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So I picked up a clean original owner 1999 well optioned-out estate wagon which has 96K miles and was 100% dealer serviced. Head gasket is intact, all tests done. LPT 2.3 model, of course.





Having done 2 leaking head gaskets prior, I was curious to the community's opinion on:


1. Leaving the head bolts alone
2. Replacing the bolts with new TTY bolts
3. Doing the TSB procedure and re-torque the OEM TTY bolts






Thanks for your replies.
 

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I'd expect that if that car was 100% dealer serviced then they'd have done the head bolt TSB procedure already.

If the engine tests OK then I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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Trust, but verify.

If the car was well maintained by a dealer, there should be record of the head bolt replacement. I had a 1999, and it did NOT have complete records to document this job. I had no clue there had been any such TSB until readig about it on this board. Without a clear documentation, I considered the job 'not performed'.

I decided to do the full head bolt replacement even though compression was good. I couldn't help my curiosity - so before doing the full procedure with new bolts I checked the torque on the bolts that were in place. I used the lower "1st torque" setting and followed the correct sequence. I found that more than half of the bolts tightened some at this lower torque value - a couple tightened more than a half rotation. (Yes, I did the whole procedure with new bolts after I did this 'scouting' exercise.)

That car was still running well when I gave it away last year, 6.5 years and 60K miles after that job.
 

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My take is that you won't do any damage by checking them and if they are loose, that problem isn't going to go away and will get worse
 

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FWIW, our '05 with 90kmi has a head gasket failing, losing increasing amounts of coolant. To buy time, I retorqued the head bolts. They all took the same amount of torque to break loose and when retorqued 45 lbs/ft and then another 90-degrees, the leak was slowed but did not stop.

jack vines
 
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