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Saab 900S out of storage

I’ve had a Saab 900S in storage for years in Seattle. What will I want to do to get it in working order? I assume I need to change the fluids before starting it, probably check the plugs to make sure they aren’t rusted or something, charge the battery. Is there anything I may not be thinking of?

Also, I need to either rebuild or replace the transmission. What kind of costs are reasonable? I know the short answer is a lot, but what is a good ballpark figure?


How many years has the car been in storage, and how much gas is in the fuel tank?

If it’s been stored “for years” as you say, you’ll need a new battery. If there’s still one in the car it’s dead and unlikely to take a charge.

Your biggest problem is liable to be gasoline that has turned to varnish. This can contaminate the entire fuel system, and even gas with stabilizer is only good for 12-18 months. I would drain all existing gas and refill with fresh gas before trying to start the engine. A new fuel filter is a must.

In addition to changing all fluids I would remove the spark plugs, squirt a bit of oil into each cylinder and turn the engine by hand to lubricate the cylinder walls. You might want to spin it over with the starter (before connecting the spark plug wires) long enough to get the oil circulated through the engine. Then you can hook up the wires and try to fire it up. This is when you’ll find out about if there’s gasoline or varnish in the fuel lines.

The brakes will need work, and possibly lots of it. The tires and all other rubber parts need close inspection.

Sorry, but I won’t even guess at the cost of a transmission rebuild. I suggest you contact a local independent Saab specialist and get an estimate.

This will be a very expensive labor of love on a car for which there may not be any future parts availability. The future owners (Chinese, Indian) will be reluctant to carry parts for older models. For a transmission, budget $4000+ at least if it’s available.

Many seals, gaskets, hoses, etc. will also need replacement. If you any concerns about money at all, I would not bother with this venture.

This would be marginal without the tranny problem, with it, I’m with Doc here. Is there some special reason you want this 900S? You’d be headaches ahead selling it for what you can get and buying a used one.