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Removing the SAAB 9-5 power unit lifting out the SAAB 9-5 engine without dropping the subframe

Relevant to:
9-5 B205/235 engines

The following procedure is based on a decade's experience removing 9-5 power units. It differs from official practice and that which readers may have seen in workshop manuals. The SAAB WIS (Workshop Information System), advises technicians to drop the front subframe prior to lowering the power unit out of the engine bay. Readers daunted by this proposition may welcome this article explaining how to do the job by lifting the power unit out of the engine bay through the top, which saves much time. The V6 TiD also can be lifted out of the bay, although we haven't covered this procedure yet (e-mail the author for tips how to deal with this engine or indeed any 9-5 variant).

Please note: the author makes no apologies for the number of photographs used, as these are vital to explain the procedure properly. Readers with 56k dial up access may find the page loading time slow. The observant will note that photographs (all from the author's own collection) cover a mix of early/late, manual and automatic models. Images have been selected carefully to support the accompanying text and to show some of the variations readers will encounter on their own cars.

Tools required

Socket set (air impact wrench & suitable air supply optional) additional 10" extension bars may be required
Spanners (10mm -18mm + 24mm combination spanner for gearbox drain plug)
Pry bars (useful for levering away the power steering pump and feeing driveshafts)
Hammer and drift (for drifting driveshafts through hubs)
Pliers (for dealing with cable ties)
SAAB fuel line tool OE part number
Engine crane or block & tackle
Lifting chain and shackle pins or similar (rope simply will NOT do!)
Inspection lamp
Jack and axle stands

Special notes

The SAAB WIS advises technicians to take care to prevent cuts from the great many cable ties with sharp ends where they have been cut to be found in the engine bay and this is sound advice. Latex gloves are a wise precaution. Please note that the procedure differs in small details depending on whether the car concerned is manual or automatic and that changes occurred throughout production. For instance, early automatics were equipped with an electric brake pump but on later cars, a pump driven off the exhaust camshaft boosted brake performance at low engine revs. Similarly, engine mounting brackets are different and wiring is slightly different for things like the starter power lead. Be advised that the air conditioning compressor is unbolted from the engine - there is NO need to discharge the gas inside (protect the environment AND your wallet!).Similarly, there is no need to remove the radiators or to disturb the cooler group as a whole. The engine wiring looms comes out with the power unit.

SAAB 9-5 engines use a LOT of alloy castings and threads can be damaged if the fasteners get mixed up. Our practice is to replace nuts, bolts, machine screws in their drillings/studs etc so they cannot get mixed up or lost. This may seem like a waste of time but pays dividends later when you will not have to scratch your head wondering which bolt goes where. Another seriously good move is to mark vacuum pipes with an old marker or touch up stick (Tipp-ex will do) because you WILL forget how the vacuum pipes are routed. Take photos with a mobile phone or camera to help with reassembly later. Simples!


A considerable amount of work is directed towards improving access to other components, at least in the early stages of the operation. Therefore the operation can be broken down into working at the front, left, rear and right side of the engine bay.

A lot of initial work is to gain access to the main components

Find a large cardboard box and dismantle it so the luggage boot deck is lined and therefore protected.  Referring to the photograph above, start with the simple things: remove the black plastic battery cover (3) then lift away the engine top cover (1) and place both in the boot. Next, remove the battery and store somewhere safe before locating and removing the battery tray itself (x4 bolts). Note that second generation cars (from 2001) have a plastic battery tray (x3 bolts). Undo the worm drive clips that secure the air mass meter air hose (5) before removing the mass meter itself, starting with electrical connection.

Battery trays changed during the production run but irrespective of the year, need removing. Note that cars with plastic trays from 2001 need the attached fusebox to be released (easy!)

Slacken the road wheel bolts, so that they can be undone easily later with the car raised in the air. Wire brush the exposed part of the stud that secures the exhaust manifold heatshield (4) and spray with release oil such as WD40 or similar. Leave this to soak (we will come back to this later) and undo the yellow cap on the coolant reservoir tank. The air intake pipe (2) comprises a number of components but should be removed as a complete assembly (defined by the red lines in the photograph above).

Tke care not to overlook the air pipe support on the side of the cylinder head

Remove the worm drive clip securing the inlet pipe to the throttle body. Carefully remove the long vacuum hose from the turbo bypass valve then undo the single bolt (use a 13mm spanner/socket) that holds the steady bar for the large pipe to the side of the cylinder head. These are often broken (later cars use plastic pipes) because they get overlooked (circled in photo A above). Next, undo and remove the single bolt and keep bracket from the next piece of pipe (circled in the photo below). Pull out the pipe and lift the entire pipe and store safely. Replace the bolt and keep bracket after you have plugged the resulting hole.

Use a suitable container to collect coolant but leave the bottom engine cover in place - the drain holes in it help prevent spillages in the working area beneath the car

Fairly early in proceedings, it makes sense to drain the coolant – the green tap at the base of the radiator on the gearbox side of the car should be undone carefully.  We use a length of old plastic pipe with a slot cut into it for this purpose as it can be tight and difficult to access directly. If it seems very tight, try spraying the slot with penetrating oil but as a last resort, you will have to undo the bottom hose connection (other end of the radiator). Collect the coolant in a suitable dish (discard the coolant if it is any more than 12 months old).  NOTE that the engine dirt shield cover has drain holes that help collect the coolant, so don’t remove it before the coolant has drained, as spillage is not what you need before working underneath.

While the coolant is draining, undo the nut on the stud securing the exhaust manifold heat shield (use a deep/long reach 13mm socket).  The metal cover is ‘slotted’ over the manifold lugs and should be lifted away carefully.  If the stud hasn’t snapped (!) replace the nut you have just removed for safe-keeping. Remove the top hose at both ends and store in the boot. Undo the remaining coolant hoses on the gearbox end of the engine and at the bulkhead. Gather up the turbo intake pipe assembly, top hose and heatshield and store away safely, before moving on to tackle the yoke (6). When the yoke is removed, you will have easier access to the side of the engine. The fuel lines ideally require use of SAAB special tool OE part number 83 95 261. This small device looks rather like a red plastic clothespeg and should be available from your dealer for around £15 (it will need to be ordered in specially but without it, the only option is to remove the entire fuel rail, which is a colossal waste of time). This really is money well spent for the author has yet to find a suitable alternative tool that works properly on a SAAB fuel line. In action, operation is simplicity itself - ease the black triangulated rubber section away from the joint, then gently press the tool jaws into the metal pipe, while pushing the pipe the opposite way. A small amount of fuel will be lost at this stage but the pipes should not be plugged in any way. Before leaving the fuel system, expand the small metal clips that secure the two small pipes to the throttle body and ease the pipes away.

Read the accompanying text before undoing the yoke!

Place a block of wood under the sump and raise the engine carefully by jacking just enough to take the weight of the engine. Undo the large nut in the centre of the alloy yoke (top engine mounting) on the crank pulley end of the engine, then undo the four machine screws that secure the yoke to the engine. The engine needs to be jacked to take the weight off the alloy castings - if this isn't done, the threads can come away with the screws (not good). Lift away the yoke after first releasing the power steering pump pipe that is secured to the black metal support (use a 10mm socket to undo this) before undoing the three smaller bolts that secure the black mounting to the inner front wing. As usual, put the x3 bolts back in the threaded drillings.

Read text for further details concerning air mass meter wiring & dealing with the serpentine belt and power steering pump removal

In order to avoid running around like Figaro, we tend to concentrate on one area at a time, rather than hop from one area to another. With the yoke and mounting removed, now is the time to relieve the load on the automatic tensioner for the serpentine belt. This task is much easier than on the previous 9000 because although there is a SAAB Special tool for the job, a very good substitute will be to hand in many toolboxes in the form of a 10" extension bar from a socket set. Note this bar should be for 1/2" drive sockets and must NOT be the sort that tapers because we will be using it to fit into the socket in the top of the tensioner which is at the back of the engine and it must not slip. Refer to the photo above, which shows that there are two drillings in the spring tensioner that must be lined up so a pin (a nail works well!) can be slid through when the extension bar is pulled steadily toward the front of the engine. It is important to have sufficient light to be able to find the drillings easily and even more important to ensure that the tensioner does not slip as sudden release of the tension will cause the body of the tensioner to shatter (pattern replacement are available at around £40 + VAT). With the tensioner pinned, ease the belt from its pulleys (we always mark belts with paint on the outside so if we re-use the belt, it can be fitted in the same way as originally fitted. This helps prevent rapid wear and strange noises from the belt circuit. Check the belt for damage, in particular, for any signs of cracking or for thin strands that are sure indicators of worn pulley wheels.

Unbolting the power steering pump

With the belt out of the way, access can be gained to the power steering pump, which is secured to an alloy bracket in three places. The first two bolts can be undone with a 13mm socket on a short extension bar and ratchet after rotating the pump pulley but the last bolt is in the back of the mounting. You may well need a pry bar to remove the pump after all three bolts have been undone. As usual, replace the bolts in the drillings. The alternator remains on the engine when craned out but the air conditioning compressor must be undone (WITHOUT discharging the gas in the system). NOTE that the compressor is located on a peg and screwed to the mounting by three bolts. These are somewhat awkward to get at, so we leave this task until the other engine mounts are released so the power unit can be jacked up purely to gain more space. Make do for now by undoing the single wire to the compressor (this often gets left on with the unfortunate result that the pressure switch gets torn out of the a/c condenser). Before tackling the remaining mounts, grab a 10mm socket and wrench to undo the black metal bracket that secures the power steering tank to the front inner wing. This needs to be done to access the wiring for the air mass meter that was removed earlier - trace this wire and snip the cable tie that fastens it to the car body (this too often gets overlooked - another classic schoolboy error!)

Dealing with the mountings

Lower the engine slightly on the jack because now, the other mountings should be undone. The front gearbox mounting should be tackled by undoing the torque arm before tackling the alloy mounting itself (undo the large earth lead that is fastened to it first). You will need a 16mm socket and bar to undo the mounting bolts. Lift away the mounting and store in the boot (we use masking tape to tape the bolts to the mounting, which then goes in a plastic bag.

ALL the gearbox mountings need to come off including the alloy brackets. Note that the stud on the top mount does NOT unscrew - the whole thing must be unbolted.

Next, the fusebox should be undone and lifted to one side. This exposes the gearbox top mounting: the large nut and the entire mounting itself will need to be removed too, in due course. There are slight differences during the production run and obviously mountings vary between automatic and manual transmissions but the basic principle remains the same: all the mountings need to be removed to make it as easy as possible to manoeuvre the power unit out of the bay because space is tight and every little extra you can gain helps enormously. This leaves the top gearbox mounting to undo. The object is to remove the mounting with the stud - this varies between models but will typically have 3-4 bolts that require a 16mm socket or spanner to shift. Access can be difficult and sometimes there is no option other than using a ring spanner and large hammer.This sounds brutal but the stud mounting (it does not unscrew, by the way!) MUST be removed because it fouls on the inner front wing if left on. Trust me on this - it HAS to come off.

All gearboxes

Irrespective of the year of car or whether it is fitted with an automatic or manual gearbox, ALL are fitted with TWO earth leads: one is probably best reached from inside the wheel arch (swing the lock on the steering wheel to make it easy), while the other can be found on the alloy front gearbox mounting. These often get overlooked, so tackle them now and replace the nuts for safekeeping.

Manual gearbox

Undo the wiring for the reverse lamp switch (push fit). Then start on the gear linkage by engaging 3rd gear. The linkage is attached by cotter pins at either end (13mm socket). WARNING! On NO account undo the ball joint clips on the linkage because these have a habit of losing their grip, leaving you gearless on the road. One local garage has a customer with a 9-5 and the linkage came undone in central Newcastle, leaving the car with just 3rd, 4th and top gear. A new clutch was required after the car was driven home (an operation that will cost £4-800, depending upon who carries out the job and whether it is done properly with the slave cylinder changed at the same time).

Remove the clip securing the hydraulic pipe to the gearbox. Do NOT undo the pipe! Take care not to undo the ball & socket clips on the linkage. Instead, remove the x2 cotter pins (circled)

The linkage also needs the three small bolts that secure it to the top of the rear engine mounting bracket undoing (10mm socket). Replace these bolts in the mounting and put the linkage in a safe place. Note that the hydraulic supply pipe does not need to be undone - the top is located by a small metal retaining clip that simply eases out but do note how it fits for later (ideally use a camera/mobile phone to record this for future reference). Undo the single nut on the rear engine mounting stud using a 16mm socket and a couple of extension bars.

Automatic gearbox

We start by releasing the gear selector cable (ball and socket joint plus u-shaped clip further up the cable). Note that there is no reverse lamp switch as such on the auto because the gear position sensor multi function switch carries out this task. The multi function switch sensor is a quadrant on the top of the transmission to which the linkage cable is connected. The terminal block where the sensor wiring meets the main wiring loom should be separated with care.

Automatic gearboxes need the selector cable removing but we always remove the gear position sensor because it is prone to damage

As a rule, we go one step further and remove the entire switch, especially if we plan to pressure wash the power unit prior to dismantling. This is because the switch must NOT get wet - it pays not to get careless or take risks with a component that costs £150 +VAT: if the unit cannot detect the gear position, the starter will be disabled. Remove the nut securing the stud of the rear engine mounting (back of the front subframe). For this, you will need a 16mm socket and a couple -at least- of extension bars. Recover the nut and its large washer. Cars with automatic transmission should have the gearbox drained prior to removal. Use a 24mm socket or ring spanner for this task but use a container or bowl of sufficient capacity - (over 5 litres). Avoid undoing the two cooler pipes that run to the radiator from the transmission at the gearbox end (there is a risk of stripping the thread), so undo the pipes at the radiator end only (19mm ring spanner). They WILL leak, so tie them up to the front of the engine with a cable tie.

Dealing with the exhaust downpipe & oxygen sensor(s)

Undo the top x2 exhaust downpipe nuts using a suitable 13mm socket or ring spanner before following the oxygen sensor wire(s). All cars will have at least one sensor but some have two and these must be undone at the bracket at the back of the direct ignition cartridge. This is necessary to avoid stress on the cables when the metal front downpipe support bracket is undone. Don't worry about mixing the connections up - they are colour coded. You will need to release some cable ties securing the wiring to the power unit. Having tackled the wiring and protected it from damage by stretching, undo the last (bottom) nut securing the downpipe to the turbo charger. It would be nice if the exhaust could be split at the joint with the catalytic converter but due to the heat generated, the nuts are often wasted away - there is more chance of being struck by lightning than getting these free - unless you have recourse to an oxy-acetylene torch. Be sure to support the exhaust - it is essential not to let the brittle flexible pipe move too much because it is susceptible to (costly and unnecessary) failure. Jack it up, or tie it out of the way, ideally with wire.

Removing the exhaust downpipe is fairly easy but do remember to disconnect & unclip the wiring for the 0xygen sensor first and make sure the exhaust is supported so the flexible section does not break.

Depending on the year, there will be 3 or 4 large bolts that secure the rear engine mounting alloy bracket. If this isn't removed there is a good chance that the bracket will foul on the bulkhead. This can be seriously bad news - it is all too easy to pull the brake reservoir tank clean off the master cylinder (not good). One mounting bolt (at the bottom) is fairly easy but the others will be trickier (those with masochistic tendencies will enjoy this mission!) and involve an 18mm socket on a selection of long extension bars and a LOT of muscle. Make sure the car is high enough and that it is properly secured on either axle stands or ramps for this task, which is easily the hardest part of the job. Sometimes the bolts that secure the mounting are very tight indeed and there is not enough space underneath the car to swing a breaker bar - if this happens, we use maybe four or five extension bars fed through the wheelarch. Space is still tight but we have never failed yet with this method.

Top tip: the key to removing the engine through the top of the bay is the crankshaft pulley

The real key to lifting the engine out of the top of the bay is to remove the crankshaft pulley, which, if left on, would foul the offside chassis leg. There is no need to remove the bonnet but we always free the top clip on the gas support struts and tie the bonnet back to the garage roof or use an old broom shank if outside (summer only!). This gives just enough height to use a hydraulic engine crane without having to drag the sump across the front panel (which looks amateur). Just bear in mind that you are lifting around 200Kg on a boom that is/may be at its limit on a hydraulic crane and you need all the clearance you can get.

Unbolting the air conditioning (climate system) compressor

Earlier, we left the air conditioning compressor because access was tricky but with all engine mountings and the exhaust released, it is a different ball game and the power unit can be jacked up and/or moved on the jack. Before tackling the bolts, undo the single wire connector to the a/c pump and undo the blue vacuum pipe that runs to the turbo charger wastegate. This often gets left on! Don't be too surprised to find that the bolts are still not a five minute job to unscrew. Note that the pump is 'hung' on a locating peg, so even when the bolts are removed the pump will not fall off. The pump will need to be lifted from the peg. We always tape the bolts together with masking tape. Readers should note that image 3 in the composite photo below uses a bit of 'artistic licence' in that the image show a power unit in a way that is seldom seen - the car in question is a breaker (accident damage) and the front support beam, coolers and slam panel have all been cut away.

The a/c pump is tricky to get at even with the pas pump removed. Don't forget to undo the wire connector and tackle the vac pipe to the turbo waste gate at the same time. This is often forgotten! Note that the a/c pump is located on a peg, so it will not fall off when the bolts are undone.

Undo the wire clip that holds the expansion pipe hose on the top of the radiator and carefully depress the expanded white plastic clips (W in the photo below)that secure the hose to the top of the radiator fan housing. Release the cable connectors (V) for the cooling fans on the radiator fan housing by easing out the red clips and teasing the joint apart, then seek the two bolts (x1 either side) near the top of the housing (10mm socket & wrench). Note that cars with automatic transmission have an additional fastener, cunningly positioned out of sight at the bottom of the housing (8mm socket & wrench). This is tricky to undo! The fan housing is located by two slots on either side - lift the unit away gently.

Read text for details of how to remove the radiator fan wiring and bulkhead harness joint

Start work upon freeing the engine wiring loom by sliding up the cover (X) located in the middle of the bulkhead (shown above). Undo the two nuts (Y) -use a deep 10mm socket- securing the metal bracket to the bulkhead and then undo the wiring clip (Z) by pulling carefully in the direction shown in the photograph. Note that the metal bracket is also hooked under the rubber dust seal and will need lifting off the body flange beneath to free it!

Take care with engine loom wiring: it is important not to break the aquarium cover lugs which tuck under the screen but note also that the bonnet switch wire must be disconnected to avoid a tangle of wiring when it is fed through into the engine bay

The SAAB WIS advises technicians to undo the nuts securing the wiper arms so that the aquarium can be accessed - this is SAAB speak for the area between the bulkhead and the secondary bulkhead. There is seldom any need to remove the wiper arms and consequently, they can be very difficult to remove from their splined location due to corrosion, even with the SAAB special tool (puller). This problem can be worked around by using a little care. Locate the small black plastic screw in the corner of the aquarium cover on the nearside of the car. Pull out the screw and ease up the cover at the side opposite the screen. Ease away the rubber dust seal that runs along the top of the bulkhead. Be aware that the cover is hooked under the windscreen using white plastic clips that must not be broken, so don't rush. With the aquarium cover lifted on one corner, access may be gained to the wiring main joint where it fastens to the ecu. This is hidden beneath a large rubber boot, fastened down with nuts on studs (use a deep 10mm socket for this). Lift the boot when the nuts have been removed to expose the ecu harness connector. Referring to the photo above, raise the latch lever (F) and lift away the wiring, passing it under the dust seal (C)and into the engine bay. The bonnet switch connector needs to be taken off to avoid a tangle of wiring. Lay the wiring on top of the engine. NOTE: if you are working on the car out in the open, it is wise to remove the ecu and seal up the aperture where the rubber boot has been, otherwise rainwater will collect in the front footwell (NOT good!). The author has salvaged a wiring loom from a breaker, from which the boot has been cut, so it may be fastened down into any car left outside but no doubt resourceful readers will be able to fashion something suitable from waste materials to hand.

On early cars, disconnect the +ve lead at the L shaped fusebox but on later cars from 2001, you will need to trace the wire back to the starter and alternator

The wiring needs further attention than just undoing the cable harness from the electronic control unit between the bulkheads - the positive battery lead needs to be undone and the way this is achieved depends upon the year in which the car was manufactured. On first generation models, the L shaped black plastic cover to the rear of the main under bonnet fusebox should be lifted away to reveal the red +ve lead, the nut for which should be undone with a 10mm socket or spanner. On second generation cars made after 2001, there is no option but to undo the wiring from the back of the starter and alternator directly. This isn't hard but take care to replace the fasteners after the cables are disconnected.

Tackling the oil cooler

The oil cooler is best removed with the power unit. The rationale behind this is because the connections at the engine leak profusely, even if the engine has been drained and factoring in the amount of movement through lifting, there is scope for an unholy mess. Plodging oil everywhere is a seriously bad idea and won't assist domestic harmony one little bit!

The oil cooler really does need to be removed. Read text for details.

The cooler is secured by x2 nuts to either side of the front subframe (10mm socket) but the cooler pipes are held close to the inner front wing by a metal clamp. Access to the clamp is best achieved by undoing the air cleaner intake hose and lowering the entire unit away (the rubber mountings seldom need undoing, as most will be snapped!). Snapped air filter mountings are a particular annoyance for the author - the part number for the two replacements is: 4671863. After the bracket is undone, the cooler and pipes may be fed through the inner wing when the crane is attached. This may seem like unnecessary work but a number of specialists are of the opinion that the oil coolers hold a lot of dirty oil and trap sludge - the last thing wanted in any SAAB B205/235 engine.

Releasing the driveshafts

The driveshafts on the 9-5 4 cylinder petrol engines are the same whether automatic or manual transmission is fitted. This was not the case with the previous 9000 and the author was forever encountering cars fitted with replacement engines that had lost drive due to an 'illegal' mix of automatic driveshafts/mounting brackets fitted to cars with manual gearboxes after an engine change. Even so, mark your driveshafts so they go back in the same side they were removed from. Undo the 32mm driveshaft centre nut, noting that cars after 2001 were fitted with a passivate treated dust cover that will need prising out.

Use a 32mm socket to undo the hub nut befoore tackling the through bolts securing the hub to the strut. Drift the shaft through the hub then prise the shaft from the gearbox/countershaft.

In order to make room to remove the driveshaft, it makes sense to remove as little as possible. With the car raised on axle stands, and the wheel removed, undo the two through bolts that secure the hub to the front suspension strut. On cars after 2001, the bolt is splined but on earlier cars a socket will be needed on one side and a spanner on the other. Note that the wiring for the ABS sensor is attached to a bracket beneath the bolt! These bolts used to cause endless trouble on the 9000, where there was a tendency for them to seize in the strut. The only way to release them was using patience, lashings of penetrating oil and a large drift and hammer. With the bolts removed, there should be just enough space to drift the driveshaft through the hub (use a drift or centre punch to avoid damage to the threaded part of the driveshaft). Position a drain bowl underneath the gearbox, which, even if drained will leak some oil when the driveshaft is removed. The shafts are retained by steel snap rings - so called because they 'snap' or spring into place- fitted to a recess machined into the end of the driveshaft. This prevents the shafts from simply pulling or even falling out. Use a suitable pry bar or flat cold chisel as a lever against the 'pot' joint of the inner driveshaft - it will pop out. The author sometimes moves cars without engines around on a large purpose made dolly but if you have to move a car with no engine, simply refit the driveshafts through the hubs.

The home straight - lifting out the power unit

Attach the lifting chain to the two brackets at either side of the cylinder head and fasten securely. We always use Draper chain kit part 59077 because this eliminates worries about slipping knots or frayed rope and is quick and easy to fit to the lifting eyes handily provided by SAAB but another significant advantage with using this chain is that precisely the same angle of lift can be achieved every time because it features a sliding link. This is very important because space is tight, even with the alloy gearbox and engine mountings removed. Having the sliding link set on the fifth link will achieve the required angle (see photograph). Experience has shown that quite a steep angle is required so that the timing chain end of the engine is lifted much more than the transmission end.

Even experienced technicians find that sometimes not everything has been removed prior to a lift - so check thoroughly! In particular, ensure that all coolant hoses have been released and if dealing with manual transmission cars, check the reverse light switch has been disconnected. Another classic mistake is to overlook the pipes on the throttle body or the servo air pipe.

With the aid of an assistant, raise the power unit on the crane slowly, ensuring the following conditions are met:

  • the air conditioning compressor/power steering pump must not be allowed to jam
  • the crankshaft nose must not foul the engine wall
  • the manifold -and especially the throttle body- must not make contact with the brake reservoir
  • the gearbox must not foul on the chassis leg around the battery box (very important)
  • the sump must not ground upon the bonnet slam panel (use a piece of old carpet to protect the paintwork)
  • be careful not to break the reverse light switch (manual transmission)

Get help to lift the power unit or there will be tears! Taking off the crank pulley is the key (as well as taking your time)

Slow lifting is the key - this part of the operation must not be rushed. Just remember that there are no prizes for racing (and breaking components) because this operation is tricky and demands concentration due to the power unit weighing up to 225 Kg in a very limited space.

Not for the faint hearted - but how long does the job take?

The job isn't a stroll in the park but the author has carried out this operation many times and with air tools and no interruptions, the job can be completed in around 4 hours but if it is the first time you've tackled a job of this magnitude, expect to spend all day (at least) and more likely one and a half days. The reason for this is perfectly simple - you will have to think what needs to come off next but the author can do the procedure in his sleep and can identify every single nut bolt and fastener (and upset everyone by quoting the relevant part number too...).

Coming next...
A major series of new features walking readers through the various stages of reconditioning a SAAB 9-5 engine:

  • cleaning engine parts effectively and safely
  • stripping and inspecting the 9-5 4 cylinder petrol engine (completed)
  • rebuilding the cylinder head
  • rebuilding the timing gear (completed)
  • changing balancer shaft bearings
  • overhauling the cylinder block: reboring the block and fitting oversize pistons
  • overhauling the crankshaft: regrinding or polishing the crankshaft and fitting new shells
  • overhauling the timing case: replacing the oil pump gears and oil pressure relief valve (completed)

The series will not necessarily be uploaded in the order above and the author hopes readers will understand that the article above has been a major undertaking that has absorbed considerable time. Doing the job is one thing - finding the photographs (after the fact!) to illustrate the points required is something else.

ANY of these procedures constitutes a major repair and even if you have no intention of doing any of these jobs, the articles will help you understand the workings of your engine and the true cost of skimping on maintenance.

Return to the workshop procedures page




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