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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks. Haven't been on in a while, since my Something Almost Always Broken has been running pretty well!

I have a '99 95 SE 2.3L with 140k miles.

Of course, the aux belt broke on I-95 in MA last week and I just barely squeaked in under my 100 mile free tow from AAA to get home. But hey, it's a SAAB. Builds character, right?

Replaced the (long) belt and both idlers plus the tensioner pulley today. The belt only lasted about 35k miles, which is disappointing. It looked like a gremlin had got into it -- literally it looked like black spaghetti and I had to unwind several strands wrapped around the crank pulley. Also while putting the center idler (from hell) on, the bolt fell and managed to land *inside* a little oval hole in one of the structural members, where it promptly rolled away from the into the depths of the subframe, never to be retrieved again. Fortunately the old bolt wasn't in too bad shape so I reused it.

I also did the valve cover gasket, which is the first time I've seen the top half of the engine. Looked clean in there, no sludge and the chain looked pristine and taught. Glad to see that.

Anyway, through lots of time spent under and over the car I've noticed an engine-related rattle/chatter noise from the inboard side. It's from somewhere in the vicinity or below of the yellow area I circled on this image of a much cleaner car than mine:
http://i.imgur.com/5uTLx.jpg

It's very noticeable at idle, but goes away almost completely if I rev up to 1500-2000 RPM and hold it there. You can also hear it when lifting off the gas at higher RPMs. It is possibly more noticeable if the car is cold, hard to say. I don't notice anything wrong driving the car around, and it seems to have plenty of boost when I floor it.

Any ideas? Usual suspects?

Cheers, much appreciated!
 

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1st line was very good description of Saab LOL.
not much moves in that area, you have the flywheel and the trans and or to the side is the turbo.
possible trans or engine mount???
 

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Check your subframe bushing and engine/tranny mounts. I had the same symptoms which went away when I had all the mounts done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I was out of town for a few weeks and haven't got around to looking at the car again until this week. I took it to a new mechanic this week for (ME) state inspection and of course it failed on several points. I should have told him in advance I'd be doing any work rather than paying him to do it -- that usually keeps them from doing an excessively thorough job.

Anyway he listed the "Front Lower Motor Mount" which I assume is the one under the battery, and "Lower Rear Transmission Mount" though from his description I think he actually means the Front Torque Rod (which I looked at today -- the bushing *is* totally shot). While under there I found out I also have a Rear Torque Rod on my car apparently, and that one is shot too, and also apparently worthless since they took it away after '99.

He also listed "Right Side Rear Lower Control Arm Bushing". The funny part is that I'm not sure if he means the cross-stay bushings in the back (those are in bad shape) or the rearmost bushing on the bottom arm in the *front* of the car (which is lousy too). It's not like I'm made of money over here! :cheesy:

Point is, I'll be replacing all the things you guys suggested anyway, so we'll see what that does to the vibration.

One question though -- on the RHS-upper engine mount (the one attached to the big yoke atop the engine) the "piston" in mine moves totally freely up and down a significant distance (maybe 2"), though I don't recall much lateral play. Is it supposed to do that? I can't tell if it's fine or really really shot. I gather it's supposed to be hydraulic. Mine doesn't leak fluid, but it doesn't feel like it has any dampening to it either. May have all leaked out many miles ago. :eek:
 

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Check your subframe bushing and engine/tranny mounts. I had the same symptoms which went away when I had all the mounts done.
I have the same noise/sound, I replaced both front mounts and tranny bushing, car is smoother but noise still there. I thought it was the rear mount but mechanic told me it was the rear subframe bushings, he recommended to only replace the rears.
 
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