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  #1  
Old 19th December 2005
SR05 SR05 is offline
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Default How much GM is in my Saab?

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and I'm sure I'm raising an old and familiar topic here. I apologize if you've heard this topic a million times.

I had a discussion with a friend the other day who said that Saabs now have GM engines in them and "good luck with that." (insinuating it wouldn't last long)

I own a 2002 9-3 SE, which I believe is considered the Anniversary Turbo addition. Are the 02's and beyond, GM made vehicles? Please tell me my saab wasn't built in Detroit. And if there are GM parts in my saab, which are they?

Thanks!

-SR05
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  #2  
Old 19th December 2005
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GM has owned half of saab since 1990 (I think) and bought the other half in 1998, so it is now fully owned by GM.

That being said, your 2002 uses mostly parts that are unique to SAAB. It wasn't until the 9-3 SS that more significant parts from GM (like engines) startied making their way into Saabs, but even the engines in the new 9-3 SS are significantly reworked by SAAB and quite unlike their GM counterparts.

The engine in your car is the good old trusty cast iron 2.0l turbo saab engine, and it is a solid engine.

Just be sure to change your oil religiously, as they - like most turbo cars - are sensitive to beeing run too long on old oil, and have a bit of a history of oil sludge problems.

Infact, SAAB recently increased the warranty on engines due to the oil sludge problem. This thread will be helpful on that topic...
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  #3  
Old 19th December 2005
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Purely GM engines weren't even available in your 9-3. The NG900 had a very infamous GM V-6 in it, but all 9-3s got the Saab turbocharged 4. If you start taking your car apart, or even just take a good look around the engine compartment, you'll see a lot of GM markings. The car shares a lot of basic parts that Saab has no good reason to be engineering themselves, like the coolant reservoir, brake calipers, firewall insulation, and all sorts of little caps, seals, and other little bits. It's the chassis itself and the rear beam axle that are the most unfortunate of the shared parts. The 9-3SS got the wonderful GM Epsilon chassis that Saab could never have made by themselves.
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  #4  
Old 19th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattlach
Just be sure to change your oil religiously, as they - like most turbo cars - are sensitive to beeing run too long on old oil, and have a bit of a history of oil sludge problems.
ABSOLUTELY! I'm driving in Southern California, which is probably hell on earth for any high performance vehicle. I change my oil every 4 months. Which is a bit overkill, but I love my Saab.

Thanks so much for the insight. I'm relieved! Not to say that GM doesn't make some quality parts, I just prefer Saab's superior engineering and design. I would be embarrassed and disappointed if I found out I bought a Saab with a GM transmission or engine block.

-SR05
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  #5  
Old 19th December 2005
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Quote:
How much GM is in my Saab?
Loads

(compared to mine)
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  #6  
Old 19th December 2005
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yeah well, I think I can live with lids, caps, and insulation.

You must love your *pure* Saab.

LOL
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  #7  
Old 19th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR05

I own a 2002 9-3 SE, which I believe is considered the Anniversary Turbo addition. Are the 02's and beyond, GM made vehicles? Please tell me my saab wasn't built in Detroit. And if there are GM parts in my saab, which are they?

Thanks!

-SR05
It's not as easy as that; I'm gainfully employed by a US based global manufacturer of automobiles [not GM ] were one of the last to make many of our core components 'in house' so to speak.
When you look at a Saab probably from as early as the sixties many of the components are bought in, often tailored to suit a specific criteria.
So when I pop the hood on one of mine what do I see? ZF power steering, ATE brakes, Heller lamps, Bosch all over the place, the auto has an Aisin Warner tranny, stuff by Delphi, seats by Lear corp, and many of the bearing assemblies by SKF; what does list tell you? much of your 'Saab' is a collection of sub-assemblies [called systems in the trade] made by expert leaders in their specific fields and supplied to Saab to bolt into a shell they welded together.
Now as regard assembly; well modern car assembly is little more than bolting the systems in place, this has been the case now for well over 25years for some autobuilders; combine this with the de-skilling of assembly what is Saab doing much of its least skilled work [the assembly] in it best paid most highly skilled factory? surely the assembly should be done in a third world banana republic these days?
So what is Saab [or any other brand for that matter]? It is the idea of what the product represents and what it says about you, I personally like Saab's pleasant understated style [no comparisons with that tat from Ikea please ] also I dislike wearing cloths with visible or at least overt names and labels, [ I'm not an advertising hoarding thankyou very much! and if you want me to walk around with your name/brand adorned across my chest then you should pay me you horrible little capitalist!].

The upshot is that GM didn't really make a lot of differences, all they really did was give Saab the ability to choose from a bigger parts bin at less cost. GM is going through the wringer at the moment, Saab may be a casualty of this yet, and I do not believe the brand is strong enough to find another buyer, this is mostly due to niche postion and limited appeal, the brand is not mainstream or conservative enough for the current auto manufacturing industry to want to pick up what is a bit of an odd relative; Saab's strong history of innovative design [with very ordinary stuff much of the time] has become an albatross around the brands neck.
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  #8  
Old 19th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragtopcav
The upshot is that GM didn't really make a lot of differences, all they really did was give Saab the ability to choose from a bigger parts bin at less cost.
This is sortof like buying the all-you-can eat buffet at the worst restaurant in town

It is well know that GM practices penny pinching in the parts depratment, and thus it is very rare to see them use good components. I was actually positively suprised that my 9-5 used struts from Sachs. I expected some terrible noname brand.

As I understand the lead engineer in the 9-3ss design project was fired because he didn't use enough common GM components. I for one respect him very highly for that decision. Too bad it cost him his job...

Last edited by Mattlach; 19th December 2005 at 06:23 PM.
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  #9  
Old 19th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR05

You must love your *pure* Saab.

LOL
Funnily enough, I do.

It's a bit more complicated than that, however. Saabs were never pure - I've got a derivation of a Triumph engine. 9000s are Fiats in fancy dresses. You've got a Vauxhall of some sort. The car that yours evolved from was even called the GM900. So to make out your only GM influence is a few minor generic parts is not entirely accurate. The pigeonhole is large enough to accommodate an entire forum.
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Last edited by Jezzadee; 19th December 2005 at 06:38 PM.
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  #10  
Old 19th December 2005
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Your all wrong. Saabs are born from jets.

Just kidding. For real though. Thanks for the enlightenment.

I recently read an article about John Deloreon. That was someone who seemed to be selling his passion. Not an illusion. Even though his dream ultimately failed.
And what made the Deloreon so attractive were the ingenius engineers and designers involved in making it. People weren't buying something derived from executive decision or corporate strategies.

-SR05
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  #11  
Old 19th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattlach
This is sortof like buying the all-you-can eat buffet at the worst restaurant in town
Like you or I could afford anything else? get real we can't, that is how all but about 1% of all cars are made, by the bottom line.
We're all running around in dressed up rubbish if we're honest to ourselves.
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  #12  
Old 19th December 2005
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I’m proud to say all of mine were made in Trollhattan by trolls.

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  #13  
Old 20th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt88S
I’m proud to say all of mine were made in Trollhattan by trolls.

Supplant made for assembled; much of the vehicle was bought in from elsewhere in reality.
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  #14  
Old 20th December 2005
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this GM debate sickens me, we must have it at least once a week and the truth of the matter is, like raggy said, saab like any other car is just a selection of parts, where saab choose (or are told where to select from) is neither here or there, we still all of us buy the dam things dont we, then spend time complaining that GM is killing off saab, when the harsh reality is saab has been killing its self for the last 50 years, in the 60's saab was in deep trouble cus no one was buying the 2 stroke any more, bailed out by fitting a ford engine to an aging model, in the 70's saab was in deep trouble cus no one was buying the aging 99, bailed out again by the launch of the 99 turbo, and again in the 80's bailed out with the launch of the 9000 (so called fiat chassis, altho' not stricktly true) in the 90's gm stepped in cus no one was buying the aging 900, any one see a trend here. gm have saved saab from going bust 10-15 years ago
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  #15  
Old 20th December 2005
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt88S
I’m proud to say all of mine were made in Trollhattan by trolls.




Supplant made for assembled; much of the vehicle was bought in from elsewhere in reality.
lol I know, SAAB's been doing that ever since the beginning, the "all" in that sentence referred to "all 4 of my Saabs, hence the 4 smilies" not all parts of all 4 of my SAAB's.

I don't think the new swaabs are all that bad, in fact I don't think they are any worse than any other GM car, however I do think your deluding yourself if you think they are any better just because they have "saab" on them, my goodness, GM has changed almost everything on them right down to the frame, and look at the new SUV. But there is nothing wrong with that either, GM makes some good vehicles, I personally have been a fan of their trucks for a long time and the 350 is an unparallel engine in terms of power and durability.

I think a lot of the trouble came with the V6 they put in them. And then all the electrical goop that they smear all over cars nowadays, everything electrical has a set lifespan and many faulty or sub-quality parts aren't going to make it to the end of that lifespan.

I think that is what deters me to a great extent, they aren't designed to last because if they are to have all the little goodies electrical everyone wants on a "luxury vehicle" they can't last. All new cars are like that to some extent though. That and then there's the fact that they look just like any other car out there. Oh I know, yada yada yada, they don’t look the same, they are a SAAB. The sad truth is that they have lost their individuality and blend in with all the other cookie cutter cars out there very well.

I want a car that has a touch of chrome, clear cut lines but with curves as well, and a classic look to it, I don’t want a bloody cookie cutter toothpaste tube.

Just my 2 cents, take it with a grain of salt.

Last edited by Matt88S; 20th December 2005 at 09:08 AM.
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  #16  
Old 20th December 2005
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how much gm in a saab......

well my gm900 1998 has door locks, boot lock, suspension brakes, switches galore, seats , a quick look inside the engine bay you will see such things as steering pump reservior, steering rack air box. this was comparing it to a 1995 cavalier and to a 2002 vectra.

in other words A LOT!!!!

Having said that without gm saab would probably have folded. Now I wish gm would fold and saab be sold to someone else
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  #17  
Old 20th December 2005
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Matt, don't get me started on the 350 vs 302 vs 351... I'll do it! I'm warning you! (Yes, I am a Ford guy.)

In all seriousness. You're going to have to replace parts anyway... And we all have a gremlin (some even have more than one!)... So I say get whatever you WANT to get, then when things break (not if, because every part will deteriorate eventually, and if you truly love your car, you will keep it long enough for that part to deteriorate), replace them with high-quality upgraded parts. That way you get the car you want and love along with high-quality parts.

As said above, every manufacturer makes compromises. SAAB is no different. Does that make SAAB a bad car? Most certainly not! Just remember, all those GM parts are going to be a LOT easier to find and possibly cheaper than the parts which aren't common to the cavalier...
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  #18  
Old 20th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bish
Having said that without gm saab would probably have folded. Now I wish gm would fold and saab be sold to someone else
This from a guy that owns 2 "GMSaabs"?!?!?
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Last edited by CleveSaab; 20th December 2005 at 06:31 PM.
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  #19  
Old 20th December 2005
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Funny thing you mentioned Saab engineered transmissions versus the GM transmissions...Saab tranny's are terrible! (I've replace, what...oh 4 of them!) It took a GM derived transmission, globally built mind you, to finally build a reliable gearbox. So yes...your 9-3 has a GM derived gearbox. Although it was probably built in Sweden at the Saab gearbox factory.

GM engines are fine....sure some of them lack refinement...but they are tough as nails...every company builds a few lemon engines. But fear not...your 9-3 has the same cast-iron block, aluminum head 4 that Saab built it's Turbo reputation on. The 2003 and up 4 cylinder Saabs (9-3's, anyway...the 9-5 still has the old engine in 2.3L form) have the Global GM EcoTec 4....which is re-engineered by Saab with new heads, a different displacement (2.0L instead of the standard 2.2L), and is a great engine as well.

Last edited by 8valvegrowl; 20th December 2005 at 12:20 PM.
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  #20  
Old 20th December 2005
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Quote:
Matt, don't get me started on the 350 vs 302 vs 351... I'll do it! I'm warning you! (Yes, I am a Ford guy.)

No worries mate, you're young, you have all the time in the world to see the light.
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