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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys I have a 1999 9-3 2 litre turbo Saab
I have had quite a few issues with the roof working fine for the first month of ownership but since then has worked less and less we resorted to the manual operation but now can't even unhook the back of the soft top so I don't even have a way of opening it was wondering if there is a manual way of unhooking it or if anyone has advice on where I should start. I was told I need a new pump as mine creates no pressure apparently but I am pretty sure that has nothing to do with the hooking and unhooking and feel like that would just be a separate issue

with summer coming up I am hoping to be able to have the top down one way or another but trying to do as much myself as possible thanks in advance for any help
 

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Current: 2000 9-3 Aero 5d, Family: 85 900i 3dr.
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Welcome to Saab Central. Congrats on the Saab.
I don't have a vert, but before you look for a new pump, I'm sure others can help you out with some advice.
The logical question is - did you notice any fluid leaks, and what is the fluid level in the system?
There were some recent posts about replacement hoses for verts - so you might want to search a little for that.
The microswitches also I think are another point of concern, so that's something to look at.
Do you get any SID messages about the roof?
When you have the issue - what stage is it at (eg 5th bow etc), because the solutions differ a little depending on the location.
The WIS (workshop information system) can give you some detailed 'how to' if you are planning to research or do the tasks yourself.
Here is the online link to the roof section.
The little arrows indicate links to graphics.
Otherwise, you can download it via the forums.
The download version is a lot easier to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to Saab Central. Congrats on the Saab.
I don't have a vert, but before you look for a new pump, I'm sure others can help you out with some advice.
The logical question is - did you notice any fluid leaks, and what is the fluid level in the system?
There were some recent posts about replacement hoses for verts - so you might want to search a little for that.
The microswitches also I think are another point of concern, so that's something to look at.
Do you get any SID messages about the roof?
When you have the issue - what stage is it at (eg 5th bow etc), because the solutions differ a little depending on the location.
The WIS (workshop information system) can give you some detailed 'how to' if you are planning to research or do the tasks yourself.
Here is the online link to the roof section.
The little arrows indicate links to graphics.
Otherwise, you can download it via the forums.
The download version is a lot easier to work with.
thanks for the welcome and the response

so there does not seem to be a fluid leak. but ideally I need to focus on unhooking the back of the soft top as this will allow me to get a better look inside and i am hoping will help me find my issue.thanks for the manuals having a look now
 

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Your problem without doubt will be hydraulic fluid level , your rams will be leaking , that is your focus
You dont need to manually open the top to get at the reservoir and I would suggest not touching manual operation at this stage. To get at the reservoir , use your ignition key to unlock the back seat ( look to the side of headrest for keyway )
Fold the seat down , remove the plastic cover you will see mid ships of the back seat , That exposes a metal plate that the pump and reservoir are bolted too , undo the bolts and tilt it up and back .... You will see the reservoir and the fill plug .

get at the reservoir an top up the fluid ....then cycle the top Multiple times , ( bleeding air ) it will eventually start to respond
Once you get it moving .... Then you can decide if you want to keep re topping up the fluid or get refurbished rams and new hoses...
 

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2000 93 SE Vert Auto 2001 93 SE Vert 5spd
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I have two convertibles and have had to replace the hydraulic lines in both. In one I had to have the pistons rebuilt with new shafts as well as replace the 5th bow switch. It can cost around $1,500 or more just for parts to get the top to work correctly - but I am a convertible kind of guy so to me it is worth the costs.

Below are some resources to help you troubleshoot, in addition to referencing the WIS. It may help you be more specific about exactly what issue(s) you are having.

Check the pump:


Manual Operation YouTube Videos I watched when my tops were not working:

This one starts at the 28 minute mark:


Top Hydraulics Instructions for replacing the Lines and pistons. These are the guys that rebuilt my pistons:
1998-2003 Saab 9-3 Cabriolet DIY Instructions and Interactive Diagram

My write-up on replacing the hydraulic lines:
Notes on the replacement of my convertible hydraulic lines
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for all the help and guidance
this is where I am so far the soft top motor needed a little topping up with oil. but sadly I still get a soft top failure message on the screen and the rear of the soft top still is locked in place on the tonneau I cant seem to get past that stage of unlocking the 5th bow and the tonneau was wondering if anyone has info on what locks and unlocks those pieces

thanks a lot everyone i hope my explanation was not to confusing
 

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2000 93 SE Vert Auto 2001 93 SE Vert 5spd
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259 Posts
This may sound elementary, but make sure that the valve on the pump is closed (righty tightie (closed), lefty loosey (open)). It should be closed for power operation, open for manual operation. However, this would not keep the tonneau from unlatching.

Have you tried to manually undo the tonneau cover via the lever in the trunk as shown in the videos? I would try that with the pump valve closed. That should unlock the tonneau cover and 5th bow and you should be be able to manually lift the back of the top (but leave it down if the valve on the pump is closed). Once that is done you can try using the switch again to see if anything else happens. (Don't forget to manually lock it again when you are done)

Per the online WIS: "There are microswitches at both latches for the fifth bow that sense if the fifth bow is in lock position and ready for locking." Your issue may be related to those switches.

I purchased a Chinese made Tech2 for about $300 specifically to help troubleshoot the microswitches on the convertible tops. Turns out that it has also been helpful with troubleshooting the engine as well. Not to mention being able to turn off that damn shift light on the 5spd - that alone was worth the cost.
 
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