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The new adventures of Brownnova! Late night tinkering!


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This week I have mostly been....


Wild camping!



A lay by near Devil’s Bridge



A forest car park near Presteigne...


Can confirm that exhaust now much quieter, but not perfect. Further work will be needed this winter to do a proper job methinks, along with some bodywork as the drivers arch is now getting rather crusty....


One day I’ll update this thread with actual work done on a car!

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  • 2 weeks later...

12 Months ago I abandoned the modern car finance trap when I ditched this...



For this:



That was 12 Months ago today... so here's my Saab 9000 12 month review!


I always fancied a 90s Executive car.  As a youngster in the 90s I was always drawn to them.  So when the chance to buy a Saab 9000 presented itself I couldnt say no.  This particular model is the 1997 2.0 turbo, right at the end of the production run. I bought this one mainly off the strength of it's complete lack of the metal eating rust monster. These often go on the screen pillars, not this one.  


It's a handsome car too....




I use this car for commuting to and from work every day.  It has been my favourite commuting car I have ever owned.  It's a comfy cruiser, good at speed and smooth on the dual carriageway or motorway.  It eats up the miles for fun.  I average about 31 MPG which isn't too bad for a big old bird! The engine is super, it pulls well, and has a great burst of turbocharged speed for overtaking!  I have to admit I'd love to try a 2.3... it must fly!   It's a smooth and comfortable ride, nothing seems to fluster it it sits planted and secure on the road.  


It's been used all year round, and being Swedish coped well with the snow.



The handling on this car is surprisingly good for a big heavy car.  You can hustle it well through sweeping bends in the hills, but tight curves do reveal a fair bit of body roll. It is rare to lose grip, but you may be clinging on to the tiller like a ship's captain in a storm should the turbulant roads throw up a tight curve. 


It's been remarkably reliable too. 12 months, 11,000 miles and the total on one DI cassette to fix.  The MoT was passed with no more than a sidelight bulb and a demonstration on how to work the fog lights!  The front lights are currently a bit iffy, as is the central locking, but that I call charm, not a problem!


The 9000 is a superbly practical car too.  It swallows all the family gear with ease, and a camping trip away is no problem for the cavernous boot. You can even put three dogs in there...



Rear legroom is ample, and the car's strongest point truly is the comfort!  I've never owned a car with better seats (Maybe the Triumph Dolomite I had came close but...) Comfortable, supportive and a nice place to be, the Saab provide comfort even on the long journeys. At 6 ft 1 I can easily find a comfy position, and after a few hours at the wheel can jump out without being crippled!  



The interior is a sea of grey plastics and wood effect.  Perfect for the 90s aspiring executive.  In this one there's even a 90s phone holder... oooh...




As well as being the oldest car in the car park at work, being so unusual other owners spontaneously wave at you and being able to say you ride a 21 year old Swedish model every morning, it's nice to own a car that is a comfortable in a show as it is on the daily commute. It's been to Chumley (where a few of you had a go... with lots of positive comments... even Junkman was said nice things about it!) Festival of the unexceptional, and SaabFest - where it was easily in the top 5 9000s in the row of 5 9000s. 





In conclusion, do I regret ditching my nearly new BMW for a 21 year old Saab?  Not at all.  It's a superb car, and I've been very pleased with it.  Testament to this is the fact that I often feel the need to change car after a year, and I can honsetly say I dont want to get rid of Bjorn (as we call him).  Would I own another...Absolutely, indeed, plans are afoot....


My advice?  Try one whilst they're cheap as they are, because they're slowly dying off, because they're a bit unloved.  It's more profitable to part one out rather than sell it for a few hundered.  But they're too good to fizzle out to a few garage queen survivors. Once you go Saab, you may never go back!

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So many 9000s on here at the moment.


Yours looks lovely and show how unreliable* old bangers are.


I never quite got on with any of mine as they weren't a 900.

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Such a handsome shape and that's a lovely colour. Great write up. Would definitely like to try one, ideally in 2.3 turbo flavour - I wonder how they compare to my 9-5 Aero.

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I love 9000s. I had an utterly fucked 2.3 turbo with leather and air con, 'leccy windows/sunroof (maybe?) and while it was a dreadful car (it was rescued from a scrapyard) it was quick and great fun to hustle around. Power steering used to disappear at random moments which made life... interesting!


I do prefer 900s and even 99s (I'm old had some of those as well!) but the 9000 was a class up in feel.


Yours looks lovely and nice to see it's been reliable :)

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So many 9000s on here at the moment.

I must have started a trend!


Thanks for all the positive comments guys, maybe I’ll write up the rest of the fleet sometime.


My mum in particular thought I was being daft buying ‘such an old car.’ She was expecting tales of breakdowns galore. She was heard to say (when I was trying to persuade my brother to get an older car) that you can’t get a decent car for under a thousand pounds... bollocks!

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Today I had a nosey...


Mine is R96OCK


R94, 95 and 97 OCK were all also Saabs (two 9-5s and a 900) but none have been on the road for a good few years...


The last Rock survivor!

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That's a great looking car. I grew up in 900s, 90s and 99s in Finland and for some reason never had the opportunity to be in a 9000. It must be one of the biggest hatch backs of all time which I always find appealing, in addition to it looking a lovely place to sit. Over 30 MPG sounds pretty good for one of these. Those 90s plush velour seats from Saab are amazing!


PS. That's a fantastic number plate!

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Brilliant and just confirms what inherintly well made cars 90s early 200s motors are. Does it not frighten you in case something happens to it though?

I have enough backup cars if anything were to happen!

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Today in the adventures of brownnova the Saab and I went off the Manchester Classic car show at Event City... here’s a selection of the ones that appealed to me!


First up (and it’s a strong start if I’m being honest) a Talbot Horizon Diesel!



A Brown Renault 5 turbo. Which was for sale.. for£90k!!!!



A Pug 504 coupe was gorgeous



Peugeot 205s get better and better with age. This one was an A reg!



My stepson was very excited about Ford GT40s “Forget the GT40s” I said “there’s an Austin Ambassador!!!! The woman sat by it seemed somewhat bemused by my reaction...




Next to that was a Princess with an unusual parcel shelf adornment...




AMC Gremlin wins the award for goppingly ugly but awesome!



Any car called Gordon deserves a mention.



Luxury beauty in Panther form...




Two white 80s hatchbacks




Corolla was lovely in Yellow




And frankly the only way to finish stronger than I started is this... the only surviving Montego hearse! Autoshite funerals are go!




I was going to put these in my spotted thread but as they’re show spots they’re more on the adventure front... we have come back with a couple of severe hankering’s for certain cars... when I asked the gf which one we should get she said both... she’s clearly a keeper!

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  • 1 month later...

Fleet update on brief:


Saab 1: Broken... had a fun FTP whilst taking my girlfriend on a school trip (she was the teacher before you ask) whereby the wheels started shaking and smoking after an hours drive. I drove it back and it was ok... but it did it again after less time this occasion. Up in the air she goes. Brake binding. Looks like the calliper has seized. Need a 7mm hex thingy. Have a 6 and 8 but no 7. Pissballs.


Saab 2: Failed MoT. Bits priced might happen... maybe...


Camper: Rusting nicely on the arches. Bought a new hatch to replace the one that broke at Chumley. It’s the wrong size. So a bin bag and gaffer tape has been the replacement for the last few weeks. Also blowing exhaust. It’s crustier than a cheap tarts minge.


206: clutch is on its way to clutch heaven... something else is amiss too, there’s a lot of vibration on the steering wheel. But spent an hour today and couldn’t track it down... generally a bit down at heel but very economical!


MX5: suddenly found itself in front line service due to Saab fails. Roof leaks. Wing mirror still missing two years on, but still starts up nicely and runs well. Probably our most dependable car.


2CV: So long as you leave the choke out a quarter inch it potters along perfectly! Starts fine if you do it right. Looks beautiful. Gaining confidence in this each trip after it nearly let us down one late night whilst giving someone a lift by dying (due to the lights seeming to drop the idle significantly). Need to look at the carb, especially the idle jet, and treat the little rusty bit on the inner arches.


You’re up to speed...

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  • 1 month later...

I have been moaning for ages that the roof on my MX5 leaks worse than Julian Asaange, however, following the spend on its new cam belt/water pump etc I realised that I was now spending money to improve it. That coupled with unreliability of other members of the fleet (I.e. the Saab having brake issues) meant that it was needed as a commuter. I decided to take the plunge and ensure that when I did so dampness would be less of an issue.


So I went online and bought a hood, but decided fitting it was a job for a professional...




Really pleased with the result both in terms of looks and increased water proofness. Well except for one day where it was soaking in there. Not sure why, but it hasn’t happened since! I reckon wind direction.


Anywho! It means that cosmetically the other jobs are in line to actually get done. Like for exaple the wing mirror which has been missing for two years is also now back on the car!


Close enough to a full restoration for me!!

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Where did you get it done and how much?


I have seen hoods from £150 upwards.

I got it done at Penrhyn Service station. Owner is an MX5 fan and part of my local mx5 group.


Wasn’t too bad... hood was £180 which isn’t bad, fitting was about £120.


Looks so much better! I’m really pleased

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  • 2 months later...

Post some car based content... Controversial!


So my Mazda has now become a semi-regular commuter owing to the departure of the good lady's Peugeot to pastures new (seeing as it's clutch had less bite than and old people's home for chocolate tasters).




It copes with this fine, but since the arrival of the 2CV it also means it lives outside all the time.  I bought a cover, which was fine, but with using it a few days a week I cannae be arsed with covering and uncovering each time.  One consequence I noticed of this was the fact that after any kind of rain I not experience a sloshing sound on either acceleration or braking.  Water seems to be finding itself into the sills. (Which on any car isn't great.... on an MX5 whose metal is less sound than cheese it spells disaister!) This should be an easy fix, MX5s have drain holes in the sills. 


So after an 11 1/2 hour breakless day in work, it was dark, storm Gareth was blowing a frickin gale and it was cold.  That was the ideal time to solve this problem.  Passenger side no probs, a quick wiggle of the screwdriver and she was wetter than an otters pocket.


The drivers side... no amount of prodding or poking got me any pleasure whatsoever.  It seems as if the sill welding I had done a couple of years ago might have gone over the drain hole... Another look this evening in the light has revealed no new entrances to try.




So currently deciding whether to drill a hole in my sills... and where to do it if I do. All I know is the water cannot sit for long, as I swear I can hear it rotting...



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That does seem to make sense. I’ll probabky try to drill roughly where the drain hole is supposed to be. Which is the lowest point I think...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today Faceache showed me a memory...




I sat there horrified! Who even was this man...I mean yes I know I bought a BMW 1 Series... but that was at least fun to drive... I don’t even recognise that guy any more...


Thankfully I never did buy the Focus.


So it made me appreciate that these days I get to be much more myself, and nowhere I’d this more evident than in my fleet of cars!






One day I’ll even do some work on them... but not today.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I’ve been off work for my Easter Hols. I had plans to do my best to get Project Bjornadette properly started. In fact I kind of hoped I might get her at least close to MoT ready. That hasn’t happened.


Instead I have tackled a bunch of little jobs on the fleet!


- Tilly the van (as seen on YouTube)


The van was the chosen weapon for the Hubnut social trip. I retrieved it from the yard and drive it to the house. However, there was a complete lack of indication. Thankfully nothing more than a fuse




But one indicator stubbornly refused to live.


Bulbs were swapped to no avail. Something more here. I pulled it apart and cleaned it all up. But still nothing.




More investigation needed. But I’m a bit stumped, as electrickery is not my forte


Ok, on to


- The Mazda...


The fans are not cutting in on this. So I got rather hot in very mild traffic the other day.


First job was to test if the fan worked at all. Handily an MX5 contact told me to pop a paper clip across two pins on the diagnostic points.




This confirmed the fans are working. I also discovered the air con switch switches the fans on too. So with two ways of getting the fans on, I put it back to work and will order thingy which checks temp and turns fans on. Thinkbthe radiator isn’t the best either though. More investigation required.


- Project Bjornadette

On Thursday (soon to be) Mrs_brownnova was wedding dress shopping, however I was on child sitting. So I finally settled down to car fettling in the afternoon.




It was at this point I got the call to say they were on their way home and bringing others back so get the kettle on.


Oh well. I did find the major exhaust leak. Checked the exhaust I had was right post-18217-0-44853700-1556226195_thumb.jpeg


More work to do to actually make a start!


So the 2CV.




A lovely day meant a lovely drive. But with the MoT booked I remembered s few little jobs needed doing.


Fog light was inoperative



Not any more!


Windscreen washer was fixed too, and a few general checks performed. Overall I was reasonably confident. The only area letting the car down is a patch of (non structural) rust on the inner arch. Time sanding shows it’s a bit deeper than I would like.




Sanded and Kurusted, but more needed.


We entered MoT day with a clean MoT history!






King pin and a CV boot needed, not too bad. Entrusted to the garage as I haven’t got the time this weekend.


And the Saab?


Very overdue a service. post-18217-0-30844400-1556226391_thumb.jpeg


Oil and filter done, but the washer bottle seemed to have given up the ghost. To access the undertray had to be removed. I though it was the bottle, but no, that’s fine




Turns out it was the rubber pipes. No amount of fiddling would get it to reattach. The pip was a bit perished. So it was replaced, and in true Autoshite style it was replaced with a washer hose from a Morris Minor!



Lots of little things, but not as much progress as desired!

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Went off to Llandudno to the Transport Festival. I applied to show the 2CV (mainly because parking is a nightmare and it would be easier... but apparently the show was full so couldn’t get in... 

This is what a full show looks like: 


Grump over... 

Have some chod: 

Shonky looking Herald


Proper classic AC (not model 70 sadly)


Viva Las Llandudno




Late reg Metro van


Proton looking slightly out of place next to an Austin 7


Fiesta next to some bogs


I do love a Scammel! 




In fact there were quite a few metal presses Serck plates


Lots of buses at this show- blast from the past


You could even ride the buses! 


And my favourite car of the shoe...


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3 minutes ago, mrbenn said:

Bugger, forgot this was on. I went last year and it was rammed, guess the weather kept people away.

The Saturday and Sunday are usually busier than the Monday. But you have to register for the whole weekend. 

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The Mazda has been causing some issues. I noticed a couple of months ago it had a tendency to run hot in traffic, and that I was having to top up the water regularly. My diagnosis was that the fans weren’t working, and there must be a small leak. 

Then last week I used it for work, and in the 12 miles to work it had used a lot of water... so I thought I’d better investigate. Turns out that a small pipe had perished and had a pin hole in it which squirted me in the face with coolant... thanks for that! 

But it was of course a buried pipe that was almost inaccessible. 


Well buried and impossible to get pliers on I had to do some removal of neighbouring pipes to get at it. 


Turns out it was so brittle it snapped in my hand. 


So a new pipe was procured, then the heavens opened to such an extent that Noah was gathering wood. Finally today I managed to get under the bonnet and replace the pipe. 


Thankfully it now holds water and by some miracle the fans now kick in properly!! Result!! A usable car again!! 

For 6 days until the MoT expires... at least I can book a test without the fear of overheating! 

Today was a good day for cars, I finally visited this place... 


And got a new remote fob as the old one was completely degraded, and took about 30 presses to deactivate the immobiliser! 

When I got home I even put a new bulb in the back light as one had gone... 

Saab MoT also due... better get them booked in! 

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