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C900 Workshop Classic 900 (1979-1993 & '94 Convertible) Technical Forum.

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  #1  
Old 5th August 2007
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grif900 grif900 is offline
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Thumbs up Can I save it?

Well , my 88 SPG got hot sitting in traffic last night very close to home.I got out of the gridlock I was stuck in hit the back roads.the car cooled, and I got into the turbo pretty hard. Then the car started running badly. I figured Id blown a vacuum/pressure hose or two while boosting (it happens often). When I pulled into my driveway the car was runing like crap and was emitting what smelled like sulfuric acid from the tail pipe.It also had what sounded like a deep rod-knock. I shut the car off and popped the hood,As i expected i found a vac. hose off,and then another ,and then another,the coolant resivoir was overflowing and I could see a lot of steam pouring off of the turbo, then my flashlight died.
This morning the car started (a little hard),but sounded fine, ran rough after a minute so I shut it down. the oil level was a little high (had just changed it yesterday), but no mayo or sign of coolant. Lots of coolant running out of the turbo, the blower side has the usual oil film and no coolant in the inlet plumbing but heres a pic. of the hot side. Does anyone know if this is a seal issue? Or have i cracked the water-jacket of the turbo? Im going outside to do a compression test and look for coolant in the cylinders.

Last edited by grif900; 12th August 2007 at 12:54 AM.
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  #2  
Old 5th August 2007
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Never mind. number one is wet, and number four is full of coolant. Yay! headgasket time. I hope that rod knock that was there last night but gone this morning stays gone, does anyone have any thoughts on that?

Last edited by grif900; 5th August 2007 at 01:30 PM.
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  #3  
Old 5th August 2007
neilsaab neilsaab is offline
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It's hard to say, but if it was real rod knock I wouldn't expect it to go away overnight. May just have been due to the water in the cyls.
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Old 5th August 2007
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Yeah- thats what I think too . I'm going to change the h.g. and hope for the best.
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  #5  
Old 5th August 2007
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the sulphur smell you mentioned made me think immediatelly of my car, pre-HG job. the running rough pointed my thoughts in that direction as well. both cylinders 2 and 3 were filled with water when i pulled my head off, my turbo looked much the same way.

is the inside of your turbo wet with coolant, or oil? does the turbo spin freely? how many miles are on it?

you mention the oil level being higher than it ought to be, i might suspect some water in there, but how does your water level look? how does the water look? can you see oil on the surface in the expansion tank, and how does it smell?

how many miles are on the engine and when was the last HG done, if ever?
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Old 5th August 2007
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The water was mostly gone this morning. Heres a pic from a few minutes ago, I,m getting ready to pull the inlet manifold back, Stand-by please we're goin in

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Old 5th August 2007
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it might be wise to send the head out for a valve job while it is out, and to also have the HG mating surface machined. you very well may have warped the head when you overheated it.

i got a killer price on a valve job from a shop next door to the family business warehouse. their usual price is $195 for labor, including valve seat grind and machining, they you pay a bit more for valve stem oil seals and anything else you might happen to need. they did the whole job for me for $150. i dropped the head of at 9am, picked it up at 4p.
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Old 5th August 2007
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Thanks for the good advice. The car ran so well before I popped the gasket that I'm not worried about a valve job. I will check the head for warpage(my brother has a killer straight-edge), as I understand it 8 valves are much more suseptible to warping than 16s. fingers crossed,inlet manifold is pulled back. on to the timing chain and gears.stand-by please.
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  #9  
Old 5th August 2007
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Default It's a boy!

This is a Techron engine, I love the stuff. Obviously #4 was cleaned by antifreeze, but look at how clean this 156,000 mile engine is.
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  #10  
Old 5th August 2007
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We can rebuild him!
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Turbo allows the valiant who has appeared at the wheel SAAB to gain momentum for 200 km/h Charm SAAB Turbo also that it to you not bad Porsche on it it is possible with speed of pregnant turtle feeling itself in full comfort which by the way our hero obeys a rudder reliably and confidently the truth management hardly will twirl a steering wheel by one finger uneasy. Without the hydraulic booster quickly enough perishes a steering shaft, but to change its hemorrhoids from the most fierce
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  #11  
Old 5th August 2007
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We have the technology.
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  #12  
Old 5th August 2007
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Is it just me? Or is there something wrong with this picture? Take a look at this h.g.. I think It's been used twice.

Last edited by grif900; 5th August 2007 at 09:54 PM.
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  #13  
Old 5th August 2007
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Looks absolutely spotless to me!
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  #14  
Old 5th August 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xassh
it might be wise to send the head out for a valve job while it is out, and to also have the HG mating surface machined. you very well may have warped the head when you overheated it.

i got a killer price on a valve job from a shop next door to the family business warehouse. their usual price is $195 for labor, including valve seat grind and machining, they you pay a bit more for valve stem oil seals and anything else you might happen to need. they did the whole job for me for $150. i dropped the head of at 9am, picked it up at 4p.
Sweet, they ruined your head for only $150? Priceless.

You do know Saab valves are not to be ground?

I know most of you have heard my sorry story upwards of a million times, but I had basically the same thoughts when I was doing the head gasket on my white car, hey, heads off, wouldn't I be ahead of the game if I took it in to a shop to be rebuilt, new seals and all that good jazz? So I researched, found what was said to be the best place in town who knew their Saab heads and I took it there, offered to leave my manual, told them it was turbo charged, had Stellite coated valves that were not to be ground, and went on my merry way happy as a lark mistakenly thinking they knew what they were doing. Mind you there was nothing wrong with my head, no lifter noise, no anything, this was totally "preventative" maintance, I was being smart hee hee.

To make a long story short, they ground the valves, (oops, at what, $15-20 apice you can do the math on that one) took my hydraulic lifters apart, cleaned them with solvent, tried to put them back together and couldn't get them to work, (16X$20 do the math on that one) then avoided me for a month and had the nerve to claim they were waiting on me to bring them parts when I finally called them one last time to ask what they heck was going on.

Now I know this head has some miles on it, about 150K, but it was in perfect working condition and I've been inside heads with 200K+ that needed nothing more than a simple lapping on the valves, I had verbally told them the valves could not be ground, on the hydraulic lifters all I could say you took them apart and cleaned them with solvent ? , and all in all I didn't feel very sorry for them, espcially when they wouldn't take responsiblity for what they did and tried to stick me with a $900 bill, and finally had some very big men encourage me to leave.

So, curently my motto is IF IT ISN'T BROKEN DON"T TRY TO FIX IT.
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Last edited by Matt88S; 6th August 2007 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 5th August 2007
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Matt- thank you for explaining that, you should continue to do so. I was trying to be kind,and wanted to move on with the job. I just finished the same conversation with a v.w. guy in my driveway, that was for some reason fixated on the filth on the OUTSIDE of my engine.
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Old 5th August 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grif900
Is it just me? Or is there something wrong with this picture? Take a look at this h.g.. I think It's been used twice.
You got some nice junk in your trunk
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Turbo allows the valiant who has appeared at the wheel SAAB to gain momentum for 200 km/h Charm SAAB Turbo also that it to you not bad Porsche on it it is possible with speed of pregnant turtle feeling itself in full comfort which by the way our hero obeys a rudder reliably and confidently the truth management hardly will twirl a steering wheel by one finger uneasy. Without the hydraulic booster quickly enough perishes a steering shaft, but to change its hemorrhoids from the most fierce
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  #17  
Old 6th August 2007
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had all the head off and valve stem seals done whilst fitting the jorgen g/box checked everything whilst it was out and it all looked in brilliant condition including cam not a mark on anything but then it had only done 195,000 miles so it was low mileage
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  #18  
Old 6th August 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grif900
We have the technology.
Beware of the GM Borg, and make sure Scotty has plenty of di-lithium crystals on hand! 8-)

Craig.
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  #19  
Old 7th August 2007
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Today I put the head in in a bag, and took it to my local indi.guru who told me "I have every head I pull shaved . weather I think its warped or not."(I realize this will raise an eyebrow or two around here,but Bart has never steered me wrong).. We did not discuss a valve job. It turns out he sends his heads to the same machine shop that I use at work. So I've pulled the diz., the caps, cams and lifters, and the t-stat housing, and will drop it off tomorrow for a bath and maybe a shave. So far I have ZERO $$$ into this project. Although the machine shop tried to sell me a valve -job(There, I did discuss stellite coated, sodium filled exhaust valves, they said they could "clean-up " the valves without ruining them but I have to provide new seats); i'm going to save that money and use it for the 92 head, with the improved cam cap oiling system, that I've been hanging on to for the next time I blow my head off. Its raining here tonight, but ive got a new work-bench.
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  #20  
Old 7th August 2007
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I have mine machined. As long as you have room you're fine. I've heard some say that the machining marks will "bite" into the headgasket and add strenth. It is possible for them to machine it too smooth though, the general concensus I've found is not too rough, not too smooth.

I wipe the top of the lifters with a rag dipped in solvent then write their placement on the top with a permenent marker. Then I put them in a shallow oil bath. I have noticed to if you take a magnet, click it on the bottom, and work the little piston up and down (DO NOT OVER EXTEND) that you will get a lot of old very nasty black oil out, you do so in the oil bath so oil goes out and new goes in. Thats all I do to the lifters, other than that I don't touch them and I put them back EXACTLY where they came from.

I put each valve/spring/etc,etc in a ziplock baggie with a notecard with its placement written on it, E for exhaust, I for intake, Cylinder number and valve number, example for the first valve on cylinder #1 exhaust side would be, E1-1, the second valve on cylinder 1 would be, E1-2, and so on and so forth. I number according to the numbering on the head, it can get confusing otherwise. I also write it on the baggie.

Be sure to clean everything very well, those millings get everywhere.

Also be very careful not to let those evil machine shop trolls hurt your head. The average shop just doesn't seem to know anything about coatings and whatnot. Back when I was having trouble with that shop that messed up my head I went to a small racing engine shop just down the road from me to ask them about the coating and if I should just use the head the way it was or what. They knew instantly what I was talking about and said most likely my valves had torn up the shops grinding apparatus due to the extreme hardness of the Stellite coating. They also said that yes, in theory it should still work just fine, except it would fail prematurely due to the stellite having been ground off.

Nice workbench by the way.
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