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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    East Tennessee
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    Saab(s)
    1991 900s
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    ABS Delete

    I have a 1991 Saab 900 S that I am interested in deleting the ABS system. I would like to eliminate the pump/accumulator system and replace it with a basic vaccuum booster and master cylender. I've been wondering:

    Will a vaccuum booster from a non-abs car fit directly?
    Will the booster's pushrod connect to the existing brake pedal assembly, or should I expect to have to swap that too?
    Are there any proportioning valves on non-abs cars that I'll need to obtain?

    I visuallize that my best case scenario would be direct swap of the booster and master, with a few line modifications.

    Worst case, I'll have to fabricate a firewall to accept a non-abs vaccum booster and swap the brake pedal assembly to match. Then after completing all that, only to find out the rear brakes lock up with the slightest brake application only to be corrected by an expensive trial and error of multiple proportioning valves to find the right balance for the master and caliper combination. This is the real world after all, and when you play around in this stuff, that's what you can expect.

    I'm hoping somebody has done this. Maybe they can save me some aggrevation. When I searched it, I didn't find much about it.
    Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Tennessee USA View Post
    I have a 1991 Saab 900 S

    Will a vaccuum booster from a non-abs car fit directly? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------YES
    Will the booster's pushrod connect to the existing brake pedal assembly, or should I expect to have to swap that too? ---------------Replace pushrod required
    Are there any proportioning valves on non-abs cars that I'll need to obtain?---------------------------------------------------------------YES

    I'm hoping somebody has done this. Maybe they can save me some aggrevation. When I searched it, I didn't find much about it. ----allpar.com has a good article on swapping out the Teves on the TC Maserati. You will need to use a different donor car, but the procedure is basically the same
    This same Teves system was offered as an option on several GM bodies and the vacuum brake systems from those body styles is your first best source for your vacuum boost system, if you can find one.

    When looking for the donor car that will provide your brake parts, almost any front wheel drive car with 4 wheel disk brakes of the same weight will provide the parts you need. The push rod will require some careful measuring and might need to come from a second donor car. Tennessee doesn't have the same rust problem that we do in the snow belt and you could find everything you need in one late 80's to late 90's small GM station wagon as a lot of those were front wheel drive with rear disk.

    If you're thinking of swapping out the Teves system because the accumulator cost a fricking fortune, these things aren't nearly as pricy as you might think. The Pontiac price for this part with a Delco part number was at one time 75% less than the same part with a Saab number. This part will get you back on the road at an affordable price https://www.lrdirect.com/STC2784-Acc...iAAEgJJT_D_BwE You can find this same part sold on ebay as a direct replacement for the Saab part number, or you can shop for one that takes a couple weeks to get and get a better price.

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  3. #3
    Saab Fan
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    10 Sep 2017
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    East Tennessee
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    Saab(s)
    1991 900s
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Thanks for the info. I was stuck thinking of looking for a booster for an earlier model Saab, while I could have just went with something more common. Good call. First I'll find a booster that bolts up, then take it from there. I'll update whenever I get the project done, but I'm going to drive it as is for a while first.

    I like the idea of deleting the system, because even though the power assist could be easily fixed, the antilock function couldn't. I'm guessing the existing master cylender is as old as the car is, and to me, it justifies sacrificing the abs.

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  4. #4
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    This car doesn't have a master cylinder, that little thing below the reservoir is called an actuator and that's why the push rod will need to be changed. My Teves brakes are a year older than yours and when my ABS quit working it took me 5 minutes to find the dirty connection and fix the problem. Not trying to talk you out of the change, I have a Teves manual and knowing how the system works makes keeping it working almost easy, for me the pump has to melt down with no parts available before I can justify the change.

    Kind of have to suggest against driving around with a bad accumulator, without the accumulator holding operating pressure you won't have what you need for a panic stop and that's not a good thing to find out the hard way. The pump gets hot when it runs, without a good accumulator the pump runs every second your foot is on the brake and frying a pump with no reserve pressure in the accumulator means almost no stopping. If you're going to run with limited power assist working its way to none, I do suggest parking on a safe to test hill with lots of run out room at the bottom, pumping the brake peddle a dozen times to eliminate all pressure and then coasting down hill without turning the key on so you can know what to expect when your pump quits working. The actuator is not a master cylinder and you may not have time to figure out how to make it stop the car, so a little practice now wouldn't hurt.

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  5. #5
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    1991 900s
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Thanks for the advice. I did get under the dash and look at the pushrod. It would be hard to judge which booster to get without first pulling my existing abs unit out of the car for comparison. Until you mentioned it, I didn't realise the difference between the Teves actuator and a basic master. That makes a difference in how I'll drive, because with a basic master with no power assist, I'd feel alright. With the actuator, yikes! I'll probably do one or the other soon.

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  6. #6
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    GM loves the alphabet and any 4 wheel disk, A Body front wheel drive Pontiac / Chevy / Olds platform will be a near bolt and go fit. The Lumina Sedan replaced the A body Celebrity, but the firewall didn't change beyond all recognition and brakes from a Lumina or such should do the job, but re fitting the brake pedal will take a lot more work.

    The brake pedal is the toughest piece of steel on the car, stay with what fit the original mount and you won't have to fight the drill all the way through it.

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  7. #7
    Saab Nut
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    10 Apr 2017
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    Denham, England
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    Saab(s)
    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
    Thumbs Up:   51
    Quote Originally Posted by East Tennessee USA View Post
    I have a 1991 Saab 900 S that I am interested in deleting the ABS system. I would like to eliminate the pump/accumulator system and replace it with a basic vacuum booster and master cylinder. I've been wondering:

    Will a vacuum booster from a non-abs car fit directly?
    Will the booster's pushrod connect to the existing brake pedal assembly, or should I expect to have to swap that too?
    Are there any proportioning valves on non-abs cars that I'll need to obtain?

    I visuallize that my best case scenario would be direct swap of the booster and master, with a few line modifications.

    Worst case, I'll have to fabricate a firewall to accept a non-abs vaccum booster and swap the brake pedal assembly to match. Then after completing all that, only to find out the rear brakes lock up with the slightest brake application only to be corrected by an expensive trial and error of multiple proportioning valves to find the right balance for the master and caliper combination. This is the real world after all, and when you play around in this stuff, that's what you can expect.

    I'm hoping somebody has done this. Maybe they can save me some aggravation. When I searched it, I didn't find much about it.
    Thanks!
    I am intrigued by this, firstly by the fact that you want to delete the ABS but also by the fact that your insurer will let you do so. In Europe, if a car is type approved with ABS it would be impossible to insure without it and it would fail the annual test.

    I know you have testing in the USA so does it not check that the ABS is working?

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  8. #8
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Periodical vehicle testing in the US is mostly just for emissions and many states do not even require that. Something like an ABS system being removed will go unnoticed unless if there is a warning light on the dash. As long as a vehicle has 4 wheels and goes fairly straight on the road, nobody will notice or care.

    It looks like there is no periodic safety testing required in Tennessee.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicl..._United_States

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  9. #9
    Saab Nut
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    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
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    Quote Originally Posted by nordwulf View Post
    Periodical vehicle testing in the US is mostly just for emissions and many states do not even require that. Something like an ABS system being removed will go unnoticed unless if there is a warning light on the dash. As long as a vehicle has 4 wheels and goes fairly straight on the road, nobody will notice or care.

    It looks like there is no periodic safety testing required in Tennessee.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicl..._United_States
    I find that frightening, you can delete any safety feature and put the lives of other road users at risk just because you feel like it?

    Would missing seat belts and air bags go unnoticed?

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  10. #10
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    You are required to wear seat belts so a police officer would notice when they pull you over for anything. But you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet and good riding gear.

    Air bags removal probably won't be an issue, unless you get into an accident and the insurance company has to cover your injuries.

    There are many rusted-out vehicles on the road in Michigan. Many don't have a good working exhaust system. Good shock aborbers and tires with enough profile depth are optional. Half the vehicles have their fog lights on all the time. It really is an underdeveloped country when it comes to cars and roads.

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