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 Help, on holiday, notchy/impossible gear change
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andydeans3
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1550 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  13:16:47 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Folks

Up north on holiday with the car. I'm starting to have real problems changing gear, especially into 1st, and on into 2nd. Once moving along, not so bad to get into 3rd and 4th, though not easy.
I have tried tightening in the clutch clearance, and locking the freewheel. Doesn't seem to make any difference.
Clutch intermittently gives a judder, when trying to engage 1st. Then seems OK again
Clutch and engine are brand new. (3000 miles)
In the last 10 minutes, giving her another run up the road, it seems now to be OK, but I'm sure it will come back.

Causing chaos in Aviemore main street!

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Andy



1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo

UK_Sub
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2322 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  13:23:32 Show Profile Reply with Quote
check the gearbox mounts and if ok, you can try adjusting the column fore/aft until you get the gears working smoothly again...
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deggsie
V4 Fanatic

United Kingdom
403 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  13:46:54 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I'd be inclined to suspect the gear linkage on the steering column.

___________________________
Saab - beyond the conventional !
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austingipsy
Starting Member

United Kingdom
47 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  14:29:06 Show Profile Reply with Quote
are you leaking clutch fluid ? .....well not you personally, that would be alarming ! maybe the slave has burst it's seal but you'd know from pedal feel i guess.
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andydeans3
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1550 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  19:08:34 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Thanks for responses guys.

Clutch action seems to be fine. Had the wife in the driver's seat operating the clutch.
Having peeled back the rubber boots, I observed the clutch movement, which seemed fine.

UK_Sub - How exactly do you adjust the column fore/aft? I stupidly left the workshop manual at home.

Andy

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
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Zagato
V4 Mad

United Kingdom
809 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  19:53:12 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I had the same but luckily it happened just as I coming into a SAAB club meet and Wal & Tony did it for me. I had to do it on another and even though I have just been outside to look I can't remember how to do it. There are two bolts you need to loosen to adjust the column, I think they maybe around the lower dash area to column. It only takes really small adjustments, real pain in the ass to do as just tightening the bolts can alter the adjustment. Sorry cannot be of any more assistance. Taking off the vent box by the ignition switch may help discover the bolts!

Might be good idea to mark the position somehow before you move it just in case the problem isn't column adjustment.
1977 96L Opal Green

Edited by - Zagato on 16 Jul 2014 19:58:09
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UK_Sub
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2322 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  19:56:46 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I stand to be corrected here, but by memory, I think there's 2 x 8mm(?) bolts holding the steering column where it meets the dash. Slacken these off and you'll find the steering column can be pushed away or pulled towards you. Hopefully you'll find the point where all 5 gears work and then tighten up the bolts again.

I'll dig the manual out of the garage and see if Haynes makes any more sense than that... or if I'm talking bobbins!

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deggsie
V4 Fanatic

United Kingdom
403 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  21:49:05 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Andy
Neither Haynes nor the Saab Service Manual are very specific on this and add little to what UK Sub says.

Haynes - "Loosen the screws under the fascia panel and adjust the position of the steering column shroud. The tension pins need only to be driven out if the screws are to be removed" (ie if the column is to be removed).

The manuals mention a test for correct operation - "Engage top gear and push the gear lever towards the fascia panel and then pull it away. The total movement of the gearchange lever knob should be between 8mm to 12mm".

Hope this helps.

Derek

___________________________
Saab - beyond the conventional !
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Woody
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2542 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  23:10:05 Show Profile Reply with Quote
If you are having difficulty with 1st and 2nd, can you get reverse ok?
to adjust column you need a 13mm flat ring spanner to slacken the bolts located behind the dashboard, one apprx behind/above the ignition barrel and the other behind the auxiliary hole the other side of column stand.
I would anticipate that you need to bring the column stand a tad towards the steering wheel. Nip up and check linkage operation.
You might find it useful to drop the fresh air vent down by loosening the two screws underneath, and remove any radio if you have one on the right side of dashboard.
AAH your car is LHD so some of comments are reversed.

Edited by - Woody on 17 Jul 2014 11:42:39
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andydeans3
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1550 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  10:13:58 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Chaps
Well, this morning, having taken the old Troll for a run round Aviemore, all is well. This begs the question, what was the problem, and will it come back?
Nothing worse than intermittent car problems....!!

The only thing I did was tighten the clutch free play a tad yesterday. That did nothing at the time...gear change is fine now, delayed action perhaps?
Having said that, the gears were hard/impossible to locate while in free wheel, when the clutch doesn't come into the equation.

I located the steering column/gear-change fixing bolts that some of you referred, though I didn't touch them.

Here's hoping I get home on Saturday.

Andy



1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
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pchristy
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1788 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  12:34:16 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I found 13mm a bit loose on those bolts when I adjusted mine. I think they are 1/2". At least, for me, 1/2" worked better in the limited (and knuckle grazing!) space available!

Andy: There's lots of springs down at the bottom of the gearshift linkage, where the universal joints are. Its possible one of those may have come dislodged or broken. Also check that "rubber-ring" type flexi joint in the link between the column and the box. If that's split it can cause problems.

My 95 has a much more precise shift than my 96, and I think its because that linkage with the universal joints in it is worn. Has anyone come across anyone refurbishing these? Malbrads don't list them.....



--
Pete
"Duct tape is like the Force: It has a light side and a dark side, and it binds the Universe together!"
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
3388 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  12:36:31 Show Profile Reply with Quote
The difference is only 0.3mm, but you need a 1/2" spanner not 13mm. It's an easy operation that is really hard to describe for some reason. I've adjusted many steering columns myself at meetings for people who didn't understand the Haynes description. I'm sure that next time they're able to help others as it's really easy once you've seen how it's done. Hope this helps:



1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V

Edited by - melle on 21 Jul 2014 12:54:39
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Derek
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2041 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  12:41:06 Show Profile Reply with Quote
LHD cars have a much simpler gear change mechanism so should be less sensitive, or prone, to poor adjustment. You rarely see comments about this problem on USA forums. There is also the side "torque strut" that can be adjusted to rotate the engine and gearbox a bit and this apparently can help with this adjustment. Again maybe more useful for RHD cars. Is this in the same place on the LHD cars?
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
3388 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  12:45:05 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Yes it is. I'm not on any of the US forums but I have a lot of experience with LHD 95/96 and I can assure you that this is a known problem with LHD cars as well.

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
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UK_Sub
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2322 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  13:08:07 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Did you make that illustration?

It makes the explanation a lot easier to follow.
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
3388 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  13:11:03 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Yes, with a little help from the factory manual and Photoshop.

Loosening the bolts just a bit should be enough to move the column up and down.

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
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