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Old 05-27-2015, 10:21 AM   #1
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car not starting

We have a 1999 Saab 93 5 speed. We had to change the head gasket and once we got it all back together, it won't start. It makes a whirring sound and a soft whump. almost like a backfire but not loud.
Any ideas is greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:39 AM   #2
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Can you post a video?

In the other thread you said you checked the timing - how did you do that? If you checked it properly that means you should be getting a correctly timed crank trigger?

Common things off the top of my head:

-CPS and O2 sensor plugs mixed up, but if you get a timing signal that's probably not it
-Rag left in the intake tract somewhere
-Ground lugs on the driver's side of the intake manifold not connected
-Cam timing is way off - it can be tricky to set the cams up correctly if whoever did the work isn't familiar with Saabs or working off the factory service info
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:35 AM   #3
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^ Everything needed besides maybe DIC unplugged/broken?
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:02 PM   #4
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Yeah, could be that.

Wait - when you say wirring sound, do you mean it sounds like the engine is just spinning at a constant speed, and not going "cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cha" when the starter is cranking it?

Can you check the compression?
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:16 PM   #5
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DrewP yes that is what I mean.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:17 PM   #6
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My husband is doing the work. Yes he has worked on Saabs before. I will show him your post and hopefully something works.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:27 PM   #7
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If it is spinning smooth and not making any compression then the cams may either be timed 180* off, or one of the indexing teeth on the cam drive sprockets has broken.

I've done this by not torquing the bolt for the cam sprockets tight enough (they are supposed to be something like 55-60 lb-ft), and from the cams binding in the cylinder head. There's a little tooth that shears off.
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Last edited by DrewP; 05-27-2015 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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Ok I will tell him. I do believe he checked that. Oh, he said that when he holds the throttle to the floor it makes a popping sound. Thank you for your help.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:40 PM   #9
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did you install spark plugs?
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:58 PM   #10
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Hahaha yes. Good one. Oh and we filled the blinker fluid up also.

Think that the timing might have slipped a bit. Going to check that out. All plugs are where they should be plugged in.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:36 PM   #11
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Where do you live? Is the car turbo, or non-turbo? In the US we only got turbocharged '99 9-3's, but if it's a non-US model and is a non-turbo car then there are some other things it might be.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:42 PM   #12
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We live in the US. When we hold the accelerator to the floor, it pops like a backfire. But still just whirrs. He has checked the spark plugs, the timing, the teeth on the cam, the CPS and O2 sensor plug ins. Everything is were it should be.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:30 PM   #13
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Did the cams come out of the head for any Reason? If the starter is engaging, and the engine is spinning freely, there's no compression. It's that simple. Either timing is off, the spark plugs are removed, all of the valves are bent, or mayyyyyyybbbeeee hubby swapped cams on accident.

Have you verified that the starter is engaging? Is the crank pulley/serpentine belt moving with the starter?
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:45 PM   #14
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No they did not. Yes the starter is engaging. Yes the crank and belt are moving.
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:53 PM   #15
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There's not a whole lot it can be, then.
have you done a compression test?
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