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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone again.
Cinemarr has put me onto a car that I might be interested in, but would like your collective expert opinion before I make a huge mistake.

Details of the vehicle are:Saab 900 1984 GLi 5 Door Hatch non turbo ,is registered until Aug 2005.
Owner says "It is in need of repair and that is, replacing the crankshaft pulley that runs the belt for the alternator and power steering the harmonic balancer is OK. " I take it he means the harmonic balancer is ok - but the crankshaft pulley that runs the alternator and the power steeting needs to be replaced.

So, my question is: what is involved in replacing the crankshaft pulley - is this a job for a mechanic (sounds like it to me). Is it a big job? and can it be replaced with the engine in situ? Would this need to be replaced to (as part of some larger assembly? or would I be looking at just having to replace the wheel????

This is a 1984 auto model and Ruby is a 1983 manual - so I guess not many engine parts would be swappable. What about interior parts like seats, roof lining, pillars, dash parcel shelf etc etc etc ???

Many thanks as always
Rosie
Saabina83

PS Since I originally posted this question I've done a bit of research - am I right in thinking the crankshaft pulley is actually the wheel that the belt is turned by???
 

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Hi there,

The crankshaft pulley, also known as 'haromnic balancer' is the main pulley that drives the fan belts that are, power steering, alternator and water pump. It is at the bottom of the engine nearest the firewall, about 2 inches above the power steering rack. The oil pump is directly behind the pulley as well. The belt for the A/C, if fitted, is driven by the same point albeit from a secondary pulley that is bolted to the centre part of the crank pulley.

Generally, when the crank pulley is changed, it is seen to be a wise move to remove and clean the oil pump and install a new pump 'O' ring seal along with a new crank pulley seal.
It took me the best part of 4hrs working alone to do this job on the current car.
No, it is not an easy task. It falls into the, "Easy problem, Difficult job!" catergory. It can be done on the car so engine removal isn't necessary. I would think some aspects of the task start to become out of the realms of general home car mechanics when for example, to undo the crank bolt, a shortened (machined down) 27 or 32 mm socket (depending on the year) is required to work in the space between the firewall and the crankshaft.
If you were to ring SAABSERVE in Parramatta, they will give you a respectable quote on what is needed to be done.
THEN RING A DEALER AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE SITTING DOWN.

As for the cosmetic interchangeability, if it's the same colour scheme, most parts should be the same of very similar.


Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you

Hi Rodentmaster
Thanks for answering my question. The car I'm thinking of is up near Bathurst/Orange and I'm at the base of the Blue Mountains. The advertiser says that the even without the alternator or powersteering working the car can be driven (is still with current rego) - but even to me driving a car without an alternator sounds pretty risky. Am I right?

I've had experiences with Rick Damelian saab already as far as pricing is concerned. I usually just add one or two zero's to the price of any part and that's what I expect to pay at the dealers. Saabserve guys are fab. I'll give them a buzz in the morning.

Do you think a car carrier might be able to transport the car from Orange to Penrith/Richmond - or do they only do depot to depot transports?

Thanks Rosie
PS I love your avatar :lol: Is there some significance to your name? PM me with the answer if you like
R :))
 

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Hi there,

It would be safer to have the car transported, and they can be delivered to any address.... do you have any friends with a car trailer perhaps?
I'm not sure what the scale of economics is to have a car transported against hiring a trailer and so on.
Has the owner stated if the fan belts on the car?
Alternator and water pump and crank pulley starts to get into serious dollars, and the power steering is another matter.
He might say the pump doesn't work but he may also be trying to mask the possibilty that the rack is no good. Then the big $$$$$$$$$$ will be the result.

It's along way to find out I guess but it would be rude of me not to warn you.


As for the avatar, well I'm just a big sook! Just ask my 2 and 4 yr old girls. They're the rodents, to wit, I'm the rodentmaster and so on. Our house is full of stuffed mouses and related bears! Mouse is the original! ( This will be moderated...................)

Good Luck.
 

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Saabina83 said:
but even to me driving a car without an alternator sounds pretty risky. Am I right?
I drove my C900 for 6 hours across England in the rain, at night with a failed alternator. You can drive for as long as your battery lasts. OTOH, if the water pump is not running, you can't drive the car at all...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now I'm confused

The seller says the water pump is fine.

But I'm getting confused (not hard really!)... if the crankshaft pulley isn't working is it still possible for the water pump to work?

Re driving sans a working alternator ... I thought that if the car was driven without any extra load being placed on the electrical circuit by lights, wipers etc the car would drive ok - but if the lights and/or wipers were used, the extra load would basically drain the battery in a very short time (a couple of miinutes). Am I right or do I need to repeat Basic Car Electrics 101 again?

Also, Rodentmaster, you say the crankshaft pulley is also called the harmonic balancer and the guy says the harmonic balancer is okay - what then is it that would actually need to be replaced???

:confused:
 

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oh god I think I've opened Pandora's Saab. Please don't come looking for me if it turns out to be a curse. ;)

I should use my powers for good instead of evil. :evil:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bad Karma & the Crankshaft Pulley

Well, I've spoken the very friendly guys at Saabserve. The car is only worth scrap value (if you could find a scrap yard to take it - more like you'd have to pay them to take it away for you)

Rodentmaster is right, the harmonic balancer is the crankshaft pulley - so if the seller is saying that's ok then the problem is going to lie with the 'key' which has possibly been stripped.

Bottom line: $600 if just the pulley needs to be replaced. $2000 if the 'key' has to be replaced because this is not an in-engine jobby. Apparently Ruby's pulley won't fit because the 1984 models have a long harmonic balancer. Good thing I haven't phone the local dealers. the price to fix would be about $8 000 from past experience.

Being pathologically unable to walk past a bargain, I'm still not to be defeated though: so the question is... can Ruby's whole engine be removed and fitted into the engine bay of the 1984 car? I'll start a thread asking that Q.
Cheers
R
Saabina83
 

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Hi there Rosie,

I've not had the experience with pre '86 900's.
I would though, take a conservative approach in this situation being that the sale is too far away for a 'maybe' style of result. The guys at SAABSERVE are or will basically say that any 900 pre '90 is not worth it. They regard the cars before then to be too fragile and 'time' hungry as most of the bigger issues were ironed out after then and generally they would have a hard time convincing a customer that a car that was cheap to aquire is so expensive to keep to any given standard. Being a electronic technician, I can see where their minds are at. So many times I'm approached to fix an old or cheap tv or vcr and once i get involved to fix the first problem, something else shows up or breaks as a result of trying to fix the initial symptom and so on and on it goes.
Basically, they see don't the the profit in them any more.
It really becomes a case of while ever you can do the work yourself, the car and you have a chance of keeping things rolling along. As soon as you need to get a mechanic involved, 9 times out of 10 they will try to price the job so high to make you back down or if they have a lucky day, you say 'yes!'.
It is getting hard to find a sympathetic mechanic who is reasonable to approach but they are out there.

It great to see you have a affection for the 900's but can I ask how much of the work on these cars are you going to do before it becomes too much?

Good Luck

RM
 

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Just a little aside for Aussie C900 owners..if you are prepared to do this job yourself (and there are decent enough howtos online with pics), you can get an Aussie made harmonic balancer for about $140 or so. No idea of the cost for the oil pump seal or whatever else is recommended you do at the same time.

Come to think of it, can anyone advise definitively what is recommended is done at the same time as a changeover of a harmonic balancer?
 

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Oil pump seal (a very large O-ring). Inexpensive.

Crankshaft pulley seal (pressed into oil-pump cover). Also very cheap.

All the belts.

BTW, there's tons of info on this Forum for replacing the crank pulley and associated items. It never fails to amaze me how often people forget this:roll:
 

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Thanks ProfZ, but I don't actually need to change my harmonic balancer.

Following up for Aussie 900 owners - non-genuine crankshaft pulleys can be bought a lot cheaper than genuine here..........

http://www.precisionparts.com.au

Re definitive - perhaps what I should have said was minimum suggested. Or nothing.
 

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silversaab96 said:
Thanks ProfZ, but I don't actually need to change my harmonic balancer.
The items I suggested are ones that either have to come off to change the crank pulley/harmonic balancer, or are made accessible by its removal.

If you're not planning on changing the pulley, you won't be able to access the O-ring and crank pulley seal (the most common causes of oil leaks, next to the cam-cover gasket). Of course, the belts can be changed any time!
 

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That damn leaking cam-cover gasket! I know what you mean there... which reminds me..no I'll start my own thread on that subject another day.. ;)
 
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