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XLR99 HalfDork
12/26/15 4:32 p.m.

For today's installment, we took a field trip to Pull a Part. Because I'm a moron, I thought it was in a different place than it really is, so we got to tour some of Cleveland's west side on the way there.
I also learned that if there's a fairly specialized car, such as a 9-5 Aero, that you want parts from, you need to get there THE SAME DAY the car shows up on property, or you miss the good parts. Also, it seems that the cool kids bring wagons with toolboxes, battery powered impacts and sawzalls . We looked pretty noobish with a soft cooler stolen from the garage as our tool/parts carrier.
When we got there, there was a guy pulling the rear struts on the one remaining 9-5. The specific parts we wanted (magic Star Wars cupholder, TD04 turbo, HomeLink mirror) were, of course, gone already. We started chatting with the guy, whose first Saab was a 900EMS he got out of a neighbor's yard for $50. Sounds like a trend, bgkast!

He said he got here the day after it arrived, and his buddy had already pulled the turbo, SID, cup holder, and a few other things.

So my son asks "Didn't you set up that email notification thing a few weeks ago?" Yeah, thanks Nick...

However, we did get a few things. Driver's visor to replace the droopy one, battery cover, and a front undertray.
Pull-a-Part haul for the day

I also grabbed the projector headlights and the self leveler, as an impulse buy. One of the housings has all the tabs broken off. It looks like the same housing as the standard lights, so I may try to move the left one to another housing. Not sure if these will end up on this car or not. Projector Headlights

After we got home, we finished up de-varnishing the pistons and rods.
Pistons & rods

That ChemDip stuff eats gloves .

I also did a quick wire-wheel, prep, and POR15 on the area under the battery box.
POR15 under battery box

Final lesson for the day: when the POR15 people say 'thoroughly clean the channel in the lid of the can, because it will stick itself closed' , they're not kidding!! Ended up ripping the lid off with vise grips.

The blue cap is covering the uber-badass battery ram-air cooling duct. Good for at least 50hp, I figure .

bgkast GRM+ Memberand UberDork
12/26/15 11:35 p.m.

Looks like a good haul.

XLR99 HalfDork
1/3/16 7:36 p.m.

I'd like to preface this week's update: I'm embarrassed to even put this on the same forum as the Fiat projects, BenModified's uber-ridiculous Bus, etc.

At quitting time today, we basically have a larger pile of stuff that used to be attached to the car, lying on the ground next to it : More parts on floor, less in car

I'm literally one bolt away from having the subframe out! I was trying to get it on the floor today since its going to be cold the next few days. A couple stopped by and I was telling the husband how euro car bolts usually just come right out with minimal persuasion. When they left, i fired the heaters back up, cut the flex pipe out and got the downipe out of the way, popped out the driveshafts and dropped the trans out the floor. Left side steering rack bolt came right out, but the right side is seized inside the sleeve on the bushing. Grrr. Soaking it in PB blaster overnight.

A tour of the roomy engine bay: Engine bay pax side Engine Bay Engine bay Driver's side

In the center of the steering rack is the rear motor mount, which is almost un-reachable with the engine in place. Took me about 45 seconds to unbolt while sitting upright in the engine bay .

Earlier this week, I got some more engine parts cleaned and de-varnished. The balance shafts: Balance Shafts

Oil filter housing and the timing cover. Getting the sludge out of the timing cover took a ridiculous amount of time, even using the ChemDip: Timing cover & oil filter adapter

I also took the undersized bearings out of the box they were in. Opinions on whether or not these are usable? The PO supposedly fitted these into one of the blocks with the crank that had been turned down. I'm not sure what they should look like, but the scratches are making me kind of nervous.

Main Bearings

XLR99 HalfDork
1/9/16 6:02 p.m.

Not much to report this week. It was kind of a one-two star week overall. I spent today doing stuff with my daughter, including watching the original Star Wars movies, and about four hours at Barnes & Noble, which is 'better than heaven' for her. Good therapy time. While lounging at B&N, I was told that I need to build a reading room with a wood stove for her as part of the shed/barn I need to build someday .

Got a present from RockAuto today. 2016-01-09_07-05-16 Gasket set, head bolts, transaxle seals, some filters, and a couple other random things.

I'm still unable to get that steering rack bolt out. I tried Knurled's suggestion about making a clay dam to keep PB Blaster around the bolt/bushing. I think I may just use a pickle fork to pull the bushing out of the rack and get the subframe out of the car.

I tried to pull apart the axles, and it looks like they're some kind of cheap rebuilds. The original ones should have a circlip on the outer CV to allow you to pull the CV joint; It also looks like the needle bearings on the inner tripod bearings aren't held captive, so they'd explode needles everywhere if I were to get them apart. I'll be scoping out some real Saab ones to rebuild from Pull a part.

Rusted_Busted_Spit UberDork
1/11/16 9:35 a.m.

There are two 9-5s in the Pick-N-Pull in Columbus, a 99 and an 02.

jere HalfDork
1/17/16 11:40 p.m.

That chemical bath did wonders! I will have to give it a chance, i hate cleaning that stuff by hand.

Those projector lights are a nice score use them if you can they will make a great improvement. Just clean up the plastic so it is clear again if you use it.

bentwrench Dork
1/18/16 7:01 a.m.

If I gave my gal a Saab to drive she would trade me in, along with the car!

tuna55 MegaDork
1/19/16 7:40 p.m.

Nice job to both you and chemdip!

Those scratches look pretty icky. I don't know much. How much are new oem type replacements for that stuff?

XLR99 HalfDork
1/21/16 8:48 a.m.

@jere, hard to see in the picture, bhe problem is the housing on the left one is broken. I think it's the same housing as the standard lights, so I'll try to find one to swap.

@tuna - I agree; they're ~65 a set. I'm going to bin this set. It would be a shame to do all this work and trash a main journal or something.

@bentwrench - fortunately she bought into the Saab fangirl thing years ago. she already drives one, but wants more ride height, less roof rack and more power. My son will probably end up with this, plus the wife could get a speeding ticket in a VW Bus or moped , so bigger turbo is a bit lower on the list.

No real updates this week, messed up my arm and I'm just trying to get thru the work week.

XLR99 HalfDork
1/31/16 2:15 p.m.

OK first update in awhile. I've been pretty de-motivated lately, for a number of reasons. My son shamed me into finally getting the subframe out while it was 55 degrees. In Ohio. In January.

The subframe was almost ready to drop, apart from one of the steering rack bushing bolts being frozen into the bushing. I cut out the upper lip of the bushing as best I could, and started pulling it through with a pickle fork.


We were able to pull the bushing out by lowering the subframe in stages until it was free. So then we had this greasy, rusty thing on the floor: IMG_20160131_122328

Here's the offending bolt/sleeve: IMG_20160131_122402

The gorilla only broke one of the sway bar bracket bolts, which was also a PITA. I get the feeling everything on this car will be a monumental struggle.

So, back to removing that sleeve. We started off low key, trying to slot it with a dremel cutoff wheel: IMG_20160131_130641

And split with hammer and chisel: IMG_20160131_131025

We ended up using the last of the cutoff wheels. I figured that he would be able to knock the sleeve apart, but after lots of pounding and cursing, we decided to go nuclear. A few thousand degrees of heat, one small fire, and a ruined locknut (forgot to remove it before lighting the torch), and:


Current status:


Kia_Racer Dork
1/31/16 3:10 p.m.

I am glad the sub-frame on my 9-3 wasn't that hard to remove. It was a pain as ALL the bolts were torqued to within an inch of breaking.

XLR99 HalfDork
1/31/16 4:31 p.m.

This is the second one I've done. In some ways easier without the engine/trans and driveshafts in the way. I don't think this car ever saw a chassis car wash, so everything underneath is more crusty than what I'm used to.

Also, I'm a bit mobility-challenged right now, so trying to talk my son thru some of the things is a bit... interesting. We're trying to work on the concept of 'finesse' rather than 'apply 3750lb-ft to every fastener I see'.

I'm actually impressed that he only broke one M6 bolt and didn't cut the subframe in half with the dremel .

Kia_Racer Dork
1/31/16 4:41 p.m.

At least he shows interest. My gf son has no interest in cars other than to get him to work.

XLR99 HalfDork
2/13/16 1:58 p.m.

Brief update. I haven't done, well, anything really, to this car in the past two weeks. However, I got some presents today! IMG_20160213_132310

Pulleys, alternator brushes/VR, engine sensors, and a few other small parts to top the $150 threshold for 10% off at eeuro.

The control arms were $118 for the pair, thanks to epay. (Amazing deal considering that normally the rear bushings alone are ~75 a side). Here's the link if any other 9-5 people want to take advantage: Stupid cheap 9-5 control arms These fit '02+ with the 20mm ball joint stud. If anyone needs a pair of the smaller 18mm ball joints, I have a pair from before I discovered this model year change.

In other news, I painted the mirrors. They came out ok, but I didn't bother to check the paint I got from amazon against the actual car color until AFTER finishing painting.


No, they do not match the car.

No, I am not happy .

However, my BIL told me there's a place about 5 minutes from work that will match paint colors. Probably should have done that earlier. Oh well, live and learn.

And, to lighten the mood, because I crack up every time I see this picture, here's my first born a few weeks ago before winter arrived.

I worry about this one.

This is what too many head injuries do, kids

Kia_Racer SuperDork
2/13/16 2:12 p.m.

He should wear a helme. Instead of relying on his thick skull.

XLR99 HalfDork
2/14/16 7:16 a.m.

LOL, he claims that he was wearing one. He's pretty familiar with head injuries and the need for more noggin protection - couldn't read, watch TV or play video games for almost a month last year due to a hit on the football field .

Back on topic, 9-3/9-5 owners, I was reading on SaabRally and discovered that there's an Arduino solution out there for bluetooth music through the stock stereo systems: BlueSaab

It's not a manufactured, plug and play device, but I'm definitely interested. I've been wanting an excuse to learn about Arduinos anyway.

seyhan3535 New Reader
2/14/16 9:09 p.m.
XLR99 wrote: LOL, he claims that he was wearing one. He's pretty familiar with head injuries and the need for more noggin protection - couldn't read, watch TV or play video games for almost a month last year due to a hit on the football field . Back on topic, 9-3/9-5 owners, I was reading on SaabRally and discovered that there's an Arduino solution out there for bluetooth music through the stock stereo systems: BlueSaab It's not a manufactured, plug and play device, but I'm definitely interested. I've been wanting an excuse to learn about Arduinos anyway.

Do the 9-5's also have the optic fiber malarky that the 9-3ss have for the radio amp etc?

XLR99 HalfDork
2/15/16 4:06 a.m.

No, fortunately these cars pre-date the fiber optics. I don't know much about it, but I figure when saabradio touts that they're one of the few that can work on them, something problematic is going on.

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