People who know me, understand that I tend to get obsessed with new hobbies. The most recent of which, has been working on my Saab 2002 9-3 hatchback.
This is my first car with a turbo. My first car that I feel like goes vroom. Out of the factory it gets 205bhp. With a stage1 tune, new air filter, and no mods, it gets 260bhp.
Being a 14 year old car as of this posting, it has its fair share of problems. I mostly lucked out. This car was purchased in Baltimore for $1000 and with a nearly complete service history. It’s only had two owners and has less than 140,000 miles on it.
The first owner, was the DoD. There’s a sticker right on the front of the windshield. Inside the Carfax, there is evidence of the rigorous maintenance performed for the first 12 years of this cars’ life. Every 6 months it was taken to a Saab dealer for scheduled maintenance. It never failed a single emissions test or reported a leak prone to so many Saabs.
In March of 2014, it was purchased by a 55 year old north-east Baltimore woman from an auction. That was the last notice of maintenance on the Carfax. It failed the past two years of emissions tests in Baltimore. There are numerable scratches and dents across the car. The cup holder is broken.
Most people wouldn’t note this as a major downside but Saab cupholders are a thing to behold and they don’t do well with American sized drinks. I like to think of any of the damage to the car as attributed to the second owner.
Bought in Baltimore
I bought the car from this woman’s nephew who was keeping it on his business lot for her and posting it to craigslist. It had been sitting for 6 months, rusted rotors, dead battery, door was stuck.
A quick trip to AutoZone for a new battery, and to the gas station for half a tank of 93 octane instead of the low-end fuel the second owner used was just what the Doctor ordered. I was able to drive 100 miles back to my home in Pennsylvania with only minor clunks and rattles.
The list of work I have done to it so far, is quite extensive.
It was at this time, I decided to name the car Börk.
All that having been accomplished, and the car is not currently drivable. The front wheels had started wobbling around turns. I took a weekend and found a cascading series of problems the front suspension assembly. It has turned in to a two month project fueled by stubborn determination.
I can say for sure, when I get the car driving again, I still won’t be done with it. When I regain confidence in the car, I’ll start replacing bigger things. New intercooler, new turbo, engine tuning.
I still swear I am not a car guy, I am a jet guy.