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Discussion Starter #1
Saw an ad for this thing on CL, and I was worried it was gonna end up in a junkyard so I drove the 40 miles to tow it home.



And you're like, "Ah, it's a bit faded but not so bad." But, it's pretty bad.



It's absolutely bonkers to me, but someone actually cut off a damaged fender and delicately welded a new one on. This is basically unheard of on an old 900 IME... I have literally never seen it done. So, while it's ugly it's kinda neat too.



It's really well done!

The history of this car is it's supposedly a two-owner ride - the first owner had it from '86 til about '96, and the guy I bought it from had it ever since. It tells the same story so many 900s tell - simultaneously well-loved by their owners and basically totally neglected. I don't know what it is about 900s, but they seem to encourage people treating them like crap. Kinda sad. That's how you get this:



Everything worn and broken, random damage everywhere, and a passenger seat not actually bolted to anything. "I had it removed, I was using it as a truck." Ugh.

How I came to have it: Several years ago it lost coolant on the road, owner kept on keeping on until it overheated and blew the head gasket. Parked it, and it's been sitting ever since.

I vacuumed old most of the spiderwebs, so underhood looks like this:





Could be worse?

Anyone know what's missing here?



I don't know what happens next. I think I'm gonna pull the head and have it checked out, but probably it's gonna sit for a bit longer... maybe I'll see if I can scare up a 16vNA motor and do a quick swap to get it back on the road.
 

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It really doesn't look too bad. It's a non-sunroof car so I automatically like it. I bet it's not even very rusty, unlike the '86 I'm hanging onto in case I get around to restomodding it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Rust? We don't have that crap in California. It's dusty and full of spiders, but no rust. :D

It's from the dead-center of the state, so it's pretty sun-beaten. All the plastic and rubber is wrecked - window seals, dashboard, etc.

I'm worried about the state of the fuel system - IME CIS does not like being left to sit. And I'm worried about my ability to get it running again anyway. I'm really thinking that a quick & dirty 16v swap is the fast path to recovery, and maybe that'll free up some CIS gear for someone who has a running car.

Also, it has no brakes... pedal to the floor. But, amazingly. the handbrake works. So there's that. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Seriously... and the front plastic is mostly intact. Although the bumper has been well-used... it's just a rubber body full of shattered plastic. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just saw this. LOL!

 

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Well, this isn't what you want....
Ewww, no it's not.

I'll be interested to see the route you take for the 16v swap. Were you going to change fuel lines/filter assembly from the tank too or try and adapt the K-jet stuff to LH? Nothing wrong with a K-jet pump, obvs, but that accumulator might give you some trouble if it's leaking thru. Same story for the rubber cape mounting the fuel pump assembly in the tank - years of neglect may have turned it to goo. But I sense that you'll be searching for a completely knackered 16v car to pirate everything from the fuel tank forward.

For my own car I was thinking about machining up a block to adapt the banjo fittings from the underhood fuel filter & chassis return, to NPT fittings so AN or barbed or whatever can be sent to/from the engine. I'd probably add a port for a local fuel pressure gauge and/or sender for datalogging. I haven't looked at how to eliminate the accumulator yet, but maybe something similar.

Let me know what the plans are for your 8v head. If it's not awful, I may be interested in picking it up for research purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When I did the 16vT swap on my '80, i had a whole wrecked '88 SPG from which to pull parts, but that probably won't be an option this time.

My plan would be to replace the fuel tank with one from a '90+ so I can use the later-style pump... that may be necessary anyway as, yeah, that rubber boot on the factory pump could be a problem. Replacing all the fuel lines isn't the end of the world, assuming of course I can find them... around here when a car ends up in a junkyard they typically slash the lines or tank to drain fuel... maybe now is my chance to take a whack at forming my own nylon fuel lines. :)

TBH, I am not 100% convinced the car even has a future since so much of it is... broken... this is one of those unfortunate old car scenarios where it's not the cost but the availability of parts that's gonna be the issue. :(
 

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That's a shame. I've got no shortage of rusty cars without much heat or UV damage. Shortage of SAABs, mind you, but they'd probably accumulate around me if I had the space.

I'm thinking of the Todd Snider song "Beer Run". If I had some space and some time and a trailer and a truck and some keys and a gas and a second driver I'd invite myself down. Ess, double eh, and a bee, R U N, SAAB run...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's the story of cheap cars! And beer. :)

On the subject of UV damage, the tires were SHOT. Basically bald, but severely weather-cracked and not capable of holding air. Even towing it was a bit concerning, so we stopped every 15 miles or so to add some air. In the few days it's been at the house, all four tires went flat. It seems they prefer it that way, but it does make moving it around difficult. So I had to fix that.

Not unexpectedly, there is no rust:



Everything is broken... the shocks, the ball joints, the tie rods... but no rust. :)

I had some pretty nice Rota Slipstream wheels laying around, so I did what any self-respecting automobile enthusiast would do and bought four used-*** tires from a shady tire store. Mismatched, used-up 205/50-16s? Yes please. Hey, at least they hold air. And at 14lbs each, that's a fair savings of unsprung weight.



LOOK AT THAT FENDER GAP!

I had to use spacers to get the wheels to clear the suspension, and it appears that compromised lug nut engagement. LOL?



I will no doubt need to keep speeds down as I push it around the yard. :D

After all this work, I celebrated by pouring a gallon of Purple Power into the sump. I'm SUPER EXCITED to see what comes out this weekend!
 

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I am enjoying this thread.

I bet the car will look fairly nice once it is washed and compounded. SAAB single-stage paint usually looks great after the oxidation is removed.

What is the story on its companion car in the driveway, the Fiero?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The Fiero!

I was a kid in the '80s, and I always like the way the Fiero GT looked. My older sister wanted an MR2, and being a contrarian of course I had to like the other mid-engined car. :) But man, Fieros were not good! In 2014 or so I found that bad boy on Craigslist and bought it because I'm an adult now and I can do whatever I want. Mostly I bought it ironically. But I sort of fell in love. :) It's got a '88 subframe swap, 3.4l engine swap, Corvette brakes, Konis all around, a big exhaust, super light Kosei wheels, gigantic (245/40-17) tires and a bunch of other little touches. It's not super fast, but it's fast enough for the street and a blast to drive. I'm doing some work on its stablemate XR4Ti (new clutch, new T5, new LSD) and then the Fiero will get a new clutch, light flywheel, and an engine reseal.

 

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Very nice. I remember going to the LA Auto Show in the 80's and finding most of the Japanese cars including the MR2 really didn't have enough leg room. Not so, the Fiero or the SAAB for that matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My sister is 5'10" and the MR2 was a "good" fit but not roomy! The Fiero is really a pretty good sized car... it looks even bigger due to the monstrous front overhang, but I've not been uncomfortable even on 6 hour drives. The seats are lackluster (despite being totally rebuilt) but room is totally decent.
 

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I worked for a SAAB/Pontiac dealer for a while. I still have some rolls of foil-faced insulation tape from one of the many Fiero heat-related recalls.
 
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