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  1. #1
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    14 Aug 2010
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    Medford, MA
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    682
    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    How did the repair go? Good? Bad? Tell us!

    Here's a thread that I hope we can start about DIY repairs in general. I feel like I often come inside after a day of wrenching and find that nobody I know wants to hear about it, despite my desperate need to vent. I'm hoping this thread can become a place for people to post (rant?) about their triumphs or setbacks under the hood or under the car, in the paint booth or behind the welding helmet, with wrench or repair manual.

    Anybody got any cool stories?

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  2. #2
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    14 Aug 2010
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    682
    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    I'll start. I just did my alternator bushings (again, because the poly ones did not last, so I switched back to rubber). I seem to never get out of alternator work without damaging at least one expensive thing. Last time, I forgot to reattach the alt. ground and flatted my battery. This time I blew my aftermarket oil pressure sender by somehow grounding out the positive battery cable on the alternator through the sender's warning contact. I feel like SUCH an idiot!! I've sent a warranty claim to VDO but I don't think they'll have any sympathy.

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  3. #3
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
    Location
    Rochester, New York, USA
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    1,984
    Saab(s)
    1973 96
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    Well, I'm in the middle of two different pain-in-the-ass jobs. I'm re-doing the headliner in my 900, which is turning out to be hell. I've got the headliner out and everything, but prepping it for the new fabric isn't cool at all. The foam wont come off (but it's already off in some easy-to notice areas), and I've decided to go with a faux suede which doesn't stretch, which means it would be a bad idea to go ahead throw another layer of thicker foam on there; it wouldn't look good. The only way I've found that I can take off the foam without damaging the fibreglass/cardboard headliner is a heavy grit sandpaper. I've got about 3 or 4 hours spent sanding over the past two or three weeks (it's dreadfully boring... cut me some slack), and I still probably have an hour or two left to do.

    The other job is replacing old coolant hoses and heater hoses in the 96. I pulled off the front end assembly, got the radiator out, got the alternator out, removed some of the metal coolant pipes, and now I'm stuck on these stupid hose clamps I've ever come across. They won't loosen so I'm cutting them off, but they attach directly on the engine block in a hard-to-get area. So it's been quite a treat to fit some tools down there to try to remove the clamps without ruining anything important. Also, my radiator needs to be re-cored or replaced, but I'm having to settle on the "rinse repeatedly until water comes out clear" job. Oh, did I mention that who-ever came up with the coolant hose path needs to get their head examined. Nearly every one is put on in a way that you have to removed "this" or "that" so you can actually get it on. And my only little magnetic dish is full of screws and bits from my headliner job so I'm keeping an extra keen eye on not losing any parts.

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  4. #4
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
    Location
    NW Michigan, USA
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    7,443
    Saab(s)
    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    I replaced the turbo on my 2001 9-5 a few years ago and for some reason, one of the supply lines for either oil or coolant was a real pain to put back on. I remember it was one of the hottest and most humid days of the year and it seemed like such an easy task. The nut for the supply line has to line up perfectly with the connection on the turbo and I think it must have taken at least an hour (or more) for this simple task. Some words were yelled which I can not repeat here..

    One of the nuts securing the turbo was impossible to reach. I also had to go out to get a longer spanner just for that nut because I couldn't get enough leverage with my regular ones. Then there was the task of removing the old turbo through the top or from below. That took some more time figuring out the exact angle it has to be before you can take it out. Then there were the exhaust studs and bolts which were rusted and needed some persuasion to loosen.

    Sometimes these jobs that are supposed to take a few hours end up being a few days because you just need a break, run out of time or you don't have that one part or other supplies you forgot to order and you live a long distance from the nearest parts store. Not that it matters because I usually can't find Saab parts locally anyways.

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  5. #5
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
    Location
    Rochester, New York, USA
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    Saab(s)
    1973 96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
    Sometimes these jobs that are supposed to take a few hours end up being a few days
    It's especially bad when those two hour projects turn into an all nighter because you need your car to get to work in the morning.

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  6. #6
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    14 Aug 2010
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    682
    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazam View Post
    It's especially bad when those two hour projects turn into an all nighter because you need your car to get to work in the morning.
    Well, the last time that happened to me was also an alternator job(back when I was a novice kid). I got my hand caught in the whirling belts trying to figure out why my battery wasn't charging. Ripped a nail clean off, and was in bandages for over a week. I knew I would not be capable of sleep until after I figured out the problem, which happened while typing and mousing left-handed at 2am. I snuck outside (landlords by this time thinking I was crazy and not wanting me to touch my car until after I'd calmed down), fixed the ground wire, resurrected the battery with a 50A "jump" setting on a very old battery charger, and took a drive in the cool night air.

    Partly because of feeling that I was not worthy of driving after such a series of stupid mistakes, I made the choice to ride my bike to work at 7am the next morning. It was my middle finger, which made hand signaling and waving look like flipping people off. The R.N. at the elderly daycare I worked at at the time was horrified, but he did a good bandage job, and advised me as to how to best ensure regrowing the nail. The compromised battery lasted just until the weather turned below freezing, which was about when I had grown the fingernail back.

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  7. #7
    Jared
    The young one J-Rod's Avatar
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    05 Aug 2010
    Location
    A little town in Indiana
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    580
    Saab(s)
    2003 Saab 9-5 ARC ( and care-taker of a '98 900SE)
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    I've got one. The only time I've ever kicked my car.... My drivers side fog light gets water in it after at rains and is almost always fogged up. So, I decided I'd go ahead and pull both foglights (the pass. side had a whole lot of sand in it for some reason) and clean them up and reseal everything. So not having a level enough driveway to get the jack on it, and with my Mustang not starting I couldn't bring it in the garage, I squeezed myself under my front bumper and started taking off the bolts holding up the housing. I got three of the four off (after everyone told me there were only three) and it wouldn't budge. After fighting with it for an hour or so, I still couldn't get it. I finally noticed the rusted out fourth bolt and gave one mighty heave on it with a socket...after that, I realized the only thing keeping that bolt from just spinning around was two pieces of plastic and I had just destroyed them. After rage quitting on that side of the car, I went to the other and sprayed the crap out of the rusty bolt on that side and let it set for awhile. When I came back, I tried to undo that one and did the same thing again. That was when I gave up for that day.

    For the next week, I spent an hour here or there trying to get the stupid things off before I finally got tired of it and brought out the drimmel. I cut off the mounting tabs where the stupid bolts were and got the lights off. The fog lights still fit perfectly fine without that tab.

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    I don't drive fast...I fly slow

  8. #8
    Andy Graham
    modérateur
    Join Date
    08 Aug 2010
    Location
    Oz
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    236
    Saab(s)
    '88 vert, '88 Aero
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    I put the 'vert up on ramps this weekend so I could wrap some bandage round a couple of little holes in the exhaust pipe.

    While it was up there I figured I would bleed the front brake calipers (pedal has always been a little soft). First caliper bled OK but the second ... oh dear! Couldn't get anything but a bubbly mess to come out the bleed screw. Tightened it up, tested the pedal and you guessed it -- went straight to the floor. Don't you hate that feeling when you try to fix a little problem and end up turning it into a big problem?

    To take my mind off the problem I took my youngest daughter down to the park, and while there had a thought -- what if it was the ramps that were the problem? Or more precisely, the angle of the car on the ramps, causing the air in the caliper to collect somewhere other than where it should -- right below the bleed screw.

    So I put the car back on the ground, took off a wheel and tried bleeding that pesky caliper again ... success! A nice steady stream of bubble-free fluid.

    So the moral of the story is -- don't bleed your brakes on a hill.

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  9. #9
    Andy Graham
    modérateur
    Join Date
    08 Aug 2010
    Location
    Oz
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    236
    Saab(s)
    '88 vert, '88 Aero
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    Still trying to cure the soft brake pedal, I decided to bleed the vert properly, in the order specified in Bentley (LR, RF, RR, LF). The LR/RF part of the split system bleeds fine but I can't get all the air out of either of the other two calipers (RR, LF). So it looks like there is a tiny leak in that system somewhere. On the weekend I will get a willing assistant to pump the brake while I have a good look and feel around master cylinder, calipers and connections -- hopefully the leak will reveal itself.

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  10. #10
    Steve
    spoolin' thin air mt.aero's Avatar
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    09 Mar 2011
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Posts
    134
    Saab(s)
    '02 9-5 Aero, '89 900S
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    Just finished one of those short projects turned into a long project today. Was leaking a bit of oil from the crank pulley seal on the 900 and have been wanting to change the oil pump housing seal. Pulled everything off including newish crank pulley (bought about 6 months ago) only to find it cracked where the key slot is. Now it makes perfect sense that it was leaking oil. It turns out that the key on the crankshaft is all mucked up causing the crack. The new pulley must have cracked when I put it on and my wife has been driving like that for awhile. I spent about 2 hours today with a broken off file (because you have all of 5 inches to work in), bent over the engine, humid as hell, trying to get it back to shape. Well, finally filed that sucker into submission and its all back together and running. Luckily had a new pulley laying around so I didnt even have to wait for a new one to arrive!

    It was no where near the worst job I have ever done, but like you guys, the wife doesnt really appreciate all the hard work and swearing that go into keeping these things running.

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