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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
the main purpose of this thread is to survey the c900 crowd to see if I should get a brand new car and foreget saab for a while or if I should spend way more money then my car is worth and keep it. I love driving my c900, but it is an old car, and while it is a great car, its not on the same level as say, a BMW m3 of a similar era.

So I was driving on the highway up a long hill on a hot day with my car loaded with three people and all our camping stuff and my car overheated. I was no where near red lining the rpms, going probably about 65mph but I was pressing in the gas pedal pretty far (not flooring it though) Could this have been my driver error, or just extremely unlucky? I was checking the temp gauge every minute or so out of habit on a hot day, and as soon as I noticed it, I pulled over.

Apparently the rings in cylinder 4 collapsed and cylinder 3 has coolant in it as well. The shop tells me the head is done for and I need a new engine. If I do this, I would replace the tranny too because the first gear syncro is on its way out. The price they gave me, for everything completely rebuilt was "In the neighborhood of $6,500". This would seem obviously out of the question, although I do have the money for a this, (I actually have the money for a brand new car, which is why I bring up this thread in the first place)

I talked to a very nice guy through my work who is seemingly competent in the land of C900s. (he had a bunch all over his yard and I asked him about them) He works on them and rebuilds the transmission. He really seems to know the cars in and out. He told me that he could do work for much much less then the shop, thing is he is 6 hours from me. He said if I payed for gas and a trailer rental, he has a pickup that could take my car to his garage. He is apparently a prominent poster on saabnet. I have not talked about price with him yet, but if I get the squared away, what is a reasonable price for a rebuilt engine and tranny installed in the car???

I realize it is all a matter of perspective.
These are reasons I would keep the car and pay to have it fixed:
I love my SPG. I think it looks just about better then any other car on the road. It corners really well. Its fast enough (although I wish it were faster at times). I like keeping something old from being thrown away. There are limited resources on this planet and it seems silly to buy new things all the time.



These are reasons I would buy a new car:
Whatever car I have, it is going to be my only car and so I need something that is reliable and practical. Getting new or almost new car with a warrenty maybe very nice. If I wanted to I could get a new VW Golf R32, for example and thats a hell of a car! Also, I don't know the answer to this, but if the 900's engine blew because of me expecting and demanding performance that it simply couldn't deliver, then maybe it is better for me to have a car which could deliver that performance.

Advice? Thoughts?

Also I just so happen to have a 2000 9-3 with a bad transmission and a good engine. How easy is it to put the 9-3 engine in a c900? Is it possible?
 

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In my humble opinion I think that you should buy a japanese car( I wll never buy a VW, ever again) and get done with it and sell the parts of the SPG in the forum.

I you can't do the jobs by yourself and you don't have a a big badget ( to pay someone else to do it) then do not buy a c900.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking a Lancer EVO would be cool. I feel like I can do a lot of things myself but I do not have the tools to do the whole engine and transmission. In all honesty I do not have much experience but I can follow instructions and I am technically minded enough to to many things myself.
 

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It's extremely unusual to blow a saab engine - assuming the engine hasn't been tuned to hell or seriously abused. Gearboxwise 1st synchro going before anything else is a little unusual, but who knows? First thing I'd check with that is the shifter alignment/joint condition for that, it may be there's nothing really wrong with the box. But even it first is duff, as long as there's nothing else wrong with the box, it should be a straightforward and relatively inexpensive rebuild.

So I'd look for a Saab guy a little nearer and get a decent price on the work - you like the car, it's unusual, it's an SPG so it's something special :)

But then I've always like the E30 M3 too...
 

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What you do now is donate your Saab to a worthy cause... Namely, ME. You can't write it off, but you'll always get that warm, fuzzy feeling whenever you think about your act of unbelievable kindness!

If you love your Saab the way most of us do, fix it. If not, sell it. You will probably never recoup the money it will take to get it fixed the right way, and it sounds like you'd rather have a newer, faster car anyway. On the other hand, selling it with a blown engine and a departing trans, will net you a lot less than you'll want to take for your 900. SPG or not, without a drivetrain, it's a parts car to me.

If dude can fix it for substantially less than the shop quoted you, my .02 cents says get it fixed! If you decide to sell it later on, you might be able to break even (depending upon what you paid for the car to begin with).

If you decide not to fix it and want to sell it as is, PM me.

I don't think NG blocks will swap into a classic, but don't take my word for it!
 

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If that indy guy can rebuild engine and trans for about $4000 (or under) I'd do it if the rest of the car is sugar. SPG's aren't popping up like prairie dogs, especially around here, so if you absolutely love the car then drop the coin.

If you're like 'meh' about it, then SaabCrazee and I will arm wrestle over the hulk ;) and you can get an EVO or WRX or something 'cause either of those will give you reliability and will bury you into the back of your seat when you mash the skinny pedal into the floorboard.
 

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I'm curious who quoted a price that high, even figuring labor at $100/hr...

You could buy a clean SPG for less than half that and keep your current one for parts or...

I do appreciate the idea of "new car reliability"

Give this shop a call and tell them your situation--I'm curious what Ken would charge. Plus he has a lot of "good used stock" lying around so might have a good engine ready for you.

My only connection to this shop is that this is the shop that evacuated my A/C for only $30 and diagnosed my air bag system for ~$60 (that involved a good hour of dicking about...) The shop is fair, competent, and knows saabs.
http://oldtownimportrepair.com/

Oh, and 1st gear syncho is pretty shot on my 5sp as well. Just don't downshift to 1st above 5mph. At stop signs/lights it's 3rd or 2nd to neutral--brake pads are cheaper than the clutch anyway...

In the end, if your saab goes to the vultures I'd love to get your 3 spoke wheels! Good luck!
 

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Get a newer v6 9-3... You'll still be with saab, there very reliable and good looking. Good ones can be had around $15k and a simple tune will bury stock wrx's and the like

Only saying this if you want a newer car, I would fix the spg and make it better
 

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Blowing a b202 is indeed pretty unusual. Collapsed rings? What was the mileage?

I managed to tune my SPG pretty well and for me there was never a lack of power. It was always there when I needed it.
If your example is nice and rust free and the body is in generally good shape, it's definitely worth it to replace the drivetrain and get it roadworthy again.
Just keep in mind no other car, especially japanese will drive or feel like it. You will always miss the 900's handling and precision.
I just spend a lot of money on tuning a car which make and model I won't disclose, and its still light years from my 900's performance.

Sometimes, it's better to let it go, get something fuss free, and come back to it in a few years. To own a 900, you absolutely must be at least a amateur mechanic. These cars, especially after 20+ years won't be reliable for daily commuting.

Also I just so happen to have a 2000 9-3 with a bad transmission and a good engine. How easy is it to put the 9-3 engine in a c900? Is it possible?
It is completely impossible. Don't forget the 900's drivetrain is longitudinal, rather than transverse.

Get a newer v6 9-3... You'll still be with saab, there very reliable and good looking. Good ones can be had around $15k and a simple tune will bury stock wrx's and the like
It will have nothing in common will the original saab design principles. That being said, it will be faster and more reliable. But not a Saab in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I know Old Town Import. I am hesitant because he replaced my timing chain when apparently it did not need to be. Thats essencially what another shop told me (European Motor Cars, another saab-competent shop in town)

As for a new 9-3, I thought about this for a little. I replaced my 2000 9-3 with the 900 because the 900 has more soul and purity so getting another even newer saab makes no sense. What makes even less sense is the availability of parts and support for a brand new saab. This being said, I love the look of the newest 9-3 wagons and if I could find a Manual Turbo X Wagon that would be pretty cool. Another hesitation though, is that in reviews I have looked at, it simply did not stand up to the competition as far has handling and acceleration.

Whatever I get, I will test drive and take my time before hand. If I could get a manual all wheel drive diesel Audi A3 that probably be my number 1 choice for sure but they don't make them in the US.

I really do like the c900 but I am thinking that the wisest thing for me at this point would be a newer more reliable car and get a c900 sometime in the future as a second car
 

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i know old town import. I am hesitant because he replaced my timing chain when apparently it did not need to be. Thats essencially what another shop told me (european motor cars, another saab-competent shop in town)

did the 2nd shop look at the old parts to make that determination?

whatever i get, i will test drive and take my time before hand. If i could get a manual all wheel drive diesel audi a3 that probably be my number 1 choice for sure but they don't make them in the us.

the vw awd turbo diesel is a mighty fine ride...

i really do like the c900 but i am thinking that the wisest thing for me at this point would be a newer more reliable car and get a c900 sometime in the future as a second car
123456
 

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I really do like the c900 but I am thinking that the wisest thing for me at this point would be a newer more reliable car and get a c900 sometime in the future as a second car
If you sell your SPG as a parts car, you'll never replace it in the future for what you'll have to let it go for. Why not get your reliable car and sit on this SPG, unless you really need whatever money it'll net you? That way, when you're ready, you can take a crack at rebuilding or replacing the drive train as you see fit. If you keep it, at least you'll always have the option.
 

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i got another LPT(5dr) for my wife's, LPT Vert, and swapped the engine as doner car wasa bit scruufy, but good engine 120k.
car cost £300, I removed the engine, indie chap changed them over £500 job done and got some bits and £120 from dismantlers so easiest cheapest way to do it + still engine box in garage lol
 

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I love how people bash the new 9-3s saying there not saab at all.
I started out with 9-3ss models and just bought a 91 c900 vert... there are a lot of things in the newer saabs that drew inspiration from older ones and you can really see this after being in all kinds of saab's

That being said one of the biggest mistakes saab ever made was making a car that fit in the competitions bracket... Never did they make a car that was a leader or innovative... That's where they lost there SAAB mojo. The c900's and 9000's are fantastic cars compared to the competition. Since then, meh
 

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Id keep the spg and come back to it . Get a tommi makinen evo 6.5 or something from that era and have some fun . Im driving my spg everyday at the moment but certainly looking for some sort of drive and forget type jappa to knock about in.
 

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We didn't get the evo in the states until evo8
 

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Pity . The earlier ones have a harder edge . They wipe the floor with me in every hillclimb I do . No way near the character of a c900 of course!
 

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I wonder how they came to that conclusion, did they take the head off??

Hmmm it's probably just blown the headgasket!! Go somewhere else and get them to take the head off. If the engine is damaged, which as said before is difficult to do even trying hard, then just get a engine and gearbox from somewhere and have someone, not the garage you got the quote from, fit it.
If you still want to sell it then you will get more money for it.
 

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Ok, we know you lost compression on 4 and coolant in 3. How did they determine the head was toast? Too much warpage or cylinder cracking would only be seen by disassembly, unless they used a fiber optic camera, in which case they should have shown you EXACTLY what they were talking about. How did they determine it was the rings in 4? Did they use a differential compression test? Sorry, but I have had several times where opinion rather than research was the troubleshooting, and it had nothing to do with the real problem. Conversely, being ready for the worst, and having it be an inexpensive issue, might have been their goal.
 
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