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Discussion Starter #1
Recommendations, vids, on 1997 900s oil pan replacement. Dinged the pan, cracked, leaking badly. Need replacing. My first time. Pointers to videos or howtos? I am doing tons of research of course. Just looking for the drill down recommendations. tx
 

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Kyle Pancis has a few videos where he drops the pan in a 9-3 and a 9-5. I am not sure how alike the 900 and 9-3 are in regards to the oil pan, but it might help.

Here is the link to the 9-3 video: 9-3 Oil Pan removal
 

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There's a long thread for it. I will post it later when I am at my computer and replace this.

Meanwhile, order an o-ring for the oil pickup tube and two for the oil delivery pipe. A tube of loctite 518. I don't know know about the exhaust on the NA motor, but you'll need to drop whatever pipe is under the pan, so check the pipes clamps and see if you want to order one or more. On the Turbo motor you have to drop the down pipe off so we get three new nuts for the pipe to manifold connection- you might want to do the same for whatever you need on the NA motor.
I'd start spraying any of those parts that are rusty with PB Blast now and repeat for a couple days to ease your pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There's a long thread for it. I will post it later when I am at my computer and replace this.

Meanwhile, order an o-ring for the oil pickup tube and two for the oil delivery pipe. A tube of loctite 518. I don't know know about the exhaust on the NA motor, but you'll need to drop whatever pipe is under the pan, so check the pipes clamps and see if you want to order one or more. On the Turbo motor you have to drop the down pipe off so we get three new nuts for the pipe to manifold connection- you might want to do the same for whatever you need on the NA motor.
I'd start spraying any of those parts that are rusty with PB Blast now and repeat for a couple days to ease your pain.
Sir, thank you. This is what I was hoping for. A parts list, needs list. I will still end up crawling under and exiting the vehicle 1000 times as I grind through this learning process. Have done a boatload of things on them throughout time.. this will be a first. Kick myself for a last second decision to what I thought was to avoid a road anomaly. Nawp. Just caught it.

Anywayz, will be acquiring the supplies you state. One additional thing... I assume (bad word), that an original pan from the motor better than an aftermarket cheaper part? I will be on the horn up to S Dakota anyway shortly.

Thank you for taking the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is advice from someone who has BTDT! :D
Is why I come here. This repair will make me a BTDT as well. Until a couple years ago, also had a 1997 900T. Brother to this 1997 900s. Kinda wish I would have taken the time to do the work needed to get it back up to snuff. Too many medical things happening at the time tho.

Onward.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Kyle Pancis has a few videos where he drops the pan in a 9-3 and a 9-5. I am not sure how alike the 900 and 9-3 are in regards to the oil pan, but it might help.

Here is the link to the 9-3 video: 9-3 Oil Pan removal
Brilliant. About to order parts, supplies, and will in the meantime commit to study and restudy, and re-re-re-re-restudy of what I am up for...

thankx for taking the time...
 

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Here's the local thread. Dropped the oil pan (56k, forget it)

The only downside to this thread is that some moderator decided to merge the OG 9-3 pan drop thread with OG 9-5 pan drop thread a couple years ago in a frenzied operation where they created a new oil forum and then populated it. It's the same process for the engines but there's a difference in the chassis that makes it a bit confusing. When you read the posts, you need to ascertain which car they are posting about. Subframes are different!

FYI - You need to support the engine when you do this because you will be loosening the subframe. You can put a jack under the transmission but the pro way, and the easy way, is to head to Harbor Freight and buy the engine support bar for $63 with a 20% coupon. They have a 25% Xmas sale coming up (google coupon).

Get a used pan, not aftermarket. Has to be a T5 pan (assuming you don't have a V6). All T5 pans from '94 to '98 T5 will fit, turbo or not, according to the EPC. Classifieds here would be good for findig one so you can get a guarantee of quality/straight/good gasket flange.

One thought is that you can could check the local U-pull for a pan and then try it there first. Free learning on a car you don't care about. You'll need to bring your support bar and/or get creative to do it safely. I emphasize safely. Of course, since you don't have to reinstall it, there's some additional flexibility - no pun intended.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here's the local thread. Dropped the oil pan (56k, forget it)

The only downside to this thread is that some moderator decided to merge the OG 9-3 pan drop thread with OG 9-5 pan drop thread a couple years ago in a frenzied operation where they created a new oil forum and then populated it. It's the same process for the engines but there's a difference in the chassis that makes it a bit confusing. When you read the posts, you need to ascertain which car they are posting about. Subframes are different!

FYI - You need to support the engine when you do this because you will be loosening the subframe. You can put a jack under the transmission but the pro way, and the easy way, is to head to Harbor Freight and buy the engine support bar for $63 with a 20% coupon. They have a 25% Xmas sale coming up (google coupon).

Get a used pan, not aftermarket. Has to be a T5 pan (assuming you don't have a V6). All T5 pans from '94 to '98 T5 will fit, turbo or not, according to the EPC. Classifieds here would be good for findig one so you can get a guarantee of quality/straight/good gasket flange.

One thought is that you can could check the local U-pull for a pan and then try it there first. Free learning on a car you don't care about. You'll need to bring your support bar and/or get creative to do it safely. I emphasize safely. Of course, since you don't have to reinstall it, there's some additional flexibility - no pun intended.
Brilliant. Have become a very amateur expert in all things Saab. Unfortunately, Ii emphasize the word amateur, aka shade tree mechanic. And many of these repairs are one-offs. So far be it from me to gin up a How To.

And... will check out the local U Pull entity as you say. My brother has a 'shop' in his garage, 3 doors down. I have to pick my requests, questions tho. A 1 hour repair will take a first time shot at it and me, 4 hours. Add my brother who is a great guy, but... then it will become a 3 day repair. A bit snarky on my part. But am feeling giddy as I replay the split second decision to miss the road issue.. kick myself... as I really pick my routes to where I insist I could have been an F1 driver or better, an Erik Carlsson clone.

Ok, punchy as I assemble the needs list and commit to study of information that is coming in. May as well replace the motor mounts (in need of)... and need to figure out the shifting issue too. Vehicle runs a peach, still.

I appreciate all of the info that is flowing in. I guess I should take pics of vids of the before and after, and after after repairs.
 

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My opinion about DIY, and especially first time DIY, is buy the correct tools. Once you've done a job and seen the details you can figure out what's fungible for yourself... but the first time, it's really helpful to not have to struggle with the tools so you can focus on the actual repair. I think a formal engine support bar is essential for this operation. If you've got that you're in great shape to get it done.

In terms of this specific repair, I believe the FSM calls for only dropping half the subframe down, but I'll tell you, getting it out of there completely is not much extra work and makes the whole thing less clumsy. If you're going that route, you'll also want a ball joint separator ... it's another $15 to Harbor Freight.

Jack car
Support engine with beam
Pop ball joints
Remove front section of the exhaust
Remove subframe

Not that many bolts, not that much time. Bring copious amounts of quality penetrating oil!
 

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I go with the partial subframe myself. Front and middle subframe bolts out, rears stay as is. Since the rears are the ones most likely to be seized... I'd go that route. MHO. Use a block of wood (3" IIRC) between the frame and subframe. Wiggle pan out. This is at least a 4 hour job the first time you do it.

FYI - you should break the middle subframe bolts free with the car on the ground unless it will be on a professional lift . If it will be on jack stands it would be a very bad idea to try to break them free in the air.
 

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Might be worth considering a patch over the
crack usingg 2 part epoxy putty depending on how much the car is worth and if you can live with the cancerous look. Depending on the size of the crack and location it can be done fairly easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Might be worth considering a patch over the
crack usingg 2 part epoxy putty depending on how much the car is worth and if you can live with the cancerous look. Depending on the size of the crack and location it can be done fairly easily.
I just crawled under it for the first time and yessir, that thought crossed my mind. I don't mind the butt ugly temp repair until spring gets sprung. I have several medium to big ticket items that need tending and this patch idea is appealing, so I can gather all of my plans together for a spate of time to do this.

For grins, my mom LOVED Saabs. She passed a decade ago. My father had purchased a 1999 900T for her. Her first was my first.. a '71. She always talked about particular 'sound' they had. My mom also attended the Leica school in Germany, twice, as a teen. My mom had taste and an eye, and ear, and appreciation for things like all this. Long story longer... that 1999 is now in my mitts. Dad just into assisted living, so it just was handed to me. I now have 3, making 10 in my history. The 1999 has the scars of a 92 year old which I made my siblings understand is the PERFECT car for him to drive. As long as he didn't hit anyONE. Curbs, potholes, telephone poles (all participated with my dad and this 900T), and mechanically it is doing pretty ok. Cosmetically, a C. Ok, C minus.

So I have some wiggle room while I come at this oil pan. Others, please chime in on a temp epoxy until I can schedule some quality time. The car btw is worth, right now, not much in toto but motor and trans continue to soldier on. That has value. And cosmetically, it is a B+. It is worth yes, bringing up to snuff. An epoxy idea is absolutely temporary if for no other reason, to get it to a Saab mechanic 60 miles away who is a real Saab guy... as in back to the 70s Saab shop.

And no. I do not have to much time on my hands. Just revved up about ONE MORE GD thing to deal with.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your mom. It's funny who you find in your lives who liked these cars. One of my uncles always wanted one, but never bought one. A lady my mom taught elementary school with had a C900, but spent ungodly amounts of money maintaining it. She sold it for a Camry a while back. The sales manager at a computer store I used to work at in college leased a 9-3 for a while. I had completely forgotten he took me for a ride in that thing until years after I bought my first, a 1997 900 turbo. I remember him nailing the throttle between roundabouts on his street to show us what it could do.

If you do take out the rear subframe bolts, make sure you get a set of new sleeves for the stanchion arm bushings (two per side) and a pair of new bolts. Other than the head bolts, the rear subframe/stanchion arm bolts are the only torque-to-yield bolts on the car, and are supposed to be replaced every time. They do get pretty rusty and chewed up where they go through the sleeves. At least they're fairly cheap for large factory bolts, as are the sleeves.

I made an engine support beam out of a 4"x4" with two small pieces of 2"x4" that sit on the fenders a while back that works great, but it's incredibly bulky and I'd like to get it out of the garage one of these days. It was cheap, and I put it together in about 30 minutes one afternoon. My first attempt was out of a 2"x4", but it sagged an uncomfortable amount in the middle under the weight of the engine. It has the largest steel threaded eye I could find at Home Depot, and I use a large S-hook to connect it to the engine.
 

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My mother was a GREAT lady. Army wife, who are often the most amazing people. She had to put up with my still kicking old man. He was a very hard driver, famous for several things, from extreme military service record (and I mean extreme... he commanded in the 7th Cav, that would be Custer... and fought some of the absolute worst battles along what became the DMZ, the 38th. Won every battle. Won every battle in Vietnam too. He used to like to rib people like Hal Moore of We Were Soldiers, they knew each other well, also commanded in the 7th.. but battles like Ia Drang, lost that one. Custer, lost that one. And so on.. he had a chance on the History Channel to bring the 7th back into a winning posture). And he did far more remarkable things in retirement. That 1999 has Distinguished Service Cross plates on it for the moment, which he was awarded. I occasionally have to say, no, not me... my pop. Mention this because my mom managed this very high powered, massively motivated guy... and appreciated the sound of Saab motors too. Great lady.

Beg pardon for burning up bandwidth. Ginning up the emotional ties between cars, Saabs, family. All integrated for sure.

Acknowledge your additional notes. I may, may spirit the car down to the Saab mechanic. May. But am all in on DIY first. Will see. Am really pissed about missing the anomaly in the road that caused this. Correction, I caused this. It just reduced my reputation to be able to drive F1 one day. Mebbe Pikes Peak Hill Climb tho. Which is out my back window, and yes, occasionally watch the 2000 Eklund run up Pikes Peak video. I could take my 900s a couple blocks and have the high performance shop that services many of the hillclimb racing vehicles, and also pay big $$$ for the privilege. Has the 900s gas tank replaced by them and could have gone out to find my mid life crisis need... a '74-'76 EMS, burnt orange. They could bury me in that.

Off soapbox.


I'm sorry to hear about your mom. It's funny who you find in your lives who liked these cars. One of my uncles always wanted one, but never bought one. A lady my mom taught elementary school with had a C900, but spent ungodly amounts of money maintaining it. She sold it for a Camry a while back. The sales manager at a computer store I used to work at in college leased a 9-3 for a while. I had completely forgotten he took me for a ride in that thing until years after I bought my first, a 1997 900 turbo. I remember him nailing the throttle between roundabouts on his street to show us what it could do.

If you do take out the rear subframe bolts, make sure you get a set of new sleeves for the stanchion arm bushings (two per side) and a pair of new bolts. Other than the head bolts, the rear subframe/stanchion arm bolts are the only torque-to-yield bolts on the car, and are supposed to be replaced every time. They do get pretty rusty and chewed up where they go through the sleeves. At least they're fairly cheap for large factory bolts, as are the sleeves.

I made an engine support beam out of a 4"x4" with two small pieces of 2"x4" that sit on the fenders a while back that works great, but it's incredibly bulky and I'd like to get it out of the garage one of these days. It was cheap, and I put it together in about 30 minutes one afternoon. My first attempt was out of a 2"x4", but it sagged an uncomfortable amount in the middle under the weight of the engine. It has the largest steel threaded eye I could find at Home Depot, and I use a large S-hook to connect it to the engine.
 

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I don't know how bad/long the crack is but after draining oil, thorough degreasing, sand/wire brush to create some texture, degrease again, apply two part putty firmly into the crack they apply well beyond the crack area , consider applying a second layer after the first layer is dry. Pretty strong chance the patch job will outlive the car. I did the same repair on a old mercedes aluminum pan and it's going strong after 3 years. The most important parts are the degreasing and creating a decent etch for the putty to stick.
 

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I temp patched an alloy oil pan that had a crack that was NOT leaking using JB Weld. It was a minor crack and was visible from the outside not the inside. Inside the pan looked original. If I'd known it was cracked, I would never had patched it - I would have found a new pan ahead of time. But, I was already into the job and needed it done.

I'd never patch a pan that was actually cracked through and leaking. First, I don't know how you'd get it clean/dry enough to patch properly without dropping the pan anyway. Second, I don't think it's worth the risk if it's actually leaking. The downside is huge, the investment relatively small. If it starts leaking on a drive, you won't know it until it's too late and the engine seizes.
 

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. The downside is huge, the investment relatively small. If it starts leaking on a drive, you won't know it until it's too late and the engine seizes.
oh come on now you'll have 3 maybe 4 seconds when the light comes on for low oil pressure, , NOT. replace the pan !!!
engine brace,
drop passenger side subframe bolts (leave middle bolt few threads in to hold frame)
drop down strut assembly (3 bolts)
unbolt rear motor mount
drop down pipe.
remove pan
simple ( I'm hitting the easy button right now)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I temp patched an alloy oil pan that had a crack that was NOT leaking using JB Weld. It was a minor crack and was visible from the outside not the inside. Inside the pan looked original. If I'd known it was cracked, I would never had patched it - I would have found a new pan ahead of time. But, I was already into the job and needed it done.

I'd never patch a pan that was actually cracked through and leaking. First, I don't know how you'd get it clean/dry enough to patch properly without dropping the pan anyway. Second, I don't think it's worth the risk if it's actually leaking. The downside is huge, the investment relatively small. If it starts leaking on a drive, you won't know it until it's too late and the engine seizes.
I am gearing towards replace pan. Motor on this is strong still. Getting crazy good gas mileage, still. 130K. So it is prudent to do it right. My only thing will be, 'we do it nice because we do it twice." I WILL forget something along the way. Or overlook something. Besides, I use this for the pleasure it is to drive on the highway.. but I don't want to continually be looking in the rearview mirror, wondering.

And, it has a small gash thru and thru. Epoxy was a momentary easier wrong instead of the harder right.

Tx for the push in the right direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
oh come on now you'll have 3 maybe 4 seconds when the light comes on for low oil pressure, , NOT. replace the pan !!!
engine brace,
drop passenger side subframe bolts (leave middle bolt few threads in to hold frame)
drop down strut assembly (3 bolts)
unbolt rear motor mount
drop down pipe.
remove pan
simple ( I'm hitting the easy button right now)
Comeuppance heard loud and clear. And props for your Cliff Notes sequence. I will be studying this whole thing, as I do every time I crawl into one of these... and as said prior, since I will be in to this already, install new motor mounts, plural.

Tx. Your message, heeded.
 
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