SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have posted a thread about every weird Saab I come across in my car buying venture. This might be the weirdest. An 01 9-3 with 230k miles on the clock and a fair bit of dogleg rust on both sides. Mechanic owned and newish rubber/hoses on a fair bit of the car. What do you think guys? I plan to do the bodywork as long as it isn't down to the frame that is. The milage scares me more than rust. Yay or Nay for 700? Is it my stupidest purchase idea yet?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,654 Posts
What? Why would you do that? You can buy a nice needs nothing car with lower miles for $2k. You can buy a VERY NICE low miles car for $3k. I know that because I would sell you my 120k totally rehabbed '02 for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,884 Posts
I'm in the "no" camp. You can easily find a car with half the miles and very minor body rust for just a few bucks more. There are plenty in the $1000 to $1500 range. Sometimes you can "steal" one that needs simple repair that the owner didn't want to pay a garage for like a DIC, or a TB, or front end work.

That's a LOT of rust for a Saab. The dog legs usually go, but when the entire fender rim is gone like that it's bad. Look underneath - the floor holes are rusted large, the spare tire well, maybe the side pockets/lower rear quarters, the brake lines, the front wheel wells (need to reach behind the wheel, you can't see it with the tires on).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
You guys are right. But I have been looking in the $1000 to $1500 range and really found nothing. At least in the Ohio/Indiana market. It's all 9-3ss's and all the slightly older ones people want an absolute ton for like a c900 I found where a guy wanted 3 grand because of the movie sideways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
That car would be a $500 winter beater assuming that you don't have safety inspections and also it was in fact safe to drive and was running so that it could be driven. Fixing the rust? A pointless endeavour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Its Ohio, of course, we don't have safety inspections. So what should I keep looking at Saabs in NY that I will never be able to transport?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,654 Posts
Find a car in a nice place then fly out and pick it up. That's a much better equation than trying to fix a car that just wants to die.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I live in NY for college but need a second set of hands to move the car back. Also I am not flying for a 1k car. But instead of that rusted out hunk I found an 05 9-3 Linear with 173k miles for 1200. I don't want to keep junking up this fourm with the weird Saabs I find. Now the caveat is it needs the ECU married to the car but a dealer quoted me $97.50 to do such a thing. I figured I might snag it for like 700 and go get it programmed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,654 Posts
I guess at least it isn't an '03, but I'd run away unless you are serious about working on 9-3SSs, which would include buying a Tech 2 to keep it running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Actually I know a dealer near where I live who for some reason likes Saabs and Porsche Boxsters. He has all the stuff to work on it. I would prefer buying the tools but for the time being he can float me. I figure 1. its not gonna be my daily, and 2. 800 dollars in a 9-3, if I have to sell it I won't lose much money. Its the risk I take. Then 3. I don't put many miles on my cars. Between my daily and the Saab I should average about 8k miles a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,654 Posts
Just my opinion, but I think you have to ask yourself if $100 is what separates this $1200 non running car from being a $2000 running car, why isn't the seller just spending the $100?

The 9-3SS - especially the first couple years - is a complex vehicle. There are a lot of expensive components prone to failure, and in general a lot of pieces to the puzzle. They are a whole other world compared to the old 900s and 9-3s. I buy a lot of discount cars and I would think real hard about buying a discount 9-3SS. I know what mine costs with 120k... 173k sounds... challenging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Just my opinion, but I think you have to ask yourself if $100 is what separates this $1200 non running car from being a $2000 running car, why isn't the seller just spending the $100?

The 9-3SS - especially the first couple years - is a complex vehicle. There are a lot of expensive components prone to failure, and in general a lot of pieces to the puzzle. They are a whole other world compared to the old 900s and 9-3s. I buy a lot of discount cars and I would think real hard about buying a discount 9-3SS. I know what mine costs with 120k... 173k sounds... challenging.
Well I ended up running from it. It wasn't bad but fell into all the pitfalls of the 9-3SS. Now I have found a 1999 9-3 with 100k miles for 1k. The only caveat to this basket case is that it went into a ditch. It will need a new front clip damn near, and I will need to tap holes to get a dent out. But I figured I would offer just above scrap for the thing, something tells me its been abused. Oh and I should add the engine has been rebuilt according to the owner because "the turbo needed replaced". I don't really belive her but I figured I would look at it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,654 Posts
You are gonna spend way more than $3k fixing a ditched 9-3. This is what a MINT '02 9-3 with a 118k looks like. It had a holed engine, and I already had a spare in the garage, so $0 cost:

TOTAL: 3218

THE CAR 750
DMV Fees 418
SMOG 50
TOW (gas, trailer) 150
motor mount, air filter, fuel filter, trans mount, belt, PCV check, air filter mount rockauto 125
LCAs, antenna rockauto 150
axle rockauto 68
water pump, thermostat, hoses rockauto 80
spark plugs rockauto 6
VC gasket, timing chain pad eeuroparts 20
PCV, PCV hose eeuroparts 45
FMS, oil pump oring eeuroparts 20
sway bar bushing eeuroparts 12
RMS, axle seals rockauto 15
oil pan o-rings eeuroparts 10
oil cooler o-rings eeuroparts 8
oil, oil filter amazon, rockauto 30
trans fluid autozone 56
brake fluid autozone 10
battery napa 140
AC hoses polar bear 180
AC refill amazon 40
Pulley cover, temp sensors, amp picknpull 55
Stereo, SWC, Front Speakers, Cables amazon 370
air guides, trim rivets thesaabsite 125
Tires DTD 260
Cabin filter & wipers rockauto 25

I have dozens of similar spreadsheets. $3k is what you spend getting a 20 year old car roadworthy, assuming you're not doing body work on top of it.

A good car costs $3k-$5k these days - you can either build it yourself, or you can buy it turnkey - but you're going to be in it at least $3k no matter what.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
I am not sure what you are trying to do.

I bought a 2004 9-3 convertible for $2500, and it cost more than $2500 additional to get it on the road with a working top. That's $1500 more than I expected. And the body is still dented all over (previous owner had vision issues, and probably shouldn't have been driving). But it is fun to drive. I just shrug and pay the money. To be honest, I haven't seen anything else for sale that was clearly superior and that I would want.

So if someone's dream is to fix up a decrepit 9000s, great, they're doing what they want to be doing on a car they like.

But, trying to get just any cheap Saab, I would always be looking for the best Saab, and that means stretching the budget. A $700 Saab isn't worth buying unless it's the car of your dreams, or the perfect parts car for the car of your dreams. To look for the cheapest Saab just to fix up as a driver, well, when all is told and done, it won't be the one with the cheapest purchase price.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top