Solid Motor Mounts
Better Shifting in Your Classic 900?
The classic 900 is not exactly renowned for it's accurate shifting. Magazines call it everything from vague to rubbery - some go into downright unpleasantness. A lot of this inaccuracy is caused by the rubber bushing that isolates the forward portion of the shift rod from the rearward portion, but some of it is actually caused by the motor mounts. Saab uses some pretty hefty rubber to keep the engine suspended in the engine compartment, and as this rubber wears it allows the engine and transmission to move around in the engine compartment more than it should. This leads to misalignment of the shifter assembly and this has a massive impact on the ability to make quick, accurate shifts.
What can you do about it? Get rid of the rubber motor mounts. Through the miracles of CAD (okay, so it's not that miraculous, but it is neat!) you can now get solid aluminum motor mounts to keep your engine and tranny where Saab intended them. The motor mounts are built from high-grade aluminum, polished up nicely, and isolated with butyl rubber to keep the metal off the chassis and the tranny from rubbing on it. These motor mounts are designed to replace the front motor mount in 1986 through 1991 Saab 900 Turbos, but can replace all three of the motor mounts in cars of those years. They may also work in certain year 900s and 900Ss, but we haven't tested yet.
You will get improved shifting action, making it easier to get from gear to gear. Synchro and fork wear in the transmission should be reduced as there is less movement of the shifter rod which allows those parts to work almost perfectly. You will never have to replace a rubber motor mount replaced with one of these again - these things are built big and strong. You may have to replace the butyl rubber isolaters from time to time, but so far we've not worn one out. Overall, it's a pretty solid (no pun intended) investment, but it's not without its drawbacks:
Saab used rubber for a reason - it helps keeps engine vibration out of the cabin. Four cylinder engines tend to shake quite a bit as it is, and Saab's engines are no exception. All that engine shake will be transmitted more efficiently to the driver's seat with a solid motor mount, and you will feel it. The problem is only evident at idle - once the engine is above 1200 or so rpm you won't feel a thing. Additionally, that extra vibration may cause rattles that weren't there before (though we haven't noticed any), so you may spend some time tracking them down.
If you spend a lot of time in stop and go traffic, these may not be for you - the extra vibration might drive you nuts. But, if you spend more time on the open road or racetrack (especially the latter) these things are a serious consideration. The improvement in shifter feel is well worth it in my opinion.
Here is what you get:
And here is what is looks like installed - the entire front end has been removed to take the picture, but this is *not* necessary to install these mounts:
|A solid aluminum motor mount, with the installation hardware shown above, can be yours for the price of $75. This is about what you'd pay for one of Saab's motor mounts. The only thing you have to supply is a few hours of your time and a small amount of a good threadlocker.|
|An extra $25 will get you an anodized motor mount. Right now blue is available but other colors may be available, so if you're looking for something specific, let us know and we'll be happy to find out for you.|