In my review of the 2008 Saab 9-3 Aero I recently purchased, I mentioned how the shifts felt almost gooey and sluggish. I wasn’t sure if it was the shifter bearings, possibly the mounts or linkage, so I decided to investigate one step at a time.
I found that the rubber bushing at the end of the shift linkage would flex and allow play, which contributed to the slight notches felt when shifting into second or third. The guys at Genuine Saab designed an aluminum brace to fit around the rubber making it more sturdy, and eliminating most of the sluggishness.
A video on Genuine Saab’s website made install very easy and simple. Removing the battery tray was the hardest part, since I had to use a small Allen key, so that gives you an idea of the level of difficulty.
The shifts are not as firm as I’d like them to be. The hydraulic motor mount makes hard shifts just that…. hard. If you drop the clutch, the motor slams back into a loaded position. Genuine Saab came up with a solution for this as well: an insert that makes the mount solid rather than hydraulic. I’m hoping this along with replacing the shifter bushings — I’m leaning towards replacing the whole assembly with a short-throw setup — will put any complaints I may have about the shifts to rest.
The next step will be to make the transmission mount bushings more solid, and eventually replace the clutch and flywheel. Be sure to visit us again soon to see if the Saab ends up needing a transmission overhaul, and the pros and cons of dual mass flywheels as well as solid disc clutches.