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Discussion Starter #1
Alright.. i am taking baby step when it comes to DIY.
This Weekend, weather permitting, i am going to the change the oil. I was wondering if there is anything i need to know. I got the filter and i got a metal (Aluminium i think) washer for the drain plug. Do i also need some kind of sealent to apply around the drain plug thread ??

Next on my list... to change the rear shocks.
I got a quote for $500+ for front & rear with KYB. Thought i will try to handle the rear shocks.
It is as simple as remove the top nut (through the trunk), remove the bottom and swap out for a new one ? The rear spring shouldnt have to be disturbed right ?

Thanks :)
 

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No sealant, the washer does the work.

You will need a 13mm wrench or socket. Something to remove the drain plug and re-tighten.

Also a oil filter wrench may make removing the old filter easier if its really on there. I just put mine on really tight with my bare hands, so they are easier to get off.
 

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there are some good threads here on oil changes

Be careful not to "overtighten" the drain plug when you go to put it back on. Use a "6" sided socket to take it off and drain while the engine is warm (but be careful). Some folks put oil in the new filter to "prime" it so the engine isn't starved for oil the first time it starts up. I suppose that make sense but i have never done it before. Use a drain pan that is large enough, a lot of them are too small and the oil ends up all over the place. This one by Biltz is my favorite and its cheap. Some of the larger pans are too tall to slide easily under the car. It's funnel will go into the top of an empty gallon jug (for recycling) but I use a funnel anyway. Toss a piece of disposable cardboard under the engine before you start to catch any drips that you miss. Spread a very thin layer of oil over the oil filter gasket before you screw the new one back on. And pick up some of those free oil change stickers for your window to remind you when to change it again.

Thats all I can think of. Good luck.
 

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Before you do this OC(oil change), assure that 13 is correct, I think the '96 uses 16 for some strange reason; ascertain that you have the correct oil and filter; that the engine is at least warm; and that there are no holes in the collection pan, oil loves to leak and make a mess...don't ask how I know... :cheesy:

Changing the rear shocks is very easy, the Saab units, at least on the older cars , last close to the car's lifetime.. There is a K D tool for the shock upper threaded shaft... Vice Grips also work, better, IMO..
 

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I would recommend a set of ramps. It's a real PITA to get the drain plug out with the catch pan under it. Ramps will give you lots of clearance and a better angle for the oil to drain out.
 

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There is no harm in not filling the oil filter. It will no "starve" the engine of oil. If you were using a bigger filter, maybe, but even then.

It comes down to personal opinion as I have never seen articles with pro's or con's on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is getting tiring.. i was nice 55' this morning, i had 'rear shocks' and 'oil change' in my to do list. I am a begginer when it comes to DIY, this was going to my first oil change, i was real excited about it. But i wasnt meant to be :(
I jacked up the rear, took the wheels out, PB blasted the bolts, and.... damn the bolts just wouldnt budge, i tried and tried, gace some hammer treatment, PB blasted.. just wouldnt work. I eventually gave up. Next on my list.. oil change... jacked up the front, warmed her up for some time... and when i got to the drain plug, wouldnt you know.. no luck, i just wasnt able to unscrew it. I guess the last place i went to just over torqued it. I am just sooooo mad.. :x Well its all part of the game...
 

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Bogus! Sorry your first effort wasn't successful. Don't let it discourage you. We all had our own disapointments when we first started doing DIY. What you need to do is invest in a couple breaker bars. Get one in 3/8" drive and one in 1/2". If you have any pawn shops in your area they're great for picking up tools. Here's a picture of a breaker bar.

 

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Was the bolt stripped or could you just not break it loose? If it was stripped, vise grips and a couple of hammer blows solve that. If you just couldn't break it, get a longer wrench or find a section of pipe to slip over your wrench for extra leverage.

FYI, did you check around for the KYB struts? You could have gotten them much cheaper than $500.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
earthworm said:
Before you do this OC(oil change), assure that 13 is correct, I think the '96 uses 16 for some strange reason;
You are right... it was 16mm.

nocluetim said:
Bogus! Sorry your first effort wasn't successful. Don't let it discourage you. We all had our own disapointments when we first started doing DIY. What you need to do is invest in a couple breaker bars. Get one in 3/8" drive and one in 1/2". If you have any pawn shops in your area they're great for picking up tools. Here's a picture of a breaker bar.

Breaker bars huh... i will look for those.

bkrell said:
Was the bolt stripped or could you just not break it loose? If it was stripped, vise grips and a couple of hammer blows solve that. If you just couldn't break it, get a longer wrench or find a section of pipe to slip over your wrench for extra leverage.

FYI, did you check around for the KYB struts? You could have gotten them much cheaper than $500.:eek:
I just couldnt break it loose. I decided to do the rear one's myself, so bought a pair of KYB's for $95.
 

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Yes, the rears are easy. The fronts are a bear and you'd probably spend a decent amount on tools anyway. I know I did-pickle fork to break the control arms loose, giant pliers to remove the strut retaining nut, set of ratchet hex heads to remove the brake calipers, set of giant regular ratchet bits to remove the hub nut....

Then I tore the dust boots on the control arms trying to get them seperated....;oops:

Then I tore the CV dust boot when I pulled the control arm to fix the control arm dust boots...;oops:;oops:;oops:

It ended up being a pricey affair but I became INTIMATELY knowledgable about all things front suspension and drive train on that car...
 

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I could not get those wheel bolts off the first time

I had to drive to a mechanic with an air wrench to get the wheel bolts off (17mm), he was nice though, and told me to toss the lug wrench that came with the car (I had already bent it into a pretzel) and go find a 1/2" breaker bar and deep 17mm six sided socket.
I ended up finding the stuff at the local Harbor Freight Tools ($10 1/2" breaker bar on sale) and ($16 for a set of deep metric impact sockets on sale). I leave the breaker bar and 17mm socket in the trunk now and have more than once come to the recue of a standed friend. The mechanic showed me his breaker bar and didn't charge me for re-torqueing the bolts. Speaking of which, I also picked up a torque wrench just to be sure the wheel bolts were re-installed correctly the next time ($15-20 HF).
If you get a breaker bar and 17mm socket (6 sided) and then stand on the thing and bounce (before the car is jacked up) you should be able to pop these bolts loose. Just get them unfrozen and then jack the car up onto stands. Look for a nice long breaker bar 26 inches or so. There are lots of these old bars floating around used. If you buy a deep impact socket set from Harbor Freight get the set the metric set that has 17mm as well as 32 mm (for the hub bolts) and pick up a set of 3/8" socket torx driver bits (I needed T-25 and T-30). Eventually you'll want to do your brakes too. Its not a bad idea to get a small kit for drilling out frozen rusted bolts/screws either ($5), because the rotor set screws can freeze up in short order if they were not installed with anti-seeze. Did I mention you'll probably want some anti-seaze for around the hubs. Now there's an expensive strut/oil change DIY.

Oh well, don't get disheartened. I do my own oil changes so that I can schedule them around my daughter's nap time. If I had to take time out on a Saturday morning to go to the local lube shop, it would never get done.
 

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Underdog said:
I had to drive to a mechanic with an air wrench to get the wheel bolts off (17mm), he was nice though, and told me to toss the lug wrench that came with the car Wrong!! There is nothing wrong with the Saab lug nut wrench, IF, the lugs are not over-tightened...I'll admit that the tools are not nearly as good as they were in the 60s and 70s.. (I had already bent it into a pretzel) and go find a 1/2" breaker bar and deep 17mm six sided socket.
I ended up finding the stuff at the local Harbor Freight Tools ($10 1/2" breaker bar on sale) and ($16 for a set of deep metric impact sockets on sale). I leave the breaker bar and 17mm socket in the trunk now and have more than once come to the rescue of a stranded friend. The mechanic showed me his breaker bar and didn't charge me for re-torqueing the bolts. Speaking of which, I also picked up a torque wrench just to be sure the wheel bolts were re-installed correctly the next time ($15-20 HF).
If you get a breaker bar and 17mm socket (6 sided) and then stand on the thing and bounce (before the car is jacked up) you should be able to pop these bolts loose. Just get them unfrozen and then jack the car up onto stands. Look for a nice long breaker bar 26 inches or so. There are lots of these old bars floating around used. If you buy a deep impact socket set from Harbor Freight get the set the metric set that has 17mm as well as 32 mm (for the hub bolts) and pick up a set of 3/8" socket torx driver bits (I needed T-25 and T-30). Eventually you'll want to do your brakes too. Its not a bad idea to get a small kit for drilling out frozen rusted bolts/screws either ($5), because the rotor set screws can freeze up in short order if they were not installed with anti-seize. Did I mention you'll probably want some anti-seize for around the hubs. Now there's an expensive strut/oil change DIY.

Oh well, don't get disheartened. I do my own oil changes so that I can schedule them around my daughter's nap time. If I had to take time out on a Saturday morning to go to the local lube shop, it would never get done.
A HFer ?
Best tool store around - for light duty non-pro tasks...
 

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HF tools for the tentative DIYer

True, those Harbor Freight purchases are not always the quality that one might hope for, but for rarely used or soon to be lost tools its a perfect match. And for someone tentative about DIY its almost as nice as having a neighbor that will let you borrow the stuff. Speaking of which, the local auto store also has a nice tool loaner program for the really odd brake and strut tools.
 

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another +1 for HF !!

got some spring compressers there for a tenner that worked great on my last car! great prices and if I do break a tool it is easily replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
... thanks everyone for that. I understand i am just a begginer.. so its going to take sometime. Also, i dont really have many tools. All i have is a tool box, and few odd things. I live in a 1BR apartment.. every time i decide to work on the car i have to move everything from the apartment to the parking lot and back. Its a pain.. anyways.. i will find a breaker bar.
:)
 
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