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9000 at last! (aka, where's my E16 socket?)

5701 Views 201 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jvanabra
Between '95 and 2003 I had a slew of 9000s and I drove them everywhere. I'm a c900 guy at heart, but the ability of 9000s to gobble up highway miles can not be overstated. My last one was killed by a dude in a Lexus LX.



I loved that car!

I've been looking for the right 9000 for a long time... probably 10 years but it's never quite right. Usually what I find is a perfect car... that's an automatic. Or a high-priced car whose cosmetics don't justify the price. I thought I was being too picky and nearly pulled the trigger last month on a white '94, but I took a weekend to think about it, and then it was gone.

But, finally, patience paid off and I think I got The RIght One.

Being in California, there are two things to consider: -1995 cars means the smog requirements are quite low, and there's no practical limitations on modifications you can do. I mean, there are plenty of limitations but they wouldn't be issues for me, so whatever. But, earlier car probably means TCS, which sucks. OTOH, 1996+ cars get rid of TCS but then you have a pile of OBDII restrictions to deal with. No great answer.

So, this is a '95, and I gotta deal with TCS. :)

But first, it needs a head gasket...



That's not worth complaining about!

I've got a head from a '98 900SE in the garage, so I'll drop that by the machine shop. Hopefully have this car back on the road in a week or two.

It would be great if it I could find some non-TCS parts in the interim, but if I've gotta make two passes I will. Working on little B234s in big-*** 9000 engine bays is not a big deal!
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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
Ah, interesting. My motor still works, it's just the sheath that has split and now the cable is ruined. Seems like this totally addresses the issue. It's interesting that 900 and 9000 use the same drive, though not totally unexpected. Hopefully Aero seats are the same. I'm really hesitant to touch them though!
 

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They are all the same Recaro base with Brose motors. Mine had a cable sheath issue that caused side-load on the transmission. The plastic gear in one side broke so it's all trash. You can't rebuild any of it, it's all stamp-crimped together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
I've put maybe 100 wonderful miles on this car. It's not a huge amount, but it's been fun. :) The sole issue is I found the upper radiator hose leaking over the weekend - a slow, but steady drip. It was one of the few hose clamps I reused during the head gasket, but that was clearly a bad idea as it loosened up. I replaced it, so I think I'm good to go.

This car has a few actual issues:

1. Broken passenger seat recline mechanism - I'll get a replacement at some point
2. Rear muffler is still missing - I've not had an opportunity to get that fixed, maybe this week
3. The stereo is touchy - the seek buttons don't work, and periodically I get a buzzing from usually the front left or rear right speaker. Sometimes it's more like (alternator) whine, but usually it's just a buzzing. I probably will jettison the whole stereo at some point... I got it to a station I like so it's not a crisis :D
4. The lower air dam is a bit screwy, and there are some missing air guides underneath. I haven't looked into it to see what I need.
5. The power locks are iffy. Since it's been going between home and work I've not needed to lock it, so it hasn't been an inconvenience... but I'm not sure what I'll find when I go digging
6. The fuel gauge is intermittent - every so often it drops to zero. A power cycle usually fixes it. I'm not super reliant on gas gauges in general but I'll wanna deal with it. I'm not sure whether it's the gauge or the sender at this point.
7. The stupid lights in the stupid doors are broken just like all the stupid lights. :p My '88 9000 had broken lights in 1995! They are definitely top 5 most underengineered Saab parts ever.
8. The sunroof is janky.

Overall this is all pretty minor - I can drive the car and work on this stuff slowly. Probably very slowly. :D
 

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If you get the newer recline kit and it has the late model potentiometer clipped on the side you may have to swap the cables and sheaths to fit an older seat that does not use it. I had to swap some parts around on mine but it fit.

If you have a working headunit you might be able to repair the button contacts. Which model is it?


Fuel gauge is EDU connection and/or the gauge "circuit" that the terminals screw into. I have an assortment of cluster bits from rebuilding my CD non-turbo 5-speed. Wierd combo.

The sunroof can be a huge PITA. I replaced both cam follower/cables and had a hard time getting the glass positioned just right to drop back and slide. BTDT when you decide to go there. I tore mine completely apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
It's the HK system. I definitely need something with USB & Bluetooth, so I'm not going to shed tears over the stock setup. I'm probably gonna let things be for a bit and not stress. I'm happy just being able to drive it.

 

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Car looks good Earlier Model year .. based on the Turbo logo on the grille.
HK 10 driver oem setup / system (when healthy) has actually fairly good Audio.
And I'm a fastidious Audio Weenie .. been diying amps for 40 years.. yup.. That sad. .
Automobiles are Piss Poor acoustically, being tin cans with far too many extraneous noises (spare Me)
Consequently IMO the HK setup is Real Life good 'nuff .
Why do you find the 900 door lights a problem ? Those at least, imo,.. are problem free .
Owned many 9000's over the last 30 years.
Only 'broken' lights were when Idiot owners allowed the lens retention screws to back out enough to hit the door jambs and break the lens.
I've amassed a boxful of Spare lenses.. Which I've Never actually had to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
Got the exhaust fixed, the lower air guides installed pretty darned good (the center one is damaged, but it's ok), and the left front outer CV replaced.

The stereo issue seems to be affected by pressing on the head unit itself. I don't think these have a cage like the old 900s, so I don't understand the issue. I don't really care either... No Bluetooth and no USB makes it a nonstarter.

With the CV handled I'm good to put more miles on it... I'll keep knocking stuff off the list as it comes up. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
While sitting at an interminable railroad crossing this morning, the whine from the stereo got really loud. Just randomly! It comes and goes, but it's always akin to alternator whine, but this morning it decided to be really extra. Since I still have some of the driver's footwell trim off (I was testing the pedal position sensor and never put it back) I reached under the dash to see if I could feel anything that might help - DIN cables, etc. I don't know what I found, but there is definitely a harness under there that when moved around causes the whine to start and stop. I don't think it's one of the DIN cables as I think I could feel individual wires and friction tape, but I lodged it into a spot and the whine hasn't returned since. I'll dig under there this weekend, but I'm happy to know the issue is wiring or connectors and not components!
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
I think it's IN the harness. Folding it half with my hand and there is noise, straighten it out and it's gone. I am wondering if something got squished at some point, damaging the actual wire(s).
 

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If memory serves, mine had a factory crimp splice, sealed, from the power circuit to run the EQ and CD unit on my CDE. Apart from that the grounds go back to G2(8?) at the corner under the dash top. Pull the passenger side trim and you can see the harness. Alternator whine is a ground loop issue I am sure you are familiar with. That said, power can also be pulled from other circuits grounded at the same point if the ground point is weak. This causes a secondary ground load on the victim and can cause damage/blow fuses unrelated. I have seen it myself on this 94 CDE due to faulty diode ladders and poor grounding routes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
This is the harness:



I believe it's the main power for the head unit - it ends in the top/pink connector on the head unit. I don't know whether it's the harness or possibly the connector at the stereo at this point... but at the moment I'm hoping that maybe just zip tying it to the other stereo-related wires will get it into a position where it's quiet. ;)

The only reason I went ahead and took a look today is because this happened on the way home, so I was already dinking with stuff:



I had downshifted into 3rd to leave someone in the past, there was a POP and no power. It was clear what had happened... thankfully T5 doesn't care so much. I was light on the throttle to keep the turbo speed low and drove the remaining mile or two home. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
After a bunch of reading, I think I determined that some time in 1997 there was a changeover, with earlier heads using a 1/8" NPT ECT sensor, and later heads using an M12x1.5 ECT sensor.
Randomly, I think I may have had a revelation on this note. I think it's possible the switch from NPT sensor to metric sensor may have been much earlier, and may actually have happened with the switch from the "long" B234 to the "short" B234. The earlier motor shared a head with the c900, which used the specific port on question for the temp sensor, which was 1/8 NPT. The coolant temp sensor (ECT) was always M12 anyway. I suspect when they went to the short block, they eliminated the need for the discrete gauge sensor, and switched to M12 threads to use the bog-standard Bosch M12 ECT sensor.

It's a theory, I only have later '97 and later heads to test, but I think it's probably right.
 
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