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  1. #1
    Saab Club of Australia sab's Avatar
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    2002 9-3 Aero Nordic Stage 4; 1988 900 Aero (The Silver Sled)
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    1988 900 Aero (The Silver Sled) - sab - Australia

    My Saab Tech, David Bascomb at Wantirna Auto, down here in Melbourne purchased a brand new 16 valve 900 turbo crate engine (B202 long motor) from Saab Australia in the late 1990s and had been storing it for his own use since then. This is a brand new and a never-ever used engine with 0km (0 miles for those in the USA) on it! Try finding one of these now anywhere… rarer than hens teeth I reckon!

    A few years back (around 2006ish) he mentioned to me in passing that if I ever wanted it, I could have first option to buy it from him as it ended up he wasn't going to use it anytime soon.

    My 1988 900 Aero's (The Silver Sled) engine was starting to get a bit worn, with oil coming out the dip stick under boost (the one way crank valve was tested and found fine, so crank case was getting overpressurised from worn rings etc.) and the engine had lower compression than it should have. It still went and started up fine but just needed either a rebuild or this crate engine installed. It took me a few years to save up some spare cash to get it done, as I was concentrating on tuning my other Saab at the time: 2002 9-3 Aero. With that all tuned to where I wanted it, it was time to get the crate engine installed!

    I left the sled with my tech back in mid-September and said to take as long as you want as I was in no hurry to get it back. That way he wouldn't feel rushed to get it done by a set date.

    The crate engine went in and I picked it up (very excited) just before the Saab Club of Australia (Victoria Branch) Concours Show in mid-October but it wasn't running exactly right. Didn't matter totally as I wanted it for the show and was planning to take a look myself and for anything I couldn't do take it back to David to get the little issues fixed.

    The issues it had was severe richness on startup, flooding (and subsequent non-starts) when at warm/hot operating temperature. As well as a funny high and wandering idle… at times it was fine then would sit at around 1,500rpm. It was also a real dog under boost and throttle with lack of power.

    Testing and steps I took to get issues sorted:

    - Replaced AMM with a known second hand working unit

    - Replaced the ECU and used my existing JSP Stage 2 ECU chip in the new second hand ECU

    - Cleaned and kept same T5 injectors on there

    - Kept the 3.0bar FPR on (was going to swap out to a 2.5BAR but the 3.0BAR is only like 12 months old)

    - Exhaust checked and no leaks or cracks found

    - Checked all vac lines and found a few hidden ones were leaking. Replaced and fixed these.

    I also got my tech to replace the NTC sensor (as after testing the old one showed signs of being bad and thus causing the rich issue) when it went back in to get sorted. He also double checked the timing as I have no timing light and set timing at 20˚BTDC for me as requested.

    I picked it up again last night and… the result: Everything is now fixed and going as it should. The Sled is a real beast to drive now… the torque amazing. Very different to my 2002 9-3 Aero. The brand new engine feels so tight and I reckon sounds different too (in a good way!)

    Now I just got to stay off boost a bit so it can break in properly over the next 1,000km or so.

    Damn nice to be able to drive it again without fear of engine breaking down (as was with old engine)… and hopefully this gives the Sled a new lease of life for another 22 years at least! The body and interior is in pristine condition for a 22 year old Saab (yes it won it's class at the concours), so it is great to have such a brand new engine in it!

    Thanks to David and George at Wantirna Auto for the great work and the really fair price they charged for the engine and labour to install it. Highly recommend them! So for just a bit more dough than what a second hand rebuilt engine is, I got a brand new crate engine!

    They took some shots of the new crate engine being installed, but I don't have them yet. Will share once they send them to me!

    Pics below are of the car at our Concours Show and of course the new engine installed!

    Merry Christmas!

    sab








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    1988 900 Aero "The Silver Sled"
    2002 9-3 Aero Nordic Custom Stage 4

  2. #2
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    Sounds like quite the job! What are you going to do with the spare engine? Rebuild to save for another day?

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  3. #3
    Saab Club of Australia sab's Avatar
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    2002 9-3 Aero Nordic Stage 4; 1988 900 Aero (The Silver Sled)
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    Cheers Shazam! Pretty happy I could buy it from my tech! Don't have room or space to store the old engine alas, so will just pull a few parts of it like the valve cover for a few other projects, and then scrap it. Might get the valve cover refinished and painted same silver colour as the Sled.

    Steve

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    1988 900 Aero "The Silver Sled"
    2002 9-3 Aero Nordic Custom Stage 4

  4. #4
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    So no intentions of this then?

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  5. #5
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazam View Post
    So no intentions of this then?

    Awesome - pure awesome. That is on my to-do list. First Saab engine table I've seen so far.

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  6. #6
    Frank
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    That's amazing work and a great story. It sounds like you'll have enough time to save for another new engine in 2032.

    How many miles were on the original engine?

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  7. #7
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnsside42 View Post
    Awesome - pure awesome. That is on my to-do list. First Saab engine table I've seen so far.
    I'm not actually sure if that is a Saab engine... I just typed in "engine table" and that was one of the first ones. I'd like to get an old 3-stroke block, and do it with that. My parts guy has about 2 dozen of them.

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  8. #8
    Saab Club of Australia sab's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-3 Aero Nordic Stage 4; 1988 900 Aero (The Silver Sled)
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    shazam> Damn that is a great idea!! But I think the Mrs would throttle me if I brought my old block in the house and attached a glass top! Looks fantastic tho!

    Thanks Wulf! I had about 310,000km on it, which isn't really that much but had been running high boost for the last 10 years which I think killed it quicker. I plan to turn the boost down a bit now and to just enjoy the new engine now. And yes maybe a rebuild of this 2032!

    Steve

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    1988 900 Aero "The Silver Sled"
    2002 9-3 Aero Nordic Custom Stage 4

  9. #9
    Chris
    Saab Car Club Australia omaroo's Avatar
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    1980 900 Enduro & 1985 T16 Aero
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    Good on you Steve. You lucky so and so. If David has a spare 8-valve crate block just let me know.

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  10. #10
    Frank
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    Do you have any pictures of the engine before it was installed? I like looking at the pictures of the B235R engine and only have seen the B202 regular view from the top.

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