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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 9:52 pm
Posts: 15
Car Model: 900
My wife has bought this:

Image

I may have married the right woman!

I'm lucky enough to have a partner who is enthusiastic about cars and a keen driver, and has always been supportive of my hobby, even when it leaves us stranded or under a bit of a financial tourniquet.

She has always been interested in the Saab design, mainly the 99 and she has been looking for a non-turbo early car for a while.

After seeing a few early 900s from dealers, and basic 99s, the search was put on hold after we were engaged (at Goodwood Revival, naturally) and life took over a bit.

However, an old advert being reposted of a white flat-front turbo piqued our interest, especially as it stated he had a 90 (!) and a few other 900s. Best to test as many variants as possible, even if the price was strong! It had been picked up in this forum's 'Saabs spotted for sale' section and didn't get any dire warnings. After much research, including a few calls with the garage that had maintained it for 12 years (SS Motors Soton), we headed down the M3 to the coast and met the owner, a long term Saab enthusiast with many cars and a background in engineering. We followed his immaculate 90, which he has had for over 20 years, out to his storage area. When was the last time you saw a 90 on the road? Fantastic!

Image2018-06-09_11-25-37

Initial impressions were not good. I was not enthusiastic - it had been 'stored' outside on grass with some other projects, cosmetically it was poor - wheel arches showing signs of corrosion, surface rust on and under the bonnet, ingrained dirt and ancient, cracked tyres.

Image20180603_130131

Image20180603_130134

Image20180603_130023

Image20180603_130021

However, it was structurally very sound, and the history of work carried out over the past 12 years of ownership was extensive - clearly it was mechanically kept in fine fettle. The owner was passionate and meticulous, and had completed a lot of repairs and sensible upgrades, including relocation of the battery to the boot. After an extensive checklist I had prepared was grudgingly ticked off, sort of, my wife took it for a test drive. Of course, the fuel light was on, so we managed to check the needle, fuel cap and pump all in one go. The car pulled very well in all gears; clutch and various Saab weaknesses again ticked off. It's posture, braking and steering were all excellent, and everything worked.

It was clear the owner wasn't to be moved on price (he was reluctant to sell at all, really, and some family pressure was being exerted), so we took a few hours to speak to some helpful members of the Saab forums and check sold prices. True, it was highly priced for a car with some issues, but the work carried out meant it could be used as intended - a daily driver - while we worked on everything else.

My wife bought it - she liked the owner, the story and loved the car. She was also fully converted to the Turbo and 5 gears, thank the blessed Swedish gods, which I was keen on as it means we can go further afield without tinnitus. We received a car full of spares and the £10 back for the fuel we put in, and the owner waved us off:

Image20180603_180031

I then struggled to keep up for the 60 mile drive home in our faithful Rover 75.

Image20180603_180415

Image20180603_180403

Now, after a week of not being able to see or drive it, I spent last weekend thoroughly cleaning it, documenting everything that's off, missing or needs attention.

As it's being used daily the goal is to keep nibbling away on the cosmetics, the mechanical gubbins all seem in good order.

The history for servicing looks fantastic, with all major items ticked off including the engine being out for clutch and various upgrades, plus the head being rebuilt in the past three years.

Aside from ongoing list making, the immediate issues are the old tyres and an occasionally-off idle. Next weekend will be a thorough check of ignition, vacuum and sensors.

Pics of the deep clean and preventative rust-stoppage to follow.

This is going to be quite a project, so if anyone know of flat front parts, or one being broken in white please let me know!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:47 am
Posts: 2975
Location: Aberdeen,UK
Car Model: C900S LPT Vert 1993
Very nice 8)

Have fun :wink:

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96 V4 1968
99 GL 1984
C900 16i Vert 1992
C900S LPT Vert 1993

"We are one, we are SAAB"


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:10 am 
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Arkwright.
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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:33 pm
Posts: 40042
Location: NETTLEHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE
Car Model: 99GL, Fiat 500 & Volvo V70
Very nice and a good first write up, looking forward to progress reports :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:55 pm 
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Arkwright.
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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:33 pm
Posts: 40042
Location: NETTLEHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE
Car Model: 99GL, Fiat 500 & Volvo V70
Any updates :D

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Self righteousness is for the narrow-minded.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 9:52 pm
Posts: 15
Car Model: 900
Apologies, yes lots gone been done!

What follows is a slightly copied version of the PH thread, but I'll post some other questions and fumbling queries in the other parts of the forum!

Thank you all! Hopefully she can get another 180k out of it - she's smitten.

Sun shining as expected, I tackled the only issue that had caused concern in the first week - sluggish starting. I checked battery voltage, charging, and cleaned a few grounds, but it still turned over with muted indifference rather than enthusiastic abandon. The battery had been relocated to the boot, and a lot of wiring has been relocated. The voltage to the starter dropped a bit and perhaps the distance was a factor...

Image20180604_202148 by Clifton Tausberger, on Flickr

Despite the existing battery being in spec, it was a tad old and an unknown quantity. It also still had one of its transfer plugs present and signs of a leak:

Image20180605_204546 by Clifton Tausberger, on Flickr

I measured the tray bought the biggest CCA I could fit from Varta, and 24hours later it turned up. A little electrical compound and it was in quickly. Instant improvement! It now starts with reassuring regularity.

Image20180608_211206 by Clifton Tausberger, on Flickr

I noted down a few tasks for the weekend - a thorough clean, check of all hoses and clamps, grease/oil/top up everything and if possible start the demoralising stoppage of rust.

Unloading the cavernous boot in the dark, I hadn't had a chance to look though everything, but it is a lot:

Image20180610_130854 by Clifton Tausberger, on Flickr

Wipers for the lights, clutch cylinder, cap, clips, bolts, the rear hatch trim and ever type of grommet and fiddly Saab nugget you could think of. Not bad. Not pictured, but in the glovebox was a NOS bag of badges, engine sensors and spark plugs. Nice.

Then the cleaning began...

She's a wonder - when not found researching exactly how long the engine should idle at the end of journey to let the turbo cool down, she is looking for replacement parts on our (now very long) list.

The weekend amounted to a deep clean, documentation of foibles, prioritisation of parts to order and a check of...everything that could go wrong.

Oh! Firstly I actually took it for a drive to get breakfast, and parked next to another iconic design in white:

Image20180609_093935

Before photos are...not pretty. 200 miles since purchase around London with the trees dropping sticky nastiness, neighbours completing building work with Vesuvian dust clouds made the Saab a very sorry sight.

Bonnet (complete with oversprayed badge, a serious offence in my book):

Image20180609_121016

Roof:

Image20180609_121053

Snails:

Image20180609_121006

Though actually we are suffering an epidemic of gastropods so I believe these were added this week on our driveway. I'm aiming to train them to display messages for visitors via carefully flavoured trails.

Rear hatch gunge:

Image20180609_121159

The pressure washer was deployed carefully, checking seals and blasting encrusted gunk off. You can imagine the detritus I was wading through. Snow foam experimented with to loosen the ingrained dirt:

Image20180609_130407

Another pressure wash, and... well let's just say a clay bar was required. For hours. Insects, rubber, marks of every kind and rust particles (nearby grinding or sanding settling on the paint?) were expunged.

I was left with a car that now clearly had a mismatched/incorrectly painted roof and bonnet, and had received numerous bits of paint and rot-stoppage elsewhere. Hmm. You can see how flat some of the paint was here on the bonnet, and yes almost all the specks left are stone chips:

Image20180609_134050

I was tired of cleaning so took a break with some more interesting items. Firstly, all fluids were spot-on, the oil service history in particular likely key to it's high mileage after rebuild:

Image20180610_125812

In the spares stack was the inner hatch trim, the owner told us it was removed when repairing some hatch items and fitting the third brake light.

The wife and I tracked down all the correct clips and receivers from the parts haul and it went back without an issue. One item but it helps with housespace!

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I then uncovered an old bottle of T-Cut and set about the car with a quart of elbow grease. This was backbreaking as the bonnet and roof needed several passes and they're a fair old reach to the centre! Eventually I grimaced and admitted it would never get any better, so applied a few passes of Super Resin Polish. Wax may follow at some point, when mental faculties have returned and after we decide where paint sits in the schedule!

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I also found some nasty back-to-black spray just to attempt the trim - upper grill here has been sprayed, lower hasn't:

Image20180610_190912

Phew. I then hoovered the interior and went to have a lie down in a darkened room. I am definitely buying, and learning how to use, a rotary polisher next time!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:53 pm
Posts: 181
Location: Notts/Derby border
Car Model: 1992 SAAB 900S three door.
Good work, nice car, will be worth the effort, not many flat fronts about now, sadly.
Keep keeping us up to date. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:41 pm 
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UKS Addict

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:20 pm
Posts: 2928
Car Model: 93 convertible aero v6, bmw z3
Lovely

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Peace, Gbn x


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:44 pm 
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Arkwright.
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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:33 pm
Posts: 40042
Location: NETTLEHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE
Car Model: 99GL, Fiat 500 & Volvo V70
Looking good 8)

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Self righteousness is for the narrow-minded.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:23 am
Posts: 183
Location: Leicestershire
Car Model: 1992 3dr 900i
^^^ as he said 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:23 pm 
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Arkwright.
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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:33 pm
Posts: 40042
Location: NETTLEHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE
Car Model: 99GL, Fiat 500 & Volvo V70
They look so much better without the side rubbing strips 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:38 pm
Posts: 1421
Location: West Midlands
Car Model: 2007 Derv Dame Vector Sport
Cracking project and update.
Keep them coming.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:47 pm
Posts: 2342
Looking good. If you are still not happy with the bodywork I can highly recommend using a clay mitt rather than a clay bar, then Meguiars Ultimate Compound (or similar) with a da polisher like the one I got from Argos.

http://www.argos.co.uk/product/4645777

My c900 had dull and gritty black paint, full of swirls and holograms, but looks great after a few goes with the above combination. I used the clay mitt a couple of times and the paint is like glass.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:53 pm
Posts: 181
Location: Notts/Derby border
Car Model: 1992 SAAB 900S three door.
Espin99 wrote:
They look so much better without the side rubbing strips 8)


They do don't they !
Mmmmm ???


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 9:52 pm
Posts: 15
Car Model: 900
Thanks for all the kind words - the Saab has shrugged off the miles and plenty of work has been done.

ame2 wrote:
Looking good. If you are still not happy with the bodywork I can highly recommend using a clay mitt rather than a clay bar, then Meguiars Ultimate Compound (or similar) with a da polisher like the one I got from Argos.


Much obliged for that - we're considering a repaint of the bonnet and roof in the correct shade of white but may get this in the interim.

In the summer I set off for my favourite tyre fitter - it's a bit of a drive to Micheldever but they have never let me down and help out with all sorts of requests I have.

After consulting the original spec sheets and some other owners, we decided on 195/60s rather than the current 185/65s, as a slightly wider tyre befits a Turbo!

Image20180616_082539

Good to see the arches, studs, brake lines and surrounding components are in good order:

Image20180616_082719

I was annoyed some of the balancing weights were fitted to the outside of the alloys, this will have to be rectified, but for the moment I feel a lot safer! The combined age of the existing tyres was 35 years - blimey!

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Into the alignment bay, I had a good poke around the underside, and we agreed all was well. Some tidying and underseal to go on before the winter, but pretty much everything was intact and looking good.

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CV boots need replacing. I'm sure that will be fun:

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While the exhaust is recent on not leaking, this centre section doesn't look nice at all:

Image20180616_081602

The drive back was a revelation - grip! Actual grip! Also a large drop in road noise, I had to turn the radio down a few notches - very happy to not be rolling on crumbling biscuits anymore.

I have form with erratic idles in my car history, but I think the Saab may take a bit longer to fully solve given all the vacuums, early Bosch electronics and high mileage parts. Still, number one was the distributor cap, which looks a tad green:

Image20180616_123552

I'll keep it, clean it with a Dremel and have it as a backup. Genuine Bosch brighteyed replacement:

Image20180616_123701

Rotor also looked a bit dirty:

Image20180616_123616

Wet & dry later, and all refitted:

Image20180616_124503

All the HT leads are in spec, though one is not a genuine Bougicord and has a split in it. To be eyed suspiciously later if I can't get it perfect. Spark plugs are new and correct. Coil is perfectly in spec.

The car ran noticeable better but still not perfect, next stop MAFs, valves, tubes and sensors.

Next up, the cabin filter, which is in front of the driver under the bonnet vent. Gently prise out the tabs and...

Image20180616_124714

Probably time to change that. Looks like an original Saab fitment!

Image20180616_125008

Obligatory old and new shot:

Image20180616_124958

A healthy clean of the area with antibacterial spray also yielded emulsified filter bits and various nasties:

Image20180616_124833

Purists look away now - I ordered a used spark plug cover that purported to be correct but had '96' scrawled on the back, defintiely wrong. As it was so cheap I just cut the end off and sanded it:

Image20180616_131659

The rocker cover will come off for painting at some stage so I'll do them both the same colour then.

Image20180616_132425


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Arkwright.
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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:33 pm
Posts: 40042
Location: NETTLEHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE
Car Model: 99GL, Fiat 500 & Volvo V70
Nice to see further progress 8)

195/60's are the correct size for a turbo.

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Self righteousness is for the narrow-minded.


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