Manual transmission removal on a 1996 Saab 900 (applies to all 1994-1998 900 and 1999-2002 9-3). The goal was to install a new clutch and replace the transmission with a newer, stronger unit. This article covers gearbox removal only, for installation refer to this section.

Tools:

  • 22 mm crowfoot wrench: O2 sensors;
  • 19 mm socket: flywheel bolts;
  • 18 mm socket: transmission, subframe bolts;
  • 18 mm wrench: ball joint nuts;
  • 17 mm socket: wheel bolts;
  • 16 mm socket: subframe bolts, engine mounts;
  • 15 mm socket: transmission mount bolts, control arms (optional);
  • 13 mm socket: exhaust, downpipe, shift linkage, battery;
  • 13 mm wrench: delivery pipe bolt;
  • 12 mm socket: pressure plate bolts;
  • 11 mm socket: flywheel cover bolts, subframe brace nuts;
  • 10 mm socket: battery base bolts;
  • 9 mm wrench: battery terminals (13 mm on 9-3);
  • 8 mm Allen socket: transmission drain plug;
  • 8 mm hex screwdriver: lower shield screws;
  • 7 mm hex screwdriver: delivery pipe hose clamps (or a flat screwdriver);
  • 3 mm L-shaped Allen key: transmission lock;
  • engine support beam or engine crane;
  • car jacks and axle stands;
  • breaker bar.

 

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21.01.2006: Battery
Disconnect both cables from the battery (negative first!). Unscrew the 13 mm bolt at the battery base.

 

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21.01.2006: Battery base
Lift the battery and store it in a safe place. Unbolt the battery mounting plate (two 10 mm bolts) and remove it from the car.

 

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21.01.2006: Delivery pipe
Release the hose clamp on the lower end of the delivery pipe. Unhook the vacuum line from the bypass valve (as well as the return hose if you have it).

 

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21.01.2006: Delivery pipe
Remove the hose clamp from the throttle body side of the delivery pipe. Unbolt the pipe from the engine (13 mm wrench).

 

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21.01.2006: Delivery pipe
Remove the delivery pipe from the car. Plug the intercooler hose and throttle body inlet to keep the dirt away.

 

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21.01.2006: Fourth gear
Move the shifter into fourth gear.

 

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21.01.2006: Transmission lock
Remove the plastic plug on top of the transmission and insert a thin L-shaped Allen key to lock it in gear.

 

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21.01.2006: Linkage
Use a 13 mm socket with a long extention to loosen the nut on the shifter linkage.

 

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21.01.2006: Third gear
Move the shifter into third gear position to separate the shifting rod from the linkage.

 

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21.01.2006: Cable
If you have a cable clutch, unhook the cable from the lever on top of the transmission. If it is hydraulic, pull the clip to detach the clutch line from its nipple and quickly plug it to minimize fluid loss.

 

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21.01.2006: Cable
Pull the cable from its seat on the other end of the transmission.

 

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21.01.2006: Reverse switch
Unplug the reverse gear switch.

 

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21.01.2006: Wheels
Loosen wheel nuts (17 mm wrench).

 

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21.01.2006: In the air
Raise the front of the car, remove the wheels, take off the plastic shields under the bumper.

 

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21.01.2006: Brace
Remove the subframe brace if equipped (11 mm socket for MP Performance version).

 

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21.01.2006: Exhaust joint
Unscrew the rear O2 sensor (22 mm crowfoot socket), remove the clamp from the exhaust pipe (13 mm socket). Unbolt the two rear engine mount nuts sitting in the round holes in the subframe (16/17 mm socket).

 

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21.01.2006: Downpipe
Unbolt the front O2 sensor (22 mm crowfoot) and detach the downpipe from the turbo (three 13 mm nuts).

 

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21.01.2006: Downpipe
Unhook the rubber hangers and remove the downpipe from the car.

 

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21.01.2006: Linkage
Unbolt the linkage from the shifter rod on the transmission (13 mm socket).

 

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21.01.2006: Linkage
Detach the linkage support arm from the ball pin on the differential housing (or pull it from the eye on the mount if you have an old-style linkage).

 

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21.01.2006: Linkage
Remove the gearshift linkage from the car.

 

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21.01.2006: Engine support
Unbolt the rear engine mount from the subframe, install an engine support beam on the fenders, attach it to the lifting hook on the head and pull up slightly to ensure it takes the weight of the engine.

 

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21.01.2006: Subframe bolts
Start removing the subframe bolts. The rear bolts holding the stanchion arms take a 16 mm socket, the middle ones are 18 mm.

 

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21.01.2006: Subframe bolts
The bolts in front have a 16 mm head as well. With all bols removed, the subframe will be hanging on just the ball joints.

 

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21.01.2006: Ball joint
You can usually separate the ball joints by unscrewing the nut a bit, and hitting the knuckle with a heavy hammer (the weight of the subframe helps to release the ball joints).

 

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21.01.2006: Jack
If the ball joints cannot be defeated, unbolt the control arms from the subframe. Jack it up so it doesn't drop to the ground right away.

 

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21.01.2006: Subframe
Lower the subframe to the ground and drag it away. In my case, I succeeded in separating one ball joint, and unbolted the control arm on the other side.

 

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21.01.2006: Subframe bolts
The subframe bolts left to right: rear, middle, front. Don't lose the washers that go between the subframe and the body above the stanchion arms.

 

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21.01.2006: Transmission oil
With the subframe out of the way, it's now easy to remove tha drain plug (8 mm Allen socket) and drain the transmission oil.

 

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21.01.2006: Driveshaft
Prop a wide flat chisel against the differential housing and push on the other end to pop the driveshaft. It should slide right out.

 

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21.01.2006: Driveshaft
Suspend the driveshaft (or remove it completely if you unbolted the axle nut).

 

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21.01.2006: Flywheel cover
Unbolt the flywheel cover at the bottom of the transmission (two 11 mm bolts).

 

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21.01.2006: Upper bolts
Remove the three upper bolts attaching the transmission to the engine (18 mm socket).

 

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21.01.2006: Transmission mount
Detach the small wire on the side of the transmission (13 mm socket). Unbolt the transmission mount from the body (two 15 mm bolts), lower the engine slightly to free up the mount.

 

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21.01.2006: Mount bracket
Unhook the big ground wire from the transmission (17 mm socket). Unbolt the bracket from the transmission (and the mount itself from the bracket if it helps to remove it).

 

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21.01.2006: Rear bolt
Remove the rear transmission bolt (18 mm socket).

 

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21.01.2006: Lowering
Lower the engine as much as needed to get a good access to the transmission.

 

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21.01.2006: Jacks
If you don't have a specialized transmission jack, a couple of regular ones will support it from below. Just make sure it's balanced right so it won't slide sideways and fall to the ground when you detach it from the engine.

 

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21.01.2006: Front bolt
Undo the last bolt holding the transmission. If you were lucky enough to detach a control arm from the subframe, you can use its bolt as a guiding pin in place of the shorter original bolt. Gently pry the transmission away from the engine.

 

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21.01.2006: Transmission down
The main shaft will slide right out, but the intermediate shaft might not want to separate, so in the worst case you'll have to unbolt it from the block under the alternator. Lower the transmission to the ground.

 

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24.06.2006: Crane
A shop crane makes transmission removal much easier. Older gearboxes have one hole for a lifting eye, newer ones might have two.

 

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21.01.2006: Transmission
Move the transmission away and unbolt the rear engine mount bracket if you're planning to transfer it to a new gearbox.

 

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21.01.2006: Pressure plate
The flywheel will turn a bit, so you might need to came up with a way to hold it in place while unbolting the pressure plate (six 12 mm bolts).

 

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21.01.2006: Flywheel
If the flywheel is visibly scratched or scored, or has cracks in it, you need to remove it from the engine and take to a machine shop for resurfacing.

 

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21.01.2006: Old clutch
The poor clutch shows painful signs of trying to hold the stage3 power.

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