I had a 9000 Aero 1993, the greatest car of course near the sister 1991 Alfa Romeo 164.
Some modifications during the long life: TCS controls Shut Off switch, all bushings changed on Teflon, Bilstein shocks and springs, modified cams, Mitsubishi twin scroll turbo, BMW 740 IL injectors, over sized high polish intake ports, modified adjustable turbo by pass valve (hooter valve) 3.1 bar basic boost pressure, multilayer steel head gasket, Brembo crossdrilled crosscut rotors, 4 pistons Brembo front calipers.
Result 301 HP at dyno, and about 10.000 dollars speeding tickets in 13 years of ownership, and driving record like Swiss cheese.
Insurance??? Forget about it!
Problems; water pump at 38 K, 4 clutches (my fault), brake pads every year, power seat motor cables at 125k, 4 antenna masts, 1 heater core, 3 expansion valves for ACC, and at 267.000 miles third and fourth gears refused to work. Still was working pretty well in 1, 2 and 5th.
I did order a gearbox, and when the car was traded in for a 9.5 Aero, I got it, in fact was the last one factory built, in USA. After 3 weeks a guy called me from Arizona 'complaining "about a speeding ticket in second gear at 82 MPH!!! Finally he bought the gearbox from parts department and he still driving the monster!
The secret for longevity 1 - Mobil One synthetic oil every 5K, Saab genuine parts, strict maintenance according with the schedule and tacking a good care about everything. I do miss my 9000!
I owned a 93 SAAB CD and never had a problem with it.
The key to longevity is good maintenance and quality consumables (EG radiator inhibitor, engine and transmission oil, manufacturers specs on engine parts etc etc). The writer says "Radiator blew, trans fluid in water at 103,000 - $1300. Autobox dropped its guts at 106,000 - $3000".
My ponderings on this are:
1. I wonder if it had regular servicing with quality consumables.
2. $1300 sounds a lot for a radiator replacement.
3. Did the transmission go because it wasn't serviced? Seems related to the radiator problem!
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