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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Engine Death Related Fun and Frollics.

My wonderful, beautiful Saab dies on the hard shoulder.

As some of you may know, I've just come back from Italy, where for 4500 mile, she didn't miss a beat. I come home, and go down the motorway for 140 miles, and BANG, clatter clack. She will restart, but it should like there's something smacking the cam cover from the inside, near c2 I think. Can't be good now can it.

This is the end stage of the rattle of death - a persistant knock that's been happening for ages, and I think this is the last straw. Also, when the thing when pop, I got a loud squeak from the crank pulley area, but she's running all clinders, so I don't think something like a conrod has gone. Could it be the oil pump, starving the cam's of oil, and blowing a bearing or something???? Either way, when I start her up, it makes one hell of a racket... like a bag of spanners. No; like a metal box of spanners, being repetivly smacked with a big hammer. It sounds, nasty. It sounds, expensive.

Ahh well. I'm off to find some beer and think about what to do next. If anyone can help, or offer condolences, I am accepting paypal donations and flowers, here, on this forum thread.
 

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I wish I was off to find beer! :cheesy: I would be pulling the valve cover off while I had a beer to see what it looked like under there. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First SAAB said:
I wish I was off to find beer! :cheesy: I would be pulling the valve cover off while I had a beer to see what it looked like under there. Good luck!
It's dark, so I won't be doing anything tonight... a quick question though. Did I read somewhere that the cam bearings on the B202 series engine are built into the head, so if one where to fail due to lack of oil or some other reason, they cannot be replaced. If this turns out to be the case, anyone know of anyone selling replacement heads, fully refurbished or otherwise?

Thanks chaps.
 

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... a virtual beer to you, pal :confused:.

I buy most of my parts from ebay or the boneyard... hope you bring her back to life.
 

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NewBoySaab said:
she's running all clinders, so I don't think something like a conrod has gone. Could it be the oil pump, starving the cam's of oil, and blowing a bearing or something???? Either way, when I start her up, it makes one hell of a racket... like a bag of spanners. No; like a metal box of spanners, being repetivly smacked with a big hammer. It sounds, nasty. It sounds, expensive
Could this be the traditional timing chain noise? If it's sufficiently worn and jumped a tooth, you could end up with nasty noises. You can check it out this way:

Put the car in 5th and roll the car (forward only) to get the crankshaft to top dead centre (TDC).
Pull off the distributor cap and see that the rotor is pointing at the No. 1 plug lead.
Take off the cam cover and check that the timing marks on the camshaft sprockets are properly lined up. Chances are they aren't.
If there's no sign of the camshaft timing marks, rotate the crank one full revolution and check the timing marks again.

If they're still not lined up (chances are one is lined up and the other isn't 'cos it jumped a tooth), consider replacing the chain and pray that valves didn't get bent. Since you say it's still running on all four, you may be OK.

If the timing marks are lined up, check the timing chain tensioner length (do a search for the procedure or look it up in the Bentley).

If things have got as far as a timing chain-related breakdown, I'd advise against doing an in-car split chain replacement. You'ld be better off pulling the engine, replacing the chain, guides and maybe the sprockets. While you're at it, pull and overhaul the chain tensioner and the oil pump. Replace the oil pump O-ring and the crank pulley oil seal too.

Best of luck, hopefully that's all that's wrong...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've just been on the phone with my freindly mechanic. He says that the sound is very likely to be a big or little end of a con-rod. Usually, if you could drop the sump, it would be an easy job. But because of the location of the gearbox, it's going to be an engine out job, and becasue of the value of the car, I might was well scrap it, or break it for parts. I don't want to do either of those, but I don't realy have the cash for a job like that. Looks like I'm going to be taking the bus for a while.

I'll let you know how things happen, dear forum.

I think I might cry.

Or go and have a beer.
 

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I very much doubt it will be a con rod - the bottom ends of these engines are virtualy indistructable. Much more likely it's the timing chain -if so you may be able to get away with just a head repalcement . If the body work is in good condition you should think about repairing it - you will get next to nothing if you scrap it but the scrap man will make loads of money on your parts.
 

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i'll second that comment Trackside......

my '93 lpt droped a valve 6 months after blowing the gearbox. Instead of doing a head swap or rebuild, i managed to source a Carlsson engine on a knackered 'box, and swapped the whole lump over, takin the best bits from both (whilst adding the apc too:cheesy: ).

While the cost has been slightly more that just the head swap, i now have 2 engines (one i can rebuild and "do up" at my leisure) and a few spare boxes that can be refurbed.

Not had it back yet (ROLL ON TOMMOROW), but I would definately not scrap yours, as its still a late 900 and very much worth keeping

Good luck, and keep us posted
G
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I didn't think it would be the con-rods, knowing that they go on for ever! I think it's oil starvation leading to bearing wear on the top cam shaft, it being the furthest away from the pump. My thoughts are these...

Replace the oil pump, open up the camcover and have look to see how mashed it is in there. If I can find a head, then I'll just do a straight swap, either that or find someone selling heads. Put it all back together, and if it works, great, if it doesn't, I haven't really lost anything...

The body works fine - needs a t-cut and bit of tidying up here and there. I've already bought the parts to refit the rear shocks and springs, so I might as well try and fix it up. Thing is, this engine's only done 145,000 miles, quite low milage for a 900.

Question. Is there any product I can use to clean out oil lines? If the pressure has been low for a while, there could be untold ammounts of gunk flaoting around in there. What's good for cleaning it out?

I don't think the timing chain snapped, because it still cranks and fires up on all four cylinders.

I'll keep you up to date of current events.

Thanks chaps.
 

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Sorry to hear about the car. I just had one of those make or break decisions a couple of weeks ago when it became clear I was facing imminent transmission failure. I suppose I could have scrapped the old girl and got a £500 banger instead, but I couldn't do it - had to try and keep it going a bit longer. Good luck with it.
 

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"I don't think the timing chain snapped, because it still cranks and fires up on all four cylinders." - that is a good sign. I do know of a Saab that had the bottom end go - the engine had been rebuilt but the mechanic had forgotten to tighten up the oil pickup tube -so it lostened and dropped off leading to no oil pressure and termination.
 

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NewBoySaab said:
I don't think the timing chain snapped, because it still cranks and fires up on all four cylinders.
It may not have snapped but it could have jumped a tooth on a sprocket...
 

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I had a valve spring disintigrate and make horrid noises like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks for all your kind words chaps. I wont know what has really happened to it until I take it to bits, but I really don't think it's what my mechanic says it it. If I had a bad con-rod, or con-rod bearing, that cylinder just wouldn't go, would it? The symptoms suggest that oil starvation could have caused something top end to get dry and wear out. When I get her back from the garage forecourt, I'll take the cam cover off and have a good poke around. There's definatly something flapping about under there, and possibly hitting the cover itself? Perhaps a cam bearing or a cap has come off and it dancing about under there.

I shall indeed take on board all that you have suggested and see what happens. I'll post some pics up so you can all have a look at it. Could be that it's really mashed up under there, but we wont know until she's open to the air!

I read in the Haynes that the oil pump is attached to the body of the engine, and not deep inside it as my mechanic says it is - he's actually an ex Citroen man, and he only looks after another Saab, which is an 8v, which I think could be different. I think half of his reluctance to do anything other than scrap it is because he's so busy - a one man opperation who looks after lots of cars... he does an excellent job, but he's always booked up for weeks in advance, and I don't think he really wants to take on such a big job of pulling out the engine and stripping it down, rebuild it and put it back. 30 hours should do it, and the money would be good I guess... but if I did the work, it would save me money, but he's got the expert knowledge of engines - more than I do. I know how they work, but not how to put one together. Like he said, everything's in there for a reason. You forget to put back one tiny bearing, washer or seal and you've had it!

Is it possible to run the engine with the cover off? Or is that being dead stupid? I thought if I caould run the engine with the covers off I might get a better idea of what's spinning where - although from a safe distance, in case something flies off and blinds me!

Thanks again, sorry for such a long post, but all the information I can get right now is good. The blue turbo may once again, grace Bristols roads!

Cheers.

PS - Afterthought. If it turns out that a replacement engine would be the easiest fix, what do I need to look for. Mines a B202, but do I need to find a B202 from a turbo car? I recon the engine isn't the same - were they built differently if they had a turbo destined to be bolted onto them? If I need to buy one, I don't want to buy the wrong one. Good money after bad and all that!
 

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New boy saab, i sympathise with your experiences.

On a (not so) recent trip to the monaco grand prix my saab performed perfectly all the way to the event cruising at 100mph all day long three up and full of luggage (even overtaking a dodge viper and ac cobra at approx 130-135mph!). However on the way back, 200 miles along the south coast of france it had a major and unexpected transmission failure.

Having bought travel insurance it was towed to a garage who told me the box needed replaced and it would have to be done by a saab main dealer (my face at the prospect of a bill from them :cry: ). At one point i was discussing with my travelling companions which bits we would have to strip from the car before i sold it to the garage! Much like a scene from some obscene TV comedy we ended up getting the car back to dover (via trains and all sorts including navigating the streets of paris soley using third and fifth gear).

I got the car back from my specialist yesterday, it was like xmas day all over again. anyway, my point is i dont believe cost will be that prohibitive. I paid £550 all in for engine and box removal, engine and box refitting, engine and box removal (the first box was just as knackered), engine and box refitting and the actual cost of the box (supposedly £250ish).

I really was considering selling my car on and getting some crap eurobox but after my extended drive of my "new" car yesterday made me realise how glad i am that i didn't. And don't believe that i have lots of money to throw at my car, i just got paid but this wiped me out. i will literally have no social life for the next month (really pleased the missus!) but the smile i have on my face everytime i look at and drive my "baby" will more than make up for it.

So in short...
SAVE IT - YOU KNOW ITS WORTH IT!

Oh yeah, and be glad it happened close to home, not 1400 miles away!!!!:evil:

oooooh, look i just hit 100 posts, now wheres the beers?
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I know how you feel about getting a eurobox. Economical, reliable, cheap to insure, cheap to service and repair... I used to have a Ford Mondeo! Still got it actually, and it's what I'm driving now. Quiet on the motorway, predictible handelling...

AND SO BORING.
After a Saab, nothing else will do... except perhaps a 911 Turbo?

DIY - if it's not too hard a job, is certainly the way to go. Blue Saab will ride again, I can see it now. Me and my baby, burning along the winding roads of wales, looking superb in the streets of Bristol.

100 posts? 100 green shielid stamps and a crate of Newky Brown on its way to your sir. You lucky boy. Must almost be like your birthday.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Advanced Saab Engine Death - Replacement.

It's the only answer to this one. Oil starvation due to dodgy oil pump (and a poor service record thanks to the precious owner), causing bearings to fail on the cam shafts, and I've snapped a con-rod too. Taking the engine apart and fixing it is going to cost the earth - it's way above my level of mechanical skill, and I don't have the space to do the job anyway.

It's a B202 series engine - but when I'm looking for a replacement, I need to look for one from a turbo car, right? A regular B202 won't cut it with a charger attached - I think I read that somewhere on this forum?

Anyone know where I can get a new engine? Bristol area, or national (UK) that can send it to me for a reasonable price? I need options right now... My baby's got to get back on the road, because if I don't do this, I can see me buying something sensible - like buying a Ford Focus, or worse, a 306!

Saab Owner in Need.

Cheers chaps!
 

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Sorry to hear about your troubles with it. The only place that I know of down that way is JamSaab, which is highly regarded. Otherwise someone like Two Stroke to Turbo would probably have a few engines kicking about.

Edit - Aaargh! :evil: He's done it again! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It's not nice in there. It did run for a bit... clatter clatter clank. Then, driving onto the low loader to bring it home, bang, snap, clunk, boom hiss...

Took the cam cover off, valve springs, cam shafts, bits of sheered off metal...

Not nice at all.

I'll give Jam Saab a ring. It's really not repairable, just swap it for a new one.

Better luck next time Jez. :cheesy:

It's only money (lets out a big sigh).
 
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