Wednesday, December 16, 2009

She shifts like a car, not a Saab!

In the last two and a half weeks I've made two relatively major improvements: the radio harness has been replaced with stock harness, and my Pioneer DEH-1900MP with stock Saab harness has been fitted into the car. Finally! I have radio again! The other major improvement was a brand new gear-shift linkage bushing thing-a-ma-bob. The rubber piece in the middle of the shift rod.

On my To-Do list, I had mentioned new gear oil - I believe this is NO LONGER necessary. With the new rubber linkage in place the transmission shifts smooth as silk. Also, the syncros have been given new life thanks to a better put-together car. Granted, the transmission was not as cold as usual (between 15 and 30 degrees F) because it had been indoors while I worked on it, so there is a chance I may still need to replace the oil. I'll decide that next time I jump in my frigidly cold driver's seat.

The next item I'd like to address is the fog light bolt. This does however require removing the hood and passenger side headlight, so it may be a week or two before I get a chance.

Until next time, happy Saabing!!! (Sorry to those who don't own a Saab.... no, really. I'm sorry...)

Saab Guy

Sunday, November 29, 2009

To-Do List

Like the Corrado, there are a lot of small things wrong, broken, or just plain missing in my latest Saab. In fact, I got so lost trying to keep track of everything, I wrote a list:

  • change gear oil
  • change engine oil
  • tighten hood release cable
  • replace dome light switch
  • put in floor board screws
  • fix speaker shelves
  • replace radio harness
  • put in fog light bolt
  • repair driver's seat
  • vacuum inside
  • reapply Rain-X
  • check cam/ignition timing
  • reattach gear-shift boot
This list doesn't include what I already did in the last week during break which was simply: clean up center console, repair passenger seat, fix fog light switch, and remove headlight wipers. Tomorrow I pack up and go back to Rose, ready for the next term. Well, ready as I'll ever be that is. Should be good though - only 14 credit hours this term. On another note, I drove down to Washington, MO today to meet another Saab owner named Kevin. He just bought a 1985 Saab 900S. It's an 8 valve! I'd never driven an 8 valve until today. Though a lot slower than my 2.1L, it was still a lot of fun! It came from California and therefore looked absolutely pristine! I finally got rid of the old Saab radio I had sitting in my room after hearing he wanted to restore his 900 to factory original. Anyway, that's all for now. I'll update later with more interesting posts. Cheers, Saab Guy

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Welcome. My name is David. I like Saabs.

I am a Saab guy. Some know me as Saab Guy. You can refer to me as whatever you'd like, but the truth is, I love my Saab.

My latest Saab is a 1993 Saab 900S. I have yet to be privileged enough to own a 900 Turbo, but that is certainly on my to-do list (not the one I will be talking about in my next post however). My first car was a 1991 Saab 900S. She treated me pretty darn well (except for the nasty idle problem) from when I first sat in the driver's seat clear on through to when I sold her. However, she left my hands soon after I was rear-ended in some nasty fog, totaling the car (it bent the monocoque chassis).

From there, I briefly stepped into a 1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60. WOW was that car fun to drive. And WOW did that car have a lot of problems. Corrados have never been known for their... reliability, but this one was beyond imagination. The previous owner would do whatever it took to keep it on the road and driving while spending as little money as possible. I found electrical tape holding the knee bolster in place for instance. Repairs like this were common underneath the hood as well. Surprisingly, when the throw-out-bearing gave way, I got rid of the car.

This brings me to my longest relationship to date - my 1988 Saab 900S. I owned this car for one year and 2 months I believe (the '91 Saab for seven months, the Corrado for four). I learned almost everything I know about working on cars with this Saab. Even before I knew how to change an air-filter, I got the lucky chance to replace my head gasket. You can only imagine what an undertaking that was.
I never did find out what was leaking pouring oil onto the ground, but something I did during that repair caused an oil... seepage. Because of the large engine oil puddles, I never noticed that transmission oil was also leaking. Soon after the car was back on the road with a new head gasket, the transmission needed replacing. Once again, the car was in the garage for a couple months. Back on the road again only to find out a couple months later, there was a TERRIBLE rattle which drove me nearly crazy trying to diagnose - I went as far as replacing the timing chain guides even. That turned out to be nothing more than loose flywheel bolts which I had not torqued to spec during the tranny replacement.
This poor Saab also had an idle problem that I never was able to diagnose correctly. As far as I'm aware, both the current owner of the '88 and the '91 have idle problems to this day.

Today however, I'm living the good life. My dear and loving uncle kicked in enough money to cover the difference in sale and buying price of my '88 and this current '93. He then proceeded to drive from his house in Washington D.C. to my dorm room in Terre Haute, Indiana to deliver the car.
And might I say... this car idles correctly!
I've owned it for two months now I believe. Mechanically, I couldn't ask for more. I have yet to find any problems at all with the engine. There are as many little things wrong with this car as there are stars in the sky. You know how it is: the harder you look at the sky, the more stars you see... that's how it is with this Saab. But more on this in my next post.

By the way, my name is David Zemon. I'm a freshman electrical engineer at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Rose is highly regarded, though unknown, engineering school in Terre Haute, Indiana. For those on the west coast familiar with Harvey Mudd and its prestigious second place award by U.S. News and World Report, Rose-Hulman is that pesky little school that's been beating you for 11 years now. Anyway, someday I'd like to have a job designing new CPUs (processors) for computers, but who knows if I'll still want to do that when I graduate. I am quite a fan of swimming as well - for eight years I swam at my local YMCA and finished my career with a 1:13.02 in the 100y breaststroke (my best event).

Enough about me. Read more about my current Saab in the next post.

Saab Guy