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Old 10-21-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
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Transmission is going south - Keep or Kill?

For the love of SAAB.. ’01 Aero Wagon, 5-speed. 184,XXX miles.

TL : DR – Transmission is going bad. Keep the car until the tranny dies and replace it and keep driving, or sell it while it's still drive-able?

Finally took my SAAB to a specialist. Bad news for me. Apparently everything on this car was on its way out when I bought it, which is probably why I thought I was getting such a sweet deal for such a clean car…

My transmission is going south. I once posted about a shuddering issue and a crunching sound in 2nd gear. Well, it’s the syncros apparently. The aftermarket exhaust that came with the car leads me to believe that the previous owner(s) flogged the piss out of it. Regardless of gear, take you foot off the gas, car heaves. Apply gas, car heaves. All motor mounts were replaced by me shortly after I got it (as they were shot to hell, thought this was my heaving issue which it wasn’t.)

When the car was on the lift, the specialist also pointed out that the car never should have passed inspection due to the rear wheel bearings being bad. The bushings are nearly non-existent in the rear.

I tied dropping the oil pan yesterday and failed – apparently there are hidden bolts that can only be reached by drilling into the fly wheel cover. ’01 Aero, Manual gear box has the oil pan with that “added strength” ridge on the side that houses these alleged bolts. A tale for another time. Anyways...

The reason why I’m posting is because I need convincing to keep the car. I love it. It’s my first SAAB and the nicest car I’ve owned to date. Is it worth me busting all my knuckles replacing all the bushings/bearings/anything that needs it, and waiting for the transmission to die only to replace it or should I just cut my losses and start looking for something with less miles? The SAAB dealer quoted me almost $1,500 worth of work without touching the tranny. I can do most of it myself minus the wheel bearings and am ready with parts to do so. Is she worth it? Not looking to turn a profit on this car, just want a enjoyable ride for the next few years.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:34 AM   #2
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All in all you can probably get all the parts you need for less than 500$ including used hub assemblies from the salvage yard for cheap instead of paying for someone to do the bearing...if you can do the work id keep it... aside from a bit of time its really not difficult getting the engine/trans out and if it hasn't been done you can do the timing chain when its out... hell maybe even new rings and headgasket if a leakdown/compression results are a little iffy if you have it in you...our engine is very simple easy to work on take the time to do those things you'll be gtg for another 100k+ easy.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:24 AM   #3
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I often see rear wheel bearings replaced for no reason when it is the rear outboard control arm bushings that are the source of the play.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:11 AM   #4
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I think you should go for it. Get a copy of the WIS if you don't have one and start the learning process from there. I've had my engine out twice, did the timing chain, balancer chain etc. Have not had much experience with a modern Saab prior to the 9-5 that I own now.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the words folks. I'm going to keep her. Love the car too much. I've got a Haynes manual (which isn't very good IMO) and a bunch of printed how-to's that I've compiled from various forums. Tell me, where does one acquire the WIS? eBay the only place?
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:07 PM   #6
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I'm selling a 2001 95 5 speed gear box wtih an LSD pm me for more details
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