing it in a safe place.

If you lose it, you will need to obtain one before putting it all back together. You will not be able to file bits of metal to jam in the keyway. Likewise you cannot use a nail or such other mechanical blasphemy for the keyway.

The hard part is over.

Slide the new harmonic balancer onto the shaft, noting the alignment of the keyway in the new harmonic balancer with the keyway in the crankshaft. It should just slide on. If you are rough, you will likely dislodge the Woodruff key and lose it.

Try to rotate the harmonic balancer. If it rotates freely on the shaft, you have either knocked out the Woodruff key or forgotten to reinstall it prior to replacing the harmonic balancer.

Replace the 27 mm bolt. Tighten it finger tight then place the pry bar or other tool in the ring gear, noting this time you will want to prevent engine rotation in the other direction. Tighten the bolt as tight as you can without using the cheater bar. Then using the cheater bar, try to tighten the bolt thru a further 15 to 30 degrees. SAAB list a torque of 190Nm (140 ft lbs) for 1985 -1990 models and 175 Nm (129 ft lbs) for 1991 and later models.

Next, place the A/C pulley on the rear of the harmonic balancer. Place the three M6 6mm X 1 mm bolts in their respective holes. Easy does it here, DO NOT over tighten them; you will likely strip the threads in your new harmonic balancer. Using the 10 mm combination spanner, tighten them holding the spanner with one or at most two fingers.

You are now ready to place the two alternator belts on first, these go on the two large pulleys. Ensure they run parallel.

Then place the power steering belt on.

Lastly, place the A/C belt on.

Refit the tensioners, tighten the belts. For the A/C belt, a deflection of 0.5 – 1.0 cm is OK, less for a new belt (they do stretch). For the alternator, 0.4 – 1.0 cm will do, for the power steering, about 0.3 to 0.6 cm, as it has the shortest run.

NB – if someone once used transmission fluid in your power steering, now is a good opportunity to drain it all. Grabbing a road wheel, run the steering from full left to full right, but DO NOT allow the steering to bang against the stops. Doing this will pump most of the fluid from the power steering system.








Reconnect the power steering pipe, remembering the small O ring on the end of the pipe. Use the 18 mm flare nut wrench and another spanner to hold the other end of the fitting (DO NOT attempt to tighten the fitting without holding the stationary part, you WILL break it) Remember, only 5-10 degrees of rotation from finger tight to fully torqued. Better a slight leak than a ruined connection. If you previously removed the cable tie holding the foam covered section of pipe, replace the cable tie now.

Now, go over the car and check that:

All the belts are installed.
All the tensioners are fitted.
Any bolts you removed are refitted.
Power steering fluid is topped up.

Road test car and plan on what you want to do with the 300-odd dollars you just saved.


Adam Ryan
SAABrina 900I
December 2010

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