Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 01:16:27 -0700
From: "Abdallah Jamal" <abdallahnopsamAMnopsamrgate.ca>
Subject: my two "new" 87 9000's - some electrical trouble - a long story and a few questions.


i've held off posting this, but here goes.. first, i want to thank all of you for bringing me up to snuff on what to = expect in a saab and what to look out for. this is a great newsgroup = with a wealth of useful knowledge. some great straightforward people. = i'm hooked. and now, before you read my story, you should know i'm a newbie and = happy to be one, for the time being, until i dare do some real = mechanical work. well here goes. call me stupid, but i think i've finally found a car i = can dote over. actually, two! it happened last september - we were = rear-ended while at a stop light in our (then favourite) 91 passat = stationwagon. it was written off. (and that was after my wife totalled = her own 90 pontiac firefly). she and i ended up with soft tissue = injuries and, true to form for insurance companies, we were given 5 days = to find a replacement car before they would stop paying for our rental = car. searcing till the wee hours on the internet for used car = replacements, i came up with a fat zero on a suitable passat, but i got = interested in the ad for an 87 9000S. it took us half a day to test = drive the car and buy it! and as far as nutcases go, i guess i'm one of = the worst - i didn't have it checked out mechanically (even though it = had 240k km on the odo. (duh!)). i just liked the feel of the car - it = hugged the road - and i liked the $3700 canadian price tag (i don't like = to "buy high sell low"!). the only problem seemed to be a relatively = trashy interior and some electrics that didn't work - including the seat = heaters and most of the rear defogger. what can i say - we just did = it. about a month later i had it tuned up for the winter. the mechanic = seemed to know what to look for and was reasonably up to speed on saabs, = so i felt "looked after". until they called me saying that my brakes = needed replacing - rotors and all (not calipers). the whole visit cost = C$1800! still, i justified it saying to myself that i got a good deal = on the car in the first place. well, when we got it back, it drove = pretty much the same, the brakes felt a bit better, but not tight - = including the handbrake which doesn't hold the weight of the car too = well on a slope (mechanic said i'd have to replace a caliper soon). but = i was pleased to see that the fuel-consumption/voltmeter was alight and = that perked me up! now we could monitor our fuel consumption (in MPG = imperial & american, and in l/100km), and i was happy to see that it was = *significantly* better than the passat. since then there have been a few minor annoyances, some which i have = been able to fix (i'm no mechanic but i am technically inclined and like = a challenge) with the help of the this newgroup the archives and the = various technical information on the websites dedicated to saabs. i = replaced the driver side mirror, the headlight/indicator/cruise switch = (only after which i found i just had to rebuild the small plastic square = that trips the high/low beam switch) and the side mirror motor switch, a = door light lens and the rear hatch latch. other annoyances i have yet = to tackle. (see below) well, we came to like the car so much that when i started looking for = the second car, my eyes gravitated to saabs. (the stories i've read = about saab safety pushed me a bit more this time) well, you may have = guessed it - we saw another 87 9000! this time a turbo with 225k km on = it. at C$3900 i thought it was a better deal than the 9kS. except for = a squeaky ventilator blower, a steering wheel that's a bit off-centre = and a broken antenna, it's in great shape. much better than the first. = so, once again, without a mechanical check (the sales lot seemed to have = given it a good overhaul) we bought it. we were hoping to take it on a = long road trip the following week, but an insurance glitch slowed up the = purchase, and the dealer had to replace a tyre and fix the blower. so we took the 9kS for the 3000km trip - and it drove like a charm. = tireless driving. smooth overtaking and at a decent clip. i averaged = 150kmh on bare highways. the three kids didn't complain (i'd like to = think that was the comfort of the ride). i was so happy with the car i = gave it a wash on a sunny but cold (minus 13C) day in Edmonton. well, two days after we arrived home (Vancouver) its alternator died (we = were on Lion's Gate Bridge in rush hour!). we had to have it towed. = replacement cost C$1k! (all my credit cards melted). i'd have been = happy with C$650. worse, when i got it back, the alternator wasn't = recharging the battery. so back i went to the shop and they looked it = over. after a day on the hoist and a description of how they had taken = the glove box off and cleaned the relays (for which they wouldn't charge = me - lucky me) it seemed to work. so i returned home, somewhat = disgruntled. well that changed to anger when i found that the = headlights wouldn't work. back to the shop i went, this time ready to = skin the next guy who tried to console me. well the mechanic looked it = over and couldn't figure it out - came walking over to me to ask if he = could keep the car another day - but, miraculously, the lights came on! = he couldn't figure it out so he asked me to keep an eye on it. well, = tail between my legs, i returned home. a few days later, the lights were gone again. by now i'd decided not to = go back to that mechanic so i browsed this newsgroup and the saabnet = archives and found some useful suggestions. after pulling out the glove = box again (didn't take long) and this time *really* cleaning the relays, = the lights work great (as does the hi/lo beam dipper). so, happy with = my work (doesn't take much to please me!) i decided to wash the car and = degrease the engine with some Gunk (the 9kS engine was pretty dirty and = hadn't been cleaned by the dealer). almost done now. here's where i want to ask some questions.... the 9kS: 1. when i took it out for a spin after cleaning it, i noticed that the = fuel-consumption/voltmeter was off once again. i'm not sure what i've = done, but its either the relays or a short in a wire in the engine = compartment. any suggestions? 2. the rear hatch doesn't close tightly at the top - it seems that one = of the hinges has a worn bearing point - some movement there. i've = tried adjusting the bolts attached to the car frame, but no luck. other = than getting another hinge, any thoughts? 3. the loose hatch may be the cause of some water in the trunk (/boot). = other than this and the rear light assembly, is there any another = source of water i can check for? it seems to collect (not a whole lot, = just enough to give that delicious mildewey smell) at the rear just next = to the rear light covers. 4. before i bought the car, someone had swapped the driver and = passenger seats. the mechanism to raise the original driver's seat is = broken and its back tilts lopsidedly. so there is no adjustments for = the driver other than moving forward and back and the tilt of the seat = back. this isn't too bad as the seat is still reasonably comfortable. = the problem is that the *now* passenger seat can be raised, by lifting = the seat (because of the broken mechanism - i can see the opposing teeth = where the twist and turn lever should be attached) and it isn't too = comfortable to lean back when on a long drive (back twists). any = thoughts on how i can hold the seat in place and how easy it might be to = fix the tilter? 5. i've read a few posts on the seat heaters. the 9kS's don't work. = is it a real bitch to take them out and try to fix them? should i = bother? what tools? 6. what are the red lights on the seat belt latch (female) for? they = don't turn on in the 9kS and only the passenger's turns on in the 9kT. the 9kT: 7. the ACC unit shows AU (fan motor or controller "Open") and used to = show 7C (recirc flap motor) in the self diagnostic. the 7C seems to = have disappeared - could it have corrected itself? the AU is still = there. i take it that this is the ventilator blower not working = correctly. it has given me intermittent service (like i should have = expected the used car dealer to replace it!). i've read a lot about = what is involved in replacing the blower. seems like a long process and = tricky. but i'm keen not to overspend at mechanic shops if i can avoid = it. should i attempt it, knowing full well that i don't have the = training? what tools? assistance? time? diagrams would help - no = SAAB or Haynes manual so i'm running blind. or should i just bite the = bullet and spend the $? how much is reasonable? 8. seems like the seat heaters in the 9kT work well, which is great = considering the cold leather seats in the mornings. should i feel the = heat on my back as well? 9. speakers on the dash seem to work intermittently. i haven't yet = taken a look behind the glove box, but i will if it will help. any = ideas what i should look for? 10. the 9kS has a sunroof and the 9kT a moonroof. both head liners are = sagging. what's the best glue (or other method) to re-attach them? how = do i remove and replace them? what about the cloth on the door panels? = the 9kS doors look pretty ratty. will a spray glue work? i know, from = when i changed the side mirror and switch that the entire door panel = should come off first, and then its not easy to detach the cloth support = panels without damaging the plastic dowels that hold it in place. (what = tool can i use to remove those metal clips?) well if you got this far, and are willing to help out, i thank you = muchly in advance. and if you happen to know a saab mechanic, = reasonably priced, near west vancouver, i'd welcome an e-mail from you. abdallah

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