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  1. #1
    Matt C-B

    Join Date
    02 Dec 2017
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    4
    Saab(s)
    '71 96
    Thumbs Up:   2

    '71 Saab 96 -- Just the beginning

    Hi All -- I'm super new here so forgive the general noob-ness.

    I heard through a friend about someone who was looking to get rid of a Saab 96 that was once upon a time his daily driver and had ended up sitting for a number of years. I've always loved these cars and really wanted a car more fun than my daily family-hauler, so here I am plus-one blue Saab that's in good shape...but isn't running.

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    Anyway -- lots of work to be done. We have the hood off and the front clip off now, trying to figure out what kind of state the car is in. The electrics appear to work and the engine cranks but won't fire up. So on to trying to figure out which of the holy trinity of spark/air/fuel it's missing. I drained the fuel tank today (oh god does old gas smell awful) and will be pulling that out to assess how much gunk is in it.

    I was hoping someone might be able to help answer an interesting question -- in the various service manuals I've gotten my hands on, there doesn't seem to be a mention of an electric fuel pump. Yet when I flipped the back seat to get to the fuel tank...there it was sitting underneath the rear bench seat. Does anyone know if this is a common thing? Was it original? Or did someone add it afterwards? I have to replace the fuel lines most likely, so I'm really wondering whether it can just go away...

    Any help would be appreciated... my son is excited to get her running as quickly as possible.

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  2. #2
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Oct 2016
    Location
    Minneapolis Minnesota
    Posts
    429
    Saab(s)
    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
    Thumbs Up:   89
    Welcome to the world of classic and collectible vintage vehicles and I like the look of your Saab.

    The only thing I know about these old Saab's is that they have a look that gets attention, so I'm not much help to you here. If you don't get the answer to your question, try posting the same question on the AACA forum in the general or technical section. AACA does have a special section for Saab and Volvo, but the most recent Saab posting was made in 2014 and you will probably get faster response in the general information section.

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  3. #3
    Matt C-B

    Join Date
    02 Dec 2017
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    4
    Saab(s)
    '71 96
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Thanks for the warm welcome and thanks for the tip! I'll certainly check that out to see if I can get a response.

    I actually reached out to the previous owner who never even realized that an electric pump was even there despite having owned the car for many years. He's an engineer so his theory is that this may have been done to solve some fuel delivery issues, either because the mechanical pump wasn't working well or heat was causing vapor bubbles to form in the lines.

    So it looks like I can bypass it to see if there's a problem with the mechanical pump at the front... That's only part of the worry right now. I drained all the old gas out (I didn't get much out -- I assume the rest has turned to varnish and/or sludge) and now I have to check on the condition of the tank and lines. Probably quite a bit of work to do.

    Thanks again!

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  4. #4
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Oct 2016
    Location
    Minneapolis Minnesota
    Posts
    429
    Saab(s)
    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
    Thumbs Up:   89
    In Minnesota we put electric pumps on old cars to save money on parts, or to make them easier to start in the winter. Rhode is one of the few states I've never been to and being it's mostly coast I had to google winter weather to make an educated guess before I could agree with the engineer former owners speculation. My guess is that the fuel pump is bad and that when it was installed the electric pump was a small fraction of the Saab pump price.

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  5. #5
    Matt C-B

    Join Date
    02 Dec 2017
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    4
    Saab(s)
    '71 96
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Winters might not be Minnesota cold, but they can get pretty nasty. But -- as you say -- more likely it was a quick fix for a bad part. It's like the Occam's razor of why was this weird thing done to my car. We'll soon find out!

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  6. #6
    Saab Nut
    Join Date
    06 Mar 2011
    Location
    Westport, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    410
    Saab(s)
    93 9000 CSE, 85 900T
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Spark, Fuel, Air = Bang

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  7. #7
    Matt C-B

    Join Date
    02 Dec 2017
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    4
    Saab(s)
    '71 96
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Looks like I have one of those things. And it's the one most abundantly available...

    We pulled the fuel tank last night and the inside looks like the surface of Mars. So the lines are probably similarly gummed up with gunk.

    We're not getting spark to the plugs so there's another issue to chase down...hopefully it's just the coil or a distributor contact or something.

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