Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 22:26:42 GMT
From: Craig Davey <>
Subject: considering a 1980 900 GLE - advice needed

Hey folks My dream car is a light blue 99 Turbo 5 door. I'm pretty much resigned to the idea I will never find one. Especially one that I could get to Ottawa Canada where I live. So I'm almost ready to get a loan and buy an older Volvo 240 wagon, when I find a 1980 900 GLE 5 door in Colorado (it's even light blue!). I'm obsessed with the car, but I need some objective advice on whether or not I should take the plunge, deal with all the issues of traveling and importing a car into the country, etc. I don't drive my car everyday. Maybe twice a week. But I need one that I can rely on, epecially because I lend my car often to friends without cars. I don't know a great deal about maintainence, but I'm prepared to learn, and I know of a good saab mechanic in the city. Here are details some details from the owner: > As for some details: Mechanically it appears to be in good condition > (given that it has about 170K on it). and everything works except for the > seat heaters and AC, which have been removed. The engine burns no oil. It > leaks a few drops of oil/PS fluid, but that's to be expected on any old > car. The tires are all in good shape and I've got two additional tires > mounted on rims. Ball joints and tie rod ends are OK (one ball joint has a > bit more than a millimeter of play) and the brake pads are all within spec. > The exhaust system has no leaks/rust through spots, etc. I think the only > significant mechanical item is that a mechanic informed me that a bearing > on the cluster gear in the transmission was worn. His recommendation was > to just drive it. In any event, I've located a serviceable transmission > that we can talk about if that's an issue. The throwout bearing also > appears to allow a bit of clutch shudder if you're sloppy with the clutch, > but I've not felt a need to do anything about it. > > I repainted it about a year ago because the old paint was pretty well > faded. I got more orange peel than I wanted, but I didn't want to do it > again. I fixed some rust on the wheel arches, etc. at the time. The > upholstery is pretty well worn, but the underlying foam is sound. The > upholstery on the front seat backs has been replaced from a donor car and > the rear headrests have been recovered. The headliner is in good shape (the > piece on the sunroof could be snugged up) and the dash has only one small > crack. The carpet and other upholstery is all pretty good given the age. > > In other words, it's a nice car to run around in as is and it has fewer > mechanical ailments than most cars it's age. It could also serve as a basis > for a restoration project. Some items have been upgraded with parts from > newer models (steering wheel, seat belts, instrument cluster) but I've kept > the originals. I've also got a variety of other bits and pieces that have > accumulated, and that will go with the car. I don't care about the interior that much, but the tranmission gives me pause. Especially because I've been driving a tin can dodge caravan for the past 5 years, and I'll likely be a little rusty with a standard the first bunch of drives. I don't understand the severity of the problem, and I'm afraid I might fuck it up driving it back from colorado. Can anyone explain the actual problem to me, and perhaps how complex/expensive it might be to fix? Same thing with the ball joints/tire rod ends, are these going to be an issue soon? What's a fair price the car? Finally, and I'm sorry that I'm dreaming again, but down the road is it possible to drop a 16v Turbo from a newer 900 into this car? I really appreciate any feedback and all feedback. I want this car so bad I'm really afraid I'm going to make a mistake. Thanks Craig

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