SaabCentral Forums banner
41 - 56 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Please ignore the wiring mess that I've cleaned up, but not finished, but check out these gauges!! Since I can't use the original speedometer and the older ones were calibrated for the 1.7l that was in there, I splurged and bought a new set, including a GPS speedometer..
281876
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Update:
  • Think that I finally addressed the oil leak.
  • Changed out the coolant, but might have a crack in one of the hoses as there is a leak somewhere under the main hose leading into the block.

Next, when I can do it outside, I will be back to stripping the body for painting. One thing that I did find is that there was a past repair on the driver's side fender - just ahead of the wheel well - that was done with fiberglass rather than a real patch panel.(you can see the spot in one of the latest pictures as it's grey with primer). So, I'm searching for a front fender section that I can use now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,903 Posts
I used Speedhut in my '85 SPG and have been happy. The speedo is electrically driven (not cable or GPS) and has some quirky behavior when slowing down, but it's fine in practice. No regrets about that purchase!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Good to hear.. I've got all but the speedometer tested and running and they are looking good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
update: replaced the fuel pump tonight and still smell of gas.. but with a huge smile. on the test drive, I had more power, response and top end. I saw a few items while underneath that should get attention, but save for needing the steering tightened up, all I can say is holy crud.. The car felt alive and if it had doors and glass, could have easily done the path that it failed at 4 years ago.

It is, mechanically, just about 'there'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Congratulations, not only on the progress you've made but also on the perseverance to hang in there for years with a project like this.
For the 16V conversion, did you cut and weld the firewall for belt clearance or did you go the BFH route? Also, I've read you need a special motor mount to lower the big-head engine a bit to clear the hood, did you have to do that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Congratulations, not only on the progress you've made but also on the perseverance to hang in there for years with a project like this.
For the 16V conversion, did you cut and weld the firewall for belt clearance or did you go the BFH route? Also, I've read you need a special motor mount to lower the big-head engine a bit to clear the hood, did you have to do that?
Thank you.. it's been a project that has taught me a lot over the years... including the thought now that it would have been much easier to find a late 70s-early 80s engine/trans and just had them rebuilt. But, then again, I'm going to have a really great/fun car when this is done and know pretty much every nut, bolt, wire and panel well.

As to the firewall, it's primarily a cut and weld solution, but there is a BFH section as well to make a little extra room for a belt for the AC compressor. Regarding the motor mount, I was lucky in that I bought a motor that was already configured to go into a 99, but the target car was wrecked before the two were married up. That said, it did need a modified mount to make sure that there was space to close the hood. What I did do after that was install a remote oil filter arrangement as the clutch master was so close that I could see the filter being cracked just because of engine vibration. So, now, I need an extra half quart, but I know that I am not going to be blowing oil just driving around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Thank you.. it's been a project that has taught me a lot over the years... including the thought now that it would have been much easier to find a late 70s-early 80s engine/trans and just had them rebuilt. But, then again, I'm going to have a really great/fun car when this is done and know pretty much every nut, bolt, wire and panel well.

As to the firewall, it's primarily a cut and weld solution, but there is a BFH section as well to make a little extra room for a belt for the AC compressor. Regarding the motor mount, I was lucky in that I bought a motor that was already configured to go into a 99, but the target car was wrecked before the two were married up. That said, it did need a modified mount to make sure that there was space to close the hood. What I did do after that was install a remote oil filter arrangement as the clutch master was so close that I could see the filter being cracked just because of engine vibration. So, now, I need an extra half quart, but I know that I am not going to be blowing oil just driving around.
More to do, good to know. I used to really want to do the swap partly for the power and partly just to rid myself of the weird jackshaft-drive water pump of the original motor. Having recently rebuilt the water pump on my 1977 I'm actually not really afraid of it anymore so thinking I might just do the 5-speed thing for now and see if that satisfies me. The way things are going there might be an electric motor option by the time I've outgrown the 5-speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #49 ·
More to do, good to know. I used to really want to do the swap partly for the power and partly just to rid myself of the weird jackshaft-drive water pump of the original motor. Having recently rebuilt the water pump on my 1977 I'm actually not really afraid of it anymore so thinking I might just do the 5-speed thing for now and see if that satisfies me. The way things are going there might be an electric motor option by the time I've outgrown the 5-speed.
With a 5 speed, you'd get the highway performance that requires more than 60mph to not become a bottle neck. Don't get me wrong, double the HP and having an SPG suspension is going to be a ton of fun, but as this car will not be the road trip car (but will be as much of a daily driver as is possible), if I knew then what I know now, I'd still upgrade the suspension and replace all the wiring, but might not have gone all in like I did.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from taking on this project. Just that doing the engine swap has been the biggest time consumer and, if I had stuck with a 99 engine (like a 1.85l FI), I'd likely have been on the road a couple of years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Speaking of suspension upgrade, I suspect you have already been warned but just in case:
Adding a rear anti-sway bar keeps the car flatter but it does also create a tendency to lift the inside rear wheel in hard cornering, sometimes with pretty serious consequences.
I've owned a good number of 99s and 900s with and without the rear bar and only on the ones with the bar and only downhill in hard cornering I've had the rearend slide out on me.
I'd be very concerned the lighter rearend of the 99 with the heavier spring rate of the 900 SPG suspension will make this even worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Thank you for the heads up. I actually plan toe relatively gentle on the car for the first few thousand miles until I get a really good handle on how it behaves. It is stiffer and I have thought about how to better balance the front to back weight and may move the battery back there, keep the tank filled, full sized spare and possibly just add some weights within the tool cavity to make it less front biased. So, since it's not going to be a rally runner, my thought is just to keep it more on the sane side of fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Thank you for the heads up. I actually plan toe relatively gentle on the car for the first few thousand miles until I get a really good handle on how it behaves. It is stiffer and I have thought about how to better balance the front to back weight and may move the battery back there, keep the tank filled, full sized spare and possibly just add some weights within the tool cavity to make it less front biased. So, since it's not going to be a rally runner, my thought is just to keep it more on the sane side of fun.
It's a tough call, adding weight holds the back down but also increases lateral forces on the back wheels in cornering so I'm not sure it buys you anything. I'd be inclined to add some flex to the rear suspension with a reduced sway bar.
I've had great luck with a Odyssey PC625 mounted under the passenger side back seat. I've also gone with a mounting under the passenger seat on non-lambda cars with good results.
Granted it doesn't get the weight as far back as one might like but it does keep the cable length short and at least gets the weight nice and low and behind the front wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I like those options.. I still have time to decide as my car is still in pre-reassembly state.
Speaking of which, I took the car to a mechanic with 39 years of experience in working with SAABs and, other than a few items that need some attention, he said that the car is in good shape and should be a fun runner when completed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Update.. car is out for paint and, when I get it back, I should be on the homeward stretch. To do are:
  • Take the car to a local shop to look at why the engine is running a little rough and doesn't really idle until warmed up [DONE]
  • Take the car to another local shop to have the rear shelf recovered and headliner replaced
  • Install and wire up an 18-wheeler cab defroster to be the rear window defroster
  • Install the fresh air tubing for the vents and front defrosters
  • Install/lay the heat and sound-proofing on the floor
  • Wire up the radio / driving lights and 3rd brake light
  • Reinstall ALL the glass
  • Reinstall the carpets, door cards, panels, padding and seats
  • Possibly dremel out a notch in the shifter to allow for a cleaner shift into 5th gear [DONE]

Drive it and have fun.. pictures forth coming
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #55 ·
So... put on a shorter alternator belt to bring down its height so that it does rub on the hood. This weekend, I'll replace the water pump (source of my coolant leak) and start to wire in some of the accessories (unless I get it to the sandblaster for final stripping). Been taking the car around the neighborhood to start to get a feel for how it behaves on the road. Work is taking up a lot of the nights that I have, but depending on the weather, I may not be able to do yard work and just have no choice but to use the time to work on the saab.
 
41 - 56 of 56 Posts
Top