Originally Posted by xcuzem3
Where to begin, the guy who bought it from you is my closest friend and is still part of the car and is always trying to swipe my key from it. He daily drove the car until late 2019 when the head gasket blew. I was in the market for a new car and he knew I loved that car so I took ownership of it in early 2020. We pulled the engine and trans out of the car in early 2020 for what was going to be just a new gasket and freshening up. well that turned into a much larger project. upon further inspection the head was messed up beyond resurfacing. I managed to find a brand new head from a GM dealer here in VA and sent to out to get polished and ported. I replaced all of the chains, and went to ARP head studs. I changed out the silicone coolant hoses to the OEM rubber ones as the silicone ones were leaking and ultimately the cause of the blown gasket. it took a while for me to reassemble the engine due to funds being tight but I got it back to gather in July of 2020 and I have been driving it daily since. The car is largely the same as you remember it. The only exterior changes are the removal of the rack on top and I swapped the wheels to some slightly wider 9-3 Aero wheels. The factory HIDs were replaced with LEDs in late 2019. The car needs to have some paint correction done due to sitting outside for almost a year sadly but thats getting done in the summer. my next steps are to replace the head unit with a CarPlay one, repaint the brake calipers (gold is flaking off the front). performance wise its still running the same tune as you sold it with but im now running a larger oil cooler and ive changed the exhaust to a slightly but more open design custom one. while rebuilding the car I changed the trans out for a 06 one with 30k because we had it just sitting there. I get complements on the car all the time. I take it to our local Cars and Coffee several times a year and it always gets a crowd around it. one thing people always comment on is the berber floor mats (one of my favorite things) and the OEM bug deflector. if you have any questions please ask me and ill be happy to answer them. I have a few as well that have crossed my mind. ill try to figure out a way to get some pictures asap.
Thanks for the photos ... she still looks great! I bet the head gasket blew next to cylinder 3... after the initial machine work, it blew in that area because of a flaw in the block. A whole new block was machined over and reinstalled soon after with ARP studs and a new gasket, of course. It wasn't the silicone hoses that caused the head gasket to blow ... those things actually help radiate heat away from the coolant. I put them on every car I own and never have any issues. More than likely it was the stress from all the other things combined - but I would check the tune and tweak the numbers to make sure.
I never enjoyed the HIDs but I liked the look ... I put LEDs on everything now as well.
You know the exhaust that was on it was one of the best custom exhausts available for a Saab? It was a full 3" back with racing cats on it ... I'm glad to hear it still gets all kinds of attention for you ... it won a trophy for People's Choice the first year I went to [email protected]
(in 2011) due to it being a more rare color, and it went on to win Best Red Color as well as Best 9-5. It started as a 9-5 Arc and I did a complete Aero conversion to it ... swapped out tan Aero seats and then later swapped out to the gray/black Aero seats (if they are still the ones in there).
Where do you go to Cars and Coffee? Maybe I'll drive down sometime ...