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Okay folks, I need some advice from those who love their Saabs.
My engine needs replacing and I just can't decide what to do.
'99 9-3se CV

The sob story:
I left town for a month and let a friend drive my car while I was gone.
There had been a slight oil leak since I got it two years ago but nothing major - just needed to top it off every couple months. At some point, that oil leak must have become more pronounced. My first day back I drove it a few miles around town and didn't notice any problems. The next day, after about 30 minutes on the highway I noticed it sounded like it was running low on oil. Ten minutes later, on my way to get oil, the engine seized and I was hosed. My friend must have been driving it around town without any oil for awhile.

The engine block itself is fine but everything else - bearings, rotors, etc - is junk. So based on discussions with my two mechanics here's the deal - I'm looking at about $3000 to replace the engine ($1500-2000 parts & fluids, $1000-1500 labor) or $4000 if I want to do "a full-on but completely unnecessary rebuild". Maybe I'll be able to recoup a couple hundred for the engine block.

Problem: The car itself is worth at best $6000. There are so many little issues with the poor thing - issues I had no problem with until now: completely dead SID, somewhat irregular neutral safety switch (I installed a push-button starter to bypass the problem), rubber seals are degrading and need replacing, suspension needs upgrading, antenna bent and stuck half-way out, minor cosmetic interior stuff like broken bezels for the hazard button and rear side lights, slight warp in the wheels, convertible top has two little knicks which are fine right now but could become problematic if left unchecked...
These are obviously not major issues really - I can also list a thousand things that are amazing and that I love about it this car.

The point is, if I spend $3000 on the engine - at least half but probably more than half the value of the car in pristine condition - it will still have all these other little annoyances. I'm trying to justify spending that kind of cash on an old car that will not be perfect when it is done. I just had to replace the head gasket eight months ago to the tune of $1600 and that was bad enough.

What to do, what to do? This all happened a month ago and the poor thing has been sitting in the driveway awaiting my verdict. I had resigned myself to having to shell out cash I don't have until I started looking at the cost/value ratio - now I can't decide. In the meantime I've been enjoying my bicycle and refamiliarizing myself with riding a motorcycle. But I do need to figure this thing out. I was even considering doing the engine swap myself - many of you reading this are old hands at such things and thus inspire - but though I am a pretty capable and handy guy, I have zero experience removing, much less repairing an engine (and I don't yet have all the tools I would need).

Okay, that's it. Anyone have advice, suggestions, stories of similar situations and what paths you took?
 

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A possible route,

Junkyard engine (100k +-) plus labor at a local indy should run at most $1500 (here in NY anyways). You could probably kill a few of the items on your no-joy list while its in for the engine for a few dollars more.
I know it hurts, but if in YOUR opinion the car is worth it go for it. For what its worth I paid 2700 for my car and have dumped $5k into it and its still up on blocks. When its done it may be worth $3500-$4000. Worth it to most peeps - no. Worth it to me - yes. I'll add mine is not a daily driver, just a toy to help me try and retain a shred of sanity.
Be sure to check any possible donor engine for signs of sludge (search the forums - ton o posts).

Good Luck to ya!

Horace
 

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1995 NG900 2.3L
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Old cars run on used parts so I second those who have seconded the acquisition of a used motor. Or is that called thirding?

Oh, and get a new friend. :cheesy: He did know about the "slight" oil leak right? I mean it sounds as if he was hotdogging your car around and forgot to check the oil. Did your car leave an oily spot on the ground or other visible signs of leakage beforehand? I mean something like that I always look for right after I pull out of the driveway.
 

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Maybe I missed the engine size, but check www.car-parts.com and select the Pacific region. There are 2.0T engines in the range of $750-$1300. That's not too bad, especially if you DIY. You would need a few hundred in tools, like a small hydraulic hoist and a transmission jack, but from Harbor Freight, it wouldn't cost too much. Then get your "buddy" to help you swap engines. If you do get a used engine, make sure that you get a warranty... Ron
 

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Maybe I missed the engine size, but check www.car-parts.com and select the Pacific region. There are 2.0T engines in the range of $750-$1300. That's not too bad, especially if you DIY. You would need a few hundred in tools, like a small hydraulic hoist and a transmission jack, but from Harbor Freight, it wouldn't cost too much. Then get your "buddy" to help you swap engines. If you do get a used engine, make sure that you get a warranty... Ron
my engine is deff cheaper than that
 

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Does yours have a warranty? The 5-speed I bought had a 1-year warranty and it was worth the little extra money for the piece of mind. Besides, I knew I could always put it in my Sierra and take it back if I had to... Ron
 

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Does yours have a warranty? The 5-speed I bought had a 1-year warranty and it was worth the little extra money for the piece of mind. Besides, I knew I could always put it in my Sierra and take it back if I had to... Ron
it came out of a daily driver that was in a wreck
the cost to repair exceeded the value of the car

i can do a warranty
it will just raise the price more than my "as is" price
 
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