SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
Recently my '01 9-3 SE decided to run poorly. After a sustained moment of spirited driving (triples <3), it seemed to misfire while running, so I tested the DIC and replaced the plugs. Both were fine, the plugs made it run a touch better. It still seems to run very roughly at idle, and settles down a bit at higher RPMs. I checked the exhaust, and there is fluid dripping and a tiny amount of oil droplets. The turbo has been replaced, so I know it isn't the seals etc. My thought is the head gasket went bad? The spark test I did with the DIC and new plugs confirm it isn't the ignition. There was the smell of gas, but that disappeared with the new plugs. If it is the head gasket, I'm sure the timing tensioner could also use an update. The car is stock, except for the ram air horn. Hopefully someone has some help, Thanks in advance :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I did a quickie compression check, by removing the oil fill cap. I read on a thread someplace to check if there is a problem with the rings, one way is to remove the oil fill cap, and see if it is blowing or if an inordinate amount of oil haze is coming out while running. No blow by and no haze, so the rings are probably alright. I will see if I have or will buy a compression tester and do a more thorough compression test though. thank you Jakejm79.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Tester

The tester is on the way, should be able to get to the testing in a little while
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,144 Posts
Remember, compression testing should be done on a warm engine, with the throttle held open during the test, all spark plugs removed. After you've done one pass, do a second pass adding ~1oz of engine oil to the cylinder being tested. This is a dry and wet test, the latter will help indicate whether there is a loss through the bottom end (vs the top).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I thought the cylinder being tested is the only one removed, and the fuel pump fuse removed. And I would prefer to not start the engine for fear it might be damaged further, as I have yet to figure out what is wrong with it. On an initial dry test, without the throttle held open, I got these numbers:

C1: 145, C2: 0, C3: 139, C4: 157

When I look in the spark plug hole of cylinder 2, I can see what looks to be oil. I will try to investigate that further in a moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I did a retest. I removed all the plugs, and held it to WOT. Still did not start it though. The readings I came up with are:

C1: 145, C2: 0, C3: 139, C4: 143

And looks wet in cylinder 2, going to investigate that now
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,793 Posts
You don't have to remove the all the plugs, but it helps the engine to turn over easier allowing for more accurate reads, but have you have found out, when you have a critical problem it will likely show up either way.

Could also be a cracked piston or bent valve(s), a leak down test would likely pinpoint better, but with 0 compression it has to come apart regardless of what the problem is or you cut your losses. FWIW I've rarely seen 0 with a blown HG a number like that is more indicative of something more severe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,144 Posts
Removing all the plugs also helps ensure you don't get a bogus reading from a cylinder to cylinder failure. But yeah, with an extreme fail like that you're not gonna see a difference regardless.

I'm with Jake - I would expect something worse than a head gasket failure. 0psi would be a massive sort of gasket failure... and really a massive sort of bottom end failure too. But, really, anything is possible so don't lose heart.

The decision now is whether you pull the head and then find out the motor has to come out anyway, or just pull the motor. A leakdown test might prove useful. You could also pull the valve cover and/or the oil pan and see if there's anything obvious. In my experience, removing the valve cover is nice for a leakdown test since it helps remove ambiguity on where the air is going. :) Possibly an exhaust gas test of the coolant could prove useful, although with 0psi you would very likely have quickly disappearing coolant if the head gasket had failed into a cooling passage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Found the root cause to the problem

Well I'm sure no one lost sleep over it except for me lol but here is the root cause of the problem... Thank you everyone for your input, it is greatly appreciated :D
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,279 Posts
Is that an exhaust valve? I had that happen on my 1997 900, and bought a 2000 9-3 to use as a parts car that also had a burned exhaust valve. The previous owner had driven it a fair amount in that condition. He figured out which cylinder was bad and unplugged the fuel injector.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
strange...

I believe it is the exhaust valve. Funny thing is Jeremy, the piece of valve that is missing, is literally missing !! :eek: Not only were there no little chunky bits in the cylinder, there is nothing wrong with anything within the cylinder. Hopefully the chunk just vaporized and isn't in the turbo. Mysteries of the auto universe I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
DEFINITELY Jvanabra!! You are not lying there.... Now trying to source parts or a kit for the head is the next hurdle. Anyone have any leads? I found the hydraulic lifters for about $6 a piece, now looking for the rest of the bits at a slightly cheaper price than eE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Replace More??

Since I am this deep in the engine, would it be recommended to change the chains and timing components? I bet the answer is yes. The tensioner and associated bits look somewhat tired and original, as shown by the photo. It was a bear getting that out.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,144 Posts
I would measure the tensioner, and as long as its in spec I don't know that I would change the timing gear... It's really not that much work to do with everything back together, so you're not saving much doing it before it's needed. OTOH, if money isn't an issue and you don't wanna be arsed with it for another 150k, sure, go for it.

I would be hyperfocused on what killed that valve... bad injector or carbon buildup etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
DEFINITELY Jvanabra!! You are not lying there.... Now trying to source parts or a kit for the head is the next hurdle. Anyone have any leads? I found the hydraulic lifters for about $6 a piece, now looking for the rest of the bits at a slightly cheaper price than eE.
As long as the tops of the lifters are not pitted or otherwise bad...you can "rebuild" them. I just did a set in preparation for doing a head gasket swap.

My suggestion is to check out some YouTube videos. Some people slam the lifter against a solid wooden surface to "shock" the innards out. I found it easier and more reliable to pull them apart with vise-grips (you should find both techniques on YT). After losing the tiny ball (that serves as a check valve) on my very first lifter, I decided to not disassemble the check valve on any of the subsequent lifters...

"Shock" or yank the inner piece out. Pull the inner piece apart. You should have four pieces...the body (big piece), two halves of the inner piece*, and a spring that was between the two pieces. Drop them all in solvent and clean them well. Gently blow clean with shop air and soak with oil. Put the inner pieces back together and press it back into the lifter body.

*one of the halves of the inner piece CAN be further disassembled, but the parts are SMALL and I don't feel that it is advantageous...I got mine very clean leaving that part assembled. The "inner, inner" piece has a small cap that can be pulled to reveal a tiny steel ball and a VERY tiny spring.
 

·
Registered
9-3 02 190K 900SE 98 90K
Joined
·
96 Posts
The lazy way of checking for HG leak in my parts is to get a block tester loaned out free from autozone. Then you can go more in-depth with an autozone loaner pressure tester haha!
They charge $8 for the combustion gas reactive fluid though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
cylinder head

So the head is out to the shop to get a quote. Will probably know more Monday o r Tuesday. Does anyone have a spec sheet with detailed information about casting numbers, machined dimensions, etc. I could take a look at and possibly forward to the machine shop? It would greatly be appreciated :) thanks in advance :)
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top