Question about 1998 Saab 900

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How to change a alternator on a 1998 saab 900 se turbo? what is needed to access and remove the mounting bolts to the alternator?

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I recently had the alternator fail on my 1998 Saab 900s Turbo 2.0 and realize that it's removal and replacement is not the most straightforward process.
While there are quite a few places to look for assistance in removing the alternator, many of them point to the 93 or early 900's.
I won't go into great detail of the removal of every single bolt, but will try and give a decent step by step of the entire process. I should note that most of the resources you find online are correct up until actually taking the alternator out of the vehicle. That's not to say the rest is easy, but getting the thing out of the engine bay is a chore. Many books and online resources give misinformation as to this process and it took me some time to realize that.
Here is a rough step-by-step:
Remove the air box/cleaner
Pry back the tensioner and remove the belt (inspect and/or replace)
Remove the tensioner altogether (some resources say this isn't necessary, do yourself a favor and just take it out, it's difficult but worth it and you can check the pulley, mine was bad.)
Remove the right, front wheel.
Remove the lower bolt that mounts the alternator. (Should be 5/16 or 7/16 hex, recessed)
Remove the upper bolt for the alternator mount. (This is very tough to get at but be patient)
The alternator will likely be stuck in it's mounts. Give each one a shot of lubricant.
While letting the lube set a bit, you can get under the vehicle (make sure it's supported properly) and remove the two cables from the back of the alternator. They can be seen just above the catalytic converter towards the passenger side of the vehicle. A universal socket helps a lot with these two. (you can also un-mount the alternator and spin it around to remove the wires, either method is of equal difficulty)
You'll now need to pry the alternator from it's mounts. It takes a fair bit of force but DO NOT hit your alternator with a pin/hammer. I ended up using a small tire iron and working it out by prying against the engine block. It will come.
Now that your alternator is removed from it's mounts you have the glorious task of trying to get it out of the vehicle. Some books and online resources will simply say to pull it through the hole in the fender well. After trying every which way you'll realize this simply isn't going to happen, curse, and start hunting online for a solution.
The solution is not to remove an axle or stabilizer.
The easiest way is to take the alternator out from underneath the vehicle. The easiest way to do that is to move the exhaust out of your way. This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds.
There are three bolts which hold your turbo header on to the back of the turbo itself. Remove these three bolts. The two top ones are pretty simple, the bottom one is a bit of a pain. All are 1/2" or 13mm.
Once removed you'll have a little play with the exhaust but you'll also need to remove the two front rubber hangers. This actually took quite a bit of effort and force but once you get them off you're almost home.
This next bit is important. Do yourself a favor and remove the front-most Oxygen sensor. The last thing you want to do is break the sensors or the wires. There is a second sensor right behind the catalytic converter, you can remove this but it's not necessary, just make sure it's wire is out of the way and you have plenty of slack for the next step.
Now you should have plenty of play in the front of your exhaust system. Gently pull the exhaust down (be sure the turbo header is pulled out of the mounting bolts) and hold it away from the passenger side of the vehicle.
There is a gap where you removed one of the exhaust hangers that the alternator can fit through. Be very patient, you'll need to try a few different angles but it WILL drop.
Repair or replace the alternator and do this process in reverse. Getting the alternator back in it's mounts is a chore, but she'll go. I had to use a 2x4 to pry it into place.
I did this job in 15 degree weather, outside, in Maine. If I can do it, you can do it. Just be patient.

Posted on Jan 08, 2011

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Should just be a standard wrench and something to help put tesion on new belt maybe crowbar

Posted on Sep 11, 2010

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How do you remove the tensioner pulley on a 1998 Saab 900 SE Convertible 2.0

Disconnect the Negative Battery Cable
2. Remove the air breather/cleaner and hose from between the air breather/cleaner and throttle housing
3. Remove the strain of the belt tensioner off the belt and pry off the belt
4. Remove the right front wheel
5. Remove the belt cover & Disconnect the battery Cable and the red alternator power wire.
6. Remove the two Alternator Bolts that secure the alternator to the bracket
7. Remove the three bolts that hold the header pipe up to help give room to remove the alternator
8. Remove the converter bolt from the converter bracket and mover the converter over to aid in the alternator removal
9. Refit in reverse

Working from Top down:
disconnect battery 2) not necessary to remove airfilter box but does give more breathing room for belt removal/instal 3) un-tension serpentine belt with a 1/2" drive long extension in the square of the tensioner & pull towards the front of the car to release the serpentine belt 4) lock tensioner with about a 4mm pin(Allen key will do) by pulling forward with that 1/2"drive extension & pinning the tensioner with that hole 5) remove tensioner with 8mm Allen key or drive(not necessary to remove R side engine mount & raise engine) and be careful to not knock and cause to release the tensioner-they hurt when they snap! 6) remove upper alternator bolt(8mm Allen key/drive).

Working from Bottom of the engine bay:
disconnect cables at alternator(13 & 8 mm nuts) 8) remove R wheel/inner fender skirt that covers the harmonic balancer(10 & 8 mm heads)/ tie back flex hose to strut 9) remove lower alternator bolt(8mm alley key/drive) 10) wedge/rotate out alternator of its mounts 11) disconnect exhaust pipe rubber hangers at catalytic converter and mid section of exhaust 12) you can bend(and later re-bend into position the hanger studs) (OR undo front header studs/nuts to free up the front part of the exhaust) to push over the exhaust and pull out the alternator(pulley nose down)--be careful when getting the alternator out as the downstream O2 sensor is right there(a good precaution would be to remove it)......reverse procedures to install.

Jun 30, 2014 | 1998 Saab 900

1 Answer

I just need to know where is the thermostat on my 1998 Saab 900 2.0 Turbo located? If it is easy I can change it myself. thanks

if iam right here and its an opel engine then is behind the front timing cover and also means removing the timing belt if i remember rightly

Oct 27, 2010 | 1998 Saab 900

1 Answer

I have a stripped alternator bolt, can I cut it to pull the alternator, using a "Grab It" tool on the remaining piece? 1996 saab 900 turbo, 90 amp alternator. Thanks!

I just recently had the same problem, I found that using an "easy out" worked very well for my stripped lower bolt. If your stripped bolt is the upper than it is a different story. If you are talking about cutting the bolt into pieces make sure you are cutting on the alternator side (assuming you are replacing the alt) if not you will risk changing the pulley in respect to the belt and the will be misaligned and will wear/break belts.

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Need picture of belt routing for 98 saab 900 se turbo 2.0

You can go to and register for full free online repair manual for your car. Or you can also go to google images, but I do recommmend to everyone!

Dec 21, 2009 | 1998 Saab 900

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1988 saab 900 how to remove pully on alternater

Removing the alternator isn't the easiest job on this car!

The long bot that allows the alternator to pivot to adjust belt tension ISN'T the bolt to be removed; remove the two bolts that hold the mounting bracket to the engine block. One is at the end of the alternator (away from the belt), the other is above the end of the adjusting bolt, not far away from the first bolt. Take the tension off the belt, then slacken the two bolts holding the bracket to the engine block.

While you have the alternator off, check the bushings of the tension adjusting bolt; if worn/sloppy they should be pressed out and replaced; it'll extend the life of the alternator bearings.

Jun 26, 2009 | 1988 Saab 900

2 Answers

Helping a buddy out with replacing his alternator

go on line and google how to change an altwernator

Apr 10, 2009 | 1996 Saab 900

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I just bought a '97 saab 900 se with 95,000 mi.

Donald, These unit fail often general used cost is 100.00.
im sure
Elite foreign auto parts has only saab parts.. tested and used,

also check your abs unit connection mounted near the over flow bottle this controls the speedo on that car..

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Nov 25, 2008 | 1998 Saab 900

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1992 saab 900 turbo

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