D223L – engine won’t start on a flat surface – Solved!

My 2001 9-3 2.2 TID (125 BHP) won’t start when it is parked on a flat (horizontal) surface

However when the car is park on a hill with its nose downwards the engine starts in a crank or two.

This makes me to believe that the problem isn’t the pressure fuel pump itself but I have to look for another cause.

As described in the service bulletin (see; SERVICE INFORMATION Bulletin Nbr: 210-2148 ed. 3) there are multiple scenarios possible.

At the moment I have done the following to diagnose the root cause;

  • Replacing the small gauge return hoses which reside on the T-pieces right on the injectors.
  • Checked for air leakage while using the suggested vacuum pump as described. No indication of defective o-rings or bad injectors as the vacuum stayed constant for at least 10 minutes.
  • Removed the fuel tank while having the back of the car on baby bridge stands. Simulating a slope/hill. While having the tank on the ground the car started but not as eager as standing completely on the slope.

Update 21-August-2017

Tried to start the car in the slope/hilly position while having the fuel tank unmounted flat on the floor and the engine did crank but no bingo.

This is an expected result as the test is to see if the fuel pours out of the fuel lines.

Update: 2-September-2017

Eureka! I think I found the problem!

Checked the injector-seals once again by using the vacuum pump. Just connected the vacuum pump on the “leak off pipes” and this time we saw some black fluid (supposedly engine oil travelling along with air to the vacuum container.

Also when sucking diesel from the bleed valve no air was coming trough and the diesel was clean yellowish fluid.

After finding nothing suspicious on the fuel connectors on the floater (there is no pump in the tank, I decided to mount the tank again. I had to wait for around 24 hours in order to get the engine started again.

This all makes me to reset my believes and suspect the injector seals even more…

Some home work: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/mozzer/howtoinjectorseals.pdf

Update: 7-October-2017

The valve-cover came off and the EGR-system has been cleaned out. To my surprise, after ~250.000 km, it wasn’t even looking that bad. Don’t get me wrong, there was some deposit however the air could still flow freely. After some rinsing in a industrial cilinder-head ‘dish-washer’ the parts came out *bling* *bling* style.

After removing fuel bridges i noticed that the seals are deformed and probably hardened. A shopping-list is coming up:

  • 4 X 90500732 – Fuel bridge O-ring/seal, between cylinder head and fuel bridge.
  • 4 X 90502704 (Bosch part #2430223003) – Diesel injector seal, between fuel bridge and injector.
  • 4 X 9117693  – Diesel injecter copper washer/seal.
  • 1 X 90500940 – Inlet manifold gasket, between swirl flaps and cylinder head.
  • 1 X 9543885 – Inlet manifold gasket, between EGR housing and swirl flaps.
  • 1 X 9543919 – EGR gasket, between EGR valve and EGR housing (850678/9226544/ ELRING 743.970).
  • 1 X 93172881  – EGR O-ring/seal, around the EGR valve.
  • 1 X 90528598 – Vacuum pump / brake booster gasket, between cylinder head and vacuum pump.

Update: 28-October-2017

EGR cleaningTiming camshaftTorque swirl flapsAfter replacing the “diesel injector topseals” (4 X 90502704 (Bosch part #2430223003) and fitting all things together again we attempted another engine start.Guess what…

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B204 oil pressure drops

This problem is driving me insane! Initially the car, 1999 SAAB 9-3 convertible FSP/HOT (T5, 200HP engine, stage 0), had initially a intermittent blinking oil pressure light. This should be fixable, i thought. Well that seems to be for the untrained eye. After the initial problem with the original engine the problem as resurfaced again even when the engine has been replaced.

Original problem:

  • Oil light intermittent while idling.
  • Balance chain cut by the SAAB dealer (chain links found in the sump)

First diagnosed and tried to fix the problem on the original block:

  • Pulled the sump of the car
  • Cleaned the clogged oil pickup strainer
  • Replaced oil filter (genuine GM, partnr. 55560202)
  • Replaced oil (genuine GM, partnr. 93165557, full synthetic 5W30)
  • Replaced oil switch (partnr. 9112459 )

Driven for 2000 km without a oil pressure light lighting up (anxiously keeping an eye on it) and all of a sudden the oil pressure light came on. Directly pulled the car over to the shoulder and called a tow-truck for expedition.


  • main and rod bearings totally worn
  • found ‘copper flakes’ in sump
  • crankshaft bent

So i decided the replace the bottom part of the engine.

Engine replaced and overhauled:

  • Sourced a B204 turbo engine (bottom part with crankshaft and pistons)
  • Thermostat kit, genuine GM, partnr. 30577561
  • Cylinder head bolts, genuine GM, partnr. 5955794
  • Front oil seal crank, genuine GM, partnr. 55557231
  • Rear oil seal crank, genuine GM, partnr. 55557240
  • Gasket cylinder head, genuine GM, partnr. 9185695
  • Gasket exhaust manifold, genuine GM, partnr. 55557285
  • Valve stem seals, genuine GM, partnr. 5955570
  • Timing and balance kit, genuine GM, partnr. 93184480
  • Turbo charger full fitting kit, alternative, partnr. 21349999
  • Exhaust manifold repair kit, alternative, partnr. 21347280
  • Timing cover, genuine GM, partnr. 9542622 (used but in good condition)
  • Pressure relief valve spring, genuine GM, partnr. 9309998
  • Pressure relief valve, genuine GM, partnr. 9167784
  • Replaced the timing cover
  • Replaced the oil pump gears
  • Replaced the oil pickup seal
  • Replaced the oil transfer pipe seals
  • Replaced the pump cover seal
  • Flushed and cleaned the oil cooler
  • Replaced oil cooler seals
  • Replaced oil filter (multiple times already)
  • Exchanged oil thermostat

Not replaced

  • Cilinder head, before fitting the head has been milled to make it straight flattened again.
  • Turbo, Garret T25
  • Oil cooler (flushed and blasted clean with 8 bar air) 
  • Oil filter housing

As the – timing and balancing kit – didn’t include the correct sprockets for the balance rods i decided to leave the chain off, left the rods in the engine and placed a blanking plate under the balance chain tensioner to avoid possible oil leakage.

Mounted everything together and measured, using a mechanical pressure gauge, to see if the pressure was stable. After running the engine to a normal operational temperature everything seemed fine. While running idle the oil pressure measured ±2.1 bar.

Argghhhh, not again!

Took the car for a test drive. After 15 minuten, engine heated up again to normal values and at the traffic light i noticed that the oil light was flickering again. However when touching the gas pedal for just a little bit the light went off.

So the while idling the oil pressure dropped from the idle ±2.1 bar to a minimal low point at ± 0.55 bar but did rise again while revving the engine. So seems as the visocity changes the problem arises.

As i have added a sandwhich plate between the engine and the oilfilter, i can read the values from the Equus oil pressure gauge, which ranges from 0 to 7 bar.

Got the engine back into the garage again.

Now what? Now i am completely lost at this point.



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T5 family car

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A new era… Diesel

Just got myself a 9³ OG 2.2 TiD – 1999.


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SAAB connecting your phone to AUX

The stock audio is certainly the best looking audio system you can get, imho. Audiophiles could opt for a better quality system but my personal preference is the SAAB AS2/AS3 system. While commuting i tend to listen to podcasts on a regular basis. So the sound quality isn’t my highest priority.

However the delivery of the podcast from my phone to the my ears has some technical challenges as BT wasn’t widely spread among cars nor was the need for AUX input widely adopted.

There are several aftermarket kits available to equip your SAAB with a AUX input;


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