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  #1  
Old 15th October 2009
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longjon76 longjon76 is offline
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Default Oil leak in vicinity of crankshaft pulley

Gentlemen,
Long time no post. Alas, the Saab demands my attention. I'm currently sitting at 144,350 miles.

I noticed a small dime sized spot of oil under my car when leaving work this morning. I parked at another location for a meeting and returned to find a puddle of oil approximately 3 inches in diameter. Location was just at the corner of the air dam but I noticed that the right bottom side of the engine, most of the suspension and a little bit of undercarriage generally inline with the pulleys and belt had oil on them. There was also a light spray under the hood and inline with the belt on the firewall.

I got it home, jacked it up and removed the air dams. Lots and lots of oil but no source immediately obvious. I carefully cleaned off the oil residue and still didn't see any leaks. I started her up and saw leakage from behind the crankshaft. See picture.


The leakage wasn't severe but it was relatively aggressive. Certainly aggressive enough that I'd rather not risk driving it.

Assuming that it is the crankshaft seal or the oil pump o-ring I am about to order a crankshaft seal and the oil pump cover o-ring. Since I have to remove the crankshaft pulley I have a three jaw puller, 27mm socket on a massive breaker bar and some pretty beefy snap ring pliers.

Can anyone anticipate anything else I may need? I also plan on inspecting the oil pump while I've got it all apart. Anything else I should check out?

Thanks for your help up front.

Last edited by longjon76; 15th October 2009 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Added mileage for reference
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  #2  
Old 15th October 2009
jstrowe jstrowe is offline
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It sounds like you've got it covered. You probably won't need the puller, but better safe than sorry.

John
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  #3  
Old 15th October 2009
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Its a common oil leak area for those engines of 150K, 10 plus years, or so.
The pulley seem to be pull-able with regular human strength and about a 2 - 3 hour chore.
I'd at least clean the serpentine belt, some oil may have hit it.
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Old 16th October 2009
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Thanks gentlemen.

I decided to see if I could source the parts locally. So... KC Saabers, listen up!

Autozone has the front crank seal for $12... it's $37 at George's Imports! They don't have the oil o-ring at Autozone but it's $2.24 at eEuroparts and $7.50 at George's.

In this instance, it's a tiny bit cheaper to get the parts locally rather than pay eEuroparts plus shipping. Even so, I can't help but rail a little bit at the ridiculous markup charged by George's.
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Old 16th October 2009
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In the future, its either modernize or die.
If only George's could buy 100,000 seals @ 99 cents each and then sell one hundred of them at $9.99 each (underselling everyone, even Walmart) per day...
There must be a way, a better way of doing things.
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Old 18th October 2009
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Ok, that wasn't bad at all.

The job took about two hours.

Excellent writeups and pictures are available elsewhere in the forums but I did want to contribute a few thoughts.

First, you're going to need some beefy snap ring pliers. I broke one set and almost broke another before I switched to the bicycle cable method. That snap ring is no joke.

Second, I almost can't imagine how you could do this without an impact wrench. For giggles, I tried it with a breaker bar and there was no way to get the right combination of strength and leverage.

For reference, the point of failure was almost certainly the oil o-ring. There was one small crack but the material itself had stiffened to the consistency of bakelite or old plastic. There was no way it was sealing effectively anymore. The front seal itself looked pretty good but I went ahead and replaced it while I had everything apart.

I was happy to note that the oil pump itself was pristine with no scoring whatsoever and there was only trace amounts of varnish.

One sad note... I broke the insert on the belt tensioner. Not looking forward to the next belt change!

Oh, by the way, a local indie quoted me $900 for this. I paid maybe $20 in parts and 2 hours of my own labour. Even if I had had to buy everything I used, it still would have been less than $500.
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Old 30th December 2010
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Default bicycle cable

please excuse my ignorance,
but what is the "bicycle cable method"???
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Old 30th December 2010
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YAH?!?!

It isnt just a front cover oil seal? I got the seal for right behind the crank pulley, but there are more parts that I need??? anyone have a parts explosion?
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Old 30th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbaggins View Post
please excuse my ignorance,
but what is the "bicycle cable method"???
Not ignorant at all.

Imagine a huge snap ring. Where you would usually put the tips of snap ring pliers, you instead wind bicycle brake cable through the two holes and then either twist them or put the ends in a square knot. Then, use something (pliers seem to work well) to twist the cable until it takes up the slack and puts enough tension on the snap ring to allow removal.

That probably doesn't make much sense but, once you're in front of a huge snap ring, it will.

HTH, if not, post back and I'll maybe take a few pictures.
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Old 30th December 2010
saabkid37 saabkid37 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipjumper View Post
YAH?!?!

It isnt just a front cover oil seal? I got the seal for right behind the crank pulley, but there are more parts that I need??? anyone have a parts explosion?
theres two pieces. there is the seal that taps in right behind the crank pulley, and if you remove the snap ring and pip out the oil pump cover there is an o ring around the edge of that too. that o ring sees direct oil pressure so it is usually what fails.

i just payed 400 bucks to have this job done because i dont have a garage anymore
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Old 31st December 2010
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crap. I thought it would just be the seal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by saabkid37 View Post
theres two pieces. there is the seal that taps in right behind the crank pulley, and if you remove the snap ring and pip out the oil pump cover there is an o ring around the edge of that too. that o ring sees direct oil pressure so it is usually what fails.

i just payed 400 bucks to have this job done because i dont have a garage anymore
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Old 31st December 2010
saabkid37 saabkid37 is offline
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its possible, but its kinda pointless to go in there and not do the o ring also.
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Old 31st December 2010
fbaggins fbaggins is offline
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Default Thanks!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by longjon76 View Post
Not ignorant at all.

Imagine a huge snap ring. Where you would usually put the tips of snap ring pliers, you instead wind bicycle brake cable through the two holes and then either twist them or put the ends in a square knot. Then, use something (pliers seem to work well) to twist the cable until it takes up the slack and puts enough tension on the snap ring to allow removal.

That probably doesn't make much sense but, once you're in front of a huge snap ring, it will.

HTH, if not, post back and I'll maybe take a few pictures.


very cool!!


thanks much.
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  #14  
Old 30th January 2011
Chaccof in VA Chaccof in VA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longjon76 View Post
Ok, that wasn't bad at all.

The job took about two hours.

Excellent writeups and pictures are available elsewhere in the forums but I did want to contribute a few thoughts.

First, you're going to need some beefy snap ring pliers. I broke one set and almost broke another before I switched to the bicycle cable method. That snap ring is no joke.

Second, I almost can't imagine how you could do this without an impact wrench. For giggles, I tried it with a breaker bar and there was no way to get the right combination of strength and leverage.

For reference, the point of failure was almost certainly the oil o-ring. There was one small crack but the material itself had stiffened to the consistency of bakelite or old plastic. There was no way it was sealing effectively anymore. The front seal itself looked pretty good but I went ahead and replaced it while I had everything apart.

I was happy to note that the oil pump itself was pristine with no scoring whatsoever and there was only trace amounts of varnish.

One sad note... I broke the insert on the belt tensioner. Not looking forward to the next belt change!

Oh, by the way, a local indie quoted me $900 for this. I paid maybe $20 in parts and 2 hours of my own labour. Even if I had had to buy everything I used, it still would have been less than $500.
Hi - am new to this forum and this is the exact situation I am facing. On another forum I read that you must keep the fly wheel from turning but I didn't see a mention of that in your post. How did you keep the fly wheel from turning?
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Old 30th January 2011
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If you have a 5-speed, having the transmission in 3rd or 4th should be enough to lock the flywheel. Also have someone with their foot on the brakes. For an auto transmission, it will need to be locked via the access planel on the bottom of the bell housing. There's a tool that meshes with the flywheel teeth and locks with a bolt to keep it tight. It can also be used to lock the flywheel with a 5-speed. Some eople have had luck just using a high-torque impact wrench to loosen the bolt. I've also heard of a few people removing one spark plug, feeding a length of poly rope into the cylinder and moving the crankshaft by hand (not by the starter) until the piston hits the rope and the rope hits the head and locks the crank. Just don't drop the rope into the cylinder... Ron
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Old 30th January 2011
Chaccof in VA Chaccof in VA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '97 Saab SE Turbo View Post
If you have a 5-speed, having the transmission in 3rd or 4th should be enough to lock the flywheel. Also have someone with their foot on the brakes. For an auto transmission, it will need to be locked via the access planel on the bottom of the bell housing. There's a tool that meshes with the flywheel teeth and locks with a bolt to keep it tight. It can also be used to lock the flywheel with a 5-speed. Some eople have had luck just using a high-torque impact wrench to loosen the bolt. I've also heard of a few people removing one spark plug, feeding a length of poly rope into the cylinder and moving the crankshaft by hand (not by the starter) until the piston hits the rope and the rope hits the head and locks the crank. Just don't drop the rope into the cylinder... Ron
Thanks Ron - I do have an impact wrench. I would imagine the trick is when you're torqing it back down...I think I know the answer to this but if I don't lock the fly wheel and something moves I assume that when I start the engine I'm pretty much screwed?
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  #17  
Old 16th July 2011
paraggp paraggp is offline
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I went to pull the serpentine belt for the same job, and found the extension bar housing had a crack at the top of it. You can't get a straight angle at that thing without removing the upper stabilizer running strut mount-to-strut mount and fixes to the firewall - in my case the struts are out of the car already, so I just pulled the stabilizer from the firewall and went at it straight - I tapped the extension bar in to make sure the ball on teh extension was seated snug in there; moved with without a problem but the top half of the extension bar receptor is now gone - leave the bar in the adjuster until the new belt goes on....

My trouble is the snap ring on the pump cover; I went through 3 pairs of snap ring pliers getting it out - kept having to bend them back in shape and try again - 5 minute job though, even with that nuisance; now I can't get it back in. Tried some picture hanging wire but it was too weak and broke before the clip was compressed.

Headed out now to look for an affordable pair of over-sized snap ring pliers, but I"m not sure I'll have any luck. If not I'll pick up some cable and try the infamous method. Anyone have a photo of that method in action?

p.s. eeuroparts was under $8 for the cover seal and arounf $2.50 for the o-ring. I had it bundled with a bunch of other things, so free shipping. If I get away without buying pliers I'll have a $11 job to be proud of....even with a couple feet of thin airplane cable from home depot it should be under $15, or with a $25 set of pliers, still under $40.
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Old 16th July 2011
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In my case with full brakes and suspension are out of the car and 5 speed is in reverse - serpentine belt is still installed. Light compressor (130 psi max rating) and a good impact gun the balancer bolt came right out, A little surpsied since the torque spec on the bolt is 129.5 ft/lb, but it worked without a problem. I'll see what happens when I torque in back in shortly. -
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  #19  
Old 19th July 2011
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Filthy mess....


after bending the crud out of 3 snap ring pliers to get the ring out I picked these up - 11" bent needle nose... Just spanned enough to grasp it.



Nice and clean - oil pan next and put the balancer back afterward.

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  #20  
Old 26th July 2011
MeVsMomsNG900 MeVsMomsNG900 is offline
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These made that snap ring wimper. You need a welder or a SHARP drill bit.
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