Clarty New Reader
2/2/12 8:55 p.m.

Found this beauty on Craigs.

To possibly replace a 2003 Passat V6 with 140,000 miles, my DD. I had a '86 900 base model, which I remember fondly, but that was almost 15 years ago, and you know what time does.

I talked to the guy and the car sounds really nice & clean. Am I Saab-goofy, or does this thing have feasibility written all over it?

EvanB SuperDork
2/2/12 8:59 p.m.

That looks fantastic if it really is rust free, I would definitely go for it if I had the money.

thestig99 Reader
2/2/12 9:00 p.m.

Wow. Buy it so I don't have to. Want, hard.

SlickDizzy SuperDork
2/2/12 9:00 p.m.

With mileage that low, it is virtually guaranteed to have another 300k+ left in it if well maintained. Buy it! Just mind the gearbox.

HappyAndy HalfDork
2/2/12 9:09 p.m.

Turbo sedans are rare. I had one and it was a great car, it was still running great with little rust when it became the victim of a hit and run at 250k miles.

Check the area around the lower control arm mounts, and the cavities for the axel shafts for rust, especially on the passengers side. If there is rust it can probably be fixed, there is even a kit available. Since the car has low miles and was probably garage kept, it will most likely be good.

'84 was still in the weak gearbox era, when you test drive it listen carefully for pinion whine. The early gearboxes can still last a long time if driven carefully.

bastomatic Dork
2/2/12 9:17 p.m.

You aren't nuts, looks like a very good deal. If it were closer I'd snatch it up. I'm looking for either a nice classic 900 or Volvo 245 for daily duties right now, to replace my 06 Element. I could do without a car payment, and these Swedish appliances are right up my alley right now.

My friend, a freelance automotive writer, has said that Saabs make some of the most comfortable seats, outside of France. Also incredible highway cruisers.


Clarty New Reader
2/2/12 10:19 p.m.

Thanks for all the info. Pinion whine on acceleration or coast, or both? Is that a low-frequency "grumbling" noise, or higher pitched?

You guys aren't put off by the fact it's almost 30 years old? I really want it, but have visions of head gasket and heater core replacements, et cetera.

But it's not like my 140,00-mile Passat doesn't have the potential to break the bank, either. I'm not comparing the Saab to a new car after all.

mad_machine SuperDork
2/2/12 10:26 p.m.

it was the 2.1s that were prone to popping the headgasket. And generally it is not the heatercore that goes, but the valve. you can replace it in less than an hour by going through the driver's side speakergrill

RealMiniDriver SuperDork
2/2/12 11:03 p.m.

I loved my 900s, both '82; one turbo, one non-.

I bought the turbo with a broken gearbox, put in a rebuilt, then sold it a couple years later with the 'box on it's way out. The guy came back a couple weeks later, wanting his money back because it broke. Sorry, Esse, you bought it as is. I got a call several months later from the police, about it. It had been abandoned, and I was the last registered owner. After reading a recent thread here, I would have scooped it back up, had I known you could do that, those many years ago.

I've also replaced the heater valve. No big deal of a project.

mad_machine SuperDork
2/2/12 11:11 p.m.

the gearbox can be a scary replacement. The transaxle is also the oilpan (unlike a mini, the fluids do not mix) To replace it, the whole unit (engine and transaxle) must come out as one.

But it is also the perfect time to redo the front suspension bushings which are almost impossible to do with the engine in the car

Luke SuperDork
2/3/12 12:31 a.m.

Neat! Love those wheels. Would that be an 8V, or 16?

On the one hand it seems like a lot of money for an old 900, on t'other, it looks extremely nice.

petegossett SuperDork
2/3/12 5:02 a.m.

Aren't those Inca wheels worth a couple hundred each? I know the center caps were valuable.

HappyAndy HalfDork
2/3/12 5:56 a.m.

'84 would be an 8 valve & probably not intercooled. HG would be easy if it ever needed it. The thing that I wouldn't like about that one is CIS injection. All my 900s were later models with LH jetronic. I hear 8v SAABs love megasquirt.

Powar Dork
2/3/12 8:28 a.m.

They are ridiculously simple to work on. You won't regret it if it isn't rusty.

Rusted_Busted_Spit SuperDork
2/3/12 8:58 a.m.
Powar wrote: They are ridiculously simple to work on. You won't regret it if it isn't rusty.

What he said.

mad_machine SuperDork
2/3/12 12:33 p.m.

+3.. I am enjoying working on my 900. So many things are logical.. in that weird swedish way

Clarty New Reader
2/3/12 7:39 p.m.

Dang. The owner called and the car has been sold. I guess it wasn't meant to be mine. Dang it!

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