Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 04:49:34 -0800
From: Justin VanAbrahams <>
Subject: Re: 5W50 synthetic oil grade

Bart L. Grossman wrote: > > Can I change the crankshaft oil seal at timing chain end. The book says I can, > after removing the A/C v-belts and the alternator. I keep trying to get up > the nerve to do it, but it looks harder than hell to reach. I tried going up > from below and contorted my arm unnaturally just to touch the crankshaft > pulley. I have an '86 900S 16 Valve w/ Automatic Transmission . You can indeed. It's been over a year since I did the job on my '85, and I had my mechanic do it on my '88 ... It isn't a fun job, but certainly doable without removing the engine from the car. I'm not a big person (5'11", 170lbs) so I generally find myself able to contort into the necessary positions - maybe that's why my shoulder is killing me right now... :) As I recall, I removed the pulley from the top, but replaced the seal from the bottom. You need a really long wrench in order to do it - I used a regular 3/8" socket and slipped the spark plug wrench (that came with the car!) over the end to get myself the extra length. :) Also, a pair of good-sized needle nose pliers helps get the seal out if a screwdriver fails. > I agree with your stance on fixing leaks and it is painful to add a quart of > oil every 500 miles. If the engine must be removed, what would be a reasonable > price for the job at the Saab dealer. Thanks. Under no circumstances should the engine have to be removed. If you can't get to it yourself (which would certainly be understandable!) your dealer or independant Saab mechanic should have no problem doing it. Aside from actual engine or tranny rebuilds, I'm not readily aware of any repair in a classic 900 which requires the removal of the engine except maybe the timing chain... If the engine does need to come out for another reason, it's not a major deal. You'll pay through the nose for it - I'm guessing four to six hours each direction. But really, this should *not* be necessary and is probably not advisable. One thing I might advise when you do this: Be sure you don't need the car the next day. The main pulley can and does wear over time, and as long as you have it off, it's a good idea to inspect it and replace it at the same time if necessary. If you don't need the car the next day, you can order the part if you need it... :) They are not very expensive, IIRC. Good luck! -Justin

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