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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    1999 Viggen
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    Viggen motor ticking - sludge or not sludge?

    Hey all,

    First post after lots of reading and learning from other posts. Thank you in advance for any insights you may have.


    1. I changed the oil and filter in my 1999 Viggen (105K miles).
    2. Left it at the airport for 3 weeks.
    3. Drove 5 mins home and noticed that the turbo and motor felt "laggy". It was boosting but something just felt wrong.
    4. Took it for a drive with wifey (3 miles) while watching a plug-in computer reader on my phone (Dash Command). No error codes, no reported issues.
    5. Got home and I could hear a ticking from the motor.
    6. Did all of the research, worried about sludge.
    7. Listened to motor with a wrench to my ear and the noise was certainly coming from cylinder 4, opposite end of the timing chain. Quiet on the 1st 3 pistons, and then clackety-clackety on the 4th.
    8. Decided to do a motor flush with "Motor Medic" for 5 minutes, drained and changed the oil with new and new filter....same ticking.
    9. Crap.
    10. Took the valve cover off, expecting sludge, didn't see any. Golden color, no nastiness. (see photos attached).
    11. Removed the spark plug from 4 and found a pretty damaged spark plug. Ceramic missing, spark end corroded, etc. The other 3 plugs look fine.


    Is my problem just a bad plug? Can I just change the set and be good? If the plug broke and parts fell down into the cylinder head are they still there rattling around? What should my next steps be?


    Thanks all,
    John

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    Last edited by jamckee; 10 September 2018 at 13:09. Reason: adding photos

  2. #2
    Saab Fan
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    1999 Viggen
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    UPDATE:

    Changed the plugs and no change in ticking noise.

    Also using Castrol 5W/30 Synthetic oil.

    Cheers,
    John

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast geoff 9-3's Avatar
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    28 Oct 2013
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    2000 9-3 viggen convertible
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    Viggen motor ticking - sludge or not sludge?

    They not ngk plugs are they?

    You need platinum Tipped Spark Plugs PFR6H-10

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  4. #4
    Bruno
    Saab Addict swisssaabist's Avatar
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    9-5 ARC Wagon 2002 2 t auto engine B205E
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    Yeah agree with Geoff use only NGK ones ...

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  5. #5
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    1999 Viggen
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    So just change the plugs again with a higher grade of plug? No other worries with knocking noise?

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  6. #6
    Saab Enthusiast geoff 9-3's Avatar
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    2000 9-3 viggen convertible
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    The coil pack (DI) has software built into it to detect knocks and misfires, so the correct plugs need to be fitted.

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  7. #7
    Saab Fan
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    1999 Viggen
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    Hey all,

    Next update:

    1. NGK plugs arrived, installed and no change in engine knocking noise.
    2. No codes on my engine computer reader.
    3. Pulled the Valve Cover again.
    4. Pulled the camshafts.
    5. Found this hydraulic lifter with a score in it. (attached below)
    6. Is this my ticking noise? If so, is there a good thread, video, set of instructions, or just keywords on which I can search that I can use to go through the process of the fix?
    7. My other question, does this indicate the spring behind this hydraulic lifter is stuck (or occluded) such that it's not making a full stroke and the camshaft is banging of the surface of the lifter during every rotation?
    8. I've also inserted a picture of a 'good' lifter from the next cylinder as a reference.


    Thanks again for all your help.
    -John

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  8. #8
    Saab Enthusiast geoff 9-3's Avatar
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    2000 9-3 viggen convertible
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    It looks like you have found the problem a sticking hydraulic lifter and the cam lobe has been smacking it and caused that groove.

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  9. #9
    Saab Fan
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    1999 Viggen
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    Hey all,


    1. I pulled the cams.
    2. I pulled each tappet, disassembled, cleaned and re-assembled.
    3. Reassembled the motor.


    Still ticking in the same place. What next?

    • Oil pan drop?
    • Oil pressure check?
    • Test the DIC (even though its not throwing errors to the car computer, the burned out spark plug in Cylinder 4 makes me wonder if its working correctly.) Its a replacement for one I swapped a year ago which was misfiring and saying so.


    Thank you for your continued assistance.

    John

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  10. #10
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    1999 Viggen
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    Hey all,

    UPDATE: ran a compression test and got:

    • Cylinder 1 = 130
    • Cylinder 2 = 125
    • Cylinder 3 = 130
    • Cylinder 4 = 100,105,110 (ran three tests on this cylinder).


    Note, I didn't let the engine fully warm up, so I have a feeling the overall numbers are all lower that they would be on a hot engine test. But cylinder 4 is way off.

    Thoughts now?

    Best,
    John

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