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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1997 9000 2.0 LPT CSE, 197,900 miles, replaced gearbox 2 years, 35,000 miles ago with an apparently sound gearbox from specialist SAAB/Volvo breaker. The clutch was replaced when the gearbox was replaced.

A few thousand miles ago it started to require a couple of tries to get into reverse and occasional difficulty with first. Got progressively but slowly more pronounced. Today nearing the end of a long, 195 miles, run I changed down for a roundabout and struggled to get into 1st, in fact it stalled as I tried to get into gear. Couldn't find any gear but eventuially got it into second, started it and limped home in second - I could not get it into any other gear on the move and each time I tried there was a horrible grating sound. A couple of times I tried stopping, switching off and selecting a gear with clutch depressed - bit of kangaroo hopping and the grating noise before it settled down and was sort of driveable. Obviously in practical terms only second was really an option. Reversing into a parking space was an interesting experience!

Question? Is it likely that I have a fixeable clutch problem or a synchromesh or an even worse problem - totally goosed gearbox.?

The body is in good nick, I have spent a fair bit on brakes and suspension in the last 18 months but although it still starts first time and seems to pull like a train a recent compression test showed 160, 160, 120 and 140. Recently the header tank needs regular topping up and the front footwell carpets are a bit damp so I am wondering about the heater matrix though heating is very efective. As you would imagine I am trying to assess the extent of the gearbox issue and whether it is worth repairing (£400 for another breaker gearbox fitted) or whether it is time to call it a day. Thoughts?
 

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Always a tough call, large very comfortable car, if you use the space and load carrying ability and open road cruising, I'd repair it as what are you going to buy for less money, and uncertain problems, to replace it?

Used gearboxes are a lottery. If you can not pull the box yourself shop around, although about 300 quid seems the usual price to pull. re-fit a box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks KevinC that has been my usual approach but the compression test and possible heater matrix problem is making me more hesitant this time.

Just had a thought and tried something. Started it in neutral and fully depressed the clutch which felt right, normal pressure etc. fluid level looks right too however as soon as I moved the gearstick slightly, less than an inch,towards first I felt resistance, I didn't continue so as to avoid the grating sound previously mentioned BUT despite only having moved the gearstick a fraction towards 1st the car started to inch forward.

I am thinking that maybe I have a clutch problem rather than a goosed gearbox. Maybe clutch not disengaging? Likely?
 

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could be the master cylinder if you are lucky, might give some of your symptoms.

could be gearbox selector forks broken, gearbox out.

head gasket and heater matrix are not too bad if you can do the work, will cost a bit if paying someone. Think your compression suggests all is not well.
Recently acquired a 140k engine which ran perfect, compression hot was 185 x 4, so I'm using it in my track project as a starter while a ultimate build slowly takes place on the second engine.
 

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Check all the motor mounts. My Aero would barely go into reverse and often pop out until I replaced the motor mounts. Now all is well.
 

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If the car tries to move when it's not in gear, there's a gear welding itself to a shaft somewhere. If it were first gear, you'd be trying to move the car on synchro friction, and it would affect reverse too.
Does it feel normal when it's not running? The clutch feels normal? Is the shift coupler intact?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for suggestions. The clutch pedal feels normal. Gears appear to merge ok with engine off. Actually when I said I limped home I was not being strictly factual, home was still 40 miles away so I limped to a nearby friends place where it now sits on a busy public street. I cannot begin any work on it there. So I have no idea whether the shift coupler is intact. What I am really trying to guage at the moment is whether it is "saveable" at a reasonable cost so worth having it towed to my place or my regular garage or whether it requires a gearbox change which with a tow is likely to be an uneconomic £450 - £500 in which case it is probably best to call a breaker to tow it away. If the compression test had shown better figures I would just go for it but I am now wary of how much cash I throw at a car with a time limited engine
 

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If shifting feels normal when the motor isn't running, and the clutch feels normal, the odds are that 1st gear has welded itself to the shaft (usually from worn mainshaft/pinion bearings).
Of course you understand that a car can't be diagnosed from a brief description on the internet from 3000 miles away......
 

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gearbox goosed

hi. you don't say why you replaced the first gearbox. if you still have it why not rebuild it,regardless of cost and also replace the flexible linkage in the shifter rod. if the master and slave were replaced when the clutch was replaced at first changeover was the flexible hose master to slave cylinder replaced at the same time? cost depends on your own desires or wants.there are very few vehicles anywhere in todays market which give give the same satisfaction of a 9000. all the manuals in all 9000,ng900,9-3,9-5 were the weakest link until repaired after using parts made after about 1996(there are others who can verify this). love that car.cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Original gearbox changed when diff shattered. Spoke with SAAB specialist who changed gearbox that time. He pretty sure it is a clutch not a gearbox issue (yet to have the car on a ramp though) BUT £220 for clutch kit plus 6 hours labour coming in at a total of £520 maybe a bit less if it turns out to be a slave or master cylinder rather than the clutch plate, more of course if its cyliner plus clutchplate. Need to think about this. I have had it a long time and enjoy it but maybe it is time to let go and put the money towards a replacement - 9000 Aero? Meantime for te rest of what pases for summer in Scotland I could use my c900 convertible. ;)
 

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Jim and Ron Your description and syptoms fits perfectly with my cars problems . Sorry I cant help here but like you Ive decided to park mine up as Im sure it will eventually completely fail and then the box will be unsalvagable . So ... sounds like a rebuild is required and a better idea than another very rare and potentially dodgy gearbox . For the time being I will be using my c900 . Saabs Aye . Lovely but what trouble they can be .
 
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