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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Now I've plumped up the courage to buy the car I finally feel qualified to delurk.

I've gone and bought the blue "E-Bay" car ('91 9k 2.3T CD Carlsson) and I've been Sh***ng myself. I must've asked the poor guy about 20 questions (sourced from here) over the last week and did an HPI check. He was very open with his answers and had a legitimate reason for selling.

So I've driven it from Leicester home to Hampshire and it feels so so solid and comfy. Car has FSSH on 126090 motorway miles various bills and receipts for some of the major things and a few of the minor ones. All electrics appear to be working correctly, however the clutch is a bit fearce and bites too low down.

So I need some advice from you guys on setting up a solid baseline for a useable fast road car for Touring Holidays that can double as a "stealth" trackday tool, this is not going to be an everyday road car, a "toy" you as my wife says. (but she loves it too).

Where do I start? I think a thorough health check and chassis balance but what should that cover? Also needs a new gearbox mounting bush.

I'm a bit worried about the power though..

It didnt't feel really outrageous, very fast and very effortless yes, but I only drove slowly in traffic or fast on the motorway, it pulls very very hard and I didnt realise how fast I was going a few times but its not Scary uncontrollable/torque steer all over the place like I was expecting but you need to keep a firm grip on the heavyish steering.

Do I need to do an A road test to get a more rounded picture, what's a good way to properly road test, do I need to stir the box a bit?

Boost sits at 3/4 white - Start of yellow whilst cruising @ 90 on the M/Way and kicks to the high end of the broken red section when floored in 5th. It doesn't ever go into the full red before having to slow down, is this bad? i/e underboosting or could a motorway life cause the ECU to learn less than Max HP?

It doesn't spin the wheels, at all, on 205/50/R16V's like I thought it would (No TCS) should it?

Just the first of many potential questions no doubt. Thanks.

I love it already tho and my mate has named it "The Blue Fist"

<G>

D
 

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Hi Dave D welcome..The best place to start is to find out a good specialist in your area, the guys on here will be able to guide you to one.

I would personally start with a good full service, A 2.3 will break traction in 3rd if on song with no TCS (so Ive been told on here)

If you hit the gas pedal hard and everything is as it should be the boost gauge will hit between the orange and red ( you can tweak it to hit high red with a manual boost valve.

the main thing is to have plenty of fun in it

mark
 

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Welcome to the board Dave D!

I did the opposite to you - I bought a 9000 Carlsson from Alton (Hampshire) and brought back up to Leicestershire!

It's not all mad torque steer - but if there is a trace of wetness on the road, then it should be a bit silly in 1st and 2nd. Just going off mine here, mine may be knackered!

Mine has TCS, which kicks in even in the dry at full throttle. The car generally feels quite skittish, feeling all the bumps - feels like it would fly off if it hit a bump in mid corner, though always holds on.

I had thought that mine didn't go into the red, though since a change in the seating position (thanks 1989agoodvintage!) I can now see the top half of the speedo and the turbo boost guage, and it does go about half way into the red. Andy Bowles car goes right off the scale, though he has done some mods.

I do feel like I'm hanging on in full acceleration in 2nd, though in mid range, it just feels very fast. It depends what you're expecting - compared to my day to day transport, a 2.0 VW Passat, it is a lot faster, though it is no TVR Cerbera. I have found the gearing to be different from my last 9000 - a CS 2.0 LPT. I tended to leave that in 5th for acceleration at 70mph, though this one I will drop down a gear for the full effect. Quite often, as you mentioned, you are going faster than you think because it is a big car. A Fiesta used to feel it was really whizzing along, as it was a smaller car, though I'm often surprised how quick I'm going in the Carlsson. You do get used to the power and speed - you usually get your bearings back when overtaking other cars, or accelerating away on dual carriageways / motorways - this is a better guage of the Carly against normal cars, and I usually leave them standing.

Obviously there are quicker cars out there, though mine is certainly the quickest car I've ever owned.

This is mine:


Kevin Mc
1991 9000 Carlsson 2.3T
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cheers Fellas,

Easily the best vaue for money car I have ever bought. Full stop.

Yeah Kev Mc thats the one! Woohoo! I wanted something fast and subtle. That photo (the best one IMHO btw) you attached made me think Volvo T5 saloon when I saw it. Just the sort of thing I wanted. Some of my mates have RS Turbos, Cavi 4x4 Turbos and a G60 Corrado. This is a lot less flash for around the same cash but its got more power than any of 'em except the chipped Cavi.

Do you Carlsson owners all have TCS? There a no TCS lights on the dash and the guy said he'd never noticed it come on. All I did notice was that something cuts back hard on the power at high revs, like 5.5 K but no TCS lights.

This thing is a motorway monster - some guy came up to my rear bumper at 90 odd on the M40 in his Silver Golf Gti, I moved into the middle lane, let him past then floored it, lets just say he bottled it before I did. You should've seen his face - <G> "WTF was that" sort of expression.

The Carlsson badge is very subtle but it also has a "Deutchestechnick" sticker on the back, wassat?

Anyone here heard anything about a place called AMS, Alrefsford Motor Services? Any other recommendations for Independant saab specialists?

Can I replace the gearnob as it has worn out the leather?

Cheers Guys,

C ya
Dave
 

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Hi Dave D

Anyone here heard anything about a place called AMS, Alrefsford Motor Services?  [/b]
Yep, I have heard of them, and I have used them. Alresford Motor Services is run by Patrick Merry who trained as a Saab tech and also managed the service dept of a VW dealer. He established AMS about six years ago and has worked on my 96V4, 99T and 900s.

He is a good bloke, doesn't mess you around, tells it to you straight. The quality of workmanship is high.

Bill found him helpful - see this thread and this thread

Patrick has a 9000 demonstrator with LPG. I do have an interest to declare since I did his website www.amsautogas.com - but he is an honest bloke to service your Saab.

Good luck

/john
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
/John,

Cheers, just what I wanted to hear.

What should I ask them to do?

1. Full service - will do for certain.
2. Engine download? - part of full service?
3. New gearbox bush
4. Tune up?

Dave
 

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Dave D

If I were you, I'd go with a list of things that you think might need attention, and Pat can have a look at them. Pat will tell you what is necessary, and what you can leave until next time. He does not do unnecessary work.

/john
 

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lucky boy...
nearly bid for it myself (for my wife of course !)The way you describe how it is performing seems to be in the zone..In my experience these cars can vary quite a bit and you seem to have a fast one..
Maybe the deutchtechnike sticker is evidence of a chip upgrade.. beware the insurance police !!
There is something in the back of my mind about this but I cannot really remember..
boost does not always equal hp ..when I got the aero back from abbott the boost was the same but boy did it fly !!
did the bleed valve and now its a monster ....boosting waaaay into the red

have fun !!
 

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Ylee

What effect did the bleed valve have on the Insurance premium. I'm still thinking of doing this as on some days the aero I have feels great and on others just quick!. Have you noticed any downside and if I got a spare bit of hose, would I be able to just remove it and if so how would the car be (i.e would the ecu have been messed up and need to re learn anything?)

Thanks

Julian
 

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Kevin, mine used to feel skittish on corners an under acceleration, and the new rear anti-roll bar and anti roll bar bushes all round really made a massive difference.

Yes, I know I've said this before, but I really can't recommend the upgrade enough (and springs and dampers if you're really keen)
 

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Dave D:
>>All I did notice was that something cuts back hard on the power at high revs, like 5.5 K but no TCS lights.

Sounds like overboost protection is comming on - and not a TCS symptom. Sounds like you don't have TCS, which at least cant cost you a fortune by going wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Chaps,

I chatted to Patrick at AMS on the phone for 1/4hr and booked her in for a full service and general condition report.

I'm going to ask for a full fluid change, new pads and a timing chain change, (recommended at last service within 6K), possibly sprocket and get the gearchange and clutch adjustment sorted as it's the only thing that lets the car down really.

He didn't want to know about fitting performance parts and put me straight on to Abbott, which to me seems like a good sign.

I also phoned round the two garages that previously serviced or worked on the car and got great service in trawling back through their work records. They wouldn't send anything in writing but gave dates and prices for all the work. Like 9k worth of parts and labour in the first 85k miles!! Ouch.

I also discovered that I'm on my third gearbox (only 24K on this 'box) and second engine, which the plate states is a 234L engine is this right?

I plan to wait to see if the car has anything seriously wrong with it before contacting Abbott. However if it gets the all clear I'm going to build the car up starting with the tyres, suspension, steering & chassis. Once it handles like I want and I get to grips with driving a FWD Turbo (both new concepts to me) can I think about more power.

Any basic tips on how much Abbott chassis tweaknology you can add and still keep your fillings and interior trim intact?

Can anyone describe the way their steering feels?I have never had a car with such wide/low tyres and it just feels a bit weird, non-linear, I never know just how much lock to apply. Also noticed feeling that you're slightly oversteering at high speed.

Cheers

DD
 

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DD/.
Could you poss let me know what Abbotts quoted you for timing chain(incl Fitting/VAT), as something I am thinking about soon, and what degree of replacements did they quoted for, basic chain, assoc odds and sods, or what pls ??

Thankyou
Andy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Andy,

Sorry but I'm going to get AMS to do the initial work and Abbott later for the suspension.

I will let you know what they quote for it though, its going in next week.

Cheers

DD
 

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If you tootle over to Abbots and let Lionel take the car out he'll tell you what needs doing.

My car tended to wander a bit when accleratiing, wouldn't stay on the right line on corners until I had Abbots sort things out. The uprated rear AR bar and AR bar bushes, combined with the lowered stiffer springs and Koni dampers made a massive difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How much did this lot cost to fit gassy?

"....and the new rear anti-roll bar and anti roll bar bushes all round really made a massive difference.

Yes, I know I've said this before, but I really can't recommend the upgrade enough (and springs and dampers if you're really keen)
How much wa it to get that lot fitted then"

Cheers

DD
 
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