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  1. #1
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    24 Jul 2011
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    Ansbach, Germany
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    On a SAAB again... tomorrow!!!

    The day has finally come, and tomorrow I pick up my SAAB. When I moved to Germany I shipped my SAAB 900, and on December 16 I dropped it at the shippers in Atlanta, GA. Last week I was informed the car had arrived in Schweinfurt, a 1-1/2 hour north of here, but due to work I couldn't make it there until tomorrow.

    So I got busy with the things I needed to do to get Snabb on the road: got insurance (expensive!), got a temporary registration and red plates, got my fleet fuel card so I can pay US gas prices, and bought a reflective safety triangle and first aid kit (mandatory in Germany). I got home and started sorting through all my stuff to get all my SAAB items: keys, cell phone charger, GPS, spare DIC, etc. I thought I was all ready for the pick up tomorrow.

    Then I remembered the tires! My SAAB is currently wearing summer tires, not even all seasons! Outside it's snowy and icy, and next week we're supposed to get to -15 Centigrade. Sure I have winter tires on steelies, but they are studded, and studded tires are illegal in Germany!

    So I take a look at my studded tires and what does it say on the side? Not STUDDED but STUDDABLE!! That means they are optional, not mandatory! So I have spent the last two hours like a mad man in a freezing garage, pulling studs off 18 year old Swedish snow tires. Yep, the tires are as old as the car and still have thread left! Have you ever pulled out studs with a needle nose plier? It sucks, and my right hand is in pain and deeply callused, but you know what? I am ready. Bring on the SAAB!

    I am ready and excited, I have been a month and a half away from my road companion, and have spent the last month driving lesser cars like a Honda CR-Z and a 2006 VW Golf with an anemic 1.6 engine. I am ready for creamy leather for my butt, seat heaters, Trionic 5, the Trollhättan Griffin staring at me from the steering wheel, and the intoxicatin rush of turbo boost!

    So tomorrow I pick up my car and will have some me time driving south on the A7 and east on the A6. On the Autobahn. No speed limits! (well, 130 km/h is recommended...) Too bad I'll be on 18-year old, Q-rated, de-studded Gislaved tires... but I'll be in my SAAB, which is what matters.

    (oh, and I am ordering new snow tires soon)

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  2. #2
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    I am not exactly sure about the recommended age limit for tires but 18 years seems well beyond that. Even 130 km/h seems too fast for those. A quick search shows 6 - 10 years is the limit.

    Some auto manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen recommend replacing tires after six years, and most tire manufacturers agree that any tire ten years or older should be replaced regardless of tread wear.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...w/0411tir1.htm

    All-seasons are allowed for winter driving, as long as they show M&S on the sidewall.

    But good to hear you'l have your car back again. Not many can say they drove their car from Alaska to Atlanta and then on to explore Europe.

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  3. #3
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Yep, I know these tires are probably past their prime, but the rubber is still great without any dry rot at all. I don't see a date on the sidewall (it's probably a code), but I am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that it is 18 years old. The prior owner was deceased when I bought the car from his son, and his on just knew his father almost never drove the car in the winter (32,000 in 15 years means he barely drove it at all). This will be my second winter with these tires.

    On a different note, on the boat out of Alaska I met a German couple who had driven a Toyota Landcruiser from Europe to Africa, then to Argentina all the way up to Alaska. Now they were going to cross Canada and end up in New York, where they were going to ship the 'Yota to Ireland, and from there drive home. I was so damn jealous of their trip!

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  4. #4
    Saab Addict
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    10 Mar 2011
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    new jersey usa
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    08/280/xwd & 09/210/xwd
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    My son and I put a set of very nice "Nordfrosts" on his car last year and I told him to keep the speed down since the tires were from about 2003 and .. well .. winter rubber.

    Within two weeks one shredded. Good luck and remember on the "Bahn" one rule is don't pass a cop without a pause.

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    Semper ubi sububi in caput tuum

  5. #5
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Well, I actually picked the car up yesterday as the Army threw a monkey wrench on my plans for Tuesday. So yesterday my buddy and I headed to Schweinfurt, and I immediately caught sight of my car on the lot and felt all giddy.

    The car was filthy and had some condensation inside the rear windscreen, which made me mad, but ok, I'll air it out. The delivery inspection went well, no faults found other than the condensation. The company gave me a coupon for a free car wash and soon I had my SAAB topped off with 98 octane fuel and clean as a whistle again. The clutch felt very stiff after over a month sitting, and I am now really thinking about doing the hydraulic clutch upgrade... My seats felt odd at first, but I got used to them again. For some reason a new chime was present in my car, a chime I never heard before: put the key in the ignition and I hear a chime, and when I use the turn signals I can hear he click-clack sound. Neither the chime nor the click-clack were ever there and I loved that my SAAB didn't have stupid sounds, now apparently it has. How do I disable these sounds? Makes me feel like an idiot, I thought SAAB were made for smart people...

    I checked air pressure and fluid levels, all well. I had brought those winter tires to replace my summer tires, but alas! the tires installed on my car are not summer tires as I believed, but all season high performance tires. So they stayed on. They are V rated, good for 150 mph (well, 149), so I am ok. I soon got on the Autobahn A7 headed home, and I put the SAAB through its paces, feeling it. The steering seems to be pulling a bit to the right, and the front shocks feel floaty. Everything else felt fine, so I pushed the SAAB even further. I got it to 145 mph and played Autobahn bully for a while, pushing Bimmers and Benz out of the way, then slowed down to leisurely 90 mph on the A7. Instead of taking the A6 east I got off on a Bundesstrasse (a side highway with 100 km/h speed limit) and followed that for almost 50 miles on the way home. The car feels great besides the slight pull on the steering and the floaty front. Those will need addressing. Probably some damage from being tied down on a boat for a month... those I'll be claiming as transportation repairs and the Army will cover.

    So my baby is back and with the temporary plates now. No pictures yet, but I'll rectify it today when I go in for my permanent plates. In a half hour I have an appointment for a vehicle inspection, which I am confident I'll pass, then it's off to get proper plates.

    It feels good to be back in a SAAB!

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  6. #6
    Saab Addict
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    08/280/xwd & 09/210/xwd
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    Well the good news first: You are in a wonderful country and it's full of nice people.

    Funny you mention the ocean shipping. Back in the 1980's there were a lot of problems with Saab's axles and bearings. They found many deck crews were giving an extra twist to the hold-downs and bending them during transport.

    My first car overseas was a rusted out 1956 (small window), VW, no wipers since there was no where to get a motor so a pal pulled on a clothes line tied to the blades, gas tank with a patch that leaked and you only used the clutch in first since that was an RA3-B aircraft cable tied to the pedal and went through a hole under the rear seat. Back in the "60's" life as an E-4 was ... an experience. We made about $110 a month back then.

    Happy trails, keep em flying (you were rotary wing ?), and hit Bavaria ... not for the Beemers but the Alps.

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  7. #7
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Were they strapping the SAABs by the axles??

    The Germany I live in is rural Germany, the part that did not get bombed, save for a few military sites. All the towns around here have 100+ year old buildings, even if it's just a farm barn, there are a few old castles too, and even a 600 year old Basilica. Vestiges from the war are rare and you gotta look for them, like in my basement. The family who owns the house I live in has probably been farming these fields nearby for potatoes for a few generations, and in the basement they have an old, black and white poster with the names and faces of the sixty-some men from the municipality of Petersaurach who died in the war.

    Sounds like the car I had when I was a private, my base pay was $932 as an E-2, I am of the last generation of soldiers who were paid less than a thousand bucks a month. Privates nowadays make two thousand!!

    Yes, rotary wing, I work on CH-47 Chinook helicopters. And the area I am in is part of Bavaria, but the locals aren't Bavarians, they are Franconians (Franken), and they will quickly tell you they aren't Bavarians. I hope in a week or two to head down to Munich and see Bavaria again, las time I was here was 1989 and I was 14 years old!

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  8. #8
    Saab Addict
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    08/280/xwd & 09/210/xwd
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    Yes, they just ran a chain and hold-down over the axle and "one for good measure" and that extra turn was doing damage.

    My old beat up hat has two pins on it ... one is Navy and the other Army Air Force (given to me by a WWII Capt.) ... "Sustineo Alas" ... it was worn by mechanics however (I was a structures mech).

    It is an urn with three falcon tail feathers protruding from it. The other is a replica "AC" pin, standard Navy issue.

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    Semper ubi sububi in caput tuum

  9. #9
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    I believe you need a Tech2 to switch the beeping settings. I'll try to check out my manual tomorrow when I get back in the car.

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  10. #10
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Those beeps sure are annoying! My local SAAB dealer should have Tech 2, provided they are still open...

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