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How much shite is too much shite? Mixed Emotions...


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This morning I had to go and see my tenants to try and sort a couple of niggles. Proposals made and accepted on both sides and off to the motor factors for more oil and oil filters for the Disco and the Enima. Took the Disco as the Enima decided to blow a headlight bulb and it was foggy. On the way back, called in to see a friend to see if he could have a look at my welder, and of course to drink his tea. During this, I looked out at the Disco and noticed something was not right:



Yes, that is a snapped off shock absorber. Can't complain, it is the original 25 year old suspension with 115k miles, most of which has been towing, a caravan for the first 23 years and car trailers/mini diggers since I have had it. I am going to look into replacing all the springs and shocks.

Once home, back to the Saab. replaced the bleed nipple on the salvaged calliper, cleaned and lubricated the sliders and re-assembled. Of course, as the offside calliper had behaved perfectly, I had to remove it anyway for a clean and lubricate. Fortunately all went well.


Once that was done, out with the eezibleed (I have a compressed air driven vacuum bleeder as well but 99% of the time the eezibleed is quicker and easier.


Tomorrow I will give it a final bleed and give it a test.

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If your going for springs and shocks id recommend getting the spring retaining kits and towers etc etc aswell, madr life alot easier when i done mine. Everything was knackered. 

Ride and handling was amazing after, i went stock height shitpart "heavy duty".



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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Welder fixed, Sonett Not

Well that was a long day! Started off on the c900 with a second bleed of the brakes. After sitting overnight, only one more air bubble came out so counted that as a win. Put the wheels back on and the brakes feel fine. I think the handbrake will need a further adjust once everything has settled, but at least it has a handbrake again for the first time in a while.


Next on to the Enima. The oil in this was as black as any I have seen in years, despite the PO saying it had an annual service at MOT time. In addition, every so often, it would leave a trail of oil on the ground, but not all the time. Decided to give it an oil and filter change and see where the oil was leaking from.  The drain plug required the dugga gun to release it and the oil slowly made its way out of the engine. Took me ages to find my filter wrench, but when I went to undo it, it was loose by nearly 3 turns and had oil leaking, not surprisingly, from it. As I unscrewed it, as it rotated the oil came out and stopped, explaining the intermittent leak. All cleaned up, new filter fitted and fresh oil. Another one done.


As I was finishing off the Enima, my friend Malc arrived with his multimeter and a box of electrical wizardry.  He dived into my welder and soon identified the control rotary switch for pulse welding was shorting out. Switch removed, dismantled and cleaned, re-assembled and I have a working welder once more. I have to give it a service as the wire feed tension and a few other bits need adjusting due to a couple of years resting in the corner, but that is stuff I can do.


Finally, the Sonett. Malc was going to give me a hand to set the timing, as I have found out from the PO that distributor mods (welding the advance weights and blocking off the vacuum advance) have already been done. Started it up to let it warm up a bit and very soon, a pool of petrol appeared on the floor at the front. Quickly shut off and investigate. The Sonett has a complicated fuel system with lots of short lengths of mostly inaccessible pipes. Several clips needed tightening, but one hose continued to leak. Forty five bloody minutes it took to remove this little pipe


Once off, a split in it under the clip became obvious, so a new pipe and clips was fitted. Fuel leak sorted, back to the timing. Of course, now it would not start, no spark. Carefully checked any wiring we may have disturbed, but still no joy. Eventually moving the wires at the distributor produced electrical shorting noises, The car has a pointless electronic unit fitted but the wiring has been severley bodged, including the use of silicon sealant for insulation! We carefully moved the wires around and tried again to show we are still optimists despite everything and it burst into life! Let it warm up and set the timing to 18 degrees BTDC as required. Sadly, once set, when revving the engine it misses a bit before backfiring in spectacular fashion. I need to contact the PO to see what system he fitted and get a new replacement unit that Malc has offered to fit as it involves electrickery which is a black art to me.

No picture of the Sonett as it was pushed back into the naughty corner to consider what it has done.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Saab Weldage and money spent!

Started today by spending a large chunk of my ill gotten gains. First I ordered a new Petronix electronic ignition kit for the Sonett closely followed by springs, shocks and turrets for the Disco. Oh well, it is only money.

Next was to load up the Enima for the FOD weekend as I collected and have been holding a few* BMW parts for @Six-cylinderbut before I could do that my friend Garry arrived with his welder. A couple of hours later and the Saab looked like this:



Wish my welding was that good! Whilst at it, he stuck a patch  on the silencer as there are no new ones available in the UK at the moment. The silencer naturally is very thin, but some exhaust paste should see it through the MOT by which time new ones should be about


With that done, back to loading the Enima. Just about got it all in, but ....

The starter has been temperamental since I got it but now I am planning a long journey and loaded it up, it has got worse! Took about 20 tries before it worked (and being auto a bump start is not an option) but I am going anyway so long as it starts eventually! :-) What is AS life without a bit of uncertainty.......

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? A good few days

A week has passed since my last update and a lot has happened. First the Enima covered just under a thousand miles to the FOD and back (480 miles door to field) and behaved perfectly, even the starter rarely failed to engage first try. A nice bonus was the expected 22-24mpg became 31mpg on the way home, fill to fill, so happy with that. A good run seems to have done it good. Returning home the next day from fetching milk and I had to wait for these to get out of the way, from the size of the chicks I think it was their first outing




Next was back on to the Saab. A tidy up of the welds and some seem sealer had it looking like this



A bit of exhaust paste around the weld and a completely genuine* Saab exhaust mount had that job crossed off. As soon as a replacement is available it will be done


With those jobs done, the handbrake was adjusted, washers/wipers/lights etc checked and it is now ready for the man from the ministry. The plan is to use it to tow the Sonett down to Prescott Hill Climb for Saabfest at the end of the month. Talking of which....

Having found out from the PO that it was a Petronix unit, I phoned them and they were most helpful, and a new unit was ex stock. Including VAT, carriage and a trade discount it came to £208. Ordered Wednesday afternoon, it arrived Thursday morning, fantastic service. Malc came over this afternoon and he did all sorts of black magic and a couple of hours later he said to give it a try. Started first turn, let it warm up and the dynamic timing set. It now runs as well as it ever has in my ownership and it sounds superb.

Had a look at the removed electronic igniter and where I thought a bit of silicon had been applied to waterproof it, it turns out the wire had broken, the case had been cut with a hacksaw to get access to solder it, and when that failed the wire had been stuck in place with silicon acting as glue. How it ever ran I am unsure.


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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? The perils of a nice car

Not a huge amount achieved today, though I did tidy* up a bit of the shed (I moved shite around) and changed the order the cars are parked. Today was that rarest of rare days, warm and sunny in the North East of Scotland and despite having loads to do, nothing with a pressing deadline. Decided to take the Cobra to fetch milk from my local shop 4 miles away. Thought I would take the scenic route over the hills, and arrived home about 3 and a half hours later with my milk, having covered 147 miles.

Must resist a repeat tomorrow as I have a lot to do, but a test run in the Sonett is looking more appealing.....

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5 hours ago, Saabnut said:

Not a huge amount achieved today, though I did tidy* up a bit of the shed (I moved shite around) and changed the order the cars are parked. Today was that rarest of rare days, warm and sunny in the North East of Scotland and despite having loads to do, nothing with a pressing deadline. Decided to take the Cobra to fetch milk from my local shop 4 miles away. Thought I would take the scenic route over the hills, and arrived home about 3 and a half hours later with my milk, having covered 147 miles.

Must resist a repeat tomorrow as I have a lot to do, but a test run in the Sonett is looking more appealing.....

Christ I miss being able to do that..."scenic route" around here will still be packed with traffic, suicidal Audi drivers and endless pointless 50mph speed limits.

One of my favourite motoring memories is playing with someone I randomly came across in a Lamborghini Aventador when I was in the Cappuccino on Slug Road.  Obviously he vanished into the distance every time there was a straight, but I gained far more ground than you'd have thought every time we got to the twisty bits.  Still reckon it was the absolutely perfect car for that road.  The absolute perfect balance and fact you were basically sitting between the rear wheels meant you always knew exactly what it was doing...the only car I have ever deliberately made slide around.  The steering feel in that car is definitely one of the very specific details I'll always miss.  Especially with the lovely wood rimmed wheel it had fitted.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? A bit less pink

Yesterday was a day of domestic duties, with a short break to go to the hardware shop for some glue to re-attach the velcro to the backing pad on my machine polisher. Today I started to make the Saab convertible look a bit more loved and a bit less "just dug out of a barn after being left for two years" with the hope of impressing the MOT tester shortly.

Started off with 3M Ultra Fine Plus cutting compound. This is the middle coarse stuff of the three I have, as whilst the Saab was a bit pink in places, it was not bad considering it is about 7 years since it was last polished. This took an age but got it back to red. Next was a machine polish with 3M Rosa polish, which got it shiny, if a bit streaky, and added some basic protection.

Finally, a hand polish with what is my favourite polish, and in my opinion, the best car wax in the world, Collinite 476S. I have been using this stuff since about 1999 when it was recommended to me. I have nearly finished the tin (which I opened about 8 years ago) so have just ordered some more. At just over £20 for a tin this size, it is not cheap but a little goes a long way and is the reason the red had not faded badly on the car,


No photos of the car yet as the light had gone when I finished, and I want to do the trim bits as well and I had had enough for today. I did give the windscreen to remove the splatter and checked the wiper blades and found a split in one so off to get some new ones in the morning. The car looks superb, especially for 30+ year old red paint so I have a nice happy glow this evening!

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I have now officially had enough of polishing! This morning whilst my power was off (a new customer being connected) I visited my motor factor and picked up a pair of new wiper blades, and fitted them on my return. A wipe down with panel wipe of all the plastic trim  and an application of Chemical Boys New Look Trim Gel had it looking better. The wheel bolts were torqued and tyre pressures checked, so it is now ready for a visit to the man from the ministry.

Have to say I think it looks a bit* better.



And after:



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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Pink Begone
  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? The man from the ministry, he say....

Today wasthe day to see if all the effort was worthwhile, and after 2 years off the road the Saab was taken to meet the man from the ministry at 10am. Sadly, he said no as there was zero effort on the nearside handbrake, annoyingly the very thing that took the car off the road. Back home, up on the ramp and a check, and it was as I thought, the brake pads had settled on the run down and the calliper just needed adjusting. A couple of minutes with the allen key and it seemed to be fine. A quick call to the tester, and an appointment at 1415 resulted in a clean pass!

I said to the tester that I was heading home for a few days off before starting on the next one. Arrived home to find my friend Gary had just arrived and that plan went out of the window! Time to start the suspension swap on the Disco, with Donald keeping an eye on us


|The old rear suspension put up a bit of a fight, but Mr Angry Grinder won the argument


By the time we had had enough, the rear suspension is done and most of the front suspension is off. Hopefully finish it tomorrow


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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Mixed Emotions...

No photos, but the rest of the suspension swap on the Disco went smoothly. I decided to replace the front turrets as the originals were showing a bit of delamination as I had bought new ones, although the old ones would have been fine for a few more years. The reason for buying them was I wanted to have new turret retainer rings on hand and every source said they invariably shear when being undone. Mine of course came off with no  brakeage and the quality was so much better than the replacements, I decided to give them a clean, a coat of paint and reuse them. The replacements can stay on the shelf "just in case".

Replacing the original EDC injection pump for a manual pump (the EDC is only fitted to the automatic 300TDi) hand fixed the lack of power at the cost of losing the kick down facility on the auto box. A bit of googling (OK a lot, there is not much info on these out there) suggested Armstrong Transmissions offered a set of brackets to get around this at a cost of around £60. Took a chance and ordered a set and two small metal brackets (admittedly of what looked high quality) arrived, and as my knowledge of diseasals is zero, my friend Gary fitted them, although neither of us had high hopes, and no instructions were provided. A short test run showed we were wrong, kickdown restored and £60 well spent.

Today, I moved the Sonett out of the shed, planning on giving it a clean as it has 3 years worth of dust on it. The reason for the sudden flurry of activity on both the Sonett and the c900 is they are due at Prescott Hillclimb next weekend. The Sonett is going up the hill at Saabfest and the c900 is towing it down. Happy I was ahead of schedule, this morning was spent putting a new exhaust on one of the fleet for its new owner, a fellow Shiter, so will let them introduce it if they so wish.

When I moved the Sonett out I noticed that the brakes appeared to be binding, so thought I would give them a strip and clean. Onto the ramp with it



Straight away it was obvious that the fronts and offside rear were turning freely but the nearside rear was really binding badly. Pulled off the wheel and drum and sure enough the wheel cylinder is seized solid. Pulled off the offside rear to check that and again one of the two pistons was seized. Great. It was now 4:45 on Friday evening, and I have to leave home early next Friday morning. Shot inside but none of the usual suppliers were showing any in stock and the only ebay sellers advertising them are in Germany so no chance of getting them in time. Tried to ring Bill at Saabits to see if he had any suggestions but they had finished for the weekend as it was now after 5pm but left him a message.

Gave up on that and resigned myself into spending the weekend contacting any Saab people I could think of to see if I could even get a secondhand set, so put the kettle on. Whilst drinking my tea, the phone rang and it was Bill returning my call - at 6pm on a Friday, that is what I call service. After explaining my needs, he went off and came back a couple of minutes later to say he had a couple on the shelf, but without boxes, hence not listed on his website. He said he will send them by Special Delivery for me and at a very reasonable price. If anyone wants anything for a Saab, I cannot recommend Bill at Saabits too highly.

As the Sonett is in bits blocking the ramp for the weekend, just got to decide what to start on tomorrow....




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