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4179 Views 43 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  SalemSaab
Well, I officially passed on my SAAB illness on to my son. Yesterday we added c900 #7 to the yard (summons should be on the way shortly). He picked up an '89 900T vert for $1100. He's been obsessing about buying one and this was in his price range. I told him to hold off and don't buy anything until I could go look at it with him, but you know kids these days. He bought and drove it home yesterday.

The good:
-No rust
-Recent paint job (although the hood is faded again-damn red paint)
-Recent top
-1200 watt Sony stereo

The bad:
-Heater core leaked on the DS carpet so the PO cut that section of carpet out when replacing the heater.
-Got lost under the dash when he replaced the heater core and installed radio and F'd up all the wiring. Instead of getting help, he got creative and just rewired a bunch of crap himself. There is a toggle switch on the floor console to turn the dash fan on. The directionals work but you have to toggle them in the turn position for the blinker to blink. You have to disconnect the window switch after putting the window up or it keeps running. (driver's window only-the passenger window is missing altogether).
-Bird's nest of custom wiring under the hood, melted fuse box. I don't even know where to start.
-Front lower seats have been replaced with vinyl (professionally done, but vinyl?)
-Back seat is toast.
-Rear trunk lock is missing
-Dash cracked
-Door cards recovered but look like a 5 year-old did the job.
-Screws/hardware missing everywhere. Took interior and under-hood things apart to do various "repairs" and just didn't bother putting it back together properly.

I know what you're thinking; "Ric, that isn't terrible, as long as you've got a good base and a good motor..."

Oh, on the motor... The valve cover has been installed using silicone sealant, no gasket--cardinal sin. The PCV check valve is MIA. Vacuum canister is bypassed entirely. The car is smoking, idling terribly in gear and spitting oil out the oil-fill tube. I ran a compression test 145, 120, 120, 60. Squirted a little oil in the cylinders and ran another test 150, 150, 150, 140--rings are shot--motors toast--rude awakening. We found a 90K motor for $250. My son will be getting his first taste of motor swapping.

I think that while the motor's out we'll be swapping the wiring harness over from the '89 parts car I have in the yard. Easier than trying to decipher the hodgepodge of creative wiring that the PO did--what a fucked-up kludge.

He had the opportunity to return the car, but figured for the total cost of repairs (mostly DIY) it was worth keeping. I'd have walked as soon as I saw the car. My guess is that halfway through the project he'll wish he just brought it back and got something else.

Unfortunately since he needs guidance through the process, that puts my projects on hold for awhile. At least we'll get to spend some quality (I hope) pop-son time wrenching on it.
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Should be a good time for the two of you. Too bad it was rough.
I wish my dad had even the slightest mechanical inclination, it would be awesome if he was able to do half the stuff you can so I wouldn't have to learn it all myself. At least you have a number of resources to get her in shape and your son can have a learning process as well!
Lol, return the car and buy my Tally Red SPG! A better project and not much more expensive than the other car.
Good luck with the project! This is exactly how I caught the C900 bug. Pictures ASAP! I have a bunch of interior screws/hardware from stripping my racecar. Let me know if you need anything.
"Well, I officially passed on my SAAB illness on to my son."


There are definitely worse diseases to pass down! Nicely done - a good project.

Today my 18 yr old son asked, "Will I ever get to drive on of your Saabs?"

Let the infection begin...
Pics of harness and melted fuse box are a necessity :), also, isn't that what great dads are for?
I spent about 4 hours after work last night trying to decipher the damn mess--wiring manual in hand. When we pulled the dash fascia off, we found more melted wires. Also found that the vent selector vac harness wasn't connected; the fan switch connector, power mirror connectors and various lights were also dangling; rheostat was missing entirely. We didn't want to get into pulling the dash and bolster, but I think that's the next step.

The aftermarket radio was installed without a cage. It was just loosely slid into the cavity. There was an empty water bottle stuffed in there to keep it from going too deep. :roll:

I started pulling the fuse box. There is a huge melted crater where fuse #23 used to be (dash lighting and cigarette lighter). Underneath was a bunch of fused wires that had been cut and a bunch of workaround splices--what a goddamn mess.

We pulled the floor console because we couldn't get the key out. The shifter shaft was bent and wouldn't seat in park (auto trans). When we looked underneath the console--surprise--two big honkin' light bulbs glued under there and wired in to take the place of the shifter selector light and the ignition locator light--more meltage.

I started poking around under hood a little too. One bung on the intake was missing it's vac line T. In its place was a large bolt screwed in to plug the hole. "Where did they move the vac lines that were there" you ask? The vac line to the FPR was connected to the cooling system bleeder on the thermostat housing--scratch head. Poking around a little more... hmmm, the APC isn't even connected.

Fortunately my son remains enthusiastic about the project. I'd have torched it and pushed it off a bridge if it were mine.
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Omg, lol. Ric, we feel your pain. I put my father through the same hell a few years ago when I first got into Saabs and I'm surprised his heart is still ticking, lol. Good luck on your father/son project!
Wow that's a lot of work....initially when you said 'no rust' I figured it was worth it no matter what, but if you have to re-wire the entire car it's definitely going to be tough. All in all a good learning experience for your son. I'm sure it'll drive him absolutely crazy at times, but it'll be rewarding. Any pictures yet?
I'll sell you a really nice Bicycle :) No wiring needed and your son can get lots of excersize from it too! lol
Electrical cars are never fun when they are just that tore up. Best Of Luck! It's going to be a REAL learning experiance for the two of you.

When the day comes I have a kid and they are able to walk and talk - that is when they start learning about cars and Saabs. Aside from that - I want them to grow up and NOT have to turn a wrench for a living - unless they find a nack as a specialist and can make BIG money doing one little thing.
If by any chance you need a fuse box or any wiring at all, you can it for nothing off of the 1993 CE parts car I have. It's going to the crusher soon.
Wow, tough slog! Hopefully the worst of the discoveries are behind you??:???:
If by any chance you need a fuse box or any wiring at all, you can it for nothing off of the 1993 CE parts car I have. It's going to the crusher soon.
Thanks Andrew. Fortunately I have an '89 900T right in the yard. Same year, should be drop in.

One other thing while I'm ranting. The amplifier is in the trunk. The mondo power wire for the amp comes through the bottom of the cargo bay and snakes around the cargo door by the catch on it's way to the amp that is just lying in the middle of the trunk floor. The component wires are directly opposite and go underneath the rear seat back. It's wired so tightly (no slack in the wires) that there is no way to open the cargo door without disconnecting the power wire first. It's like the amp and wires are acting like a large hold-down.

As far as pictures, I really should be documenting all this for future stories and laughs. Pics start tonight.
I bought an extra '90 VW Jetta GLI for parts for my MKII GLI when I had it. I'm glad it was for parts since this thing was a moving electrical disaster. Much like that one. I was surprised it had not caught fire before.
Not caught fire was the least of your concerns with that one. Gotta love a hand me down from your older brother eh?
Couple of weekends and you'll have that thing whipped into shape. It does look pretty good on the outside and it sounds like you've got some used parts on hand. Worst case sounds like your son will be mowing the lawn for free for you for the rest of the summer.....maybe shoveling the driveway this winter
Outside looks nice, but you were right about that crazy wiring/electrical stuff. Did he buy it off of 80's tv magician, Macguyver? lol

Or maybe off of MACGRUBER!

Kidding aside, he should thank god he's got a c900 wizard for a father. Otherwise, this thing might have been a serious money pit.
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I LOL'd at the melted fuse box. =)
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