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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
looked at a '96 900se convertible today. grossly overpriced, of course, at $6995 for being so old. however, it was bought and owned in indy, and it has a full service record. that, at least, i like. i was rather concerned about the top though. when it went down, it went down fast, but i got a "check soft top" message on the SID when the top finished folding and the cover closed. it also did not press the first bow against the windshield when i raised it, so i had to manually pull it onto the windshield in order to latch it shut. that in combination with the noise of the motor had me concerned about the state of the top, so i'm hoping it's not on it's way to failure. small repairs to it though would be a great way of negotiating the price.:cheesy:
 

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saabchilten said:
looked at a '96 900se convertible today. grossly overpriced, of course, at $6995 for being so old. however, it was bought and owned in indy, and it has a full service record. that, at least, i like. i was rather concerned about the top though. when it went down, it went down fast, but i got a "check soft top" message on the SID when the top finished folding and the cover closed. it also did not press the first bow against the windshield when i raised it, so i had to manually pull it onto the windshield in order to latch it shut. that in combination with the noise of the motor had me concerned about the state of the top, so i'm hoping it's not on it's way to failure. small repairs to it though would be a great way of negotiating the price.:cheesy:
Hey congrats on the new SAAB. The top issue is probably the twisted bracket. You need to get the reinforcment kit
This is what happens
http://www.saabnet.com/tsn/members/gallery.html?memberID=112&do=show&id=967

Here's the part I suspect you'll need

http://www.genuinesaab.com/psi/files/900+cv+top.pdf

Check these as well
http://www.saabservices.com/cvtop%20data/ng900cv%20top%20diagnosis%20and%20troubleshooting.pdf

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=107488
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99667
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
:eek: do i really wanna buy a convertible if i have to get those parts? this thing is over my budget, and i don't want to have to negociate it down and THEN get repairs after buying. that's why i turned down the last car i looked at. hydraulic fluid change is simple enough, but there are some things i don't want to fix and don't want to have to pay to fix.
 

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saabchilten said:
:eek: do i really wanna buy a convertible if i have to get those parts? this thing is over my budget, and i don't want to have to negociate it down and THEN get repairs after buying. that's why i turned down the last car i looked at. hydraulic fluid change is simple enough, but there are some things i don't want to fix and don't want to have to pay to fix.
That reinforcement kit is $10 only. What are you talking about? The guide is for diagnosis of all the possible problems. You can use that to negotiate the price of the car.

The 96 has the mechanical top so no fluid issues with that top (uses 5 electric motors IIRC), the 99+ on the other hand have the hydrolic top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
aah. see this is why i'm glad i posted a thread. i'm not familiar with the 900 top. just skimmed the pdf files and looked more carefully at the other threads. so most likely the tonneau motor is why the "check soft top" light came on when the top was done lowering? i heard the bong, saw the check top message on the SID, and turned around to see it completely lowered, if that helps any.

also, i believe from one of the threads i found in a search, the top is supposed to stop just short of the windshield. correct? it didn't take much effort just to pull it down that one inch and latch it back in place.
 

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Don't worry about the top not meeting the windshield frame. It's normal to have to pull it down an inch or two to latch it (though there should be very little effort). As for the "check soft top" message, that soemtimes happens on mine when the tonneou doesn't latch properly. It may be a problem with the latch, but before worrying too much try this: when the top is down and the message displays on the SID, put the top back up about a third of the way. Then just close it again. Do that once or twice and listem for a beep from the SID. That's not a solution to any real problem, but sometimes the latch just doesn't work the first time on mine, which might be a common issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yea i'm sure it was the tonneau, and the latch makes the most sense.

i'll see about this car some time this week, since my mother has to test drive and approve it for me. then it's probably off for an exam by our mechanic. if it passes both those tests, we'll have to negociate the price. i am not paying $6995 for a car with 135000 miles, especially when it's a trade in (estimated value $4225). they can make revenue still at $5500, which is what i want to attempt to get the price close to.
 

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I know the feeling and excitement about getting it :) when i got my 97 900se convertible i was buying every one i was test driving but daddy was still advicing to wait and so i did.
i got a perfect 900se with 110 000 miles, no rust, no damage, no scratches, top was working without problems, except what VertGriffin is describing above what happens sometimes. price was 4000 but the guy agreed to let it go for 3500 :)

just look around and search. don't rush :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
trust me, i've been patient. i've been searching since may, and have gotten VERY careful in the time since. i'm excited about this car because of the service history and the carfax info on it. i'm just worried and reserved about the top since i know if there is anything seriously wrong with it (which according to everyone and the troubleshooting guide, there's nothing that i see yet), repairs will be expensive. also a little worried that i heard the timing chain rattle, but i'm not sure. there's a reason the car will be examined by our mechanic though. he knows how the engine should sound much better than i do.;)
 

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Saab Chilton; take it from an old hand....

a '96 ragtop with a hundred and thirty K miles and top issues is a three thousand dollar car, period. Run Forest run.

Good luck,

John
1997 900S 2.3 5 speed 145.7K miles
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i'm keeping in mind the estimated values i found and the service records. however, it's all on the shoulders of my mechanic. if he says the car is solid, it's solid.
 

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If the top works fine but you have the message "soft to failure" then I don't think it's the toneau issue. Check the two micro switches that the toneau cover engages when it closes. Theres one on each side and they are easy to see and get to standing over the sides. On our 'vert, one of them was out of adjustment. I bent the metal tab up and the message never came back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
update!

the car passed the mother test! my mother drove it today and says it seems good apart from some small issues. she said the passenger mirror doesn't work, but that doesn't bother me that much, and it means another excuse for a lower price. she said the car had a bit of a shimmy and some pulling, but i'm assuming that could be blamed on the steering design and the convertible chassis? maybe i can make a steering rack brace part of the list of excuses for a lower price. however, from what i've heard, the dealer is considering what i'd rather pay because of the estimates i found.

now the car has to pass the mechanic test! :eek::lol:
 
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