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  1. #1
    Saab Enthusiast XLR99's Avatar
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    18 Nov 2014
    Location
    Medina, OH
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    113
    Saab(s)
    '04 9-5 Aero Wagon, '90 900
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    2004 9-5 Aero Wagon

    I got this car in the summer of 2014 with 155k on it, as of now it's up to 175k. This pic is from shortly after getting the car.
    The wheels are stock Aero 5 spokes, I plasti-dipped them black because they were pretty rashed up. Current tires are Nokian WR G3, which are simply excellent as all season tires.
    After a couple weeks in the sun, I discovered where the term 'greenhouse effect' originated,and had the windows tinted. Fronts are 55%, rest of the greenhouse is 25%, and the car is noticeably cooler inside.


    My son used the Aero for his TireRack Street Survival class this summer. It was ~95 degrees and the Civic he'll be driving doesn't have the best AC system. In this pic they're doing skid recovery - they use cracked corn to make it slick.



    PSA: I highly, highly recommend it for teens; the best $75 you can spend on them.

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    Last edited by XLR99; 22 November 2015 at 14:42.

  2. #2
    Saab Enthusiast XLR99's Avatar
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    18 Nov 2014
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    Medina, OH
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    113
    Saab(s)
    '04 9-5 Aero Wagon, '90 900
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    And this is what it looks like this morning, more or less:



    We're in the midst of a mid-life refresh. The subframe bushings were shot and creaking, so it was time to dig in and do a bunch of maintenance items at the same time. Here's some of the new stuff that will be going in:


    We'll also will be putting in a set of coolant bypass hoses, new radiator hoses and water pump, new alternator regulator/brushes, and serpentine belt/pulleys while we're in there.


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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast XLR99's Avatar
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    18 Nov 2014
    Location
    Medina, OH
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    113
    Saab(s)
    '04 9-5 Aero Wagon, '90 900
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    At this point the car is 99.9% done, just need to change the cabin air filter (as if my back doesn't hurt enough right now) and finish flushing the Dexcool out of the cooling system. Here are a few highlights from the past week or two.
    My jack setup for dropping the subframe: the 2x4 sits between the front and back A-arm bushings. The stand under the trans is kind of a belt and suspenders thing.



    Subframe on the floor:


    I hit the subframe with a wire wheel on an angle grinder, then Rustoleum rusty metal primer. Painted it with Rustoleum semi gloss black, mainly brushed on, but touched up with spray paint.
    Using child labor helps to speed up projects like this. She had a different vision in her head when I said 'painting'.



    Bare subframe post-paint:


    My son battling with bushings. The center ones took both of us wrestling them in due to the plastic collars wanting to deform and pop out. We got a decent system down using a hose clamp around the collar. I think next time we'll use dry ice as well. Front and rear ones have a steel collar, and weren't so bad using 1/2" threaded rod and washers.


    Subframe with bushings installed, repainted sway bar with new bushings and new Moog end links. I also sprayed FluidFilm inside the holes and in the nooks and crannies to help stave off rust.


    After the subframe went back in, the pictures stopped . Changing the water pump, rad hoses, and installing the Mackay heater hoses turned into a miserable exercise for me.
    The center idler pulley also ended up being an ordeal to get in. My son lost the original bolt inside the subframe , and we tried to recover it with magnets for awhile. Fortunately I had two complete spare engines in pieces sitting on the other side of the garage, so I stole a bolt to keep some small amount of forward momentum.
    Finally, what worked to get it in place was to put a piece of duct tape around the pulley and bolt with just a bit of slack so it could get in and onto the mount. The duct tape held the bolt head just enough to allow spinning it on to get the bolt started. (Also, place a piece of duct tape over the hole in the subframe right under the timing cover)

    Current status after a wash/wax, de-hazing the headlights, and spraying FluidFilm on the underbody:


    And another view, showing a piece of my next project (Not the C900, that's been moved down the list unfortunately)


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  4. #4
    Saab Enthusiast
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    19 Jul 2015
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
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    189
    Saab(s)
    1997 NG 900 SE
    Thumbs Up:   32
    Was the subframe difficult to deal with?

    Sent from my C6725 using Tapatalk

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  5. #5
    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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    Overall, I'd rather do the subframe again than the water pump!

    With the subframe the most challenging part was getting the rear motor mount bolts off. After that, it wasn't bad with two people to watch for things hanging up and manhandle it around. We put it back in without the A-arms attached.

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  6. #6
    Saab Enthusiast
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    19 Jul 2015
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    Charlottesville, VA
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    Saab(s)
    1997 NG 900 SE
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    That's good to know. I like what you've done; eventually I will need to do that project.

    I've not yet had the pleasure of the water pump, my exhaust system is next. I've noticed that the cat and flex pipe appear as a unit connecting to the resonator. Not looking forward to this project.

    Sent from my C6725 using Tapatalk

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  7. #7
    Saab Enthusiast XLR99's Avatar
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    18 Nov 2014
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    Medina, OH
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    113
    Saab(s)
    '04 9-5 Aero Wagon, '90 900
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    A post-project update. The car feels like new for the most part. However, as a reward for all the work, I've been rewarded by a request to do more . It's been having some intermittent lumpy idle issues for awhile, which are becoming more prominent now, particularly on startup. Bummer.
    No DTC codes yet, but I'm sure they will be coming soon, plus it kind of ruins driving the car for me.

    In other news, did some blingification under the hood:



    The valve cover and saddle mount were painted with VHT self etch primer and wrinkle blue paint. I cooked them at 200F for an hour. Even though I put an old oven in the basement, I still recommend doing stuff like this when spouses and opinionated children are forecast to not be home for a several hour block.
    I used one of the spin on 2" sanding discs to clean off the lettering, then clear coated over it with some Eastwood clear I had sitting on a shelf.
    Also used the clear on the cobra pipe and the hardware. The VC and DI bolts are from Eeuro, which was actually cheaper than some local options for stainless hardware.

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  8. #8
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    03 Aug 2010
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
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    1,219
    Saab(s)
    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
    Thumbs Up:   3
    Nice report! Your effort is not wasted. Others, like me, read this with interest! Besides, your car is better after doing all this work.

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  9. #9
    Saab Enthusiast
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    19 Jul 2015
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    189
    Saab(s)
    1997 NG 900 SE
    Thumbs Up:   32
    Nice work on the paint. You're brave to bake those pieces in the oven. I couldn't get away with that. I've not found anything to bling my cover and mount by any polishing elixir. The factory coating wears off, and it just looks nasty after a while.
    Sorry to hear it idles poorly. Hopefully nothing serious. Trionic can be bitchy, almost organic in its operation. Too bad it can't heal itself.

    Sent from my C6725 using Tapatalk

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  10. #10
    Saab Enthusiast XLR99's Avatar
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    18 Nov 2014
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    Medina, OH
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    113
    Saab(s)
    '04 9-5 Aero Wagon, '90 900
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    Thanks for the encouragement guys! Not always sure if anyone other than me is watching.

    Regarding the oven - I baked a set of strut housings for the 9000 Aero in my avatar in the main oven several years ago. That was exciting! Powdercoat is usually 350-400 so it gives off more stink. Neighbors all still think I'm crazy for that.

    I've known the TB has been on it's way out for awhile, just another source of irritation. I'll probably try to put it off til after the holidays if possible.

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