...and I should really get around to fixing. Well Project Dumpster Fire has taken a bit of a break. Or well… actually it is still a dumpster fire, I just haven’t thrown any money or time in to keep the blaze going lately. Excuses are varied, but not terribly important.

In one of my more successful Oppo articles, I wrote about all the problems plaguing my 1984 Saab 900 Turbo Sedan. It has been with me, on and off, since 2001 and like all on-again-off-again romances, both partners are holding grudges.

Original Problems:

The driver’s side power window doesn’t work

Fixed. Installed a motor out of a junked car and we are back in business. It was a bit of a pain though.

The brakes don’t work and the (former) mechanic couldn’t get them figured out. Probably a leak somewhere?


Fixed! The flex hoses leading to the rear calipers had both failed. Furthermore the passenger rear caliper was blown, likely from my (or the mechanics) attempts at bleeding it with a vacuum bleeder with the hoses collapsed. Rock Auto saved the day with a new caliper.

The fuel pump leaks. Probably just needs a new gasket on the banjo fitting.

True story. Fixed.

Needs new tires, obviously

The old rubber is holding air well and I haven’t seen a reason to change tires on a car that is sitting anyway. No urgency here.

The blower doesn’t work

I did a little investigation here, but haven’t fixed it yet. The blower won’t turn on unless the vacuum control air diverter switch is in the “on” position. The vacuum line to the HVAC system is broken. Instead of introducing another potential source of problems, I capped the line and will deal with that later.

The sunroof is stuck shut

Yes. Yes it is.

The radio is shot and so are the speakers

Replacement sourced but not installed.

The wipers are always on

I pulled the fuse. Problem solved! The sunroof leaks so it isn’t like I am going to be taking it out in the rain any time soon.

The windshield desperately needs to be replaced.

Done! $200 from Safelite!

It won’t start and I have very little idea why. At this point it almost has to be an issue with the fuel system pressure. I have the gauge but haven’t checked yet.


Oh fuck me do I really have to answer this? Talk about a rabbit hole! Basically this is the problem with this car. Bosch CIS is all about fuel pressure and flow and I have an odd mix on both. So far pretty much everything has been checked and replaced, but long story short I think the fuel return line is clogged. I haven’t checked because if I don’t check I can assume that is the problem and it is an easy fix. If I check and it isn’t clogged I have to push the car into a ravine.

Coolant keeps disappearing and going *somewhere* but I don’t know where. It isn’t on the ground or in the oil so.... mystery!

This one was pretty easy. Not sure how I figured it out, but it is the heater control valve. I bypassed it and sorted a new one. No rush to put the new one in though.

Brake fluid keeps disappearing and I don’t know where it is going. Same story as the coolant.


This was a fun one! After removing the skid plate to do the awful job that was the starter, I discovered the clutch hose was leaking. The clutch comes from the same reservoir as the brakes so that was part of it. The other part was (likely) the failed rear brake? Either way, last I checked it was holding fluid.

A lot of the wiring is VERY crispy and likely going to cause some issues.

Probably, yes. I’ve mostly been ignoring this, but I also gave what I could see a good drench with conformal coating.


So that is pretty much it. I’ve dealt with other problems as they came, like the brake lights not working, and ignored many others, like the leaky sunroof and collapsed driver’s seat. I still love the car and fully intend on getting back to it soon, but life is happening and my garage may or may not collapse at any moment so... you know... cool.

Stay tuned for more! The Saab shall live again!