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C900 Performance, Mods & Tuning Covers Tuning & Performance modifications for the Classic 900 (C900)

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  #1  
Old 20th August 2012
Madamex Madamex is offline
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Default 1980 900 Turbo. Can I have AC added?

Hello everyone!

I am considering going back to driving a Saab 900 after many years of not having one. I found one in *pristine* conditon in my local paper. It's only downside is that it doesn't have air conditioning, which, quite frankly, isn't going to work where I'm at (it gets hot here in the desert!).

Is it possible to have AC retrofitted? If so, about how much would I be expected to pay out? I would have a local mechanic do the work, as all my tools are back east at the moment.

Thank you for any help you can provide.
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Old 20th August 2012
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David Wishart David Wishart is offline
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It's been a while since I was in the Saab repair industry but this seems like a $1000+ project for your car. If A/C were imperative for me, I'd buy a Saab that had an operating system to start, however tempting a pristine 1980 model might be.

Those cars (79-80) did have AC as an option, but the system for the "B" engine was different than the one used for the "H" engine (1981+). I'd bet getting correct parts (used or new) for your model might be difficult.

It seems the "H" engine system, with likely better parts availability, could be fitted with some adjustments and fabrication, but I don't know the details.
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Old 20th August 2012
TunnanXWD TunnanXWD is offline
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I would explore the aftermarket. There are some makers who cater to hot rod and kit car builders. I guess it comes down to your reasons for wanting to get back to and older 900. Is it that you miss that old classic and the feel or cargo capacity of that series?

Finding one that is rust free here in the east would be impossible so I can see why you would want to pop on something like that.
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Old 20th August 2012
Madamex Madamex is offline
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I want to get back to a vintage 900 because:

I miss being able to be seen: I've had a close call too many in what I'm driving now.

I miss the cargo capacity. (I'm currently moving back east and could use it)

I miss the handling-- a Saab has been most stable & fun thing to drive I've ever driven!

Plus, with its vintage, it should be cheap to insure and maintain.

But I expect air conditioning in anything I drive. I wilt in high heat/high humidity conditions.
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Old 20th August 2012
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might be chaeper to maintain but parts are getting harder to abtain reading whats on the perts wanted required section, and although virtually the same capacity(carrying) the later 900 will be better equipt has more range of wheels etc etc, so look for a piristine later car and with what your other car will cost + $1000 (if bits available) for the aircon you will get one with it fitted and working, no brainer IMHO really
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Old 20th August 2012
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I'm removing every a/c part from my 91 if you figure out how to retrofit. Everything works prefect just will need new fluid
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Old 21st August 2012
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I have removed a few non working units from a few C900's I have had,as not really needed them anyway and found the joins with whatever, always seem to fracture/bend, so don';t be suprised if it does'nt all come out clean, as most are aluminium and soon bend etc under slightest pressure
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Old 25th August 2012
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Default 1980 ac

All 1980 Turbos in NA spec had air-conditioning from the factory. Is it that the system has been removed or the compressor is bad? If the latter, that can be purchased for about $300. I restored the AC in my 44k mile 900T 5 door and it works great on its original R-12 refrigerant. Even keeps up with 95 degree weather! You should be fine. You may need to replace the switch with a later dash mounted one as a siezed compressor can blow the vacuum switch and its hard, but not impossible to find. Is this a 3 or 5 door?
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Old 28th August 2012
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Is this 1980 the one for sale in Phoenix area? That one looks real nice. I am restoring a 1980 turbo 3-door just like it and I love it.

Couple things to consider in regards to the 1980 - first, the B-series 8-valve engine is simple and fun, but not easy to find parts for. It was around on the 99 for a few years, but on the 900, it only lasted until 1981 when they came out with the lighter H-engine. My 1980 turbo does not have AC, it has a factory block-off plate with no pollen filter. I've considered swapping in AC, but would rather track down an old Thermador to strap to the side and see what that looks like.

The evaporator and condenser would fit right into place like any 900. The compressor and lines would be different though - you could probably grab one off a 99 if you can find one. I would make inquiry on Saabrally.com. They are more of a 99 and early 900 group.

On my '80, I just finished upgrading a few things. All new interior (new 1980 blue seatskins shipped from Australia!), sway bars from a '90 SPG, hubs from an '85 SPG (much better rotors that you don't need a puller to change out), Saab Sport and Rally skid plate, steering wheel, and fender flares (coming soon), and new paint job with 99-style turbo rally stripes (also coming soon). I highly suggest the sway bars. Awesome upgrade!!!
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