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Old 05-30-2018, 11:39 AM   #1
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Fail Again, IronJoe - buying a cheap 9-3SC

I figured I'd make a thread in the proper place for all my misadventures.

I've been secretly wanting another Saab since I sold the Grey Ghost in 2014, and I especially missed the utility of my old Turbo X SportCombi after daily driver BMW 3ers for the past few years.

I sold my E46 M3, and with some of the profits I decided to find another Saab. I started with test driving a few 9-5s as I've heard Saabers rave about them for years and I had actually never owned or even driven one previously. After checking out a few, I decided the 9-5 wasn't for me and went looking for a 9-3 SportCombi.

The worst part of my Turbo X was the gas mileage, so I was specifically looking for FWD and the 2.0T this time around. After checking out a 2006 2.0T, I was disappointed in the seats, suspension, wheels, etc and decided I really needed the Aero even if I did take the hit on MPGs. At least FWD has to be better than the XWD version in my old TX, right? Right?

I found this 2007 9-3 Aero Sportcombi with 165k on Craigslist about 150 miles away from me, within the price point I had set for myself (cheapskate). After discussing with the owners, I made the deal and sent a deposit sight-unseen. Much of the car was a mystery to me, except I had run the VIN which came back clean title/no accidents and that it had new tires and brakes and that they'd used it for camping.

When I got to the car, I was pretty happy with the overall shape it was in with a few exceptions:
CEL was on, code P2626 for O2 sensor(?)
Aero front lip missing
Really dirty interior (pretty obvious they used it for hiking/camping)
Sun faded trim/badges

I started by cleaning the car up a bit, it still needs a paint correction but it looks much better. I removed the roof racks (not of any use for me, and I don't like the wind noise it makes on the road).

All the trim started looking better after some Adam's VRT, but the diffuser panel looked terrible. I pulled the lower bumper trim and after a few coats of SEM Trim Black, it looks brand new.

Still not sure of the CEL, the code calls out "o2 sensor pumping current trim circuit" Bank 1 Cyl 1 which I'm having trouble figuring out where that is. I haven't found this code come up on any of the Saab sites I've searched, doesn't look like one of the common ones.

Short-term plans for the car:
Fix the CEL issue
Standard maintenance
Euro bumper trim
Euro ice block tails
Aero lip

Longer term plans
Suspension?
Wheels (I actually really like the 5 spoke Aero wheels but this thing would look great on 18"
Exhaust? I loved the TX exhaust note and this thing is a little too tame.
Tune of some sort?



First photo: Note the faded/discolored rear diffuser.
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr

After the first wash:
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr

Ready to paint the diffuser:
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr


Painted & installed, much better!
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr

Buh-bye roof rack:
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:05 PM   #2
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Nice work!
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:38 AM   #3
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Beautiful car! Glad to see you back in a SAAB again!
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:56 AM   #4
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Did I miss if this was a 6mt or auto?
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:40 AM   #5
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Did I miss if this was a 6mt or auto?
It's the 6 speed auto, which is specifically what I was looking for.

I pulled the trigger on a few exterior refresh items that I think will make the car closer to what I am looking for. Excited to share with you all when they come in!


Also I wish I hadn't seen this, because now I want it - Tunstyle made a replica of the Hirsch 9-3 SportCombi spoiler and it's amazing. It's also NLA.

I'm really hoping I can get in contact with them because I absolutely love the look. Anyone know of other companies building replica Hirsch stuff?

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Old 05-31-2018, 10:16 AM   #6
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Wagons with wings FTW!

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Old 06-01-2018, 06:05 AM   #7
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Jameson your wagon looks so damn good!!!
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:01 AM   #8
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Jameson your wagon looks so damn good!!!
Thanks!

Has a built motor and large'ish stock location turbo now too

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Old 06-01-2018, 02:24 PM   #9
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how long untill it is well past the point of being able to be driven every day?
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:14 AM   #10
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Another small update, I think I got the CEL figured out *knocks on LACK table*
I was tracing back the o2 connections and testing for continuity in the wiring when I removed the ECM (mounted at the top of the engine). It seems someone before me had some trouble with the connector and sort of jammed it on, bending back one of the pins to the point where it couldn't engage. I was able to carefully bend it back into place and error has yet to return.

A strange problem to have, definitely. And of course I found this only after buying and installing the new o2 sensor

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how long untill it is well past the point of being able to be driven every day?
I give it three months


On a serious note, I really like the car so far. It's definitely begging for a little more rumbly exhaust. And suspension. Okay and a bit more power. But I'm loving being back in a Saab!
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:43 AM   #11
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Do you plan on having like 2-3 different kind-of dailys?
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The only reason it took all day to install was because we couldn't keep our dicks out of each others mouths.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:02 AM   #12
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Do you plan on having like 2-3 different kind-of dailys?
This and Tesla, maybe grab another convertible of some sort down the line.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:06 PM   #13
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Quick update: made a few small changes in the cosmetic department and I'm *almost* happy with it.

Added new emblems (which are different than the 2007 ones curiously, must have changed suppliers?), new euro front & rear bumper trim, and a new aero lip with paint & clear from Paintscratch.com.

I'm really happy to get rid of the redundant sidemarkers. The only thing I'm waiting on now are my euro iceblock tails.

AAEdit_P1010011 by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:58 PM   #14
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Looks great! It’s amazing the visual impact replacing/painting bumper trim can have on a car.
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Old 06-19-2018, 05:12 AM   #15
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Not too shabby dude.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:20 AM   #16
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Update: I got my Euro ice blocks

I'm thrilled to get these, as I've loved them ever since I saw the original SportCombi press images back in 2006. I was very disappointed when I finally saw what the US version lights looked like

It was fruitless trying to get an eBay UK seller to ship me a pair, so I ended up making a deal with a Saaber over there who wanted my US spec lights for his Turbo X.

I haven't had time to take any real photos yet, so for now enjoy a potato pic of a filthy car.

Before:
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr

After:
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:05 PM   #17
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It still cracks me up that we are all about the euro spec stuff, and the europeans are all about the US spec stuff. Works out well if you can make a connection though!
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:34 AM   #18
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It still cracks me up that we are all about the euro spec stuff, and the europeans are all about the US spec stuff. Works out well if you can make a connection though!
Yeah, it's a bit silly. For me, it was mainly because I loved the look of the ice block tails from the very first published photos of the SportCombi (I actually had this as a desktop wallpaper when it was first released):
Saab-93_SportCombi-2006-800-29 by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr

I was beyond disappointed when I saw what the US got instead


For the guy I traded with, he's going with a cool black & red theme on his Turbo X and these lights are really unique to the UK and will help him stand out. Win-win!
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:05 AM   #19
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Ready to paint the diffuser:
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr


Painted & installed, much better!
Untitled by IronJoeT16S, on Flickr
What paint did you use? It looks like the diffuser is removable from the bumper..? Sweet!
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