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Discussion Starter #1
Posted about this a while ago for a super clean '98 900 that I picked up. Was able to solve a lot of the issues I had from that thread, but now I have the ugliest one to deal with (and I believe it has been there all along)

I am at the point where I'm 'able' to drive it, but any gear that is in the upwards direction is 3rd and any gear that is in the bottom direction is 4th

Anyone ever experienced this? Very bizarre IMO. Do I have a tanked trans? Do I need a new shifter housing?

I want to keep the car, it's rust free, low miles, engine idles / runs (in 3rd) soo smooth, so I'm looking to see what options I have

P.S. I did do the procedure of aligning the shifter, changed nothing
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It looked normal to me but I will admit I'm not 100% sure what I'm looking at or how I would inspect it. This is the first time I've had trans problems in the 6 or 7 saab's I've owned
 

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I would pull the linkage and see if you can put it into 1st or 2nd manually by moving the barrel.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I will do that tomorrow

I apologize for the ignorance but how can I "know" for sure I move it into those gears? I can physically put the shifter in what I thought was 1st, 2nd, 5th, and reverse (the key even comes out in reverse), but I can tell by driving it that it's actually in 3rd and 4th
 

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Look to see if the sockets on the linkage have come off the balls on the linkage on the tranny side. Not uncommon. You'll see once you get in there. Really sounds like a linkage issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Okay after taking the linkage out I feel a whole lot less in the dark about a linkage works. I had my friend with a og 9-3 come over and he shifted through the gears while I stared at the linkage from under the hood, and then I looked at the broken one on the car

Clearly my problems are from this shaft/arm being broken:



I guess my 2 questions are now, how did this happen (22 year old car, I assume the plastic just cracked and broke? 140k miles on the engine), and how do I fix it?

Can I just jbweld epoxy it back together, or should I buy a new one (kinda pricey, $250+), or go to a junkyard?

edit: upon further looking I can't find it in stock anywhere so...it's either rebuild or junkyard?
 

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Well there you go , problem figured out, with that out you can move that shaft to where 1st or reverse and make sure there are no issues there, I would source one from craiglist via a partout or a junkyard, good luck in that search
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess I'm worried that if I just get one from a junkyard it's gonna break in the same manner if it's actually a common issue.

Anyone else think I should just epoxy it back together..? Maybe with a tiny worm clamp, or one of those heat shrinking hose clamps? :)
 

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It's not common for them to snap like that. The sockets wear out, but breaking off is unusual. I'd go junkyard. You can use one from an OG 9-3 and end up with something newer.

There are two alternatives... a member here years ago name Rbatsch (something like that) got some ball and socket joints and threaded rod from McMaster-Carr and rebuilt with those. You could search the workshop and probably find his posts but it's been a long while.

There is a guy/business posting in one of the facebook groups who does rebuilds of them with stainless ball and sockts but he charges something over $100 for them... maybe $150. I could try to hunt him down if you want to pay that much.
 

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There are two alternatives... a member here years ago name Rbatsch (something like that) got some ball and socket joints and threaded rod from McMaster-Carr and rebuilt with those. You could search the workshop and probably find his posts but it's been a long while.
Found a thread on the McMaster-Carr upgrade I mentioned. Start around post #12 in this one: Troubleshooting engine mounts
 

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I'll second the junkyard route, if you can find one. They have no idea what those are, and they'll probably only charge you $10 or $15 for one. Getting it out gets a little trickier if you go to a self-serve junkyard and the car doesn't have a key in it, though. You have to take the center console trim off and unbolt the shifter housing (4 small bolts with 10mm heads) so you can pull the shift rod out of the linkage. Normally you just put the shifter into 4th gear, and that pops it out, but it will probably be locked into reverse if the key's not there.
 

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Skip the JB. Sounds good, but in my experience it's good foe holes and what not. Example, pulley grinds a hole in timing cover = JB Weld.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks a bunch for the help guys

New shift linkage (used but looks good) fixed the problem. Drives amazing now, super happy with the car

Only thing now is that the key won't come out. It's definitely in reverse, reverse light comes on and it drives in reverse. Did I bungle something?
 

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Nothing with the linkage, that's entirely inside the shifter housing. Try turning the key off and on a few times and gently wiggling the key in every direction, then use some appropriate lock lubricant.

Edit - .... Unless you're saying you can't fully turn the car off, then that could be linkage related.
 

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Try wriggling the shift lever around, particularly pushing it even a bit further back (more into reverse). Even though the transmission is in reverse, the lever may not be in just the right spot.

If that fixes it, do the shifter alignment procedure precisely. That means finding a drill bit or allen key that fits as tightly as possible into the alignment holes, with no slop.
 
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