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Discussion Starter #1
Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

I have a saab 93 1998 model and it is off the road with 'bulkhead separation'. This is I'm told a design fault with the 900/93. The bulkhead has separated (weld has broken) from the dash panel. The steering rack is bolted to the bulkhead hence the bulkhead and steering rack now move across the car when the steering wheel is turned. Saab UK have offered to pay only 50% of the £800 bill.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience and what was the outcome, also if anyone has the Service Bulletin or even just the number of the bulletin which explains this fault I'd very grateful as it will help me fight for Saab to pay the 100%.
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Welcome to the board, shame you're here with such bad news

Not unheard of for this to happen. Hopefully someone else will be along shortly with some direct experience...
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

I have bought and sold hundred of 9-3's and have not yet had one with this issue, though I too have heard the horror stories, you need to press Saab harder on this. However one thing I have heard is that if your car is fitted with or has been fitted with a non Saab set of wider alloys, then Saab do view this as a contributory factor and tend not to pay!
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

[ QUOTE ]
I'm sure it has been reported a couple of times on this board.

[/ QUOTE ]

IIRC, cracks have been reported in the bulkhead around the steering column, but not complete separation, as is suggested

HTH
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Could split hairs over wording, but the end result is the same, an unsafe bulkhead, so yes it's a 'problem' which according to at least one previous poster SAAB are willing to repair out of warranty, the fact you already have a 50% contribution shows willing, keep pushing though.

previous post
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Cheers guys for your comments.

just got off the phone again with Saab Customer Relations - God how bad is there customer relations, I feel a real valued customer.

Anyway they've said there not going to increase there offer of 50%.

I work in the car industry _ design engineer. So I'm now going to try and aquire the service bulletin for this issue from Saab, If anyone out there could lay there hands on anything useful I'd appreciate it

Thanks once again

Si
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

I have a 1999 93 convertable SE, which has exactly the same problem after being told that noises heard were no problem by SAAB dealers. I am glad to hear you are being refunded 50% of the bill which is better than nout. Do you think you can post any relevant info? telephone numbers/contact names etc.

PS

Do they require full service history?
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Hello Si,

can you describe where the problem shows up? is it visible when you look under the bonnet?
Let us know how you get on with this, this is the kind of thing that cab help the Little Man when faced with the Big Corporation

best of luck
Nick
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

I had this same problem pointed out to me by a Saab specialist in autumn 05: Cracked Bulkhead with (v slight movement)
Mine's a 93/2000/tid/W Reg. The specialist contacted Saab directly and managed to get it rectified with 100% costs paid by Saab.
Now, I don't know whether your car is now too old for Saab to swallow all the bill or whether the fact that in my case they were approached directly by another Saab specialist carried any weight or not, but it might be worth you finding out and if so trying again.
(Makes me laugh, Saab seem to have a reputation of being robust, ergonomical Sandinavian 200k milers. I've had 3 now and they've all had numerous problems...Are we all nuts?)
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Hi Guys
can someone who has experienced this point out where to look for cracks?
kind regards
Nick
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

[ QUOTE ]
I had this same problem pointed out to me by a Saab specialist in autumn 05: Cracked Bulkhead with (v slight movement)
Mine's a 93/2000/tid/W Reg. The specialist contacted Saab directly and managed to get it rectified with 100% costs paid by Saab.
Now, I don't know whether your car is now too old for Saab to swallow all the bill or whether the fact that in my case they were approached directly by another Saab specialist carried any weight or not, but it might be worth you finding out and if so trying again.
(Makes me laugh, Saab seem to have a reputation of being robust, ergonomical Sandinavian 200k milers. I've had 3 now and they've all had numerous problems...Are we all nuts?)

[/ QUOTE ]

Mmmm..such a problem can only, to my mind, be caused by a couple of things. Poor design or inferior components.
Whilst my 9-3 has been more or less reliable it is no great paragon of design.
The steering rack is bolted directly to the already weak bulkhead, more economical for the manufacturer but an error of classic proportions.
My method of owning and operating my car (which was not originally my choice) is to use it as it is built. It is NOT a sports car, does not have good handling and the fit and finish of many of the bits and pieces are poor indeed. The handling does not inspire confidence and the brakes get no more than a 3 out of 10.
It has however been largely reliable. It still looks good when clean, and, can cover distance without too much stress. The performance is adequate (154 LPT) with plenty of low end punch. The auto gearbox is intelligent enough not to intrude too much and my insurance is not too bad at all.
I have appreciated a long time ago that it was produced as an interim measure just after the company came under the wing of GM; a company which could never be my favourite producer of car.
None of the Saabs I have owned/driven since 1977 (there has always been at least one in the drive) have been a paragon of reliability. Neither has any other vehicle I have ever owned.
Any fault such as a cracked bulkhead should be recitified by the company without question. They CHOSE to design it that way.
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

[ QUOTE ]
Any fault such as a cracked bulkhead should be recitified by the company without question. They CHOSE to design it that way.

[/ QUOTE ]

Absolutely. A SAAB specialist picked up bulkhead separation on my dad's W-reg 9-3 SE. A complete seam split on the n/s. It was booked into SAAB and the work done 2 weeks' later, no charge, no questions asked. This is not something that a brand with a safety 1st reputation wants to argue about and risk poor publicity.

Apparently this specialist has referred hundreds of bulkhead failures to the nearest SAAB bodyshop. It's a good income stream for him, and he wasn't joking.
So, don't anyone settle for less than FOC repairs.

I'm actually a 9K owner, but said to my dad I'd look up his problem on Saabscene. I expected to do a bit of a search on the item, but what topic do I see at the top of the current list on the 9-3/900 forum? Enough said.
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

I'd be interested to know what the repair consists of, come to think of it, I'd be interested to know exactly what the failure looks like.

If it is just welding up the crack, then all that will do is allow the stresses to cause a failure somewhere else in the bulkhead (probably at the dge of the heat affected zone in the weld), is there a repair panel available? Or is it just a failure of some spot welds at seam, rather than crack propagation through the panel?

Anyone got any images?
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Trollbooster, AFAIK it was a straight weld, no repair panel involved. I will take an image tonite of the finished job and post it on here in the morning.
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

I have a Saab 93 1998 model and just had the same problem. The guy at the dealership has informed me that it is a common problem in London because of the speed bumps! I have just written to Saab customer service and waiting for a reply. Surely speed bumps were supposed to make roads safer and not turn cars into death traps.
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Hello,

I've very recently purchased a 9-3 S Auto (154 lpt) - W reg (2000).

This thread has got me a little worried as I have noticed odd bumps & creaks from the front of the car; however that said I gather that's quite common. Something I guess I may have to get used to (I've come from a BMW that was really quite tight). Anyway, I won't hijack the thread as from browsing the forums I know that this has been covered (if not completely solved).

I know it's been asked already, but to add, does anyone know what we need to be looking for regards the separation, please?

Recently joined saabscene and very impressed
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Hello there
You may get some funny sounding creaks from the front suspension on speed bumps, when you have not driven too far.
This has always happened with my car but disappears after a few miles. In fact it sounds more plasticky than metal.
These cars always seem to have an 'underdamped' feel and somewhat of a 'Jerkyll and Hydye' perfomance.
For myself I love the lazy way they pull from low revs. Methinks they would be ideal for driving in the U.S. which is of course where the influence came in. Not great speed, but a bit of fun getting there.
All in all it is like driving a diesel without the engine.
Saab have never quite 'got it right' which is a sign of the character of the marque.
Do we expect too much nowadays? Can we handle the unusual? MMmmmm any interesting topic.
All the best to all.
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

Hello Saab-jager,

[ QUOTE ]
Trollbooster, AFAIK it was a straight weld, no repair panel involved. I will take an image tonite of the finished job and post it on here in the morning.

[/ QUOTE ]

How did you get on with taking pictures...?
 

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Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

[ QUOTE ]
Hello there
You may get some funny sounding creaks from the front suspension on speed bumps, when you have not driven too far.
This has always happened with my car but disappears after a few miles. In fact it sounds more plasticky than metal.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hmmm - I know what you mean, especially bad when very cold; however although the noise is muted when things have warmed up, it's still there. I've asked the garage to check all bushes etc & it's come back clean. I may push them again as I need to get it back in for a new seat belt roller.

Know what you mean about the lazy pull-away, most enjoyable :) This is my first auto box - can see myself staying. I'm generally very pleased with the car - certainly good value when stacked up against BMW. Admittedly there are areas where they're not quite as tight, but what to expect?!

Cheers :)
 
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