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Posted by eric in vermont [Email] (#2058) [Profile/Gallery] (more from eric in vermont) on Wed, 24 Jun 2020 17:42:06 Share Post by Email
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Seems pretty quiet on the vintage Saab bulletin board these days...so I'll break the ice.

This morning I decided to drive my '71 96 to work- I have several VSaabs and rotate through them. So I went in the garage, jumped in 96 and started it up. I noticed something immediately.

First, the engine turned over slightly slower than normal. Hmmm...

Second, the car didn't idle quite as smoothly as it normally does. Huhhh...

Third, the Bosch tach I have mounted to the steering column was stuck reading negative RPM's. Uh Oh...

Something ain't quite right. So I took the next car in line, the '64 Bullnose two-stroke.

After supper (I grew up on Maine and that's what we called it. You could tell an outtah-statah in a second if they called it dinner), so after supper, I decided to see what was up.

Tach not working, seems like a hard failure, so start with that. I checked the connection at the coil and that seemed good. Then the connection at the fuse box and that had voltage on it. I removed and replaced the spade terminals several times, just in case they had corrosion- I know, I know- how could there be corrosion on a 50 year old Saab??? Still no tach. And the engine doesn't quite seem to be running as I remember it. A little hitch in the giddy-up.

So, I traced the wires in the engine bay. As they go through the firewall, I immediately saw the problem!! The red and green tach wires were chewed!! One was chewed through completely and the other was stripped of insulation for about 3 inches. And there was light sparks if I slightly moved the wires. Mice!!

I redressed the wires and the tach fired right up and the slight unevenness of the engine stopped. Smooth as silk again!

No original vintage Saab wires were touched. Only the two newest wires in the car- those going to the tach. I've heard horror stories of new vehicles made with some kind of a vegetable product insulation that mice really chow down on! A friend at work had to replace his Miata harness a couple of times because of mice attacks.

So I set a couple of traps in the car and put it to bed for the night.

Lesson? Always always always pay attention to your car. If there's something "off", it won't fix itself. Track it down before it gets worse!

eric in vermont

PS: in the part of Maine I'm from, you brought your dinnah in your dinnah bucket as your noon meal. Lunch was something you had mid-morning, or maybe mid-afternoon. I can clearly remember my Dad saying "think I'll have a little lunch". And that meant a snack of some leftover baked beans or maybe half a sandwich.

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