Difficult decision for the fate of my Viggen (WARNING venting involved) - The Saab Link Forums

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Old 04-07-2015, 06:22 PM   #1
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Difficult decision for the fate of my Viggen (WARNING venting involved)

Sorry this is long winded, This is a venting as well as a cry for helpful advice.......

So I got the dreaded mayo in the filler neck with shot compression at 240k and was informed I cracked a piston or two(not sure how, as the highest I've taken this thing was to 5000 rpm and a 100mph......I digress) I already spent 3 on the car and `2.5k in repairs including the new clutch. I am also a college student in a medical program with a strict failure policy( if you miss 2 class regardless of reason you have to retake.) And I am going to be married in about a year and a half after graduation of course.

what I have done is listed as:
Clutch and corresponding parts
coolant hoses
front suspension
brakes
replaced the catalytic converter
and a new set of tires which I've used half the life of

Was told that
the fuel pump/ tank/ lines were all replaced

Whats wrong besides the engine is that the ac doesn't work.

My biggest concern is that If I fix a mostly original car that has 240k on it with a rebuilt engine or a swap it for a 160k engine for about a grand. I will essentially be shooting myself in the foot just with a delayed trigger pull.
Also since I have a very loving and caring family that sees me struggling with my history of cheap cars (I have had 4 cars all of which with engine failure....I don't beat on them I swear) they generously offered me a third option to pay up to 250 a month for a new car until I'm out of college and employed then I can take over......my Pride is in the way of this option......again I digress.

What I am asking is if you were in a situation, what would you guys do with your knowledge/experience with these cars. I was originally told these things were good for 400k and well.....yeah. I am just torn with all my options. Hope any input can help.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:12 PM   #2
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i love saabs and would fix it or buy another one if i could
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:33 AM   #3
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Where are you located? How certain are you that you have a busted piston? Could be just a headgasket which would be a weekends worth of work.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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If you can't wrench on it yourself because of time/money, I'd move on.

I have a similar car, 2000 9-5 Aero with 250K miles. Recently rebuilt the engine myself and replaced the trans with a low mileage unit (original would not select reverse). Even with these good changes, there are still a host of other things to fail with a car that has 250K miles.

I was fortunate enough that a buddy and me split a 2001 Aero with 86K for parts. He took the drive train and I took the ENTIRE interior. So my car is in pretty good shape with an interior with less than 100k, new motor, and trans with 70K miles.

After all this work; I've had to replace: front and rear wheel bearing (still need to do the others), put new shocks on the front (still to do the back), All bushings etc are old, some hoses still may be original, had to replace both drive axles, brakes have not been touched (this is maint anyway), I think the alternator is original, had to put in a new water pump, replaced the AC compressor, and finally also replaced the radiator which was weeping.

So, I enjoy this, It is an extra car for our family, and I do the work myself. If I did not like doing the work, and couldn't afford to outsource, I'd be driving a new chevy malibu!

My advice if you really love it is save it till you have time to play. But you won't be able to count on it like a new car until much more work is performed and it will cost you money and time while it is repaired.

I think this dilemma is really only about the fact it is a viggen. Would I put this much work/time into a standard 9-5 with similar miles? No way. I also have a pretty special NG900, but I would sell that one right away if the right Viggen (even a project) came along.

Viggens are worth saving, so if you can stash it somewhere safe for a few years till you have time do so. Otherwise sell it to another enthusiast, and find another when you are ready.

Last edited by Tboy; 04-08-2015 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:52 PM   #5
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That's pride ^&** with you (Name that movie). Take the deal/assistance, two and you're out isn't worth the risk. Store or pick up another car to play with once you get out. Even if you didn't burn a piston, possible conrod and main rod bearings. If you pull the oil pan and see chunks of metal, good chance you've damaged a piston or other.
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Last edited by oliversexpedition; 04-08-2015 at 04:53 PM. Reason: added store option
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:05 PM   #6
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That's pride ^&** with you (Name that movie).
Pulp Fiction, haha, used to quote it all the time!
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:00 PM   #7
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OP - Still recommend selling or storing and getting a daily driver.

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Old 04-11-2015, 05:20 AM   #8
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Sorry for disappearing since then, been worrying about rentals and borrowing cars and such...... Anyways, thanks for all the advice guys. I think I may take the deal and then save the Viggen for later. I can do my own wrenching, just not now lol.

To answer the question on Location, I am in Chepachet RI (top left corner of the state)

To answer the question of how certain I am. TBH I am not, however the saab mechanic I took it too seemed positive it was. But regardless if it were a head gasket it would be easier for me to fix it up for a fun little weekend car, or back up. Its the black 4dr so I imagine it isn't as desired as a coupe or the lightning blue colored.

Once again Thank you all for the help, and the story of my "new" project car shall continue lol.
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