1985 spg project - my dream car [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: 1985 spg project - my dream car

8th May 2010, 09:49 PM
This story starts years ago when i got my first saab, a 1985 900. non turbo, cloth seats, 8 valves. bleh. i was only 16 or so when i bought it and i decided to look online and see what other 85 saabs looked like. after a little digging around (the inter-web was not a large place in 1998) i stumbled on a picture of an 85 spg and i knew then, i had to have one.
so here i am now with a wife, kid, house and all the typical b.s. and all i wanted was an spg, still. it took a while to find one reasonably close and within my price range, but i did. so for the low to me price of 400, i made this her mine.
a little about the car as i found it (for those of you who care)
1985 saab 900 spg, 5 speed, bought from orig owner with 108,000 miles on the odometer. the car had been sitting for 2 years (claims the P.O.) but the stickers on the tags were last legal 8 years ago. i bought the car knowing its been sitting for anywhere from 2-10 years and having no clue whether or not it was running when parked or otherwise. a risky venture, but this is my dream car and im all about d.i.y. handy work.

the day the car came home (via tow truck of course) i woke up early to go and prep it. two tires were flat, but aired right up and held. i gave the car a shove, no dice. breaks were rusted solid. so i got to it and took off each wheel and and worked the rotors with oil and force until all four spun with a bit of force. i would have taken a picture of the brakes to show you all, but the image was burned into my skull and its embarrassing.i have a feeling there will be quite an entry on the brakes.
after all that the truck came and towed my yet to be named spg home. ive never been happier.

day 1 -
car is now home and i decided that despite the fact that ill be tearing it apart eventually, maybe i should wash it off and see what exactly it is i just bought. gross. this was not the kind of filth that just rinsed off. all the same, it is more pleasant to work on a car not crawling in filth.
the results were acceptable at best.


the next step - fluids
as with any car that has been sitting, i felt it crucial to replace the vital fluids and inspect them. motor oil and coolant both came out aged, but clean. the gasoline smelled pretty fowl so i pulled the pump and sucked it all out with pump. i then replaced it with fresh premium fuel and a half can of sea-foam. while i was doing all that i also pulled the plugs and gave a squirt of p.b.laster and sea-foam in each cylinder to assist the cylinders in operating smoothly. with all that done i figured id pull the fuel line and the rail and flush the fluid out of the lines.
pump not working.....

next step - source and replace fuel pump
easy enough to do thanks to pull-a-part. 11 dollars later for the pump, and another 100 for some other assorted goodies, i was good to go. fuel pump installed it was time to fill up the vital fluids, hook up a battery and give it a whirl.

cranking day - so with all the aforementioned fun taken care of, we tested for fuel and spark and came up good. we cranked it over without spark for about 4 minutes at 30 second intervals to lube everything up, hooked the coil up and turned the key...... sputter, sputter sputter....VRRRROOOOOOOM! thats right! she runs!!!! and she idles! let the clutch put and it went into reverse and 1st no problem. now that i know it runs and starts, its time to move on.

brake pedal to the floor, thats my next step....

8th May 2010, 11:46 PM
Very cool car and I'm sure it will be a great project. All of the SPG's are great looking cars.

I have to ask, whats with the gas in the cooler? I can't imagine that smell coming out of the plastic anytime soon. :o

9th May 2010, 12:34 AM
the cooler was the unfortunate victim of my being drunk and forgetting beer in it. after sitting in the garage all summer, fall and winter... well, lets just say the stink from the gas will be a bit more pleasant.

9th May 2010, 08:35 AM
Subscribed - Have an 85T in the garage partially disassembled, this thread has already provided motivation to get on with it.


9th May 2010, 09:51 AM
keep up the posts !!!
Nothing like someone taking on brining back a classic.....
Flat nose SPG's have always been a fav of mine.

9th May 2010, 05:28 PM
Thanks for the support guys, ill try to get out there this week and get things moving.

10th May 2010, 09:26 PM
i was extremely busy today (mostly playing video games), but i did manage to get out to the garage and add some fluid to the brake system. after a couple pushes i could feel the master cylinder build a little pressure, but the whooshing sound coming from two corners told me it probably was NOT going to pump up. so now i have two big puddles, both on the pass side of the car at the wheel.

it looks as though a thorough rebuild of the system is in order. caliper rebuild kits, master cylinder kit and probably all new lines. ill report back after ive done more research and then ill start gathering parts. wish me luck!

13th May 2010, 03:21 PM
Congratulations on such a beautiful car. and good luck with the restore. i wish you the best. here are some replacement brake lines that might be good to check out. Stainless Steel Brake Lines (http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brakes.jsp?&make=Goodridge&model=G-Stop+Brakeline+Kit&group=G-Stop+Brakeline+Kit&autoMake=Saab&autoModel=900+Turbo&autoYear=1985&autoModClar=&perfCode=S) :)

13th May 2010, 05:01 PM
Nice, looking forward to the progress. What is that roof rack thing on top?

13th May 2010, 05:08 PM
Nice, looking forward to the progress. What is that roof rack thing on top?
i have no idea. the things people do to cars amaze me. no biggy though, the headliner has to come out anyways and then i can address the holes from the screws and lead it all smooth. its as good as gone, but the body work wont start for a while so for now it sits. i have some plans for the brakes and suspension, but some household issues have arose, such as a storm blowing the roof off my garage and it landing on my 97 saab 900 and on my wife xc70. kind of a set back because the insurance said it was "an act of god" therefore its not covered.

17th May 2010, 09:29 PM
so today i got to inspecting the brake lines for the leaks on the right side front and rear corners. both leaks were in hard lines, where this is quite a bit of rust. the rear line is leaking where it bends at the axle to meet the rubber line. the front is leaking at the fitting from soft/hard at the caliper. i did make an attempt to remove the caliper bolts on the front..... that aint happening. even after soaking in pb blaster that bolt rounded off and didnt budge.. definitely going to be a struggle.

while looking at the front i started pushing around on some under body/ frame rail rust and was quite alarmed by the condition of things down there. going into this project i was very aware that rust would be my major fight, so i cant say im shocked... just disheartened a little. funny that the floor pans are still so solid but i have so much structural rust. THE FOLLOWING PICTURES MAY BE HARD FOR SOME OF YOU TO LOOK AT....

its bad, i know. to dang bad for me that i dont know when to leave well enough alone ;)

17th May 2010, 10:23 PM
Oh yes - you are right.

The approx 89 C900T
fpt I got for nothing is not as bad as that!

And mine is only a parts car.

Hope T5 suited car is going well.

17th May 2010, 10:29 PM
Oh yes - you are right.

The approx 89 C900T
fpt I got for nothing is not as bad as that!

And mine is only a parts car.

Hope T5 suited car is going well.
the t5ed 900 is doing great, though a little scratched up at the moment.

with this car all i can do is try. time... ive got time. money to buy a better 85 spg? that i dont have, and for this to work for me, it has to be an 85 spg. its obvious i cant make this car last forever, but id like to give it one last fighting chance.

17th May 2010, 10:39 PM
Everything is do-able, if you have the patience, skill and the time.

I guess you have seen misu's C900.

I am off to put my T5ed stg I, T7 modded ecu into my 9000CD.

18th May 2010, 08:13 AM
good luck! that is crazy. one thing that might help with the brakes is taking a long pipe and slipping it over the end of the ratchet or whatever you are using.

19th May 2010, 07:29 AM
Wow - Mine is like that but not as bad. I pulled the motor and entire front suspension and will commence with cutting the bad rust away shortly.

Might be easier to pull the entire front axle assembly in one piece and strip it down on the bench. I was able to remove the brake lines from the caliper pretty easy, everything else was rusted pretty bad like yours.

24th May 2010, 10:58 PM
good news! after attending the saabs@carlisle event (which was amazing by the way - 225 saabs!), i met a guy who is GIVING me a parts car. ill tell you, there are truly no people, like saab people. work will be at a standstill for a but as ive some things i need to do on the house. paint paint paint.... then some saab lovin