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74sonett
Starting Member

13 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2021 :  20:04:48 Show Profile Reply with Quote
OK here goes my first post.

I am lucky to own a 1968 V4 96 project and recently acquired a 1974 Sonett race car that was imported from the US. I've never worked on a project car before so did very little with the 96. I was a little intimidated with the elegant curves if I'm honest. However the purchase of the Sonett and more experience with general engineering and building skills has given me some hope. So, I've built a new garage for the cars and am finally in a position to get going. I had never seen a Sonett in the flesh until I collected it..... And I still cannot believe I have one, it's stunning. So like a kid with a new toy I am going to get get started with it.

Today work was rained off, so it was my first ever attempt at working on a car in the hope of getting it back on the road.

I'll attempt to post some pics now for you all. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and educate me on the forums etiquette if needed.

Alfie

andydeans3
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1550 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2021 :  20:11:28 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Good luck with your Sonnett project.
I see the Nissan Figaro in the background.
We've got one, great little car!

ps. Now that's bizarre, after my posting your photo no longer appears!
Note also that the photo was huge, you should set it to 620 x 427 when uploading from your photo hosting site.

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro

Edited by - andydeans3 on 13 May 2021 20:23:50
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74sonett
Starting Member

13 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2021 :  21:05:16 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Thanks Andy, the Figaro is my wife's. We love it. Also lost my reply half way through posting, here goes again, hopefully with more usable pictures.

Here is the Sonett when I got it home.


[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kXjbHu][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kXjbHu]1974 Saab Sonett 3[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

And here it is in it's new home.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kXeBok][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kXeBok]1974 Sonett[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

There is some cutting away of the front left engine bay I do not understand yet. There are also other Mod's on the car body for air intakes etc. I assume they are for brake cooling etc.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kXn2dn][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kXn2dn]1974 Sonett[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

As today was rained off with work, I took the opportunity to get going on my first ever attempt to get a car back on the road. I had a grinder and some wire brushes so got going on the floor.

Front floor section prior to starting.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYk4uX][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYk4uX]Front floor[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

And after

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYp6XY][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYp6XY]Front floor section[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

Rear floor prior

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYk4wL][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYk4wL]Rear Floor Plan[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

And after

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYqDFb][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYqDFb]Rear floor[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

The floor as a whole after grinding away for a few hours.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYp6US][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYp6US]Floor Plan[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr.

I think it went well. There are areas of rust penetration that need addressing as I expected but nowhere near as bad as I thought. I will brush up on my welding skills before I tackle those.

Most importantly I had a great day and am eager to get going again. Hopefully I can get the car back on the road and enjoy it...






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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
3390 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2021 :  21:28:54 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Welcome to the forum! Nice car, did you buy it off eBay a while ago?

www.saabv4.com
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74sonett
Starting Member

13 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2021 :  22:01:29 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Hi Melle, Thanks for the welcome. It was the car on eBay which is always a punt. Luckily it came with a folder full of paper work such as US purchase invoice, shipping fees, import tax duty settlement, NOVA completion etc.
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Derek
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2042 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2021 :  11:45:11 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Looks like fun! Do you have the rear hatch glass? They are hens teeth, even in the USA. As a racer it might have been replaced by plexi.
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Dirtbiker
V4 Mad

United Kingdom
874 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2021 :  20:01:08 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Hi Alfie,
Great project! I bid on this but had a moment of sanity and bottled out as I have way to much on at the moment!
That floor looks in way better condition than I would have hoped. Where are you based? Im down in Plymouth and the car was for sale not a million miles from here.
Good luck with it!
Gareth

Edited by - Dirtbiker on 14 May 2021 20:01:56
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Borstlap
V4 Fanatic

Norway
303 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2021 :  21:42:49 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Do hou have the original front light buckets and the rest of the pop up mechanism with the car? The blank off sheets that are on now are not original. How about the missing top part of the left side of the engine compartiment, do you have that? The front upper beam is often replaced by one that is detacheable. Makes it much easier to get the engine in and out.

Alex

Edited by - Borstlap on 14 May 2021 21:44:48
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Dynorog
V4 Fanatic

United Kingdom
239 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2021 :  08:25:59 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Hi Alfie That looks like it will keep you busy. Have fun.
Cheers

Dynorog
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74sonett
Starting Member

13 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2021 :  16:33:01 Show Profile Reply with Quote
It has Plexi rear glass only Derek probably due to being raced as you say. I didn't know they were scarce, hopefully not to bad to get one made up somehow.

Thanks Gareth, I'm in Meopham, Kent. Around four miles from Brands Hatch if you know where that is. I picked the car up in Salisbury so a 5 hour round trip. Wasn't too bad. Pleased with the floor its pretty good. The boot isn't so great however. Looks like Malbrad has some panels if needed.

I have nothing to do with the front lights at all unfortunately Alex, not even the handle that sits under the dash. The chassis front has been cut away so will need addressing somehow....

Cheers Dynorog. Managed to get back in the garage today. Stripped the old paint and primer off so the arch is back to bare metal. Some pic's below.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYD7tG][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYD7tG]Front left Wheel Arch[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYHbAV][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYHbAV]Front Left Wheel Arch[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYEfJu][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2kYEfJu]Front Left Wheel Arch[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

Does anyone know how to remove the cone where the spring sits? I couldn't see a nut and assume it's a spin off. It wouldn't budge and I didn't want to damage it with loads of force if not needed.

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74sonett
Starting Member

13 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2021 :  09:09:42 Show Profile Reply with Quote
A little progress update on the Sonett. Before starting on the chassis I decided to work on the engine and running gear. The engine is looking pretty good now after a lot of work. Once on a stand I removed the oil pan and cylinder heads to see how good or bad things were.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ3cz][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ3cz]IMG_20210604_141137[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

The whole engine was full of congealed oil. The rockers had been left off and the engine was in the rain when I picked it up. So not a great start.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ3b2][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ3b2]IMG_20210605_162129[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

A few hours of degreasing and jet washing left things looking much better. Everything also appears to move fairly freely at this point.

The heads started to clean up nicely.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ33b][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ33b]IMG_20210607_130429[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

And the camshaft started looking better.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnK7gs][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnK7gs]IMG_20210607_130351[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

Sludge finally clear of the block

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnLrdk][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnLrdk]IMG_20210607_130839[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

Everything also seemed to move relatively freely at this point. There was a bent pushrod which was replaced and the tappets needed some work to get out. I had to use a bent pick to push them up from below (not as easy as it sounds). Then once they where visible from the block a careful tease with some five holes did the trick freeing up. They were all polished up with wet/dry along with their chambers. Oiled and dropped back in. Thankfully they now slide in nicely and can be removed with a magnet.

The block degreased and cleaned up.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnLr9C][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnLr9C]IMG_20210608_140903[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

The heads where now off and needed similar treatment cleaning up and working to get everything working freely again.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnKaYh][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnKaYh]IMG_20210610_062425[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ6HH][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ6HH]IMG_20210610_062507[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

Everything seemed to be going well at this point so onto painting and putting the little beast back together.

The block ready for painting.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnLr42][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnLr42]IMG_20210628_094031[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

and painted in ford blue. I really liked this colour although its a little darker than the normal signature blue.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ6CH][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQ6CH]IMG_20210628_201139[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

The paint and treatment is all POR 15. I chose to paint over spray as my spray painting is horrendous... I've never been able to get anywhere near a good finish. I was hugely impressed with the POR 15 system. Its a lot of work in prep but the finish is well above what I expected. The enamel paint finish is superb. The work involves a full degrease, POR 15 metal prep to etch the surface, Rust preventative paint and then the enamel coat.........

I managed to secure a double port inlet manifold. This replaced the standard single port that the engine had with it.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnKckv][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnKckv]IMG_20210828_103458[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

The fan bearing on the timing cover was shot and I was also missing a water pump. Melle had a NOS cover with water pump luckily. I polished these up and fixed them on. Set the lash as per manual settings and got ready to fix the rocker covers. Then a minor disaster, I dropped and crushed one of the covers. I was considering some of John Redmond's covers so this finalised the decision for me. The covers took 10 weeks to arrive, seemed an age when I was desperate to put them on. When they finally arrived the were not the POR 15 blue colour I had provided to match. They were signature blue.... I offered them up and really like the contrast in blue so an unexpected win. I also like the contrast of the red fan. I do have a black one also but think the red is staying.

Here the (nearly) final results.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnLsut][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnLsut]IMG_20210828_160730[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnNZKX][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnNZKX]IMG_20210828_160741[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQD7Q][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mnQD7Q]IMG_20210828_160734[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]Alfie Summers[/url], on Flickr

Am very happy with the results so far. Hopefully firing it up won't hold any surprises. So with the engine looking like a thing of beauty on the stand I started on the running gear. This is nearly done so I should have another post and photos pretty soon.






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Derek
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2042 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2021 :  13:11:33 Show Profile Reply with Quote
That looks very posh. Did you manage to check what cam you had in there?( pic you said was the cam was actually the balance shaft) Being a racer it might have a hot cam. Heads and valves look standard.
Congrats from Chatham.
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74sonett
Starting Member

13 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2021 :  07:28:44 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Hi Derek, I didn't get a great look at the cam unfortunately. I was at the limit of what I was comfortable taking apart and putting back together. Out of interest how would I determine if it was a hot cam over any other? I hope it runs as nice as it looks when it's fired up.

If you're in Chatham we're only a couple of miles away from each other, practically neighbours.... If you ever fancy taking a look I'd be grateful for any advice. I also have a 96 that I am starting to think may be a push to restore with the chassis corrosion.
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74sonett
Starting Member

13 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2021 :  07:38:47 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Whilst quite literally waiting for paint to dry on the running gear yesterday, I had a quick clean of the wheels. Can anyone identify the makers mark or have any more info on the wheels at all? I have no idea if they are stock, custom made, or anything at all other than they are 2 piece split alloys. The fronts are fitted with 195/55/R15's and the rears have 195/50/R15's on them. I also have some spacers shown in the pics.


They have grown on me a bit and look very much of their time.


[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo1ajb][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo1ajb]IMG_20210909_125242[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]74 Sonett[/url], on Flickr


[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo1agA][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo1agA]IMG_20210909_125255[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]74 Sonett[/url], on Flickr


[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo655Y][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo655Y]IMG_20210910_133743[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]74 Sonett[/url], on Flickr


[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo1adQ][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo1adQ]IMG_20210909_125328[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]74 Sonett[/url], on Flickr


[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo1a9G][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo1a9G]IMG_20210910_133800[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]74 Sonett[/url], on Flickr


Spacers

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo65eq][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mo65eq]IMG_20210908_114700[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/192962901@N04/]74 Sonett[/url], on Flickr
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UK_Sub
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2322 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2021 :  10:59:11 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I think these are quite rare, only seen 1 other set (and it could have been these!).

That's either an 'r' or a 'J' stamped into the wheel. My first thought was 'Ronal' but they tend to stamp the whole name into their wheels.

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UK_Sub
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2322 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2021 :  12:41:40 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Look what just popped up on my ebay...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324779731516?_trkparms=amclksrc%3DITM%26aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D3bf7e8106ae14d108e2887a774db6699%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D324779731516%26itm%3D324779731516%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057&_trksid=p2380057.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3A6a2bfb3f-12f4-11ec-94d7-d6a88dc07c71%7Cparentrq%3Ad4a46b5d17b0a77d17f3af49fffd5902%7Ciid%3A1

That should answer your question :)
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