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 Workshop - Convertible Toneau Slider Spring Repair
A guide to fixing the sprung sliders on Saab 900 (NG) and Saab 9-3 Convertibles

  

Introduction

Saab NG 900 and early 9-3 convertibles have sliders which are sprung to automatically cover the hood mechanics when the roof is down. One fault that can arise is that the sliders stop automatically springing in to place.

This appears to be a common problem amongst Saab Convertible owners, with the general response being "buy a new slider". However, by removing the rear interior panel on the side which has the problem, you should be able to find the spring, and re-attach it.

 

Remove the Rear Interior Trim panels

Starting with the roof up, lower the roof until the point at which it is in the bag, but the toneau cover has not come down to cover it. This will enable the rear interior panel to be removed.

The first thing to do is remove the interior lights in the trim panel - do this by prying them out with a small flat head screwdriver, and then removing the bulb/wire assembly from the plastic cover. If this is not done, you are likely to damage the bulb or plastic assembly.

Now open the door to expose the Torx screw (under a plastic cap) just below the seat belt, and a plastic trim screw at the bottom where the panel meets the door sill cover - remove these. There are two more plastic trim screws to be removed which are hidden by the base of the rear seats - you can get to these with a bit of patience without removing the seats. Now unlock the rear seat backs with your ignition key and rotate them forward to expose another Torx screw and plastic trim screw, and remove these.

With all the retaining screws removed, you can gently lift up the trim panel. There are two plastic trim clips sitting on top of the metal framework - these are easily broken, so take care when removing the trim panel. Once you have raised the trim panel over these plastic clips, you can move the it away from the framework, and rest it on the rear seats, taking care that the speaker wire does not get snagged.

Locating and repairing the spring

The chances are, you will find the spring in the gap between the base of the rear seats, and the metal framework where the interior trim was. This is where I found them on my car on both sides. The spring is effectively a curled up strip of metal with a hole in one end.

The spring was originally held onto the slider with a piece of plastic (which snaps off quite easily). There is, however, a small hole where the plastic clip once was, through which you can feed a metal wire. This will then feed through the hole in the spring, and be looped back and twisted off to secure it in place.

 

To replace the spring, unravel the strip slightly, and place the curled up end in the semi-circular recess at the back of the slider. Now feed the metal spring through to where the hole where the securing plastic used to be. Line up the hole of the plastic slider body with the hole in the spring, and feed the metal wire through both. This takes a lot of patience!. Once you have done this, use some long nose pliers to pull back round the wire, and twist the two ends together a few times to make it secure.

This will now enable the slider to spring back smoothly. The wire is also a much stronger solution than the original plastic. I used garden wire which has proved in the past to support heavy loads.

Re-assembly

Re-assembly is the reverse of removal. However, be very careful when replacing the rear trim panel onto the plastic clips as these are very fragile and break easily. The clips can be replaced for just 71p each from your local Saab dealer, but taking a bit of care over this will save you the trip.


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