my 'new' 84 aero. the beginning of the end... [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: my 'new' 84 aero. the beginning of the end...


Saab fanatic
26th January 2012, 04:19 AM
So i recently acquired my 3rd Saab and one of my all time favourite saabs...a 900 aero! So i thought I'd start a project thread to share my experience and ask for help from time to time!

how i came by this car....
Being a bit of a Saab nut, I regularly patrol all my local car classified websites searching for a nice aero (900 or 9000). not that i really had the money for one, but i always liked to keep a look out none the less. so one day a few weeks ago i was cruising through email doing my regular check when I came across this old girl. it said it was a 1984 black Saab 900 aero with tan leather and 186km's on the clock. the owner stated that he was the 2nd owner and had it since 1988 but that he put it into storage in 1999. I was intrigued so i gave him a call....

he told me that a month after purchasing the car (with 80km's on the clock) he blew a welch plug which totally fired motor and turbo. after something of a rather public dog fight with Saab they eventually agreed to install a brand new engine and turbo for free (jackpot!). so with the prospect of an aero with a motor of only 105km i was totally hooked.

the owner explained that the car was all original and that until it stopped turning over last year he had turned on the motor regularly and let it run for 1/2 hr as well as vasalining sunroof seals etc. sadly it was never kept undercover! :cry: he also listed the following problems:
1. needs 1 new CV joint
2. dead battery
3. needs a new rear fanbelt
4. significant rust on bonnett (see photo)
5. some rust on boot - not too dramatic
6. wet floor on the passenger side
7. motor no longer turning over but didn't know why

this was enough information for me to get excited. I placed a bid on this bad boy with 10secs to go and was lucky enough to snaffle it for a little over a thousand aussie dollars. I know it was a bit impulsive but i figured that if it was a total dud it wasn't a lot of money i'd wasted.

So a few days later my brother and i went to pick it up, put it on a tow truck and took it to a mechanic for a full diagnostic. The mechanic was pretty impressed with the overall condition of the body, but was a little iffy on the mechanics (because of how long it hadn't been running).

This didn't deter me, i figured if it needs a full rebuild or whatever i would just put it into storage and wait until i had the funds to pay for it, or find someone who could help me fix it myself (which is what i would love to do one day).

I have since learned that it took a bit of maniuplating by my mechanic to get it firing again (apparently the old petrol in the tank had died!) and when he did he said the turbo was fired and was in need of a new harmonic balancer, along with a new master cylinder and boost (something...) for the brakes. whilst this wasn't the ideal news i was hoping for, it wasn't a disaster. i was a little miffed about the need of a new turbo after 105kms of use, but the old oil cooled ones + so long sitting around apparently just gave up the ghost. on the plus side though he said the motor was quiet and sounded good. so now the car is driveable and my mechanic is going to get a run down of what it needs to get up to roadworthy.

I have very big plans for this car. Providing the mechanicals don't cost too much, in the near future this is what i have planned.
1. complete restoration of the interior. the leather is in decent condition (no rips or major cracks that i noticed upon original inspection) but they do look a bit worn. so i think i will work out how to remove the seats and perform a complete re-dye. then i will remove the carpet and re-dye that as well. also allows me the chance to inspect the cabin for any rust issues.
2. going to purchase a machine buffer. probably a dual head orbital buffer because they're easy enough to use for an amateur but provide better results then by hand. the paint looks ozidised so hopefully a bit of buffing will bring it back. i also plan replace the bonnet asap and probably the boot as well.
3. new exhaust system. i've been getting some advice in the performance forum and think i'll go for a jetex/simmons dual tip system
4. installation of whale tail. i'll be happy to get a replica for now, but ideally i'd find an original someday.
5. i'd like to change the flat front to a slanted nose. my understanding is that it requires new headlights, bumper (front and rear) and possibly grille. can anyone confirm this?
6. really want to put super aeros on it, but dunno how to go about that at the moment...

beyond that I'll start upgrading. below are some photos of it when i picked it up.

i'll update this post regularly whenever i have anything new! cheers.