Documentation

Saab 9-3 Door Lock Unit Repair

The central locking door lock mechanisms on Saab 9-3s (and 9-5s) are known to occasionally malfunction/stop working. When you hit the central locking button on the remote, the affected door often won't lock (or won't unlock if it was already locked). The issue tends to start out intermittent and then worsen with time.

A new unit is currently around £140 (without labour), but they can be obtained second hand on ebay for around £30. Replacing them is incredibly easy.

It is also possible to strip the unit down to repair it, however, it's not without it's risks. While the door lock unit is removed the door won't latch closed (and certainly won't lock), so if you damage the unit trying to repair it, you're going to be in a tricky position. The route I took was to buy a second hand unit from ebay, fit that and then look at repairing the original (so I've got it on the shelf if the replacement starts exhibiting the same symptoms).

This documentation details how to dismantle and repair the locking unit mechanism

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Gearbox Rebuild on Generic Chinese RC Car

I bought some cheap(ish) remote control cars from Amazon, although they're pretty good fun (and have taken some abuse) longevity has been somewhat mixed so far. An early failure was caused by the pinion being improperly fastened to the motor's shank, leading me to strip down the car to repair it.

These cars also suffer from another issue - common to almost anything remote control with a gearbox: when you give it to a kid, they have a tendency to sometimes crash into things and not subsequently release the throttle, leading to stripped teeth in the gearbox.

That's exactly what happened with one of the cars, marketed on Amazon under the mouthful of a name "Remote Control Car RC Cars Karting Car Electric Remote Control Off Road 2WD 1:16 Scale 2.4Ghz High Speed Racing Buggy Off-road Fast Radio Controlled Electric Model Cars" (though the box says "Warrior"). Although it can happen to almost any RC Toy, in this case it wasn't helped by the manufacturer using a brass pinion but plastic gearing.

This documentation details the process I followed in order to replace the damaged gear and rebuild the gearbox

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Saab 9-3: Installing a rear facing dashcam

I've had a front facing dashcam (in various cars) for quite some time. For a good proportion of that time I've thought about also having a rear facing cam, but in previous cars finding a switched live at the back of the car wasn't particularly straight forward.

The 9-3, though, has an rear electrical centre which includes a rear fusebox, conveniently located in one of the boot side panels.

This documentation details the simple procedure involved in installing a rear facing dashcam into the Saab 9-3 Saloon.

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Gearbox Repair on ZFLIN RC Car

I bought a couple of (relatively) cheap Remote Control off-roaders on Amazon - primarily for having a bit of fun driving them about in the garden.

Although ostensible different brands, models and sellers, the two cars are exactly the same except for the colour of the wheels and the cowling fitted.

The cars are:

Although they differ on Amazon, the boxes both show as "Top Racing Series". The ZFlin car carries a model name of the "Pillager" whilst the other is the "Warrior".

They were fairly cheap when I bought them, and unsurprisingly, are made in China.

Although they zip around quite nicely at first, I hit an issue that's alluded to in some of the reviews (on both) - after a few outings the gearbox appears to fail.

Initially, you get a slipping clutch effect where the motor will rev up quite a bit before the car starts moving, eventually degrading to it sitting stock still and just making a whining noise (the difference in time between these two states, in my case, was about 10 minutes of driving time). The assumption most have made is that the motor is overrated for the gearbox and has destroyed the gears.

Inevitably, this happens after you've thrown the packaging away. As helpful as Amazon are, I didn't want to deal with their returns system, so I decided to strip the car down instead to see if it could be repaired.

Turns out the issue is much simpler than I'd assumed. This documentation details how to (quite easily) repair the car.

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Saab 9-3 Rear Fusebox layout

The rear fusebox is located in the boot, behind the right hand side panel. The panel should just pull outwards and then you'll see the fusebox and rear electrical centre (also the stock amp if it was fitted at the factory).

This documentation details what each of those fuses are. The image is clicky so you can view a larger version if required.

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