Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 02:46:47 -0400
From: Chris Campbell <chrisfcnospaml.com>
Subject: Massive Loss of Oil... Did I kill her? (loooong)


Hello. I have an interesting SAAB story to tell. A few days ago I installed an MBC+A in my beloved '94 Saab 9000CSET (An MBC is a manual boost controller, for those of you who aren't performance savvy... I bought it to replace a bad BPC so I'd get stock boost levels again). Anyways, I was so impressed by the new found power given by the boost controller I decided to share the wealth with a friend, so I let him drive my car. I figured that now its back to its peak performance, he'll have some respect for my Svenska Flicka. Long story short: He was driving maybe a little too fast over a hump in the road and bottomed out my 9000 and upon the car slamming back to earth it hit a rather innocent looking rock in the road. I felt it hit the floorboards of my car, immediately started petting the dash and telling her everything was going to be okay. I looked to my friend, and he pulled over to let me drive home. The next day (today), I had an appointment to drive to my college to sign up for classes. It being relatively early and me having not had my coffee was unaware of the 2 or so quarts of oil staining the rug inside my garage. As I start driving my car down my street I can't help but notice a slight tapping noise coming from the engine, it sped up when I stepped on the throttle. This made me a little uneasy, maybe I had screwed something up when I raised the boost pressure up. At this point I turned around and pulled back into my driveway to investigate. I never saw the oil spill rivaling that of the Exxon Valdez on my garage floor as the automatic door opener/closer had done its job when I had set out. After listening to her with the hood open for a minute or so, I decide that there is something wrong... but having just sold my spare beater car, my Saab was my only transport. So I decided to swing by my local independent Saab shop on the way home and have them listen to the new found noise. I had made the assumption that I had somehow stretched the timing chain and it was slapping against something (And having lost an NG900V6 to a timing belt, I was skiddish, but new a loose chain was better than a frayed and broken belt). I babied her the 25 or 30 miles to my college and all along the way I was VERY nervous, almost like I could feel her pain. 3 hours later, I'm a fully enrolled college student. I walk back to my beautiful Swedish babe only to find her bleeding to death... At least 1 more quart had leaked out while it sat in the parking lot for a few hours. I was devastated! Immediately I had thoughts running through my mind that my crazy experiments with boosting my turbo pressure had caused a piston or a rod to blow a hole in the engine block. So at this point I bummed a smoke off a stranger to go sit and think about what I (thought) I had done (and that was ruin my SAAB). 1 hour later my Father shows up to give me a hand. We decided to refill the oil and drive it to the nearest mechanic... there was a "Foreign" auto shop just down the street (Foreign meaning its just like domestic, only they charge twice as much :P). It took one quart for the oil level to show anything on the dipstick, two to raise it to the 'min' level, and three to raise it to 'max'. As soon as I fired her up, the top end chattering that had plagued the ride in was gone. The mechanic took her up on the lift and found the leak before you can say Yumpin Yiminy! He said he'd slow the leak with this stuff called "Seal All" sold at NAPA... he put it on, the leak stopped and I slipped him a 20 for his time. I stopped three times on the way home to make sure the leak was still stopped and there was still oil. I made it home, drained the oil and started prepping it for fiberglass/epoxy work (the mechanic said its either that or $1000 parts/labor). I haven't had much time after the incident to listen for problems, the noisy top end is gone, but my Turbo is VERY whiny now... At first I thought I had a cop behind me when it was spooling up (even at a very light throttle). So, My only question is this: Did I do irreversible damage having driven 25 miles down 2-3 quarts of oil? (It was Mobil 1 if that makes a difference) -- -Chris 1994 Saab 9000CSE Turbo 2001 Saab 9-3SE (parent's) 1994 Saab 900SE V6 (*RIP*) 1987 Saab 9000S (*RIP*)

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