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A Saab Story - My 1997 Saab 900s named Garrus

Project cars, modifications or other general showoff

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NoKetchup

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Re: Rear Brake Replacement Hell Part 1: The Breakening.

PostThu Jul 10, 2014 11:00 pm

FrankTheCat wrote:So first of all, getting my car into the air was a problem. See the following video:



ok I feel the exact same way. For my first car, I accumulated thousands of dollars of parts before installing anything because I wasn't compfortable jacking and securing my car without denting or stressing something. The first actual mod I did to my car was weld in some very beefy subframe connectors (or idiot jacking rails). Best modification I have ever done to a vehicle.

On a side note, I have that same exact jack and I'm trying reeeaaaallly hard not to side track the build thread, I am totally self taught with cars because it bothers me to and not be able to know or understand every sub-component of something they own. Stupid thing won't raise more than one stroke or so; and apart from fluid dynamics, I am totally clueless on troubleshooting fixing a stupid/expensive jack. I maintain I know nothing on the subject, If someone knowledgeable could pm me or something, I really need to learn something.
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FrankTheCat

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  • Location: Foothills of the Adirondacks

Re: Rear Brake Replacement Hell Part 1: The Breakening.

PostFri Jul 11, 2014 12:48 pm

NoKetchup wrote:ok I feel the exact same way. For my first car, I accumulated thousands of dollars of parts before installing anything because I wasn't compfortable jacking and securing my car without denting or stressing something. The first actual mod I did to my car was weld in some very beefy subframe connectors (or idiot jacking rails). Best modification I have ever done to a vehicle.

On a side note, I have that same exact jack and I'm trying reeeaaaallly hard not to side track the build thread, I am totally self taught with cars because it bothers me to and not be able to know or understand every sub-component of something they own. Stupid thing won't raise more than one stroke or so; and apart from fluid dynamics, I am totally clueless on troubleshooting fixing a stupid/expensive jack. I maintain I know nothing on the subject, If someone knowledgeable could pm me or something, I really need to learn something.


It probably needs to have the hydraulic fluid topped off. I was only borrowing that jack so I can't go check, but there should be a fill plug. Any regular old hydraulic fluid should work. Pump the jack with the fill plug out to bleed the air.
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FrankTheCat

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State of The Hoonian

PostSat Jul 26, 2014 8:54 am

So despite the exciting arrival of the 1993 Volvo 245 in my life, me and my SAAB have spent more time together than ever before. I got a job that's a 65 mile round trip away, five days a week, so my ass is in the driver's seat a lot.

Two weekends ago I changed the oil with Pentosin HP 5w30, fitted a larger Purolator PureONE filter, and replaced the valve cover gasket.

I was pleasantly surprised that the sludge levels weren't too high when I popped the valve cover off, just some baked on carbon deposits that I scrubbed off of the valve cover. The cams and lifters look like they're in beautiful shape; barely any wear and zero scoring:
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Sorry about the potato quality photos (and general lack of any,) but my DSLR was down for the count at the time.

I found the valve cover was leaking because someone had replaced it before I got the car, and used a crap ton of RTV to stick the gasket to the valve cover while they flipped it upside down. Everywhere there was a leak, there was RTV on the gasket. I, however, used a thin layer of gasket maker. No leaks so far, as proven two weeks later:
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After I fixed the oil leaks, I had sprayed the engine down with superclean, let it sit, and used the water hose to wash the resulting crap off. Made it nice and squeaky clean, but boy did my car not like having water get in its electrics.

When I changed the oil I had sent out an oil sample to Blackstone Labs, and to my relief, it was mostly good news:
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Anything else has been stalled by the lack of a floor jack, but I have a 110lb ship weight crated beast arriving Wednesday afternoon via Estes Freight (on my birthday, no less) that should solve that problem. Look forward to an unboxing (uncrating?) of it. :D

I also have some new stanchion arms on order. Hopefully I can install them soon.

Sooooo shortlist:
-Stanchion arms
-Sound system (may have blown the dash speakers with NIN)
-Distributor rebuild
-Headliner repair (100F 100% humidity days did it in)
-RUUUUUUUUUUST
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FrankTheCat

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Goodbye To My Service Jack Woes; Hello To The New Hotness

PostWed Jul 30, 2014 10:54 am

New Vs. Old:
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Banana for scale.
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FrankTheCat

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1/2 A Sound System Upgrade

PostThu Aug 28, 2014 2:07 pm

Well long story short, my mechanic ended up having to replace the stanchion arms and align my car for me. You need to remove the steering knuckle and driveshaft to remove the bolt from the control arm, but I didn't have the fucknormous socket I needed to remove the axle nut.

Car tracks nice and straight now, though.

I also had him recharge my AC, since it was pretty weak last fall, and didn't work at all this spring. He went to vacuum the system down after replacing the obviously leaky service port valves, only to find he couldn't pull any vacuum. Perplexed, he put some dye in the system, only to have it come pissing out everywhere onto his shop floor

Figures.

Turns out the two AC lines going to the compressor rotted out (fuck road salt) where they're clamped to the radiator support. I had to order three different lines from three different vendors, plus a new receiver/dryer since the one on the car is probably destroyed from being open to atmosphere forever. My car's going back in next Wednesday to finally button that shit up.

I also ordered up some urethane sway bar endlink bushings and sway bar subframe mounting bushings, the proper steering rack bushing (finally) and some rear camber shims. The shims are needed, because as my mechanic discovered while doing the front end alignment, my rear wheels have a gnarly -1.9 degrees of camber. Guess the new rear suspension bushings unmasked that. A .6mm and .3mm shim on each side should bring the wheels back to -1 degree like they should be.

Look forward to pictures of installing all that bullshit this weekend, if I have free time.

Anyway, onto the main attraction: upgrading my dash speakers.

I blew out my dash speakers blasting Only by NIN a couple weeks ago, and they got more and more raspy as time went on. Enter a set of brand spanking new Polk DB351's I got on sale:
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Here are the stock SAAB dash speakers, the horrid little things, still in the dash:
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And the new vs. old:
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Bonus closeup of one of the old speakers, demonstrating why they needed replacement:
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Using an old speaker installation trick, I drilled out the rivets holding the stock speaker connectors to the old speakers, and used them to wire the new ones up. It makes the install a lot cleaner and easier, plus all it required was some heatshrink and speaker wire, versus buying an adapter:
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Here's the first of the two installed:
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And the second one about to drop in place:
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All done; the speaker grills fit fine, too:
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They're 4ohm speakers, versus the stock 8ohms... so I got a nice free 50% volume boost. While they sound awesome, they highlight the fact that I'm using a shitty tape deck adapter and have semi-blown craptastic 8ohm MB Quarts in the rear. In a paycheck or two I'll buy a set of Polk DB691's for the rear, and wire in an AUX jack through the tape deck.

As always, more to come.
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FrankTheCat

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If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words...

PostWed Sep 03, 2014 3:56 pm

...I'll let this one write my post for me:
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FrankTheCat

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I'm Not Dead.

PostFri Nov 07, 2014 6:32 am

Ayyyyy look what the cat dragged in, more rusty SAAB stories.

Reason for the lack of posting, is my car, shockingly, being relatively reliable... and my 245 has been shockingly UNreliable. Anyway, other than an oil and air filter change on my SAAB, not much had happened up until this week.

What happened this week? Well for one, my passenger side headlight lens cracked right up the middle from the headlight housing being warped:
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Sooo cue my car losing its grill again:
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Then I found out the replacement headlight I bought off of fleabay was so cheap for a reason-- the plastic standoff on the reflector for the vertical adjustment had snapped off. Luckily I had enough good parts between the two headlights to make one good one:
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SAABING, now with 50% fewer cracked headlight lenses!
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Also in the news this week, I finally replaced the driver's side steering rack bushing. See the following video for an informative narrative of that adventure:


Up next is finally fixing the leaky heater core fittings, installing new Sachs rear shocks, installing the rear camber shims, and installing new front sway bar mounting bushings. Oh and another alignment (my mechanic is gonna love getting that call.)
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FrankTheCat

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Rust Never Sleeps Part Two: The Rustening.

PostWed Nov 26, 2014 9:39 pm

Heyyy, remember when my car rusted out the passenger rear shock body mount last March? And how the driver's side was repaired 'professionally' before I bought the car?

Guess what happened?

If you guessed 'more rust in expensive places,' you are correct and win nothing because I'm broke again! :D

:|

First four minutes of the following video should get you up to speed on what I'm talking about:


If you watched the whole ramble (why?), here's a link to a video that might be pertinent.

Currently slowly buying tools from Harbor Fright as funds and coupons allow. Currently have a 10" drill press on order (which is mostly for repairing my favorite keyboard ever), and I'll take advantage of black Friday sales to buy a welder and mask. Oi vey.

Between the Volvo, SAAB, and a few other things, there goes any hope of replacing my desktop this year. Hopefully the SAAB will be back on the road before 2015 rolls around.

;-;
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FrankTheCat

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Once you're sucked into PCH, there's no escaping it.

PostMon Jun 29, 2015 1:10 pm

I bet there are several, nay, tens of people wondering where my 900 and I have been. We're still here, more-or-less intact.
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But, remember when I said I hoped my 900 would be back on the road before 2015 rolled around? :lol:
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I'll have you know my car hasn't moved more than three feet since I wrote those words, and subsequently ate them.

A lot of things were stacked against me-- lack of time, my uninsulated and unheated garage in the bitter winter cold, depression and the lack of motivation that brings...
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I got laid off from my job at the beginning of the month, and while that's cut off my influx of money, it's for sure put a lot more into the time and happiness budget.

So here we are now, with the car torn apart ready to be welded back together... with no money to do so. If I've learned anything on this journey, it's that you're bound to run into an insurmountable wall every once in a while.
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I've got a lot of work I need to do to my poor car before we can return to terrorizing innocent, unsuspecting Miata drivers on local back roads.
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That rust is the scariest part of this whole disaster, and only represent the worst spots I've found, but it's still overshadowed by all the external problems I have right now. Remember the money thing?

I came to realize that recreating most of the rusted out panels on my car by hand with new sheet metal is far beyond my skill set, and especially beyond what I can afford to have someone else fix properly. My only other recourse now is to find a clean, rust-free shell to cut the requisite panels out of, to weld into my car. There's no LMC Truck repop panel catalog for one of SAAB's most unloved platforms.

On top of that, a parts car would be awesome for replacing all the various things on my car that time and neglect have destroyed... and given the right donor, the facilitation of a Trionic 5, turbo, and 5spd swap. Just what PCH needs, right?

However, given how I have another needy daily driver now, and want to move out with my girlfriend sooner rather than later... Garrus is on the back burner, which I'm neither okay or content with. Learning to deal with these compromises is what I like to tell myself is part of being an adult.

That said, if any of you guys have a cleanish '96.5-99 900/9-3SE 5dr with a blown motor and no rust, preferably a manual transmission... and wouldn't mind selling it to me for basically scrap value, this car and I would forever be in your debt.

Oh, and don't worry about myself or Garrus. I'm doing okay in every way except money-wise, but that will change for the better as it always does, and Garrus' keys and title will have to be prized from my cold, dead fingers. :D
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Tanshanomi

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Re: A Saab Story - My 1997 Saab 900s named Garrus

PostSun Jul 12, 2015 8:21 pm

Sorry to hear about the slow progress and setbacks, but we've all been there. They are the tests that separate those who want it badly enough to endure, and those who will at some point cut and run with the project unfinished because of a greater desire to simplify their to-do sheet.
2011 Kizashi GTS Sport — 2002 Ford F150 Supercrew — 2007 Chrysler 300 Touring
2013 Cam-Am Spyder RS-S — 2012 Can-Am Spyder RT — 1974 Honda CL125 — "Bultakenstein", a pile of worn out motorcycle parts I'm calling a project bike
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FrankTheCat

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Re: A Saab Story - My 1997 Saab 900s named Garrus

PostMon Jan 04, 2016 8:45 pm

So I've always known the car had been in an accident or two (it certainly wore the scars,) but I got curious the other day.

Remember that alignment report I got from my mechanic and posted a while back? Well, after reading the report, I went out to the garage with a measuring tape and found something that solidified a recent decision I made about Garrus.

The driver's front corner of the car, specifically the top of the radiator support, is half an inch higher than the passenger side. The whole front end is actually shoved over almost an inch to the passenger side. I don't know what caused that, because the only accident damage reported was the front right of the car. I doubt it was the construction barrel that the previous owner's daughter hit, but stranger things have happened...

I also pulled a bit of the carpeting up at the driver's foot well, and well, I think this is the end.

Garrus' body is really fucked up. Even if I were sentimental about the car, it'd be insane to try and fix it. Especially since NG900's and OG9-3's are cheap as dirt right now.

My current plan is strip the car down to the bare chassis, save all the good parts, and scrap the body. All the good parts will then go on a '99 9-3SE to make a franken 900-3.

I'm selling my 9-5 soon, and if I get my way, that money's going toward this project.

Anyone want a 1999 9-5 wagon? 5 speed manual, 190k miles, bit of a fixer-upper...
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CraigB

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Re: A Saab Story - My 1997 Saab 900s named Garrus

PostFri Jan 08, 2016 10:29 am

The end must come at some point for all good cars. Sorry that the metal worm and previous shoddy repairs got this one.
CraigB
I have an irrational fear of anamorphic armadillos.
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