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Old 10-30-2017, 07:29 AM   #1
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BuHuSPGs '07 9-5 Aero SC 5sp

On a whim, I bought a 2007 SportCombi with three pedals and 90k on the clock. The car is in average condition cosmetically and needs some typical tune -up stuff (discussed below). Methinks this is my sixth or seventh Saab depending on your definition of "ownership", but I have not owned one in several years and really didn't plan on owning one again. In 2015 I bought a TDI sportwagen after Dieselgate deflated the used car prices. I didn't expect to be offered the buyback from VW, but they ended up including owners who purchased the car after the scandal broke. Suffice it to say, the offer is extremely compelling from a financial point of view. I really liked the sportwagen but also loved my old 9-5 Aero and am happy to be back. I have up to a year to return my Sportwagen, which should give me some time to bring the 9-5 into better, more trustworthy condition

This car will really be a DD and won't be heavily modified. I will start with remedial maintenance, do some audio upgrades, and some basic performance modifications - stock engine & turbo.

[picture to be added]
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:30 AM   #2
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The Purchase & Trip Home

I live in PA near Philadelphia, this car was in Tampa, FL. I planned to look at the car near the airport, decide thumbs up or thumbs down, and then drive it back to PA which was about 15.5 hours. No matter how you do these long distance car transactions, you're taking a big risk. I was aware of that and stupid enough to proceed. I found a flight for $85 that arrived in Tampa around 11am and planned to drive straight back and go to work, albeit late, on Monday.

The seller was a nice guy but the car was a little less pristine than I had hoped. Add to that, he had cleared the OBD codes prior to my arrival saying there was an EVAP code due to him not securing the gas cap. That's always a big red flag to me because I always like to check for that in my inspection. Overall, the car was in good enough condition that I figured I could fix its ails and still be happy with the result. The he had said the fuel gauge didn't work but that he filled it up and had put only about 40 miles on it (according to the trip odometer). So off I went.

I got on the road and started heading up I75 from Tampa, making my way towards 95. Things seemed pretty OK for a 10 year old car. Some vibrations from old tires probably out of balance but nothing crazy. I was getting used to the car and identifying cosmetic issues as I drove. All of a sudden the car started sputtering and died quickly with a flashing CEL. Coasted to the side of a busy highway.

Great start, I was nervous, scared and without a plan. Breaking down on the side of the road 900 miles away from home really sucks. I called my wife. I tried to start it again to no avail. The battery was toast and only lasted about 90 seconds of total cranking. I popped the hood, found the vacuum line had fallen off the BPV connection at the firewall. I suspected that caused the EVAP code but not the catastrophic issue i had.

So, I called the seller. Turns out he had a spare, cracked DIC that he said worked on another car but threw a code. I instantly realized he knew more about Saabs than I thought, since he has a spare DIC. Normal people don't just keep those in their junk drawer! He was nice enough to drive 1hr, one-way to bring it, a jump pack and a gas can (I was still unsure of the gas situation at that point). He came, we swapped the DIC and the car started right up, I was elated and filled with all sorts of false bravado. We parted ways and I immediately went to the closest gas station to fill up and Advance Auto for a battery. Ain't nobody got time for those two things to go wrong on a trip like this. Back on my way, now about 2.5 hours behind, 14hrs to go.

I made my way through Florida, things were cool. I made my way through Georgia, things were cool. CEL came back on - it takes awhile to register misfires so I was reluctantly expecting this. I was proceeding cautiously optimistic.

South Carolina, I think around 11pm I felt a big series of misfires. I was scared but kept going. Anyone who has driven a misfiring car knows waht they feel like and knows what it does to your brain. Every bump in the road or vibration you feel starts to feel like a misfire. Also cruise control suddenly ceased to exist from this point forward - probably an unrelated issue but not helpful to my fact pattern for the evening...

North Carolina, around 1am I'm reaching the halfway point. I had planned refuelings on 300 mile intervals (no idea of MPGs with misfires and didn't want to run out) so I was probably on my second fill up. I was beginning to feel tired which normally happens to me, but had not on this ride because I had a lot of fear and adrenaline going. And boom, big series of misfires, car dies on the highway. I start coasting and push the clutch and pop it and the car won't run, the engine is spinning only because the wheels are turning it. Still coasting, I put the clutch in and key off, start again and it fires. Kind of scary in and of itself because all your lights go out in the middle of the night and it's really dark - no reflectors or anything - but only for a second. Glad I got that battery. I kept going, now my fear level back to 11 out of 10. Not tired any more.

Car starts doing this death on the highway procedure a few more times, each time I am able to restart it without stopping. I figure I'm hurting the engine in some way, who knows. I can replace a b235 easier and for less money than getting stranded 400 miles away from home and getting a repair or a crazy long tow. Plus, I'd be stuck for a long time which I really couldn't afford

I get to Virginia. The car keeps periodically shutting off on the highway and I've now found that I can leave the key on when it does. Car dies, I put the clutch in and let the engine go to zero RPM, I let the clutch back out and it starts running again. It's doing this fairly regularly now, maybe every 10 -2- minutes.

From there on out it was more of the same. The coolant temp gauge stopped working at some point. From about Washington DC north I didn't have anymore random shutoffs, which was nice because its very congested, was pouring rain and there is usually no meaningful shoulder. Anyway, I made it home. I was nervous the whole time but I made it and hope the future is brighter. I'm going to let it sit for awhile and make a plan and gather parts - starting with a DIC!!!!!!!

<would post pics - WHAT DO PEOPLE USE FOR PHOTO SHARING NOW that photobucket is dead?>


Last edited by BuHuSPG; 10-30-2017 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:31 AM   #3
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[the starting point]
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:19 AM   #4
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Dont forget its 1 of 1 60th Anny cars made in that color with a 5mt
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:59 AM   #5
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Well...if you want to sell it let me know!

(Congrats on the car--I bet it'll be fine, I'd start w/a new DIC, agree, and also a new CPS)
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First T7 19T turbo setup. First T7 Deka 80lb. injector setup.

Last edited by Trionic3000; 10-30-2017 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 10-30-2017, 12:12 PM   #6
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Woot! Sounds like a fun trip. In for updates.
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Old 10-30-2017, 12:36 PM   #7
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Very familiar story! I lost count of how many times I've had trips like that. I used to buy $300-$1,300 SAABs...a lot! There's something thrilling about finding a great deal, traveling a great distance, cash in hand, your only plan to get home being the car you've never seen before that might make it 50 miles or might make it 5,000. That level of commitment (read: impulsiveness/foolishness) kind of hurts your bargaining opportunities, but you wouldn't have gone to such extremes if it wasn't already a great deal, right?

I miss those days. Maybe when my kids are out of diapers and my wife wont kill me when a 24 hour trip turns into 48! I figure there's at least a half dozen rust-free C900's in FL and CA that will be calling to me once I have a barn big enough to store them.

Awesome story. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:27 PM   #8
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Sounds like it was full of excitement! Definitely following this one.

I use google for my image hosting.
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Old 10-30-2017, 03:39 PM   #9
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First T7 19T turbo setup. First T7 Deka 80lb. injector setup.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:14 AM   #10
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Here are some crappy pics from the garage. I just finished my racing season and need to work on all that stuff and get it stored for winter and then will start addressing the Saab.


Last edited by BuHuSPG; 10-31-2017 at 09:03 AM. Reason: trying again on the pictures
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:04 AM   #11
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Great story, glad to hear you made it back! Perhaps next time start with a new or verified DIC!

I don't see the pics, they are not showing up. I use Imgur btw.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:25 AM   #12
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Thoughts on my initial baseline maintennance items? Remember the car runs poorly, has 90k and needs to be a reliable DD. Coolant and fuel gauges drop to zero so I have issues there that I am addressing. The list is in the image but summarized below. I'm also deciding where I can skip GenuineSaab stuff to save some $$.

- DIC (Saab)
- CPS (Bosch)
- Check valve (i forget where this is but remember it being a common issue)
- Fuel pump (pro parts)
- MAF (Saab)
- NGK BCPR6ES (I think those are the right ones)
- Coolant temp sensor
- Thermostat
- Air filter
- Cabin air filter (smells stinky when i turn the fan up)
- 3 meters of silicon vac line
- Oil & Filter change
- Valve cover gasket (appears to have been sealed with permatex schmutz)




I haven't inspected brakes and suspension bits. Shifter is sloppy too but I'll get to that later.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:24 AM   #13
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I'd probably check the BPV as well. Do these cars have a separate inline fuel filter? Might be good to change that out as well.

I'd also check the chassis grounds, battery terminals, etc. I've learned the hard way with electrical issues to start at the front and work back through the system.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:39 AM   #14
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No separate fuel filter on the 06+ 9-5s unfortunately. No under seat access to the pump either.

I've had a DIC do similar things. x2 on the grounds though. Seems strange that both the fuel level sensor and the coolant temp sensor are both dead, especially with those low miles.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:09 AM   #15
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I do have underseat access to the fuel pump - i heard someone else say that as well. I pulled the cover off and the pump is right there. It is a little offset in the hole so I am sure it is going to be super fun to snake it out.

Noted on the grounds, I will try to find as many as I can. Even though I bought the car in Florida, it spent most of its life in Mass.

Last edited by BuHuSPG; 11-01-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:12 AM   #16
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Hmmm. I thought the hole under the seat was simply for the electrical connectors.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:22 PM   #17
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Interesting that it was a Mass car...
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Old 11-27-2017, 01:14 PM   #18
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Any updates here?

Been chipping away at the list on my '08... or maybe I should say it's chipping away at me. Having a hard time keeping track of whether the list is getting longer or shorter each day
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Old 11-28-2017, 04:32 AM   #19
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Yes but not really. I placed my black friday order with eeuroparts - was hoping they were having a sale and they were: 10%. I spent a lot of money but am hoping this gives me a good baseline. Other than that, the car hasn't moved since it limped home. Kind of wondering if I should have gotten the colder 7 NGK plugs but whatever, I'll change them out if I tune it.

I have been searching for a downpipe and am hoping to find a used one, even if it has a car attached to it. Just can't justify the money for a new one but I love how the car responds when you open it up!!

Other than that, this thing is on the slow boat over the winter. House projects, a one-year old, etc. are taking my time. Plus I still have about 13 months before I have to turn my TDI in, and I really like that car for now. I haven't registered or insured the Saab yet so it will be hard to take it on any meaningful test drives.

I searched for Saabeh's post on replacing the subwoofer and stereo upgrades but couldn't find anything. Can anyone help me find that post? I really want to do a double din with bluetooth and may just run new speaker wire and bypass all the HK stuff but I would like to replace the sub and keep everything in the existing enclosure.

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Old 11-28-2017, 10:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuHuSPG View Post
I searched for Saabeh's post on replacing the subwoofer and stereo upgrades but couldn't find anything. Can anyone help me find that post? I really want to do a double din with bluetooth and may just run new speaker wire and bypass all the HK stuff but I would like to replace the sub and keep everything in the existing enclosure.
The subwoofer that I bought off of his recommendation is this:

Kicker 40CWRT672 6.75" CompRT-Series Car Subwoofer

When I bought mine it was only $70, so you may want to try looking elsewhere. I also don't know if they changed anything about the sub from 02 to 07, but my guess is probably.
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