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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
Hi All,

My first post on here. I have recently become the unexpected owner of a 2005 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t. It was was offered it at a price I could not afford to turn down by a former work colleague, and it is now sat outside on my driveway!

The car appears to be in reasonably good condition. Completely standard with 72k showing on the clocks. MOT till September, 4 recent good brand tyres, and all the electrics appear to be working as they should, including the roof. Drives really well, no knocks or bangs from the suspension, and feels a lot nicer on the road than my daily drive Signum CDTi. It even still has three quarters of a tank of petrol in it. Was mine for the bargain price of £150!

As always, there is a reason why the car was such a low price. It has a suspected failed turbo, lots of blue smoke for the first mile or so when cold, and there's a very noticeable rattle from the turbo when it is boosting. I'm hoping that it is a fairly straightforward job to change it, it seems to be pretty accessible enough and they are cheaper than I thought to buy. I'm reasonably handy with the spanners when I put my mind to it, just waiting for a nice weather day so I can get the old unit off. I've read that it is fairly easy to upgrade the power on these cars, as the 1.8 150bhp engine is actually a detuned version of the same 2.0 unit used in the more powerful cars. So not sure whether to upgrade the turbo now, or just leave it standard? If the costs are similar either way, I may as well do it and have some fun!

Once the turbo is sorted, I plan to use the car as a weekend summer car, and a backup for my daily. Never had a soft top car before, nor have I ever owned a Saab, so it'll be a new experience all round.

I will upload some photos once I've given it a good wash, as at the moment it is filthy. In the meantime, any advice on changing/upgrading the turbo would be much appreciated.


Last edited by scatmancraig on Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:36 pm 
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Arkwright.
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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:33 pm
Posts: 39629
Location: NETTLEHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE
Car Model: 99GL, Fiat 500 & Volvo V70
Welcome to UKS :D

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
The previous owner took this photo a while ago, so when it's clean it should look like this...
Image


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:50 pm 
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UKS Encyclopædia G-M
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:39 am
Posts: 39496
Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
Don't forget that the 1.8t is the same 2.0 litre engine as the 2.0t and very similar to the 2.0 Aero which has a bigger turbo and some injector differences in early years.

www.noobtune.co.uk ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
sgould wrote:
Don't forget that the 1.8t is the same 2.0 litre engine as the 2.0t and very similar to the 2.0 Aero which has a bigger turbo and some injector differences in early years.

http://www.noobtune.co.uk ;)


Yes, I have read that. I have also read that it's quite easy to regain the power lost in the detuning process, and gain a bit more on top without resorting to massive mechanical modifications. Hoping that when I replace the turbo that I don't find anything else untoward wrong with it. Apart from the turbo rattle, the engine sounds as sweet as anything, and the car drives spot on.

Had a good look at Noobtunes website, very interesting reading. I have emailed him to find out more about a remap. I don't want to go mad, just keep the mechanical side of things stock and get a decent amount of extra power.

Does anyone have any recommendations about where to get a replacement turbo from, and likely costs? I'm not sure exactly which make and model of turbo I actually need. I've done a quick ebay search, and prices seem to be lower than I was expecting. But I want it to last longer than 5 minutes, within reason I don't want to buy cheap and buy twice. Also, is there a 'how to' guide as to the correct process I need to follow when carrying out the work?

Thanks in anticipation for any help provided!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
Time for an update.

Thank's to some very helpful advice from Karl at Noobtune, I have replaced the knackered turbo with a good secondhand unit acquired from Neo Brothers. I think it's clear to see what has happened....
Image
There was loads of movement on the centre shaft, which has presumably caused the vanes to hit the casing.

Thankfully, the replacement was in good order with no movement on the shaft...
Image

As this car came with no history, I can only presume that a lack of oil changes has caused the original turbo bearings to fail. What worries me is what has happened to all of the bits worn away from the old turbo? This is the reason I went for a secondhand replacement rather than new, as I wanted to keep costs down just in case further problems were ahead.

So, with the replacement turbo fitted, the car now runs very well. It was a bit smokey at first, which I presume was down to some residual oil being in the system. Once that cleared, the smoke stopped completely. I've since treated it to some new decent quality oil and replaced the filters and spark plugs. The car pulls as it should and boosts nicely. Being a standard 150bhp car, I wouldn't describe it as quick, but very smooth and torquey.

Managed to give it a quick clean so I could get a photo taken...
Image

I really like driving this car, its so comfortable. At the moment, I'm using it every day, as I've sold my daily driver Signum. I'm seriously tempting myself into buying a diesel saloon 9-3, there's a high-miler 120bhp vector sport near me which I might go and look at later if its still for sale.

Next steps for the convertible will be a visit to Noobtune for a remap, which is booked in for a week on Saturday. The engine is only on 73k, so I think it could handle a little more power. I will be upgrading the brakes at some point too, I might try better pads first as the stopping power is good now, but the brakes fade after a couple of 'enthusiastic' stops. I've always found EBC Redstuff pads good for resisting fade in the past, so may try those.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:20 am 
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UKS Encyclopædia G-M
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:39 am
Posts: 39496
Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
Looks a nice car. That colour was used on all the dealer demonstrator convertibles for the launch in 2004. The convertible models ran one year later than the saloons.

We ran a 150hp Vector with a 195hp upgrade for seven or eight years. As far as I know it’s still going strong.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:31 pm
Posts: 3021
Location: Glasgow
Car Model: NG 9-5 Aero TTid 2011
Well done Craig a bargain indeed all the best with it and welcome to UK Saabs.

Bob


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:24 pm
Posts: 6355
Location: Wigan, Lancashire
Car Model: 9000 Anni, 9-5s by the score
That's quite a bargain, especially now the turbo has been replaced and it's running well. Use the correct oil and change it regularly and it will last for ages.

If you like enough now for it to have become your daily driver then you will be even more in love with it after visiting Karl. Make sure you have plenty petrol for the trip home, you'll end up going the long way. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
DeeDub8 wrote:
That's quite a bargain, especially now the turbo has been replaced and it's running well. Use the correct oil and change it regularly and it will last for ages.

If you like enough now for it to have become your daily driver then you will be even more in love with it after visiting Karl. Make sure you have plenty petrol for the trip home, you'll end up going the long way. :D

It's only my daily driver until I can get a diesel again. I was running a Vauxhall Signum CDTi 150 auto, which was nice but a bit thirstier than I'd like, so that one has gone now. I really don't know what to get as a daily, I'd quite like a 9-3 saloon with the diesel lump, but with the 6-speed manual box instead of auto. There's a 07 plate Vector near me that looks just the ticket, it's only the 120bhp version, but has 184k on it. Loads of history as well, so looks well worth a look. I need 55mpg on a run really, I think the 120 version with 6-speed box should manage that without too much bother.

Looking forward to seeing what the convertible will be like once it has been remapped, should be fun!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:31 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
Well, after 25 years of driving and never owning a Saab, I now have bought two 9-3's in the same number of months.

Joining the bargain 9-3 convertible is this....
Image

It's another 9-3 Vector Sport, but with the 120bhp diesel and 6-speed manual box. It's quite high mileage (184k), but appears to have been well looked after with good history and a huge stack of receipts to back it up. Went to have a look at it last night, took it for a drive and I was hooked. It's nowhere near as refined as the convertible, but I wasn't expecting it to be. It has a couple of scrapes, previous owner had owned it for 9 years and was getting on a bit, I think his family have encouraged him into a smaller car. The only thing that doesn't appear to work is the original fit radio, so I may need some help from this forum as to how to go about repairing or replacing it.

All being well, I will collect it tonight.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:38 pm
Posts: 1400
Location: West Midlands
Car Model: 2007 Derv Dame Vector Sport
Looks like the Saab bug has bitten....!

Which interior do you have in the diesel? It would probably have the updated dash on an 07 plate, which means the radio is interchangeable with any double DIN.
If it has the old style interior, radio with buttons and no screen or with a little green screen, then upgrades are very difficult.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
wynne71 wrote:
Looks like the Saab bug has bitten....!

Which interior do you have in the diesel? It would probably have the updated dash on an 07 plate, which means the radio is interchangeable with any double DIN.
If it has the old style interior, radio with buttons and no screen or with a little green screen, then upgrades are very difficult.

From what I can see, it has the older style stereo...
Image
So, I will probably need to fault find to see exactly what is wrong with a view to replacing or repairing it. Do these units cause many problems? I'm happy to have a go at sorting it, not sure on availability for a used replacement though.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:46 am
Posts: 4252
Location: suffolk
Car Model: 1993 9000 2.0 cse
thats a pound a horsepower bargain plus the turbo of course
my saab was sold as having a knackered turbo 2 squirts of carb cleaner in the apc valve by the time i was on the motorway it was boosting again had a right smug look on me face all the way home

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
I took the bargain convertible over to Karl at Noobtune yesterday afternoon. What a thoroughly decent and very helpful guy. And the difference he has made to my 9-3 is amazing, the speedo needle flies round now, in almost any gear. I can confidently say that was the best £90 I've spent on any car! I've just got to be careful I don't overdo it, the speed is very addictive...

Next job is to give the brakes a minor upgrade. The stopping power seems fine, but they do fade a bit too quickly for my liking. I've had good results with EBC Redstuff pads before, so I might give them a try. I did several track days with them fitted to the otherwise standard brakes on my Vauxhall Carlton I used to have as a track day car, and they were very resistant to fading. I also appear to have slightly warped rear discs, as there's a tell tale "drumming" noise coming from the rear under heavy braking.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:39 am
Posts: 39496
Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
Disc warping is rare. Most likely you have some pad material stuck on the disc. Caused by putting the handbrake on when the rear brakes are very hot. And they do get hot if you use the performance because they are used individually by the stability control system.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:37 pm 
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Location: NETTLEHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE
Car Model: 99GL, Fiat 500 & Volvo V70
Just noted the price you paid for the convertible, bargain :D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:04 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
Espin99 wrote:
Just noted the price you paid for the convertible, bargain :D

Yes, I'm certainly not complaining. Previous owner was a friend of mine who isn't short of a few quid. He knew I liked a project now and again, so he text me one day out of the blue asking if I wanted it. I was expecting to pay £500 upwards, even with a blown turbo, as the car is fairly low miles and in reasonable condition. When he said £150, I nearly took his hand off! I have to admit that I was at first going to fix it and move it on,,but the more I drive it, the more I appreciate that it is soooo much better than the Vectra it is based on (especially after the Noobtune ECU upgrade).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:22 am
Posts: 1071
Location: Ashford, Kent.
Car Model: 93 convertible Aero MMI
Welcome. That is the buy of the century. Look forward to reading about the vert in the future.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:30 pm 
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UKS Encyclopædia G-M
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:39 am
Posts: 39496
Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
But the Saab has passive rear steering. GM didn't find out until it was a fait accompli!! :D

Well, that's the story...

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