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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    18 Dec 2017
    USA, 97030
    2001 9-5 2.3t 4spd auto wagon

    My 2001 9-5 2.3t wagon $1200 rescue

    My old Mercedes had been front ended and I wanted another European car, and was happy to find a 2001 9-5 2.3t 4-speed automatic wagon a guy who had moved to Portland from Montana had left in the elements for a couple of years. He did not know anything about taking care of a car and the only thing he knew about a Saab was "turbo makes it go fast".

    I got all the mold and moss off of it, and had it inspected, and thankfully it has minimal sludging, and a slight leak from one of the engine block gaskets. It starts and runs, and has no major defects. Not bad for less than half what I paid for my Benz!

    I'm getting used to the design and need to identify some stuff, and I already know some basic maintenance I have to do.

    • Replace DIC and spark plugs
    • replace starter
    • replace crankshaft position sensor
    • replace oil pressure switch
    • install PCV upgrade kit
    • replace head gasket, valve cover gasket, timing chain tensioner seals, and valve stem gaskets, and remove sludge while I'm in there
    • replace transmission fluid, flush motor oil
    • figure out why the p-brake isn't engaging
    • replace miscellaneous dash lights and the SID LCD screen
    • figure out why the headlight switch isn't switching from headlights to park lights to running lights
    • fix the dreaded 1-08 AC problem
    • clean rust off of brake parts
    • replace rear tires
    • get new donut
    • add stopper to rear driver side seat belt so seat doesn't stick in downward position
    • replace battery and terminals
    • bolt slide-out armrest in place, I have a bad hip and need it to lean on
    • polish, buff with cereum oxide, or replace windshield - it got so pockmarked on the way here it looks eternally dirty

    Other stuff I want to do
    • identify random stuff in the wheel well and hatch
    • replace comm center with double DIN, add a backup camera
    • clean up or bondo over numerous scratches and dents in chassis
    • replace worn down emblems
    • maybe do some ecomodding like transmission timing and ECU alterations
    • install remote starter and/or push-button starter if such things exist for it

    If y'all want to help, that'd be cool. This will be a good place to keep notes of my progress. Please pardon the terrible pictures, my phone is trying to die without my permission.
    Attached Images Attached Images          
    Last edited by jonnet97030; 23 December 2017 at 04:05.

  2. #2
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    USA - Netherlands
    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
    Hello and welcome, great first post! Your thread was in the moderation queue but is visible now. It sound like you got a good deal and have some work ahead of you. I am sure we'll able to assist with any questions you may have.

  3. #3
    Saab Addict
    Join Date
    10 Apr 2017
    Denham, England
    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
    Saab do NOT recommend flushing the oil system, if you want to do anything, drain the oil and refill with fully synthetic of the correct specification, run for 1,000 miles and repeat. Flushing oil has a detrimental effect on little end bearings etc.
    Change the oil pressure switch while you have the starter removed, they are a known cause of oil leaks.
    Drop the sump (oil pan) and clean it and the pick-up strainer this is where the sludge collects and eventually blocks the strainer.
    Always use fully synthetic oil, this is part of preventing further sludge, along with the PCV upgrade.

    The build spec is
    Model : 9-5 (9600), code=E Model Year : 2001, code=1
    Model Series : Series IV, code=D Market : United States, code=US
    Body Type : 5-door, code=5D Body Color : Steel Grey, code= 279
    Exterior : Roof, with sunroof, code= S Interior Color : Sand, Classic Leather & leather door inserts, code= L10
    Doors : 4 side doors, 1 rear door, code=5 Steering : Left-hand steering, code=L
    Gear Box : 4-speed automatic, code=A Engine : B235E 4-inline, Turbo, code=B235E
    VIN Plate : Chassi to Vin Data Row 2 :

    Feature Detail Code
    Brake Disc 15 Brake Disc 051-030
    Door Insert, Material Door Insert Material, Leather 331-040
    Driver Seat, Manoeuvering El. Manoeuvered Driver Seat With Memory 307-030
    Interior Trim Colour Interior Trim Colour, Beige 303-080
    Navigation System Without Navigation 811-010
    Outer Rear View Mirrors Outer Rear View Mirrors With Memory 401-060
    Parking Assistance Without Parking Assistance 539-030
    Passenger Seat, Manoeuvering Electrically Manoeuvered Passenger Seat 309-020
    Rain Sensor Without Rain Sensor 165-010
    Seats, Material Seats, Leather, Classic 305-020
    Speedometer Speedometer, Mph 451-060

    Aero Shields Without Aero Shields 209-020
    Airbag Driver And Passenger Airbag 799-040
    Antenna Diversity Antenna 503-080
    Armrest Adjustable Drivers Armrest 379-050
    Ashtray Without Ashtray 391-010
    Battery Size Battery, 70ah 551-030
    Body Color Stalgra 601-650
    Brake Pad Brake Lining Pa638 053-020
    Cargo Net, Textile Vertical Without Load Net 787-010
    Car Status Technical Status, M01 997-070
    Cd-player Preparation Cd-changer 513-040
    Chassi Design/performance Standard Chassis (comfort) 097-010
    Child Seat Without Childseats 323-030
    Climate Zone Warm Climate Zone 769-020
    Combination Lamp, Front Side Marker Lamp 435-060
    Country Packages Without Country Adaptation 911-010
    Emblem Baklucka,modellserie Without Emblem For Model Series 199-220
    Emission, Diagnostic System Obdii Diagnostic System 761-040
    Engine Output Low Output 265-040
    Engine Volume 2.3 Liter Engine Volume 227-020
    Evaporator Control System With Evaporator Control System 247-040
    Exhaust Emission System Without Secondary Air Injection 233-050
    Extra Floor Mats With Textile Mats 357-050
    Farthallningssystem With Cruise Control System 531-030
    Floor Illumination Without Floor Illumination 773-010
    Front Foglights Front Foglights 753-070
    Front Foglights, Activation Condition Hl Switch Not In Pos 0 And Not High Beam 763-020
    Fuel Type Petrol 221-010
    Gearbox, Type Automatic Gearbox 251-020
    Gearbox, Type Designation Vaxellada Fa47 253-370
    Gearknob Leather Knob 291-020
    Glass Breaksensor With Glass Brakesensor 721-020
    Headlamp, Light Symmetry Headlamp, Symmetric Light 431-060
    Heated Seats Heated Front & Rear Seats 413-050
    Inner Rear View Mirror, Dimming Inner Rear View Mirror, Manual Dimming 475-010
    Key Warning Key Warning 527-020
    Klimatsystem Acc-anlaggning 581-030
    Kylarflakt Kylflakt 480w (vid 12.0 Volt) 283-110
    Lambda Sonde Lambda Sonde Standard 767-010
    License Plate Holder Nummerskylthallare 2, (us-utf) 177-020
    Ljudsystem Radiosystem 3 511-050
    Load Anchoring Straps Without Load Anchoring Straps 795-010
    Luggage Floor Net Load Net 789-020
    Luggage Net, Side Without Luggage Net, Trunk Compartment 783-010
    Market Performance Usa Specification 003-080
    Miljoklassning Grundversion 821-010
    Number Of Doors Five Doors 009-010
    On Board Refuling Vapor Recovery With Orvr 791-020
    Panel Plate, Decor Trapanel 367-070
    Product Line Saab 9-5 001-060
    Radio Us-radio 515-050
    Rear Foglights Rear Foglight, Left Side 751-030
    Rear Headrests Rear Seat With Neckrest 325-040
    Remote Control, Frequency Remote Control 315 Mhz Long Distance 533-030
    Roof, Design Sunroof 007-020
    Running Light, Function 0=low, 1=park & Low, 2=low & High Beam 529-030
    Seat Ventilation Without Seat Ventilation 313-010
    Shock Absorber Setting Shock Absorber, Std 023-010
    Sidobackljus With Side+reverse Light 449-030
    Spare Wheel, Size Spare Wheel, 4.0 Inch 075-070
    Special Products Standard Vehicle 899-010
    Spring Force Front Chassis Spring, Front, 4540 Newton 021-980
    Spring Force Rear Chassis Spring, Rear, 2800 Newton 025-780
    Steering Wheel Position Left-hand Drive 011-010
    Stering Wheel Model Steering Wheel Model 4-spoken Leather 117-040
    Stralkastartorkare Stralkastartorkare 479-030
    Sun Visor, Front Dubbel Sun Visor 393-040
    Telephone Telephone Preparation, Handsfree 777-040
    Theft Alarm Theft Alarm 535-040
    Tilt Sensor Without Tilt Sensor 723-010
    Tire / Size / Speed Type Tire, 215/55, Vr<240 Km/h 063-220
    Tire,type Tire, Michelin Mxv4 073-040
    Traction-control Traction Control 105-030
    Trip Information Trip Computer 525-100
    Warning Triangle Warning Triangle 445-030
    Wheel Design Alu Rim, 10-spoke, 2:a Gen. 039-400

    Enter the VIN into http://www.thesaabsite.com/ to get a copy you can edit. Sorry about the words in Swedish that is the way the information is supplied. If it helps I still don't know what some of the features on mine are either.

  4. #4
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    18 Dec 2017
    USA, 97030
    2001 9-5 2.3t 4spd auto wagon
    I'm digging the random Swedish. I also thought the fill, run 1k miles, fill again was a flush, that's what I was going to do. I only use Mobil 1 0W-40, will drop the pan when I get the rest of the parts and have the cylinder head soaking in an ultrasonic bath. I'll order the oil pressure switch.

    I did find the cause of some oil leaking - whoever did the first cleanup after the sludge and some misfiring, they replaced the head gasket upside down and used Permatex on it! They also sealed the cylinder head with Right Stuff and didn't get around the bolt holes.

    I'm amazed it only suffers from a rough idle, slow crank, and leaking a quart every 600-ish miles.

  5. #5
    Saab Addict
    Join Date
    10 Apr 2017
    Denham, England
    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
    Quote Originally Posted by jonnet97030 View Post
    I also thought the fill, run 1k miles, fill again was a flush, that's what I was going to do.
    Technically a flush is when you use flushing oil, which contains solvents and is generally very thin, to clean out the remnants of old oil. This is what Saab don't recommend, what you were planning is fine.

    How do you fit a head gasket upside down?

  6. #6
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    18 Dec 2017
    USA, 97030
    2001 9-5 2.3t 4spd auto wagon
    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
    How do you fit a head gasket upside down?
    By buying the cheapest aftermarket gasket one can. It was symmetrical and had no top and bottom markers and got flipped. Had four mount holes. usually you can tell because the side with all of the cylinder rings touching goes on the block and the side that separate goes on the cylinder head. But if someone's cousin in BFE Montana is paid 30 bucks to do a head gasket change, one can only expect so much.

  7. #7
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    18 Dec 2017
    USA, 97030
    2001 9-5 2.3t 4spd auto wagon
    Technically a flush is when you use flushing oil, which contains solvents and is generally very thin, to clean out the remnants of old oil.
    That's why my stepdad used to pour diesel fuel in his motor when doing an oil change on his old '75 Ford. TIL.

    Got all my Dexron VI ATF, the SID replacement LCD and ribbon cable, my trailer hitch, and my starter. Soon my wife will be complaining that once again one of my cars is in 30 pieces in the driveway. I added replacing the crankshaft position sensor since it was throwing CELs and the inspector told me the crankshaft was fine, and added replacing the oil pressure switch as per GeoffR's recommendation.

  8. #8
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    18 Dec 2017
    USA, 97030
    2001 9-5 2.3t 4spd auto wagon
    Got all my parts, but I've run out of time working on a room in the house the squirrels have destroyed roof joists in. Today I learned what six years of squirrel pee festering in blown in fiberglass smells like. I'm going to have to take it into a shop to have the more time-intensive stuff done. I replaced the DIC, spark plugs, valve cover gasket, and the cabin and car air filters. The car filter was so nasty I see cleaning out the turbo in the near future. I didn't notice any improvement, but I only drove it around the block, and that starter that can barely crank is still on there. We'll see what kind of additional fuel economy I get from these. The old plugs were those Bosch platinums with the four side electrodes, which explains at least a bit.

    I burned off a liter of coolant in a month, and there's no leaks, and thankfully there's no history of overheating so no cylinder head warping, so we definitely know now that there's a hole between the coolant line and cylinder 1. The valve cover gasket was made out of regular Permatex black, not even ultra black (I know how they each smell so I can tell), so that's why even an LPT blew out the gasket. The bulk of the sludge is gone, but it's starting to build up again.

    I also got the rear tires changed - it took three men and a sledgehammer to get the wheels off after the bolts due to the corrosion. Three hours and a $400 resurfacing bill later, the tires are at least fixed.

    I've decided I'm going to get a double DIN, gut the OnStar system, and use its mic for my head unit. I'll probably hand-make a right-hand bucket storage to replace the OnStar well.



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