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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been a long time...'03 Blue Vert/Sport Kit burned some exhaust valves November a year ago. Due to life issues, I didn't get to working on it until June... and I no longer had a place to do the work or the time needed so I did "This Old House (car?)" with a local mechanic who has a lift and skills.

We started with a head swap plan from my totaled 5D Blackie, but then we decided we might as well just swap the whole (107K) motor for about the same labor hours and work in a clutch too. Unfortunately the guy who checked the compression in Blackie's motor (me) was seriously overbooked time-wise and he stupidly didn't check the timing chain tensioner before the car was towed to the shop and the motor pulled as a donor. Whoops.... and then we were doing the timing chain, balance chain, and head gasket. Had I more time, I would have done a full rebuild with pistons, crank, and bearings. But I didn't have that time. I also skipped the stanchion bushings, carrier bearing, etc but again, life had priority requirements. Changed all the mounts of course, along with a few other must do items. Did a Viggen clutch kit along the way.

Months later,it's up and running very well!

Still needs some serious detailing and it took a few small body hits in storage from dingbats, but it's passable.

Installed the short shifter that came on Blackie and I must say it's a lot more fun in the 'vert that it was in the other car. Don't know why. Butt Dyno effect, I guess. Have a rack brace and a subframe brace that I picked up along the way to go on to take out some of the cowl shake issues, especially with the top down. Car already has Eibach/Koni so that should finish it off suspension wise. Eventually I will install a stored 9-5/Viggen brake kit too... but right now it's running on some mostly new slotted/drilled rotors that I had in storage.



 

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Discussion Starter #2
Forgot to mention... Upgraded the lower/center console to a black NG900 unit pulled from my old Red Vert before it went to car heaven. The Sports Kit cars have all black interior including the under dash, glove compartment, and center console side panels. The only gray is the standard 9-3 dashboard and lower/center console. Never looked right IMHO ( especially the wood dash with no other wood in the car ).

I went monochrome in the interior by replacing the wood dash with a gray instrument panel and NG 9-3 satin chrome door handles. I kept the 9-3 dash board as well as gray for the upper components. Everything below the waistline is now black.

I still have to swap the ACC panel from an NG900 onto the 9-3 ACC unit, install the leather brake boot, etc. I'll post a photo when it's all done. I also want to install a 9-3 lighter since the NG900 has the large diameter old school version.

OH, and I need an NG900 ashtray if anyone has one to sell. Not the mount, just the removable ashtray unit. Mine came apart and I don't seem to have all the bits.
 

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Nice work! That's a sharp looking car!

And no matter how annoying all that engine work was, you know it was well worth it. That's a bunch of stuff you don't even need to think about ever again. I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to keep reusing rotating parts forever. Unless something has actively gone wrong, the bottom end is incredibly durable. No reason to spend money there IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, that's what I'm hoping. But, with the engine out, and mostly disassembled, it was troublesome not to just do the bottom end and make it a "new" motor. But, I didn't have any time to do it or even more money to pay for the mechanic and machine shop work. I already ended up with WAY too much money spent on this car.

But, you know that logic doesn't enter that equation.
 

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Really nice - but looks a little out of place. Vert should be covered with salt, mud and snow this time of year. Are you on saabatical or did New England trade you to San Fran along with Garoppolo?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Really nice - but looks a little out of place. Vert should be covered with salt, mud and snow this time of year. Are you on saabatical or did New England trade you to San Fran along with Garoppolo?
Yeah, you should have seen what it looked like when it came off the transport! Windows were so dirty that I had to put them down just to drive it a couple miles from the drop point to my residence.

I'm wintering out west this year. Missed all the convertible time in the East the last year, it was the only logical solution to the problem.
 

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Well done on getting blue back on the road Bob , Its a
very nice looking car . It that the same blue that was used on the viggen convertible ?
On that subject where do you find the paint color code on a 9-3
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Almost the same. It's called Cosmic Blue. A little less bright than the Lightning Blue of the Viggen but unless they're side by side you wouldn't know which was which.
 

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Thanks Bob , Yes they are very similar , I have a parts car (9-3 hatch) that is in cosmic blue that does look very close to my Viggen vert until they are next too each other . For giggles I swapped the Plastic mould under the taillights between the 2 and it became totally obvious .
I have often read the viggen referenced as Electric blue but also as Lighting blue , so am not 100% sure which is correct . Am getting some paint work done on the rear quarter early new year , hence I am looking for the code .
Enjoy your Vert
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Bob , Yes they are very similar , I have a parts car (9-3 hatch) that is in cosmic blue that does look very close to my Viggen vert until they are next too each other . For giggles I swapped the Plastic mould under the taillights between the 2 and it became totally obvious .
I have often read the viggen referenced as Electric blue but also as Lighting blue , so am not 100% sure which is correct . Am getting some paint work done on the rear quarter early new year , hence I am looking for the code .
Enjoy your Vert
Code should be on the door label. Definitely Lightning Blue if it's a Viggen.
 

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Thanks Bob , found it on the door label that has the jack points, I hadn't expected it on that label .
You are spot on , Code 270 which is lightning blue
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Finishing up the black console swap:

Found all the NG900 ashtray parts I needed. Seems I over estimated the parts list... there's only three:ashtray, cover, spring.

Swapped the ACC internals for the 9-3 (gray) into the NG900 (black) faceplate/controls.

I was planning on swapping the window switch panel upper half from my NG900 'vert to replace the gray panel of the 9-3 switch. But I forgot that I had previously installed a rocker switch from a 5D's "disable rear windows" feature ( ) in the 'vert switch and installed a 5D cover. So, I'll need to find a 5D NG900 switch or cut out the cut out of the 9-3 console switch. My tool facilities are limited now, so a swap of a switch cover would be easier.

The last bit will be the black key area console cover. The NG900 is different because there was no transponder unit. I think I can adapt the transponder to it, but for now I will probably just paint the cover black. I did secure a black key transponder from a 9-5 so that part's all set.

Oh, and I have a sliding armrest. I don't see any solution for that one except to paint the outside of the unit. They don't come in black plastic AFAIK. You can get black leather, but not black plastic, it's always a poorly matched "gray".
 

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Nice looking vert, love the cosmic blue, one of my favorite colors. You need to post some pics of all this console swapping, I don’t think I ever even realized the ng was black and the 9-3 was grey....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nice looking vert, love the cosmic blue, one of my favorite colors. You need to post some pics of all this console swapping, I don’t think I ever even realized the ng was black and the 9-3 was grey....
I can probably post a photo of both side by side. Not a huge visual difference, although the NG900 black didn't scratch anywhere near as easily as the 9-3 gray.

Car looks great. And yes, that plastic for the center sliding armrest is exactly that.
Yeah, same with the ashtray. An odd shade of green gray. I collected several ahstrays from the u-pulls (I like a trash compartment) and not one matched quite right. Armrests likewise, never really a match . Collected a bunch of those looking for both a color match and a replacement because they all eventually break one of the mounts.

Speaking of which, I likely now have several ashtrays and armrests with broken mounts for sale :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Got my rack brace clamp installed. Not a huge difference driving but I already had poly in there. I noticed a more substantial change when that went in originally. But, every little update adds a bit more stability.

Console updated. I found a plastic paint that's a fairly good match for NG900 interior black to paint the key cover. If it holds up, I might redo the rest of the console with it to cover the minor ticks and scratches. Covered in one quick coat, seems durable. It's a little blacker than stock, but not much. I'll also be doing the the armrest once the sun comes out here. I don't like to paint inside and it's too wet outside right now. https://www.autozone.com/paint-and-body/paint-vinyl-and-fabric/duplicolor-flat-black-vinyl-fabric-spray-paint-11oz/645639_0_0

Got the paint polished and "waxed". Still need to do the interior properly. It's surprising how dirty a car can get just sitting unused. Got a quick wipe in but it needs the semi-pro detailing touch. Also need some leather dye... not sure how that wears in storage in a moderate climate, but it did, seats and door panels.

A few more mechanical tidbits to be done and parts to be reinstalled to get back to proper form.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Getting more tidbits done day by day.

Interior
  • Swapped the top half of the console switch-battery for a black NG900 unit.
  • Pulled the console and installed the leather emergency brake boot.
  • Used some JB Plastic Bonder to fix the console "hook" that holds the rear of the console on. If I come across a good console in the u-pull I'll probably replace it.
  • Got my dash speaker grills back on - I pulled them off last winter after I scrapped my NG900 and installed the true dual NG900 speakers. You can't get the 'vert dash covers back on without pulling the a-pillar covers... which is 5x the work it is on a 5D.
Engine area
  • Replumbed the diverter valve system with new hose. The PO of this engine had the firewall bypass and IME that costs you 2-3 MPG. No idea why, makes no sense, but it seems to do so... I was getting lousy MPG and it's improved.
  • Cleaned and lubed the aftermarket blow off valve that came with this engine setup
  • Rerouted some electrical lines that got misrouted when the engine was re-installed.
  • Fixed the gromment for the engine harness. My mechanic buddy disconnected it at the ECU and just pulled the whole thing out with the engine. Novel idea, saves matching up connectors later. PITA to get back in place though.
  • Put a new sheathing on the BPCv wiring and some clips to properly route it. Old casing was heat beat and fell off.

Today I put the 5th gear guide / reverse safety back on my short shifter. I'd taken them off when the shifter was on the other car because I couldn't get them adjusted to be helpful. I expected another battle. I was very surprised when I plunked it down with a rough guess and it was perfect the first time - reverse can't be accidentally engaged now and 5th is easier to find (although I'd gotten very good at doing it without the guide).

More small jobs to do to get it back in proper shape... along with some tweaks I've yet to install.
 
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