A few days ago I read a good sentence about old cars: We are only temporary trustees, responsible for handing them over to the hands that follow us. There is truth in there. Another thing is whether old cars have a soul. With the Saab 9000i from 1989, you might think so.
After we stand at the Saab hangar with the Saab, transporter and trailer, a question arises: does it start or not? The dealer had started dismantling because the Saab gave the stubborn system refuser. We want to know what's up, give the Swede a new battery, start and ...
... the box is running. With a brutal sound because the exhaust is through. But he's alive. Why he stubbornly refused before is his secret to this day. Maybe he had no motivation to end his retirement career in Kazakhstan. More likely it was our positive Saab vibrations, or the happily waiting Saab crowd in the hangar. These considerations are stupid, that's clear. Nevertheless, I have the impression that the other Saabs are happy when someone new enters the hangar ... End of the philosophical part.
First test passed, down to the hangar, inventory. The sky is hanging, the stuffing in the doors as well. So soon the sky has to be dismantled, and how the inserts of the doors will be re-occupied. The fabric is 26 years old, not cracked, can be used again. The originality is preserved, our saddler does it for little money.
It lacks an inner fender, a wiper on the headlight. All liquids and filters beg for change. Urgent! The ventilation works only at the highest level, a known error. The paint is stained white, the oil dipstick for the ZF automatic by eaten down dripping battery acid. On many things we notice the neglect of recent times. Little things that will cost a lot of time, but only little money.
Otherwise the condition is very good and it will be shown later on the stage that there is no rust. 26 years in the Rhine-Main area, which is poor in road salt, has had a positive effect on the condition.
What rocks is the red-brown interior. That puts you in a good mood and makes you want this car generation. No matter whether with or without turbo! Unpleasant impressions of the 80s interior and the condition as I bought the 9000i - taken in the hangar - can be found on our Youngtimer Blog.
One thing is clear: this will be a project that will keep us busy for a longer period of time. Which means that three 9000 projects run in parallel, which is not great. So, to speed it up, we're giving one to friendly, external hands. Another Saab story that will run on the blog from June.
Before we start working, we want to go on a test drive to get an impression of the mechanics. In order not to get involved in a neat conversation with the race management, it is advisable to change the exhaust. We need a new middle pot, the old one is done.
The Orio AB can not deliver, the look at the 9000 CC spare parts inventory in Nyköping brings a flood of tears to our eyes anyway ... which I will come back to this week. A large supplier of exhaust parts thinks he can deliver, but has to back down. There are two versions for the Saab 9000i, with and without a catalytic converter. Our blog car has a catalytic converter, the variant is not available.
Blog supporters Skandix has what we need in stock. After I had the correct spare part number looked up for me in Kiel to avoid the wrong purchase (Thanks to the always patient helpers Lafrentz), the exhaust and assembly parts are in the incoming goods the next day. Quality, price, delivery service at Skandix. Excellent!
The installation is without problems; A free workshop - a few meters from our Saab hangar - takes the old Swede on stage. Exhaust fits, all dismantled parts are reassembled. Saab is running!
On to the test drive! How does the 26 year old Swede drive, does he drive at all? Or does the stupid blind purchase take its revenge, and the adventure ends in disaster?
The first trip will be very, very short. After a few meters, the Saab reports "Check Engine". Not good at all ! Normally, the engine then jumps into an emergency program and only runs with reduced power. In our case, it just continues. Nevertheless ... we break off the trip, fly to the Saab hangar.
What now? But bought scrap? Problems with old cars have to be relaxed. First we fix the maintenance backlog, order via a Saab partner at the Orio all filters and parts, change all liquids. So we bring the Saab to a good status. Then we fly out again. In the next few days we start to the last part.