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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Orpington, Kent
Car Model: 1987 Saab 900i
Hi all, it's my first post, so please be kind!
Car details above. The gearbox, after 145k miles is whining like a stroppy two year old. It seems to be especially bad in 4th and 5th and has been doing it for a while now. I've read enough on forums to guess that it's pinion whine. :( One day it's going to 'go' spectacularly and leave me stranded with a mullered engine. So I've got to do something.
I have a gearbox from a 1991 16v which I was lucky enough to obtain although it's a 300 mile trip away from home. I have also never heard it run (I have it on say-so that it didn't whine or jump out of gear).
I have worn out Google in looking for people who have done the same thing on various forums, and have worked out that the following items are needed:
[list=]
Engine hoist (I have that and a crane on a forklift)
Dry flat area (I am going to borrow the warehouse at work over Easter)
Gearbox to engine gasket
Exhaust manifold gasket x 4
Axle stands
Breaker bars and assortment of metric sockets and spanners
Flywheel locking tool?
[/list]

As you do, I got thinking about 'what I can do whilst I am there', so I've come up with:

[list=]
Replace clutch friction plate and diaphragm disc
Replace slave cylinder (master was done last year)
Replace clutch release bearing (it's a bit grumbly)
Resolve leak from oil pump (new oil pump seal and press in a new front seal)
Clean engine with water and degreaser (obviously sealing up HT bits)
[/list]

My questions are:
Are any other tools needed apart from regular things? Are there any other jobs that can be done at the time?
I'm planning to do this on my own over three days, leaving the fourth for emergencies.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:45 pm
Posts: 15
Car Model: saab 95 3.0 tid 2002
Only job I can think that needs the engine out is replacing the timing chain and guides - probably only worth doing if its already rattling. Apart from that its a great excuse to give the engine bay a spruce up and replace any dodgy/soft coolant hoses.

Engine out is straightforward - I've even done one at the roadside. I prefer taking the driveshafts out completely rather than hanging the hubs up unless you have someone to help you. This makes putting the engine back in simpler.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:26 pm
Posts: 5879
Location: North Essex
Car Model: 900Ruby,vert, 9000, 99, Sonett
One of these can be useful. There are different sizes, this is the larger one but it can be used on the smaller pressure plate, just tuck the end in and wind it in.
(Allow at least a couple of weeks for delivery.)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009V ... UTF8&psc=1

Note that P&P is more than the tool!

It needs to be fitted into the pressure plate before disconnecting the hydraulics.
(nb. If you use the existing slave cylinder, there is no need to disconnect the hydralics.)

Workshop manual that includes gearbox removal here:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/bm2m6j08r ... earbox.pdf


Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:32 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: Bath/ Dublin
Car Model: 8V-V4
A piece of TIG welding rod or 3-4mm wire (e.g. a bucket handle) does exactly the same job at a fraction of the cost.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:31 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Ireland
Car Model: '91 900 S ,1984 900 GLE
In terms of jobs to do you might also replace the pilot bearing in the flywheel - they are only a few £

I agree with Melle on making a clutch tool.... although the one he made actually looks like a clutch tool :lol:
I just used 5 or 6 thickish ~4mm aluminum nails that I bent a slight curve into and put them in one by one
around the pressure plate.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:32 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: Bath/ Dublin
Car Model: 8V-V4
Dublin ghetto style Paul, living up to your reputation. 8) Replacing the pilot bearing is a very good tip, I would also do the crank seals (front and rear), input shaft seal on the box and perhaps the oil pump o-ring seal.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Orpington, Kent
Car Model: 1987 Saab 900i
Wow! Cheers for the great responses, it's great that there is such a wealth of knowledge in the community! Thank you, your responses help in getting everything together in advance. As you've probably gathered this is the most ambitious project that I've undertaken on any car.

I'd completely forgotten the spacer tool. The good ol' Haynes manual suggests a piece of HT lead, I think that would be too squidgy, I like the idea of shaping a welding rod more. I'll look up getting a pilot bearing, gearbox input shaft seal and the other crank seal - I need to do the 'front' (firewall end) as I'm sure that's the source of the rainbow puddles that follow me when it rains.

Another question, the gearbox in the car (which I guess to be original) has a filler/dipstick on the offside. The 1991 box has a flat plate. Did SAAB go to 'filled for life' for their transmissions at some point? I'm guessing that there is a drain plug, Is there a filler on the side, or is it really sealed? I suppose I could remove the plate from the new and fit the dipstick from the old box. Is it worth it?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:32 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: Bath/ Dublin
Car Model: 8V-V4
No idea why Saab thought later cars could do without the filler tube, cost cutting? I would definitely swap it over.

Thinking of it, I would also check the gear shift seal in the gearbox for leaks, they can be pig to replace with the box in the car, especially if you don't have a lift. Give the engine mounts some attention as well.

Probably best to remove the crank pulley with the engine in situ. Space is limited, but the bolt can be very, very tight and nigh on impossible to remove without some "counterweight". You need a long breaker bar and a shallow 27 or 30mm socket depending on model year; I simply bought a cheap one and sliced it in half.

I made a flywheel locking tool from a piece of starter ring:

Image
Image

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:04 am 
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 15941
Location: Devon
melle wrote:
No idea why Saab thought later cars could do without the filler tube, cost cutting?

I spoke to the service manager at Viking Saab in Watford years ago and he said they used to get people bringing in Classic 900s after having the engine oil changed elsewhere. The gearbox would be whining and the exhaust "smoking like buggery" because the garage doing the oil change had mistakenly drained the oil from the gearbox, then put 4 or 5 litres of oil into the engine without checking the level. The "sealed for life" gearbox was said to be a response to that sort of episode.

There is no drain plug in the later gearboxes. The oil is drained by removing the diff. cover. We stock the diff. cover gasket for that reason, along with most of the other bits you might need for the job:
http://www.saabits.com/transmission/saab-900

If you don't see something you need, give us a shout. We might have it in stock even if it isn't on our web-site yet, or if not we can get it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Orpington, Kent
Car Model: 1987 Saab 900i
Cheers again for details, I had a look over the car today at work. It seems to be leaking/oozing oil from almost every seal on the engine, including the rocker cover and the distributor. I'm definitely going to crack off the 27/30mm bolt head on the pulley before starting. I haven't got any welding gear, so I'm going to try and find a flywheel locking tool or use a generic one.

That's a priceless story about some mechanics not knowing about SAAB idiosyncrasies, those poor engines with 10 litres of oil in them.
When I first bought 'The Beast' a couple of years ago, I put it in for an MOT at that national chain that starts with a 'K'. I got a phonecall from one of the techs about an hour later. He mentioned that the handbrake wasn't working on either wheel. 'Oh really? I thought. Bear in mind it's a 1987 model, I then mentioned that the handbrake works on the front wheels. The phone went dead... That and they couldn't work out how to get the key out of the ignition switch, so they left it in with the doors unlocked. :roll:

BillJ, there will be an order coming your way once payday arrives! You have a treasure trove!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:59 pm
Posts: 495
Location: Herefordshire
Car Model: 900i '87 96V4 '72 E30 Alvis
Your experience at Thiktwit made me laugh even when I knew what the punch lines were going to be.
Fortunately the guy who owns the garage in my village did his apprenticeship with Saab. 8)
If the steering rack needs any attention, it should be easier with the engine & box out


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
Posts: 5747
Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Model: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
I had the same amusing MoT discussion with our 99GL. Our tester is a decent bloke, who lets us mooch about when he's doing the test. Watched him do the front footbrake test, then roll the car forward to do the rears, then on to test the handbrake... and again... and again. Eventually he climbed out, smiled wryly and said 'Okay, these old Saabs are always weird, what am I missing...?'

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Orpington, Kent
Car Model: 1987 Saab 900i
Quote:
Twiktwit
!!!
Priceless. I guess if you see 10 cars a day and they are all the same, you just treat a 'special' SAAB in the same way.
At one place I worked we had a policy whereby the parking space nearest the building could only be used on condition that your car had to be moved as it blocked the loading bay, either you accepted getting interrupted or you left your keys with your colleagues. I used to especially take that space, then leave my keys. Watching people get in then scrabble around the steering wheel, then when they master that, watching them leap backwards as they cranked it. Comedy gold. In the end they refused to drive it. They couldn't get the hang of SMS with the steering where it's heavy for a minute or two.
I don't mind SMS, it's my daily quota of exercise.

I will pay attention to the rack, the power steering reservoir looks a bit scabby and the fluid is black, so I have my suspicions on it's condition.
I'll let you know come Easter how it all goes! Although I will lurk around this forum now. it's a great resource!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Orpington, Kent
Car Model: 1987 Saab 900i
Hi all, I've been to collect the gearbox from where I've had it stored (Mum and Dad's garage) and I've started to clean up the outside. One thing really worries me, when I turn either of the inner CV drivers the other one goes in the opposite direction. I thought this was normal (I remember seeing it happen with my VW Polo years ago when I had the front end on axle stands) but I now am spooked by it. Is it right or is the diff screwed?
As per above I've got Easter to get the whole job done, on my own. And I have to have the car out of my workplace on Easter Monday. I'm just freaked out by anything that can go wrong!
Also, any recommendations for clutch kits? It's normally aspirated 8v so it won't set the world on fire, I'm just looking for something that should last up under light use, the current clutch is really heavy, so anything would be an improvement.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:16 am 
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 15941
Location: Devon
It's absolutely correct. It is one of the things the diff does. Turn both together in the same direction and only then will the gearbox shafts start to turn.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Orpington, Kent
Car Model: 1987 Saab 900i
Thanks Bill, my mechanical ignorance shining through like a beacon! I've had a look at pictures of differentials now and get the general idea. I'll put my daft question down to late night panic.
When the weather gets better, I'll get the gearbox out at work and try and rotate both drivers in the same direction. If they still don't want to move, then there is an issue?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:53 pm
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Location: Devon
It will be a bit stiffer to turn because you are turning the entire output shaft and at a higher speed than you are turning the drivers. If a gear is selected you'll be turning the input shaft too.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Orpington, Kent
Car Model: 1987 Saab 900i
Thanks for that again Bill, I got a bit of time at work with the replacement gearbox today and it works exactly as you have described. I was panicking for nothing there!
I'm on the home straight for parts now, I'm attacking the gearbox with degreaser and decorating wipes to clean up the years of filth that has accumulated. I think the previous engine that was bolted to the box has major oil leaks from the front and rear main seals, thick clods of muck coming off, but I now know what colour the metal is underneath!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 651
Location: Crewe
Car Model: 80 99T,99GL LPG
CaptainBoom wrote:
Hi all, it's my first post, so please be kind!
Car details above. The gearbox, after 145k miles is whining like a stroppy two year old. It seems to be especially bad in 4th and 5th and has been doing it for a while now. I've read enough on forums to guess that it's pinion whine. :( One day it's going to 'go' spectacularly and leave me stranded with a mullered engine. So I've got to do something.
I have a gearbox from a 1991 16v which I was lucky enough to obtain although it's a 300 mile trip away from home. I have also never heard it run (I have it on say-so that it didn't whine or jump out of gear).
I have worn out Google in looking for people who have done the same thing on various forums, and have worked out that the following items are needed:
[list=]
Engine hoist (I have that and a crane on a forklift)
Dry flat area (I am going to borrow the warehouse at work over Easter)
Gearbox to engine gasket
Exhaust manifold gasket x 4
Axle stands
Breaker bars and assortment of metric sockets and spanners
Flywheel locking tool?
[/list]

As you do, I got thinking about 'what I can do whilst I am there', so I've come up with:

[list=]
Replace clutch friction plate and diaphragm disc
Replace slave cylinder (master was done last year)
Replace clutch release bearing (it's a bit grumbly)
Resolve leak from oil pump (new oil pump seal and press in a new front seal)
Clean engine with water and degreaser (obviously sealing up HT bits)
[/list]

My questions are:
Are any other tools needed apart from regular things? Are there any other jobs that can be done at the time?
I'm planning to do this on my own over three days, leaving the fourth for emergencies.


I got my 99 gearbox swaps down to a single easy day of work :) (I have always just pulled top/bottom ball joints out enough to get the driveshafts out of the sockets and wedged everything to make it easier for solo refitting)
I am not convinced that the bolts that hold the ball joints in are always standard metric heads, so check you have the relevant sockets with you (this may just be my cars/tools). If you decide to pull the hubs and driveshafts right out then I have always found that I have need a 3/4 socket to remove the caliper bolts

buying the proper saab clutch spacer ring makes life so much easier and less sweary that using a HT lead (or whatever other assorted filler items you have at hand!). Can you find anyone local to borrow one from?

while you are in there you might also want to do inner driveshaft boots if they look ropey.
You may want to add grease in them either way (since you will loose a lot with the old gearbox). Make sure you have it handy.

Also don't forget that you are doing an engine oil change at the same time so have that ready along with a sump plug/washer if required.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:32 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: Bath/ Dublin
Car Model: 8V-V4
tomarse wrote:
I have always found that I have need a 3/4 socket to remove the caliper bolts
3/4" = 19.05mm; most 19mm sockets will fit 3/4" bolt heads no problem.

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