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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    2004 saab 9-3 aero 6 speed manual 4 door sedan
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    Rough idle, hard to shift, and occasionally just clicks when trying to start.

    Story: So, the basic story is, I have a 2004 S0aab 9-3 aero 6 speed manual 4 door sedan, turbo, and when I got it the person I bought it from said the clutch was never replaced, so naturally I bought a clutch (friction plate, pressure plate, release bearing, alignment tool, and later a flywheel too) and got to work putting them in with my dad and cousin. The friction plate was not marked which side goes to the fly wheel and what not, so we put it in as best we could find online on how to, got the rest of it back together, put 3 quarts of transmission fluid in, bled the clutch (3 times the old way, twice vacuum) then...

    Problems: The car idles very roughly. Kinda like a massage chair, but it settles down at about 1500 rpms. Worse though, it feels like the clutch is not fully disengaging. its very difficult to shift into the gears, especially first, which is kinda important obviously. It doesn't sound like its grinding, its just really dang hard and clunky compared to how it used to be (silky smooth shifts) Another thing, every several starts it just clicks, and then about a 5 minute wait with jumper cables on the battery makes it start, but the meter reads the battery at 75 % and the alternator still is pumping out electricity.

    Our guesses: Could it be that we put the friction plate in backwards? If we did would it give the symptoms I described above? If not what else could it be? Maybe the master cylinder? And for the starting, my only guess would be the battery might be going bad? Any help would be greatly appreciated! I mean it ran great before this, I guess the saying "dont fix whats not broken" holds true? Tack så mycket!

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    Last edited by frogbear; 09 July 2017 at 23:52.

  2. #2
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
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    See that nobody has jumped in to help and I'm no Saab stick shift expert, but the shifting problem you describe could be caused and fixed by shift cable adjustment. You can't get to the clutch without getting the tranny out of the way and stressing cables usually leads to adjusting cables. Removing cables on an older car almost always means adjusting cables.

    Rough idle and trouble starting could be caused by stressed connections. Even if we didn't live in rust country pulling battery cables and not getting posts and connectors cleaned up before reattaching can cause your described starting problem. We do live in rust country and something as simple as loosening the bracket that holds ION module, means cleaning up the mount to insure good ground. This or any other connection that was pulled or pushed out of the way could be the cause of your rough idle. Check and clean everything that might have been touched.

    Sounds like you probably did everything you could to put the clutch in the right way, but we live in rust country and with old cars and rust, sometimes right isn't good enough. A shinny looking piece of metal doesn't mean that there isn't a pit that can't be seen and brand new springs on a clutch plate will find a failing cylinder faster than the human eye can. More than likely a little cable adjusting will get this shifting like new.

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  3. #3
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    2007 9-3 2.0T
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    I haven't had a chance to play around with a manual Saab yet but I'd be very surprised if they weren't hydraulic setups. Most 03'+ cars I find don't have shift cables anymore. Hydraulic setups are self adjusting.

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  4. #4
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    2004 saab 9-3 aero 6 speed manual 4 door sedan
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevymeister View Post
    I haven't had a chance to play around with a manual Saab yet but I'd be very surprised if they weren't hydraulic setups. Most 03'+ cars I find don't have shift cables anymore. Hydraulic setups are self adjusting.
    If they are self adjusting they are doing a bad job of it XP Any way to manually adjust them?

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  5. #5
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
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    So I went to the WIS for the 6 speed cable adjustments and you are going to need to get your own copy because there are way to many pages and pictures to print, scan and post.

    Didn't find any special mention of which way the friction plate sits, so I guess that means they expect Saab mechanics to know this just by looking at it.

    Did find special mention of fluid type for the clutch, if you didn't use Opel high performance brake fluid (DOT 4), flush out what you put in. Transmission fluid compresses different than brake.

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  6. #6
    Saab Fan
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    2004 saab 9-3 aero 6 speed manual 4 door sedan
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    I used DOT 4 brake fluid.. Also, may I ask what the WIS is?

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  7. #7
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
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    WIS is the Workshop Information System and it's an interactive electronic service manual. I bought mine on CD and then I found that you could down load copies from the net. You do need a 32 bit operating system, WIS will work with Windows 7, 32 bit, but Windows XP is best as you might want to add a Tech 2 to your tool box.

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  8. #8
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    2007 9-3 2.0T
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digger View Post
    WIS is the Workshop Information System and it's an interactive electronic service manual. I bought mine on CD and then I found that you could down load copies from the net. You do need a 32 bit operating system, WIS will work with Windows 7, 32 bit, but Windows XP is best as you might want to add a Tech 2 to your tool box.
    It works on 64 bit as well. I'm using it currently on win 10 x64.

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  9. #9
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    The original version only worked up to Windows 7 32-bit. The latest that was discussed on SaabCentral was modified to work on Windows 10 and that works great. I don't think that download is available anymore.

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  10. #10
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevymeister View Post
    It works on 64 bit as well. I'm using it currently on win 10 x64.
    Didn't know there was a WIS that worked in 64 bit Windows 10, haven't been keeping up with these software upgrades.

    Still, if you want to add a Tech 2 to your toolbox, getting a good old laptop and XP will let you run WIS and TIS 2000.

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