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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    29 May 2016
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    5
    Saab(s)
    1987 900 Turbo Convertible, 2008 9-3
    Thumbs Up:   0

    operating temp?

    I just bought my first C900, an 87 turbo convertible with around 120k miles, that was converted to a manual transmission.


    the factory temp gauge doesn't work, but it has a an aftermarket temp gauge. It seems to run hot in stop-and-go traffic. How hot should it run? I'm going to flush the coolant system and begin to track down the problem, but I need to know the operating temperature I should be shooting for.


    Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Aug 2010
    Location
    near Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    1,326
    Saab(s)
    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
    Thumbs Up:   25
    I gave away my 10+ volume Saab service manual and my service manual published by Cambridge, MA based Bentley. However, I remember the original coolant temperature gauge running hot and about 2/3 of the maximum in my 1982 Saab 900 with a 8 valve non-turbo even when new. My 1990 900 16-valve non-turbo was at the middle. I do remember that there was a hotter version of the thermostat available for retrofit and maybe for certain markets. I know that the temperature specification of the thermostat is not the same as the coolant operating temperature.

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  3. #3
    Paul A
    Saab Nut
    Join Date
    11 Mar 2011
    Location
    West London and Wiltshire, UK
    Posts
    251
    Saab(s)
    T16 '93 Ruby - T16 '94 Vert Ruby
    Thumbs Up:   0
    The factory gauge when working sits around middle dial at operating temp. This equates to approximately 90C, which is the same as the recommended engine thermostat. The top of the gauge is red equating to 100C. Remember that with properly functioning radiator cap the water is under pressure when hot at up to 15psi. At this pressure the water will not boil until 115C. So effectively the engine is not overheating until it reaches 100C. The radiator has a thermostat that closes at 95C which causes the rad fan to run. When the fan is running the water temp will fall until below 95C and the fan will stop. If the car is left idling the fan will cycle on and off.

    A common cause for the temp gauge not working is the wire that attaches to the sensor at the front of the cylinder head is detached or corroded.

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