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New to me 9-5 Arc Restoration Project

7323 Views 107 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  skwon
Greetings, trying to keep the forums alive. Seems like everyone is migrating over to FB Groups.

(for those who are interested, here is my youtube channel. I try to document everything done to this car) -

I recently sold my dream Saab - The Viggen due to moving out of state and couldn't justify taking it with me (long story). The Viggen was my 4th and favorite Saab and I was sad to see it go.

So when I moved, I was on the search for another. I posted on the local Saab FB group with 2 conditions - It had to be manual and under $1,500. I got a few responses. One of them caught my eyes (mainly because it was $850 :LOL:). The owner worked with me down to $700 and it was a deal!

This is my 2004 9-5 Arc. It was sitting for a bit because the previous owner bought a new car and has not been used. It runs and drives remarkably well. Still a mystery to me why the owner let it go for so cheap. Maybe one day I will find out (hopefully I don't haha). It has zero rust, not even a speck! This is new to me because I am from the rust belt. It was weird to see an old car without rust!
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive parking light

Has 165k miles on the clock
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It is indeed a manual :p
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The first thing to do was to give it a good exterior wash. Body panels are in excellent shape, I could see no dings or dents, just a few scratches in the common places.
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Next on the list is a good interior detail. It needs it badly haha.

I am also documenting the progress on my YT channel.
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handbrake needs looking at ASAP..
handbrake needs looking at ASAP..
haha! for sure it does, but honestly, it's a cosmetic issue so I'm not too worried about it just yet. I need to first clean the interior. The thing is pretty filty with old crusty foods and dog hair! Who knows what else I will find when I remove the seats? :p
i'm not referring to it cosmetically..
i'm not referring to it cosmetically..
I'm not following, what do you mean? I assume you mean stuff will get in without the cover on property haha
It's very high, likely indicating that the brake shoes are very worn.
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It's very high, likely indicating that the brake shoes are very worn.
Oh yes, it does not work well. Getting it resolved asap. Thanks.
Did some introductory cleaning.

There were a lot of leaves and dirt everywhere.
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And after a lot of elbow grease and an entire roll of cleaning wipes...
Grey Ingredient Wood Petal Cuisine

Much better!
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Then I moved onto the interior. It was also dirty:
Road surface Asphalt Floor Gas Electrical wiring

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and removed a bunch of trash:
Baby Products Auto part Plastic Baby carriage Asphalt

It's amazing what a quick and simple vaccum can do...The mats have quite a bit of staining, so I will be removing those soon.
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Shoe Sleeve Wood Grey Denim

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The roof mounted antenna was an eyesore. The southern sun was not kind to it.
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so I removed the old bits:
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and lucky for me, the car came with a new dummy cover. Much better!
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The side mouldings weren't in good shape either:
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I had mcguire's back to black laying around so I did two passes with it:
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Then I removed all the previous owner's touches, like this front plate (I think it is Startrek?)
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and removed the "I aim to misbehave" quote. Anyone know where that's from?
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And this weird thing haha
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But I did put this SCNA sticker. Must support the club!
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Latest pictures. It doesn't look too different than when I first got it, but it feels good knowing it's clean for now.
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Here is the video version of the clean up:
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Next up was replacing this old shift knob. It was coming off onto my hands every time I shift, and I got really sick of it. I probably will get sick because of it if I don't replace it soon.

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An original knob is $138.00 on Esaabparts. And while I'm sure the quality is good, I wasn't ready to spend that much yet on a shift knob. So I got a replica one for $22.00. Surprisingly it felt good. I was expecting total crap but it was a pleasant surprise.
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Looking much better!
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Video summary:
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Did my first oil change, also...I'm not basic anymore :ROFLMAO:
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Installing was quite easy. A bit nerve-wracking if anything but with proper steps, it was a breeze.
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Video summary:
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Did the bypass valve hose mod the other day. It was fun learning how the system worked. To me, I didn't feel much difference in sound. Slightly better throttle response though. Might be because I have a stock tune. One more reason to go stage 1!

And because it made no sound difference, I went ahead and got a cone filter from AEM. Very common mod, and a must have for any turbo car :)
Got new pedal covers and foot rest cover from Aliexpress. Cheap and effective lol.

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And my neighbor gave us a Porche to my son! Learning how to wash cars with it hehe
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Nice thread, good looking after the car!
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Nice thread, good looking after the car!
Thank you!!!
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