Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 08:53:21 +0000 (UTC)
From: Craig's Saab C900 Site <>
Subject: Re: Follow up on "A very annoying problem"

pmg <> writes: >Remember my post on the 1984 900 that intemittently (every few days to >few weeks) stops on me in damp/cold weather usually 5-10 minutes after >starting, never when totally warmed up? My servicing mechanic has tried >all sorts of stuff but can't pin it down because it has never faulted in >his hands. Last thing tried was an "ignition module" but it still >happened. This time I was driving (my daughter's car). It felt >"electrical". I took the distributer cap off and it seemed to have a lot >of condensation mixed with fine sooty material. I lightly sprayed WD40 >in the cap and the car started and drove perfectly, not faulting since >(fingers crossed). At home I completely cleaned out the cap and rotor. >It is possible this has been the problem? My question here is why the >condensation might suddenly be building up (if that's relevant) and >why/what is the sooty material. It is a conventional distributer (points >type). Should I replace the cap? What about the plastic dust seal that >sits below the rotor? Does the distributor look like it's got a fair bit of oil accumulated in it when you take off the rotor and dust cover to look inside? There is an o-ring seal around the base of the distributor where it fits into the cylinder head cover, but the distributor shaft would wear over time and oil could get in around the shaft itself. Have you tried a new distributor cap? If the cap has hairline cracks they can become conductive and short the ~40 KV pulses from the coil away from where they're supposed to be going, but unless it stopped all the spark plugs from getting their HV pulses, the engine wouldn't just stop. I agree that the problem seems to be electrical in nature. I own a 1983 and a 1985 C900, and both of those have been giving various electrical issues recently. They're 20 year old cars though so the electrical wiring is bound to give problems at that age. When the car 'dies' what does it do when you (or your daughter) try to start it again? Does anything at all happen? Or nothing? What happens to the dash lighting, etc. if you turn the ignition key all the way to off, then back around to 'run' without trying to start the engine? I would have a look at the ignition switch itself and see if the electrical portion of the switch has a fault, or the wiring to it is faulty. Also check the ignition lock relay in the fuse/relay panel above the left-front wheel to make sure that isn't faulty. While you're at it, make sure the fuel-pump relay works too. If you can hear relays clicking and the fuel-pump running after moving the key back to off then around to 'run' again if the car dies mid-flight for no reason, I'd say the problem is going to be in the wiring or components of the ignition system. Can you get the engine to turn over (even if it doesn't fire again) after the car dies mid-flight? If yes, that proves that the starter is ok and that some of the wiring from the ignition switch is not damaged. Regards, Craig. PS. Your email address is Australian - I'm in the Sutherland Shire part of Sydney. Let me know if you're local and we can arrange to meet up. -- Craig's Saab C900 Page --> http://nospam/~c900 Sydney, NSW Australia Craig's Saab C900 Workshop -- For all Saab C900 Enthusiasts world-wide! http://www.nospam Come and explore our site, and check out our web-forums, mailing list, etc.

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