Saab 900 Classic door rust

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Thread: Saab 900 Classic door rust

  1. #1

    Saab 900 Classic door rust

    This is my first post having just started looking after a Saab 900 convertible (1990 plate). Its in relatively good order, mechanically and structurally sound and only done 80K.
    There are a few rust areas the main ones being at the bottom (inside) of both the drivers and passengers door roughly where the rubber trim attaches to the door.
    I have been to 3 body shop repairers with differing views on what action to take as follows:
    Garage #1: Generally deals with insurance claims and on inspection said I am better off with 2 new doors
    Garage #2: What I'd call an Artisan body shop, deals with classic cars and novel make overs, suggested cutting out bottom section and replacing (mainly because I offered up the suggestion that the inner door repair panel can be purchased - and then respraying
    Garage #3: Associated with a Saab repairer next door who does Saab body work, suggested removing rust and filling. Wouldn't recommend replacing with a new door as not easy to come by and in any case likely not to be in much better condition than I had.

    As my main aim is to keep the car as original as possible garage #1 option isn't a route I'd like to take and I agree with the thought unlikely to get a decent door anyway to replace it.
    So my options are Garage #2 or Garage #3 unless someone advises otherwise.

    Where my dilemma is is that I was of the opinion that cutting the rust out is the preferred route and that Garage #2 is the right option but Garage #2 wasn't as experienced as Garage #3 on Saab's.

    What is the recommended route from those who have done this before - do I just cut out the rust, clean it up, refill rust holes and then respray (I can do all this myself) or am I better off cutting the rust out, removing the inner door panel and then weld in a new section (Garage #2)?

    Appreciate any advice on this matter - there will be other questions in due course but this is the major item to start with.



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  3. #2

    Re: Saab 900 Classic door rust

    Hello Jezza what sort of standard do you want to get the car up to ?
    If yih want to keep it as original as possible then option number 3 seems best as long as nothing else crops up .
    But as you say option number 2 seems a good one , but even though they don't have much experience with Saabs that should not matter because a body shop is a body shop , not unless they are trying to tell you in a polite way that they don't want to do it .
    But to keep it as original as possible then in my mind
    option 3 , as it will still have the original doors .
    a point to add I've never done that kind of thing before but it seems the best way
    it's good to see someone keeping thease and preserving them so that others can enjoy them

  4. #3
    Saab Newbie Redridinghood's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Re: Saab 900 Classic door rust

    This is common, it's the first place they rust. I'm guessing due to clogged drain holes. Local body shop recommended cutting out the rust, lining with copper, fill, finish and buff.

  5. #4
    Saab Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2006
    London UK

    Re: Saab 900 Classic door rust

    Don't know how bad the rust is without a pic, but don't weld. It will always show. Treat the rust with something like RustBullet - it works. Then treat the door cavity with a wax treatment spray. Particularly the holes where the clips are fixed. This is where the rust starts. And finally- keep the door drain holes clear.

  6. #5
    Thanks all. I eventually did myself as filling was a job I could do. Rubbed down to bare metal as best could do, filled holes with fibreglass filler, used Bilt Hamber on any remaining rust and sprayed cavity with rust converter and undercoat and waxoyl. Then applied zinc primer, top coat and lacquer. Came up lovely. If rusts again will just repeat but hopefully good for many years esp as now kept in a garage. Thanks for all your advice. J

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