Cant shift when flooring

Setup: 3000km & 1 months ago all new flywheel, slave cylnder and throwout bearring, reinforced stock pressure plate, reinforced friction plate, gearbox oil, motormount replaced.

Those 3000km it drove perfectly until someone else launched my car from a standstill, while launching he wanted to shift to 2nd gear which blocked, since then I always have that issue no matter to which gear I want to shift.

Video i made: Saab Gearbox broken - YouTube

I have already swapped out the tranny to a other working one but even with that tranny same issue, while swapping the tranny I also used a different shifting mechanism and mount, still problem presist, I checked the slave cilinder with a endoscope camera connected to my phone. It does move out instantly when i press the pedal a bit so no delay.

I cant believe my new clutch is already broken, im running 250hp & 350nm, this clutch is rated for +/-600nm, also on normal daily use it does engage perfectly, drives perfectly, doesnt slip when i floor it, no leaking slave, pedal keeps pressure.

So let me get this straight…

You have a tuned turbo Saab 9-3 (guessing)
You installed a performace clutch
Your friend did a drag strip launch
Your friend tried to bang shift 2nd and it won’t
You replaced the trans and it still won’t bang shift 2nd

Yeah, I’d say you broke it. Broke something at any rate. You had the trans out, why didn’t you inspect the clutch while it was out?

I’d say your friend may have broken a torque strut or bent a motor mount bracket IF the clutch turns out to be OK.

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Yes it’s a tuned Saab with a brand new clutch set. Well I told him not to launch it but the car is pretty direct in 1st Gear. Hé stood at a 2 lane red light. When it turned green he kinda launched it. Wanted to shift to 2nd which refused.

I checked the clutch and slave but nothing to see, all looking good and slave had no leaks. Shifting mechanism is changed to and gearbox mount to.

I’m recapping his action. So in first gear he launched and when he pressed the clutch pedal hard it probably broke something (not tranny because already swapped). Because after that action it did not go in Gear. Can he broke my clutch master cylinder? My slave cylinder does move out instantly when pressing the clutch pedal but perhaps not far enough to fully disengage friction plate?

Also my clutch engages, did not slip and pedal does not stay down. Also I had new dot4 3000km before it broke. Which is darkish again

Can you drive it normally?
Can you shift through the gears, engine off, sitting still?

Drives 100% normal until I floor it like you see on my video I made. Other than that it drives like it should.

With engine off I feel no difference in shifting with and without clutch

I don’t see that you have a problem.

You do, so I think you should focus on keeping the engine from rotating so far under load. The torque strut or struts as I posted before. Swap the rubber bushings for polyurethane. I think powertrain windup is your issue.

So this video i made Saab Gearbox broken - YouTube
My friend is accelerating in 2nd gear and right about 5500rpm wants to shift to 3rd gear which refuses multiple times. at 00:07 you can even hear a grinding noise.

I have checked the motor mount which was new, also i have replaced the rear gearbox mount with a used different one because the store we’re closed already.
The only mount i havent touched is the remaining engine mount.

So you think my clutch, slave and master are fine ?

Everything works at lower RPM’s

At higher RPM’s centrifugal force makes the clutch harder to disengage.

My guess is your master cylinder or slave cylinder is failing internally, and just can’t handle the extra load required at high RPM’s.

The video is not helpful, your written description of what is happening is fine but not useful in finding the actual problem.

  1. It could be the driver’s fault…letting the clutch up too quickly
  2. It could be the clutch’s fault…the new pressure plate not releasing completely
  3. It could be the master and slave’s fault…you have air in the system
  4. It could be the shift linkage’s fault… cause BY the movement of the engine OR by worn cables and linkage
  5. It could be the transmission’s syncros aren’t fast enough to allow the gear change.

None of which I can diagnose from the internet without my hands on the car. That’s up to you to figure out. You modified a car for more power and you’ve found a weak link. That is what happens. You might have better luck on a Saab forum for modified cars. Sorry, but this is as good as I can do here.

True, can a clutch master slave fail like in my case? the slave goes out instantly when i just depress the clutch pedal a tiny bit. I think i will try a new clutch master, if thatst not the problem is must be the clutch.

  1. Its not the drivers fault, it happends to me to and i have the car for 7 months. It was for demonstration purpose.
  2. It could be but why would it release at normal daily driving?
  3. I have bleed so many times, on saab forum the 2x4 method is well know, leave the clutch pedal depressed for 3/4 overnight with reservoir open to bleed everything out. Done that 30-40 hours total but no difference
  4. Could be, linkage is replaced except the shifter it self.
  5. I dont think it are the syncros since this is the 2nd gearbox with exact the same issue.

What happens if you sit in your driveway and shift into gears without moving? Try it at 500 RPM, 1000 RPM,1500 RPM, etc.
If the problem is RPM dependent, triggering at a particular level and above, I would suspect the clutch. The master cylinder would not be rpm dependent.

All of this is the driver’s fault. The driver is trying to bang off a quick shift. The car many be designed to prevent this.

Because you are not trying to shift quickly and with more power than Saab designed into this engine…

This is the first you’ve posted this bit of information

You really need to read the entire answer…

And as stated twice before;

You don’t understand my post…Saab may have designed the transmission so you can’t DO that shift to avoid breaking the driveline so EVERY transmission is going to have the same behavior.


I am done repeating myself. This answer stands…

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Only have this one reply.

My guess, either the clutch master isn’t working and needs to be replaced, the clutch hydraulics’ have an air pocket in them and need to be bled, or something is twisting enough from the engine torque to prevent the clutch from working properly during hard accelerations, most likely that would be an engine or transmission mount. Make sure all the mount bolts are properly torqued.

The saab is already tuned about 6 months ago with this power, the clutch and headgasket are replaced because the clutch was pretty old and started slipping with the more nm, the gearbox holded it 6 months long and never had any issues shifting, im 100% sure this is not due to the gearbox not being able to keep up.

I was planning to order a new clutch master to just try it, these are luckily not expensive so can give it a shot. i will check everything :wink:

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Make sure the transmission and engine are securely bolted together as well.

Little update,

Today I noticed when I drive for example 35mph in 3rd gear, depress the clutch and shift back to 2nd i hear a continue grinding gear which dissapears when releasing the clutch pedal.

Also on saab forum the 2x4 trick is very popular, put a piece of 2x4 on the cluthc pedal and depress it 3/4 overnight with the seat. I have done this many nights with no results but when i come to my car and remove the 2x4 piece of wood my clutch pedal doesn’t come up and stays 3/4 depressed like as if the wood is still in between it. Does this mean that i have a leak in my hydraulics?

The master cylinder has an internal leak. The weak hydraulics is why the clutch won’t fully release at high RPMs.