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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

Well, all my bit*&ing about how disappointed I am with my Saab's shift linkage finally makes sense. I was just about home on a 40-mile drive yesterday, dropped her into 4th, then went back into 5th and...no fifth. And suddenly, the linkage was sloppy as hell. It would easily slip into 2nd instead of 4th, etc.

Once I got home, I realized reverse was gone, as well. I had to adjust the linkage when I first got the car in order to get 5th about 8 months ago, so I was thinking maybe that was the problem. But I didn't remember the linkage being so sloppy.

Today, I went to adjust the linkage, which was a 5-minute operation with no problems, but no difference at all in the problem. I had a look at the linkage while a friend moved the shifter around and saw that my circlip and bushing from the lower front end of my shift linkage were gone. Everything suddenly makes sense...

So, my question to you guys is: should I go for the upgrade/newer shift linkage or just rebuild the old one. I can feel that my bushings are very loose on the other 3 pivot points that still have bushings.

Which leads to my next question: can these bushings and washer kits (was there a kit?) still be found? I didn't see anything on eEuroparts.

And my final question: any of you splendid chaps have a linkage you'd like to part with?

Here are some pics of the culprit...
 

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I'm curious to see the responses. My shifter has a lot of loose play in it (slop) and I'd love to make it nice and tight again.
 

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I'm new also but have the same or similar issue. My research here and all across the great interweb has shown me that this is a common issue and that the best fix seems to be the upgraded linkage (i have a 96 900se). I forget what the range is for the years of linkage that will work but I found a used one at a local shop for $100. I plan to do that.

I did find the replacement bushing for the stock linkage online at Euro parts I will list part numbers. I can't find one locally except for the wrecking yard.

For stock linkage the SAAB OE part number seems to be 4387361 and is around $10-15.

The lower ball sockett is OE # 4477824 and 4027835 (not sure why two numbers)

Europarts "exclusive kit" is SKU#101K10034 and was in stock the other day. ($7.35)

The "updated linkage" (which is the 9-3 linkage from 99-04 I think) at Europarts is Saab OE# 4626321 ($238.32 last weekend and was in stock)

The update also requires the OE# 4626677 "pin" and the OE# 4626537 "seal" (another $15 for both).

The torx screws you will have to remove (at least one) is OE# 90486028. You won't probably need any but since I have the number...

That's the info I found and the part numbers seemed to check out when I called the local shop to try to find them. I plan to do mine this weekend if I can find the time so I will try to post back if I have any success and let you know if it makes a big difference. For now I just drive it how it is. It's a bit tricky but once I found a method I can hit all the gears without too much trouble. Kinda sucks in my stop and go commute though.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info Sean! And sorry for the delay in responding, I've been away for a few days.

I found a used "updated" linkage for $100 used from East of Sweden in Colorado and that should be here by the end of the wee, though I should probably order the other parts from eEuro pronto (pin and seal). I'm going to leave the shifter assembly alone until after I do the "upgrade" just to see what state it's in, but I'll probably end up doing the shifter bushings, as well.

I'll definitely post some pics and let you guys know how it works out. And Sean, keep me posted on how yours goes. I may be able to get to it this weekend, but it's up in the air at this point.

You saw this how-to, right? This is pretty much what I'm going to go off.

http://photo.platonoff.com/Auto/20050808.Saab_NG900_New_Style_Shifter_Linkage/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Has anyone out there done this swap before? And if so, could you tell us if we need to get the new pin and seal parts?

OE# 4626677 "pin" and the OE# 4626537 "seal".
 

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NP Jonny! I haven't had a chance to do this yet. I was looking under the car last weekend figuring out if my jack was tall enough etc. and lucky me, I found an ac system leak so I changed focus to that. Three day weekend coming up though so hopefully I will get to both.

I bought a subscription to alldataDIY so I have all of the info from the factory on this upgrade from there as well as the other DIY links I could find. I will try to post back about the experience asap.

Wish me luck on the AC.
 

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Johnny:

If there was actually a kit for this upgrade from the factory, you might be able to find instructions here: http://www.saabdocs.com/English/


You'd need the part number for the kit (those are the numbers listed). I tried a quick search of that site but I didn't find anything, but that doesn't mean it's not there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
@Sean - good luck! I saw your thread on that. Hopefully it's the rubber elbow hose and not the swaged line... I'm going to wait until I pull the linkage to decide whether I need the pin and/or seal, but I'm thinking the seal will be needed for sure, unless it's just a firewall seal, in which case I've got some materials around here for that. But then again, it's probably the input seal for the linkage on the trans.

@Bob - thanks, man! I ran a few part numbers in the search and nothing came up, but what a reference! Much appreciated. You're up one more beer when you stop in Chicago...

I'll keep you guys posted on my progress...
 

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I like the way that's recommended to remove it: pry out with screwdriver. At least they could have said to use a flat-blade screwdriver instead of a phillips... Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ha-ha, yeah, very high-tech removal. I'm more curious about how to install it without their specific tools. The seal on the selector shaft is definitely leaking on mine (so that's where all those drips were coming from...). I'm going to replace it, only about $5.50, but hoping I can perhaps use the old linkage to tap it in. The shaft is 9/16" roughly, so won't be able to slide a 1/2" drive socket on there to seat it.

At any rate, got the old linkage off. Took longer to jack up the car. It's actually in okay shape. The bushing on the arm coming off the trans is what went bad. And is still available for about $9.00, but I don't think I can put the old one back in since I have the newer "upgraded" version sitting on the bench right next to it.

Unless any of you guys talk me out of it, that is. Platanoff pretty much has me sold on the upgrade.

For future forum members planning on doing this, if you do not have the ball pin and bushing for the new linkage (it does not exist on the old version), you absolutely need these to finish the job in one shot. And if you're seal is leaking, do that as well while you're in there.

And then change the trans fluid since you lost some due to the leaking seal...

Any OEM recommendations for the '95? I'd prefer not to have to flush the thing out several times.
 

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Here's an old post that covers the common stuff:

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=216060


Dunno, might be worth it to get the MT0063 if the Redline is questionable.
I like the MTF0063 as it has helped my trannys. But Grkguy is deeply in the know and he likes Penzoil Syncromesh, and that doesn't require multiple flushes. I'd probably do one, especially if you don't know how old the fluid is, but at $8/qt it's easy to take.
 

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Ok, i got the linkage and am headed out to the carport to give it a go. Got the linkage for 100$ used at the local saab indy and should have everything i need. The seal I was talking about was aparently just a foam like material that is in between each of the linkage connections where there is a ball and socket type connection. I am missing one but since it is just a dust seal I will find something to use instead of ordering one. I havent read all the responses yet but it seems there might be another seal in question? Luckily I don't have any leaks (other than ac line) so hopeflly I will be good to go. I will take pictures if I can of the process but it seems there are enough good diy guides out there that I think we're covered. If there is something that isn't covered elswere I will try to get it.

Plan to fix the SID and add an aux to stock radio today too as well as the repair/upgrade to my tanneau motor. Ambitious but possibly doable, we'll see. Even long weekends are too short.

OT: I did figure out my AC leak is at the swaged fitting on the low pressure line. Local shop wants 150$ and has to order it so I waited. Found one for 85$ (new OEM) online so that plus shipping is cheaper. Next weekend I guess.


Here I go...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, Bob. I don't mind doing one flush. But two or three is pushing it for me. The trans seems fine, so just planning on freshening it up. I'll look into the Synchromesh.

Sean, just make sure you have the ball pin. It's attached the "newer" linkage in this pic:

http://photo.platonoff.com/Auto/20050808.Saab_NG900_New_Style_Shifter_Linkage/?i=20050808h.New_vs_old.jpg

It replaces the top trans seal bolt on your passenger side axle. This is not present on the old cars. The bushing should be on there under the ball socket if you have a "complete" linkage (mine was not complete). Saab may call it a seal, but it's not a seal. It's just a black hard foam ring that fits under the ball socket to add firmness to the shift action. The seal I'm talking about is on the trans side, the selector shaft from the trans that connects to the linkage has a seal where the shaft goes into the trans (shown in the 2nd link from Ron). That's what's leaking on mine.

Good luck, man!
 

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progress (long)

http://photo.platonoff.com/Auto/20050808.Saab_NG900_New_Style_Shifter_Linkage/?i=20050808h.New_vs_old.jpg[/URL]

It replaces the top trans seal bolt on your passenger side axle. This is not present on the old cars. The bushing should be on there under the ball socket if you have a "complete" linkage (mine was not complete). Saab may call it a seal, but it's not a seal. It's just a black hard foam ring that fits under the ball socket to add firmness to the shift action. The seal I'm talking about is on the trans side, the selector shaft from the trans that connects to the linkage has a seal where the shaft goes into the trans (shown in the 2nd link from Ron). That's what's leaking on mine.

Good luck, man!
Thanks for the heads up. I had the ball pin that came with the used set I bought. Luckily I had done my research (this time) and made sure I had all the parts.

Well, I made progress. I spent a bit of time getting the car lifted to where I needed it, spent a bunch more time looking over the instructions etc. to make sure I knew EXACTLY what I was in for and had all the tools (a quick trip to the tool store for a #40 torx, the only one missing from my set) and finally, ready to begin. Got the old linkage out in about 20 min., took a break to pat myself on the back then back at it to do the install. Got the "lug" hacked off of the old mount in about 10 min with a hacksaw (special narrow one i've had forever worked perfectly) got the new linkage in place and connected in anothe 10 min. (things are going smoooottthhhh) installed the ne ball pin and made connections to trans and shifter rod. DONE, test, OOPPSSS!

Without making this post too much longer; I have some issues. I did everything according to the SAAB service bulletin and the write up from that other site with all the pictures (forget his name). I had everything working but didn't like the way the shift rod comming throught the firewall was connecting, it didn't seem to go into the linkage far enough. I decided to snug it all down and see how it worked, not well. Won't engage gears properly. Had a look at the procedure to adjust the linkage. followed the steps and found that things seem "backwards". The procedure says to put the car in 4th gear and line up the hole in the rod with the hole in the shifter housing and pin it together then tighten the pinch clamp. Well I cant line it up in 4th gear, I have to move the shifter towards 3rd gear to line it up. Problem is putting it in 3rd is how you DISCONNECT the rod from the linkage. I had a look around and I discovered that on the trans side you can put a lock pin into hole provided with the car in ANY GEAR. Since my linkage was messed up to start with I think I may have been in 2nd when I initially started this project. I don't think it should matter but I can't think of any other reason. I have figured out how everything works together so I am going to head back out there now and disconnect the rod from the linkage, grab hold of the linkage itself and manipulate it to identify all of the gears to make sure i am "locked in 4th" and try the adjustment again. I can tekk that the rod going into the trans has to move in and out and twist to engage the different gears. The linkage does this by "rocking" side to side as well as sliding for and aft. I should be able to do that by hand to find all the gears. Will report back.

NOTE: The how toos I have found all seem to cover this procedure pretty well. I will add that it is handy to have two people part of this. Connecting the shift rod from the firewall side to the linkage can require someone to push the shifter back towards 4th while someone is underneath guiding the rod into the linkage, it is a tight fit and the linkage can move around enough to make allignment hard for one person. Also, it is easier to remove the #40 torx screw from the diff seal retainer after the old linkage is out. It leaves more room for your hand and wrench. finally, the bolt on the trans and the nut on the linkage can be reached from the topside with an extension and swivel. I have an 18" extension and it worked well. Saves a few trips under the car.

Back at it...
 

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well i had posted a big long response on my progress but it dissappeared.

Short version is it only took about an hour once i got started to do the linkage swap. Problem is it isn't working. I followed the instructions from the saab bulletin etc. but didn't have half my gears. Now ive gotten 1st-4th but no rev. or 5th. I have figured how all the components work together and can tell there is something in the set-up/adjustment. I have followed the guide on adjustment too and it's better but...

I have a feeling the newer cars have a better trans and the new linkage isn't throwing the lever far enough to twist the shaft on the trans far enough. It's kind of like the way you can put the shift lever on a motorcycle in the wrong position and not get all the gears. Now I have to hope the ball ends on the link rods are adjustable. Looks like I might have to take it back out to make some measurements. AARRRGGGHHHH!!! It was all going so well too.
 
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