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Fitting the breather modification kit
This modification is covered by SAAB Technical Service Bulletin 210-2417 ed. 4, which cannot be reproduced here for copyright reasons.

Tools required:

Socket set
Hydraulic jack and suitable axle stands (or ramps)
Inspection lamp

Time required
SAAB allow dealerships 0.6 hrs to carry out this job but set aside 1 hour because you will be unlikely to have the benefit of a fully equipped workshop with hoists etc.  The job isn’t hard in itself but access is fiddly, especially to the separator tank, which is secured to the cylinder block by two bolts.

Why you need the kit
SAAB have had a number of attempts at improving the breathing of the B205/235 engine and this is the latest and current fix. Owners of previous generation 900s, NG900s & 9000s are perplexed by the need for a modified breather system but the B204/234 engines used different pistons, connecting rods and cylinder heads from later cars, despite the superficial similarity of appearance.  The 205 & 235 engines are a low friction design and have more back pressure to contend with. Oil leaks and sludging are two very compelling reasons to fit this kit if your engine was built before the 2004 model year, when a new cylinder block design was introduced. 

Our verdict: this is an essential modification. In these cash-strapped times, many owners may question the need to devote £70 to a job like this BUT poor breathing is a major factor responsible for engine failures. We urge owners to carry out this modification together with the sump drop and strainer clean (operations that we have covered already in the procedures library).

Parts required: the kit and additional optional parts

Breather renovation kit components

The renovation kit (SAAB oe part 55561200) contains the following:

SAAB breather kit components explained
Modified oil filler tube neck
Plastic adaptor
Rubber nipple (for cambox)
Pipe modification + 'T' piece adaptor
Pipe insulation and cable ties (for pipe 'F')
Replacement pipe with valve
Oil separator tank

The kit does NOT contain:

Sump drain pipe hose
Main hose from separator to cambox
Vacuum hose with 1 way valve

It is strongly recommended that the main pipe I (SAAB oe part 555610463) is changed too, irrespective of its condition. The author has found strong correlation between cars with terminal oil sludging where this pipe has failed or collapsed: in 90% of cases of engine failure it was found that this pipe had collapsed or split or was missing entirely... allowing most of the sump contents to be blown under the car's floor. The importance of this pipe's condition, therefore, cannot be over-stressed. In short, it should be seen as the Achilles heel of the breather system. The sump drain hose, we find, rarely fails but readers should be advised that SAAB will NOT entertain claims for turbo chargers under warranty if, when changed, pipe J was not changed also.

This diagram will help understand the pipe topology and what needs to be removed or replaced

Method: fitting the kit
Start by disconnecting the battery.  Then, carefully lift away the plastic cover that surrounds the oil filler neck (dipstick tube).  Loosen the rubber hose (I) that is fastened to the plastic adaptor (B) that fits in the rubber nipple (C) in the cambox cover.  Undo pipe (J) with the white one way valve from the adaptor too. Next, lift away the dipstick and undo the small bolts that secure the dipstick filler neck tube.  Discard the old dipstick filler neck tube because the kit includes a modified version with an extra take-off. Fit the new rubber nipple (C) and carefully push the new adaptor (B) inside then fit the replacement dipstick filler tube neck and tighten the bolts.

The next step is to remove the oil separator tank (G).  This is fastened on by two machine screws (13mm socket/spanner) at positions 1 and 2 in the photograph (above) but access is tricky and we recommend that you remove the short alloy stay (the ‘forget-me-not’) that is fitted between the intake manifold and the cylinder block.  For convenience, we used an engine that was out of a car but you will probably find that it is easier to get at the stay from beneath so either jack the car and secure on suitable axle stands or use ramps. You may also need to undo the positive cable to the alternator (easy), which is why the battery was disconnected earlier.

Actually removing the old pipes can be a battle because they will have quite a hold on the old separator. We normally keep the old short thin drain pipe (J) that runs from the bottom of the separator to the sump because we find they don't really deteriorate (check anyway) and a good clean will normally suffice. Attach the new separator and tighten the screws before replacing the stay and tighten up the positive cable to the alternator, if that was taken off earlier.

This photo clafifies which pipe fits where

Now, fit pipe (I) to the upper stub outlet on the oil separator, noting that the pipe fits the outlet with the larger diameter outlet. The other end, of course, should be connected to the cambox. After this has been done, fit new pipe (D) to the oil filler neck stub outlet so that the large white arrow printed on the pipe with the one way valve goes to the filler neck. The other side of the rubber hose after the 'T ' piece on this pipe connects to the black metal pipe that is bolted to the cambox (this is the pipe where the old hose that you discarded earlier was fixed)

This leaves just pipe (F) and the insulation to sort out. Pipe F must be fitted so that the white arrow on the one way valve points towards the throttle body. Routing it is fiddly but despite appearances it is the exact length required and fits perfectly when located correctly: it has to be fitted so it runs above the coolant hoses but note that it has to follow the route of the lower hose through the manifold to the separator.

Job done: note the insulation around the coolant pipes

When the pipes look right, ensure that the check valve on pipe F is in contact with the coolant hoses, then wrap the insulation around hoses and the pipe, securing with the cable ties provided. Replace the dipstick and put back the engine top cover to complete the job.


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