5-speed manual pinion bearing is a weak spot - Saab 900 Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com


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5-speed manual pinion bearing is a weak spot

Posted by walt [Email] (more from walt) on Thu, 8 Aug 2019 17:53:29 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Re: Low droning sound in running gear '89 Turbo, EverettDave [Profile/Gallery] , Thu, 8 Aug 2019 15:54:08
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because gearbox originally was designed for car in early 1970s that had under 100 horsepower. Pinion bearing often is the beginning of the end. Around 1989 I think Saab added a larger pinion bearing on the pinion gear side along with a better alloy pinion bearing housing to address this. If you catch it soon enough, it's rebuildable. Otherwise it gets noisier and wears until shaft completely jumps and rips off teeth from pinion and ring gear, as it locks up both front wheels and gearbox is scrap. Forwards and backwards movement of the pinion shaft caused by a failing pinion bearing can be checked with a screwdriver between case and large reverse gear after removing the lube port side cover and exhaust down pipe. Then if reverse gear moves back towards the case when 3rd gear is selected, the pinion shaft and pinion bearing are loose.
Before doing this diagnostic, checking the tires per vsfoxe's comment (maybe moving tires from front to back) would be worthwhile. Sometimes tires get cut on shoulders of treads forming series of flat spots that generate noise that gets louder with car speed. The same effect occurs with large cleeted tread tires used on off-road vehicles when driving on hard pavement.

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