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C900 Transmission Info Page


Over the years SAAB has changed the 5-spd transmission very little. The key thing to understand is that any year 5-spd will bolt up to any C900 engine.
However, there are some small differences between them that you should be aware of. The most common mistake is thinking that the internals of one tranny can be transplanted into the case of another tranny. SAAB did change the internals a couple of times, so pay attention to which two trannies you are swapping parts between.


Serial Number Designations

1979-1983:

type(G=manual)1st digit
version(engine combination)2nd digit
number of forward gears-3rd digit
primary gear ratio(see below)-4th digit
variant(stage of development)5th digit

1984 Onward:

GM=manual tranny-1st digits
GA= auto tranny-1st digits
transmission version-2nd digit
number of forward gears-3rd digit
primary gear ratio(see table below)-4th digit
variant(stage of development)5th digit


4th Digit: Gear Ratios for Manual Trannies:


Primary Gear Ratio Input Gear
# of teeth
Output Gear
# of teeth
Final Drive Ratio
4 31 30 .97
5 30 27 .90
6 31 26 .84
7 32 25 .78
8 33 24 .72
Gear Set #8 was only available for the Autobahn and is very difficult to find today. This set works great for modified engines as all the gears will be longer.


Tranny Serial Number According to Year and Model


YEAR Non-Turbo Turbo
1979 G34402 G34602
1980 G34402
G45702
G45702
1981 G23404
G45704
G44604
G45704
1982 G34406
G45606
G45606
1983 G45606 G45606
G45706
1984 G34506 G45606
G45706
1985 GM34506 GM34506
GM45706
GM45X08
1986 GM45706 GM45706
1987 GM45X10 GM55X02
1988 GM45X10 GM55X02
1989 GM45X12 GM55X04
1990 GM45X12 GM55X04
1991 GM45X14 GM55X06
1992 GM45X14 GM55X06
1993 GM45X14 GM55X06

Changes made during the years:
1986 - Inner Drivers Changed. May be related to the change in internal centering.
1986 - Change to internal centering.
Mid-1989 - Drain plug removed on turbo boxes.
1990 - Drain plug removed on non-turbo boxes.
34xxx: Old Style CV Drivers
456xx: Old Style CV Drivers
GM45xxx: Solid Motor Mount
GM55xxx: Hydraulic Motor Mount
GM45x06: I don't know for sure, but I believe the very early boxes have incompatible synchro rings from other GM45x06 boxes.
GM45x08 is a 1 year box for the 85 900 turbo. It has an extra bearing on the input shaft. It is basically the same as the GM45x06.
GM45x10 and GM55x02 have internal centering, but parts are compatible with GM45x06 and 08.
GM45x12 and GM55x04 has internal centering large pinion bearing. NA cars 89-90 early boxes have drain plugs. Internal parts are not compatible with x10 or lower versions.
GM45x14 internal centering large pinion bearing and revised shift forks. Internal parts are not compatible with x10 or lower versions.
x12 and x14 internal parts cannot be transplanted into x10 or earlier cases.


If you have more interest in the SAAB manual gearbox, the manual is still available from the dealer for around $20. There is really no substitute for the book. The front of the book explains all the part numbers and what application they had. Even if you never plan to rebuild a box, the book is neat to look at.

Here is a link that goes into great detail on how to do an automatic to 5-spd swap:

Auto to Manual Transmission Site- Learn how to swap your crappy auto 3-spd for a 5-spd transmission.


Many thanks to those who contributed this information!!!
If there is some wrong information or I've missed something, please e-mail me with the updates!
E-Mail Jeff



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