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Date: 8 Feb 2007 07:15:33 -0800
From: "JohnO" <>
Subject: Re: Tossed a belt...

On Feb 8, 9:05 am, - Bob - <> wrote: > On 8 Feb 2007 05:22:26 -0800, "JohnO" <> wrote: > > >I'm digging around for some online instructions, having never replaced > >one of these before. It seems to be simple enough...once I figure out > >the belt pattern. I'm looking here: > >NG900beltsandpulleys.htm Our car's pulleys don't match the 4...we > >have the AC compressor in there. (The instrux linked from there are > >incomplete...what's the point of the block of wood and all that?) > > >I also found this: > >which is going to take me longer to read and comprehend than it took > >this guy to do. :-) Seems like he loosened everything, rather than > >just a tensioner. > > This is a really easy job. > > First, here's a page with the belt route - stock is the diagram on the > LEFT: > > The upper idler pulley that goes bad is the one shown at the top > integrated with the tensioner. The break up after 50K miles - so next > time replace it around 45K. It *is* worth checking the other pulleys > for play as the water pumps in these wear and occasionally an A/C > compressor goes. It is also possible that the lower idler pulley is > bad (center of engine, bottom of left photo) but generally they last > quite a while. To check the pulleys/accessories, just rock them with > your hands. You'll be able to feel significant play in anything bad. > > (Lots of us do the "short belt mod" shown on the right, I'll get back > to that). > > The instructions are the same for short or long (stock) belts. Click > through the photos. Loosen the tension on the belt using a 1/2" drive > as shown to pull the tensioner forward and lock it into place with a > drill bit or thin screwdriver in the "lock it" hole. Unbolt the upper > pulley, replace that pulley, pull the belt around the other pulleys > and accessories in the proper route. > > You may or may not have the Mass Air Valve shown depending on your > motor but pull out the air filter box to get some room to work either > way. You should remove the plastic cover behind the front right wheel > (no need to remove wheel unless you want to, just turn it hard right). > The only reason you need to remove the cover is that it is hard to get > the belt around the crankshaft pulley without doing it. It's still > tight/annoying getting the belt down there but stick with it, it can > be done. > > Once you get the belt right and the upper pulley replaced, just pull > the tensioner forward with the 1/2" drive again to remove the tension > from your "lock" bit, pull the bit out, and release the tensioner into > position. > > The first time you do this job it will probably take you an hour but > the second time you can do it in 15 mins. > > Las, but not least, many of us do the "short belt mod". In later > years, Saab eliminated the center pulley (lower idler pulley) on the > motor and used a shorter belt. Since the center pulley is a RPITA to > replace, many owners of the earlier design just go to the belt > mentioned at this web site. That eliminates one point of failure and > saves time and money. (Yes, it is a safe mod, many many guys who drive > their motors hard have done it and it works fine.) Excellent! Thanks Fred and Bob, these instrux are much better than what I found myself. Even *I* can follow those photos. ;-) Glad you added that last part about the belt mod...just looking at the diagrams it seems the only mechanical difference is the amount of grab on the PS pump pulley. But if Saab does it, it must be fine. Local parts place had the original belt, but the idler pulley is on order. Glad this isn't a huge job with the weather we're having. -John O

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