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9-5 Lightbar thoughts

September 23, 2015 in Technical

Great when the lightbar is working - capture from last evenings drive.

Great when the lightbar is working – capture from last nights drive.

As we all know the lightbar on the “new” 9-5 is a part that often fail, and what is more annoying then a dark lightbar?
There are many theory about this issue, what cause them? Some say temperature, some say bad components or vibrations – I myself have a theory that the most common cause for failure is moisture in the lightbar. My first guess was cracks in the lightbar, since I saw many cars with “foggy” lightbars, but after some investigations and some discussions with 9-5 owners I circle in the problem to be the gasket. My thought was first that Saab had chosen a gasket that was in one piece, and that the wiring that go into the lightbar was more “closed”. To my surprise the the lightbar itself was very poorly encapsulated, and the gasket was in many different small pieces, seven in total.
So when I bought my 9-5 the very first thing I did (after washing it) was to go to ANA in Trollhättan and asked for a gasket kit. From I bought it to now I have noticed “fog” in the lightbar two times, the first time was after a wash on a very warm day, the other time was after a period of heavy rain. So yesterday I had some time over, and decided to change the gasket. It’s not so much to say, if you look at the pictures you will see that there are three critical points at the lightbar. The first is the point where the wiring from the lightbar meets the cars harness in the tailgate – there is a BIG open hole, probably because of the gasket. The was I see it would it been no problem to make his hole smaller, with a small seal for the few wires. The next problem is around the two clips in the ends of the lightbar. Why not mold the plastic in one piece with the clip on top, or maybe use screws like the mounting point in the middle to make this more moisture-proof? There is room enough for a 10mm nut, and tools for fasten the nut…

9-5_lightbar

So how to dissemble the lightbar? It is pretty straight forward, first you use a thin flat screwdriver to careful remove the plastic cover over the tailgate lock, then you loosen two 7mm nuts for the inside handle. A long 7mm socket are preferred here. Then you remove the clips that hold the cover to the tailgate. Use the little flat screwdriver and careful remove the clips in two steps. First the top that “locks” the clip, then the part that goes up in the tailgate. Now you remove the connector to the lightbar, and then ypu remove five 10mm nuts. Now you are at the tricky part, press together the clips in the end of the lightbar. I end up using a angled radio plier (see the red plier on the lightbar-picture), and pressed in center of the clip. I also use a plastic tool (the blue tool) to help freeing the lightbar. The best tip I can give you if this is something you want to do at your own, be patient and take it easy so you don’t break anything.

As you see are the gasket pretty deformed, and all of the – in my eyes, critical ones are not laying correct. One final step to do before assembling the lightbar again is to inspect the area around the lightbar for rust. Sadly, the lightbar has a bad fit and with that result that the lightbar squeak against the paint. At four points the paint was gone, but no rust as I could see. So I took my touch-up paint and put some new paint on, hopefully will this preventing it from rust. I also sanded the plastic at the lightbar down at the points where it had hit the paint. So now I hopefully have stopped the moisture to get inside my lightbar, but I guess this is something I have to do in a couple of years again – just to be at the sure side.

So what will this cost? The gasket kit cost about 300 SEK (~US$ 35) in Sweden. P/N of the kit is 13321835. If you use your local garage for the job I guess they will charge you a hour or so for this job.

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by Trued

New iWatch to control the old SAAB.

June 10, 2015 in Technical

Well it finally came. I have more or less had every model of Mac Computers since I first worked on one in my Computers Class with Mr Dyar at Centennial HS in Gresham Oregon. I had the very first iPhone that never was sold in Sweden and I have been thinking of NOT going down the iWatch road. Reasons, well it feels like it is a pretty expensive watch and You still need the iPhone nearby.

Now a guy in the UK has made a nice application that can do things to his SAAB 9-3 AERO convertible. Would be nice to have this on my own CV. But the YouTube clip does not say what hardware he has in the car. Please fill us in on that if You read this. Some brands have similar apps like BMW where one can remotely do stuff.

 

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by Red J

Not SAAB related – The connected car

May 1, 2015 in Technical

According to wikipedia a connected car is ..

… a car that is equipped with Internet access, and usually also with a wireless local area network. This allows the car to share internet access to other devices both inside as outside the vehicle. Often, the car is also outfitted with special technologies that tap into the internet access or wireless LAN and provide additional benefits to the driver. Examples include: automatic notification of crashes, notification of speeding and safety alerts.

The connected car is also the current buzz word in the automotive industry. But from my point of view this is not a concept driven by the automotive industry but the reaction of this to the current trend away from the car as a symbol of the ME to the connected device (smartphone, tablet, notebook …).

The connected car as found on Twitter

The connected car as found on Twitter

So the car should become a smartphone on wheels…. But if you want to connect something you have to connect it to something else. I mean, without a good network not only in the cities but also at the roads those cars would feel really alone.

Yesterday I had to make a 2 hour journey along one very important highway in Germany. I thought I could use my phone to show me the way and listen to an internet radio station during the journey. The result was that during the journey I was able to listen to the radio only 50% of the time as the 3G+ network is mostly only available at the cities or the zones nearby.

Currently the phone companies build their networks where people use it, and till now people have been using the phones at home, at work but not that much while driving to another city.

I don’t know if this is a Germany-only problem or maybe an Europe only problem, so what is your experience. Can you enjoy of the constant connectivity while driving from Stockholm to Göteborg? Or what happens in the states if you leave the big cities?

What will happen to the new fancy GPS from Audi that relies on the map data and satellite pictures from Google maps if you start your journey in the middle of nowhere if it can’t retrieve the map data?

Help required.

April 7, 2015 in Technical

I am looking for the following part for my 1988 900 T16s.

 

IMAG1261

It is the throttle dash pot actuator valve, also known as throttle release diaphragm. If anybody can help I would be very grateful. Obviously I am willing to pay a fair price for a suitable part. Many thanks.

 

 

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by Red J

Not SAAB related

March 21, 2015 in Technical

Two weeks ago the Geneva international motor Show started. Not being there felt a little bit disappointing, on the one side, because it means another year without New SAAB branded cars, and on the other side because it is fun to be there during the press days and you get the info first hand.

Nevertheless lots of new things have been introduced in Geneva, but for me only two were really of interest.

Koengisegg_Regera_front_moretwist First was the Koenigsegg Regera. It is always fascinating to see a new car coming from Koenigsegg every year, and on the booth in front of Koenigsegg you have seen the very same car for the last 6 years albeit in different colours. (You can guess which car brand am I talking about).

The Regera is an interesting way of using the capabilities of a hybrid car, but with all the respect to CvK, the Regera is a hybrid car. What I didn’t like about the Regera was the way the press was talking about the car. I mean it is no rocket science what Koenigsegg has done.

Why do cars need a gear-box? No, it is not to be able to drive fast, more than that is to be able to start moving. At low revs an IC-Engine has almost no torque at all, and to get a car to start moving needs more torque than to keep it moving.

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by Red J

Not SAAB related

October 11, 2014 in Technical

I have been long thinking about starting a series of posts about news in the automotive industry that have no direkt link to Saab or NEVS but could have an effect on the way we look at future products from Trollhättan [sorry guys I don’t want to start a discussion about the brand, so till next notice I will call the cars this way]. So if you like it I will try to deliver a “Not SAAB related” post each week.

My first post is about a,quite funny in my opinion, article about the BMW i3 in the USA. The original article is from consumer report although I’ve found it somewhere else.

bmw i3 rear engine bay

BMW i3 rear engine bay

The guys at consumer report summarise the problem with this sentence

Relying on that gas engine when the main battery is depleted works well in most cases, including high-speed steady cruising, but not, we’ve discovered, if you demand more of it.

They’ve discovered? C’mon even some BMW manager talked about the drawbacks of such a range extender configuration at its presentation in Munich.

So let us talk about range extender and its problems.
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What tools do you have in your car?

June 18, 2014 in Classics, Technical

tronds_toolbagYesterday I was out for a spin in my M91 900 Turbo 16, and after I had driven a few kilometres I loose all the power in the middle of a sharp bend, while I was accelerating. My initial reaction was that something was wrong with the fuel supply, but after the road straighten out I realise this had to be a issue with the air supply. I was lucky and found a bus-stop in the middle of the countryside, and turned off to locate the fault. When I opened the hood, my idea about the air supply was absolute right, a hose from the intercooler to the throttle body had jumped off. A very quick fix if you have the right tool, but in a small second I got a little panic – in this car I don’t have a toolbox… This time it was false alarm, I was able to tighten the hose clamp with a flat screwdriver from the original tool kit.

I know – many of you guys in here drive newer cars as your daily driver, and have a big toolbox in the boot shouldn’t be necessary. As some of you know have I a M04 9-5 Aero as my daily driver, and like it or not – in this car I have a big toolbox in the boot. But isn’t very often I need some the tools for that car either, in the four years and 80’000km’s I’ve had it, it only has let me down three times;

  1. The fuel pump – after a attempt to change the pump outside my work (failed because I don’t had extra fuel hose – but I had a spare pump) I managed to get the pump working again, so I get home.
  2. On my way to the Oktoberfest 2012, when the crank sensor gave up. This happened appropriately enough when I was going to drive off a ferry, so two crew members had to push me off the boat… Luckily a crank sensor is a part of the “T7 rescue kit” (crank sensor, fuel pump and DI-unit 😉 ) so after the engine had cooled down a bit I changed the sensor myself.
  3. The hose from the boost valve to the turbo compressor. The thin hose had gnawed on the V-band clamp that connect the turbo and king cobra pipe, and at a point it went off. This resulted that I had no power at all… This time it was enough to cut the hose and connect it again until I get home and was able to mount the V-band clamp properly.

So in total no big things, two well known T7-issues, and one issue caused by bad work from my side  – but some basic tools have saved me from tow-trucks and a lot of wasted time.

After slimming my toolbox down to my new tool-bag, I now have to a set of some wrenches, a monkey wrench, a big and a small flat screwdriver, some torx-bits, a hose clamp screwdriver with spiral blade, fuel-pump-tool, a cutting pier, a LED-torch, some cable ties + gaffa tape and at least some glows and rags for cleaning up stuff. And of course a box of scrubbing wipes for oil and other dirt.
So to sum this up, which basic tools do you think is nice to have in a small bag in the spare tire compartment? Or maybe you don’t have tools at all, and have the number for SAAB-assistance stored in your mobile phone?

And I almost forgot, on my way back home after visiting some friends I stopped and shoot some pics on my old 900.
Actually the time was around 00:45 when I shoot these pictures, and it’s still pretty much daylight outside where I live…

tronda_900_jun14 tronda_900_jun14_2 tronda_900_jun14_3

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by Trued

Safety recall 9-3 Convertible 2004-2011

June 13, 2014 in News, Technical

As an owner of a 2004 9-3 convertible it looks like I have to set an appointment with a Saab garage to have some parts of the seatbeltsystem in the front seats replaced. It is the retractor system that can break.

GM is covers this repair, of  28789 made convertibles, so if you own one set a time to have your car fixed.image