Engine installation on a 1995 Saab 900 turbo.

Some find it easier to install the engine with the gearbox already attached, but it requires a load leveler so you could tilt the assembly, and I didn't have that. The room to fit them both through is rather tight, so I chose to install them separately.

The transmission can then be bolted on right after the engine is in, and this guide actually mixes engine installation with transmission installation steps. It is advised that you study the gearbox install guide beforehand.

When the job is complete, do not start the engine right away. Unplug the direct ignition cassette harness, pull the fuel pump fuse and crank the engine with the starter to build up sufficient oil pressure. You need a good battery charge for that. Then plug everything back in and start the engine.


  • 22 mm wrench: oil cooler lines;
  • 19 mm wrench: brake booster hose;
  • 16 mm socket: A/C compressor;
  • 15 mm socket: side engine mounts;
  • 13 mm wrench: steering pump bolts, delivery pipe;
  • 10 mm socket: cruise control unit;
  • 8 mm socket: MAP sensor;
  • 7 mm socket: hose clamps;
  • Torx T25 screwdriver: BPC;
  • long ½" extension: belt tensioner release;
  • engine support beam;
  • shop crane;
  • car jacks and axle stands.

Carefully lower the engine into the engine bay. Make sure it clears everything sticking out on its way down.
Engine mount

Align the engine so the passenger side mount can be attached to the body and tighten the bolts to 54 ft-lbs.
Support bar

Install the support bar across the fenders and take the weight off the crane. The engine will now rest on the passenger side mount and the support bar.

Now is the good time to install the transmission. It can be done at a later stage, but it's easier without having coolant hoses and wires in the way. It also allows to install the subframe right away and get rid of the support bar.
Steering pump

Attach the steering pump with three 13 mm bolts. The bolt location is rather awkward, and in most cases there's only enough room for a 1/6 or even 1/12 turn of a spanner at a time.
A/C compressor

Bolt the A/C compressor to the engine (three long 16 mm bolts). Plug the A/C clutch wire into its connector on the radiator. Attach oil cooler lines to the oil filter housing (22 mm wrench).

Lock the tensioner using a long ½" extension and a 2 mm pin and fit the accessory belt. The picture shows a short belt configuration with the middle idler pulley bypassed.

Install the airbox and connect the ribbed hose to the turbo inlet pipe.

Attach the boost pressure control valve to its proper location (two T25 screws) and route the cable around the airbox.
ECU harness

Feed the ECU harness back through the hole in the firewall and plug it with the rubber grommet.

Here's a custom Nordic stage4 ECU I'm using with my freshly built 2.3L engine.
ECU harness

Install the ECU (if you had it removed) and connect the wiring harnesses.
Fuel lines

Re-connect the fuel lines, the fuel tank vent line to the throttle body and the EVAP valve harness.
Cruise control

Install the cruise control unit (two plastic 10 mm nuts).
Throttle cable

Attach the cruise control and accelerator cables to the arm on the throttle body. Bolt on the brake booster vacuum line.

Connect the vacuum hose and the cable to the manifold pressure sensor (this picture shows the strut bar installed already).
Lower rad hose

Install the lower radiator hose. I'm using a newer style nose here, since it needs to clear the turbo hose to the cross-flow intercooler.
Radiator hoses

Attach the remaining coolant hoses: two heater core hoses, upper radiator hose, upper and lower expansion tank hoses.
Intercooler hose

Connect the intercooler inlet hose to the compressor housing on the turbo. Tighten the clamps well.
Delivery pipe

Install the delivery pipe from the intercooler to the throttle body. Tighten the 13 mm bolt that holds it to the engine head.

Bolt the downpipe to the turbo and screw in the O2 sensor (or both if you have an OBD II car).

Complete the transmission-related steps, fill the fluids and install the battery.

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