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  1. #1
    Mike
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    30 Jul 2010
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    Rochester, New York, USA
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    Saab(s)
    1973 96
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    1973 Saab 96 Restoration

    This thread is going to be dedicated to my 1973 Saab 96. I picked it up May 1st of 2010. From that time until now, I've done the following:

    -Replaced a separated ball joint (bolts rusted by Satan himself)
    -Replaced CV boot
    -Replaced a CV cap filled with needle bearings (try finding any of those!)
    -Replaced cracked windshield
    -Replaced water pump
    -Replaced numerous coolant hoses
    -New spark plugs
    -New distributor cap
    -Rebuilt FoMoCo Carb
    -Replaced front muffler (with a used one)

    That is all I can think of for now... there has to be some more. I just ordered some new handbrake cables, so I'll be doing those shortly, along with replacing my engine thermostat (stuck on "DANGER, TOO HOT"). After that it'll be mostly little thing until next summer. Next summer I'm planning on replacing the entire floor pan, it's filled with rust.

    That's all for now.

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  2. #2
    Mike
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    Saab(s)
    1973 96
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    Stranded

    So I've finally been left stranded by one of my Saabs. About a week ago, I rebuilt my FoMoCo carb with a kit I got from Ashcraft Tech.... uhh, Ashcraft Inc... uhh, I don't remember their official business name, but it's owned by a fellow named Mark Ashcraft, who bought it from his father (the famous) Jack Ashcraft. Well, I seemed to have done something wrong during the rebuild. I wouldn't be surprised because this is my first time dealing with a carburetor.

    Well, drove the car to work today, and it died while at a stop light on the way home. Started up again before the light turned green, but about 100 yards away, it died while driving (right in the middle of 3rd gear), and I managed to coast into a parking lot. After a while, it started up again, but died as I was pulling out of the lot, so I was stuck half in the road, half in the lot, but not in a traffic lane (luckily). I was without my tools (it had been running so well lately!), so I couldn't do much, and my mechanic that inspected the car (he doesn't work on it... me only, as the purpose of this car was for me to learn) tightened the air filter cover so tight, I couldn't get it with my fingers. So I couldn't even get the cover off.

    After some sitting, pumping the gas, and feeling hoses for blockages (did I mention I've been going through fuel filters like Skittles, until I can get into the gas tank). Also, I noticed my coolant has been disappearing to no where. A hose has a minor leak, but nothing that would add up to my reservoir being empty. I got it started, and maybe made it another 500 yards before it died again (this time during a little too early shift to 4th). I couldn't get it started this time, so I had to call in a ride home. About an hour or so later I went back, and I managed to get it running long enough to get home. It's too dark to work on, and I've lost my garage spot to my brothers Passat as he is replacing all eight control arms (what happened to keep it simple stupid?). So I've had to cancel a ride I promised to my neighbor (he promised to give me a ride in his 1919 Essex once... if he get's it running ever again). Until I get time to diagnose the problem, it sits waiting.

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  3. #3
    Mike
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    Saab(s)
    1973 96
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    One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, and Plans for the Future

    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.

    Cheers
    -Mike

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  4. #4
    Mike
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    1973 96
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    Storage

    The past couple days or weeks have been pretty hectic. I needed to be back at school yesterday (Saturday) for classes that start Monday. But before that, I had to get my car all put back together (the gas tank was out, and some other things) and running before I left. So I had been working like a mad man to get it together, and I finally did, and it was running the best it had... only the day before I had to take it to storage. The last two days, I drove it every second I could. I did everything I wanted and more to the Saab this past summer, but now it had to go in storage.

    The place I store it is owned by a man I call "The Woodchuck." He is a man in his 60's who owns this old barn/factory/warehouse thing that has seen better days. But in this structure, he has packed away the most pointless, rusted, things. The engine to an old 40's firetruck? Yup, he's got it, but it looks like it was dropped from the roof of a building, and left to rust for the past 50 years. Pallets of old news papers that are damp and moldy... yeah, they are in the corner. My parents have been storing their boat there for the past six or seven years with no problems, so I'm keeping my car there too. He was kind enough to cut me a deal because my parents storing stuff there. With a cheap cover to keep the dust off, Hildy can make it.

    Until school is over, good luck Hildy... and wait until you see what I've got for you next year.

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