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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Happy Wednesday!

Found a 16vT motor for the '79 5-door, seller threw in a transmission!

Seller didn't know where the motor came from, but it's got a Mitsubishi turbo and a GM57704 transmission, so probably a '90-'91 car. Couldn't ask for a better combo.



It was pretty roughly removed - everything is cut - but I've got most of what I need to put it into service.

Oh, guy also threw in a car:



It's a "little" rough but it does have an excuse:



LOOK AT THAT ****!

No idea if it runs or not, but the price was right. I'll dig into it this weekend and see what's what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right? The intention was for that '90 motor/trans to go into the SPG, but it's definitely going in the 5-door. I'll figure out what to do with that '87 SPG down the the road. Aside from severe paint issues, it looks amazingly intact and complete. The interior is FULL is stuff - including possibly an entire second interior - so I'll need to clean it out first.
 

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Right? The intention was for that '90 motor/trans to go into the SPG, but it's definitely going in the 5-door. I'll figure out what to do with that '87 SPG down the the road. Aside from severe paint issues, it looks amazingly intact and complete. The interior is FULL is stuff - including possibly an entire second interior - so I'll need to clean it out first.
LOL , At what stage does space become a premium ?? Nice pick up the engine and box , good combo
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Space became a premium about six months ago, but I'm not going to let a two or three dimensions get in the way of the others.

Seriously though, I now have all the pieces, time to get to work. I also know what the plan is, which means it's also time to start offloading parts I'm not going to need. This weekend is going to be about pulling that together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No time like the present to get started.

Here's what was stored in the trunk:



Minus the dog. I already had that.

I am surprised at the quantity of lights/lenses stashed in there. :D The story went that the engine/trans was pulled from a car that was too rusty to continue (east coast car....) and it looks like a bunch of random parts were harvested at the same time and stuffed into the trunk. The gauge cluster there shows 140k, which is the number they said the engine had. Nice that all tracks. :)

There's also a bunch of Volvo & some Mercedes parts in there, which is fun. Not sure what the plan there was!

The engine is partially dismantled:





It looks like the engine swap was underway, but interrupted and never resumed. I'm thinking the path back to running is actually probably pretty short. Between stuff I've got and what's in the garage, I probably have everything needed to get it back to running. Maybe a quick weekend project?
 

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looks like an amazing haul , what year is it ? I note 2 scews holding Spark plug cover , cant recall what year that changed . So is it to be a parts car or is it a restore ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's an '87. Based on the conversation at pickup I assumed it was parts, but it's way more intact than I thought. Also, I was led to believe it had been sitting for a long time, but it was last registered in 2017 - that's like yesterday! I'm totally willing to put it back together and see if it starts up. If it does, there's probably no reason to take it apart. It was maintained well enough to hit nearly half a million miles, that's pretty significant.
 

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The beauty of these cars is how quickly you can just whip a motor out and put another in , so yeah if you were motivated I reckon you could have it running over a weekend . Early this week I pulled the motor out of my Vert (93) to tend to power steering rack boots ,and fixing a broken alternator mount . Motor was on shed floor in about 3 hours of casual effort, such an easy car to work on. I have pulled several 9-3 motors (3-4) since my last 900 , I had forgotten how simple by comparison , and how well balanced the power plant is , easy work on a chain block .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My issue is always mission creep - see all the things I could do while I'm there and then things take forever. In this instance, the goal would simply be get it to running, deal with everything else down the road. I'll see how this weekend goes with other projects... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
This morning I "sorted out" the engine bay by removing everything that had been stuffed in there:



I spend 3 or 4 hours on it today... It wasn't intense work as I spent a fair amount of time digging through the parts that came with the car and my own spares to get things to complete. The engine was basically ready to come out - everything was disconnected and the motor was just sitting there - so it was a fair amount of work undoing a fair amount of work. :) I had to spend some time cleaning, too, because some parts were so disgusting I couldn't seriously consider putting them back in... the engine & bay is still filthy, but at least the things I'm putting back on are pretty clean.



It was painful for me to ignore the awful alternator bushings and some of the deformed rubber couplers for the intercooler piping, but the goal was getting it done and not necessarily getting it right. :)

I had to fix some wiring along the way, but it's coming along.

I pumped 5 gallons of gas from the tank and there is perhaps only a gallon or two left. I'll add some fresh gas and a ton of fuel system cleaner to.... I don't know. Make it better? :)

Tomorrow I need to dig out a distributor as the one on the car is a craptasterpiece. I'm not sure about the Hall-Effect sensor wiring either but we'll see. After that, the only remaining thing I'm aware of that's totally trashed is the passenger side CV boot. I'm not fixing that now, but maybe I can find a short-term good enough solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also, I realized something kinda cool - this car has e-code H4 headlights, not standard US-spec 9004, and the PO used some sort of retrofit bulb in there... I'm thinking they're LEDs but maybe HIDs. I need to pull them out and see what they are.

I needed another car like another hole in the head, but tbh, this was a good purchase. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I put 5 gallons of fresh, 87 octane gas in this morning along with a full can of Berryman's B12... I looked for something else, but I guess there is nothing else, so it'll have to do. ;) The standard dilution is 1oz per 1 gallon of gas, so I'm at triple. That should do something. :)

I connected the end of the fuel rail to the return line, bypassing the fuel pressure regulator, and then hooked up my tool to the fusebox to run the fuel pump:



I let this run for about 2.5 hours in 30 minute cycles... I'm honestly not sure if this did anything useful, but it made me feel good. :)

While that was running I put everything else I could together including an oil change, then hooked the fuel pressure regulator back up.



I pushed the start button and after a few cranks it sprang to life.

The engine is quite noisy, but it's been sitting for a few years and has a ton of miles, so I'm hardly surprised. The fact that it started at all is pretty great. :)

Unfortunately, it also dumped all of its water out of what I'm pretty sure is the water pump. Fortunately I hadn't put coolant in there, only distilled water, so no great loss. Probably sitting empty for a couple years finished off an already old pump. I just wish I'd known this was gonna be an issue before I put all the top pieces back on! C'est la vie.

So far I'm into this car:

1. Random hardware I had laying around
2. Some random parts I had laying around (like the distributor)
2. Some new but really old v-belts I've had... so old (15 years?) I would never put them on a car I intended to drive.
3. Some silicone vacuum hose
4. A few feet of 5/16" fuel line as the old return hose was dead
5. A "free" STP oil filter (the kind you get with an oil purchase that you never actually want to use)
6. And the only thing I actually had to go buy: Some 10w-30 motor oil

Things left to do:

1. Replace the water pump. I guess. I sorely tempted to just pull the pump from the newly acquired motor and re-use it, but I really don't wanna do the work twice over $40
2. Replace the battery positive cable. It's non-stock, hand-made, and utter garbage
3. Wiring for the passenger side fan is wrecked - I need a new pigtail on the chassis side, and I know that's a pigtail I don't have (I keep using them!)
4. Wiring for the 5th gear switch - this is only used by the "shift up" light, definitely not a priority
5. Get some power steering fluid (and pray it stays in the system!)

I'm ignoring a wrecked turbo and a wrecked CV boot for now... All I want to get to is mobile under its own power. :)
 

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Sounds like good progress, its pretty quick work the WP , so maybe not so bad doing it twice, and the new one can go on the (better? ) engine for the other project.
I swapped Wp's over the weekend on an engine I was fitting, it hadnt failed as such but it had a bit of a rough feel.

Nearly ready to connect main engine loom back up and start it up . Confident it will be ok , as its the original motor from the car and was fine on removal, was only originally removed to use the car as test bed for a motor and box that came from a wreck . That test is complete so swapping back and fixing other issues whilst the engine bay was empty ,,, ( ps rack boots for one ) Also likely to source a new radiator, it doesnt overheat but the circulation is a bit compromised. As you said earlier in thread , been a bit of mission creep, but also a bit of a chance to pick the best bits and clean out the crap .

Is the clutch operative on this car ? , I see the cover isnt removed so assume the pedal feels fine. Hope the box is ok ..
Sounds like it will be mobile shortly , I guess with those K's you will find plenty of issues but if the body is ok you may be onto a real winner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The clutch works insofar as it holds pressure and appears to take the car out of gear, but I don't know anything beyond that. Because it can't hold any water I have only had it running for perhaps six minutes in brief, two-minute sessions. Really, all I am aiming for is getting around the yard.

I did get this car timed, and in doing so found a number of pretty epic vacuum leaks. The vacuum reservoir for the HVAC is failed, but worse is the charcoal canister... it leaks from the valve, and leaks from the body .I hate these old vacuum controlled canisters - they started failing in the '90s when they were only a few years old. I went ahead and plugged all off.... don't need that to run the engine. ;)

I have a lot of puzzle pieces to play with, and am trying to come up with the best arrangement. If I can get this car mobile, I can focus on the real task... which is putting the '90 motor I actually set out to buy into the 5-door. :) I do have some time, though - I'm disposing of the old gas by using it in the Suburban. I figure a couple gallons of old gas in a 30 gallon tank won't hurt anything. Unfortunately.... it takes me a long time to use 30 gallons of gas. Months! I know what comes out of the 5-door is going to be really awful, so I need my gas can back! :)

Edit: Gates brand water pumps are $20 on rockauto.com ... I've used them with good results on 9-3s, so I'll do that for this car. $20 is free as far as I'm concerned.
 

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The clutch works insofar as it holds pressure and appears to take the car out of gear, but I don't know anything beyond that. Because it can't hold any water I have only had it running for perhaps six minutes in brief, two-minute sessions. Really, all I am aiming for is getting around the yard.

I did get this car timed, and in doing so found a number of pretty epic vacuum leaks. The vacuum reservoir for the HVAC is failed, but worse is the charcoal canister... it leaks from the valve, and leaks from the body .I hate these old vacuum controlled canisters - they started failing in the '90s when they were only a few years old. I went ahead and plugged all off.... don't need that to run the engine. ;)

I have a lot of puzzle pieces to play with, and am trying to come up with the best arrangement. If I can get this car mobile, I can focus on the real task... which is putting the '90 motor I actually set out to buy into the 5-door. :) I do have some time, though - I'm disposing of the old gas by using it in the Suburban. I figure a couple gallons of old gas in a 30 gallon tank won't hurt anything. Unfortunately.... it takes me a long time to use 30 gallons of gas. Months! I know what comes out of the 5-door is going to be really awful, so I need my gas can back! :)

Edit: Gates brand water pumps are $20 on rockauto.com ... I've used them with good results on 9-3s, so I'll do that for this car. $20 is free as far as I'm concerned.
Yeah , re part pricing , unfortunately I dont have that luxury here , probaly be north of $100 , talking Rock , been looking at timing parts for my b205 refresh, but there photos dont align , nor do link quantities on chains or part numbers, perhaps the photos are library images, makes me nervous, freight is prohibitive. EEuro is no longer an option to OZ, so its basically Rock or PFS

Re fuel , been known to do the same Shandy into a big tank , not had a problem, though if its real bad (usually told by smell ) I dont. At the moment all of my cars have fuel that has has been in them close to 6 months and dying batteries, the fleet arent going far in these times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I know what's coming out of the 5-door will have to be disposed of ... sucks that the only way to do that around here is to give up the container I'll put it in, too. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It is.... and truly the condition of the car for that mileage is noteworthy. I have worked on c900s with a quarter of that mileage in overall worse shape.

One thing I've noticed is that despite being owned by a mechanic, dude was clearly not a Saab mechanic. At every turn during the rebuild I found things taken apart in random ways.... like "the hardest way" instead of the "easy but not obvious way Saab intended." I suppose this is what mechanics call "quirky," but I've always found if you slow down and take a step back when something seems difficult, you'll find another far easier approach. As an example, the AC compressor was removed from the bracket which is quite annoying, instead of simply removing the entire bracket from the engine which is quite easy. Or, the v-belt tensioners fully relaxed instead of just removing the tensioner itself from the engine. Very frustrating reassembly, I'll tell you!

Found out Aussie900 cursed me yesterday.... went to move the car (under its own power) closer to the workshop and the clutch pedal went straight to the floor. :D Fortunately I've not yet put the hood back on, so it would have been easy enough to fix. However, I figured I'd try new fluid first....

Sucked the old fluid out of the reservoir .... it was VERY nasty:



and then a "reverse bleed" with new fluid:



The trick with the reverse bleed, IMO, is to use a fair amount of fluid to make sure the master cylinder is fully flushed. I ran about 300cc through the slave cylinder. A big feeding syringe works awesome here, just go very slowly and don't blow out a seal by using too much force. Been using this method for 20 years and it works perfectly every time.

Including this time - clutch works beautifully now!

Water pump should arrive today and will hopefully be a quick job.

I am a little concerned about all the noise the engine makes. It's old, and it's been sitting, but it's a lot of noise. It could be a bottom end problem. I have never once rebuilt a motor in all these years, potentially this could be my first. I think for a car with all those miles under its belt, it'd be worthwhile. Assuming I have the talent to do it.... and I'm not sure I do!
 

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Over 200k, I always put standard rod bearings in if I have access to them. The old ones always show copper.
 
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