[saab] Pastry's 3rd suspiciously cheap Swedish Hauler

pastryPastry @pastry Mittagong NSW
edited May 2017 in Non-Volvo
This no-runner cropped up on Gumtree the other day, for FREE! Sadly I missed it by 20 mins (enquired about 22 mins after listing..), so some other guy got it.

Fortunately he only wanted to make a buck, so relisted it later that day for $800. I spotted it and offered him $600 for it. SOLD!


It's a MY2000 Saab 9-5 Aero w/ 5sp MANUAL, which are extremely rare.

  • 130,000 km
  • standard TD04-15T
  • 5sp manual box
  • Heated/Ventilated power seats :love:
  • Sunroof
  • Top spec audio system
  • Cosmic Blue (my fave)

My initial detective work reveals a Doctor as the original buyer (shock horror!), which explain the amazing spec sheet. It's obviously been owned by someone slightly clueless since, but actually looks in solid shape – no oil leaks, good compression (all 4 cyl around 180), everything seems to work. Even has all the info display pixels, which is very unusual.

It starts but doesn't currently run for long – idles very rough, eventually slows and dies unless given gas. Original listing said it was a throttle body issue, and that may be right. I have 2 spare laying about, along with heaps of other parts, thankfully.

Plan for this one?

Well, I have another one of these – base spec Auto (same colour), which sold me on these cars. It sadly has bearing failure (sludge). I was planning to rebuild it, but may do things differently now.. build this new one, and use the spare good bits (pistons) to fix it.

But all being well here's what i'd roughly like to do..
  • Wossner forged pistons
  • Walbro 255 + suitable injectors
  • 3.5 bar MAP
  • 3" full system
  • Bigger turbo, 19T or GT series?
  • Big ol' intercooler
  • Bilstein/Eibach combo
  • Stage 4-ish software (aim somewhere over 330bhp/450Nm)

Granted these are ~250bhp stock so no slouch for a fairly everyday sled, pistons being the weak link if oiling is not well looked after.

Very happy with it, when it runs it will hopefully turn out to be a spectacular cheap buy!

One day I might fix the XC90.


  • Hopefully this one treats you better than the xc...
  • pastryPastry @pastry Mittagong NSW
    ah the XC is going, it's fine! And will be sorted in due course.
  • Why was it being given away for free ?? Even at $600 it's a bargain !
  • pastryPastry @pastry Mittagong NSW
    edited May 2017
    Agreed, and that remains to be seen.. probably simple economy, expensive to get to a mechanic, expensive to fix when it gets there – easier to let someone else take it away! The battery was totally dead, for a start.

    The guy who got it free did not move it. It's obvious it hadn't been started for ages – turned over a long while before it eventually fired up.

    Most people are "afraid" of Saab's I think, but yes it was crazy on the part of the owner. The ventilated seats alone, I'd have certainly paid $300. $400 for the long block, $500 for the 'box setup... yup – a bargain!
  • I had a 1993 Saab convertible, black , Manuel , grey leather 16inch Saab aero wheels , LOVED it , sold it 8 years ago for $13000 after advertising it for 12 months at that price .
    Really did not want to sell it , but wasn't good for baby seats !
  • Wow! Awesome spec and nice looking beastie. Very jealous.
  • I have a thing for Saab's. That one looks awesome. They are ridiculous cheap second hand.
  • Vee_QueVee_Que @Vee_Que South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    Looks good. Interesting the pistons are he weak link, given its rods on the Volvos. Definitely just go to a td04 19 or 20t, with the larger rear housing. Unless you have 1500 plus extras for a gt3071r.
  • pastryPastry @pastry Mittagong NSW
    edited May 2017
    Made some progress replacing things and trying to get her to run smoothly.

    So far I've..

    - Replaced Throttle Body, made sure not in limp mode
    - Cleaned MAF
    - Checked compression (all 4 cyl around 180)
    - Changed Plugs (w/ used)
    - Swapped Ignition Cassette aka coils (x3 tried)
    - Changed Crank Sensor (w/ used)
    - Replaced all Vac lines
    - Replaced the BPC
    - Checked codes several times, nothing stored

    It's not stalling like it was, but it's still really rough, vibrating a lot, and very lumpy. Almost sound like it's not firing a couple of cylinders. It's hard to capture the sound properly, but the sputtering exhaust at the end is probably most telling.

    I'm buoyed by the excellent compression figures but there's still something very funny going on.

    My next port of call is to test the pump pressure and injectors, and look for any other leaks.
  • pastryPastry @pastry Mittagong NSW
    Finally had a mornign to look at this.

    The cold side IC hose had blown off, and it had a dodgy MAF. The two together had caused serious failing in the adaptation and mapping.

    Had a spare MAF and the hose went back on in 10 minutes. Quick oil and filter change and she runs a dream! Very quick after the '90, steers well but can feel a bit of work needed in suspension and alignment.

    Next up, mounts, belt, filters, clean and polish, then run her for a bit while i work out what else might go wrong. So far, I love it!
  • robvRob @robv Brisbane
    we had a Saab 9.3 2.0 t give us a head ache last week with random missing, it was injectors.
    Because they are cheap I think people run them on shit fuel.
  • There's money to be made in gumtree!! Lucky bastard made easy money !

  • Most people are "afraid" of Saab's I think, but yes it was crazy on the part of the owner.

    I'll agree with the first part about people being afraid of them.

    Probably sensible on the part of the owner to get rid of it if they have no interest in doing their own mechanical work. $0 certainly ensures it'll be gone quick and if they were used to paying over $1000 for a basic service, they probably just wanted it gone.

    You got a great car with a manual box, very few around.

    I'm trying to shift a 1995 900S for $500 at the moment as it is worth that for parts alone, but nobody pays much for old saabs.

  • Parts availability is what keeps turning me off from restoring mine

    Its ok today but its only going downhill
  • pastryPastry @pastry Mittagong NSW
    I'm confident there will be mechanical parts for years to come – no trouble finding anything from engine internals to suspension, but there are certainly some more cosmetic bits that you can't get new any more.

    What's up with yours PB?

    Original gen 9-3s are a good run about, 9-5s are definitely much nicer though. I've never driven a phase 1 S40, wonder how they compare to the 9-3? I'd think a bit more solid feeling, better chassis I'd hope! I had the earlier 9-3, which still had the more robust B204 engine. Good for lots of power.

    And yeah @UNM I get the economic rationale of giving it away, but as I said above, if you knew where to offer it for sale you'd get pretty good cash for a handful of easily removed bits! Surprised you can't shift yours at $500 tbh, they're quite good learner cars provided nothing goes too wrong. There's an Australian Saab FB group, which might be worth trying?

    – – -

    Proof that it's running, and that the Volvo goes, too :)

    Since driving it it's given me a P1110, which is the boost recirculation valve not doing its job right. Got on of those spare, though I'll probably buy a decent aftermarket one. Also need to replace all the vac lines again, with slightly larger silicon. Only had 3mm rubber stuff laying about at the time.

    And then it had a quick wash. The roof needs a really, really good polish..

  • Looks sensational :)
  • What's a saab?
  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    What's a saab?

    A car actually made in Sweden?
  • Nope, dead and buried, bought by the Chinese @Ex850R They tried to resurrect, didn't happen. Now may be reborn as an EV

    More like a plane without wheels (According to the old ads)
  • pastryPastry @pastry Mittagong NSW
    bought by Spyker first, who made a noble effort to keep the lights on but were ultimately unable to keep funds rolling, or work around the restrictions GM placed on the sale.

    @bigal this is the model that is notoriously (some may say implausibly..) "faster than a 911 Turbo between 40 and 70mph"


    it's pretty awesome but I'd take the 911.

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