Question about 1996 Saab 900

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I have a Saab 900SE Turbo Convertible. The top will not operate. How do I manually operate until I can effectively troubleshoot my issue?

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  • norman886 Jul 17, 2010

    I have discussed this problem with many Saab forums and technicians with pitiful response. I am very pleased with the detail of the instruction.

    Great service!

  • suedemers
    suedemers Oct 21, 2012

    Thank you so much for this helpful info... i didnt have a 20lb weight but found wedging a bottle of midol in the latch did the trick! wooo hoo! no more pms! Thank you .



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The convertible top can be set into manual mode using the red lever behind the back passenger seats. The tonneau cover locking motor has to  be disconnected. The top motor in the trunk has to disconnect as well and can be reconnected if require for automatic function of convertible top. Manual mode is for emergency raising of the top only, so all you get is the manual latches on the first bow. the tonneau and fifth bow won't operate, so you're supposed to immediately go to get the problem remedied after emergency operation.
To get the latches to lock the top either up or down in manual mode?
To gain access to the 5th bow locks in the back, the plastic cover attached to the underside of the Tonneau cover was removed, the motor for the locks removed, and the back seat folded down. If you are inside the car and kneeling on the now folded down passenger seat, there should be 2 slots about 5 inches wide, just big enough for you to put your arm through, in the cover bag. You can manually lock and unlock the latches now.You can  attach a pull-cord to act as a handle for each lock.
For when you want to lock the Tonneau cover down with the top down and folded away, small springs about 2 inches long has to be  removed from both the left and right sides. If you pull on the large black, metal arm located in the truck with 2 metal cables/wires connected, you will notice this operates the locks.
Fold away the top and make sure the locks are open. Then put the Tonneau cover down. Use a carabiner clip to attach a 20 lb weight to the metal arm discussed earlier; pulling it down. This will activate the locks. Walk to each side and push down on the Tonneau cover to ensure they are fully engaged.
In automatic convertible top it takes 2 minutes.In manual it will take 5 minutes to make the top down or up.
Thanks. Keep updated for any more query. You can rate this solution and show your appreciation.

Posted on Jul 17, 2010

  • 3 more comments 
  • norman886 Jul 17, 2010

    I will look at the top tomorrow morning. I will probably hve a few questions, but, I am pleased with your response.

    Thanks alot.


  • raj somaiya
    raj somaiya Jul 17, 2010


  • Anthony Hudgins
    Anthony Hudgins May 20, 2014

    Can't get my top to work properly on my 98 se convertible, I'll try this tomorrow, it's weird driving around with the top not closed to the tonneau cover.

  • Anonymous Mar 20, 2017

    This is literally the best-worded description on a solid, logical manual top conversion I've seen on the entire internet. Insane that it's been 22 years since the 900NG convertible, and in that time there aren't about one million amazing manual top hacks available to read about on the various forums.

  • traci Aug 10, 2017

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank you! raj somaiya at last someone who knows what he's talking about you helped me big time. i also agree with everything Anonymous above says thanks again :)



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