Resurrection of an SPG Part 2



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From the advice of the Burlingame Saab Parts Department I next visited All Car Auto Body in San Mateo, CA . This shop specializes in the factory repair of Saabs.

It was assessed that I would need a hood, radiator support, front bumper, headlights/bezel, side direction markers, grille, fender edges, LT front fender section, lower front spoiler assembly. All parts were new factory Saab except for the hood ('91), radiator support and bumper. Interestingly enough it was decided that I would obtain ALL the parts for this repair. Shop owner Rod Dowiat convinced me that locating and purchasing the parts myself would be more economical than his shop doing that task. Since this repair was a non-insurance job Rod said I would get a better price on parts purchasing the parts as an individual trying to repair their own vehicle. An autobody shop doing an insurance job would more likely be charged full price for the parts. Locating all the parts for this repair proved to be challenging to say the least.


Figure 3: Front fender being cut in at All Car Auto Body, San Mateo CA

During the course of the repairs I also needed a new engine oil cooler(75 46 567), protective oil cooler housing, oil hoses and A/C condenser. They also recharged the A/C system and rewired my headlights back to H4's. The car was painted in the original Saab color(paint code 158 B) with Sikkens two-stage polyurethane base/clear coat. The entire process took ten weeks and I picked the car up just two days before Christmas!


Figure 4: Final assembly. New hood, radiator support, grill, bumper and spoiler.

While the Saab was in the body shop I managed to locate a pristine set of grey leather front and back seats from a 1988 SPG. The car had been in an accident in 1990 and the interior removed and stored in a warehouse until I purchased them. When I purchased the car the Clarion cassette/equalizer was missing. I installed a Blaupunkt Reno Cassette indash stereo with detachable face plate and Boston Acoustics Rally RX47 speakers. The cassette stereo was purchased from Crutchfield and included a wiring harness/plug which connects into the back of the stereo. This plug fits exactly into the wiring harness/plug in the Saab. It was almost too easy and took approximately one hour to install. I did remove the original DIN box and wiring from the equalizer to the stereo. Because of the larger magnet on the 4" speaker some of the foam behind the glove compartment had to be trimmed away for the magnet to fit. In the space where the Clarion equalizer resided I put one of those fuzzy boxes which come in models without an equalizer. Headlights were replaced with Hella H4's (46476) and the fog lights with new Bosch pilot lens/fog light covers and100W bulbs .

All this took seven months. With this amount of time and money invested I removed the non-functioning factory alarm and had a Clifford Sabre II remote keyless entry alarm system installed. The hood, trunk and windows were fitted with motion sensors.


Figure 5: Interior. Front and rear seats replaced with a set from a '88 SPG.

There was a bad clunk on the passenger's side when I took a sharp left turn and from reading posts on TSN I knew it was my turn for ball joints(89 93 321). Again, since I was in the vicinity I was advised to replace the outer CV boots(89 93 149). I went the route of removing both ball joints and the drive shaft with hub attached. This made it unnecessary to remove the center drive axle nut. I also replaced the nuts/bolts that attach the ball joint to the control arm. It also helped to have the Knipex pliers referred to in the Bentley manual for crimping down the CV boot clamps. The Knipex pliers were obtained from Snap On tools in a circuitous route.

This car ran hotter than I cared for. The temperature would typically be between one-half to three quarters and the right hand side cooling fan had stopped working. I had an article from The Saab Journal 900 Technical How-To: Cooling System Overhaul (1996 Volume 21, pgs.10-12) and I knew it was time. The article suggests EVERYTHING should be replaced if the vehicle has over 100,000 miles as mine does.

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