how to access air filter, trans. fluid ('87 900)

A friend at school has an '87 Saab 900. She's going home for break tomorrow (~7 hours driving), so tonight I tried to check the air
filter and transmission fluid tonight. I ran into a bit of a hurdle -- first, how do I get to the air filter!? I know where it is but I couldn't figure out how to get to it. Most of my work has been on Fords with just a little on a Pontiac and an Oldsmobile. Very different layout, to say the least. The air filter is at the front on the driver's side near the ground, right? Above the cavity I believe the filter is in is a metal block with the air intake hoses and the hose leading to the throttle body and additionally some other piece I don't recognize that has 4 hoses going to the other side of the intake manifold. I pulled the throttle body hose off and saw the diaphragm there. With the hose on (I had only pulled the one end off to take a look), I could not get a screwdriver at the two screws on the two separate covers to the metal blocks over the filter. I'm also uncertain that I would have enough freedom of movement to move the cover out of the way even if I did get either of those screws off. What is the correct approach to checking (and replacing) the air filter? The engine is an inline 4, btw.
The other problem is I couldn't find the transmission fluid reservoir to check that. I'm told that second gear makes bad noises, so I wanted to check the fluid just to be sure. Where is the trans. fluid reservoir?
Thanks for any pointers! -D
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spouted forth into alt.autos.saab...

There is a dipstick (very long) on the right hand side of the engine bay, quite low down, roughly on the opposite side of the block to the engine oil dipstick (at least on a 16v).
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Carl Robson
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On Wed, 19 Nov 2003 07:09:49 -0000, MeatballTurbo wrote:

Thanks. Unfortunately she changed plans and left a half-hour before I got to campus. Checking it will have to wait two weeks. I believe the car is an 8 valve because there's no plate on the back saying 16. Now I know where to look, with a light :-). (I've never actually looked at the car except after sundown)
-D
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it displays a dialog box and lets you press 'ok' first.
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Ah, you'd know if it was an 16-valve. Has a big honkin' cast aluminum valve cover that says "SAAB 16-VALVE" in raised letters on it.
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I would like to meet the Saab engineer who designed the air filter assembly in a dark alley after coming out of the pub one night...
It is a bitch to get the air filter out/replaced. You are on the right track: take off the plastic bellows that runs from the top of the top of the air sensor plate to the intake manifold (or turbo if you have one). Then remove the six (I believe) phillips screws around the outside of the air filter assembly. VERY CAREFULLY lift up the air sensor / fuel distributor assembly to get to the air filter. My 2 cents: remove the four plastic (read OLD BRITTLE EXPENSIVE PLASTIC) fuel lines from the fuel distributor to the four fuel injectors first as they do not like to be bent; also be careful not to snap off the 4"-long plastic tube that extends down into the center of the air filter when you are removing the top (I broke mine off, doesn't seem to make any difference, I just hate breaking things unnecessarily). Another tip for you: if when removing the fuel injector lines you happen to loosen up the fitting that screws into the fuel distributor instead of just the fuel line -> fitting connection, replace the crush washer underneath that fitting with a copper crush washer... I have found that once unsealed, the old metal-and-rubber washer does not properly seal and can inject some air into your system.
Pretty ridiculous procedure just to change the air filter! The good news is that the air filter is about the same size you'd see in a dump truck so you don't have to change it very often.
Dave
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On Wed, 19 Nov 2003 16:15:08 GMT, Dave wrote:

I see what you mean. The '91 Ford Escort I used to have had just 4 clips holding the cover on the assembly. No tools necessary. If you have 5 minutes of spare time, that's more than enough to check that filter :-).

Thanks for all the "learn from another's mistakes" tips! Very helpful! As I said in my other reply, my friend left for home early and was gone by the time I stopped by this morning. It's nice to know I was heading in the right direction and not out of my mind.
Say, are the fuel hoses just discolored or are they full of fuel? If they are full of fuel, is there a way to drain them before pulling them off resulting in fuel spilling all over?

I'll say.

That's nice. She got the car this summer. Since checking and replacing the air filter is supposed to be quick, easy, and cheap, and we (I, anyways) have no idea how long it has been in there, I wanted to make sure it was in good condition. If the air filter is that much overkill, then perhaps its still in good condition and won't be killing the car prematurely.
-D
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Probably both. The system is designed to be pressurized at all times to eliminate vapor lock (fuel vaporizing inside the lines which results in poor hot starting). The Bentley manual recommends starting the engine, then pull out the fuel pump relay. Car runs out of gas basically, no residual pressure. I was quite surprised at just how much fuel did leak out (couldn't be bothered to let off pressure)... do yourself a favor and unscrew your gas tank cap to vent the pressure too before you start.... it's a large pressurized air reservoir that can displace a LOT of fuel.
Dave
.

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in article gGMub.98343$jy.56346@clgrps13, Dave at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote on 19/11/2003 16:15:

Thanks a million. It's great owning a Saab - I didn't ask, but I received :) My JR sports filter arrived today. My last air filter change was on a NA '85 900. None of the screw were rusted and the fuel lines were nice and flexible. I'm not too sure on this one though ('89 900 T8), so I'll go carefully.
Paul
1989 900 Turbo S http://saab.go.dyndns.org /
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Yeah those fuel lines of which I speak, Saab wants a small fortune ($70-$100 Canadian dollars EACH depending on which cylinder). You might check into replacing them with braided steel HDPE lines, according to Grunff the threading on the fittings is common (in the UK) and a hydraulic shop should be able to set you up fairly cheaply. Unfortunately for me we here in North America seem to be stuck in the stone age of measurement and all the machine/hydraulic shops are tooled up for imperial thread sizing and pitch. Bugger.
Dave

assembly
:)
'85
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