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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy. I'm new to Saabs and haven't worked on one before. I have one that belongs to a friend and I'm going to do the brakes, alternator, and belts. She took it to a shop with a new alternator, but understandably didn't want to give them the $400 they wanted. She got the car back, where it sat in the parking lot where we work. I offered to repair the car, so I drove it the 12 miles to my house, only to realize that when I went to replace the alternator, there wasn't one in the car. And I don't count the old one in the box in the passenger seat, either. Apparently, the shop my friend took it to kept the new alternator after having removed the belts, and that's the way I drove it home. Is this thing going to live? It made it all that way in stop-and-go traffic with no water pump turning, and it's a turbo engine to boot. Is this even worth the effort? Afterwards, I have to figure out how the belts go on, even though I'm not sure how many it needs, though I'm assuming it's three. The brakes will be easy; all four corners are metal to metal and the car makes a cool sound when the brakes are applied. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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Six Pack said:
Howdy. I'm new to Saabs and haven't worked on one before. I have one that belongs to a friend and I'm going to do the brakes, alternator, and belts. She took it to a shop with a new alternator, but understandably didn't want to give them the $400 they wanted. She got the car back, where it sat in the parking lot where we work. I offered to repair the car, so I drove it the 12 miles to my house, only to realize that when I went to replace the alternator, there wasn't one in the car. And I don't count the old one in the box in the passenger seat, either. Apparently, the shop my friend took it to kept the new alternator after having removed the belts, and that's the way I drove it home. Is this thing going to live? It made it all that way in stop-and-go traffic with no water pump turning, and it's a turbo engine to boot. Is this even worth the effort? Afterwards, I have to figure out how the belts go on, even though I'm not sure how many it needs, though I'm assuming it's three. The brakes will be easy; all four corners are metal to metal and the car makes a cool sound when the brakes are applied. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Your girlfriend needs to go back to the shop that sent her out w/ no alternator, p/s, or water pump!!!! Consult a lawyer perhaps.

If you are very lucky no harm done. Likely blown head gasket, warped head, oval cylinder bores...new engine time.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's what I thought, but since I came into the matter after the fact, there's little or no recourse. Now, I'm working on the driver's side rear caliper. It will NOT come off, no matter what I do. I took four bolts from the retainer plate and splash shield. The caliper will pivot, as if there's another bolt that I missed. I beat the crap out of it with a rubber mallet, but still no success. If you could help, feel free to call me at (303) 695-0742, collect if need be. This thing's been sitting at my house for three months now and I gotta get rid of it.
 

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There's only two bolts that hold the caliper on, remove the rubber plugs from the covers at the rear of the sliding pins and then use a suitable allen key to remove the sliding pins. The caliper will then come off without problems.

If you've been removing bolts for the backplate, you're way off i'm afraid!

Just one thing, don't try to retract the piston by using force, you need to remove the cover plug for the handbrake adjustment and then use a 4mm allen key to retract the piston. When you replace, you undo the nuts on the handbrake lever in the car, then adjust the screw at the caliper until the wheel locks, then back off half a turn. Then finally do the adjuster up at the handbrake lever until there's a small gap (sorry, no manual to hand) at the caliper so that it doesn't bind in normal use.

David.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ah, that's why the damned thing wouldn't come off. I got disgusted after two hours and gave up. If I have the time, I'll give it another shot tomorrow. Thank you very much, David. You're a lifesaver, mate. Is there anything funny I need to know about the front brakes?
 

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Nope, pretty much identical. Remove the rubber plugs from the covers and remove the sliding pins in the same way. Obviously there's no trick required with regard to retracting the pistons when you fit new pads like there is on the rear.

I learnt the hard way on the rears, didn't read the Haynes manual, assumed it was like every other caliper i'd ever encountered and so I used a G cramp to try to retract what I thought was a stuck caliper. Then I ended up dismantling the caliper, removing the piston to rebuild the handbrake adjusting mechanism. ;oops:

Incidentally, I think you'll find the hex key required for the sliding pins is 7mm. Usually sold as a specific tool for brake calipers. I wouldn't try one that just "nearly fits" if you haven't got one, they're usually sold as long reach specifically for the job and you can probably guarantee that they're exceptionally stiff and without the right fitting key, you stand a serious danger of wrecking the hex in the pin and then you really have issue! ;)

http://www.premiertools.co.uk/item2220.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a large number of metric allen wrenches. They came loose and aren't the folding style, making tight clearance issues somewhat less aggravating. I, too, assumed that this brake job would be like any other, but was obviously mistaken. I've never worked on a Saab before, but when I drove this one, I liked the fact that when I went to downshift, I wasn't continually locked out, as with other vehicles I've driven. I don't need the vehicle telling me when I can and can't shift. This car is an oddball in comparison with other vehicles of the era, having all wheel disk brakes. It was ahead of the American cars of its day.
 
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