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How much shite is too much shite? Delivery Donkey


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Cleared the Sonett off the ramp so time to investigate the recently (re)acquired Saab 9-3.

Collected by trailer from Edinburgh after being towed in to the garage |I collected it from as a "non runner" although technically it did tick over if in a haze of smoke, but would not rev. The dashboard showed "DPF Filter Blocked" and "Limited Performance". I was 99.9% sure it was the blocked DPF causing the problem but in a worst case scenario it would provide many spares for my other one.

Got it onto the lift 


Removed the downpipe and fired it up just in case. Took a lot of starting, no difference to the running and no noisier! Checked the value of a scrap CAT from a diesel Saab (Nah, we don't want that mate, nowt in 'em) so with nothing to lose decided to try a knock through to see if that is actually the only fault. My ex-MOT tester arrived and whilst here gave it the once over. All good except a leaking NSF strut, a bit of misting on the OSF strut (advisory) and some play within the steering rack (also advisory). The steering rack was fitted by the PO at the garage I collected it from, supplied by ECP. In May this year! Thanks ECP.

Much hammering with chisel, air chisel, drills etc and a mere 3 hours later the innerds were out




Flushed with success, even with aching arms and covered in shite, I lowered it down and started it. Took a bit of starting, was satisfyingly noisier, but still runs like crap, won't rev and smokes. Sounds like it is only on 3 cylinders. Bollox. That will be the 0.1% I wasn't sure about :-( 

Tomorrow I will put it outside to save smoking the workshop out, connect up my Tech-II and see if it identifies a fault. If so and it is simple, the car may well live. If not, as I suspect, it will be parked in the naughty corner to become a spares car.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? One Project Off The List

Today I got a chance to look at the 9-3. First job was to take it off the list and put it outside. This highlighted the first problem as despite fully charging the battery 3 days ago, it was lacking enough charge to start it! The battery was replaced with an expensive Yuasa a couple of weeks  ago so it appears there is a drain on the car somewhere, something to add to the list. the big starter/charger got it started, still running rough and smoky, but it dragged itself outside.

Connected up my Tech-II and spent the next couple of hours trying to find out what was going on. It became obvious that there are electrical problems, sometimes it would communicate fine, others it would not connect and most times it would go so far before dropping comms. Talked it over with a friend and we came to the conclusion that either one (or more) of the ECUs is faulty or more likely the wiring has been damaged,  and the most likely cause being rodent ingress!

Decision made. Started one last time and it dragged itself into its final resting place (well, until I get it inside to strip it), battery removed for charging and keys put safe. One project less, but not in the way I had hoped. I now just have to decide how far to strip it, guessing which bits will be required to keep the other one going always works out well*.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Disturbed from slumber

No access to my ramp today as my friend borrowed it yesterday to do a wheel bearing on a CashCow. Of course it didn't go to plan and it also needs an outer CV and no one local had one in stock, so it was left on the ramp until tomorrow.  The weather here was a bit dreich so enthusiasm for working outside was lacking, but went out to take the rubbish to the bins at the end of my drive. Got distracted and decided to see if the ex  @cpjitservices 9-5 would start as I had a charged battery of the correct size. This Saab has been sat for a year after the battery died shortly after my MOT tester retired. The tester was critical as he was the only tester I knew who did not see the welding on the cat!

Put the battery on, wasted a bit* of time trying to find the key and gave it a whirl. Only started first time. Of course, as it had been parked up overnight* I had left the handbrake on, so the OSR was locked up. One of the many advantages of living where I do was I had plenty of space to play and it soon broke free. Chucked the rubbish bags in the back and took them to the bin. By a lucky coincidence, I have a section of private test track that is tarred and maintained by the local authority right next to my bins so tried it out for half a mile to see if everything was OK. It was.

I had forgotten how good this car is, so as soon as the cashcow is off the ramp, I need to see what can be done about emissions for an MOT.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Bah Humbug

This not going to plan is becoming a habit! :-( 

Christmas eve, I pressure washed the Disco under the wheel arches so I could investigate how big a patch was going to be needed to get it an MOT. Then drove it into the shed and positioned it on the ramp. Got the torch and had a look, the pressure washer had helped* and the small patch had become the bottom 8 inches or so were missing. Depressed, I left it and went to celebrate* Christmas.

Christmas day I forced myself to stay out of the shed and instead opened a bottle of red. It helped, but I was still bored....

Today, I decided that when I got the wing liner off it would all look better so out I went.

Firstly the bit missing at the front of the inner wing is quite large


and as a bonus, the battery box behind it needs a patch


Moving back, my hopes started to rise as the main innerwing looks good



But at the top in the centre a small patch is required


Sadly, the top of the footwell also needs a tickle


but, in true disco form, that was not all as the drivers floor is mostly missing after giving it a prod


To tackle the floor and footwell, the carpet has to come out which means the seats etc have to come out. The outcome is this is not going to be a quick fix so the Disco is going to be SORNed and moved down the list as a major project. This will leave me without a tow car/4x4 so it is a good job I have not completed the end of year tat accounts

Watch this space......

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? New Chod Purchased

After the good* news with the Disco yesterday, last night I entertained myself with looking for a temporary replacement whilst I get around to the marathon weldage. With a budget of 2k, Evilbay, Autotrader and Faceache marketplace were perused, which produced the grand total of nothing within 150 miles. I had a fairly basic set of requirements, no projects though work not objected to, 4x4 and towbar essential, preferably diseasal and a long(ish) MOT. The only offerings were junk, faulty or no MOT. I realised buying in a pandemic where everything available is expensive and requiring 4x4 just as winter is about to hit was probably* not my brightest idea, but hey ho.

In desperation, I opened gumtree. Amongst all the similar and mostly the same dross was one that caught the eye, mainly because it was 1200 quid! Smaller than my usual choice of 4x4 it would be of no use for my biggest trailer, but I can always borrow a 110 TDi if needed. Tested to October, 122k miles, 55 plate, 4x4, 2 litre diseasal and tow bar. Located in Crail so only 80 miles away. Sellers phone was off, but message sent. Surprisingly got a reply and arranged to view today, but seller was only available after 1630, so it would be dark. Ideal*.

Took my MOT tester friend with me for a second opinion and off we went. Seller declared a couple of faults, cracked windscreen and ABS light on once you got over 40mph, and it would need a couple of tyres soon. My friend who has mostly retired but occasionally helps a friend in Anstruther recognised the car as he had tested it in October. Given a clean bill of health by him, I made an offer of £1k which the seller accepted as he had had many many calls but no viewers :-) . My friend drove it back for me, and on the way called at his house for his magic box of tricks and found it is a cracked relucter ring causing the ABS fault.

It has now done 140 miles and drives very well. I had never considered one of these before, but I actually quite like it. Never owned anything from the manufacturing country before either, so another first. No petrol station shot as it came with almost half a tank, and no photos as it is very dark outside tonight. I was going to use the advert photos but the advert has been pulled, so I am going to leave you to guess until the morning when photos will be taken.

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@Coprolalia wins a free cup of tea, to be collected in person from chez Saabnut. @Rod/bwins a restraining order! :-) 

Yes, that is the car! Just looked at it for the first time in daylight and it is fine. Front NS tyre is flat (seller told me it had a slow) andhe supplied a used replacement. First jobs today are to fit the tyre, put the spare on the other front as it is better than the one fitted, test the towbar electrics and fit a new socket if required and get rid of the drop plate fitted as a lift plate on the towbar.








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I had the Sportage version on the 55 plate, with the 2.0 petrol engine. It was a great little thing to drive - longest i did was from Herts to Applecross fully loaded up with camping gear and with two bikes on the back, and it was a very nice drive in the Kia.   I once trailered a Rover R8 from Bristol to St Albans with it and it didn’t break a sweat. I imagine the diesel version will be excellent for towing. 

It was also unstoppable in the snow with a set of proper winter tyres on.

When I first moved to the middle east i bought the V6 powered one for Mrs Rod/b. That was a good car but it got t-boned on a roundabout and was never the same again. 

They do get through front subframe bushes so keep an eye on that.

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2 minutes ago, Rod/b said:

I’ll go as far as saying I reckon there will be one of two outcomes for this car -

1) Saabnut will love it and keep it forever; or,

2) it will become one of the Autoshite bikes and stay in the fold until it’s dead.

I think this is a very fair assessment! :-) 

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Winter break (sort of)

The day after purchase, the immediate jobs were done, the trailer hitched on and the Kubota loaded. Last Thursday I departed for Sheffield for the test run of the new car! Ran perfectly and returned 28mpg towing so happy with that. After NYE was over, it was time for some fettling. New tyres with a more aggressive tread pattern were purchased as the existing tyres were getting thin, still plenty of tread but road tyres which is not ideal where I live. The standard tyres are 235/60-16 and turns out only road pattern are available for these SUV tyres, and they are expensive. Changing to 235/70-16 opens up a whole range and were £50 a corner (wholesale price). Started by fitting the 2 rears but could not get them to inflate on the rims. After 30 mins of hassle, we gave up and refitted the old ones. New tyres in the back to be fitted at home as I have a blast tank which should make easy work of them.

Next a few mods to the trailer. Being a car transpoter, the runners are a bit wide for the Kubota but I needed the length. It is OK once on, but the ramps tip during loading due to only being supported on one side. Minor mods to the ramps and welding on some new supports sorted that. A couple of plates were also welded to the rear of the trailer to attach my magnetic, wireless trailer lights and another couple of brackets for number plate support.

With the trailer completed, on to the Kubota. A full service was completed and we then fitted a Brush Hog rough terrain mower on to the 3 point linkage and luckily the PTO shaft was the correct length, so that was much easier than expected. With that done we did the usual New Year thing of doing some work on my friends Dolomite 1850. This has been ongoing for about 15 years, only being worked on when my friend has a bit of time, and being a self employed Agricultural Engineer this is rare. It has tended to be a day or two over new year over the last 6 years or so when I have been there and we make time. Due to covid, 2020 did not happen so we were determined to get something done this year.


The "sold" sign is a joke as he has had so many people ask if he wants to sell over the years! By the time we finished, it was running, stopping and indeed driving! It now just needs the front lights fitting and connecting and it will be back on the road for some testing before paint.

With all that done, the Kubota was loaded


and back home I came. The Hyundai (which of course stands for Hope You Understand Nothing Desirable Available Inexpensively) covered just over 1500 miles, all towing, at an average of 28mpg. Verdict? Better than expected.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Another parking space acquired

Genuinely sad to see this depart today. It has been a great car but after 15months sitting awaiting repairs, the sensible head briefly came out of storage and it was advertised here. Hopefully it will get the care and attention it deserves, and at least it is staying in the fold.

Still sad though.


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4 hours ago, Floatylight said:

Thanks for the heads up, but fortunately it will not affect me as I do not do it commercially, ie for hire and reward.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Delivery Donkey

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