Might be owning a Saab soon

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PXL_20210128_194500849.jpg


What kind oil do you use in these?
My euro experience is limited to a W203 C Class, and a E39 530i
This is uncharted waters for me
1999 9³, B204L, 5 speed (185hp)
138k on it
Filters easy, it takes 910S/400S that I stock
Owners manual references
"To afford Saab engines the best protection, with regard to lubrication, the ability to dissolve residues and the neutralization of
combustion products, we recommend the following oil grades:
• API SH/CD/CF or SJ/CD/CF.
• ACEA A2/B2 or A3/B3."

Basic recommendations for Saab engines:
• SAE 10W-30 or 10W-40.
SAE 5W-30 can also be recommended but in which case the oil
must be semi of fully-synthetic and fulfil ACEA grade requirements A3/B3.
Oils which are less viscous, such as 0W/-40/50 are becoming
more common and may be used. However, the oil must be
fully-synthetic, of a well known brand, and fulfil ACEA grade requirements A3/B3.
This viscosity makes starting in cold weather easier.

Some kinda Euro 5w40?
Mobil 1 0w40?
Some kinda HDEO diesel oil for the turbo?

If I do pick it up tomorrow, probably gonna oil change as soon as I get it home, what's Advance/AutoZone got that'll do the job?
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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47,364
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Nice! Loved my 9-3.

Id run either M1 0w-40 or a 5w-40 HDEO... or else one of the M1 HM oils that is ACEA A3.

Need more pictures!
 
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Messages
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
View attachment 43147

What kind oil do you use in these?
My euro experience is limited to a W203 C Class, and a E39 530i
This is uncharted waters for me
1999 9³, B204L, 5 speed (185hp)
138k on it
Filters easy, it takes 910S/400S that I stock
Owners manual references
"To afford Saab engines the best protection, with regard to lubrication, the ability to dissolve residues and the neutralization of
combustion products, we recommend the following oil grades:
• API SH/CD/CF or SJ/CD/CF.
• ACEA A2/B2 or A3/B3."

Basic recommendations for Saab engines:
• SAE 10W-30 or 10W-40.
SAE 5W-30 can also be recommended but in which case the oil
must be semi of fully-synthetic and fulfil ACEA grade requirements A3/B3.
Oils which are less viscous, such as 0W/-40/50 are becoming
more common and may be used. However, the oil must be
fully-synthetic, of a well known brand, and fulfil ACEA grade requirements A3/B3.
This viscosity makes starting in cold weather easier.

Some kinda Euro 5w40?
Mobil 1 0w40?
Some kinda HDEO diesel oil for the turbo?

If I do pick it up tomorrow, probably gonna oil change as soon as I get it home, what's Advance/AutoZone got that'll do the job?

This is one you need to check for sludge, this has a front mounted turbo and small sump, the hot pipe runs right under the oil pan.
I use HDEO 5w40 in these specifically the Delo 400 LE which has 1200 ppm zinc but it is getting scarce, the 400 XSP needs a zinc additive to bring its 800 ppm up to the LE level but with that it is fine. The Mobil 1 0w40 and Castrol 0w40 are the next choice.
3K OCI is a must, I know guys that do 2K on the 205R HOT motors.

These engine need the zinc to help timing chain wear which is a big PITA to replace on the 204 and 205 engines. I have no idea what your skills are but at this age and miles these are hardly the cars to get your feet wet on with Euro cars.
A Tech 2 tool is almost mandatory with these cars, the 99 does not require Candi module. The T5 red ignition cassette (the 99 204L uses this one) is a problem as is the T7 and yellow top T8 coils. Make sure it has the PCV system update, IIRC it is applicable to the 204L also.
 
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I never had an urge for a Saab. They are better looking than they use to be. I think a long time ago either a Saab or Peugeot was 2 cycle.
 
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Nov 23, 2020
Messages
116
Not an oil issue, but watch out for hidden rust on that particular model. I had the 1997 version of that car (900S) and had to junk it after less than 9 years because the strut towers rotted - corrosion just killed it - even though mechanically the thing was tip-top after 130,000 miles. And since you live in NYC, the road salt situation is the same as it is here in NJ. The Saab dealer claimed my car was a fluke - that they had never seen that happen before - but whatever - try to keep the salt off of it.
 
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Location
Caldwell Idaho
Basic recommendations for Saab engines:
• SAE 10W-30 or 10W-40.
SAE 5W-30 can also be recommended but in which case the oil
must be semi of fully-synthetic and fulfil ACEA grade requirements A3/B3.
Oils which are less viscous, such as 0W/-40/50 are becoming
more common and may be used. However, the oil must be
fully-synthetic, of a well known brand, and fulfil ACEA grade requirements A3/B3.
This viscosity makes starting in cold weather easier.
 
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Sep 17, 2012
Messages
1,385
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A Barrier Island
Ditto what Trav said about the sludge issues. My 9-3 is a later model with the GM engine. The turbo is mounted aft of the engine and doesn't create the sort of heat yours does. I have always used either M1 0W-40, Castrol Edge 0w-30 or Pennzoil Euro 0w-40. At 95K and doesn't burn a drop of oil.

Saabs are really great cars but quirky therefore often misunderstood. They are not for the faint of heart or mechanical tyros. 🚘
 
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Cincinnati
Having leased and maintained a 2002 9-3 SE 5-speed for three years, I wholeheartedly suggest you PAY ATTENTION to what Trav said above.

It was a great looking car and fun to drive and even today I sometimes miss it, but I’m glad I returned it at the end of the lease.

You might wander over to Saabnet.com and peruse the boatload of information available among Saab owners. I found it helpful during my three years of “custody” of the 9-3.

And to give them credit, it was those folks who turned me on to BITOG.
 
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Middlesex County CT
A friend of mine's son who knows cars picked one up for $700 (convertible too) and the woman wanted over 2K for it.

I think he knew "the kind of offers" she was getting for a car like this (most likely "none")

It worked for about 2 years and then had a timing chain issue

An applicable term is "more bother than its worth" No issue if you are comfortable with that.
 
Joined
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Ditto what Trav said about the sludge issues. My 9-3 is a later model with the GM engine. The turbo is mounted aft of the engine and doesn't create the sort of heat yours does. I have always used either M1 0W-40, Castrol Edge 0w-30 or Pennzoil Euro 0w-40. At 95K and doesn't burn a drop of oil.

Saabs are really great cars but quirky therefore often misunderstood. They are not for the faint of heart or mechanical tyros. 🚘
Your 06 has a 6-7qt pan also the one the OP is looking at has 4qt. The old iron block B204 and B205 used a ratcheting chain tensioner that cannot be upgraded to the latest ones used in the B207 (if yours doesn't have and you have chain noise at startup change it).
The oils used 22 years ago had 1200 ppm zinc and more, the chains really benefited from it, you do not want to do chains on the 204 or 205, it is a major undertaking.

Before buying one of these 204 or 205 cars it pays to pull the tensioner from the side of the engine (quick and easy to do) and measure how far the pin is out of the bore more than 13mm pass on the car, 10-11mm is about normal for an engine with these miles and okay.
Using a zinc additive in a lower zinc modern oils really does help keeping the chain from wearing excessively.

If your 06 tensioner looks like any of these except the last one swap it out regardless. the other thing to swap as preventive maintenance is the upper guide bolt that has a habit of shearing, it is located behind the plug in the front of the head, they make a improved bolt that is supported by the threads for the plug not the M6 threads like the original.
Let me know if you need the SAAB WIS and parts catalog for the PC.

Primary-Tensioner.jpg
 

michaelluscher

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I appreciate all the warnings from everyone, I know cars like this aren't called euro trash for no reason 🤣

All this really will be is a fun summer "turbo manual convertible" thing, I've always wanted something for my own with a manual, and I like convertibles

This has both👍

Current negotiating has us at $1350, I'm pushing for a state inspection sticker so I'm guaranteed 1 year out of it

After that we'd see, either keep it till it blows up, or try to move it on for close to what I paid for it

I'm gonna drive it later (high of 2° today), I've gone through it for all major deal breaking catches

I've ascertained most of its problems and malfunctions, the only two things left to try is the clutch and the top (best till last right?🤫)

And I've got my recently discussed Camry for reliable transportation

It started smoothly and quietly from cold after sitting for 2+ months, that's gotta count for something right?

Idle seemed a touch rough, could need a mount or maybe just some good preventive maintenance

Could've just been the sitting there too 🤔

Cleared up after a few minutes

I ran the VIN, and it seems it was well cared for during most of its life, and spent time in semi affluent areas

Started life at Parkfield Saab in Rochelle Park, NJ, then maintenance continued at BMW Mt. Kisco in Mt. Kisco, NY

Then it routinely passed (the semi tough I hear) Massachusetts state inspection from '09-'19

Last major work it had was at a Meineke in '12 at 128k

Air filter replaced
Oil and filter changed
Tires rotated
Brakes checked
Exhaust secured
Spark plug(s) replaced
Brake caliper(s) replaced
Four wheel alignment performed
Fuel filter replaced
Antifreeze/coolant flushed/changed
Rear brakes replaced
Muffler replaced
Exhaust replaced
Brake fluid flushed/changed

So I know it's had all of those things at least once, which is a start

I called the last shop that inspected it (Great Barrington, MA) and they've got nothing extreme to say about it

They were surprised it wandered down to Brooklyn

The guy selling it (curbstoner) turns out they flip stuff out of a local Shell station was a character and a half

I could see the light go out of his eyes when I reminded him that he's not dealing with run of the mill used japanese fare, how a clutch kit is $450, and a manual trans in NYC is a hard sell

Apparently I'm the only interest in the 3+ months they had it

Wonder why...🤨

He had it written up as an '04 asking $2850, I then sent him a picture of what a '04 looks like, and he was bewildered

I'm thinking this is one of those situations where you don't assume malice, because it's probably just stupidity

PXL_20210128_194520939.jpg


PXL_20210128_194540094.jpg
 
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>3.5 HTHS any grade/brand/type that you want

Easy choice @malwart would be the Rotella T6 and Delvac1 5w40's, or any other 0w40 or 5w40 available.
Castrol 0w30 is another.

Since 10w40 is an option, use any full synthetic motorcycle oil.
 
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Those old 900's were beasts. They would run for hundreds of thousands of miles with reasonable care.
 

michaelluscher

Thread starter
Joined
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This is one you need to check for sludge, this has a front mounted turbo and small sump, the hot pipe runs right under the oil pan.
I use HDEO 5w40 in these specifically the Delo 400 LE which has 1200 ppm zinc but it is getting scarce, the 400 XSP needs a zinc additive to bring its 800 ppm up to the LE level but with that it is fine. The Mobil 1 0w40 and Castrol 0w40 are the next choice.
3K OCI is a must, I know guys that do 2K on the 205R HOT motors.

These engine need the zinc to help timing chain wear which is a big PITA to replace on the 204 and 205 engines. I have no idea what your skills are but at this age and miles these are hardly the cars to get your feet wet on with Euro cars.
A Tech 2 tool is almost mandatory with these cars, the 99 does not require Candi module. The T5 red ignition cassette (the 99 204L uses this one) is a problem as is the T7 and yellow top T8 coils. Make sure it has the PCV system update, IIRC it is applicable to the 204L also.
Thank you for the expertise Trav

Is the PCV revisions available as a kit, or do I have to piecemeal it together?

First I gotta check if it's been done

I didn't take note of the DIC color, I'll check again later

Would the Rislone Zinc/ZDDP additive I use in the G body be appropriate here?

Add a bottle to any good Euro xw-40?

Put a 400S or larger Mobil/Purolator equivalent for precious additional capacity?
 
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This is 204L PCV system, the valve and nipple are newer parts than the original. Do not buy pro parts of Sweden junk OE only, you can get anything you need from esaab, Matt over there is a great guy.
Yes the Rislone zinc works fine and should be used if you cant find an oil with 1100ppm or more zinc, not needed with Mobil 1 or Castrol 0w40.
The DIC with T5 this year should be red if it is OE, if its black it is probably aftermarket junk. I run stock filters with such short OCI there is no need for larger ones. Look where the cat is under the pan, that is the reason for short OCI.

 
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