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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What size nut is big drive shaft nut for CV replacement job? AND.....

are they both standard "righty tighty, lefty loosey" or is it some crazy thing where one side of car is R turn and other L turn like on my old 1969 Dodge Dart wheel lug nuts???

And do I really need a new "self locking"(nylock) ball joint nut like the Haynes manual says, or would some Red Lockitite be GTG?

What about ""if necessary, use a lever to help release the internal circlip from the groove"? How I'm I supposed to get a lever on the INTERNAL circlip? Are they talking about using a level on the whole unit from the outside, and the circlip WILL release with enough pull, because its a cylinder bent in shape of circle? I remember a backyard mechanic fighting this on a 1989 Merc Tracer (Mazda 323) had to ask me to make a special extra long screwdriver out of 3ft 1/4" rod IIRC.

Lastly, are there any upgraded (polyurethane?) rubbery bushings I can/should put in while I'm messing with it? My symptoms are pretty severe vibration around 50mph so I'm wondering if whatever bushings were effected are already old and have been taking a beating, and I've heard better (some sort) of bushings make a big diff in drivabilty.

PS-this is for a 1995 900S with A/T, NOT my since departed old 5spd.
 

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The axle nuts are 32mm or 1 1/4". If you're in the US, a 1 1/4" socket is far more common and cheaper. The nuts on both sides are standard, and not reverse thread.

I've reused the ball joint nuts a couple of times, but for the cost, I'd replace it. Most hardware stores ought to have one for less than a dollar. Loctite is far more expensive.

Are you replacing your wheel bearings or disassembling the CV joint? If not, then you don't need to remove any circlips. If you're considering replacing just one of the CV joints, I'd recommend going with a rebuilt CV axle from a local auto parts store instead. I rebuilt a CV axle once, and it wasn't a very enjoyable job.

Whether or not poly bushings are an upgrade is up for debate. They'll increase vibrations and stiffness, and in some locations on these cars, like the stanchion arms, they don't work well at all. Typically vibrations at speed are either an out of balance wheel (Hunter balancing machines are highly recommended), or a bad CV axle component.
 

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Factory ball joint nuts are ovalized, not nylock. But, some sellers have been selling nylock as replacement. I've loctited them before when I didn't have fresh ball joint nuts handy orwhen I knew I had to go back in soon. I can't vouch for how safe that is or not.

Does the vibration come and go from maybe 50 to 60 or 65? or is it only at 50mph? Is it only under load (acceleration) up a hill? Have you had the wheels/tires done on a Road Force machine as Jeremy suggested? How old are your tires and how straight are your rims.

Tell us some more and we can help you more. If you have old, worn bushing, ball joints, etc then replacing them won't hurt and might be a good idea, but it might not solve the vibration issue.

EDIT: FYI - Tie rod end nuts and axle nuts are one time use too. Nylock is fine for tie rod ends; Axle nuts are supposed to be replaced as they are also ovalized.
 

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It's been so long since I've seen a factory ball joint nut that I had no idea the factory ones were ovalized. I checked eSaabpart's website, and sure enough, that's what they show. Moog and Febi both supply nylock nuts, and I've never had a problem with one coming loose, though. Since you can't get a torque wrench on that nut, the way I tighten them is to put a jack under the ball joint, press is up into the hub, and then tighten the nut as tight as I can with a wrench. It's not perfect, but it hasn't failed me in 19 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does the vibration come and go from maybe 50 to 60 or 65? or is it only at 50mph? Is it only under load (acceleration) up a hill? Have you had the wheels/tires done on a Road Force machine as Jeremy suggested? How old are your tires and how straight are your rims.

Tell us some more and we can help you more. If you have old, worn bushing, ball joints, etc then replacing them won't hurt and might be a good idea, but it might not solve the vibration issue.

EDIT: FYI - Tie rod end nuts and axle nuts are one time use too. Nylock is fine for tie rod ends; Axle nuts are supposed to be replaced as they are also ovalized.
Vibration is from about 45-55, on gentle highway curves. Seems about same under load or not. I got new tires on front and it went away but came back in two days, or maybe I just wasn't hitting sweet spot. I got new rear tires and after about 2000 miles did all brakes and I rotated the tires, and still same vibs. Everything felt good both front and back when up on jacks. In another thread someone said they had same exact symptoms and it was CVs, so I'm gonna replace both (parts already bought).

My new tires are cheap from "Tires Only" in San Jose. I've bought about 5 sets of tires of same brand and close to same size over the years from the shop and never had a single problem, except they wear out a bit fast and mild squirrely under extreme braking.

Car had been sitting for about a year or more before I put it into 100+ mile daily driver, and didn't vib until about 5000 miles after I bought it.


I guess I'll just use a lot of Red Locktite, and of course the new nuts that come with new CVs.

Do I need a special press/tool to undo the ball-joints?
 

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Yes, you need a ball joint remover tool. And not just any one... a small one. There is not much room between the ball joint and CV cup.
 

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I just drive a steep chisel in between the bottom of the strut and the control arm right next to the boot. If you are keeping the control arms, then note that there's some risk to the boot. I've done this so many times that it's easy, but also so many that I should have just bought a tool.

Saabs are very sensitive to everything in the front end. But straight wheels and balance is key. Your symptoms are more indicative of classic wheel/tire balance issues more than mechanical issues. The only caveat there is that usually balance issues start at 50+mph in a range from there. Lower speeds might indicate a tire or wheel issue.

So, if you haven't pulled the car apart yet, I'd suggest something else before you do. Find a Hunter Road Force machine near you with this link: http://www.gsp9700.com . Have the tires done. Yeah, I know you had them balanced - the Hunter machine is different since it applies road force to the tire.

We've seen it solve lots of Saab issues that we were sure were mechanical... but they weren't. RF balance solved them. I've been driving this model since 1999 and I won't get any other balance for them. A good Road Force tech will tell you if the tires have pressure (as in structural manufacturing) issues. He will also tell you if any of the wheels are not straight. Note that prices vary a lot for RF balancing, and so do tech skills, so find someone who seems qualified and watch pricing.

The wheel spec is +/- 1mm. You can check yourself by putting the car on stands and rigging a pointer. Check for runout left-right and radially. It's best done with tires off, but if you can find it with tires on, you have a problem.

As for CV's - the don't tend to be a speed issue. Anything's possible, but that wouldn't be where I'd be looking unless you also have low speed clicking when turning. Worn out control arm bushings (the big horizontal one the stanchion arm connect to) are also a possibility I'd initially check.
 
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