The 9000's automatic climate control was one of the most innovative solutions on the market at the time it was released. The Italians, with Lancia Thema, Alfa 164 and Fiat Croma, relied on partner Borletti for the development. Saab, on the other hand, teamed up with Alps and also brought in their own ideas. The magic word of the 80s: the sun position sensor.
A Saab development that later became its own, small company in Vänersborg - and the decisive difference to the automatic air conditioning in Lancia, Fiat and Alfa. Which did not have a sun position sensor, which is standard with all providers today. With his help, the air conditioning in the 9k is tremendously effective. It transforms the 9000 into a freezer on wheels in midsummer, or into a high-performance sauna in winter. However, everything stands and falls with the air conditioning compressor, which would have brought us to the core of the story.
Unfortunately, Orio has not shown a keen sense of the growing interest in old Saabs in recent years. While the company otherwise does a lot for the brand and helps to keep our cars on the road, it is obviously difficult with the classics. Classic parts are scrapped or sold somewhere for little money. Some of them are worth gold.
Like the air conditioning compressors for the Saab 9000, which are no longer available for many models. What is incomprehensible, if you read the article to the end. In my Anna project, the first compressor fell out in spring 2016. Not repairable, replacement not available. Point. Saab Service Frankfurt improvised, a used air conditioning compressor from a battle 9000 was installed. Unfortunately, it showed a leak over the months and the resulting gradual loss of refrigerant. The possible solution of topping up regularly was not an option for environmental reasons alone.
As a permanent solution was only a new part in question, but should no longer be available. However, the non-deliverable Original Sanden air conditioning compressors for the 9k appear again and again at an Internet portal. In winter 2017 I miss a chance in Italy, but in the spring I strike in Latvia.
A few days later I have the package here. Sanding virgin, no complaint. The compressor is stored, because even the 9000 cools without complaint. And as life wants, the elderly Swedish lady suddenly stops chilling in the middle of summer heat. Instead of cold air, a stream of hot summer air heats the interior further, well 3 weeks after EDU drama.
But now I am prepared! The Saab is not going to Frankfurt this time, I don't feel like 60 kilometers in the uncooled greenhouse. The workshop in the vicinity of our hangar does the replacement, not without first checking the old compressor and the system for possible further damage. Everything is done within a short time, the cool box on wheels rolls again. Hopefully the topic will be off the table for the next few years.
The old compressor, with its small leak, lives on anyway. A friend has him now. His 9k has not been cooling for some time, he is grateful for any help. Because in Latvia one was sold out again after a few days.
However, the subject itself does not let me go. Because the compressor, which in Nyköping is described as no longer available, was new and not an old stock item. A quick internet search confirms this, it is available from Sanden. Customers from the USA and Canada can even order online from the manufacturer. It is unclear why Orio Sweden does not use its good, old business relationship with Sanden to serve European customers.
And that leaves me with a strange feeling. Ordering a range of compressors, distributing them over the Orio network can not be that difficult. The margins are good, the product itself is unproblematic. The demand exists. Or have you lost the Saab classic by now out of focus?