Well, the weekend came and went. It was full of heatbreak, bloody knuckles, supply runs, lots of alcohol and lots of work.
Friday I managed to get the hard line back into the caliper that had thwarted me the night before. Unfortunately, once the bleeder was hooked up I was still mostly getting air, despite the some brake fluid flowing from the bleeder. Closing the bleed nipple and having a helper press the brake pedal confirmed my fears. Despite the caliper having been replaced by the former mechanic, it was leaking fluid quite badly.
A quick search determined that a rebuild kit was out of the question, and calipers weren’t available locally. Hoping I could get away with having someone do it locally, I shelved that until Monday.
Saturday morning came entirely too soon and I was met by a helpful gentleman from Safelite Auto Glass. Though they generally have a poor reputation, mostly because they use their own, off-brand glass, they actually had a new windshield in stock and would do the whole job for less than I could get the parts for.
The job was done quickly and with minimal fuss. A fellow petrolhead, we chatted while he worked and by noon he was done. At the conclusion, the guy even said this was the only Saab glass he had put in without breaking it on the first try. Terrifying.
That done, I began work again on getting it to start. First step was to swap out the warm up regulator. Typically, the fittings were super stuck. I didn’t have enough room or leverage while the thing was in the car, and outside the car I didn’t have anything to hold it in place. Solution?
Screw it to the damn wall.
Woo for makeshift table vice!
Unfortunately, a quick pressure check told me this hadn’t solved the problem. Hokay. Next up was verifying all of the lines, re-seating the pressure relief valve, checking the return line, and generally spilling fuel all over everything.
At this point it was getting late, starting to rain, and I was feeling pretty defeated. I texted a Volvo specialist friend and offered to bribe him to come take a look. He graciously did so, but unfortunately didn’t make much headway. We did get to shoot the shit for a bit, so that was fun anyway.
After he left, it was getting close to midnight, me and my helpers’ BAC was rising, and we were going at this with renewed vigor. And we had a result! Not a good one, but I’ll take anything at this point. While trying to start with starting fluid we had a massive backfire that caused the intake to blow off. Major, terrifying explosion.
Though nothing was damaged, we called it a night.
Since the intake was off anyway, I figured I’d try starting by manually manipulating the fuel and air via the throttle and air plates. Even though I’d tried this before, it, shockingly, worked! All of a sudden we had a running Saab!
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to control RPMs, air, and fuel manually but it is actually kinda hard. We put everything back together, tried to start and instantly got another intake misfire.
Not really knowing why one would get an intake misfire, I check the google and quickly determined a lean condition would do that. I cranked down on the mix adjuster and tried to start again.
And it started! And continued running! I mean... it was running like shit, but it was running! A few more cranks on the mix adjuster and we actually had it going pretty OK.
After that, good news started coming hard and fast. The cooling fans came on once we got up to temp and cycled correctly, the alternator was charging the battery, oil pressure was good, and gauges were all OK. A little more emboldened, I threw the thing in gear and tried to inch it forward. And it moved! Clutch and 1st gear are working too then!
It wasn’t all good news. The running is still a little off, with a lot of reluctance to rev and some mix issues lingering. The thermostat is likely stuck open, the temp gauge is intermittent, and none of the HVAC is working.
Still, none of that is a show stopper, so we are a go for the 8th!