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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a 97 900S convertible for only about 1.5 years. It's my first Saab. I really like the car. I've been reading this forum since I got the car, but have never posted. Thanks to all, by the way, for all the information I've found and used anonymously for the past year or so.

Now, I have located a 95 900SE Turbo for sale. It has 14X,XXX miles on the clock. I'm considering it as a first car for my soon-to-be 16 year old son.

It appears to be in good condition except as noted below. A test drive shows the car to start/run/drive well. Paint is decent. Interior is good.

The problem is that it has obviously had a minor colllision. The passenger side headlight, turn signal, and fog light are all either broken or missing, the plastic bumper skin is loose, and the bumper itself is bent. There appears to be no deeper damage. Radiator, intercooler, etc. are all straight. No leaks. The car drives, and everything works. Even the grille is straight and un-broken.

So the questions I hope some experienced Saab'er could answer are:

1) What should I expect ( in both difficulty and expense ) in using salvage yard parts and my own labor, with help fom my son of course, to swap these pieces. I'm assuming that a visit to the body shop would push the price of this car right out of our price range.

2) What else should I be looking for, specifically related to the turbo and mileage, in considering this purchase. I did my research here before I bought the 2.3L Convertible and have been very pleased, but have not yet done any similar homework on the Turbo.

Thanks all . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry. No photos. Didn't carry a camera to the test drive.

I'm really just looking for quick/crude, i.e. ballpark ideas on the cost of used parts and the difficulty in swapping a bumper and skin.

Also seeking Turbo specific watch-list items.
 

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if just replacing parts (no straightening stuff behind there and such) it's an easy job. On a difficulty level of 1-10, 10 being very hard, this is a 2

This may help for the bumper removal
http://www.thesaabsite.com/Saab-900-front-bumper-replacement.htm

The light and flasher unit are held on by 3 torx screws so not a difficult job at all.

Now if there's any damage behind there, it's a diffrent story and may require some more work.

The head light would sell on ebay for $40-$50, fog light is about $50 and the flasher unit about $40-50. Obviously you can get those cheap sometimes, this is an average they sell for. so take your time and shop around :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks !!!

This is exactly the type of reply I was hoping for on the cosmetic damage, and why I keep coming back to this forum.


Now . . .

Any suggestions out there on Turbo-specific trouble signs to watch out for on a 140,000 mile Saab ?
 

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BustersTurbo said:
Thanks !!!

This is exactly the type of reply I was hoping for on the cosmetic damage, and why I keep coming back to this forum.


Now . . .

Any suggestions out there on Turbo-specific trouble signs to watch out for on a 140,000 mile Saab ?
does he have the maintenace records or not? That makes a big diffrence. Those cars sludge up if the oil wasn't changed regularly and using synthetic oil. Did he replace the turbo lately?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm planning to re-visit the car today. Will check out any paperwork I can find in the car.

The story I got yesterday was that it's a one-owner car. Was bought from, and then traded in at a local Saab dealer. It was then sold to the current owner ( small dealer operating out of his home ) in September.

If I go back to the Saab dealer, could it be possible to pull up their service history on a car?

I'm not even the current owner yet.
 

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Buying the car from a dealer, I'd be a bit wary that he pulled the frame enough to sell the car that may be the cause the bumper is lose. I agree you need to check the frame by a specialist. Getting an estimate would help you negotiate the price anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK. No luck tracking down service/maintenance history. Yet. Best I'm likely to get will be sketchy.

What, in lieu of the service history, should I watch out for on the 2.0 Turbo motor/drivetrain?
 

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BustersTurbo said:
OK. No luck tracking down service/maintenance history. Yet. Best I'm likely to get will be sketchy.

What, in lieu of the service history, should I watch out for on the 2.0 Turbo motor/drivetrain?
You need to know if and when the fuel pump was replaced. You also need to know when the Direct Ignition Cassete was replaced. The CPS dies on those cars and stops the fuel pump from running.

Basically if you want the car to be reliable, you need to know what was replaced and when. You need to know what you need to replace to keep it running well. If the car was neglected, you won't be happy at all. AT ALL. The car can be a big money pit and will punish you by emptying your wallet big time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info.

The fuel pump died at about 120,000 on my '97 900S convertible, just a couple months ago, so I guess I can agree with your fuel pump point, assuming the 95 Turbo uses same parts. Is this correct?

Also, what's the Direct Ignition Cassette and/or the CPS?

I'm afraid that you may be talking me out of this particular car . . .
 

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The CPS is the crank position sensor and the DIC is the Direct Ignition Cassette. It's expensive $450. It' replaced the spark plug wires, distributer and coil in one unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the input.

I'm still looking into this car. Should be getting the VIN later today so I can do CARFAX or similar.

In general, how useful are these on-line services? Are they all the same? Any recommendations?

I've only used a service once, and found plenty of good background information, but maybe I was just lucky . . .
 

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Not sure I would buy an old 900Turbo as a first car for a 15/16year old - they combine high acceleration rates with poor and unpredictable handling in stock form which will be much worse at this kind of mileage.
 

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I agree with the above 2 posts, these cars can get you in trouble quick.

The plus side is they are old enough where junkyard parts are readily avalable and super cheap.
 

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Shirozina said:
Not sure I would buy an old 900Turbo as a first car for a 15/16year old - they combine high acceleration rates with poor and unpredictable handling in stock form which will be much worse at this kind of mileage.
Tweek's Turbos said:
I agree with the above 2 posts, these cars can get you in trouble quick.
I second that! IMO, a kids first car should be something with no horsepower what so ever. I wouldn't even go as far as buying my child a 5-speed. It adds too many things for a young driver to pay attention to. Let them learn on a clunker and save the nice car for a graduation present.

Edit: My first car was an '81 Mazda GLC. No guts but it got me where I wanted to go with a clean driving record and no accidents.

 

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My suggestion, horrible on gas, so they will think twice about going too far away. Lots of room for friends. Can be used for hauling stuff. (moved my sis home once in one trip with one) Plenty of spare parts in junkyards, easy to work on and diagnose. Will give more damage than will accept.
 
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