1983 900i - "Project free 8v super beater" [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: 1983 900i - "Project free 8v super beater"

13th December 2006, 01:11 PM
The car: 1983 c900 8v CIS injection, non-turbo, rusty, ugly, FREE!

UPDATE: June 3rd 2007

The car has recieved a water cooled T3 turbo from a 1989 SPG, and is midway through the body work for a re-paint.

The Flight Plan: Free car to beat the poo out of in the winter to save my 9000 Aero from the winter weather.

Changing Course: I decided the car was too nice to let rot, and waaaay too ugly to drive. I will slowly fix, and change aspects of the car to make it look better and be more fun to drive.

Plans in progress/Future plans:
-The car is undergoing a substantial makeover that will include fixing the rust on the fender lips and fixing the poor attempts at body work that had been done by previous owners.
-The cay will be fitted with a garrett T3 turbocharger and a stock 16v intercooler on the high compression non-turbo motor. The exhaust manifold and other turbo specific will be picked up this weekend.
-SPG springs will be installed in the spring
-88+ hubs have been acquired and will be installed in the spring
-Possible LH injection retrofitted to the 8v motor
-Possible Megaquirt (far down the road)
-Possible 16v turbo swap

Current modifications:
-Stripped interior
-High powered rally lights
-much of the electronic parts of the CIS system have been disabled
-Magnacore plug wires
-Air conditioning system totally deleted

This car was offered to me a while back for $200, the owner declined to accept the offer and I didn't hear much out of him for a while. The I heard he was looking to get rid of it, so I jumped on the offer and made arrangements to pick it up. The car was some 2 hours from my house, and was in non-running condition. I borrowed a car hauler from a friend and made the trek to pick up my car with my puppy riding shotgun!

Now, at think point all I know it that the car is that it is a 1983 c900 8v non-turbo, and the fact that it is not running well enough to drive.

And these were the only picture I had seen prior to picking it up...

Well, all went well, and the car started and seemingly ran very well when I went to get it, however the previous owner told me not to get my hopes up. He said it was a very intermittent problem, but when it happened the car would barely run.

Here were the photos from the day I got it.


After many hours of learning and plying with CIS I finally got it running strong enough to begin driving it.

I will add some more recent photos in a bit! The body work has actually progressed quite well, and my budget is still waaaay under $100!

13th December 2006, 02:11 PM
So, after around a week of driving the car every day, with frequent stops to adjust things such as mixture and timing I got the car running well. I figure I spent at least 20 hours overall just tracking down the issues with the CIS injection and tuning the car to run as well as it could. This cost me nothing but time.

In the midst of the CIS tuning fiasco Palmer1980 and I took the car on a night time TSD rally. We learned a lot from the rally...a few highlights include:

-The super jacked up suspension is great for taking the car off road - but on road handling is "mushy" at best
-Adequate interior lighting is a must for TSD rallys
-The rally lights worked wonders on the back roads at night
-Skid plates work wonders on "minimum maintenance roads"
-Hakka 1 tires on steel wheels kick butt in snow, ice, and muddy stuff
-The tail pipe will fall off if you get the car airborne

Here's the aftermath, not too bad, just muddy and missing the tail pipe.



13th December 2006, 02:12 PM
Shortly after the rally I decided that the car was very solid, and despite handling a little shoft due to the old hammered springs, it is a very solid car that needed a little attention paid to cosmetics, so I dug into the body work.

Front right fender - Before:


Nealy prepped

13th December 2006, 02:21 PM
Right rear fender - Before:






Another coat of fine putty to fill the sand scratches:


Also worth noting, I can't find the photo, but the right rear fender was very wrinkled and dented, so I spend some time hammering the dents out and smoothing everything in between the rear wheel and the door with fiberglass body filler.

So far, it's coming along pretty well. I'll finish the right side and then move on to the left side once the right is totally sealed and prepped for paint.

13th December 2006, 07:04 PM
i'll be interested in reading this thread. wanna see how the turbo project turns out. if i get the s.... someday people. ;) keep us posted

14th December 2006, 04:43 AM
The Flight Plan: Free car to beat the poo out of in the winter to save my 9000 Aero from the winter weather.

Er, wrong way round, surely! ;)

14th December 2006, 09:54 AM
Er, wrong way round, surely! ;)

Hahahaha! No, but right now it's the Aero I'm drving...so, maybe.

14th December 2006, 11:14 AM
Hey, those wheels look great!

Who painted them?


14th December 2006, 11:52 AM
I don't know....some strange crazy dude who likes to bike to work in the winter :lol:

14th December 2006, 03:05 PM
I don't know....some strange crazy dude who likes to bike to work in the winter :lol:

that is because he is a true c900 owner dedicated to keeping his car rust free. Hats off Mr. Palmer

I drive another c900 to work to keep my convertable rust free;oops:

15th December 2006, 05:31 PM
This thread reminds me of my Free 8v: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=846826

I think you should do what I did and just wack on some nitrous injection. The k-jetronic fuel system is perfect for the job as you just use the cold start injector line to feed in the extra fuel that's required when running on nitrous.

I've got some fine-tuning details required to get it running as I've been playing around with it for quite a while now and ironed out the bugs. For kicks - nothing beats it. I made the system out of bits of industrial equipment (rather than buying an expensive kit) and got it fitted and running pretty quickly.

16th December 2006, 03:45 AM
Well, I got the turbo exhaust monifold off of a donor car yesterday, and I have a turbo from a 1989 SPG ready to go in. I just have to finish off a bit of the body work (at least get the filler all sealed off with primer and primer sealer, and then I can play with fitting the snail to it.

The place that I got the manifold from has a 1990 SPG running a 2.1 liter motor and 18 lbs of boost! They say it goes like hell and has been running quite well for some time now. The owner of the shop said - and I quote - "that's just not right...it's just not right!" Despite the fun he's having with that car, he said the 8v Turbo on a high compressio motor is not all that fun. I'd probably agree that compared to a 16vT, it's not going to be as peppy...but I think I'll still have enough fun with it :-D

16th December 2006, 03:56 AM
Just do all the things you need to do to stop detonation and it will be ok. water injection is probably going to be the cheapest, easiest way to get big boost from that motor.

20th December 2006, 11:09 AM
Only one photo, but I'll update none-the-less!

Palmer and I took a trip down to a very small dealership in Iowa to have a go at their yard full of c900s, 99s, 96s, 9000s, etc.

So, we pulled a manifold from a 1984ish 900T

It took a little while due to my foolishness of not having a 13mm wrench! Stupid me. So, we got that and picked up a few things, the owner of that place is great! Top notch guy, drives a stage 4 1994 ng900SE.

So, I have the manifold, I have some other bits (turbo and such) and I have all the plumbing that I could need. I will have to procure a stock c900 intercooler just to get things going, but Palmer has offered to let me use his!

Also, as far as body work, I have the right side of the car nearly done. I hit it will primer and need to sand down a few little spots, but overall it looks much better than before. Once it's in primer I can go ahead and start on the left side with body filler and welding some minor bits and such!

20th December 2006, 11:53 AM
Is that a set of these on the car in the background? A very rare site on UK car's. I can't even
remember seeing any (although I might have and just forgotten that I did :roll: )


20th December 2006, 12:02 PM
Good eyes! Seen a couple of sets, almost got a set. One of the heavier wheels saab offered.

20th December 2006, 12:07 PM
That manifold looks like a 99 one, with the charge pressure regulator outlet on the manifold, you could put an external wastegate straight off that, vent it to atomosphere, will be less likley to see boost spikes with an ext WG, better for your high comp engine.

20th December 2006, 12:49 PM
Yup, the manifold is the same as those from a 99t with the external wastegate. On the 900 that I removed it from there was an o2 sensor in there.


As far as those wheels, I have a set :D But then again I think they're pretty ugly. They can be seen on nearly any 1984 or older 900S in the US. Also I am missing the center caps.


20th December 2006, 01:19 PM
ugly wheels?

nooooooo :cry: I LOVE THEM
Very classic '80s style :lol:

20th December 2006, 06:51 PM
Fair enough :lol:

I'll probably clean them up and repaint them anyway :-D

25th January 2007, 09:14 PM
A little update...the car has been sitting in front of my house for a while....in the midst of body work, and not insured :(

I will hopefully be switching insurance soon, in order to have an affordable policy for 2 cars.

However, I drove the car around the block tonight after letting it sit in my driveway idling to get up to running temp...the car was running very well, however it decided to die once I got back to my hose and now won't start!!!!

I might need to get this car in running shape because it might become a temporanry daily driver for my 100 mile/day commute when my 9000 Aero goes under the knife for a mechanical (and possibly cosmetic) makeover. I will probably be buying some more tune-up stuff for the '83 tomorrow to hopefully get it going again :)

3rd June 2007, 03:39 PM
I decided it was time to boost the project a bit.

The car runs well, and the body work is still "in progress," but the mechanical stuff has made a few leaps since this last winter.

When i opened up the garage door for the day today, the car was a non-turbo, but the time I came in for lunch it had a turbo on it!

I ran into some problems because despite the fact that saab was producing 900 Turbos in '83, the decided to leave all of the oiling provisions filled, un-drilled, un-tapped on the non turbo cars. On later saabs all of the provisions were tapped and drilled, but just blocked off, so that was the major challeng to this project.

After drilling and tapping the hole for the oil return, I put this fitting on

The fitting will fit up to the stock oil return tube with the end hacked off. In hind sight I could have waited a bit longer to do this, and ordered a new tap that was the size of the hole that would have been there from the factory, but I figured this would be sufficient. I just need a bit of rubber tubing clamped between the return tube and the brass fitting

Since that went so well, I got carried away and put the manifold, support bracket, and turbo in place.

I have the turbo roughly clocked to where I want it to sit for plumbing the front mount Intercooler.

It took a bit of ingenuity to decide where the oil feed was going to come from, I decided that the spot that the oil pressure sensor would be sufficient. I also installed a newer filter housing with the holes for an oil cooler, which I will install along with the FMIC.

Here you can see that the stock oil feed tube had to be cut, and will need a length of hose to bridge the gap.

3rd June 2007, 03:40 PM
Here's the spot where the new radiator will go, along with a saab 9000 intercooler. The 9000 IC is not great, but the car won't run much boost, and the goal here is to not spend any (or spend very little) $$$

Lastly, the passenger side of the car is about 10 min of work away from a few nice coats of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer, which will be top-coated with flat black and some Swedish Air Force designs in dark green.


Oh, and the turbo is water cooled, and I decided to use that feature, depsite the fact that I would have to come up with a source for coolant where there was (once again) no tapped provision on the block or head.

The one of the hoses will connect to a OEM lower radiator hose just like how a 16v 900T would be plumbed, and the other hose will connect off of the thermostat housing where some sensor used to be (it probably didn't work anyway, right?). The photo shows the tube from the turbo and the banjo bolt, I need to cut a bit of tube with a banjo fitting and connect the two.


6th June 2007, 12:28 AM
OK, some photos of the 3" downpipe that I whacked together tonight. It took all of about 1 hour of work, maybe less. I don;t have any other exhaust hooked up, just straight downpipe.

So, here's a sound clip and some photos :twisted:



and the sound clip (sorry its short, it was 11pm when I took the vid, and the neighbors probably didn't want to hear it ;-))

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g177/jvkrocak/th_downpipe003.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/albums/g177/jvkrocak/?action=view&current=downpipe003.flv)

10th June 2007, 11:45 PM
OK, a bit of body work progress.

I sprayed the car with a few coats of rustoleum primer today after fixing some issues that I left from last fall with the rear passenger side 1/4 panel.

I didn;t bother priming the front fender since I'm about 99% sure I'm going to redo it since I drank WAAAAY too many brews when I was working on that panel :-)

Anyway, here's the primer on the passener's side. I'll work on the driver's side this week and hopefully have it in primer by next weekend.

1st coat

2nd coat

I've swayed my thinking in what color to shoot as well, I'm thinking dark red/burgund gloss enamel would look pretty nice.

10th June 2007, 11:48 PM
That sound clip is great!

11th June 2007, 07:00 AM
OK, a bit of body work progress.

I sprayed the car with a few coats of rustoleum primer today after fixing some issues that I left from last fall with the rear passenger side 1/4 panel.

I've swayed my thinking in what color to shoot as well, I'm thinking dark red/burgund gloss enamel would look pretty nice.

I think you should just Laquer (clear coat) over the primer! That colour is cool! :cool: