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Thread: Saab 9-3 Turbo - Engine rebuild

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    Saab 9-3 Turbo - Engine rebuild

    I picked up a 2000 Saab 9-3 Turbo the other day for $200. It spun a bearing, but other than that it's in great shape, so I decided to take on the project. Thought I would share the progress with you fine folks.

    A little info on the car: 88k miles, automatic, heated leather seats (front and rear), power everything, moonroof, fog lights, factory front mount intercooler and oil cooler, and best of all...headlight wipers.

    We'll start off with a post I made on a Saab forum (edited to make sense here)...

    So once the pan was down, the first things I noticed were these thin chunks of metal, as thin as aluminum foil just chillin in the pan. And I thought, where the hell did these come from?



    The bottom of the pan looked like this:



    So I pulled the pick-up out to see if it being clogged caused the issue. Just a bunch of tiny metal chunks, but no goop (common failure on these is sludge buildup on the pickup causing oil starvation):


    (From the looks of the underside of the car, the oil ran low due to a leak somewhere. Because there's oil on the passenger side of the gas tank.)

    From there I decided to see exactly what the issue was and started shaking the rods. No play on cylinders 1-3, but number 4...I believe holy crap were the words that came from my mouth.

    At first it seemed as if the bearing had disintegrated because I couldn't find it. Problem was, it was as thin as aluminum foil, hence the chunks I had found earlier, and stuck on the crank. Took a screwdriver and worked the bearing halves off the crank as one piece. Quite a sight to see:






    Never seen that before.

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    The crank journal is scored pretty but not gouged as far as I can tell. Seems no worse than the last spun bearing crank I had machined, which is running great at the moment. I'll have to take some measurements and get some prices to see if it's possible, and if it's worth it, to have it machined. If not, I'll have to find another motor.

    And finally some pictures of the car!


    On jackstands but you get the idea

    Interior is extremely nice for an 11 yr old.

    Half-torn apart but you get the idea.

    The 'rare' rear heated seats button!

    That's all for now, will update as I make progress!

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    200$! Awesome find, i probably wouldve done the same. Thats a hell of a spun bearing though O_O
    Keep us updated.

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    That's a great price, nice purchase!
    If the 9-3 is anything like the mid/late 90's 900 series, doing a T-chain job (swapping headgasket etc etc) is DAMN hard without pulling the engine. Some of those bolts for the chain cover is very hard to reach, let alone get a tool to. I had to make my own special tool just for that LOL.

    You are probably better off money wise just getting another used motor for that. After that carnage, I wouldn't bother fixing it unless decent, used engines are hard to come by.

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornRune View Post
    That's a great price, nice purchase!
    If the 9-3 is anything like the mid/late 90's 900 series, doing a T-chain job (swapping headgasket etc etc) is DAMN hard without pulling the engine. Some of those bolts for the chain cover is very hard to reach, let alone get a tool to. I had to make my own special tool just for that LOL.

    You are probably better off money wise just getting another used motor for that. After that carnage, I wouldn't bother fixing it unless decent, used engines are hard to come by.
    I read about the timing chain on these, pretty much a pull the engine to do thing. I'll be calling around to scrap yards tomorrow to try to find an engine, there's SO much metal in this one I'm not sure any amount of cleaning will get it all.

    However, this is sort of an odd year for these engines and they are hard to come by in good shape, and then they're pricey when you do find them. Luckily, if it comes down to it, a swap to a more common year is doable.
    Last edited by TwIzTeD_3kGt; 11-15-2010 at 12:07 AM.

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    I did end up finding a motor, will hopefully pick it up next week and get to slapping it in.

    Just did some research and found out this thing came with a MHI TD04HL-15T in it. So it's still in the Mitsu family. It's rated at 205hp but has the same exact setup as the high end rare model "Viggen", which rates at 235hp. Might be able to have a little fun with her.

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    Single DR-750? lol

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    lol now that's a good idea

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    rawr. verified Feedback Score 4 (100%) Atrosity's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see the progress of this!
    vroom vroom i drive a 93 toyota mr2.

    https://car.social

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    Well for a little update I bought a motor -turbo today, just have to pick it up and get to work on it.

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