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  #1  
Old 14th March 2003
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Default Should I? Shouldn't I? 1978 99T

Hi peeps. Another newbie So why am I here? I've been offered a 1978 99 Turbo in black for nowt. I'm doing a bit of research to see if it's something I might like. I've been on the hunt for a real nice old shape BMW 3 series the last few months and nothing's taken my fancy, so when someone piped up about this 'ere Saab, I thought "Hmmm!". Anyways...

I've not seen it yet, and the bad news is it hasn't turned a wheel since 1989 but hey, who doesn't love a challenge? The only things I know about it are "it was in good nick when it went in the garage", it has "the usual rust on the doors" and "it has those funny alloys" (Inca's?)

So, let's assume it's in "condition 3" generally, what might it be worth, asssuming it starts ok? What insurance group are they (parkers dont list it )? Would they suit a 25 year old who's friends drive saxo's? (That last one's kinda irrelevent - I have owned two Austin Allegros! I don't care what my image is!)

The big question for me is fuel: what do I do about lack of leaded petrol? How much would getting the head modde cost, and would the turbo be ok? I saw somewhere on here that some people use optimax. No shell garage round here tho', would normal stuff be ok if I promise not to rag it?

Can the doors usually be reskinned, or am I looking at total replacement? What might the damage be for that? I'd rather reuse teh existing doors if I can, and get them reskinned.

Is there a buying guide somewhere for these little beasties? I have a ton of Q's to annoy you with, but if there's a place where they're all answered, that's great

Anyway, here's to maybe joining the ranks of the Saab brigade

(hello!)
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  #2  
Old 14th March 2003
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As far as 99s go, this here is probably your best bet. Welcome!
That said, http://www.99turboassociation.com/ is almost certainly worth a gander.

Either way, a nice 99 turbo is FAR, FAR superior and FAR, FAR FAR more interesting than some old bimmer!
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  #3  
Old 14th March 2003
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Hello fella,

Not sure I can answer all your questions but here goes.....

The 77-79 cars are quite capable of rusting badly. You already know about the doors but I think the best bet is to change them. I believe that the doors from the 3 door Saab 900 fit. You might find a decent pair at the scrappy if your lucky. The rear suspension mountings can rust as well so have a good luck and check the wheel arches inside the car too.

The value is anyones guess and depends on condition. If you did it up well you would be able to sell it for profit as 99 turbos are pretty rare. Anyways, if it's been standing you're going to have to be prepared to spend money. My car had been doing about 400 miles a year so the brake discs were all pitted and rusty and my rear calipers are still binding. I guess if yours has been garaged it may not be as bad but it's worth getting the wheels off and having a good look.

I'm not the most knowledgeable about this. I'm sure of the more technical guys on here can offer more advice. There's actually a buyers guide in this month's classic & sports car mag so have a look at that too....

good luck
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  #4  
Old 14th March 2003
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Thanls for the link Tone_Depear, but am I missing something or is there no English translation? Never was a strong language person...

FAR superior and interesting huh? I know diddly about them, but the insurance is coming in at 50 a year less so there's another plus

heavy_t: bad news on the rust Whatever car I get will be stuck outside (two Morris Minors fill the garage, but it'll have a G reg metro to keep it company ) I don't mind spending a bit of money, as I had a budget of 2k for a BM, but obviously don;t want to throw that at a car that'll only end up being worth 500. I know! I won't know till I see it Just trying to be prepared I can do most mechanical work myself, and I know a friendly sprayer, so I can get stuff done cheaply.

Anyway, thanks for the 'head start'. There's nothing like trying to learn a whole new brand of motoring in a weekend...
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  #5  
Old 15th March 2003
Rob Hill Rob Hill is offline
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Hi Nutcase,

According to the price guide at the back of Practical Classics, the values are

Condition 3 - 450
Condition 2 - 1000
Condition 1 - 2000

They quote 23mpg average fuel consumption and give it 5 stars out of 5 for spares availability for both body and mechanicals. 8)

Personally I think the values shown are a too low - condition 3 about right, condition too a bit out, but 2k is certainly too low for a good condition 1.

Also bear in mind that most 99 turbos have done (without problems, generally) enormous mileages, most will be well past 100,000 miles, so if this one has been in storage for a long time it could be one of the few left which hasn't.

I looked long and hard for a really tidy 99 turbo (with a budget of about 2,500) and never found the "right car" , ended up buying a 900 T16S instead for the same money . If you were to spend your 2k buget on a good quality restoration I can't see you ever struggling to sell it afterwards, and you would end up with a rare, fantastic, practical performance car.

Rob
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  #6  
Old 15th March 2003
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I think the owners club mag rated condition 1 value at more like 3500-4000 in the Jan/Feb edition.

Tom
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  #7  
Old 15th March 2003
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oh man. Go for the 99T. It beats the bimmer 6-0.

-tom-
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  #8  
Old 15th March 2003
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Heh heh cheers guys Mind you, I do think you're biased Oh, I think I've just got time to run into town to see if I can find that mag. Been spraying a Skoda Banham conversion (now a Prosche thingy) today, so I'm a bit grey undercoaty!
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  #9  
Old 15th March 2003
Rob Hill Rob Hill is offline
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I get it through the post, I suspect it is via membership subscription only...

You can check the SOC website at

http://www.saabclub.co.uk/

Plenty to look at.

Rob
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  #10  
Old 15th March 2003
Rob Hill Rob Hill is offline
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BTW I was referring to Heavy_t's reference to the owners club mag, not Practical Classics (whicg you can obviously pick up anywhere!).

Rob
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  #11  
Old 15th March 2003
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Right, found a copy of the mag eventually. Interesting article. Shame they didn't talk about the turbo much, and what the heck did they put teh wedge (princess/ambassador) as an alternative for????

Think I'll go and have a gander at teh car sometime next week. I think I'm interested enough to see if it's in good enough condition

edit: nosing at that owners club site now
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  #12  
Old 16th March 2003
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Hmm, having a bit of trouble answering a few Q's, perhaps you lot can help me out

1) Fuel. I know diddly about turbo's. I do know I saw a warning that MG Metro turbo's should NEVER be run on unleaded. I don't know why. IIRC the metro's turbo is a Garrett T1, and I think I saw somewhere that a 99's turbo is also a Garrett (T4?). Can anyone who's got a turbo please tell me what's safe and what's not?

2) Basic service parts. Where's the best place to get them? German & Swedish only seem to do back to the 900, but is that not pretty much the same thing?

3) Radio. How easy is it to fit a DIN size radio?

4) Headlights. Is it feasible to convert the rectangular standard to the US market twin round - using UK spec glass obviously!? It's what I did to my 2nd Aggro, and they look so much better

6) Gearboxes. How easy is it to recondition one? What normally goes? What is parts availability like? Should I (if needed) just get one done professionally!

5) Anyone know the nearest specialist to Chelmsford, Essex? I may need them for advice/parts/complex stuff.

Anyway, thanks in advance for answering questions from soneone who might not even get the car! (the thought of owning one is def. growing on me though )
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  #13  
Old 16th March 2003
kemosaabey kemosaabey is offline
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Well it's not a metro.. .A 99 turbo has suitably hard valve seats, and sodium filled valves. turbo is a T3 unit.

I can still get most basic service parts from my local motorfactor, mechnically it's the same as an early 900. Many other parts can still be obtained from Saab dealers - even for the earliest cars - but obviously they're a bit pricey..

One thing with old 99's you want to watch is the (gear driven) waterpump in the block, this may well be shot after standing for so long, and they're a bit expensive/awkward to replace, seal kits are still obtainable which is a cheaper option..

Fitting a radio is simple enough, the turbo's came prewired and should have a din size console fitted.

Headlights are doable but you need to source a US grill and light bezels from the states...

The 4-speeders fitted to the turbo are pretty good, but 2nd gear syncro can be a bit iffy and the main pinion bearing can wear, usually indicated by a whine in top, but normally 150k+ is possible. Removal involves lifting the engine/box as a unit, so you may as well do a full engine overhaul while you're at it!
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  #14  
Old 16th March 2003
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Good info, thanks That waterpump keeps cropping up everywhere I look!
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  #15  
Old 16th March 2003
Rob Hill Rob Hill is offline
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I bought the mag heavy_t mentioned today as well, and to my surprise on the page next to the article about the Saab was one about the Lotus Excel.

I say this because I sold my Lotus Excel to buy my T16S! (Though I did have a Saab 90 at the same time as the Excel as well).

Here's a pic!
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  #16  
Old 16th March 2003
kemosaabey kemosaabey is offline
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Don't let it put you off TOO much..

That shaft driven waterpump was a leftover from the original triumph motor, later 900 models had a normal belt driven pump.

They are pretty long lasting, its just the R&R that's a pain when they do finally go...
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  #17  
Old 17th March 2003
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Couldn't be any worse than the water pump on a cavalier? Could it?

Hmm, two bits of 'bad'news today. 1) it hasn't been started since 1990 2) Someone from the owners club is apparently interested. Should knwo by next weekend tho'.

Nice of the bloke to tell me about the other person earleir! Ah well, we shall see. Problem is, if the owners club reject it, it must be a right wreck!
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  #18  
Old 17th March 2003
Sparky Sparky is offline
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I'm still miffed about missing the free one
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  #19  
Old 17th March 2003
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I saw that other thread. This one's free too, but | bet it'll take about 1k to get it looking respectable again. Probably get it MOT'd for about half of that assuming the engine can be coaxed into life. Apparently it was garaged when teh owner was given a company car, and was in good condition etc.
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  #20  
Old 17th March 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky
I'm still miffed about missing the free one
Well I emailed him before I even put the ad up! :wink: And I missed it.
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