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Old 08-10-2016, 10:50 AM   #1
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Viggen clutch - loud knocking; bearing?

Hey Saabsters - I bought my 2nd Viggen this spring, a pristine '01 with low miles. Due to a knee injury in March, I finally had it delivered early June, after driving it just once in Upstate NY last Feb. It arrived here in Maine at my Saab shop and on starting, had a bad knocking noise. Clutch in, it goes away. Seller, an apparently talented and trustworthy Euro car restorer and reseller, claimed it was there when I drove it first - don't think so, at least it wasn't that loud! He said it's the throw out bearing and common to Viggen clutches - nothing to worry about, he maintained, even offering to send me a clutch if it fails in the next 6 months. It is a stiff clutch, to be sure, and may not be stock, he said. The car has some other mods and runs fine otherwise. Anyone had this experience or care to offer feedback? Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:23 AM   #2
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Throw out bearing is a pretty common failure.
the bummer is that on Saabs, it's inside the bell housing, and means the transmission has to be removed to replace it.


My wagon had a loud TOB, and it has gone more than a year that way. If it's a weekend car, Don't stress if it's a daily, I'd probably plan on having it replaced so it doesn't strand you when it fails, since you won't be able to shift.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:24 AM   #3
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This turns into a true "while you're in there" project, though.
Generally, you end up replacing the clutch, the TOB, the axle and rear main seals.
Probably the transmission mount, too.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:50 AM   #4
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just to be technical, the throwout bearing on any manual transmission is housed within the bellhousing. What most commonly fails is actually the slave cylinder. I have never had a bad throwout bearing on any of my saabs.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:49 AM   #5
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"Clutch in, it goes away." that means the noise stops when the clutch pedal is pressed to the floor?

Depending what kind of knocking sound it is, if it's a more aggressive clutch disk in there, they will chatter, and sometimes that can be weather dependent a little bit and would be normal.

If it's more of grinding noise, it might be an input shaft bearing issue in the transmission--you might think about draining the oil, look at the magnetic pickup on the plug, and look for excessive swarth.

Or, it might be the TO bearing. I guess that's possible, but the TO bearing is unloaded and basically freewheeling while the clutch is not pressed. Meaning, there's very little load on the bearing when the car is in neutral and sitting there idling.

Hopefully you're just hearing clutch chatter?
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:14 PM   #6
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I have the same thing going on. A knocking rather than a grinding, but never has really got any worse since it started. It doesn't sound right, that's for sure. The PO replaced the clutch about a year ago.. I've read too that it shouldn't be the TOB as it is unloaded in neutral. I do also get a slight whine/chirpingish noise st times instead of the knocking


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Old 10-26-2016, 07:35 AM   #7
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Also, check your transmission fluid level. My car (stg 6) has bad gear-pack rattle when the fluid gets low or very hot. A bad TO bearing makes noise when you CLUTCH IN (otherwise it is unloaded). It might be an input shaft bearing or a pilot bearing; does it make the noise when you are in gear, stopped, and let out the clutch slowly?
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:39 PM   #8
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Interesting. Maybe a trans fluid flush is in order. I strictly hear it on idle and in neutral. I'll test the slow release


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Old 10-30-2016, 05:31 AM   #9
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Do you know if your transmission was ever opened up and upgraded? Saab changed the crush sleeve design at some point, and also developed an upgrade kit that changed a bunch of other stuff.

I think what you're describing can be associated with that crush sleeve opening up--which I think was the reason for the redesign--which decreases pre-load and allows too much play. It may not be that, but maybe.
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