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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a Newbe Saab Owner, frustrated, but hoping to fix my '95 900 SE. I'm still hopeful!

Problem: I can't get 5th gear at all, and reverse really gives a kick when getting into gear. Also, the clutch pedal feels very weak (ie: must depress all the way to floor to engare any 1st - 4th.)

Background: I had a new clutch kit and cable installed because on one particular day ... I could no longer shift gears. Turned out the as the pressure plate was cracked/broke in half. After the mechanic finished the job HE and I drove the vehicle for ~20 miles w/o issue. About 40miles later ... sticky shifting, No 5th gear, and serious grinding/slamming when shifting into reverse.

What do you think?: I noticed that the engine thing (?transmission lever arm?) that the cable is connected to only moves back a couple of inches at best via the clutch cable. However, it does move from 3-5 inches with the aid of a crow bar. Should the cable move this lever the full ~3-5" distance? Could my cable already be stretched? Is there adjustment on the lever? ... Could I have a bent fork that broke the pressure plate and now causing other problems? Worse ... could I have transmission failure?

I have read the "howto adjust clutch cable" thread and will try this first. ... looking for other possibilities.

Thanks for you insight!
David
 

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Try giving the adjuster spring on the clutch cable a few tugs and see if that straightens it out. The clutch cables don't always adjust themselves properly when they're first put it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I read the "clutch cable self adjustment thread" .. I assume that with the left hand on the round rubber knob adjacent to the firewall ... I pull on the ~3/8" wire "inside" the outer wire spring?

Thanks!
David
 

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No, just pull on the spring itself. That usually seems to do the trick. Naturally that didn't work on my clutch cable this morning, and I'm trying out my ScanTech manually adjustable cable yet again.
 

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The adjustment mechanism is a kind of ratchet inside the knob at the firewall. It needs to stay in place at the firewall, that is the reason for holding it.

The spring tension is what makes the self-adjusting mechanism work. When that does not work anymore, pulling out on the spring can make the ratchet come out a few more clicks. If it works, you can hear and feel the clicks as you pull out. No clicks - no adjustment.

I had to push mine in a bit, then pull it out a couple times before I could hear the ratchet working.

While you are doing that, inspect the bracket below, on the side, which supports the cable. Saab has a TSB on replacing that, apparently it can come loose. It is a thin bracket, about 4-inches long, attached by one screw.

Edited to add:

Reading this thread over from the beginning, this does not sound like a cable that needs a little adjustment. If this is a new clutch and new cable with a problem after less than 100 miles, I would take it back to the shop that did the work, and quickly.

Tugging on the spring is supposed to help a cable adjust when the clutch is at the end of its life, pedal getting stiff... like mine after 100k miles. NOT for a new clutch and cable. With a new clutch, and a new and presumably lubricated cable, I would expect this to work perfectly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info! ... strange but it worked!!! ... well almost.

The cable somehow was not tensioned or not properly adjusted. I did the procedure and noticed the clutch pedal felt stiffer, and noticed that the arm "transmission lever arm?" that the cable pulls on is now pulling it about 3/8" further. Result: 1st - 4th + Reverse is nice and smooth! ... just that little additional movement.

Problem: There is no 5th gear? No grinding, no sticking, it just feels as though there is no 5th gear to place it into. When driving it clearly needs another gear, and the instrument panel asks to shift up.

Situation: The arm "transmission lever arm?" is pulled back about 2 1/2 inches when the pedal it fully pressed to the floor. Via a pry bar, I was able to move the lever about 3 1/2 inches (prior to adjusting the cable ... that's how I new it was loose or not fully tensioned)

Question: Is there any documented distance that this arm must move backwords when the clutch pedal is depressed to the floor? Any Ideas on my 5th gear problem? I'm curious if the cable must be tighter to move the arm further inorder to get into 5th?

Thanks Again!
 

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Question: Is there any documented distance that this arm must move backwords when the clutch pedal is depressed to the floor?
I don't remember seeing a measurement, but perhaps someone with a fairly new clutch and cable can post one. Mine must be pretty worn at almost 108k.

Any Ideas on my 5th gear problem?
If some of the gears work well, and others not, I would try two things. One, run through the gears a few times with the car parked, engine off, clutch pedal pressed all the way down. That way you can shift from any gear into any other gear, and try to get 5th that way. If you can do it some of the time with engine off, the shift linkage may not be aligned right, or the bushings may be worn.

Two, check the shift linkage alignment. You do this in 4th gear. There is a plug on top of the transmission you can pull out and insert an allen key or driver to lock the gearbox in 4th. Then pull up the leather boot around the shifter, find the second alignment hole, and do the same there. If the shifter is aligned, then both allen keys will fit in the holes. If the second one does not fit, the alignment is off. Detailed instructions on how to do this and pics are posted on Dip's web site:

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

I'm curious if the cable must be tighter to move the arm further inorder to get into 5th?
No idea, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
PMI,

Im not 100% sure, but I think I get 5th gear when the engine is off. ie: move shifter all the way to the Rt (equal distance as if to get reverse - which used to not work) and then up. However when driving and I do the same, there is no up. When driving, if I move the shifter a hair to the left (say 1/4" over) and then up, I get 3rd gear. There is normal "left to right" distance between 1st and 3rd, ... I'd assume the same distance from 3rd to 5th.

Sorry for my unknowing ignorance. I recently purchased this vehicle and have never driven any other saab for reference. It drove fine the day before buying, and then had the clutch problem the day after.

Thanks for the link. This may be the problem. I'll look into it and let you know.

Any other advise is always welcome :)

-David
 

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My thoughts are that the failed 5th selection could be down to shifter linkage misalignment, you've had the tranny out for the clutch, - I've never done this but many on here have, and getting the linkage correct is important, 5th gear [and IIRC reverse] are the first to suffer.

SC regular "Dead Centre" done a tranny swap , note what he wrote about locking the transmission in place for the selector mechanism, did your mechanic do this?
 

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More than likely, the shift linkage is not aligned, which can be checked using the hole at the shifter after locking the transmission in 4th. Question is why.

When the transmission was reinstalled, the linkage would have been aligned using the same procedure. Then the pinch bolt between the linkage and the selector rod would have been tightened. Perhaps it got loose afterwards.

A bushing could have cracked, throwing the selector rod position off.

Another possibility is the transmission mount. It was already old, and unless a new one was put in, it could have broken or cracked. The transmission would have shifted, which would throw off the clutch cable adjustment and the linkage.

It might still be best to take the car back to the shop that put in the clutch, and ask them to test drive the car and inspect everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Problem Resolved!

PMI, All:

I'm off and running; I'm very excited now!

It turned out that I had a cracked Transmission mount and replaced it, but the main problem with 5th gear was that I needed the shift linkage re-adjusted. ... It shifts like a champ now!

Thanks for all the help!!!

-David
 

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make sure that the cable is connected correctly on top of the tranni. the end of the cable has three stopper on it. the last one goes on the lever. the middle on goes into the hole on top of the tranni. the last one goes in the air (no where really). hope this helps. should stiffin things right up

Ben
 
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