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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just how dodgy is the autobox on the 9000? I have been rummaging through various websites in my quest for information before buying, and at least one has said 'don't buy an auto, it breaks very easily'.

There seem to be far more autos than manuals on sale, and they seem to work OK. Also, looking at the posts on this board, I have seen as many comments about broken manual boxes (admittedly on Aeros) as broken autos.

So, honest opinions anyone?

cheers
 

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Hi, qmc10. You don't say which part of the world you're from. However, Saabs (and cars in general) seem to be better-maintained, at least for the first few years, in the UK and Europe than in the US where a lot of the bad press for 9000 autos comes from. The UK (and European?) warranty conditions require that the car be serviced by a main dealer, something a car manufacturer wouldn't be able to get past US law. The ZF gearbox in the 9000 requires regular maintenance according to Saab's schedule. It is true that the torque output of the 2.3T engine is near the specified maximum of that particular gearbox.

Regular maintenance won't guarantee that it won't fail, but it will help a lot. On the subject of manual gearboxes failing, the three cases I recall seeing mentioned here recently, indeed all Aeros, don't seem representative. All three had recently been worked on, which may or may not have contributed to their subsequent failure. Who knows?
 

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BillJ perhaps you can clear something up for me visa vie these auto boxes...

The 2.0 Ecopower/LPT can be easily tuned to 190 Bhp, and the 2.3 to 205 Bhp with total reliability, the increased power and torque making light work of long cross-country journeys. Automatic cars can be upgraded with confidence as the increased power is well within the mechanical limits of the gearbox.[/b]
thats direct from abbotts web site.... so how much torque can the auto box take??? More to the point will i destroy it if i chuck say 230bhp and 240lb/ft at it.
 

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The gearbox is rated at 300Nm (220lbft). The standard 200hp 2.3T auto produces 297Nm. For longevity, many would argue that you shouldn't exceed this torque figure and instead go for more horsepower by increasing the torque further up the RPM range where the torque of the standard engine falls off.

Who can say, though? It depends on so many things, including maintenance and driving style. Making the gearbox upshift under full load is very hard on it, for example.

I'm afraid I'm not really an expert on the 9000 autos and I only own one because my dad preferred to drive an auto. Even at that, I chose a 2.0LPT to be on the safe side because I reckoned the gearbox would have had an easier life than on a more powerful car.
 

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The autobox "locks up" in third and fourth gears, i.e. has no torque converter slip. Smarter people than me have stated on this board that all the torque is directly transmitted in fourth gear, whilst in third some still goes through the torque converter.

I discussed this topic with Abbott, and their view was that you could upgrade the engine happily, as long as you restricted full throttle use to third and fourth gears.

However, my entirely standard (from an engine view point) 1994 FPT has just developed gearbox problems, despite only having 98,500 miles, and having been serviced more frequently than the schedule requires.

My gearbox will shortly be off to a specialist, who suggests that it may be a relatively simple problem involving the pump drive shaft, rather than a complete rebuild type failure. I will report back when it's done.

I think, however, that you pay your money and take your choice, as the saying goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK. Thanks all. I am in the UK so the comments about different servicing regimes on both sides of the pond make sense as it did appear to be US websites that were anti-auto.

Anyway, this weekend I am collecting a 1997 CSE 2.3FPT auto, and boy am I looking forward to it!

cheers

Quinton Carroll
 

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Congrats, Quinton.

Of course failures can occur, but that is the case with any car and in your position I'd enjoy driving the car rather than worry about what could go wrong.

Mark, I don't profess to be smarter than you - I simply read the description of the auto transmission's operation on my AllData description, which I believe to be taken directly from the Saab factory manuals. I must admit I have no idea how the split torque transmission (partial lockup) in 3rd gear works.
 
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