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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Coming back from a long trip I had an anoying rattle from the rear hatch (masking any other sounds). On arrival I noticed an expensive sounding engine noise at idle. My garage diagnosed a "big end" - the car is being stripped today.(2.3 stg 1)
Best case scenario according to the garage is that one pair of shells will need replacing assuming no damage to the crank - £350 GBP ballpark figure.
If I am into crank regrinds etc. its going to be very expensive!
---------My question? - what damage to other components is likely to have occured? either immediate or long term in effect.
I do like the car and I am into it for quite a lot of cash at the moment - is it a keeper or would I be better off changing it now?
Cheers
Alyn
 

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If the engine is out and stripped I would consider doing all the ends and main bearings at the same time in case any others are marginal(may cost more now but saves wasting labour charge to take the engine out again) then consider what might be the cause? Also consider new oil pump if this might have been the reason for failure - what mileage has the engine done? If the end has just worn then unlikely to have done any other major damage such as pistons hitting valves but best to check and see what the general condition is when it is stripped.

Mike
 

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I think you will be very lucky to get away with only replacing the one shell, the other bearings will probably be worn as well. Mine went the same as yours, and when I stripped it down I found every bearing worn. I also found that the all the teeth off the balance shaft sprocket had snapped off and the bits of metal floating around basically had done the damage, so check that end of the engine also. Good luck.
I rebuilt but with hindsight I should have just put a 2nd hand engine in...would have been cheaper.
 

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Umm two people with big ends that have gone. I always thought the bottom end was unbustable. Anyone else had this happen?

My last Carly boosting to 21psi for the last 15k did 225k and was still running sweetly when I scrapped it.

Just doing the head gasket and chains on my current 2.3T @ 115k and the bores still have the honing marks.
 

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Mine went due to metal debris from the balance chain sprocket. It still took 20000 miles to totally wreck the engine though. The sprocket was reduced to what resembled a spacer as one of the teeth had jammed the chain against the balance shaft sprocket and the drive sprocket merrily wore itself down rotating against a stationary chain. Surprisingly the chain was like new, but the sprocket was nearly all gone.
I think the regular oil changes kept the engine going for longer than it should have.

Just doing the head gasket and chains on my current 2.3T @ 115k and the bores still have the honing marks.  [/b]
Mine had exactly 200000 miles on it when it blew at it still had the honing marks on also and the pistons were like new.....everything else was scrap though..
As for the bullet proof bottom ends, a friend of mine has a Saab specialist garage and he has noted lots of engine failures due to the No. 2 main bearing failing.....when I rebuilt mine I had a tight spot on this bearing and realised something didn't seem right and when I got the main bearing cap crack tested there was a hairline fracture across the fixing bolt hole.
So if you are putting a new crank in pay good attention to the bearing caps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No3 big end had picked up. - no damage to crank(phew!!)
New set of shells all round arriving VOR tomorrow.
I noticed a nice red 9-5 with 50K miles on it though

cheers

Alyn
 

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Originally posted by Al:
[qb]No3 big end had picked up. - no damage to crank(phew!!)
New set of shells all round arriving VOR tomorrow.
I noticed a nice red 9-5 with 50K miles on it though  
 
cheers

Alyn [/qb][/b]
Good news!

I've asked for a quote to have a balance chain service done, the garage have offered to quote for an in-situ chain drop-in but will quote for a full "head off" service as well. What bit's should I insist that they change, I'm thinking of going the hole 9 yards for my peace of mind, especially as I have no intention of getting rid of the car (at the moment).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Had a "wind-on" replacement done at a main dealers a few years ago (E reg 2.0 n/a engine 125k miles)- I was very twitchy when a colleague needed lots of valves and pistons when his chain snapped at 120k miles. The dealer told me that was all I needed - very fair, I used them again - but they have been taken over since.
I am not sure how you can check condition of bits and bobs without strip down though.

Alyn
 

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Originally posted by Al:
[qb]No3 big end had picked up[/qb][/b]
What was the cause? Have they checked the oil pickup strainer for blockage? I haven't heard of a bearing failing on a 9000 4-cylinder engine without good cause (or hundreds of thousands of miles of running).
 

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Originally posted by Jason (Mr Torque-Steer):
[qb]I've asked for a quote to have a balance chain service done, the garage have offered to quote for an in-situ chain drop-in[/qb][/b]
What does this consist of? It can't be the roll-in chain, can it? I'm pretty sure this can't be done on the balance shafts because the balance chain isn't accessible from above like the timing chain is.
 

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Originally posted by BillJ:
[qb]What does this consist of? It can't be the roll-in chain, can it? I'm pretty sure this can't be done on the balance shafts because the balance chain isn't accessible from above like the timing chain is. [/qb][/b]
Probably a cut'n'shut job. I suspect, knowing the problems others have had, that I'll need to renew the gears as well.
 

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Originally posted by Jason (Mr Torque-Steer):
[qb]Probably a cut'n'shut job.[/qb][/b]
What, cut the old chain, connect the new to it and feed it through? While that can be done on the timing chain because it's accessible with the cam cover off, I'm pretty sure it can't be done with the balance chain. The balance chain is only accessible by removing the timing cover, I believe, by which time you might as well replace the sprockets too.
 

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I've got my 2.3T in pieces at the mo (only work on it at weekends and needed some more bits). Car has done 115k and the balance shaft tensioner is getting towards the end of its adjustment. However the sprokets look fine, yes wear but no significant difference from one side of a tooth to the other. The balance shaft chain guides are worn but these only cost a few quid so I'll just change those and see how much this takes the tensioner back. After seeing the price of a new genuine Saab balance shaft chain I'll not change it yet.
I'd agree with BillJ, to change the balance shaft chain garage will have to remove timing cover which IMHO will be difficult to do without damaging the head gasket.
 
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