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Discussion Starter #1
I have three jobs on my list to do to the OG 9-3... I'm wondering how much easier some of them are if I do them all at the same time:
1. Replace my radiator and all cooling hoses
2. Upgrade my TD04 to the later King Cobra (requires swapping Cobra and cool side compressor housing) and replace the waste gate.
3. Replace my badly rusted PS line before it bursts at an inconvenient time

I'm wondering if doing all three of these jobs at the same time is the smart thing to do. OTOH, all three at once will turn this into a couple days of downtime I'm sure (can't do it full time and I want to do details like taking care of any rust under the radiator, etc) ... so doing the jobs separately is more convenient. But, I don't want to be foolish about it and I've never done a radiator or turbo so I don't know how much they intertwine with each other or the PS.

Give me your thoughts.

PS. Some specific questions:
  • on the radiator replacement, the WIS says to "Remove the power steering system's fluid reservoir." Do they mean loosen the bracket that holds it? Or are they suggesting I disconnect it at the hose (and is so, why?)
  • is it realistic to swap the cobra and wastegate in car? I know it's tight in there with the AC compressor. Is it reasonable to do or is it a "just pull the turbo, Bob" job. FWIW, no fasteners should be rusted on the manifold/downpipe as it was all off a few months ago.
 

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I can't imagine why you need to remove the reservoir. You do need to remove the reservoir bracket so you can move the suction tube around, but actually remove the reservoir? I don't think that's needed.

Replacing the wastegate actuator with the radiator out would probably be slightly easier. OTOH, I don't know what clearance is like with those parts so you may find that futzing with the radiator is more difficult with those parts in. I don't think turbo removal would help much all said and done - it's just a pile of extra work with a bunch of extra risk (broken studs, etc.) to prevent some scraped knuckles.

There's a ton of teardown to correctly replace the radiator, so assuming the upgraded WGA is NOT in the way of a radiator replacement, I would probably tear the front end off (needed to get the AC condenser off the radiator) then remove the radiator and then you have great access to the lower radiator support and the turbo.... right through the gaping hole in the front of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Once the radiator is out, things are fairly open. A/C condensor can just be pushed aside? Any line issues?

I don't know if there's enough room to do the turbo work without pulling it. Doesn't look like it. Maybe through the hole. PS line is a gimme if I have to take the bumper off to do the radiator. At this point that's a 15 minute, eyes closed task for me, so that's a gimme too.

But, sounds like it's "all in" for this one.
 

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Did similar repairs about 6 month ago, here’s what I noticed:

You need to take the whole front end off to do both the PS line and radiator, so do both those, but I recommend holding off on the TD-04 + king cobra because you will most likely have clearance issues on the waterpump or ps pump.

Radiator replacement involves removing: headlights, corner lights, grille, bumper, splash shields, intercooler, hoses, and unbolting the oil cooler and zip tying it so it doesn’t hang. After coolant is drained, undo the hoses to radiator and the top of the radiator tilts forward toward the engine on the top. Then you will have barely enough room to slide it up and remove.
When installing new radiator, I threw some lubricant on the male portions of the radiator on the bottom that fit in chassis holes to make it easier to slide in the correct position.
It’s interested how it’s really slide and locked in there.

The PS line will now be easy to remove and replace (except make sure driver side where it connects; do not cross thread the new line to the old and replace small rubber gaskets).

I did the waterpump while I was in there because coolant was drained and I had a slight leak at the “waterpump tube” that goes from WP to block.

It might be easier to install the turbo while everything else in out if everything goes smoothly, but I do believe you will run into issues with the king cobra clearing the WP/bracket and/or the ps pump.

If you do the turbo, please keep me updated on clearance! I have a 07 9-5 aero TD04 w/ king cobra that I’d like to install in my 97 900 Se.
 

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This sounds like an all in job.. Doing anything with the turbo is exponentially easier without the radiator or ac condenser in place.

And no.. Dont remove the ps reservoir. There isnt much that requires you to open that system. Taking the bracket off is plenty.

The whole front comes off in minutes and the radiator should be out in less than an hour. Including drain time.

Dont fight with it. If something is i. The way, removing 1-3 bolts should fix that and save you time and headache.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks boys. I need to accumulate a few more parts then I'll do the whole shebang.

Since I'll be working in a garage I will need to be neat with the radiator draining process. I usually just pull the lower hose but that's out. Also, this coolant is only a few months old so I'll reuse it. Anyone know what size hose I need to drain the radiator properly?

How about the heater hoses? Any advice on doing those?

lowsaabturbo: I'll update you when done. You also need the TD04 lines as well as the OG 9-3 crossflow intercooler and input hose... if you didn't get those, source them.
 

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My recollection is that 10mm silicone hose slips tightly over the nipple, allowing you to use the hose to do final loosening and initial tightening on the drain to avoid spillage. I think the hex is 19mm, and it's very easy to slip a deep socket on a 6" extension onto the drain without taking anything apart.

By heather hoses do you mean the actual hoses between engine and heater core, or the radiator hoses?
 

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If you mean the 1in hoses that go to the firewall.... If you are replacing them, just cut them off... Carefully slit the hoses off the nipples.
Trying to pull them might result in you having to replace the heater core.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, the heater hoses at the firewall/heater core. Will cut them then. Top or bottom access to install the new ones?
 

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If you remove your downpipe, the bottom has the best access.

Which power steering hose are you replacing? If it is one directly clamped to the reservoir; take the res mount off and free up the lines so you can lift the res over a shallow drain pan (old cake pan) before undoing the hoses. If you are doing the hose that goes to the rack from the res you will need to undo and move the fuse box beside the brake booster out of the way. The line from res to pump, depending on what is still in the car you might have to remove the battery tray.
I have not replaced the pump to rack line so....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm doing the first half line from pump to under battery tray. Not worried about that one... done several. Surprisingly easy if you're good at bumper removal and you figure out access to the fitting under the battery tray. Should make them out of stainless though... for a few $'s we could avoid that job - ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Depends on the climate I think. When I was in the Northeast, 4/5 needed replacement becuase they rusted out on the battery tray side under the radiator, the rest developed leaks at the fittings (usually very small, often something you could ignore and act like it wasn't there). Down in the Southwest, the pipes look great... but the 4/5 hoses are leaking at the fittings.

That's for the pump to fitting line. The line to the rack never seemed to leak in the NE. The reservoir line leaks at the tank end... no matter where you live :- )
 

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Ok bro...
The line from res to pump is one unit... Steel with rubber crimp fitted...
Are you altering the original hard line? To replace half?
 

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I don't have an issue with cutting off a crimp and using a hose clamp.... Im just confused.

Im not sure what you are getting at here. Unless your car has a different line than mine.
 

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Pretty sure he's talking about the pressure line between pump and rack (different that suction line between reservoir and pump, or return line from rack to reservoir).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pretty sure he's talking about the pressure line between pump and rack (different that suction line between reservoir and pump, or return line from rack to reservoir).
Yes... the pressure line that runs from the pump and under the radiator. Ends up under the battery tray where it connects to the line that runs back to the rack. That's the one that rusts out on rust belt cars.
 

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Heater hoses: I have done this on two cars now - both of my convertibles have full hose replacements using the DO88 silicone hoses. I accessed the heater connections from the bottom of the car with the car on ramps, so I was on my back doing the work. The first one I used the original spring clamps, which was a PIA. The second I ordered the DO88 clamp set with the hoses and those worked great, well worth the money. You will need to plan out which side of the hoses to put the clamp screw as it makes a difference in terms of serviceability. I did not get mine right the first time and ended up taking the hose off so that I could turn the clamp around. I do not remember the positioning, however.

My biggest issue with both cars was the U-shaped hose on the passenger front of the car. On both cars I had to trim the DO88 hose to make it the same size as the OEM hose, otherwise it was almost rubbing on the accessory belt. It was a PIA to get the existing spring clamps off and a PIA to get the threaded clamps on. Again, how the clamps are oriented makes a huge difference, especially since there is a large hose that fits in the same area and can interfere with the clamps - meaning there are 3 clamps in a small area that need to be coordinated so that they do not interfere with each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks. Fortunately my U-shaped hose was recently replaced, so I don't have to deal with that one.

You think there's any reasonable chance of working the heater hoses from the top? I'm no longer a "lay on the driveway" kind of guy (but I'll do it if it's the only choice).
 

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You might be able to if you use the spring clamps and have a long enough set of pliers. I saw a YouTube video once and I think the guy did it from the top. The issue with the screw clamps from above is that it is difficult to hold them in place while tightening them.
 
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