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Here's another... this one needed a new transmission. Had 140k (IIRC) when I got it:

TOAL 4016
THE CAR 760
Air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter, pcv, eeuroparts 122
loctite, oil pan orings eeuroparts 38
trans mount, trans sealing washers, turbo oil gasket eeuroparts 64
turbo oil drain hose, trans drain plug seal eeuroparts 60
trans fluid autozone 28
TC seal, VC gasket, timing chain pad autohausaz 32
trans fluid autozone 28
axle seals thesaabsite 65
transmission volvo-saab 217
water pump + AC compressor kit + vacuum pump seals eeuroparts 317
radiator hoses + thermostat thesaabsite 64
trans fluid autozone 28
exhaust studs, oil cooler o-rings, swaybar bushings thesaabsite 108
spare key + cut thesaabsite 72
radiator eeuroparts 132
coolant + trans fluid refill autozone 45
smog smog express 50
hood strut + fuel pump #150710606 autohausaz 57
REGISTRATION DMV 188
AC CHARGE Hals 330
crank sensor + spark plugs + wipers rockauto 120
Air shields + fuel pump orings + belt tensioner + hood strut eeuroparts 163
idler pulley amazon 28
SID replacement volvo-saab 52
more trans fluid autozone 30
spare DIC tool amazon 16
stereo + SWC interface amazon 192
right ball joint :( rockauto 110
Tires discount tires 300
power steering hose + coolant cap + emblem thesaabsite 200
 

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Here's a Canadian car. Granted getting it over the border would be a hassle, but the asking $2500 CAD translates to under $2K. And 205,000 km translates to 127k miles.


That car would be high on my list for a cheap Saab, were I looking.
 

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Here's another - this one actually just needed routine maintenance. It had just over 100k when I got it.

TOTAL 2737
THE CAR 1200
DMV Fees 200
Hood Strut + PCV + Plugs + Trans Mount 90
Junkyard DIC 50
L+R LCAs 120
SMOG 50
Trans Fluid 30
Trans Fluid 30
Junkyard Grilles 5
Junkyard Brake Pipe 5
Stereo + SWC + Dash kit 160
Brake Fluid 10
Oil Change 35
Coolant 25
Fog Lights 50
Tie rods + Swaybar Endlinks + Serp Belt 105
Air shields + Fog light brackets + Map Lights 131
VC Gasket + Air filter + Radiator Hose + Timing Chain Pad + PCV Drain + Antenna + Oil Pump Seal 80
Strut mounts 65
Timing chain seal, oil pan o-rings 16
Tires 280
 

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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.
This x100!
 

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Yeah... not to beat this dead horse further into the ground... but I figure that any OG 9-3 you buy needs $1000 in parts. They all need the suspension done. They all need stuff from Jvan's list to make them reliable drivers. Body rust is a real issue (not the cosmetic stuff, but floors, rear mounts, floors, trunks, wheel wells, etc) Then there's the risk factor that they need something more, like engine or tranny / driveline work.

I would not buy one I couldn't take on a longish test drive unless it was a parts car price and I was willing to consider parting it out if it went bad.

In the New England area, I'd expect to pay $500 for a parts car. $1000 for a more repairable one that has issues but doesn't need engine or tranny work. $1500 with a few easily repairable issues and less than 115K miles. $1800-$2200 for one in what appears to be great condition < 115K (but it isn't ). $2500 for one that appears great and is cosmetically very nice too 2 <115K. The goal would be $1500-$1800 for the car they are asking $2500 for... with under 100K miles.
 

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I bought a 2001 9-3 SE Convertible w/177K miles as my winter beater while my Mustang is garaged.

Here’s what I have invested so far:
Purchase price $650
Spark plugs $10
Used DIC $90
Used snow tires $150
Seat covers $5
Top waterproofing $30
Body filler $20
Spray paint $30
Saab emblem $3
Hose clamps $5
Total: $993

When I bought the car it had check engine light on, hole in right rear fender and torn front seats. Cleared the check engine light, tightened all turbo and intercooler hose clamps and fitted cheap eBay seat covers. Fixed the rust hole myself so it’s still ugly but at least no hole. Changed new NGK spark plugs and used DIC. Found a set of snow tires on 16” aftermarket wheels cheap and it runs great in the snow now. Seat heater works and heat is good, totally love my winter beater. No check engine light on or any major issues, currently at 178K miles. Great car for less than 1K!
 
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