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 Post subject: '92 900 gearbox trouble
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:25 pm
Posts: 16
Car Models: Saab 900i xs
I took my 900xs '92 for its MOT. I had never had any trouble with the gearbox but while it was there the mechanic who took it said the gearbox started making serious noises in reverse and then it was jumping out of gear and although he managed to get it back to his garage, it's not driveable now. I wasn't there to see it for myself but the mechanic thinks the engine and gearbox would have to come out and be stripped at a cost of about £2,000, plus the work that was needed for the MOT. The car is also in York and I'm in Leeds so that doesn't help. I'd hate to have to get a breaker round to take it to the scrapyard, but that's what it looks like. Before I have to do that, is it possible that the complaint isn't as serious as it seems, eg maybe just a linkage to the drive shaft or CV joint or something that could be fixed without such a huge undertaking? Is this a common fault with 900s?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:01 pm 
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Light Pressure Turbo
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:10 pm
Posts: 577
Location: Wiltshire
Car Models: Some C900s
Bit odd that you’d never had any problems before and then suddenly it’s not only making a noise in reverse but jumping out of gear - both signs that you may well have to rebuild your gearbox. Do you have a good history with this garage?
Also £2,000 seems very expensive for a gearbox rebuild on one of these cars, yes the parts can be difficult to come by now (depending upon what needs doing), but it cost me £500 to rebuild my gearbox on my 900 T16S. It was out of the car already, but still.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:18 am
Posts: 221
Location: Scotland
Car Models: 900
Engine and gearbox need to come out as one unit then split on the bench.
Definitely more involved than your standard fwd car.

As to the issue, more information is really needed.

Can you confirm it is a manual box for a start?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:58 am 
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:53 pm
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Location: Devon
From the limited amount of information so far, yes, it could be a linkage problem. Assuming it is a manual gearbox. I'm not familiar at all with C900 auto gearboxes.
£2000 sounds like a lot. If there is gearbox work to be done I wouldn't entrust it to anyone but a Saab specialist and even then, not all of those are good at, or even equipped for, rebuilding C900 gearboxes.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:25 pm
Posts: 16
Car Models: Saab 900i xs
Yes I agree - I had no trouble before the car went into the garage for its MOT. I don't know the MOT garage as a mechanic whom I do trust took it there from his own garage. What could an MOT station do to the car to cause this catastrophic failure, or is it a pure coincidence it happened to go right there? The mechanic reckons it would need 16 hours labour to remove the engine and gearbox, which is manual, and strip it down which might be £1,000 to start with never mind cost of new parts, if these are even available. The car itself is far from perfect with patched up bodywork and 170k miles on the clock. I don't think I've got much choice but to phone a scrapyard to take it away.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:17 pm
Posts: 2067
Location: Lincoln
Car Models: 9-5 estate 900 8v 95 van
Gearbox repairs are becoming a problem due to patchy availability of parts. It is a major operation to remove the engine and gearbox and you need a certain amount of know how and equipment. If you have come to the conclusion it isn’t possible for you to do there might be someone who would take it on as a project. This would have two pluses,you would get more than scrap value and the car wouldn’t be scrapped. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:21 am
Posts: 99
Car Models: 92 900 T16S x2
Hi

Sorry about the bad news. Having been in this position, I would say it is easy to get through £2000. I pulled my gearbox myself and still spent loads on a gearbox. That said mine was badly damaged and there wasn't much that wasn't changed. You could chance a few hundred on a used box. If you get it rebuilt it's going to be a specialist only job, as you won't get parts.
Isn't the reverse issue able to fixed in site? I'm sure something can be replaced through one of the covers. Someone with more knowledge might be able to confirm.
All the best

Martyn


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:21 am
Posts: 99
Car Models: 92 900 T16S x2
http://www.twinsaabs.com/900_repair/tra ... everse.asp


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:24 am
Posts: 3772
Location: Bristol
Car Models: All
Repair can be carried out in situ, not always 100% successfull.
Repair is as previous link.

M

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:13 pm 
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I haven't used them myself but I know Saab specialists Aeromotive of Batley are highly thought of by several members on here. Not far from IKEA, Leeds. Might be worth giving them a ring about repair or possible replacement box.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:56 pm 
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Location: Devon
jamsaab wrote:
Repair can be carried out in situ, not always 100% successfull.
Repair is as previous link.

When he said it was jumping out of gear and was no longer driveable, I assumed it was one or more of the forward gears it was jumping out of. If it is only reverse gear that has problems then that might be the problem.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:25 pm
Posts: 16
Car Models: Saab 900i xs
I found out more info today from the mechanic who took it to the MOT station. He said he was only reversing the car in when it happened. The car hadn't even got as far as the ramp or rolling road. He thinks it's a bearing that suddenly went causing major damage to the box. The car has done 170k miles. It seems coincidental after all although it's such an unlikely time for it to go. I can't see what the mechanic could have done by just reversing the car into the MOT station. The car started jumping out of forward gears after the initial loud chugging sound when reversing. It was far from perfect in the first place and I had patched up the bodywork many times so £2,000 couldn't be justified. His 16 hour estimate was 4 to remove the engine, 4 to strip the box, 4 to rebuild it and 4 to replace the engine, but even then he thought he'd need specialist Saab tools. It's outside his garage in York with the MOT running out in 2 weeks and the tax running out at the end of the month. As it turns out someone has offered to sell me a 16v 1993 900 - almost identical but only 90k on the clock, auto, but unfortunately 5 door not 3. He wants £1700 for it, so as it's available and I need a car quick I might buy it and take off as many parts from mine before it goes to the Great Showroom in the Sky. Thanks for all your help.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:47 pm
Posts: 2537
It's a shame that it looks like yours is going to bite the dust, but sadly all cars come to the point where repair is uneconomic, especially if the car isn't rare or in otherwise fantastic condition. Sounds like your prospective purchase could be a good buy though. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:41 pm
Posts: 524
Location: Hackney, London
Car Models: 1991 900 T16S Convertible & 2007 9-5 Aero
Sorry to hear of your ill-fortune - but if you do end up breaking it, what's the condition of the bonnet like? I'm in need of one for my 'vert.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:23 pm
Posts: 2488
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk
Car Models: 900T16s, Daihatsu Charade GTti
Not being funny but does the garage know their way round these cars? We all know the engine and gearbox setup is weird to start with but this day and age mechanics and testers aren't familiar with the car - my MoT garage who whilst can rebuild 50 year old Aston Martin engines employ a desk jockey who had no idea that you have to put it into reverse to get the key out, luckily he decided not to force it but who knows what happens out of your sight?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:25 pm
Posts: 16
Car Models: Saab 900i xs
A lot of it depends on the circumstances. In this case the car is on a public street in York and can't be driven back to Leeds. Its MOT runs out on the 26th and the tax at the end of the month, so after then I could be fined. The garage has said they couldn't do the work as they would need specialist tools. I could get the car taken to Huddersfield on a trailer, but it's 50 miles away and once it was there would they be able to fix it anyway and if so at what cost? They told me the engine would have to come out and it would be at least £1,000 just for that. I bought the car for £1,100 14 years ago so I couldn't spend two grand on it now. The bonnet and bodywork has been patched up many times and although it's intact, it's not in a great condition. I would have held onto it but it seems impossible. However some good news is that the chap who was selling his 900 that I mentioned earlier, now wants to keep it and has offered me his 2000 95 2.3 estate, so I'm going over tomorrow to hopefully buy it and sell my poor old 900 for spares or repair if I can, in just a couple of weeks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:25 pm
Posts: 16
Car Models: Saab 900i xs
How about this for a lucky break - the chap who offered me his 900 changed his mind because he suspected it needed a new head gasket. Instead he offered me another - a silver 2001 9-5 estate, 2.3 turbo with 64k on the clock - over a 100k less than mine - for the same price as his 900 - £1700. I bought it, taxed and insured it and what a beauty it is - it's a real luxury car with leather seats, wooden dash, roof rack, collapsible column etc. I just tidied up a bit of rust on the lower posts behind the front wheels and it's just like a new car. I'm advertising my 900 for spares or repair on the forum, and hopefully someone will save it from the scrapyard before the tax and MOT run out.


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