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 Post subject: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:22 pm
Posts: 3212
Location: Kent
Car Models: 9k Aero
Well, it had to happen sooner or later. 3rd gear in gearbox no.13 made a bid for freedom yesterday while enroute to MOT. It's lasted well but it's demise was a pitiful whimper of a death unlike previous heroic ones I've had. A gentle cruise through country lanes and once on a nice stretch of A road a leisurely press of the throttle as I climb up the gears. Into 3rd, the boost builds to almost the red zone and pop, ding, rev..... Cue the usual verbal response in these situations and I haven't even finished my Costa from the shell garage either after filling with £50 of V power. Made the very quick decision that as its only 5 miles to home I'd limp back verrry carefully.

Anyways, she is safely parked in my garage stinking of gearbox oil and feeling sorry for herself.
Now I've been having conversations with myself wether to even bother having it rebuilt at all and just throwing in the towel and passing her on as is or even breaking her.
Another conversation I've had is if I were to rebuild what could be done to help improve things. The box I currently have is a Saabflight item (with Quaiffe diff) but put together by Quaiffe themselves.

I realise not much more can be done with these and the 6 speed gearset is an amazing price and near impossible to get now. This leads me to my question, is there any merit in having straight cut gears instead of helical? Is it even possible for these boxes?
From my limited knowledge straight cut gears don't give the lateral load of helicals thus reducing shaft stress/movement and has less friction across the gear teeth. But big drawback is significant noise.

So would it be physically possible so swap out the existing cogs for straight cut items. It won't be as simple as that, just want to get this idea out of my head.

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 Post subject: Re: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:07 pm
Posts: 2754
Location: Hertfordshire
Hello mate.

Really sorry to hear this. I can’t believe you’ve already been through so many gearboxes!

I’m afraid I can’t suggest anything much on the technical front other than to say that it would be a real crying shame for you to be parted from ‘babe’. Hopefully some good turns up for you. Possibly give tr autos a call as he has a good deal of experience with gearbox rebuilds and may be able to help you build something that will last.

Good luck either way :) Your car is totally worth it!

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 Post subject: Re: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 1:37 pm
Posts: 2404
Location: UK, USA, Deutscheland
Car Models: sorted 9000 Aero; 9000R
Sorry to hear about your disaster, keep the faith, 9K Aeros are rapidly becoming classic '90s cars and you have a hot version.

If it is any help I know a mobile mechanic that can do the swaps in out very reasonably, think he covers your area, look up my post 'Gearbox change in 2.5 hours'.
Also have one 3.61 spare gearbox left if you need a working box, though at your power levels you will want to refresh anything going in the and move the diff over. Perhaps try a different tune with more gradual boost coming in, and maybe a different approach of the rebuild?


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 Post subject: Re: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:33 pm
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Location: Derbyshire
Car Models: og93 RWD trackcar , corsa 1.4T
Bigger question would be can you get hold of straight cut hear to fit it. A lot of straight cut boxes are also dog engagement instead of synchromesh.

Iirc the quaife 6 speed box is only semi helical cut gears now, think it was straight cut gears in the early kits for the vectra challenge cars.

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 Post subject: Re: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 7:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:34 pm
Posts: 2847
Car Models: 9000 Aero
Solid spacers instead of crush sleeves eliminates the cluster movement you get when the crush sleeves get loose due to lateral load (apparently). I've had mine done but not been fitted long enough to pass judgement, so far so good though (around 2000 miles)
There are also a couple of other mods you can do to stop things moving where they are not supposed to.
Fitting a pump and cooler will help a lot too as the boxes get very hot with abuse and it causes even more case flex.


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 Post subject: Re: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:10 pm
Posts: 1632
Location: The wee county Scotland
Car Models: Saab 9000 aero
Hi Mark,
Sorry to hear another box has gone. I do think the limited mods that are well known do help. In addition to the usual mods I had my gears shot peened and cryo treated, I also run a cooler. I took the precaution of building a 2nd box but fortunately I have never needed it thus far but I will one day. F40 box conversion is one option but requires fabricating mounts and modifying shafts. A DSG box can be mated to block with an adapter plate but again you need to fabricate a mounting and shafts, in addition you need run a standalone ecu. DSG mated to B204 block


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 Post subject: Re: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 7:34 pm 
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Location: UK, USA, Deutscheland
Car Models: sorted 9000 Aero; 9000R
SaabnScotland wrote:
Hi Mark,
Sorry to hear another box has gone. I do think the limited mods that are well known do help. In addition to the usual mods I had my gears shot peened and cryo treated, I also run a cooler. I took the precaution of building a 2nd box but fortunately I have never needed it thus far but I will one day. F40 box conversion is one option but requires fabricating mounts and modifying shafts. A DSG box can be mated to block with an adapter plate but again you need to fabricate a mounting and shafts, in addition you need run a standalone ecu. DSG mated to B204 block


That is very impressive, opens the door to a whole lot of tough gearboxes, though likely very costly, but a big hp Saab with an unbreakable gearbox would be a hoot. Is that from an Astra conversion or such?

Grew up around Z28 Camaros and Chevelle SS396s, 6.5L V8s, and the fact they had unbreakable Muncie 'Rock crusher' gearboxes made them vast fun...


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 Post subject: Re: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 1:37 pm
Posts: 2404
Location: UK, USA, Deutscheland
Car Models: sorted 9000 Aero; 9000R
Don't believe any one answer mades a Saab gearbox last, but every little helps, here is my list in decreasing order of importance.

1) Driving style, for example missed shifts, lotta burnouts and wheel hop kills them fast
2) Tune map, sledgehammer torque early vs Maptun style smooth and linear makes huge difference
3) Gearbox mads as per Nick at Genuine Saab, Faero, AR
4) LSD if eliminates one wheel spins, not if means you just always light up both front tyres
5) Open up a hard used box every 25k or so and check all clearances and bearings, much cheaper than bang
6) Gearbox cooler if going to be used hard
7) Treating gears for hardness, cyro and shot peening
8) Gearbox oil, something better than 10w=30 mineral or Saab synthetic mtf
9) Gearbox temp gauge, don't give it full beans until warmed up, back off on track if overheating
10) Choice of tyre, sticky is better, no wheel spin.


Design of my track 9000R gearbox cooler, not cheap to add, but much cheaper than a built gearbox.

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 Post subject: Re: 9000 Gearbox
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 9:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:10 pm
Posts: 1632
Location: The wee county Scotland
Car Models: Saab 9000 aero
Aerohead wrote:
SaabnScotland wrote:
Hi Mark,
Sorry to hear another box has gone. I do think the limited mods that are well known do help. In addition to the usual mods I had my gears shot peened and cryo treated, I also run a cooler. I took the precaution of building a 2nd box but fortunately I have never needed it thus far but I will one day. F40 box conversion is one option but requires fabricating mounts and modifying shafts. A DSG box can be mated to block with an adapter plate but again you need to fabricate a mounting and shafts, in addition you need run a standalone ecu. DSG mated to B204 block


That is very impressive, opens the door to a whole lot of tough gearboxes, though likely very costly, but a big hp Saab with an unbreakable gearbox would be a hoot. Is that from an Astra conversion or such?

Grew up around Z28 Camaros and Chevelle SS396s, 6.5L V8s, and the fact they had unbreakable Muncie 'Rock crusher' gearboxes made them vast fun...


Indeed it is from one of the Vauxhall guys. It certainly is an interesting option one which I am going to fully cost, however it would be hard to justify any spend on my 9000 as it has sat in the garage unused for 20 months. Some of the cost could recovered by selling both my modded 9000 boxes with LSD’s one of which has never been used since rebuild.
Truth be told I never have had problems with breaking boxes, only 2 breakages in 16yrs and one of those was a ropey box I was using while I rebuilt my original.

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97 9000 aero Holset
08 Turbo X
08 Ttid aero vert
Clio dci


Talk is cheap! Torque is expensive!


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