The 'New' Silver Beast - Rick's 1989 900S [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: The 'New' Silver Beast - Rick's 1989 900S


RWElphinstone
7th July 2007, 07:03 PM
Hi Everybody. (That's a 'hi' to my Brothers and Sisters who share the North American shores, and to everyone else 'across the pond'!)

I'm pretty new here, and hope to become a fixture, so I thought I'd share some pictures of my Saab, which is going to become my 'rolling restoration', as I have just found a buyer for my 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

Here's a pic of the car I'm replacing:

http://www.genii.ca/images/other/lancer1.jpg


I've sold her, because my Wife and I have a new Baby, and because the extra $500+ per month I'm saving on Car Payments and Insurance are going towards savings, and the restoration of my 1989 Saab 900S!

Anyway, here's some history on my new car.

I was at my Best Man/Best Friend's house a few months ago, and he had the (my?) Saab sitting in his driveway. I noted that it had been sitting there for over a year, and I asked about it. Well, he had bought it for his Son for his birthday, but his Son didn't like it much. (Truth be told, he'd much rather drive his parents new SUV, which turned out to be more popular with the ladies.)

Anyway, I told him that I was trying to sell my Ralliart, and that I really, really liked the Saab, but I couldn't afford both cars. He told me that if I had $300, I could have it, although he knew another friend who had offered him $500 for it! (I was excited, and even though I didn't have the money at the time, he told me that I could have it, and pay him later!)

So, thus began my love affair with the car. It needed a battery, as it had been sitting for over a year without being started, so after driving it across the city (Brampton to Ajax, a 50KM trek) I found that the old, yet recharged, battery wouldn't 'hold' its charge, so off to Canadian Tire I went to get my replacement - and the first of (I'm sure) many replacement parts that will be going into the car.

Well, she's now sitting in my driveway, awaiting all types of repairs and upgrades. So, I figure, if you've read this much, you're probably waiting for some more pictures.

Well, here we go.

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/frontangle1.jpg

As I'm sure you can see, the car hasn't seen much love in a few years, although, I can see her 'inner beauty' already. (For example, the leather seats in the back don't look like they've ever been sat in!)

Here are a few of the things that may need some attention.

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/passengermirror1.jpg

Thanks to E-Bay, and a very helpful Seller, my replacement mirror should be arriving this week! (I'm continuing this thread in another post, as I'm told that I have too many images!!!)

RWElphinstone
7th July 2007, 07:03 PM
Thanks for coming back! Here's the follow-up to my last post!


http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/passengerfender1.jpg

Well, that's not good...

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/gascover1.jpg

Neither is that...

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/engine1.jpg

Well, that doesn't look too bad... Wait - what's that blue wire there?

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/engine2.jpg

Okaaaaay... So, somebody had the thought to hold open the vent thingy because maybe the solenoid (?) wasn't working? Maybe?

Ah well. As you can see, I have a bit of work to do. Any help would be appreciated, and I'll likely be the guy that asks, "What does that acronym mean?" as I'm not the car guy type - I'm usually the computer-guy type.

But, who's not up for a challenge???

jim_mcghee
7th July 2007, 07:47 PM
:o That front wing is a mess. Thats where 3 skins join, and thats not easy to fix. That blue wire is holding something up..

TheRedBaron
7th July 2007, 09:08 PM
Looks like you got your work cut out for you! Those AC hoses look newish, has the system been ravamped? Anyway, looks good - I can't believe anyone would take a new SUV over that timeless beauty!

Matthew
7th July 2007, 10:44 PM
That is going to be a labour of love!

AC system's obviously not working as there's no belt on the compressor.

That vent is for the recirculation function of the air conditioning. The actuator closes the vent so that ambient air is not drawn in to the cabin.

Wheel arch will be tricky. Expensive too if you pay someone to do the work. Any bodywork should really be done by a Saab specialist, as they will (or should!) know about the construction of the cars. They'll also have donor metalwork, which you're gonna need.

What is your goal for the car?

RWElphinstone
8th July 2007, 08:23 AM
Wheel arch will be tricky. Expensive too if you pay someone to do the work. Any bodywork should really be done by a Saab specialist, as they will (or should!) know about the construction of the cars. They'll also have donor metalwork, which you're gonna need.

I figured that it would be difficult, as soon as I looked at it. I also read over some of the threads where it was mentioned that the metal was welded in place, and I knew that wouldn't be an easy task to fix!

I'm not certain on how to go about fixing all of the rust issues, as there are a lot of bodyshops around here, but I'm not aware of any shops that specialize in European vehicles.

I hope to do a little homework first, before delving into the repair!

What is your goal for the car?

Well, since it's going to be my daily driver, I want to get some of the 'comfort' issues dealt with first. For example, one of the pics I didn't take was of the headliner. While there isn't one in the cabin itself, someone left it on the sunroof, and it's hanging just enough to be an annoyance.

It's a blessing, actually, because now I know what fabric to get!

I guess my ultimate goal is to have the car back in good-to-excellent shape... (Not certain on the term I want to use, but 'concours' is always a nice goal, eh?) When I'm out driving, I want younger people to point and wonder, and I want older people to smile and nod.

There's a strange hand-off with today's cars. While they are usually packed with options, they feel like they've been cheaply manufactured. I know that when I'm checking out my Saab, it feels heavy and well-built. The doors open and close with a satisfying 'thunk', and even most of the paintwork, while it is 18 years old, is in fantastic shape!

(Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I used a bit of cleaner wax to tidy up a 12" circle on the hood, and it looked like it came up like new! I can't wait to detail the whole car!)

Anyway, I think my goal is to do as much of the work as I can myself, and leave some of the harder stuff to the pros.

Tomarse
8th July 2007, 10:58 AM
Good luck - i'd be tempted to cut a whole donor wing/wheel arch off a scrapper to replace that front bit.
There are some guys in the 99 forum doing that at the moment too.

Pictures in this thread might give you an idea of what is in there (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61438)

(PS - Matthew - to the FAQ-mobile I reckon! ;) )

RWElphinstone
8th July 2007, 01:40 PM
Pictures in this thread might give you an idea of what is in there (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61438)

I read that thread the other day, and it looks pretty much like what I've resigned myself to do. Now, the exciting (see: PITA) part is to find a bodyshop which has access to a spare fender.

(I lost out on the perfect donor car by about a day - an 88 in my area that sold for $100 - which may have had more than enough parts to help out! Dang!)

Ah well! Such is the adventure! The 'good news' is that E-Bay seemed to know I was coming - I've currently got a replacement mirror and front grill on their way, as well as an official Saab engine manual... ...and from Amazon.com, the Bentley Guide! (5-7 weeks shipping, though? Blasphemy!)

Matthew
8th July 2007, 05:42 PM
Sounds like an exciting project :D I look forward to seeing it develop :D

Tom: thread noted for FAQ :D

RWElphinstone
9th July 2007, 10:11 AM
Those AC hoses look newish, has the system been ravamped?

On that, I'm not certain. I figure I'll find a replacement belt, and try it out soon. If it blows anywhere close to cold - especially in this 34 degree (celcius) weather - I'll count myself lucky!

:cool:

RWElphinstone
10th July 2007, 05:35 PM
Why I love E-Bay:

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/ebaymirror1.jpg

...and...

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/ebaygrille1.jpg

Both of my replacement items came today, along with a 'secret mod' which I'll show everybody when the car is done to my satisfaction! ;) (No, sorry! No hints!)

I'm STOKED! I can't wait until I can get out there and replace the mirror, which I hope to do tonight, as I'm going to have the car looked at tomorrow, to hopefully get her certified!

:cool:

Matthew
10th July 2007, 09:29 PM
I bought a brand new in the box LH power mirror at the Saab Festival spares market for about 5 :cheesy: No shiny grilles though :cry:

RWElphinstone
10th July 2007, 10:56 PM
I bought a brand new in the box LH power mirror at the Saab Festival spares market for about 5 :cheesy: No shiny grilles though :cry:

It's on! It's on! I spent all of ten minutes in my driveway, removing the plastic interior plate guard, the two Torx screws, and pulling the electrical out of the hanging mirror, and then replacing it with my nice, shiny new one! :cheesy:

Of course, the plastic plate was held on with supertape in lieu of the screw that belongs there, but hey, it can be fixed!

I'll let you all know how the certification goes tomorrow! :cheesy:

Palmer1980
11th July 2007, 02:53 AM
YOU!!!


You made a nasty comment about my ex in my "APC switch" thread on my "other" forum.

:)


I have the other "beast" in the project area..


http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89438

Have fun with yours!

saabismi
11th July 2007, 06:22 AM
That wing looks....Rusty:)I cant wait for the final result;)

RWElphinstone
11th July 2007, 09:31 AM
YOU!!!

You made a nasty comment about my ex in my "APC switch" thread on my "other" forum.

:)

*puts on fake moustache* Tally ho, good sir! You must have me mistaken for someone else! Pip, pip! Good day, old chap! ;)

I have the other "beast" in the project area..

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89438

Have fun with yours!

OMG, Man! That's a beauty! I can't wait to clean my car up and get it looking as nice as yours! (One day, of course. One day.)

RWElphinstone
11th July 2007, 01:27 PM
Everybody cross your fingers - I have dropped my car in to the local shop, dropped a few more names than I should have, and have surrendered my one, original key.

I hope to hear back about the Safety Certification sooner, rather than later. (That's a big 'hope' there.)

Fingers crossed!

;)

Matthew
11th July 2007, 01:33 PM
So if the car passes, then it'll be road legal for the first time in more than a year?

Good luck! Fingers crossed!

RWElphinstone
11th July 2007, 01:40 PM
So if the car passes, then it'll be road legal for the first time in more than a year?

Absolutely correct!

The only items that I'm aware may be of issue are the brakes and the tightness of the emergency brake cable. I believe it should pass any emissions that are necessary, as it looks like a brand new stainless steel exhaust was installed a short time ago.

I just want to be able to say she's road-worthy, and get her out on the open road!

:cool:

RWElphinstone
13th July 2007, 01:25 PM
Ok, so I just visited my local mechanic, and I'm a little bit disheartened. It turns out there's a few holes in the body where he said, "Once I got her up on the lift, you could punch through and feel carpet."

:cry:

Beyond that, the driver's side brakes were seized, most of the rotors had rusted out, and he also commented on the fender.

I'm going to get a quote today or Monday, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!

RWElphinstone
18th July 2007, 01:27 PM
:x

Y'arr. So, it's Wednesday, and after talking to my tech, my car has STILL not been quoted on. Ah well, I've been told that it's got a seized front brake, a problem with a ball joint, and some holes in the body under my feet...

...so, if it's too much to repair - I've got another option available.

A '92 900 Turbo Convertible has just come available... The Good News? It's $1000 CDN. :D The Bad News? It's got just over 400,000 KM's on the speedo. :cry:

Is this a smart buy? If the car runs fairly well now, what could I expect down the line for motor needs?

TheRedBaron
18th July 2007, 01:36 PM
Probably be fine, keep the 89 for if you need to swap parts or motors!

RWElphinstone
18th July 2007, 01:44 PM
Probably be fine, keep the 89 for if you need to swap parts or motors!

Thanks Red! By the way, have you met my Wife? ;) Here's my impersonation of her response to me, telling her that we'll keep both of them: :nono;

If only...

:cool:

RWElphinstone
24th July 2007, 09:54 PM
Y'arr... So, here we are, lots of days later, and my car is finally fixed and safetied!!! I go and pick her up tomorrow.

:)

Now, for the bad news. As you may have read above, my mechanic didn't get me a quote on the work being completed beforehand, and was arm-deep in the work before I found out. Being the calm guy I am, and recognizing that I would really, really like the work to be done, I went with it.

Unforunately, it turns out the bill is now just over $900.

:o

Damn. If I had known that the work would have cost three times the cost of the car, I would likely have done most of it myself! (There were some items, like the four larger holes in the underbody, that I wouldn't have been able to tackle.)

As I understand so far, I had one of the brake calipers replaced, as it was seized and would not come unstuck, the brake pads and rotors were replaced all the way around, one of the ball joints was replaced, and the holes had the rust cut out and then sealed up.

One of the "good news" moments was that the guy that did the body work was so taken aback by the hole in the fender that he cut out the rust and patched the hole - I'm told it's not 'pretty', but that it's a hell of a lot better than the rusty mess that was there originally. (It's my plan to have all of the body work addressed at a later date, so I'm happy that this was done up front.)

Overall, I'm really excited to get the car back in my possession. She's been away far too long.

:cool:

Honkey
25th July 2007, 04:14 AM
Here's my impersonation of her response to me, telling her that we'll keep both of them: :nono;

Quoted for truth :cheesy:

Why oh why isnt the front lawn an acceptable place to store cars??? Grass will always grow back a few years later!

RWElphinstone
29th July 2007, 05:52 PM
Ok, so I got my car back, and she's gotta go in tomorrow morning for her Emissions Test, and then I plan on hitting our local DMV to get everything transferred over!

:cheesy:

Over the weekend, I took some spare time to work on installing my Coin & Cup Holder, that I ordered from E-Bay. (Hmm, a luxury car with no cup holders as a standard feature?) Anyway, I removed the plastic accordian-like trim piece, took out the two T-20 screws, pulled the four (scratch that, three - I'm missing one) T-25 screws on the sides of the console, and removed the ashtray and mounting plate using the four T-20 screws, and 3/8 (I think) nut.

Now, I'm left with a dilemma. In the pic below, the Coin & Cup Holder has four mounting screw holes (not a big issue, as I'm sure I can ignore them) and four plastic clips for which there are no holes in the console itself.

Here's a pic of the front:

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/console1.jpg


As you can see, the mounting holes don't make that big of an impact, other than aesthetically.

Here's a pic of the top view, looking down:

http://www.genii.ca/images/saab/coincup1.jpg


In this picture, the steel clip will actually hold the entire unit in place, however, the plastic pins do not fit into any holes in the console, therefore, I do not have a nice, snug fit.

When I bought the Coin & Cup holder, the Seller did specify that it would fit my 1989 Saab 900S, so I'm wondering if there's a different console I am missing, or if the fit might require some ingenuity. I'm toying with the idea of trimming the plastic pins, thus ensuring a more snug fit.

Is there something else I should be doing? Does anyone else here have the same Coin & Cup holder installed?

Little help?

:)

philjohnhb
7th August 2007, 07:24 AM
I've got the same holder in mine. They are designed to fit in any standard DIN fitting but they are not designed specifically for Saab. I ended up fitting mine below the din cubby so that I could fit some ICE kit in the DIN. I ended up trimming the coin/cup holder quite a bit to fit and lost the screw holes. In fact, you should check you're happy with the size of cup/can you can get in the holder with it in that position. Another reason I moved it down was that the ashtray was too close to be able to fit anything the size of a thermos mug in there.

If you want a snug fit go ahead and trim those clips. Also, if you're sure you are going to keep the holder then why not glue the thing in place?

http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/2628/img0890iy2.jpg (http://http//img207.imageshack.us/img207/2628/img0890iy2.jpg)

It takes quite a bit of fiddling but I think this is the best place for it.

Others have moved their head unit down to the centre console and put their holders in the dash DIN.

RWElphinstone
22nd August 2007, 10:56 AM
Hrm. Well, I've decided to NOT install the cupholders in my car.

After careful consideration, at lots of testing, I've found what everybody else says is right - there is no good place for the cupholder, without causing me serious irritation, or interfering with common use items.

That being said, I just had my car cleaned (inside and out) at the local shine shop, and I can say that I am extremely happy with the result! She had been sitting for months and months (and previous to my ownership, about a year) without a wash, and I was a little concerned about how she was going to look... SHE LOOKS AMAZING!!! The paint has a huge amount of shine, and you should have seen the smile on my face when I started driving around after the first wash! (Which, coincidently, occurred on my second Wedding Anniversary - ha!)

Anyway, as soon as I have my new amp installed (oops! I've said too much!) I shall take some pictures and post them. Seriously, I received the car without any music whatsoever, as the previous owner had removed an amplifier, and neglected to reconnect any of the speakers. Thus, I was left with a no-speaker surround system.

Pics to come!