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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently ran my 9000 Turbo ('86) out of fuel. Let's just say the guage apparently doesn't read like it used to...
After putting fuel in the tank the vehicle won't start.
Spark is good and if I spray fuel in the cylinders it'll start right up, but it won't run, and after multiple attempts to start the cylinders/plugs are pretty dry which seems to me like it's not getting fuel.

Could the fuel pump have an air lock or something? Do I need to prime the pump somehow since I ran the tank to empty? Is there somewhere in the line like the fuel filter that would lock if it got air pushed to it?

While it's possible the pump/relay could've chosen this precise time to give out, it seems like a strange coincidence.

Any ideas?

Thanks, --Ben
 

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Check the fuse. Saab uses fuel in the tank to cool the fuel pump so you could have overheated the pump and may have to replace it. But it is easy to get at from the trunk.
 

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I did the same thing. I had to replace the fuel pump. You can tell if you disconnect the fuel pipe in the engine bay at the inlet to the fuel filter, then crank the engine over and a good flow of petrol should come out. In my car it didn't. It take about 45 mins to change the fuel pump which you access from inside the car through the top of the fuel tank.
 

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2 questions

1] are you sure you ran out of fuel and dont have a failed pump (as already sugested

2] if you are out of fuel, how much fuel have you put in? cus you may need to put at least 2 or 3 gallons in before the pump can pick up the fuel after running out
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Midway and Chris H for the ideas on the fuse and checking fuel flow, I will give those a shot.

Boxman - I was definitely at the bottom of the tank, fuel guage barely moved when I turned the car on. But definitely possible the pump chose that moment to die, just hoping not since I don't want to DIY replacing the pump.
I put 3 gallons in the tank.


--Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep, turns out the fuel pump is indeed history.
So much for wishful thinking. :/

So now the question is, do I need to drain the fuel tank to replace it (guessing the answer is absolutely yes) and what's the best way to go about that from some of you who have done it?
I can obviously just siphon it out, but is there a drain plug or something instead?
Any other tips appreciated.
Thanks,
--Ben
 

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You should be able to get to it from under the spare tyre, in the trunk. You don't have to drain the tank, but I would. I would also work in a very well ventilated area... like outside! BE SURE YOU DISCONNECT THE BATTERY FIRST! It is pretty intuitive when you get started and does not take long... while you are at it, inspect the flex hoses, lines, etc, and maybe replace them... its been 19 years.

Have fun
 

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OH, Saab uses the fuel in the tank to help cool the pump.... try very very hard not to let your tank get below 1/4 after you fix the pump.
 

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Saab used the Bosch Dual pump system. as in Golfs for example, Get replacement bits from either a wecker or a VW 'go faster' shop.. save some serious coin. Pump pops out from the Top, Just lift the Forward Trunk floor.. couldn't be easier.. No need to Siphon gas or other silly adventure :) BUT do NOT break the PLastic Fuel lines to the Pump or Yer Hooped! Also replace th or at least clean carefully the Pump chamber Filter.. also carefully examine the Pre pump aas it's failure often causes the inexperuienced to replace the main Pump. Test it.. But testing either pump is seriously Tricky as they MUST be immersed in fuel or they WILL burn out.. in seconds (suggest Kerosene.. a bit safer ;-) G luck.
 

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How do you know when you have run out of fuel? what are the symptoms?

I am preying that I am a victim of an empty fuel tank, i didnt know you could over heat the pump by running it dry?
My car was ok and idled fine, switch the engine on and it was idling ruffly until i give at some gas when it climed slowly but smoothed out than became lumpy again at idle, this got worse everytime i turn the engine off and back on again, now it just wont start, my fuel gauge moves a wee bit but its under the red.

How much fuel do i need to put into the tank to start the engine? will a gallon do it? i put in 23 litres and i only got 103 miles from that so i though the gauge must be wrong and i must have at least 10 miles on the tank, but i dont think i do;oops:, i am preying all i need is fuel, how much does a fuel pump cost anyway? what VW has the same pump as Turbo 900?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For me the symptoms were what seemed like misfiring, rough running, then the car stalled and failed to start. That combined with the fact that the fuel guage was very low led me to believe I had run out of fuel. In my case the fuel warning light had come on briefly at one point about 15 miles before the problem occurred, but then went out again. I blame that on faulty guages as the car is 250k miles old.

Not sure how much the pump costs in Europe but there are two in the system -- a pre-pump then the main pump and those combined are about USD $150 over here. You'd want to know which one (or both) failed. I did NOT think I was experienced enough to test myself so I had a shop I trust do the test for me. I trust the shop I use that the pump really is dead.

Interestingly I was going thru the old paperwork on this car from the previous owner and they had to replace the fuel pump at one point. I contacted them and they had done the same thing as I did. Ran the tank dry, burned out the pump.

A good parts shop will be able to tell you what pump you need or there are posts online that tell you which VW pump matches to the 9000 series, depending on what year your 9000 is.

So the rule of thumb seems to be
1) Make sure your fuel guage works properly. 2) Never let the tank get low.

Ironically I have never before run any car out of fuel in 15 years of driving, and of course the ONE time I do it'd be a SAAB. Heh. I decided to cut my lossses on this car as it needs new clutch, brake wor, suspension and a lot of other stuff, so it's gone.
 
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