Thursday, November 29, 2007

Power Steering Leak

The darn power steering reservoir leaked all over my engine bay. The fluid was coming out of the nipple on the bottom of the tank. All I had to do was tighten the screw clamp on the hose, not a big deal, but it still grinds my gears that I have a mess under my hood and on the garage floor and that I was driving around with a nearly empty reservoir.

It obviously started out small and first made a mess, collected grime, then it went nuts and completely drained in my garage.

SAAB Secret: Retrieve Lost Turbo Pressure for FREE in Less Than a Minute

This trick comes from Chris 9-5, a moderator on the SaabCentral forums. It was in a thread from July of 2007. I found it while searching for Forge diverter valve information. The OP had posted about weak turbo pressure and Chris 9-5 suggested the following modification:

Remove the top vacuum tube from the boost control valve and then plug the loose tube.


Chris 9-5 explains that it bypasses a one way valve that can become faulty.

It worked wonders for the OP. Chris 9-5 recommended that only people with weak turbo symptoms should make this modification.

As far as I knew I didn't have any problems, the car drove as spirited as the day I purchased it. I had all the power I needed, the car was quick... so I naturally decided it wouldn't hurt anything to try this trick.

The results were dramatic! It is like driving a different car. My whole driving experience is totally enhanced. The most noticeable change is when the transmission kicks down at wide open throttle on the highway. I really feel the torque steer for the first time, just like the OP in the thread described.


Here is how I plugged the vacuum line; I found a bolt that was the right diameter and cut it down to about an inch long. I then painted the head to make it look nicer. It's that easy.

Some people in the thread didn't see a difference when they removed their line. Other people tried it and found the change remarkable. The people who have made this modification haven't seen any problems and I will make a post if I see any negative results on my 9-5. I'd say people should give this a try and see if they get back some turbo pressure. Just revert it back if there wasn't a positive change in performance.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

SAAB 9-5 Turbo Rebuild, Chapter 1

Previous Turbo Post 

This was going to be the weekend where I rebuilt my turbo. I got halfway into removing the turbo and I ran into a banjo bolt that wouldn't budge. Liquid wrench didn't help and my 12 point socket was starting to damage the bolt so I've put everything back together and will pick up some six point sockets for my 1/2inch wrench so I can give it another try.

The good news is that I think I can get to my stopping point again in half the time it took me last night... now that I know what I'm doing. What surprised me was the exhaust nuts came off  with no problem.

I also need to get a set of low profile ramps to raise the car instead of my stands. That should give me some more operating room under the car.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Saab 9-5 Blueprints

Here is a great website with blueprints of all sorts of things including Saab 9-5 blueprints. The website is, they have a number of Saab models on file.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Portable 12v Impact Wrench

I was amazed to find out that this 12 volt impact wrench actually works despite it looking like a Fisher-Price toy.

I picked it up at (cough)*Mart to speed along the caliper painting project. I didn't expect much from a battery powered pile of plastic, but I couldn't have removed or installed the lug bolts with a standard lug wrench as fast as I did with this thing. It has a 1/2 inch drive, claims to have 250lbs of torque, and I got it for $30 from the big blue store that all cheap crap comes from. I figure it will be a good thing to have on hand when I need to change a tire quickly in the field.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Painted Brake Calipers

I painted my brake calipers.  The directions are straightforward and on the package, no need to post them here. has the "paint systems" for under $40. I didn't buy my supplies for this project from Tirerack, but that is a great price.

Please kindly ignore the dirty wheels.

Rear wheel unpainted
Rear wheel painted

The entire process took longer than I was led to believe it would, but the results are worth it. Even my wife was impressed with how nice the car looks with painted calipers.