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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
4 months ago, I bought a Saab 9-5 wagon. It seemed like a good choice, the girlfriend liked it because it was quirky, it was comfortable, turbo and standard. I had to buy it from the states and bring it across the border to Canada as I couldn't find one local, but that wasn't too bad.
When I got it home, I changed the oil and cleaned the oil pump pickup, as thats what people say to do. The oil was full of metal shavings. Being the optimist, I figured it was going to be ok for a while, and just started driving it.
That was 3000 miles ago.


It started banging, losing power and stalled on the highway. It was still able to be limped home, but was protesting loudly. So I figured the engine is toast and went about pulling it out.


Following the Saab manual, they say to drop the subframe out the bottom. Not having a lift makes that really hard for me. I followed the procedure to get things disconnected, then tryed lifting it out the top.


5 hours later, it was out. The hardest part was getting the alternator off so I could get the axels out. I would hate to have to change the alternator with the engine in the car.


Two weeks and lots of phonecalls later, I had an engine from the wreckers. I found a shop in Seattle that would let me hear the car running first before they pulled it. I think that was key as once you buy an engine from a wreckers, you have no warrenty of it being any good if you install it yourself. For something that costs $2000+, its nice to know it was good before you started messing with it.


I checked under the valve cover to find a little sludge, but not too much. Part of the saab motor's problem is that made too much heat for regular oil. Then it would get all sludgey and you would lose oil pressure.


This motor had a little sludge in it, but no metal in the oil. I cleaned up the oil pan to check before I put it back in.


I got the turbo bolted on to the new block after getting all the seals replaced.


Going to reuse the clutch. Spent too much money on it at this point to start replacing expensive things that might last a year or two longer. Probably going to hate my past self for this later, but oh well. Future me gets to worry about it.

Since the donor engine is a 99, I have to swap intake manifolds and wiring harnesses. I got the transmission mounted last night, and am looking for new intake manifold gaskets today. I will try to keep the thread up to date.
 

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Cool. 5 hours isn't bad at all to get it out! Wow. Looks good so far! Were you able to talk to the previous owner about the toasted engine? The alternator isn't too bad to take out once you've done it the first time. Just takes some patience when it comes to getting the allen head bolts out. Out the top is the easiest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Got the transmission mounted up. Turns out its way easier to push the transmission on when there is something to push against, instead of the motor hanging on the hoist. Live and learn I guess.



Since the motor was a 99, it had weird air injection intake manifold. That came off and was swapped with my 02 intake manifold. This also made swapping the engine harnesses easy, because most of the wires were on the intake manifold, and I never even had to undo the clips. This means I didn't break any injector clips like what always happens.



Luckily, under that manifold, the head is the same, so the intake manifold bolted up.



Motor in the hole. Some wiggling and bending, but it made it in. Now the hard part of hooking everything up. Already ran into a problem trying to get the axel carrier on because there is a pin in one of the holes that isn't on the old motor. Probably have a few more hours of wrestling with it and the alternator, since they are in awkward positions.
 

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Keep posting the pics. Looks good so far! So did you have to pull out the axle CV shafts in order to pull the engine out with the tranny? I had to pull the intake manifold off in order to squeeze the motor in w/ the tranny in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Keep posting the pics. Looks good so far! So did you have to pull out the axle CV shafts in order to pull the engine out with the tranny? I had to pull the intake manifold off in order to squeeze the motor in w/ the tranny in place.
The axels had to come out, since they had to come out of the hubs anyways. I didn't need to take the manifold or anything off, but I had that engine leveler and that helps a lot. I had to tilt the transmission all the way down, tuck it under the mount, and then slide it over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
During the weekend I got the motor in and hooked up. Here are a few random pictures while I was working, most of the time was too busy trying to get things done to take pictures.


Any work on the alternator and the front of the motor was tight. Good thing I had a 1/4" drive ratchet.


The A/C got all bunched up on the way down, so the motor came up again to straighten it out. This was the first of many up and down attempts for various things. Its why putting the motor back in took 3 times as long as taking it out.


How the A/C is supposed to work


The belt tensioner.


Trying to install the tensioner. It came on and off a couple times because I couldn't figure out which way to push it. Turns out I just needed to man up and use some muscles.


The dog was helping.



Girlfriend working on the car. Its her car after all.


Engine all together.


Car back on the ground after taking it for a spin around the neighbourhood.

The motor works great, its smoother than before, and gets oil pressure as it should. There is some weird P1532 check engine code, Throttle Pedal Sensors Shorted code that puts the car in limp mode and limits the RPM to 2200.

I bought a code reader to get the code and reset it. It drove around a bit until it threw the code again. I am going to get some contact cleaner to try to clean the connector to the body, as thats the only place I could think I touched for the pedal.
 

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Good job.
I installed everything that I thought the engine hoist could handle when I replaced my engine, a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I played with all the connections, and found some water in the connecter for the ECU. Cleaned that all out, and sprayed $20 contact cleaner everywhere related to the Throttle body.

It seemed to be ok for a few minutes, then it went into limp mode again, but with code p1251, Throttle full pulse width modulation while cranking.

I presume the TB died, and there is a $80 ebay version on its way. Hopefully its good, and this is the last of the TB codes.
 

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I played with all the connections, and found some water in the connecter for the ECU. Cleaned that all out, and sprayed $20 contact cleaner everywhere related to the Throttle body.

It seemed to be ok for a few minutes, then it went into limp mode again, but with code p1251, Throttle full pulse width modulation while cranking.

I presume the TB
died, and there is a $80 ebay version on its way. Hopefully its good, and this is the last of the TB codes.
What is it with 9-5 that when one tries an engine swap be prepared to encounter TB malfunction...? Yeah, trionic7 seems to be nudging the holy grail of mating 2ton of Turbo'd metal in harmony with comfort and still return the upper band of thirties in mpg. But l ask, is this a price worth paying in comparison to the head banging that we "Saabist" have to endure just to be perceived as far removed from the maddened crowd?
But hey, who's complaining....?
 

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Looking good Blindjoe! Hopefully the "new" TB settles the code. Maybe the guys who sent the engine will give you a partial refund since the TB doesn't work right? Or did you re-use the old TB? I'll be keeping my old TB for this reason. The wiring in there goes bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looking good Blindjoe! Hopefully the "new" TB settles the code. Maybe the guys who sent the engine will give you a partial refund since the TB doesn't work right? Or did you re-use the old TB? I'll be keeping my old TB for this reason. The wiring in there goes bad.
The TB is my original one, it may or may not have been working fine when the engine went. I wasn't driving, so I don't know if it threw some codes, then limited the RPM which then broke them motor. It may have, though. Or me futzing with the TB when it was out, poking it and flipping it over, might have broke it too.

When I bought my engine it was a bare long block. Guess thats what I get for trying to save some bux with a "running" engine. Next time (I pray there is no next time) I would just get one shipped from a wrecker instead of buying from a Saab specialist. The Saab specialist kept all the stuff that they knew was worth money where as a wrecker would just want to get rid of it.

The shop I got the motor from had huge piles of parts everywhere, 100's of everything just lying around. They wanted 1/2 of new for everything, so they probably only need to sell 1 or 2 things a month to pay for the wrecked cars they bring in.
 

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The shop I got the motor from had huge piles of parts everywhere, 100's of everything just lying around. They wanted 1/2 of new for everything, so they probably only need to sell 1 or 2 things a month to pay for the wrecked cars they bring in.
Gotta love getting the short end of the stick. Yeah, all of the accessories are the big $$ makers! Turbo, 250+, Alternator $50. Doesn't take long to get the $1000-1500 they have into the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Cross my fingers, but it seems it is running! The new throttle body came with a cracked cover, but works with no codes. I passed emissions, and the car is insured for a year.

I blew all the intake hoses off 1 at a time, finding the hose clamps I didn't tighten enough. Annoying being stuck at the side of the road, but it at least the block is ok.

I need to find one of those fancy sludge oil pans and some heat shields for the cats that are near the oil pan.

I am going to try to get a local machine shop to weld me up a pan. Is there anyone that sells heatshields for the stock cats? Mine is a funny square shape, no heat shield at all. On eeuroparts they show a round cat, but I think thats just the bosal part.
 

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Hi there,

Do you have links of the pics of the shields you're talking about? It's not the one up over the exhaust manifold you're talking about, is it? Glad to hear it's running properly! Funny that you talk about blowing hoses off. I blew the intake charge pipe right off the 2nd time I took the car out. Have it a little gas and the boost went up, blew the pipe off and left me stranded. I got it re started, but didn't know what was up until I started looking closer. I sure was relieved to see it was just a loose pipe! haha
 

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Awesome post with excellent pics Joe! I'm glad to hear you're driving it again. Your wagon is very similar to ours, especially with the 5 speed manual.

I've never seen a heat shield, and I'm not sure there's enough room for one between the sump and cat. As for the access hole on the sump, I think you'll find that once you have a clean engine, and continue to use good synth oil (Amsoil Euro 5W40 or Mobil 1 0W40), every 5,000 Km, you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am scared this motor has abit of sludge to wash down, so I need to keep dropping the pan.

I might clamp some ****ty aluminum in between the downpipe and the oil pan. Some roofing patching is probably maleable enough to stuff in there.

The NINEs guy had a look portal and a heatshield. I just want to copy what he does, but a full mobil 1 change every 3k miles seems pricey. I think I will stick to my rotella-t synth, its only $20 a gallon instead of $45 or whatever. I haven't seen anything that says it won't boil off too bad. The saab tech I bought the motor from said use normal oil but change it every 3k miles or less (though he wasn't swedish nor called bjorn so I don't know if I can trust him).
 

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a full mobil 1 change every 3k miles seems pricey. I think I will stick to my rotella-t synth, its only $20 a gallon instead of $45 or whatever. I haven't seen anything that says it won't boil off too bad. The saab tech I bought the motor from said use normal oil but change it every 3k miles or less (though he wasn't swedish nor called bjorn so I don't know if I can trust him).

I wouldn't go cheap on the oil. You can probably get away with the Rotella, but you might want to check the back of the bottle and see if it has ALL of the required approvals/certifications that Saab requires from the owners manual. Pay now or pay later with more labor and another engine swap. That's just my $0.02
 

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Great job on the swap! I hope I never have to do this though....
 

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Help w/driveshaft

I am pulling the engine out of a 2001 9-5 Aero. I am following your lead and taking my engine out the top. I can not get my left drive shaft to break free. The Haynes manual says to gently pry the left side out. I have tried every pry tool I have and only got it to move 1/8 of an inch. I have not tried the right side yet, but it has a bracket to take off and much more room to tap it out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Yours looks great!
 
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