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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2017 :  18:32:30 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
Wheels are easy, 10 minutes with the grinder and a few good whacks with a sledge hammer (via a block of oak) as the centres are pressed in the barrels. The 96 centres are the exact same size I hope, I measured as few from the same manufacturer as the 900 wheels (Lemmerz), but the ones I want to use are made by Fergat as those are the only ones I have four without (usable) tyres of. I also have a set of Fergat 9000 wheels, but they are 6J and I think that'll be a bit much.

I counted six different types of steel V4 wheels in my workshop, I bet there are even more! Mostly variations on a theme, but I don't want to end up with four different wheels.

quote:
Originally posted by Wonky door
Hope the van will be finished soon.
You mean yours I guess? ;)

www.saabv4.com

Edited by - melle on 04 Jul 2017 21:14:37
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Wonky door
Starting Member

United Kingdom
36 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2017 :  23:13:37 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Hi Melle yes, sorry for any confusion. We are waiting on some professional help to iron out the last few snags. Obviously we saved them the easy ones. #128512;Given up predictions,we are very close but other things getting in the way and the fact the garage fit us around their main work have slowed the later stages. We have loads of wheels some with battered rims so they may have a use.
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Borstlap
V4 Fanatic

Norway
269 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  22:15:40 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Getting back to painting exhausts, once you know that exhaust temps of a V4 can go up to 800 degrees Celcius you are not surprised that the so called high-temperature spray can paint curles off not too long after the engine is started. Paint from Bill Hirsch should be able to withstand 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about 980 degrees Celcius. Search on Ebay and it pops up. Note: you need the paint that has to be applied with a brush, not the spraycan. Can't vouch for it, haven't tried it myself yet.
On Youtube is a channel called Motor Trend Channel. For those who haven't seen it, it is an American channel where they try out all kind of things on big V8's on the dyno to see what it does with regards to performance. They do it old school, always using carbs and try out things like cam shafts, cam shaft followers, inlet manifolds, carb setups, etc. In one of the shows they tried various exhaust headers. They were also in several colours and it turned out that a black header gave much more heat than one in a light colour, either painted or bare metal. So when I get that far once in the future I will remove the rust from the exhaust pipes that are in the engine compartment and give them a layer with Hirsch aluminium.

Alex
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  22:36:22 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
The downpipes have been sandblasted and thoroughly degreased and the paint has been applied with a brush in two layers. I've tried Würth aluminium paint and both cheap and expensive exhaust wrap in the past, but none of those held up very long either. I've never heard of the Hirsch paint, might be worth a try but I don't think I can be bothered doing it again. If I were to do a high end job (I do everything on a shoestring as you can guess from this thread) I'd have the exhaust teflon or ceramic coated (and bent from straight tubing instead of welded from sections, the lambda boss tigged on etc.). The engine is brush painted with some left-over Hammerite radiator enamel, let's see how long that lasts (I have to add it was not meant to go in a car when I painted it).

www.saabv4.com

Edited by - melle on 09 Jul 2017 22:38:48
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72sonett3
V4 Fan

Spain
186 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  23:36:56 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Looks like you spend more time on this car than on your PhD... :-)

--
'72 97
'77 96L conv.
'79 96GL (LPG)
'83 900i (LPG)
'95 900SE conv.
'99 9-3T
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  23:58:23 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
Priorities. ;)

www.saabv4.com
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James Ranaldi
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1351 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2017 :  08:45:13 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I can't see Melle's post from 08 September ?

I need my Melle fix

1968 V4, LHD
1984 99 GL
1992 C900i Convertible
1993 C900 LPT Convertible
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2017 :  09:09:05 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
I sent someone a link to this thread yesterday, noticed a typo and edited the post and the thread was automatically marked as "updated". Will post a proper update asap for your convenience Jim. ;)

www.saabv4.com
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James Ranaldi
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1351 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2017 :  11:44:05 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Hi Melle,

Thank you kindly Sir.

I wouldn't like to miss anything

My knowledge base has expanded greatly from following your posts

Cheers
Jim

1968 V4, LHD
1984 99 GL
1992 C900i Convertible
1993 C900 LPT Convertible
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2017 :  21:53:46 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
With 1100 miles/ 1800km and a fresh MOT under its belt, it was a pretty good summer for the 96 after effectively having been off the road for some 1.5 years.


Engine shakedown holiday trip
After a quick carb tuning session and a 50 mile/ 80km test drive, my girlfriend and I took the 96 for a family event in Belgium and two days of camping. At first the engine was a bit sluggish, but after a few roadside jet changes I had it running nicely. Towards the end of the first test drive the engine all of a sudden lost power, this turned out to be caused by a loose coil lead, so that was easily fixed. Close to our first destination in Belgium the new v-belt started screaming, also this was quickly remedied. No further complications. The engine pulls great, the exhaust modification is a good upgrade, the electric fan is amazing and the clutch mods work a treat.

From Groningen (NL) we headed southwards, mainly on the motorway, to Longfaye, a village in the Belgian Eifel National Park near Malmedy and the Spa/ Francorchamps race track. As a kid I've spent many a holiday in the area. The family weekend was great and afterwards we took the small roads for a further trip down memory lane through the Ardennes and westward.


Belgian village with a funny palindrome name:




On a campsite close to Wavre (Belgian camping grounds seem to be run down, ugly, stinky and boring by default):




I guess this village was not named in my honour, neither was I named after it:




Melle (B) is, amongst many less exiting things, the home of the Huyghe brewery where they brew Pink Elephant/ Delirium Tremens beer (https://www.delirium.be). I'm not a massive fan of Belgian beers (I prefer beer to be bitter), but I have good memories of drinking way too much of this with a mate as 14/15 year old kids and both of us getting very, very sick as a result!




We hadn't been there for donkey's years, but not much had changed. Also, the village was deserted because apparently it was a Catholic holiday. We spent our second night camping in Oostvoorne (NL) and drove back up north via some of our favourite places in NL like the Oosterscheldekering (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oosterscheldekering), the Vechtstreek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vechtstreek) and the Afsluitdijk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afsluitdijk).


Oosterscheldekeering:




Afsluitdijk monument (please someone restore this to its former glory and remove all the ugly signs!):




I've always liked the Dutch landscape because it's such a beautiful display of the marvels of civil engineering. The longer I live outside the country, the more I realise how much I "belong" there (which doesn't mean I feel any urge to move back though).


MOT and lift mishap
The MOT went smooth as always with my friendly yet thorough tester. One headlight needed adjusting and the left rear brake appeared to do nothing. So back to the workshop I went to take the drum off and free off the stuck brake pistons. 15 minute job just before lunch. Whilst having my lunch I heard a loud bang. Since we're in an earthquake prone area (some background here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/10/shell-exxon-gas-drilling-sets-off-earthquakes-wrecks-homes) and there is a lot of heavy farm plant passing by, I wasn't very alarmed. But when I came back to the workshop I found this:



The car had rolled itself off the lift (which I was convinced was level), breaking the door latches and pushing the workshop doors open. One bumper corner hit a post and prevented further damage. Notice the overrider mark on the door. Teaches me to check if it's in gear next time, fortunately I'd already lowered the lift.




When I returned to the MOT station, all brakes were fine, so job well done there. When it came to adjusting the headlight, the tester was quite surprised the other one now needed work as well. I decided it was best to keep my mouth shut about what had happened just half an our earlier! I'll take the bumper off at some point to straighten or replace the bracket. A few years ago someone reversed into the car with a tow bar, which resulted in the bumper middle section being badly bent, so this is a good opportunity to rectify that as well.


Carb tuning, air filter upgrade and possible future exhaust mods
Now I knew the engine ran OK and the MOT was out of the way, it was time to properly tune the carb. The nearby new P+R with a perfect 4-500m oval made for a great test track:




I'm new to Weber 28/36DCD tuning and it took me some reading and experimenting to fully understand how they work. DCDs are great carbs because they're completely modular and over time I've collected a nice selection of jets, emulsion tubes and venturis. Carburettor settings are always a compromise, so you need to decide where you want the engine to deliver peak performance. I'm not very interested in a high top speed, but I want maximum bottom torque for pulling trailers and driving in the mountains. I've installed a 24 primary venturi for higher air speed (= better fuel emulsion = more torque and better fuel economy) at low rpm and a 27 secondary to draw a good air volume when accelerating. I discovered that on this type of carb the idle jets are the most important ones, they do most of the work up to about 2500 rpm. After that the main jets kick in and from roughly 4000rpm onwards (which I rarely exceed) the air correctors come into play.

I found idle was somewhat erratic and jet changes didn't always bring what I expected. The AFR gauge proved a great instrument for fault finding. A some point I concluded there was an air leak somewhere, because the readings kept alternating between very rich and very lean. I removed the carb and found the gasket was soaked and the inlet wet with petrol, not good. I had thackery washers installed, but apparently they're not strong enough for this application so I removed them, which helped a lot. I measure the carb base and it was a straight as I could hope for; quite a relief after years of messing with bent Solexes (I think that's how they left the factory!).






I've always disliked the looks and intake noise of the "sports" filter that came with the DCD, so I made finishing the modified base for the Solex air filter housing a priority. This is what I came up with; I even took the trouble to solder all the seams after welding them to make sure there are no air leaks:




The dome that sits over the carb's fuel filter plug used to be my mother in laws ice scoop, which magically broke just when I needed it! And here is the finished item installed:




Interestingly, after installing the paper air filter I could go up one size for the primary idle and main jets. Does this mean the paper filter can draw more air than the pancake "sports" air filer? Or does it perhaps draw cooler (= more compact) air because of the filter housing's intake tract?

I think the exhaust, although overall performing nicely, is still not ideal for this engine and maybe I shouldn't have opened up the exhaust manifolds so much. On the overrun there's a lot of popping in the exhaust because the mixture leans out (the popping stops when the choke is applied). The mixture is too lean to fully burn in the combustion chamber, so it is exhausted largely unburnt and then yet ignites in the hot exhaust which causes the popping sound. Some people think it sounds cool, I don't. If I remember correctly I read somewhere that DCDs (or Webers in general?) are prone to this and as I understand it, there is not a lot you can do about it in terms of jetting (apart from an over-rich primary idle jet, which causes other issues). Apparently a better exhaust design sometimes helps. Perhaps the engine would benefit from a slightly smaller diameter exhaust, also for better low rpm torque. What I think I'll do, is read a bit more on this topic, build an exhaust for the 95 (well, there are some other jobs on that car that have priority...) and if that gives a satisfactorily result build a new one for the 96. Well, in 10 years or so. Maybe. In the meantime, if anyone has pointers towards good books or other sources on exhaust design, please let me know. Also, please think along if this is something you are knowledgeable about. Bigger is certainly not always better, but I feel I don't have a full understanding yet of what makes a good exhaust for a particular application.


Burst hose and presumably leaking head gasket
Towards the end of my holidays on a longish drive the engine started running worse and worse. Tried all kinds of carb and ignition adjustments, but nothing cured the poor performance. I decided to change the distributor and when I revved it up to determine the max total advance I noticed a fountain coming from the rear of the engine. The short hose to the cylinder one and two bank had burst and I must have lost quite a bit of coolant already without noticing. With these pinhole leaks perhaps most of the leaked fluid evaporates in the hot engine bay. Temperature had not risen much on the gauge though. Replacing the hoses behind the block is always a bit awkward, but not too difficult. I also found why draining the coolant from the rad always took ages, the drain was properly buggered and full of debris as well:



Replaced with a fresh one (cleaned with a brew of washing up liquid, white vinegar and table salt):




As mentioned in an earlier post, this engine was not meant to go in a car, I was planning to use it on my test bench to build and test a K-Jetronic conversion. When I rebuilt the engine I had noticed the heads were quite badly pitted. After measuring them and finding they were dead on straight, I decided to chance it without having them skimmed. Being a cheap skate in this case proves to be false economy in hindsight. Cylinder number two had 9.25 bar compression before we went to Belgium and about 9 after the burst hose, so I suspect there's a small hg leak there. Probably nothing to do with the leaky hose but gradually getting worse anyway. The engine is also using some oil and the coolant is quite dirty. Will take the heads off at some point and have them skimmed for peace of mind; it's not too much work and not very expensive either. When cold or mildly warm the engine runs beautifully.


Wheels
Made some progress on the wider wheels by removing a centre from a V4 wheel. I started by drilling the spot welds with a 6mm pilot drill, followed by a larger diameter:



Then a few whacks with the sledge:




As discussed earlier, I'm now left with a few options. The standard 4J V4 wheel is 125mm wide and the distance from the rear rim of the barrel to the hub surface is 109mm; this means the ET is 46.5 (not 39 as I mentioned in an earlier post, this is for the 4.5J wheels). The 5.5J 900 wheels are 168mm wide.

I can widen the wheel to the inside only; this is not what I want and I doubt it fits so I haven't even bothered calculating the ET:




Or keep the ET the same as the standard 4J V4 wheels, this means the wheel is equally widened to the inside and the outside, the distance between the rear rim of the barrel and the hub surface is now 121.5mm.




If I flip the 900 barrel and thus only widen the wheel to the outside relative to the hub, I will get an ET of 25. This is about the max "dish" I can technically get away with (moving the centres even further in would mean I need even wider barrels). On flipped barrels I'll also need to weld up the valve holes and drill new ones on the other side, as valves on the inside of the wheel are not very practical. There is no "natural" location for the valves on flipped wheels and I may end up using angled motorcycle valves.




Now I know my options, I'll only need to find the time to slaughter the other six wheels and weld the parts together in the new configuration. The 96 centres are about 1-2mm smaller in diameter than the ID of the 900 barrels. This is perfect, as it allows me to build up the mating surfaces with some weld and turn them down to press fit size on the lathe. I think I'll also do the welding on the lathe, this way it will be easy to line everything up as good as possible (wheels are seldom perfectly round) and check run-out in both planes with a dti. I'll probably make a mandrel for a brake drum so I can fit the whole assembly between centres on the lathe.


Here's another teaser, I may fill the tubeless safety bead to create a smooth dish:




I think painting them white will work well, like on my 900 (on 6J 9000 wheels):




Misc and future plans
I finished an upgrade I had in the works for some time. The car had one yellowed original wind deflector and one poorly fitting replica, the 95 was missing them altogether. Now I have two sets of home made custom ones and they fit and look great if I may say so.

Freshly laser engraved and cut:




Milling the inside edges on my home made router table:




Chamfering the outside edges on the disc sander:




Installed (sorry for the crappy pic):




If you want to make a set for your car you can download the files here: http://www.saabv4.com/index.php/miscellaneous-cad/wind-deflectors-doors I will add a manual at some point.


The oil catch can for the pcv system is nearly ready to be installed, I'm only waiting for a hose barb that I ordered (the can is in fact in the car already, just not plumbed in). Here is what it looks like, the copper ferrule will be replaced with a 1/4" BSP threaded hose barb because I couldn't get the straight pipe to seal properly. When I showed this contraption to 72sonett3 he almost had a heart attack when finding out I'm using BMW parts for a Saab!




I described earlier how it's supposed to work; here you can see the inlet pipe and the stainless scourer filtering material I put in when the pipe was in place:






Apart from repairing the front bumper, having the heads skimmed, installing the oil catch can and finishing the wider wheels, I'm not planning on doing much to this car in the foreseeable future. It needs minor welding to make it perfect and I can think of many other things if I could do to improve it (paint anyone?). Of course it will have its oil changes and what have you, but I think I'd rather spend my limited workshop time on the 95 and some of my other projects for now, so don't hold your breath for updates!


End of play:




And because that's a boring picture to end with, have this one:



www.saabv4.com

Edited by - melle on 11 Sep 2017 21:54:54
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chris steeden
V4 Beginner

United Kingdom
66 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2017 :  07:50:01 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Great interesting and well descriptive writing 'melle'. Photos are brilliant too - Thanks
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UK_Sub
Moderator

United Kingdom
2103 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2017 :  08:32:45 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Great stuff Melle, some cool ideas and I look forward to seeing how the wheels come out!
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Derek
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1778 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2017 :  10:04:25 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Super update and a great read. I'm worried that you are creating a problem for yourself with the wheels. I know that many owners would like something a bit wider but the problem I think is with the front tyres touching the inner wings when on full lock. An MOT fail but sometimes negotiable. I don't know about 4" wheels but certainly the 4 1/2" ones on my '76 model did it. Nearside (UK) was worse than the offside. I wonder how the 5" Ronals get on? Going to 6" just makes things worse unless the offset is adjusted, maybe to position the inner rim to be in the same position as the 4" rim? We know that putting bigger tyres on makes for interference with the wing at the rear too, so adjustment to the offset might have to be different to the fronts. Having to have different offsets front a rear not ideal, especially as the wheels should run centrally over the bearings to avoid abnormal wear. I may be waffling a bit here, not unusual, but just a few thoughts. I'd certainly tack up an inner and outer with a tyre on to check front and rear before finalising a full set
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2017 :  15:39:09 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
Interesting, I was doing some calculations and it only just occurred to met that my numbers don't add up. I measured my 4J wheel at 125mm wide, whereas if I convert 4" to mm I get 101.6, quite a discrepancy. Same for the 5.5J wheels, I measured 168mm, conversion gives me 139.7. What am I missing? I measured on the outsides of the rims, should I measure between the rims? Also, confusing that wheel sizing (diameter and width) is imperial, whereas ET is metric.


quote:
Originally posted by Derek
I'm worried that you are creating a problem for yourself with the wheels.
I'm not. ;) This has been done before successfully on 95/96s many times. Admittedly not by me, but I'm convinced I have the skills and the tools to make it work.


quote:
Originally posted by Derek
the problem I think is with the front tyres touching the inner wings when on full lock. An MOT fail but sometimes negotiable. I don't know about 4" wheels but certainly the 4 1/2" ones on my '76 model did it.
What tyres were you using? I currently run 4.5J wheels with Hankook 165R15 (height is 82 if not indicated) tyres on the 96, never had an issue. Had them on other V4s in the past and I've had other brands in the same size as well, no problems there either.


quote:
Originally posted by Derek
Nearside (UK) was worse than the offside.
Properly aligned wheels (this includes the steering wheel!) should give the same result both sides.


quote:
Originally posted by Derek
Going to 6" just makes things worse unless the offset is adjusted
I'm using 5.5J barrels, I also have a 6J set but I don't think I can make those fit without widening the arches. It's easy enough to massage the arches a bit with a scaffolding pole or, if that isn't enough, fold the edge lips over. Even properly widening the arches is not very difficult if you can weld. Not for purists I know, but they don't want modified wheels anyway I presume.


quote:
Originally posted by Derek
maybe to position the inner rim to be in the same position as the 4" rim?
That's the plan. If you look at the wheel pics in my previous post, in the first one the centre of the widened wheel is in the same position as the 4J wheel relative to the outer rim (massive ET), in the last picture it's in the same position as the 4J wheel relative to the inner rim, that's what I'll go with. I'll have to do some measurements on the car to calculate the exact offset.


quote:
Originally posted by Derek
Having to have different offsets front a rear not ideal, especially as the wheels should run centrally over the bearings to avoid abnormal wear.
Many cars have different track widths front and rear or wheels with different offsets or widths. You can have wider wheels on one axle and the centres still running in the same position. Offset (ET = Einpresstiefe) in itself doesn't say much, it's the the position of the hub contact surface relative to the centre line of the barrel. E.g. some cars (mostly vans) have hubs that stick way past the bearings and need wheels with a very high positive offset. This image is a good illustration of the principle:


Source: http://www.trak-life.com/wheel-offsets-hellaflush-hellafunctional/


All four wheels will definitely be the same for my car, I think it looks better.


quote:
Originally posted by Derek
I'd certainly tack up an inner and outer with a tyre on to check front and rear before finalising a full set
Yes, that's what I'll do. I'll get some old 185/65 and 185/70 tyres and see what fits best front and rear. 185/70 tyres have a 1.84% smaller diameter than my current 165/82R15s, or 0.79 bigger than factory standard 155R15s. 185/65s are much, much cheaper and those are 4.75% smaller in diameter than 165R15s or 2.2% smaller than 155R15s. Not something I would worry too much about. If you want to play with tyre sizes, there are many online calculators, I used this one: http://www.tyresave.co.uk/tyre-size-calculator/


There's another option that I haven't mentioned in my previous post. There are Renault Master ('98-'05)/ Opel– Vaux Movano ('98-'00) rims with the same 5x170pcd and 130mm centre bore as the V4 wheels, so those can be used as well. The 15" 6J version (I believe they exist in 16" as well, but can't find any online at the moment) are ET66; that can be corrected with spacers or (as I prefer) moving the centres inward for wheels with more dish. There also is a 5J ET106.5 version for the Renault Maxity/ Nissan Cabstar (>'07) light trucks. If you move the centres inward or use them with 5.5J barrels, you can create wheels with a hell lot of visual barrel dish because the centres stick out rather a lot. I was first thinking of using the Master/ Movano wheels, however, I'm a snob and I don't really like their appearance (not enough holes!), so no option for me any more.


Master/ Movano wheels:




Maxity/ Cabstar wheels:




I wonder if these Master hub caps fit Saab wheels?



(I can't help but think this van is a great design, love other vans from that era as well.)

www.saabv4.com
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Wonky door
Starting Member

United Kingdom
36 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2017 :  19:50:29 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Some cracking ideas on here as usual Melle, I'll be particularly interested to see how the wheels work out as we have a few#128512;. Love the 96 and the fact it's not a show car but a useable classic.
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