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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

I completed a big anti sludge inspection on my 1999 9-5 SE 2.3t Estate. It didn't go great as I lacked certain tools and had to keep going on near fruitless shopping trips for them. Anyway I know everyone loves pictures so I captured as much as possible. I've also tried to show some of the things no-one told me.

Images are a maximum of 640 x 480 due to limited webspace. If anyone needs to see a higher res image I can put it up too. The camera seems to distort the colours in the sump and it all looks more hideous in the pictures than in real life. Honest.

The full story is hosted on my own pages at: www.progfast.eclipse.co.uk/saab-9-5/Car%20De%20Sludge/

The third gallery starts with the pictures with the sump off.

A couple of images to get you started:


 

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did you do this before you started having issues? hopefully you saved yourself a lot of money doing this yourself - and hopefully just in time.

I just recently removed my valve cover (my yearly chore) to check out the cleanliness of my 02 aero. It has 110,000 miles. Have yet to drop the sump (waiting for when I get my 3" exhaust) but am not worried in the least bit.

I think everything looks pretty good :)



 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ski: Your cam cover looks good. Most Aero's seem to be that good if they've had fully synth all there life. Its interesting that even on your's the thickest glaze is on the PCV interface and near the timing chain. I'd say the other healthy signs are no grot around the outside ends of the bearing caps.

Ah, well mine was suffering a bit when I started - the old intermittent oil light when cornering, that sort of thing. Interestingly the first flush & oil change cured that even with the dirty pickup screen. Probably proves how tragic the pressure is when the warning light comes on!
 

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Its interesting that even on your's the thickest glaze is on the PCV interface and near the timing chain.
I think a very natural way of any liquid matter sticking to any flat surface.... It just can't flow off before it cools down and thickens!
Near the timing chains is IMHO also logical: hot oil transported by these chains from the lower engine parts spatters off the chains, and "cools down" relatively fast against the valve cover. Most of the oil runs down, leaving the less fluid (dirty) particles behind.
My 2 cents anyway....
 

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Very nice write up indeed.

I shall be performing a full sump drop, clean and oil change over the weekend before I fit a brand spanking new GT17 turbo and the #6 PCV kit. So the photos you took will certainly aid the process a bit. I going to try and get it all done in around a day, which may be wishful thinking. :(
Thankfully though I don't have to tough the top end of the engine as I rebuilt that less than 1k miles ago. :)

From this:


To this...Much much better =) :
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think technically, publishing the pictures of your refurbished head counts as a Gloat. :nono; And shows you are much better at it than me and probably have a lot more tools already to hand.

If you are going to get it done in a day (!), then the key elements you will need are:

  1. Remove the front exhaust section straight away. I tried to work around mine initially and wasted a lot of time. The nuts on the joint under the centre of the car may be seized, one of mine was. Ensure you have facilities (spray or tools) to get that off. I didn't! It laughed at WD40. You may need a helper to lower the exhaust from above while you catch it from below. Damn near dropped mine. There are a lot of warnings about not flexing the flexible section as it will die and gas you later.
  2. You will need Torx drives for the splash guard and strainer in the sump.
  3. Experimentation suggests that the sump plug and sump bolts are often/actually 1/2" and not 13mm. This is why 13mm sockets (especially 12 point) can be a disaster. Certainly mine fitted my 1/2" sockets much much better than my 13mm ones.
  4. If you use anything strong for the cleaning ordinary latex gloves melt - well mine did anyway.
  5. If you do find any troubles then remember to check around the edges of the block - that's where one of my pockets of nastiness was.
  6. I used the jack the transmission approach to get space. Even if you use the loosen the subframe plan its vital to get more space to reinsert the sump at the timing end with the sealant on it.
  7. There was a hint in the WIS procedure that threading as many sump bolts as possible before closing the sump/block gap helps with alignment and seal. What I did was to balance the sump on the subframe at the timing end. This lets you align the transmission end and insert one bolt on the front corner at that end a couple of turns. Then insert as near the opposite corner as possible. Then work around the sump so (almost) all are threaded before you wind any of them up. With the extra space between the timing end and the subframe (however created) only the front corner bolt at that end may be unreachable with a torque wrench.
  8. Based on squeeze out it makes sense to use the loctite 518 sealant as its supposed to not set inside the sump. Whatever the dealer used on mine in (about) 2004 there was a crisp band all round the inside of the block edge. I sort of hope that wasn't the 518. I got mine quite cheap, so shop around.
 

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I think technically, publishing the pictures of your refurbished head counts as a Gloat. :nono; And shows you are much better at it than me and probably have a lot more tools already to hand.
No, no.... That was my first ever proper engine work that I have performed and I am incredibly lucky to have a dad with plenty of tools and engine rebuilding experience who can guide me, he also has a friend who has the remaining tools required such as car ramp/lift, valve clamp compressor thingy, etc which is very handy.
I simply learn as I go and most of the stuff I do, I have never done before.

Wow, thanks for the key points. :D I shall be printing those out and keeping them with me when I perform the work over the weekend.
Having already removed and rebuilt my turbo, im hoping that it wont take too long now I know what im doing.:cheesy:

I must admit, that I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to work like this and like to make sure everything is clean and goes back together properly.
 

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If you use anything strong for the cleaning ordinary latex gloves melt - well mine did anyway.
What did you use to clean yours?
I struggled to clean the cylinder head cover properly when I performed the cylinder head rebuild, and the results of yours look 10x better than what i acheived.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'd equipped myself with 3 liquids and 2 mild abrasives. I say mild as you'd use them in the kitchen on dirty pans.

The liquids were:

  1. Some "Brake Disc Cleaner" spray. I had left over from when I did my brake discs. I'd mainly intended using it as a degreaser if I had any sticky sludge as Halford's and local motor factors had little better as a degreaser. You have to be careful with this as its not human or rubber friendly. It eats latex gloves and stings like fury - so I didn't use all that much of this.
  2. A large can of WD40 spray. This seemed to partly weaken the deposits and lubricated the abrasives so they were not (I hope) too harsh.
  3. I bought some "Turps replacement" as this was recommended in a few posts. But I hardly used any. Like the degreaser it would do better on sticky material I think.
The solids were:

  1. I bought a pack of flat sheet kitchen scouring things. They are about 6" x 4" and green. The sort of thing you'd use on a non teflon frying pan. I mostly used these cut in half. For fiddly bits you can cut them into narrow strips for wadding behind obstructions.
  2. Expecting really tough conditions I also bought some stainless steel scouring pads. These are like wire wool blobs. You'd use them on the bottom of stainless steel pans. These were a bit fierce versus the aluminium of the sump and cover so I only used two.
  3. Other probes and scrapers. The other thing I found you had to use in confined corners was an old small flat bladed screwdriver. Only with this could I break up the thin but burnt on material in awkward spots. This was also how I found the sludge compacted in the trough on the head.

    When checking the bottom of the block I found that I needed a thin strong device for probing and wiping between the bearing and the end of the block. The steel stiffener out of an old wiper blade was perfect for this: Long, springy (so hard to snap), thin (so no risk of jamming).
Both of the scourers can shed fragments so you can't over use them on say the troughs of the exposed head. On the removed items like the sump and cover its easy though. You can even wash those down if necessary.

I didn't set out to get all the varnish off, but by the time I'd attacked the thicker browner bits it was a natural side effect.
 

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Personally i use several things to clean up parts. They each have advantages and disadvantages.

1. spray engine degreaser. this stuff works well on some things, just spray it on then scrub with, brushes, scuff pads, etc.

2. a tub of Gas. I know it is messy, disposal is an issue, fire hazard, etc, but it cuts through grease and deposits well.

3. Eazy Off oven cleaner. This stuff cleans the final deposits very very well. It will take the last of the varnish off quickly and easily. Be careful though, it will eat your skin as well, so wear gloves. Also it will etch, or oxidize aluminum so don't let it sit on parts like the oil pan. I know some of you guys will come back and say never use it on aluminum, but when I did my sump i finished off with some and it was just fine. Where this caution comes from is from parts washing/dip tanks that use the same chemical set up, sodium hydroxide, and parts like engine blocks are set in there for extended periods of time to soak. In that case it will eat up aluminum parts. So use it with caution and it will give parts that nice new clean look. By the way, I don't know why you would ever want to use it in the oven when you put food in there as well.

4. lots of brushes, scratch pads, and elbow grease.

Just my ideas.
 

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Ah brilliant, thank you one and all :D

I shall see what I can get my hands on. I have access to a parts washer, degreasers and a whole range of wire brushes but I think I shall see if I can get some strong oven cleaner to finish the sump off when I've removed most of the crud.

I shall let you know how it goes.
 

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Well I have completed my work. I ended up only having half a day to do it instead of a full day but I had an extra pair of hands to help out which made things much easier.

The sump was a right pain to get out and back in as it was a very tight fit and wouldn't simply wiggle/drop down out of place. I ended up jacking up part of the engine (serpentine pulley end) a bit with the top mount undone to give me some extra space which seems still wasn't enough so we had to nudge to engine over towards to the gearbox side a tad so the sump would finally come out.

Here is what my sump looked like...



You cant see if but in the small amount of oil left in the bottom of the sump was about a small handfuls worth of burnt oil particles, a few bits of plastic (from the timing chain tension which seems to still be fine so is being left) and a variety of other crud.

So glad I did this, and I would highly recommend that anyone who hasn't dropped their sump for a while, if at all, to do it and clean it out at your next oil change.
The engine runs smoother now and the brand new turbo seems to have brought back some of the missing horses. :cheesy:

If you can get access to a car ramp/lift then it really does make things much easier.

All in all, definitely well worth doing!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey Carson, well done with that. I'm a bit miffed you did it so quickly! I spent longer wrestling with the exhaust system as I had a stuck centre nut and ZERO help...

A few questions if that's ok:

Did you run an engine flush first or is that just a sump where the normal oil has simply been drained?
How thick was the "burnt on" material at both shallow ends of your sump?
As you had the "burnt on" stuff at both ends did you check the bottom of the crank case? I found I had a small amount of rubbish accumulated up the back of the bearing cap at the transmission send.
 

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I think the reason it went so quickly was because of the extra pair of hands. I would have really struggled to do it by myself, especially without a car ramp/lift too.
I ended up just taking the entire exhaust off the car as it seems easier than trying to work around the exhaust if I just moved it to one side. (I really didn't want to split the exhaust either as exhaust coupler after the CAT was very very well rusted but still doing its jobs and had I touched it, I would have had to buy a new one and likely a new exhaust system.:eek:

I didn't run engine flush first no. Though I did an oil flush and change ~500 miles before when I rebuilt the original turbo so that has essentially performed the flush for me.

The burnt oil on on the shallow parts of the sump weren't really thick but thick enough that you could scrape it with a screw driver or the like and get a good old pile at the end of the screw driver after a single scrape. (Very technical answer I know, but never mind ay.)

I did take a good look at the lower end of the engine block whilst the sump was off and wasn't really inclined to do any real cleaning as it wasn't to bad at all. A bit of burn't oil along both sides of the block but otherwise it was fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The burnt oil on on the shallow parts of the sump weren't really thick but thick enough that you could scrape it with a screw driver or the like and get a good old pile at the end of the screw driver after a single scrape. (Very technical answer I know, but never mind ay.)

I did take a good look at the lower end of the engine block whilst the sump was off and wasn't really inclined to do any real cleaning as it wasn't to bad at all. A bit of burn't oil along both sides of the block but otherwise it was fine.
Yeah, so basically a thin but complete coat. I think many sump dropper's have been there! Just wondered as it looked thicker than mine, and I could not decide if the flush treatment had done anything to it.

There was not much too see in my block either but I tentatively poked a piece of plastic into that rear left corner and found a small pocket of gunge. Cleared it with my patented stiffener from a windscreen wiper which acted as a long scrapper to clean against the block and the outer side of the bearing cap.
 

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Yeah, so basically a thin but complete coat. I think many sump dropper's have been there! Just wondered as it looked thicker than mine, and I could not decide if the flush treatment had done anything to it.

There was not much too see in my block either but I tentatively poked a piece of plastic into that rear left corner and found a small pocket of gunge. Cleared it with my patented stiffener from a windscreen wiper which acted as a long scrapper to clean against the block and the outer side of the bearing cap.
, The best thing to clean out the Sump Pan is Paint Thinners. You can buy this for about $12 / £8.00 from your local Auto Paint Store. Keep the Sump Plug in place ,Pour some Paint Thinners into the Sump , Take a hard nosed Paint Brush and just brush away and Hey-Presto the gunge just falls of. Same for the Valve Cover. No need for Wire Brushes etc. Remember and do the Oil Strainer as well. Another point while we are here, Fit a Magnetic Sump Plug,,Picks up all these nasty little metal particals that are generally lying in the Sump, You can get them on E/Bay for a few ££ $$ Thats what i done and its just perfect. Saab/GM do a sealant for asembley of the Sump Flange to Engine that they recommend. Its Biogradable with oil so no lumps to start blocking the Oil Strainer. Lastly if your going to be doing all this work you must change the Breather Hoses and The top Purge Valve otherwise its only half a job. It is far easier to do this when the Sump is removed. All other points on this procedure have been covered in various forums on Saab-Central,Fixmysaab,Saab Scene. Should anyone want Where to get any of the items mentioned above drop a line. Hope this adds to the general info on this subject
 

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Realizing this is an 8-year-old thread, let me ask what may be a redundant question. I have dropped and cleaned the sump using a combination of Gunk spray, brake cleaner, and kerosene. It is now surgically clean. I have just acquired this one owner 2003 Linear wagon with only 80k. I was worried when I saw the PCV upgrade had not been completed despite meticulous "Dealer" only maintenance records including oil changes ranging between 5 and 6k using synthetic mobile from the get go. So I did that upgrade and decided to go right to the sump pan drop.

There was minimal sludge and compared to the photos others have shared what I would call below average varnish and carbon. The screen had absolutely nothing on it. No grit or residue of any sort to speak of which I took as a wonderful sign. But being sometimes compulsively anal I have decided to clean the underside of my block as thoroughly as possible. I hope I have not made a mistake in carrying my anal-compulsive nature into this effort. First I dosed with a full can of Gunk Engine degreaser. And then went at it with stiff nylon bristle parts cleaning brush and then I followed up with a round of kerosene, that I have followed up with easy off oven cleaner which I let soak for two hours, then more kerosene.

I failed to realize the oil filter strainer o-ring would be impossible to match at my local parts stores here in rural West Virginia. Thus I sit waiting for the O-ring from eEuroparts.

Here is my question. I have really not gone full-tilt on scrubbing on the lower crankcase in and effort to get every hint of varnish off of all reachable surfaces. Is that a fool's errand, could I be creating any issues in doing this? Secondly, I have purchased a valve pan gasket, but have yet to remove it. Is there some methodology for me after removing it the valve pan, to clean and purge all the oil passages from the top to the bottom of the crank that I should consider doing? Or should I merely clean the reachable surfaces, and maybe after reassembly do a round of seafoam?

In reality, I felt the engine was running tight and well, thus this work is all preventative. I considered doing a compression test before the start of this job but felt like busting into this sump immediately after sadly reading that this engine is on some lists as one engine to avoid because of the poor PCV set-up and sludge issues.

Any guidance from those that have been in my shoes would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I haven't quite figured out which threads to ask specific questions in bob3000 and how to automatically realize when someone has responded.
 
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