'87 Turbo Hatch [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: '87 Turbo Hatch


mattsaab
8th April 2009, 10:04 AM
Perhaps I'm a bit premature in starting this, as the only work I've done so far is to make a list of the things that need to be done. ;)

First of all - some background: Just picked up a black 1987 turbo Hatchback for $300. 208,000 miles. Previous Owner let it sit for more than 6 months and now it runs "rough" (more on that later).

Exterior: Has some minimal rust around the front wheel well fairings, aftermarket 5-spoke alloy wheels (which actually don't look too bad), some of the trim is coming off in places.

Interior: Seats are a little busted and torn, headliner isn't the worst I've seen, dash isn't bad but some of the interior trim is falling off, vanity light appears to be torn off - there's a gaping hole there :lol:, no stereo but it has the equalizer. The power windows, mirrors, sunroof all work.

Mechanicals: The "rough" running that the PO didn't know what it was, is I'm 99% sure a blown head gasket. The car seems to run well otherwise - so hopefully a weekend replacing the head gasket will solve the main issue. It blew white, sweet smelling smoke everywhere!

BUT - what made me get this car was the 5-speed transmission... it shifts flawlessly... much, much, much smoother than my '92 900S which is in great condition. The car must have had a new transmission put in it at some point, is all I can think of, because it's smooth as butter.

Power steering is also great - no sluggishness at first, which goes away as the car warms up. It is smooth and responsive from the first.

Pulled a carfax on it, which didn't show any services reported, just some odometer discrepancies :roll: The car has been in central Virginia it's entire life.

As for the "Mission Statement" - hope to get it in good running order. Not a restoration by any means. Something fun to putter around town and use as a beater, and to teach my girlfriend to drive manual on (goodbye smooth 5spd :roll:

So - the to do list:

1. Headgasket replacement - I'll be using all the incredible threads on here as well as my Bentley and the fixmysaab DIY guide. I have somewhat limited mechanical experience, so I'll be diving right in on this one! I'm hoping the headgasket fixes the major engine issue.

1.5 - do everything in the "First post a new turbo owner should read" thread

2. Interior clean up - I'll probably just throw some covers on the seats rather than getting them refinished or re-sewn. Vacuum everything out, etc..

3. ??? coming soon ;) :nono;

Will update with some pictures when I get home from work this evening, promise. I hope to order the headgasket this week, and finish the job within the next 2 weeks. We'll see how that goes. Seems like it should take a full weekend to do - and I'll have a free one of those coming up :D

mattsaab
10th April 2009, 05:56 PM
The interior is pretty rough, but the central locking and all the electrics (that are still in there, work)

http://people.virginia.edu/~mrb3w/saab/int_rearseat.jpg http://people.virginia.edu/~mrb3w/saab/int_frontseat.jpg

It's still got the fogs and brackets, as well as a lower valence that I'm going to take off and put on my '92 S with the spg kit.

http://people.virginia.edu/~mrb3w/saab/front_rust.jpg http://people.virginia.edu/~mrb3w/saab/frontend.jpg

Exterior isn't too bad, some rust around the fenders, trim coming off, and a few dings.

http://people.virginia.edu/~mrb3w/saab/side1.jpg

The engine is hurting... no coolant, low on oil, and a blown head gasket.

http://people.virginia.edu/~mrb3w/saab/engine.jpg


I hope to order the head gasket set this coming week, and HOPE to knock out the entire job in a weekend. This DIY will be my biggest attempt at anything mechanical related to an auto... :lol: We'll see how it goes, diving in head first.

ooopseyesharted
10th April 2009, 09:51 PM
hey matt!

I just found your build. Not too bad to start with.

I want that steering wheel.
I have the 4 spoke and I hate it.

Cant wait to see how this turns out.

saabismi
11th April 2009, 09:26 AM
I reccomend you Check www.saabstuff.com for those seat covers, Looks nice and Not that expencive.:)
Apart from the int. It looks like a nice c900:)

mattsaab
11th April 2009, 10:12 PM
hey matt!

I just found your build. Not too bad to start with.

I want that steering wheel.
I have the 4 spoke and I hate it.

Cant wait to see how this turns out.

thanks man... I hope it's not too bad to start with! I'm afraid there may be more than just the head gasket lurking...but only time will tell - I'll have to fix that first.

And yeah - I like the steering wheel too, I have the 4 spoke on my '92.

Saabismi - thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

ooopseyesharted
11th April 2009, 10:53 PM
Well if you come across another 3 spoke, please dont forget about me....LOL

martymar
12th April 2009, 03:42 PM
if you really want one?, I have an extra....

ArticWolf
12th April 2009, 04:06 PM
I have one on mine and I can't stand it. Every time I palm steer a turn, I hit the horn it gets annoying after a while but hey it still look's good but till I find a way to put my Grant GT steering wheel on it then Ill be happy with it lol

ooopseyesharted
12th April 2009, 04:31 PM
I have one on mine and I can't stand it. Every time I palm steer a turn, I hit the horn it gets annoying after a while but hey it still look's good but till I find a way to put my Grant GT steering wheel on it then Ill be happy with it lol
Advance auto parts can get you a grant wheel hub for about 65 bucks.

ArticWolf
12th April 2009, 06:11 PM
Advance auto parts can get you a grant wheel hub for about 65 bucks.
Ill have to get a hold of them I was going to go to autozone were i bought it from but it has a hub on it for use on an 85 chevy pickup a friend gave it to me do you think it fits the sun is still out and I am getting board lol

ooopseyesharted
12th April 2009, 06:24 PM
Advance also has grant wheels on clearance.
I bought my black leather wheel from the for 52 bucks.
Its being sold for 149 normally.
It was 60 percent off.
I would get over there and check it out.

ArticWolf
12th April 2009, 06:56 PM
I know thats what mine friend paid for it when he bought it it the Grant GT with black rubber around the wheel you think the chevy adapter i got with it would fit

mattsaab
12th April 2009, 07:00 PM
maybe I should start a steering wheel project thread :lol:

ArticWolf
12th April 2009, 07:02 PM
lol sorry I didn't mean to hijack your thread

ooopseyesharted
12th April 2009, 08:41 PM
sorry matt

mattsaab
12th April 2009, 08:44 PM
It's all good... guess that's my cue to get to work and start showing some interesting progress!

ooopseyesharted
12th April 2009, 08:46 PM
Yeah man!!!
What the hell?
LOL
get to work!!!!
Or in the words of Big Black
http://usversusthem.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/big-black1.jpg
DO WORK SON!!!!!

mattsaab
23rd April 2009, 11:47 AM
just ordered my headgasket, new spark plugs, and a new dit cap and rotor!

hopefully get them and be able to start on this next week. :D

ooopseyesharted
23rd April 2009, 07:16 PM
Cool.....though you forgot about your build....cant leave us hangin man....LOL

mattsaab
19th June 2009, 10:55 AM
I've been consumed with moving apartments and getting an SPG kit on my '92 900 over the past month or so. Yesterday went and picked up the '87 (the car this thread is about) from where I had it parked at my old street.

It was only a ~2 min drive... this time there was no clouds of smoke... just a bit from under the hood. It didn't smell sweet... just acrid and dry. Now I'm starting to think that in addition to the HG the turbo may be going as well.... or maybe I was wrong about the HG in the first place??? I need to do a compression test.

There was a bit of white smoke spiraling up from under the engine on the passenger's side.... does that mean turbo seals? Other than that, the car seemed to drive fine (relatively) and even boosted. The problem where it stalled when coming off the gas went away somehow... it doesn't stall, but the revs drop low, it chokes a bit and then comes back up to idle.

so basically, the symptoms:
2 months ago: clouds of white smoke (a couple months ago, after the car had been sitting for a year - PO). I thought it was HG.
now - a little spiral of white smoke coming from under the engine: car boosts, but loses power/studders above 3500 RPM. When coming off of throttle, the car studders, wants to stall, but picks itself up and idles.

SPGSNAAB
19th June 2009, 11:28 AM
It should be pretty obvious if it's the turbo causing the smoke from the engine bay. It will be soaked with oil after a good drive.

My car had the same symptoms as yours (white smoke from exhaust, smoke from engine)

It was both head gasket and turbo.:cry:

Cheers!

mattsaab
19th June 2009, 11:52 AM
It should be pretty obvious if it's the turbo causing the smoke from the engine bay. It will be soaked with oil after a good drive.

My car had the same symptoms as yours (white smoke from exhaust, smoke from engine)

It was both head gasket and turbo.:cry:

Cheers!

Yeah - I'm starting to think it may be both. I guess a compression test will tell. I'll take a look and see if there's oil on the turbo. The smoke from exhaust was minimal... but I could definitely smell smoke from the engine. I'm gonna put more oil and coolant in and give it some revs and see what results :) I have a headgasket set... was planning on doing that myself. Is replacing/rebuilding a turbo something I can do myself as well?

this isn't my main driver, so I can take my time with the work - luckily.