What should I look for when buying an old Saab?

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I've found an old Saab (9x). What should I look for before I buy it?

-- Dennis O'Connor (saabgarage@geocities.com), July 23, 1999


LOOK FOR RUST! I always tell those smitten with 'Saab lust' to look carefully for rust. The typical areas that rust on these beauties are the rocker panels, shock towers, and floor boards. Be sure to pull up the carpet and get down to bare metal where the floorboards meet the firewall. If you see wholes here it probably means the windshield seal has been leaking. This can be repaired, but it is time consuming. One thing that turns your prospective purchase into a parts donor are rotted frame rails. These are the structural rails that hold the car together. If they rot through you run the risk of having your Saab break in two when you hit that really big bump.

The bigges problem with rust is that it spreads unless your work your hind end off treating it. Remember all the work you put into killing rust is designed to just get you back to the base line that a clean car takes for granted.

I make a habit of coating the undersides of my cars with a thick coat of McHenry's roofing tar. (Be sure you have a clean surface before you begin.) It's a really ugly job, but it works!

-- Dennis O'Connor (saabgarage@geocities.com), July 23, 1999.

Look for a new head gasket.

-- Brant Bennett (aimsbmb@aol.com), December 18, 2002.

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