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9-3 02 190K 900SE 98 90K
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I am purchasing a 1998 900 SE from a private party and notice that the parts in this one is very similar to my current 2000 saab 9-3. On the flipside a 900 S from a used car lot had plenty of differences including the older ignition system.

I am asking because kelly blue book seems to price the 900 SE $1000 HIGHER than the 900 S from the year before? is it unique? small quantity produced? I only see 1 other 900 SE for sale in the entirety of the USA outside of washington/oregon. is this a computer glitch or are saabs simply more common in the NW

owner is asking $1750. That would be a good price for the 1996-7 S models, but apparently it is an absolute steal to get an SE from 1998 for that same price.
Both cars had similar milage between 80-100K
can someone describe the 900/9-3/9-5 lineage and whether any car in particular is more valuable?
 

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You should take a look at the Features section here on SaabCentral and the old press releases on Saabnet to get an idea of what the differences are between the models and years.

Many of us could write a book on the small differences that happened over the years, but they're very well documented in the press releases. Suffice it to say, the 1998 900 is the best of the years for the 900. It brought back the hydraulic clutch that had gone missing after the NG900's introduction in 1994.

It's not surprising that a 900 SE is worth $1000 more than an S. The SE added things like leather seats, larger wheels, either a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a V-6, a slightly lower and stiffer suspension, and automatic climate control.

The 9-3 was an evolution of the 900. The changes look like they're mostly cosmetic, but there are a ton of under-the-hood changes, especially in the electrical systems.

The 9-5 is larger, heavier, more luxurious, more powerful, and not as quirky and Saab-like as a NG900 or 9-3. They also have far more things that break and wear out, like climate control motors and over a dozen suspension bushings, but when everything is working well, they're wonderful cars.
 

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9-3 02 190K 900SE 98 90K
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
OK
The car checks out, not a lot of rust, struts are still good, engine is fine with no signs of bad exhaust or rattling/tapping, owner picked up the title from a relative a few years back and left it sitting among a couple other classic cars, spiderwebs in the engine bay.

Regardless I should find out sooner or later why it is being sold for so low. Hopefully later, my current saab needs a boatload of repairs done in the garage: Timing chain + guides, radiator, both temperature sensors, piston #4, neutral safety switch, coolant leaking out of the pump, oil seeping out. I barely had enough time to get it back into a "run and drive" state for my work commute so having the second car to do longer repairs in the garage will most definitely help.
 

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9-3 02 190K 900SE 98 90K
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Discussion Starter #4
little update I have two saabs on property now and I just got ordered from goodwill some old haynes repair manuals for the NG 900 and OG 9-3. Tomorrow I am going to get some 215/55R16 tires on the 900, use it to drive to work and back, and garage my 9-3 to do some repairs before anything worse happens to it while it's on the road.

The garry's small saab was and still is a GM dealership and these cars are still common in the I-5 corridor. You would be playing with fire owning these vehicles outside of this corridor. Multiple Saab repair shops and junk/donor cars in Portland.
 

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little update I have two saabs on property now and I just got ordered from goodwill some old haynes repair manuals for the NG 900 and OG 9-3. Tomorrow I am going to get some 215/55R16 tires on the 900, use it to drive to work and back, and garage my 9-3 to do some repairs before anything worse happens to it while it's on the road.

215/55-16 are 9-5 size tires. I had them briefly on my NG 900. They will rub under full lock, and that's not on a sport or lowered chassis.


205/55-16 are still a bit oversized for a 900, but they will fit okay.
 

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Was this car for sale in the PDX area? A co-worker of mine was really worked up about that one...his wife said no. Glad it found a good home.

I got Pirelli P7 tires for my 99 9-3 (205/50-16)...they have been great for the rainy PacNW. I have a second set of wheels that might get more performance oriented summer tires.
 

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9-3 02 190K 900SE 98 90K
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
a smoke tester is arriving tomorrow along with a new radiator for the 9-3.

I went with 205/55R16 set of 4 used bridgestone tires (and it's bridgestone so i'm sure they are fine). They did not properly tighten a valve stem so I went back and the guy working on it revealed to me a loose tube (?) on the back wheel that has been scraping up against the tires for a while now so I fed a ziptie through the wheel well to hold it a couple of inches away. Rust is light-moderate but for some reason that tube in particular was turning into a a fossil, I would bet due to the wheel kicking up crap into it.

Today on the 9-3 I just finished pulling off the whole front bumper assembly to get ready to replace the radiator but did not disconnect any pipes yet in order to smoke-test everything tomorrow: coolant, compression, boost, oil.

The main issue I believe is timing chain slap by putting a big screwdriver against my ear and hearing the noise on the far left side of the engine but it's not determinate because the tensioner was stuck-on quite bad. 26mm appears to fit much better than 27mm, the top bar was taken out to make room for a breaker bar later on.

Also if the timing chain is fine I just found this video which could very likely be the issue based on the where I am hearing this sound

Once I spend a couple weeks on the 9-3 the next step for the 900 is to do a gearbox oil flush since it's probably gone without one for it's lifetime and approaching the normal 80,000 mile mark.
 
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