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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The brakes on my 1990 SPG just failed. Luckily I was going fairly slowly at the time, no one was in front of me, and I was able to get it off the road and stop using the gearbox and parking brake.

Both the Brake Fluid and ABS light are on.

Also the brake fluid in the reservoir is overfilled. It wasn't the other day, so it's since the failure that it's backed up into the reservoir either backing up, or overheating. There is no bubbling, burning, or burnt smell so I'd say it's backing up somehow. Accumulator? Pump not working?

Does anyone know how to test to see what has failed?

I assume it's either the Accumulator or the pump. I'm hoping the Accumulator because it looks like the pump isn't available anymore. :confused:

If anyone can help me I'd appriciate it.

Meanwhile I'm going to try to limp this beast home. Wish me luck laddies. It's country lanes all the way so I should be fine.

Overall I'm rather dissapointed in the lack of a backup system. Had someone been in front of me or I needed to stop to avoid hitting a pedestrian or such I would have been toast, there was nothing there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update.

Car is now home.

I had at least some braking ability coming home, I don't know how much because I didn't really use them, I just used the gearing to slow down as needed for turns and such, other than the driveway I didn't need to stop, although the brakes did seem to be working at that point.

Pump comes on when key is switched on. It doesn't sound normal or good though. I'd say probably the Accumulator is knackered, and in turn has worn the pump. Alternately the Accumulator could just be worn and the pump is just trying to cope but can't.

Both ABS and brake lights are still on, even after the pump has run, it doesn't seem to shut off so I don't think it's able to pressure up.

I think it's a bloody bugger that the parts aren't available new. :confused: It's times like this I get sick of driving these old critters. I'd hate to pay the price of new components, last I remember they were around $2k or so, but I like having reliable brakes even more.

I'm considering retrofitting to the old non-abs brake system. I am somewhat less than enthralled with the current system.

Does anyone know if the 8 valve brake system is compatible?
 

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The accumulator is easily found new for under 100$ last I recall...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The accumulator is easily found new for under 100$ last I recall...
You're a better man than me if you can find it for that price. The cheapest I've found is eeuroparts @ $380ish?? And that's just the accumulator.

It appears the pump/master cylinder is unavailable.

This is just about the last straw for me, when you get to where parts aren't even available anymore...:(
 

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just get a complete unit from the scrapyard, we had similar probd(but variable braking sometimes it would then it would just be nothing) had a spare in garage from one I broke and changed the whole thing
A motor rewind place can always redo the motor if they ar'nt available
 

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You're a better man than me if you can find it for that price. The cheapest I've found is eeuroparts @ $380ish?? And that's just the accumulator.

It appears the pump/master cylinder is unavailable.

This is just about the last straw for me, when you get to where parts aren't even available anymore...:(
For some reason, I seem to remember that the accumulator is used on a fairly common GM type of the time and if you find it with GM P/N, that's when it gets to be around $100.00, but I can't remember exactly where. Maybe if you used the manufacturers P/N and see what all that unit fits.
 

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The GM accumulator was around $120 when I need one a couple of years ago. I got it from gmpartsdirect. They had the lowest price and delivered as expected although their website 'bedside manner' left a little to be desired in that they've got lots of warnings about not bugging them about your order status and you can't return faulty parts to them, you have to go to the closest dealer.

The GM part to which you refer fits the Buick Reatta and has been posted here multiple times. It wasn't used on other GM cars AFAIK. I don't have the P/N handy and the search feature for this site has temporarily disappeared, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Swap it for a non-ABS master.
I don't think it's quite that simple, I've been doing some reading on the subject (the best I can without the search feature :roll: ) and it seems the plumbing is different, apparently you practically need a donor car to rob all the brake lines and such off of. If I can get it going again I'm going to put that on the back burner and simmer it. Another reason to do it would be to get away from the dead wooden pedal feel of the ABS systems, there's no feedback.

Guys, thank you kindly for the info on the Buick Accumulator. Once the dealerships wake up here I'm going to give them a call and see if anyone has one in stock. I know it would be cheaper to go through GMpartsdirect or such, but I want to get it taken care of pronto.
 

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One more tip, there is one difference between the Saab accumulator and the GM accumulator. The Saab accumulator has a soft metal flow restrictor in the opening. The restrictor can be CAREFULLY pried from the old accumlator and installed in the new. Gently use a rubber hammer to drive the restrictor into the new accumulator and you should be OK.

I did it. I haven't seen any trouble reported by those who didn't transfer the restrictor so don't do it if you don't want to.
 

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No brakes

This just happened to me 3 weeks ago. The ABS light comes on intermittently so I've been keeping an eye out for an accumulator. One day the brake light came on and I completely lost my brakes. Limped home and started looking for anything - found a blown ABS fuse on the passenger front wheel area of the engine compartment. Replaced it and brakes returned.
 

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You've gotten good advice already.
Later model ECUs have a diagnostic function. You can install one temporarily if available. A SAAB ABS tester will also reveal the problem.
Complete ABS Master Cylinder units are usually pretty cheap as Used Parts because they fail so rarely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Jim,

Are there any alternatives for the pump that you know of?

16saabs mentioned having the motor/pump rebuilt, is this something your typical starter/alt/fuelpump rebuilding shop could handle or is there a more specific shop that would be better? I've never seen the insides of a ABS pump so I don't know anything about them.

On the upside, although none of the dealers in my area had the GM Accumulator, a parts guy was able to direct me to another parts dealer warehouse that had one. (Bumper to Bumper warehouse, GM #25528382, price $180ish? )

So I have acquired the GM accumulator and will be going out to install it here shortly. We'll see if that gets me back on the road or not.

The pump was still functioning as of yesterday, but I imagine since (apparently) the accumulator failed, that the pump has been running almost constantly and has probably been stressed pretty well. I'm hoping it will continue to work for a while to let me source out a used unit somewhere, or hopefully two used units so that I can check out the feasiblity of having one rebuilt. On the otherhand, if I can find an nice low mileage unit, I could probably put that on and have another ten or more years of life. The original unit lasted 20 years and almost 250K.
 

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If you wanted to swap the master cyl, you'd definitely need to work out the lines.

But it gets complicated since the non-ABS master cyl splits the system into 2 lines (diagonal) while the ABS splits into 3 (FR, FL, R). The rear line continues as 1 all the way to the rear axle...
 

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16saabs mentioned having the motor/pump rebuilt, is this something your typical starter/alt/fuelpump rebuilding shop could handle or is there a more specific shop that would be better?
I wouldn't let anyone take my ABS unit apart.
We took one apart at ABS school. They make Automatic Transmission Valve Bodies look as crude and clunky as bathroom plumbing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I wouldn't let anyone take my ABS unit apart.
We took one apart at ABS school. They make Automatic Transmission Valve Bodies look as crude and clunky as bathroom plumbing.
ATVB's are kind of crude and clunky. :lol: Or so I always thought.

So what you're saying is in 2020 when my ABS master or pump goes and there are no 900's left in the salvage lots I'm going to have to scrap my car? :eek: :cry:

Well I've been looking for replacements but I've not found much of anything. I found a Nissan (I know, a Nissan of all things) that I rather liked, I saw it often on my way to work. I had to look it up to find out what model it was and the 80K price tag sort of surprised me, a bit out of my price range. I never imagined there was an 80K Nissan. :lol: I rather liked the way it looked though.

I rather like the Solstice too, but it strikes me as a little deathtrap. I've considered a Corvette or Viper, but I really don't like the Chevy interior, nor the attention a Viper garners.

Overall there's just really not anything out there that speaks to me.

Ahh well, no matter, as of now the SPG is back on the road. I installed the GM accumulator, bleed the brakes, and took it out. It seems to be working with between 12-18 pumps before the lights come on.

It was painfully simple. Changing the Accumulator at least, bleeding the brakes took longer.

It's sort of changed my world a bit though. Always before I took brakes forgranted, they had never failed me. Hitting that pedal and getting nothing has me a bit paranoid now. The trust has gone out of the relationship. :cry:

:cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, all was fine yesterday evening and today until about 6pm, when with no warning the brakes failed again and both lights came on. No time to downshift, locked up the rear tires with the brakes and fishtailed out but managed to stop. This is bloody bull****e. ABS is for Nancies. :evil:

I think the pump crapped out. It wasn't coming on when I turned the key on, and after I fiddled around a bit and wacked it I got it to come on weakly for a bit but it didn't manage to pressure up enough to even turn out the lights. One press of the pedal and the brakes were gone again.

I'm going to replace the whole unit with a used one, if that doesn't fix it I might just scrap the little tramp. :(
 
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