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XLR99
XLR99 Reader
4/19/15 12:21 p.m.

After bringing this home last fall, I finally started to get a few things done on this car over the past week. It's a 1990 900 base model, complete with the uber-awesome 3 speed glass slushybox.
<img src="_DSC0479" />

Odometer is dead at ~251k, the head has been off recently and it sounds like a new timing chain is in there. Engine bay, like the rest of the car, has possibly never seen a cleaning. <img src="_DSC0487" />

The interior is a bastion of blue 80s vintage velour goodness, complete with hand-crank windows. Not sure if these were original, but I'm fine with them, and my daughter is fascinated by them.
<img src="_DSC0481" />

I thought this was cool. Anyone from TX know if this is 1990, 2000, or 2010? <img src="_DSC0482" />

So those are a few baseline pics from November. After getting a better look at it, I decided against sacrificing it to the salt gods (demons), and left it indoors for the winter, where it became a storage rack, similar to how most treadmills become gradually buried under a bunch of clothes.

Short term goals: clean/degrease, fix the vacuum leaks, full tuneup and fluid change, etc. Long term goals: swap out the anemic powertrain for a turbo/5speed setup, converted to Saab's own Trionic5 setup pulled out of a 9000 or NG900/9-3 Turbo.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
4/19/15 7:42 p.m.

It's 2000: Col. Davis was Director of the DPS from March 2000 until he retired in September 2008. (Gotta love the Internet.)

HappyAndy
HappyAndy UltraDork
4/19/15 7:53 p.m.

Cool, white with black trim is my favorite c900 color scheme. I wish I could find a non rusty one to re shell the guts of my c900 turbo project.

Powar
Powar SuperDork
4/20/15 10:50 a.m.

Excellent. Glad to see another c900 getting some love.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
4/20/15 12:19 p.m.

Sweet.

That auto box has potential. There's some guy inthe PNW putting 450+hp though a built auto box. It's lasting better than a manual

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
4/20/15 6:59 p.m.

Thanks for the support ! Not so sure about this autobox, it's been leaking all winter; I'm hoping it's just the pan gasket leaking. We'll see what happens once I get it up and running in the next week or so. I was able to fix the coolant leak easily enough, just loose hose clamps near the water pump.

Semi-related question - anyone have an email address for the mods at saabrally.com? It appears that they locked down registration, but I can't see an email contact anywhere on the site.

Stealthtercel - thanks for the info!

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit UberDork
4/21/15 9:16 a.m.

Nice. When we lived in Germany my Dad ordered a new 83 900S in silver that had the same blue velour.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
4/21/15 9:16 a.m.
HappyAndy wrote: Cool, white with black trim is my favorite c900 color scheme. I wish I could find a non rusty one to re shell the guts of my c900 turbo project.

I see 'em all the time here in CA. Buying a car out here will cost more but will save you hundreds of hours of repair. The interiors tend to get crispy, though.

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
4/25/15 5:13 p.m.

First small bits of progress: I found that something near the alternator/oil filter got fairly hot at some point. Melted insulation on a couple of wires, melted vacuum nipple and a severely cracked vac hose (I think this is the one that goes to provide vacuum to the HVAC valves and whatnot - it heads across the car to the passenger side) <img src="Melted wiring" />

Thought I had a few of these around from an old 9000, but I couldn't find any. $9 for used ebay one. <img src="Vac nipple" />

Replacement wiring splices:<img src="Old & New wires" />

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
4/25/15 6:00 p.m.

Current state of the engine bay after a few hours of cleanup, a few cans each of degreaser and Honda spray polish. Plenty of work still to go: <img src="0425151823b" />

<img src="0425151823a" />

I'm amazed by the size of the air cleaner this thing has - it's about half again as big as the 9000 one, which is about 3-4x bigger than most other ones I've seen. Apparently there was a lot of dust in the air in Sweden in the 80s...

patgizz
patgizz PowerDork
4/26/15 8:54 a.m.

i love that big relay box when i see saabs in the junkyard, all the relays come home and go into my electrical cabinet.

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
6/14/15 4:39 p.m.

@Pat - yes their relay boxes are the bomb!
I figure it's time for a brief update of non-progress. I've been in kind of a rut for the past several weeks, haven't been on GRM much, and haven't done much of anything in the garage. The family has re-purposed the C900 as a storage shelf, and my wife and daughter are clamoring to sell it. (They were going to have my son throw that carpet on top of the car ) <img src="0613151426a" />

So, I finally got up a bit of motivation yesterday and headed out there. I replaced the PCV hose as well as a couple of small vacuum lines. Started it up for a few minutes and discovered that the coolant leak is still there, it's a bit wet around the water pump.

Today I treated the surface rust on the inside of the hood.

<img src="0614151351" />

It's hard to see in the picture, but the seam that the 'arrow' is pointing at is actually a ~1/4" gap between inside and outside. I tried to rough it up as best as possible with a piece of dowel and sandpaper, then poured a bunch of rust reformer in there. I can see why a lot of the 900s I've seen up here have rust holes on the hood here. Interestingly, the passenger side has no rust at all.

I've been doing some looking around for either a trans or a parts car. A turbo/5spd with nice leather interior and terminal rust would be ideal, but I'm working on the cheap, and swapping to turbo all at once will add exponential time. A guy nearby has an ad up on Saabnet for a bunch of parts, parts cars, etc, so hopefully I can do some one stop shopping.

I also found this: An idiot's guide to slush > 5spd conversion

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
6/20/15 7:55 p.m.

To keep myself moving forward, I figure I'll try and do a weekly update. This week I found that none of the 5 people with ads up for parts or parts cars responded. (One did mark his parts car as sold, so that's something).

In keeping with our new GRM addiction to Co-Part, I discovered a 5spd C900 turbo convertible in Chicago with only 84k and a light front end accident, but I don't think I can work out the logistics to get it back here due to my work schedule. Someone needs to buy this one though! C900T Convertible

I think the trans is shot. Big delay going into either reverse or first, then it would bang into gear. I was thinking we could cruise it around in town for a bit, but I'm not so optimistic. Slushboxes are kind of voodoo to me.

Got a bunch of little stuff done today: new hatch struts; dome light switches for the doors, and washer fluid pump. I spent another hour de-gunking the engine compartment and the right inner fender while the washer reservoir was out (still plenty of work to be done here; I need to get under the PS reservoir and ABS relay box):

<img src="0620151914" />

<img src="0620151919" />

I'll shoot some FluidFilm on the seams before I put the reservoir back in there.

Now that I've sort of resigned myself to doing a 5spd conversion before it moves much further, I think I'll do the water pump and finish de-gunking once the engine is out of there.

Powar
Powar SuperDork
6/22/15 9:00 a.m.

If the ruby convertible I bought at auction over the weekend ends up becoming a parts car, you'll be the first to know. I'm going to start the obvious repairs tonight. If it isn't worth fixing, it'd at least make a good swap donor.

It looks like your cleaning is going well. I had this car's manual twin a few years back.

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
6/22/15 5:19 p.m.

Yes that looks like a much less sunbaked twin!

Thank you for the offer on the parts car!

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
6/22/15 6:05 p.m.

There is a manual 900 in the Columbus pick n pull if you need swap parts.

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
6/22/15 7:25 p.m.

Thanks for the heads-up Evan!

Serious question since I've only gone for small easily carried things (other than at the old 'junkyard days') - how would one get a trans out from under a 300lb engine in a pick&pull yard? Or do they pull engines for you?

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man HalfDork
6/22/15 8:04 p.m.
XLR99 wrote: Thanks for the heads-up Evan! Serious question since I've only gone for small easily carried things (other than at the old 'junkyard days') - how would one get a trans out from under a 300lb engine in a pick&pull yard? Or do they pull engines for you?

Hard work and swearing.

patgizz
patgizz PowerDork
6/22/15 8:22 p.m.

can you leave the engine mounted? i always pull rwd trans out so it's easy to leave engine in place. cordless sawzall helps get stuff out of the way to drop it out.

some places have rolling a-frames with chainfalls so you can pull engines out, pull a part has a couple at each location.

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
6/22/15 8:29 p.m.

The transmission in the Saab is under the engine so tough to pull. They do have the a-frame hoists to pull it with.

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
6/22/15 8:42 p.m.

To give an idea of the ridiculousness involved, here's a pic:

Edit - i think this is actually a 9000 engine on top of a C900 trans, so no clue what is actually going on in this pic or how they plan to put it in a car. Powar?

The engine is laid over about 45deg towards the right, which is why the intake runners are so long.

I think this one is a 99, but you can see how it sits in the car, without the head and everything in the way:

Good to know they have A frames to help. I was thinking of using pizza to lure my son and friends into the van to carry stuff.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Dork
6/22/15 8:56 p.m.

Cool car! Keep at it, you're progress keeps me motivated on my build.

Funny, my son was the same way with wind up windows. Up and down, up and down....

Powar
Powar SuperDork
6/23/15 9:20 a.m.
XLR99 wrote: To give an idea of the ridiculousness involved, here's a pic: Edit - i think this is actually a 9000 engine on top of a C900 trans, so no clue what is actually going on in this pic or how they plan to put it in a car. Powar?

That's the engine and trans from the JK Racing 'SiS' project from years ago. It was a dedicated drag car. You're right about it being a 9000 block mated to a 99/900 gearbox. The trans was a heavily reinforced chillcast 4-speed from a 99. They added a lot of material around the inner drivers, rigged up an aftermarket slave cylinder, clutch, LSD, 4-chain primaries, etc. That car ran deep into the 11s and was eventually parted out. An old video of it:

https://youtu.be/YsZ6qh7KQd0

(Just pretend that's embedded.)

You can see that the hood was modified, but I'd be interested in seeing how they made the crank clear the inside of the trans. Either way, totally not worth bothering with IMO.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
6/23/15 11:56 a.m.

Just pull the whole engine /trans package together. Leave the inner CV joint drivers in the trans, loosen the inner boots, unbolt the ball joints, and pull the spiders out. The shifter linkage is a pain if it's rusty but all-in-all, it's much easier to yank the whole thing than trying to weasel the engine off the trans. After you do it once, you can do it a second time in about two hours.

patgizz
patgizz PowerDork
6/23/15 3:06 p.m.

theres a 95 turbo 5 speed vert "parts car" on akron CL.

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