SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 20 of 88 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Last week my car threw a P0785 transmission code which pointed to the SLS in the transmission. When I first started looking at this it looked like this was quite a bit of work to get the solenoid replaced, part of the transmission has to come off, drain, drain the cooler, etc. Fortunately for us (and not some Volvo and Maxima owners) the valve body cover can be removed and the solenoids replaced with the transmission in the car!

In the end, it's not too big of a job. This tutorial will show you how to do it with some photos. I took fewer photos once I got the thing opened up since my hands were covered with ATF and I didn't want to touch my phone.

What you will need:

First you need the new solenoid. These transmissions are primarily electrically controlled through a group of solenoids. The linear solenoids control things like the clutch and other fluid flow. There are also 5 solenoids that control the shifting for each gear. Rostra in North Carolina makes a kit that replaces all three of the linear solenoids and they also sell replacements for the individual gear solenoids. The Aisin AW55-50 is a pretty common transmission in Volvos, Nisssan's and Saabs (and others) I bought my kit from USA Industries on ebay for $209 which included all three linear solenoids (SLS, SLT, SLU) since I figured if I was going to go through the trouble I may as well replace them all at 145K.

You will need the following tools:

  • 16mm combination wrench to take off the torque rod mount
  • 18mm combination wrench and socket to take off the torque rod (both ends)
  • 14mm combination wrench to take off the main ground from the transmission
  • 12mm socket and a bunch of extensions/U-joints to take off the valve body cover
  • 10mm socket to remove the battery tray
  • 13mm socket to remove the battery and SLS/SLT bracket
  • 8mm (? I think) socket to remove the SLU bracket
  • screwdriver to take off the hose from the intercooler to the intake pipe
  • a small screwdriver to take off the solenoid electrical connections

Note: it looks like you can either take the valve body cover off through the top by removing the intercooler hose or the bottom by removing the down pie and cat. I took the top route.

From above:


Start by jacking the car, take out the battery and the battery tray. (13mm for the battery, 10mm for the tray)

Remove the hose connecting the intercooler to the intake pipe. Two screw hose clamps hold this on.



Remove the retaining clip from the support under the battery for the TCM control wire that comes up next to the neutral safety switch and for the main ground. They are pushed through and a set of needle nose pliers from the back will release.



Remove the transmission dipstick and then the dipstick tube (if you have one, some transmissions don't) this is a 13mm bolt on top of the NSS.

From below:

Slightly lift the transmission with a jack, remove the torque rod. The transmission end is a 18mm bolt threaded into the transmission mount, the subframe end is an 18mm bolt with an 18mm nut on the other end that is difficult to get. Release the transmission

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/49074648/Aisin Transmission/Remove Torque Rod.JPG

There are three 16mm bolts that hold the transmission mount to the cover of the valve body. These are hard to get out since there is very little room to maneuver. There is no way to get a rachet in there, so you need an open end or box end wrench. Remove these three bolts, it's easier to get the top one out from above. . Since you unhooked the main ground cable from the frame above, pull the mount down and you can get a 14mm wrench onto the main ground, remove. Remove the transmission mount. You can snake your hand in around the subframe from the drivers wheel well side of the frame to get the other two.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/49074648/Aisin Transmission/Torque Mount out.JPG

Remove both of the transmission cooler lines, drain the transmission. Mark one so that you know where it goes when you reassemble.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/49074648/Aisin Transmission/Remove Cooler lines.JPG

I put baggies on the end of each one, taped them up and then pushed them through the subframe and out into the wheel well so they would be out of the way.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/49074648/Aisin Transmission/Bag cooler lines.JPG

Remove all of the 12mm bolts that hold the valve body cover. There are several lengths of these bolts so keep them in order. A good collection of extensions and u-joints are useful in getting all of these out. The three on the top are best reached from above. The rest come out from below. I had one that I could not get the bolt out once it was loose since it hit the bracket on the subframe where the torque rod bolts. Make sure you put it back in the cover before inserting when reassembling.

Use a rubber mallot to tap the cover. If yours is like mine it's never been off so be patient. Once it pops off, let the remaining transmission fluid drain. Go to the top and fish the cover out.

Top View with cover off:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/49074648/Aisin Transmission/Top View no cover.JPG

Bottom view with cover off:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/49074648/Aisin Transmission/Botton View no cover.JPG

In this photo the solenoids that have a single wire (top of photo, bottom of valve body) are the shift solenoids for the individual gears. The linear solenoids are toward the bottom of the photo (top of f the valve body)

You now have access to the solenoids. The three linear solenoids are on the top starting with the SLU (black connector) on the top, the SLT (blue connector) and the SLS (green connector) on the bottom. To get the connectors out get a small screwdriver and insert it into the hole on the wire end of the "top" of the connector until the catch is released and then pull the connector out. Do this before you unbolt the solenoids since you want to be able to pull against the solenoids to get the connectors out.

From the top, starting with the SLU, unbolt the single bolt that holds in the retaining clip and remove the clip. Slide the solenoid out toward the drivers side of the car. put a little bit of ATF on the snout of the new solenoid, slide it in and re-install the clip. You will notice that the clip fits into a slot on the snout of the solenoid with a slot facing toward the clip as well so you can't really get it in wrong.

Now from the bottom, remove the bolt that holds the retaining clip that holds both the SLS and SLT. Again, remove the solenoids and replace with the new ones following the instructions. The Rostra solenoids orient the connectors differently so pay close attention to the instructions. The Rostra solenoids also require that you use their retaining clip to hold them in the proper position. bolt the clip back in and tighten.

Re-install the connectors, noting that you are putting the right colored connector in the right solenoid. It's nice that Aisin Warner color coded these for us!

Clean up the surfaces of the valve body and the valve body cover and apply sealant. I used some anaerobic sealant that I had left over from my oil pan job. Slide the cover in carefully from the top and bolt it down.

Then put all of the stuff back together in reverse of the above instructions. Fill the tranny with some fresh 3309. Mine gave up just under 4Q when I drained it.

Get out your OBD reader and clear the transmission and CEL and you're ready to take it for a ride!

There will be instructions with the solenoids on how to "retrain" the TCM to shift properly with the new solenoids. 5 "Garage" shifts P-R-N-D with 5-second pause, 5 10% throttle through the gears then stop, 5 30% throttle through the gears and then stop.


All in all it was about 2-3 hours of work to do this job. Unfortunately for me in the middle of it I found that the drop shipper for USA Industries sent me the wrong solenoids. Jack from USA was awesome in getting it set straight and fortunately their warehouse was in San Leandro, about 20 minutes from my house. I ran down there and swapped the parts. It took about an hour to put them in and button things back up. I could probably do the job in less than 2 hours now since I know what has to come out and wasn't experimenting with different wrench combinations to get things apart.

This is definitely a DIY job for someone who felt comfortable dropping the sump or swapped out a water pump or a turbo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Great write up, well done.

What were the symptoms with the old solenoids? My box has the usual clunk when going into drive and a hesitation going from 2nd to 3rd. I've changed the fluid so was thinking about new solenoids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Mine threw a P0785 code which indicates a failure of the SLS Solenoid (over-current) although it now appears that there is something other than the solenoid wrong since it's started again with the new one)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Saab Central...

And this thread is the perfect example why it's a privilege to participate to this board when we note the quality of many contributions, the dedication of many of the participants and the richness of the archives that have been created over the years from all those contributions.

Whoever is behing this, a huge thanks, and being in season, Merry Chrismas to all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Hey unclemiltie,

I did this DIY, but now i'm not getting any power to the starter. I charged the battery up, but it doesn't turn over. Would you happen to know what might be causing this issue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
A couple of things come to mind:

first, you missed connecting something back up around the battery or a wire broke as you were moving things around. Check the big fat red cables coming from the battery to make sure they are all connected.

Second, the neutral safety switch somehow got moved, bumped, etc and the car no longer thinks that it is in neutral. IIRC one of the bolts that holds the NSS down is also the one that holds the dipstick tube so with one of them loose the NSS could be an issue. you could jumper the two biggest wires on the NSS with a paper clip to see if this is the issue and if it is re-adjust it. (other posts in here on how do repair the NSS can show you how)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Ahh Thanks! I think it's probably the Red Cables that come to the battery because I had to work on it, so that might have come loose or not connecting properly. I'm gonna look into it, as well as the NSS. I need to make sure I did the solenoid job properly before driving it home. Thanks again, i'll let you know if I come across any more issues haha.

A couple of things come to mind:

first, you missed connecting something back up around the battery or a wire broke as you were moving things around. Check the big fat red cables coming from the battery to make sure they are all connected.

Second, the neutral safety switch somehow got moved, bumped, etc and the car no longer thinks that it is in neutral. IIRC one of the bolts that holds the NSS down is also the one that holds the dipstick tube so with one of them loose the NSS could be an issue. you could jumper the two biggest wires on the NSS with a paper clip to see if this is the issue and if it is re-adjust it. (other posts in here on how do repair the NSS can show you how)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Hey guys,
So I got to reconnect all the wires back to the soilnoid using the pictures as a reference to the correct location. I've closed the cover and reconnected the battery, making sure that the negative battery terminal wire is now properly grounded.

But now trying to turn it on, the car won't turn over. There isn't even a clicking noise when the DIC and dashboard light up. So i'm here to believe there is no power going to the starter?

I noticed this wire dangling at the bottom, but I have no idea where it goes. Does anyone know where it would go? Or what I should do from this point forward?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
That looks like one of the main ground wires

There are two ground wires from the battery. One is bolted to the body under the battery tray and the other is bolted to the bracket on the valve body cover. That one looks like the one from the transmission.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Thanks unclemiltie,
I was also told this should be bolted to the valve body, but I do not see where it could go. I'm gonna quickly slide under the car to see if I can screw it in somewhere. Would you be able to help me with a picture, diagram or description of where it should go. Last time I checked there wasn't an open area for it to be screwed into.

That looks like one of the main ground wires

There are two ground wires from the battery. One is bolted to the body under the battery tray and the other is bolted to the bracket on the valve body cover. That one looks like the one from the transmission.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The valve body cover bolts to the transmission, there are a dozen or so 12mm bolts to hold it on. The cover is aluminum and has three threaded bolt holes in it.

Then the transmission mount frame bolts to the cover, there are three large 16mm bolts that hold that to the valve body. This mount frame is where the front transmission mount bolts to, the other end to the steel subframe. This piece is made of aluminum.

This wire bolts to that mount frame, IIRC it's a 14mm bolt that goes into a threaded hole in the frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Hey,

I've removed the old bolt, and tried to extend the wire over to the location you specified. But it seems that the wire is just slightly short of reaching over there. About an inch too short. I was thinking about buying an extender cable? I traced the wire back to it's origin and it's connected to the body of the car just behind the wheel well plastic guard.
Here is a better picture.





The valve body cover bolts to the transmission, there are a dozen or so 12mm bolts to hold it on. The cover is aluminum and has three threaded bolt holes in it.

Then the transmission mount frame bolts to the cover, there are three large 16mm bolts that hold that to the valve body. This mount frame is where the front transmission mount bolts to, the other end to the steel subframe. This piece is made of aluminum.

This wire bolts to that mount frame, IIRC it's a 14mm bolt that goes into a threaded hole in the frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
That's not right....

Remember, I have an 03 which has a different transmission and battery setup than the 01 and earlier cars.

The 03 has two cables coming from the battery terminal on the black side. One of them goes to the transmission where we have been discussing. the other bolts to the body under the battery tray.


What you have to have in the car is a main ground for both the engine and the rest of the car. Since the engine is electrically isolated from the rest of the car by a bunch of rubber motor mounts, the grounds have to be run to something that is connected to the engine (i.e. the transmission)

So since I don't know what the older cars looks like in this area I would do this if I were you.

Go to the battery, find the ground cable and trace it. where does it go? Does it go to the body? If it only goes to the body then something has to go from the body to the engine to provide a ground for the engine. If there are two legs on the cable from the battery then make sure one goes to the body and one to the transmission.


I'll try to take a look at the 01 Aero that I'm going to look at this afternoon to see how it's wired up. (my son's 99 is out for the day, he's at work and won't be home till late)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Do you know exactly where on the side of the Transmission? I have an 02 9-2 2.3t. It's similar to the 99-01 but I no longer have my 01's to compare it to.

Unclemitie, that would be greatly appreciated whenever you get the chance. I rolled the car up onto the ramps so now I finally have more access space.

I have a '99, that one looks like the one that bolts to the side of the transmission.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
If yours is an 02 (I guess it is since we were talking about the AW55) it's the same as my 03

Two tails come from the battery connector

One goes under the tray and is bolted to the body just behind the left front headlight

One goes under the tray, through a snap-in connector and then connects to the aluminum support that is bolted to the front of the valve body cover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
I can't find my flash light, but if I remember correctly it was bolted to the upper driver's side of the trans. There was one bolt that was threaded out maybe a quarter to one half inch that the ground cable was connected to via nut and washer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Hey guys, so I did end up grounding that wire to the Mount Frame. UncleMitie, you were right. I had to find a replacement bolt, but the location you mentioned worked for grounding it.

But.... With every good news, there is usually some bad news. haha

I got to turn the car on, and while trying to drop the car into reverse to bring it off the ramps.... there is no torque. In fact there is no power or torque for any of the gears. Manually pushed the car off the ramps in Neutral.
Put the car in "D" Drive, but no power when I press the accelerator and no torque, put it into Reserve exact same problem.

Anyone know what it could be? I just did all the solenoids, unless those are bad as well? Could it be my neutral switch? I haven't check any of the fuses yet, kinda exhausted from trying to push this car back up my driveway... 3500 lbs is not fun to push at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Lots of things

from easy to hard:

1: is there any fluid in the transmission?

2: did you connect the solenoids up right? For the car to go into reverse or drive specific solenoids have to be on and off, if you got them messed up then all kinds of weird things can happen.

2-a: Or did you break one of the wires on the harness? First thing I'd do is measure the resistance of the linears and resistance to ground on all of the on/off solenoids. you can do that from the TCM connector behind the glove box. If any of them are not right then you have to get into the wiring harness and/or the valve body. IIRC the linears are about 6 ohms the on/off are about 13 ohms. A short to ground is likely a bad solenoid, an open is a wire that was not connected right at teh solenoid or a broken wire.

3: the SLT solenoid controls the line pressure to all of the other valves and solenoids. If that one is not working the whole transmission is not going to work. IIRC that's the one with the blue 2-pin plug. Check the connection and the solenoid.

4: somehow the main oil pump in the transmission has gone bad. this requires taking the transmission out of the car (or engine, take your pick)
 
1 - 20 of 88 Posts
Top