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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my car for about ten years, it's a 2000 9-5 Aero. I believe the headgasket needs to be replaced. The body is also quite rusty, including a rot under rear passenger and typical spots on the quarter. Given all these issues, I think selling it would only bring in a couple of hundred bucks.

I always wanted a project car, so this is a good opportunity. I have a about $2k that I am willing to spend. Some of it will go toward overhauling the suspension, since its 20 years old. That includes shocks/struts/subframe bushings and etc. Some will be used to buy a welder and fix the rust. It would be my first time.

I don't think I have the skills to pull the engine out, but I can replace some components without pulling it out. The head will need to be machined, and I can replace bearings from the bottom, and maybe pistons.

What do your thoughts? Are there specific things I should replace or focus on?

I am also thinking of doing some performance mods, I am just not sure what.
 

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$2K won’t go very far unfortunately... A 20 year old car is not going to respond well to “some performance mods” either. I don’t want to dissuade you from it, but you can realistically dump $2K pretty quick and still be nowhere close to a fully sorted car.
 

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Welding is very difficult, especially on thin sheet metal like on the body of the car. It's not the ideal arena to learn in, at one point i've tried. Cheap welders cant weld together thin sheet metal, they will just burn through. Getting one that can will be pricey. Then you'll have to worry about finding an outlet with 240 volts that is close enough to your car... Its a pita.

9-5's are fairly cheap, that 2k $$ can probably go farther if found a new saab. I don't know where you are located in Canada, but there are some nice ones on Kijiji Toronto around the 3k range.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback guys. I am not planning to restore the car to showroom condition. I want to go beyond changing brakes, or simple components. Buying a new car will blow the budget, because there will be nothing left for parts, so I will be stuck with another broken car.

Thanks for the tip on welding.
 

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I bought a $2000 9-5 (with the help of EdT) from a little dealer in Hamilton because putting any money into my rusty 2000 9-5 AERO manual car didn't make sense, you will be chasing the rust forever and being a unibody car it is structurally unsound.

All the good bits from my 2000 will go into the mostly rust free $2000 2004 car and I feel I'll be ahead given the longevity to be expected from a fresher start.
.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yea, I hear what you are saying. To be honest, if I had to look for another car, i would probably go with e39.

Also, finding another saab in Ontario is not an easy task. Looking at kijiji, there are only 3 9-5s in entire Ontario and they are not in the best shape either.

Not giving up on the idea lol
 

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Drive it until it dies and buy another car. It depends on what your requirements are for a replacement, whether 9-3 or 9-5, body style, and transmission.

If the rust is as bad as you describe, then the car is basically beyond fixing. Is the interior carpeting getting wet due to rust?

If you do want another 9-5 2.3-equipped car, for fun you could try fixing up your present car's engine. Then when a 9-5 with a shot engine shows up, you can swap your rebuilt engine in. I'm still not sure it's worth it, but if you want to see how something like this goes, it's your chance.


The 2001 and earlier cars do show up from time to time, but it's skimpy right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Carpet doesnt get wet, so rust is not that bad.

It looks like this car will end up being parted out and scrapped, which I didn't really want to do. Buying another Canadian car will still have more or less same rust issues, so might as well work on what I have.

I has this love/hate relationship with this car, so a lot of what I am trying to do, may not make sense.
 

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Well, if there aren't perforations in the body, just drive the car and keep it mechanically good. Fortunately, Saabs rust slowly. It may not look great, but as long as the brake and fuel lines are good, and there aren't holes letting water in where it shouldn't be, it's not a big deal.

Trying to fix this kind of rust is a futile effort. It won't look good, and it won't last.

Here's a new posting. I don't like black or Dame Edna, and the car does not have ventilated seats. Looks pretty good otherwise:

Oh look, an auto Dame Edna:

There's a 2002 manual wagon in Brantford, but that doesn't look quite as nice.
 
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