Saab 900 Frequently Asked Questions 1986 - 1994
Special Thanks to Tom Townsend of Townsend Imports for allowing us to use this information he worked on so diligently. Thanks Tom!
SAAB 900 ALTERNATOR REPLACEMENT 16V
- STEP 1 Disconnect the battery negative cable and the wiring to the alternator. Remove the alternator belts (you don't have to take all the belts off, just remove the alt adjusting bolt and pull the alternator closer to the engine and remove the belts from the alternator). Now let the alternator fall back away from the engine as far as it will. Removing the a/c belt and loosening the two 6 mm Allen's holding the top of the a/c compressor bracket to the head now will ease later stages.
- STEP 2 Remove the nut from the bottom bolt holding the alternator to its lower bracket. Do this by getting a wrench on the nut to hold it and turn the 17 mm bolt from the front. The bolt is too long to come out of the bracket as it will hit the firewall, but pull it out until it just misses the firewall, you use it for a lever in a sec. Now remove the 6 mm Allen at the rear of the alt lower bracket, holding it to the block, a long extension, a swivel and a 6 mm Allen socket make this easy, but you can do it with a regular Allen wrench. This bolt would have been blocked by the oil filter. Now remove the 12 mm bolt holding the bottom of the a/c compressor bracket. It is long and you can just get it past the alternator with the long 17 mm (lever) bolt pulled back. A long extension and a swivel 12 mm socket make this easy, but you can do it with a wrench.
- STEP 3 Now use the long 17 mm bolt in the bottom of the alt to turn the bracket up, swiveling it on the remaining 'hidden' 6 mm Allen in its lower point, until the bracket turns enough to allow you to remove the 17 mm bolt past the firewall and out of the alt and bracket. The alternator will now come out, though you will have to maneuver it past the heater hoses and wiring and brake master cylinder.
Replacing the Alternator Bushings
- STEP 1 Once the alternator is out, now is the time to change the rubber bushings in the bracket for the alternator as well as the bushings in the upper adjusting arm for the alt where it meets the block/timing cover. These bushings harden up and allow excessive vibration of the alternator, increasing wear on the belts and water pump. A little shot of WD-40 will aid in the installation of the new bushings.
Replacing Voltage Regulator bushings
- STEP 1 Before you go through this though, check the brushes on the voltage regulator. You can remove them from the alternator with it still on the car by the means of two screws holding the regulator to the alt. If they are less than 8-10 mm long, they are probably the reason the alternator quit working. You can also buy just the voltage regulator that comes with new brushes already installed.
Thanks to Tom Maroun for contributing to this FAQ!
- STEP 2 I had to remove the alternator and the lower bracket...it was cracked and replaced it. It went much easier when I took the oil filter off..it was on finger tight. I carefully pulled it (keeping it upright), poured the oil through a funnel into the oil filler tube and set the filter aside. When I replaced the 6 mm hex head bolt at the rear of the bracket, I simply put the oil filter back on. It gave me a lot of extra room to work. One more thing...I forgot to add. Take both heater hoses off at the firewall and bend them back, out of the way. It gives a lot of clearance to work. I didn't bother with the AC fan belt or loosening those bolts. I managed to get past that fairly easily.