Manual transmission unit (gearbox) removal and refitting is a long job
but is not complicated when broken down into steps. Replacement
of the clutch, release bearing and slave cylinder requires removal of
the gearbox. This procedure applies to 1994-on models. Manual
transmission replacement for models up to 1993 is the subject of a
Removing and refitting the gearbox took me
and an assistant about six hours.
Saab list 4.8 hours for this procedure.
I assume some basic tools, such as a jack, axle stands, socket
set, etc. However I do not assume you will already have all the
necessary metric socket and spanner sizes, especially if you are in the
USA. Here is a list so you can make sure you have all the necessary
sizes before you start.
- Posidriv screwdriver
- 8mm hex key
- Torx T25 bit
- Engine support beam
- Hydraulic hose clamp
- Locating dowels made by cutting the heads off two long M12
- A suitable bracket or lifting eye to screw into the M8
lifting eye hole
- An engine/transmission lift (preferred) or some rope.
- From inside the car, select 4th gear.
- Disconnect the battery, negative terminal first (10mm
spanner, 13mm spanner), then undo the battery clamp (10mm socket or
spanner) and remove the battery.
- Remove the locking clip on the accelerator cable casing and
turn cable to one side out of the way.
- On TCS models, if there is a hose clipped to the battery
tray, unclip it.
- Unclip the fuse/relay box from the battery tray and move to
disconnecting the wiring, remove the positive plinth (two Torx T25
screws). Note that the Haynes manual shows it on the front of the
battery tray, not on the rear. It may be necessary to slacken the nuts
and move the cables away from the Torx screws (10mm socket or 10mm
spanner). Don't forget to re-tighten them!
Using a star/Posidriv screwdriver, remove the (one or two) clamps on
the positive cable from the battery tray.
- Disconnect the connector from the ABS control module, then
unbolt the ABS control module (8mm socket). It is sufficient to slacken
the screws. It is not necessary to remove them completely.
- Remove the 4 mounting bolts (13mm socket) and remove the
battery tray. Note that one of the bolts is hidden under the cable
- On turbo models:
- Remove the bypass valve from the inlet pipe.
- Disconnect the temperature sensor wiring on the
pressure pipe: prise
the red tab away from the body of the connector using a small
electrical screwdriver and pull the connector away from the sensor as
the red tab comes up.
- Remove the hose clips and pressure pipe.
- Fit a hydraulic hose clamp to the clutch slave cylinder
- Undo the union and separate the pipe from the hose (12mm
spanner and 15mm spanner).
- Remove all transmission retaining bolts accessible from the
top, except for the very top bolt (18mm socket).
the engine support beam, attaching it to the lifting eye on the rear of
the cylinder head and adjusting it to take the weight of the engine and
- Loosen the wheel bolts on the front left wheel.
- Jack up the front of the car and place it on axle stands.
If you are not sure where you can safely place the jack and axle stands
on a 9000, go here for
- Remove the front left-hand roadwheel.
- Remove the front half of the left front inner wing liner,
- Remove the left and middle plastic under-panels behind the
- Disconnect the speedometer sensor. The sensor is on the
transmission case underneath the gear selector linkage. Follow the
wiring from the sensor to the connector.
- Disconnect the reversing light switch.
- Remove the earth cable from the transmission (13mm socket).
- If the gear-change coupler is of the rubber-block type,
turn the steering onto full right-hand lock for access and unbolt the
gear selector linkage using a 10mm socket and long extension.
If the gear-change coupler is of the "knuckle" type, slacken the
pinch-bolt using a 13mm socket or spanner and work the linkage rod
loose by moving the gear lever side-to-side while pushing it forward.
The linkage will require re-alignment following refitting of the
It may prove easier to reach the pinch-bolt from above using a long
- Using a 13mm socket and 13mm spanner, remove the 3 bolts
securing the lower balljoint on the wheel hub to the wishbone.
the nut that secures the bottom of the anti-roll bar drop-link to the
wishbone. The original Saab nut is 18mm but it may have been replaced
later by a 17mm or 19mm nut. If the drop-link is badly corroded it may
snap, requiring replacement. Retrieve the washer and the rubber bush.
- Remove the nut from the transmission mount but leave the
bolt in place for the moment (16mm socket and 16mm spanner).
- Test that the support beam can safely raise the engine
slightly before proceeding.
- Remove the two bolts securing the anti-roll bar bush to the
subframe (10mm socket or spanner). Access is quite tight. It may be
necessary to apply releasing oil to the threads of the bolts.
- Remove the bolt securing the wing stay to the subframe
- Remove the hinge bolt and nut from the front link of the
(14mm socket and 17mm spanner).
Remove the 2 nuts and bolts holding the link (14mm socket and 17mm
- Remove the hinge bolt from the rear link of the subframe
socket and 17mm spanner).
- Remove the 2 nuts and bolts holding the rear link. Not that one of them also secures the steering
rack (14mm socket and 17mm spanner for one, 17mm socket and 18mm
spanner for the other).
- Place the jack centrally below the subframe member and take
- Remove the 2 nuts and bolts in the front corner of the
subframe (13mm socket).
- Remove the 4 screws holding the plate at the rear of the
subframe (13mm socket and 14mm socket) and remove it.
- Lower the subframe member and put it aside.
- Remove the gearbox mount bolt.
- If the transmission oil is to be drained, place a tray
underneath the drain plug and remove the plug (8mm hex key).
When drained, refit the plug and torque to 50Nm (37lbft).
the large clamp around the gaiter on the inner driveshaft joint. If it
is not a screw clamp, the correct way to remove it is to cut it free -
a new one will need to be fitted on reassembly. However, it may be
possible to remove it without cutting so it may be re-used. Take care
not to damage the gaiter.
- Pull back the gaiter, then carefully pull the driveshaft
out of the joint.
Cover the driver cup and joint with plastic bags to keep dirt out.
- Remove the remaining lower transmission mounting bolts,
leaving the top one for now (18mm socket).
the cover plate below the sump. It is secured by one of the 18mm
gearbox securing bolts (already removed) and a smaller bolt.
Using an 11mm socket, remove the smaller bolt, followed by the cover
- Screw the locating dowels into the holes on either side of
the remaining transmission mounting bolt.
a lifting eye or bracket to the gearbox using the unused M8 threaded
hole near the clutch inspection aperture. When supported by this point,
the gearbox will be balanced.
I used a spare exhaust bracket but anything that can safely hold the
weight of the transmission (around 45Kg) may be used.
If you have an engine or transmission lift, attach it to the lifting
eye/bracket and take the weight of the transmission.
If you do not have an engine lift, then tie a rope to the lifting
eye/bracket and around the engine support beam and pull it tight
enough to take the weight of the gearbox. It is best if the rope can
slide easily along the beam while holding the weight of the gearbox. If
the beam is metal, then this is likely to be the case. For the wooden
beam, we passed the rope through a metal tube on top of the beam
(actually a box-spanner), which could slide more easily over the wood.
- Remove the last remaining bolt.
the transmission, ensuring that it is clear of the intermediate
driveshaft and its protective tube. If using a rope, slide the rope
along the beam to keep it above the transmission as it moves.
- If using a rope, get someone to assist - one person holding
the rope while the other unties it. Lower
the transmission carefully. A wheeled trolley placed
beneath the transmission made it easier to remove it from beneath the
- If the dowels have been removed, refit them. Ensure the
intermediate driveshaft and its housing are correctly in place.
- Using the same method as was used to lower the
transmission, raise it to the correct height and locate it on the
dowels. Again, this is easiest with the aid of an assistant.
- Taking care to ensure no cables or hoses become trapped
between the transmission and engine, push the transmission into place.
It may slip in easily or it may not. If it is not engaging properly
with the clutch, try turning the flywheel slightly. If it is not
engaging properly with the intermediate driveshaft, try turning the
driver cup for the other driveshaft back and forth. It may require some
persuasion. If it goes most of the way but not fully home, check again
for trapped cables or hoses, especially at the rear of the engine.
- Fit the top bolt but do not tighten it fully yet.
- Refit the flywheel cover plate, with the 11mm bolt and 18mm
bolt. There is no torque setting for the 11mm bolt. Torque the 18mm
bolt to 70Nm
- Refit the other 18mm bolts not
accessible from above. Torque these to 70Nm (50lbft).
- Refit the driveshaft, securing the gaiter with a new clip
- Refit the subframe member with the two hinge bolts so it is
free to swing. Swing it up and support it with a jack, taking care to
locate the transmission mount correctly.
- Refit all the other subframe bolts but do not tighten them
- Replace the plate at the rear of the suspension arm but do
not tighten the bolts yet.
- Tighten the subframe front bolts to 50Nm (37lbft) and the subframe rear bolts to 55Nm (41lbft).
- Tighten the four bolts on the plate to 50Nm (37lbft).
- Refit the gearbox mounting bolt and washers but do not
tighten it yet.
- Refit the bolt securing the wing stay to the subframe and
tighten it to 50Nm (37lbft).
- Refit the bolts holding the anti-roll bar bush to the
- Refit the bush, washer and nut securing the anti-roll bar
drop-link to the lower control arm. Tighten the nut to 47Nm (35lbft).
- Refit the three bolts securing the balljoint to the lower
control arm. Use three new self-locking nuts and tighten them to 30Nm (22lbft).
- Ensure that the transmission is in 4th gear and reconnect
the gearchange linkage. If the pinch-bolt has been disturbed, it will
be necessary to re-align the linkage.
- Reconnect the speed sensor wiring harness.
- Reconnect the reversing light switch.
- Reconnect the earth cable to the transmission.
- Release and remove the engine support beam.
- Check the gearbox mounting washers are in place and tighten
the bolt to 70Nm (50lbft).
- Refit the plastic under-panels.
- Refit the wheel-arch liner as,
- Refit the roadwheel, lower the car and torque the
wheel-bolts to 115Nm (85lbft).
- Refit all the 18mm accessible from above. Torque these, and
the previously-fitted top bolt, to 70Nm (50lbft).
- Reconnect the clutch slave cylinder hydraulic hose.
- Bleed the clutch hydraulic system.
- Check the gearbox oil level and top up if necessary.
- On turbo models:
- Refit the pressure pipe.
- Refit the bypass valve.
- Reconnect the temperature sensor wiring.
- Reinstall the battery tray.
- Refit the ABS controller to the battery tray.
- Install the positive cable with the two clamps on the
- Install the positive plinth.
- Install the fuse/relay box.
- Refit the accelerator cable casing and secure it with the
- Install the battery.
- Connect the battery cables to the battery.
- On TCS models, refit he hose to
the battery tray.