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Steve79 fleet ramblings - E46 on stilts


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On 4/6/2019 at 9:56 PM, Saabnut said:


Yes, it is, so only a 99% chance of imminent death! :-)


Seriously, they are much better than the early ones, but I would still do it, it is far from uncommon on the later ones.

Solid bit of advice there and one that i'm glad i heeded!

Had a phone call to say that it was a bloody good job I asked for the sump to be dropped and cleaned out as there was a good 3/4 inch of carbonised crap around the filter and pickup and at least 1/4 inch of the stuff across the whole pan.

Looks like it's been living on a diet of semi synth which isn't doing it any favours. It's been flushed through and now has fully synth with a new filter. 

Can't wait to get it back.

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What should have taken 2.5hrs has actually taken two full days on the ramp. Inaccessible bolts, everything plastered in oil, broken track rod ends etc. The sump apparently took a good hour to clean. They showed me what they pulled out of it and it resembled burnt carbonised food.

The work cost slightly more than I planned for but even then including cost of car I'm still at what I would pay for a later 90's model with 200k on it.

Feeling very pleased with everything which is good because the last few cars I've bought I havent bonded with.

It's still far from perfect but that's how I like em! ?

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  • 1 month later...


Saab is an ungrateful bastard!

After putting a not so insignificant amount into getting it roadworthy, it has now decided to reward me by leaking a relatively large amount if oil. Its losing about a litre every 400 miles.

Excessive crankcase pressure is going to be the main culprit. The pcv system is soo full of shit that the whole lot is going to need to be ripped out and replaced. Even then, there is no guarantee that this will sort the issues as its leaking between the head and block so also could have cause OMGHGF, although the is no mixing of oil/coolant and vice versa. Plus its going to need new chain guides in the near future.

I'm looking at around £500 inc parts to do the lot and thats what the car owes me at the moment. 

I've decided not to invest further in this as its just not worth it. So if anyone wants this for £200 let me know. It drives fine and pulls well has 11mths MOT. It may just need the PCV doing to solve all issues but i don't want to commit any more £'s into it.

On a more positive note, plans for its replacement are afoot! 

More news momentarily!

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I had been agonising over the last week about what to do about the 9-5.

I reached the conclusion that even though a PCV refresh might solve the issues, there was still a fair to middling chance that it wouldn't and i'd be an additional £250 down and no better off!

What to do! I'd even bought a TD04 turbo from a Aero Hot that was being broken  for spares in preparation to have it noobtuned to 250bhp! With the resolution that i wouldn't be spending good money after possible bad.

Might as well source a replacement car then. Criteria was that it had to be another Saab and preferably a 9-5 as i might still be able to use the turbo that i'd bought. I had a bit of free time this morning to peruse the turgid pit of hell that is Faceache marketplace and Scumtree, 

The local gumtree parts section had listed a 9-5 with a vague-ish description of a 2.3t being broken for spares with an iffy autobox and 5mths MOT but possibly being sold complete locally and more importantly (very cheap). The ad was 3 weeks old so naturally optimism won out and gave the guy a text. One answer replies were the order of the day but confirmation was given that yes it was still complete. Address details were obtained and off i went to view,

I wasn't expecting a lot given that the photo was blurry and the reg blanked out but lets just say that i was VERY pleasantly surprised!





Don't worry E28 - I haven't forgotten about you!





It transpires that the owner has had it for the last 10 years, has impeccable MOT history, FSH and when i discovered it was an AERO HOT i almost had a trouser incident!

He actually had no intention of breaking it and was going to take it to webuyanycar tomorrow. The iffy autobox issue is not really a huge issue. In fact its something that SiC is very familiar with where the box shunts when put into drive. Apparently its done this for the last 8 years and hasn't got any worse. Crucially it only does it once when placed into drive and not again. this is probably no worse than a valve body rebuild.

Its got a ding on the rear passenger door but nothing that can't be sorted (not bothered for now)

Its had a timing chain kit replacement during his ownership and has been serviced and maintained regularly by a local Saab specialist.

It'll need a few suspension bushes replaced here and there as there is small amount of creaking when driving and cornering, but all of the electrikery works apart from the aircon which leaks. The PO has given me a brand new set of rads which he never got around to having had fitted.

Driving it put a grin on my face as its very rapid but will definitely be getting it noobtuned to stage 1 which will give 275bhp. 




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I had the same issue with my BMW but the PCV setup was only 40 quid off eBay (plus the hassle of fitting it). How come it's so expensive for the SAAB.

It did solve the though. I was sure it wasn't smoking but at full throttle pulling away from junctions  I started noticing blue smoke left behind.

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10 minutes ago, cort16 said:

I had the same issue with my BMW but the PCV setup was only 40 quid off eBay (plus the hassle of fitting it). How come it's so expensive for the SAAB.

It did solve the though. I was sure it wasn't smoking but at full throttle pulling away from junctions  I started noticing blue smoke left behind.

The problem is that for the post '04 models there isn't a kit available as such. Neo Bros have packaged one together themselves from the individual parts which is about £120 inc vat. You can get kits for pre '04 models for around £65 delivered.

Still think i'd rather replace a pcv kit on the saab than do one on a e46 and the like. I was going to do the pcv kit on the e46 compact i had but took one look at it and thought sod that!

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It was a bit of a faff. All the pipe had gone rock hard so they just snapped off, which actually made it easier. I thought for 40 quid it was worth a shot but for 120 plus time on a car you're already not sure of I can see why you decided not to do it.

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24 minutes ago, gadgetgricey said:

Rear heated seats as well for the win.

Yep but will need to investigate this as it appears there is only one switch. If thats correct then everyone sat in the back gets to enjoy the feeling that they're sat in warm piss or not at all!

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15 minutes ago, Steve79 said:

Yep but will need to investigate this as it appears there is only one switch. If thats correct then everyone sat in the back gets to enjoy the feeling that they're sat in warm piss or not at all!

This is correct, single switch, switch is the one used in such distinguished vehicles as the Voxholl Calibra and the especially well equipped Cavalier CDX I used to have.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry for the apalling lack of updates on this, life in general has been conspiring against me but i finally managed to get something done on the Aero Hot today.

The previous owner had used the car for the last 10 years as a work car/dog transport and the interior was somewhat grimy to say the least!!! a

As i have allergies to pet hair this simply would not do so today was spent tackling the problem.

1st - Weapon of Choice


This is what we are up against








Smoll improvement




All of the interior plastics were scrubbed with the pink fluid of death and a toothbrush (not mine) and then wiped over with a microfibre. I didn't want to post a picture of what the cloth and toothbrush looked like, especially at peoples dinnertimes as i was struggling not to puke myself. I did feel a bit sorry for my garage vac (Numatic NVR200) which had to swallow all of the dog hair and other shit in the interior, so treated him to a new bag. 

The carpet was scrubbed to death with shake and vac and a stiff brush and then vacuumed. The amount of dog hair stuck under the seats was vile and i'm definitely going to have to take the seats out and give the carpet a proper seeing to with the vax carpet washer when the weather is a little warmer.

Having said that, the interior is a ten millionty nicer place to sit in now its been done.

Got a bit of a bearing noise going on in the engine bay and there are a few mounts up front that are creaking but these can wait. 

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Whilst the Saab is proving a delight compared with the utter turd of a 9-5 estate (which coincidentally WBAC have offered £810 for !!!!)  I thought it might be high time to shine a spotlight on a car MotherSteve79 has owned for the last 13 years and 96000 miles!








Its a Daihatsu Charade 1.0 EL which currently is on 105k.

After years of MotherSteve79 subjecting herself to terrible shite ranging from a  rusty non PAS 1985 Austin Montego 2,0HL in Mint green with brown cord interior, a Fiat Tipo 1.6 DGT with many OMGHGF, Rover Metro's and a turquoise Rover 111 Kensington SE of OMGHGF which was finally written of for a scratched bumper,  it was decided to finally get something that wasn't going to required the traditional many £££££££££'s spending every year on maintenance. Jap it was then!

The local Nissan stealer had this on the forecourt with 9k on the clock . Up until it was 10 years old it was always serviced by the local (only) Daihatsu dealer in Bristol and more recently by the local garage at the end of her road. In all of the years she has owned it, the only money she has had to spend on it is on servicing, 2x cambelts, an alternator belt, three batteries, one clutch, one 2inch patch of weld and an inlet manifold  gasket that was causing a water leak.

This car has taken a fantastic amount of abuse over the years as it almost never gets time to warm up as she only does around 2 miles a day in it and most of those two miles are done in no more than 3rd gear (usually 2nd) . I'll let her off as she's 73 now and really doesn't like driving that much. It was so impressive i actually bought  an identical one from D Hales (pre-copart) in 2010 for £150 with 30k on the clock which just needed a new bonnet and headlights. It was a godsend as i'd been made redundant and needed a reliable car to get to interviews that cost fuck all to run. Bristol to Ipswich was dispatched with ease and regularly did Bristol to Petersfield and back every week at around over 80mph to see the girlfriend at the time. 

She's always talking about replacing it if it costs too much money to get through the next MOT but it invariably either goes straight through or just needs minor fettling so never has been replaced.

Its even more unbelievable that it passes almost every time considering the sheer amount of oil smoke this thing chucks out the exhaust. Its either the rings or stem seals which is about £400 to sort at main dealer, but as it keeps passing the MOT she's never get it done.

Behold the smoke screen


If she ever decides to sell i will buy it off her as its now part of the family like a faithful dog and only costs £30 per year in tax.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The fact that the EML on the Aero has been merrily glowing its tits off and mocking me is properly pissing me off. Wife's cousin had borrowed my laptop with the "legit" delphi software on it to diagnose some nonsense performance issue on his "all vauxhalls are shit" 1.4 Astra J. 

Went round to get it back and turns out there's no fault. Thr performance issue is that the non turbo 1.4 is just slow as fuck :)

With laptop back in my possession it was swiftly connected to the Aero and i was greeted with ...


That'll be the Di cassette then FFS!

Its not missfiring at the moment but you can bet it'll fail somewhere REALLY inconvenient! I'll take the known good one off the vector estate before it goes to WBAC who have now updated their offer to £820. Really need to get it gone!

The bypass valve fault was a vacuum hose that had popped off.

The new job has been soo busy that i've not had the chance to do much on the Aero but i really should chance the ATF. There is about a 3-4 second delay in engaging drive from park which is accompanied by an almightly thud. 

It only does this when selecting drive and doesn't do it at all when driving. The changes are very smooth. The fluid level looks ok at cold and doesn't look burnt, although its far from being cherry red.

Oh and the timing chain is rattling a bit but it does't sound like its smashing itself against the case too badly so that can wait till the new year! ?

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So today this happened



With my new VW Passat Estate fulfilling load lugging duties, i found myswelf no longer in need of Shonky Saab no1. 

I was not willing to inflict it upon the autoshite community due to it being "fucking fucked mate". The engine was literally pissing oil out of various parts and the pcv system was toast. Having said that it still drive fairly well.

Would have felt guilty about selling privately so thought i'd give the Webuyanycar walk in service a go for a laugh. 

I can't believe i'm actually going to say this but i was really impressed. Clean little office, friendly chatty staff who actually know about cars and quick service.

They did the usual HPI checks which were clear, asked for the keys and spent 10mins looking around it. Then 5mins of keyboard bashing and offered £500, less a £49.99 admin charge. I asked for 15min payment so cost an extra £30 but meant i didnt have to wait 7 days for payment.

The guy did say that he wouldn't personally have given much that for it but computer said yes ?

I took a smolish hit on this but was glad to see the back of it. 

Moneys will now be spent on recomissioning the e28 and tidying the aero.

Farewell you oily bugger, you won't be missed!


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It really wasn't worth saving. Aside from the oil leaks which made the Exxon Valdez look oil tight, the PO had used semi synth oil for years and EVERYTHING inside the engine was covered in tar. The front and rear suspension creaked like a good 'un the the whole PCV system was completely clogged.

Did i also mention the oil leak!

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  • Steve79 changed the title to Steve79 fleet ramblings - E46 on stilts

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