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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, My 1984 900T needs upper control arm bushings on the passenger side..I was told(read) that I need to pull the engine for this repair..Is that correct? If so, is it better to pull the tranny with the engine..I think is usually is..also..are there shims that need to be installed to set camber or caster?..I have never had to do control arms on one of these and I want to know what is involved so I can be ready to do the whole job once I start..I have tools, an engine puller and have had the axle shafts out to replace them..so I can get that far easily..I have been told that the upper arm is a bear to remove..any hints that may lighten the load?? Thanks in advance.
Howard
 

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There was a thread about the same subject on here recently.

I've never done control arm bushings myself, but you should be able to do the passenger (right) side without pulling the motor/trans. Once the upper ball joint is detached, compressing the spring should leave the upper arm pretty free to work on. Yes, there are usually shims between the arm and the body.
 

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No need to pull the motor, or even the control arm to do bushings. The bushings are in housings that slide on the control arm. You can just unbolt them and slide them off to replace the bushings. Remove and replace one side at a time. There is a nut at the end of the control arm that holds them on that has a lock washer on it. Just knock the bent-up part of the washer down to undo the nut. Then there are two bolts that hold the housing to the fender, make sure you spray the ends of them down a day or so in advance with PB Blaster. The ends of the bolts can be seen inside the spring housing and are exposed to the elements, so they get rusted pretty good. There are alignment shims between the housings and inner fender--don't lose them or mix them up. You can drive a wood wedge or use a pry bar between the cross bar on the control arm and the inner fender to get them on and off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
shim end play

No need to pull the motor, or even the control arm to do bushings. The bushings are in housings that slide on the control arm. You can just unbolt them and slide them off to replace the bushings. Remove and replace one side at a time. There is a nut at the end of the control arm that holds them on that has a lock washer on it. Just knock the bent-up part of the washer down to undo the nut. Then there are two bolts that hold the housing to the fender, make sure you spray the ends of them down a day or so in advance with PB Blaster. The ends of the bolts can be seen inside the spring housing and are exposed to the elements, so they get rusted pretty good. There are alignment shims between the housings and inner fender--don't lose them or mix them up. You can drive a wood wedge or use a pry bar between the cross bar on the control arm and the inner fender to get them on and off.
OK..It seems as though my shims have desinagrated..The control arm moves back and forth a bit..Is there a shimpack that I can buy to put them back in? and...how much end play should there be on the upper control arm? I am thinking the shims are very important in the alignment of the hub/wheel assembly. Is it a trial and error situation or an end play matter..I am a machinist and I understand end play, and I have tools to measure it precisely. This is going to be a learning experience that I am looking forward to.
Thanks, Howard
 

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OK..It seems as though my shims have desinagrated..The control arm moves back and forth a bit..Is there a shimpack that I can buy to put them back in? and...how much end play should there be on the upper control arm? I am thinking the shims are very important in the alignment of the hub/wheel assembly. Is it a trial and error situation or an end play matter..I am a machinist and I understand end play, and I have tools to measure it precisely. This is going to be a learning experience that I am looking forward to.
Thanks, Howard
I can't really help with your questions, but do you think the rotted/gone shims are the problem and you don't necessarily need to change the bushings after all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yep..I think the lack of shims is the whole ball game here..but if I am taking the nuts off of the control arm, I may as well do something like bushings while I am up thataway..still need to know more about that shim end play or whatever is going on with them in relation to the alignment issue..
Thanks, Howard
 

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The shims aren't a standard thing. On every car they are different. They come in different thicknesses and are stacked to bring the car into proper alignment. If they are gone, you could probably prop the control arm away from the inner fender (without touching the mounting hardware) and precisely measure between the sheet metal and the back side of the bushing housing to get close. Then take the car to a shop and have them fine tune it to get into proper alignment. Any shop that does alignments could supply you with some shims--they are pretty basic.

 

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does anyone know if you can get poly bushings for these cars?? and if so where?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
turbocon, when you mention that the alignment shop will "fine tune" the shim selection, do you mean that they will do an alignment and then go back and install or remove shims to get the alignment into spec? by taking the nut off and actually custom fit the shim pack to get correct specs? It must be a trial and error process then until specs are met..Am I correct in this line of thinking?
 

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Sorry to get off topic on your thread Zymmer, but 94cde you're right about the prices. On a c900 I generally do the lower shocks, sway bar, and the rear trailing arms in urethane. I don't think you'd see great improvements from the rest
 

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turbocon, when you mention that the alignment shop will "fine tune" the shim selection, do you mean that they will do an alignment and then go back and install or remove shims to get the alignment into spec? by taking the nut off and actually custom fit the shim pack to get correct specs? It must be a trial and error process then until specs are met..Am I correct in this line of thinking?
Yep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmmm...That sounds like a $400 alignment in this area..I have called all the alignment shops within 75 miles, and they won't touch a Saab..This may be a challenge that i am up for.
 

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Hmmm...That sounds like a $400 alignment in this area..I have called all the alignment shops within 75 miles, and they won't touch a Saab..This may be a challenge that i am up for.
So you wasted time on the phone talking to a bunch of lazy assholes.
Is there a shop anywhere near you that does Saabs and can do alignments?
 

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where are you from?? there is a place in peabody ma called fasTrack and they do 4 wheel alignments for 85$$. i took my nissan up there and it has adjustable front camber plates, adjustable rear control arms and adjustable toe rods, they had absolutely no problem with it, in fact they welcomed it with open arms.. if your in the area, i wouldnt hesitate to drive to get the work done there. i drove 100 miles and i would do it again when i need another alignment!
 

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No need to pull the motor, or even the control arm to do bushings. The bushings are in housings that slide on the control arm. You can just unbolt them and slide them off to replace the bushings. Remove and replace one side at a time. There is a nut at the end of the control arm that holds them on that has a lock washer on it. Just knock the bent-up part of the washer down to undo the nut. Then there are two bolts that hold the housing to the fender, make sure you spray the ends of them down a day or so in advance with PB Blaster. The ends of the bolts can be seen inside the spring housing and are exposed to the elements, so they get rusted pretty good. There are alignment shims between the housings and inner fender--don't lose them or mix them up. You can drive a wood wedge or use a pry bar between the cross bar on the control arm and the inner fender to get them on and off.
I see that this is regarding a 1984 900. Is the same true for a 1991 Saab 900 turbo convertible? The Bentley manual says to remove the passenger side engine mount, and also seems to imply that the bushings need to be pressed out and into the upper control arm housings. Is that true? In looking at the clearance, it seems that it could be done without removing the engine mount, but I'd like to hear from someone who has done this job.

Thanks!
 
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