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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening all!

I spotted a 2001 saab 9-5sw wagon. Approx 175k on odometer. Seller says runs drives. Good shape for its age. The car looks pretty clean and well in the photos. Claims it had tires recently replaced and direct ignition casette and brakes. Claims check engine light on but very minor but forgot what it was for. Claims no rust. It's a turbo and auto trans (wish it was manual)

Hes asking $630.. Im tempted to check this car out..

My big question... I've seen a good deal of 9-3s and 9-5s of this time frame for sale with engine failure....

What should I be looking for on this car? Not super familiar with the 9-5s. I have an ng900 vert. Any known things I should look for or listen for?

Any advice always appreciated.
 

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'04 9-5 Aero Wgn, '01 9-5 Aero, '90 C900
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Definitely worth looking at! I think the biggest issue with these is engine sludging; you could pop the valve cover and take a look to get an idea. Also listen on the passenger side for cam and balance chain noises. As with the NG900, it's a DIY friendly car overall. With new tires, brakes and DI cassette it sounds like he just put decent money into it, like about what the asking price is..makes me wonder why he wants to sell it now.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm thank you for the hints. I asked him why it was so low price wise and his response was "I need it out of here yesterday" .... if it drives, sounds and look good I'm gonna take it. I'll have time to remove valve cover. Unfort all dmvs here are shut down for a few weeks so I'll have to leave her parked for a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I checked it out today... it looked like the rear passenger shock was done. Same with front driver shock.. so then shocks all around needed.. other than that the car looked mint inside and out. All displays were perfect no pixels out. Ac worked. Heat worked. All electronics worked. Car started right up. It sounded groany when I first started it. But smoothed out. Idled fine. Check engine light on. Scanner picked up about 8 codes. One was p 1300 I believe. A wacky misfire or something else I forget. Then I smelled oil burning and saw some smoke coming from engine area... popped hood and bam it was the dreaded v6. I guess it sounded ok but then oil burning off. I'm guessing valve cover gasket at least... I think the guy told me that they had to add oil every so often if I remember correctly. With the oil issue and the lights and the fact it was the v6 I walked away. Yikes lol
 

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There is no sludge issue with the V6. They are very unloved, though can go far more than 175K miles with reasonable care.
 

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Actually, the sedans far outnumber the estates. If that's what you're after.... may not be the worst option to get this one for cheap, and put some $ into it like we all do, and enjoy. If you do, you may have to do the timing belt. It's not that bad if you take your time and have all the right parts.
 

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The 3.0t is a great car imo. They are unloved, I agree.
Super smooth, few problems, good merging ability.. I miss mine a lot.
If i remember correctly the crank position sensor o ring is the most common item for oil leaks and smoke. It drips right on the downpipe and smells/ smokes.
Oil loss is usually contributed to leaks, and if it still leaks after leaks are repaired you have a baby turbo in need of a rebuild.
They don't sludge. Timing belt isn't outside the ordinary in terms of difficulty for t-belt driven cars.. you will need the kit to lock cams. 60-80$
I'd buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmmm you have me thinking about looking at this car again. Is it easy to see where the crank sensor is? Without a lift etc, how hard would it to be to do shock cartridges myself ? I read the turbo can go to **** and cause the oil to burn, how much does that usually cost to do? Saw a vid on that, looks like turbo is part of the exhaust manifold coming out of engine and looks tight... knowing the shocks are prob shot, and this oil burn and j believe 6 check engine lights (one is a p1300).. should I try? Thinking of looking at it in detail one more time
 

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It's really dependent on how much work and what your willing to spend.

The shocks and struts aren't hard at all. The only problem I see alot of home repair people go through is getting the nut off on the top.. most guys don't have a compressor, and an impact is usually needed.. and spring compressors. Those can be rented for free at most parts stores though. Some shops will help if you have the springs already unloaded with spring compressors. Just ask if they can put a gun on it and give it a few zips.. make sure it is safely on though.
The turbo seals do go on the garret turbo which the Linear's b235 and v6 has. And yes, its basically one unit on the V6. As far as costs someone else would have to chime in, I never had to do mine. All my leaks were from the valve covers and the crank sensor. It's pretty easily visible if your under the car while its running. If you see any smoke coming off the front exhaust pipe then it's def the crank sensor seal.

P1300 is a general code misfire, but also, unfortunately, it suggests the IDM in the DIC is/ may be on its way out. There was a recall. If I can get the VIN I can call my old GM shop and ask a guy I worked with to see what was done under recall.. it may still be active but that may require some effort to get done as SAAB dealerships are all gone. GM is supposed to pick up the slack but these dealers these days are moronic when it comes to SAAB... even though the part network is still fully functioning. Ridiculous.
 

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I'd let the condition of the rest of the car to guide me....and of course my need or not for another Saab.

Does it have the ventilated seats? Those are the best single option on these cars, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey there. All legit questions . I currently have an 09 accord exl v6 and the 97 ng900se vert 2.0t. I always wanted a wagon and this opportunity seemed decent.. the vin is: Ys3ef58z513044881...

I preffered a manual to an auto.. but I'll take the auto for now... can the v6 be paired with a standard trans or is that auto only?? Would be fun to have a v6 with a standard gear box.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ps talked to my saab mechanic here.. he confirmed everything you all mentioned about valve cover gasket, crank sensor seal, and turbo. He said hed charge around 800 for a belt job and 1200 for the turbo (he wasnt too sure pricr wise, he hasnt done a turbo on a v6 in quite a long time)... even that would be be at 2200 for a great car assuming I do shocks myself. Less if my amateur self dares to try a timing belt job.

My father told me he has an electric impact wrench. I'll have to check it out. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh no air seats on this. I think that was aero trim level? They are a nice option. Wonder if that could be swapped in?
 

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Ventilated seats were an option on all trim levels. For a few years, they were actually standard equipment on the mid-range model (Linear?), but were never standard on the Aero. They can be swapped in, but you'll need all of the wiring and the switches, since none of it exists on cars that didn't have those seats from the factory. I have them in my 2000, but not in my wife's 2001. They're such a great option, and they've kept me from wanting to trade in the 2000 for a newer one several times.
 

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The wagons/estates are sought after and really great. 200lbs or so over the rear does help to balance the handling a bit over a sedan. I see so many estates when I go to Sweden for work- there are far more in Europe as a whole than in the US. In recent years I've noticed the crossovers are taking over.

The ventilated seats are definitely desirable and work well, albeit they're a little noisy. Believe SAAB was the first to offer fan-ventilated seats, and also one of the first to equip cars with a cooled glove box. Most of the reason I ended up with my V6 many years ago was due to the ventilated seats (and garaged/mint interior). I was told don't do the V6, though it has been a wonderful machine and I just won't give it up.

The turbo exhaust housing is cast as part of the manifold. It carries the advantage that the turbo can be removed with unbolting from the side, not the manifold flange as in the 4-cyl cars. Garretts are relatively easy to rebuild or have rebuilt. Kits are everywhere. It's also an odd "asymmetrical turbo" as the front bank drives the turbo, and the back 3 cylinders find an easy exit. I want to say the boost is 3-4 psi.... an "economy turbo" for sure. It makes lots of torque down low, and holds it through the rev range.

Do a search on oil cooler repair. It can be quite the pain to fix. It is situated under the intake between the heads. The one in my V6 has never given me any grief- though the coolant was changed frequently by the PO and I do it every 2-3 years with Pentosin Blue. Does it help? Maybe. Fluids are cheap to refresh. I had to do a liquid to liquid oil cooler on a 944 Turbo I owned a while back. That was no fun either.

The only way to reliably seal the valve covers is with Elring gaskets and Aviation Form A Gasket #3. Ask me how I know. The intake upper must come off to do the rear cover.

The V6 DICs are more reliable than the B235's. They sit above the valve cover and aren't subjected to as much conductive heat transfer as the 4-cyl's DIC. Still not cheap, though available new or used. I keep one DIC in the car just in case.

A disadvantage to the V6 is the use of the Bosch electric air "pump" which feeds air into the exhaust ports after startup for quicker O2 sensor warm-up. Many times folks post here and ask "what is this strange hose near my radiator"- it's a rudimentary air/water separator which feeds down into the area ahead of the left front wheel to where the pump is mounted (2002-2004, the 1999-01 was above the unibody frame rail and near the battery.... which was also oriented differently and not cooled by a fresh air tube). The air pump has a lousy piece of foam as a 'filter' and it either disintegrates gracefully over time, or a chunk is ingested into the fine-bladed fan and locks up the motor. If you're lucky, the 40-amp fuse will blow and that's it. Best to open it up and check. I've picked a few during yard crawls for $10, though a new one is US $300+

I don't believe the V6 bellhousing bolt pattern is the same as the 4-cyl. Soneone correct me if I'm wrong here. You could always get a 5-spd trans & flywheel/clutch from a 2.5 V6 NG900 which should bolt right up, as it's the same Vauxhall/Opel 54-deg V6 design used in the early Cadillac Catera, Saturn L300 and Vue. The flywheel doesn't have any balance weights as most ~60-degree V6 reciprocating assemblies are internally balanced, and without balance shafts too. Balance shafts are typically seen in 90-deg V6s as it helps to quell the horizontal rocking couple which is endemic to split-throw crank 90-deg V6s. 60-degree V6s have a vertical shake, easily dampened by the engine mounts.

The timing belt replacement does benefit from a special tool set, and do the water pump while you're in there. You could get away without the tool, though it makes it so easy to lock the cams/crank you really don't want to be without it. If you don't have a larger size E Torx set, the timing tool set comes with with the proper one for the crank bolt. Hopefully the photos help you to see what you'll be into. It took me just under 4 hours the first round including the water pump..... not that bad. The principle is to set the front bank's cam positions, time the rear bank's pair to the fronts, then set the tension. The ContiTech belts are marked to ensure you get it right- you can see the belt's timing markings in the photo. Get the timing set which has the new eccentrics and the backing plate. There are actually 5 backing plate designs so ensure you get the right one. I see them on Rock A. at very reasonable prices. The modern sets are said to last 90K miles, courtesy of better bearing design/material.

Best to get yourself a strut kit if you're going to tackle it yourself, and a good McPherson strut spring compressor set rented or bought to go along with it. I've used and loaned mine to friends a number of times. Get the largest strut kit you can, and you'll never be without the right sizes that you may need.

I hope you do get it!


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Discussion Starter #16
Well that last post kind of tipped me into taking it. I figure I can handle timing belt job and the gaskets and crank shaft sensor (assuming its leaking the oil), depending on how complex it is to get the turbo out, I may pay my saab mechanic to handle that. I also would like to tackle the struts etc. Once I get the car I'll have to get my hands on the timing kit and tools. I have to sort through maintenance records. Car has approx 174k.. I figure if belt was done right every 60k? It should be ready for another belt?

I also went on a car parts data base.. Found several 9-5 doners with the ventilated seats in tact and electrical and buttons etc. I'm tempted to strip those components from a doner and transplant over. Thoughts??
 

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Someone here, several years ago, was working on attaching a manual trans to a 3.0V6, using at least some NG900 V6 parts. They got stuck at a few places, and we haven't seen them for a long time. So I assume that it didn't work out in the end. :(

You want to make sure that the ventilated seats are in good condition. That includes the leather, the fans, and the seat heat. The good thing is that the vented seats seem to use higher quality leather. The seats in my car look mint even though they are 17 years old with 250,000+ kilometres on the car. And I'm not a fastidious cleaner or conditioner.

Lucky for you, it's possible to fit 2002+ seats in a 2000 but not vice-versa.

The Aero ventilated seats (rather rare in my experience) have much bigger bolstering than the vented seats from Linear and Arc (and earlier SE) models. My Linear has Buick-like seats.

The rear seats in a ventilated seat car have no fans, but the leather is perforated anyway. To do a 'proper' swap you'd need rear seats from a wagon.

Nice as they are, I'd say that getting ventilated seats would be a bit down in priority.from getting the car running properly in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well in getting ready to head out and check it out again. Most likely will be buying it.. getting it home will be tricky unless i get a ride later to pickup. Going to run a car fax to make sure title is clean etc
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok. Clean title. Idles smooth. When you drive it or rev it doesnt sound smooth. CPS replaced. Looks like all under hood oil burn is valve covers. Def smoke out of exhaust. I'm thinking smoke and rough engine feel is shot turbo? Also hot a p0420 for catylitic and some misfires. He cant tell me when belt was done. What do you think?
 
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