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Discussion Starter #1
My 9000 (125K) is getting a bit rattly and the last time I looked the chain tensioner was at 11-12mm, there's a chap local to me who'll snip the balance chain and clean the sump and oil mesh for a good price and he tells me that I'll hopefully get another 70-80K out of the timing chain, I presume it's usually the balance chain that goes first. This looks ideal to me, anyone else have any thoughts . . .
 

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what you have measured is the tensioner for the timing chain. im no expert on these things but id say it really shouldnt be at that sort of length unless you have a worn timing chain.

EDIT: just seen this on thesaabsite.com: "The chain wear can be estimated by measuring the distance between the tensioner body and the inside of the leg.

A spacing of more than 11mm suggests a seriously worn chain which will result in failure and very expensive engine repairs and you should replace your timing chain as soon as possible."
 

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by the way, does this local guy happen to be particularly knowledgeable when it comes to saabs? might be worth seeking out the opinion of a specialist if not.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
by the way, does this local guy happen to be particularly knowledgeable when it comes to saabs? might be worth seeking out the opinion of a specialist if not.

Hi Stew, yes timing chain certainly is getting worn but I can't afford to replace the whole thing at the moment, the mechanic does know a lot about Saabs and I guess his reasoning is that the balance chain has more chance of going than the timing chain.
 

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He might be right about that but IMO you are taking a risk doing only that part of the job.

To do the timing chain you have to take the sump off anyway, it is by far the hardest part of the job.

I have done 2 of these cars both Timing and Balance chains.
The kit for both cost about NZ$1000.00 landed at my place from PFS.
The freight charge was real high.

IMO not worth just snipping the balance chain, sure it is a lighter chain but it does basically no work compared with the Timing chain.

/R
 

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My 9000 (125K)...
The chains on a late (anniversary) 9000 should easily last 300 to 350 000 km with proper maintenance, that is regular oil changes.

If they are badly worn at 125K (be it miles or km) either your milage has been tempered with, or the car has had poor maintenance. What do you know about the history?

When you remove the sump have a close look at the oil pump pickup (clogged or not) and check your crankshaft and rod bearings while you're there.

It is possible to remove the timing cover with the head on, but leave it to a specialist. It is very difficult not to damage the head gasket doing so. If it gets damaged you have to remove the head anyway.
 

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Do the lot !

Have done the whole job, changing chains and all the gear associated.
Best help was from here:
serioussaab.co.uk look up workshop archive. You can save the whole thing to your computer by clicking the "Page" tag at the top of Internet Explorer.
You say cash is tight, so first thing to check is the engine number of your car.
The Saab repair pack is the cheapest option, part number 93184480 but it's for later engines.
The list is for B235 engines, but is the same for B234 engines after engine no: W002471. Some sales do not include gasket goo !
The most difficult part of the job is lifting the engine high enough to get
the sump off, and then later back on again. If your pet mechanic has a hoist, no prob.
The side chest will come off, and go back on, provided either: the head is off, or: the sump is off.
A mention of so called "locating pins" for the chest is irrelevant.
Chances are: it's the nylon guides for the chain that are broken or worn.
But the work involved is the same !
Good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The chains on a late (anniversary) 9000 should easily last 300 to 350 000 km with proper maintenance, that is regular oil changes.

If they are badly worn at 125K (be it miles or km) either your milage has been tempered with, or the car has had poor maintenance. What do you know about the history?

When you remove the sump have a close look at the oil pump pickup (clogged or not) and check your crankshaft and rod bearings while you're there.

It is possible to remove the timing cover with the head on, but leave it to a specialist. It is very difficult not to damage the head gasket doing so. If it gets damaged you have to remove the head anyway.

THanks for all the advice fellas, I am not saying the chain is 'badly worn' but the tensioner is out 11-12mm, it's too big a job for me and I just can't afford the £1000 it will cost to go the whole hog, I thought getting the balance chain snipped and the sump cleaned would be a good compromise.
 

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THanks for all the advice fellas, I am not saying the chain is 'badly worn' but the tensioner is out 11-12mm,
If the tensioner is out 11-12 mm then the chain is well past its use by date. They can an do break, though others will say you can drive it like this for ages.

If it does break your engine will be toast, bent valves etc etc.

Yes it is a biggish kind of job.

However all the Timing/balance chain kits would cost you less than 500.00 from PFS.

If you read up on the process in Haynes, and in the various write ups on the the net, take lots of time, ask questions you could do it maybe you could do it. I guess it is about a 10 hour job for a motor mechanic.

However getting the crank pulley nut off may be hard, as is getting the sump off.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If the tensioner is out 11-12 mm then the chain is well past its use by date. They can an do break, though others will say you can drive it like this for ages.

If it does break your engine will be toast, bent valves etc etc.

Yes it is a biggish kind of job.

However all the Timing/balance chain kits would cost you less than 500.00 from PFS.

If you read up on the process in Haynes, and in the various write ups on the the net, take lots of time, ask questions you could do it maybe you could do it. I guess it is about a 10 hour job for a motor mechanic.

However getting the crank pulley nut off may be hard, as is getting the sump off.
Yes I know I SHOULD do it! I may give it a go in the summer, I have had the head off before when the cam sprocket let go but had some luck getting a good cheap head on Ebay, I already have a Scan-Tech kit bought but have since read that they're not that great and should probably get a genuine Saab one. Anyone in Dorset really really like changing timing chains? :cheesy:
 

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I guess it is about a 10 hour job for a motor mechanic.
SAAB paid about 4.7 hours labor under warranty. 20 year-old cars take longer.
Removing the Balance Chain does little to minimize risk, and degrades overall performance.
I wouldn't pay anyone a dime to not fix the real problem.
 

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Yes I know I SHOULD do it! I may give it a go in the summer, I have had the head off before when the cam sprocket let go but had some luck getting a good cheap head on Ebay, I already have a Scan-Tech kit bought but have since read that they're not that great and should probably get a genuine Saab one. Anyone in Dorset really really like changing timing chains? :cheesy:
Now you are talking, finding someone to give you a hand is a good way to go.
I think the kits I used are scan tech, maybe not the best, but got to be better than an old one that is stretched.

Thanks Jim for the correction, I based my time guesstimate on my own (very nervous experience) time in doing the job.
Actually took me a week, but lots of the time was sitting down thinking and reading, but I also had the head off and I had not pulled the car apart. I bought it in bits, head,sump,timing/balance chains off. And I had never done a job like this before.
 

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In wonder how this job went, or if it got done at all.
 
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