1983 900 [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: 1983 900


CycM17
23rd August 2010, 10:19 AM
I started a thread for this car over on TSL, but I figured I'd get one going here as well. I frequent both, so why not!

The car was a one owner 5 speed with 158k miles on it. It was garaged most of it's life, and had service records going all the way to the beginning. I didn't necessarily plan on buying it until I saw it in person, and the rest will be documented here. Fired it up after 18 months of sitting, put in fresh gas, and nursed it 3 hours home with only slight hesitation from the car.

My short term goals for this car are to keep it as clean as it is, and work out all the bugs that an old summer car would have. I also want to learn to do most if not all of the work myself.

So far I've done:

-Battery change
-Oil and filter change
-Tighten slack in throttle cable
-Interior/exterior detail
-Removed tow hitch

What I've had done:

-New basic all seasons mounted to stock wheels
-Clutch work (a bit over my head at this point)

Within the next month or so I'll mount my Hella lights, throw in plugs and an air filter. I'd like to replace the headliner as well. I'm still very busy at work (I fix and sell bicycles) so I'll have to be patient.

My long term goals for this car (springtime hopefully) include suspension work, wheels and tires, and some kind of freer flowing intake/exhaust set up. I'm obviously not looking for big power, otherwise I would have chosen one of the many turbo 900's that were kicking around CL at the time. I want the car to look good, drive even better, and last me another 20 something years!

And finally, pictures:

From the owner, before I bought it
http://i616.photobucket.com/albums/tt242/CycM17/SAAB-RearLeft.jpg?t=1282572819

Tires
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4102/4891727415_14601c2602_z.jpg

Interior cleaned up
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/4892328202_217a66b435_z.jpg

Exterior detail
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4115/4892325254_e6bc26edc2_z.jpg

And finally, group shot of my cars
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4075/4892328860_5a89e8e1c5_z.jpg

Stay tuned for more fun.

mmoe
23rd August 2010, 02:29 PM
Beautiful sedan! Having been through a similar basic 8 valve before myself, I'd suggest that you don't worry about the exhaust or the intake. If you want a little bit more power from it, it's pretty easy to install a turbo and limit it to 3-5psi with the wastegate. This is quite safe in my experience and adds just enough extra go to be very rewarding. The exhaust is plenty big for that already, so no need to replace it. A turbo on one of these high compression engines (as compared to a turbo engine) is fantastic to drive. It's very different in feel from a standard turbo and due to the higher compression it's a bit quicker. The maximum power output is less of course, due to the constraints of safely operating a higher compression engine under boost, but I'd say there is no way to produce nearly as much horsepower without adding the turbo.

Otherwise, enjoy it!

Edit:
Here's a link to my project thread regarding installation of a turbo to a very similar 900 Sedan:
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=166078&page=4

CycM17
29th September 2010, 09:55 AM
With a good amount of help, sourced a fuel accumulator and the car drives a lot better... Not to mention the overwhelming gas smell and leak are gone!

Had to change my to-do list around a little bit and prioritize:

Plug wires/plugs
Check out the rear brakes
Hella's
Headliner
Air filter

Way behind at work (still) so who knows when this will get done :(.

Elchulachaser
29th September 2010, 10:01 AM
Do keep me (us) updated on the headliner removal.. I want to (need to) do the fabric over on my headliner also..

Cheers,
Chris

CycM17
6th October 2010, 08:03 PM
Will do! All I need to do is search for a unique fabric design.

Just got plugs/wires/distributor cap etc. done. That plus the fuel accumulator made a HUGE difference in the way car starts, idles, and drives... I am SO happy with the end result, and the help to make it fall into place.

It's dark and rainy so no go on the pics, but I got somewhat caught up at work and will have time to refinish the wheels and hopefully get either the air filter changed with new bolts or Hella's mounted, or both. We'll see.

Picture updates by tomorrow evening if all goes well.

DustinS
7th October 2010, 01:34 PM
so as to adding a turbo to an 8v(i too have a sedan) where would one find a manifold, both for his and my reference.

CycM17
9th October 2010, 02:21 PM
Got the plug wires and all that done...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5063317569_cb4de305c0_z.jpg

Here's what the wheels used to look like:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5063318383_4b7454edf2_z.jpg

A little primer:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5063930538_f03f60b9b4_z.jpg

And a little paint:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4104/5063931384_ed46c1d7cf_z.jpg

And remounting them:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4132/5063933430_63d71cf116_z.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4084/5063934206_7b1904a538_z.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5063927324_f39cc3d159_z.jpg

It's like a whole new car. I love it.

Next time:
-Hella's
-Headliner

:D

James Bond
10th October 2010, 08:10 AM
Brilliant - nice job!

CycM17
18th October 2010, 07:20 PM
Took it out for a drive. No further work done at this point but a couple of miles of nice weather cruising:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5093726231_0e629c0574_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4086/5093734221_622f6db90a_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4083/5093733555_33b321662b_b.jpg

:cheesy:

Krizzie
19th October 2010, 04:53 AM
Those last two pics are awesome!

DustinS
19th October 2010, 10:01 AM
Those are gorgeous pictures... and a gorgeous car...

CycM17
1st November 2010, 08:10 AM
Popping these in this morning...
http://i616.photobucket.com/albums/tt242/CycM17/IMG00119-20101027-1931.jpg?t=1288613383
Don't feel like doing it now since it's 30 degrees out :o. I'll take my hot coffee in the meantime. Also, selecting headliner fabric this afternoon. Let's see what I come up with!

-M

CycM17
5th November 2010, 09:24 AM
Cold start valve definitely helps. I've basically eliminated everything but the starter for reasons why it never starts on the first try cold (Remember plugs, wires, battery, all that from before). Once warmed up it's never an issue, or even up to four hours after the last drive it starts like a champ.

Here's the cold start process, and maybe a few clues as to what it could be:

1st try:
-8 or so cranks; nothing.

2nd try:
-4 cranks; catches, revs, stalls (sometimes a pop/knock up front)

3rd try:
-2 to 4 cranks, starts (I rev once or twice to about 1500) and idles and warms up as would be normal.

If it's the starter, wouldn't it not matter if the engine was hot or cold? Fuel pump?

li Arc
5th November 2010, 02:44 PM
Maybe it's your FPR; I think it also acts as a check valve, so that fuel is available at the injectors upon startup instead of pulling it all the way from the rear in the tank. Have you tried running your fuel pump first before starting? There's a jumper method you can use described in the Bentley to test if the fuel pump is operational, you can use that method to pump fuel up into the circuit first before trying to start it.

I think the fuel pump is either a work or don't work scenario; if your car runs, it works. It doesn't sound like the starter to me; it's a problem getting the engine to catch, not turning it over.

li Arc

ejenner
6th November 2010, 06:04 AM
These problems are normally related to the warmup regulator. That seems to be the source of most running issues on the 8v.

I've just started driving one of these every day myself. It was never owned by anyone who cared about it so I started right from the base position. i.e. very dirty, dents everywhere, mechanicals neglected, etc, ect...

The thing that's made the most difference to performance so far was to check and set the timing properly and to tweak the air/fuel ratio.

Check the book for yourself in case I remember wrong... but if I do remember correctly the setting is 20-degrees at 2000 rpm with the vacuum hose disconnected from the distributor.

For the fuel you have a small allen key that's down the bottom of a tube next to where the fuel pipes come out of the fuel distributor. I think it's a 4mm allen key, might be 3mm... can't remember... put the allen key into the hole so connects with the screw at the bottom of the hole before you start the engine. Doing it in this order saves you some time as when you push the allen key into the hole it normally stalls the engine due to a brief change in the AFR caused as you push the key into the screw head. Turn the screw clockwise for richer and anti-clockwise for leaner. If you turn too much one way or the other then it won't run properly. So find the middle point where it is as far away from too lean as it is from too rich and then turn it slightly towards rich... this is if you want the best possible performance.

Like I say, when I got the car it was a bit of a slug. When I spent a few minutes tuning it I got it to perform noticably better. This is without any hardware mods... just a simple resetting of the timing and fuel. If you can get a car to perform noticably better then whatever you have done has made a big difference.

I like the idea of doing a strap-on turbo job... But I ought not to be tempted to modify this one! I had thought about just wacking in an old T16 lump.

DustinS
16th December 2010, 12:43 AM
It is 3mm. just had that done awhile ago.

Try looking at the starter, i know it is a pain but it could be your problem. I had warm start issue that ended up being the starter for whatever reason. Seems it just couldn't turn it over enough to get it to catch and start. The starter made cold starting a heck of a lot easier as well. Where did you get your cold start valve from?

CycM17
16th December 2010, 08:26 AM
It is 3mm. just had that done awhile ago.

Try looking at the starter, i know it is a pain but it could be your problem. I had warm start issue that ended up being the starter for whatever reason. Seems it just couldn't turn it over enough to get it to catch and start. The starter made cold starting a heck of a lot easier as well. Where did you get your cold start valve from?

I definitely want to check the starter. I should also note that the speed at which the car turns over/cranks is always different and sometimes changes within each starting attempt (if that makes sense). Battery is very new, too.

Haven't driven the car since night temperatures have dropped below 20 degrees F but I want to run it and drive it today. The roads have cleared up a bit and I want to wash it anyhow. I also noticed now I need a new thermostat. Totally unrelated, but that should be simple enough.

I got the CSV on ebay, new.

DustinS
16th December 2010, 09:50 AM
If/When you do the starter you might want to get a new positive cable(from battery to starter), as well as ground cable. Making sure you wire brush all points on the body and cable itself where they touch. You should notice a change in the way it starts even with that done.

CycM17
30th December 2010, 10:20 PM
Ugh. Remodeling at work and some misc. stuff to wrap up the past few weeks (felt like months) means I haven't had a chance to check out the starter just yet...

Good news though- after sitting for a few weeks in the cold and our first snow storm, I went to clean it off and run it and it started and purred like I knew it would. Takes one or two more tries to get it to start in the cold, but that's OK. I took it around the parking lot but didn't want to get it dirty or anything since I had recently given it a pretty good bath.

I want to keep driving this car, but there's a lot of salt down on the roads now. MUST RESIST :nono;. I don't want this car to be a rolling rust heap in a few years.

Add a thermostat to the list too.

nuclear944
31st December 2010, 03:40 PM
Ugh. Remodeling at work and some misc. stuff to wrap up the past few weeks (felt like months) means I haven't had a chance to check out the starter just yet...

Good news though- after sitting for a few weeks in the cold and our first snow storm, I went to clean it off and run it and it started and purred like I knew it would. Takes one or two more tries to get it to start in the cold, but that's OK. I took it around the parking lot but didn't want to get it dirty or anything since I had recently given it a pretty good bath.

I want to keep driving this car, but there's a lot of salt down on the roads now. MUST RESIST :nono;. I don't want this car to be a rolling rust heap in a few years.

Add a thermostat to the list too.

Dude you can rust proof the car very easily.

I did this to my 89 sedan 'cause it will get driven in the winter a lot. Pretty much any tough self-etching enamel primer should do. I used rustoleum of course.

Pressure washed the underbody, let it dry overnight, then sprayed every panel I could find.

NSE
2nd January 2011, 11:31 PM
Nice '83 sedan. :D The wheels look fantastic!

I'm going to do my headliner pretty soon too. I'll be interested to hear how yours goes.

Any luck fixing the cold start issue? It sounds like it could be a faulty Warm-up Regulator.

CycM17
3rd January 2011, 08:18 AM
Dude you can rust proof the car very easily.

I did this to my 89 sedan 'cause it will get driven in the winter a lot. Pretty much any tough self-etching enamel primer should do. I used rustoleum of course.

Pressure washed the underbody, let it dry overnight, then sprayed every panel I could find.

This is true. Until I can get a little time to figure it out, I still have been driving it, just washing very thoroughly/frequently. I may be a little over paranoid about it, but I figure that's better than the alternative approach...

I'll be interested to hear how yours goes.

Any luck fixing the cold start issue? It sounds like it could be a faulty Warm-up Regulator.

I'd be interested to see how it goes too... Today is a day off and it's sunny and relatively warm (37*). I'll take it out for a nice spin and maybe get my fabric today, though I feel like a broken record. I think I said that MONTHS ago!

I thought about the warm up regulator too. That and the starter. As of now I haven't had time to touch it since the last post...

Thanks for tuning in so far guys, and offering your suggestions and advice! Much appreciated. My love of this car has not changed since the second I sat in it.

ejenner
3rd January 2011, 09:01 AM
Surely you would be better off using a proper underseal product rather than an etch-primer?

I have charged to do this in the past. The customer had a car with almost no underbody browing at all. I suggested anti-corrosion treatment as a way of keeping the car good for longer.

The method I used was to first apply some thick black 'stone-chip' which is a chip resistant satin finish product which comes in an aerosol can. I used about 4 of those. Then once that had dried I filled up a parts-washer can with black Waxoil and sprayed the underside of the car using the parts washer connected to the air-compressor. The power of the jet of waxoil spraying out of that parts washer was good enough to coat the whole underside of the car in detail. I hope the customer was happy with the job.

Oh, and before I did any of this I spent some time brushing off the mud from under the wheel arches.

The long nozzel of the parts washer could slot through the lower grill which allowed me to treat the front cross-member below the radiator. That was where the most rust was, but even then there wasn't much. I'm glad I did this as the car is now rust proofed for many more years.

NSE
3rd January 2011, 01:58 PM
I thought about the warm up regulator too. That and the starter.

Why do you suspect the starter? Is it not turning over?

DustinS
3rd January 2011, 02:07 PM
It doesn't have to be completely dead to cause problems. I had severe starting issues that have seemed to finally end with the replacing of the starter with a new unit. yet i only suggest it after one has replaced all positive and negative cables in the engine bay. They help out a lot.

CycM17
19th January 2011, 08:30 AM
Alright. After all of your helpful feedback and suggestions (and most importantly, patience) on this cold start issue, I decided maybe I am not describing it well enough :roll:. My apologies, this is all a learning experience for me. The more I think about it, the more it may not be the starter but the warm up regulator or something fuel pressure related as suggested. Here is the clue that I left out: If I start it and DON'T let it warm up for a good 2-3 minutes, when I start to drive away the car bogs a little bit. Right when you first give it real gas. Then it goes away either when RPM picks up through the gears or when the car eventually gets up to temperature.

Of course, since I almost always let the car warm up, I usually don't notice...

---

On a side note..

Popped in a new thermostat. A little while back when it got cold outside, the car never really warmed up according to the temp. gauge. Everything is fine on that front now, and it took all but 5 minutes in a 17 degree non-heated garage :cheesy:.

OH! and did I mention my coworker bought me something for this car for Christmas a while back? I was pumped, and felt totally undeserving, but it was part of my over all plan for this car so now I can't wait until spring!!! Maybe I'll post a teaser pic later.

Thanks,
M

ejenner
19th January 2011, 10:13 AM
OH! and did I mention my coworker bought me something for this car for Christmas a while back? I was pumped, and felt totally undeserving, but it was part of my over all plan for this car so now I can't wait until spring!!! Maybe I'll post a teaser pic later.Was it a warmup regulator?

Seriously. That is the main source of trouble on these 8v engines. Bogging down when cold is a classic symptom of lack of fuel during warmup. Cold engines need almost twice as much fuel as warm ones!

CycM17
11th April 2011, 07:05 AM
Well anyways, here is brief summary and a few pictures from a couple of days ago...

Parts that went on:

Shocks
Kilen Sport Springs
Rota RB 15x7 offset 38
MotorsportTech adapters
Cooper Tires

Long story:

Back in December my coworker generously gifted me a set of RB's, which didn't make sense, but I rolled with it. Ever since I bought the car last August I was swooning over a set of Ronal Minilites or those Shelby wheels for the c900 but could never find a set that was not trashed. He mentioned the Rota RB and said it was the same thing just newer and deeper. I thought nothing else of it until he got me a set. I was a c900 noob (or more of one) back then so when he told me they were 4x108's I assumed they would fit. A few months later while perusing a thread on TSL I realized my '83 had a different bolt pattern. 4x113.2? Or 4.5" for us American folk. Sweet. I wanted to keep the wheels in that bolt pattern for future possible c900 use, so I did a little research and called up MotorsportTech out near Vegas and had them fab me up some adapters. Those guys were cool, had great communication, and quick service. They made some hub centric 3/4" thick metal for me to make this all work out.

http://www.saablink.net/forum/images/statusicon/wol_error.gifThis image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 1024x768.http://i616.photobucket.com/albums/tt242/CycM17/IMG00199-20110406-1145.jpg?t=1302435477

Back on track with the wheel scenario, I went ahead and purchased Kilen Sport Springs. They arrived a few days quicker than expected, so I grabbed my parts and ran over to the local garage to have them pick out and provide both the shocks and tires, and everything came together pretty well. They did the work and dropped off the car for me at work. I contemplated doing it myself but lack of time, experience, and proper tools made up my mind for me. It came out great.

Bottom line: with the new parts the car drives worlds better than before. No more chattering/skiddish handling over bumps, the dampening is much better than before, and the look has certainly grown on me even though I thought it was already pretty incredible to begin with. Sort of a vintage motor sport vibe. I hung on to the painted steelies/tires so I can basically go back and forth depending.

Less talk, more pics. The car is dirty, and a proper detail/photoshoot will take place hopefully this week sometime.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5150/5601652796_1ea386f62f_b.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5303/5601070759_84c35b21c0_b.jpg

ejenner
11th April 2011, 07:15 AM
Love those adaptors. Well made. ;ol;

marksteiger
18th April 2011, 03:55 PM
huh, I have a set of saab minilites off of my '85.... I suppose you could have gotten them, thing is I live in BC Canada, so shipping costs money.... But the ol' 85 is down for the count, so I don't have a use for the rims anymore, specially cause they wont fit my '89. Maybe I can find adaptors, are yours custom made?

CycM17
19th April 2011, 08:06 AM
Love those adaptors. Well made. ;ol;

I have to mention that at first I was a little skeptical, since I had never messed with adapters before. I opted for the 3/4" piece since it was the narrowest they could possible make and I didn't want the wheels to 'poke' out very much. Overall I was impressed. Build time and quality were spot on.

huh, I have a set of saab minilites off of my '85.... I suppose you could have gotten them, thing is I live in BC Canada, so shipping costs money.... But the ol' 85 is down for the count, so I don't have a use for the rims anymore, specially cause they wont fit my '89. Maybe I can find adaptors, are yours custom made?

Custom made by Motorsport Tech in Nevada. Grab a set of those, refinish your wheels on the cheap, and you're good to go! That style rim is one of my favorites.

CycM17
23rd June 2011, 08:38 AM
Have I mentioned how much I have been enjoying this car lately?

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5267/5860006056_9b3c5f775b_b.jpg

SPGreg
23rd June 2011, 11:53 AM
Have I mentioned how much I have been enjoying this car lately?

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5267/5860006056_9b3c5f775b_b.jpg

Sure looks nice with those wheels. Well done! ;ol;

CycM17
2nd October 2012, 06:53 PM
Well it's been a long time since I've updated this thread... Though I sold my NG900 the classic lives. I have been using it mostly for weekend cruises / local errands and it is running well.

The positive battery cable disconnected from the starter at some point in May and it has been pretty much starting on the first try every time since. I have a feeling the front pads are getting low so I will have to look into that further.
A few goodies to put on before the winter:
-Fuel filter
-Drivers window scraper (or whatever you want to call it)
-Reverse light switch
-That dusty set of Hellas I bought for it over a year ago

If I have some time, I'd like to see if I can fix the shifter so it centers itself when in neutral. It'd be nice to lose the 'spoon in a peanut butter jar' feel, but I don't have trouble finding gears or anything. I want to clean up the engine bay a little as well.

Quick shot on a trip through town this summer:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7188/6832751646_8f7e82ee17_z.jpg

RadioFlyer
4th October 2012, 12:23 PM
I've never been a fan of the 4-door, but I'm really liking yours. Love the wheels too! Great job. I'm wrestling with a cold start issue in my 1980 turbo right now as well. I found a spare warm-up regulator in my basement. Thinking about putting that in soon to see if there is any change.