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Old 11-29-2015, 03:33 PM   #1
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9-5 Running rough and sounds like a Subaru.

Hello hello Saabers. I'm just going to get into it.

On Thanksgiving I was on my way to my GF's grandmothers. Quite a drive away. I took advantage of the no police and no traffic on the road I was highway I was taking. I Gunned it in my 04 9-5 to 130 for a solid 2-3 minutes. After I was slowing down to normal speeds I noticed my car vibrating. When I got to the toll, that is when the car sounded like a Subaru and was misfiring like crazy.

When I arrived to the GF, I took out the plugs to do a quick diagnosis. Cylinder 4 spark plug had melted and cylinder 1 spark plug was covered with a little bit of oil mostly on the threads. I left the car there over night and returned with all new plugs. Car still sounded like a Subaru. Went to the nearest scrap yard and scrounged a Genuine Saab Black DI. Swapped it out and the car still sounded like a Subaru (Misfiring) Babied the car home and went to the Junk yard after to pick up some fuel Injectors and a Mass Airflow. Upon trying to take the fuel rail out I noticed that the vacuum line at the FPR looked like it was chewed through. I replaced that line and replace the injector in cylinder 4 and the Mass airflow meter and the car still sounds like it's misfiring.

I checked all of the lines and I did not see any other chews or disconnects. Did not see anything so I assumed that the head gasket was blown or my turbo charger is blown. I just need to be certain that there isn't anything I missed.

What do you guys think happened?
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:22 AM   #2
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I did a couple more tests. Last night. I let the car idle and while it was idling I unplugged the mass air flow meter and there wasn't a change in the way the car idled. I would assume since the car was already idling terribly that the car would shut off. I then took it for a quick drive. Between 1100 and 1500 RPM, it struggles to move and the care shakes violently. I'm going to get the car scanned and pick up a compression tester to do a little more searching before I deem it to be the head gasket.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:58 AM   #3
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I went to the parts store and got a scan done. 2 codes popped up. P0304 in cylinder 4 and P0100 for a Mass Air Flow. Hmm.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:14 AM   #4
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I had a 95 900se a few years ago that was having a similar problem. the car was down on power, I thought it was misfiring and it sounded just like a subaru. I had no idea what the issue was. I replaced the plugs, replaced all the injectors, I even replaced the ecu and the whole engine wiring harness. the problem persisted.

I wasn't quite sure where to go from there so I ended up cutting my losses. I parted out the car, pulled the engine and set it in my garage for possible future use.

then not too long ago I pulled the engine apart to refresh it and I found that one of the exhaust valves had a chunk missing out of it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:31 AM   #5
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Melted plug? Sounds like maybe you had a bad MAF, hope it didn't cause a lean condition and melt more stuff.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:40 AM   #6
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I'd say a compression check is in order. Spark plugs are tougher than t7 pistons.....
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:53 AM   #7
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When I get home from work, I am going to do a compression test on all cylinders to see where the damage is. I will keep you posted. I am still open for suggestions and opinions if anybody has anything. I will take a look at the throttle body as well.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:41 AM   #8
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Compression test is for sure in order. Don't drive it anymore until you can check it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:56 AM   #9
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Sounds like a piston or two blew up. Compression test will let you know for sure. Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:07 PM   #10
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ouch.. I just learned this lesson after letting a tuner get a hold of my car only 2 weeks ago.
Most cars will pop the head-gasket before a ring.. so check to see what color the smoke is.. an indication of whether you are burning excessive water or oil.

My car was already running lean and popping codes but the tuner went straight into tuning the car without clearing the codes first to determine whether the car was tunable first. With over 200K hard to argue, after the fact. They ran the compression and leak-down test after they blew up piston rings on number one for me. The catch can filled up with oil and the PVC connector popped up.. so something was definitely wrong. Took all of 10 minutes to properly test the car, but another mechanic from a Honda Shop had to come by to do that for them.. and with me, never-the-less.

Compression check is done to test the motor's ability to build pressure, and a Leak Down test is the ability of the engine to hold pressure.

A compression check can be done to determine if a problem, but not exactly what the problem is. You will need to compare if the values are consistent between all of your pistons. Typically a low compression reading out of two cylinders adjacent to one another points to a head gasket. But the Leak-down test will tell you more.

One of three things to look for.. a blown head gasket, blown piston ring, or sucked a valve. When you do the leak-down .. you'll want to make sure the piston is in TDC (with intake exhaust closed) measure the percentage of leakage.. for each and listen and watch for where the leak is.. I'm still going thru the process of recovering.. so I feel your pain.

Just wanted to add..
when doing a compression check.. evaluate the compression between pistons, especially adjacent pistons. But to determine more.. leak-down test each cylinder.

when doing a leak-down you are pressurizing each cylinder individually while it is in TDC with the valves closed. If you see bubbling in your radiator or the reserve bottle .. most likely head-gasket; if you hear and feel air coming thru the PVC area.. possible a valve, for wetness in the cylinder area.

good luck
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:07 PM   #11
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I just finished a compression test.

Cylinder 1: 170
Cylinder 2: 180
Cylinder 3: 175
Cylinder 4: 0

I put a bit of oil in cylinder number 4 and redid the compression test to see if the rings were hanging on for dear life but that does seem to be the case.

I will check the valves to see if shims and valves were ruined in cylinder 4 but I am already counting on replacing the piston in cylinder 4. Just need to scrounge one from somebody.

I'll let you guys know what I find when I take the valve cover off. But, for the sake of thinking ahead, does anybody have pistons for an 04 Saab 95 ARC lying around?
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:39 AM   #12
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These cars do not have shims on the valves. They use a hydraulic lifter.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:48 AM   #13
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I read to "130 for 2-3 minutes" and knew right away you cracked/melted a piston. I'm guessing there's tons of air/smoke/oil vapor coming out of the dip-stick, too.

Stop driving it. Bring it to someone that can tear it down. If you're lucky, the piston is only cracked, and there's no damage to the block. Replace piston, bearings, and rings, and then buy a new MAF-They're $99, and not worth the risk of driving on a bad one.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:47 PM   #14
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No air or smoke coming out of the dipstick tube at all. I guess after I tar down the engine I should get a tune that way the car is doesn't do the same thing for next time. I am going to replace part this weekend. What are the chances that eEuro will have all the parts that I need in stock?
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:19 PM   #15
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MAYBE could have burnt up a valve? Pistons typically go first.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:58 PM   #16
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So who would like to donate a piston to my cause?
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:25 PM   #17
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So who would like to donate a piston to my cause?
Did you find it's messed up?
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:05 AM   #18
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I did not see anything defective in the valves so I am coming to the conclusion that the piston is done for.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:18 PM   #19
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Tomorrow I will be tearing the engine down to see what kind of damage was done. Since there is not a real picture enticing guide of how it is done, I was thinking of writing something up. I believe we could follow a 9000 procedure but I think it's a good idea.
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:11 PM   #20
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Hello guys. Pan and head are out. Piston was not as badly damaged as my imagination led me to believe. Had a blown head gasket in that area as well which is weird because there were no leaks of coolant or oil. Found the monster who chewed up the lines though. Little guy passed away on the A/C line. I'm pretty sure Carbon Monoxide, fuel line/fuel, and oil resistant rubber may have been the cause of death. Hope he didn't suffer too much.
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