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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2000 SAAB 9-3 SE hatchback and for starters it needs a new turbo and a few "MIA" parts. I am broke and bought the car to get to work and back. I am supporting my 83 y/o mother so I can't mod the car as much as I would LOVE to. The car runs thankfully so I drive it at very low speeds and try to keep the RPMs below 2000. I am just trying to get her to reliably get me to work and home and to church on Sundays for my mom. So my first question is the turbo. I saw a Chinese turbo for $180 on eBay and it comes with a 1 year warranty. I am just trying to get it running so I am not stressing on every trip until I can save enough money to get a REAL turbo. What do you guys think of the turbo on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/For-Saab-9-...25f29c&pid=100010&rk=1&rkt=18&sd=151204636287

Again, it is just for now. I have $300 for the first fix right now so I just need the turbo going for a few months until I can get a good one.

Also, the previous owner screwed a lot of things up trying to maintain her. First the crank case vent is missing and so is the oil trap. He disconnected the Boost Control Valve because I guess he read that somewhere to narrow down why the turbo wasn't boosting. So I need that and upgrade the crankcase vent kit. I thought that the gasket was bad and was going to change that because there is oil everywhere but then I see that it's the missing crankcase vent of where the oil is coming from. He was an idiot and I just want to get her safely road worthy for me and my mom. Can you guys give me some tips on what should be done first, like I said , we are financially tight so most important things first just until I can save enough to keep upgrading her. I only paid $500 for her and she only has 137000 miles and other than the turbo knocking, which I thought were the valves but a mechanic used some stethoscopes to narrow it down to the turbo knocking.
 

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I'd suggest you try to find someone here parting out a car who has a known good turbo for sale along with the other stuff you need. Or find a local U-pull yard to grab the stuff - that way you can see where it all belongs. If you buy a used turbo from a yard I'd be a bit worried about how good it is... so I would not do it without a good return/replace policy and a few in stock to back it up.
 

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I bought a rebuild kit to do mine and it's been running well for at least 20,000 miles. It may be a risk though since it depends on the condition of your turbo.

http://gpopshop.com/products-page/mitsubishi-rebuild-kits/

The part you would need to order is:
Mitsubishi TD04 and TE04H Complete Rebuild Kit (Superback, 270 Thrust Bearing/Std Piston Ring) - $89

I also had it re-balanced locally for $50 but I've heard it isn't always necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is the difficulty level of doing the refurb myself if I buy the kit?

I bought a rebuild kit to do mine and it's been running well for at least 20,000 miles. It may be a risk though since it depends on the condition of your turbo.

http://gpopshop.com/products-page/mitsubishi-rebuild-kits/

The part you would need to order is:
Mitsubishi TD04 and TE04H Complete Rebuild Kit (Superback, 270 Thrust Bearing/Std Piston Ring) - $89

I also had it re-balanced locally for $50 but I've heard it isn't always necessary.

What is the difficulty level of doing the refurb myself if I buy the kit? What are your personal thoughts on the Chinese $180 new turbo? I hate Chinese sh*t as much as any good red blooded American but I just need something for short term until I can afford to refurb the whole car.
 

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that chinese turbo on ebay will probably work just fine and reliably for you. I would have no problem buying one for my own saab. I've done so in the past and had no trouble.

the thing I'm concerned about is that turbos don't knock when they go bad. they will usually just burn oil, maybe squeal a little.

is it possible for you to upload a video (to youtube) of the sound your car is making and then post it here for us to see?
 

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I started down the rebuild path but could not be sure of the quality of the parts and would not feel comfortable without having it balanced which can be expensive if you need to ship it off.

I ended up getting a rebuilt cartridge as noted in this thread:
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=536353

The list price was very high at the online store but they had multiple discount codes that brought the price down.

As long as you can disassemble the housings from the original cartridge this could be a low cost option. My car was 97 ng900 which I think has a different turbo and is more expensive then the turbo in your 9-3. I saw Chinese cartridges on Ebay for 9-3 for 110 - my son has a 2000 and I was thinking of picking one up as his turbo is starting to make noise.

I also picked up a used turbo from fleabay - just look for one with little to no shaft play and hope it's from an honest seller.
 

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What is the difficulty level of doing the refurb myself if I buy the kit? What are your personal thoughts on the Chinese $180 new turbo? I hate Chinese sh*t as much as any good red blooded American but I just need something for short term until I can afford to refurb the whole car.
I'd say it wasn't that hard compared to removing and reinstalling the turbo. But it does take careful and precise work compared to most other jobs on the car. Everything needs to be cleaned very well and any mistake will most likely cost you the turbo.

The Chinese turbo would probably be fine if other people on here say so. I would just think of it as being not a permanent solution and reinstalling the turbo isn't a job I like redoing. I don't have any experience with it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
THANK YOU GUYS SOO MUCH FOR THE REPLIES!!!! The car knocks, at first I thought that it was the push rods of the pistons or something with the valves. The previous owner told me that there was a big performance lag and he thought that the turbo went so he read about narrowing down the problem by discounting the Boost Control Valve. Then the mechanic I took it to listened to it with a stethascope and found the majority of the knocking coming straight from the turbo so I figured that the "fans" for lack of a better word were wobbleing and then hitting the sides of the walls. Also to note sometimes when I am driving the knocking goes away completely when I am going at a constant speed of about 35-40 MPH. The mechanic saw oil all over and he thought that the valve cover /crank cover gaskets wer leaking but then another friend noticed that the nipple and tubing that normally comes out of the ccrankcase to the oil trap are gone. Hense leaving a 3/4 inch hole on the side for oil to shoot out of. So according to your recommendation and financial limitations. I am going to start with updating the crankcase vent system kit. If I am reading the diagram correct then one of the hoses goes from the crankcase vent system to the Boost Control Valve which I guess is for vacuum or pressure purposes. So that means that I would want to replace the Boost Control Valve and all connecting hoses? Again, THANK OU SOOO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!
 

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Fix the HOSES and all the leaks first! I don't know why everyone automatically jumps on a "Bad Turbo". I have a 99SE with almost 200K miles on the original turbo. 50K miles on a STAGE1 tune. And I show this car ZERO Mercy. The "knocking" in the turbo could be a disconnected or defective waste gate actuator or the waste gate valve head has fallen off. Does the car blow masses of white/blueish smoke out the tail pipe? A turbo with that much "slop" would certainly bypass a lot of oil into the intake and/or the exhaust system. Fix the cheap/simple stuff first! then go from there. DO NOT start throwing money at a problem that you have not even located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you!

Yes, I agree. After reading everyone's input. I bet that the turbo was not the problem because of all the missing hoses and oil trap. The knocking noise sounds like when you have bent push rods or something like that in the camshaft or pistons itself. Sounds ALMOST like a diesal engine knocking. Sounds like when you run your engine with no oil. I bet that the problem all comes down to vacuums and pressures. Valves and hoses which are either missing or have gone bad. So I ordered the whole camshaft vent update kit and related hoses and what not. I also ordered a Boost Control Valve and vacuum hoses. I noticed that the sump oil pan and oil pickup hose gets sludged and the screen gets blocked. I bought some engine flush to flush the engine and then clean the oil pan and screen on the pick up hose. And then do an oil change and put new spark plugs in. Then I also bought a couple cans of engine cleaner degreaser to clean the outside of the engine not only for cosmetic purposes and clean up all the oil everywhere from the camshaft cover vent nipple and hose being gone but also to make sure that there are no other oil leaks. Oh I also bought a valve cover gasket because that is where the mechanic thought that the oil leak was coming from but even if its not it seems like an easy job and probably should be done any ways. Thank you for everyone's help!!! Please advise on what my plans are and ANY input is HIGHLY welcomed and appreciated.
 

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I would skip the engine flush unless you get in there and find some particular issue, but it's up to you. A lot of guys worry about breaking stuff free and clogging a passage when you use a hard flush. The pan drop should be plenty and will give you a good look at engine condition

Pulling the valve cover will let you get a look at the top end. Take some photos and we can comment. Look for clean to slightly varnished color. Ther might be some sludge in front of the cam gears inside the timing cover. As long as it's not heavy, and the engine is a reasonable color up there, you're good.

There's a little gasket that plugs he hole where the distributor would be if we had one. As you face the engine it's on your right, driver's side, at the end of the valve cover. About an inch in diameter. Get one of those as the often leak.

We can give you instructions on the VC and distributor hole gasket changes. Easy DIY. Pan drop is easy too, but takes a few hours.

Get 10' of 5/32 vacuum hose and replace the small lines when you do the PCV update.

Get an audio tape of the engine and post it on youtube so we can listen to it.
 
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