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  #1  
Old 26th January 2006
TanCar TanCar is offline
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Default Looking at a 900 tonight...

Nice forum you got here...

Looking at a Saab tonight for my girlfriend. What should I be looking for besides things like fluid leaks, exploding, etc. I'm a car person and work on mine myself, so I know a couple few things.

Here are the details:
1987 Saab 900 (not sure about the S or turbo...)
110,000 miles
Manual
New clutch 6 months ago

Car has a charging problem, seems to run out of electricity according to the owner. Could be a dying battery, bad alt or the VR problem I read about here, not sure yet.

Anyway, what else should I be looking for?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 26th January 2006
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006qees 006qees is offline
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Welcome and check out the buyer's guide here: http://www.saabcentral.com/features/...ers_guides.php

Probably worth printing it out and taking it with you, but pay particular attention to the gearbox section.

Happy shopping!
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  #3  
Old 26th January 2006
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woywitka woywitka is offline
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excellent choice. in 1987 they have the revised front but little else went on to be changed, they have the older style brakes, which don't hold up as well vs. the later style 88+. i wouldn't worry to much. RUST RUST and RUST! check it, door bottoms, gas tank lid, suspension areas under the car.

there is a buyers guide here http://www.saabcentral.com/techhelp/...yers_guide.php


take lots of pics and get as much info as you can then report back here and we can help you out some more, the amout of knowledge here is incredible. it never hurts to check out a few candidates, even if you miss a "good one" you need a good feel, then you will get the "this one feels just right".

word of caution, these cars are addicitng, very fun to drive, so be warned.

good luck, miles are not of too much concern on old saabs, as long as it has been serviced right one with 300,000miles could be better than one with 80,000miles.

Last edited by woywitka; 26th January 2006 at 07:24 PM.
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  #4  
Old 26th January 2006
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woywitka woywitka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 006qees
Welcome and check out the buyer's guide here: http://www.saabcentral.com/features/...ers_guides.php

Probably worth printing it out and taking it with you, but pay particular attention to the gearbox section.

Happy shopping!
you beat me to him!

yes! THE GEARBOX IS OF MAJOR CONCERN! no jumping out of gears, grinding, or difficulty engaging gears! if it whines at 55mph/90km/h in 5th its going south. for autos, well we need an auto expert to come foreward, i simply avoid thoes.
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  #5  
Old 26th January 2006
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006qees 006qees is offline
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sorry buddy - I'm not normally that quick off the mark....
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  #6  
Old 26th January 2006
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woywitka woywitka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 006qees
sorry buddy - I'm not normally that quick off the mark....
thats ok, either way he got a response from the only two ultramarine blue saab owners on this forum. so when we gonna start that club?
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  #7  
Old 26th January 2006
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006qees 006qees is offline
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You never know, the one he's seeing tonight might be the same colour as ours....

I'd be jealous, at least he's on your side of the pond!!
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  #8  
Old 26th January 2006
TanCar TanCar is offline
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Wow, you guys are quick!

Nah, it's tan, I don't know what the official color is.

I belong to another forum for Passats and very much appreciate the input. Nice to see you guys are so responsive.

My girl came across this car, she loves Saabs and the price is right. The seller did mention some rust but I haven't seen any pics yet.

So we have the gearbox issue to check, anything else?
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  #9  
Old 26th January 2006
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006qees 006qees is offline
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Not really, they're pretty hard wearing cars in general (my last one had over 250K on the clock and it's still in daily use).

Just go through the buyers guide and if your automotive spidey-senses tingle then walk away!
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  #10  
Old 26th January 2006
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jonboy545 jonboy545 is offline
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Yes, definately the gear box...

No popping out of reverse, or 1st/2nd... No whines in 5th.

Also pay special attention to the wires in the engine bay if it's a turbo. Especially on the right side (turbo side) of the car. I didn't, and mine was a headache for a while!!! Well, not too bad, but they wires are horrible.

Overall they're GREAT cars. Don't ever take a mechanic's word on "Oh STAY WAY from those cars" That's simply because they don't know how to work on them Mine has 265,000 miles, and still runs like a CHAMP. Pulls hard, good compression.

If you do alot of work on your own cars, definately pick up a Bentley manual. Worth every penny. Lots of wiring diagrams, photos and illustrations, and pretty darn thorough of just about everything.


Good luck, and be sure to post pics if you pick it up!
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  #11  
Old 26th January 2006
TanCar TanCar is offline
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Well, the seller balked on the appointment tonight, hopefully get in there this weekend.

Glad to hear these cars last a while, I had also heard the 'stay away...' but chalked that up to it being foreign. They said that about my VW too but it's the best car I've ever owned.
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  #12  
Old 27th January 2006
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don't worry about wiring. that only applies ot 1986 and 1985 cars. saab changed wire coating which degrades easily over time. my 1984 had perfect wires, and my 1989 has even better- absoluteley no issues whatsoever.

the engine son these cars don't wear out if taken care of, they could go on forever. they are one of the best built engines of all time.
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  #13  
Old 27th January 2006
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manstein manstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonboy545
Yes, definately the gear box...

No popping out of reverse, or 1st/2nd... No whines in 5th.
I wouldn't worry so much about popping out of reverse as that would indicate a broken linkage (forget what its called). Its a commom fault but once the forward gears don't pop out then happy days.

Be prepared for some heartache with the 900's though as whilst they will become an obsession like everything that you love sometimes it breaks your heat.
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  #14  
Old 27th January 2006
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mikewitdaspike mikewitdaspike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanCar
Nice forum you got here...

Looking at a Saab tonight for my girlfriend. What should I be looking for besides things like fluid leaks, exploding, etc. I'm a car person and work on mine myself, so I know a couple few things.

Here are the details:
1987 Saab 900 (not sure about the S or turbo...)
110,000 miles
Manual
New clutch 6 months ago

Car has a charging problem, seems to run out of electricity according to the owner. Could be a dying battery, bad alt or the VR problem I read about here, not sure yet.

Anyway, what else should I be looking for?

Thanks in advance.
HOLY SH*T that sounds literally EXACTLY like Uma... good thing it isnt but lemme know if you find out why it runs out of electricity...
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  #15  
Old 27th January 2006
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SteveTheFolkie SteveTheFolkie is offline
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My Saabs: 1987 900 8V
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I'd kinda wonder why the clutch went south with 100,000 on the clock - sounds like it was owned by someone who didn't understand how a clutch works - the charging problem is a good negotiation point when you get down to price - but should be easy to resolve.

I've only had my 900 for about a month now - but even with 200,000+ miles on the clock it runs great. The previous owner had extensive rust repair done a couple years back (floorboards and under the spare tire in the trunk) but the rest seems pretty solid. So far I've found it easier to work on than the water-pumper VW's (Jettas, Golfs, Rabbits) - the engine bay is just a lot roomier and the wiring seems to be of better quality and more logical layout (at least my non-turbo '85 does) than the VW's I've owned or nurtured.

Best of luck - mine is a "tan" color - which makes the vehicle about as exciting as a bag of air to look at - but that's what paint shops are for I suppose -

Steve
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  #16  
Old 27th January 2006
TanCar TanCar is offline
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Ya, I'm thinking that little inline four in that long hood must be roomy.

At least better than my '90 Accord or V6 Passat.
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