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Discussion Starter #21
Ah, man. Sorry to hear it. This is the part that scares me about cutting off the bushing mount on the trans.

Well, I remember that at least one of the ball pins is somewhat adjustable as you can see the nut it threads into on one side of the parallelogram. I would think (but not sure) that if the nut was hit with penetrating oil, you could probably spin that one to adjust length in and out. I've got my linkage out of the car if you need me to measure anything for you. Let me know, eh? I'd be happy to save you the time of having to pull it out again.

Is the height adjustable on the ball pin that threads into the top axle seal?
 

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Ah, man. Sorry to hear it. This is the part that scares me about cutting off the bushing mount on the trans.

Well, I remember that at least one of the ball pins is somewhat adjustable as you can see the nut it threads into on one side of the parallelogram. I would think (but not sure) that if the nut was hit with penetrating oil, you could probably spin that one to adjust length in and out. I've got my linkage out of the car if you need me to measure anything for you. Let me know, eh? I'd be happy to save you the time of having to pull it out again.

Is the height adjustable on the ball pin that threads into the top axle seal?
Thanks Johnny for the offer. I messed around figured some things out and started over. Good news is now it takes me longer to jack the car up and make it safe than it does to RnR the linkage. If everything goes correctly I bet I could do the job from start to finish in 1hr or less. Problem is it isn't going right. I have only 3rd 4th and R. I do have good "feel" on the shifter now just not all the gears. I have now memorized the instructions for replacement and adjustment but something isn't right. I'm running out of time for this today and may have to drive the other rig (which i replaced with the saab for gas and reliability).

Any ideas??
 

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Discussion Starter #23
The only thing I can think of right off the bat is that there are two holes through the shifter rod inside the car for the alignment procedure. Is it possible that you grabbed the far one instead of the near one when you aligned it? (I'm not sure if that is even possible). If you look down under the boot, you should be able to see a 2nd one that is further forward toward the firewall than the one we use to align our shifters. I'm not sure what the 2nd further forward hole is for, but it's there on mine.

I was in the garage earlier and had a look at my newer linkage. The only ball pin that appears to be adjustable is the one that attaches to the top bolt of the pass. axle seal. Doesn't look like a lot of adjustment, though, maybe 3/16" either way at best.

Did you perhaps attach the ball stud to the wrong axle seal bolt hole?
 

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The only thing I can think of right off the bat is that there are two holes through the shifter rod inside the car for the alignment procedure. Is it possible that you grabbed the far one instead of the near one when you aligned it? (I'm not sure if that is even possible). If you look down under the boot, you should be able to see a 2nd one that is further forward toward the firewall than the one we use to align our shifters. I'm not sure what the 2nd further forward hole is for, but it's there on mine.

I was in the garage earlier and had a look at my newer linkage. The only ball pin that appears to be adjustable is the one that attaches to the top bolt of the pass. axle seal. Doesn't look like a lot of adjustment, though, maybe 3/16" either way at best.

Did you perhaps attach the ball stud to the wrong axle seal bolt hole?
GOT IT!!! It was alignment. I had the right hole but it wasn't quite right. I redid it, moved the rod maybe 1/4" Out and everything is perfect. I did fumble on the other hole first. You can't make that work cuz it locks the rod in the disconnected position, maybe just to keep it out of the way.

Thanks for all the help. Gonna try to relax for a bit.

Oh yeah, NIGHT AND DAY DIFFERENCE;ol; for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Great to hear, Sean! And duly noted in case I run into the same problem.

Once you've had a chance to drive it a bit, can you let me know how the shifting performance has changed?

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Just a quick update. I'm waiting on parts from eEuro to complete this swap (ball pin, new bushings, selector rod seal). My prep is about complete - the bushing lug has been removed on the trans, the top bolt on the axle seal has been loosened and I think I've figured out a way to press in the new selector seal. I cannot wait to drive this thing with a decent linkage.

Sean, how's yours behaving?
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
My ball pin, bushings and selector rod seal came in yesterday so I was able to finish the job today. So nice to have the car back on the road and 1st to 2nd shifts are so much improved. Reverse is also easy to grab and I don't have to jiggle the shifter to get the key out now.

Snapped a few pics for anyone else who may attempt this conversion. It's easy as pie, but you definitely need the aforementioned ball pin and bushing (Saab calls it a seal for some reason) if they do not come with your shifter:



I also replaced all of the other bushings for the linkage's ball joints (almost $5 each, which seemed a bit high, but you know how the "while I'm in there" thing goes...):



Here's the new "upgraded" linkage with the new bushings and greased up ball joints:



I also replaced the selector shaft seal, which was leaking on mine. Not too hard to remove with a dental-style pick, but I had to fab my own press using the old seal and a drilled-out prescription bottle. While it is almost impossible to see the seal itself (you can see a small part of it through some hoses), there is enough room under the car to put a mallet to the back of the drilled-out bottle to press the new one in. Using one of those hack saws where the blade is held by the handle on one end only (not sure what it's called) was kind of a must for cutting off the old linkage's bushing lug.



Anyway, happy to have this out of the way. I'm hoping the change the trans fluid in a week or so and then on to the valve cover painting. Just need a sunny day...
 

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Discussion Starter #29
It wasn't too hard to pull out, but you're right - it was snug enough that I did have to do it from underneath. I used a half-sized version of the C-shaped pick (the kind where you screw a handle on to it, but without the handle for space's sake) and hooked the seal from above, then went below and grabbed the pick with a small pair of pliers and popped the seal out.

I had bent two mini screwdrivers first and was getting a little worried that I'd scratch the seal seating surface or shaft prying it out before before trying the pick.
 

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Well, I've been driving with the upgraded linkage for a week or so now and have to say I am happy. Way better than the old broken linkage but can't compare to the old style working properly (mine was always bad). I think I know why the saab shop had this used linkage laying around though, the upper link rod pops off sometimes when the car is hot and you go for reverse. It pops back on easily enough but shouldn't come off at all. Now on the lookout for a replacement rod or I have to do the whole job over and hope they give me my money back or credit. The linkage looked so good too. Oh well, what's another weekend spent working on the Saab??
 

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Well, I've been driving with the upgraded linkage for a week or so now and have to say I am happy. Way better than the old broken linkage but can't compare to the old style working properly (mine was always bad). I think I know why the saab shop had this used linkage laying around though, the upper link rod pops off sometimes when the car is hot and you go for reverse. It pops back on easily enough but shouldn't come off at all. Now on the lookout for a replacement rod or I have to do the whole job over and hope they give me my money back or credit. The linkage looked so good too. Oh well, what's another weekend spent working on the Saab??
The rod that comes off is one of those things with black cup joints at each end that go on the balls?

You may know this, but they're kept from coming off by a plastic tab/latch. It gets pried up to remove the cup from the ball, and snapped down to lock the cap on the ball. If the cup keeps popping off the ball, then either the tab needs to be clicked into place, or it's broken.

The good news is that all you need is a linkage rod with two known good caps. If the one you have doesn't work, get another one. This is a junkyard/scrap car piece. I think the two linkages are the same length, and can therefore swap, but without checking directly I can't say for sure.
 

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Yes indeed, that's the part that's popping off. Unfortunately mine is locked in place with the tab but still pops off. Broken. It just sucks after all the other stuff i had to go through on this project once I finally got it done this happens. I have been making it work by being very careful when grabbing reverse but I will definitely have to find a replacement rod.

Thanks for the heads up though. I like how everyone is willing to pitch in and think of the little things we sometimes miss
 

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There was someone here (RBatsch, I believe) who replaced his with metal ball and socket joints. It's been a while so my memory is foggy, but I believe he sourced them from mcmaster-carr.com.
 

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While I admire you hunting down this old thread, you should probably start a new one for your specific problem to get more focus on it. We don't mind new threads around here like the forums where they flame you for not using an old one :roll:.

That said, if the play is in the rod-n-ball mechanism, the first thing to do is to make sure all the sockets are still hooked on to the ball mounts. Sometimes they come off. If it's play somewhere else, post a photo or give us more info.
 

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Are you asking about the short (2" - 3") round shaft that comes out of the top-rear (toward the firewall) of the transmission? If so, that can be a major problem... Ron
 

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While I admire you hunting down this old thread, you should probably start a new one for your specific problem to get more focus on it. We don't mind new threads around here like the forums where they flame you for not using an old one
.

That said, if the play is in the rod-n-ball mechanism, the first thing to do is to make sure all the sockets are still hooked on to the ball mounts. Sometimes they come off. If it's play somewhere else, post a photo or give us more info.
Haha, Seeing all the people being redirected to old posts I felt this one was some what close to my issue. Anyway I'll will make a new thread.
 

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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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