As you might realise I have a 9000 CD Carlsson (thats the sports saloon model, if your not sure Paul).
The main problem with 9000's in my experience is the gearbox pinion bearings wearing out. This is typically a three day job, with the 'box stripped right down to replace a few bearings, the main cost being the labour.
The symptoms are a whine, rising in pitch with road speed, in fourth and fifth gears. Its' quite obvious, annoying and can happen to any manual 'box 9000s' from 70k miles upwards. Having said that my local specialist is running around in a '91 turbo with 175k miles on the clock with no sign of trouble.
The other major hassel is the hydraulic clutch slave cylinder, again a 'box out job.
If you have trouble selecting gear, having to pump the pedal to allow the gear lever to smoothly engage first, then either the slave (inside the 'box) or the master cylinder(on the bulkhead) could be leaking.
Hope this is of help.
P.S. The usual check for blue smoke whilst idling for a few minutes (once hot) would be a good idea, if a turbo car.
I know the 900 gearbox is regarded as a weak spot as well as the 9000 autobox, but it did not realise the 9000 manual box is also suspect. I've not heard of many problems with this box before. My own 9000 Carlsson has done 200,056 miles without a problem in the gearbox dept. Totally agree regarding the clutch, that is most definately a weak spot.
After reading Adrians' reply to my posting I talked to my specialist. He confirmed that all of perhaps 50% (or more) of high mileage (100k +) 9000s' require attention to their gearboxes.
But as stated some ('boxes) go on forever and due to the build quality it is a job worth doing as the car will last you years more.......
CD suggests checking for blue smoke re turbo unit. I had a 900 16T with a blown turbo, and this produced a distinctive white smoke whilst idling. Blue smoke is usually associated with worn piston rings ?
Hi, New Owner of an old Saab, a 1992 9000 CSI 2.0S Turbo.
It has done 125,000 miles and the only problem is a slight whine in the higher gears. I only noticed it when I had 5 adults on board plus all the gear for a self catering holiday. A difficult test to carry out when you are trying out a prospective purchase!!
Under normal loads I can't hear it above the air noise when I crack a window, even by half an inch an 30 mph. I tested the car on a red hot day, yup, the window was open.
Can someone let me know the sort of timescale before the gearbox might need doing?.
If the whine goes up and down with each gear, then it's likely that you have Pinion Bearings on the way out - best to get the box rebuilt if so, as these bearings are the ones that will allow major shaft damage if they fail. There are two main shafts in the SAAB 9000 manual box, one that costs around UKP 180.00 and another that costs around UKP 700.00...guess which one will get damaged if the pinion bearings fail!
If the whine is related to road speed, then it's likely that you have differential bearings playing up. These are not so critical as the Pinions, but you should nevertheless plan for a re-build ASAP.
Any whine is not good, so regard it as a warning to do something about it pronto. It's much cheaper to have bearings changed than to have a failed gearbox rebuilt. Also it's worh remembering that SAAB don't make bearings, so if you can identify them, it's always cheaper to buy the bearings from a bearing supplier.
When getting the box re-built, have all bearings changed anyway, and then replace the clutch and slave cylinder - it's not worth NOT doing it after all the work getting the box in and out.
These are just plain weak. Bearings are comparatively less of a problem - it's nearly always the box auto shift mechanisam itself that fails first. Warning signs are a nasty CLUNK when kicking down, say, when going uphill or when overtaking. Once this starts, it's usually all bad news afterwards. Best bet is to treat the gearbox with kid gloves from that point onwards. Avoid kickdown, and manually change gears if you need to shift down.
If the unit gets really bad, the cars can still be used, but only if you avoid using D. The box will work in 3rd gear for years, and D can be used if you gently select it when on an open road. However, kick-down from D to 3 will be horrible, and it's best to let the car come to a complete stop before re-selecting 3 again. Sounds bad, but we've got a rough 9000i that has been used for 3 years like this, and the car can still be used for local trips quite happily (a rebuild or g/box swap is not cost effective, as the car is worth peanuts).
In summary, the manuals are pretty strong, but it's highly likely that they will need a bearing change after 90-140k miles. Autos can last a long time in a 9000i, but when they start to go, it'll cost a minimum of UKP 700.00 in parts, often taking the cost of a rebuild well over the 1k mark. Sadly, autos in the Turbos usually have a low life expectancy if you drive them hard.
I have an '89 9000 2.0l manual & am looking to trade up to possibly a '92/3 2.3 CSE.
Does the above advice about g/boxes, auto boxes apply to post '92 models. I know there was a smal facelift but thought the mechanicals were the same?
I nearly bought a '94 CSE auto turbo a few weeks ago so am glad i found this site. I've just spent £400 on a new clutch & am now worried about the box. Car has done 115k miles.