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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow saab sceners,

I was wondering if there is any hope for my car? Was driving along when the oil light came on and the engine started to sound like a diesel. I've taken it to the garage and have been told that the oil pump has gone (and has been weak for a while) and as a result there has been some damage to the shells/bearings as well. They reckon that changing the oil pump is a really big job and all things considered it would be cheaper to get a new engine. I was wondering if this sounds reasonable? The car is a 2.3 Turbo '92 CDS so is only worth about £1000, if that, so there is no real point in getting the engine changed as this would cost more that the car is worth. Anyone had a similar experience and care to offer any advice? How much is a second hand/ recon engine? Any comments more than welcome but I fear this could be the end of my lovely car .

Cheers,

fastersaabs
 

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I've seen breakers selling complete rolling shells with accident damage for £500, which would give a you a supply of cheap spares as well as an engine (if you had space).

I sold my '91 9000S because it needed gearbox work and lots of bushes, engine mounts, DI, etc. Total came to way more than the car was worth.

So I bought a newer car and spent £3500 on it, and now I have to spend out £1500 on gearbox work, timing chains etc

Bad luck maybe, but my point is - if I'd spent the £5000 on my 9000S I could have had an amazing and very nice car! It's just the way it goes, but it's made me think - just because the repair bill comes to more than the value of the car, it doesn't necessarily mean it's worth chucking the car! When you are in the £1000-2000, just think of it as running costs over the time you have the car. It's still cheap motoring in the grand scheme of things.

My 2 pennies worth. If it's a straight car, nice shell, nice interior, and you like it, then go for it.
 

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Hey FasterSaabs, my commiserations, I had exactly the same thing happen to my '91 9000SE a couple of years ago. I agree with JohnCC.

Think how much you'll have to spend to get a car as good as yours that you can be reasonably confident is sound and you won't have to invest too much money in in the near future. Maybe £5k-£8k if it came with a comprehensive service history, one or two owners, mileage under 100k.

Currently your car might be worth what? £250 - £400 for parts.
You should be able to pick up a second hand engine with reasonably low mileage for (say) £900. Even if you spent another £600 having it fitted properly, your only out £1500 and you've got a damn good car again. Then as JohnCC says you can invest another £2,500 in it and have something hugely better that what you'd otherwise get for twice the money.

As JohnCC says, I've added up how much I've spent on mine over the 4 years since I've had it,incl engine, autobox, alternator and turbo. I've added 90k of the 275,000 miles on the clock and its still less than I'd have to spend to get something younger, but not necessarily "better". My 248BHP luxury cruiser is lots better than most other cars on the road.

Make sure you deal with a good specialist who knows what they're about.

Good luck. Don't have too many sleepless nights about it.
 

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Snip

<<Think how much you'll have to spend to get a car as good as yours that you can be reasonably confident is sound and you won't have to invest too much money in in the near future. Maybe £5k-£8k if it came with a comprehensive service history, one or two owners, mileage under 100k.>>>

Hah! That's what I thought, but after 7 months I have been towed three times by the RAC. Don't assume that the newer/lower mileage option is better. My DI Cassette went at 60k miles for example. Fortunately I bought an extended warranty with the car, as to date the repairs have cost about £550 at a specialist.

I guess the point is think what the car is worth to you, and not what the book says it is. You can just as easily buy a new car for £5k and still have to spend several hundred pounds getting things put right, plus run the risk of oily bits going wrong that you know will not be a problem with your old car. Even the newest 9000 is going to be over 5 years old now, and who knows what happened to it during that time, whereas your car will be a known quantity, depending on how long you've had it of course.

I am not suggesting you go either way, just that a car can be worth a lot more than the book says it is.
 

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If you change the car for something without a good warranty you could be in the same position next week.

When this happened to me, many years ago I admit, I rebuilt the engine. That's where I learnt what's inside. Even if you don't want to do it yourself, get a reputable Saab specialist to quote you for an engine rebuild. You may be surprised and find it's acceptable.

Low oil pressure just means a worn oil pump and bigger gaps in the oilways than specified. Repair those and you have a new engine. As long as no casting is actually cracked (block or head) the work is pretty straightforward.

You will need to strip the engine and re-grind the crankshaft and rebore the cylinders. Put it all back with new crankshaft bearing shells, pistons and oil pump. Also best to refurb the head - new valves and guides plus timing chain and sprockets.

Maybe not bargain basement, but you effectively get a new engine that will need to be run-in, and an expected life of another few hundred thousand miles.

And while you are at it why not go for a big bore and bigger valves?
 

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My comiserations fastersaabs, your car is pretty similar to mine, only you have the CDS variant. So your problems make me fearful of my oil pump dying suddenly! Unfortunately it seems this may be a problem with early 2.3's now, well so I've heard, so I'm going to keep a close eye on mine!

If you haven't buried too much money into the car already, the best thing to do is to break it, get some money back for the parts and buy something newer. As you say, it's really only worth iro £1000 and to be honest, I think it would be difficult to get hold of a "known good" engine and have it fitted for much less than the cars worth.
 

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changing the oil pump is not a big job,you might do well to get another opinion on any damage before condeming car.the same thing happened to me but it was the oil pressure relief valve sticking which was the cause but i only drove on for half a mile so no damage.
 

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Bad luck fastersaabs. Like everyone here I would recommend you get it repaired. If you sell it what would you get and how much would you have to put to it, to get a half decent car - even in this state your car is still more than half decent.

Contact a specialist. I used Jamsaab for my engine bay and general fettling, and they are not too far from you. Martin at Jamsaab is a font of knowledge on this model and will I am sure offer you some practical advice. His number is 0117 986 9997.

Here's what he did to my engine bay:
 

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Before you do anything, drain the sump into a clean container abd check for white metal particles. The oil pump might have failed and thus you lose oil pressure, you also lose the oil supply to the hydraulic tappets which makes the engine sound like a diesel. Check the oil first, if hasn't got bits in you might be lucky.

I actually wiped out every white metal bearing in my engine, every journal was wrecked, the oil pump was severely scored with the amount of metal that had passed thru it, but the cam bearings and bores and pistons were perfect, still showing hone marks and well within Saab tolerances after 200000 miles.
I rebuilt....should have put a secondhand engine in with hindsight....cheaper option.
 

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The bottom line on this one is that if the rest of the car is in good condition and well cared for, then an engine rebuild or a decent s/h unit is a viable option.

Ask yourself the question "If the oil pump hadn't failed, was there anything else on the car that would have given me cause to want to change it?"

If the rest of the car is tired, then it may well be time to part company.
 

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You should certainly take the car to a reputable garage, preferably a Saab specialist before you decide what to do next.

Any garage that takes 2 weeks to even look at your car isn't worth going to.

Besides your dodgy lowering conversion it is in pretty good condition, so it would be well worth getting some serious quotes for the work from experienced people before making a decision.

Just need to tow it somewhere now...
 

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An oil pump from Euro Car Parts is about £60 so if the engine was not run for long and the oil drained out does not contain metal (as Mark's note) then you could get away with about £80 including oil and filter if doing the work yourself. If using a replacement engine you may want to change the oil pump anyway so this money would not be a waste if you just tried changing on your existing engine. I would not drive the car round lots of garages since if the engine is not damaged yet it will end up that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Having taken everything into consideration I've decided to let the car go, I will miss it, great car when its working. I've put a for sale ad in the classifieds section if anyone with the skill to fix the engine is interested or if it is wanted for spares. Thanks for all the advise everyone!

Cheers,

fastersaabs
 
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