On Nov 20th I bought my first Saab, a 1996 900 SE turbo 5MT about 152K. It had been in a collision that collapsed the flange over the rear passenger wheel well and scraped some paint from that door and quarter panel, but otherwise looked good with no body damage or rust, so I went for it as a project car, since the price was right.
What I can piece together about it was that it had several phases of ownership:
1996-1998 original owner, dealer service, 35K
1998-2002 second owner, dealer service 64K
2002-2011 third owner, resident of Longmont, CO, regular service and maintenance
- had replacement starter installed a few years ago.
- had a insurance payout for collision damage in Fall 2010, $3000 payout. This is most likely the accident that scraped and flattened the rear passenger-side wheel well. It looks almost as if a large tire sideswiped the rear right quarter panel wheelwell flange and nearby door is dented and scraped down to subcoat. photo taken on day of purchase:
Upon driving it home, I drained the engine oil and replaced with some Castrol GTX 5w30, and then I flushed the coolant out and replaced with Zerex G-05. It was generating occasional P1171 codes, and while checking vacuum lines found many leaks leaks. Cleaning that up, the long term fuel trim dropped from 99 to 48 to the 30s. However, with the vacuum system tightened up I've had a problem with the degraded AIC valve hose repeatedly tearing while under boost, so I've ordered replacements which should hopefully arrive soon.
The pipe from the intercooler-intake is coated with oil, so I suspect the turbocharger seals are going/gone, though there's no blue smoke visible out the tailpipe per se. The upstream HO2S gives normal looking values, but intermittently drops to 0.01v (via OBD2) making me suspect its wiring.
The battery was on its last legs, and so I replaced it with a group-47 600-CCA one from NAPA parts, along with a universal battery tie-down I had to cut to fit under the hood. I'm still getting intermittent charge system warnings on the dashboard. I've loosened, cleaned (de-oxit chemical) and reseated all the ground and positive lugs I could find under the hood and behind the glovebox, as well as fuse and relay terminals, but am still getting the charge system problems intermittently. I suspect the alternator's voltage controller bushings are probably worn.
I pulled the timing chain tensioner and measured the gap, which was almost exactly 0.4" or 10.16mm. I understand this suggests the chain has not stretched enough to be in immediate danger of failing?
Some interior detailing-- leather cleaner and conditioner, plastic cleaner. Pulled the auto climate control cabin air sensor, cleaned and lubricated its fan, resoldered its thermistor, reinstalled and working.
Parts on order: idler, center, and tensioner pulleys, accessory belt (long), coolant hoses, AIC valve hoses.
Anyway, this is my fun/project car, my goals are basically to keep/restore her to OEM new-like condition, safe, and to keep her on the road.
Comments/suggestions, etc? I'll post updates to this thread as work continues...