Thursday, May 31, 2007

Boost woes

I've had problems with the '85 and proper turbo boost for a while now. It's pretty driveable, but the lack of a kick is getting me down. Plus I think the issue is affecting first gear take off.

So I've been chasing a couple of ideas... removed the knock sensor, wrapped in a rag, and drove around with no boosty love. Phase II.

That involves cleaning the APC solenoid. It likes to be clean. Still no love.

Next step: check the wiring. Let's start with the APC. For this year, the '85 has the APC box under the rear seat. If you weigh about 3 kazillion kilos, it's hard to get back in there without removing things like seats. Anyhow, it turns out the plug into the APC, which is the magic box that sez how much we can boost, is not fully engaged. It has a commitment problem with the system. That is not all, though, as the plug won't go in even with a threat from a shotgun wielding daddy. So I think there's some more wiring fun in store.

Stay tuned. Hans and I have about one evening to figger it out before No Alibi rally. And odds are on other things getting done, like family obligations and the video for Sat. night entertainment. It's gonna be a cool compilation of Press On Regardless rallies going back to the late 1960s. Nothing like it in the world, daddy-o. Besides, there's still plenty of grunt under base boost. Right? Right!

Monday, May 28, 2007

A new Saab in the family

Yesterday I picked up a 1986 900 Turbo that I found on craigslist. It wasn't too far from home so I stopped by to have a look last week. It had been parked for eight months and the owner had used it as a construction work vehicle prior to that so the interior was in pretty bad shape. However the body has no apparent rust, decent paint, and is very straight. Tires are decent and AC blows cold. All the electrics seem to work ok. It apparently has a leaky brake caliper which has caused problem with the clutch. Started and idled fine. A couple of days later Hans and I stopped by for a second look and while preparing to move the car outside from it's place in a parking garage to view it in the daylight it died and refused to restart. I made a very low offer and went away. Late the next day I noticed that it was still listed with a lower price, so I called and negotiated a compromise.

On Sunday Hans and I went over with a spare battery to provide lights and towed it home with my 1990 900. The brakes were a little dicey, and the rain didn't help things but traffic was light due to the holiday and we had no problems. After getting it home, we were able to get it started again. The former owner had added gas to try and start it but we figure it didn't get enough cranks to pump the fuel to the engine. It still acts fuel-starved however, and will be getting a complete tune up and filter replacement and then we'll see where we stand.

Another Saab friend has a complete interior that should swap in with no problem for a reasonable price. A new headliner, a good wash and wax, and perhaps a replacement brake caliper and it should be on the road in a week or two.

Cost of car: $200
Initial parts order: about $150

Will get some pics after it's had a good wash, which it desperately needs.

Catching up on the green '85

Cars line up at Coast to Coast
Yikes. Too much time since the last update.

Plenty of work on the green car since Tbird, including:
  • new fuel filter
  • rewired right side engine harness
  • new ham radio installed
  • replaced the fuel level sender - twice
  • installed a 2nd odometer sensor for the rally computer
  • removed the trailer hitchrotten wires need replacing
Along with all that, Hans and I went up to Vancouver Island to compete in the Coast To Coast rally a few weeks ago, where we gained a lot of experience and had some good checkpoints. Unfortunately a couple of wrong turns led to a giant score. However it was an excellent experience, with great roads and nice folks competing in and running the event. They held it as an all nighter, going from 8pm to 7am, which avoided dealing with local traffic and logging trucks.
New wheel sensor and magnet mounted to right rear hub
Next up: No Alibi 2007.