How I blew up, and then fixed my Saab

If you follow me on social media you may have noticed that my transmission isn’t in the best of shape…. Here is a run down of what happened.  It was December 2nd 2017, the event was the Wheel Well Express Rally holiday toy drive. Admission was one toy and we would go on a drive down the winding back roads of Arkansas to the drop off location to drop off the toys.  The event starting location was a local shop; Jason’s Pro Detail in Bentonville Arkansas. I arrived around 9:00 am to get photos of cars coming in and get photos of the people and activity. More and more people started to show up around 10:00 am.

We started lining up to leave around noon and the group was HUGE, at least 70+ cars and participants attended this even for a great cause. We all took off and headed for our first “checkpoint” which was about 25 miles away. Everything was fine when we left, I had check everything on the car prior to the event; oil, coolant, tire pressure ect. The weather was perfect, it was nice and cool, which is great for turbo cars because of the dense air.

A good ally when you explode your Saab

About halfway to the checkpoint, I took off from a light, left foot on the clutch on the floor and the right foot lifted off the gas, I pulled it into 2nd gear, released the clutch and it grinded and popped out of 2nd gear. I was very confused on why this happened because I didn’t try to float gears or “no-lift shift” into 2nd. I tried going back to 2nd gear…. No dice. At one point I was able to double clutch into 2nd gear and it would go into 2nd but it just got worse and worse, at one point by the end of the drive it had no choice but to go from 1st gear to 3rd gear.

After I got home i was determined to not let this get me down but this was a major hurdle in plan to turn my 2008 Saab 9-3 into a track car. I took it to my friend Jeremy Merriman over at Administration Motorsports to take a look at the shifter linkage to make sure that wasn’t the issue because i had read on a few forums that broken shifter linkage could cause this problem if not being able to fully go into a gear but that wasn’t the case, he then moved the car and going into 2nd gear, he confirmed it was a broken 2nd gear synchro. I started looking at different option and started looking around for new syncros. It’s a GM F40 transmission so you think it would be easy to find parts for it right? NO! I went to multiple GM dealerships to try and find this part and no luck.

(Excuse no bumper, photo taken on a test drive after checking the intercooler for boost leaks)

The final decision was to buy another transmission out of another B207R FWD 9-3. I was amazed at how much people wanted for these F40 manual transmissions and they still had such high miles! So it’s now February and I just found a transmission for a great deal with low miles in Ohio. I purchased the transmission and began the headache of actually getting it wrapped and shipped.

Now onto the clutch, might be a common transmission but clutches are few and far between. When you’re replacing your transmission you might as well save yourself the headache and replace the clutch while you are at it. And remember your torque to yield bolts for your flywheel

All of my parts were on the way and for awhile I played the waiting game while the Saab sat.  Adding salt to the wound my clutch arrived well before my transmission.  On the same day i finally got the confirmation that my transmission had been picked up, I was a nervous wreck and was concerned that they wouldn’t put it on the truck. Well to my surprise I just recently got the phone call that my transmission was delivered just 3 days after pick up!
The wait was almost over…. and suddenly my mechanic notified me that he had crossed the finish line.  Its installed now and all is well.  I am now breaking in the clutch, and after a fresh headlight restoration (no more yellow tint), it feels like a new car!



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2 thoughts on “How I blew up, and then fixed my Saab
    • Adam Goral

      Parts are still available for all major systems here at eEuroparts, and we’ve found anything you can’t get brand new is often very available on the used market. You will be in good shape for the upcoming years.

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