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Discussion Starter #1
I currently own a 08 9-5 and looking to pickup a small project Saab. I missed on a 9-5 earlier this week and have a chance to buy a 99 9-3 convertible with 150k for around $500.
It's currently at a shop and the owner doesn't have the funds or skills to tackle the required service. I am going on a written estimate provided and will be looking at the car tomorrow. It has an ignition that gets stuck in the crank position that led to possible started damage and a dead battery.
The estimate states needs alternator, starter and battery AND the top is not coming down.
I figure I can handle the starter, alternator and ignition for about $2-300 in parts (some used) and around 6-7 hours total wrenching time.
Of all those repairs I have replaced a starter in my 9-5, junk yard extraction of an ignition switch on a 9-5. Is the ignition switch removal for the 9-3 basically remove key cylinder, center console, tilt shift module(AT) them r/r switch ?
The starter looks to be identical process as the 9-5 and the alternator seems to be a a tight squeeze but doable with some patience, on blaster and lots of f bombs.
The convertible top is a complete mystery at this point but it looks like there is manual lower/raise procedure so I can live with that as a shirt term solution.
I just want to confirm the needed repairs are similar to what I have seen or performed on my current Saab before further consideration.
 

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On the ignition switch - I found much commonality between the assemblies on my '02 9-3 and '04 9-5, so I reckon if you've been in there on your 9-5, you've done the practise run for this 9-3.
 

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the process will be close enough not to notice a difference, but before you dig into that ,remove the cylinder and check for crap , may not be the issue (usually is the broken springs) but worth a shot. the starter and Alt,if done at the same time won't be that bad, At 150k it will be due for a host of items, but for 7-8 hundred in parts you'd be good for 100k+ miles. (all hoses, temp sensor,vac lines,thermostat, low speed fan resistor,fuel pump, fluids change.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is the key cylinder removal and cleaning the same as newer Saabs ? Key in on position, insert Allen in small home and push ? Is the key cylinder responsible for the spring tension for the key to return to on position after ignition or the electrical switch ? Is there a retainer/cover at the end of the cylinder I can take off then flush the heck out of it then spray lock dey lube ?
 

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Yes, cylinder is the same and removal the same. Probably just old grease preventing it from moving although it could be a bent wafer. Easy fix either way.

Convertible top is probably better repaired that taken manual. If you plan to go manual, you'll have to just rig to lock the tonneau down when you have the roof open.

If you buy it and let a starter, let me know ASAP. I have a good used one I pulled from my lower miles totaled car. Worked great. I'll sell it to you cheap. I'm about to list all my extra stuff so don't wait to long.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you know of the return action spring for they key is in the cylinder or ignition switch ?
How much for the starter and where are you located ? Will it fit a 99
 

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For the starter, how about $20 plus shipping? If you PM me a zip code, I can figure out what it will cost to ship. If it's too much I will adjust the price down.

Interesting question on the spring. I'm thinking it's in the switch since I don't recall the cylinder pushing back when I've worked on them and there's no rotary spring in the mechanism. There is a lateral spring and a cam though, so maybe that does it. If I can find my spare cylinder later I will give it a twist. I also have an ignition switch I can twist to test.

Either way, I'd wager on the cylinder being the hangup. They are known for the dried grease issue... eventually all of them need service. There's not a lot of spring force in the mechanism so it all has to work smoothly. If it's just the cylinder, it will be an easy job. If it's the switch it's not hard but it's a lot more stuff that has to come out to get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For the starter, how about $20 plus shipping? If you PM me a zip code, I can figure out what it will cost to ship. If it's too much I will adjust the price down.

Interesting question on the spring. I'm thinking it's in the switch since I don't recall the cylinder pushing back when I've worked on them and there's no rotary spring in the mechanism. There is a lateral spring and a cam though, so maybe that does it. If I can find my spare cylinder later I will give it a twist. I also have an ignition switch I can twist to test.

Either way, I'd wager on the cylinder being the hangup. They are known for the dried grease issue... eventually all of them need service. There's not a lot of spring force in the mechanism so it all has to work smoothly. If it's just the cylinder, it will be an easy job. If it's the switch it's not hard but it's a lot more stuff that has to come out to get there.
Hmm, I have taken out a ignition switch on a 9-5 the only thing I'm not sure about is if the 99 9-3 is basically the same process. Remove center console, remove 4 bolts for the gear select box, tilt it over then replace. I am seeing some noise about some sort of security fasteners whick I didn't see on the 9-5. Never done a alternator and it looks a bit tight but doable. I might shop that work and see if I can find a decent mechanic looking go make side money.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Took a looks at the car and all I know is I will NEVER go to that shop. They had long list of things that included replacement of SPARK PLUG WIRES. A few things confused about the car.
1. It did not have a SID , manual climate control.
2. The steering rack is in the way of alternator top removal and a few unknown lines to me .
Looks like the alternator has to be taken out from below unless someone can tell me otherwise.
Also they mentioned the alternator is kind of working but low amperage output. Would that be possible just a regulator issue ? Can that be handled from below while it's mounted ?
 

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Hmm, I have taken out a ignition switch on a 9-5 the only thing I'm not sure about is if the 99 9-3 is basically the same process. Remove center console, remove 4 bolts for the gear select box, tilt it over then replace.
Yep, roughly the same if you need to do the switch. If you only need to do the cylinder, it comes out from above in about 60 seconds, or four minutes on a bad day. Just push the pin in on the side and pull out.
 

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Took a looks at the car and all I know is I will NEVER go to that shop. They had long list of things that included replacement of SPARK PLUG WIRES. A few things confused about the car.
1. It did not have a SID , manual climate control.
2. The steering rack is in the way of alternator top removal and a few unknown lines to me .
Looks like the alternator has to be taken out from below unless someone can tell me otherwise.
Also they mentioned the alternator is kind of working but low amperage output. Would that be possible just a regulator issue ? Can that be handled from below while it's mounted ?
No 1999 had plug wires in the USA. Weird.

MCC wasn't unusual. Some are ACC, some MCC. Conversion is not practical.

The voltage regulator can be replaced. But, if a shop thought the car had plug wires, I'd be suspect of their diagnosis in any other area. I don't know if it can be done in car. I've seen a lot of posts on the alternator both from the top or bottom and never actually done it myself, so I'll leave that to others.
 

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Is the key cylinder removal and cleaning the same as newer Saabs ? Key in on position, insert Allen in small home and push ? Is the key cylinder responsible for the spring tension for the key to return to on position after ignition or the electrical switch ? Is there a retainer/cover at the end of the cylinder I can take off then flush the heck out of it then spray lock dey lube ?
Yes, OG9-3 key cylinder arrangement is same as for OG9-5. The cylinder is different in the later 9-5s with the wider keys, but principle is the same.

Note, the key is turned to OFF position, not ON position, for removal.

There is no turning spring in the key cylinder. It must be all in the ignition switch.

Alternator can be a painful job, especially if some of the bracket through bolts are seized. Replacing just the regulator would be a reasonable first attempt.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No 1999 had plug wires in the USA. Weird.

MCC wasn't unusual. Some are ACC, some MCC. Conversion is not practical.

The voltage regulator can be replaced. But, if a shop thought the car had plug wires, I'd be suspect of their diagnosis in any other area. I don't know if it can be done in car. I've seen a lot of posts on the alternator both from the top or bottom and never actually done it myself, so I'll leave that to others.
Yeah, the spark plugs was the start of the kind list of stuff. Planning on returning this after with a meter and measuring voltage while it's running. Also recommended starter due Bendix wear. I have no faith in their diagnosis. How do I know whick alternator nthis thing takes ? I see both 90 and 130 amp. The VIN on this is X7057593 and I did see a catalog stating 130 amp starting with Y digit. Are the two interchangable with same connectors and size ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One more thing, abs and triangle warning light was on. Does a 99 require tech 2 to marry a abd module ? I will look at the brake fluid level when I return.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Stopped by the shop and measure d idle voltage at 13.3 which means the alternator is currently working. I don't know what to think about these guys. Maybe current output is low but it's certainly hasn't failed.
 

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I think you should have more like 14.4 volts charging. I can check. Not sure how that might be affected by a battery that's not fully charged (car been sitting).

If the body style matches, you should be able to plug-n-play an ABS. Someone around here recently had to use a Tech II to match one but I think it was a body difference... I forget though, maybe someone else remembers. It could also be a wheel sensor. No way to know without hooking up a Tech II.

I think either alternator physically fits. The 9-3 Convertible usually had a large alternator to support the top operation... and perhaps they used it when you had more power accessories in the car (the EPC indicates 3d/5d's could have the larger one too). The "Y" would indicate a 2000 model year. But, they all appear to interchange so the larger one would be the better option. Get more comments here from someone who has played with both.

FYI - I check the ignition today. The spring is in the switch itself. I'd still start with the cylinder before digging in. They all need a cleaning and they are usually the issue. You could even just do a massive WD-40 flush with it in place to see how it improves, or not, and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I pulled a switch at a junkyard so I'll clean cylinder and replace the switch. I only measure 25 amps while idling so I'm assuming it needs a alternator or voltage regulator. I will crawl under and see if the current alternator has any marking indicating amperage as well as check voltage at the . This is a 99 so I think it might be a 90 amp, Rock Auto has a no name clearance for $60 I might order after confirmation. I only paid $250 for the car so I'm trying to be as economical as possible. Anyone know of the low power is due to a bad regulator or just a failing unit all together ? This unit looks like you can replace the requlator from below while mounted.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Anyone know if a standard 9-3 will fit a convertible ? Front and back muffler is shot and I'm looking to try to source one from someone parting out a 9-3 locally. This is kind of a pet project for me to being this thing back using all used parts if possible
 
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