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Old 15th October 2017
tomcat5's Avatar
tomcat5 tomcat5 is offline
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Join Date: May 2014                                                
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My Saabs: 2002 9-3 SE Convertible - Stage 3
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Cool Changing Automatic Transmission Solenoids

I've noticed that a lot of tutorials are lacking now that Photobucket is a terrorist holding half the Internet's pictures for ransom, so I figure I'll document things I do to my car in hopes that people in the future won't be a fish out of water. I'm not a very good teacher so it might be a good idea to reference my pictures with available writeups from others, but if I can offer a little bit of community service I'd like to do so.

Here we go, if you have a P0741, P0743, P0748, P0753, P0758, this guide should give you a little help. I had a P0741 and PO743 on my car which prompted a change of the SL lock up solenoid.

Things you will need:
  • Socket set
  • A new solenoid, this is the SL solenoid I bought. Be sure to make sure that the one you buy fits correctly. I believe SL solenoids are universal between the NG900, OG9-3, and 4sp auto 9-5 but the others likely have changed. For SL, it is unnecessary to pay for the one with the Saab part number as the generic AW part will work. I do not know if this is the case for the others.
  • The correct Saab sealant P/N 87 81 841 (not a good idea if you're changing this in the car) or a transmission pan gasket (I bought this one, an ATP RG-83)
  • A jack and a block of wood
  • A drain pan to catch transmission fluid
  • Some transmission fluid to replace what is lost
  • A multimeter and some torx screwdrivers to check the resistance in the TCM connector

Estimated time is about 2 hours if you know what you're doing, 5 if you don't.

Tired of me yet? Alright, let's go.

  • Do not reinstall transmission cooler lines with them touching the subframe
  • Do not remove the ST solenoid unless you know what you're doing. WIS specifies not to remove it but if it's bad, then it's bad so I'm not sure what to say about that because I'm not an expert.

First, you'll probably want to check the resistance of the solenoid you're working with. Remove your glove box. Behind the plastic tube for the passenger air vent, you'll find your transmission control unit. Undo the connector on the right side.

To check the resistance of your SL solenoid, place a probe in pin 2 as shown. S1 is pin 19 and S2 is pin 4, while ST is pins 17 and 18.

And the other one on the ground near the door

This is somewhere about what the SL resistance should read. I believe the spec for the SL solenoid itself is about 13 ohms, but this is going through a good bit of wire so it will be higher. My dead solenoid measured 93 ohms but it would not be surprising for it to be higher. I am not sure what the resistance for the others should be but I doubt S1 and S2 are much different.

Is it reading something weird? Cool, you've probably found your problem so that's half the battle.

When you get under the car and pull off the air shield (unless yours are broken off like mine,) this is what you will see. I have the GS 3" V1 downpipe and the 6 point subframe brace and they don't really seem to complicate this job.

Support your transmission with a jack and a block of wood. Make sure it's in a position you can work around and raise and lower the jack as you may need to in order to reach all the bolts.

Remove your transmission mount. The bolts are 16mm or 5/8". This is the GS trans mount but yours will have bolts in the same place.

Remove the front transmission cooler line from the transmission cover. It is a fairly large size, I believe 19mm.

Remove the rear transmission cooler line (the one pictured to the lower right of the socket)

Allow the lines to drain into a suitable container.

Remove the nut for the ground wire on the transmission mount, I believe it's a 13mm. Remove the ground wire and bend it away from where you're working.

Remove the transmission mount. Pictured is what you will see when it's off. It has 3 bolts, the 13mm post that the ground was attached to, a larger lower bolt (forget the size), and an upper that is the same size as the lower that is a pain to get to because of a hard line running in front of it. You may have to pry that line with a jack handle or something but it is doable. After that, remove the 12 or 13mm bolts holding the transmission over on. They are all different. You will also need to remove the cover over the transmission temperature sensor.

After removing the bolts and tapping the cover loose, you will see your solenoids. Top left is the S1 solenoid, top right is the S2 solenoid, middle left is the ST pressure solenoid, and bottom is the lockup or SL solenoid. As you can see in the photo, I have already removed the bolt (10mm I think) holding in SL. Replacing solenoids is not hard, just remove the connector, remove the bolt, and pull it out. Pop in the new, bolt in, and replace the connector.

Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly, but I used an AW50-40LE transmission gasket to put everything back together after cleaning all the sealant off of the cover and the transmission. Top off the fluid and you're good to go.

This is the pattern of the bolts for reassembly if you have the cover on and are facing it.

Treat yourself to a drink to celebrate not spending $500+ at the dealer. You should see your highway fuel efficiency go up a good amount. If you have been driving for a while with the SL solenoid bad, go ahead and do a transmission drain and fill while you're down there, the drain plug is the large bolt on the side of the transmission facing the exhaust. A little over 3 quarts will come out and you will probably put in about 3.5 quarts to replace that as well as what came out the transmission cooler lines. Be sure to use new banjo washers if yours are very old, but you might be able to get away with not replacing them. I didn't have an issue with it. Here's to a few more trouble free miles!

Edit 11/8/17: I've been informed that the gasket isn't the best idea for these transmissions. Mine isn't leaking as of the time of the edit, but according to jvanabra in this thread that a transmission mount attached to the cover can damage the gasket through torsional loads. Will it matter? Maybe? Let's just say I'm not going to preemptively change it. Reinzosil was recommended in that thread so that might be a good substitute for the unobtanium Saab part number for the sealant.

Last edited by tomcat5; 8th November 2017 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 16th October 2017
Yoshimura Yoshimura is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017                                                
Location: NY
My Saabs: 99 9-5 saab 2.3T
Posts: 254

That's a great write up and pictures.
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