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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for having beenm somewhat quiet these past coupla months.

Targa Tasmania www.targa.org.au is but three weeks away, and there's been some intensive work done on the ol' 99 TU2 in final preparation.

The hardest thing so far has been removing the old stickers from the last abortive attempt at the event... particularly some stuff that was supposed to be a kind of placeholder for the competition numbers that's been on the doors for about 15 months. Evil stuff- in the end only lacquer thinners would shift it, and even then, it took about 3 hours to do.

David and Rob of Wantirna Automotive, the hardest working Saab mechanics on earth (TM) (Seriously, they are great) have moved heaven and earth to get the car ready.

Most recent work- New distributor, deleting the vacuum advance and putting a retard-only vacuum unit on it. The old distributor, as fitted by my un-mate Rob Bride had the advance welded shut.... seriously, so the thing was a flat as a tack. Performance Ignition- http://melbourne.citysearch.com.au/E/V/MELBO/0051/10/03/

Other "fix-up the rubbish work that Bride did" that was needed included a new rear main seal, as the (non-genuine) one he fitted was leaking already, new gasket on the primary chain case (ditto), a reliable locking tab on the new chain sprocket he fitted, tightening the front engine mount, fit screws to the headlights that he failed to put back in, etc, etc.

There's also a new small impeller turbo unit, which I believe has cut lag (haven't driven it with this mod yet). The water injection is fitted. (Ditched the Aquamist system in favour of a US one- Coolingmist, www.coolingmist.com which looks much more robust)

There's now an electronic control unit on the electric water pump, www.daviescraig.com.au but it went to lunch the other day, so we've fitted a bypass switch, just in case.

Tightened up the centering springs on the gearshift as the old ones were a bit slack, and third was sometimes a bit hard to locate.

Went on a run-in drive over Easter- despite the fact that it was on throttle about 70% of the time, the old bus delivered better than 10l/100km. The performance is jaw-dropping, too. The shorter gearing means 3,300rpm @ 100km/h, effectively moving each gear down one- so that fifth is roughly equivalent to fourth, fourth to third, etc.

The engine loosened up significantly during about 1500kms of mainly hard-running. The idle speed increased from 850 to 1,200rpm, so something must have happened. It's smooth and there's a bit of a snarl. It's lovely!

At one stage there was a bit of smoke following me at stop signs, etc. I hope that it was just (hah- just!) a blown turbo seal, and not oil rings on a brand-new engine. There's no time to pull the engine down, but given everything else we've discovered, it wouldn't surprise me if he had fitted oil rings from.... um... a not-very-well-regarded car.

If anyone is interested I can email you the team instructions- about 1.5MB in Acrobat format. I have tried to give the team, especially the targa virgins, the idea of what running in an international road rally is like.

Anyway, wish me luck.

Dan
 

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I sit here in Tasmania and drool in anticipation.

One of the few times Tasmanians can regard themselves as really lucky :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone.
I'll be relying on Steven Wade (Swade) to point the camera and to keep up a log of what's happening on a day by day, if not minute by minute basis.

Steven, post a link as to where the forum can keep track of the event, won't you. (Gotta work for those electric windows :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ah... make that three days and counting

Well, here we are in the final week.

Friday 7.30pm, I'll be lining up with all the other Targa-istes to catch the ferry to the Apple Isle. There's a cold front forecast, but hopefully, this crossing will be as smooth as all the ones before.

There have been some last minute worries, including a fuelling issue that caused the engine to lean out as the revs reached about 4,500 rpm. Not a good look, but again Wantirna managed to sort out a solution, and the car seemed to be running quite well.

A run on a chassis dyno revealed about 90kW at the wheels, or (est) 140kW at the flywheel (that's 190bhp for all you englishmen, you) and that was before it revved properly. With a 1100kg kerb weight, this should mean pretty good performance, and that was before I gave an extra tweak last Sunday at Australia's only NASCAR circuit- Calder Park Thunderdome, where I was teaching 25 WRX owners advanced driving (Shee!)

Anyway I finally thought the car was ready for 2,300km of Targa Tasmania when as I accelerated onto the freeway (isn't it always the way? :x ) the poor old TU2 decided it was going no further.

I ended up having to be rescued, but it turned out that the fuel pump relay wiring had come adrift and it's now running again.

Naturally as the deadline approaches, sleep is getting harder to achieve. I hope Swade will post a link here as soon as he can to his blog which I hope will soon feature second by second updates on my progress to the front of the field.

Anyway, wish me luck etc.

Dan
 

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Fear not, Dan. I'm all ready to. Like the Adelaide Crows of the late 90's I'm just timing my run. :)

See you on the weekend. I can't wait to see you and your little car kick some Classic Category 5 butt!!
 

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Best of luck to the man whose collection of Saabs rivals mine! Sadly, I suspect more of yours work ;oops:

Hope the 99T shows the rest what a quality car can do, I will be rooting for you! :cheesy:
 
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