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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was once an owner of an 88 900 Turbo. I loved the thing and I just saw an 85 with 52k original miles for a $1000. There is one problem with the car, he says that the battery wont hold a charge but if you jump it shell run all day. Now to me the alternator is working fine, he said it was replaced. Now the next thing would be a bad battery, he said he replaced that also. Now hes saying the radio stopped working out of nowhere. Im curious if this is a known common issue, somthing small or large before I get myself a $1000 paperweight. Any info would be awesome. Looking forward to becoming part of the Saab family again, and making this thing one hell of a sleeper!! Thanks again guys
 

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Are the alternator mounting bushings all tore up? You can check by looking at the belt and noting if something is out of alignment. Check the grounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have yet to see the car. He said the alt was replaced and that didnt solve the problem. Since the car runs after you give it a jump im assuming there is a drain on the battery somewhere. Once I look at the car I will know more. I may just tell the guy instead of the 1000 how about 500 because I may be in for a good deal of work if this is not an easy fix. Also, what maintenance should be done on a car with 52k miles?
 

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First thing I'd check would be a good alternator ground. Second would be the voltage regulator/brushes. But it sounds like the alt is fairly new so that's probably not an issue...

Just my $.02

-TH
 

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NotTick said:
Since the car runs after you give it a jump im assuming there is a drain on the battery somewhere.
Multimeter time.

If there's 14-15v at the battery terminals with the car running at 1500rpm or so, it's charging - so if it won't hold charge, you've either got a drain or a duff battery.

To see if it's a drain, with everything off, put the meter onto a current setting, take the +ve lead off the battery, and put the meter between the terminal and the lead. If you've got more than 1-200mA or so, then something's sucking the battery whilst the car's turned off. Then you can start pulling fuses to see what circuit it's on. Is there an aftermarket alarm? Remote locking? Big stereo with amps, subs etc? They're going to be the most likely.

If there's not 14v, it's not charging.

Also, what maintenance should be done on a car with 52k miles?
A service, then use it. That's barely run in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A service meaning just a regular tuneup. Plugs wires cap rotor air oil fuel?

I dont know if these cars have a timing belt or chain so I was kinda wondering that, somthing that means engine dammage for maintenance. Oh and Thankyou for all your input so far.
 

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NotTick said:
A service meaning just a regular tuneup. Plugs wires cap rotor air oil fuel?
<grin> Another of those transatlantic translations...

To us a "tune-up" is what you used to do to old-tech cars - adjusting the carb mixture, points gaps etc to get it running right. A "service" is what you do every 9,000 miles - oil, filters, plugs etc.

On a new purchase, I always have a fairly good once-over - since getting mine in July, I've done plugs/HT leads/dizzie cap/fuel filter/vac hoses/coolant. I know the guy I bought it off did the oil & filter just before he sold it me.

I always find a damn good poke and a look helps me to get my head "into" the car, both from the "What am I going to need to do?" point-of-view and understanding/empathising with it.... (Yes, I know, I know)

I dont know if these cars have a timing belt or chain so I was kinda wondering that, somthing that means engine dammage for maintenance.
Chain - no rubber band to go ping.
 

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My son has a very similar issue with his 88 NA - he installed an aftermarket head unit - and for some reason it's grounding out so there's a voltage leak. It'll run all day long but when you park it the battery goes flat.

To date we've done the "stone axe" thing - we removed the radio - no drain since (except when he left his parking lights on for an extended period at school :roll: ).

We're planning to start tracing circuts this weekend to try the offending one - the battery and alternator are new and work fine, by the way. If you figure it out please post - I'll do the same.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Transatlantic translations, I love it... hahahahaha... All well... Since you guys know about Saabs and probably what they can handle, what type of HP / torque can I put to the ground thru a stock (Auto) transmission. Also what would it take to max that out from the engine.?
 

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NotTick said:
what type of HP / torque can I put to the ground thru a stock (Auto) transmission. Also what would it take to max that out from the engine.?
I think that's one of those "Can you give me directions? I wouldn't start from here" questions... Can't imagine many of the tuning bois will be going with auto boxen.
 

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'85 Turbos are notorious for having bad wires. The insulation breaks down on just about everything in the engine compartment. If the wiring hasn't been replaced, that's something to consider.

A similar problem on one of my cars was traced to a poor connection on the positive side of the battery terminal, where I have a number of powered add-ons to the car attached. Cleaning and tightening fixed it.
 

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I was thinking (this can get dangerous) - anyhow - the car only has 52K on the clock? In addition to the normal, fragile wiring harness the '85's are known to have, you might want to check for a rodent invasion - they love to chew on wires. With that low mileage (2260 miles a year over 23 years (hey, the 2008's are out - right?) I'd suspect it's been in storage for a very, very long time (or driven to the mailbox six mornings a week) - unless it's been put away with an eye to keeping critters out they may have been feasting on the wiring harness for quite some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thats very true, I really dont know the history of the car. Im sure once I set somthing up with the guy to go and see it ill know a little more. Honest opinion from anyone. This car has leather (Maroon Yuk) power everything and is in fairly ok condition what do you think is a good price for this with this unknown problem
 

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52K miles is insanely low. As in, does the rest of the car match what the odo indicates? Look for wear on the pedals and the driver's seat. Any service records that help prove the mileage case?

If there's no rust, it shifts well and has no transmission whine, boost is good and the mileage is truly as indicated, then you've got a pretty good car for the price. Out of all the 900s I've driven, I like the '85 the most, despite having wires with insulation apparently made of moose spit and cookie crumbs.

As always, pics are good to share!
 

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For a thousand bucks what is the difference between 52k and 252k?
 

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if the battery won't hold a charge, it's probably just gone, it's a $50 fix, if that's the only problem, jump on this! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Im working on it trust me!! hehehe... Its an automatic tho... How hard and how expensive are the tranny swaps and possibly swap for somthing that can hold some power
 
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