Saab 99T – the spare parts 1

This will most likely be the last Saab 99T post for a little while, but I unpacked the car this evening and couldn’t resist a little photo of all the bits we managed to cram into the car.
Click to enlarge.
What you’re looking at there:

  • Used but good windscreen with Saab Accessories tint sticker
  • Spare turbocharger – condition unknown but still spins OK
  • Spare starter motor
  • Regular rear spoiler
  • Box full of assorted hoses in good condition
  • Rear hatch sill plate
  • 2 x spare front grilles
  • Cowling that sits at base of windscreen
  • Right and left front guards
  • Nardi woodrim steering wheel
  • EMS steering wheel (will be fitted to car)
  • Box full of engine mounts and bushings
  • Box full of electrical relays
  • Box full of dash switches and stalks
  • Box #1 of interior trim pieces
  • Box with headlamps and front indicator lamps
  • Box with as-new rear light housings
  • Box of assorted bits and pieces (window rubber showing)
  • Box of assorted fluid bottles for washers and radiator heater tanks
  • Box with headlamps and replacement airbox and fuel distributor
  • Box with two sets of power side mirrors, with wiring and switches
  • Box #2 of interior trim, featuring dash pad with turbo meter
  • Saab Accessories big rear spoiler

Of course, the very Saaby thing about this is that we were able to fit ALL of that into the rear hatch of the 99, along with this (which I didn’t get out for the photo as it’s too darn heavy to lift.
A spare Saab 99Turbo gearbox:
There’s more to come, too.
Back in Melbourne and hopefully coming soon in the back of Simon P’s C900 are:

  • 2x replacement doors
  • 4x Inca wheels
  • 2x steering racks
  • Assorted other odds and ends that I can’t remember right now.


Roadtrip Day 3 – Home and hosed (with fuel)

We had proof yesterday that the Saab 99T made it onto the road under it’s own power. Today, proof positive that the 99T made it all the way home – under it’s own power.
Of course, whether it gets out again is another matter, but……. Let the third and final digital diary of this roadtrip begin!
Drew thought it important to record the fact that blogging does not cease simply because we’re on a boat in the middle of Bass Strait. Thanks to his roaming internet connection, last night’s diary got online before we’d hit midnight.
Around 4.30am…..
And around 90 minutes later it was breakfast in Devonport:
At 6.30am we were called to go to our car deck in order to get off the boat. That’s where today’s dramas started. We’ve learned since picking the car up that whilst it’s in running order, it’s not exactly in GOOD running order.
The first problem of the day was the 2 minutes or so it took to start the car this morning (it felt like an eternity). The cold start injector is not functioning at the moment, so it took a while to get going, which isn’t a nice feeling when you’ve got a long line of cars and sleep-deprived cranky drivers behind you, all of them waiting to get home or get their Tasmanian holidays underway.
We got going eventually, and headed off to Hobart….
We actually made a stop along the way to refuel and as I was filling up I noticed a very strong fuel smell. Of course, I had the nozzle in the fuel filler, so I figured it was just the fact that I was filling up……..silly me.
Our next stop was a little bit further down the road, at Campbell Town, a ‘human pitstop’…..
While we were outside the car, we noted that the strong fuel smell remained. Given that I was no longer filling up the fuel tank, this was very out of place to say the least.
A quick look under the car revealed the problem.

Read moreRoadtrip Day 3 – Home and hosed (with fuel)

Saab 99T Roadtrip – Day 2

It’s day 2 of the Saab 99Turbo roadtrip and right now Drew and I are on a boat, travelling from Melbourne on the Australian mainland to Devonport, Tasmania. The good news is that the Saab 99Turbo is below deck and yes, it got there under it’s own power.
Woohoo!!! And yes, I actually got my hands a little bit dirty…..
Yesterday was very frustrating as fuelling issues continued with the car. When I woke up this morning it was still somewhat questionable as to whether we’d be driving at all today. Some wicked chemistry was performed overnight, applied to the fuel tank in order to clean it and thankfully, when I called the mechanic at 9.30 this morning, I got the good news that the chemical cleaning of the tank had worked.
George the mechanic had actually been on the job since 6:40am – on a Saturday – so by the time we got there at about 11:00am, the car was ready to go.
1-LoadingUpSaab 99.jpg
We had to transfer some parts that had been stored previously, which gave us a chance to look over some things again. Like the somewaht rare rear louvre, which i’m still considering the use of. Apparently it’s quite noisy when it’s on to the car.
That’s Wantirna Automotive, above, who have gone to some great lengths to get a car up and running when it hadn’t run for a number years. Take note of the condition of the hood of the car – paint quite thin and rusty in a few spots.
Below is the even rarer big rear spoiler. An original Saab accessory, this will NOT be going on the car, but is so unique that I’ve just got to have it hanging around.
We got underway and I’ve got to tell you, it was SO GOOD to be on the road in my own Saab 99 Turbo once again.

Read moreSaab 99T Roadtrip – Day 2

Saab 99T Roadtrip – day 1

What a frustrating day!
We headed out to Wantirna Automotive this morning feeling quite excited about getting the 99T and then sorting out all the spare parts ready for the boat trip tomorrow night. I got there and the car started OK and ran OK, but then came the bad news.
I’ve documented that bad news here, but basically we still have fuel problems, with the tank contaminated from standing still for so long. It killed a new fuel pump and whilst we could have driven it away with the replacement pump, it would have been just a matter of time before it stopped again.
So we talked over the options and left the car there for the day. Hopefully the chemical cleaning of the tank tomorrow morning will get things right.
But it was, by no means, a wasted trip. David B at Wantirna Automotive has some great cars stored over there and we got to take a look at a few. His quite immaculate Saab 99EMS and white Saab 96 bullnose were in dark sections of the warehouse so I haven’t got photos of those. But this car should give you an idea of the quality we’re talking about here.
This is David’s 1975 Saab 95 wagon. Fully repainted and restored, it really is a very clean and straight car. My fellow Tasmania SaabNut, Drew B, already has a couple of 95s back at home and let’s just say he was looking at this one with a VERY curious eye. I think he’s looking at dominating the Saab 95 market here in Oz πŸ™‚
In the shot above, that’s me showing my brother-in-law around the car. He’s not a Saab nut at all, so this strange looking little wagon had him interested for quite some time. I don’t think he’d ever seen anything quite like it.
Isn’t that the way it should be?
After getting the bad news about the fuel system, we headed back to my nephew’s place, where the cache of spare parts was stored. There was quite a lot to get through and the task was to figure out what was worth keeping, what was worth selling on and what would have to be thrown away.
We examined all the bits and by necessity we had to be pretty ruthless. Some stuff is just unlikely to ever be used, would be hard to carry and take up space forever. So it had to go. Some of it was cracked or not in decent order and again, just had to go.
In the end we culled about two thirds of the volume we’d initially brought over.
The keepers:
The keepers include many interior bit such as switches and vents. There was a full box of hose pipes (not pictured), some good headlamps, fluid bottles, clips, a full set of Incas and other bits. Hopefully the spare fuel pump works, though I hope we don’t need to find out too soon.
Some of it will be kept as spare bits for the car and some (like three of the four steering wheels, or three of the spare instrument binnacles) will be sold on for others to make use of.
And the discard pile:
There was a huge mix of stuff here. Spare seat coverings (non-turbo) that were a little torn, lots of slightly broken grilles, wiper arms – just about anything you can name, really.
It’s always a little sad to let stuff go, but you gotta do what you gotta do. The good news is that we should be able to fit just about everything into the rear of the car.
Here’s hoping we can actually drive it.
The day ended with a great gathering of the Saab Nuts for dinner.
Here’s a few names you might be familiar with, which you can now put to faces.
From left to right: Simon P, AlAero, Drew B, Some nutcase, Steve B (SAB) and making his full photographic debut on SU for the first time – Turbin!!
Plenty of good chats and plenty of horsepower in the carpark, too (although not from my ride – my sister’s Toyota Echo. Grrrrrr)
I really hope tomorrow brings better news on the 99T roadtrip. It’s been a rocky start but the car was running nicely earlier today. We just have to make sure it’s running in a way that’s sustainable without seizing up any more of the fuel system.
Have a great weekend. Will check back in some time tomorrow……

99T problems……

UPDATE below
So we’re here………
I went down to Wantirna Automotive today to pick up the 99T but there has been an issue. It’s the same issue that’s always been a problem for this car (the fuel system). We thought it had all been sorted, but it’s reared its ugly head again.
Basically, there is still some contamination in the fuel tank.
When David went to start the car up again earlier in the week, it killed the new fuel pump. What’s happening is that when you run the car, the fuel picks up the little bits of contamination left in the tank (from ethanol in the fuel eating away at rubber fittings over time) and this is what’s killed the pump.
We’ve put a 2nd hand pump in there for the time being, but obviously its life could be quite limited without some further action. We’re treating the symptom instead of the disease.
So as I faced this news this morning, there were two options:
1) Chemically clean the tank, which would see the car stay here another week as the alkaline salts acid stuff has to be made from scratch (not a great option), or
2) Swap out the tank for a good one.
Thankfully, David’s got a good store of old Saab bits and had a suitable tank amongst it all. The tank swap is being done and I should be able to pick up the car in a couple of hours from now.
Isn’t buying old cars fun?!!!
I just got a call from the mechanic and it wasn’t good news……
The spare tank isn’t suitable for the job. They thought on a quick visual that it would suit, but it won’t.
So we now have to resort to Option 1 – chemically cleaning out the tank.
Thankfully, their chemical guy can mix the stuff up tonight (you can’t buy it off the shelf) and drop it in to the workshop early tomorrow morning. He’s 100% confident that it will do the job so we should have the car before lunchtime.
It really puts us under some duress for tomorrow, though. We have to

  • pick the car up,
  • pick up the spare parts we were going to transport in the car,
  • head over to another guy’s place to swap the hatch and the bonnet,
  • detach the gearbox off the spare engine and load that up

And all that before getting the car to the boat for the overnight ferry.
The clock will be ticking……..

The 99Turbo story begins – for real

It’s rubber-hits-the-road time for me and my new (old) Saab 99 Turbo.
Things might be a little quiet around here as I collect the vehicle.
There is now operational, but we’ve got a lot to do before bringing it home. I have to detach a gearbox from the spare engine, swap over a few panels and then figure out what parts to bring back in the car, what to store and what to scrap.
Saab 99 Turbo
Hopefully there’ll be no more need for one of those flatbeds……
Fellow Tassie Saabnut, Drew B, is coming along for the ride and we’ll catch up with a few of the Melbourne Saabers while we’re there.
I’ll try and update things from time to time, but a little patience would be helpful. Plenty of photos from the weekend will be forthcoming, I’m sure, including one of Drew driving the porcelain bus on the boat ride home πŸ™‚

The Saab 99

My upcoming project – restoring a Saab 99 Turbo – will begin in earnest later this week when I finally pick up the car and bring it home.
Naturally, I’ve got Saab 99 fever right now. Saab 99 Turbo fever, to be precise, but I’m happy to broaden my disease and include the entire 99 family.
What follows are a few entries I did back on Trollhattan Saab back in 2007. In March of that year, we had a month of Saab 99 loving, with lots of 99 stories and photos of owners’ cars. I kicked the month off with a few entries giving some background info on the Saab 99 in general.

The Saab 99 – a primer
Ever heard about the Saab – Daihatsu connection?
That’s one of the ways that Saab disguised prototypes of the Saab 99 during its testing phase – they crafted a “daihatsu” badge from a Saab Sport badge out of the Saab 96. The Saab 99 needed some disguising as it was the first all-new Saab in a long time and by the time it arrived it was the first new Saab model in around 19 years!
The Saab 99 was born from a project called Gudmund, named for the day on which the board took the decision to pursue the project – April 2, 1964 – Gudmund’s Day.
With the growth of the company and the growth of the motor vehicle market after the second world war, Saab knew that it needed a larger car to keep pace. The Saab 99 was to be this car. It’s initial design work was done primarily by Saab design guru Sixten Sason with the help of a young Bjorn Envall. Sadly, Sason died a short time before the unveiling of the 99. His work on the 99, though, and it’s use right through to the last Saab 900 in 1993 meant the Sason’s designs had driven Saab for 46 years from its inception as a car company in 1947. The fact that a late model Saab 900 can still look like a very contemporary car even today is a true testament to his creative skills.
Work got underway in earnest and the first prototype vehicles began testing in 1965. No-one would recognise them as 99s though as they resembled 96s in just about every way. These vehicles were known as “toads”. In effect they were a Saab 99 chassis and engine with a widened Saab 96 body placed on them. A 20cm section was welded into place down the middle, thus widening the 96 body to fit onto the 99 chassis. The Swedish newspaper Expressen managed to uncover the truth when a photographer managed to catch a ‘toad’ and a regular 96 together.
The Saab 99 made its public debut at a show called Teknorama in Stockholm, on November 22nd, 1967. It would be another year, however, before the model was released to the public for sale. Even the journalists had to wait, as there were only 50 cars available and these were being rigorously tested by a crew of engineers and carefully selected test drivers.

Read moreThe Saab 99

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