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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

The timing chain on my '93 9000 2.3T is starting to rattle and it's getting louder.

How difficult is it to replace with a competent mechanic friend (non-Saab)?

What bits should I replace?


How long would it take (realistically)?

How much do the bits cost?

Where is the best (and cheapest) place to buy them from?

Thanks,

Toby
 

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Replace both timing and and balancer shaft chains and all associated sprockets, tensioners etc. If you don't you'll only have to replace the other bits later. They come as two kits anyway, with all the bits for each job. In my experience, you need to lift the head to get the chain cover back on without damaging the gasket, so you need a new head gasket and turbo gasket as well.

A day.

I've forgotten.

Shop around the usual sources for genuine Saab parts.
 

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Fully agree with MarkB, I recently did the complete job and it makes a hellova difference to the car....also replace the serp belt, pulleys and the pulley tensioner, while you are at it check and replace the regulator on the alternator. One word of advice THINK .....do not HURRY!
Get the bits from ECP, almost half the price but same SAAB parts!
 

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I've been looking at doing mine too. All the gears,chains and tensioners (I assumed the guides don't need to be replaced.) come up to about $450 bucks on eeuroparts. Ouch! Is ECP the same as eeuroparts?
 

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Suggest you allow 2 days from my experience.

Did a 1991 9000i 110k miles and took 14 hours in one long day but was a friend's car and had to finish. A lot of effort was needed removing the plastic covers under the radiator since fastenings were rusted - suggest these are replaced prior to timing chain work with nuts and bolts. Did not replace any of guides since the car was not going to be kept for many years and they were not too bad. Crank sprocket looked ok also. The noise on this car was particularly bad since the chain was hitting a lug on the timing cover but had not worn through the cover.

Did my 1993 CDE 2 litre LPT last year 140k miles and took 2 days to do. Model before balance chain but with air con. Lots of awkward bits - oil cooler lines, removing timing chain cover (remove oil pump first and clean away any dirt/oil where joins sump) since tight fit and little to lever off with in allowed space but can manage without lifting head and head gasket was not damaged and then gets covered by sealant. When cleaned up went back easier. Chain guides needed to be replaced, did not do tensioner since can be replaced at any time. Should have replaced bottom sprocket due to some wear but did on a weekend when shops were shut and needed car Monday. To undo crank pulley bolt used 6 point impact socket and ratchet resting against ground and then flicked engine over on starter. To retighten was difficult - could do with a means of locking the flywheel (second person) - had from memory to settle for a bar against the pulley whilst turning the torque wrench. For timing cover seal used instant gasket. Replaced water pump O-ring where the pipe goes into the back across the timng cover - lever the pipe in and then tighten fastening bolt. Could have replaced oil cooler pipes O-rings where they are removed near the oil filter - again another awkward job undoing/doing back up - had to buy a small adjustable spanner to fit in space, handle about 150mm. Lots more of tricky bits but these are the ones I remember.

Apart from O-rings, chains, guides from Euro Car Parts. There is also an O-ring where the oil pick up pipe joins the timing cover (from memory). I did not replace this since the part I got from Saab was wrong but would have liked to.

When the engine is first started up be prepared for a lot of rattles as the cam followers refill with oil. This can last maybe 10 minutes and then goes - think this is mentioned in car handbook. On the first car I thought I had messed up and had some explaining to do to the friend but just as he arrived the noise went.
 

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FWIW, I did mine without taking the head off, its a wee bit more awkward but not impossible.....if I remember I struggled to get one of the tensioner guides in as it catches the bottom of the cylinder head. I think the bit more effort required to do it this way was worth it as taking the head off isn't a half hour job.
My 2cents worth...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input so far.

I spoke to an independent Saab specialist and they said they always do the timing chains without taking the head off, whereas manin dealers will always want to take the head off.
 
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