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2005 Aero Convertible Hydraulic leak

2005 Aero Convertible Hydraulic leak

 
Old 01-06-2010, 09:39 AM
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Default 2005 Aero Convertible Hydraulic leak

I just bought a beautiful used 2005 Aero convertible and noticed once it sat in my garage for a couple of days (16 degree weather outside) that a bluish fluid was leaking on the right windshield header. It smelled like wd40 so I am assuming it is hydraulic fluid. I researched some boards and did not find anything specific other than a reference to a service bulletin (Convertible Top Hydraulic Cylinder Leaks - saab convertible TSB 811-2546) that I cannot find anywhere online without paying subscription fees. Anyone on this board able to help with a solution that does not involve taking the car in for an expensive dealer visit? Any help would be greatly appreciated. William

2001 93 SE Conv
2005 93 Aero Conv
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:50 PM
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There shouldn't be anything hydraulic near the windshield... the hydrauilcs for the vert top is in the rear...
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I realize the hydraulic reservoir is in the rear but I saw somewhere on a thread that the front windshield latches are hydraulic. while looking for the source of the fluid, I found a hose (or wire if electric, will have to look closer) that runs from the rear of the roof (in between the roof liner and fabric) to the front of the top where the latches (hooks) are located. Are these latches electric or hydraulic. the bulletin I referenced was for another sSab owner whose car was leaking at the front windshield header as well. Just hoping it is something I can get to and fix.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:28 PM
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Sorry, I can't find a diagram of that system at the moment. I'll look more tomorrow.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:00 AM
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Thanks, any help would be greatly appreciated.

William
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:35 PM
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Hello! Your TSB 811-2546 simply states that when you fit a spare cylinder, make sure to remove the old O-ring as the new unit will come with one and if you don't, you will "double O-ring" it and it will leak.

Saab Hydraulic Oil for Soft Tops is a clearish/tan fluid, shouldn't be blue. Check the resevoir and see what color fluid is in there.

Where on the header is the fluid? How much is there? Does it form a drip? Is it runny?
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:54 AM
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Saab Fuhrer,

Thanks for the TSB info. The fluid originated from the latch (on the hook or roof side and not the windshield side) of the passenger side header and ran over to the A pillar and created a drop hanging down. I thought it was bluish but it could have been gray and it was greasy and smelled like WD40. I noticed it on the drive home and wiped it away and then noticed another drop after I cycled the roof a couple of times and it sat for a while. There appears to be a hydraulic line that runs to the front of the roof and disappears in the tan header behind the hook of the latch mechanism. Is there an easy way to get into the roof header to see if there are visible leaks?
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:58 PM
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I was able to remove the header cover to get to the cylinder and hydraulic lines. It appears that whoever worked on the top last did not replace the two bracket screws that hold the cylinder securely. the screws are MIA and the cylinder was just freely hanging. I am amazed the latch mechanism worked properly at all. I suspect that this allowed movement or binding which lead to the leak. I wiped up all of the leaked fluid but I cannot tell whether it was a line or the cylinder itself that is leaking. I wanted to secure the cylinder to see if that reduced the leak. Unfortunately I could not find screws that would fit so I am putting it back together to take it to a dealer.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by wwalters777 View Post
Saab Fuhrer,
<--- LOL! Führer = Leader or Captain; Fahrer = Driver! Its OK, the spelling differences are very subtle, I just find it humorous ;-)

If the cylinder was indeed leaking something blue, then I suspect the wrong fluid may have been used. CHF 11S is a popular european hydraulic fluid and it has a greenish color. I have seen people use CHF in Saab tops and they function OK, but anytime I get my hands on one like that for repair, I flush it out and use Saab Hydraulic Oil.

At any rate, I hate that you had to take it to the dealer. I assume its fixed? If you absolutely must take your car somewhere for repair, I would reccomend checking out www.saabshops.com and see if there is a Saab Independant repair shop near you, since the dealer network may be winding down.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:51 PM
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How about driving leader?....sorry about that. The fluid was greenish, it was more obvious once I took the roof header off and saw a larger quantity of oil. Since the screws were missing and I did not have a replacement, I secured the bracket with zip ties and it is now very secure. I have not noticed a leak again but with 20 degree weather, I have not cycled the top much. Hopefully the cylinder will not bind now and will not leak. If it does or if I have any other maintenance done, I plan on taking it to Precision Motor Cars which is where I bought the car. They are a trustworthy Saab service shop that also sales used European autos. I do have one more question about the roof header though. I removed 9 Philips head screws from the Black metal header on the roof that butts up against the windshield when the roof is closed. 7 of the screws went back in fine but 2 were stripped and will not hold. Do you have any tips or tricks on how to make the stripped screws hold. I did not want to do anything permanent like glue them in since more than likely I will be back in the top soon for a permanent repair. Thanks again for your input.
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