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 Post subject: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:38 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
(The following is cross-posted from another forum. I'm reposting it here because the other forum sucks and honestly, you folks may be interested in spite of it's non-Volvoness)

Greetings folks.

New member, first post, saying hello and introducing my small and surely uninteresting project: a winter car. Since this is my first post I can't attach photos, so they'll have to wait.

It's an '87 naturally aspirated 8V 5 speed 3 door, completely boring and slow. It's also fairly solid looking from the quick look I got at it on the weekend, but it needs a lot of little things and I joined up here to raid your knowledge base, gather some parts, and share in my fun.

About me: I grew up in the '70s and my love of muscle cars started out as you'd expect of anyone whose father loves muscle cars, but I quickly realized that there was way more to life. I don't have a dream car or even a favourite manufacturer, and though I've owned more Volvo than I have everything else combined I don't consider myself a "Volvo Guy". Currently I have a pair of Amazons that I'm working on - a 122 4 door that's getting paint and body right now and a 123 GT that's getting a full resto-mod (way long term), and we just inherited my wife's 89 Vanagon Westy which I've been pressed into winter service since my "good" car ate its transmission and I can't afford to replace it with something better.

One of the lingering memories I have of my teen adolescence are those glamour shots the magazines used to run of the Saab 900 Turbo. Black & Euro and unlike anything else out there, backlit with purple or orange sunsets, sometimes flying over a yump... I always thought they were cool and though I can't say I "ALWAYS WANTED ONE" I can say they've caught my eye and I've been intrigued by them. Now I have one.

(Or should I say, now I've paid for one - I will probably get it next weekend)

Over the next few months I have got to get the 122 done and back on the road so I won't be spending a lot of time working on the Saab, but I will probably park the van right away and will be spending the rest of the winter getting to know my new car. I will attack certain things that drive me crazy in the meantime, will collect a few parts and replace some of them (headlight!) as I go, but in general most of the work will have to wait until the summer.

The good: It has new tires and Bilstein shocks. It starts and runs great. It's not too rusty, though the LF fender is rusty and there is some damage on the LR fender, and the hood has been replaced and I think the casual observer can tell. The interior is not awful, and most everything works. It's a 3 door 5 speed, new clutch & slave already in it. The heater doesn't suck. New cap & rotor & plugs & filters.

The bad: Broken exhaust, broken headlight, broken blinker lens, sagging headliner, torn driver seat, screwed up electrical (wiring hookup issue by PO), some coolant use, some PS fluid use, no PS when cold, general cosmetic issues, squeaks & rattles. One wheel bent but repairable. Belts, hoses, etc. I can't quite believe it's making all the power it should. Brake master cylinder, perhaps. That's all I know of right now.

The goals: First off, keeping costs to a minimum. One of the reasons this car is in my possession is to compete this fall in the Great Beater Challenge of 2017, a $700 car competition loosely patterend after the Lemons rally. I may have to trade some services for some goodies, but most of what this car needs is general TLC anyway, so staying within the believable neighborhood of $700 is possible. Next goal is to have a good solid winter car that doesn't piss me off. I do not aspire to owning another winter beater - I feel like I should be past that point in life - so I will do whatever I can to make this car less embarrassing and less tiresome to occupy. And finally, since I can't leave ANYTHING alone, I will be doing one or two things to the car to give it a bit more personality. It will probably have a bit of a rallye vibe after the GBC, but for the GBC it's encouraged to have a little fun so the first look for the car will be a little silly.

What I know I need right now: Driver side headlight and driver side blinker, passenger side headlight has a stone hole too so it would be replaced if a better one shows up. If anyone has a decent tan cloth driver seat I'd look at that too. I can patch up the exhaust for now and will build something cheap later unless someone has something solid they've cut off their car and are otherwise throwing out. Spare K-jet parts would be nice too - it's been a while since I've owned a Volvo or VW with K-jet and I've thrown most everything out. I would like to replace these plastic fuel lines with VW braided ones if they come up. VW guys call this system CIS, I'm not sure how the Saab folks trend? Possibly a power steering rack that I can re-seal and swap into my car, or maybe I'll pull the guts out of mine/another and remove the pump. Anyone local (Calgary) who can help me with this stuff on the cheap, please speak up!

More later.
Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:40 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
Glamour shots:

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Pretty, ain't she?

I'm finally getting some KMs on it, and the list of things to be checked, repaired, or replaced groooooows.

I did manage to pick up a pair of decent headlights and a marker light, which have been installed since this pic (hooray for Canadian E-codes) and I yanked off that terrible sunroof wind deflector. There's some shiny red paint under where that thing used to be, I wonder how well the rest of the body would come up? Where there aren't dents, scrapes, or rust that is...

Anyway, it's a starting point.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:41 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
I've been driving this rig for a few days, picking a thing or two off the list every day, but have been awful for taking pictures so my apologies.

The car shows signs of neglect from disuse, which makes sense as it was dug out of a farmer's field by the guy I bought it from. I have no idea how long it sat there. Normally before driving my cars I like to give them a thorough once-over, but as there was a lady driving this thing for the past 4 months or so, I figured there was nothing major wrong with it and anything I found that bothered me could probably wait.

Well, that's not working out so well.

When I test drove it, it was during a very snowy few weeks, and to be honest: "it's a $500 car" that I'd already mentally purchased so I wasn't going to be TOO picky. By the time I started driving it myself, the roads had cleared up and some and the handling issues showed up. And the brakes... wow. They're not good. Step on them and there was a good clunk from the LF, and the car would lurch forward and to the right. The car went down the road fairly straight but showed transitional cornering issues on RH sweepers. I had a quick look by myself but couldn't find anything, but when rocking it back & forth on the (front) parking brake, I could feel the clunk on the LH front and the toe of that wheel changed visibly. A buddy helped me by watching what happened underneath while I muscled the axle up on jack stands, and we found this:

https://youtu.be/URBdkQ26-sE

The holes are probably ovaled out now so removing and resetting leaves the alignment out to lunch but with tight nuts, the car goes down the road SO much better, and the brakes work straight and true.

The brakes, however, aren't good. They drag after release, they have variable pedal height, they aren't powerful. The pads are worn the F out, though the rotors are all above their discard thickness. An order was placed last night with Parts for Saabs for rebuild kits for each caliper and for the master cylinder. The hoses look good, but can be replaced later if needed. The clutch needs bleeding too - the pedal is pretty spongy and the gears can be tough to engage as though the clutch is dragging. All in good time, my man.

The dashboard is a mess. The top panel is destroyed, the frame is bent and loose, and the fascia is broken. This is all probably safety issues but I don't have a parts car so ATM I've got to make do with what I have. The fascia was removed and the stereo was deleted for now, and with help from a little jazz-hands routine on the gargler I found a reasonable picture hinting at the orientation of wires on the heater position selector switch. Swapping them around to match the picture and WALLA! I have things working again. (Someone before me had screwed them up pretty badly, where the fan came on Full Tilt Boogie in the OFF position and in the MAX position, but there was no fan at all in the other positions. That makes defrosting the windows pretty tough unless you're moving.) I also corrected the lights, putting the seat belt light and the dash light bulbs back where they belong, instead of vice-versa.

I yanked the hatch floor out to see what's involved with the in-tank fuel pump, only to find that the in-tank fuel pump is the main fuel pump in my car. I've owned and worked on lots of K-jet cars and this is the first one I've seen with this arrangement. The ITFP that came with the car was obviously for an EFI car, and isn't used in mine. A little more fancy fingers on the confuser showed me photos of many rotted pickup booty things, and also told me that these parts are NLA. I'm going to have to figure out some way of getting a strainer down to the bottom of the tank, but that's not a huge issue. On the positive side, the jack, handle, spare, and most of the OE tools are still in the car.

I had washed the engine just after I got it and of course: car no starty. Pulling the distributor cap to wipe it out, I tried giving the rotor a wiggle and got nothing. I figured this was the source of my low-power problem, that time had seized the mechanical advance in the dizzy. That's an easy fix, right? Fool me once: there's no mechanical advance in the dizzy at all - it's all done with a brain box - but there's a vacuum advance in the dizzy? Who does that??? So I guess I've got most of the power I'm ever going to get here...

Oh, and while we had the car up in the air we had a look at the rear end. No Billys back there, just some cheapo copper coloured shocks. Billy HDs up front though, as observed and as promised.

More to come.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:42 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
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Location: Calgary, Ab
Part of the reason I bought the car was because it was cheap, and part of the reason why it was cheap was because the brakes were falling apart. It stopped straight but not terribly well and the brake pedal height was highly variable, and when I did have to stop a little harder for a yellow light I found that the pedal height was terribly low afterwards. Time for a bleed.

Being an old car, one should NEVER bleed the brakes unless one has a contingency plan, because one will disturb all that crap in the master cylinder and possibly ruin it. Which is exactly what happened here. It's a good thing my box of expensively-shipped parts from Parts for Saabs showed up (under 3 days from the UK! What a wonderful world we live in.) and I had rebuild kits for everything, because when I cracked the bleed screw on the first caliper and pressed the pedal, it wouldn't come back up again.

So here begins the journey:
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I don't want to do a write-up on how to rebuild brake calipers and master cylinders, so I'll hit the high spots.

The master cylinder bore is very important. It must be perfect. If there's corrosion pitting or scoring from debris it will not seal. If the pitting or scoring is light you may be able to get it out with a brake cylinder hone, but I prefer not to since the bore must also be parallel for proper operation, and you're surely going to concentrate more time on the bad spots trying to get the damage "repaired", so the bore will have more of a classic coke bottle profile. Better just to get a new one unless you're stuck, or at least a better used one to rebuild.

The rear calipers on an '87 are nice and simple, the basic 2 piston ATE opposed design used in the back of all sorts of European cars of the era. Most of those European cars have drum parking brakes integral with the brake rotor, but of course the Saab had better ideas. :roll: Anyway, in these calipers the bore is less important because it's only a guide for the piston. There shouldn't be any chunks missing or large steps or too much corrosion, but the finish doesn't have to be perfect. What DOES matter are the seal grooves. They must be CLEAN and sharp, and they're cut in a conical shape to give the (square cut) seal the proper taper. Don't mess with them! I give them a scrape with a 90 degree pick to be sure all the edges have the goo cleaned out of them and then make sure they're wiped absolutely clean.

If you get a caliper kit with body seals it makes working on the calipers much nicer. Split them apart one caliper at a time to keep guesswork to a minimum. If you bead blast calipers or master cylinders like I did, be careful not to blast the seal surfaces, or the bores if you can get away with it. I stayed away from the surfaces where they seal together as well - a little red scotchbrite to tidy them up is all that's needed here, as well as scrubbing the bores with red scotchbrite. Only by hand, no material removal required here... just a polish. Get yourself some small bore brushes and clean out the transfer channels as well, mine were NASTY. One was almost plugged with goo so even though my pistons moved freely, I'm really glad I pulled everything apart to clean them.

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What REALLY matters on these calipers is the piston. It must be PRISTINE because this is what the seals seal on. If they don't look like this with just a little hand buffing with red scotchbrite, don't bother continuing.

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You can attack the rust on the undercut portion of the piston with the wire wheel on your bench grinder, but stay away from the sealing surface.

The pistons on these particular calipers were unlike the ones I'm used to seeing on Volvos, in that they had a step where they contact the pad. On both my calipers the low spot in the step was on the leading edge of the pad, so I assume this is to balance the combined linear force of the piston with the twisting that comes from shear between rotor and pad, to even out pad wear. This is not really a concern with such small pads, but unless I'm missing something I can't think of another reason why they did it.

(notice the bleed port on top and the step in the piston at the bottom - this is the left side caliper)
Image

The seals don't matter in which direction they get installed, they're square cut seals. There is a taper cut into the seal groove to give the seal a conical shape. Lube the seal with clean brake fluid and wipe off the mold release, lube again and install into the bore. If things don't go smoothly, you can disassemble it again by grabbing onto the piston undercut with locking pliers but DO NOT pry the pistons out using the bore as leverage, and DO NOT grab the seal surface or you've ruindeded the pistons. Remove, disassemble, clean, re-lube, and assemble. These are your brakes, they are your life, do them right.

My brakes were dragging like crazy and the rear pads were very unevenly worn as I'd mentioned, so I expected a seized rear piston. Happily this wasn't the case - the inboard pad was rusted solid into the caliper, and the pins were very difficult to remove. Before I paint these calipers I'll be sure the new pads fit properly and will adjust things with a file if necessary. I doubt it will be though, as the bead blaster removed a whack of rust. Grease your pad guides, people!

This is as far as I got for the half day this weekend I had available to me. Front calipers are next.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:43 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
What a bonehead I am: I justified to myself that I need a parts car, so I brought home an '89. Like I need more trouble, but this one's got some immediate benefits: Same trim level, same colour, same interior, it even has Ronals! The wheels will get refurb'd and put up for sale, but there's a TON of parts I can scrape out of this thing. The hood, rad support and headlights will get installed immediately, as well as the driver seat. The rest will get yanked, catalogued, and stored away.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:43 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
I was too busy to take many pictures and this wasn't an instruction on how to rebuild brakes anyway, but on a snowy Sunday behind my garage I got them installed and bled. Much better, though the pedal is still pretty low (but firm) but I expect them to come up a little as they bed. I'll give them another bleed in a couple days anyway.

Image

In case anyone wants to know: The piston sizes are close enough to 2 1/8" diameter front and rears are 1 3/16", or 54mm and 30mm (I'm not too concerned about exact units of measure here, these are just reference sizes for my own geeky force calculations). There's 3.25x more piston area at the front than at the rear, so I reckon there's no pressure limiting valve in the system and the line pressure is the same at all 4 corners. 76% front brake bias is enough.

Also I experienced what I'd heard from others, that it's incredibly easy to yank the hood. Yes and no: when by yourself, getting the hinges lined up means you need long arms and a bit of strength, and I wouldn't want to do it by myself on a car with nice paint, but on the kind of junk I own this is not a concern. The parts car provides its first donation, though the paint codes weren't the same after all.

Image

This beast got a little uglier:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:44 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
Some people should not be allowed to touch cars. I may be one of them, I must allow you to reserve rights for that judgement.

As mentioned before, the fuel system is in need of work. The car came with a new lift pump because the old one supposedly wasn't working. I learned from the last owner that the guy before him apparently "replaced the main pump" but he never checked. Pete (the guy from whom I bought the car) is a fair handy guy who I'd let work on my stuff, but the guy before him... we're not too sure about.

I had the last week off so since I didn't really need the car for a few days, I decided to have a look at what I was dealing with.

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Yeah. That explains some things. It explains why I found the collection pot, lift pump screen, and main pump pickup funnel under the cargo floor. It explains why the car won't draw more than 25l of fuel out of the tank. It possibly explains a few more things too, like why it makes no power:

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The dude installed a random fuel pump from under a random Volvo. This pump was 55mm diameter compared to the 60mm of the old pump. Therefore the collection pot wouldn't fit the new pump, so he just left it all out. Your guess is as good as mine for why he hose clamped the lift pump to the main pump and hooked up neither the fuel nor the electrical connections for the lift pump.

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To get the main pump to fit the bellows he wrapped it in what looks like those "dynamic tension" bands useless for home workouts and given away with budget yoga mats. This stuff was surprisingly able to stand up to the fuel in the tank but that didn't keep some of it from breaking off and getting sucked up by the main pump, which obviously didn't have any sort of filtration going on. The pump still worked fine but couldn't have been flowing too much... Also, reading the numbers, the pump was installed in an LH-Jetronic fuel system (2.2 or 2.4, Volvo uses both plus a few others) and was only rated for 45 psig fuel pressure. It could surely cope with the 75 psi fuel pressure required by the K-jetronic system, but couldn't have been too happy doing it.

Running through "my" parts stash (including my buddy Dale's - we share) I came up with a K-jet ready, 60mm diameter fuel pump with the right electrical terminals. It had no check valve though, and a different diameter and thread pitch for the fuel fitting than any of the other check valves we had. I did find the correct adapter fitting laying around to get it working with the Saab fuel system, but without the check valve getting the car started (especially when warm) was embarrassingly difficult. I had a quick look through a couple websites and saw something that looked like it would work, and was only $20. Ordered it up and it fits perfectly! Now I've got a fuel pump from a Volvo and a check valve from a Porsche ('78 944) in my Saab.

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On to the next problem. The alternator. Mine was making a hell of a racket and you could see a cyclic pulsing in all the low-wattage lighting (taillights especially) of the regulator doing its best to regulate. It was on the way out, and merciful to my budget I had a parts car, so out it comes. It wasn't in fantastic shape but the bearings were MUCH better than what were in my old one.

I will pause here and ask the rhetorical question: Did Saab ever figure out how to make a car easy to work on? The 900 is not a lot of fun. Changing the alternator without pulling the engine could be worse I guess (I spy a power steering pump somewhere beneath the 16v engine but have no idea how to get to it) but in my limited experience you should forget about trying to get the lower pivot bolt out and instead remove the bracket from the engine, and pull both pieces at once.

Anyhoo, out comes the old alternator and belts, which I'm changing for obvious reasons. The odometer says 163,000 km so it's possible these are original or perhaps they were changed last time we had a Saab dealer in Southern Alberta. We're talking about pretty much the same timeframe.

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So new belts and a not-as-crappy alternator - easy job, right? Wrong. First I lean up against the engine wrong and brush my elbow past the rearmost fuel injector. Snap! There goes a really brittle plastic fuel tube. Ignoring that for the moment I soldier on and as I'm tightening the alternator adjustment bracket back into the block, Snap! Fearing I'd broken the bolt off in the block (not likely because it's a 12.9 and I didn't have my full weight on the wrench) I backed it out. It looked fine, so I tried threading it back in and discovered that all the threads in the block (or whatever) tore out. I've never had threads tear out of a block (or whatever) with so little warning or progression, or with so much noise. Normally it softens up and then fails - this just went SNAP and 10 threads instantly pulled out. Oh well, I've ridden in this rodeo before. Build another bracket and pin it to that air conditioning mount lug on the water pump housing. I took no pictures of that but it works just as it should.

Now, about that fuel tubing. The old stuff was completely hard and brittle and once I trimmed it back enough to solid material, I was into the elbow and the fitting wouldn't go in straight. Not willing to trust it (or the rest of those brittle pieces of junk) to not fail and cause an engine fire, I'm on the hunt for new stuff. Locally: good luck with that. I did find an outfit that sells 5m lengths of fuel tubing for quite reasonable prices, so I ordered some 6mm OD x 3mm ID. http://www.dssales.net/CIS.html Should be here sometime this week, and it should be enough to do all 4 injectors and both warmup regulator lines with enough to spare for practice and mistakes. I will do a review once I'm done. I could have bought fancy new fuel lines (no WUR lines offered) from http://www.saabits.com/upgrades/saab-900 but again I'm on a budget and a K-jet 8v is not the final destination if I do keep the car.

Anyway, more fun and games.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:45 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
http://www.dssales.net/CIS.html

5 days later, I get a roll of the silkiest, smoothest, bestest fuel tubing I've felt in 30 years of farting around with cars. By the time I get around to them, they're usually pretty old and feeling oxidized and gross, this stuff feels fantastic. Made in Chermany (they make good stuff!)

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First step is to salvage the old fittings (though if you want these guys sell you new fittings too, you just need to know what you want). You've all seen a photo like this before, but I've cut fittings off with an xacto knife before and if you're not a monkey, you won't nick them up. Still, in the interest of doing it correctly:

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Eww! I gave the fittings a wire brush and dusted the nuts with the blasting cabinet. I didn't want to remove ALL the patina so I concentrated on the threads and just fanned the flats (after this picture).

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Apparently the hot ticket is thus, and I will say that it worked a treat. Dangle your tube in a pot of near-boiling water for a minute or two.

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Universally the instructions are to use a split piece of rubber hose to hold the tubing in your vice, but if you've got urethane soft jaws they'll do the job just as well.

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Tappa-tappa-tappa. I'm putting bodyworking tools to good use here, since I'm not using them too successfully on the Volvo...

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As far as installing the fittings, my thoughts are that it's best to soften only about an inch of the tubing with hot water. If you soften the whole tube, it's a limp noodle and when you go to tap the fitting in the tubing just buckles. If I were restoring an injected Countach and had around 30 fittings to deal with, I'd make an apparatus that clamps the tubing and holds precisely what I wanted in the water, but for this car I just propped up the tube on whatever was handy, so I got mixed results.

Stick the tubing out past the jaws far enough that you can get a good grip on it with your fingers & thumb, because if the fitting takes a wrong turn you can usually correct it. If it goes too badly wrong, STOP. Assess the situation - if you need to re-heat the tubing, do it. If you've buggered the tubing, cut it off and try again. When done right the tubing literally slides into place with one or two taps - any more than this, stop, stick the tubing and fitting into the hot water, and let it warm up again. Next hit will send it home. Don't try to install the fitting in a cold tube because you'll compromise the grip of the tubing on the barb. I did a couple of test runs on short lengths of tubing just to get my sea legs before I started on the fuel lines themselves.

Fer Chrissake, don't forget the tubing nuts! Pop the first fitting in place, install both nuts (back to back, obviously) and THEN heat the tube. That way you don't forget, and that way you don't waste precious seconds and let the tube cool.

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And voila.

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Doing all 4 injectors and the Warm-Up Regulator high pressure line, I was left with about 5 feet of tubing left over. I used about 6" of tubing for retraining and I trimmed another 6"-12" from tubing when I cut it too long for the car and had to re-do one end, or when I botched an install once & crimped the line. Two rolls would probably do three cars. You could do the WUR low pressure line if you so desire, but it runs at tank vapour pressure so it better damn well last forever and you can replace it with vacuum tubing if you needed to (I don't recommend this unless it's a roadside repair).

Now: :evil::evil::evil:

I have a leak. It's a stupid little oil leak in a stupid little place that's going to be trouble to deal with. I can't see the leak itself, just the slime trail. It's buried under the water pump housing, between the timing chain cover and the block. I'm pretty sure this was leaking before my alternator tensioner bracket fiasco but perhaps that SNAP I heard was something else, or maybe the tensioner bolt was the thing holding this heap together. Maybe it was exactly this bade before and now that I've cleaned the area I can see how bad it is. I don't know. I don't think I can pull the timing cover right off to fix it properly, and I don't know if it's worth trying to pull it far back enough to goober some RTV in there and have it not work. It's leaking enough that within seconds of starting the car there's a puddle forming on the block, below the alternator/water pump.

Also, the fuel injection still isn't right. The car runs, but there's something screwy in the Lambda system and I don't trust the deceleration valve so I've got both things disconnected until I can troubleshoot them. The Lambda system doesn't seem to disconnect on WOT so it tries to lean it back out under power, and while cruising the surging from the lambda swinging back and forth is far more noticeable than it should be (barely perceptible in a B21FT). The temperature switch at the cylinder head / intake manifold doesn't make much sense to me either - at operating temperature the switch is open, but when I connect the wires to it the system goes into closed loop. An open switch shouldn't do anything when you connect or disconnect wires from it! I may "downgrade" the kjets to a Volvo or VW system without feedback. Both of those have larger airflow metering plates so there's a possible restriction elimination too.

I'm going to let this pile of junk rest for a while in any case. At this point I'm too emotionally fragile :lol: and can't handle a car with this many flaws, and I have too much other work on my plate that I can't be distracted by this thing. I need to fall back and let this car percolate in my brain for a few days/weeks before I come up with a solid plan.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:45 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
I spent the last weekend working around the house and putting other projects away so I could tackle the Saab. Last night I got the engine disconnected and drained, just need to pop the axles out of the drive cups, unhook the clutch hydraulics, and disconnect the motor mounts, and she's out. I'm doing my best to avoid the "while you're in there" trap, so most of what I'll be doing is tightening bolts and checking for trouble that I can tackle next time the engine comes out.

Maybe you thought I was kidding about the airflow plate:

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This is out of an early Golf, and I grabbed the control pressure regulator as well. Everything needs to match to work properly, I trust that the VW wasn't as bodged together as I suspect my car to have been. I'll have to change the hose from the control pressure regulator back to the fuel distributor to eliminate the frequency valve, but that's no big deal. Otherwise it should all fall together.

Yes, I'm fully aware I'm not "fixing" anything. I'm not interested in wasting a lot of time on K-jet, and ironically I'm doing that by installing unknown junkyard parts which are sure to give me more unknowns than I had to begin with. I get it. Either this will work or I'll Megasquirt it, or it'll hurry up the plans to get the 16v and LH2.4 installed. Not a big deal.

Next question: Will I use the rebuild kit I bought for this power steering rack, or will I tear it all apart and remove all the internal seals to put it back in the car as a manual rack? Looping the lines doesn't work, you don't need to be a genius to know you've turned your steering rack into a steering damper at that point, so the only right way to do it is to remove the pumping elements. Or rebuild it properly, and keep the pump...


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:46 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
Well, the engine's out and the ghost of the last guy who worked on it is still haunting me.

A couple of bolts at the ... back? ... of the head missing. At the timing chain cover anyway. These are surely contributing to the leak.

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A missing bolt at the motor mount brace, contributing to the noise I get on deceleration I'm guessing:

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(not shown) Orange RTV gluing the gearbox drain plug into the housing. I'm not gonna pull this off unless necessary. Similar RTV gluing the diff cover to the housing. Clear silicone between the timing cover and gearbox, so either the gearbox and engine were separated at some point or the timing cover was removed for one reason or another.

Look at the stack of shims under the top of this UCA bushing bracket:

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I'm guessing the camber was adjusted here only, since getting at the rear bracket is a little difficult. Caster is surely messed up, but perhaps it really needed a lot of caster removed on this side. Either way, I'd prefer to see equal number of shims under the top and bottom pads of a given bushing bracket. This is going to have to get dealt with once things are back together. I'm installing new tie-rods & ends and ball joints so it would have needed to be done anyway, but this is another example explaining my lack of confidence in the rest of the car.

Ah, well. I'll separate the engine & gearbox, change the front & rear crank seals, repair the damaged threads, double-check the cam timing and re-seal the timing chain cover, and pop it all back together. I wish I was able to change the motor & trans mounts at the same time, as well as doing all the suspension bushings, but that can wait for another day - the engine will be out again if I keep the car for any length of time.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:46 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
My past couple weeks have had small amounts of precious garage time. I managed to get the steering rack out and the alloy crossmember out, that's it.

Before I go any further, I've GOT to clean the engine bay! Anything I touch covers me in black gross. Now that everything's out, time to get rid of the filth... I'm not looking for a restoration, just not to get covered in crap. This thing's been leaking something for a while. Oil leaks can be a good thing when your car has so many gravel traps. At least there aren't many box sections, and you can see both surfaces of most panels. I had an hour and a bit to kill, so I spent it with scraper in hand:

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Driver's side, under everything that can leak, or where anyone can sloppily fill something.

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This was the first round: shop vac came out for the second round, then a good hosing with Brakleen and tonight a little more hand work.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:47 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
One of the things that needed to happen was to take care of the steering. The system leaked oil, it was stiff, it was sluggish, and the feel was terrible. To my surprise the tie rods and ends were in decent shape, but I had new ones so out they go.

Everyone's rebuilt a steering rack in these cars, right?

I decided to remove the servo assist. It's a preference - I like manual steering in light-ish cars. The 900 isn't LIGHT light, but it's light enough that I want to see what it's like. If I don't like it, I have another rack I can rebuild and swap in. No way to properly go assist-free unless you disassemble the rack. Looping the lines just turns the steering rack into a steering dampener - you need to know the slightest bit about hydraulics to figure that out.

After making many mistakes and finally getting the rack apart, the offending lump of metal has been removed and dealt with.

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Two cuts with the death wheel, a whack from a cold chisel, and it's not a problem. The grooves in the shaft are there to keep the piston in place, they're not made by me.

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It wouldn't have contributed much friction itself, but leaving that piston in would have required pressure equalization on both sides of the system. Any fluid would get pumped out of one chamber and into the other, even air creates a dampening effect. Adding that to the drag of the seal moving back and forth in the cylinder is why you don't just drain the rack and loop the lines. I'm not worried about the seal up the middle of the rack - that's not a big source of friction without pressure activating it.

Again, many mistakes and much filth & cleaning makes for bad photo reference on disassembly, but the reassembly process makes for better photography.

Since I had no pesky piston in my way, I can install the passenger side retainer first. In goes the bushing housing, followed by the spring washer and then by the seal housing and the snap ring. The snap ring cannot be seated yet, don't even try. Grease up the bushing and seal with a nice low-temp molybdenum grease.

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Clean and grease the pinion bearing. Install so you can read the numbers later on if needed. Don't forget the snap ring.

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Grease up the rack. You can slide it in from the pinion end, avoiding ALL the hassle of trying to get the teeth past the seal in the middle.

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Center the rack. From the bushing to the end of the rack, each side was 77mm.

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Install pinion. Twisting the rack along its axis while being careful not to move it back and forth, and twisting the pinion slightly back and forth, the teeth should engage with the pinion in this position (pointed straight 90* towards the driver side)

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The helix of the teeth rotates the pinion so that the notch is pointed straight up (down in this picture). Re-check rack is still centered:

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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:48 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
Install rack bushing on pinion end, along with spring and threaded elements. Spring retainer gets threaded in until bottomed out, then backed off 40-60* (per factory manual). Lock ring gets tapped on (and off) with drift and hammer if you don't have the right size wrench. Moly moly moly.

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Install pinion side tie-rod, don't forget the rack stop ring. This is the element that limits travel. (Pinion nut is still loose here, it gets tightened once the rack stops, aka tie-rods, are installed)

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Stake it down:

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Grab your tool. Mine is about 1 5/8" diameter and 7" long. Not too much to look at, but hard as steel. Juvenile jokes aside, this butts up against the passenger side seal housing and the shoulder of the tie rod, with the rack pushed all the way over so the pinion side tie-rod is butted up against the stop. Screw the tie-rod on with water pump pliers - it doesn't take much - and everything stacks up and compresses that spring washer enough to snap the snap ring in place. Make sure it's in its groove all the way around.

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(Taking it apart is an exercise in patience. I used a thin pokey bit to push the ring out of its groove through the access hole, then a thin hookey bit to grab the ring, then a loop of stainless MIG wire to grab it. Ride the wire loop up to about the middle and pull the spring out of there.)

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Rack done, ready for install. I used generic o-rings everywhere since there won't be any pressure in the rack, just the grease and a little bit of oil. I will plug the pressure and return ends with expandable rubber plugs.

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While I was at it, I discovered that the U-joint that clamps onto the rack pinion was very stiff in one direction. With much cleaning and penetrating oil and back-and-forth action, I got it loosened up to where I was happy. If I let scope creep take over, the column would have been out of the car and I would be addressing this on the bench, but I'm satisfied with it.

The shifter felt really stiff and gross on the road, so I wanted to address that too. It came out of the car and got blown apart. All the old grease was cleaned out. I found that the shaft had a bunch of factory weld spatter on it that had torn up the bushing so I knocked it all down with a file and cleaned up the bushing some. More low-temp moly grease and the shifter is moving nice and free. No pictures.

More cleaning. Before:

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After:

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Again, it's never going to be a show car but it's nice to have it clean.

Engine work next. Gotta get it out of the garage and on the road for a bit, so need to keep the momentum up and the focus sharp.

Keep in mind, the budget for this car is practically zero. I can't toss a bunch of money at it to make it perfect, which makes a lot of my decisions easier. I know the subject matter isn't the most exciting and the end result won't be pin-up material but it doesn't matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:48 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
Got the engine & transaxle separated last night. I'm only referring to the manual when I'm not sure of something, which means that for the rest of the time I'm figuring crap out myself. I thought pulling the clutch & flywheel was necessary to get at a couple bolts behind the flywheel, thankfully not. Getting the flywheel out with the engine in place is possible, but not necessary. Most of you already know that, I'm just figuring it out for myself. My clutch is so worn out that I had a really difficult time generating the clearance needed to get the throwout bearing and clutch removed - I had to get a little savage. No money to be spent on this car yet, so the old clutch will go back in and I'll need the practice for when it comes time to change it in situ.

But before any of that... is this a joke?

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I mean, seriously? How small can this be? I understand this thing only sees torsional loads and not the bending loads of a conventional FR transmission, but here's a picture of the Saab input shaft next to one from a Volvo M46 (which is dwarfed by the shaft from the ubiquitous BW T5):

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(The M46 is the 4 speed + electronic overdrive that was installed behind everything from the 95 hp B21A to the 180 hp B230FT+. It's good for about 250 WHP before 3rd gear becomes a problem, but the ratios are very wide and utilitarian.)

It puts a new perspective on how beefy a part needs to be, because I haven't read about anyone with actual power in a Saab breaking one of these input shafts.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:49 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3366
Location: Calgary, Ab
In an effort to spend as little as possible, I'm creating an awful lot of work for myself. Example: Put the whole mess back together, get it in the car, start hooking it up. While I bleed the formerly good (adequate) clutch slave cylinder, now it has a horrendous leak (as in a steady stream). Well, since the clutch disc, throw out bearing, and pilot bearing are all crusty and/or worn the heck out, might as well do everything again right?

Good thing I have a parts car.

Sheesh.


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