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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 30th August 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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Default 9-3 air conditioner compressor

How difficult is it to change the a/c compressor, I have a 1999 9-3
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  #2  
Old 30th August 2011
win_k win_k is offline
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It's not that difficult to change the compressor.

You'll need to free the power steering pump from the cylinder head first and swing it out of the way.

After that, it's one bolt holds the A/C lines to the compressor and three bolts hold the compressor to the engine. The electrical plug is tucked up out of sight but is not that difficult to find or disconnect.

All the usual A/C caveats apply, recover the refrigerant first (if it's not all leaked out). I suggest having a new receiver/drier on hand and install after the replacement compressor. Pull a good long vacuum and verify you've no leaks before adding the 770g of R134a for the system (assuming you're going to replace the compressor and not just delete A/C from the car)
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  #3  
Old 30th August 2011
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by win_k View Post
All the usual A/C caveats apply, recover the refrigerant first (if it's not all leaked out). I suggest having a new receiver/drier on hand and install after the replacement compressor. Pull a good long vacuum and verify you've no leaks before adding the 770g of R134a for the system (assuming you're going to replace the compressor and not just delete A/C from the car)
Don't forget the oil... and I would add that you MUST replace the receiver/drier if you open the system. A new compressor will require you to flush the system or you will void any warranty. You might want to put in a new expansion valve while you have it open since they do wear out.

Why are you removing it? It is possible to service the bearing and clutch on the car if that's your issue.
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  #4  
Old 31st August 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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Bob Thanks, I am replacing not removing, the compressor is growling badly, I have heard this sound before, just before it locks up. Thanks for the excellent walk through!
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  #5  
Old 31st August 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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Win_k, thanks excellent feedback.
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  #6  
Old 31st August 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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Question: what is correct procedure to "flush system thoroughly" ?
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  #7  
Old 31st August 2011
win_k win_k is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Railroadrandy View Post
Question: what is correct procedure to "flush system thoroughly" ?
Essentially, don't! Any mechanical debris that comes from the compressor will get caught in the receiver/drier.

Only systems that really needed to be flushed were the old R12 systems that were then converted to R134a -- the oils needed for each refrigerant are different and not compatible with each other.

If the compressor has gotten noisy, I'd first suspect the clutch bearing, that can be changed without even removing the compressor or the refrigerant from the system.
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  #8  
Old 31st August 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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Question

@Win_k : thanks good feedback. Do you have to have a puller to remove the clutch assy? I am leaning toward replacing that first....
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  #9  
Old 1st September 2011
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by win_k View Post
Essentially, don't! Any mechanical debris that comes from the compressor will get caught in the receiver/drier.
I know what you're saying win_k, but I think every compressor out there requires it for warranty protection. I don't suppose that means you have to do it. YMMV.

To the OP: Here's an example of a "home" kit.
Amazon.com: Interdynamics FK-1 Air Conditioning Flush Kit for R-134a R-12 and R-22 - Pack of 1: Automotive Amazon.com: Interdynamics FK-1 Air Conditioning Flush Kit for R-134a R-12 and R-22 - Pack of 1: Automotive

You might want to check out acsource.com for A/C supplies... knowledge, help, good stuff in my very amateur opinion.
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  #10  
Old 1st September 2011
96Turbo 96Turbo is offline
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I recently did this on my 1999 9-3. I bought an aftermarket compressor, expansion valve, and drier on ebay for only ~$200! It's not the OEM brand, but it is brand new...

I didn't move the power steering pump at all, but I suppose it would make it a little easier.

The hardest part was getting the hardlines bolted onto the compressor. I would recommend getting the fitting positioned on the compressor and loosely tightened BEFORE bolting up the compressor to the block.

Expansion valve is easy from under the car, it's on the firewall. Drier is easy, right behind the front grill. Replace the drier last, after all the other fittings are tightened. It's vacuum sealed from the supplier to not absorb any moisture. As soon as you open it up it starts to absorb, so you want to get it on the car quickly.

Then I would recommend taking the car to a decent shop to be charged. They will put the entire system under vacuum which will show if there are any leaks (before filling) and get the system completely empty. The compressor I got came pre-filled with oil, but they will still need to add some while adding refrigerant. It cost ~$100 for me to have a shop fill it. That's $300 total, not bad
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  #11  
Old 1st September 2011
96Turbo 96Turbo is offline
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Link to the compressor kit I got:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/_W0QQ...KQ3aMEWNXQ3aIT
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  #12  
Old 1st September 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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@ Bob Saabit = Thanks, good info, I have been in hydraulics business for 35 years, system flushing is a good thing.... Thanks for the lead on the kit.
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  #13  
Old 1st September 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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@96 Turbo = Thanks also good info on the dryer. I'm fortunate I live in Denver where humidity is low to begin with, but keeping it "open" a minimum of time is important! Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 1st September 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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someone told me my "noise" (growling when a/c clutch is engaged) may be from the clutch assy. I have been looking online, can't seem to find where to buy the clutch only....? The clutch seems to come with the compressor....
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  #15  
Old 1st September 2011
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Railroadrandy View Post
someone told me my "noise" (growling when a/c clutch is engaged) may be from the clutch assy. I have been looking online, can't seem to find where to buy the clutch only....? The clutch seems to come with the compressor....

There's a guy named Adam who sells on Ebay. He doesn't seem to have the Saab parts listed right now... contact him and ask about availability. http://stores.ebay.com/businessautomotive

Complete bearing/clutch kit is about $80. He also sells a bearing only kit for <$20. But, since it's a chore to change, and since it seems like lots of people end up replacing their clutch sooner or later, I elected to do both.

He will send instrucitons, but he does them out of car, so you'll need to read a couple threads here on the subject.
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  #16  
Old 1st September 2011
win_k win_k is offline
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I've had very good luck getting Sanden parts from a company in Ft Lauderdale here in Florida, Polar Bear Inc (www.polarbearinc.com).

Clutch should not need any special tools other than a pair of snap ring pliers. Remove the center bolt from the clutch and the face will pull off giving access to the bearing and coil.

If you buy a complete kit, it will come with a pulley already installed on the bearing. Else, you might need to have a shop or find access to a press to remove the old pulley from the original bearing and install it on the new.

If you need to keep the car mobile during the repair, check out the a/c delete info -- you can get a shorter belt and keep the car on the road without the a/c compressor in the belt's path.


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  #17  
Old 1st September 2011
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by win_k View Post
I've had very good luck getting Sanden parts from a company in Ft Lauderdale here in Florida, Polar Bear Inc (www.polarbearinc.com).


Clutch should not need any special tools other than a pair of snap ring pliers. Remove the center bolt from the clutch and the face will pull off giving access to the bearing and coil.

If you buy a complete kit, it will come with a pulley already installed on the bearing. Else, you might need to have a shop or find access to a press to remove the old pulley from the original bearing and install it on the new.

If you need to keep the car mobile during the repair, check out the a/c delete info -- you can get a shorter belt and keep the car on the road without the a/c compressor in the belt's path.

My kit (Ebay/Adam)came with a new clutch plate, coil, and bearing. There's no pulley mounted on the bearing.
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  #18  
Old 2nd September 2011
Railroadrandy Railroadrandy is offline
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No joy from the guy named Adam on eBay, but PolarbearInc can help with the clutch and bearing assy....
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  #19  
Old 20th July 2013
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npazcruzat npazcruzat is offline
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Default Hollow Knocking Noise

My 2000 9-3 SE convertible started suddenly making a hollow knocking sound like a frozen pea in a can. Saab specialist couldn't see me until Tuesday but says from what I described it sounds like at AC compressor. And that if the compressor blows it could take my alternator and water pump with it.

How true is all this?

The sound has gone away now and comes and goes periodically though I'm trying not to drive much.

Thoughts? Links to good replacement kits like this one maybe?: http://www.discountacparts.com/Saab-...~80366_RK.html
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  #20  
Old 20th July 2013
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Hard to say without hearing it, but that sounds more like the water pump bearing is gone and the pulley is banging against the engine. Moderately common when the WP bearing fails.

If it's hitting a lot, it can cut a groove in your timing cover, and that gets expensive to fix. If it breaks or the belt slips off, you lose the other accessories (as in they don't work) but you don't damage them at all. Still, you will be calling for a tow. Best bet is not to drive it.

Are you planning on DIY? We can guide you on how to figure out which accessory it is if you are.
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