Zen and the Art of Saab Restoration
1973 Saab 96 Restoration: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, and Plans for the Future
by, Wed 04 August 2010 at 12:43 (1632 Views)
It's always frustrating when you fix something, only to brake another part in the process. Yesterday I was working on the car, and replaced the engine thermostat. During the process, I over tightened some bolts on a housing that was sitting on a gasket that was too big. I ended up cracking the housing cover that I was putting back on... nearly the last step in the process. Yes my fault, but the gasket was supposed to be a direct replacement, so I feel like I'm not the sole person to blame... misery loves company. To make sure I had done my work correctly (besides cracking the housing), I tested it out with the cracked housing, and everything worked great, except the coolant seeping out the crack at an alarming rate. So while I had fixed the thermostat, I had broken the housing... an even worse problem. So I've given the housing to my brother who dabbles in a machine shop, and he is going to try to fix it, and I might be getting a spare from a guy nearby--because you can never have enough parts with these cars.
So today I'm going to tackle the sticking handbrake, by replacing the rusted out cables (rust is probably the biggest theme with this car). I want to take a step forward, but I'm always aware that with this car, I might be taking two steps back.
Also, over the past couple days (weeks? months?) I've been doing some planning on what I want to do with the car. The biggest task for this summer is going to be getting it operational, and running smoothly. Every time I think I get there... something happens. Over the winter I might pull the engine, and check it over and replace all the seals/gaskets because little bits of oil, coolant, and "stuff" seems to slowly... oh so slowly seep out of lots of seems.
But next summer I've got bigger plans. Next summer I hope to replace the entire floor pan... all of it. Some parts are probably save-able, but not worth the work of extra welding (did I mention I'm horrible at it?) and cutting. After or concurently, I am going to try to take care of rust on other parts of the car... lots of it is still probably still to be seen underneath the shotty paint job of Rustoleum. But my most unique idea is this; once the floor is replaced, and surrounding rust taken out, I want to paint the floor with a truck bed liner, something like this. I think this will give some great protection to prevent rust from coming back, and what the carpet doesn't cover will be grippy and tough. I'm not sure if it's a good idea (seems like one, but say if it isn't), but it's whats on the drawing board right now... of course, this timeline is very optimistic. Thats all for now.