Monthly Archives: March 2011

Saab Cabin Filter area cleaned Part 3

Okay, now you should have given the whole area a nice big clean and it should look something like this:

Next we’ll need to replace the parts. Ensure the new cabin filter is in – or clean the old one up as much as possible to replace later (like I did). Next, give the secondary covery (the smaller one) a good wipe over and slip it back in – it’s pretty obvious where it goes and it really just sits there.

Next, the “Elephant’s Trunk” can go back in place. Find the holw that you took it out of…

And squeeze it back in place. Find the widest bit through so it hangs down, then pull it back towards you until it stops on the lip. Check around the holw to ensure it’s in place and push any part that came through and shouldn’t have back with your finger.

Next, slide the outer cover in place and affix with the metal clips. As you put it on, remember to feed the water tube through.

Then replace the rubber guard along the metal lip…

Now put the wiper assemblies back on (remembering the left and right side and putting them in the right spot).

Tighten up the nuts and we’re almost done.

The last thing you need to do (and don’t forget this one!) is to reconnect the hose for the window washer. Clip it back on in reverse of how you took it off, and then the connection pushes neatly into the outer cover.

Close the bonnet (hood), wash your hands and crack a beer. You deserve it.


Saab Cabin Filter area cleaned Part 2

The inner cover itself is quite easy to remove. It just pulls out and is not held by anything. Mine caught up a little on the windscreen, but came out with a little effort. Put it aside with the other stuff.

And once that’s out, it reveals the source of the water clog….

I believe that my problem is that the water is pooling in this area so clogged by leaves, and then flowing into the cabin filter (the cabin filter is that disgusting black thing in the middle) and down the tubes into the foot well.

The next step is to remove as much of the leaves and debris as much as possible so that none of it falls into the air conditioning tubes while we fix this.

Next we need to remove the cabin filter. There are two clips, one on the left and one on the right. Undo the clip (gently lift it up from the lip) on the right side…

And then unclip the one on the left…

Then slide the cabin filter out in the opposite direction of the wiper motor. It will easily slide out and it’s at this point you insert the new one. Give the seating a bit of a wipe first to ensure there’s no more dirt getting in.

This is what my cabin filter looked like when I pulled it out, and the container next to it is the leaves I pulled out. It’s a 1.8 litre (maybe half a gallon?) ice cream container that I filled with detritus!

Alright, next is the “elephant trunk” piece that everyone is talking about. I was worried about this, since I hadn’t seen anything like that, but I found it!! Mine was in the middle of the car, on the firewall…

It’s easy to remove, just pull on it (no jokes please) and it will easily come away (I said no jokes!).

Once out, you’ll see how full of mud and leaves it is…

Empty it, flush it out with water, give it a wipe on the inside and it should look like this:

Next, give the whole area areally good cleanup and we’re ready to put it all back together.


Saab Cabin Filter area cleaned Part 1

Okay, as promised, photo tutorial on how to clean out the crud around the cabin filter to stop water getting in and wetting the mats/floor in the cabin. Ideally you’d change the cabin filter as you do this, but I didn’t have one at the time. So, order your cabin filter and then read through this tutorial…Right. So, the car starts like this…

As you can see it’s been raining a bit, which is why I noticed the water. Best to do this BEFORE it pours rain to fix the cause.

Anyway, first step was to open the bonnet and remove the rubber rain guard into the engine bay.

The rubber bit just pulls off and it isn’t difficult at all. But you need to remove it to get to a couple of clips. Put it to the side and move on to the next step.

The next step is to remove the wiper blade assembly. This is slightly different on each model, but mine’s a 1999 9-3 S so this is how mine’s set up. I’m in Australia, so things may be slightly different since my car is RHD.

Undo both wiper blade assemblies with a 13 mm socket (1/2 inch works as well)…

…and put them aside. I have a couple of cardboard tags that help me remember which part goes where when I do both sides of the car, so I used them to remember which side the assembly goes on.

This will leave the cover that needs to come off. Once the wipers are removed, it should look like this…

Before we remove the cover, make sure you disconnect the hose going to the water jets. This is pretty easy, just pull on the tube and disconnect it. Remove it on the engine side, not the bonnet side as there is a washer type thing in between and you need to slide the cover over the tube.

Next, to remove the cover, you’ll need to lift the clips up. I only had two clips (left and right) and they popped up pretty easy. Lift them up so the clips are sitting on top of the metal ledge. Pry one side out a little first…

…then you can pull the whole thing to the side and remove it entirely. Put it aside somewhere safe so you don’t step on it.

This will reveal the inner cover (as above). I’ll continue on with this in the next post, but you can already see there’s a few leaves in there…


Tweeters mounted

I had originally mounted the tweeters in the space from the factory speakers on the dash. I held them in place by bolting foam in the hole and the tweeter sat in the middle. However, due to the harsh Aussie sun, the foam warped a little and the tweeters moved down into the cavity enough to distort the sound.

The solution was to install a mounting plate and put the tweeters on them.

First step was to cut the plate itself. I used about 15mm MDF and traced a line around the original stock speaker. I then cut them out (them = 2, left and right sides) and tested that they fit alright.

You can also see that I’ve cut the hole for the speaker cable to go through. I used a hole cutting bit so that there was ample room for the cable to go through. The tweeter will sit on the whole so it won’t be visible anyway.

Next I jammed that sucker up in the spot where it was to sit to make sure it fit okay and to test how the speakers would sound and where I should position them. The only trick to this was that I had to pull most of the dash apart.

If you care, that meant the glove box removed, 2 air con pipes (on the passenger side), kick panels on both sides of the main console, under the steering wheel panel and fuse cover, and two air con pipes (on the drivers side). The whole back seat was full of bits of my dash!

Anyway, once the mounting plates were in place, I sat the tweeters on them to see how they would sound. I moved them around a bit as I played music and tried to work out the best way to face them.

When I found the perfect spot, I drew around them and then replaced the grill that covers them on the dash to make sure that they fit…. they didn’t. It turned out that the plate was too high, so I need to drop it a good inch or so.

After running through several scenarios in my mind, I decided the best thing, all considered, would be to have the plate suspended by long screws as the plate didn’t need to support a lot of weight and were pretty snug in there anyway. So the next step was to drill the holes for the screws.

I used the original speaker once again to make sure the holes were in the right place. Then I got the “tweeter keeper” and marked the holes to mount it on top. Then, I drilled.

Once the holes were drilled, the next step was to mount them. I should note that I did the two sides slightly differently. The left hand side (passenger side) I mounted the tweeter case in the middle of the mounting plate and pointed the tweeter at the car driver. The drivers side, I mounted at the rear of the plate and angled it slightly to the left (passenger side) of the driver. This was to try to get a sense of “front sound stage”.

I put the mount in once I had put the screws in to a certain depth and then screwed them into the plate. This meant that there was a gap of about an inch between the plate and the dash. It was also slightly at an angle facing forward due to the stuff under the dash, however this worked to my advantage.

Once the plate was in, I attached the case with 1 screw (drivers side) or two screws (passenger side).

Then once I tested that everything was fitting nice and solidly, I thread the wire through the holes and sat the tweeter on top of the case. Then since my tweeter has an adjustable top which swivvels to a degree, I positioned it as I had when I tested them earlier.

I gave them a final test once all hooked up to make sure the positioning was good. Then I adjusted as required and snapped the grill over the top again. This time they fit. 🙂

The system now sounds better than ever and I have properly positioned tweeters while still retaining the “Sleeper” style that I hold so dear.


Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Sleeper Style 9-3 Saab, Stereo

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