2002 9-3SE Popping out of Reverse - The Saab Link Forums

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Old 08-16-2018, 08:45 AM   #1
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2002 9-3SE Popping out of Reverse

I've got a 2002 9-3 SE 5SPD with around 75k miles on the clock. I'm the third owner. As of a few weeks ago I started noticing that the car would pop out of reverse under normal throttle when backing up. When it pops out there's a noticeable clunk. I'm able to keep it in gear if I actuate the clutch a bit and feather the throttle, but it's concerning.

There are no problems with the forward gears as far as I can tell, but I do think the clutch is on it's way out. It will slip when cold. Any thoughts on whether this is looking more transmission-specific, or could the clutch be responsible for this behavior? This is my third OG9-3, and i've never run into a problem like this.

I got the car for next to nothing, so if it's going to be a substantial repair, I'll probably start looking for a clean SC to replace it. I appreciate your input.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:20 AM   #2
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1) I would first recommend checking the shifter linkage adjustment.
2) Then I would recommend looking at the engine mounts. The engine rocks back and forth and this is exacerbated with a bad mount and can pull the transmission out of gear

Are you able to hold it in gear or does it grind if you do?

[irrelevant anecdote] Transmissions can last a long time with a gear that pops out. c900s had that problem a lot and had one do it for 50k before I finally sold the car. I just held it in gear. (3rd gear) [/irrelevant anecdote]

Last edited by BuHuSPG; 08-17-2018 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuHuSPG View Post
1) I would first recommend checking the shifter linkage adjustment.
2) Then I would recommend looking at the engine mounts. The engine rocks back and forth and this is exacerbated with a bad mount and can pull the transmission out of gear

Are you able to hold it in gear or does it grind if you do?

[irrelevant anecdote] Transmissions can last a long time with a gear that pops out. c900s had that problem a lot and had one do it for 50k before I finally sold the car. I just held it in gear. (3rd gear) [/irrelevant anecdote]
Thanks a lot for those suggestions! I'll have a look at the mounts first. It doesn't grind while in gear, so hopefully the transmission is ok.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:34 AM   #4
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I wanted to write a follow to to this, as the failure seems a bit unusual to me. Once I got the car home and was able to get a better look I noticed that the bracket that goes between the engine mount and the engine / trans had broken apart. My assumption is the mount itself wasn't flexing enough anymore, so the majority of the stress ended up on that aluminum bracket.

I ordered a new motor mount, and was able to find a replacement bracket at the local pick and pull yard. I used a scissor jack with a hockey puck to support the engine while I removed the broken pieces. I bolted the mount up to the bracket before putting it back in place on the car, and I think that made the job a lot easier. I had read through this thread and was expecting it to be a lot harder:

https://www.saablink.net/forum/car-p...only/12499.htm

In any case I would have expected the failure of the motor mount itself to have been more noticeable so I could have caught this before the bracket snapped off, but there was never any indication / vibrations. Perhaps most of the load and vibration is absorbed in the right and left mounts.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:36 AM   #5
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It's not terribly surprising. You'll notice that the mount has a cable on it designed to limit the motion of the engine/trans once the mount goes bad. So, it is possible that the mount was bad for some time but the cable was keeping things relatively in check. Bummer about the aluminum housing but I guess it saw too much force after it lost its bushing protection??

Is your shifting better now?

Did you check the other mounts? Once one goes, the others tend to bear more stress and wear out too so it may be worth a check. You have to have a helper to check them though, as a visual inspection doesn't really give you the data you need.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuHuSPG View Post
It's not terribly surprising. You'll notice that the mount has a cable on it designed to limit the motion of the engine/trans once the mount goes bad. So, it is possible that the mount was bad for some time but the cable was keeping things relatively in check. Bummer about the aluminum housing but I guess it saw too much force after it lost its bushing protection??

Is your shifting better now?

Did you check the other mounts? Once one goes, the others tend to bear more stress and wear out too so it may be worth a check. You have to have a helper to check them though, as a visual inspection doesn't really give you the data you need.
Shifting is way better now! I have no idea what kind of shape the side mounts are in, as you said visual inspection doesn't tell you much. I should probably change them out, as I imagine they're the original mounts.
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:49 AM   #7
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Always nice to not have a transmission problem!!
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