WineSaab New Reader
9/28/22 12:00 p.m.

Picked up 02Pilot's 1989 Saab 900S a few weeks ago and finally got some time to walk through the car.   . 

Fortunately for me, a lot of work has been done on the car.  It came with a couple of Bentley Manuals, two boxes of spare parts, and a notebook filled with chronological updates.  Who said OCD is a problem?! It had some trouble starting so first things first was to identify if it as the starter or the ignition switch.  Tried jumping the solenoid and the starter motor just spun. New Bosch starter being delivered this week, fingers crossed that's the issue

Dad just bought a '91 900S sedan and was drooling over the 16" Super Aero wheels, so we swapped with a set of 15" Aero2 from a 92' Turbo convertible.  Still have the 15" Sunburst wheels if anyone needs a set. 

Overall the car is clean and mechanically very sound, just a little crunchy and this build will be mostly body work and small 10 minute job updates. 

Assessing the rust is fairly easy because there's a lot of it, thankfully none structural. 


The front end is in the worst shape.  Saab thought of some pretty amazing engineering and design features that were ahead of their time, but failed to recognize the metal fenders arch trim is a great place to trap dirt, water, salt, etc  which rots from the inside out.

Bumper trim is off with metal work coming next.  Bumpers will get a full repaint once wheel arches are complete.  The Hella fogs will get repositioned under the bumper for final placement.  

RBM Saab Parts was a good resource for lots of parts, including body panels.  I was able to secure 4 steel arches for a decent price and two OEM steel inner fenders. The arch rebuild will resemble the SPG fender trim which is a the same color as the Bumper  (example below) and can be welded, bolted, or glued to the fender.  All in cost around $200 for the two front inners and 4 flares;  shipping  was the most expensive piece (parts warehouse is based outside Paris, France surprise).  

While taking the bumpers off I also took the front grille off to clean and repaint.   It had a couple of cracks and lots of bug carcasses, so a fresh facelift can't hurt.  

Plastic backing is in good shape, just dirty.  Chrome outer will end up with spray can brushed aluminum instead of the OEM mirror chrome finish. 

So far a lot of fun to work on and can't wait to see how it turns out.  

More to come 

WineSaab New Reader
10/10/22 6:12 p.m.

Living with the car for a week or two proved to be a lot of fun until a very sketchy return from the hardware store.  Completely dead in the parking lot.  Was able to jump it but the drive home showed signs of fuel delivery issues.  KNowing the history of the car the only two issues to identify were alternator and or battery.  Turns out it's the alternator. 

While that is out for delivery, I decided to finish up the bumpers and rewire some LED fogs.  Further investigation of the rust showed some pretty aggressive rust that I a) don't have time or resources to chase and b) given the overall state of the car it's a fun project, not a Pebble Beach contender.  So... Here's how the bumpers came out. 

OEM Trim is F44, a deep smoke gray.  Duplicolor Gray was too blue and didn't look right, so Rust-Oleum Black Bumper Paint was the winner. 


The black against Embassy Blue paint really looks nice.  Chrome trim stayed intact as well, something not many 900s have at this age

The fender flares got the same bumper paint treatment (inside and out) and were glued and screwed to the remaining good fender (which proved harder than originally planned). 

End result is a nice 10'-10 finish that looks somewhat OEM and fits the overall design of the car (all for less than $120). 



Drivers side is next, hopefully the Alternator arrives soon and we can test the sructural integrity of those new fenders at speed! 



914Driver MegaDork
10/12/22 8:06 a.m.

Nice work for a guy with a one year old and no garage.  =~ )

WineSaab New Reader
12/6/22 8:51 p.m.

Update on the 900.  Alternator arrived and I completely forgot how difficult these are to remove without drastic measures being taken. 

A few well placed phone calls to a mechanic to talk me off the ledge got the Alternator out.  Bosch replacement from FCP in CT did nicely.

After install I had a few issues with the wiring, gauges were showing no power and on further inspection the ground strap was shot.  A quick trip to Napa and all is right with the world. 

Pro Tip, remove the AC brakcet and compressor to free up room.  I was so fed up with it I just disconnected the AC compressor entirely. 

Once "Bynx" was back up and running the front face lift resumed.  Driver side fender was all but rotted out.  Easy to find a fender up here in the NE but usually you have to buy the entire car to get the few parts you need and it's deep in the woods somewhere.  These fender flares worked nicely after some widening mods. Had to bolt 1" x 3" aluminum strip to bypas the rusty bits but it's secure and didn't fly off on i95. I'm calling it a win. 

The car came with a set of wheels and tires, and @914Driver's 900 came with a set of 90s Directional Aero 15" and Dunlop Snows.  Local shop rebalanced the set and they look great on the car.  Right now there isn't much to do now that winter is setting in.  Spring time the rear bumper is coming off for paint to match the front and mud flaps.  

orthoxstice Reader
12/7/22 5:52 a.m.

Gorgeous car. I've still never owned one but still hope to some day. 

came close to buying a very rotten SPG back in 2009 for $500 that ran and drove but didn't have the courage (or the resources to fix it) at the time. 

914Driver MegaDork
12/7/22 7:41 a.m.

They ride heavier than they actually are, all my doors "Thunk" closed like a vault.  Take one for a drive.

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