Mike Andrews: Cars
The most intelligent car ever built.

My Sister's Daily driver, Impressionistic Period:

(I'm driving the SPG - but I miss this thing)

Photoshop is a wonderful thing.
Slate blue 1984 Saab 900 Turbo
180,000+ miles
Acquired in October 1997!

Things I've done (or had done) to the car

I'm starting to get into this car repair thing. For the big stuff, my mechanic is John at JG Specialized Saab Service in Lunenburg, MA - that man is an amazing Saab repair artist of the highest caliber.

  • John replaced my 5-speed transmission with a rebuilt one. Pinion bearing failure (perpetual whining in 5th gear, with the whine eventually progressing into 4th and much popping out of any gear.)
  • John replaced the alternator with a rebuild. My alternator light would come on above 4.5K RPM at first, but gradually worked it's way down to being on all of the time.
  • The brakes. I needed to use the parking brake where I lived, and both front end calipers, pads and rotor were eventually frozen together with rust.
  • The hood release cable and release latch mechanism. The hood was always hard to open, then one day the cable broke. Eventually, beer in hand, in my driveway, I completely R&R'ed the latch mechanism to get all the grime out of there and replaced the hood release cable with one off of an '86 in the junkyard. It's frictionless now.
  • The driver's side window regulator. I lived for about half a year with the window not going up all the way because teeth were sheared off of the gear in the regulator assembly. I WD40'ed the hell out of a used one, installed it, and it's great.
  • Pulled the dashboard out to clean everything. Mostly easy, except for the big rubber and nylon connector on the back of the interior ventilation distribution control, where all the vacuum hoses connect to. I ended up having to grease the nylon retaining ring with Vasoline to get it to go on.
  • Replaced the front speakers with some from Radio Shack. They make a full range 5" speaker that will drop right in. Sounds a whole lot better than the original, dried out paper cone ones.
  • Replaced the front tires with BF Goodrich Comp T/A's. Great control.
  • Fixed my inoperative rear hatch latch with four strategically placed zip ties.
  • 8/12/98 My SEAT gave out! Replaced the rubber and burlap seat suspension system with a "Seat Repair Kit" from the dealer. $45.
  • 10/10/98 It's the vacuum advance. See my Suicide Solution. (Short version: ) Replaced the vacuum advance mechanism at the distributor after I determined the diaphragm was shot.
  • Spring '99 The alternator went. I noticed the alternator light would come on when the engine was spinning more than 5500 RPM or so. Eventually, it was 5000, then 4000... Pretty soon, I couldn't drive without the thing coming on. For an idiot light though, it's kind of clever. It's wired so that current flows through it when the potential at the alternator terminals drops below the battery voltage - meaning, yeah, the thing isn't charging. John replaced it with a rebuilt one. Golden.
  • Summer '99 What do you do when you're pressing the brake pedal down and it's slowly sinking to the floor? Replace the brake master cylinder. Or, rather, have John replace it.
  • Summer '99 Can't take the looseness of the front end anymore. John did a ball joint and some of the suspension bushings.
  • August '99 It goes to my sister! See my 1990 900 SPG. New toys, but the new one is really lacking in soul. I'll miss it, but it isn't going far.
  • Fall '99 Four new BF Goodrich Comp/TA's so my sister doesn't kill herself.
  • Winter '99-'00 The SPG goes in for a new head gasket (ughhh) so I get this thing back for a couple of weeks. Seems a bit sluggish. Too cold and not enough ambition to really do anything about it, I dump a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in it with a tank of 93 octane gas. After some time on the highway, she's feeling all right again :)
  • Spring '00 Yeah, the window regulator didn't hold up - the gear was stripped again. I'm betting that it was getting rusty and gummy in there from water let in by the cracked weatherstripping on the door. My sister had the motor and regulator assembly replaced.
  • June '00 New front brake pads.

Rare glimpses:

A couple months after I got it, around Christmas, 1997.

Summer 1998. You can just see the duct tape and Bondo on the hood...

Probably a better angle. Rust? No.... that's just dirt... really...

Information updated on Monday, 28 August 2000.