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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went out and picked it up yesterday, we traded our '96 900 S conv. w/ auto for the '01 Viggen 5-door. The two cars couldn't be any more different and still be in the same model family.:eek: Steering is heavy, brakes are responsive, seats are supportive, etc.

Both Saabs are black/black.
The Viggen is a 1-owner vehicle, bought used from a GM dealer. It was $3000 under kbb value for a dealer. For good reason. I already hate the previous owner for what he did to this thing.

Foglights are shattered. Car was cleaned irregularly, evident by the residue around the badges and by the rear liscense plate. Spoiler paint is chipped. At some point, it likely hadn't been washed for more than 2000 miles, because brake dust apparently ate the silver paint right off the backside of the rims. Then there's rim rash.
Inside, the leather is wrinkled and worn. All of the carbon fiber accents are damaged. Apparantly he had a dog. A dog who liked to chew on door handles. The steering wheel leather is excessively worn on the top. How did that happen? The shift knob... the gate pattern jewel had come off at some point apparantly, because it was rather hastely super-glued on. It's crooked. 35 degrees crooked. And the glue leaked down the sides of the shifter. Some of the plastic bits are scratched a bit. The doorlocks are LOUD compared to the old Saab and there's lots of wind noise (more than the old conv.). And the glovebox rattles, because the plastic on the latches is worn. Like he tried to force it open when it was locked.

Get this: Stereotypical pre-owned goosebumps. No manuals. No maintanence records. One key (which the dog bit at one point). But CarFax gave it a perfect score. But I still need to know if regular service items have been replaced yet, given the careful maintanence schedule of the previous owner. It has 69,000 miles.

After learning how to drive a stick on a Jeep (lots of low end torque, rubbery shifter, will idle out of anything above 500 rpms with no knocking, very smooth clutch engagement) the Viggen is very different. The shifter is very solid, the clutch a bit more sensitive, and I actually have to rev up a bit before engaging the clutch to accelerate from a stop.

But hey, its a Viggen. Our last Saab hadn't been serviced other than a fluid change for five or six years, and then we lived in Jersey. It never had a problem.

So, on the to-do list:

headlight bulb (replace all other bulbs with LED's?)
foglights
Fitch Fuel Catalyst (really works!)
Pulstar plugs (also really works!)
New cabin trim (choice of Carbon Fiber, Burl Walnut, and Rosewood)
Restore leather
full-on chassis stiffining/steering reinforcement from Taliaferro (think Abbot Viggen Rescue Kit, only American)
CarPuter!!! (is the radio a 2-DIN or 1.5-DIN?)

Eventually, I would like to paint it factory correct Lightning Blue and do the interior to match. Any ideas/suggestions/criticizms on this?

I will also be hunting for an owner's manual and a repair manual. Probably order the owner's manual from a dealer, but where should I get the service manual, and what version? I know that I need to know this car inside and out if I want it to run forever.
Any comments are welcome, and help is appreciated!

Edit: Forgot to mention that it has OnStar, can this be updated for the analog to digital service switch, and can they do remote unlocking?
 

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As far as manuals go, the owner's manual can be gotten for free in pdf from the saab website. There is a Haynes 9-3 manual but its not available in the us. You can get it shipped from the uk at partsforsaabs.com.
 

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congrats, but if the inside is that poor off from the previous onwer, it makes me wonder how the maintence was since there is not manuals/records.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The exterior had obvious signs of negect, too. It was just that he had a dog whom he kept in the car for periods of time apparantly. I wanted to get a repair manual so I could inspect everything myself.
 

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Matt761 said:
As far as manuals go, the owner's manual can be gotten for free in pdf from the saab website. There is a Haynes 9-3 manual but its not available in the us. You can get it shipped from the uk at partsforsaabs.com.
Eric in Lockport said:
UMM, sure you can... I ordered mine from NAPA
Matt761 said:
Oh really? I have tried napa before, but that was a while ago.
http://www.stateofnine.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=RepairManuals
 

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Enjoy cleaning the thing! My 900 S was a pain to clean becuase a dog practically lived in it. It had cloth seats so the whole car smelled like dog. An old trick my grandpa taught me to get rid of the smell in your car is to leave a cup of coffee in your car somewhere. Supprisingly it gets rid of the smell AND doesn't make your whole car smell like coffee.
Just a tip =]
Tom
 

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LOL, Tom! An actual cup of coffee? Or a cup of coffee beans? I'm confused, ha!:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
So I finally got off my lazy *** to upload some pics I took of the damage.
Im interested in any ideas to repair anything rather than replace it.
Also, State of Nine started stocking Haynes manuals for American 9-3's.
Without further ado, the pics from my crappy camera phone.

So here's the car parked infront of my school:

Looks good enough.

I suspect the battery might be a tad low, because below is the actual brightness of the vanity lights.


Here's what happens when you don't wash brakedust off of your rims.


This image is bigger, but you can see where I got the idea of a dog from.

This one is also larger, where the "dog" scrattched the living **** out of it.

This causes quite a bit of annoying rattling. Someone please tell me how to stop it.

This one is a little hard to see, but keep in mind that this plastic over-door handle isn't supposed to look like leather. I think he used the handle rather than the hook for his dry-cleaning.

The cover on the left side of the passenger seat came off, but I fixed that.


What happened here? did he yank the door open too often? the bolts are loose on the door stop!

It appears the previous owner did a poor job handwashing this car, because an automatic wash would take care of this.


I don't think I need to explain what happened here. The label came off, and he did an excellent job of gluing it back on.

I don't know how you can wear down the leather on the top of the steering wheel, but he did.

There is chipped paint all along the edge of the spoiler.


This and this are going to be costly to replace.

I dunno wth happened here, but it happened. That's no reflection.


This was going to happen anyway, I don't fault him for it.


Trim gap.

The vynil black-out panels next to the windows are bubbling like cheap racing stickers.

This key was heavily abused, but meh.


And that's it. What a list of things to fix. I would really like some advice on getting rid of those scratches on the plastic bits!
If I end up replacing the trim altogether, I think I might go with wood, but I dunno... Carbon Fiber, Rosewood, or Burl Walnut, what do you guys think?
 

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Maybe you should buy / make a custom emblem like I did, here are some of my designs.
http://old.photosleeve.com/v/hkayssi-SAAB/My+Custom+Emblems/

For the rest, the car doesn't look that bad but it looks like it needs a lot of TLC and should look like new again with some elbow grease and patience.

Congrats, it looks like you got yourself a very nice looking car :cheesy:

Mine looks just like it from far but mine isn't a Viggen, it just has the Viggen body kit on.
I looked a lot for a clean Viggen in my area but gave up finally :cry:

Oh and you can't do much about the delamination of the CF dash but you can get a new kit on ebay. A good one is really pricey though for the plastic read this, you maybe able to use this on some parts in there.
http://www.93forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=189

To repair the curb rash look at this
http://www.93forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=41

Good luck :cheesy:
 

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is the carbon fiber dash the stick-on type, or is the later laminated dash? Both have been known to delaminate after time, which may be what's happening to yours. You might try to find a real Viggen dash on eBay. They kind of look like a solid surface countertop pattern, but they're unique.

If you want to polish up any smooth plastic, try Novus plastic polish. I've used it on everything from the clear plastic on my instrument panel to my iPod, and it works wonders. They make 3 different grades, but I usually use the middle one (#2).

You may be able to find some of the interior plastic parts on eBay, too. Once that textured stuff gets scratched, there's no way to bring it back.

I'd get the wheels refinished, and also checked for straightness at the same time since they're known to bend. It's hard to duplicate that ultra shiny silver paint in the US because it uses a chemical that's illegal to import here, but they can come pretty close at a good wheel shop.

Congratulations on the car, though. Even a little worn around the edges, a Viggen is a great car!
 

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Jeremy R. said:
is the carbon fiber dash the stick-on type, or is the later laminated dash? Both have been known to delaminate after time, which may be what's happening to yours. You might try to find a real Viggen dash on eBay. They kind of look like a solid surface countertop pattern, but they're unique.

If you want to polish up any smooth plastic, try Novus plastic polish. I've used it on everything from the clear plastic on my instrument panel to my iPod, and it works wonders. They make 3 different grades, but I usually use the middle one (#2).

You may be able to find some of the interior plastic parts on eBay, too. Once that textured stuff gets scratched, there's no way to bring it back.

I'd get the wheels refinished, and also checked for straightness at the same time since they're known to bend. It's hard to duplicate that ultra shiny silver paint in the US because it uses a chemical that's illegal to import here, but they can come pretty close at a good wheel shop.

Congratulations on the car, though. Even a little worn around the edges, a Viggen is a great car!
Jeremy check this link
http://www.93forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=189
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all for the repair advice; I was looking foward to doing what I could myself. As for trim, thesaabsite has replacement pieces with extra accent pieces. The stock carbon fiber look is cool, but I'm the kind of guy who doesn't like compromising luxury and performance, so I was thinking maybe a wood kit, as I said above.

Far off in the future, I might consider either painting the car lightning blue and dying the leather inserts to match, or touching up the black and dying the inserts ochre. What do you think? I really prefer bold, vibrant colors instead of black, but none of the other colors really go with ochre. Except maybe graphite... hmm...
 

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waffle911 said:
Thanks all for the repair advice; I was looking foward to doing what I could myself. As for trim, thesaabsite has replacement pieces with extra accent pieces. The stock carbon fiber look is cool, but I'm the kind of guy who doesn't like compromising luxury and performance, so I was thinking maybe a wood kit, as I said above.

Far off in the future, I might consider either painting the car lightning blue and dying the leather inserts to match, or touching up the black and dying the inserts ochre. What do you think? I really prefer bold, vibrant colors instead of black, but none of the other colors really go with ochre. Except maybe graphite... hmm...
Changing the color would reduce the car's value IMO and a color change done properly would cost around $5000-$6000 easily.

Dying the inserts ochre on the other hand is a good idea (if done properly by a very good professional) and the Black interior with ochre inserts is sought after.
 

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I'd keep the car black, too. It's definitely more work to keep up a black car (that's what color mine is), and I'm also a big fan of Lightning Blue, but it's just way too much time and expense to properly repaint a car in a different color. Besides, black cars are so pretty after you've washed, polished, and waxed them. :cheesy:

Hkayssi, thanks for the link to the Plasti-Dip spray! I have a can or two of their dip, but I had no idea they had a spray paint, too.
 

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Jeremy R. said:
I'd keep the car black, too. It's definitely more work to keep up a black car (that's what color mine is), and I'm also a big fan of Lightning Blue, but it's just way too much time and expense to properly repaint a car in a different color. Besides, black cars are so pretty after you've washed, polished, and waxed them. :cheesy:

Hkayssi, thanks for the link to the Plasti-Dip spray! I have a can or two of their dip, but I had no idea they had a spray paint, too.
Yea I want to use that product on a piece of trim in the car that I'm not too happy with. Merry Xmas Jeremy :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I took a look at that plasti-dip stuff, then I noticed... Is this stuff for those soft-plastic items? It says its a spray-on rubber coating, but the center cosole of the 9-3 is a hard plastic. Would it at all be possible to wet-sand it and be done with it? or would I need bondo or some other filler or what? I've been looking around, and the only hard grained-plastic repair products I've found are for professionals in large quantities, and even then its for more serious repairs. But of course, sanding would be way too easy :confused:... or is that what the plastic wants me to think?
Also, how should I go about removing that shift pattern plate from the knob and getting rid of the glue?
And how about the glove-box latches? the little holes they go into are worn, so they rattle alot. How do I fix that?

Also, I got money enough from Christmas to get new interior trim. What should I get??? carbon fiber, rosewood, or burl walnut?
 

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I also picked up a 5 door Viggen early for Christmas...I have changed the oil, changed the plugs and cleaned the air filter ([email protected]). The car didn't seem to need anything else!
 
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