Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 22:23:14 +0100
From: Robert Brown <>
Subject: Re: '98 900SE premature 2nd gear synchro failure

Kevin Walsh wrote: > I have a '98 900SE 2dr with ~60k miles and recently the 2nd gear synchro > failed without warning. It happened while I was driving from DC to Maine > (~550 miles) on holiday. At around mile 200 (New York City), I got stuck in > "stop-and-go" traffic for around 1.5-2 hours at which time I rarely left 1st > gear. As soon as traffic started moving again, I found the transmission made > a hideous grinding noise when I shifted into 2nd gear. I'm the second owner > and have had the car since 20k miles and, up until that point, the > transmission never gave me a bit of bother. This is my first SAAB and my 4th > car with a manual transmission. How could this happen? How do I prevent > this from happening again? Any ideas, suggestions are appreciated! Wouldn't minding knowing a bit more about what's going on: 1. If you go from first to *third*, do you get the same grind? 2. If your synchro ring on second has failed, then it should just be a question of making sure that revs match when you select gear, either by waiting when shifting from below (first) or double-declutching when selecting second from above (third). 3. Are you getting similar problems in all gears? In that case you could have a clutch release problem. Some GM 900's were cable clutch, but I think the 1998 was hydraulic. Does the clutch engage with foot close to the floor? If so, you might have air in the line or a master cylinder seal problem. But then you should in that case get problems with more than just second gear. 4. If you were doing first-gear start-stop traffic, you might have overheated the clutch plate which might cause it to drag (though this kind of thing shouldn't happen on consumer road cars, only race cars with heavy springs and small plate clearances). In which case the question is: after having it sit overnight, it it still the same nightmare selecting second gear? I'm no gearbox expert but I've had gearbox failure (pinion bearing failure that caused a nasty grinding when going from first to second). I assisted on the rebuild though and learned a thing or two about how gearboxes work (the guy who did the job had assembled Saab boxes in GĀrda here in town and it became obvious that he could've done the job with the lights out if he'd had to . . . ). Regards, Robert Gothenburg Sweden

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