SaabCentral Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this might be stupid but i just bought a 2001 saab and i would like to know if its a chain or a belt? could anybody help me out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Yes, timing chain as stated earlier. If you car has more than 81K miles you should be looking to replace it or have it replaced. Its quite costly depending on how the mechanic decides to do it. Doing so however will result in trouble free miles, less oil consumption and not running the risk of having your engine seize while driving. Even for the intermediate mechanic its a daunting task. Once projected to be in the hours of 20-22 to complete, alas mine took almost 30 days due to a lot of stubborn bolts and part delays. Its also a great opportunity for either you or your mechanic to access other potential failing parts such as your water pump which in my case was past due and on its way to failure, and also examine your oil pan to determine how your car is handling its oil use and weather or not you have slugging problems.







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,655 Posts
You replaced the chain with the motor inside the car?
Yes, timing chain as stated earlier. If you car has more than 81K miles you should be looking to replace it or have it replaced. Its quite costly depending on how the mechanic decides to do it. Doing so however will result in trouble free miles, less oil consumption and not running the risk of having your engine seize while driving. Even for the intermediate mechanic its a daunting task. Once projected to be in the hours of 20-22 to complete, alas mine took almost 30 days due to a lot of stubborn bolts and part delays. Its also a great opportunity for either you or your mechanic to access other potential failing parts such as your water pump which in my case was past due and on its way to failure, and also examine your oil pan to determine how your car is handling its oil use and weather or not you have slugging problems.







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,211 Posts
chain ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,583 Posts
this might be stupid but i just bought a 2001 Saab and i would like to know if its a chain or a belt? could anybody help me out?
Given that its a '01, it must be a T7 turbo with the chain; later and earlier models were either an I4 or a V6.
Peruse our Stickies and welcome to Saab Central.:cheesy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
You replaced the chain with the motor inside the car?

Yesir....I used a engine hoist to hold up engine using loop holes on top of engine, while supporting it below with jacks for safety and maneuverability, removed all three engine mount bolts and pushed the engine towards the drivers side.



Since the passenger wheel well cover pops off for access to the crank shaft and oil pump it is pretty easy to get enough clearance to access everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,542 Posts
But why do this job as a maintenance job at 81 k miles or any other mileage.

I would only do the job if the chain was stretched. The tensioner would need to be at its outer limit and the chain would need to making noise before I would consider replacing the chain and guides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,876 Posts
But why do this job as a maintenance job at 81 k miles or any other mileage.

I would only do the job if the chain was stretched. The tensioner would need to be at its outer limit and the chain would need to making noise before I would consider replacing the chain and guides.
Exactly! This is very unnecessary at 81K miles; some cars with more than double that mileage never needed replacing the chain.

The timing chain should be replaced if it stretched beyond the tensioner limits and that only happens at that mileage when the engine has extreme sludge obstructing the oil pickup screen; the oil starvation and heat are what stretch the timing chain beyond its limits for the car's norms.

Here's how you check the tensioner's extension. I think 15 mm was the limit where you need to replace.

http://www.saabproject.com/NG900SET/TC_tensioner/tc_tensioner.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
the chain in our cars, pending any oiling issues should last darn near the life of the motor! I would not even think about it until Im nearing 200k
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
In my case the the tensioner was already past its mark, the guides were worn out too. I plan on driving this car for another 100K miles and did not want to deal with it later on down the line. Based on the haynes best practice maintenance schedule, the chain and tensioner should be checked every 80k miles. I would assume you can apply the same rule if it ant broke dont fix it approach, however due to the history these cars have with oil problems I was more than curious to see what was going on in my oil pan and the rest of the engine regardless. Replacing everything was the best way for me to know that for the next 80-100K miles I really dont have to worry about my chain or tensioner or my oil system and can focus on other things like just driving and other toys to put under the hood. For the typical car owner, yeah check the tensioner and see if it meets the minimum and max specs. But for the Saab enthusiast, why take the chance? Im sure many people have simply replaced a 150 dollar tensioner thinking they have nothing to worry about, meanwhile the chain its tensioning is covered in sludge or worse has worn teeth on the gears.
It all depends on how comfortable you are with getting under the hood and what you are willing to gamble on a chain's life expectancy. Not to mention in between all that time, your most def going to have to replace a water pump, which to get too is about as much labor as getting to the timing chain, which I would not have discovered unless I was taking on this project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
the chain in our cars, pending any oiling issues should last darn near the life of the motor! I would not even think about it until Im nearing 200k

200K miles??...ooof, your assuming too much out of an engine if you think you can go that long without opening her up even half way in between ....especially a Saab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,876 Posts
200K miles??...ooof, your assuming too much out of an engine if you think you can go that long without opening her up even half way in between ....especially a Saab.
Please don't make statements like that when you have absolutely nothing to back up your assumptions. The timing chains on our cars last well past the 200K+ miles mark indeed if the engine is maintained properly and the oil changed regularly. The indication was to measure the extension at the 80K mark not to replace!

T7 cars specifically have some sludge issues when the car isn't maintained properly with the PCV version 6 upgrade and proper synthetic oil proper & oil change intervals.

The sludge buildup on the oil pickup screen reduces the oil flow in the engine. The oil starvation causes friction and excessive heat that will stretch the timing chain over time past the allowed limit. When the timing chain is extended past its limits you'll hear the timing chain slapping in there. Your car may have had some sludge in the past that was cleaned but the timing chain may not have been replaced at the time. 80K miles is really nothing on a SAAB timing chain if the proper maintenance is followed.

By the way there was a guy that went past the million miles with a SAAB 900 a few years ago. It had its original engine but the guy maintained it pretty well ;) IIRC it was replaced with a brand new 9-5 courtesy from SAAB and SAAB acquired the old car for the SAAB museum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Please don't make statements like that when you have absolutely nothing to back up your assumptions. The timing chains on our cars last well past the 200K+ miles mark indeed if the engine is maintained properly and the oil changed regularly. The indication was to measure the extension at the 80K mark not to replace!

T7 cars specifically have some sludge issues when the car isn't maintained properly with the PCV version 6 upgrade and proper synthetic oil proper & oil change intervals.

The sludge buildup on the oil pickup screen reduces the oil flow in the engine. The oil starvation causes friction and excessive heat that will stretch the timing chain over time past the allowed limit. When the timing chain is extended past its limits you'll hear the timing chain slapping in there. Your car may have had some sludge in the past that was cleaned but the timing chain may not have been replaced at the time. 80K miles is really nothing on a SAAB timing chain if the proper maintenance is followed.

By the way there was a guy that went past the million miles with a SAAB 900 a few years ago. It had its original engine but the guy maintained it pretty well ;) IIRC it was replaced with a brand new 9-5 courtesy from SAAB and SAAB acquired the old car for the SAAB museum.

And out of all the Saab's how many cars actually reach that mark, if they all did I doubt Saab would be giving out free 9-5's...lol While Im sure you though that nice explanation on sludging was relevant to I guess show me that you know something about engines, Im not quite sure what facts your exactly looking for to back up my statement? But if I was to use a backup it would be this entire forum...I'm sure all the people here who have replaced a bad timing chain or rebuilt an engine would love to hear that their cars should have gone 200k miles...lol

Simply put, I dont doubt the longevity of Saab engines or I wouldn't have bought one. However I still dont think one opinion should cover every engine. My engine happened to be pristine aside from some left over varnish from the semi synth oil used prior because I switched to AMSOIL at 20k miles....(seen in the photos above in prior posts) my pick up screen had very little debris as well mostly because I have a two stage filter system as well as a filter magnet on the second filter.

Maybe some could consider my timing change un-necessary especially since I am the origination owner and have changed the oil religiously even though I can get around 35K miles per oil change. However , if I bought a Saab second hand with 81k, like evoxkib stated in the first thread. I wouldn't assume anything or leave to chance that the engine was well maintained or serviced regulatory just because my engine "could" go 200k. Because unlike most people on this forum, your average car owner turns the key and drives a car and usually ignores most preventive maintenance unless instructed by a decent mechanic. So as with this case I would at the very least pop off the valve cover and see whats going on inside before I just assume that because the chain is "supposed" to last 200K that I should just keep driving the car unaware of any other existing issues.

There is no one answer for the situation. My answer is investigate and/or change the chain. Agree or dont agree thats up the the reader....thats why they call it a forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,876 Posts
And out of all the Saab's how many cars actually reach that mark, if they all did I doubt Saab would be giving out free 9-5's...lol While Im sure you though that nice explanation on sludging was relevant to I guess show me that you know something about engines, Im not quite sure what facts your exactly looking for to back up my statement? But if I was to use a backup it would be this entire forum...I'm sure all the people here who have replaced a bad timing chain or rebuilt an engine would love to hear that their cars should have gone 200k miles...lol

Simply put, I dont doubt the longevity of Saab engines or I wouldn't have bought one. However I still dont think one opinion should cover every engine. My engine happened to be pristine aside from some left over varnish from the semi synth oil used prior because I switched to AMSOIL at 20k miles....(seen in the photos above in prior posts) my pick up screen had very little debris as well mostly because I have a two stage filter system as well as a filter magnet on the second filter.

Maybe some could consider my timing change un-necessary especially since I am the origination owner and have changed the oil religiously even though I can get around 35K miles per oil change. However , if I bought a Saab second hand with 81k, like evoxkib stated in the first thread. I wouldn't assume anything or leave to chance that the engine was well maintained or serviced regulatory just because my engine "could" go 200k. Because unlike most people on this forum, your average car owner turns the key and drives a car and usually ignores most preventive maintenance unless instructed by a decent mechanic. So as with this case I would at the very least pop off the valve cover and see whats going on inside before I just assume that because the chain is "supposed" to last 200K that I should just keep driving the car unaware of any other existing issues.

There is no one answer for the situation. My answer is investigate and/or change the chain. Agree or dont agree thats up the the reader....thats why they call it a forum.
Yeah :roll:.......

I don't give a hoot what your particular experience was or what you would do if you were in the poster's shoes; your advice on replacing the timing chain at 80K is plain excessive, irresponsible and very unnecessary! It's one thing to tell someone to measure the timing chain extension at the 80K miles and another to tell him to replace the timing chain as a part of regular maintenance knowing how involved it is (hell, it took you a month to sort that out)! That advice is plain irresponsible!

Furthermore, most of the threads you see on the forum are from people who have problems and are seeking help; you won't find many threads about people having a great car with a timing chain that was just measured and is within specs :lol:

Of course you have many people who had timing chains that were out of spec either due to the plastic tensionners guides being scored or broken and others stretched due to sludge affecting the oil flow. The tensionner's extension measurement tells you if there's a problem and only then would you replace the timing chain and or its guides!

As far as buying a second hand car, no assumptions are to be made, SAAB or not! In the case of the T7 equipped SAABs in particular, I'd look for the maintenance records before even buying the car. If none are present, I would assume the car not being well maintained and walk away unless I factor in major repairs in the purchase price.

Regardless of the presence of maintenance records and of the version 6 PCV system upgrade, I'd drop the oil pan and cleanup the pickup screen for peace of mind. That doesn't mean to replace the timing chain if it's within specs!!!

In your case the timing chain was extended and you HAD to replace it. Your particular case doesn't mean that timing all chains should be replaced as a maintenance item. Most timing chains don't extend beyond the limit at that mileage.

Don't assume all T7 equipped SAABs are affected with sludge either, only a little percentage were and you see most of the threads about that small percentage. Out of that small percentage you have some that need a timing chain replacement due to stretching. Most of the timing chain replacements threads are about those cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,542 Posts
The point of my 1st post on this thread was that timing/balance chains are not a maintenance item. I did not say this then, But like lots of other parts on a car they need to be checked to see if they are OK or not.

My experience is that the early 9000 2.3 models appeared to have noisy timing/balance chains early in their life. I had a 93 9000 that was noisy at 143000km, when I bought it. My 2nd 93 9000griffin needed new timing/balance chains at 160000km, my current 97 9000CD is still great at 130000km. My 96 NG900 is still great at 170000km.

My point on timing/balance chains is they are not a maintenance item like plugs or fuel filters etc, and it is unwise to say that they are. However they can and do give problems, as they did for Saabboy93se, so checking is important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,542 Posts
this might be stupid but i just bought a 2001 saab and i would like to know if its a chain or a belt? could anybody help me out?
And after all the stuff we wrote about timing/balance chains, we should have said. Great Car these 93's and the earlier Ng900s - my daughter now has mine!

She even drove it for 1-15 mins at 60-70kph with the oil light on!. And no damage to the engine!! But that is another story!!

I would recommend you read up on the sludge issue in the 95 forum. This is the only real issue that Saab have in the later model engines.

Normal maintenance and a sensible approach to caring for the car will eliminate these issues. And we should say other cars of this ear had sludge issues as well.

If you want a horror story about timing chains, check out the early Ford Explorers with the V8 engine!!
Saabs are angels by comparison!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,876 Posts
And after all the stuff we wrote about timing/balance chains, we should have said. Great Car these 93's and the earlier Ng900s - my daughter now has mine!

She even drove it for 1-15 mins at 60-70kph with the oil light on!. And no damage to the engine!! But that is another story!!

I would recommend you read up on the sludge issue in the 95 forum. This is the only real issue that Saab have in the later model engines.

Normal maintenance and a sensible approach to caring for the car will eliminate these issues. And we should say other cars of this ear had sludge issues as well.

If you want a horror story about timing chains, check out the early Ford Explorers with the V8 engine!!
Saabs are angels by comparison!!
And the early Chryslers with the 2.6 engines as well as the GM's J serie 2.0 engines :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
200K miles??...ooof, your assuming too much out of an engine if you think you can go that long without opening her up even half way in between ....especially a Saab.
I agree with hkaysii on this point. The timing chain tensioner was changed in the late 80's and corrected a rather poor design which caused premature timing chain failures. The current design has been in use since ~MY88 and is nigh on bulletproof provided the owner has kept up with oil/filter changes throughout it's lifespan. It's not uncommon for the chains to last 200k+, and if yours went at 80k, then the previous owner did something wrong (or you, if you are the original owner). I'd check the tensioner every 50k or so as part of regular maintenance (tensioner should not exceed 11mm), but to replace it at 80k as part of a regular maintenance schedule is just downright costly and irresponsible.

Saabboy93se said:
Maybe some could consider my timing change un-necessary especially since I am the origination owner and have changed the oil religiously even though I can get around 35K miles per oil change.
I think this might have something to do with it. 35k on an oil change is absolutely bonkers for a turbocharged car. Eiron (forum member here) has gone 15-20k on fully synthetic with an NA, but the heat, high pressures and extreme stress that the engine is subjected to with a turbo makes 35k look like suicide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,542 Posts
I never intentionally go over 10000km before changing both the oil and filter.
Sometimes I might go 6-7000km change the oil only, then at the next change change in another 6000km change the oil and filter.

And most of our running is hot running, 15km would be the shortest trip.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top