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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #61
The weather got better today so i decided to go and get the oil changed.
The wind was still there so as the oil drained the wind kept splattering it all over the place.
Some sawdust took care of the oil.
Found a sticker that said the oil change was due at 206k kilometers, it's currently 229k on the clock, yikes.
The oil came out very dark but runnier than i would expect the 5w40 written on the sticker to be, so let's hope it got changed.
Pulled the plugs and they had about a 2mm gap. Since i don't have new plugs yet all i could do was to clean them up and re-gap to 0.9mm.

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At least they were the correct plugs so that's good.
Noticed a crack in the DIC so took a look inside only to find some very bad news.
Two of the coils were covered in brown goop, which i assume is the oil from inside the coils.
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Is the oil inside the coils supposed to be this dark?
Perhaps someone had taken a look inside for whatever reason?
Also the car has this issue where if you rev the engine it hates returning to idle, it fumbles, stumbles and occasionally even stalls.
The IAC valve seems fine, i gave it a clean and it made no difference.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #62
Also took it for a quick drive across the street and got some great fuel economy.
IMG_20200223_165336.jpg
And while i was at it i also changed out the wimpy 36Ah battery with a new 72Ah battery i had in my NG900.
 

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View attachment 271381 View attachment 271382 View attachment 271383 View attachment 271384
View attachment 271385

Source of the leak: both tail lights, both of which seem broken.
Rear left has a big dent, which should straighten out with a few foot pound(ing)s. ;)
Looks like next week i'll be going off to the wreckers again to see if i can come up with some better tail lights.
I had a tail light that was cracked in just about the same spot. I initially thought it was the source of the trunk leak. It wasn't. I took a closer look, and in my case, the cracked area did not actually compromise the seal.

The foam seal gets deformed and won't seal 100% no matter how tight the nuts are. I took my seals off, cleaned everything up, and applied a light coating of clear silicone to both sides of the seals and reassembled. No more leaking tail lights.

Are you sure that's the only source of water ingress? Be sure to check for tiny stress cracks in the factory caulking that covers panel seams on each side above the hatch. I found that to be the source of the majority of my leaks in that exact area. Silicone over those areas solved the issue.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #64
Are you sure that's the only source of water ingress? Be sure to check for tiny stress cracks in the factory caulking that covers panel seams on each side above the hatch. I found that to be the source of the majority of my leaks in that exact area. Silicone over those areas solved the issue.
I think the lights are the only leak, the fuel filler area has some rust but i tried spraying it with water and didn't notice any leaking past.
I left a rag in the trunk in a way that it will siphon the water to the spare wheel well where it can drain through the drain holes. The catch is that it will only siphon the water that comes from the tail light so if there's any water that comes from other sources of leaks i'll find a puddle sitting in the usual spot.
Also the lights being broken might not gave anything to do with them leaking but it would be nice if they weren't broken :)
 

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You should put a pan-drop on your short list for this motor. Little cost in parts (few o-rings, sealer) but it might save your motor.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #66
Looks like tomorrow's weather will be good enough to weld.
But before i can start any welding i have to remove the interior panels where the rear doors would be (mine's a 2-door) but i'm struggling to get them off.
I saw three clips and got them removed which loosened the bottom part, but the top of the panel is still firmly stuck in place.
Is there a tutorial on the removal of these rear panels?
Any suggestions?
 

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I asked about this in another thread here a month or so ago for the convertible. I'm guessing it's similar. On the 'vert, there are two screws at the bottom of the panel and one at the rear edge about halfway up. You have to push the upper seat back padding back almost flat to find that one. There are two clips that hold the top of the panel on and my understanding is that they break most of the time when you remove them. There's also a metal bracket on each side that uses one of those pins for attachment and it's just glued to the panel - it will usually detach from the panel when you try to get the panel off.

The 3D doesn't have the seat belt in the panel issue that the 'vert has, so the fitting may be simpler.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #69
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Got the panel to fit in pretty well. Made a mistake when i cut on the wrong line so you can see a hole, which i'll patch up no problem.
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The only bit of rust on the piece i cut from my NG900 and it's only surface rust.
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The piece i cut from the 9-3 is completely falling apart.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #70 (Edited)
IMG_20200229_111705.jpg
Bought some cheap weather stripping.
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Stuck it on the car, and reinstalled the lights with the original foam seal. Sprayed some water and no more leaks.
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Took the opportunity to beat out the dent near the tail light. Came out allright for the most part.
Ps: the gray stuff is primer, since the paint flaked away and there was some rust as well, so i cleaned the part and coated it with primer to prevent rust. I'm not done with this part yet so there's no need to make it pretty.
IMG_20200229_112516.jpg
Both housings had this melty part in them.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #71
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Last night it rained a little and i couldn't find any water leaking through the tail lights, which is great. You can see where the water used to run, but now it's completely dry.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #72
271564

Welding is almost done, there's a little bit to finish up right behind the wheel arch lip.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #73
Finished up welding, there was a bit behind the lip that i couldn't reach so i'll have to cake it with something to seal it, the gap there is quite tight so it should be ok.
Also in the pic above you can see the gray primer running and it's because the particular primer i purchased is pretty much garbage in a can. It's super runny and doesn't spray evenly at all, also it's very thin.
So i just sprayed it around just to keep the metal from rusting while i'm away, i'll clean it off later as it comes off with the slightest touch of acetone, it's that bad.
Covered the welds from inside with copious amount of zinc spray and i'll also slather on some tar-based sealer to keep things protected.
Fitment of the panel looks ok, i'll have to beat it into shape because the welding pulled the metal around some. Whatever i can't straighten will then be covered with body filler.
 

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I have to say that it sounds like your NG900 was a really nice car and this 9-3 is....not. I guess there are few Saabs in Lithuania?

(I have been to Latvia, but it was a long time ago and I was not looking for Saabs.)
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #75
I guess there are few Saabs in Lithuania?
They are literally everywhere, it feels like SAAB's come here to die or something. The scrap yards are littered with them as well, mostly gasoline SAAB's with engine defects.
The diesels seem fine tho, i guess the B series engines are too hard to maintain, it's probably the sludge problem imo.
I'm not complaining though, more parts for me i guess.
 

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I really liked my NG900 with the non-turbo 2.3. Enough power, no sludge, no complicated turbo system. Unfortunately electrical issues killed the car just before it got to 400,000 km on the original engine and transmission--I don't think either were ever apart.
 

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'96 SAAB NG900 SE (R.I.P.), '99 SAAB 9-3
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Discussion Starter #77 (Edited)
IMG_20200302_100106.jpg
Went looking for the boost pressure regulator solenoid plug and found something, or lack there of rather.
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An exhaust stud is missing and it's leaking, although very slowly, so at least that's good. I tried screwing something in but it wouldn't go, the hole was filled with soot so i thought i'll just clean the threads out and tighten the manifold on.
Long story short, there's a broken stud in the hole, what a pain. Fixing this would be quite a big job and i'll have to postpone it because i need the car to be driveable next weekend.
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On the other hand, i found the boost pressure regulator solenoid plug, which is great.
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Installing it was a massive pain because i could barely reach the the pressure nipple on the turbo housing but i got it in eventually.
While i was at it i pulled out the OBD2 port and plugged in my ELM bluetooth thingy.
Immediately noticed a problem with the short term fuel trims being pegged at +25, if i give it some throttle they back down to 0 and then slowly step their way up to +25 again.
So, yeah looks like i have another gift that keeps on giving.
 

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I'll start be mentioning that I know almost nothing about fuel trim... but I think the MAF is a contributor to those issues. MAFs are know to be wear items on these cars 80-100K use is typical. The exhaust leak can also do it as I recall by confusing the O2 sensor readings.

For that broken stud, you can pull the manifold to drill it out or weld another bolt to it but that invites more broken studs. Another trick is to make up a bushing that fits in the manifold hole snugly and has a center pilot hole. The pilot hole guides you to drill a hole for an extractor in the stud. Drill it out to the largest diameter you can without hitting the threads. Then use an extractor. Use lots of oil to lube as you go and cobalt bits, at least for the pilot holes. If you can find left hand bit, sometimes they will actually pull the stud for you once you are up to the large sizes.

My experience was that my broken was only corroded right at the very top edge of the stud where it enters the head. Oddly, that was enough to cause it to break on removal rather than break free. Heat didn't help loosen any of them when we tried it. Maybe a few days of penetrating oil application would have been better.
 

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The scrap yards are littered with them as well, mostly gasoline SAAB's with engine defects.
I think this is a temporary thing as they all age out to 100-150K miles and become too expensive to pay someone to repair. In a couple years the flow is going to drop to a trickle. Stock up on spare parts now :)
 

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Discussion Starter #80
I'll start be mentioning that I know almost nothing about fuel trim... but I think the MAF is a contributor to those issues. MAFs are know to be wear items on these cars 80-100K use is typical. The exhaust leak can also do it as I recall by confusing the O2 sensor readings.
No MAF on T5.
For that broken stud, you can pull the manifold to drill it out or weld another bolt to it but that invites more broken studs. Another trick is to make up a bushing that fits in the manifold hole snugly and has a center pilot hole. The pilot hole guides you to drill a hole for an extractor in the stud. Drill it out to the largest diameter you can without hitting the threads. Then use an extractor. Use lots of oil to lube as you go and cobalt bits, at least for the pilot holes. If you can find left hand bit, sometimes they will actually pull the stud for you once you are up to the large sizes.
Broken studs are easy to remove because i can just weld a nut on them and remove, but the problem is that there's a whole exhaust manifold in the way and removing that is a pain from what i remember.
 
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