Vintage transmission

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The Pre-99 model cars all used the same basic transmission design, although it went through a few design iterations. It started out a 3 speed column shift with mated to the SAAB two-stroke engine. When the V4 was released, the transmission was upgraded to a 4 speed. On the Sonett III, the transmission had a floor shifter, but on other models it was column shifted.

Clutch Problems

The hydraulic system is only as good the weakest part of it.

Note: In cars with a brake booster, an air bubble gets trapped in the arch of the steel line above the master outlet. You have to pressure bleed the line with air.

Clutch Doesn't engage until the floor
Assuming you can get the proper freeplay (1/8") there are several possibilities:
  1. You haven't got all the air out of the hydraulic line.
  2. The pressure plate is weak.
  3. The rubber section of the hose is swollen and balloons as you apply pressure to the system, rather than pushing the slave outward.
  4. The flywheel was not cut the same depth between the deck and the step that the pressure plate bolts to.
  5. There is excessive wear in the pedal mechanism. (More common in 99/900's than V4s)
If you cannot get the proper amount of freeplay, it is possible the clutch disc is too thick.

Homemade Pressure Bleeder

Take an old master cylinder cap, and cut a hole in it big enough for a tire valve, but not too big. Press a tire valve into the whole, screw the cap onto the reservoir, and use a bike pump. Do not overpressurize the reservoir, 30psi is the max.