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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. As some of you may remember, I have a '94 900 SE that ran fine until about two weeks ago, when the car failed to start after making a rattling noise. Hoping it was just oily plug wires, I tried replacing the valve cover gasket, and it still wouldn't start (however, by that point the damage had certainly been done).

Turns out (and I'm sure someone said this) that the timing belt slipped/failed in a bad way, and now the valves are damaged. To what extent the head is damaged, I'm unsure, but suffice it to say that this is going to be a costly job, especially considering it would be stupid to not fix whatever's wrong with the timing belt.

Does anyone happen to know a ballpark figure for a head rebuild? i've gotten a couple of quotes, and I just want to make sure that I'm not getting railed.

The other option is to replace the engine. Probably some of you are familiar (and maybe even have experience) with the newer Opel 3.2 V6 that (supposedly) bolts in very easily. I've found a couple of places that sell those, and it's definitely an option I'm considering.

Any other options? Just for the record, the body/transmission are all in good shape, and the suspension/drivetrain has been well taken care of.

The worst part is that I only got two weeks' use out of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tweek's Turbos said:
Now it is time to contact burnsides, aka jeff shore at Fred beans saab. He could probably be persuaded to do this on the side.
Rebuild or replace? Or either? How can I get in touch with him?
 

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I would call fred beans saab, ask to speak with jeff shore, and then tell him you are from saabcentral, and need a new v6 engine put in. See what he says.
 

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cachaa said:
Turns out (and I'm sure someone said this) that the timing belt slipped/failed in a bad way, and now the valves are damaged. To what extent the head is damaged, I'm unsure, but suffice it to say that this is going to be a costly job, especially considering it would be stupid to not fix whatever's wrong with the timing belt.
Like this?



From my old post

cachaa said:
Does anyone happen to know a ballpark figure for a head rebuild? i've gotten a couple of quotes, and I just want to make sure that I'm not getting railed.
Well how much were you quoted? Tell us...
cachaa said:
The other option is to replace the engine. Probably some of you are familiar (and maybe even have experience) with the newer Opel 3.2 V6 that (supposedly) bolts in very easily. I've found a couple of places that sell those, and it's definitely an option I'm considering.
What places have you found that sell Opel engines in the US? Do you mean the Saturn engine? The Opel 3.2L V6 engine may not work with a 1994-1997 Saab, the 3.2L V6 is a recent production engine, that's 6-8 years after the last V6 Saab 900 was produced. ITs engine control systems are probably much different than what a Saab's V6's ECM is programmed for. It might work, but it may not work to its best of abilities unless you swap over EVERYTHING from a Cadillac or Saturn V6, the wiring, ECM, ect. Perhaps you might want to look for the 3.0L V6 engine out of a Cadalic Catara. Its definately not a direct bolt in, i'm sure you're gonna have to swap over the intake manifold from your 2.5L onto the larger engine, for example the Cadillac Catara was rear drive so the engine was mounted differently in the engine bay to accomidate rear drive setup. The intake on the Catara is completely different from the Saab's

For the record:

B258I / X25XE 2.5 L V6 with 167 BHP
X30XE 3.0 L V6 with 207 BHP
Y32SE 3.2 L V6 with 217 BHP

Best fit: L81 GM Engine

cachaa said:
Any other options? Just for the record, the body/transmission are all in good shape, and the suspension/drivetrain has been well taken care of.
If you have the time and the money, it would make a great project car to do a V6 swap for a larger V6 displacment, especially if yours is a 5-speed. Get a quote for a 3.0L or 3.2L engine plus the cost of labour and weigh that againest fixing the heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, it appears to be none of those engines. This is the engine I found, and it's listed again at thesaabsite.com (scroll down a bit). I spent a good deal of time on the phone with the guy selling the engine, and from what I can tell, it's an "update" of the 2.5L V6. The timing belt pulleys are updated, the engine has a bigger bore (and something about the block is changed as well), and the oil cooler is supposed to be of better quality than the 2.5 V6's oil cooler. Everything from the 2.5 V6 (headers, trans, intake, serpentine belt) attaches directly.

The back story (supposedly) on the engine is that they were produced by Opel for a car that was never manufactured, so some people brought the engines stateside.

I can't really afford it, but I can make it happen.
 

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Well I don't know what else to tell you except from a technicial point of view and a mechanics point of view:

If indeed this engine will drop into the engine bay of a 900, bolt up, start, everything like that, the only thing I can see being a problem is if in the future there is any problem with the engine, you may find it very difficult to find parts for it because it is not an engine that is listed in any North American parts listings, manuals, or books.

Evening finding an oil filter may be a problem if it isn't the same as the 2.5L or the 3.0L Catara engine. You need to do more research and find out about all these little servicable things about the engine before you go and purchase it. Hopefully its components are shared with the Catara or Vue 3.0L engines.
Unrelated to this engine but on the same line, I've had many customers come into the shop with "J-spec" Mazda/Nissan engines that they've purchased from importers, who can't find parts for the engine, even from the dealers because the dealers in North American don't have listings/part numbers for the engines and its parts. So repairs become expensive since the owners rely on EEbay to import the parts.

Think about it carefully and research more.
 

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there is no differance between the 2.5, 3.0 and 3.2 except bore stroke, cams, and i believe valves. all components "should" bolt up exactly, oil filter is the same beteen all. i am considering buying a 3.2 also and bulding the **** outa it to turbocharge it. WAAAYYYY later down the road am i doing this but still, the only thing i woud worry about is the ecu. for a stocker car the ecu might not adapt to the 3.2? someone else may disagree with me but im not sure. you can always go the route of an aftermarcet ecu butthat costs mucho money to have bought and tuned. al n all the 2.5 3.0 and 3.2 are the exact same GM 54-Degree V6 engine.
Tyler
 

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Well if you're going to go all out and swap in the 3.2, then turbo it, why not just get a 2.8L Twin-turbo out of the 2006-2008 9-3? With either choice of engine you're looking at huge, HUGE modifications to the vehicle :roll: Is it really worth it? Just buy a new 9-3 if you want such a fast V6.

Did you check car-part.com for another 2.5L V6 replacement? They are still pretty pricy, how much will it cost you to do a complete, working and reliable, engine swap? Maybe you should just buy a whole new (used) car.
 

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i agree but the reason i want to build one is for the learning factor, i want to become a mechanic, and justbuying another car isnt good enough for me, an engine swap is more bennifiscial for my case because its somehting that i love doing. but to each his own i suppose
Tyler
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
t_buck09 said:
there is no differance between the 2.5, 3.0 and 3.2 except bore stroke, cams, and i believe valves. all components "should" bolt up exactly, oil filter is the same beteen all. i am considering buying a 3.2 also and bulding the **** outa it to turbocharge it. WAAAYYYY later down the road am i doing this but still, the only thing i woud worry about is the ecu. for a stocker car the ecu might not adapt to the 3.2? someone else may disagree with me but im not sure. you can always go the route of an aftermarcet ecu butthat costs mucho money to have bought and tuned. al n all the 2.5 3.0 and 3.2 are the exact same GM 54-Degree V6 engine.
Tyler
I read/was told that the ECU adjusts automatically when the 3.2L is put in. And for the record, I was also told that it uses the timing from a 2003 CTS, but the gaskets/seals/small internal parts (aside from I believe the valves) can be taken from the 2.5L.
 

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cachaa said:
I read/was told that the ECU adjusts automatically when the 3.2L is put in. And for the record, I was also told that it uses the timing from a 2003 CTS, but the gaskets/seals/small internal parts (aside from I believe the valves) can be taken from the 2.5L.
agreed, all the gaskets and like valve guides and other small items CAN be swapped, the valves in the 3.0 motor are bigger than the ones in the 2.5, im not sure if the 3.2 has the 3.0 heads or if the valves are bigger yet. and good thing to note on the 3.2 that does save the hassal of a new ecu, although when i get into high horsepower, a new ecu is deffinatly a must.
Tyler
 
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