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  1. #21
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear944 View Post
    You mentioned you were experienced in snow with the c900, so I'd love to hear your input.
    Discretion is the better part of valor. Take SpecialTool's advice, and don't drive 70 when it's icy! C900 is better on snow than ice, from what I know. Tread doesn't matter on glare ice, because there's nothing for tread to dig into. For ice performance, you need studs, or some of those modern tires with abrasive rubber compounds. I've never used them--I just stay off the road in icy conditions, because it's suicide in any car. Siping on your tires MIGHT help some for ice, but will help far more for snow. As for snow, C900s don't get stuck a lot in the deep stuff. They seem to corner OK, and skid in a straight line regardless of how the brakes are applied. This is because the car is heavy. Rally drivers often complained that the c900 was too tail-happy, but it's never been an issue for me except for a few times on overrun. If you feel the back end start to kick out in a bad way, apply more throttle to pull through and straighten out, then apply brakes on a straight section. This is true with any front wheel drive car at high speeds. Try to stay in gear as much as possible. At low speeds (under 25-30?), overrun is your friend, and will not cause any oversteer. When you're doing steep downhill with sharp bends (the only time ABS is nice to have), I recommend a low gear plus the brakes.

    As for tires, if you're planning on going fast, you need four snow tires to keep the back end in place and reduce oversteer. If you're going very slowly, and just want to get out of trouble, chains on the front will do. I use snow tires year round, because I do most of my driving in the winter. If you're on a shoestring budget, you can muddle through without them, but if you're not moving and you're going to keep the car for a while, they're nice to have. Alloy Rims are easy to find from a junkyard, and probably cost less than new steelies. Used tire places are also common if you know where to look. I knew one run by a Filipino family in Minnesota, but I never would've found it if I hadn't been dating a Filipina girl at the time

    Oh, and another thing: Don't drive with your windows open if there's two feet of snow on top of your roof!! Stopping behind the aforementioned pickup in Boston caused a good sized load of snow to slide forward on the rain gutter and land in my lap

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    Last edited by euromobile900; 31 December 2010 at 06:58.
    Ask me a question about your c900! I promise I either can answer it or know someone who can

  2. #22
    Hear my Saab a comin' nuclear944's Avatar
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    Past: 1989 SPG & 1989 900 N/A Sedan
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    OK well it looks like I have tread, but it is optimized for summer driving. It looks like the tires are really cheap.
    Today I drove the SPG once again and I can tell you they feel like they have no tread. I'm going to try to find some used snow tires and see how that goes.
    The sedan, which has better (but more worn) tires definitely handles better. The SPG is practically uncontrollable on ice and the packed snow right now.

    So that question is solved.

    I have a new inquiry though:
    today, after starting the SPG from dead (very dead) cold, a very severe knocking noise came from the valve cover on the distributor side. It gradually receded after warming up to disappear completely within about 7 minutes of running.
    It was loud enough to make conversation difficult with the hood open.

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  3. #23
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear944 View Post
    OK well it looks like I have tread, but it is optimized for summer driving. It looks like the tires are really cheap.
    Today I drove the SPG once again and I can tell you they feel like they have no tread. I'm going to try to find some used snow tires and see how that goes.
    The sedan, which has better (but more worn) tires definitely handles better. The SPG is practically uncontrollable on ice and the packed snow right now.

    So that question is solved.
    Good. Yep, just contact your friendly liberal neighborhood used tire salesman.

    I have a new inquiry though:
    today, after starting the SPG from dead (very dead) cold, a very severe knocking noise came from the valve cover on the distributor side. It gradually receded after warming up to disappear completely within about 7 minutes of running.
    It was loud enough to make conversation difficult with the hood open.
    That's the oil not getting to the lifters. Because oil is thick when it's cold out, the oil doesn't get there as fast. Watch the oil light, and tell me how many seconds it stays on after startup. It will stay on longer in the cold (like 6 seconds instead of 3). How cold was it this particular day? When did you last change the oil? And what weight is it? Old oil loses its ability to flow well in the cold. I use 5W-30 in the winter, and it reduces the hard-starting and lifter-tick. It will be easier to crank your engine over, and it will get lube to the proper places faster. Synth is even better for the cold, but it is expensive.

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  4. #24
    Hear my Saab a comin' nuclear944's Avatar
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    Well the thing is, the oil was very near black when I first got the car. The worker at the oil change station had to use metal vice grips to unscrew the oil filter. I specifically asked them if they saw any white stuff in the oil and they said they didn't.

    I've never treated cars like humans, but it's just disgusting to think that someone can mismaintain a car so badly. He probably never even warmed it up in the winter. He probably boosted into the red after starting it in minus temperatures.

    Anyway, I don't know what oil they put in the engine because they were trying to get me to buy the most expensive product. I got confused and couldn't understand very clearly what the guy was saying (he had a heavy Latin accent).
    I clearly remember they put in synthetic, but don't know what weight. I should have changed it myself.
    It might be 10w-30....

    But it sounds like only one lifter is doing it and it is not accompanied by smoke or other things like that. It is very loud and sounds like someone is knocking on the valve cover with a hammer. It's toward the distributer side of the engine.

    The oil light extinguished withing a second or so, as it always does. The temperatures were definitely minus in Fahrenheit. The car hadn't been started during the snowstorm, so I guess you could say it had about 3 days of minus temperatures and blowing snow.
    I'm surprised how this car has held up after horrible abuse.

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  5. #25
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Hell, it could've been 10W-40, which is atrocious for the winter. In any case, it sounds like the car had lots of glop in there before, so I suggest changing the oil again. View this brief interval as a kind of "flush". Remember, thin oil can always get through tighter spaces than thick oil. Sometimes, synthetic oil can stop a lifter from ticking. Unless you have a collapsed lifter, lifter tick will always persist the longest right near the dizzy, because this is the furthest away from the oil pump.

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  6. #26
    Hear my Saab a comin' nuclear944's Avatar
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    I'll look into putting 5w in the engine. I'll ask my father; I don't think it knocked as much today.

    If it's a faulty lifter, I think I can replace it without too much trouble. But if the knocking recedes to imperceptible then it's probably a different problem....

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  7. #27
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Right. I don't think it's a bad lifter either. Bad lifters are ones that never pump up; they tick forever.

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  8. #28
    Jose Luis
    Saab Addict jlrSAAB's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    2007 93 Aero 2.8 V6
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    try to use higher octane for i.e. 93Oct.

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  9. #29
    Hear my Saab a comin' nuclear944's Avatar
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    Past: 1989 SPG & 1989 900 N/A Sedan
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlrdrony View Post
    try to use higher octane for i.e. 93Oct.
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean...sorry!

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  10. #30
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    He's saying that a lower octane can sometimes cause engine knock.

    But I'll add, that it will only do so under extreme load, such as when slipping the clutch. The EZK will take care of most knock, so using Regular fuel is fine. Using Premium Fuel is good for when you want to find out if a knock under load (particularly in a Turbo car) is due to gasoline causing pre-ignition or something more severe (like Rod Knock).

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