Question about 1998 Saab 900
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
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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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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