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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I've just bought an engine hoist I decided to test it out and pull the engine from the parts car. I also took some pictures and wrote a walk-through. This is my own method which I prefered to the Bentley method.

This guide documents the engine removal procedure for a 1993 non-turbo 900i, other cars vary slightly but the basic principles are common to most Saab 900’s.

The engine removal process is really a series of tasks that need to be completed before the engine can be lifted from the engine bay. Some of the tasks should be completed in a particular order to make the job easier. This engine removal process can be accomplished single-handed without helpers.

This picture shows most of the tools required to do the job. Other essential tools not shown in this picture are the engine hoist, trolley jack, axel-stands, allen-keys, WD40 penetrating oil and the wood I used to make the Saab tool. It’s not necessary to have two sizes of ratchet, but the deep sockets set and the breaker bar were both quite useful.



Disconnect the battery before you start work, you absolutely need to do this, it is also a good safety step.

Read through the guide before starting work. Apply WD40 or similar penetrating oil to all fasteners that look like they might be difficult to remove.

Photograph the electrical connectors before you remove them.


Kit List:

- Socket set ranging from 8 to 19mm
- A selection of deep sockets
- A short breaker bar (but longer than your ratchets)
- Range of ring-spanners
- Side-cutters for clipping cable-ties
- Torx keys or something for removing torx screws
- A selection of flat-blade and philps screwdrivers
- Two axel stands (Halfords 3-tonne stands fit nicely into the jacking points)
- A spike or nail-punch.
- Hammer
- A selection of socket extension bars. I only used the one shown in the picture.
- Engine hoist.
- Trolley jack.
- A small bit of scrap 2x2 sawn softwood (or any bit of nearby scrap wood)
- WD40 or similar penetrating oil.
- A selection of allen-keys.
- A large bucket with a large surface area and low height for catching oil and coolant.
- Some soft material to rest the bonnet on (old carpet is ideal)
- A 2ft length of tube that fits over the bleed nipple on the clutch slave cylinder.
- Some string or cord to hold the exhaust system off the ground.


1. Remove the bonnet.

Find a place on the floor to put the bonnet before you take it off the car. Lay down some old carpet or maybe thick cardboard so you don’t damage the bonnet. Ideally you might place it on a couple of upturned buckets so it’s easier to lift when you put it back on the car.



To remove the bonnet disconnect the supply line that feeds the windscreen washer jets. Just pull the tube away from the t-piece, then down and out of the eyes that hold the line to the inside of the bonnet.



Remove these bolts from the bonnet hinge. Move the bonnet back down so the back of the bonnet sits back on the guide rails but don’t close it. Stand in front of the car where the license plate is attached to the bumper. Put one hand in the middle at the back of the bonnet (knuckles facing windscreen) Put your other hand in the middle at the front of the bonnet, palm down on the Saab badge. Get ready, then lift the bonnet up away from the car. Set the bonnet down in the area you prepared earlier. It’s important not to lean the bonnet vertical against a wall (or similar) as there is a tendency for the wind to catch the bonnet and blow it down. This usually damages the bonnet and it may need to be replaced.




2. Make a ‘Special Tool’ to fix the suspension in an un-sprung and relaxed position. This will prevent the suspension from fully extending when you raise the car up on the jack. You only need to do this for the front right wheel.



I normally bring a piece of wood over to the car. Then split it down to size with a hammer and a screwdriver when I’m sitting next to the car. You should look at the gap to get the right size before you prepare the wedges. You don’t need to be that accurate although, a tight fit will stop the wedges falling out as you raise the car.



Get under the car (don’t raise the car at this stage) and wedge your special Saab tool into the gap between the upper wishbone and the body opening that the wishbone extends from. It might help if you turn the steering wheel fully to the right to give you more space to insert the wedges but you don’t have to. You can see in this picture that I have already drenched the upper and lower ball joint fasteners with WD40 in preparation for one of the final stages – I will explain this in more detail in the next step.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
3. Loosen the right-hand-front wheel nuts but don’t totally remove the wheel bolts. Now start to raise the car at the front. Don’t use the jacking points because you want to support the car on axel stands. The jacking points should be reserved for the axel stands to slot into.



I find that the pivot at the inside of the lower wishbone is a good place to jack the car from. There is one on both sides of the car, the area can support the weight of the car without causing damage and the shape of the pivot fits nicely into the cup on the top of the jack.





Work on one side at a time and raise the car high enough to slot the axel stand into the jacking point. I find the ‘Halfords’ axel stands fit perfectly into the jacking points on the Saab 900. I set the axel stands on their first step but if you have a bit of a belly you might want to raise the car up another notch.

4. Liberally apply WD40 or similar penetrating oil to the bolts that hold the ball joints to the wishbones. Unless you have good reason to believe that you won’t have any trouble with these bolts then this is a very necessary step, it can save you hours. Regularly reapply the WD40 throughout the time you spend working on the other steps in the engine removal procedure. You will come back towards the end of the engine removal process and remove these bolts as part of one of the final steps, drenching with WD40 makes the process much easier.



N.B. the next few steps can be completed in any order.

5. Drain the coolant system. There are a few different ways to tackle this. The easiest way is to cut the lower radiator hose just near where it joins the radiator. If you cut the lower radiator hose you will need to replace it so it might be worth spending a bit more time on the other method. The recommended way to drain the coolant system is to open the drain plugs on the radiator and the block. Be ready with the bucket to catch the escaping coolant this saves you having to sit in coolant when you have to work under the car. The radiator drain is on the opposite side to the lower radiator hose. The block drain is under the exhaust manifold near the back of the block. The block drain is quite hard to access, you might want to remove the exhaust manifold to fully expose the block drain. As well as being difficult to access they frequently rust-up on the inside. It may be easier to remove the whole drain-plug assembly, three bolts fix it to the engine block.




This picture shows the location of the block drain plug. Alternatively you might just detach the lower radiator hose from the radiator. You may find that the lower radiator hose is difficult to remove from the radiator. If you decide to keep the block drain closed then the coolant in the block will stay there and leak out later on (if you remove the cylinder head.)

6. Detach the exhaust system. On a normally aspirated engine just remove the manifold, this will expose the block drain plug and detach the exhaust from the engine. Be carefull with the studs because they can snap. If you have a lambda probe in the exhaust system make sure you don’t let the exhaust hang on the cables that run to the lambda probe. You should support the exhaust to stop this happening, maybe tie it to the steering rack.

If the car has a turbocharger you need to remove the cast elbow from the turbine housing. You then need to remove the clamp that holds the exhaust down-pipe to the gearbox.

7. Put the car into 2nd or 4th gear. Then get under car and remove the nut from the pin that secures the gear selector rod to the gear selector stub on the back of the gearbox.



The picture shows where the gear linkage joins the selector stub on the back of the gearbox – looking up from under the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Place a spike or nail punch on the bottom of the taper-pin and tap with a hammer to remove the taper pin.




This is the taper pin. I put the washer and nut back onto the pin so they don’t get lost.




8. The Bentley workshop manual recommends you drain the power steering system. I think this is quite a messy step, I prefer to detach the power steering pump from engine and leave the power steering pump in the engine bay.




Loosen the nut that holds the tensioner to the power steering pump.




Then unscrew the tensioner nut to loosen the belt. Remove the power steering belt from the pulley.



Remove the tensioner from the power steering pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
9. Disconnect the air intake system. On a turbocharged car you need to remove the intercooler. If you have air conditioning take out the air conditioning fan, detach the compressor from the engine and rest it on the side of the engine bay. Don’t disconnect any of the air conditioning pipes because the system is under pressure, the gas can be toxic and you will have to get the system recharged if you want the system to work again.



Here is the air conditioning compressor resting at the edge of the engine bay.



This picture shows the clutch slave cylinder removed from the gearbox. You don’t need to remove the clutch slave cylinder. Just fit the tube over the bleed nipple and open the bleed valve. Pump the clutch peddle a few times to drain some fluid and relieve pressure from the clutch hydraulic system. Remove the hydraulic line from clutch slave cylinder. You might also want to remove the clutch before you depressurise the clutch hydraulic system. It is difficult to remove the clutch after the system has been depressurised. See clutch system maintenance documents for further advice on that.




Loosen and remove the main ground lead from the front of the gearbox.





Detach the throttle cable from the throttle body and drape the cable out of the engine bay.





Disconnect the wiring loom from the sensors and injectors. Make sure you label and photograph the connectors so you know how to reinstall later.


 

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Discussion Starter #5

Remove the nut that secures the speedo cable to back of the gearbox just above the left inner CV joint. Remove the bracket that secures the speedo cable to the gearbox.


The speedo cable bracket.




Get back out from under the car and reach down behind the engine, grab the speedo cable where it passes the belts and yank it up out of the gearbox.





Disconnect the radiator hoses either from the back of the waterpump, or where they connect to other components. Disconnect the knock sensor (either unbolt it as I have done here or just remove the electrical connector)



Disconnect the oil pressure sender wire and the wires from the back of the alternator.




Disconnect the wires from the back of the starter motor solenoid. Be sure to photograph and label the wires so you know how they go back.

 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Disconnect the distributor king-lead. Remove the clamp that secures the coil and place the coil on the edge of the engine bay.



Photograph and disconnect any other connectors or vacum lines.

10. Start to work on loosening the right-hand driveshaft (Exhaust side). This should be the last step before you remove the engine. Not the first step like it says in the Bentley. The reason for this is that all the time you have been working on the car you will have been applying penetrating oil to the bolts that join the lower ball-joint to the lower wishbone.


Loosen jubilee clips that secure the CV boots and pull the boots back off the CV cups. You can ease the boots off the CV cups using a screwdriver and prising them back whilst you rotate the road-wheel. They may leak sludgy thick oil so be ready with a bucket.




Loosen the nuts that connect the lower ball-joint to the lower wishbone. Loosen them so that the nuts have past the ends of the studs.




Give those bolts a good sharp jab with a hammer and they should knock back through the wishbone.





With a spanner on each side remove the nuts from the ends of both the bolts.





Tap the bolts again with the hammer. But take care not to burr the ends of the thread on the bolts. This is the reason for the original tap when the nuts were still covering the ends of the bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Use a screwdriver or nail-punch to knock the bolts right through and right out of the wishbone.




Bolts removed from the lower wishbone ball-joint.




Grip the brake disk with both hands and yank the hub away from the lower wishbone.




You should see a gap opening up between the CV joint and the CV cup as the drive shaft comes away from the gearbox.




Loosen all the engine mounts and remove the nuts so the engine is ready to be lifted from the engine bay.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Attach the engine hoist to the lifting eye and start to lift the engine.







Before you lift the engine too far out loosen the nut that holds the power steering pump to the engine. Also at this point check to make sure there is nothing else attached to the engine and that there is clearance on all sides.






When you’re sure the engine is completely free in the engine bay, reconnect the lower ball-joint with the lower wishbone (only requires loose assembly as you will be detaching again soon) Bolt the wheel back on and take the car back down off the axel stands. It’s better not to lift the engine any higher than you need to.





Raise the engine high enough to clear the engine bay.


 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wheel back the engine hoist so the engine is away from the car.




Bring the engine back down so it’s within an inch of the ground, this makes the engine hoist much more stable and safe to manoeuvre.



B.T.W. those splashes on the ground are just a small bit of coolant out of the lower radiator hose. The rest of the system was drained last week.


And just for fun. Here’s a photo showing a mid-mounted B202. You have to take out the front seats for this trick.

 

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Excellent write up. Brings back memories as the first job I ever did on my 99 was remove the engine.

Couple of points.

The front crossmember under the engine acts as a jacking point if using a trolley jack. The whole front of the car can be lifted in one go then.
I have found for ease of doing the job that pulling out the lower part of both uprights makes the job substantially easier, especially when putting an engine back in.
 

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I have found for ease of doing the job that pulling out the lower part of both uprights makes the job substantially easier, especially when putting an engine back in.

Also if you remove both front springs it makes getting the driveshafts back in easier as it gives you alot more movement in the hubs. Pain in the neck getting the springs on and off though.
 

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Si said:
Also if you remove both front springs it makes getting the driveshafts back in easier as it gives you alot more movement in the hubs. Pain in the neck getting the springs on and off though.
You want height adjustable spring platforms. I can remove all the suspension from my car without having to use a spring compressor :D .
 

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Alex said:
You want height adjustable spring platforms. I can remove all the suspension from my car without having to use a spring compressor :D .
OOh!. can I have some pictures please! :)

Nice writeup also.

I've never bothered chocking the suspension when i've had engines out. What exactly does this achieve? You can still get the driveshaft/hub off when the suspension is fully extended?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Tomarse said:
What exactly does this achieve?
This keeps the tension out of the suspension system. If you let the suspension system hang loose it makes it more difficult to work on the joints.

Alex said:
I have found for ease of doing the job that pulling out the lower part of both uprights makes the job substantially easier, especially when putting an engine back in
Your probably right but sometimes that's a difficult task in itself...! So long as it's easy then it would help.
 

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Emmett why didn't you tell me you put a thread up like this:eek: you know this is what I have to do next week:lol:

I will print this thread off, and use it as my Bently;)

Why did you take the engine out anyways? is this the gear box you salavaged?

Did you have a Saab parts manual on CD or something?, i have seen people selling them on ebay, dont know what they are selling or if there any good?

How do you know what gear the gear box is in once you swap it about?

I am very grateful to you for posting this thread! Top man:cheesy:
 

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Emmett - Nicely done - I've just had the engine out of my 900.

I now see the point in chocking the bottom of the springs. I have done plenty of 99 engines but this is the first 900 one. There must be a difference in the front chassis/suspension layout between the 2 as the 99 is easy without chocks but the 900 is a bugger! Chocks it is for the next 900!

A few additional points!

Oil Cooler - mine had a oil cooler! don't forget to disconnect this (I removed its mountings and lifted it up on top of the engine to save draining the oil).

Engine mounts - 8v's have different enging mounts to yours - They have a horizontal fixing bolt. The one on the inlet side is horrible to get off as it catches on the engine oil filler pipe.
Before taking the engine out it is worth removing the oil filler pipe - and you may need to go and invest in a big spanner to do this (its about 27mm) as there is not room to wield a big adjustable.

Speedo cable - I dont know if mine is different to yours - but you do not need to undo that bolt and you can leave the bracket on. Just above the bracket, at the end of the black cable there is a big round silver bit. This unscrews and then you can pull it off the gearbox leaving the plastic coggy bits alone inside the box! (and only a small access hole in the gearbox)
 
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