1992 C900 engine trouble

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billy bee
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:48 am
Number of Saabs currently owned: 1
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

1992 C900 engine trouble

Postby billy bee » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:02 am

Hi guys:

I recently installed a new radiator in my wife's 900S (non-turbo) convertible. I bled the system as described in the manual and it seemed to run fine for a while. Yesterday I was trolling around town and it started to heat up a little. Fan came on. No problem. By the time I got home, the temp gauge had crept to its upper reaches. The fan was no longer running. The check engine light came on and the car started pinging, stuttering, and stalling. I let the car cool down and checked the coolant reservoir. Empty. The upper hoses were empty. Lower hose was still filled with water and hot, although not too hot to touch.

I'm thinking I might have a blown head gasket. The car did not boil over, so, the coolant must be going out the exhaust pipe. I guess I might not have properly bled the system when I installed the radiator, but it was running fine for a few weeks and I checked the reservoir after a few heat cycles and all looked fine.

Thoughts? If overheated, do these heads warp easily?

Thanks,
Bill
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billy bee
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:48 am
Number of Saabs currently owned: 1
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

Re: 1992 C900 engine trouble

Postby billy bee » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:14 am

Quick update: Found a leak in the lower heater core hose. Car won't start or run.

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hutch
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:49 pm
Number of Saabs currently owned: 2
Location: Lancaster, PA

Re: 1992 C900 engine trouble

Postby hutch » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:13 pm

I'd pull the plugs and see if they have signs of coolant making its way into the combustion chamber...

I thought the 2.1 engines had a history of headgasket issues but it could also be a coincidence they happened at the same time. I would read the CEL codes and see what they say though to see what direction to start swapping in parts.

billy bee
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:48 am
Number of Saabs currently owned: 1
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

Re: 1992 C900 engine trouble

Postby billy bee » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:43 pm

Good thoughts. Thanks. I am not sure how to read the codes, but I'll do some research, check the plugs, and report back with my findings.

Any additional guidance in the meanwhile is welcome.

Thanks,
Bill
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DrewP
Posts: 2032
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:27 pm
Nickname: Half Price
Number of Saabs currently owned: 2
Location: Monrovia, CA

Re: 1992 C900 engine trouble

Postby DrewP » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:22 pm

Check the compression while it's cold and you've got it apart.
"You can educate ignorance, but you can't fix stupid."

hutch
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:49 pm
Number of Saabs currently owned: 2
Location: Lancaster, PA

Re: 1992 C900 engine trouble

Postby hutch » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:25 pm

Good call on the compression test, if you have the tool that will pretty clearly show you if something is wrong.

Heres a site for pulling the CEL codes, you need to find a little plug under the back seat and use a switch to ground it to get the codes. That will help narrow it down but they can still be sort of vague and I think there are some codes that will show just because the car is turned off.

http://www.swedishwrench.com/flashcode.htm

I'm trying to find the link but I actually downloaded the entire 900 Service Manual, all 600mb worth, I'm gonna keep looking for where I found it as if you don't have the Bentley manual it is very helpful and goes into a little more detail of how to check individual components.

billy bee
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:48 am
Number of Saabs currently owned: 1
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

Re: 1992 C900 engine trouble

Postby billy bee » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:36 pm

I have compression and leak-down testers. Leak down usually tells the tale. I have to get the car to my garage to run the tests. That usually means renting a dolly (or borrowing a trailer) and finding the time...

Thanks for the thoughts. I'll report back when I have some more info.

Bill
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