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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have the potential to get a relatively clean non-running 85 c900 turbo for $750.

I like the c900 but really like the 99. I’m entertaining waiting and about getting maybe a ‘73 99E for 1000-1200$ that’s running poorly with some extra parts.

99 may be running but rough, and has a more rust. My concern it’s going to be harder to source parts etc.

should I just get the c900 and enjoy the slightly newer but less good looking Saab?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I guess are 99 parts that much harder to come by than 900? I understand it’s older so has those quirks and the rust. I’m all for a long-term project, but don’t want to be stonewalled with unavailability or parts. I feel like the c900 isn’t that abundant in parts by itself, let alone the 99. But just speculation no experience in this.
 

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At those prices, it’s a really safe bet that both cars will be major projects to bring them up to speed (cleaning up rust, proper brakes, good tires, catch up on maintenance, fix leaks, etc).
 

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Depends how patient you are and what parts you need. I've spent years searching for certain parts, but after 18 years I'm more into the "find a nicer part than the one you have that still functions" stage.


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Availability is these mostly gonna be one of how deep your pockets are, how patient you're willing to be, and what those parts are. Maybe even where you are. Last time I saw a 99 in a junkyard was the '90s. 900s are still pop up from time to time. You can almost always find what you're looking for on either car, but finding 99 parts will usually take longer or be more expensive than finding 900 parts.
 

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Between 2001 and 2008 I was in the 99 restoration mode, so I bought whatever I could off ebay and made quite a few trips east to bring carloads of used parts home. Being at home most of the year because of covid and having plenty of spare time to do car stuff, mine is pretty much where I want it to be with the parts I have on hand, though I did spend about $1000 this year for various goodies. What that means is I no longer have much of a need for the parts I've been hoarding, some going back 35 years of collecting. I've been selling bits and pieces on an as needed basis, mainly satisfying a few on saabnet's BB and a few facebook groups that I belong to, but so far I haven't shipped anything outside the US. I'd prefer not to do that because shipping prices can be costly and I don't want the extra hassle of trying to figure out costs. My collection is more in the '73 to '75 range, so I may have what you need when you need it. You just have to ask.



277452




277453
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gives me some confidence to work on the 99 vs the 900. Apart of me wants to work on something long term that I’m actually passionate about, I’ve always wanted to learn how to work on old cars. I feel I’d quit a lot easier if it’s a car I’m not crazy about, although the 900 being newer it might not pose as big of a challenge.

basically I just keep fighting with myself over which one to commit to.I don’t even dare to bring up just getting both to the wife.
 

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I bought my first 99 in 1985 and have owned at least one the past 35 years, so I can honestly say they really aren't that difficult to repair. About the only thing I haven't done is rebuild a transmission(or owned one with an automatic trans), but to me everything is just nuts and bolts. You take it apart, clean it up, reverse procedure to install. I've also owned 900's since 1995 and currently have two of those in the driveway, so not much mechanical scares me with those either. What makes this whole deal great is access to just about every bit of information you would ever need, and having people halfway round the world willing to spend their time helping you figure it out. I certainly didn't have that luxury back in the 80's and 90's, so I figured it out for myself.

I've been driving a d-jet 99 since 1986, except for the period between 1996 and 2001 when mine was on jack stands in the garage needing major rust repairs. They are super responsive to acceleration when running well, and they are way more fun to drive than my 900 daily drivers....well maybe the turbo is fun at times, but I'm past the need to go crazy fast anymore, and prefer to drive the 900S. I survived my 20's during that phase of my life.
 

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I'm on my second 99 and am in resto-mod mode with it as it is/was sort of a mutt when I bought it in that it is a 1972 build, but at some point in its life it had the dash and some interior components from a 1969 installed, the engine from a 1970-71 and parts from years in between. So, I can't help but think that it was in an interesting turn of events 40+ years ago and there was a donor car available that supplied enough for a shop to work with. Now, it has the suspension from a 1990 SPG, the engine from an 1986 900S and all new wiring front to back. I'll finish up a few things this winter that will make the new VintageAir system give me good A/C, heat and defrost and then make it presentable, but the goal is to give this great car a new lease on life and have it have the ability to run on today's road without a single issue.

So, maybe get both cars and see what you can do.
 

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I've got two 900s and two 99s just now for what it's worth and here are a few observations:
The 99 just feels more cheerful and nimble, a few hundred pounds and a few inches really changes the feel of the car a lot. I seldom have issues with the overhang on the 99 but use the skid-plate under the 99 with some regularity in hard driving and it's not a ton of fun.
I love the look of the 99, but it is true the cargo space of the 900 hatchback is awesome and to be reckoned-with.
How far are you driving and in what conditions? If you want the niceties (cruise-control, A/C, heated-seats, decent stereo, etc.) the 900 makes all that really easy and the 99 makes it all very hard.
The 99 does have some stuff that's a challenge to get. but so does the 900. Good luck finding a perfect 900 dash for instance. In another 20 years I suspect parts for both will be about equally hard to come by but the 99 has a lot fewer parts and a lot fewer plastic parts that just won't be able to be had for any price once they all fail. 900 ECUs are dropping dead at an alarming rate. Of course some of the fuel system parts for the 99 are getting tough as well, accumulators are a problem for instance.
The water pump on the 99 is a bit of a time-bomb that always has me slightly uneasy. It will fail someday and start dumping oil into the water and water into the oil!
So, for now I think a 900 is a lot easier to get parts for still but suspect that will change with time.
The 900 has gotten noticed as a collector car in a way the 99 has not. It seems unjust since the 99 is a more important car in Saab development and of course the 99 turbo is very significant.

If you have space and a tiny bit of money, I'd absolutely suggest getting both and driving them a bit. You can use 900 sheetmetal to good effect in the rust repair of the 99 and a bunch of other parts will swap with more or less difficulty.
When I have time I'm planning to T16/T-5 one of my 99s and that should be a really nice car to drive... well, until I run out of T-5 ignition cassettes that is, but I guess I'll be ready to make it all-electric by then.
 

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Depends how patient you are and what parts you need. I've spent years searching for certain parts, but after 18 years I'm more into the "find a nicer part than the one you have that still functions" stage.


View attachment 277448
Could you please point me to a place where I can see more pictures of your car?
Found this post during a Google search and can't stop looking at it.
 

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As someone who has owns/has owned many of both (I still have 6 99s and 2 900s), the #1 to think about with a 99 is glass.
It's unavailable anywhere and even worse is the gasket. The 900 windshield is still available somewhat inexpensively. The 99 heater controls are very fragile and are usually destroyed by now.

But cars are a labor of love and I love my 99s. Super fun little city cars. Not long legged. If you keep it to mostly stock tire sizes, the PS isn't an issue. Easy to add tons of power but the stock 2.0 with a few tweaks is plenty if you just want a city runabout. Also not likely to be recognized like a 900.

My shed is like Doug's, just less organized, and I too started my 99 addiction in '85.
A great many of the wear items are common between the 99s and 900s, so that helps availability.

D-Jet cars are super spunky when tuned right. Add a little bit of cam and headers and they scream!

Kinda what Justin and Doug and svendog and pzachary said...;)
 

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I remember hunting for HVAC controls in Y2K... it wasn't easy then! :)

I keep thinking a good solution here would be Arduino or some other microcontroller and some linear actuators or even just servos... Relegate the knobs to potentiometers or something, have Arduino read the position and then command a servo to a corresponding one. That would allow even really broken controls to work, and take the sticky cables out of the equation. What sucks is that this doesn't seem that difficult to me, but it's still WAY beyond my ability... like so many apparently easy things. :/

If I was made of money, I'd probably blow it all paying engineers to build crap like this for me. No, for us. I'd do it for us. :p
 

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Mine is going in for new exhaust tomorrow to get it away from the boy racer sound. Because it has a 5 speed now, it may be ok on the highway, but given its size against the average size of cars today, if it goes on the highway, it'll spend most of the time in the right lane..

And it is a labor of love. I only have a small portion of the parts store that the others have, but have started my own stockpile.
 

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I remember hunting for HVAC controls in Y2K... it wasn't easy then! :)

I keep thinking a good solution here would be Arduino or some other microcontroller and some linear actuators or even just servos... Relegate the knobs to potentiometers or something, have Arduino read the position and then command a servo to a corresponding one. That would allow even really broken controls to work, and take the sticky cables out of the equation. What sucks is that this doesn't seem that difficult to me, but it's still WAY beyond my ability... like so many apparently easy things. :/
I'm cheating.. vintage air unit that is heat, AC and defrost.. I need to run the hoses for the defrost (front and rear), but went the route of just replacing the whole system.
 

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Wow, What a journey. It looks beautiful! I did the same thing to my main classic car. A 1972 Opel Gt. I restored my 88 Saab Spg over the summer and am awaiting a paint job this winter. "What a long strange trip its been";)
 
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