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Old 04-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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Project Rolling Restoration - 85 900 turbo

Just a teaser until I get more details up later/tomorrow.

I am the 3rd owner. 101k original documented miles. 99.9% rust free. Never seen snow/salt. EVERY option. E codes. Inca rims. Louvers.

And, only $500!

The (maybe) bad: Probably needs a head gasket





More to come soon...
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
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Wow, amazing deal right there! Very jealous!
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:18 PM   #3
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Love it. Great color and sounds like the steal of the century. Awesome!
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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'91 9000CD Turbo, Auto, Iridium Blue
'91 9000T, 5MT, Tally Red (No-Start Project)
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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x a shitload.
In for more and curious to see the interior.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:59 PM   #6
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ha you where literally like a block away from my house; wish I had known you where in the area I would have met up. Ive seen that car and talked to the owner; you lucked out BIG time
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
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you lucky bastard!!!!
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:42 AM   #8
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Ok, so here's a bit of the story.

I've been looking for a project for a little while now after selling my 95 power stroke and my 92 9000 airflow last April. I went upto Portland to look at a 78 turbo that's been in storage for 12 years on tuesday, and boy did it need some work. Then I talked to my buddy Pete (quick4door) a bit yesterday about his 4 door SPG. He offered a trade for a trailer, so I immediately jumped on CL to try and see what was out there for car/equipment trailers. While jumping back and forth between for sale pages, up pops up "1985 saab 900 turbo - $1" so naturally I click on it...



My initial reaction was, no way is the car in the picture the one that's for sale. I spotted the inca wheels and the e-codes right off, and it looked super clean. The ad said something along the lines of "101k orig miles, started smoking, might need head gasket, best offer". So I called right away. The guy says "wow that was fast, I just put the ad up less than 10 minutes ago". He said he would let it go for cheap, and wanted it gone this weekend. I had a feeling if the car was as good as it sounded/looked that it wasn't going to stick around very long. So I hopped in the Aero and headed to Nashua.

I got there and was initially blown away by just how clean the car was on the exterior. There is a tiny bit of rust on the fuel door, and one tiny little dent on the lower drivers door, where it has just the littlest bit of surface rust starting. Also catching my eye was some interesting pin striping all over the car, sort of a "sunburst" effect, but more on that later. The Buffalo Red interior is a bit rough, but it's all there, INCLUDING CENTER ARMREST, and everything works including the sunroof.

So I fired it up and it starts smoking. The owner says it's been his daily driver for years, and literally just that morning on his way back from Home Depot (down the street, this guy obviously never traveled far) it started to smoke. The owner had drained the oil and noticed it had just a very slight bit of a sheen to it, but no coolant in the oil and vice versa. So I pull the plugs. I notice the valley has a good amount of oil in it, obviously needs a VC gasket. Then pull the plug for 1, which was barely finger tight, and it's soaked in oil... the other 3 all look great. So I'm assuming HG, and oil is sneaking into the cylinder from the thin spot between 1 and the timing gears. I put the plugs back in and take it for a spin. Man was it weird to be in a C900 again, it's been 4 years or so. It idled find and sounded fine, although was obviously missing on 1. I just took it around the block. Normal stuff, shifter is sloppy, steering is a bit sticky, brakes, meh, they're there.

So, we talk a bit more, and I ask price. He says "$500". I say, I think you have a deal. He then pulls out a stack of paperwork and the original window sticker and dealer brochure. He's got all the records on the car since 99, when it had 50,000 miles on it. Oh, and it was just registered last month and took an inspection sticker no problem!

We shake on it and I call AAA to get it towed home

So while just guessing at it and not even popping the VC gasket yet, I'm hoping best case the VC gasket is shot and it's leaking oil into the valley and into #1 through the spark plug. Worst case it's the HG and as I said earlier, it's leaking oil into 1 from the weak spot between the timing chain. I'm not even going to thing about rings, the car seems too clean and being 100% stock, I just don't see it. Also, the owner had done some fiddling with the vacuum lines and the PCV. I'm thinking there's definitely something going on there. Also, upon mentioning oil changes a few time (which he did himself) he kept saying 5 quarts... so I'm really hoping he was BUYING and not PUTTING 5 quarts into the engine. That could also explain a lot...

So anyhow, now the diagnosis can begin. First thing will be compression check. Actually, first thing will be a quick wash today and some pictures! Then this week I'll give it the full cleanup and detail and wax.

The idea for this project, as the title states, is more or less to keep it very clean, essentially stock, and be a rolling restoration. The exterior needs VERY little to be immaculate. Then I can worry about the interior bits. I'd like to lower it and stiffen up the suspension. Engine will stay basically stock aside from maybe an open air intake. Really, I just want a nice clean example of a car that is beginning to fall off the face of the planet. I can't get over just how clean this thing is!

More to come...
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 132417SAAB View Post
ha you where literally like a block away from my house; wish I had known you where in the area I would have met up. Ive seen that car and talked to the owner; you lucked out BIG time
Sorry I missed you! It all happened in the blink of an eye. I called Mike D while I was down there, but he didn't pick up. He also had seen the car once and knew of how clean it was. I definitely feel like this is the car I've been waiting for.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:17 AM   #10
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You are one lucky SOB my friend, fantastic car, well bought.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:45 AM   #11
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glad to see it go to somebody who will probably keep it for another ten years and take good car of it. great deal
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:11 AM   #12
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Great story! Congratulations. Look forward to more pictures and the resto. Glad you're going for mostly stock. Like you say, there are fewer and fewer of these around; glad this one made it into the hands of someone who will preserve and protect it.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:31 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the compliments guys! I'm still reeling over how good of shape this car is in. It makes my 03 9-5 Aero Wagon look like a rust bucket, haha.

Gave it a quick wash: The Results






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Old 04-14-2012, 09:33 AM   #14
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And then the rusty spots, man this thing is going to need a lot of work! (sarcastic)




And the pin striping, which while for being nearly 30 years old, was well done, will have to go.


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Old 04-14-2012, 11:57 AM   #15
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is the pin striping stock?the snow flakes and what not. never seen them before
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #16
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Wow, hella score! I can't believe you found that car in NH and it's that rust-free.

Von Dutch wanna-be pinstriping has to go.

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Old 04-14-2012, 07:21 PM   #17
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i seriously gotta find me some louvers for my C9K :-/ looks great
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:33 AM   #18
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Yes, I'm a huge fan of the louvers! I had a set on my 85 SPG and they just give it that extra bit of 80's pinache.

The pin striping is actually listed on the sales sticker. The car was some sort of dealer demo/showroom car, hence all the options.

I did a quick compression test on it yesterday, although realizing I missed a few details afterwards (ie, warm engine, throttle at wide open). #1, which had all the oil on the plug, still gave 105psi, 2 showed 135, 3 was 120, and 4 was 135. Going to do another one in the next couple of days, and do it correctly. It is inspiring to see that #1, although a bit low, is still making compression. I did run it for a minute afterwards, and it is still smoking pretty badly.

I would love to hear any opinions on the likely culprit of the oil in 1 and the lowered compression.
For as little as I'm into this car for, I am planning to pull the head off and have it gone through and rebuilt professionally.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:47 AM   #19
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Love the incas and the short nose 900s! Nice find!
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:26 AM   #20
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well I think first you need to go back and properly do the compression test just to 100% rule that out yano? After that maybe the valve stem seals? This is of course after youve replaced the vc cover gasket.
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