Try to make contact with Mystic Meg Until then keep an ear out for a rattling chain when cold. I have read that this is an indicator of impending breakage although it seems possible that the rattling when cold can continue for several thousand miles before breaking. I suppose it depends on driving style to a degree.
I have no idea of cost although I have 143 000 miles on mine and apparently its still orginal with no rattle. As for a basic idea of cost, The quote I got for removal of the head to remove and replace manifold studs, was £200. I guess it would be similar but for the cost of the parts? I would suggest that when doing it, you get the manifold studs replaced at the same time as if they snap, the head will most likely have to come off again.
A couple of years ago a job to renew the balance and timing chains with all associated sprockets and guides cost the fat end of £1200 inc vat & labour at a Saab main dealer (
Oh, that was with some dicount on the parts as well.
Not for the first time I marvel at how much money some people spend on R&M of these cars. Sure, they are great cars (looking for a second) but at my end of the budget this sort of money would buy a half-decent car.
On the subject of main dealers and manufacturers, has anyone else out there considered about guarantees and the commitment to having main dealers service the cars? Why? It strikes me that almost all so-called 'servicing' is just checking. How many have been caught by the 'extras' like washer fluid, wiper blades? Once bitten, twice shy, that's me.
I srill don't know why 'fsh' adds any value at all to a car.
I suppose there are 2 types of servicing. Got the missus' old Citroen serviced other day, they did a 69.95 service, all inclusive, plugs, filter, oil etc' but other than that, do they just spray that gunky white stuff on all moving bits for effect. On other side of scale, chap at work who runs a 900 Turbo, 1988 takes his car to local SAAB specialist, B&D Specialist, Kent. To them, a service means checking everything(in capitals) and putting car right. He has had bills of 500- 1000 pounds for 6000 mile servicing in the past (they just do it, and yes from my experiences, they are a genuine and honest bunch!!). Obviously that sort of thing is not within most of our means, and in that respect nobody really knows what FSH has really means. I suppose if a Car has a full SAAB service history, it would appear the owner may have not have worried about scrimping and saving so much, and hopefully all attentions to faults and problems would have been sorted promptly ( if only that simple...)
it's interesting that the specialist who looks after my old tank doesn't have a set menu for servicing. things gone or going get changed and he advises me of other changes to keep it running at optimum on a flexible basis.
the car's been going there for the past 9 years so it's his experience of the car that makes the difference in servicing, not the menus or tweaks.
also as quarryeff was hinting, there's no substitute for trust and imho you get a better platform for trust when dealing with an independent enthusiast rather than a main dealer more interested in the 9-5 pending service he/she sold 6k miles ago than its older - and wiser - predecessor.
bills of 1.2-1.4k are fine if you believe that splashing cash is the only way to fix a problem but I can't believe people pay that without researching alternatives.
Have to agree with the sentiments about specialists' knowing best when it comes to servicing higher mileage models. They do generally know whats' what and what really needs doing. I've been using one for the last ten years.
Just for the record it wasn't me who paid £1200 for the chain job, but a previous owner who passed on the invoice to me.
By the way 'blackcalsson', for the record, how much cheaper would your alternative be, considering the labour came to £450 and the parts were genuine Saab?
as a newcomer to saabs i bought a 9000 turbo 1989 in nov 2001. through these pages i had asked for advice on local specialists and tried out alresford motor services. they were very good and identified what needed doing and what would need doing in the future along with the costs. they also asked if it was really worthwhile in the long term or whether i would be better off putting money into a newer car.
if i can i'll paste in an e-mail from them.....
..."clutch would be done best as a seperate job & will cost about £415 all
rest of work will be best done all at once, ie turbo, head gasket and timing
chain and will be around the 800 mark, i would suggest you look towards
keeping this money aside until such time as a situation occurs where we
actually need to do this works as it is often suprising how long they will
go b4 needing to be done. we would always be able to provide a courtesy car
for alternative transport whilst yours is in workshop...."
whoo, seems to have worked! now that is the sort of service i like! also, these prices are from jan. 2002 and give you some idea of what can be done with not too much money. as i said, i got alresford from this forum and have no connection with them whatsoever. they are just good guys who know their saabs and do a good job at a realistic price.
Bill, seems like you've got an excellent local garage!
Timing chains 'can' last alot longer than 140k miles. Depends on how hard engines have been hard rev'ed, quality of oil and oil changes, etc. Chains normally give good indication of wear with the rattle, (whereas belts can snap without warning).
There is a very CHEAP 'cut and shut' timing chain replacement (offered by Trent Saab and 2 Stroke 2 Turbo, etc). Trent Saab use genuine Saab chains for this job. Basically an unlinked chain is linked to the opened original chain, and fed onto the cam/crank sprockets, then reconnected.
But this is only suitable if the timing chain guides (x2), sprockets and tensioner do not need replacing as well! They usually do at 140k+ miles!
NB: I note that the latest V**x**l Vectra now have timing chains on the petrol engine variants! What's this mean!!?? Are GM implementing Saab technology on V**x**als now? We might even end up loving GM's other brand of cars at this rate!
just spent over 4k @ abbott..half of this was timing chain/gearbox o-haul head work and clutch
the rest was on tweeks...car is transformed and now I feel that this was money well invested I would not have done one without the other...why spend this money?..no-one makes cars like these any more.. big fast stealthy hatchbacks do not exist..the closest being 'lifestyle estates' such as audi a6 or bmw 540...
so I will run this till it dies....
If you are a mechanic that can rebuild an engine and have a spare car to get you about whilst this job is done, that's great.
Personally I don't have the skills or the spare car, get my drift.
The job in question IS an expensive one anywhere. My question to you is how much cheaper would a halfway competent garage do it for????
Also, who's mentioned the age of the car in question? Nobody, only that it's done 140k... It could be two or twelve years old, a beautiful Aero or a dogged 2.3 CSi....
I just gave an indication to Surfpunk as I had the previous owners reciept to hand.
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