SaabCentral Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I've been reading between 2 guides:

http://www.thesaabsite.com/95/Saab 95 belt and pulley replacement.htm

and

http://www.fixmysaab.com/9-5_repair/belt/intro.asp?nsteps=3


I have limited mechanical skills and knowledge but I want to attempt to replace this belt myself for some self learning to expand my own knowledge, etc.

The first guide tells me to wedge something between the engine and the frame(?). They use a wrench. I've read in various threads on here without them mentioning that too much. Is this necessary? Also, is this self explanatory of where to place the wedge when I am looking at it myself.

Also, most of these guides advice us to use a jack under the motor (on the oil pan with a block of wood of course) to keep it from moving. Some posters said to not worry about this while others say to take meticulous care to make sure the engine does not move. What is the actual case here? I'm thinking it's better safe than sorry.

Another question, the first guide says that it takes 2 people to remove the tension from the tensioner belt. The other guide fails to mention this. Is this really the case? I was hoping to do this myself with worst case scenario of me calling a friend with automotive knowledge to help me.

Any advice would be appreciated. I'm gearing up to do this in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I am reading everything I can find on the process to ensure I have a good grasp of the steps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
777 Posts
I use a 2x4 with a floor jack to support the engine as well as a big wrench between the engine and subframe. You need to do this if you remove the engine mount to get to the belt, which you will probably do anyways. It is kind of a pain to get the hex key into the tensioner to hold the tension, so that's what they mean when they say you need two people. I needed somebody to help me both times, when I held the tension and when I relieved the tension.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use a 2x4 with a floor jack to support the engine as well as a big wrench between the engine and subframe. You need to do this if you remove the engine mount to get to the belt, which you will probably do anyways. It is kind of a pain to get the hex key into the tensioner to hold the tension, so that's what they mean when they say you need two people. I needed somebody to help me both times, when I held the tension and when I relieved the tension.

Thank you much. I agree with you. It just makes sense to remove the mount to make it easier to get access to the belt. I don't think I have small enough hands to do so otherwise.

Can you describe what relieving the tension is like in more detail? Put the hex key in, hold it, and squeeze the belt? I'm trying to visual the process more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,986 Posts
The tensioner is on the back of the engine just above the alternator. It has a square hole in it that is the same size as a 1/2" drive socket wrench. If you have a 1/2" breaker bar or a long 1/2" extension, put that into the hole and pull the bar toward the front of the car. You can see that square hole if you look straight down from the top of the engine to the tensioner, can't miss it.

Just below that in the side of the tensioner is a hole that is the size of a small (3mm or so) allen wrench. When the tensioner is pulled forward that hole lines up with a hole in the frame of the tensioner. If you insert the allen wrench through the hole, your can release the bar that is pulling on the tensioner and the tension will not be reapplied as that will lock the tensioner into place. I find that it's easier to get the allen wrench in from the passenger side of the vehicle.

(once you do this once you'll see that it is very easy, you just have to find the hole to put the allen wrench into)


Personally, I found that I could do this myself with a long 1/2" breaker bar and thinking about it I can't imagine how to get that many hands/arms into that space for it to be a 2-person job.

Once the tensioner is locked, you can remove the belt and then unbolt the tensioner from the engine to change the tensioner pulley. It's an allen wrench but you need a "stubby" one since there really isn't a lot of gap between the engine and the car body. It's slow getting it out since there is such limited room. the other pulley is bolted with a hex bolt and is pretty easy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,615 Posts
The only thing you need to "wedge" is using a piece of wood with a jack to slightly lift up on the bottom of the oil pan to relieve pressure off of the engine mount.

The tensioner is a breeze - use the 1/2" long extension. The belt will come right off, then you route the new belt, pull the tensioner again, and the rest of the belt slides right on.

FWIW - I did the short belt a few months ago and replaced all of the pulleys and the tensioner at the same time. Didn't like the short belt, so went back to the long belt. When I changed to the long belt, I didn't have to use the hex key - I just eased the tensioner back after removing the belt, and eased it back when I got the belt on myself. Biggest thing with using the key is you don't want to release the tensioner and let it slam back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,615 Posts
What were your reasons for not liking the short belt?
Sometimes on accelerating from a stop or really low speeds it would make a sound that was like it was rubbing. Some members also attested to this in the forum. There's a reason that the middle idler pulley exists - to take pressure off of the power steering pump/pulley.

I use the Goodyear Gatorback belt, really good quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,986 Posts
When I did mine on my 03 Aero it came with the short belt. There was no pulley in the center.

But just before that I did my son's '99 and it had the long belt so when I ordered all the stuff, I ordered two sets of pulleys and two long belts. So when I went to do the Aero I could either wait (and put it back together) to exchange the parts from eeuroparts or put the long belt on. the boss in the timing cover for the center pulley is there BTW.

So, I put the center pulley on the Aero and put the long belt on. To tell you the truth I have not noticed any difference between the two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
My 99 has the center pulley deleted and has the short belt installed. Not that my car should be a standard for any sort of proper operating conditions (haha) but there don't seem to be any adverse effects. The tensioner bounces a tad, but it does on both of my Audi's as well so I generally chalk that up to normal operating variances.

I'm not sure how long the pulley has been deleted, but it was likely done 3 -4 years ago when the engine was rebuilt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
The first time I replaced my belt, must have been 2007-2008 time frame (don't remember exactly), I had heard/read about the short belt that would simplify installation. But when I called my local Saab dealer, they told me that there had been a service bulletin that discountinued the short belt due to some problems with it. They did not even sell the short belt. Not sure if something has changed since then, but thought I'd pass that info along. Maybe my local Saab dealer is all wet. So I've stuck with the long belt and as written above, it is very easy to change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,709 Posts
When I did the belt on wife's 06" it had the short belt but i changed it to the long belt. Now it seems to running a little smoother imo.;ol;
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
what was the reasoning behind the whole short-belt change in the first place? Just to eliminate a somewhat unnecessary pulley, and thus another moving part?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,986 Posts
That center pulley is a real pain to change, ESPECIALLY if you have the torx screw in it that came from the factory. The short belt eliminates the need to change or repair that pulley.

To get the torx one off of my son's 99, I had to drill a hole in the body. Getting the new one on is a bit of a pain as well, but at least that has a hex bolt on the head and it's manageable to remove and re-tighten.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
That center pulley is a real pain to change, ESPECIALLY if you have the torx screw in it that came from the factory. The short belt eliminates the need to change or repair that pulley.

To get the torx one off of my son's 99, I had to drill a hole in the body. Getting the new one on is a bit of a pain as well, but at least that has a hex bolt on the head and it's manageable to remove and re-tighten.
My '02 had a plain old hex bolt on it when I changed it. Cannot imagine how to get it off with a torx! They loved their torx bolts at the Saab factory, did they not. I particularly love the inverted torx bolt that holds the caliper brackets....took for ever to find the right size socket for that one...brilliant design. I'm Swedish myself, actually, but I have no idea what my fellow Swedes were thinking when they designed that. To much schnaps with lunch, perhaps?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,615 Posts
My '02 had a plain old hex bolt on it when I changed it. Cannot imagine how to get it off with a torx! They loved their torx bolts at the Saab factory, did they not. I particularly love the inverted torx bolt that holds the caliper brackets....took for ever to find the right size socket for that one...brilliant design. I'm Swedish myself, actually, but I have no idea what my fellow Swedes were thinking when they designed that. To much schnaps with lunch, perhaps?
You usually find torx on trucks, so the Swedes were probably thinking strong engineering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I followed the fixmysaab diagrams and recommendations on my 2003 aero and was able to do it myself in about an hour without removing the motor mount or wedging anything. Just a lot of patience and some busted knuckles. Definitely put the Allen key where unclemilite recommends. Makes the process a lot easier.

As an aside has anyone notice a weird whummmmm sound with the short belt. Usually only happens when accelerating after a hard bump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,615 Posts
I followed the fixmysaab diagrams and recommendations on my 2003 aero and was able to do it myself in about an hour without removing the motor mount or wedging anything. Just a lot of patience and some busted knuckles. Definitely put the Allen key where unclemilite recommends. Makes the process a lot easier.

As an aside has anyone notice a weird whummmmm sound with the short belt. Usually only happens when accelerating after a hard bump.
That's the vibration that drove me to replace it back with a new long belt.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top