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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased my SAAB and I am very pleased with it, for a car that has covered 230,000 miles it runs quite well. I would like to hang on to this car for a long time.I would like some advice regarding whether it would be better to get the engine/gearbox rebuilt because of it's age before things start going wrong or is best just to run until the problems start to happen.
Another thing, what would this cost (roughly).

Thanks for the feedback
Mick
 

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Welcome,

I think the consensus is to leave well alone unless the gearbox is making noises.

Was it well serviced?

I would firstly change all fluids, check vacuum hoses, make sure it is not overheating before touching anything.

I believe ejenner has done an engine overhaul........
 

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I usually like to do most of the work myself on my cars but I had to get the brake disks/callipers & timing chain sorted fairly sharpish when I first got the car. West Midlands SAAB specialists did the work (they where really helpfull). For the age they said it was a good example. The service history that was sold with the vehicle did not tie up with what the garage found out, so I really have'nt got any solid history to the car.

Thanks for the reply

Mick
 

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Mick, a good rule of thumb with these cars is "if it ain't broke....don't fix it!"

Do your wallet a favor and only replace something when it breaks. :cheesy:
 

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Ahh - sounds similar to my experience. I bought my Carlsson and it went well enough save for a dodgy exhaust. The mileage was a bit lower though!! I still decided to rebuild because I like the car and I want it to stay on the road.


You said this is your first Saab engine rebuild? Is it your first engine rebuild full-stop? Reason I ask is the Saab engine isn't vastly different to any other motor so any previous experience would be relevant - but not essential.




Things you need to know for the standard rebuild:


- Replacement of small-end bearings (at the piston end of the connector rods) has to be done by an engineer at a machine shop. The old ones need to be pressed out, the new ones need to be pressed in and then they have to be honed so they fit the gudgeon pin (or wrist pin - connecting the piston to the connector rod) This process cost me £65 - they were late getting them back to me so they also balanced them - no extra charge.


- If you don't intend to change the bearings then you need to make sure you remember the order in which you took them out so you can put them back in the same way around. Although on a engine of that mileage I suggest replacement.


- I also repainted the block, used a wire-brush attachment for the drill and paint-stripper to remove the old stuff then used halfords high temperature engine-paint to re-finish. Other things for the block itself are replacement of the core-plugs which can rust from the inside and burst spilling all your coolant. When you get down to the block check the water channels for lime scale. If it looks badly furred-up you could kill two birds with one stone and get the block dipped to remove the old paint and the lime scale.




...and if your going for a performance upgrade:


- As the block is the same as the 8v block you have two types of OEM pistons to choose from. The standard pistons in the engine at the moment are the 16v turbo pistons. Those together with the 2.0 cylinder head make a compression ratio of 9:1. This is quite a high compression ratio for a turbo engine so you might want to work on reducing the compression ratio whilst you have the engine out of the car. The advantage of a high compression ratio is a more efficient burn of fuel. If you want to start putting in lots more boost this tips the balance towards detonation where the mixture explodes instead of burning. Exploding mixture damages the engine and reduces the performance. In addition to this the APC (boost controller) picks up this detonation and reduces the boost to protect the engine (very noticeable performance wise) I've gone for a new set of 8v turbo pistons instead of T16 pistons. If you aren't tuning then just keep things standard. The new T8 pistons were £50 each but pistons don't really wear that much so you could get some s/hand ones from a lower mileage T8 and stick them in corrosive to remove the carbon.


- You also have a choice of cylinder-heads. The standard head can be swapped for a 2.3 head from a 2.3 9000 engine. This gives better flow.


- The inlet cam can be swapped for a cam from an injection engine (the exhaust cams are the same) this robs a bit of power from the top end but gives you a bit more power before turbo spool-up. This is a particularly good idea if you want to change the turbo for a bigger one.


- Those are the cheap engine mods - you can change the same bits for more expensive custom items if you want even more performance but you might not want to go that far. Forged pistons, ported and polished cylinder head, bigger valves, custom cams, ect, ect...


- You can get another big performance gain by fitting an aluminium flywheel and if your going to do that you might as well do it while the engine is out of the car. People also lighten the existing flywheel instead of splashing out on an aluminium one.




Tools and other stuff:


- The only extra tool I needed was a piston ring compression tool. Costs about a fiver and just wraps around the piston and compresses the rings so you can push the piston into the cylinder. I doubt you can complete the process without one of these. I used the rubber end of a hammer to gently tap the new piston into the cylinder.


- The timing chain should be changed at 120k miles so that should've been changed a couple of times on your motor (bet it hasn't though - timing chain is a big job)


- The first thing you should do when you start the re-build is remove the clutch. After you've disconnected the clutch hydraulics it's a case of manually depressing the clutch pressure-plate and this is quite a challenge (don't ask how I know)


- You need a torque wrench so you can get the nuts tightened correctly. No point in skipping this bit as you could end up losing the block if something works it's way loose or snaps from over tightening.


- Dip the parts in engine oil as you re-assemble.


- Replace the gaskets.


- Easiest way to remove the drive-shaft (drivers-side) from the gearbox is to split the lower ball-joint on the front right hub. Cut the gaiters from the g/box end of the driveshafts (over an oil-tray / bucket). Then lift the engine and guide the drive shafts out as you lift the engine. Some people just split the engine and g/box in the engine bay and leave the box in but this is very difficult and not worth the hassle unless your short of space and don't mind the extra grief.


- The parts for bearing replacement add up to about £150~£200 and the con-rod job is ~£65. If you don't replace the pistons then you'll also need to buy new piston-rings.


I can't think of anything else but get back in touch if you have any questions just ask. Have a look on my website. I've taken pictures of the process.
http://www.red-green.co.uk/web/photos/gallery/index1.html



Regards,
Emmett.
 

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James Bond said:
I think the consensus is to leave well alone unless the gearbox is making noises.
When my box went, there was no whine. Things got a bit odd which I thought was a failing clutch slave cylinder but they didn't improve after the overhaul. I was getting 'creep' when in gear with the clutch in but no whine or other gearbox noise. When the box did let go, it did so crunchily, under power it 3rd. The guy who took it off me {as an exchange unit} said that when he opened it up, it was toast, nothing recoverable inside, teeth everywhere. Anyhow, this box let go without any noise warning and only the creep as warning.
 

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cdaly said:
When my box went, there was no whine. Things got a bit odd which I thought was a failing clutch slave cylinder but they didn't improve after the overhaul. I was getting 'creep' when in gear with the clutch in but no whine or other gearbox noise. When the box did let go, it did so crunchily, under power it 3rd. The guy who took it off me {as an exchange unit} said that when he opened it up, it was toast, nothing recoverable inside, teeth everywhere. Anyhow, this box let go without any noise warning and only the creep as warning.

creep? do you mean that the car would pull forward when in gear even with the clutch depressed?

That has nothing to do with a failing gear box.

Something happened to your clutch that caused it to not disengage fully. <Slave, Master, Air in the line, Leak>

Then all the shifting/driving for a period of time with power still going through the trans is what tore it up so bad.


Thats my opinion
 

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gearboxes

When mine went it was a bit of a suprise, i did kinda try and jam it into gear, which in hindsight was prob a real bad idea, luckily i was'nt going very fast as the car skidded to a halt with both front wheels locked up, unfortunately i was stuck in the middle of some temporary traffic lights with 1 lane open (well with my car stuck in the 1 lane!)

So anyway if you feel resistance when trying to go into a gear ....don't force it!:nono;

I've been trying to do the double drop on the clutch as it helps gear change, think it's a matter of retraining yourself though.
 

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I double declutch from 3 to 2 because the synchros in 2nd are shot. In addition I only engage 2nd at below 20 mph. Changing down through the other gears I always blip the throttle to raise the revs before engaging the gear. Every gear change, up or down, I try to take at least 2 seconds over, and it is a much smoother experience. Double declutching isn't taught any more, as most modern cars don't require it. For the record, the system is:

Clutch down
Into neutral
Quickly release clutch
Clutch down
Engage gear
Release clutch

Takes a bit of practice but it becomes second nature.

Since no-one's said it yet, you could also change the gearbox oil for Honda MTF.
 

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s900snt said:
creep? do you mean that the car would pull forward when in gear even with the clutch depressed?
That has nothing to do with a failing gear box.
Something happened to your clutch that caused it to not disengage fully. <Slave, Master, Air in the line, Leak>
Then all the shifting/driving for a period of time with power still going through the trans is what tore it up so bad.
Perhaps so. I'm not really clear on what happened to it. I did a clutch slave overhaul, bled up properly and everything but to no avail. When I replaced the gearbox, the same clutch slave went onto the new {old} box and, IIRC, I didn't bleed up the clutch that time. All was then fine and has continued to be so. This all leads me to think there was debris in the gearbox causing some kind of drag before the failure.
 

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cdaly said:
Perhaps so. I'm not really clear on what happened to it. I did a clutch slave overhaul, bled up properly and everything but to no avail. When I replaced the gearbox, the same clutch slave went onto the new {old} box and, IIRC, I didn't bleed up the clutch that time. All was then fine and has continued to be so. This all leads me to think there was debris in the gearbox causing some kind of drag before the failure.
did you replace the clutch disk or the pressure plate when you worked on the slave cyl?
 

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Nope. Three O-rings {seal kit} and a bottle of dot 4... Didn't replace the clutch when I changed the gearbox either. According to my records, the last clutch I did was in 1995 on my C900 8V carb and yes, I do still have records for a car I sold 9 years ago. :eek:

I've put about 60000 miles on the LPT on its current clutch and it still feels strong.
 

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It's quite possible to have both high engine compression and high boost with the correct engine management and mapping.

Most of the engine rebuild manuals specify to use a bolt stretch gauge for accurately measuring bolt tightness.

An engine reconditioners will be able to properly clean the bare block and head in a caustic hot-tank. This method will clean all the crap out of the water jacket and oilways. The shop would also be able to paint the block, and skim its surface if necessary.

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Jezzadee said:
Double declutching isn't taught any more, as most modern cars don't require it. For the record, the system is:

Clutch down
Into neutral
Quickly release clutch
Clutch down
Engage gear
Release clutch
This is the technique for changing up. For changing down, add the step "blip the throttle" after "quickly release clutch."

If you can acquire a feel for the right engine rpm at which to engage each gear, you can upshift and downshift without using the clutch. I've done this a couple of times when driving cars with broken clutch cables or seized friction plates. Desperation is a great motivator :cheesy:
 

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If you're good at it, you're effectively doing the job of the syncros so they're not even involved. But if you're not so good...;oops:

You're right about trucks--for the longest time, they didn't have syncro. Drivers had to double-declutch on all shifts with these "crash-type" boxes :suprised;

And, I'm old enough to remember that many cars up until the mid-1960s did not have syncro on first gear!
 

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ProfZ said:
This is the technique for changing up. For changing down, add the step "blip the throttle" after "quickly release clutch."

If you can acquire a feel for the right engine rpm at which to engage each gear, you can upshift and downshift without using the clutch. I've done this a couple of times when driving cars with broken clutch cables or seized friction plates. Desperation is a great motivator :cheesy:
Believe it or not, I did write that originally, but then edited it out as I thought it was a bit obvious. "Blip throttle" should actually go after the second "clutch down".
 
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