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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After the clutch cable just went limp one day and left me stranded, I let the car sit for about 6 months as I've DIYed everything else except for transmission issues. Finally got a garage to look at it and they diagnosed it as a failed clutch cable. They replaced it and I drove it for about 3 days. The clutch felt great to me with the exception of a severe rattle whenever I took my foot off of it. The third day was the real test, as I had to do a lot of driving for my job. About half way through the day the clutch failed again. I had to turn the engine off to get it in first and start the car in first, shift to 2nd without the clutch and 2nd geared it to the same garage which was luckily very close. My concern is that if something else is causing the clutch to fail, then this small repair is going to soon add up to a huge one. I'd prefer to know what some clear causes are. I love this car and have fought hard to keep it on the road. Oh, the entire clutch failed about a year aga and I had it replaced. Also, it's a 96 900se turbo
 

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I'm surprised that the shop didn't change cables when the clutch was changed. Do you know if they used a new or used cable? Was it a self-adjustable Saab cable or a manually adjustable aftermarket cable? I broke the OEM cable once and bought an aftermarket cable at Napa. The new cable was a little shorter and didn't fit right; it had a severe bend in it because it was too short. I replaced it with an OEM cable and it's been fine for several years.

Some have installed the hydraulic clutch system that has been used since 1998. It's roughly ten times the cost of a clutch cable, if you do the firewall drilling and install yourself. The transmission has to come out to install the slave cylinder, so, if you have shop do it, it is very expensive.
 

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1995 NG900 2.3L
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Did the clutch cable (that is the twisted, stranded steel cable) itself actually snap?

I thought mine did when it "went out" since the pedal went to the floor as I felt a snapping motion in my foot when I went to clutch while coasting through a parking lot. It was, I believe, the original OEM cable; self adjusting type but I found out later that the cable was still connected on both ends. Just the plastic stop (piece which fits into the retainer on the transmission housing) broke off allowing too much slack in the cable. I thought I was stranded so I called a tow truck and when he arrived, the driver asked that I just try to move it out of the parking spot so he could reach the car better. I pushed in the clutch and wrestled the gear lever into reverse (it was very hard to select gears) and the car moved out. I was utterly amazed. I ended up driving it home and apologized for wasting his time. :cheesy:

I still replaced the cable with the manual adjusting type but in retrospect I could have used a small vise grip or some other device to clamp the cable to the stop bracket and could have driven quite some miles in that condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I purchased the new clutch cable myself from Autozone. Considering the price - about 30 bucks, I figure it was not oem, but i could be wrong. I could call the store and ask, and I'm also not sure if it has snapped totally or just malfunctioned in some other way. I heard no loud noise or anything, but I did notice a the instant loss of pressure to the cable, bc i remember hoping that nothing had happened when in fact it did. Like i said, though, I was able to put it in gear with the engine off, start the car in 1st and shift into 2nd without using the clutch pedal, but that's as far as I checked into it, b/c the garage was just around the corner. I have noted the statement made by someone that the non oem clutch cable has a slight difference in length and although the oem is more expensive and the 98+ model hydraulic version is much better, I am considering this as a possible cause. Still, any further help is sought out and much appreciated. Thanks guys. At least I haven't heard that for this to happen must mean that my entire kit needs replacing or something. I'm cringing at the thought of that as I just paid a lot of money a year or so ago to have that done.
 

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Ya, you probably have this one like mine. No, it's not OEM. The OEM cable is self-adjusting but it doesn't self-adjust very well at all, or it does so for several thousand miles then quits.

Although you say it felt great, perhaps this shop of yours didn't adjust the cable properly. What kind of cable is it? If OEM it still has to be initially adjusted for proper free play when newly installed which is some kind of pull and click procedure.

I should think you need to remove the old cable and examine it to determine what is broken on it and where the failure is occuring. Not too difficult although it requires the skill of a contortionist. See here.
 
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