Time for a head gasket change on the Black Beauty!

Tonight we are gonna start on replacing the head gasket on the black 2.0i. The parts are in place and purchased at J&D’s in Vinkeveen.

What will be replaced:
Head gasket – 9181348
Air inlet gasket
Exhaust gasket
Head cover gasket – 8822041
Cylinder head bolts – 81012000
Coolant thermostat
Valve gaskets
Oil filter – 5556020


Update: 18-08-2011 @ 01:04 hours:

This is how it looks like before the operation. Let’s see how the patient is feeling!

This stinks and doesn’t look nice, below the detailed pictures.

Cylinder position 1; fairly ok, but the spark plug is not inserted straight into the socket, so changing sparkplugs is out of the question

Cylinder position 2; Also here some moran had inserted the spark plug non-straight, with too much force, so changing sparkplugs is a no-go. Also a crack in the bridge is easy to spot.

Cylinder position 3; Cracked bridge, although not very good visable but it’s there.

Cylinder position 4; Kinda ok.

This head is now re-defined as wasted, gone, scrap and so on!

The block it self needs some good old TLC in order to receive the new gasket and head again. We will clean this mess up for a tidy installation.

Just a little further away…

Here you can see how crooked the sparkplug is inserted. We tried to pull it out using the handle of the powerjack to get more torque but is was undoable.




Another head, skimmed and pressure tested, has arrived!

Update 21-08-2011:

Today we mounted the skimmed spare head onto the 900, this didn’t go without injuries as I cut my finger bloody deep.

We also replaced the valve stem gaskets using our Frankenstein tool.






Update 25-08-2011:
The head gasket is now changed and we had to get the air out of the lubrication system of the head. As this is not well enough documented in the Haynes manual (the Donald Duck magazine of the car repair manuals) we stumbled upon section 213-4 of the Bentley’s SAAB 900 16 valves bible. Here is explained how to bleed the head. Before bleeding the head many tiny air bubbles were visible on the dipstick while checking oil after starting. Bleeding the air out of the head solved this problem.

When multiple valves are ticking or making sound, bleeding the head may be necessary:
– Take off the head cover by unscrewing the 16 bolds from the head.
– untighten the black bold (located on the inner side of the head) for three to four full turns
– take our the ignition amplifier, located in the left front wing.
– place the head cover on the head again and fasten this with at least two but preferably more screws.
– put a cloth into the middle of the head, on top of the spark plugs, to soak up excessive oil spillage.
– crank up the engine by starting it for 15 seconds.
– wait for 30 seconds
– fire up the starter again for 15 seconds.
– take a leak for 30 seconds.
– yank the starter for one more time, 15 countings in a row.
– remove the head cover again, watch out for the oil spilling.
– fasten the black bolt on camshaft bearing 5 to 15nm.
– put the cover including al the bolts in place again.
– start the engine and leave it running for some time

If everything fails contact Wouter! 🙂




26-09-2011 update:

During this morning drive to work the coolant temperature went up the roof. I decided to leave the SAAB behind near Utrecht at the Bijleveld gas station alongside the A12.

Later that evening I went back to check what the problem was. I reinstalled the thermostat as I didn’t pay attention to the jiggle. With the jiggle pointing towards heaven I mounted the thermostat housing back onto the head. Also the temperature sensor wire got a new connector as the was also flaky.

Driving home all problems are our yesterday’s worries. 🙂



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2 Responses to Time for a head gasket change on the Black Beauty!

  1. Megro says:

    “fasten the black bolt on camshaft bearing 5 to 63nm.”

    Shouldn’t that be 15 Nm.

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