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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hmm I found an 87 9k turbo auto hatchback with 88k miles. He will come down to $900. No rust or very minimal. A/C compressor needs to be replaced, cracked windshield, tires may need to be replaced from sitting, might need brake rotors. Any ideas or advice? I'm looking to fix one up again and I think if the body is solid why not? :).
 

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Not sure what motor came in the 87, but my 89 with the 2.0L is a great car. They do not have DI and a little less electrical. The MC are a monster, but other than that great car and very similar to the later 9000. You can even use a later trans up to 93 by swapping the bell housing. I guess my question would be why did they park it with low miles, probably the trans if an autobox.
 

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Sounds good to me. I wouldn't hesitate. I've got a bunch of early 9000 parts in storage, but rarely see them come up for sale around here.
 

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87 were identical to the first cars(86) except for no mudflaps and 205/55x15 tires. Neither change was an improvement so SAAB went back to mudflaps and taller tires. Both can easily be retrofitted to an 87 if desired. The lower profile tires work but not well as the ride and steering both suffer.

The 2.0 still has a distributor and produces only 160 hp. There were a few Red Boxes which upped the power to 175 hp but try finding one!

The rust or metal cracking areas to watch for are the rear fenders where the sunroof drains get plugged and the MC area drivers side aquarium (under the plastic cover) can crack which pretty much writes off the car, not an issue for an automatic and later 87 were reinforced from the factory. Otherwise, the 86-89 cars were the best looking and the most fun to drive IMHO.

My 97 Aeri (95-98 were the same) model is the best car SAAB ever built for all around comfort, performance and practicality but the older bodyshell with the 2.0 turbo (manual shift though) was the sweeter drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm owner just stated that it has an oil leak. Also smoke from the tail pipe. I am guessing the turbo is shot. He is not sure on boosting, so. Still I think if the body is rust free or near that, it should be a good buy. I think I will talk him down more.
 

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Nice to hear from yea Dantinne, and I hear you superaero. I actually think my 89 is a little smaller in width and steers a little better, perhaps even corners better and might even stop better.
steve
 

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Width is the same, the later car just feels bigger. The most expensive part of the body to change is the passenger cage. All 9000 doors will fit all 9000, amazing but true. They will also fit Lancia Thema and FIAT Croma from the same years. Won't fit the Alfa Romeo version because Pininfarina got their hands on that design and lowered the roofline!

You sit quite a bit lower in the earlier car, especially with manual adjusting seats. This makes the car feel more sporty and compact around you. Really, those older 9000 were a fantastic drive.

Smoke from the tailpipe is common on the 2.0 liter engine and may not be the turbo. In fact, it may just be oil that is too thin. Spec is conventional 10W 30 for winter (although 5W 30 is permitted for winter the engine will smoke like billyo if the temperature gets much above minus 20C!) and 10W 40 for summer. I used Castrol GTX 10W 40 in winter and 20W 50 in summer or mine would smoke. If synthetic oil is used the older engines do not like some synthetics and will burn them like crazy. Do NOT use Mobil 1, Pennzoil or Quaker State synthetic or the oil will burn. Use Castrol Syntec 5W 50 and all will be well. The 2.0 engine had loose valve guides for durability of the valves so is prone to smoke if the oil is too thin. Later 2.3 had to tighten everything up for emissions so doesn't burn any oil typically.

Oh yes, one other 87 advantage was a water cooled turbo.

Also, if the 2.0 liter is left idling for an extended period it can pump so much oil into the top of the head it will smoke like WWI destroyer on convoy duty for about 5 minutes after you put your foot down, alarming but harmless.
 

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I think the later body style is stiffer.
Around 1990 I worked at a SAAB/Alpha Romeo/Ferrari dealer. In the lot, you couldn't tell the Alphas from the SAABs at a distance. Euro Lancias shared the shell too (so I was told at SAAB school anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Width is the same, the later car just feels bigger. The most expensive part of the body to change is the passenger cage. All 9000 doors will fit all 9000, amazing but true. They will also fit Lancia Thema and FIAT Croma from the same years. Won't fit the Alfa Romeo version because Pininfarina got their hands on that design and lowered the roofline!

You sit quite a bit lower in the earlier car, especially with manual adjusting seats. This makes the car feel more sporty and compact around you. Really, those older 9000 were a fantastic drive.

Smoke from the tailpipe is common on the 2.0 liter engine and may not be the turbo. In fact, it may just be oil that is too thin. Spec is conventional 10W 30 for winter (although 5W 30 is permitted for winter the engine will smoke like billyo if the temperature gets much above minus 20C!) and 10W 40 for summer. I used Castrol GTX 10W 40 in winter and 20W 50 in summer or mine would smoke. If synthetic oil is used the older engines do not like some synthetics and will burn them like crazy. Do NOT use Mobil 1, Pennzoil or Quaker State synthetic or the oil will burn. Use Castrol Syntec 5W 50 and all will be well. The 2.0 engine had loose valve guides for durability of the valves so is prone to smoke if the oil is too thin. Later 2.3 had to tighten everything up for emissions so doesn't burn any oil typically.

Oh yes, one other 87 advantage was a water cooled turbo.

Also, if the 2.0 liter is left idling for an extended period it can pump so much oil into the top of the head it will smoke like WWI destroyer on convoy duty for about 5 minutes after you put your foot down, alarming but harmless.
Were there two turbos for that year? Water and oil cooled? He said he had it up on a hoist and could not determine where the leak was coming from and also the smoking stopped. He also said the oil seems to be leaking pretty good and would come down on the price even more because of it. Ugh, I just don't have a truck and trailer to haul this back. I did learn though that another gentleman showed up yesterday with a 9k that was pretty rusty and I guess he walked from it. Prolly a sign.
 

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The oil "cooling" is incidental to the lubrication. Coolant jacket was added to stop north Americans from lunching their turbos. They all have oil.

As far as I remember the later bodyshell was a cosmetic change. The hood and the hatch were changed. There was no change I the structure as far as I know. SAAB could not afford to change the design. In fact they changed the hood first and the hatch the following year. The first 9000 were pretty strong.
 

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Were there two turbos for that year?
Nope.

For US market:

All '86 9000's were turbo 5-speeds. Sunroofs were dealer-installed and not necessarily compatible with later factory-installed models. The turbos were not water-cooled.

All '87 9000 Turbo's had water-cooled turbos.

I forgot about the weak firewall issue that Superaero mentioned -- when considering manual transmission cars, one should check how rigidly the clutch master cylinder is mounted. If the surrounding steel weakens, it eventually interferes with normal clutch operations. Repair of the weakened area is often not practical.
 

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As far as I remember the later bodyshell was a cosmetic change. The hood and the hatch were changed.
When the Hatch was changed they stiffened up the whole back end. The earlier cars often developed a vertical tear in the rear inner fender section from flexing; I saw that on several cars, all with over 300k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hmmm owner stated that the oil leak was from a loose vac line or something pushing the oil out of a vent tube. He said it has stopped now. Interesting. :confused:. He is attempting to fix the braking issue. Pedal goes to floor and is also somewhat firm. Master cylinder I'm guessing. I think he wants to sell me this car. Anyone near the Columbus, Ohio area willing to check this car out real quick for me? Please don't buy it haha.
 

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I own a 1987 saab 9kt manual.. and while I understand that the automatic and manuals are different, I will just warn that finding OEM clutch parts isnt easy, and taking out the slave cylinder can potentially cost you the worth of the car, I know because I had to have mine replaced, I made the mistake of going with after market warrantied parts.. the parts failed in less than 10 miles easy and now Im 1500 down because I cant find OEM clutch parts.. this isnt the case every time, but I just thought id give a ample warning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I own a 1987 saab 9kt manual.. and while I understand that the automatic and manuals are different, I will just warn that finding OEM clutch parts isnt easy, and taking out the slave cylinder can potentially cost you the worth of the car, I know because I had to have mine replaced, I made the mistake of going with after market warrantied parts.. the parts failed in less than 10 miles easy and now Im 1500 down because I cant find OEM clutch parts.. this isnt the case every time, but I just thought id give a ample warning.
http://www.thesaabsite.com/9000/9000clutches.htm

Did you try these guys? I'm pretty sure they are still around.
It's always been said on our cars the master and slave should be oem or you will bite the bullet again :(. I understand though that sometimes you can't find oem on all parts and have to buy something else. Sorry that happened. Don't give up on your 9k though!
 
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