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Discussion Starter #1
So last week I was coming back to my home town (500 miles) from where I attend school, when not to far into the trip I could no longer engage first or second gear. I learned right quick how to make the car go from third and continued to nurse it home. Further in, I found out that I didn't lose second and first completely. I found that I could engage first and second when I am coming to a stop and barely rolling. It kinda slowly slides into place with some muscle. Getting it into second from first also required a considerable amount of force. All of the other gears worked perfectly, just first and second. I took it into the shop today and the mechanic said "I've got some bad news, Your transmission isn't doing so hot on the inside." I asked how bad and how much and he stared at me and than asked "Well how much is the car worth to you?" So for now the Saab is parked while I continue my financial struggles while trying to do this whole college thing. I have neither the money to have it properly diagnosed or fixed when everything is taken out. I hope to be back soon and I will continue to read the updates here. Thanks to everyone who has helped me get this far.
 

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Time to start searching for a replacement gearbox. Get one out of an N/A 900 'cos it's likely to be in better condition...
 

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The symptoms you describe fit failing clutch hydraulics better than transmission failure. Does the clutch grab right at the floor when you do manage to shift?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is that silver pewter color and I'm not signing her off yet. I've already donated blood to this car and I'm not prepared to part anytime soon! The clutch bites right in the middle. I replaced the clutch not to long ago, Should I try and bleed some more fluid through?
 

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I don't think bleeding will help, but your symptoms are not typical.
There's a limit to how much diagnosis can be done on the internet, but your symptoms of all gears working OK except 1st and 2nd are very unusual for transmission failure.
Be very sure of the diagnosis before you condemn the transmission. Be sure the rubber joint in the shift linkage isn't failing.
 

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That's the one.
That one doesn't look so bad. Oil-soaked and swollen is bad, but you can't really tell from a picture on the internet.
For all I know, your transmission is toast; I haven't seen it. However, the symptoms you describe are not the usual complaints from failed transmissions.
If it feels normal with the engine off, and in 3rd, 4th and 5th, it may be a clutch issue (sticking splines, damaged disc...anything that makes it drag).

If your car lurches to a stop unexpectedly in first or reverse, it's toast.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Jim, The car doesn't stop or drag in first or reverse. I have to be careful which gear I park it in. First and second do not engage with care turned off. This is really hard to explain but as I coast into my driveway I have to take it out of second and leave it in neatrul in order to have reverse so I can take the key out. If I coast to a stop in second the car won't let me move the gear selecter. It becomes "stuck" for the lack of a better word. I seem to only be able to get into or out of first and second when the car is moving. You can sorta feel things aligning, locking, engaging and letting the selecter move as the car is rolling. No grinding though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
poll time:
Should I keep driving the car in it's current state or is it going to go "KABOOM"? Everything works with no grinding when I can get things to engage or disengage. I'm not very hard on the car and will be esp delicate now. I'm having troubles with no mode of transportation. What's your honest opinion?
 

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Jim Mesthene said:
Be sure the rubber joint in the shift linkage isn't failing.
I had a milder version of your symptoms - hard to engage 1st and 2nd, other gears fine - and replacing the rubber joint fixed it just fine. Like Jim says, it was oil soaked and nasty. I had an oil leak that was soaking it, and from the look of your pics you may have as well...
 

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I say keep it, unless it's a rustbucket - at least around here you can u-pull-it a trans for well under $100 and rent an engine hoist for $25/day. Of course there's no guarantees with used transmissions...
 

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TheRedBaron said:
I say keep it, unless it's a rustbucket - at least around here you can u-pull-it a trans for well under $100 and rent an engine hoist for $25/day. Of course there's no guarantees with used transmissions...
You should get a 90 day kinda thing, more than enough to make sure it isn't DOA. With a gearbox it's either good or it is bad :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks all for the help. I don't ever intend to part with this thing! I Love it to much even if it does cause me some headaches. Does anyone know what that little rubber coupler guy is actually called or a partnumber for it so I can possibly locate one? What's the procedure to replace that link as well. If it isn't to hard or to much I might start there. it needs to be replaced anyways. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I just made it back up to school to finish out the semster. That's right another 500 miles. Now that I figured out how to get into and out of first/second gear it didn't give me any problems at all.... well aside from that I guess. Which leads me to believe that it is not the transmission. I mean how is it possible that all of the gears work 1-5 and Reverse if the tranny is shot? It's going to stay put in the student lot after I wash the salt away until it's time to go home again. Than hopfully I can get it diagnosed properly.
 

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the coupler is fubared.mine did the same thing so I adjusted the hell out of the linkage to get 1-5 and really crappy engagement in reverse-My reverse has about 1/2 of the teeth shorn complety off.the reverse fix was done too late in the game and my shifter alignment is way screwed up so reverse more or less became a non functional gear..when I get money I need to replace that coupler and relalign everything...this is for my rally car so I wonder if a more Robust solution can be found...
 

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hey if you ever do want to sell that car let me know becuase i live in near ann arbor and am always on the look out for broken and busted saabs to fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'll keep that in mind CSE... If for some unforeseen reason I am forced to part with my love than I prefer it go to someone here.

So I was sitting in class today, not paying attention obviously, when I thought about something.

What are the symptoms of synchro failures?
 

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aznsaab said:
I'll keep that in mind CSE... If for some unforeseen reason I am forced to part with my love than I prefer it go to someone here.

So I was sitting in class today, not paying attention obviously, when I thought about something.

What are the symptoms of synchro failures?
well my car has no syncro for third gear (courtesy of a blown out clutch master cylinder in traffic), so unless i rev match perfectly, it grinds going into gear
 
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