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tuner4life 06-17-2019 04:56 AM

1992 Saab C900 Base model 5 speed
Story time. I was looking around on the local FB marketplace and stumbled on this 1992 Saab 900. It looked like it had been in the woods for a while. Non running, had a little front end damage, and pretty rough looking in the pictures. They wanted $500 or something. I blew it off and forgot about it. A week or 2 later, FB notified me of the ad again and that the seller had dropped the price enough to peak my interest.

After talking to the seller, the car had been a part of a package deal with another that he bought and he just didn't want it. He tried to jump it and it just clicked and he never did anything else. He was going to scrap it unless someone bought it soon. If offered it to me for $300 over the phone without my prompting and seeing that it came with a set of SPG wheels I figured I couldn't go wrong.

Upon arrival, The car was as-described, but when I got to looking through the paperwork laying on the seat inside, I noticed that all the receipts and records were from California. I took a look underneath and realized that there was no rust.. NONE!! Even around the front suspension mounting points, I couldn't see anything!

So I quickly paid the man and loaded it up. Now I have a red C900 5 speed n/a sitting in the driveway that I was going to part out and scrap, but in all reality has a nicer body than the C900 that I've been working on restoring. and now I'm very conflicted about what I want to do with it.

Here are the options I'm bouncing around in my head:

- I'll spend a little time with it and see if I can get it running and driving. If there is nothing significant wrong, then maybe I'll clean it up and put it on the road as a daily, and/or flip/sell it as a running car.

If there is something severely wrong with the drivetrain, then one of the next 2 things may happen:

-I may tear it all apart, check the floorboards out, strip it all down, and re-shell my current C900 project into this body. There is some damage to the front fenders, but I'm thinking that would be easier to handle than the rust repairs that are needed with mine. My project wouldn't be a true 1986 anymore, but it's not a real SPG anyways, so I'm not sure how much that all matters..

-The other option is that if there is no hope for the drivetrain, I go ahead with my initial plan of parting it out and scrapping the shell. I would hate to do this because they are not making these anymore and clean bodies are impossible to find.. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Here are some pictures


9Kwrecker 06-17-2019 05:16 AM

Wow, I read the story first before I looked at the pics, you were not kidding about the no rust.

I would definitely vote to get it running before anything else, if you can get it running and cleaned up, that front end damage wouldn't be impossible to fix. How's it look inside?

tuner4life 06-17-2019 05:31 AM

The inside is actually very nice considering the outside condition. It's tan cloth. A little worn, and the dash is of course cracked, but it has a carpet cover in it, but it's not bad at all, it's all there and complete.

I also just remembered that I have some leftover US flatnose headlights (switched mine to e-code) and extra grilles to convert this to flatnose if I wanted to go that route. All I would need is the bumper. Hmmm....

jimbosaab 06-17-2019 06:11 AM

Good score given the solid shell and decent interior. It looks like my parts cars that have been sitting in a shaded corner of the driveway growing moss/lichen.

I agree with 9Kwrecker...spend a bit of time evaluating before making your decision. Will it run/drive, what does it obviously need, and how repairable is the front-end.

I was going to vote against using this to re-shell your '86 until reminded that it wasn't an original SPG. Even if you end up parting it, maybe someone else would want to buy the shell.

N/A 900 3drs can be a fun daily driver, you just need to run them a bit hard to keep the speed and entertainment factor up. With the big hatch and all the room, they're great for day-to-day errands.

tuner4life 06-18-2019 04:07 AM

I messed with this car a little bit last night. Threw a good battery in it. Had power to everything but no crank. Found a chewed through wire going to the starter (I assume I'm going to find many more chewed wires..) Anyways, Fixed that wire and the car cranked. While it didn't fire, it sounded healthy cranking.

After a little while longer, determined that it was not getting any fuel at the rail and I could not hear the fuel pump turn on at any point. Fuse is good. Going to see about a relay, and likely will just pull the pump to bench test in the near future. I'm not sure how long the fuel has been in the tank either. The gauge shows about 1/4 tank.

On a side note, I cleaned a small spot on the roof and quarter panel and spent about 30 seconds with some Meguiars ultimate compound just to see what I was up against.. Needless to say I am impressed. I forgot how well this single stage red comes back from anything!

9Kwrecker 06-18-2019 09:08 AM

I had a feeling that red was going to clean up nice.

If you pull the pump, might as well suck the bad gas out, and also make sure none of the rubber hoses inside haven't liquified.

I took a SPG apart last year that had been sitting for a looong time and the rubber vent hoses inside the tank had turned to sludge in the bottom of the tank. Once I cleaned the tank, and replaced the hoses/pump, it fired right up.

BTW, you've inspired me to look for a three door project. Now that my 9000 is all squared away (as squared away as a 9000 can be, anyway) I might as well find something else to work on.

tuner4life 06-18-2019 09:31 AM

I wish my 9k was squared away.. Also my other 900 and several other non-Saab projects lmao!! This was supposed to be a simple part-out, but it looks like that may not be the case anymore.

I plan on pulling the fuel pump in the next couple of weeks and checking everything out. Might just pull the plug and verify of there is power at the plug first.

tuner4life 06-25-2019 04:36 AM

Good News (hopefully).. The fuel pump isn't bad. I couldn't get it to run using normal means, but I was also not getting any power at the plug going to the pump. I jumped 12 volts to the pump and it started immediately and within a second or so, I could hear that it had built pressure.

I checked the relays and replaced them with some spared I had and that didn't fix the issue either. Something is still not turning the pump on..

Then I remembered the old red 1991 9k that I had had a bad CPS and that had the same issue where we couldn't get the fuel pump to run.. With that in mind, I cranked it for a few seconds and watched the tach hoping to see it bounce.. Nothing.

So a bum tachometer while cranking would point to a bad CPS, correct?

The next problem is that the only thing I can find is this splice in kit from

Is this really the only option?

jimbosaab 06-25-2019 05:29 AM

Did you jumper in the fusebox to power the pump? Rather than running 12v direct to the pump. That would eliminate some of the wiring.

I think your tach / CPS reasoning is valid, but I think I've had the same symptom before and the CPS was ok (vague memory).

You could have an ECU issue. I had an '88 which wasn't closing a ground circuit to close the FP relay (there's a thread on here about that).
More recently, there was a thread on here by someone with a '91 NA which also seemed to be the ECU.

tuner4life 06-25-2019 07:09 AM

I didn't jumper anything. Which spots would I need to jumper? I can't find a good diagram online..

jimbosaab 06-25-2019 08:54 AM

From the hot side of Fuse #27 (Hazard Lights, always powered) to the fuel pump at Fuse#30. That will power the fuel pump directly.

I couldn't remember offhand, so I looked back in my '88 thread.

tuner4life 06-25-2019 09:44 AM

Ah. Thank you!!!

I could have sworn I had a Bentley manual somewhere, but I cannot find it in the garage..

tuner4life 06-25-2019 03:53 PM

Alright. Working on it now. Just jumped power side of fuse 27 to the fuse 30 and the pump kicked on.

tuner4life 06-25-2019 04:01 PM

Just found the CPS sensor plug... It wasn't plugged in! Let me grab a fresh battery and some starting fluid and see where I get...

tuner4life 06-25-2019 04:48 PM


jimbosaab 06-26-2019 03:47 AM

LOL...sometimes the simplest things once you find them.
Awesome that it starts!

tuner4life 06-26-2019 04:05 AM

Thanks for your help! I really should have found this earlier because the CPS plugs in in the area where I had already needed to make repairs to some chewed through wires. Guess I just didn't notice it before.

Here's the video of it running. 1 hand plugging a vacuum leak, and the lifters are loud because it's been sitting, but otherwise it sounds healthy.


Same but on Facebook: o&fref=nf&__xts__[0]=68.ARBU0LE8PA2XXJZGMBNwj986u1GAVy64wHQTo-iH5IJyg7yxRqXz_jAzO3sGBCZokfZF9vmmHP4P2BE9iIBVyP-WHSDDSmxHldtPGhOmisz-lyBwC_s0KCQIWbaisIEjbiyA_M7u4K2oDkio0nvFO8fqDODyJr vwP4nlMp7uDkpoE-qNuKpHvpv7l3anfuPWxE8INSr3V_MKpEcaCiZ7qbHJCNhhjPuy P_7V1q_T6oiEMHBjOZW5xirhM155PfZSVbUwm_r1LaCKvwHFD8 mMzplmN9y-vQqWc5LitPO6ZK4O7Bvg05lXDXNe90spmKvsHWA6SCIyqxUtVl HMcqWHUA7lgpooAaBiW3n4Qe-P

I didn't drive it yet because there is a bunch of maintenance I want to at least check first (fluid changes mostly), but I did move a couple feet in 1st and reverse and the clutch feels good so that's a relief.


tuner4life 06-26-2019 04:27 AM

My brother ( came over the other night and wanted to get some pictures of the car in it's current condition before it gets cleaned up. Patina is not my thing, but I can see why people like it.

Saabjock 06-28-2019 07:15 AM

You lucked out with this one.
Yes!...that single stage paint will be amazing once cleaned up and buffed.
I had a body guy polish my wife's 87 a few years back...after years of not being detailed.
The car looked new afterward.
Get that old oil and brake fluid out.
Don't do any high revving until those lifters fully pump up.

tuner4life 06-29-2019 04:14 AM

Welp... I think my luck may have run out with this car.

I did an oil change last night (fixed the lifter noise almost immediately), checked and topped off the transmission oil, changed a few more vacuum hoses and put some tires on the front that hold air..

I decided that i was going to drive the car down the road about 1/4 mile to the next street, turn around, and come home. (I live on the country so there is rarely anyone around). I left the driveway, ran slowly and gently through the gears. It really drove great. Besides the steering pump hating it's life, everything was good, it felt smooth and eager to run. It even shifted pretty smoothly and quietly. It was every bit the happy little car that I remember C900s being. I turned around and headed towards home.

I was just getting ready to shift into 3rd when I heard a strange "pop" and the engine shut off. Still rolling, I shift to neutral and restart the engine no problem. Let the clutch out in neutral and it stalls again..

At this point, I pull over and come to a stop. The engine starts and runs fine, but as soon as you let the clutch out in any gear (including neutral) it stalls with absolutely zero movement of the car. It's like something on the input side of the transmission or the primary chain drive is locked up. With the car off it rolls freely in neutral so I was able to pull it home.

I pushed it back into it's little space in the driveway and shut it down for the night.. Now I'm contemplating my options again.

EDIT: All hope is not lost, If it's just an issue with the primary chain drive, then I guess that's not that hard or expensive to fix. I just don't have time to check it for a few weeks.

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