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hondafanatic17 12-30-2013 09:16 PM

My 94 SE Turbo Build/Bring Back To Better Condition Thread.
Well once again I've purchased another Saab, but instead of a 5th 9000 I decided on a 1994 900 SE Turbo 3dr, found the car on craigslist for a good price and somewhat local and decided to go for it. Pics will come soon. Anyways I wish I would have done a thread for my 9000 when I bought it, even if no one looked at it would have been nice to keep track of it. So I decided to make one for this car, will note I'm on a budget and this will be nothing more interesting then seeing a neglected car be cleaned up into something presentable, so with out further ado....

-94 Turbo in metallic(or what was metallic sometime in the late 1990s) green.
-5 speed manual.
-121200 miles.
-Almost stock except for a fart can type muffler that actually doesn't sound half bad.

-I believe the turbo is dying, smokes a lot, doesn't sound very good. Was looking into either having a place called rebuild it for 350 dollars, anyone use them? Or installing if it will work okay my tdo4 off my 9000 Aero engine.
-Replace Shift linkage with updated version, car doesn't like reverse to much atm.
-Replace drivers side mirror.
-Go over entire car with new vacuum lines, fresh plugs, filters, and fluids after turbo is taking care of. Also either replace or turn brake rotors as they feel horrible.

hondafanatic17 01-24-2014 05:08 PM

Finally got the car on a lift here yesterday(its been way to cold these last two weeks to be working on anything outside) made my list of everything that needs to be taken care of for inspection if I decide to continue fixing up this car. Also reattached the one front lower engine mount that had a bolt missing from it. Narrowed the no reverse issue down to the shifter linkage, wanted to make sure before i ordered a new one. Took care of the turbo issue possibly, now hopefully someone can fill me in on if this might have done any long term damage.

I discovered that the PO had screwed around with the BPV? valve and instead of having it hooked up they had a vacuum line going from the wastegate right into the turbo. I got some new lines, found the valve dangling under the headlight and reattached everything properly. Also replaced all the other lines in the car, resolving another issue of the car running to rich. Took it for a test drive and the turbo spools and hold pressure very well in all ranges and gear and I noticed a significant less amount of smoke coming from the car now.

But its still smoking, and it makes a clacking noise around 3 thousand rpm, around 4 thousand it goes away. It sound like it might be the engine? Im kinda scared I bought a toasted car now. It doesn't do it at all unless its around 3 thousand rpm otherwise it sounds really strong and it runs really good. Doesn't stutter or anything when its making the noise either, hopefully someone can help point me in the right direction. Best I can describe it is the sound it makes is almost the same as when a cv joint is going bad and.

Oh heres some pics, over the body is in great shape.

g96nt 01-25-2014 04:55 AM

If it sounds like a bad CV, it's either rod knock, or timing chain issues.

hondafanatic17 01-25-2014 12:18 PM

So next step I guess is just opening it up and having a look? Hopefully it just needs a new timing chain but more then likely I once again bought a basket case:(

g96nt 01-25-2014 01:22 PM

Well, getting it warm and draining the oil through a cheese cloth or rag will let ya knkw pretty quickly if the bearings are wearing.

hondafanatic17 01-25-2014 01:59 PM

Will bits of metal be in it? I'm going to do that Monday. To cold to work outside!

g96nt 01-25-2014 02:17 PM


Harvey's Autohaus 01-25-2014 02:42 PM

Stuff a 9k short block in it, 19t or t28 & go have a blast with it. Fun car to build.

hondafanatic17 01-25-2014 06:02 PM


Originally Posted by Harvey's Autohaus (Post 1949378)
Stuff a 9k short block in it, 19t or t28 & go have a blast with it. Fun car to build.

To much work for me lol, I'd rather stay factory with most things just from a time crunch issues when it comes to working on my cars.

hondafanatic17 01-25-2014 06:39 PM

With my luck I have a nice toasted engine so I guess I'll be looking for a replacement most likely.

mike saunders 01-26-2014 04:56 AM

If it's just noisy on the lower end, you might be able to get away with just replacing the bottom end bearing shells. Only way to tell is by dropping the pan, though...

EDIT...and the color is "scarabe green metallic" IIRC. I used to have a 97 in that color...:)

hondafanatic17 01-26-2014 01:30 PM


Originally Posted by mike saunders (Post 1949474)
EDIT...and the color is "scarabe green metallic" IIRC. I used to have a 97 in that color...:)

I know, it's the same color of my 9000 and it has tan interior too. My favorite Saab combo!

Yeah hopefully Monday I'll find out the situation, like to have it running and reliable by the beginning of summer.

hondafanatic17 01-27-2014 04:47 PM

Okay so I changed my oil today, drained it into a clean pan and then filtered it as I was dumping it into the used oil drum and it didn't have any metal flakes in it, just some dirt and it was very thick. Didnt get time to removed the valve cover to see if anythings going on at the top end but it sound like its right under the valve cover closer to the passenger side. Got busy with trying to fix my reverse. I'm trying to figure out if it's the linkage or the actual reverse gear. I adjusted it a bit so that it goes into the reverse gear easier and I can now pull the key out with less pressure on the shifter then before. I used to have to put all my weight into it.

So now it's pull the valve cover off tomorrow and figure out reverse. Had anyone had their actual reverse gear take a crap before?

hondafanatic17 02-04-2014 04:37 PM

Okay so as of now I have one major issue figured out but the other is on the table.

The transmission is shot and I'm not interested in rebuilding it. Also I think it needs a clutch cable(feels terrible)

The issues I'm still looking into is the engine, so far I've drained and strained the oil, no metal flakes in it. Popped the spark plugs out, besides that the car was ram rich on gas because of a bad vacuum line they look good and there is no markings on the pistons. Took the valve cover off, the timing chain is solid, has no play in it and all the chain guides are in excellent shape, that whole area was very clean too for how black the oil was, no sludge at all. Tested each piston with the car running to see if the noise was possibly only on one cylinder, it wasn't sound stayed the same across the line. Guess the next thing is to do bearings? If it is just bearings could that cause smoking? Or is that most likely rings?

BuHuSPG 02-05-2014 06:09 AM

I lost reverse completely in a 94 N/A 900 that I had. Drove it that way for a year. Was not just a linkage issue.

BuHuSPG 02-05-2014 06:13 AM

If I were you, I would just drive it with the noises and reverse, and just look for an engine / trans pair, they pop up all the time.

Might be worth checking your oil pressure relief valve too, do you get any oil pressure light? Does that light work?

BuHuSPG 02-05-2014 06:17 AM

Sorry for the stream of consciousness.

Are you sure the noise is coming from inside the engine, and not from any of the accessories or idler pulley? Maybe pop the belt off and spin the pulleys?

hondafanatic17 02-05-2014 09:58 AM

I do have a bad pulley but I've already popped the belt off and it still makes the noise when I rev the engine. And I haven't checked my oil pressure relief valve yet, so maybe I'll do that tonight. I'm 90 percent sure the light works but I'll double check.

I've already located a parts car for the manual transmission and engine if needed. Just wondering how big of a job that's going to be.

BuHuSPG 02-05-2014 12:23 PM

If you have a lift, it's not bad at all. It comes out nicely as a unit from the bottom. Drop the whole subframe out to the ball joints as a whole unit too. Really not that bad.

If you try to pull it from the top, it is harder. If you have a known good unit, and a lift, I would just pick a day and bang it out.

Slippery slope though, you may want to do some maintenance items on the donor engine while it is exposed!

Zane 02-05-2014 07:07 PM

Pulling the motor isn't too bad. I lowered the transmission out the bottom & pulled the engine out of the top. I'm not a huge guy but I was able to get the tranny out on my own with the help of a standard 3 ton jack (might not have been the smartest but it worked).

As far as pulling the engine out of the top, I did need a second person because the garage door got in the way of the beam lift. I had to physically climb into the engine compartment & lift the rear of the motor up to angle it correctly.

Word to the wise: to make pulling the engine easier, consider removing the cylinder head. I then attached my load leveler to 4 of the head bolts screwed into the block. Not the best method, but the motor I was removing had bad rod knock so it didn't really matter.

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