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NG900 & OG9-3 Workshop NG900 (1994 to 1998) & OG9-3 (1999-2002) & '03 Convertible Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 16th February 2010
aussie_saab aussie_saab is offline
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Default Saab 9-3 Turbo problem .....

G'day everyone. A new posting from a long time listener, first time caller so to speak, but here goes.

I wonder if any here can offer any assistance with a couple of issues I’m having with my 2003 (January build date) Saab 9-3,and in particular its turbo …..

The car’s a convertible model and has the “B205E” type engine that's covered about 55,000 kilometres so far.

A few months ago, the car intermittently (once a week maybe) blew light grey smoke from the exhaust when I started the engine after the car had bee parked overnight in the garage. I spoke with the local Saab dealer and they advised that it could be either the turbo (leaking oil seals?) or the crankcase breather system which, they said, had also been troublesome on the 9-3. They recommended (Mmmmmm) that they exchange the crankcase breather assy as a) there were known issues with it and Saab had produced a modified assy, and b) because it was a lower cost option than replacing the turbo. So, I followed their recommendation and, hey presto, no more smoking for a couple of months.

So let’s fast forward to last week when I was on my way to work. I looked in the rear mirror just as the biggest cloud of light grey smoke I think I’d ever seen was filling pretty much all of the air behind me on the road!! Within a few seconds, the smoking had almost stopped and I continued on my way to work without any really apparent huge clouds of smoke being emitted from the rear end, and parked the car at my office. (By the way, the turbo was and still is functionally working – the car pulls well, and I can hear the turbo “spinning”).

My sense of relief was somewhat short lived as when I went to start the car after it had been parked for eight hours, the car park was now the object of my smoky Saab’s anger – big time! Once again though, the smoking subsided pretty quickly and after a few kilometres of driving, while I could occasionally see some very slight smoke blowing out of the exhaust tail pipe, it was much better again. Anyway, being somewhat afraid of setting off the smoke alarm in our office car park, the car has been parked at home for the last few days.

A call to my local dealer again brought us to the conclusion that the seal(s) in the turbo had probably “blown,” and that it was recommended to change the turbo at a cost of $2600.

That got me thinking about possible alternatives and, after a few chats with a couple of “armchair mechanic” guys at the office, a few possible alternatives were raised.

I believe that it’s possible to refurbish or re-build turbo’s, bit a call to a local turbo rebuilding establishment, I was told that it isn’t possible to re-build my type of turbo, and the only alternative was to buy a new one.

Next, I found someone selling a turbo that they say was taken off their own 2002 Saab 9-3 that was damaged and classed as a total loss from an insurance perspective after being involved in some kind of accident. The turbo they’re selling has only done 40,000 kilometres (that’s less than mine), and so I started to check if it might be worthwhile to investigate buying it and fitting it to my car.

“My” turbo has some stamped markings on a small polished section of the housing, and some of the information on there is “GT1752” and another series of numbers which I believe is the OEM part number “452204-5”).

The turbo that’s for sale and I was thinking about buying has the same “452204-5” number stamped on it, however, it’s apparently marked as GT17” (not GT1752 like mine).

So, I wondered if anyone our there may have already experienced a situation like mine and could offer advice on;-

1). From the symptom I’ve described, is a blown turbo (seal) the most likely problem, or are there any other (lower cost) items I should consider?

2). Would a GT17 turbo fit onto my car or can I only use a GT1752? (Even though in my case some of the other numbers stamped on both turbo’s are the same)?

Thanks in advice to anyone who’s travelled down this road before and can offer some advice.

Last edited by aussie_saab; 16th February 2010 at 03:25 AM.
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  #2  
Old 16th February 2010
meekles meekles is offline
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Default

I'm no help, but damn, that's a well-written question / background story.

I'm sure you'll get some quality answers soon.
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  #3  
Old 16th February 2010
aussie_saab aussie_saab is offline
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Thanks Meekles. I "used to be English" before my move down-under, so still take some pride in my mother tongue!!

Yes, I'm really hoping that someone, somewhere will somehow have already experienced the pain I'm going through right now with this problem with my car AND is willing to share their own experiences so that I can get the car out of the garage again!

Trusting the forum members and their collective experiences ......
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  #4  
Old 16th February 2010
JonV JonV is offline
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Hi and Welcome, but you are in the SS forum, we use the B207 Engine and a different Turbo..... re-post your query here : http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=15
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  #5  
Old 13th June 2014
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Aussiebob Aussiebob is offline
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Default Aussie talk

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie_saab View Post
Thanks Meekles. I "used to be English" before my move down-under, so still take some pride in my mother tongue!!

Yes, I'm really hoping that someone, somewhere will somehow have already experienced the pain I'm going through right now with this problem with my car AND is willing to share their own experiences so that I can get the car out of the garage again!

Trusting the forum members and their collective experiences ......
Even some of the locals can speak proper as well.
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  #6  
Old 13th June 2014
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pokeyjoe pokeyjoe is offline
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Default

Don't ever talk to that dealer again. All he sees are dollar signs. Find an independent mechanic with some Saab experience if you can't do the work yourself.

There are replacement turbos available. Some are new (Chinese, probably), some are rebuilt, and some have new replacement cartridges available (just the rotating mass with bearings and seals). This website lists a brand new cartridge for your turbo for under USD$500. I bought one from them for my 2000 9-3 and it was as described. A brand new factory replacement.

If you choose to do the work yourself, it's a bit of a chore. The coolant and oil lines attach to the turbo with banjo fittings and I had a bit of trouble with a couple of them (I had to heat one with a propane torch to get it loose). It's an all day job for a shade tree mechanic, but it can be done and you can save yourself quite a bit of money.
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