Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 01:41:06 -0400
From: DanB <>
Subject: Re: Very high mileage: What is necessary?

I have a 89 900 178Kthat I am agonizing over, my other choice is a 90 Mazda Protege which you all are probably tired of hearing about. The Mazda dealers around here are such idiots, but that's another story. I didn't see mention of the fuel pump, and I'm not sure which computer you were talking about, but the ECU that controls the fuel pump is a pricy piece (~$395 for the part) I'm told was especially bad on 89's. If either goes you will be stranded, in the case of the ECU it might be a while before you are back on the road. I once heard someone say that if you fill your tank often you can get better life from the fuel pump, because the fuel cools it. Don't know about the validity of that. I've had to do some transmission work on a previous SAAB (an 84) so on this one I've been using Red Line MTL in the manual gear box and I've changed it quite regularly since new. It shifts much nicer with that stuff in there, and maybe I've made it last longer by doing so. The shop last told me that there is some noise out of the throwout bearing, and I gather that when you change the clutch you usually should do that too, since you've already paid to yank the engine. What about the timing chain? That's coming up too, and I'm told that if you put it off it, it can take out the valve train. I never know if these stories are true, until I hear someone with first hand experience. There is some sort of noise to be on the lookout for, the shop says mine isn't making that noise yet. I think you said the AC compressor is original, so that's coming up too. Don't tell me the stories of how cheap you find a used one, because I put a new one ($1K) in before I had an idea that I might not be keeping the vehicle. I thought the A arm issue was only on turbos. At least you don't have to change the turbo, which somebody described as a "consumable" Ball joints, exhaust system, shocks, altenators... hey at least you don't have to worry about the gas tank rusting out. Oh watch out for belt squeel... there's a pulley that has a piece of rubber built into in that started slipping in mine. They say if you let it go too long you burn the belts off the pulleys. What did you do about your headliner? How much did that cost? mine is held up with a plastic spoon, until I make this decision. I much prefer driving the SAAB, but the cost of keeping the Mazda going seems so much less.. and it has 86K less miles. Very high milage? Just need money. -Dan ******* Grunff wrote: > "Dave" <> wrote in message > > > Fellow Saabsters, > > > > What does it take to put 300+K on a Saab? ....... > > > > I have an 89 900S with 170K. I bought it about 7 years ago with 115K. > > At the time of purchase, I was able to contact the original owner who > > told me that a majority of that 115K were accumulated on the highway. > > > > In the 6 years I've owned this car, I would say that about 70% of the > > additional mileage has been highway driving. I've provided good, but > > not great routine maintenance---sometimes 5000 miles between oil > > changes, for example--must rectify that. > > > > I would say a reasonable amount of repair has been performed: > > Fuel pump, computer, One "rim drive", all 4 rotors replaced. Other > > smaller things: A/C problems--not compressor, windshield wipers died > > (broken cable), vacuum hoses, distributer cap--little, typically Saab > > type stuff (stinking instrument panel lights!). > > > > I would say that the fundamentals are good: Very little rust, engine > > power smooth. Headliner falling out---needs replaced. some cracking of > > the dash. Seats, etc, ok. The white paint, however, is heavily > > oxidized--I mean NO shine. > > > > Bottom line: I love this silly car and would live to drive it for at > > least 250K, 300+ would be nice. What should I expect during this > > odyssey? I drive lovingly, but "firmly". IOW, I take care to not beat > > it to death, but am aggressive when necessary. Smooth shifts, clutch > > manipulation. I always allow for warm-up before summoning > > extra vigor from the engine. I've driven some lower mileage Saabs than > > mine that feel like they've been beaten to death. My sample does not > > have that feel. > > > > Paint and rust will have to be addressed in some fashion. The starter > > and clutch may be original--I fully anticipate replacing those items. > > I guess keeping an old car running basically entails slowly rebuilding > > it, piece by piece. I wonder what is typically unique to Saabs? Tough > > questions--answers unique to some degree to each Saab sample. I'm > > interested to hear anything that comes to mind. > > Dave > > If the engine is good, and you're taking good care of it (regular oil etc), > then there's no reason why you can't go to 300k +. > > As you're expecting, stuff like clutch, starter, alternator, etc. will fail, > but it's all minor. Motor mounts may need replacing, and various suspension > bushes may also get tired, but again, nothing major. > > The C900's achilles heel is the transmission. Is yours 5sp or auto? Autos > seem to fail between 100-140k miles. Five speeds are more variable, and > depend a lot on driving habits. I know many people who are driving around on > 5sp with well over 200k, but most people expect to have to replace the > tranny between 150 and 200k. Take it as it comes, but don't be shocked > if/when it fails. > > One last point, there have been a few lower A frame failures lately on high > mileage 900s, due to metal fatigue. Carefully inspect your lower A frames > every 6 months. Look for very fine cracks around the mounts. > > Grunff

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