Saab 900 Clutch hydraulics

Brought Helga’s overboosting (was going as high as about 1.5 bar, my gauge only goes to 1 and it was well off the end) under control by setting the base boost properly. The wastegate rod had been screwed in a long way. Not got quite the same ferocity but it’s a bit safer for now.

Anyway, since the brake overhaul the clutch bite point has been very variable. It seems there is truth in the myth that bleeding the clutch can hasten it’s demise if it’s on the way out. I got hold of a rebuild kit for the master and a new slave and got to work.

Clutch master cylinder rebuilt

As many people know, the Saab 900’s gearbox setup is really weird, living underneath the engine and driven by chain. The engine is also mounted with the flywheel facing forwards, which all adds up to a really easy clutch change without disturbing the engine or gearbox at all.

However, there’s something missing from this image…

Hadn’t noticed it drop off the slave while I was putting everything back in. Really annoyingly I’d put everything back together and bled it so I started the car to test it. BIG mistake. The lack of release bearing instantly lurched the new slave and dumped the fluid. So, new slave ordered and I thought I’d try to find a new clutch kit while I was at it. Anyone who’s changed the clutch on a 900 before knows that you really need the hydraulics working to get the old clutch out, otherwise you’re using pry bars.

Unfortunately Helga’s running a 240mm Saab 9000 clutch which is practically unobtainable these days with the necessary 17 splines. The best price I got was £500. So for now the old clutch has gone back in (with release bearing this time) because there’s a bit of wear left in it. I also dropped in a VW 99 relay for the wipers, which adds adjustable intermittency by turning the wipers off and on again with the delay you want to set. A pretty useful drop in upgrade.

While the lower dash is still out I’ve had a prod about at the cruise control and got it working. All it needed was the pedal switches cleaning up. Replaced the vac lines for cruise with silicone as they were looking tired.

Gearbox is continuing to sound pretty whiney at times, but still operating fine. I’ve got another ready, but is there any point in swapping it out before it fails completely, or have I to just sit it out till it gives in? Think I’ve read before that if it’s been ran for long with a whine, it’s beyond repair?