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Discussion Starter #1
Our '05 2.3 needs a head gasket replacement. I've read many, many threads here, with much good information, but if it's there in all in one place, I haven't found it.

Some recommend replacing the head bolts, others the exhaust manifold bolts, naturally the head gasket, others say do the PCV valve update while in there.

Is there one kit available which furnishes all the needed parts?

What link has the best step-by-step for the head gasket R&R?

jack vines
 

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I've never seen all of the parts in one kit. You'll typically need to buy at least three things: a head gasket kit, a set of head bolts, and an exhaust manifold hardware kit. The last time I did the job, I used an Elring head gasket kit, Febi head bolts, and a ProParts exhaust manifold hardware kit, but I used VW M8 copper lock nuts instead of the cheap things ProParts supplies. You may also want to get a tube of anerobic sealant, too. The best procedure is the Saab WIS, which you can now view online at saabwisonline.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the prompt reply. FWIW, we've driven Saabs since 1978 and this is only the second head gasket I've ever had to replace.

My usual Saab specialist is backlogged; that plus his $1,500-$2,500 guesstimate means I'll have to get in there myself. He says he seldom resurfaces Saab cylinder heads. However, as a performance/obsolete engine builder, we routinely resurface every head we build. Some Japanese aluminum four cylinder heads come in so warped they cannot be saved. What is the consensus here on resurfacing Saab heads?

Not that I'll be tracking the hours, but does anyone know the flat rate for a 9-5 head gasket R&R?

jack vines
 

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Most people seem to resurface the head if they're rebuilding the entire head, from what I've read around here. I've done three head gaskets, and I've had the head resurfaced on all three. On each of them I've also replaced the valve stem seals and had the head tanked and the valves cleaned. The guy I take my machine work to, which is in the Saab mecca of Ballard in Seattle, said that they usually need just a tiny bit shaved off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the link. Checking finds the exhaust manifold gasket backordered three months and the exhaust manifold bolts not included. I'll check with them on those.

Upon investigation, eeuroparts system is not one I can live with. The parts would be coming from four different warehouses and that makes the shipping cost nearly equals the parts costs. For example, one $3 part coming from CA will be $10 shipping. Also, they absolutely, positively do not want to talk to a customer via phone to question this problem.

The search continues and after going through a dozen sites, including rockauto, eeuroparts, ebay, advance, et al, found everything needed, including free shipping, at Autohaus Arizona https://www.autohausaz.com Theirs was by far the best site and the easiest to use. Your results may vary.

BTW, I was going to pay a premium for the Mahle gasket kit and headbolt set; then on the rockauto site, the caveat came up, "may arrive reboxed in a Victor Reinz box." Why not just go to Autohaus and buy the Victor Reinz gasket set and bolts for half the cost of Mahle at rockauto?

jack vines
 

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The exhaust manifold bolts are included in that kit. You generally don't save much, if anything, with those kits that eEuroparts puts together themselves, so if you want to go with them (personally, I wouldn't because of their horrendous shipping charges and parts shipping from all over the place), order what they have in stock separately, and get the exhaust manifold gasket from someone else if they don't have an alternative. For aftermarket parts, I order what I can from RM European if I'll go over their $60 free shipping minimum, and sometimes from RockAuto, since they have such a huge selection. I also like that RM European carries G48 coolant, which was the factory fill for most of these cars. They sell the Fuchs Maintain Fricofin brand in gallon containers for a reasonable price.

Scratch what I said about G48 being the factory fill for most of these. I was thinking of my NG900. The 9-5 switched to DexCool in 2002 or so, which was pretty early in the very long life of this car. :)
 

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Upon investigation, eeuroparts system is not one I can live with. The parts would be coming from four different warehouses and that makes the shipping cost nearly equals the parts costs. For example, one $3 part coming from CA will be $10 shipping. Also, they absolutely, positively do not want to talk to a customer via phone to question this problem.

The search continues.

jack vines
You have to go through your cart on checkout, and manually change them all to the same warehouse, usually Windsor, this gets the shipping down to about 15 bucks for American addresses

As someone who ships to Canada, I get hosed wherever I shop. Paid 100 USD for shipping and duties on an order this past October. :(

Also, in the cart you can just remove the items that are back ordered and replace them with in stock gaskets, comes out to about the same price.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You have to go through your cart on checkout, and manually change them all to the same warehouse, usually Windsor, this gets the shipping down to about 15 bucks for American addresses

Also, in the cart you can just remove the items that are back ordered and replace them with in stock gaskets, comes out to about the same price.
FWIW, I tried removing the items and tried replacing them with stock gaskets. Maybe I was doing something incorrectly, but I spent a bit of time wrestling with this and it just didn't happen for me.

Conversely, Autohaus site was just "zip-pop-done"

jack vines
 

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As someone who ships to Canada, I get hosed wherever I shop. Paid 100 USD for shipping and duties on an order this past October. :(

You can try Budd's for OEM parts (go there in person if you can), nordicspeed.com, or autopartsway.ca for Canadian alternatives. They price in CAD, the shipping will be transparent (free if you order and pick up at Budd's counter) and there will be no duty or border fees (and never, ever let them ship UPS across the border).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
FWIW, the gasket kit, head bolts and exhaust bolts was on my doorstep noon today. That's what I'm talkin' about!

Now, I'll have to tear into it and learn if I still remember how.

jack vines
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, very good news and only slightly bad news. Reading up on the various hose and heater valve leaks which afflict the 9-5, I decided these were more likely than the head gasket.

Good guy Brad of Swedish Motors concurred and replaced the valve, hoses and coolant for $330.

Now, I've got to return the head gasket kit and head bolts.

jack vines
 
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