1996 Saab 900 SE Turbo Grinding Noise - SaabCentral Forums
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Old 1st April 2012
ewalker008 ewalker008 is offline
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Default 1996 Saab 900 SE Turbo Grinding Noise

I recently purchased a 1996 Saab 900 SE Turbo which needed a clutch at a bargain price. I installed a new SACH's OEM clutch and throwout bearing from thesaabsite.com as well as a manually adjustable clutch cable. I drove the car then for 3k about 3k miles before my problem started.

I was backing up a hill when the car started jumping and jarring and kicked the car out of gear. There was a clunk sound like something broke and then the car started making a noise that sounded like a roaring grinding churning (that's about the best I can describe it). The noise would happen whether the clutch was in or out.

Luckily I was right next to my garage, so I pulled it in and promptly shut the engine off. Well naturally I assumed that the new clutch had come apart and that there must be a piece of it grinding between the clutch disc and flywheel, so I took the transmission out (this by the way is much easier the second time around).

Unfortunately after I removed the transmission the clutch and flywheel look absolutely fine. There are obvious visual defects, no large gouges, cuts, or chunks missing. So now with the transmission laying on the floor of my garage I'm wondering what my next course of action should be. Could the problem be my engine, transmission, or turbocharger? The only two thing I noticed out of place was that the clutch cable was not in the holding groove on top of the transmission and the transmission mount was cracked (I'll be replacing it.)

I tend to lean towards the turbocharger since whenever you turn the input shaft on the transmission, and the crankshaft on the engine, there are no obvious noises. I'm looking for some insight from someone with some experience with saabs in general, and turbocharged saabs in particular. Also is there some sort of clip that goes on the hole where the clutch cable goes through the holder on top of the transmission?

Any thoughts or assistance would be appreciated.
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Old 1st April 2012
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'97 Saab SE Turbo '97 Saab SE Turbo is offline
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The first thing that I would do is to drain the transmission oil and look for metallic parts both in the oil and stuck on the drain plug magnet. Anything bigger than little brass dust is a bad thing.

I doubt that the turbo was even when you were in reverse as the engine needs to be under a pretty good load to cause the turbo to spin... Ron
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Old 1st April 2012
ewalker008 ewalker008 is offline
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I did actually drain the transmission oil and it looked clean. I'll have to check the drain plug magnet tomorrow.
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Old 1st April 2012
AZR Racing AZR Racing is offline
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sounds like a bearing failed. starting to think you got it for a bargain for more than just one reason
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Old 3rd April 2012
ewalker008 ewalker008 is offline
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Well I checked the transmission oil and plug, no shavings of any sort. I did find however that the inner driver bushing on the driver's side of the car had teeth marks where the axle had been chewing on it. I employed the sawsall through the differential hole trick and got it loose.

Now my question is this: How much play should I have in the splines behind that bushing? I'm not sure if thats a floating gear of some sort or if it is supposed to wiggle 1/8 inch each way. Some incite from someone with more intricate knowledge of Saab transmissions would be wonderful.
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