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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, haven’t been on here for few years as my SAAB ownership lapsed but after a change in circumstances over the last couple of years I no longer do as much driving as I used to and don’t need a Hybrid….. I replaced my last SAAB a Laser Red 9-3 AERO TTiD with a an Audi A3 e-tron PHEV and as with every SAAB i’ve owned I wish I had never got rid of it.

I’m after bit of advice……

I bought this 1987 900 Turbo 8v with 137k about a month ago from a lifelong SAAB enthusiast, unfortunately after the 100 mile getting it home the slave cylinder has most probably given up as I can no longer get it into gear so can’t drive the car ! The AA mechanic that came out guessed this or the gearbox as both are common apparently.

The car was sold to me as being in very good condition but a whole selection of things have started to become apparent that suggest that the car was not quite as it seemed !

As I have been unable to return the car (the seller has now stopped communicating with me ) or actually move it, its sat for a month due to life death and Covid along with the unavailability of the SAAB specialist I used to use. It will be going next week to a specialist for a full inspection and appraisal…. and bare minimum the slave cylinder changed which should mean the car is drivable again, though I am very weary to invest anymore money in it.

So far what has come to light is the clutch slave cylinder failure.

The dash appears to have popped out after I let the car run for a a while with the heating on.

There is a large number 20+ bit of surface rust and bubbling that seem to be coming through where poor repairs and painting has been done, these have appeared in the last month I actually have pictures of the car with and with out them the only difference is a month !

The alarm system seems to be temperamental any links to where I could Identify what it is there is a key in the drivers wing and a standard relay box on in the passenger wing.

The gear stick has a lot of play in it.

Gearstick wobble IMG_9238.mp4

On the drive home there was under full throttle juddering.

I’m also aware the Turbo whine can be quite loud on there cars but it is loud on this one and the noise changes not quite sure how to describe it, it doesn’t sound like other turbos I’ve driven.

A lot of these were not apparent on the test drive and became more apparent in the 100mile drive home. The car was sold to me as being in very good mechanical condition with no major issues, so I’m quite disappointed.

In the mean time I’m trying to gauge how rare or worth while it is to invest money in one of these or if I’m best to just cut my losses (which will mean loosing the chance of owning a c900), and moving it on as a parts car or to someone who has better facilities at home ?

I really wanted a good quality base for long term ownership and am pretty gutted it has started this way I paid well over what I believed to be market value for the car coming from a knowledgeable enthusiast …. I have by no means the immediate ability to invest a massive amount in the car, which is why I was after a good starting point and believe I paid accordingly.

I’ve attach a couple of videos and pictures of the issues any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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24 Posts
What a beautiful car! I have fond memories of my own 1984 C900 turbo sedan that lasted a little over 330,000 miles before finally succumbing to a transmission bearing (my own fault for letting the oil get low from a leaky seal) and rust. I'm writing from the United States, so my view on this may be different from yours, but rare is the person who can make financial sense out of owning an old car that you love. You vote on the repairs with either your heart or your pocketbook, and it's tough to reconcile the two. Based on the pictures, if this were my car I'd be willing to put a LOT of time and parts into repairs to make it reliable. Being your own mechanic will go a long way in making this car enjoyable and affordable. Fixing the rust will be a big expense, but worth it IMHO if you can catch it early enough. Best of luck, and I hope you can begin enjoying the car soon! John Francis, Rolla, Missouri
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