Saab B204/B234 engine assembly. This engine is found in all four-cylinder Saab 900 and 9000 from 1994 to 1998, as well as 1999 9-3. Newer cars with B205/B235 engines have certain differences, but the procedure is largely the same.

Tools and supplies:

  • 27 mm socket: crankshaft pulley, timing chain tensioner;
  • 19 mm socket: flywheel;
  • 19 mm wrench: to hold camshafts when tightening;
  • 16 mm socket: spark plugs;
  • 14 mm socket: camshaft sprocket bolts;
  • 13 mm socket: drain plug;
  • 12 mm socket; chain tensioner plug, upper timing cover bolts;
  • Torx E16 socket: head bolts;
  • Torx T40 socket: timing cover, oil pan, valve cover;
  • Torx T30 socket: endplate, DI cassette, timing and balance chain gear;
  • torque wrench (or two - for high and low torque fasteners);
  • large snap ring pliers: oil pump cover;
  • rubber mallet;
  • gasket maker.

 

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02.07.2006: Crankshaft seals
Before starting the assembly, make sure you have all spare parts needed. This picture shows the endplate and oil pump cover with a pack of fresh seals for them.

 

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02.07.2006: Suspended
If you are using an engine stand that bolts on to the gearbox mounting points, you won't be able to attach the endplate. In this case, suspending the engine on a hoist does the job.

 

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02.07.2006: Endplate
Clean the endplate, tap the new seal in and apply a thin bead of sealant to the mating surface.

 

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02.07.2006: Endplate attached
Fit the plate and tighten the screws (Torx T30 socket). Wipe the excess sealant.

 

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02.07.2006: Flywheel
Attach the flywheel, apply some threadlock to the bolts and tighten them to 59 ft-lbs (19 mm socket). Use a flywheel stop or have a helper hold the crank pulley nut on the other end to prevent the crankshaft from spinning.

 

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02.07.2006: Back on the stand
Put the engine back on the stand. It might need some extra washers to clear the flywheel. Turn the flywheel to match the "0" mark on the endplate.

 

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02.07.2006: Balance shaft
Lubricate the balance shafts and carefully insert them trying not to scratch the bearing surfaces inside the block.

 

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02.07.2006: Shafts in
The shafts are the same, but the sprockets are not. The intake shaft has a smaller sprocket marked "INL", while the exhaust side is marked "EXH". Tighten the screws (Torx T30).

 

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03.07.2006: Chain and guides
Prepare a new timing chain and plastic guides.

 

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03.07.2006: Timing chain
Fit the timing chain sprocket and hang the chain off it so the colored link matches the notch on the sprocket (there are two other colored links on the other end of the chain that will match the camshafts).

 

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03.07.2006: Chain guard
Attach the chain guard (two Torx T30 screws).

 

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03.07.2006: Guides
Fit the guides. The fixed guide is held by two long T30 screws, while the swivel guide just sits on a big pin.

 

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03.07.2006: Balance shaft
Turn the balance shafts so the notch matches the mark on the housing.

 

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03.07.2006: Balance chain
Fit the balance chain sprocket, the small swivel guide and the balance shaft chain.

 

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03.07.2006: Tensioner
Push the piston on the balance chain tensioner in and lock it with a pin or a paper clip.

 

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03.07.2006: Tensioner fitted
Attach the tensioner and tighten the screws to 7.4 ft-lbs (the factory manual makes a big deal about it).

 

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03.07.2006: Idle sprocket
Fit the balance chain idler sprocket (Torx T40).

 

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03.07.2006: Upper guide
Attach the upper balance chain guide with two more T30 screws (the engine is upside down, so it's at the bottom) and release the tensioner. Turn the crankshaft and check if the shaft notches are still in sync with a "0" mark on the flywheel after a few revolutions.

 

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03.07.2006: No chain
If you choose to build the engine without a balancing chain, you can leave the shafts and sprockets in to preserve the proper oil flow. Just replace the swivel guide with a spacer so it doesn't rattle inside the engine.

 

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03.07.2006: Timing cover
Clean the mating surfaces of the timing cover and apply a bead of sealant.

 

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03.07.2006: Timing cover
Fit the cover and tighten the bolts to 16 ft-lbs (Torx T40 socket).

 

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03.07.2006: Oil pump
Lubricate and insert the oil pump gears making sure that the marking on the oil pump ring gear is facing out and the pump gear with flange facing in.

 

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03.07.2006: Oil pump cover
Tap a new seal into the oil pump cover, put the cover on and secure it with a snap ring.

 

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03.07.2006: Oil tube
Fit the oil feed tube and refresh the O-rings on it. Screw in the reducer valve.

 

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03.07.2006: Oil pan
Attach the pickup screen and the splash guard inside the oil pan, apply a bead of sealant to the flange.

 

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03.07.2006: Pan fitted
Tighten the oil pan screws to 16 ft-lbs (Torx T40). Fit a fresh drain plug washer.

 

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03.07.2006: Crankshaft pulley
Slide the crankshaft pulley on (mind the oil seal in the oil pump cover) and tighten the 27 mm bolt to 130 ft-lbs.

 

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04.07.2006: Top of the block
Turn the block upright and clean the upper surface.

 

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04.07.2006: TDC mark
Turn the crankshaft pulley to match the TDC mark.

 

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04.07.2006: Head and gasket
Prepare the head with a fresh gasket. Clean the head flange thoroughly.

 

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04.07.2006: Gasket
Put the gasket on top of the block, make sure it clears the locating dowels.

 

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04.07.2006: Head
Set the camshafts to zero (see the markings on the #1 cap) and put the head carefully on the block.

 

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04.07.2006: Head bolts
A new set of head bolts is needed to attach a head. The old bolts are already stretched and won't provide a proper clamping force.

 

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04.07.2006: Head bolts
Tighten the bolts to 44 ft-lbs in the order shown. Then do a second pass and tighten them to 59 ft-lbs. Grab a bigger wrench and do a third pass, turning every bolt an extra 90°.

 

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04.07.2006: Camshafts
Fit camshaft sprockets, starting with the intake side. Check that both camshafts and the crankshaft remain at their "0" mark. Screw the sprocket bolts in but not tighten them yet.

 

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04.07.2006: Tensioner
Take apart the timing chain tensioner and clean it. Press on the catch and compress the piston completely.

 

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04.07.2006: Tensioner
Install the tensioner with a new washer while keeping it in a compressed state. Tighten to 47 ft-lbs (27 mm socket). Insert the spring and tighten the plug to 16 ft-lbs.

 

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04.07.2006: Sprocket bolts
Rotate the crankshaft clockwise and ensure that zero marks on the camshafts and crank pulley are still in sync after a few revolutions. Tighten sprocket bolts to 47 ft-lbs (14 mm socket), tighten the two upper timing cover bolts to 16 ft-lbs (12 mm socket).

 

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04.07.2006: Valve cover
Clean the valve cover and renew the upper timing chain guide. Apply some soap to the valve cover gasket so it sticks to the groove.

 

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04.07.2006: Valve cover
Fit the valve cover, make sure the gasket fills the half-moon openings correctly and is not jammed anywhere. Tighten the bolts to 11 ft-lbs in the order shown (Torx T40).

 

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04.07.2006: Spark plugs
Gap the spark plugs and tighten them to 20 ft-lbs. NGK BCPR7ES are the plugs most recommended for this application.

 

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04.07.2006: DI cassette
Install the ignition module and tighten the screws to 8 ft-lbs. Congratulations, you've built yourself an engine!

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