David's '88 900S [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: David's '88 900S


SwimDude0614
27th May 2008, 01:19 AM
This is not what most people would call a project car, but for me it is. I'm 16 (17 on June 14) and this is my only car, so body up restoration is not an option, and multi-thousand dollar upgrades aren't either. But, I plan on taking it one step at a time and making this the best I can.

I bought it Sunday, May 18 (this is actually my second 900 btw - my first was a '91 900S but it got rear-ended in December). At the moment, I believe it is bone-stock except for a couple things. While inspecting it with Neil (St. Louis Saab mechanic), he noted that the shocks looked to be the Boge shocks from a turbo. The A/C is also the newer type of gas (don't recall what it's called) and it actually works, so I consider that to be special :D.

Plans that I have for the car are things that will make it FUN and cheap. (By the way, my last car was a 1990 Volkswagen Corrado, so improving cornering is top on my list - I've been spoiled already). Along with lowering springs, I'm looking to replace LOTS of worn-out bushings with new poly bushings. I love the feel of old european cars, and i think if I replace bushings in the steering column, control arms, shifter levers and the such, it will be just that much more amazing to drive. My brother owns a 1995 Ford Escort... and it just feels different... it feels like a Ford :p.

Someday, if time and money permit, I'd like to convert it to an SPG. That's no where in the near future though.

Finally, here are some pictures. I've given it one good washing, and soon as school lets out (June 3rd) I'll start the LOONGG process of re-applying wax.

http://customcomps.pigasus.com/Images/Saab/Front-driver-web.jpg

http://customcomps.pigasus.com/Images/Saab/rear-driver-web.jpg

Parts that I will be looking for (eventually):
16" Super Aero wheels
SPG springs only if the whole set is <$100 (otherwise I'll get something else)
Seat Belt motors (and female section of belts)
Fascia in GOOD condition
Any ol' amp with sub-out ($10?) (I have 8" bazooka boxed sub and Pioneer DEH-1900 - no way to hook the sub up!!! :cry: )

Well, that's that.
I'd like to say, Jeff from http://twinsaabs.com was my inspiration for this. I was first going to only keep this long enough to save up money for a better Corrado (my last one fell apart faster than I could fix it), and then I saw Jeff's SPG... wow. I have never seen such a beautiful C900 before.

Good to be back with fellow Saab enthusiasts!!!

David
http://customcomps.pigasus.com/Images/Saab/front-driver.jpg

Palmer1980
27th May 2008, 01:29 AM
Very nice!

This will make your bumpers look like new again:
http://www.levineautoparts.com/semcharmetbu.html

SwimDude0614
27th May 2008, 01:42 AM
Very nice!

This will make your bumpers look like new again:
http://www.levineautoparts.com/semcharmetbu.html

Interesting... I've never heard of that before! You tried it personally?

S double-a B
27th May 2008, 01:53 AM
I actually have three cans of that paint, unopened that I wont be able to use since my spg was rear ended, and is not fixable.. Sadly, i am not sure that I will get another c900, probably a 9000 aero or viggen. Pm me if you are interested :cool:

SwimDude0614
27th May 2008, 02:02 AM
PM sent! :D

sorry to hear 'bout your 900 though. That royally sucks.

Pap
27th May 2008, 02:22 AM
Hey, congrats on the car!

Is your deck all hooked up?

SwimDude0614
27th May 2008, 09:07 AM
Hey, congrats on the car!

Is your deck all hooked up?

Lol. Nothing is. I bought it from a single owner guy. The only reason he sold it was that he had back surgery and couldn't drive a manual anymore. It still has the stock speakers in it (not blown though, amazingly enough!). The only reason I've got the Pioneer in their is because my uncle bought it for me when he gave me his old Saab, so when it got wrecked I pulled it out and then I pulled it out again when I got sold the Corrado, and now it's with me in this Saab.

I've put a set of Boston Acoustics 4" and I think Kenwood 4x10s and those little rubber cups (never seen them before, but crutchfield pointed 'em out and they make sense) in my wishlist on crutchfield. Hopefully I'll get the full set for my birthday June 14.

Speaking of decks...
Has anyone ever re-covered their deck lid? Any brilliant ideas for material? I know only a tiny bit about choosing wood, from my single semester of Woods last year, so is there an extra strong plywood that would hold up extra well?

Thanks
David

SwimDude0614
21st June 2008, 11:47 PM
Well, a little news on the car.

Head gasket is blown but I'm working on getting the parts to fix it. I'm going to try and clean the innards of the engine a bunch while I'm in there... see if I can get it running a little smoother.

I also need to replace the rear-right brake line to the caliper. Part has already arrived, I just gotta put it on.

I've got the seat belt motors working. They badly need oil, but they're working. It turned out a fuse just happened to be sitting on the floorboard, instead of in it's socket... oh well. Easy fix.

Pay check on the 30th will be monsterous. I'm hoping to buy some fun stuff for it.

SwimDude0614
14th July 2008, 01:41 AM
Brake line is in. When I was looking at the brakes, I noticed all four rotors (and therefore brake pads) are BADLY grooved. they match each other, and therefore stop the car well enough. but yikes.... i need new rotors and pads all around. I'm thinking, someday I might even buy them :lol:

The head gasket repair has begun.
I currently have the intake off the block and the valve cover off. I have not sheered at bolts yet, but I did break was plastic Y piece coming out of the valve cover, and I've had to cut 2 hoses that wouldn't come loose.

Next is to get some stuff to break the rust on the exhaust studs, pull the exhaust manifold, drain the remaining coolant, and finally, pull the head.

We'll see how it goes.....

A couple pictures available at http://customcomps.pigasus.com/Images/Saab/Head-Gasket/

SwimDude0614
4th May 2009, 01:38 AM
Been a loongg time since I updated. Nearly a year I 'spose. The head gasket repair went quite well I felt a significant power increase when I got her back on the road! That was a wonderful surprise :D

November I started having transmission problems - turned out to be the pinion bearing. So, from January 2 through Febrauary 15(ish) I was replacing the transmission and a few other small things while I had the engine out. The majority of that time was trying to get out the taper pin in the gea-shift rod and then getting the pulley nut off (with no air tools and the engine out of the car). Anyway, the new/old tranny feels great. I've never owned a car with a second gear syncro that works like new.... this is amazing!!! :lol:

Now I have a new problem though - chain guides. When I did the HG last summer, I replaced the timing chain, but not guides (stupid me! :roll: live and learn i suppose right?). Well, they're rattling very badly now, and I don't dare drive. It's been like this about 2 or 3 week I believe. I'm waiting for some way to tow it to my dad's house where I will begin that exciting repair.

Well, that's all the news for now. I'll update again when I finally start work on the guides.

turbo1992
4th May 2009, 11:46 AM
Sounds like you have things under control...keep up the good work!

SwimDude0614
6th May 2009, 02:59 PM
having done the headgasket less than a year ago (first fired her up again in august) will I need to buy new head bolts? The HG replacement guide on twinsaabs.com says (not word for word) "i didn't replace mine cause they were within spec." anyone know what spec is?

mattsaab
7th May 2009, 10:13 AM
Looks like you've got some work to do! I'll be starting the head gasket on my 87 900t hopefully this weekend if it's not raining. Any pointers you can give?

I've been trying to find a 1/2in drive e-16 socket :( might have to settle for 3/8in.

SwimDude0614
7th May 2009, 08:12 PM
Looks like you've got some work to do! I'll be starting the head gasket on my 87 900t hopefully this weekend if it's not raining. Any pointers you can give?

I've been trying to find a 1/2in drive e-16 socket :( might have to settle for 3/8in.

hm.... that was a year ago... what can i remember...

well, i printed the guide from twinsaabs.com and used that. i also had the bentley for when it was needed. oh, don't forget to either prop up the exhaust system or disconnect the O2 sensor! lol. i snapped my wire :/

make sure dig in a couple grooves into your distributor and head so that you know how to realign... that was H3LL for me. first time i'd ever done anything with a dizzy and i didn't know any better. I just took it right off. :roll:

aside from that, not much. if you do run across anything specific, feel free to ask. with a specific question i'll probably remember more. anyway, just follow twinsaabs.com - Jeff writes EXCELLENT How-Tos. and while you're in there, you'll have the chance to replace tooonnsss of little things - most of which i did. i came out of it (like stated above) with a noticable power increase.

SwimDude0614
18th May 2009, 03:08 AM
School ends this Tuesday! Praise the EFFING LORD! This means either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning I will be taking the car to my dad's to begin deconstruction.

I'd like to drive it to his house though. It's about a 20 minute drive if I avoid the highway (which I'd like to do since the shift rod isn't aligned and I don't have 5th). The other option is $40 for a tow dolly and my friend's Land Rover. So, will the rattling chain survive 20 minutes of driving? I would think so... but I thought I'd ask before I risk snapping a chain in an interference engine.

David

Rennsport1
18th May 2009, 03:24 AM
How much does a timing chain cost for your 900S ? $40 bucks may be a fair cost to prevent damaging the motor or shortening the life of the timing chain.
And you'll also save a few bucks on fuel :cool:. Although I'm sure you'll be buying your friend lunch/dinner as thanks for his help.

R.S.

SwimDude0614
18th May 2009, 03:16 PM
Oh, I guess I forgot to explain. My timing chain guides are completely worn out (very brittle) and need replacing. The chain is new as of the head gasket replacement (one year ago). I'm wondering whether this chain will last the 20 minute drive across town or do I need to tow it.

Clovii
18th May 2009, 05:27 PM
Is this the one that was for sale for $300 in the STL Craigslist? I was seriously considering it if it's the same one...:cheesy:

SwimDude0614
18th May 2009, 09:36 PM
Is this the one that was for sale for $300 in the STL Craigslist? I was seriously considering it if it's the same one...:cheesy:

NOOO!!! I WANT THAT ONE!!! I just have no where to put it :cry: :cry: :cry:
That is actually my old car that I sold to him one year ago when I got rear-ended. If you do end up buying that car, let me know and I'll tell you all about it (probably more honestly than the current owner - Jim)

Anyway.... I don't suppose you'd buy it and then part it out would you? :D

SwimDude0614
22nd May 2009, 05:28 PM
Well, day 2 and all is going quite well! Yesterday I got the intake manifold off and the entire top side of the engine disconnected. Today was a short day of work but I got most of the rest of the engine disconnected. All that is left is draining a small amount of coolant still and taking off a few more hoses, power steering, and then lifting the engine out! we found an engine hoist + stand for $200, but we still need chain. one all that is out, it won't be hard at all to take the head off since both manifolds are already off.

This is all going fantastically since I've done it all once (or more) before! :cheesy:

-Edit-
Correction to my last post; the PO's name is Dennis, not Jim

SwimDude0614
1st June 2009, 03:22 AM
Well, work went well. About an hour ago I buttoned up the last of it (1:30am here in St. Louis, USA). First thing tomorrow I will check over everything, make sure I didn't forget any hose clamps and such and then I'll refill engine oil, coolant, and power steering fluid and start her up! The shift rod needs a little alignment still (key won't come out of ignition) but the new transmission feels WONDERFUL! I'm excited to finally get to drive this new transmission (only had about a month after I put the new tranny in before the guides blew, and in that month I never did quite get the shift rod aligned correctly).

rawill
2nd June 2009, 04:20 AM
That is a nice looking car. I am that you are taking on the maintenance jobs that you are on your car. In my opinion a very nice older car that goes as well as it did when it was new is better than going out and buying something new.

Anyone can do that if they have got the money.

I am sure you will be pleased with your work. Do you know about the Townsend site. Lots of good tips on there too.

davestlouis
3rd June 2009, 11:51 PM
ah ha, so there is more to the story on that craigslist car...how badly was it hit?

SwimDude0614
4th June 2009, 03:47 AM
ah ha, so there is more to the story on that craigslist car...how badly was it hit?

i would say about 5 mph. possibly approaching 10? though the chassis is not vissibly bent, it is enough that (last i checked) the driver's side door does not lock (but does latch). the trunk does NOT open, and if you can get the trunk open, the tool/spare wheel compartent will not open. if you do get it open, i want my jumper cables and spade back! lol

Info on my car:
F**K!
I managed to get the old lock cylinder out to replace it (turned out to be bad, not the shift rod alignment) and put everything in there back together only to find out the battery was dead. you know why it was dead? SOME @$$HOLE was playing in my car and BROKE my headlight dial! ;oops: :evil: ;oops: :evil: so now i get to take the dash apart - something i've always dreaded - and replace that freaking dial!

And to top it off, it wasn't the timing chain guides. The noise is definitely timing chain related, because it's more muffled (difference between soft rubber and old rigid rubber). Next I guess I'll check the tensior. Perhaps I can get another click out of it???

On the brightside, today was my girlfriends birthday party so I had fun there. If it wasn't for that, I'd be over-the-top peeved right now.

The only thing keeping me from selling this car is that I keep saying to myself "if you just replace this one last thing, there's nothing left to break! you've already replaced the rest of it! :p"

SwimDude0614
4th June 2009, 04:05 AM
That is a nice looking car. I am that you are taking on the maintenance jobs that you are on your car. In my opinion a very nice older car that goes as well as it did when it was new is better than going out and buying something new.

Anyone can do that if they have got the money.

I am sure you will be pleased with your work. Do you know about the Townsend site. Lots of good tips on there too.

Thanks for the compliment and reassurance. nice to hear/read after a troublesome day like today.

SwimDude0614
4th June 2009, 10:51 PM
Headlight switch is fixed. One piece of the plastic housing had broken off, so I super glued it back on, wrapped it in duck tape, and stuck it back on. She works like new now.

Update on the engine: I drove her over to "Missouri Tire and Auto" which is just a little fix it shop, the guy there agreed, it sounds just like timing chain rattle, but also agreed, it sounds like its coming from the front (near radiator) side of the engine. He mentioned "flywheel play". And I will say, if I have my foot on the clutch pedal when the noise occurs, I do feel vibrations. perhaps I should check the flywheel?

SwimDude0614
15th June 2009, 10:39 PM
to recap for anyone that hasn't read the whole thread:

How it Happened: all was good until I punched the pedal to the floor one day and immediately this noise noise started. It hasn't gotten any worse, or any better. No change at all in the roughly 50 miles i've driven it since it started.

What I've Tried: I've replaced all timing chain guides and the chain tensioner (however the tensioner was a used one). The chain itself was replaced exactly one year ago when i replaced the head gasket. I've checked the spark plug cover, A/C bracket bolts, and replaced starter motor. It is safe to assume that none of the above are the culprits.

-------

i recorded the noise with a good microphone, the result can be found here:
http://customcomps.pigasus.com/Image...ain-rattle.mp3 (http://customcomps.pigasus.com/Images/Saab/timing-chain-guides/chain-rattle.mp3)
at the end i mention revving the engine and moving the mic from the flywheel to the A/C; ignore that. i deleted the clip over the A/C because there was no difference in sound.

i'd really appreciate it if you could take a listen and tell me what you think it is. i could definitely hear differences in the sound when i switched from my laptop speakers to my Boston Acoustic towers, so if you're feeling ambitious perhaps toss the file onto your mp3 player and plug it into your home theater system.

Thanks in advance!
David

900t
15th June 2009, 11:18 PM
whoa what the hell is that? rod knock? I don't like that at all

rawill
15th June 2009, 11:23 PM
First I am not used to listening to engine noises on a computer.

I have noisy timing/balance chains in my 9000 CD, I am sure it is not as noisy as your one sounds on the computer. I will be very interested in what others say because it does not sound like timing chains to me. I don't think you have balance chains.

You say you put new a new chain and guides not long ago, but with a 2nd hand tensioner. Have you checked the tensioner to see how far out it has gone. In a 9000 I believe if it has gone out over 11 mm then the chains are stretched and need replacing.

Do you have a Haynes or better still a Bentleys. From what you describe prompted this noise it is hard to imagine a T/chain.

Heres hoping for some other replies.

And like the above reply the description is right. "It is one hell of a knock" and I don't like it either.
And again, I am sure you wouldn't "feel" the knock with your foot on the clutch if it was a timing chain.

And, when it is idling and you are looking at it, do the drive belts look like they are running true(straight) the alternator has rubber bushes in the mounts and they can be worn so that even if they are tight, belts are running skewed. Not that I think it would cause this kind of noise.

I hope the questions help point you to the noise.

SwimDude0614
15th June 2009, 11:50 PM
whoa what the hell is that? rod knock? I don't like that at all

rod knock??? what??? and no... i don't like it either! :cry:

Clovii
16th June 2009, 12:38 AM
NOOO!!! I WANT THAT ONE!!! I just have no where to put it :cry: :cry: :cry:
That is actually my old car that I sold to him one year ago when I got rear-ended. If you do end up buying that car, let me know and I'll tell you all about it (probably more honestly than the current owner - Jim)

Anyway.... I don't suppose you'd buy it and then part it out would you? :D
I just looked at Craigslist, and that guy still has the car for sale at $400...and no takers. After I heard about the bad rear end, I kinda marked it off my list.

rawill
16th June 2009, 01:20 AM
Before you say it is a big end or rod check out your injectors.

I have just been talking to my garage guy who said he diagnosed a main or big end. Only to find out a broken injector spring was dumping fuel and making a horrendous noise. And my garage guy is about 50 and has been a motor mechanic all his life.

philjohnhb
16th June 2009, 03:47 AM
If it's coming from the front of the engine it could be something that has happened to my car. I heard an awful knocking sound from the front after I'd changed the HG, so I was poking around the front trying to find the source and moved the clutch/flywheel cover slightly, the noise stopped.

It turned out that the black plastic cover was not centred properly, it doesn't take much to knock it out of line.

Worth a try.

rawill
16th June 2009, 03:57 AM
Which also leads me to say, the noise sounds very loud. So loud that if it was bearings, rods timing chain and things like that I think the car would not be running very well.

I hope others like philjohnhb come up with more ideas.

I once bought a Fiat Uno that had such a horrendous knock I said it couldn't be that serious. It wasn't, the engine mounting was in 180 degrees out and metal was rubbing on metal. It wasn't the only thing wrong as I was to find out.
but nothing was serious, I hope that is the same for you.

SwimDude0614
16th June 2009, 04:04 AM
well the plastic cover actually doesn't have a single bolt in there, but i took the cover off to listen once and the noise was still there, so its not that (sorry, forgot to mention that in what i've tried).

whats a/the big end? by rod, you mean push rod?!?!

rawill
16th June 2009, 04:43 AM
Sorry, I didn't make it clear, I was talking about main crankshaft bearings and conrod big end bearings. If it was these making a big noise I would expect some big vibrations, the noise would also be worse under load.

philjohnhb
16th June 2009, 06:26 AM
Again stabbing in the dark, if it's coming from the front could it be a sticky lifter?

900t
16th June 2009, 12:30 PM
well the plastic cover actually doesn't have a single bolt in there, but i took the cover off to listen once and the noise was still there, so its not that (sorry, forgot to mention that in what i've tried).

whats a/the big end? by rod, you mean push rod?!?!

How does it run? Okay?

does it change with the clutch in or out? In a gear or in neutral?

under load (eg driving) is different than idling?

SwimDude0614
16th June 2009, 02:49 PM
How does it run? Okay?

does it change with the clutch in or out? In a gear or in neutral?

under load (eg driving) is different than idling?

i was gonna edit my post earlier but you all surprised me with how quick you replied (thank you for that!)

i was going to add this:
Other Info: The noise is affected by load on the engine combined with RPMs. Having the clutch engaged or disengaged makes no difference (though i can feel the rattle while moving the clutch). When driving, the higher the gear, the less noise. When in fourth gear it is difficult to make it rattle, and in fifth there is no rattle no matter what I do.

SwimDude0614
16th June 2009, 02:51 PM
well, there is also a sticky lifter that you can hear in the background. which i'm actually quite confused as to why because i cleaned out all the lifters (emptied dirty oil, refilled with new) and i know it has plenty of oil. and the oil pressure light is not on. oh, and the noise happened long before i cleaned out the lifters, so it wasn't cleaning them that caused this.

SwimDude0614
16th June 2009, 03:37 PM
i just got word back from 2 different people (East of Sweden and Viking Automotive). the first thinks it is the clutch spring, the second suggested removing all the belts (one at a time) to see if its alt/water pump or power steering.

rawill
16th June 2009, 03:44 PM
Re the lifters. I am told it is possible to get them wrong when you clean them out. I am told you need some tools to make sure they are bled out properly.

Maybe someone will clarify this for us.

SwimDude0614
26th June 2009, 09:19 PM
well... it all boiled down to 7 bolts. the flywheel bolts. they were loose. i didn't torque them to spec when i did the tranny and they came loose, letting the flywheel rattle. siiigghhh... 3 months without my car and i could have had it running with 3 hours of labor and $0 if i did it the first day. fortunately, the only thing that was damaged was the bolts, so i have new ones ordered and i'm running the old ones for the next four days until the new ones come in.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for all your help! its wonderful having such a great community of Saab enthusiasts willing to help me out whenever i need it. hopefully i won't need any more help for a while, but if i do i know where to come.

Cheers,
David

SwimDude0614
16th September 2009, 04:11 AM
This experiment is over with. A learning experience perhaps. I couldn't have pointed out the air conditioner sittin on top of the big ole hunk o' metal under the hood before I got this car. Now of course, I know it inside and out. I suppose I got my moneys worth when you look at it that way.

Anyway, she'll be gone soon. She's on the Indianapolis craigslist for $500 and I have many interested buyers.

The reason being...
My oh-so-awesome uncle just bought me a 130k mile '93 900S. He's driving it down to me on the 22nd. I'll start a new thread when I get that. I can not even EXPRESS how excited I am to have a car with only 130k on it... this is going to be like having a car straight off the factory floor! :cheesy: :lol: :cheesy: No more half-@$$ jobs and trying to do things my own way and ignoring the Bentley just cause it doesn't make sense. Far as I'm aware, this car doesn't need any work on it. But when it does - as it will of course, being an old Saab - it's getting done right. No more forgetting the thread locker on the flywheel bolts. No more of snapping O2 sensor wires when I detach the exhaust manifold. I will forever be learning of course. There is no doubt in that. I hope however, that this new car of mine I will hold on to for a good loonngg while.

Or at least until I get myself a turbo!!! :evil:

rawill
16th September 2009, 03:52 PM
Wow, if it is better than your 88 it must be real good.

I thought your 88 looked great.

SwimDude0614
16th September 2009, 07:09 PM
i don't think its going to look quite as good. I haven't seen many interiors that look as good as mine. On the other hand, it's not like I took those pictures to point out all the bad parts of the car if you know what I mean.

And mechanically... ehh... that car was really starting to fall apart. As a whole, it wasn't too bad. But there were SOOOO many $5 things that needed replacing. Nearly every bushing in the entire car needed replacing (ie, the bar going diagonly from the rear-axle to the bottom of the car did not have bushings anymore). I believe I warped the head pretty bad on the drive up to college because there was a coolant leak that didn't get noticed during the 3 and half hour drive AND my temp sensor doesn't work.

I wish I had the money to get everything sorted out, but that's just life. This is the third time I've taken a decent car, learned about it, trashed it, and sold it off. But, fourth time is the charm right? LOL! I will say this, I held onto this one longer than both of the other two combined, so thats good! :)