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Discussion Starter #1
I've been away from SC for a while, but I'm back now and have always wanted to do a project thread. It's probably more for myself though, as I'm sure that there aren't too many folks out there that want to read about a 4dr T8. :)

I'll start with a little background on the car:

June 2004 - When I started looking for a Saab I wanted a 3dr turbo. I've always liked 4drs but did not know at the time that Saab made a 4dr turbo. Saabs are not that common here but I managed to find a few 3dr turbos for sale in my price range. I looked at a couple but they had rust problems aswell as mechanical issues.

August 2004 - to my surprise I found a 4dr turbo advertised for sale. I went to see it that night. It was a U.S. car originally from Utah with 160,000 miles on it. It did have some mechanical issues but the body was as near perfect as I had ever seen on a 20+ year old car, and it had 4 near new Good Year Eagle HP's on it. The asking price was $900, I offered him $700 as I took the wad of cash out of my pocket and he accepted.



I gave it a good inspection once I got it home and found:

- heater valve was stuck in on position
- I suspected the headgasket was leaking
- brakes didn't work too well
- A/C didn't work
- exhaust system was pretty rusty
- oil leaking from several locations

I pulled the head a week later and had it leak tested where they found a hairline crack. I then had the head rebuilt and the crack welded up.




While I had the head off I removed the A/C system, replaced the oil seal behind the crank pulley, installed a new gasket on the oil filter housing and new lines for the oil cooler. I also gave the entire engine bay a good cleaning, flushed the cooling system, replaced the heater valve, and installed rebuilt calipers and brake pads on the front.

After putting the head back on and getting it running good, I took it to a local exhaust specialist where I had a 2.5" exhaust system install with a high-flow cat and straight through Goerlich performance muffler.



By this point the car was starting to run as well as it looked. It was very satisfying to get the car to this point. I was a very happy Saab'er! :D

I drove it like this for a while and did a few minor upgrades along the way such as T16 intercooler, APC mod, MSD coil, Accel plug wires, front airdam from T16.



 

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Discussion Starter #2
July 2005 - after a long road trip I started to hear the inevitable 5th gear tranny whine. The wine progressed and eventually the tranny died in Sept/05.
I shopped around for a used tranny but couldn't find a known good one, so I bought a rebuilt one from a local Saab specialist.
I installed the tranny myself and replaced the clutch, oil seal, and motor mounts at the same time.

Shortly after installing the rebuilt tranny I was at an auto wreckers that does not normally have Saabs, and found something I'd been looking for for a long time; a blue leather interior!

I bought the entire interior, seats, door panels, knee pad, rear deck and carpet. My original interior was blue cloth and was in good condition, but the leather is so much nicer and I love the dark blue with the silver body.



Nov. 2005 - What I believe was a tractor trailer backing up, clipped the bumper on the drivers side putting a dent in the corner of the bumper and a dent in the quater panel. This happened at my work, nobody saw it happen but it's pretty obvious as the dent on the corner of the bumper is at the exact height as a trailers bumper. My near perfect body is not so perfect anymore. My insurance company would have fixed it but they wanted me to pay a $800 deductable!

Jan. 2006 - I left the car sitting for a few weeks with snow and ice on it and some of the clear coat peeled on the hood. Grrr...

March 2006 - my brother got me interested in Motorcycles and I bought a '78 Honda 400 twin. Alot of my disposable income went to restoring the bike and turning it into a cafe racer. The Saab project was pretty much put on hold during this time, although it was still used and maintained as my daily driver.



Sept. 2007 - I started getting interested in working on my Saab again. Bought some E-code headlights on Ebay. I'd been looking for a good set of these for a very long time and was very excited when I found these near new ones for sale.

Oct. 2007 - I bought a shifter with a nice condition leather shift boot on Ebay. The guy I bought it from lives about 40mins from me, so I arranged to pick it up in person and the seller turned out to be RM 92 SPG from SC. He's a nice guy, and we chatted about Saabs for bit before I left.

I also bought a Pioneer Premier CD player on Ebay. I've been resisting upgrading my old Panansonic CD player because the newer ones always seem to look out of place in our old Saabs. The new one does look a little out of place but I couldn't resist all the functions on this thing. It's got a built in EQ with adjustable center frequencies, crossover built in, MP3 player input, adjustable Sub output, etc.

Nov. 2007 - Before installing the shifter with leather boot, I shortened the shifter rod by 20mm and raised the pivot point by 20mm for shorter throws.

The car currently has 186,000 miles and is running fantastically.




Future plans:

Suspension: I haven't done any suspension mods yet.

- I'd like to get 16" wheels and tires but will wait until my HP's are worn out before making the switch. Possibley next spring/summer.
- Intrax lowering springs
- Bilstien shocks
- new suspension bushings

Engine:

- FMIC, I'll probably get one off Ebay.
- replace air filter can with K&N cone mounted in fender well.

Interior:

- replace headliner
- leather shift knob
- leather steering wheel cover

Stereo:

- Build sub box for trunk (I have a 10" RF Punch P1 waiting for a box)
- build speaker enclosures for kick panels (I have a pair of 6" Alpine DDDrive mids that will fit nicely)
- Install amp in trunk (I've got a couple of old school Sony amps, one for the sub, one for the kick panel speakers)

Exterior:

- tint all windows with a light tint
- fix dent on rear corner
- paint hood, or whole car
- remove side moldings
- 4dr Aero panels (yeah, like I'd ever find a set of these!)

The next thing I'll be doing is the stereo upgrade as I have most of the materials required already. I just have to find the time to build the sub box.



 

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philjohnhb said:
You think nobody would be interested in a 4 door project - thank god for something different I say. Nice car, interesting story - keep it coming.
I agree.
A beautiful platinum blue if I am not mistaken.
 

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Makes me happy that a car like this found an owner like you :D The 4drs do get neglected so it's great when one becomes a project for an enthusiast.

philjohnhb said:
You think nobody would be interested in a 4 door project - thank god for something different I say. Nice car, interesting story - keep it coming.
I agree too.

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Hi Joe, just wanted to offer u my support in ur project. I too own a 4-door, 8v turbo but from 84' much like yours except with a rubber boot spoiler and Lux paint job (grey/blue) and and I love the 4-door shape too. Mine too has had a few issues mainly minor so far but I've enjoyed working on it. I'm not too sure if I could have pulled off the engine and gearbox work like you have as i'm not that experienced or have the tools. Anyway, good luck with your saab, I will definitely be watching with great interest.
 

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Matthew said:
philjohnhb said:
You think nobody would be interested in a 4 door project - thank god for something different I say. Nice car, interesting story - keep it coming.
I agree too.
Thirded...

And, to that end, _don't_ bin those luvverly rims for relatively normal and boring 16". They're so gorgeously staid and retro... Don't muck with the grille, either - the three-slit ones fall into the same basket as those rims.

<thinks>
They're not the TRXs, are they? If so, I withdraw that remark... I'm very familiar with the drawbacks of TRXs from the Citroen world.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I've been kinda been going back and forth with wether ot not I want to keep it stock looking.

One thing I'm always careful of though is not making any changes that aren't reversible.

I have a spare grill that I'm going to be hacking up.

The wheels aren't TRX. I don't mind the "manhole covers" but I'd like something a bit more sporty looking. I'm thinking multi spoke in gun metal gray with silver lip. Something like these:



Another option would be 15" SPG wheels if I could find a decent set.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
xww10 said:
Hi Joe, just wanted to offer u my support in ur project. I too own a 4-door, 8v turbo but from 84' much like yours except with a rubber boot spoiler and Lux paint job (grey/blue) and and I love the 4-door shape too. Mine too has had a few issues mainly minor so far but I've enjoyed working on it. I'm not too sure if I could have pulled off the engine and gearbox work like you have as i'm not that experienced or have the tools. Anyway, good luck with your saab, I will definitely be watching with great interest.
Awesome, glad to see another T8 sedan owner here. I'd love to see some photos. Feel free to post some in this thread.
 

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NSE said:
Awesome, glad to see another T8 sedan owner here. I'd love to see some photos. Feel free to post some in this thread.
Thanks Joe, here are some pics of my baby. We even have the same wheels! Flatnose 900s are rare here in Christchurch, and I've personally not seen one with the same paint job (it's really aged badly with a lot of pitting especially on the bonnet right over the turbo where it gets really hot to touch)
 

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xww10 said:
(it's really aged badly with a lot of pitting especially on the bonnet right over the turbo where it gets really hot to touch)
Whooah....isnt there suposed to be a heat shield or something like that on the bonnet?This is the first time i see a thing like this....Well...theres a first time for everything:)

Anyway, I like the two tone paintjob;)

Jokke A:didnt they make Only hatchback Lux versions?never seen a sedan version(correct me if im wrong Cause i could be)

EDIT:sorry for OT;oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There are some cool pics there.

I like the look of the front spoiler painted silver. I've beeen thinking of doing the same, but leaving the bottom strip unpainted.
When I put my front spoiler on I painted the part you can see above the bumper silver. This made a nice differance especially on the sides where the spoiler meets the fender.

I don't really like clear corners on a silver car though.
 

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saabismi said:
Whooah....isnt there suposed to be a heat shield or something like that on the bonnet?This is the first time i see a thing like this....Well...theres a first time for everything:)

Anyway, I like the two tone paintjob;)

Jokke A:didnt they make Only hatchback Lux versions?never seen a sedan version(correct me if im wrong Cause i could be)

EDIT:sorry for OT;oops:
Yes, there is a heat shield but the bonnet still gets really hot over that area. I could fry an egg on the bonnet in summer. I can't vouch for how it was kept over the past 23 years of its life as I've only owned it for nearly 2 years now but I dont' think it was particularly well looked after.
 

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lookin good Joe!


Love the 4-door style for sure.

I had a T16 Sedan, and aside from the highly depressing maroon velour interior, it was nice.

Keep the wheels! They are so classic and that combination 900 has fallen off the map for the most part, classic Saab style!
 

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A quick update:


Yet another tractor trailer clipped the corner of my car at work. It actually hit in almost the same place as the last one (hit and run) This time luckily I saw it happen and the driver has since paid the damages. He paid the body shop directly and we are now just waiting for the new bumper to arrive and it will all be fixed. :)




I've been working on my Sub box over the holiday break. It will hold a 10" RF Punch P1. It's 1.5ft2 tuned to 37hz. The amp (an oldschool Sony) will be mounted on the back side.
edit: Yikes look at all the mildew growing in the trunk sill, gotta get on that.




I have also been planning some performance upgrades for the old girl.
My Ebay intercooler arrived yesterday. The core is 18" x 12" x 2.75". Overall length 25", weight is 10#. I paid $120 shipped. Now I need to figure out some piping for it.

I also have a recirculating BOV coming in the next week.



I only have a couple hours on saturdays to work on my car, so it could be a while before I get this all installed properly. PLus I need to put my new clutch MC in pretty soon too.

I'll post an update when it's all done.

Cheers,
Joe
 
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