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Howdy SC!

My baby blue '08 9-3 (2.0T/auto) has hit 140k virtually trouble-free miles before I suddenly had several issues crop up nearly at once, and the work to fix those issues touches so many areas that I'm fixing everything I put my hands on - but I've got a few stupid questions and I wanted to make a fool of myself at one time, so here's a punch list of what I plan to do with questions about different parts of it...

Preface: I have a shop with tools and equipment that vastly outpace my skills...but with instruction and the good fortune of another vehicle to drive, I can generally handle .......... many things, I guess. Also, I've accumulated the parts to do most of these things already and cannot return them anyway so I might as well use them. Now, I've got a habit that I'm not sure is good or bad, where I tend to replace as many parts as possible when I'm doing complicated work on a high-mileage vehicle I don't know the full history of (all of my vehicles are over 100k and two are over 200k). So far this hasn't gotten me in much trouble, and so on it goes for the Saab.

  1. So the trouble started with a sticking wastegate actuator. I have a replacement and the job seems pretty easy - two bolts and then some twisting to get it off the hook and I'm good to go I think.
  2. For some reason, I assumed it would involve more contact with the turbo itself ... so I bought a good used turbo & rebuild kit and plan on dropping that in as well. Does the typical TD04 rebuild kit come with copper washers to install the turbo as well?
  3. Then, I got (or at least, realized) timing chain tensioner noise: bought a new tensioner -- pop a big socket on the back of it, pop the new one in, jab it and it's good. I understand there were several versions of this part from GM and I might have that last step confused with an earlier version (I have the latest of course) but I have the docs for it and am just typing this off of memory.
  4. Thinking that a bad tensioner might mean other parts are soon to go, I got the tensioner out of a timing chain kit with new chain, guides, etc. So I'm going to pull the timing cover (this will make more sense in a moment) and replace the balance chain & tensioner and all the guides. I understand that the crankshaft pulley will be coming off when this happens, leading me to think I'm 99% of the way towards replacing the crankshaft seal (which I don't have yet)...so that's getting done
  5. Water pump getting replaced while I'm in there. Behind the balance chain, and pops right out IIRC.
  6. To replace the upper timing chain guide, I need to pull the valve cover (already done), so of course I have a valve cover gasket to pop on there when I'm done with it. Well, I was working on my YouTube University degree during the process and was listening to a video about the ol' intake valve problem, which my car has been plagued with since I bought it. That video suggested I could use an 03-06 head, which has non-defective valves ... so I found a spankin deal for one on eBay and it arrived the next day. I'm thinking, well I've got the car on my lift, I've been trying to get to working on it since July, finally got deferred maintenance taken care of on my other vehicles the wife and I can use as dailies, so I'm going whole hog and fixing this problem too, if it's as "easy" as swapping a head and lining up some timing marks, either existing ones or from paint markers..... Soooooo I start into the research of swapping heads, when the question of camshaft locking came up ... I can't figure out if that's necessary or helpful when I'm swapping heads (moving camshafts from old to "new"). Honestly I can't even understand how it would work -- what am I locking the camshafts to if I'm taking them out of the head? Do camshaft locks just keep the camshafts oriented in the head, assuming you're putting the same one back on? If so, it wouldn't do me a darn bit of good and I can move on.
  7. Head gasket kit since I'll be taking the head off. Now, all the ones I've seen online include intake and exhaust gaskets and a third, unknown (to me) green paper gasket ... what is the trio of gaskets for in only two areas?
  8. Valve stem seals - these are more complicated than a "might as well" to me. Worth replacing if I'm not otherwise removing valves?
  9. New head bolts will of course be on order.
  10. Serp belt, tensioner, idler being replaced - they look fine but I have no idea how long they've been there (had the car for 40k) and I'm gonna be messing with them anyway.
And now, our feature presentation: what else will I be interacting with that makes sense to replace? There's oil seepage seemingly all over the back (side? -- facing the car...) of the engine, so I will happily replace any seal made easier to get to through after all this work ...

Thanks all!
 

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Wow. You're gonna be busy.

Only thing that comes to mind on top is replace PCV valve as long as it's apart. Check the usual oil leak suspects (brake vacuum pump & PS pump) and replace those seals if they show signs of leaking. Timing and valve cover leaks you have covered already.
 
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