2002 9-3 Sludged. New engine vs Rebuild vs? - The Saab Link Forums

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Old 07-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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2002 9-3 Sludged. New engine vs Rebuild vs?

I've tried searching the forums so forgive me if I'm beating a dead horse.

I'm looking at a 2002 9-3 SE with a sludged engine and 140K on the odometer. It looks very clean inside, outside and under the hood. The current asking price is $900. I've seen brand new Saab engines on eBay for $3500 and used engines (not rebuilt) for $1,500 - $2,000. NADA puts the value of the car (145K) at $3,600 or $4800 with low miles.

I guess my questions are:
1. what is a tear down rebuild/remanned engine cost? Is it a blank slate?
2. Does the new engine with the updated PCV give the engine the same potential 200,000 mile lifespan, all things being equal? Or, is the basic engine 'spotty.'

So, given the collective wisdom of the forum I'd like to get some feedback from those that have dealt with having to decide between replacing the engine, kick the car to the curb, or just buy another 900?


Backstory: I've got a NG 900 and the clutch is ready to give up the ghost in the next year so I'm looking for another hatchback. I've owned about 6 NG 900s, a few I drove, a couple I parted out so I'm capable of dropping in an engine given time and space.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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The B205 (T7) engines are notoriously fragile and can be excessively expensive to rebuild. But, there's nothing wrong with the basic components and with the correct PVC kit and reasonable oil change intervals, they're good for a bucket load of miles,

The key question is how badly damaged the internals are. As long as the crank and block are OK, the rest becomes pretty doable, particularly for the DIY type.

If not, used engines are probably the only reasonable way to go, but don't forget the B235 from the 9-5's share blocks and heads, makes an engine swap a simple mater of nuts, bolts and a quick re-flash of the ECU. Last I looked, used 2.3 9-5 engines are more available and less expensive than the 2.0 from the 9-3's.

Personally, I think NADA book values are fairy tales, but hey, they might be close to right in your market.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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I've seen a lot of references in terms of mixing and matching the B235/234 parts, but if I do a no frills straight B235R what year range can I use?
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1988 900S - RIP
1995 V6 900 SE convertible - RIP
1996 900 - Sold
1995 900 SE convertible - RIP
1996 900 S - Sold
1998 900 SE turbo
1994 900 S Coupe - RIP
900 convertible - RIP
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:14 PM   #4
 
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If the engine is sludged but intact, a rebuild makes the most sense.

Look down the plug holes with a borescope to see which piston might be FUBAR. Have the pan pulled, and the bottom end caps removed. If the crank looks OK, then go with a rebuild.

Ditch the sucky T7 pistons and put in forged.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:43 PM   #5
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"...the oil light came on on the freeway last week and, by the time I got to a gas station, the engine was making a clicking. A couple of mechanics listened to the engine and told me a piston bearing is out."

Makes it sound like it still starts and runs okay, which would likely mean it is decent enough to get it rebuilt. So that is great insight to at least move forward.

Thanks Mike. That is a start.
__________________
1988 900S - RIP
1995 V6 900 SE convertible - RIP
1996 900 - Sold
1995 900 SE convertible - RIP
1996 900 S - Sold
1998 900 SE turbo
1994 900 S Coupe - RIP
900 convertible - RIP
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