A rebuild of the gearshift linkage on the 1996 Saab 900. The procedure is performed on the old style linkage found on the 94-96 model years. The linkage on my car grew very loose and caused a lot of free play in the shifter. The ideal approach would have been to install a new linkage of the updated design, but with the cost of the new part being $200 USD, a free rebuild attempt seemed rather attractive. The rebuild proved successful, resulting in a much tighter and more precise shifter feel.

To remove the linkage, first lock the transmission in fourth gear and undo the clamp that connects the linkage to the gearshift rod as described in the shifter alignment procedure.


  • 13 mm socket;
  • long socket extension;
  • ratchet handle;
  • torque wrench;
  • two L-shaped 3 mm Allen keys;
  • needle-nose pliers.

With transmission locked in 4th gear and the clamp undone, move the shifter to the 3rd gear position to disconnect the rod from the linkage. Undo the bolt connecting the linkage to the transmission (13 mm).

Slide the linkage from the transmission rod towards the firewall. This will effectively remove the other side of the linkage from the bushing on the engine mount. The bushing is covered by a rubber boot that's attached to the linkage. Pull the boot off upwards and remove it together with the linkage.

The linkage on the table. With 267K on the car, it has a lot of play in it.

Undo the locking pins with needle nose pliers and take the linkage apart. Clean the dirt and examine the condition of the parts.

The plastic plugs appeared to be worn, so I added a thin nylon washer in between the plastic and metal parts on each side, and assembled the linkage with fresh grease.
Ready to go

Put the boot on and install the linkage back on the car. Tighten the bolt on the transmission rod to 15.5 ft-lbs. Re-insert the shifter rod into the the linkage at the firewall and complete the alignment procedure.

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