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Blarno

The new motor.

The time has come: Postbox has served me incredibly well over the last three years, easily the best car I have owned in terms of value and outright ability. I was approached by a friend of my boss, who wants something to smoke around in and act as a tow car. He offered me £275 and I accepted - I've had my money's worth over and over.

So, here's the replacement:



2008 SAAB 93 Linear SE TiD 150. 126k, FSH, half leather, cruise, climate, parking beeper doofers (For the wife, I use mirrors like a sane person) and a very odd shade of silver. Silver is not normally my thing, but this is a purpley blue pearlescent silver that really suits the car. My first job is to fit a towbar for my trailer and also some roof rails if I can find them.

It drives spectacularly. It genuinely feels like a new car - no knocks, squeaks, no marks on the interior (No smokers, pets or kids with the previous 2 owners). Pulls well, drives arrow straight and has 4 brand new tyres fitted. Ideally, I'd have liked a Vector or an Aero for the larger wheels and kit, but I'm happy overall.

The garage is currently doing a DPF regen before I pick it up after work. More pictures to follow once I get it home.
Big Blue

Ooh. Posh.

Nice.
PG

Looks good.
Twelfth Monkey

Parking sensors?  Your journey to the dark side is complete!

Sounds like a great example.  Enjoy.
Blarno

The parking sensors weren't the deciding factor in the purchase....they're just there.

Humphrey The Pug

Lovely; always had a soft spot for SAAB, never owned one though and unlikely to in the future, unless it is a mint first gen 900 cabrio turbo with 3 spoke alloys.
Bob Sacamano

Looks brilliant. All you need now is a black polo neck and a set of steel-rimmed glasses to complete the hip urban architect look!
TreVoR

Always liked SAABs, but never really thought of owning one.
him

Nice, is that a Bentley in the Garage to the right, you have done well for yourself at Mono, Blarno!    
Martin

Good choice. I hope it's as reliable and cheap to run as the Mondeo was.
Blarno

him wrote:
Nice, is that a Bentley in the Garage to the right, you have done well for yourself at Mono, Blarno!    


I wish it was mine! The dealer I bought it from has mainly prestige stuff in there - the Arnage, an SLS, original Gullwing SL, C63 DR520, M3s, etc.
Blarno

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Looks brilliant. All you need now is a black polo neck and a set of steel-rimmed glasses to complete the hip urban architect look!


You mean I can finally get that polo neck out of the wardrobe?
Twelfth Monkey

Blarno wrote:
The parking sensors weren't the deciding factor in the purchase....they're just there.



Hold off buying that double light sabre thingy until we see whether they've become an 'essential' next time, eh?

Chris M Wanted a V-10

Martin wrote:
Good choice. I hope it's as reliable and cheap to run as the Mondeo was.

I hope it turns out to be more reliable than the Mondy !

Is the "semi-electric" number plate KROBE KV
staying or will it be Blarno'd ?

Looking forward to the photos as one of our engineers at work has a similar car of similar age and similar colour
Blarno

My plate is going on as soon as the transfer paperwork is dealt with by the typically useless DVLA.

The Mondeo has pretty much been the most reliable car I have ever owned, probably less than 5 days off the road in the 3 years I've owned it.
Humphrey The Pug

Blarno wrote:
My plate is going on as soon as the transfer paperwork is dealt with by the typically useless DVLA.


You can do a transfer online in minutes, I've done them here at work with the customer sitting at my desk picking up their car, as long as you have both V5's in your name you're laughing.
Blarno

I can't do it online as the Mondeo has been untaxed at some point in the last 5 years, which seems really silly to me. Means I have to do it via snail mail,
BeN

Looks bloody excellent. Well done man.
Racing Teatray

Blarno wrote:
I can't do it online as the Mondeo has been untaxed at some point in the last 5 years, which seems really silly to me. Means I have to do it via snail mail,


That's tedious, because the online system is a revelation.

Very Svedish. You need to take it on a trip to IKEA whilst listening to Abba and wearing blonde wigs and luminous sweat bands.
Frank Bullitt

Really like the 9-3, underrated new and a bargain used - as you say a Vector or Vector Sport would be the icing but Linear is a good spec overall.

Nice colour too 😉
Michael

Well done, looks good. The colour suits it very well.
PhilD

Re: The new motor.

Blarno wrote:

My first job is to fit a towbar for my trailer and also some roof rails if I can find them.


Saab wagons have to have a roof rack.

Nice car and as I said previously I'm going to be really interested to hear how you get on with it.
gooner

I've not been in decent enough Saabs to be impressed yet. I once had a leggy and very baggy 95 courtesy car and have been in a couple of 93 minicabs. Yours looks in better condition than any I've been in so I hope it does you well like the postbox did. It's all GM parts so should be reasonably cheap to maintain.
TreVoR

A friend of mine had a very well sorted and subtly modified 9-5 Aero. It had suspension, engine and brake tweaks and I could not drop him at all, even when it got twisty. I wish I had bought it off him when he sold it.
Racing Teatray

I sat behind an black 03-plate 9-5 Aero estate the other day and it caught my attention because it was one of those rare occasions when you see an older car that looks so clean and sharp that it could have just left the showroom. And as a result it looked decidedly smart.
Giant

Very nice, a big step up in kerb appeal over the postbox! SAABs always had an appeal, shame they're gone. Will look forward to hearing how you get on with it, and seeing it slowly get 'Blarno'd- have you bought a new roll of carbon wrap in anticipation?
Blarno

Blarno





Andy C

Looks great
Martin

Very tidy.  Any chance of you keeping it clean?
Blarno

I'll try, depends how easily it shows dirt.
Martin

You've got the best colour for not showing dirt.  A small amount of effort with a decent wax will make it really easy to keep clean, even semi self-cleaning
PG

That really has worn its miles extremely well.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
You've got the best colour for not showing dirt.  A small amount of effort with a decent wax will make it really easy to keep clean, even semi self-cleaning


Indeed, a good base to move onto proper detailing.
Martin

I wasn't suggesting that at all.  Just thought he could use the time normally dedicated to wrapping bits in carbon effect tape and hand painting various parts to keep it looking nice....
Bob Sacamano

Low blow, low blow.....
Tim

gooner wrote:
It's all GM parts so should be reasonably cheap to maintain.


Isn't the engine the Fiat one?

I had a 'courtesy' 156 JTD that was on 148k on Monday and it was impressive responsive for what's effectively an old tech diesel.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

It needs a proper shaped rear plate, not a basic rectangular one.  I hope you troll round the on-line plate supplers and get a custom one for that shape of SAAB; my C-Max wears a rear plate shape designed for Jag XJ's IIRC
gooner

Tim wrote:
gooner wrote:
It's all GM parts so should be reasonably cheap to maintain.


Isn't the engine the Fiat one?

I had a 'courtesy' 156 JTD that was on 148k on Monday and it was impressive responsive for what's effectively an old tech diesel.


From when Fiat were part of GM. That engine was in the Vectra too I thought.
Blarno

I like my plates with as little yellow or white as possible. I've just bought some short plates with my git plate reg on for when the transfer is complete. It think shaped plates look daft, all that yellow.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Depends on whether or not you want the plate to be a "feature"... IMHO I think such a huge, odd-shaped recess for a rectangular plate looks daft hence my preference for an oversized, specially shaped plate
cbeaks1

You are both horribly wrong. It is a number plate. It should be the shape and size of a number plate.
Frank Bullitt

gooner wrote:
Tim wrote:
gooner wrote:
It's all GM parts so should be reasonably cheap to maintain.


Isn't the engine the Fiat one?

I had a 'courtesy' 156 JTD that was on 148k on Monday and it was impressive responsive for what's effectively an old tech diesel.


From when Fiat were part of GM. That engine was in the Vectra too I thought.


It is the Fiat engine that GM also used in various vehicles, 120bhp 8v and 150 bhp 16v then various 180bhp+ twin turbo models. Vauxhall also had a 16v 120bhp version in the Astra for some reason.
PhilD

Same as my engine I think?
Roadsterstu

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Depends on whether or not you want the plate to be a "feature"... IMHO I think such a huge, odd-shaped recess for a rectangular plate looks daft hence my preference for an oversized, specially shaped plate


I tend to agree, although I do like the shortened plates for reg numbers with less figures.  The ZT260 just looked better with a big rear plate.  I do have a bit of a like for rectangular import plates on cars, though, too.  Weird, perhaps but I think it just gives a car a very different look.

Anyway, back to the Saab.  Looks fantastic.  I have always liked Saabs since a ride in a 9000 Turbo years back.  At the time it was one of the quickest cars I had ever been in and it felt very, very solid.  I certainly wouldn't rule one out for me in the future.  I have a big liking for the last 95, which has "future classic" written all over it.
Roadsterstu

PhilD wrote:
Same as my engine I think?


Pretty much, it seems:

Applications:

   Alfa Romeo 145
   Alfa Romeo 146
   Alfa Romeo 147
   Alfa Romeo 156
   Alfa Romeo 159
   Alfa Romeo GT
   Cadillac BLS
   DR5
   Fiat Bravo
   Fiat Brava
   Fiat Croma II
   Fiat Doblò
  >>>>>>>>>> Fiat Grande Punto
   Fiat Marea
   Fiat Multipla
   Fiat Punto
   Fiat Sedici
   Fiat Stilo
   Fiat Strada
   Lancia Delta
   Lancia Lybra
   Lancia Musa
   Opel Astra H — Z19DT (automatic) and Z19DTH (manual)
   Opel Signum
   Opel Vectra C
   Opel Zafira B
   Saab 9-3
   Saab 9-5
   Suzuki SX4
   Alenia Aeronautica Sky-Y

The last one on that list is a UAV or Unmanned Aeronautical Vehicle - a drone!
franki68

That's great,my best pal had one a while back .I seem to recall the seats were exceptionally comfortable .
Anyway...enjoy !!
JohnC

That lot would certainly lower the per unit development cost over time. Not really sure a diesel is the best thing for a stealthy drone though!
boc70

JohnC wrote:
That lot would certainly lower the per unit development cost over time. Not really sure a diesel is the best thing for a stealthy drone though!


It might be stop-start?
Frank Bullitt

That list isn't entirely accurate as it basically takes account of all engines using the same 1910cc block but a lot of those are the old JTD units which are really quite different.

The engine in Phil's Punto is the 120bhp 8v Multijet unit.
PhilD

Frank Bullitt wrote:


The engine in Phil's Punto is the 120bhp 8v Multijet unit.


*cough cough*

130bhp...

It's a crappy engine to be honest. Loads of grunt but only for about 0.5 seconds, makes an awful racket, and only achieves 45mpg. Having said that it will always deliver 45mpg regardless of how you drive it and you can fill it to the roof and it will drive up the side of mountains and cruise happily at 80.78 mph for hours on end.
Frank Bullitt

You're right (of course) another 10bhp was liberated for the Sporting!

Sounds familiar to the unit in my old Punto JTD although that would easily get 55mpg however I drove although that had full power at 3000rpm so it was all 900-3000rpm
Chocy Rocky

Looks good and I'm with you. The less plate on show, the better.
Roadsterstu

Frank Bullitt wrote:
That list isn't entirely accurate as it basically takes account of all engines using the same 1910cc block but a lot of those are the old JTD units which are really quite different.

The engine in Phil's Punto is the 120bhp 8v Multijet unit.


Damn you, Wikipedia!
Blarno

It seems that a common issue with the Z19DTH engine is the impellers on the water pump loosening off and not spinning correctly at high engine loads, causing brief overheating moments and pressurising. This only seems to be on the 150 bhp models as they have plastic impellers.

Guess what mine did today?

Still, gives me an excuse to spanner it and change the cambelt early.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Blarno wrote:
It seems that a common issue with the Z19DTH engine is the impellers on the water pump loosening off and not spinning correctly at high engine loads, causing brief overheating moments and pressurising.

So, the car has a name now, "The Impeller"

I thought this was quite common, VW engines are known to suffer from overheating due to plastic impellers on metal shafts.  There really ought to be a law against that type of bad design.  When I had the Galaxy cambelt changed, I had the waterpump and tensioner done at the same time, was only about £40 extra and IMHO was worth it for peace of mind
Blarno

There don't appear to be any pumps available with a metal impeller either. I'm half tempted to have a proper look at the impeller and see how easy it would be to have one machined by our friendlty machine shop.

A genuine cambelt kit is around £100 with the pump, so I'm not too fussed. Even better, there is a genuine SAAB specialist not 5 minutes from where I work, so I may break my own self-imposed no garage rule and drop it in there. Most fora suggest that £350 is the average all in price using genuine parts.
Tim

It's probably a long shot but would the Alfa V6 water pump go on?
That has a metal impeller.
Blarno

I've done a lot of digging over the weekend and the only pump that fits it the one designed for it - IE, the one with the plastic impeller.

Had a good chat with the local SAAB specialist today and he advised me to change the thermostat first - this makes sense as the pipe from the bottom of the rad to the thermostat is getting rock hard under pressure, telling me the stat isn't opening. For the sake of £40 and a hour of my time this evening, I consider it worth it. If it doesn't fix the issue, then I have a new thermostat and I'll just change the pump/cambelt.
Blarno

Well, it turns out I was slightly wrong.

I ordered a cambelt kit with water pump and it had metal impellers. As did the one I removed from the engine block. There was actually nothing wrong with the old pump, but it's not worth the risk of not changing it, especially for the price.

So, I did a pump, belt and tensioner change today. Took my time, double and triple checked everything, many cups of tea. It now works sweet as a nut, plenty of controllable air from the blower and no overheating/pressurising.

I think the original issue was a culmination of a few things - the pump was ok, but the tensioner was a little bit loose and the belt only drives the pump by friction, so being a bit loose could have made the belt slip on the pump pulley. There was a marked difference in the amount of water passing through the bleed rail once the new pump/belt had been fitted. Also, I only managed to drop 2.5 litres of coolant from the car.

It should have 7.5 litres in.

I also changed the thermostat.
Roadsterstu

Result!
Blarno

It wasn't all plain sailing! On my second drive out afterwards, I got a low coolant warning. So, I popped home to top up and went back out. Gave it the beans off a roundabout and POP!

Lost pretty much all power.

Blew a turbo hose off the intercooler and had to limp home at 15mph. Turns out I'd not quite pushed it far enough onto the pipe and had tightened it right on the lip.

Lesson learned.
Blarno

Further update. It seems that changing the pump and stat only masked the real issue, which appears to be a blown head gasket. Overheated 3 times last Saturday and pressurised up to buggery - stuck the sniff tester onto the coolant tank and it showed traces of combustion gases in the coolant. I tried again 2 more times to be sure, both positive.

Drained the coolant out on Thursday (Which was brand new when I changed the water pump) and it stunk of exhaust gases. Case closed.

Flushed it all out, no blockages anywhere and no leaks.

So today I began the arduous task of stripping everything off the engine remove the cylinder head. Off came the cambelt again. Injectors, fuel rail, cams. I still have to remove all the lifters and tappets (and keep them in ouil, in order), the inlet manifold, turbo and DPF. All that just to find out which head gasket it actually needs (there are 3 different ones apparently and the only identifier is a punched hole that is only visible once the head is off). After that it should be plain sailing - the friendly machinist who makes all our alloy parts should be able to skim the head if needed - and the gasket/bolt set is only about £100 tops.  Factoring all that in, I'll still only have spent the window price of the car all in, so I'm not too unhappy really. I have a 93 Aero to blat around in for 6 weeks, so I can take my time and do it right, it's been 15 years since I last did a head gasket.




I also, finally, got my git plate back from DVLA so the new and improved short plates went on this morning as well. Small victories and all that.



Chip Butty

Did you buy this from a dealer ?

Shouldn't they be paying to sort this ?, or have you agreed to do it yourself (properly) if they give you some cash back ?
Blarno

It was a trade to trade deal.

Either way, I'd rather fix it myself than trust a garage I don't know.
Roadsterstu

Top spannering  
Big Blue

Whenever I look at the open bits of a 4 stroke engine I remember why I raced 2 strokes.

Top job.
TreVoR

I am so glad I am powered by a four cylinder pushrod donkey from the 90s.  Modern engines can be a PITA to work on with all the bits and pieces on them.
Martin

I am so glad I'm powered by an engine that I don't have to touch at all and doesn't need anything other than regular servicing.   Not that I could, even if it was simple.

Impressive stuff Blarno.
PG

TreVoR wrote:
I am so glad I am powered by a four cylinder pushrod donkey from the 90s.  Modern engines can be a PITA to work on with all the bits and pieces on them.


Last head gasket I did on my own was an 850 Mini in 1979 - which I just about managed. And I've done a V8 Rover with mechanic friend help.  

But the photos of that Saab engine just make me go weak at the knees with fear....

"Top spannering" is an understatement.
PhilD

Hang on, we only have evidence of an engine being taken apart, I reckon I could do that bit! Putting back together again is a different matter all together...  
Martin

That is a good point, but it is good work so far.  I was a bit concerned when Blarno said he had 6 weeks to do the job, that doesn't bode well.  I work with enough people who aren't natural 'completer finishers' for the alarm bells to strart ringing!
Blarno

I have a 'courtesy car' for 6 weeks, so I don't have to kill myself getting it done straight away. I've not touched it since Saturday due to having a really bad cold virus. Hopefully will crack on tomorrow.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Blarno wrote:
Hopefully will crack on tomorrow.

Surely the last thing you want at the moment is a cracked head ???
franki68

Blarno wrote:
It seems that a common issue with the Z19DTH engine is the impellers on the water pump loosening off and not spinning correctly at high engine loads, causing brief overheating moments and pressurising. This only seems to be on the 150 bhp models as they have plastic impellers.

Guess what mine did today?

Still, gives me an excuse to spanner it and change the cambelt early.


And in English please ?
Chris M Wanted a V-10

franki68 wrote:

And in English please ?

There is a problem with many of the engines fitted to the make/model of car that I have just bought.
Mine started to exhibit this problem today.
I'll be fixing it myself and doing some other work to the engine at the same time.

Damn !
Blarno

What Chris said.
PG

Blarno wrote:
I have a 'courtesy car' for 6 weeks, so I don't have to kill myself getting it done straight away. I've not touched it since Saturday due to having a really bad cold virus. Hopefully will crack on tomorrow.


So in about 5 weeks 5 days all hell will break loose then.... and 24 hour shifts will commence. After all, why do today what you can panic about tomorrow.  
PhilD

I'm waiting for the "I have decided to fit a V8 instead" post.
Blarno

Nope! Back on it tonight. Hope to get the inlet and exhaust manifolds off. I even have some powerful LED spotlights so I can keep going once it gets dark.
Blarno

Well, after a week of a shit cold and not wanting to work of an evening, even with super powerful LED spotlights, I flew back into it today and finally got the head off.





Cylinder 4 is the culprit, as can be seen from the rusty water on top of the piston. The gasket appears to be ok, but it has clearly been leaking exhaust side.

As part of the removal operation, I had to remove the entire inlet manifold. A few on here may occasionally have heard me griping about EGR systems and why there are a load of shit. Here's why:







That's a lot of black carbon shit. It's all very well not wanting shit coming out of the exhaust, but pumping it back into the inlet manifold (the clean side of the engine) is a recipe for disaster. This is a fully historied and well-maintained car as well, it's going to take a good old clean. Next step once it's back up and running is getting the EGR written out of the ECU software, it's a bugger to get this manifold off and I don't fancy doing it again any time soon.
Michael

Blarno wrote:


That's a lot of black carbon shit. It's all very well not wanting shit coming out of the exhaust, but pumping it back into the inlet manifold (the clean side of the engine) is a recipe for disaster.


Global disaster vs. Repairable car...
Blarno

Whilst waiting for the new head gasket and bolts to arrive (£50 all in, can't complain), I set about cleaning the shite out of the inlet manifold. After completely blocking the filter in the work's parts washer, I decided to use an old school remedy - Mr Muscle Oven cleaner. Spray it in, leave it an hour, scrub it a bit with a bottle brush and rinse it out with the hose pipe:





Night and day difference, even on my crappy non-flash phone camera. And hopefully, this little bugger will help prevent it from ever looking like that again for a long time:



At least until I get it remapped and the EGR somehow 'disappears' from the ECU....
JohnC

Good work Blarno. I hope it won't be long before it is back up and running - probably better than ever with all that crap removed.
Blarno

The new gasket and bolts has just landed on my desk, I will crack on with cleaning up the block and head with a view to fitting that tonight.
Blarno


One shiny and very black super duper OE quality gasket....



...sandwiched under a relatively clean cylinder head. That's the fun part over and done with, I just need to remember where all the rest of the bits go.
Michael

I'm genuinely impressed you've done this.
Blarno

Needs must, this Aero is costing me a fortune in fuel!
Bob Sacamano

Blarno wrote:

One shiny and very black super duper OE quality gasket....



...sandwiched under a relatively clean cylinder head. That's the fun part over and done with, I just need to remember where all the rest of the bits go.


Remember. it's not a proper job unless there's a few surplus bits left over.
Roadsterstu

It's not a proper job unless you have it almost finished then drop a bolt into somewhere deep and inaccessible, requiring it to be all stripped down again.
Blarno



Inlet manifold, EGR, swirl flap motor, diesel pump and vacuum pot now fitted. Managed just under 2 hours on it tonight thanks to some beefy LED floodlights.
Roadsterstu

I hope it starts when you have finished.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

What causes a head gasket to blow in the first place - uneven wear in the engine causing odd cylinder pressure differences, manufacturuing defect in the gasket material or ???
gonnabuildabuggy

Very impressed.

This and recent events elsewhere convince me more and more that the age of the cheaply fixed car is over.

So they will become even more disposable.....but it's an expensive item to make disposable.

How long before the laws of supply and demand hit residuals even harder?

There will always be the odd exception but this and the rise of the electric car would make me think long and hard about sinking too much cash into a new/used car.

PCP/Lease is fine as at least you can hand it back without further loss.
Bob Sacamano

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
Very impressed.

This and recent events elsewhere convince me more and more that the age of the cheaply fixed car is over.

So they will become even more disposable.....but it's an expensive item to make disposable.

How long before the laws of supply and demand hit residuals even harder?

There will always be the odd exception but this and the rise of the electric car would make me think long and hard about sinking too much cash into a new/used car.

PCP/Lease is fine as at least you can hand it back without further loss.


Dunno about that. As long as a chimp with a spanner can fix a SAAB we'll be OK.




























kidding! I'll get me coat.
Big Blue

I think hair colour dictates that Blarno is more Oran Utang than chimp......

Either way, noble animals.
Blarno

Damn right. I don't have a monkey tattooed on my back for no reason.
Blarno

I seem to be doing rather well with regards to weather (very mild and dry of an evening) and my own desire to get things done (Usually once I've got home and had a brew, I don't want to do anything). Another hour and a half of floodlit spannering yielded the completion of the inlet side of the engine and the fitting of the manifold, turbo, cat and downpipe. Pretty much the only large parts to do are the lifters, cams and belts. The rest is just some pipework and plugging things in.


Big Blue

Top man. Let's start an endurance team and do Le Mans, or if you fancy bike engines the Bol d'Or
gooner

Just seen one reversing in Sainburys, the white frosted rear lights looked a lot better than I remembered.

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