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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having difficulties selecting gears, but only prior to setting off on a journey.
If I go through the box, selecting each gear, before I set off, shifting is then completely normal.

The local garage has had a quick look at the gear selectors, which appear to be ok and I have recently changed the oil just to make sure that it isn't that.

I had an Abbott gearbox re-build with LSD less than a couple of years ago and have also had a new clutch master cylinder fitted around 2 years ago.

Any ideas/suggestions as to what could be the cause? I am told that is unlikely to be either a synochromesh problem or a selector issue as it would cause changing difficulties all of the time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Boxman,

It was Ford Zetec semi-synthetic oil as recommended by Giles at Abbott Racing. He reckons it's particularly good for 9000's.

Stuff that came out was v.clean, albeit there was too much of it - you can blame Abbott for that as it way esceeded the level that it should have been at!

Shifting has worked fine since I bought the car 3.5 years ago. The box was only rebuilt because I was having the LSD fitted and a couple of the seals needed to be replaced.

Cheers,

Jez
 

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This may sound silly, but... Have you checked the brake/hydraulic fluid level? My shifting gets stiff if the brake fluid is low, but recovers once the system (accumulator, etc) is fully charged. Since it is all part of the same system on my car, that is where I would look first. The second thing that comes to mind is the clutch slave cylinder could be on its way out, or that silly shifter linkage block that it seems a lot of people have had trouble with lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I will check the brake fluid level, but am pretty sure it is ok. What is the silly shifter linkage block? Am I right in thinking that the clutch alse cylinder is a fairly cheap item to replace? If so, I might change it after I have exhausted other possiblities...
 

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The part is cheap enough, but you have to get the box out to do it :roll:

I wondered about hydraulics, and my thought was, is it shifting into every gear that makes shifting easier, or is it in fact simply depressing the clutch several times that is the key? Perhaps you could test this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
John, it does seem to improve if I pump the clutch, but not to the extent that I can easily select each gear. I will focus on trying to test this after I have checked the fluid levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Right - tried it this evening and it will easiliy go into gears before I switch the engine on. But, when I fire up the engine, it is then hard to select a gear.

Any ideas?
 

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If the clutch is fully disengaged, then the engine should have no effect on the gearbox, so I think the finger of suspicion is still pointing there myself.
 

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JeremyFrost said:
Thanks for the suggestions. I will check the brake fluid level, but am pretty sure it is ok. What is the silly shifter linkage block? Am I right in thinking that the clutch alse cylinder is a fairly cheap item to replace? If so, I might change it after I have exhausted other possiblities...
its the rubber joint on the linkage to the gear box from the car, if you get 1st & 2nd ok, but cant get any other irrespective of engine running or not [clutch in of course] it is most certainly that,get someone to go through the gears whilst you look down between the bulkhead and engine you will see the linkage, any play at all its gubbed,4x8mm nuts to remove and replace thats it;)
 

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What year 9000? If pre 93 ??? it will have the MC mounted on the top of the floor area in the false bulkhead which is prone to cracking. This results in the clutch pedal actually lifting the MC reducing the effective travel of the clutch MC piston. Symptoms are poor shifting when cold.I don't know when SAAB switched to the clutch MC interior to the car above the pedal area which solved this defect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
johncc said:
If the clutch is fully disengaged, then the engine should have no effect on the gearbox, so I think the finger of suspicion is still pointing there myself.
Sorry, John, you have slightly confused me with your post. What are you referring to that is the likely problem?
 

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I'm thinking that if having the engine running affects the gear change, then the clutch must not be disengaging completely, or is slow to disengage, so I'd still suspect something in the hydraulics.
 

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Personally I'd attack the Clutch Master Cylinder First or at least Study it real Hard. Historically, Rebuilt or recently worked on parts are the first suspects :)
Slaves are usually good... mainly because they normally get replaced with each Clutch job if the Mech has any Saab experiences at all.. Like a throwout bearing, it's just too expensive to access to even think twice about it.
Clutch Masters are Cheapish and relatively easy to repair.. 3 hours absolute Maximum under any circumstance... much less if the mech is skilled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK - thanks for the advice. May well try a clutch master cylinder, then. If it is done at the same time, would the slave add much more labour/cost?
 

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Slave cylinder is concentric to transmission input shaft. Only SAAB uses this design to my knowledge. To replace the slave cylinder you must pull the transmission, so yes, doing the slave adds a whole bunch to the labour cost! Your question is better asked the other way around, should the MC be changed when the slave is changed and for older 9000 the answer is yes these MC are chronic failure parts due to the internal spring failing. The MC was redesigned and repositioned inside the car (also unique to SAAB I believe) above the pedal and is much more durable.


The design of the concentric slave may originate with the 99/900 series as to access this part on those cars did not require the tranny to be removed. Because the 99/900 engine was installed backwards with the clutch at the radiator end the clutch could be fully serviced with the whole drivetrain still in the car. Of course, changing the accessory drive belts on the other end of the engine against the firewall was a royal pita!
 
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