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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I figured I was long past due for a dedicated project thread and rather than keep filling up other threads with my questions I'm just going to post them all here. Alright so first off, a little history on the car.

I bought my Saab in late May of 2007 from a neighbor/family friend for $800. It has about 308,000mi so it's up there. If anyone is curious why I've named the car Saabuffet it's because I find the car looks similar (at least color-wise) to Wobbuffet (it's a Pokemon. Remember those days? haha) Here are some pics of how it looked when I first bought it:






I wish this statement were true, but I haven't had A/C since I've owned it. :cheesy:



As far as I knew the only problem with it at the time was the power steering, but after browsing this site for a bit I learned that most likely there are more problems than you may think. :lol: So once the car was officially mine and at my house I've since then:

changed the oil
installed new oil filter
added a power steering belt (since it didn't have one)
put in a new air filter
changed the front passenger side brake caliper and hose (old caliper was leaking)
bled the brakes
installed a new oil pressure switch since the old one was leaking
put in a heavy duty skid plate
installed a refurbished power steering rack and new outer tie-rod ends (thanks to the help of you guys :D)

If you have read on the "questions you think are too stupid to ask" thread lately you would know that I had quite a few issues with the power steering rack. The most annoying being that I couldn't put one of the bolts that bolt the rack to the body back in. When I took in my car over to Scanwest Autosport for a front-end alignment and a safety inspection on December 2 they were able to put the original bolt back in for me.

It also turns out to be a good thing I did the safety inspection because they found a few problems. First off my driver's side ball joint was really bad and a real safety issue. other things they noted was my clutch hose was leaking and my lower control arm on the drivers side was cracked. Luckily I had bought a new lower control arm a while ago so I just had them put that one on. Anyway those were the things they replaced.

Alright I know this is a project thread and I haven't really posted any real projects yet but I have a list from the safety inspection of things they found but didn't replace for me (good, I want to do as much of my own work as I can!) A lot of it are minor things but here is what they put:

Centralizing spring is broken
Header pipe bracket is broken
Oil pump is leaking and main pulley is bad
Headgasket is leaking externally
Both left upper a-arm bushings are failing
Muffler is failing inside (I saw a couple small holes where it would leak)
Elbow hose for the fuel rail needs to be updated

So I need to ask, what do you think should be tackled first? Maybe you can rearrange the order I should do these tasks and then I'll upload pics of me doing them when I get to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'm not sure. I don't have too much knowledge on these cars other than to look at the Bentley manual or browse the forums. :D Sadly right now the car looks a little worse for wear since there were a couple spots where there was rust so I've gone the lazy temporary route of sanding it down to metal and using acid-etching primer to cover it for the time being until I get some bondo to cover it. So right now there's a pretty noticeable puke green spot above the rear wheel arch.
 

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I'm just curious as to what your end goals are for the car? Are you doing a restoration or modifications. :)

I also have an '85 turbo that I'm working on and will eventually start a project thread as well. Let me know if you need anything; I keep a pretty good eye out for parts and it looks like you're pretty close by.
 

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Headgasket is leaking externally Anything to do with the head gasket needs sorting ASAP.

Elbow hose for the fuel rail needs to be updated If this is tired or degraded you should change this soon, you don't want fuel leaking around the top of the engine.

Oil pump is leaking and main pulley is bad, The oil pump leak isn't desperate but changing the main pulley soon would be a good idea.

Both left upper a-arm bushings are failing These usually go on for ages and IIRC the left side bushes can only be changed with the engine out.

Header pipe bracket is broken Which bracket?

Centralizing spring is broken Don't know what you mean by this, you need to get the garage that did the inspection to confirm what they are talking about.

Muffler is failing inside (I saw a couple small holes where it would leak) Not something I would worry about in the short term.

Good luck with the car, flat front Turbo is a nice piece of kit. You could always look out for a flat front aero kit like this:









 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
DustinS - I really like the cirrus white look and would mind if my car was that color. Honestly though I'm plenty happy with the platinum blue. I need to find out where I can get some matching paint to do touch ups. I plan on keeping the grill black and I'll probably paint the headlight bezels black as well to match.

mmoe
- right now my plans are to just keep this car rolling and pretty much factory. Don't get me wrong, I would like to put on a few modifications, but nothing too crazy, at least for the moment.

philjohnhb - They didn't say which header pipe bracket. Would one be able to tell by looking at it? Not sure about the centralizing spring either. I'll make sure to ask them about these. I would love to get a bodykit like that. If I don't find one then I might consider the Duraflex kit (although they were made for the integrated bumper 900's, so I would have to modify the front bumper).

nutcase
- the gearstick feels alright although this is the only manual I have driven so I can't really compare it to anything.

I really need to stress how little I've driven the car. Ever since I've own it, I've only had to fill up the gas tank once. Talk about good fuel economy! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Man I've really been having issues with the winter and the car frosting up on me. My rear defrost doesn't work, I took out the headliner since the fabric was sagging, but now that the metal roof is exposed I think that adds to the condensation factor and the unknown water leak that seeps into the passenger side carpet is only making things worse.

With regards to the rear defrost, I'm still not sure if it's the button or the the grid. The button will light up on the dash but it won't click and stay on (I have to hold it). There's a possibility of a tear in the defrost grid but I'll have to look more closely in the morning.

For the undiscovered leak, I'm still trying to find out where it's coming from. I don't see any gaps in the windshield weatherstripping and I checked the fresh air vent for clogs and water drains fine through there. I heard something about checking the firewall for leaks?
 

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I have the same problem with the defrost button. I took mine apart to try and fix it, turns out i am missing the little bar that keeps it pressed.(idk how to explain it, i can get pictures later today for you.) i was having problems with my ac button not working 100% so i also took that apart and cleaned it up, i swapped the button so i had a working defrost. i don't use my ac much anyways.

I have the same leak i do believe. i can get pictures of where it is coming from later today as well. it is on my firewall. if you are on the pass. side with the hood open. at the back of the engine bay, front of the engine, look at the firewall, you will see it "peak" near the middle(horizontally) of the engine. just under that "peak" is the cover for something. now go to the pass. side foot well and look up under the dash, you may need to look behind the carpet, you should see about where it is on the outside. i have white and slight rust colored streaks running from a hole that is covered with a cover... to take it out looks like one would need to take out the engine. I guess if one took out the engine to fix the leak, it would be worth doing some other maintenance on the engine and the engine bay/surrounding area

i'll get pictures when i get home from school in about 3 hours, unless someone else can get them up before me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Other things to add to my project list:

driver's side window doesn't work
passenger side window is slooooww
seat heater switch broke off
right side front parking light is burnt out
hatch door will pop off it's latch easily when going over bumps, even when locked
heater seems to only blow out at maximum heat, no matter where I adjust the temp.
I have a strange wire that was under the headliner that runs to the rear that is disconnected and the end looks melted
driver's side seat won't adjust smoothly on the rack sliders
instrument cluster light that lights up the tachometer is burnt out
need to install a radio

and I'm sure there's plenty I can do under the hood!
 

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ok so i was wrong about my leak... it is the fresh air box.(the box that closes when "re-circulate" button is pressed?). i think it may be yours as well. it's not the actual box, but it is the foam type stuff they used to seal it to the firewall that is causing the leak. i touched some of the sealer and it crumbled under my finger.



picture of my leak

heater seems to only blow out at maximum heat, no matter where I adjust the temp.
have you taken the dash apart? it may be the rod the attaches the switch the the heater valve thing. i have to make sure i get it in every time i take my dash apart. if you take the driver side front speaker grille out, look through the windshield and you should see a rod with a connector (mine is orange) going from the firewall towards the switches, if you dont see it, it may not be connected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Where exactly is that at? Can you take a further out pic of it? I think I know what you're talking about and the foam around my fresh air vent looks alright. Not seeing any cracks or crumbles.

I have not taken the dash apart. Is it possible to get to it from the hole where the radio goes? If not I'll try finding it through the speaker later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Cool, thanks. Those pictures make things a lot clearer. Oh yeah with the rear defrost frosting up on the inside I tried two things. I read on another post that if you put the fan speed to the lowest setting, put the temp all the way to cold, and put the fan setting on 0 that that apparently stopped the water leaks in the person's car. I also cracked the passenger side window just a little bit so the moist air has a place to escape and so far I'm seeing an improvement.
 

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the first picture is through the windshield and my hand was guarding from the very bad glare. so sorry for only half the picture being something.

and it isn't orange sorry, obviously black. idk where i got orange.
The orange is at the end that attaches to the knob, IIRC, so you probably just remember that.

Sam, just be careful not to pinch yourself trying to reattach the rod. It can be done without removing the dash fascia, but it's tight and often results in a massive blood blister (you can probably guess how I know that....).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
By the way, from the name Saabuffet I thought you were just a Jimmy Buffett fan (I don't know anything about Pokemon).
Haha I've heard a couple songs by Jimmy Buffet but that's about as far as that goes.

For anyone who is confused here's the inspiration behind the name Saabuffet:



I think I might get some black electrical tape and put some v's on the headlights to give it the eyes and if you look at other pictures of Wobbuffet, it has a black tail so that's kinda like the black spoiler I have on. :cheesy:

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
So Dustin, the rod you show that you see through the speaker is connected in my car. Also I don't see any signs of leaking or rust through the firewall where you have posted. So I've decided to move on to getting the rear defrost working again.

First thing I did was swap the defrost switch with the AC switch since I know that one lights up and clicks on. When taking the rear defroster switch apart I found that it was missing the little metal rod that makes it click and stay on. Anyway I got them swapped and reconnected and now the rear defrost clicks on and stays on! Too bad that didn't do a thing.

Next I made sure the rear defrost fuse was fine, which it was. I then moved on to the defrost grid and checked the connections there. I unplugged the wire from the tab, sanded the contacts clean and checked the wire with a multimeter and it's getting juice there, so I reconnected it and same result.

So my only conclusions I've come to are the unknown wire that leads to the back that was under the headliner that is now melted at the end is the defroster wire, or the defrosting grid has a crack in in somewhere and needs patching. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of this but my camera is broken so I'll ask my brother later on to borrow his.
 

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my grandpa has told me that the actuator the rod hooks up to was copper or some sort of metal. and over time it would seize. he(my grandpa) had his, and when my car was my uncle's he had his replaced. they replaced it with a plastic piece that wouldn't seize. I'm am totally not positive this is your problem. it could be though. i am sure someone else with more experience could get closer to diagnosing it than i can.

glad you got the button working haha. idk if my defrost works now or not. i want to say no. yet i think it is. if your window is fogged, and you have a little bit of gas to spare, start your car, turn off the heater or anything like that and just let your defrost on for a bit. i chose this time to look over the engine bay for any lose/cracked/broken/unconnected hose/electrical wires/connectors. can be a good thing to check every once and awhile. with the car running it makes it easier to spot some of these.
 
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