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Discussion Starter #1
well this morning, I was chugging along, 45, maybe 50 when some hot shot SUV decides to floor it across to the center lane...right in front of me... I locked up my front wheels for sure, and I'm pretty sure the backs did, not to sure<--I really need to check that out b/c it could be dangerous! So along with the ABS being far from working (and suggestions?) the car pulls heavily to the right side, not a flat tire either.

What should I look to as the problem? Or should I have just plowed into him and collected insurance?

Thanks,
-Alex
 

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Did they lock up completely and never move? The ABS on my car tends to not be as "eager to take over" as on the newer cars I've driven, it only kicks in after I've been skidding for a hot second, but it definitely works and does it's job (I prefer it this way, still lets you turn and doesn't reduce braking distance by as much). This exact thing happened to me on the beltway here a few months ago, check to make sure your tires haven't gotten severe flat spots (mine did).

Also, make sure that the ABS light is functioning.

As to the pulling, I'd guess either the right front brake is sticking after being romped to the max or the tires have some weird wear from skidding.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess I should mention that the ABS light flashes in everyway possible (along with the SRS) and from braking offroad, I realized that ABS really doesnt work, wheels just lock up, That was a good 5 seconds ;) . About a week ago, I discovered my rear brakes were basically on all the time, I loosened that allen bolt up on the back and it's better, but still rubbing. A brake "specialist" said that the calipers go bad on the c900's and that I had to replace them. I also heard that the ABS accumulator is a common cause of ABS malfunction. I have a 93 parts car with all the parts I need, would you recommend switching accumulator, rear calipers, and anything else? might as well replace the pads, but mine seem pretty meaty. Also, how does one clamp the brake lines so I can take calipers off? or do I have to drain all the fluid? SAme thing with the accumulator...

Thanks
-Alex
 

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nnamssorxela said:
I guess I should mention that the ABS light flashes in everyway possible
Ah... Yes, if the ABS light's on, the ABS is disabled - so you have "normal brakes"

About a week ago, I discovered my rear brakes were basically on all the time, I loosened that allen bolt up on the back and it's better, but still rubbing.
So the pads/pistons aren't retracting properly - and probable aren't working at all. Hitting the anchors hard has probable pushed the pistons out a chunk more than normal and they now won't retract again.

Easy to tell which - just jack the car up and see which wheel doesn't turn easily...

If all do, try turning them while somebody puts their foot lightly on the brake pedal. (Handbrake off and in neutral, of course...)

Also, how does one clamp the brake lines so I can take calipers off? or do I have to drain all the fluid?
Do you know when the fluid was last changed? The biggest killer of calipers on cars using DOT3/4 fluid is lack of maintenance - the fluid's hygroscopic, so absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. That then both lowers the boiling point of the fluid, meaning the boil, fade and fail earlier when they get warm, and corroding the pistons and cylinders. It should be replaced every two years as a routine service item.

Strikes me this is an ideal opportunity to change the fluid completely.

Do you have a local annual or whatever roadworthiness/car condition test? Because, by the sound of it, it wouldn't pass an MOT here - even ignoring the ABS light.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
no, we have nothing of the sort, a shame really, you'd would be amazed of the cars on the road here. They way it works is you can drive just about anything, but if you get a ticket then they can get you for everyyyythinggg, but only do if you did something reallly bad. My friend had an old clunker of a truck, and he must have gotten an attitude with the officer when he got pulled for speeding because they also got him for no bumpers, no speedometer, missing light, too loud of an exhaust etc etc... But as long as you dont do something stupid, you're perfectly fine. I've seen people driving fourwheelers on the street...at night too!!

Anyways, back to the brakes. Would you recommend changing the calipers all around, just the back, or just the fluid? just jacked up one front wheel and one back wheel and they both spin a few circles then stop (still sound like rubbing, but it just rained and it could be dirt etc). Also, I have no one to help me with the brakes right now... also, would you recommend changing the accumulator with a used one? And is there a cure for the SRS blues..or reds should I say?

Thanks again,
Alex
 

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nnamssorxela said:
no, we have nothing of the sort, a shame really, you'd would be amazed of the cars on the road here.
www.motuk.co.uk and click on tester's manual to see exactly what we get checked on (and how) every year...

Would you recommend changing the calipers all around, just the back
Disks & pads, always replace in pairs.
I'd probably strip and reseal the calipers each end in pairs, but only actually replace the one(s) that are actually buggered.

or just the fluid?
DEFINITELY the fluid.

just jacked up one front wheel and one back wheel and they both spin a few circles then stop (still sound like rubbing, but it just rained and it could be dirt etc).
They sound OK - there should be just a little drag and friction.

Also, I have no one to help me with the brakes right now...
Try just resting something heavy against the pedal. Toolbox, p'raps. I find my laptop bag ideal for checking brake lights, but probably a bit light for actually putting the brakes on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
how will i tell if they are buggered? and the discs too?! I hope the ones on the donor car are like new... I'll go try the brake thing sometime soon and see if they stop the power of my hand and arms?but if they still rub bad or dont brake, you recommend replacement?

and by the looks of it, probably a good 1/4 of the cars here wouldnt be road worthy, even the new ones have lights out and small stuff wrong. And emissions? oh man that'd take out another 1/2...
oh this country!
 

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nnamssorxela said:
how will i tell if they are buggered?
I'd take 'em apart and have a look. If the surfaces of the pistons and bores are clean and smooth, I'd put 'em back together with a seal kit (not exactly expensive). If they're rusty or pitted, bin 'em and replace - and rebuild the one you're putting in, because the chances are it's not going to be that much better than your duff one... After all, your car MUST be in better nick overall than the one in the scrappy, right?

and the discs too?!
Thickness and smoothness of surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
scrappy one was an amazing car...bother lost 1st (some linkage problem?) then ditched it...literally and bent front end. Still a great car, many new parts, newer and less miles. I butchered it for my car because the ignition got water logged in the scrapper (i think), any ways, it didnt start and was all beat up. Prob in better running condition though :eek: ...or was. I'll go check the brakes and discs now...
 

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Check all the brake lines, for damage and/or leaks. Someone posted here recently having busted a brake line after an emergency stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok, went out and tested all wheels and brakes. They all are stopped by the brakes, and they all turn some, some more than others which is natural? The discs are pretty worn, but they'll be fine. I guees I should just change the fluid and call it a day/weekend? what about the accumulator? change that over as well?
Thanks,
Alex

also, the brake lines seem good, no fluids that I spotted. One last thing, how does one adjust the handbrake? It has never really worked for me except on the last click or so, and even then barely.
 

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nnamssorxela said:
ok, went out and tested all wheels and brakes. They all are stopped by the brakes, and they all turn some, some more than others which is natural? The discs are pretty worn, but they'll be fine. I guees I should just change the fluid and call it a day/weekend? what about the accumulator? change that over as well?
Alex...

You _know_ that you've got at least one sticky rear caliper.
You _know_ that they'll cause you problems after hard braking.

This is your BRAKES we're talking about.
Not some of the toys, like the cruise or a window motor.

Definitely do the fluid, but that's not the cause of your immediate problem. Just get a set of rebuild kits - they're cheap - and spend a weekend stripping and cleaning the calipers before you HAVE to bin 'em. If you can get the brakes off this scrapper, do that and rebuild those, then swap 'em on at some stage. If one's sticking, the chances are the others aren't far off. Do all four.

It's cheap insurance.

also, the brake lines seem good, no fluids that I spotted.
Look for rust on metal pipes. If there's any surface, give 'em a good wire brushing and coat with rustproofing wax. If they don't come clean, replace.

As far as the flexis go - give 'em a really good prod, poke, bend, stretch, squish. If there's any visible cracking or soft bits, change 'em.

By the time you see leaks, they're utterly dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ok, Thank you for all the help. I've decided to take him off the road. The problem is more serious than I thought. There seems to be some actual damage that was not there before. Luckily I didn't have to drive more than a mile or so back to my house. What would you recommend? (I'll post pictures in a second)
-ALex
 

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Discussion Starter #14












notice how both of the wheels seem to point out slightly (?) and the right especially which has more camber (I think that's the right term, it is farther in at the top).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
one problem...I can't weld :cry: , I guess this will be a learning experience. Also, why would this cause my wheels to be so crooked (both of them)?
 

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nnamssorxela said:
one problem...I can't weld :cry: , I guess this will be a learning experience.
This ain't what you want to be learning on. Positioning of the arm mount has to be millimetre *perfect*.

Also, why would this cause my wheels to be so crooked (both of them)?
It's not. It's causing the right wheel to be waaay out of position, both in terms of camber (the lower arm's moved outwards) and toe (the track rod's pulling the back of the wheel in). You're then steering slightly left to make the car go straight, by splitting that toe-out between the two sides - so the left wheel's not pointing straight.

Unless, of course, t'other mount's also ripping out...

Bin there, dun that...

(bent RHF suspension arm)
 

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nnamssorxela said:
one problem...I can't weld :cry: , I guess this will be a learning experience. Also, why would this cause my wheels to be so crooked (both of them)?
You've bent the metal holding the RF wheel to the car, to go straight now you need to hold wheels in a V.

You have to take apart RF suspension and rebuild the area since it is weak with rust.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
uh oh, this seems hard. I'm a full time student and need something to drive. The only way I can get another car is to sell this (but I dont want to :cry: ). Do you think a shop would be able to fix this for cheap? Man this is so hard. It doesnt look very rusted, just broken.
 

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nnamssorxela said:
uh oh, this seems hard. I'm a full time student and need something to drive. The only way I can get another car is to sell this (but I dont want to :cry: ). Do you think a shop would be able to fix this for cheap? Man this is so hard. It doesnt look very rusted, just broken.
You need to borrow a car or a bicycle for now and start tearing into the car yourself... you can buy a $450 beater and then sell it after for $500 :cool:
 
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