Hydraulic clutch trans in a cable car? - The Saab Link Forums

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Performance Modifications for the NG900 / Old 9-3 This forum contains PERFORMANCE related Q&A's for the NG900 and 9-3. This may also include suspension.

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Old 08-27-2018, 10:48 AM   #1
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Hydraulic clutch trans in a cable car?

Last night, around mile 400 of my 500-ish mile trip home from Swedish Car Day, I gave 'er the sauce from a stop light, and when it built boost in 3rd, all heck broke loose. RPM shot up, and the car stopped accelerating. I was in 3rd, and it might as well have been neutral. At first, I thought it was a CV, so I climbed under to wiggle the axles. Perfectly clean, and firm!
then... fluid started pouring out of the bell housing.

I hopped back in and assumed I'd be calling AAA- I put it in gear to attempt to move it further onto the shoulder; to my surprise, it shifted right into 1st, and rolled without any complaints!
anyways... all gears but 3rd were there, and there DEFINITELY is a hole in the trans, but luckily, it held together well-enough to drive the remaining ~80 miles home, leaking fluid, and occasionally making angry, clanking noises going ~60mph in 4th.

So, I gotta replace this thing.
Harvey has a couple 99 transmissions, which apparently still have the provisions for the clutch "fork", and has offered them to me at a fair price. How easy is swapping-on the slave lever? does it just bolt on/off?

I am not investing the time or $$ into converting it to hydraulic- don't suggest it.

Thanks, team!
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:25 AM   #2
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I've never done that, just upgraded '94-'98 cars to hydraulic clutches, but Harvey would be the one to know. If you can mount the throwout bearing release fork and the bracket for the cable it should work.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:18 PM   #3
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I believe only the 98 NG900 and the 99 OG9-3 have the necessary provisions on the transmission case to be used with either the clutch cable or the hydraulic slave.

Check out the fitment notes on esaabparts for the housing: https://www.esaabparts.com/saab/parts/8744047

Edit: Sorry, just re-read and saw your comment about not wanting to convert. Ignore below.

But if you have it all apart anyway, might as well convert to hydraulic. I'm sure Harvey has all the parts you need.

Last edited by srp; 08-27-2018 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:34 PM   #4
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Yeah, Harvey mentioned that up to 99 had the option of running either, which I think is pretty cool. He also mentioned that the 97-99 were slightly less likely to explode again.
I guess I'm more just concerned that I can do the work in my driveway, and not need some odd specialized tool, or machining.

I realize that a hydraulic setup would be best, but it's just not worth it, here.
As fun as the car is, it's just a toy.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:42 PM   #5
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Interesting that they may be slightly stronger. I wonder why?

I converted to a hydraulic clutch on my 97 using jack stands, a floor jack, and an engine beam.

There really aren't that many additional steps to converting. I think more people have trouble with bleeding the slave then installing the components.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:36 AM   #6
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I converted a trans from a 1998 for use in my 1994 car. I had never had problems with the cable clutch, and at the time I was worried about the condition of the used slave and had no money to but a new one (but I did have a good or brand new throw out). I gambled the cable would be less likely to fail than the crappy slave, and was all external anyhow.



Process was straightforward, but I don't know about the 1999's unfortunately.
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tboy View Post
I converted a trans from a 1998 for use in my 1994 car. I had never had problems with the cable clutch, and at the time I was worried about the condition of the used slave and had no money to but a new one (but I did have a good or brand new throw out). I gambled the cable would be less likely to fail than the crappy slave, and was all external anyhow.



Process was straightforward, but I don't know about the 1999's unfortunately.

That's what I was hoping to hear! I looooove straightforward!
Harvey said they just beefed-up the newer transmissions. probably to handle a little more torque. I guess we'll see!

I was literally shocked when this one went and it wasn't the diff.
My old bolt-on '99 9-3 went through probably 4 transmissions in 3 years from the diff exploding. although, in the car, it had hard mounts and poly bushings, so it didn't really wheel-hop. It *did* always spin both tires, though; not much of a one-wheel peel. there was never a factory LSD for the ng900, was there?
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:48 AM   #8
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No factory LSD.

I've got poly engine mounts and the rear race mount on my 97 as well as the lightened flywheel and some rk1s with sticky Potenza RE11s. I beat the snot out of it at autocross, but I don't launch it too hard and it's only ever in 1st and 2nd gear.

Wheel hop is what everyone says kills these transmissions, what were the circumstances around the exploding diff syndrome you experienced?
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:40 AM   #9
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Mine was almost-always wheel hop.
The very first, I don't remember- I just remember the bill. One was on the street- I wheel-hopped in 2nd, one blew about 60' down a drag strip, and the last was just a couple days after I sold it. The new owner was beating on it and blew it up good.

This was a lowered, but stock mounts and bushings '99 9-3.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:16 AM   #10
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I cannot stand the clutch cables that came in the NG900's, but that's probably because all my old customers never wanted to replace theirs with the more expensive OEM cable, and then they come in 6 months later wondering why they have to be the hulk in order to get the pedal all the way down to the floor. Then we had a loaner that had a cable with a kink or some junk in it, that would just stick part way down sometimes, then slam all the way engaged. F dat.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:45 AM   #11
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I cannot stand the clutch cables that came in the NG900's, but that's probably because all my old customers never wanted to replace theirs with the more expensive OEM cable, and then they come in 6 months later wondering why they have to be the hulk in order to get the pedal all the way down to the floor. Then we had a loaner that had a cable with a kink or some junk in it, that would just stick part way down sometimes, then slam all the way engaged. F dat.

I have been around long enough to hear several stories like this! I don't understand what the difference is, but the cable in my 1994 car is totally fine. I even had my 20 yr old niece practicing in the car last night, no complaints from her about the force.



Of course, it will probably break now!
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:44 AM   #12
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Yeah, my '95 pedal is pretty soft/easy to drive.
Even with the Spec 3+, it had a WAY softer pedal than my stock s10 pick'em-up truck.
It's been a while since I've driven the wagon, but I don't remember it being this "gentle". I did make sure that I put grease on the input shaft, so the bearing would slide easily. Maybe that's the difference?
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:52 AM   #13
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You have the provisions for a fork all the way up to the 2000 og9-3
After that the casting on the case changes.
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