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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased my 97 900SE about 3 weeks ago, and in the midst of getting started on the performance mods I am running into other issues. The latest started today.

It has just rained for the past few days straight (not sure if this matters, but I figured I would mention it). I have kept my car garaged since Monday as I was waiting for other parts to arrive. When I took it out today the car was making some odd noises when I pushed the clutch pedal in. It sounded like a cyclical murmur, war war war. When I let of it tended to sound like a quick scrape. After dinner, I took it out for a bit longer drive, and it got worse. Now it sounds like a squeal, and smells smoky. Do I need a new clutch? :roll:
 

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The clutch cable may need to be tightend or replaced.

Clutch issues tend to crop up when you are flying up a hill and trying to accel. The engine will clime in revs but you will slow down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The car has 130k on it. I did the hill/acceleration test before I purchased the vehicle. The clutch seems to be holding fin while in gear, is only sounds nasty when the pedal is pushed in. Should I just take it to a shop and have it checked out?
 

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The clutch seems to be holding fin while in gear, is only sounds nasty when the pedal is pushed in. Should I just take it to a shop and have it checked out?
It sounds like the clutch is dragging. The cause would depend on whether you have the hydraulic clutch (not sure of all the '97 models had that), or the cable. The cable is easy to adjust or replace, or substitute a manually adjusted cable etc.

If you are sure the clutch grabs (and not just holds) when in gear, then the clutch itself is probably good. The sound would then be caused by failure to disengage while shifting gears.

Unfortunately, if you take the car to the shop, they will most likely say you need a new clutch, because it is easier to just replace parts than make adjustments, :roll:
 

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I noise occurs when the TO bearing is rotated by the pressure plate, then its the bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I have the stock "self adjusting" cable clutch on my 900. Is there anything I can do too look into this further before paying somebody to look at it / replace it? Thanks for all the input.
 

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I can't help you with the release bearing, EW or someone else has to take that, I never had an issue with mine.

I recently edited and reposted one of my old posts with pics on the clutch cable, here:

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183942

The self-adjusting cable has a kind of ratchet mechanism inside a sheath inside the engine compartment at the firewall. As the clutch wears down, the cable is supposed to take up the slack one click of the mechanism at a time. It depends on a spring and some lube inside that sheath to work right. If the spring gets rusty, or the lube dries out, it will still work, just maybe not as seamlessly as when new.

If the cable does not work right, not enough or too much slack can be taken out.

You can help it a bit by either tugging at the end with the spring at the firewall a bit until you hear it click a couple times. Another way is to press it hard all the way down (while parked w. engine off), and then let the pedal spring up quickly by sliding you foot off the pedal to the side (repeat a few times). It is also possible to double up a washer/spacer at the firewall, by sliding another similar washer behind it (with a slot for the cable cut in the new washer). Some people have better luck with one or another method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. Now that I have thought about it more, I think earthworm is right about the throw out bearing. This doesn't really seem like a cable issue, as the clutch still engages pretty far back along the pedal stroke.

Now the question is what should I do?

A. Only replace/adjust the TO bearing
B. Upgrade all the parts to prepare for future performance enhancements
C. Upgrade and swap out the cable for hydraulic clutch while I have somebody working on the car.

I am leaning towards option C, but I may want to wait on the hydraulic kit to see if I can save on labor charges by doing it myself. Any thoughts on all this?

Again, I certainly appreciate your input, and I sure am glad I have found this site.
 

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Depends on what upgrades/modifications you intend to make. I would not throw parts at the car unless you know what you intend to do later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't have an exact plan for mods yet, but I would rather upgrade the clutch while I am paying for the labor to get into it. I have read about the Viggen disc and PP, and I think that is what I would go with, just trying to decide what I want to do. If I were ever going to need an upgraded clutch in the future, now would be the time to do it in my opinion.
 

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Another way is to press it hard all the way down (while parked w. engine off), and then let the pedal spring up quickly by sliding you foot off the pedal to the side (repeat a few times).
When I did this I broke the tabs holding in the cruise control clutch pedal sensor.
 

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I limped my SAAB along for a while by spraying lube on / in the throwout bearing via the inspection hole on the front engine side of the transmission. Access by removing the black plastic cover. Remember the orientation of the cover as you remove it, as it's a bit tricky to get back on.
 

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When I did this I broke the tabs holding in the cruise control clutch pedal sensor.
That seems to suggest something is out of adjustment.

Possibly the previous owner tried to adjust the pedal stop, which is set at the factory, or only other time when a new clutch is being installed. If the pedal stop is in the right place, then the pedal will not hit the switch hard enough to break anything. It will only depress the switch a bit, just enough to open the switch contact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I limped my SAAB along for a while by spraying lube on / in the throwout bearing via the inspection hole on the front engine side of the transmission. Access by removing the black plastic cover. Remember the orientation of the cover as you remove it, as it's a bit tricky to get back on.
I had trouble finding this plate. Can you help me out a bit more? Or do you have a pic?

Also, i found a dedicated Saab shop here in Tulsa, Autohaus Unlimited. They are going to take a look at the clutch for me tomorrow (no charge for troubleshooting/diagnosis). However, they don't seem to be too fond of the hydraulic upgrade. I seem to have only heard good things about it. Any thoughts (or links) on this one?
 

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Going by memory here - when looking at the trans from the front of the car, it's about a foot to the left of the cable fork, a few inches to the right of the engine, and about 4 inches above the crank shaft (outermost part of the bell housing). It's black plastic, rectangular, and is barely held in by an easy to snap off compression tab.

I went with a manual adjust cable, and _thoroughly_ lubed the inside of the cable housing with aerosol white lithium grease before installing. When I replaced the clutch three years later, the cable was still nearly frictionless, and I've yet to re-lube.

Unless you can get the parts cheap and install yourself, I can't see the hydraulic upgrade being worth it.
 

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Might not be the clutch. Check main belt and all three idler pulley's, that could explain the sudden noise any smell. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Put the car in the shop yesterday. Turns out it was the throw out bearing. $1200 from now I will have a new clutch kit and a new cable installed. Thanks again for all the input.
 
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