Monday, April 22, 2013


 It seems Sonett III owners all over the place have either lost their ignition keys, never had ignition keys, or the ignition switch finally packed it in.  These are the parts to make up four changeover ignition switch kits for those cars, and will be shipped out to owners whose wives have told them to "...get that damn can running or get rid of it!"
At the top of the photo are the mounts. Below that the switches and relays and finally, the connecting wires. Each wire has an identifying tag to make it easy for the owner to install the kit.
 Here is an assembled kit, viewed from the back. The switch is on the left. Next to it a 50 amp relay. In this photo, the wires have not yet been collected into a small bundle to "neaten things up".
Here is the front. The unit mounts right where the original Sonett III ignition assembly was mounted.  Once installed, you have to look closely to see that it is not the original. I include step by step instructions. All the wires are clearly marked to correspond to the wires you pull off the back of the old switch. This is about as close as you can get to "plug and play".  
Best of all, you get to keep both your Sonett AND your wife!  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


 SAAB V4 clutch problems are very often made worse by a worn clutch release arm. The drawing above shows the location of the release arm in the transmission bell housing, then [above and left] the release arm itself, and finally, above that, the fat arrow shows how the release arm gets worn where it holds the release bearing peg. These release arms are, of course, no longer available new, so the solution is to rebuild the arm by partially welding up the hole at the top and the "C" cup at the bottom, then machining them both out to fit the new release bearing.
 This nasty bugger is how most of 'em look when I get 'em. It's hard to see in this photo but the welding has been done. I have a special jig I use to get the hole and the cup machined back out to the correct size and location [relative to the center line of the
main "pipe" [on the left]. The clevis [top] and its pivot pin also get badly worn.
I drill out the clevis rod [top] and the holes in the loop of the arm and use an oversize pin to eliminate the slop in that part of the arm. This is the reconditioned release arm, with all the related parts, including the new release bearing and retaining clips. Good as new and a lot prettier...heh heh heh. 


 The drawing shows the shift linkage for a Sonett III, from the shift tower [on the left] to the transmission [on the right]. Both the shift tower and the linkage support [bolted to the transmission] have two bronze bushings [see arrows]. Saab must have managed a "real deal" on the bushings because they get sloppy after only a few jillion shifts, and that, along with the fact that Saab did not add spring in the linkage to load the shifter to the 3rd-4th gate, can make selecting the correct gear a bit of a crap shoot. 
These are the parts for the linkage at the transmission. But first, one other comment: The actual movement--INSIDE THE TRANSMISSION--from neutral to say, 3rd gear, is only about 1/2 inch [13mm] or so. So it doesn't take much slop in the linkage to confuse gear selection. That's why bushing wear can make things sticky-wicket in the shifting department.

Above--the support fixture with all the bolt holes has a bushing in each end. These are the ones that have to be replaced. Problem is, correct SIZE bushings are not available.
 I get bushings that are just larger than the originals, chuck 'em in the lathe, and carefully machine them until they are just about 0.002" larger outside diameter than the inside diameter of the support housing. Then I press them into the housing. Above is my lathe setup for machining the new bushings.
 Here is a photo of the old bushings and the support housing with the new bushings installed. Note that once I press the new bushings into the housing I still have to ream the INSIDE of each bushing to shaft size plus 0.002".  Note that I also drill and tap the housing for a grease zerk so the bushings can actually be lubricated.  [THAT is a novel idea the Saab engineers never thought of, apparently....]
This is the finished product, ready to go into the car. Might last a few jillion more shifts, especially if it gets a squirt of grease now and again...