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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My 900 (92’ 900S) recently started to squeal when starting in the morning, I figured it was belt squeal for the power steering considering it did it when you turn the wheel after just starting it. It would go away after idling for a few minutes or giving it gas.

Then it started to make some pretty weird sounds (like moaning) when turning in parking lots, I figured it was the belt for the PS slipping.

I stupidly didn't look at the fluid level. I took a peak at it last night and it was about 1/4 of the add line and was boiling after driving :eek:

Could I have caused any damage to the PS system?


Sounds like I have a leak somewhere, or my fluid evaporated (JK) :roll:



The cars goes to the shop on Monday what specifically should be inspected? I’m at school and don’t really have the resources/time/tools to fix it myself.

Thanks, make me feel better by saying I didn't damage anything...
 

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Saab6 said:
Hello,

My 900 (92’ 900S) recently started to squeal when starting in the morning, I figured it was belt squeal for the power steering considering it did it when you turn the wheel after just starting it. It would go away after idling for a few minutes or giving it gas.

Then it started to make some pretty weird sounds (like moaning) when turning in parking lots, I figured it was the belt for the PS slipping.

I stupidly didn't look at the fluid level. I took a peak at it last night and it was about 1/4 of the add line and was boiling after driving :eek:

Could I have caused any damage to the PS system?
no.

Sounds like I have a leak somewhere, or my fluid evaporated (JK) :roll:
Leak, yes. Evaporated, unlikely.

The cars goes to the shop on Monday what specifically should be inspected? I’m at school and don’t really have the resources/time/tools to fix it myself.
How many miles?

Your squeaking/moaning frequently called "morning sickness". A worn steering rack, or a leaky one low on fluid can make such sounds.

Check rack for leaks, particularly at the tie rod seals. Somewhere north of 150k miles, they start to go. Most common leak is evident by fluid in tie rod boot (eg: outer seal). Townsend has a real good checklist of power steering system leak & maintenance here, and a little more info (syptoms & replacement) here.

FWIW, if rack is the problem there was a very informative discussion of steering racks, rebuild specs and such here. I'd pay particular attention to posts by Jim Mesthane & Shan. Long story short: I bought a replacement (rebuild) rack delivered w/aluminum control valve housing that did not have re-machined/pressed sleeves... leaked w/in a few k miles.

I looked long and hard, made a lot of phone calls and spoke to a lot of builders before ordering another one. The best reference, by far, I recieved was for Jorgen Auto. They do re-sleeve their aluminum control valves. I bought one, inspected it thoroughly before installing, and it was delivered as advertised... 1st rate work @ reasonable price (+/- $175 as I recall). I can rip off at least a dozen c900 shops who've used these things excusively and never had a single problem. I have a high regard for these guys... their "master builder" really knew his stuff.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Perfect I'm at 163k. The Saab is nice in the way that mechanical systems fail like a percision clock.

I have checked the fluid somwhat regularly but the is the first time that I have noticed a large consumtion since purchased at 149k.

I'll take a peak at Townsends information, It seems fine now that it has fluid. My worry was that I starved the PS pump of fluid and may have damaged it.

Thanks!
 

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The early morning screech may also be the harmonic balancer in the crank pulley. This should be dealt with as it will eventually damage the oil pump housing...
 

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jdmckay said:
no.



Leak, yes. Evaporated, unlikely.



How many miles?

Your squeaking/moaning frequently called "morning sickness". A worn steering rack, or a leaky one low on fluid can make such sounds.

Check rack for leaks, particularly at the tie rod seals. Somewhere north of 150k miles, they start to go. Most common leak is evident by fluid in tie rod boot (eg: outer seal). Townsend has a real good checklist of power steering system leak & maintenance here, and a little more info (syptoms & replacement) here.
The images with the second link don't load unfortunately. I have successfully removed the steering rack out of my 83 GLi donor car a week ago when I decided to complete strip it back to a bare shell (now only engine block + trans remain), but I'm not sure of it's condition as the car hadn't run in the time I'd had it.

Handy to have a spare, but I'll see about finding a place to rebuild it.

I looked long and hard, made a lot of phone calls and spoke to a lot of builders before ordering another one. The best reference, by far, I recieved was for Jorgen Auto. They do re-sleeve their aluminum control valves. I bought one, inspected it thoroughly before installing, and it was delivered as advertised... 1st rate work @ reasonable price (+/- $175 as I recall). I can rip off at least a dozen c900 shops who've used these things excusively and never had a single problem. I have a high regard for these guys... their "master builder" really knew his stuff.
That's good! I don't know if they'd have RHD steering racks though. My 81 turbo needs a replacement rack as it's leaking at the pinion housing but the leak is slow enough to make the car still drivable with top-up's occassionally.

Now that I know how to get the racks in/out (opposite of Bentley procedure since pinion housing on right side not left side!), I could tackle replacing a steering rack. :cool:

Craig.
 

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just a question

How clean does your PS fluid look? Mine looks pretty dirty.
Secondly, I had my car on a lift at the VW dealer where I work, and on of the tech's was just checking out my car and said ''looks like you're leaking PS fluid''. Should my fluid level be right at the very top of the reservoir? Since then, I've been noticing faint noises when I just start the car... morning sickness I guess..
 

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jdmckay said:
Your squeaking/moaning frequently called "morning sickness".
No. Morning sickness is when the steering is stiff. This is usually first thing in the morning when the engine (PS fluid) is cold. Hence the name. After a minute or 2, the PS fluid warms up, and the stiffness goes.

A PS fluid leak is not a symptom of morning sickness.
 

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RickyS said:
No. Morning sickness is when the steering is stiff. This is usually first thing in the morning when the engine (PS fluid) is cold. Hence the name. After a minute or 2, the PS fluid warms up, and the stiffness goes.

A PS fluid leak is not a symptom of morning sickness.
I sit corrected. :roll:

I use(d) the term more from experience than proper terminology: eg. prior to replacing my rack, what you call "morning sickness" is same symptoms I had when my fluid was low (usually below the "fill" line as I recall). There was a threshold @ which low fluid would behave exactly the same: stiffness, squeaking/groaning etc. Depending on how low, it would gradually improve as car warmed up.

This is my first c900... nearly 2 yrs ownership and +/-18 mos working on it. As far as racks, I have direct experience only w/mine. My original (AFAIK) rack worked well aside from (massive) leaks as long as I kept fluid up. From what I gather reading these forums for a while, seems that's not always the case: the rack internals sometimes wear out such that they will create similar symptoms regarless of fluid level (do I have this right?).

There's also the issue of steering column U-Joint sometimes....

Anyway, thanks for correction Ricky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll have the rack and lines checked out for leaks. As far as the fluid goes the little that was in there was very clean and pink in color.

I'm hoping the scretching is a belt. Someone mentioned harmonic balancer any way I can do a visual inspection? Give me some info please.

Anyway it could be the waterpump on its way?
 

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c900 said:
That's good! I don't know if they'd have RHD steering racks though.
there's a contact (mail/phone) on page I linked... ask 'em.

Apparently they supply several large aftermarket sellers (but would'nt tell me who they were), so wouldn't surprise me if they had 'em.

Matthew recomended one in UK. Only reason I didn't order there was extra (from memory) $60 shipping across the pond. Since everything out of your home is across some pond or 2, maybe his builder is a good choice for u. I presume Matthew's recomended rebuilder has wrong side racks... either that or a lot of confused UK customers. :cheesy:
 

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Saab6 said:
As far as the fluid goes the little that was in there was very clean and pink in color.
(crass dipstick joke waiting to happen...)

I'm hoping the scretching is a belt.
could be, but given conditions you describe sounds like pump or rack. If noise disappears w/fluid replenished, points more to rack unless you just have leaky lines/couplings. Replenishing fluid would not quiet belts.

Someone mentioned harmonic balancer any way I can do a visual inspection? Give me some info please.
The pulley has large rubber insert as dampener: when this goes, it starts to wobble/vibrate and/or fall apart. Description here, more info/discussion in the SC FAQs here.

Anyway it could be the waterpump on its way?
Unless your waterpump doubles as a steering pump :cheesy:, symptoms u describe suggest otherwise.

Depending on your $$ situation, I'll throw in a FIW (IMO) that replacing the rack not as bad a job as pre-replacement anxiety would suggest. Shops here get +/- $800 (including rack). 1st time I did it, took me just under 5 hrs (including replacing lines). 2nd time (no lines, just rack), about 2.5 hrs. There's lots of DIY guides on doing this job.

It is dirty, greasy and grimy job though, and expect a few scraped knuckles 1st go around.

good luck.
 

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cdaly said:
The early morning screech may also be the harmonic balancer in the crank pulley. This should be dealt with as it will eventually damage the oil pump housing...
And it's probably a good time to also change the rear crankshaft oil seal if it's leaking. I don't think the timing cover needs to come off to replace the seal, and if a seal has been leaking the conglomeration of oil and dirt will probably be damagine the rubber insert of the crankshaft pulley.

Craig.
 

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The rack I replaced recently suffered from morning sickness - stiff steering from cold start. No PS fluid leak or any squeaking/moaning noises.

Running the engine with little or no PS fluid may damage the PS pump. I doubt it would damage the PS rack. Saab manual says to avoid damage to PS pump do not allow PS pump reservoir to run dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
+1 for the crankshaft pulley aka harmonic balencer.

The good news is there was no sign of power steering leak. I'm sure that's comming so stay tuned!

The bad news is I just went down $450 and discovered my oil leak is a as a result of a blown hg.

However it hasn't leaked into the coolant passages and I'm not losing coolant.

And my parking break is not functioning due to the little arm being frozen.

For the first time I am actually feeling like others have an wanting to get rid of the Saab. ;oops: Which sucks because I'm pretty sure I love that car..
 
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