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I boughted a Saab

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I just have a mental image of the look on the face of a SaaB engineer, who's only ever built aircraft before, when someone suggests he runs the fuel lines on the outside of the car. Shakes head, mutters "Crazy pongo car people."

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Fuel tank back in, new hoses and a disposable filter attached. The fuel pump works fine and once the carb bowl was filled she rumbled into life. Next up will be to get the rad recored, new hoses, thermostat and a brake rebuild. I've secured a better drivers side headlamp, still need undamaged rear indicator lenses, one front indicator lens and one reversing light lens.

Then follows the weldage.


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Had time to investigate further, the gearbox oil was like molasses; not been changed in a very long time.

As the Saab 96 underneath is boarded out access to the gearbox filler is cramped. After trying sockets, adjustable spanners and even the correct 11mm square socket the remains of the plug looked like one of Mrs Thatcher's nipples.

I attempted to weld a nut on three times but each time the weld was crap due to low welding gas. Next day, with some more gas a decent weld and a half inch ratchet and the plug finally loosened.



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I had presumed they used rear trailing arms and stub axles, not a solid rear axle. The suspension is all very easy to access and simple to work on.

The running gear less so, accessing inner cv gaiters will be a bastard. The starter motor too.

Because of the full length floor pan there's nowhere for engine heat to leave the bay apart from the small louvered vents.

The two sides of the exhaust are linked by a hefty cross pipe, I guess all 'V' and flat engines have this? Although I think Subarus don't, the reason for their offbeat sound.



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The rear drums were binding, amazingly they weren't seized and backing them off allowed free movement. Like the earlier 2 strokes the front disks move side to side on a pivot and have tapered pads. Use of the fine adjustment hammer and WD40 got the pistons moving and the pads free.

Pads and break hoses look nearly new, the Swede has purportedly been off the road since 1995; must have been kept inside all that time.



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A bit more of the orange stuff around the front valance and where the valance meets the wings.

All minor stuff within my welding/bodywork skills. I'm really looking forward to unbolting the wings, beating some of the dents out and finally doing some real welding.



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Done a fair bit of dismantling on the beastie this last few days, the front panel lifts off with just two bolts to undo 😊

Once that's off the radiator comes out easily; the cooling system is a bit of a plumber's nightmare, presumably because the V4 was never designed for the 96.


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This is the only real grot, the offside corner of the front valance and a bit of the offside wing. The valance curves up to meet the front panel, which slots into it in three places. The front valance is in fact part of the floor pan, a neat design.


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The alternator and it's brackets sit over the top of the water pump, all massively over engineered.

Primitive webbing straps hold the radiator at the top, I guess they allow for expansion of the radiator as it heats/cools. I'll be fitting a better rad and electric fan at some point.

Rusty battery tray is going for the chop I think, it doesn't help access. It would be good to relocate the battery in the boot...maybe.




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Water pump may be made of cheese alert.


Almost certainly different to the pump on English made V4s but likely made of the same corrosion prone alloy. On V4 Transits etc pump rot can be so bad that when they start leaking a large hole develops quickly and all coolant is gone in no time.

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Wings off now. No, not wings, fenders then,

They unbolted easily, relatively little grot underneath, just the two old repairs to the front lower edges of the inner wings to replace.

I've decided to relocate the battery to the boot, access to the steering rack, gear shift linkages and nearside drive shaft is far better without the pesky battery tray. Just a bit concerned about voltage drop.





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With voltage drop, just use decent thick cables of high quality and it'll be fine. I mean a lot of modern stuff now has the battery in the boot and have a whole manor of electrical goods that will bezerk out if there is any significant voltage drop.

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Guest Hooli

If Jags & BMWs etc can work with batteries in the boot then that'll have no issues if you use big enough cables.

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