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 Help, on holiday, notchy/impossible gear change
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deggsie
V4 Fanatic

United Kingdom
403 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  15:18:04 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I thought all original bolts/nuts on these models were imperial sizes (UNC), so there's a risk of slipping/rounding off if you use metric 'equivalents' ?

The illustration is a great help, Melle - they do say a picture paints a 1000 words !
Wish I'd had a copy when I 'lost' reverse a couple of years ago.

Glad to hear you're mobile again, Andy. Not sure now if I'm going to make it to Alford on Sunday.

___________________________
Saab - beyond the conventional !
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
3388 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  15:57:42 Show Profile Reply with Quote
All nuts and bolts are imperial except for the engine.

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
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andydeans3
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1550 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2014 :  15:37:35 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Well problem came back today, with vengeance.....Been fine yesterday. It's the intermittent nature of this problem, that I can't get my head round.
Checked the gearbox oil before setting off. Very slightly on the low side, but nothing to worry about. Thank you Mr Willcox for your gear box dipstick. Boy that makes life easier!

I've just driven 100 miles back from Aviemore, home. Started off badly in Aviemore main street, causing traffic jams, and no doubt comments from the guys stuck behind me, about "old cars"....
The car drove fine all day yesterday.

Some more symptoms...
Very, very hard to get her into first. If I put her in reverse first, move back a tad, then I can get her into 1st just, but then she won't come out of first. Seriously stuck in first. Letting the clutch out, things don't feel right, hard to explain. Sort of a judder on the clutch. Sound from the gearbox, moving forward slowly in 1st, doesn't sound "right". Whining a bit more than normal would be a good description. Finally after fiddling, pushing pulling a bit, I'll get her out first, but no way, to get into second. Again, after pushing, pulling a bit, can get her into 3rd, and off we go. 4th no problem.

During the journey south on the A9, I could feel at times, that everything was back to normal.
Occasionally needing to go down to third, back to 4th. No issues. Freewheel engaged, no clutch needed. Also moved down to 2nd a couple of times, with no issue.
There NEVER is any issue between 4th to 3rd, and back to 4th when moving along nicely.

At a junction for example, 4th/3rd/2nd, off we go, no issues. An hour later, stuck in Bankfoot coffee shop car park. Eventually got moving, and got home.....Checked the gearbox oil again. Fine.

The linkages on the gear change look fine, to my untrained eye. The car is a LHD, so it has a somewhat less complicated lever arrangement above the box.

Any more thoughts?

I'll probably try and get her across to Edinburgh, to Central Saabs, but the thought of getting into heavy city traffic with this problem, is daunting.

I'll be going to Alford tomorrow in the MGB Roadster....


Andy

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

Edited by - andydeans3 on 19 Jul 2014 15:41:52
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pchristy
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1788 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2014 :  09:57:41 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Uuurrgghh! That sounds really nasty, and I don't know what else to advise.

Only one other thing occurs to me, and that is that the adjustment bolts shown in Melle's excellent diagram haven't been tightened sufficiently, and that the adjustment is changing. Either that or one of the gearbox mounts has failed, allowing the gearbox to move around. You should be able to check the rear one through the hole in the bulkhead. Could the retaining bolt have come loose? The other one is that rod that goes from the inner wing to the gearbox.

Going slightly off track here for a moment, Melle's otherwise brilliant drawing gives the impression that the adjustment is carried out by tugging/pushing on the steering wheel. Not so! Its the panel containing the ignition switch that should be moved fore and aft for adjustment.



--
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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dansp1
V4 Beginner

51 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2014 :  17:16:40 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I am still unsure from your description if the fault is with the clutch not clearing or the adjustment of the linkage.
with the engine off are you able to select the gears ok?
if the clutch is new, how was the pilot bearing in the back of the crank? if that is tight, not allowing the first motion shaft to move independantly from the flywheel you will have great difficulty selecting first, likely to get worse with a hot engine...
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
3388 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2014 :  23:43:49 Show Profile Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pchristy
Its the panel containing the ignition switch that should be moved fore and aft for adjustment.
You're absolutely right Pete, I'll amend the illustration tomorrow to avoid any possible confusion!

I've never heard of problems with new pilot bearings before, but dansp1's suggestion sounds absolutely plausible. I can imagine that a new bearing that hasn't been primed with oil in the right way can cause this sort of issue.

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

United Kingdom
343 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2014 :  12:47:49 Show Profile Reply with Quote
It doesn't seem to have been mentioned whether the issue is occurring when changing gear using the freewheel. If gear change is OK with the freewheel, then it's a clutch problem.

It's just about possible to drive around without any clutch whatsoever using freewheel. Although standing starts are a bit tricky.
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
3388 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2014 :  13:08:24 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I understand the problem also exists with the freewheel engaged. If the primary shaft keeps spinning at engine speed because it's stuck in the pilot bushing, I imagine the gears won't sync. Something in the same line of reasoning as a tight pilot bearing (thinking out loud now): do the engine and box mate correctly? No loose bolts? If not exactly lined up things won't work well I would say. Same for a bent primary shaft (very unlikely) or shot primary shaft bearings.

By the way: new and improved image on previous page.

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

United Kingdom
361 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2014 :  21:07:58 Show Profile Reply with Quote
We don't seem to have discussed the operation of the clutch hydraulics yet.

Can I suggest you check you have fluid in the reservoir, and take a close look at the bulkhead where the master cylinder mounts. You are looking for cracks that allow the cylinder to flex slightly when clutch is applied. Check inside too under the dash where the operating rod comes through the bulkhead. If that happens it reduces the effective movement of the clutch. Rare but not unheard of. Get someone to push the clutch while you watch the master cylinder for unwanted movement.

Similarly make sure your hose to the slave cylinder isn't bulging under pressure, and that the slave itself isn't moving around.
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Andyinthegarage
V4 Fanatic

United Kingdom
361 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2014 :  21:26:11 Show Profile Reply with Quote
...and if that doesn't reveal anything, and also thinking out loud...

Intermittent implies something changes and changes back again, which can only be (working from the hand)...

Gear linkages - seems doubtful that these would "self adjust" in and out - once out they would likely stay out. You can try the adjustment using the under-dash bolts but I would expect a progressive fault not an intermittent one.

Position and angle of the box itself - moving mounts. Check the engine mountings at the front, the bolts on the bellhousing, the rubber mounted stabiliser bars at the side of the box (including the one low on the nearside near the passenger bulkhead) and the rear mount which is seen from inside the car, in the middle of the bulkhead under the carpet and hardboard. It is going to be difficult to see what might be happening under load but if it is tight then chances are it isnt moving when driving.

Problems inside the box are only going to be revealed by stripping, and as you have checked there is fluid in there, there snot much else you can do apart from change the fluid. It is plausible that it has lost its lubricating /cooling properties and is allowing things to bind when warm but I would have thought you would suffer the problems more consistently.

Finally the clutch release bearing and clutch itself could be worn out but these are progressive faults that shouldnt just go away from time to time.

In my own mind I keep coming back to the hydraulics heat will very severely affect the operation of a clutch if it has any air in there. Air compresses rather well and I would suggest a pressure bleed to replace the fluid if you are in any way unsure.

Sorry but thats all I can think of for now.
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andydeans3
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1550 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2014 :  20:24:21 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I'd like to thank everyone for all the amazing input, and suggestions that have been made.
Andy, the man in Fa'kirk. Clutch fluid is fine, and there're no apparent anomalies on the movement of the clutch master or slave cylinder.
Melle,Dansp1. Really not sure about the pilot bearing at the back of the crank. I didn't build this engine, but it would seem strange for this problem to appear, and disappear, if it was a bearing problem.
I'm hoping to get the car across to Central Saabs, in Bonnyrig, near Edinburgh, tomorrow. When he's had a look, I'll report back.

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
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andydeans3
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1550 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2014 :  11:47:08 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Chaps
I've got the car back now, and she is driving fine, though second is still a bit "notchy", nothing like before though. Due to the intermittent nature of the problem, we'll have to see how it goes in the coming weeks.
Having bled and adjusted the clutch (which were fine), the only thing that the garage found was worn pins on the knuckle joint, in the gear linkage, above the gearbox. They tried to change the whole assembly, but it was found that the LHD format assembly, is a different length to the right hand drive assembly. Good to know for any others that have left hookers.
There is also some "float" on the shaft that goes into the gearbox.

Time will tell....

Andy

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
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sweedspeed
Starting Member

35 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2014 :  09:31:08 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Hi
Bit late now but I had the exact same issue on my '76 RHD 96. First was impossible unless you went into reverse first etc...
It turned out to be caused by the gearbox top cover. The selector fork sockets where worn due to massive play in the top cover selector pin this was causing misalignment when moving from one gear to the next as the selector forks did not always return to the "neutral" position.
I replaced the top cover for a better one as a quick fix until I had time to pull the box and promptly did another 5000 miles
Sorry for late response
HTH Mark


'71 97 Sonnet III
'72 99 OEM+
'76 96L V4
'74 95 Sleeper
'88 900 Jubilee
'96 9k SST
'98 9k Annie
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andydeans3
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1550 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2014 :  20:33:41 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Mark
Thanks for the information. We'll see how it goes. From what you say, getting the top cover off might be a good idea, if the problem returns.
There's certainly a lot of side play in the shaft going into the box From what you say I guess you an you get that cover off without pulling the box out?

Andy


1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
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Andyinthegarage
V4 Fanatic

United Kingdom
361 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2014 :  09:52:49 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Andy,

did you ever get to the bottom of this?

Andy
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