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CRAZY noise from engine bay?
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Posted by Bobwithasaab [Email] (more from Bobwithasaab) on Mon, 13 Sep 2021 13:38:50 Share Post by Email
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Well, I wish I could say this happened with me just being a responsible Saab owner, but that would be a lie. This past Friday evening on a major interstate I decided I was going to show a local slammed in the weeds speeder that Saabs are faster. I've got a 1990, well kept SPG. I had pinned the speedo and was still accelerating. (Swedish Dynamic's box, injectors, Jak Stoll chip, etc.) All of a sudden it sounded like a combination of a CV joint and perhaps a torn and flapping tire. The clatter got louder. When I looked down, my speedo said 125, but I'm gonna guess that at peak speed, I was closer to 135-140. I slowed down and began to smell either melting plastic or rubber. Got off the highway as soon as I could, (car was still running, but very noisily). Parked, saw no oil leaks, had her towed home. To try to relate, it sounded like the sound that playing cards made on the spokes of a bicycle wheel as it rotate....amplified by a thousand. I thought: Timing chain? I pulled the valve cover and saw zero issues with the timing chain. Shined a light down in there and best I can tell, all looked fine. Second culprit: Clutch assembly? Pulled out all hoses and piping and removed plastic bellhouse cover. Replaced all piping and tried to restart with cover removed. Won't start now because I believe my hall sensor plug got compromised while pulling out all the turbo tubing. Cranked it over and saw no issues with clutch assembly (one year old, Saab OEM parts). Without starting it, my next guess is primary chain between trans and engine. Are these prone to failure? I haven't opened it up yet, but I'm thinking that it's my next approach. The sound I heard that night wasn't a rod knock, and I smelled burning or melting plastic. Perhaps that smell was the primary chain tensioner? Anybody ever had one fail? Curious as I move forward. Any insight would be appreciated...because I've never in 24 years made one of my Saabs make a noise like this....

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