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Discussion Starter #1
k, so pretend your a poor high schooler that needs a car

i'm looking for something reliable but fun

there is a 1990 900 base model (not "S" or turbo or anything) with 109,000 miles for $1400 (white)

and a 1988 spg with a power steering fluid leak, and 211,000 miles for $1800
(crappy blue-grey color)

what would you do? remember, I have a limited budget and i'm gunna test both these out and maby one will "click", i want to lean towards the spg but the 1990 looks nicer, costs less, and has half as many miles

do you forsee any trouble with the spg?

thanks!
 

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it's all about maintence and condition. Ask for records and about any replaced parts. Check extensively for rust (inside, out, above and below). Dont be afraid to take a door panel off, but be careful at the same time. Inspect engine. If it's been warmed up before you get there ask to come back, but don't tell them it's because it was warmed up...and if it's warmed up next time ask y (many ppl warm them up to hide other, possibly serious problems). These cars will keep on chugging, but need to be maintained. Check the drive tunnel things for rust as well at the other engine areas. What is making the spg look worse? (if it is indeed an actual spg, and u plan to keep the car a while, you can't go wrong.) And lastly, get us some pictures :cheesy:
-Alex
 

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CHECK FOR RUST!


1988 SPG hands down if it is in good shape. THe turbo models are "more expnsive" than non turbo variants.

A non turbo 900 is still an awsome car; however, the turbo SPG is friggen awsome.

A really really good clean and polish will bring back that faded grey and you will fall in love with it.

The 900 is prob better made car than the 9-5, they are more durable in a long life sense. You can't drive them as hard; however, with proper care you can get over 25-30 years out of one at least. Milelage is of litte concern, look for maintenance records.

If you can work on cars yourself, the worst most expensive thing that can be leaking is the power steering rack. $169 from eeuroparts.com and not terribly difficult to install.

In here we love our 900s, and I think they are the best Saab on the planet; however, many people disagree with me.

Just being honest in an experience sense and what any Saab mechanic ever told me.
 

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Well, as soon as you feel the pull of the turbo on the SPG, the fluid leak nor the higher price will be of any concern! That "crappy blue-grey" color is edwardian grey, it's the most common SPG colour. There shouldn't be any blue in there, maybe you have a bad photo.

Good luck,
-Rob
 

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If I was a poor high schooler, and I'm not, I'd buy the base model and leave the s.p.g. for an enthusiast. Do look for rust where the drive-shafts pass through the body,particularly where the lower control arms bolt on. Any rust there is bad.
 

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Well I'm a poor high schooler and I went for the SPG.:cheesy: I knew if I got anything less I'd be upset that I did get the SPG.
 

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Dude be realistic, you dont need a turbo that has twice as many miles on it and needs a new power steering rack...

The 90' will have airbags and ABS (if you care about that kind of stuff) and is far less likely to have been thrashed.

Personally if I were in your position I would be far more inclided to buy the non turbo simply because its the smart choice.


That being said I have an NA and I'd kill for a turbo... Look out for rust and how the gearboxes feel.
 

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the turbo very well could be on its last leg with that many miles. also almost all suspension components probably need to be replaced, i rarely ever pick up a 900 that doesnt have the original blue shocks in there still...regardless of milage :lol:
 

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yfs87 said:
the turbo very well could be on its last leg with that many miles. also almost all suspension components probably need to be replaced, i rarely ever pick up a 900 that doesnt have the original blue shocks in there still...regardless of milage :lol:
not all blue shocks are bad... right... :cry:


*body rolls out of thread*
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hey so i checked out the 1990 and thought it was nice, it worked good, (although the odometer doesnt work quite right so actual mileage is unknown) the guy who had it before said he hit some road debree's and got a hole in the oil pan, then they welded it and it lasted fo like 6 months and its starting to go- so it drips oil. I took it o a mechanic and he said it would be $800 to fit a new oil pan! so I dont think i'm going that route. and i'm having second thoughts about the '88, do you guys think its a good buy?
 

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old turbo cars can be a money pit unless they were maintained well...that is all i have to say on the matter. also i believe the 88 was an oil cooled turbo w/o the watercooling so unless proper warm up and cool down procedure was observed it is very likely quite shot.
 

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get the std 900,and get a hp chip in it for a few$, i don't know what has been done to the 900 i have(1of 4) but it is nearly on par with my lpt (which has intercoler on as well,) and the revs go to 5250 so gives me 85 in 3rd, poor old lpt vert 80 in 3rd
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm propably more mechanically minded than your average highschooler, but less than most the people on this board. dropping the oil pan on my 9-5 was about the biggest thing I have done on a car. I really did like the car but it seems i'm gunna have to go with a corolla or something else along those lines :cry:
 

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It has been my experience that high schoolers of all stripes, poor and otherwise, make difficult owners of turboed C900's. They don't seem to gee/haw with Saab 900 5 speed trannies.

It really, really takes self discipline to drive like a granny in 1st and 2nd gear and hold off on the boost until you get to third and fourth--it is just too much fun! It also will make hash out of your 200K+ tranny in very, very short order.

The SPG is the bee's knees, but it already prolly needs a steering rack if one hasn't already been fitted--if so something related to the pump or piping is bad.

The plain C900 isn't, and it has many fewer miles. Shot odometers are pretty common--folks will reset the trip meter while the odometer is turning (car moving) and the little gears are stripped off their shafts. My black vert is like that, courtesy of me before I knew better.

Both cars will be more maintenance intensive than something else for a poor high schooler to deal with, if said high schooler is depleting all available funds to purchase the car in the first place.

All that said, I agree with those that urge you to vet the available maintenance records. I owned an 88 900S 3 door turbo conversion (stealth SPG) with over 350,000 miles on it, but it had been owned by a Saab tech and everything major had been dealt with as needed. It was very, very trouble free. Only things I had to do was rebuild an ailing clutch master cylinder that began to bleed by when held down at stop lights and replace a blown out turbo piping collar and a shift shaft seal. Replaced a well sandblasted windshield with a good one out of one of my cadavers.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Saab 900's are neat cars, but require regular care and feeding.
 

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Gabby said:
It has been my experience that high schoolers of all stripes, poor and otherwise, make difficult owners of turboed C900's. They don't seem to gee/haw with Saab 900 5 speed trannies.
This applies to high schoolers of all ages -- just check out the performance/mods forum.:cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
hey, thats ageist. one of the reasons I am looking for a 900 is because it seems they can be very reliable and practical- dont think im gunna be putting a ricey exhaust, huge fins, and racing stripes on it- im better than that. (p.s. im not broke- I work and bring in a respectable amount of money every week, life isnt handed to me on a platter and i firmly believe that a 900 dying while i'm the owner would not be from neglect)
 

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Your in america so you have such a huge 2nd hand car market... either hold up till the right saab comes along (it will) or buy a japanese sports car like I would.

Supra
RX7
MR2
240sx
AE86 GT-S
Skyline
Silvia
WRX
Integra


You've got tons of options man...

Edit: Also, I dont think my saab is reliable nor practice... There is a long running joke with my brother that I spend 2 hours fixing things in my car for every 1 hour a drive it (but a lot of that is me modding and upgrading things) and there isn't much legroom in the back and I have a sound system in the boot which pretty much dictates me not putting anything back there.
 

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dudethatsnowboards said:
hey, thats ageist. one of the reasons I am looking for a 900 is because it seems they can be very reliable and practical- dont think im gunna be putting a ricey exhaust, huge fins, and racing stripes on it- im better than that. (p.s. im not broke- I work and bring in a respectable amount of money every week, life isnt handed to me on a platter and i firmly believe that a 900 dying while i'm the owner would not be from neglect)
no one here was being 'ageist' or saying you can afford whatever. we are just informing you that high milage turbo cars are expensive to run if not maintained, and stating the known fact that new drivers dont excersise much restraint on the right foot...and im not like half the geezers here :lol::lol::lol:, meaning im 20 years old, remember what it was like when i got my first turbo, and blew up a gearbox along the way.
 
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