100K and HeadBolt re-torque

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Thread: 100K and HeadBolt re-torque

  1. #1
    Saab Anorak
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    Jul 2003
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    Middlesex
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    Hi

    Just for a bit of info really - drove the car over 100k last weekend so this weekend went armed (between the rain!) with Torque Wrench / Gasket etc and re-torqued the head bolts.

    They wern't amazingly loose - but I would say that the normal culprits (right hand side) were probabily only tight up to Stage 1 (60Nm). So re-torqued and they are now nice and tight - hopefully that should make the headgasket last a little longer - also threw a new set of plugs in for good measure...

    So, I would say that if you are at 100K (or there abouts) and have a spare hour - its a job worth doing

    Cheers
    Anthony

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Anthony,

    I fully agree. I've pencilled it into the 96k service.

    Paul @ Kippen.

  4. #3
    Hi, is this a common problem leading to head gasket failure then? I don't remember any mention of it when I last owned a 9000.
    I ask as I am going to look at a 2.3t Eco at the weekend, it's supposedly 108k with Saab dealer history, owners have had it for 6 yrs.
    Would Saab have done this as routine at around 100k - and recorded this on repair schedule?
    Cheers.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator
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    JayB,

    The 9000 is fairly well known for leaking oil from the front N/S corner of the head. This is generally as a result of the head bolts getting a bit loose. I don't know whether they are stretching or if the gasket is getting compressed with the repeated heat / cool cycles. If you were to do search, you would find quite a few references to folks who were seriously surprized just how loose some of the bolts were.

    I don't think it is on the 'official' service lists so would probably be itemised as an 'extra' in the history. Of course, if the head has ever been off for any reason then it has been done automatically. Just start counting to 100,000 from there.

    Paul @ Kippen.

  6. #5
    Saabisti
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    Oct 2006
    Location
    Oxford, UK
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    I was not aware of this issue. My 9000 has gone 130K, so I suspect it's worth a look at the head bolts. Does anybody know what the torque settings and tightening sequence are?

    thanks
    Peter

  7. #6
    Saab Anorak
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    You need an E16 torx socket.

    torque settings stages:
    1) 60Nm
    2) 80Nm
    3) 90deg turn

    try and loosen to just below 1) and you can start from there.

    Looking at the engine with the cam chain to the left, this is the order:

    8 4 1 5 9

    7 3 2 6 10

    HTH Anthony

  8. #7
    Saabisti
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    Thanks for that, I guess it's time for a play

  9. #8
    Saab Anorak
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    Thanks for that, I guess it's time for a play[/b]
    Just remember you will need a new cam cover gasket..

  10. #9
    Just remember you will need a new cam cover gasket..[/b]
    Only if the old one now leaks . I didn't bother when I recently did my head (again) but then the cam cover gasket was only a couple of years old. A much older one might well be pretty hard.

    David.

  11. #10
    Saabisti
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    Sounds like good advice to me. I've looked at the wife's motor and it seems that to get at the head bolts, I need to take out the DI unit and then the cover to get at the head bolts. Is this right? - I'm more used to Land Rover engineering so wanted to check. The Saab seems to soldier on without any problems unlike British engineering!

  12. #11
    Saab Anorak
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    Sounds like good advice to me. I've looked at the wife's motor and it seems that to get at the head bolts, I need to take out the DI unit and then the cover to get at the head bolts. Is this right? - I'm more used to Land Rover engineering so wanted to check. The Saab seems to soldier on without any problems unlike British engineering![/b]
    Yes,
    1) Remove the DI Cassette (remember to keep it upright) - T30 Torx Bolts x 4
    2) Remove PCV Tube / bung from the rear left of the cam cover
    3) Remove the Cam Cover - T40 Torx Bolts x {lots} - If its not been removed since the car was built - you may need to give it a gentle nudle with a rubber mallet or something
    4) Using the Order above release the headbolts (E16 Bolts)to just below stage 1 or the above Torque Setting
    5) Following the order above - torque all head bolts to stage 1 torque
    6) Following the order above - torque all head bolts to stage 2 torque
    7) Following the order above - tighten all head bolts 90 degrees
    8) Clean off Head rim where cam cover meats the head
    9) Peal out old gasket from cam cover and wipe clean cam cover rim
    10) Apply small drops of instant gasket (must be oxygen sensor safe) to the cam cover rim to hold the new gasket in place
    11) Lay cam cover gasket in the cam
    12) Offer the Cam cover to the Head
    13) Tighten up T40 Bolts on cam cover
    14) Plug back in PCV pipe / gromet
    15) Re-attach DI
    16) HAVE FUN!

  13. #12
    Saabisti
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    Top advice. Thanks very much, most appreciated

  14. #13
    Saab Afficionado
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    Some important considerations..:

    Make sure you know how many times the head stretch-bolts have been used/retorqued - especially if the head has been removed for repair work in the past. Saab specify they may be used three times only. Any more and they can snap off when re-torqued!!

    There is some good/detailed information in the much earlier Saabscene thread on head re-torquing, located here..

    https://www.saabscene.com/forum/index.php?s...;hl=head+gasket

    It seems a number of current contributors have done a "slacken off bolts + full re-torque", including the final 1/4 turn, on a used gasket with 100k+ miles on engine without reported problem - but personally I would be very reluctant to do this on an old gasket. If a worn/aged gasket is overcompressed, then it looses it's springyness, and would be much more likely to leak sooner.

    I provided the Townsend (USA Saab) links in the earlier thread (ref above hyperink) which remarkably includes instructions for a 're-torque'. However the Townsend official re-torque info only specifies doing the 1/4 turn (stage 3) onto top a 60Nm torque (stage 2)... as opposed to doing it on the new gasket stage 2 setting of 80Nm.

    Incidentally, I did a re-torque on my 9000 2L head approx 2 years and 20k miles ago, using a max torque of 100Nm (in 10Nm stages) - and no 1/4 turn. (NB: It is estimated that the stage 2, 80Nm torque + 1/4 turn takes the torque up to approx 120Nm). I chose the 100Nm because I decided not to loosen head bolts first, hence it was the only way to bring torque up to a much more uniform level across all head bolts. As reported on this thread, it was the exhaust side head bolts which were slackest - due to the extra heat (plus inlet side is cooled by inlet air!). Hence a re-torque will re-distribute torque evenly across the cylinder head, which also helps extend the life of the head gasket - before the eventual failure of the gasket due to longevity and aging - as well as helping to delay/remedy any oil leak. Mark B has excellent knowledge of stretch bolts, and approved this method (see earlier thread linked).

    Hope this is of further help..

  15. #14
    Super Moderator
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    Anyone think this topic is worthy of 'Pining'? Especially with the excellent links.

    Paul @ Kippen.

  16. #15
    Saabisti
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    I would, but then I biassed by the fact that I need to do it. Anyway, it could save an expensive engine repair it not doing leads to wrecking the engine

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