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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone. I have acquired a 1985 Saab 900 for basically free from my friends father. It has 350,000 miles on it, and still runs. It has a new clutch...and thats about it. The motor's compression is down 15psi in one of the cylinders. It needs a new master cylinder for the brakes. It also needs a bunch of other minor things, but it does run right now.

I am beginning to do research on what to do. The car obviously needs a new motor. Originally i was thinking of shoving a smallblock v8 in it, but I quickly realized that would be insanely difficult, and quite stupid to do. I have a daily driver, so my goals for the car are to make it into a weekend racer/drag track car.

What options do I have for my impending motor swap. Should I merely find a 900 Turbo motor to swap in? Or do I have other options? Ideally I would like some sort of v6 in there, but im not sure the feasability of doing this. This car is my learning car, and im in no rush to get it done or anything. Im not made of money, so price is a factor.
 

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putting a turbo engine into a non turbo car is not economical. it is very difficult and would require way too many modifications and such, easier and more economical to simply purchse a turbo car. these cars aren't the best for racing as the transmission are made of glass (they break/explode/scream ect.) they are more of a vintage type europen treat and the turbo models pull some imressive moves on the highway or windy country/costal roads. the engines are bulletproof if treated well and maintained and the tranny's do well if they are treated well, but if you wanna race you will pay the rpice.

(edit) a v-8 could be dropped in really, the triumph stag 3L v-8 is essentially 2 saab 4-baggers, wiht some modifications and creativity it could be done.
 

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Welcome to SC Koshi, just my opinion but with mileage like that, I'd probably take it on as a restoration project vs a rally car. With some hard searching and a bit of luck you may be able to find a decent-shape 8v engine for near nothing. You may be surprised what you can get out of it (even if it's non turbo) if you treat it right :)


Congrats on your great find.
 

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May lightening strike me down for suggesting this, but in all my thinking about possible non-Saab engine swaps, the one that made the most sense would be the Yamaha V6 from an older Taurus SHO.
 

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jetman said:
May lightening strike me down for suggesting this, but in all my thinking about possible non-Saab engine swaps, the one that made the most sense would be the Yamaha V6 from an older Taurus SHO.
But what a sweet engine!! It just keeps revving and revving....
 

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KoshiB said:
The motor's compression is down 15psi in one of the cylinders...The car obviously needs a new motor.
Not necessarily. The 15PSI drop is more likely to be due to headgasket failure than worn rings. Try a squirt of oil down that cylinder's bore and see if you then get better figures on the compression test.

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Discussion Starter #8
Taurus SHO...mmmm, thats nice and would fit the bill nicely.

Ill try the oil thing, but, this motor does have 350,000 miles on it...wouldn't it be an equal chance of either thing being wrong?

As you said the tranny is the weak link in these cars, are there any stronger trannys that would fit with little to no modification? Perhaps a tranny from a different Saab model? Or something else?
 

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Try a search. There's a lot on the board!
 

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I agree with Mathew, cylinder and bearing wear in a non turbo is not usually a issue . I'd just pull the head for a inspection of the gasket and valves .Might be a $50.00 fix.;) If all you want is gut wrenching acceleration , buy a American hot rod for a weekend toy.Keep the saab for a driver . Pat
 
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