#3877 4/13/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used 9000 ================== Message from Eric Woo (email@example.com) ------------------ I drove a 91 9000T w/ automatic transmission for 40k miles before getting myself into a big accident and now drive a 93 CSE Turbo. 1. The 2.3 Turbo engine's lag is minimal. Its maximum torque is at 2000 rpm, and it's much quicker than the 2.0 Turbo. You must drive the car to appreciate the difference. 2. The headlamp assembly on the 1991 5 doors hatch back is different from the older 5 doors, it looks like the 4 door CD, a little big more aerodynamic? 3. I'm not sure about the 89 9000T, but the 91 9000T has the off button for the air conditioning system. 4. The 91 9000T also has the electric seat as standard equipment for both driver and passenger memory. 5. I think the CD player is standard, not sure. 6. I down shifted all the time w/ the auto box and experienced no problems. Let me know if you want to know more specific information. Good luck. ================== Message from firstname.lastname@example.org ------------------ I bought a used '92 9000 turbo 5-door 5-speed for 18.9K in 1993. It has leather and most of the options that come with the later model CSE turbos. I love the car the turbo lag is not bad at all. Just remember that anywhere above 1500 rpm that a vast range of power is available from a normaly asperated 2.3 four to something that resembles Thor's hammer. That switch in personality can happen in less than a second and can be exhilarating. The ride is stiff but seems to fit its capabilities and pupose. I have heard from many people that the post 1991 9000 with the 2.3 liter balanced-shafted four is very reliable. The local SAAB shop has two clients with '91 turbos that have more that 300K on them. FWIW, I highly recomend the post-91 9000 turbo if you want the fastest, meanest family sized sports-car. If you need a softer, more mellow car look into a non-turbo 9000; still a fast car. Erik --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Erik Gjovik internet: email@example.com AOL: ErikGj Go Packers Go Badgers "Just because it works doesn't mean it's right" "Vintage Brett Farve. Dumb and brilliant at the same time."<><><><><><><><><><> ================== Message from JimB3259@aol.com ------------------ I find used 9000s don't move as fast as Hondas, Toyotas, etc. so I would suggest you could get something for about 1000 less than what dealer is asking. Now one can argue that I am talking about two different classes of cars, but I just went looking and couldn't find a decent V6 Toyota but plenty of 9000s (in Chicago area). ================== Message from Siegel-Rich (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------ Well, I can offer some perspective, as I have purchsed two 9000 turbos in the last three years. The 1987 has the 2.0l engine, with 165 hp. It works just fine in most cases, and with the performance handling kit and the Group 6 air inlet kit (K&N air filter) has enough go, and good enough handling to do the occasional Monte Carlo rallye. The 1991 has the 2.3l engine, and comes stock with the big 16" wheels,a performance version of the suspension, and a long list of improvements over the earlier (even 1989 and 1990) versions, including an improved ACC system (now you can actually turn it OFF!), dual power MEMORY seats (important when one is tall, and one's spouse is not!), and headlight wipers (they really work on those long, dusty desert trips!). Not to mention airbag and ABS (which are both available beginning in 1989 as standard equipment). The power difference is LARGE. I have to be careful (even with sticky Pirelli P700z tires) to not smoke the tires under hard acceleration, especially around corners. But the nice thing is, you can if you want to! No traction control in 1991 (I think they added it in 1992). Unfortunately, I think the 1991's are very rare. I believe that only 1500-2000 of these turbos (see them with the three-spoke wheels) were imported. They came in four colors: black, white (mine), red, and Platana Gray (a medium gray metallic - the best color IMHO). The direct ignition (and latest version of the fuel injection) seems to do a much better job of cold and warm starting - my 1987 has perpetually been cold blooded. And of course, all the other parts are newer too (like the steering rack). And the 1991 came with a 6 year, 80,000 mile warranty, so you could still find one around under warranty. Both cars have been more reliable than any of my previous three 900's, so I'm pleased in that area. I prefer the 87 for the really hard rally driving because the suspension is so tight (too tight for road trips though!), but the 91 is a better all-around car, and seems much more luxurious and comfortable (and newer). And it looks really nice with those wheels and body colored trim. The question about turbo lag is correct, with the torque benefits of the 2.3l engine mitigating it in the 1991 - it doesn't need to wait for the turbo to spin up - it's got the ft-lbs to move right NOW. Then the turbo kicks in and you really scoot! Much fun. As for turbo reliability, I've got 115k on my 87 - no problems. 95k on my 91, with no problems either. I don't consider the turbo to be the weak link in this car (more like the steering rack, oil leaks, motor mounts, and maybe someday, the transmission - but I use Redline MTL, so hopefully not soon!). The price seems to be dependent on local markets. Out here in southern california, I'd expect to pay $16-18k for a good 1991 (of course, I found mine and negotiated down to $14k - but it had 80k miles when I bought it). I generally use the Edmunds book, and try for 1-3k BELOW their retail price. Hope that this helps! They're great cars, but hard to find. And because of all the expensive pieces, make sure you get a well cared for one. It'll be expensive to fix all the fancy things in the car if you don't! Good Luck, Rich Siegel 87 9000T 115k 91 9000T 95k ================== Message from RickKahn@aol.com ------------------ There is another difference between the '89 and '91. The built-in-test capability is much better in the '91. The only problem with this is that some of the available fault information may only be obtained by a special tester called the Intelligent SAAB tester (ISAT). Unfortunately, at $5000 not every home can have one. This means you may need to find a good dealer with the ISAT and be willing to pay the price. Good luck with the hunt. RickKahn@aol.com ================== EOF The Saab Network email@example.com #3927 4/18/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used 9000 ================== Message from firstname.lastname@example.org ------------------ 1992 does have traction control which is indepensible for really hard launches. It accelerates so hard that it left a BMW fanatic friend of mine speechless. You can turn traction control off by just touching the brake enough to turn on the brake lights. erik ================== Message from Clark Wilson (email@example.com) ------------------ Someone finally points out the non-obvious..... After '91, Saab removed just about every single manual adjustment from the 9000 and rerouted thru the computer. Now, the moral of this is, if you buy a post 91 9000 (model year 92 and on) do not expect any non-Saab franchise except for the VERY best equipped to be able to do much set up and tuning of your car. This is the natural progression of computerising your engine systems and the advent of the 'Trionic' engine management. Do not expect your local independant Saab specialist to be able to do much more than change plugs filters and oil in your '92 onwards 9000. What this really means is that for us people who own Saab cars older than 4 years old and who no longer want to pay the scandalous high cost of Saab servicing and it's inherent poor value will be forced in future to use Saab shops because ourselves (if we do it) or our independant specialists will not have the huge sums of money to invest in the proprietary Computerised diagnostic equipment needed to service our own cars! This situation already exists for my own Saab guru here in the UK. Saab are only now awakening to the large numbers of independant Saab service specialists and are trying to woo back pre '89 Saab owners to the fold (especially 900 owners) with new reduced price 'menu' servicing. I don't care much for Saab franchise agents (a well known fact). All those people who say 'How Wonderful' their agents are have not taken their 5 year old car for a diagnostic on a recurring and/or intemittent fault! There won't be much we can do about it anyway... just kindly bend over and take your pants down please.... ================== EOF The Saab Network firstname.lastname@example.org #4705 7/31/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== Message from John Weiss (email@example.com) ------------------ > A slow leak from the pwr. steering The steering racks on that vintage car were prone to fail. If it's leaking now, and it's from the rack, expect a BIG bill soon. > Rust around from the wheel well to the door bottoms A rusty wheelwell doesn't bode well for the overall condition. I have an '82 with 140K, and NO rust! If you think it's normal in your area (snow/salt belt?), and are willing to live with it, though... > I had it looked at by a mechanic who said the car has a head gasket leak. Not a sign of good care for the engine. Where is the leak? If between a coolant passage and a cylinder or oil passage, no good! > What I would like to know is much would it cost to have this repaired? > The mechanic did a complete go-over of the car and was the problem I took > most note of. The dealer is asking $3000. The car has 120,000 mi on it, > the car also had a leak on a axle and in the a/c . You'd be better off to find a car that's in good condition now, and pay the extra $$ up front. Already, your $1300 car is over $4000! for that, you might find a nice 85-87... ================== Message from firstname.lastname@example.org ------------------ > > I am looking for information on 89 - 900 S's. > > The 87-89 time frame was not the best for Saab and 900s in particular. > Starting with 91 they had a much better warranty, as well. I own a 1989 900s with 135,000 trouble free miles (short of normal maint.). My mom owns a 1988 900T with only 65,000, and it runs damn fine. I would say form experience, that at least the '88 and '89 900's are just fine (better in many ways than my old '85 900T). My '89 just passed emmisions and because it was so clean, it did not even register on the "sniffer" with any measurable levels. It shifts just fine, and is frequenlty banged off the rev limiter (as it has been most of its' life). I am not sure what the other person is refereing to as per '87-'89 not being good years... I can't see a '90 doing any better. In fact, from my experience, my 1989 900s has been the best one yet! I say go for it. If you want specifics or have any other questions about an '89 900s, feel free to E-mail me at: email@example.com Enjoy! John T. Reichert 1989 hammer-time 900S :} ================== Message from PrfTex@aol.com ------------------ I dont agree with the caveat for a turbo- not in 83- they were oil cooled at that point and very prone to burnout if not warmed-up and cooled down properly. The P/S leak is symptomatic of "GM power steering syndrome"- it's got a Saginaw rack- which is no big deal if you can live with some groaning under load when the cold weather rolls around. All in all, I'd go for it at around $2300. ================== Message from Kenneth E. Williams (WILLIKE@GWSMTP.NU.COM} ------------------ I'd be cautious when buying what you described. I had these problems on an '83 900, and most others that I talked to had enough of the same problems to make me think they are generic to the vehicle: -Transmission (case fails to hold pinion bearing in line, resulting in total failure. Rebuilt tranny was $1700 plus installation) -Clutch and slave cylinder--normal wear out for this number of miles -Front wheel bearings -normal wear out for this number of miles -heater valve (almost everyone I know bought one of these after 5 years) -starter -shift lever reverse lockout spring -steering rack seals Most people will tell you that you are getting close to some major service if the engine comes out--the tensioners on the timing chain need to be tightened, and the head itself may be burning through (not the gasket, the head. Manyyyyyyy $$$$$$$$). Good luck Ken Williams ================== EOF The Saab Network firstname.lastname@example.org #4788 8/8/95 Message from JAShevelew@aol.com Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== I would also have to disagree with the conclusion that '87-'89 were bad years. My 87 900T 3-dr has 105,000+ trouble free miles. No major problems at except for a turbo bearing change at 85K (abuse from a teenage driver so I don't blame the car). ================== EOF The Saab Network email@example.com #4943 8/26/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== Message from Jeffwlk@aol.com ------------------ I am considering purchasing an 85,86,87, or 88 Saab 900. I know a bit about automobiles in general, but not much about the difference between the various Saab years / models. I have heard that the engines are very durable when properly maintained. I do have some questions that I would very much appreciate answers to: 1. Are there any differences in horsepower between the 16V engines of the above years? 2. Are the 16V engines victims of "death & destruction" if the timing belt breaks? 3. How much does a clutch replacement run (p&l)? 4. Have the turbo's proven to be any less reliable / higher maintenance than 16V's 5. Are there differences between turbo's & 16V's besides the engines? i.e. breaks, suspension, transmission. 6. Is anyone familiar with a FAQ internet address? Please respond directly to me at JeffWlk@aol.com Thanks in advance! ================== Message from John Weiss (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------ > can you give me any information on what years are best for purchase of > used saab 900 turbo? '82 started APC, so you don't have to worry about premium gas if you don't want to. '85 or '86 started the 16 valve engine. Depending on the price you want to pay, I've had a good '79, still drive a great '82, had a good '91, and had a semi-good '83... I also have a '94, but it's not a turbo... ================== Message from MLennartz@aol.com ------------------ If you are in the market for a used Saab, I've bought a couple, sold one, and learned a thing or two along the way. ALWAYS ask for records, and check them for accuracy. If there are no service records, or are not well kept, walk. This would hold true for ANY car, not just Saab's. And, as long as you are hunting for that perfect Saab, why not look for one still under warranty, or a model whose owner purchased the extended warranty (they are transferable to the new owner). That is your safety net. When selling, have your records ready to show. If you are in a smog-check state, it's nice to have it already *smogged* for the new owner, sets their mind at ease that the car is up to specs. I always included the pamphlets from the model year of car I was selling (if it was a 92, I had the original Saab brochures on the 92 models ready to send along with the car). Little touches like that show you, like most other Saab owners, didn't just own any car....it is a Saab, worthy of the extra care. Mark ================== Message from Maria Warren (email@example.com) ------------------ I'm looking at buying a used 89 900S 4dr 5 spd 99k. for $5250... is there any reference as to used Saab prices? What should I look out for? Please let me know. ================== Message from Loren Amelang (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------ >My questions; what else to make a point of checking? I just bought a 91 900T cv 5spd, 52K miles (my first SAAB). Driving it up the mountain (getting it hot enough to turn the fans on...) and then through a hard right turn causes lukewarm coolant to dribble onto my left foot. I assume this is related to the fact that all the SAAB part advertisements include replacement heater valves. My cruise light comes on but the cruise control does not take hold. Haven't explored this one yet. The hood release cable seems to require a lot of force to operate - I am more likely to remove the plastic grip from the handle than open the hood. A small item, but thoroughly buried under the rest of the mechanisms. Reverse on the 5-speed is _way_ over there; mine is easy to move but a bit hard to feel if you have really engaged the gear or not. A few times I have not quite made it. I was disturbed by the shift up light, too, but its behavior makes sense if you can accept that the engine likes to be lugging at very low rpms. (Does it? It sounds nice and works well, but I was always taught small engines didn't like such low rpms.) Thankfully the light goes off on downgrades when you release the pedal. Finally, there are some clanking sounds from the drivetrain when I shift or go from decel to accel. I'm telling myself they are the sounds of fine but powerful machinery which have not been totally hidden from the driving enthusiast. But when I read about thrown drive chains and shattered gearboxes, I wonder if I should worry... Can anyone describe what a shift or clutch engagement or change in accel should sound like? Loren | Loren Amelang | email@example.com | ================== EOF The Saab Network firstname.lastname@example.org #4973 8/29/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== Message from Bob Lyon (email@example.com) ------------------ 1. any resources available on Saab network for resale process of used Saabs? 2. I'm looking at a particular Saab to buy from a private party and would greatly appreciate correspondence on price and caveats for this model/year: it's an 89 900 4dr 5spd with 99k asking $5250. A mechanic said it was in excellent condition, body & engine, but couldn't advise me on price. Regional variations on price? (Chicago area). ================== Message from Jeffwlk@aol.com ------------------ Thanks to everyone who provided advice on buying a mid/late 80's 900. As recently as yesterday afternoon I thought I had found the perfect car. It was an '88 turbo 3 door with 84K. It looked and drove great (I know I want one of these things). However, thanks to a list member who recomended having a mechanic check the car prior to purchase, and to another member that had good things to say about Petersen Automotive in Skokie, IL (Sweedish car specialist) I have decided to keep looking. Among other things, the car had bad ball joints, bad oil seal around the crankshaft pulley, nail in a tire, nearly spent clutch, dead cruise control, faulty original radio with an antenea that would not go up, rear rotors at the wear limit, front pads nearly gone, and repair from a previous accident begining to show signs of rust. Oh - the front headlight was loose & did not work. This is from memory as I left the report with the dealer. To say the least, I was surprised. I have owned two 911's (still own one) and a 944 and have worked on cars for most of my life. I thought I would be able to spot a lemon a mile away. I guess my only consolation is that I did not look *really* closely because I knew I would have it professionally inspected. I have looked at probably 15 Saabs in the Chicago area during the last month and this was the first one that I felt confident enough to bring to a mechanic for the $50 pre-purchase inspection. Thanks again, Jeff ================== EOF The Saab Network firstname.lastname@example.org #5257 9/30/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== Message from (JR8920@WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU) ------------------ I saw a nice Saab 900 Turbo at a local used car lot. They want $4850 for it and it has 111K miles on it. The body looks in great shape (couple of dings on the hood) and the interior is very clean. I am new to Saabs and need advice on what to look for, what not to be scared of, and what should make me run away from it as fast as possible. I'd appreciate any and all suggestions, comments, help, etc. Thanks -John ================== Message from Gene Yoon (Gene_Yoon@brown.edu) ------------------ are you sure about the model years and/or the engines? Because the 2.3L was not introduced until the '91 model year, on the normally aspirated engine only (stateside, as far as I know). The 2.3-turbo followed the next year. The '90 might feel less responsive simply because it still has the old 2.0L. That's 150 hp versus 116 hp. Just checking, Gene '87 900T ================== Message from Goldberger, Steve (email@example.com) ------------------ I have owned one of these ('90) in the past. The most important factor in the selection (other than condition) is to be sure to get a 2.3L. This engine was a running change during the model year. The 2.3 is much smoother, has useful power in the non-turbo edition (unlike the 2.0) and the oil filter is out front wheRe: it belongs. Since you have identified a low mileage '90 which seems to run better than the '91 with higher mileage, why not just buy that one? if the price is in line, that is. Do try to verify that maintenance was performed on it, though. The answer to the question about adaptive ignition is "yes". there is a knock sensor and the system retards the timing if knock is sensed. ================== EOF The Saab Network firstname.lastname@example.org #5299 10/4/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== Message from Ken Bell (email@example.com) ------------------ I've been shopping for a Saab 9000 and have actually test driven a few of them :-) Two were 1987, one turbo, one normally aspirated. One was a 1989 turbo CD, at a seemingly remarkable price ($5600) until I actually got to see the car, as expected of course. I'm considering buying the 1987 turbo, for $4500. But there are a couple of features not present on '87 cars that I wanted, and would like some advice on them. 1. ABS brakes were not available until '88, and I'd appreciate comments as to whether this is something that should make me reconsider buying an '87. Were the '88 ABS brakes "done right", or were there subtle bugs in the controller that should make me prefer a non-ABS system here? 2. A power seat, available in '89 would be helpful. Is there a good chance of buying and installing a power seat in the '87, or is it either not available anywhere or prohibitively expensive? Is there anything in particular, mechanically, that I should be sure to check before buying an '87 turbo? From my own short inspection, the engine, transmission, exhaust, and brake systems appear to function well and there are no apparent leaks. It's a pleasantly typical Saab 9000, so far as driving it goes. One of the rear power windows makes a "jump" in its travels, so I guess there's a repair coming for that. Also, the engine idle speed appears a bit high, around 1,000 rpm. I'd like to check the engine compression but could not find what the specs are (this is of course the 4 cylinder, 16 valve engine), i.e., "normal", "minimum" and "maximum difference". Also, what is the proper torque when replacing the spark plugs? And is there anything, like the spark coil, for example, that I need to disconnect when checking the compression? Many thanks in advance! -- Ken Bell :: firstname.lastname@example.org :: (212) 475-4976 (voice) ======== :: email@example.com :: (212) 678-5516 (voice), 678-5552 (fax) ================== Message from (EMPERORW@aol.com) ------------------ Sold my clean 1990 9000 CD turbo with 68000 miles in July 1994 for !3,900. Price was the established by Saab lease buyout. Reasonable price for your"s shpuld be $15K or lower. Emperor W ================== Message from Ira Kronitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------ Check out the Edmunds buyers guide gopher pages on the web for prices. Address for the used car info: gopher://gopher.enews.com:2100/11/showroom/edmunds/usedmake And the address for the main web site: gopher://gopher.enews.com:2100/11/showroom/edmunds/usedmake/mainused And for 1991 Saab 9000s, the info from Edmunds' is: 9000 1991 BaseLst Whlse Retail 4 Cyl/FWD/AT/PS/AC 5 Dr Sdn 22895 11275 13875 5 Dr S Sdn 26995 12250 14925 4 Dr CD Sdn 28995 12850 15550 5 Dr Turbo Sdn 32995 15300 18175 4 Dr CD Turbo Sdn 33995 15725 18650 Ratings 0 2 4 6 8 10 |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------| Safety ********************************* 8.1 Reliability **************************** 6.8 Performance ******************************* 7.6 Comfort ********************************** 8.2 Fun to Drive ******************************* 7.5 Value ************************** 6.2 Overall ******************************* 7.4 ADD FOR ALL 91 SAAB: Car Phone +125 SPG Pkg +735 DEDUCT FOR ALL 91 SAAB: No Auto Trans -440 > > Any suggestions on the reasonableness of this price range would be > appreciated. My review of various price guides at bookstores, etc. > suggests that this is a little high. I don't want to be cheap about > this, but I also don't want to pay too much for any car. > -- Regards, Ira Ira Kronitz email@example.com 617-374-7965 fax-617-252-0820 CLAM Associates Cambridge, MA 02142 URL: http://www.clam.com/ ================== EOF The Saab Network firstname.lastname@example.org #5356 10/12/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== Message from Goldberger, Steve (email@example.com) ------------------ > 1. ABS brakes were not available until '88, and I'd appreciate The closest thing to a "bug" in the '88 ABS is that previous owners have had up to 8 years to neglect maintenance. The ABS components are VERY expensive and are not avialable as individual parts - just the electronic controller and the "rest" of the system. On a car that old, without records showing meticulous care, non-ABS is a blessing. > 2. A power seat, available in '89 would be helpful. With Saabs height adjustable and cushion-front adjustable manual seat, I'm not sure why you want power, but the power seat assembly is self contained. There is no reason why it shouldn't fit. Call Sweeney, Goldwing, or Swedish/English to get prices of used seat assemblies. >Is there anything in particular, mechanically, that I should be sure to >check before buying an '87 turbo? Mainenance records! >Also, the engine idle speed appears a bit high, around 1,000 rpm. My wife's '88 has always idled high. I don't know if its tach calibration at the low end which is off, or the computer, but it has its own mind about the idling speed. The important thing is whether it goes through a "cool start" without losing its mind. > Also, what is the proper torque when replacing the spark plugs? For new plugs, it's snug, and then 1/4 turn to crush the gasket. For used plugs, with pre-crushed gaskets, it's 1/8 turn, I think. >And is there anything, like >the spark coil, for example, that I need to disconnect when checking >the compression? Yes, do unhook the coil low-tension wire. >Sold my clean 1990 9000 CD turbo with 68000 miles in July 1994 for !3,900. > >Price was the established by Saab lease buyout. > >Reasonable price for your"s shpuld be $15K or lower. Saab's lease residual prices seem to be lower than "book" for cars currently as old as the lease one will be at lease end, and the mileage penalty is pretty stiff. See my leasing dissertation in Nines #227! ================== Message from Hans Sauer (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------ I am thinking about buying an 85 900 turbo 4-door 106K that looks clean to me, although I haven't driven it yet. The seller would let it go for 2000. It has power windows, nice stereo, sunroof and a non-working AC. Rust is not evident and no big problem here in CA. Is there anything specific I have to look out for (e.g. I was told that the turbos don't last). Any advise will be greatly appreciated. I am not currently subscribed to the mailing list (although I may soon join your ranks) so please reply directly to me. Thanks a lot, Hans ================== EOF The Saab Network email@example.com #5668 11/13/95 Message from Goldberger, Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== >I have been told pre 1980 SAABs suffer from oil leaks. >Im thinking about a non turbo model ... any ideas on >which models are the most reliable... The predominate source of "oil leaks" is on the valve cover of the "B" engine, which was made THROUGH 1980. From 1981 on, the valve covers are cast aluminum (both 8 valve and 16 valve) and sealed with an O-ring. Prior models have stamped steel covers with thick cork gaskets. The leakage is no better or worse than on any typical American V-8 with steel valve covers and cork gaskets. When all is well, they don't leak. period. With age and removals, the rubber seals around the screws break down, the cover gets warped, and the bits of old gasket which are not removed interfere with the sealing. The cure is to replace those little rubber washers as well as the gasket, to make sure the valve cover is straight (a big wooden block and patient tapping with a hammer are in order), and make sure the sealing surfaces are clean. If you feel obligated to use any sealant, I like "Permatex #2", a black gooey petroleum based product which stays somewhat pliable. Its main benefit is to hold everything in place until you get the cover screwed down. Note that the "bottom end" of the engine is essentially unchanged from the '73 99's on up. Unfortunately, there is an inherent weakness in the older Saab engines, and it is not from oil leaking but in the cooling jacket of the 8-valve head. There is a propensity for a hole to develop between the #2 and #3 cylinders, after which the head needs to be replaced. The problem is aggrivated by carless attention to the cooling system, as when viewing a failed part it exhibits the characteristics of "erosion corrosion", a phenomenon related to both localized boiling and corrosive coolant. I have never experienced the problem, but I always used 60% to 70% glycol with distilled water and changed every year. And I never had a loss of pressure. The one person I know who did have the problem was 0 for 3 in the above categories. Other than sealing the valve cover, the major difference in the "B" and "H" engines, for an owner, is in the water pump maintenance. The "B" water pump is driven by a crossed helical gear on an auxiliary shaft. Changing the water pump always results in coolant getting into the oil, so you must remember to change the oil too, and careless or heavy handed installation of a water pump on a "B" engine will destroy the gear on the auxiary shaft, which means pulling the engine. Just to make the water pump swap a little more interesting, they used different numbers of teeth on different model years, and using the wrong pump will also destroy the teeth on the auxiliary shaft, which means .... The "H" engine, on the other hand, uses a more-less conventional water pump which is driven by one of the belts and is changed in the usual way. It is a lot more difficult to get to, but less tricky. Otherwise, remember that Saab parts are very expensive relative to, say, American parts (in the US). We have many old Saabs with lots of miles which are fairly economical for their owners, due to their solid and long lasting design. But one which has several old problems "simmering" away could eat up a lot of money in a short time if you buy it "wrong". Good luck, and look carefully. ================== EOF The Saab Network email@example.com #5786 12/1/95 Message Summary Subject: Re: Buying a Used Saab ================== Message from John Weiss (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------ I would NOT buy that car without the warranty book and records! It's still under warranty (80,000 miles powertrain and major systems), and you may need the records to prove it was cared for. If the dealer doesn't have the records, ask him to get them from the previous owner. If he can't trace the car through any wholesalers, auctions, etc, that's another indication to stay away from it! ---- John Weiss -- email@example.com ================== Message from Jeffrey Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------ I also bought a used 900.... I got it from the Saab dealer who originally sold the car...nonetheless the same questions went through my mind. I mentioned this to the service manager and he did a quick check. Apparently Saab maintains a central database of all cars and the work done on them...so if you go to a dealer and ask what's been done on this car (using the VIN)...they can get back a listing of any and all service, recalls, etc....obviously as long as it was done by a saab dealer and they entered it correctly. By using this I found there was a couple recalls that hadn't been taken care of by the original owner....and I found out what the orig owner did in terms of service. Jeff email@example.com ================== Message from Goldberger, Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------ Any Saab dealer can get the warranty history from the Vehicle ID Number. If there is no dealer convenient to you, try Saab Customer Service 1-800-955-9007 and have VIN info handy.