Very useful - thanks everyone!
TheEngineer - I would be very interested to learn more about your experience working on a SAAB, we have a 2005 93 we are attempting to do this swap on without a lift. If there are any pics you may have or tips and tricks you can share, they are much appreciated :-)
So like I said, I've only ever done it with a lift. And I don't know what major differences there are between the 93 and 95. But it's not that hard to do, it's just time consuming. Most FWD cars you can drop the whole subframe and drive train, so steps are similar. Make sure you disconnect everything and go slow. You'll find that the car needs to lift higher than you think to clear the engine. I don't know if the 93 uses a shift rod or cables (or if you're automatic). If it has a shift rod be very careful not to catch and bend it. We did that our first time and it messed up shifting completely. We had to pull a spare from another car and swap it in because we couldn't get it bent back correctly.
The hardest part is always lining things back up during reassembly. Even with a lift and the subframe on a pallet stacker it takes a ton of time getting it lined up so the bolts go in again. I think if I was going to even attempt to do it without a lift I would get the car over the subframe and situated flat on jack stands in the air. Then I would find all thread rods the same thread as the subframe bolts and thread in an ~8in section to each bolt location, bonus points if they're tapered/pointed. Then I'd use an engine crane to pick the assembly up from the top so you could have one person lift while others guide the subframe onto those threaded rods which would align it. Then when it's 95% raised, one by one remove the threaded rods and replace with the actual bolts.
I don't have any helpful pictures, sorry. But feel free to shoot me questions here or through email. I'll do my best to share what I can, if I have specific answers.
I think if I were going to do this in a garage without a lift, I'd look at getting an overhead hoist, not an standard engine crane. One of these style:
https://www.harborfreight.com/material- … 41188.html
Because with that you can lift the nose of the car itself without having the engine crane legs in the way of sliding the drivetrain assembly out. Plus it will lift higher.
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