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23/05/2005 12:31:43   Sverre   Hi!
I`ve been looking for a saab 96 v4 for some time now. Since I`m on a budget, I can`t afford those fully restored objects. I`ve got 2 offers now, and I`d like a second opinion on what to buy. The 1st one, is from 1973, beige, 100 000 miles. A little rust in front underneath the car. The body looks quite nice, with almost no rust. It runs nice, with everything working. It`s used daily. Seller is asking 1200£.

The second offer, is a 1969 v4. The car is rusted in the bottom of the doors, above the turn signal indicator light, and a little bit in the trunk. The mileage is incredibly low, with only 31250 miles. Everything technical is ok. Seller is asking 1440£

I`m a student, and I`m planning on using the car daily. They salt the roads in the wintertime up here, so rust will spread quickly unless I fix it before the winter.

I`m asking for qualified adwise on wich car I should go for.

Greetings from Norway
23/05/2005 13:55:52   Rens   Hello,

Well, i'm not THE expert here. But i'm also a student and i alway's like to help others.
I bought my saab with no rust... or thaht is, until i started the restoration, as soon as i was taking away paint and dirt i found lots of it, and even some big holes.

So if you see rust it probably means that there is lots more of it that you can't see. Look around fore little bubbles in the paint (good indicator of rust).

Low millage isn't always good. Some car's are even better with some millage, then you know for sure it's a good engine, I don't know for sure if this also counts for the Saab. ( I know mercedes used second hands 100.000 miles engines for the F1)

so, how long are you planning to drive them? 1 year and scrap them? or 10 years and overal repairs?


23/05/2005 14:13:42   Sverre   Thank you for quick reply.
Many things to consider I guess. I`m thinking that I`ll go for the 1969(not shure yet). I guess restoring anyway means a lot of paint jobs and some welding. Please correct me if I`m wrong, but some say that the biggest job anyway is to disassemle/assemble the car, and that the welding job is not the big issue... The interior of the 69 is perfect, and besides the mentioned rust, there are no bubbles. The 69 has documented 31250 miles, with only 2 owners.

I`m planning to keep the car for some time. Hoping to be able to restore it someday.

Right now, I`m going for the 69, but there is still some time to decide.
Any other things I should consider before deciding?

Greetings from Norway
23/05/2005 16:20:14   Senor   100,000 miles is a lot for a V4. If the engine hasn't been changed or overhauled it will probably be worn out somewhere.

Welding and bodywork if you do them yourself, do not cost much money, just a lot of time.

Look under the carpets inside the car to see what rust is under there and check the sills. This is where thay usually rust.

Check out the 'Technical' section on this site. It tells you other things to look out for.  
23/05/2005 16:52:15   Richard   The 96 is quite easy to check for rust. Check cills - at both ends where they meet the inner wing, in the middle of the jacking points, make sure the outer cill seam is reasonably straight, and at both ends inside the car where they meet the floor.
Inner arches - fronts can rust at the lower edges and front bulkhead and front valance corners. Rears rust at the seam in the boot, damper mounts, top seam with body rear 1/4 above rear wing.
Floor- at the front bulkhead, front floor and around rear trailing arm mounts and seam to rear axle box section.
Bulkhead - at bottom in front footwells and at the top, bottom of window and air box seam (see from engine bay and under dash).
panels - door bottoms and where mirrors mount, front wings above indicators and back edge where they screw on behind the door and around the badge. Rear 1/4 panel can rust at the bottom and where the rear wing mounts. Rear wing top front edge, usually meaning that the shell will need a local repair as well. Around the reversing lights. Boot, bottom edge and around the badge. Front panel, rust front stone chips. Bonnet, usually ok even in bad cases.
Check the front turrets are sound as well.

24/05/2005 15:52:46   Alistair   Doors & wings are easy to replace, it's the shell that matters. Check the places already mentioned on both cars and take a view on which is the most solid. The low mileage car sounds good, but it could mean that things are not in very good condition mechanically through lack of use - knackered rubber seals, bushes etc, so don't think it's necessarily any better than the other car in that respect. Depends how well it's been looked after & what has been spent on it. Of course it could be a peach...  
24/05/2005 22:05:23   Sverre   Thanks for all the good advices! I`m still not shure wich one to go for, and I`m getting many offers. Hard to pick one. I`m going to give it some time, and hopefully take the right decicion when the time comes. Thanks again!

Greetings from Norway
25/05/2005 12:01:27   Sverre   I`m wondering if it`s normal that the car use oil?
I`ve got one now telling me that the v4 engine usually consumes some oil. About 1 liter pr year. Is this correct?
It has run about 81250 miles, has only had 2 owners, and all the services has been done by a professional.
body seems fine, with only minor rust. Otherwise in good technical condition, and in daily use. It`s a 1972 model.

25/05/2005 12:28:01   Richard   A good engine does not use much oil. A v4 can loose some through leaks off the rocker covers, sump gasket, front fan shaft oil seal. If its not smoking in the exhaust then its not too bad. Check that the balance shaft has good bearings by pulling the pulley up and down feeling for movement. Then check the timing gears are ok by rocking the altenator pulley forwards and back feeling for large amounts of free play. The top end should be free from loud rattles from the rocker gear. Check that the water pump is ok and not leaking. Also that there are no bubbles in the water expansion bottle and that the temperature gauge does not go up and down once the car has warmed up, all signs that there is air in the water system and possibly a weaping head gasket.  

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