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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:11 pm 
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Full Pressure Turbo

Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:22 pm
Posts: 638
Location: East Dorset
Car Model: 9-5 9-3SSx2 Sonett T16S 9000
I am in the market for an engine crane. I, by no means, am using it professionally, but I need to get the engine and box out of the Sonett and do the clutch on my wife's 9-3 in the next month. These are not two jobs I want to do back to back and by the time I have rented one twice I am in the same price area as some of the new ones.

I have seen a SwitZer on eBay, which I know is an unbranded chinese one, but seemed to have the better ratings. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SwitZer-Grey ... :pf:0#rwid

Machine Mart are giving a little extra discount on their garage equipment, so their Clarke one (https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cfc100- ... hop-crane/) is £187, but it is only 1 tonne not two and has fixed wheels at the front. I have used one of these before and it was a bit of a pain having to come out and in to reposition the engine.

There are no second hand ones nearby on Gumtree and they seem to be going for £100 anyway, so I am not going to lose a lot if I decide not to keep it. I am probably swinging towards the eBay one, unless I hear a barrage of "Don't do it."


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:42 pm
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Car Model: 9-3 2.0t Convertible
I would go with the Clarke on an attempt to mitigate the risk if it 'goes wrong'.

These are not an inconsequential tool, an engine cracked on the floor is expensive, a couple of broken feet or an engine dropped on one's head are no trivial matter, at least with Machine Mart/Clarke you'll have some comeback should something go wrong.

Also to counter the ratings, I'd imagine the Clarke lift does have a genuine engineered limit, ultimately an unbranded manufacturer can claim whatever they want I guess? Lifting more than 1000kg on an engine crane would be unusual, most trans-axles probably live in the 200-300kg class in the real world.

Up to you of course, but I'd urge caution buying unknown lifting equipment, appreciating fully that Clarke stuff is often a bit 'shonky'.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:14 pm 
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Talking Turkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:52 am
Posts: 23331
Location: not in a SAAB.
Car Model: One of the first RHD 9-5s
Ive got a collapsible Clarke unit that is capable of lifting the engine and gearbox from a 9-5 without drama.

Rather than going brand new though, look on all the usual places, ebay, gumtree, facebook marketplace for a used unit.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:39 am
Posts: 39950
Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
I haven't done this sort of thing for ages, but I would check out a crane that is not hydraulic. I have used a hydraulic crane and it's fine for lifting, but the lowering is rather out of control relying on turning a screw to release the pressure. If you need to lower carefully to align some holes, it's a bit hit and miss.

A fully manual crane with a screw drive might be easier and safer especially if you are doing this single handed. But is such a thing made these days?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:52 pm 
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Talking Turkey
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Location: not in a SAAB.
Car Model: One of the first RHD 9-5s
sgould wrote:
I haven't done this sort of thing for ages, but I would check out a crane that is not hydraulic. I have used a hydraulic crane and it's fine for lifting, but the lowering is rather out of control relying on turning a screw to release the pressure. If you need to lower carefully to align some holes, it's a bit hit and miss.

A fully manual crane with a screw drive might be easier and safer especially if you are doing this single handed. But is such a thing made these days?


My Clarke is quite controllable on the valve to be honest. Cant say ive seen a screw driven hoist although that opens up the possibility of it being motorised.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:39 am
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Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
It's been a while, but I hired a screw driven crane when I did the last engine change, but that was last century before I had a Saab. :o

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:14 pm 
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Full Pressure Turbo

Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:22 pm
Posts: 638
Location: East Dorset
Car Model: 9-5 9-3SSx2 Sonett T16S 9000
Thank you all so far.

I have looked at the eBay/GumTree links (for a few weeks now) and there is nothing nearby (Dorset) at the moment. That is not to say that something will appear tonight, but they all seem to be nearly £100 and similar in style to the SwitZer. I would probably only buy a brand name one secondhand, but you never quite know if they have been abused.

I think I fancy a new one and like the idea of a screw driven one, but haven't seen one. I have a Draper trolley jack (which was not cheap) that has absolutely zero ability to lower a car slowly to the ground; hydraulics can be flaky! If the Clarke is controllable, that is one of the big pluses for it.

I did the Sonett engine last time with an electric winch. Fantastically controllable, but fixed on a scaffold A frame and it was a pain to wheel the car out of the way rather than being able to pull the engine and gearbox and move them away from the car.

I have a few days yet before I want to start, I wanted to glean the advice of the group!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Talking Turkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:52 am
Posts: 23331
Location: not in a SAAB.
Car Model: One of the first RHD 9-5s
https://www.sgs-engineering.com/ec1500-2-ton-folding-engine-crane

Big discount on this one at the moment and SGS tend to sell decent kit.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:18 pm
Posts: 145
Car Model: 9-3 OG 2.0t 2003
I have an SGS crane and one of their jacks. Very happy with both, unlike the "branded" but generic leveller I got from Rally Design that was a POS.

https://www.sgs-engineering.com/garage- ... ine-cranes

[EDIT] ^^^ great minds think alike!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:55 pm 
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Barrelling Along
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:13 pm
Posts: 19567
Location: Maidstone
Car Model: 9-5 Aero
I have a Clarke one, it's pretty good on a flat surface, but a real pita on anything not level or with stones.
It also weighs nearly as much as I do!

That being said, as long as you keep the threads on the screw valve oiled /greased, the adjustment for lowering is pretty good.

The lack of steering front wheels can be a pain, but it just means you need to think about the route in for anything it's carrying.

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CC Carlsson - The colour's a secret
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:00 pm 
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Talking Turkey
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Location: not in a SAAB.
Car Model: One of the first RHD 9-5s
McVities wrote:
I have a Clarke one, it's pretty good on a flat surface, but a real pita on anything not level or with stones.
It also weighs nearly as much as I do!

That being said, as long as you keep the threads on the screw valve oiled /greased, the adjustment for lowering is pretty good.

The lack of steering front wheels can be a pain, but it just means you need to think about the route in for anything it's carrying.


Dont suppose you remember my old hoist and its control issues?

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05 9-5 Aero with all the options.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:24 am
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Location: Bristol
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The Clarke CFC100 would be my choice.
I can't imagine ANY engine cranes been good on rough surfaces.
As for swivel front wheels, never felt the need for these.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:54 pm 
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Full Pressure Turbo

Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:22 pm
Posts: 638
Location: East Dorset
Car Model: 9-5 9-3SSx2 Sonett T16S 9000
Thank you all for the advice.

SGS are out of stock of the one listed so I have asked them for a lead time. Second choice is probably the Clarke. I have a week before the Machine Mart offer expires so time yet.

Removal and then the expensive bit of getting someone to look at the Sonett box is the next step. :shock: I shall report back!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:37 pm 
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Barrelling Along
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:13 pm
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Location: Maidstone
Car Model: 9-5 Aero
9000Parts wrote:
McVities wrote:
I have a Clarke one, it's pretty good on a flat surface, but a real pita on anything not level or with stones.
It also weighs nearly as much as I do!

That being said, as long as you keep the threads on the screw valve oiled /greased, the adjustment for lowering is pretty good.

The lack of steering front wheels can be a pain, but it just means you need to think about the route in for anything it's carrying.


Dont suppose you remember my old hoist and its control issues?

Nope, but that's at least a decade ago :lol:

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CC Carlsson - The colour's a secret
9-5 Aero saloon - Espresso


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:41 am
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Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells
Car Model: '03 9-5 2.3 Vector Auto Estate
Make sure that the crane has sufficient load capacity at the required reach. The Sonett has a long front (like the TR7) and not all cranes are suitable, although no doubt the engine (V4?) is lighter than the TR7 one, almost anything is!

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'03 Saab 9-5 2.3t Vector Estate Auto Noob Stg 1
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:08 pm 
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Light Pressure Turbo
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Car Model: Sonett 97 9-3x 2.0T
The Clarke one works fine for the Sonett and plenty of fine control on the hydraulics if you release it carefully.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:02 pm 
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Light Pressure Turbo

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:17 pm
Posts: 306
Location: Kent
Drill the pump arm for a tommy bar to give you better control when twisting for the drop.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:31 am
Posts: 4343
Location: Bucks
Car Model: Saab NG 9-5 Aero
The last engine change I had anything to do with was an RB211 using a roof mounted crane but I don't think that is what you are looking for!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:59 pm 
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Talking Turkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:52 am
Posts: 23331
Location: not in a SAAB.
Car Model: One of the first RHD 9-5s
McVities wrote:
9000Parts wrote:
McVities wrote:
I have a Clarke one, it's pretty good on a flat surface, but a real pita on anything not level or with stones.
It also weighs nearly as much as I do!

That being said, as long as you keep the threads on the screw valve oiled /greased, the adjustment for lowering is pretty good.

The lack of steering front wheels can be a pain, but it just means you need to think about the route in for anything it's carrying.


Dont suppose you remember my old hoist and its control issues?

Nope, but that's at least a decade ago :lol:


You dont remember the homebrew hoist with the bent scaffold pole as the jib and a WWII era bottle jack as the lifting mechanism?

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05 9-5 Aero with all the options.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:41 am
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Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells
Car Model: '03 9-5 2.3 Vector Auto Estate
When younger my parents had a coach house with a 12"x12" beam across the 9' high doors. I had a Haltrac hoist hanging from the beam which was used to remove a number of engines (although things like Chevettes, Vivas and Morris 1000's probably had lighter engines than todays cars). Always seemed amazing that about 6 strands of nylon cord could pull them out without a problem, if a little slow.

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'03 Saab 9-5 2.3t Vector Estate Auto Noob Stg 1
'01 Saab 9-3 2.0t SE Vert
'81 Triumph TR7 DHC


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