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Is 4K a good deal

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
close friend of mine is selling a 07 9-3 aero with 130k-140k miles on it. He is willing to sell me it for 4K even. I do not need a car right now and would simply be buying it To put work into it and tune it. Will the car be faster or keeping up with other tuner cars or will it be kinda slow. I also like the style of the car so hearing it is worth putting work into is just a plus. The car has been maintained as far as I know the Only problem is he says he seen the coolant levels have dropped a lil recently. What do you think this could possibly be and should I run away
 

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Common coolant leaks, cap, bottle, the two small hoses going to the bottle, and a couple of o-rings at the right side of the engine.
 

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What “tuner” cars are you looking to keep up with? That’s a pretty wide ranging statement.
 

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Keep up with in what way? Drag strip? Street runs? Auto-x? And how much money are you willing to spend building it? If you’ve got 10k to spare you can build a stroker motor with a bigger turbo and all the bolt ons you could ever want.
 

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IMO, you're looking at a 13 year old car. To mirror kombs85 and Joshinator99, it depends on your frame of reference on what "other tuner cars" means to you. I'm finding my '04 9-3 Aero Cabrio to be no more difficult to work on that other euro cars. (Decent) parts are mild-to-moderately difficult to locate and can be pricey if you don't shop around. Anything can be had on flea-bay though..
 

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It all depends, you're not going to find many people who can work on saab's and they're getting less and less popular. I've got a MS3, it's faster and sportier, but also incredibly stiff. The saab's possibly faster off the line, but no LSD or easy way to get it. If it's an auto, you're power limited. MS3 tracks better, and is basically a Focus ST w/a LSD.

Like others have said, it all depends. Technically the saab will be faster than say, a GTI, but parts are harder to come by, coilovers are hard to get, options are limited, the turbov6 is a brick for handling and the steering is fast and kinda numb.

Tuning exists, but again it's more sparse. You can slap some bolt-ons, a cobb tuner and a off the shelf tune on a newer GTI or MS3 or something and be mostly fine (always supporting mods, always get a dyno tune before pushing it) but that just isn't as easy or possible on the 9-3 Aero's w/2.8T.


The 2.8T does have pretty bad spark/thermal/fueling issues too, so while it's good for a decent amount of power you'll start running into that as power goes up, turbo options are limited.

Your wallet (and sanity) is the limit, but there are caveats to working and modifying an orphaned platform. Most cars around the $4k are going to be kinda thrashed though, and will eventually need some work especially if modified. However most saab's are just going to need work regardless of cost.
 

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close friend of mine is selling a 07 9-3 aero with 130k-140k miles on it. He is willing to sell me it for 4K even. I do not need a car right now and would simply be buying it To put work into it and tune it. Will the car be faster or keeping up with other tuner cars or will it be kinda slow. I also like the style of the car so hearing it is worth putting work into is just a plus. The car has been maintained as far as I know the Only problem is he says he seen the coolant levels have dropped a lil recently. What do you think this could possibly be and should I run away
would probably be a good move. they are pretty peppy without tuning. these cars have 255hp stock. cold air intake and exhaust would be enough tbh. ive owned 2 '08 aeros. have driven cars with 300+ hp that cant even touch these lil civic sized feral aeros. they are so fun. talk him to 3500 cash, if he doesnt bite, go up to 37-38 tops. he will take it
 

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do yourself a favor and have it lifted first. 40 bucks for the carfax isnt a bad idea. MAKE absolute sure to check the trans fluid condition and level before you buy.. in other words man get it lifted and inspected. its 50-70 most places but its just another layer of secutity to protect you from buying junk. and carfax too man its worth it. up to you tho other than that theses cars are pretty solid man. you get a good one and wont wanna drive anything else. coil packs and plugs may need to be changed fairly soon after purchase but thats just normal maintence. cant really think of anything else to be concerned about. these are fairly reliable just treat it right ya know. stay on top of fluid changes including transmission
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It all depends, you're not going to find many people who can work on saab's and they're getting less and less popular. I've got a MS3, it's faster and sportier, but also incredibly stiff. The saab's possibly faster off the line, but no LSD or easy way to get it. If it's an auto, you're power limited. MS3 tracks better, and is basically a Focus ST w/a LSD.

Like others have said, it all depends. Technically the saab will be faster than say, a GTI, but parts are harder to come by, coilovers are hard to get, options are limited, the turbov6 is a brick for handling and the steering is fast and kinda numb.

Tuning exists, but again it's more sparse. You can slap some bolt-ons, a cobb tuner and a off the shelf tune on a newer GTI or MS3 or something and be mostly fine (always supporting mods, always get a dyno tune before pushing it) but that just isn't as easy or possible on the 9-3 Aero's w/2.8T.


The 2.8T does have pretty bad spark/thermal/fueling issues too, so while it's good for a decent amount of power you'll start running into that as power goes up, turbo options are limited.

Your wallet (and sanity) is the limit, but there are caveats to working and modifying an orphaned platform. Most cars around the $4k are going to be kinda thrashed though, and will eventually need some work especially if modified. However most saab's are just going to need work regardless of cost.
Thank you everyone for the responses and sorry for being so late. I just wanna ask why you think the Saab is dying off and people don’t wanna put work into them anymore?
 

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Thank you everyone for the responses and sorry for being so late. I just wanna ask why you think the Saab is dying off and people don’t wanna put work into them anymore?
I'd say it's just simply age, in some very rare cases I would expect to see some sell well (like at BAT) but generally, and especially for the NG era when more were made saab's are on the declining scale for value.

There are definitely some people building ones, like this one that just popped up on reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/saab/comments/j8q50c
But do know that you'll need a good builder who knows what they're doing, someone not terribly far from myself ended up going "stage 2" (vtuner I think), broke a rod, paid to have the whole engine rebuilt and replaced and then could't get it running and sold it for under $2k. If you're not handy with some diagnostics then you may just be out of luck for help once modifications get tossed into the mix, or just with any odd issue that isn't quite routine.

They are quite a decent car for the money though, but it all depends on what you're looking for. The turbo v6 2.8t is no slouch, but new accord's now do 60 mph somewhere between 5.4–7.1 seconds, so in 2020 they're not crazy rowdy or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd say it's just simply age, in some very rare cases I would expect to see some sell well (like at BAT) but generally, and especially for the NG era when more were made saab's are on the declining scale for value.

There are definitely some people building ones, like this one that just popped up on reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/saab/comments/j8q50c
But do know that you'll need a good builder who knows what they're doing, someone not terribly far from myself ended up going "stage 2" (vtuner I think), broke a rod, paid to have the whole engine rebuilt and replaced and then could't get it running and sold it for under $2k. If you're not handy with some diagnostics then you may just be out of luck for help once modifications get tossed into the mix, or just with any odd issue that isn't quite routine.

They are quite a decent car for the money though, but it all depends on what you're looking for. The turbo v6 2.8t is no slouch, but new accord's now do 60 mph somewhere between 5.4–7.1 seconds, so in 2020 they're not crazy rowdy or anything.
Thanks a lot for your responses they are really helping me a lot... I’m starting to think it may be in my best interest to look at other cars such as Volkswagen. I really like the style of the saab but I mainly am looking to get into the tuning side and seems like the Saab may be a pain to work on.
 

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Can confirm. Going fast in a MK7 GTI is pretty easy.
 

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I think the big question that only the OP can answer is: what is “fast”? For some people a fast car is something small and light that autocrosses well. For others it’s 300/400 HP, which I think a lot of the “tuner” crowd rolls with. For others a great street machine is the 500-700 HP range, which is pretty common these days. I’m at 1000 HP at the crank now in my Camaro SS and think it’s brutally fast, but if I run into one of those crazy Texas roll-race GTRs or Lambo Huracans with 1800-2000 HP I’ll be in trouble!

So I guess the moral of the story is, pick a ballpark you want to play in and be real about how much it will cost to play there. The old cliche about “Horsepower costs money, how fast do you want to go?” has never been more true. Trying to take a car from one level to another can be a nightmare. If you tried to take, for example, a 9-3 Aero to the 800-1K HP range, you could technically do it power wise, but it would cost you more than you paid for the car just to do the engine and you’d find the transmission, axles, diff, etc just can’t take it, and no one makes the drivetrain parts for it that really can. But it can live in the 300-350 HP range pretty well. Just gotta be realistic with expectations.
 
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