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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:24 am 
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Full Pressure Turbo
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:21 pm
Posts: 750
Location: Lanarkshire
As the title says chaps. The 9000 (B204) is nearing the 200k miles mark. How much, roughly, for a Saab indy to replace the head gasket?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:32 am 
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Location: not in a SAAB.
Car Model: A Soot Chucking GM Product
My indy will charge £350 'all-in'. Probably about the same cost as the car is worth :shock:

If you are handy with the spanners then it is a job that can be done yourself. All the parts needed to do the job (gaskets, oil filter, thermostat?) will cost less than £100 from SAAB.

Not much in the way of special tools needed either, just an E15 (inverted Torx), deep 27mm socket (for the chain tensioner) and a decent torque wrench. While you are at it its a good idea to drop the exhaust manifold off and sort the studs out. Much easier to do off the car than on. The heads are pretty tough so unless it has failed spectacularly you probably wont need the head skimming.

Mind you, you could take a gamble and buy another similar engine and drop that in quicker and cheaper.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:46 am 
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SAAB Sport & Rally Guy
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Location: Whitley Bay
Car Model: 96, C900, 9k, 9-3 & 9-5
Is there something wrong with the one fitted - you don't say, sounds like you think it should have one at the milage?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:07 am 
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Robert wrote:
Is there something wrong with the one fitted - you don't say, sounds like you think it should have one at the milage?

If that is the case - just a precaution - then just have the head bolts re-torqued. Loose bolts seem to be a common cause of head gasket failure and to my mind are the main reason 9000 head gaskets let go due to mileage.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:18 am 
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Robert wrote:
Is there something wrong with the one fitted - you don't say, sounds like you think it should have one at the milage?

Prevention being better than cure, i guess...

Don't forget a new set of head bolts as well..

If its any consolation, mine's on 230k and seems fine (bar the noisy chain which i'm just about to shoot off and get the bits for..)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:37 pm 
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Location: Whitley Bay
Car Model: 96, C900, 9k, 9-3 & 9-5
If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Where do you stop? Just retorque the headbolts if there is nothing amiss. You shouldn't need new headbolts for the first (or second, come to that) Just check them to make sure they haven't stretched

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:51 pm 
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My Saab fella charged me £250 using Saab parts (no bolts though) Mind, mine lasted 37 miles before I was turbo...goodbye! Bottom end?? Goodbye too!! :roll:

Yes, grown men do cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:07 pm 
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Full Pressure Turbo
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:21 pm
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Location: Lanarkshire
Thanks for the info, guys. I've got a 'tick' marked on the cam covers which means the heads been off. There is nothing wrong with the car or engine. Replacing the head gasket was more of a precaution. I have instructions for cylinder head retorque. At £350 for a garage to carry out work I could do myself (when I find time) I'd skip that option. I know the car was owned by IBM and the servicer was West Cars, do you think they would they tell me when exactly the head gasket was replaced? I would rather not wait until the gasket gives up, but, if its likely to give another 50k miles then 'if it aint broke.....' Just passed 190000 miles.

I'm beginning to think this car is going to outlive me. My plan was for 4 years on a '95 car. I bought it 2 years ago. I have the oldest (by a country mile) car on the estate, but there is nothing wrong with it. Realisticly, as a daily driver (60 miles/day) how long can I expect this to last?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:17 pm 
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T5 Sweet wrote:
I'm beginning to think this car is going to outlive me. My plan was for 4 years on a '95 car. I bought it 2 years ago. I have the oldest (by a country mile) car on the estate, but there is nothing wrong with it. Realisticly, as a daily driver (60 miles/day) how long can I expect this to last?

Forverer? I'm doing 70 miles a day in mine, and its got 230k on the clock...needs a timing chain though! Aside from that, its taken not a lot at all to get an MoT on it (a couple of 2" patches of welding and a couple of bulbs, plus an exhaust i knew about when I bought it and 3 tyres, but they're consumables to me).


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:34 pm 
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philhoward wrote:
(a couple of 2" patches of welding and a couple of bulbs, plus an exhaust i knew about when I bought it and 3 tyres, but they're consumables to me).
Well, some might not agree about the patches but anyone who doesn't regard exhaust, bulbs and tyres as consumables (and some don't :roll: ) is living in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land :shock:

I don't understand why people don't see the economic benefit of running a well-cared-for, quality, older car over running a brand new one that costs a fortune in depreciation and the dealer-servicing the manufacturer insists on to maintain the warranty.

I've probably got the oldest car in the street in my C900 and I don't think any of my neighbours has anything older than my 9000 CSE but they still appear to regard it as a "nice" car. I wouldn't trade it in for something newer just because of what anyone else might think...

The CSE has done 195K miles, the 900 200K and the 9000 Aero 216K.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:04 pm 
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Badly worded, Bill...sorry!

Exhausts, tyres, etc are consumables, and a couple of patches (back end of the sills) are nothing major and i'd expect something on a 17 year old car! The rest of it is pretty good underneath - this is the first welding its ever had as far as i can see. They weren't holes when i had a look, but i think the MoT man's toffee hammer is a bit sharper than my finger! Annoying that it was right next to the drain hole grommets...Ah well, if i get another 12 months out of it, i'll look for a good one this time. It was a cheapy "suck it and see if I like 9k's" exercise (as i do with a lot of cars)...and it was worth the work needed in my mind.

Total list to date:
Purchase £180
A service (don't count that!)
3 tyres (which became a set of 3-spokes - it was cheaper) £120
Downpipe £15
Top engine mounts £10/each
Couple of bulbs (pence..)
Welding (wired a mates compressor up in exchange)
Pair of boot struts (£20)
Few other odds and sods needed, but nowt that stops it running.

..and i've got a chubby comfortable car that gives me a grin every time i drive it...worth every penny! Might have to be a 2.3 manual next time...


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