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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 1997 900S last week with a little over 170K miles on it. It ran great for a few days, then today I was taking it for a drive just for fun. Following the advice of my "Shift Up" icon, I went to shift into 5th gear, but was having trouble finding it. So instead of forcing it into the gear I left it in 4th, nothing grinded and tranny didnt make any noises what so ever, felt perfectly smooth. Then i pull into someones driveway to turn around, and i go to shift into neutral before putting it into reverse, and noticed the gearshift felt extremly loose and i wasn't able to get it into reverse. When the gearshift was where first gear should be, i was still able to move it left and right, and the same is true in any gear. i could hear it clicking like it was supposed to be in gear, but the gear wouldnt change, and it felt like it was stuck in 3rd gear (which was the gear i was in before shifting into neutral before reverse). I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas what this could be. After reading the FAQ I'm guessing it sounds like the linkage. I'm only 16 and this is my first car, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Welcome!

Yeah, I'd bet on the linkage too. If you look behind the motor while someone wiggles the shifter you'll see it. There are three bushings that can fail or fall out. Two big rubber ones that you'll be able to see and third white plastic one you'll see under the rubber accordian like thing. I think it's also possible for the parts inside the car to get screwy too, so you might pull the boot off of the shift lever and see if anything looks out of place.

Good luck and let us know what you see!
 

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My money is on the plastic collar under the gear-lever gaiter having sproinged-out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, thanks for the help. Everything looks to be in place with the gear shift. But had my friend wiggle the shifter while i was looking under the hood, and I saw something that looks wrong. It looks like some sort of ball joint with a black connector that fits over the ball, and the connector has come off of its joint. This seems to be why the shifter is able to move left and right when its supposed to be in gear. I'll post pictures so you can see what I am talking about.
 

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Cool - It sounds sort of like you have the upgraded linkage, which is also a good thing. The new linkage has a sort of a brace that connects to a ball and socket joint, and it sounds like what you're describing.

www.eeuropaarts.com and www.thesaabsite.com I think have pictures of the linkage, so you can get a sense of how it should look. I have no idea how you hook them back together. I know that sometimes throttle linkages have a similar joint. The "socket" is a black plastic thing that pops over the ball. It usually has a little sliding thing on the end that keeps the socket locked. On my old car the sliding thing fell off, so I held it in place with very thin wire. I have no idea if the linkage setup is similar, but it might help.
 

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This fragile gear shift control linkage is one of the weaknesses - maybe every 75 to 125 K miles this must be repaired.

But there is an upgrade available.

You you have any service history ?
Read the FAQs, most helpful and interesting..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ya, it is a ball and socket joint on the linkage, it's the one i circled in the picture. Is this part available seperatly or would i have to buy a new linkage system; which seems a bit ridiculous.

 

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I never win on the dogs either :evil:

Edit:- The little clip on the end of the ball is closed?
 

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I'd phone/write thesaabsite and ask whether you can buy it piece by piece. Their tech support is pretty good. Your local dealer might help too, they could certainly order it if it has a seperate part number, though who knows how long it would take. I suspect though that you'd need to either buy the whole linkage (>$200.00), find one from a junkyard, OR try to fix that piece. It seems kind of low tech, so I personally would start with the third option.


The good news is that installing a linkage is easy, maybe a half hour or so, most of that is just getting yourself oriented.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hunt.dogshome said:
Edit:- The little clip on the end of the ball is closed?
Yea, the clip was closed and the end of the connector that fits around the rod was cracked right down the middle with alot of plastic broken off, so I'm assuming that is the problem. And yes, the connector did have it's own part number right on it, so I should be all set in getting one from a Saab dealer.
 
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