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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my eyes on a 1988 9000 Turbo and may be viewing it tomorrow for the first time,

I found the buyer's guide from saab9000.com and it was a great read but felt like it wouldn't hurt to grab any additional advice from the forum members.

The ad mentions that the car runs and drives but feels a loss of power sometimes, is there any common issues to look for when shopping that could be a culprit?

I plan to check it out tomorrow, take some photos, grab the vin and relay my experience driving it here for additional advice.

It is an 88 with 170k+ miles and auto trans. It is the CC version.

Cheers!
O.A.C
 

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Maybe the spring inside the wastegate became too soft. Check it. Check also the condition of the following

Intercooler
Vacuum hoses
Ignition cassette and spark plugs.



In general check how brakes behave and the condition of the clutch.


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Discussion Starter #3
here are a couple photos taken, as well as my experience!

car started, had a tough time idling and wanted to die without your foot on the gas, after about a minute of applying gas to the engine it idled on it’s own.

Took it around surface streets up to around 45mph and was EXTREMELY slow from a dead start until around 25mph and 2nd gear, after that acceleration seemed normal and adequate. Brakes felt okay, not extremely soft but could use a refresh/flush.

most interior components tested worked and overall body was in great condition.

Is the 1st gear acceleration typically painfully slow for this car?

anything catching your eye that’s off in the included photos?

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Love to see a photo of the front. Is it a liftback, and flat front?

Just check it over, connections, vacuum hoses, if you don't have maintenance records I would replace all filters, including cabin, and the fuel filter, and of course the plugs, be sure to use the right plugs, it is not Trionic with a DI cassette so might not be so critical re the plugs.

Idle issues, clean all the sensors, and I assume it has an AIC, Air Idle control, I had to give mine a good clean, on a car, (CSI) that had 342,000km on it when I "acquired" it.

You might also get some good info on the C900 forum.
Same engine I believe.

Re the DI cassette. Your engine looks like my 82 C900 convertible.
The cassette is probably different to the later Trionic T5 type, which are red.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Love to see a photo of the front. Is it a liftback, and flat front?

Just check it over, connections, vacuum hoses, if you don't have maintenance records I would replace all filters, including cabin, and the fuel filter, and of course the plugs, be sure to use the right plugs, it is not Trionic with a DI cassette so might not be so critical re the plugs.

Idle issues, clean all the sensors, and I assume it has an AIC, Air Idle control, I had to give mine a good clean, on a car, (CSI) that had 342,000km on it when I "acquired" it.

You might also get some good info on the C900 forum.
Same engine I believe.

Re the DI cassette. Your engine looks like my 82 C900 convertible.
The cassette is probably different to the later Trionic T5 type, which are red.
tons of good info! I went ahead and bought it, so plenty more photos and progress will be coming sometime this week. May take a video of the idle issue today for further clarification as well.

these are rad little cars!
 

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If it is the car I think it is, I would sell my two 9000's to have one!!
 

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Pretty Car .. the attraction is obvious. Giugiaro designed. Sadly the mechanicals didn't live up to the looks.
That said your Engine pix gave me shivers. Gawd I learned to hate the sight of those, albeit after ~20 years of being inside of of one of those compartments.
Soooo many things to go wrong. All inevitably needing repair or replacement... like it or not.
I see your ABS is messed. That.. will be an adventure unto itself.
Odd the No accel in 1st. Should be a Rocket. First gens were Not short on performance.
First guess: your Air Mass meter is shot.. they typically All are .. often.
Wastegate actuator spring failure Will still allow base boost. Not the immediate cause of No Go.
A disconnected actuator Rod.. might?
Distributor likely needs a go over (rebuild?) as well.
Frankly I could write a 2 page list of Bits that will need patching... I won't :)
Good luck with your Project.
 

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People like to spray carb cleaner into intakes before the MAF thinking it helps as they destroy the element grid. If the WG spring fails it won't dump the whole flow? Usually spring failure = NA behavior.
 

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I would not be too concerned, in spite of the mess.
These cars were Saab, not GM, so in my view nice to have, and for a Saab enthusiast, one to have.
The FPT version really did get up and go, just like the C900.
So I would be thinking like the above poster, there is something not working right in the trubo department. Use a pressure pump to see what pressure the waste gate cracks off at, the is the Low pressure setting. I forget what it should be, but it is on the web somewhere.
Afte that the FPT module takes over, possibly taking up to about 10-14 psi.
And it should go!

Got to say all this a bit hazy for me now!!

Any Yes, it is the car I thought it was.
Nice
 

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I wonder if you checked the C900 forum and found the excellent thread, on "Buying your first turbo and what to do next."

Excellent check list, especially note the bit about the APC.

And note: It has the base boost setting. Do not be tempted to up this, as if you do it can, probably will mess up the APC boost.
Certainly this is what we are told with Trionic ECUs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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Here's a few bits from the car before I started to tackle anything aesthetic or mechanical. Tons of updates to come. Cleaned the IAC as recommended, definitely feel an improvement. The car still wants turns over and idles to around 1200-1500rpms then wants to die without your foot on the throttle, but where as it used to take 5-7 minutes for the car to idle on it's own it only takes 1 or so minutes and no longer has a throttle response problem in 1st gear.

I'll report in a week or so whether this issue is persisting or inching towards being solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Drove the car to work this morning,
Is quicker to idle under own power as reported yesterday however while cold has very very poor throttle response, almost non existent. Had to pull off the freeway and let the car warm to normal engine temp and acceleration felt as it should the rest of the 20+ mile drive in stop and go traffic.

Exploring the possibility of this throttle response issue coming from a leak in the PCV system. I noticed the nipple was very ill fitting and there was oil around the seals. Who knows the last time these were replaced.

thoughts? The cost for genuine Saab are so cheap for this system it seems silly to not replace them and have a clear answer on when they were refreshed even if it isn’t.
 

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You are right about the rubber bushing/seal that goes into the cam cover, and has 2 hoses on it, one big in diameter, and one small.

And check, probably replace the little white one way valve you see in the photo above of the cam cover, the bushing I am mentioning is to the left and below that.

Replace the bushing/seal, cheap from PFS.
Get 2 keep one as a spare!!
Also replace all the vac hoses, bet they will be perished, and don't forget the one that goes to the dash, if you don't want to take the dash top off just now, join it in the "acquarium".

And when you get it going, nice and warm, give a good run, in a low gear, say 2nd, to max revs, my 9000 has a limiter. Go up and down on the throttle a few times, to blow carbon and junk out, but also to get the 02 sensor hot, and burn any "mess" and "growth" off it.
It worked for me once when I had high idle, about 1500, even more.

When I wrote about it, Jim Methsene said Yes that will clear a "dodgy" 02 sensor, sometimes. Jim has worked on these cars for centuries!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You are right about the rubber bushing/seal that goes into the cam cover, and has 2 hoses on it, one big in diameter, and one small.

And check, probably replace the little white one way valve you see in the photo above of the cam cover, the bushing I am mentioning is to the left and below that.

Replace the bushing/seal, cheap from PFS.
Get 2 keep one as a spare!!
Also replace all the vac hoses, bet they will be perished, and don't forget the one that goes to the dash, if you don't want to take the dash top off just now, join it in the "acquarium".

And when you get it going, nice and warm, give a good run, in a low gear, say 2nd, to max revs, my 9000 has a limiter. Go up and down on the throttle a few times, to blow carbon and junk out, but also to get the 02 sensor hot, and burn any "mess" and "growth" off it.
It worked for me once when I had high idle, about 1500, even more.

When I wrote about it, Jim Methsene said Yes that will clear a "dodgy" 02 sensor, sometimes. Jim has worked on these cars for centuries!
all really great info! Way ahead of ya on the dash top, my instrument cluster was missing one torx screw and driving me wild, so the dash is off the car and I’ll keep it off till this weekend when I get 4mm silicone hose to replace the vacuum lines.

also saw it was recommended to pull the throttle body off and clean it with fuel injection cleaner. I highly doubt any of this has been done on this Saab so the 4 day weekend I have is going to be littered with maintenance to dos.

unfortunately my once pristine headliner cardboard was picked up by a storm we had here in AZ and was ripped in half while opening the garage. sigh guess I will put all the trim pieces back in for the time being while I decide whether to source another one or try and mend the original headliner somehow.
 

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all really great info! Way ahead of ya on the dash top, my instrument cluster was missing one torx screw and driving me wild, so the dash is off the car and I’ll keep it off till this weekend when I get 4mm silicone hose to replace the vacuum lines.

also saw it was recommended to pull the throttle body off and clean it with fuel injection cleaner. I highly doubt any of this has been done on this Saab so the 4 day weekend I have is going to be littered with maintenance to dos.

unfortunately my once pristine headliner cardboard was picked up by a storm we had here in AZ and was ripped in half while opening the garage. sigh guess I will put all the trim pieces back in for the time being while I decide whether to source another one or try and mend the original headliner somehow.
The A-pillar trim crumbled into several pieces as I started my dash removal. I'm ignoring my headliner for now. Are the headliners the same 88-98? I may have to duplicate mine in glass cloth. It's gonna need to be stripped and redone if it doesn't fall apart. Finding interior parts are tough but I've got a couple of later model 9000 near here being parted out.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The A-pillar trim crumbled into several pieces as I started my dash removal. I'm ignoring my headliner for now. Are the headliners the same 88-98? I may have to duplicate mine in glass cloth. It's gonna need to be stripped and redone if it doesn't fall apart. Finding interior parts are tough but I've got a couple of later model 9000 near here being parted out.
I’d be interested to know this as well. I managed to get one A pillar trim out without cracking but my passenger A and both C pillars will need mending or replacement.

to be perfectly honest this is the only 9000 I’ve ever seen in Arizona. Don’t know when I’ll find another locally for parts haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I love seeing that old B&B invoice. I have quite a few of them!
there’s some history with the car, no doubt.

there’s an oil change sticker on the windshield that’s from ‘94 and 40k miles. Windshield is cracked but going to salvage that sticker and replace it once the new windshield is installed.

Some great news is there’s a 97 aero being sold near me for dirt cheap that has plenty of parts I could use for my 9k. Bare minimum if I scoop it up I will be taking the 3 spoke wheels, battery, headliner? Some dash bits if the stereo/equalizer can swap painlessly..... at most I may have a future engine/ manual trans swap waiting in my garage 😱
 
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