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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi again.. as I said I bought last week a '91 2.3 Turbo. It was Saab serviced up to about '99 and after that I've got a pile of receipts from various places for various jobs, but no service details.

Usually when I buy a car, unless I'm totally certain about service I try and do a "full" service as soon as possible. I've got the Haynes, I've read a lot of info from links on BillJ's site, but its a lot to take in.

I have a few specific running problems, and I hope that doing a full service will cure them. However for reasons of time and cash, this may be done over a few months.

I wanted to ask you guys, if I give you a description of the problems, given your experience with the cars, if there is anything you'd say "check XYZ right away". Also it seems there are some bits and bobs to check/clean which are not in the service schedule, so I'd love a quick pointer to those.

Finally, I wanted to check - is it OK to use engine flush and rad flush on this car?

Engine problems:

* Runs rich, sooty exhaust, high fuel consumption
* Starts fine, idles at consistent speed, but misses a bit at idle when warm
* Stalls sometimes at junctions - seems to be when you lift off then break hard, but not 100 %sure.
* Turbo very noisy when cold - some wastegate chatter? - but very noticeable boost. When warm, turbo is quieter but less boosty.
* Hesitates sometimes under heavy boost - almost seems to misfire - but only occasionally.
* I never hear a dump valve - should there be one? - assumed there wasn't but something I read implied there was.

BTW, the car had a new DI cassette a couple of years ago.

Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance for the help. As I say, hopefully I'll work all this out myself in the end, but any pointers, guesses or tips you can all give me would be great
 

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Hi John,

Sooty exhaust - mine have all had that, runs rich - check the CO at a local garge on their emmissions kit to see if thats' really the case.

Stalls at junctions - this usually goes along with an erratic idle, which you say is not the case, but clean out the idle control valve atop the engine with some carb cleaner as a first step.

Hesitates under boost - this could be the DI cartridge, most often anyway, but check the plug gaps and correct type (NGK BCPR7ES gapped to 0.9 - 1.1mm ). The DI unit is very sensitive to plug type, the wrong type can ruin it in short order, according to others. It was developed in conjunction with NGK, and when Saab started using Bosch plugs from new a number of years back, warranty claims on DI units went up markedly. Saab went back to NGK needless to say.

Saab use a recirculating type dump valve (pressure release valve) which is inaudible.

Nick.
 

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Also check those small bore vacuum hoses. If they are showing signs of wear (eg brittle) replace them. The 9000's MAP sensor gets the air/fuel ratio solely from its reading of that 8" hose from the MAP sensor on the false bulkhead to the inlet manifold. If that hose is cracked, or the wrong length, you'll get symptoms described.

And as said you do have a recirculating dump valve. Its the large black plastic device stamped "Bosch" running to a hose off the metal pipe from the throttle housing. Will have a small bore vacuum hose running off a nipple on its end.
HTH
[edit] And don't be fobbed off with washer hose in place of the vacuum hose, it won't work!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, great info. Hopefully not the DI! Paid £750 for it on 120,000 miles... not too bad I hope (depending on how much I find wrong with it!).

So what's the verdict on rad flush and engine flush - OK to use?
 

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what's the verdict on rad flush and engine flush - OK to use?[/b]
Rad flush yes, engine flush no. The only downside to rad flush is it make unblock a hole best left blocked and start a fresh leak. Engine flush shouldn't be needed if correct grade modern oil has been used. It can harm by cleaning off deposits and dumping them elsewhere in the engine.

Oh and I just reread your last post: you paid £750 for the car not the DI! Decent price.
 

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DI units have come down greatly in price over the years. Now £120 should get you a brand new one.
But looking at what you paid for the car, that's a large percentage of it!
That's the thing with Saabs, great value for money to buy, but you need the readies to keep them in top shape unfortunatly.

Nick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree yeah, I knew what I was taking on, and as soon as I mentioned to a lot of people that I was thinking of getting a Saab most people came over all doom and gloom about cost and so on. But my reasoning is that:

1) If you choose carefully you can minimise your chance of big expense
2) A well looked after Saab should give very little trouble
3) Most common parts are available from factors or Swedish/German specialists
4) There are a few of these in the scrappies now for less common parts.
5) They actually aren't as complicated to service yourself for a lot of jobs as some people think.
6) There are a lot of ex-Saab technician around now working independantly for reasonable rates who can sort out any really snarly problems.

Although there is always an element of risk and luck involved as with any car, I am convinced that a Saab should be a good second-hand car to own and I am looking forward to proving all the doom-mongerers wrong! (fingers crossed)
 

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John C-C,

Use a bottle of injector cleaner. Will clean off injectors, improve tickover and remove hesitation caused by poor injection patterns.

The occassinal stalling on breaking was a problem I had on a L plate 9000 some years ago. Nobody could suss it, and one garage said ECU fault. But I saw a thread some time ago which suggested that original plastic Dump Valve could be worn - which would have this effect!

Only use engine flush if mild case of black sludge. If correct oil changes and grade, shouldn'e need a flush. If too heavy sludging, you can block the pump and sump gauze filter, knackering your engine fast! Rad flush can be ok, but shouldn't be necessary if 50% antifreeze levels have been maintained. Probably not though on a car for £750 - although you may be lucky. Flushes will seek out any weekneses in radiator though!

Update..

Yippee.. I'm now a Saab Anorak
having reached the 500 post mark!!
Great forum guys.. and it seems to be getting busier every month. Lot more posts than on the other forums!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I found the cause of the turbo noise - loose exhaust manifold! I tightened it up and now its quiet. I've changed the air filter and treated it to a bottle of injector cleaner, but it does still cut out sometimes.

My current thinking is that there seems to be a rough spot sometimes at about 2.5K rpm, and if you are running there and then let go the throttle it will cut out.

All the hoses seem OK, but I haven't checked the plugs yet. Will probably change the fuel filter too. I can't find the idle control valve yet!

Can independant garages get diagnostic info out of the injection system, or would I need to go to Saab?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also it seems thirsty - always around 22-23 mpg average no matter how I drive. Is that about right?

Was also going to ask - Haynes lists Champion plugs, but should NGK be the only choice?
 

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Haynes lists Champion plugs, but should NGK be the only choice?[/b]
Repeat NGK, NGK, NGK. They are the only ones for DI SAABS, SAAB developed the DI with NGK plugs and nothing else works nearly so well. I believe Haynes have a commercial tie in with Champion hence they recommend their plugs, their filters and anything else they make.
Can independant garages get diagnostic info out of the injection system, or would I need to go to Saab?  [/b]
Depends on the specialist. Some will have full kit, others may have an arrangement with a dealer to get diagnostics pulled there.

[edited for sp: what is a "Champion filer? ]
 

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I have heard people talking about Champion and Bosch plugs, but I think most swear by NGK. All my Saabs only have NGK, including the V4 which had Champions when I bought it.

I'd go for NGK if I were you.
 

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Originally posted by John Carlyle-Clarke:
[qb]I've read a lot of info from links on BillJ's site, but its a lot to take in.[/qb][/b]
Good point. However, I've been redesigning saab9000.com over the last couple of weeks and one of the things I always meant to put in there was a set of service schedules. It's there now. I've got photos ready to write up procedures for many of the service items and will link them from the schedules.

On the plugs: Yes, Haynes seem to recommend everything Champion makes. However, I wouldn't use anything other than NGK for a 9000 with DI. Others have tried and failed. Small wonder when the DI uses the spark plug as a sensor for a number of different engine parameters (something I understand no spark plug is designed specifically for) and was developed solely for use with the NGK plugs.

Spark plug and other specs are on my site too in the "Service" section.

The sparking variety are not the only "plugs" you're getting here
 

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Thanks for the set of plugs, Bill!
As confirmed by your very interesting site, mine will be due for a change at the next service.

Very handy to have service schedules, technical procedures, etc on your site. I currently work from the service schedule supplied with the car handbook, but many cars loose these over the years.

Appology's for contributing to the digression on this thread!
 

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To contribute further to the digression:

The first thing most people need to DIY on their 9000 (or any other car) is a service, so hopefully the schedules should help give people a more structured introduction to 9000 DIY.

If anyone can supply a copy (or copies) of an earlier service schedule (or schedules) than 1992, I'd be interested to see it and pay any (reasonable) cost involved. I'd love to see a service schedule from outside the European market too, especially for the US/Canada with their tradition of very short oil-change intervals.

Back to something more relevant to the thread:
I change my plugs at every service, since they are cheap and the Saab DI is notoriously fussy about plugs. I also note (from trawling through my handbooks yesterday to collate the service data) that Saab actually recommend the BCPRxES plugs for the DI cars, while Saab dealers use the BCPRxES-11 plugs. I used to think that the difference was simply that the "-11"s were pre-gapped to 1.1mm. However, there is more to it than that. Comparing a "-11" with a standard type, the "-11" earth electrode extends all the way across the top of the centre electrode, while the earth electrode on the standard plug only reaches about halfway (or slightly further) across.

So does anyone know why the handbook (at least up to '96) says one thing while the dealer does something different?

I have had no problems with either the "-11"s fitted by dealers or the standard plugs I have fitted myself.
 
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