Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 07:25:39 -0500
From: "Bart L. Grossman" <>
Subject: Re: 5W50 synthetic oil grade

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 . 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. Justin VanAbrahams wrote: > P.T. Goodman wrote: > > > > Justin: > > > > As near as I can tell most cars with some miles on them leak--some badly. > > In my home parking lot with reserved parking, many of the parking spots > > have a lot (and I do mean a lot) of leaked oil on the pavement. I have > > none yet with 46k miles on my Saab. If mine leaked I'd fix if only for > > environmental reasons. > > > > Pete > > The reason most cars leak is because most people don't care > enough to fix them. Leaking is not something designed into > the car or something the car was ever meant to have. Seals > and gaskets wear out with age, and so long as it doesn't get > annoying for the owner, most people are content to just add > a quart every once in a while. > > I've got three high-mileage Saabs right now - an '88 9000T > with closing in on 230,000 miles; an '85 900T with 190,000 > miles; and an '87 SPG with 160,000 miles on them. None of > them leak any oil - although the SPG *does* leak power > steering fluid from the rack, which I don't have the money > to replace at this moment. For the record, my '90 SPG has > 54,000 on it and doesn't leak either. > > Don't think they were always this way - when I first got the > two SPGs both leaked from the valve cover gasket; the '85 > leaked from the crank seal and the rear seal. When I buy > a car I replace all the gaskets and seals I can, because > a) oil leaves nasty marks on the street and b) where oil > can get out, dirt can get in. It's not, exactly, like I'm > neurotic about it, it's just something I consider to be > part of routine maintenance. Something leaks, I fix it. > (except for power steering racks, apparently :) > > It's the same reason I use synthetic oil. Using it doesn't > mean your car will suddenly run better or anything, but > from all the scientific tests that companies and groups > have run, it *is* proven that synthetics are less likely > to suffer from thermal viscosity breakdown and that their > lubrication is more uniform due to a close-to-perfect > molecular structure. These properties tell me that synthetic > certainly has the potential to do a better job, so I use > it. It's added protection I consider worthwhile. I'd > jump on the Amsoil bandwagon, but so far I've seen no > data whatsoever indicating the Amsoil is better than any > other synthetic for any reason, and its availability (or > lack thereof) is certainly a downer for me. Same goes for > Slick 50 and Prolong and Militec-1 and whathaveyou... All > these snake oil companies promise all sorts of great things, > but there is no data whatsoever showing any improvement in > anything when you use them. Quite the contrary, in fact - > Slick 50 has been sued, Prolong has been questioned, and > I'll bet that if more people had heard of Militec 1 and it > was more popular, they'd get sued or questioned too. > Besides, I've taken apart enough Saab engines over the past > few years to know that wear is not a problem. I recently > watched as my mechanic replaced a head gasket on an '86 9000T > with 307,000 miles on it. The engine was SPOTLESS - no > visible wear, and all in-cylinder tolerances were within > ORIGINAL specifications. This wasn't exactly a shining > example of an old Saab, either - it was pretty beat up. > My point is that I don't see how an oil additive could > improve upon this... I've had the heads of my '85 900T > and my '87 SPG and neither showed any signs of wear - so > I'm not worried about anything that bonds to metal or > decreases friction, because from what I've seen it isn't > a problem to begin with! > > -Justin -- Bart L. Grossman 1 Nickerson RD Peabody, MA 01960

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