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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working through a number of issues and could use some advice.

  • I'm replacing the valve cover gasket and I can't find the recommended sealant - bostik silicone 2680. Is there something other than regular old Silicone RTV that people use as a substitute?
  • CEL code indicates lean air/fuel mixture.
    • I've already tightened the hose clamps and reset the light, but that didn't work. I assume I have a vacuum leak somewhere
    • I'm thinking smoke test but I don't want/can't spend big bucks on a smoke tester. Poor man's solution
  • When I replaced the steering column bearing this summer I accidentally turned on the ignition before I reconnected the air bag. I reassembled everything and took it to Saabworks to have the light reset. Jared was able to reset the light but it came back several days later. Any ideas why this would happen. As I understand it, the light would have come back immediately if the air bag was not reconnected. Is there something else at play here? Looking for others' ideas
 

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You don't need any RTV. Use a quality Reinz or better yet Elring gasket and put it on dry.

Could be bad MAF or O2 sensor as well. You can monitor the O2 sensor with a multimeter. You can buy a cheap intake tester from siliconeintakes.com but you do need a compressed air source to use it. Fall back is carb cleaner on all the leak paths.

If the light is on, there is a code stored. Given the work done, I would expect a bad clockspring. They often don't like being disturbed.
 

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There are some cheap smoke testers available on ebay. I've heard from a couple of techs who've tried them and say they work fine.

For the VCG, I had to use a little RTV in a few spots to hold the gasket (Elring) in the cover. I think I used Dirko, but Permatex is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
jvanabra and 02pilot,

Thanks for the replies.
I have a new Elring gasket, so I should be all set. I'll order some Dirko or Loctite 598 to be safe.
I may get one of those cheap smoke testers or pressure testers
I was very careful with the clock spring, but that makes a lot of sense. I'll take it back to Saabworks in the spring and see if they can read the code.
 

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Just be sparing with the RTV and you'll be fine. The last guy who did mine slopped it on there like it was cake frosting...it was ugly.

Before you pop for the smoke tester, try jvanabra's suggestion to monitor the O2 sensor voltage. If it's not switching rapidly, it's not doing its job. Just clip on at the connector (with it still attached).
 

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You've leapt to the conclusion that you have a vacuum leak. I would not make that assumption.
And if your leak is that bad, you can find it with a can of carb cleaner.
 

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I used a little Hyalomar around bottom corners of distributor hump then tied dental floss through all valve cover bolt holes to hold gaskets in place while valve cover was inverted. Lightly installed 4 corner bolts then cut dental floss and pulled it out from all holes as installed bolts one by one. Then gradually tightened bolts in stages to 11 ft-lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You've leapt to the conclusion that you have a vacuum leak. I would not make that assumption.
And if your leak is that bad, you can find it with a can of carb cleaner.
You've piqued my interest. What diagnostics would you run as part of a troubleshooting methodology?

From one of my earlier posts on the topic:
I retrieved two codes, 12231 & 12223. According to Bentley the first code happens when you run the test and the engine is not running (so always?). The second code indicates "Air-fuel mixture too lean" and recommends tightening boot clamps, checking injector o-rings, and the ELCD valve (not sure what that is yet). I tightened the clamps and reset the fault codes because that was the easiest to do and I had recently loosened and removed a few boots to get the air filter out. The manual also says to refer to error code 12225, which mentions the O2 sensor. I'm going to wait and see if the CEL trips again before I mess with any other systems.
 

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12223..........for my read on this code, Air Mass Meter is high on the list.
Been through this exercise years ago......AMM went out of tolerance.....wasn't able to discern accurate intake air readings below 50 mph.
When doing 75mph on the interstate, alarm went away.
Went through many AMM from wreckers before I chanced on a good one.
 
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