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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I am about 85% of the way through my project. Over the next couple weeks I hope to detail all the steps involved in saving my C900. What I started with was a car with virtually no rust in the lower control arm sections, but serious rot to the floor plans. The driver's side front jack point was shot and I had a couple holes in the driver's floor pan. Upon deeper inspection, the situation was much worse than expected. :rolleyes:

This first picture shows what I thought would need to be replaced (surrounded by blue tape line)


And behind the driver's seat


This project is very labor intensive, but with the help of Ted & Mike over at AIT Swedish Performance the outcome is well worth it.
 

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Looks good. I am heading up there next weekend to get the Fender fixed, I'll probably properly fix the spot I had in my car instead of using the JB Weld
 

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I've had a few like that, never took the steps to really fix them though. Very ambitous of you, good luck!
 

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Use to be local Saab indy had floor panels to weld in, not sure that they are still available or someone might have a spare set lying around?
 

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if you are removing that much of the floor, you will be removing and then re-attaching the middle frame connecting rails... That's not a small or easy task. Be sure that the car is sitting on all 4 wheels, or all 4 are totally in the air on even ground when you are re-attaching the middle connecting rails, or your doors won't close when you are done.
 

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I wish the floors in my '85 still had that much metal left.

Blah.

I'll keep an eye on this project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, the first steps involve stripping the interior of the project car. I have been driving this car around for 3 weeks with only a driver's seat, dash and the window switch pack sitting on the floor in the passenger seat.

So you take out the seats, the door sill rails, the center console, the carpets, the floor rusters and all the interior panels. Then perform a solid inspection of how much really needs to be replaced. It is better to do more now so you won't have to undertake this project again.

Then perhaps the most challenging part is finding a suitable donor car. I was fortunate enough that my friends up at AIT Swedish Performance had recently taken in an otherwise pristine 87 C900 that had experienced a serious front impact.

The donor:


So you strip out the donor interior and begin cutting out the panel with a 5" cutting wheel. Cut out more than you think you will need.

The donor panel:


The donor car after:


Then I spent a couple days prepping the donor panel. Removing the rubberized top floor coating can be a real pain. Skip the wire wheel, way too messy;) I found that a gasket scraper works real good.

Prepped donor panel:


Note that the panel has a lot of the box channel in it since I had severe rot to the jack pad areas. Also not shown is that the frame rails the run under the center of the floor boards are still attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here are some picture steps for repairing the drain hole right behind the drivers seat.

Affected area surrounded by blue tape:


Affected area cut out:


Donor patch panel welded in:


Surrounding area wire brushed then treated with Ospho. This stuff is great for lite surface rust. It turns the affected area black and solidifies the remaining metal:


After drying, the entire area was treated with 2 coats of RustSeal paint from KBS coatings:


So that's pretty much how to fix rot on the rear floor :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
if you are removing that much of the floor, you will be removing and then re-attaching the middle frame connecting rails... That's not a small or easy task.
You are correct sir :D I have a picture here of the front side of the donor panel so you can see the box frame rails still attached to the panel. Cut these out as far forward as possible. There is a seam running horizontally across the car that will prevent you from cutting any further forward on the donor panel. A little later on I will detail the issues regarding joining the 2 sections of middle frame connecting rails and how to make them stronger than stock :D



Be sure that the car is sitting on all 4 wheels, or all 4 are totally in the air on even ground when you are re-attaching the middle connecting rails, or your doors won't close when you are done.
Before the car was even jacked up, two cross member supports were tacked into place to maintain the integrity of the door spacing. I believe the was
1 & 1/4" box tubing. It worked like a dream. Give yourself enough room so you can squeeze under the supports or climb over the supports. You will thank me for this as you will be in and out of the car tons of times to try and get the "right angle" on whatever you are doing.



We did not bother to support the doors on the donor car and it flexed after the floor was cut out. Just enough to make closing the doors challenging.

Stay tuned...
 

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Wow, I commend you for doing the work to save your car. 95% of the rest of us would probably have some tears, watch it sit, then strip it and send it to the graveyard.

I had an 86 spg clone a few years ago and my father and I did significant floor work and I know first hand what a bitch it can be. Takes incredible amounts of time and patience.

Awesome ambition and amazing work. Good luck with the rest of it!
 

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Use to be local Saab indy had floor panels to weld in, not sure that they are still available or someone might have a spare set lying around?
We have found a shop that will make the panels that are needed. We are just beginning to talk and work out the details.
If you need panels let me know as they will be cheaper in a group buy.
Ted
 

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Have you checked out the Skandix-usa website- maybe they have some replacement metal you can use. Didn't notice any floor kits, but then I wasn't looking for any.
 

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I have never seen a floor that far gone holy shit....but I love that your fixing it, brings a smile to my face knowing that another C-900 is being saved...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Alright, I'm back...so the donor panel is prepped and ready, the project car has been braced through the doors for support, now you can start cutting out the rotted floor boards. Oh, yeah..it helps to have the car supported on jackstands about 15 inches in the air because some of the cuts and welds must be done from underneath. Take special care to wrap the fuel lines in leather or something comparable as to prevent any unwanted fires :roll:

We did not attempt to make one big cut and take out all the rot. A series of more precise cuts will pay off in the long run.

Here we see a pic of the passenger side floor board out. The frame rail has some rot on it.

Fortunately the donor panel has plenty of rail on it so that we could cut out the bad section on the project car.

Here we see the driver's side floor pan cut out.

Things to note in this picture. A portion of the exhaust channel has been left where the shifter assembly mounts to. The passenger side frame rail has been trimmed back to solid metal. The drivers side frame rail was still solid, so it was left in fully intact. There are about a dozen spot welds between the rail and the floor pan, but when your pan is in bad a shape as mine was, they come out easy enough. Grind down the top of the frame rail to bare metal and shoot it with some primer.

Oh yea...before you start cutting, separate your exhaust just in front of the cat. We just left it to hang.

And while you are in there, take a look at your heat shield. Mine was shot. Here we see the remnants of the one that was in my car next to the replacement from the donor car.


Stay tuned for more :-D
 

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Wow, that's what's needed to fix it correctly for sure. Looks quite professional. Should be interesting to see the final results, I think you are the first person I know of who fixed one in that bad of shape.

Personally, I'd rather just drive 20 hours round trip down to Atlanta, and get one that never had the rust. They are out there. Avoid "florida cars" though, they are usually from Vermont, or elsewhere in the rust belt :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, that's what's needed to fix it correctly for sure. Looks quite professional. Should be interesting to see the final results, I think you are the first person I know of who fixed one in that bad of shape.

Personally, I'd rather just drive 20 hours round trip down to Atlanta, and get one that never had the rust. They are out there. Avoid "florida cars" though, they are usually from Vermont, or elsewhere in the rust belt :lol:
Ted and Mike at AIT Swedish Performance spent a couple minutes trying to convince me to re-shell the car. They even had the shell not 20 feet away. I felt much better about cutting up the crumpled C900 to save mine.

And hopefully someday I will use that shell to build a race C900 like Mike's. :shock:




But I already have two C900 projects :cry:
 

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Wow, that's what's needed to fix it correctly for sure. Looks quite professional. Should be interesting to see the final results, I think you are the first person I know of who fixed one in that bad of shape.
I fixed one a few years back for the Crisman's SiS project. I was driving eight hours round trip on weekends to do work on the car, until I got banished from the facilities. I don't know if the car was ever completed since they bought another SiS in '05 which was in much better shape.





more pictures

http://saabpics.com:3000/gallery2/v/Dougstuff/album318/
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Since there was some rot starting on the passenger side frame rail, we cut it back a couple inches towards the front of the car until we hit solid metal. The donor panel still had the entire rail attached to it, so there was still overlap. Next, measure the total distance of the boxed rail section off the driver's side. At this point I think we had like 3" of duplicate rail to play with. The frame box rail is a 2" outside diameter, so a 7" or 8" section of 1.75" OD box fits snuggly inside the existing sections of frame rail. When you have measured MULTIPLE times for your desired seam location on the frame rails, cut as close as you can get, then grind down to a perfect butt seam. Load the section of 1.75" OD square tube inside the donor panel from the rear and hammer it in until it is flush with your butt seam. Drop the donor panel in place, then hammer the remainder of the 1.75" frame rail forward through the existing section of frame until it is flush mounted with the rear end of the existing rail. This is not as difficult as it sounds. The donor panel section of frame rail has a small drain hole on the bottom side of it that you can use to put a spot weld to keep the inside frame rail from moving inside of the outside frame rail. Once tacked in place, you can tack up the rest of the seam around the frame rail for extra rigidity.

Then of course go about tacking in the rest of the panel. Remember from above pictures that the donor panel was one large piece of metal. It was overly optimistic to think we could get that entire piece to go in as easy as it was cut out. It turned out that we cut the donor panel into 6 pieces to get everything to fit perfectly.


^^^Here we see a little more detail. Note that it wasn't just the floor pans that were replaced. The front factory jacking pads were really rotted so they were cut out too and you need better access from the top for welding.

And a teaser...I primed up the passenger side before we had even finished putting in the driver's side metal. :D VVVVV
 
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