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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    21 Jul 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    1999 Saab 9-5 2.3t manual

    Replacing rear engine mount - Saab 9-5 4-cylinder 2.3 (top removal)

    Hello everyone,

    This will be my first tutorial post here, so if anyone has an easier way of doing this please post below. The main reason I am posting this is because I couldn't find a truly detailed, step-by-step guide on how to replace rear engine mount on 9-5. I found things like "the rear mount is a bear" on several different forums, so I wanted to give it a try and it was a success

    I have a 1999 9-5 SE with a 2.3 liter engine and manual transmission. The engine had weird vibrations and it felt like strong jerks every time I went from 1st to 2nd gear, or when I released the gas pedal fully. I went to a mechanic and he put the car in first gear (on the flat ground), left the emergency brake off and then started pushing the car back and forth. The engine was pivoting back and forth too much and he said that the rear mount (rubber part) became too soft and must be replaced.

    My friend and I removed and replaced this mount from the top, although I read somewhere it could be done from the bottom. Below are pictures that explain each step we took in order to accomplish our task.

    I got the mount from Eeuroparts:
    SAAB Engine Mount - Rear - Hutchinson 538780 (SAAB OE: 5239173)

    Tools needed:

    1. ratcheting socket wrench with multiple extensions (including a joint extension as well). I think it's 13mm, but you should try anything from 12-16mm. I forgot the exact size. I think that the biggest one you'll need is a 16mm and that's for the top nut. That's a piece of cake to remove.
    2. Magnetic pickup tool. Trust me, it's the only way to get the bolt out once it has been loosened up all the way.
    3. Hydraulic jack with and a wooden block in order to lift the engine. We lifted from the bottom of the oil pan, so we used the wooden block to prevent any damage to the oil pan.
    4. Ramps to lift the front of the car. You could also use two additional hydraulic jacks or jack stands, however I believe that ramps are the safest and most reliable solution.

    WARNING: The engine must be cold when you do this. You will have to reach behind the engine block and your arm will almost certainly lean on it, and your face will be only a couple of inches away from the top of the engine most of the time. You definitively don't want the engine hot when you're doing this.

    Replacing the engine mount is not too difficult, however it does take about 2.5 hours. I did it with a friend, and I don't believe that one person can do this. The most difficult part of the job is to find, reach, and remove one of the three screws. One screw is on the passenger's side of the engine bay, one screw is directly in front of the firewall. These two are easy to see and remove. But the third one is facing the driver's side of the engine bay and cannot be seen from any angle. We spent about an hour trying to find that screw. I finally reached down with my hand and touched the screw.

    This is the ratchet with extensions that we used to reach all three screws, plus the top nut.

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    and this is the magnetic tool that helped us take the bolts out, after we unscrewed them.

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    Let's begin.

    • The red arrow shows where the rear mount is located. The blue arrow shows the location of the lower front torque rod mount which needs to be loosened before you start lifting the engine. It has two screws that are visible and easy to remove.

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    • When you lock in the back, this is where you'll find the mount. Blue arrows show where two "easy" screws are located. You will be able to see both of them and easily remove them. However, the red arrow shows the third screw (driver's side) which is impossible to see. I found it by reaching under with my hand. I touched around until my fingers recognized the screw.

      Then I realized that there is a hole right above it and if you get a socket wrench through that hole - it will fall straight down to your screw. The problem is you can't see that hole so you have to do it by trial and error. You need to get the ratchet will all the extensions (I think we had 4 or 5 total) and lower it down between all the hoses, wires, and metal tubes. I kept my finger on top of the "invisible" screw while my friend lowered the ratchet. After a couple of minutes I felt the ratchet touch my finger so I knew we hit the target. I took my finger out, and the ratchet fell straight down and locked on to the screw. After that it was pretty straight forward job of unscrewing it. This is the most difficult part of the job.

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    • After removing all three screws and the top nut, we then removed two screws from the lower front torque rod mount. This was a necessary step before we could lift the engine high enough to get the old rear engine mount out and the new one in.

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    • We then lifted the engine. Make sure you put a wooden block between the hydraulic jack and the oil pan so you don't damage anything.

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    • Once you lift the engine high enough take the old mount out. The "hand" which holds it in place is U shaped (look above - note the picture of the old mount still in place), so you can slide it out on the side and tilt and pull it under the hand. Now reverse this procedure to put the new mount in and center it in place by putting two "easy" screws in their place. Make them go in just a couple of turns, and then use the magnetic tool to gently lower the "difficult" screw back in its place. Be careful with this part because I dropped that screw three times before I navigated it between all the wiring, down the hole and into its place. Once the third screw is in, you can tighten all of them up gradually.
    • Now gently lower the engine until it's low enough to put the main (16mm) nut on top of the engine mount. Don't lower the engine all the way yet.
    • Put back the two screws back in the lower front torque rod mount.
    • Now lower the engine all the way and tighten all the screws fully. And you're done!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Dsvorc41; 15 July 2014 at 17:41.

  2. #2
    Saab Fan zoli's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Dec 2011
    MY98 SAAB 9-5 2.0 ECO SE LPT Man
    I'm new here, but let me tell first, that this is an excellent write-up, many thx for this! It will be my next month's project. Lot of SAABers proposed to drop the subframe. The trick of loosening the front torque rod is super!
    Here are some photos of mounts/torque rods replacement:https://picasaweb.google.com/1105164...nts_torqueRods
    Again: it's brilliant! :-)

  3. #3
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    21 Jul 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    1999 Saab 9-5 2.3t manual
    Jó napot kívánok Zoli! I am glad you like the post. Keep us updated with your repair procedure. Maybe you'll come up with an even easier way to do this!

  4. #4
    Saab Fan zoli's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Dec 2011
    MY98 SAAB 9-5 2.0 ECO SE LPT Man
    Today the work has done. Your tutorial was my guideline: 100% satisfactory.
    I shooted some photos; the series starts here: https://picasaweb.google.com/110516400465012658607/SAAB95_47_trannyAndMotorMounts_torqueRods#6035564030170734866

    Thx for your creativity - rear motor mount change is not a nightmare anymore!
    PS. Yesterday I was too tired to give some comments on it:
    1. Haynes manual has a very logical instruction, but much time consuming like your method: 2-3 hrs much enough. I took some photos and other tasks around the house, so it took longer.
    2 I did not touch even the engine cover plastic, only approx. USD 7 investment needed to buy some extra ratchet extensions.
    3. Proposed the change the other 2 upper mounts (left and right) before you start the rear one: new uppee mounts keep higher position the engine and the tranny and it helps a lot at the removal step.
    4. The reason of applying the lift at the oil pan is not avoiding fallen down engine, but only to lift up these for easier mount insertion.
    5. I did it alone, only my garage manager served me some refreshment at the end of the work :-)
    6. The condition of the old rear mount was OK in place, but after checking on the table: seriously cracked and collapsed after 17 years.
    7. It's not important for US guys, but the MY98 has 2 torque rod under the tranny and both ones must be loosed.
    8. The biggest challange was for me to take out the 10 mm bolt at the firewall: finally, I had to force the socket in by hand and step-by-step built up the long extension. A CV joint (sorry, but I don't know its proper English name) is essential part of the extension.

    Well, I am still very happy due to this useful tutorial and I would never touch the rear mount without it!

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    Last edited by zoli; 20 August 2014 at 09:08. Reason: Additional remarks

  5. #5
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    27 Sep 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    2004 9-5 Aero
    Thanks for posting this tutorial! I followed it and successfully replaced all 4 engine mounts. It took me about 5 hours for all four. The arm that mounts the engine to the rear mount didn't seem to have the same hole that the tutorial mentions. I had to use a 10mm combination wrench to slowly remove the bolt from under the car.

    As far as the ratchet extensions go, I used one universal joint, one 6" and one 20" extension. This worked perfectly.

    Of course the other three mounts are easy.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    15 Jan 2015
    2001 9-5 S Wagon
    Thanks for this post Dsvorc41.

    I found it very helpful especially the advice regarding the long ratchet tool with swivel.

    I swapped the mount today and it took me longer than 2.5hrs, I got the all the screws out ok, but i had issues pulling the old mount out and putting the new in. (a lot of trial, error and force.

    Some advice:
    1. consider taping together the ratchet extensions to prevent loosing the parts in the engine bay (this happened to me when a part of the ratchet caught on one of the many obstructions and the ratchet came apart).

    2. I jacked the engine up using the oil sump but found to get the extra height needed to get the old mount out, i put another jack under the mount housing and jacked it up by hand (about 15mm). Be real careful as if you push the housing too high you will hit and damage the hydraulics.

  7. #7
    Saab Enthusiast photousa's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Sep 2010
    Chicago, Illinois USA
    2003 Saab 9-5 Aero 2.3t Wagon HO Manual
    My Car: 2003 Saab 9-5 2.3T Manual Aero Wagon Mileage: 155K miles

    Hey, Thanks Dsvorc41 and Zoli, The write up and photos are awesome. I just did this job by myself, without any assistance and I can add a couple of points that might make it easier for someone doing this alone:

    1) It helps to use a strong, small flashlight and hold the light by the mount to see the exact bolts you need to get to. The three bolts are 10mm and I believe the top nut is 16mm.

    2) I used the exact ratchet extension setup as pictured above, using electrical tape to tape the sections together. I needed a step stool to get up and over the engine, you're going to be laying on your engine..
    Your magnetic extension wand is a must to get your 10mm bolts out, I don't think you can get them out otherwise.

    3) After you get all of the bolts and the nut off of the rear mount, you disconnect and remove the front most bolt of the front torque rod mount, (keeping your floor jack and wood under the oil plan)

    4) I still couldn't jack the engine up high enough to get the mount out, so I removed the big main nut holding on the yoke, (passenger side motor mount), be very careful not to jack the engine up too high, you can damage other components, you just need to go a couple more inches. You can then remove the rear mount from the top.

    5) At this point, getting the rear motor mount back in was easy, I put some anti seize on the bolts and started a couple by hand, the other one you'll have to feed into place with your magnetic extension wand..

    Tightened everything back down according to torque specs. Took me about three hours, but I'm slow and it was really hot out...

    Here are the benefits: Even though I had already replaced the other three motor mounts, they didn't really make that big of a difference. Replacing the rear motor mount however, stopped my low RPM vibration
    and made shifting out of 1st gear much smoother, so renewing this mount made all the difference for me. I still have an issue when I go to turn off the car, I get an odd engine vibration, my guess would be that I have worn out subframe bushings..

    2003 Saab 9-5 Aero B235R
    Sport Wagon 2.3T HO Manual
    140,627 Miles

  8. #8
    Desmond Khoo
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    24 Mar 2012
    Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
    2006 9-5 2.0t
    I just did this too last week. Did it in the workshop while getting my regular service. I had already replace the 2 mounts on the left and right of the engine myself (pretty easy) and the rear one was the only one left. At first i thought replacing the 2 was enough, but i could still feel a slight vibration.

    Mechanic took the replacement from bottom approach. He also removed the whole bracket. I think removal from top will be bit difficult for us RHD cars. The brake booster is kind of in the way.

    Anyway, here's a look at the mount. It was so bad i could turn it 360degrees! It was only being held in by the limiter band.

    Currently with 227km. My car is a 2006 and it was an 2008 mount. Are these mounts so prone to failure?

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  9. #9

    Join Date
    27 Jun 2016
    Wausau WI
    2003 95 V6 wagon
    Thank you Dsvorc41 ! The process of replacing the 3 engine mounts in my 2003 SAAB 95 V6 wagon, the 2 top units were simple and easy. The 3rd one, was way down behind the rear cylinder bank on the V6 engine. I was convinced that this unit had to be done from below and I would have to go to a shop with an automotive hoist.
    Then I read your post !! I bought about $15 worth of socket wrench extensions and went to work. On this model SAAB I also removed the aluminum bracket from the transmission which attaches to the top of the rear engine mount, then I could get to the three bolts which go to the subframe.....

    Never had to use 300mm worth of extensions before !

    Once I saw that regular guys [from all over the world] were doing this job from the top, I knew I could as well.....

    It is a long way from here to KL or Sydney... it's nice to know I have brothers everywhere !
    Best Regards JOHN [ in Central Wisconsin]

  10. #10

    Join Date
    11 Jan 2017
    9-5 2007 Vector
    Thank you all that have contributed to this guide. I did mine yesterday and I am very pleased with the job and results of it. Couldn't have done it without you.

    I just wanted to share my thoughts from my experience. My car is a 9-5 2007.

    * To be able to reach the third and hardest-to-reach bolt on the mount, the one on the driver side and also to be able to torque it properly I removed the three bolts holding the gear linkage in place on the "arm" resting on the actual mount.
    This gave mehigher visibility and it was easy to find the bolt and to torque it to spec.

    * I did not need to loosen the lower front torque rod mount but I loosened the elk horn (the right motor mount).

    * I also used deep/long sockets to easier be able to set it onto the rear bolt of the motor mount.

    After the change there is less vibration in the car and it's easier to gear up from 1st and 2nd gear.

    Good luck!



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