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  1. #1
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    Rochester, New York, USA

    Saab V4 FAQ's

    Here is a list of some frequently asked questions for V4's.

    I want to buy a V4, what should I look for?
    Saab 96/95

    Where can I get parts?
    Check out some of these sites here...

    What motor oil should I use?

    10W 40 or 15W 40 is the most common used weight oil for Saab V4's that I know of (in the States at least). So, I suggest finding a good oil in either of those two weights. But what brand you ask? The best (in my opinion) is Brad Penn oil. Why is it the best? Well, that's because you won't have to add a ZDDP (basically a form of zinc) to your oil. Brad Penn is a oil that has a higher concentration of zinc (1500ppm) than other oils, which is great for those flat tappets in your engine. The flat tappets need the zinc because motor oils without higher concentrations of zinc cannot lubricate under such high pressures/forces that acts on flat tappets. Most motor oils today do not have the higher concentrations of zinc (Shell Rotella is the next closest from what I hear, at 1200ppm) because it can kill your catalytic converter.

    So if you can't get your hands on some Brad Penn, or you just don't want to use it, you can use whatever other oil you would like, BUT I suggest you get a ZDDP additive. Also, some people tend to stay away from full synthetics, but I have no idea why.

    What ZDDP additives can I use?
    I've never used one myself, but Chip Lamb suggests using BG MOA. I've searched for it, and I can only find it at dealerships or on the internet. I've also heard of some people using a ZDDP additive by Eastwood. Follow the directions on the bottle.

    How much oil do I use?
    The official number is 3.3 quarts. That is with the stock (small) oil filter and set up. If you are using the Fram PH8 oil filter, you'll need about 3.7 quarts (most people call for 4 quarts, but I've never needed that much). If you are using the Fram PH16A, you'll need upwards of 4, but I'm not sure how much. Don't forget, if you are using and additive, you need to include that in the total amount you are putting in there.

    What size oil filter can I use?
    You can get the regular stock Saab V4 oil filter (not sure on the number for it... haven't used it), but it's pretty common to get a bigger size that fits right in. I use a Fram PH8, which is probably more common size to use than the other one I will mention. Its a bigger size, so it will give you a bigger filter area, which will help keeping your oil clean. I haven't had any problems with it, but it's a bit deceiving when you put it on. It looks like it won't quite fit (the filter is bigger around than the mount), but it does. The seal lines up prefect, you just get a little lip that sticks out and causes no problems. If you have room (I think there isn't in Sonetts), you can use an even bigger Fram PH16A, which will give you even more filter area.

    I have no real attraction to Fram filters, I just know they fit, they have the grippy end which I find convenient and they are always in stock at my local auto parts store. So if you can find the same size in a different brand, go for it.

    I'm constantly overheating, what can I do?
    Besides the floor pans rusting out, the next biggest problem is probably the cooling system. If you are in a hot climate, you'll want to do something about your cooling system because its underpowered. Here is one of the best write ups I know of on how to improve your cooling system.

    What size tires do these things need?
    The stock size was 155R15, which is nearly impossible to find. Probably the next closest size is 175/65HR15. Your speedometer will be about dead on, but you might (and I stress might) get some rubbing at full lock. Some people use a 165/R15 size, and I had a rotted set on my car (three of them were that size), it worked well and the speed was just a tad under what I was actually going (less than 10%), and I did not have any rubbing. Right now, I've got a set of 185/65/R15 on my car, and they don't rub at all for me. Some people get rubbing, some do not. Speedo is pretty much spot on, but when the speeds get slow, the steering gets heavy. Last but not least, I've also heard of people running 195/60's, and just like the others, some get rubbing issues, some do not.

    Is there a club for these?
    Sure is, VSNA (Vintage Saab Club of North America) is the biggest in North America. I'm a member and enjoy it, well worth the dues. You get quarterly mailings of a great mini-magazine, access to some classifieds, and invitations to meets if you are interested. Check out the club's site here.

    More to come...
    (If I left something out or I'm just flat out wrong... speak up!)
    Last edited by Shazam; 09 June 2011 at 01:50. Reason: Added some more info!
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