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  1. #1
    Saab Enthusiast
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    29 Mar 2014
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    2004 9-5 Arc; 2002 9-5 Aero
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    Should I buy this 9-5?

    I have an opportunity to buy a 1999 9-5 4 cylinder with 200K and auto trans for $350. Of course there is a "but" - it supposedly has a blown head gasket. I ran VIN decoder on it and it is the 2.3t low pressure turbo. The seller said his mechanic told him the engine has a blown head gasket and is therefore "shot". It turns over but won't start (possibly because it needs to spin faster due to the head gasket). I haven't seen it yet, but it is advertised to have good leather and seats, good paint and good tires. I know how to repair the head gasket, as I did a top end rebuild on an '04 9-5 last year. If it's really just the head gasket, I could have a decent car for well under $1000. Or it could be a money pit. It doesn't cost anything to tear it down, and Pull-A-Part will come take it away for $280. What do you all think? Assuming it is as advertised, should I go for it? What else can I visually check to see if there are other issues? Thanks.

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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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    If you have the space, time and skills to bring it back to life, there doesn't seem to be much risk involved. As long as you set yourself a limit on how much you are going to spend on it in bringing it back to life and have a decent car. If it is more than just the head gasket, be prepared to throw in the towel, sell it for parts and move on. The turbo may have to be replaced as it is common to last 100K miles. And the 2.3t is a prime suspect for engine sludge.

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast
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    2004 9-5 Arc; 2002 9-5 Aero
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    Thanks Wulf. I've heard about the sludge issue. I'm being lazy (could search for it....), but how easy or hard is it to pull the pan on this engine? I think that's where one needs to go to clean up the sludge. And i just remembered what a bugger it was to get the alternator off this engine. Hope it's okay...

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  4. #4
    Saab Fan 71jojje's Avatar
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    02 Feb 2015
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    sweden
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    9-5 my 99 2,3t SE, 9-5 my 02 Aero SC
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    if the car has sludge (if u can make it start) will smoke blue... check if the car have the updated crankhousing ventilation (not sure it`s the right english term for it) check if the rpm needle moves when try start if not it can be the crank shaft sensor.... battery is also very tricky on saa`b 9-5 try change to a fresh ....
    if it starts it`s a steel.... but like all old cars ... if you have the thumb in the wrong place... it will cost plenty..

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  5. #5
    Saab Enthusiast XLR99's Avatar
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    18 Nov 2014
    Location
    Medina, OH
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    '04 9-5 Aero Wagon, '90 900
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    I'd go for it, if it were me. Especially living down south out of the rust belt, you could easily make that money back parting it out if you decide that it's toast, or swap in a new engine and keep driving it.
    I don't think the oil pan is too bad. Drop the pan, pull the head and decide what to do from there?
    I'm biased b/c I just resurrected an older Civic that a co-worker was going to scrap due to a no spark condition. $200 buy in, I have ~850 into it now including a set of snow tires; drove it to work this morning. Definitely not as nice as my 9-5, but it's a decent little car.

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  6. #6
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthebuilder View Post
    Thanks Wulf. I've heard about the sludge issue. I'm being lazy (could search for it....), but how easy or hard is it to pull the pan on this engine?
    http://saabworld.net/f29/saab-9-5-oi...heck-sludge-7/

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  7. #7
    Saab Enthusiast
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    29 Mar 2014
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    2004 9-5 Arc; 2002 9-5 Aero
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    I looked at the car today. It is in great condition - good blue paint with no fading or dings, good tires although they are mismatched, tan leather is clean with no tears or dirt, dash and console are good with just a crack or two in the wood, no leaks under the engine(!), no oil spewed anywhere under the hood, has spare tire and trunk tool kit. Only one key and remote. I couldn't get my hand down on the turbo to see if it moved freely. Owner said his son let it overheat twice, had coolant everywhere under the hood (I couldn't tell). Had an estimate of $1300 to fix it, decided the car wasn't worth that. I "think" he paid $1500 for it last year as it had "1500" written on the shock tower under the hood. It turns over but doesn't start. I didn't hear any banging or clanging under the hood. I think I'm gonna go for it.

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  8. #8
    Saab Enthusiast CaptainMediocre's Avatar
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    24 May 2013
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    Pennsylvania, USA
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    2007 Saab 95 2.3T Sedan
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    Well for $350 you could probably even part it out and make a decent profit. I think you are making a good decision.

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  9. #9
    Saab Enthusiast XLR99's Avatar
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    18 Nov 2014
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    Medina, OH
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    Saab(s)
    '04 9-5 Aero Wagon, '90 900
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    Sounds like a great start for a project! Start a build thread for it once you get it on property!
    If it weren't so far, I'd be interested myself. Up here most cars of an age that I both find interesting, and can afford, are in the process of dissolving, unless they were well cared for.

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  10. #10
    Saab Enthusiast
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    29 Mar 2014
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    Alabama
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    2004 9-5 Arc; 2002 9-5 Aero
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    I bought the car tonight. Will have it towed to my garage tomorrow and start having a look at what I've got. I already know it needs hood struts. How convenient, a 1999 9-5 hit the Pull-A-Part lot two days ago......

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