• Honestly IDK - I'm going on what I read on a forum (not this one, but this is similar info):

    The freewheel was a holdover from the earlier models of Saab (92, 93, 95, 96, and Sonett II) that were powered by 3-cylinder, 2-stroke engines. The original version of the 2-stroke engine was lubricated by oil mixed with the gasoline. Think what would happen without a freewheel: You'd come to the top of a hill, take your foot off the gas, and the car would roll down, with the engine providing braking just as you'd want it to do. BUT... with the throttle closed (foot off gas) and no gasoline going through the engine, there'd also be no OIL going through the engine, so it would get no lubrication and wear out very quickly. The freewheel was designed to prevent this: When you took your foot off the gas, the engine could drop back to idle speed while the car coasted freely. (The lockout knob was provided for special situations in which you HAD to have engine braking even though engine wear was increased -- steep mountain driving, for example.)

    By the time Saab switched to a more sophisticated two-stroke engine with automatic oil injection, the freewheel technically was no longer necessary... and of course, the switch to the four-stroke V4 cemented the change. However, by then Saab owners had gotten used to having a freewheel, and Saab claimed (probably correctly) that it did improve gas mileage a bit (because the engine could idle while the car coasted.) The books also said freewheel let you upshift without using the clutch, although I always got pretty disturbing crunches when I tried it!

    As to the original purpose of the Sonett, I do think Saab intended it as a serious sports car, not just a "commuter" car. It was based very closely on the 96 sedan, which had quite a sporting reputation in its day as an international-caliber rally car... so by substituting a lower, lighter, two-seater body, Saab was able to provide a more stylish car with more sporting performance, based on the same well-proven chassis. In principle the idea wasn't much different from the scads of British sports cars that were based on mundane sedan mechanicals.

  • FWIW my pal's 96 was definitely a V4

  • I used to have an old 95 (the 'estate' version of the 96) that was v4 and had a freewheel. No idea why, but I loved using it when approaching roundabouts and not having to use the clutch to change gear.

  • Some great tech talk, I know very little about earlier Saabs so happy for people to discuss here.

    This has to be my new favourite upgrade, a not so easy to find accessory interior light delay relay. The interior now feels like a futuristic cabin for at least 10 seconds when I get in the car at night. Might try and wire in an inline capacitor so the light fades out for added sci-fi

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  • The Saab has been to the coast twice in the last month plus a trip to Bath and i developed some intermittent problems engaging certain gears (normally when trying to reverse park on a busy road...) and the exhaust was suddenly catching on speed bumps. A quick look underneath and i discovered a knackered gear linkage coupling and a broken rubber silencer mount. So as i already had a morning appointment on Saturday near Reading i kept heading west afterwards and squeezed in a couple hours work in the sunshine. Whilst i was under the car i also installed new exhaust clamps as there was a minor leak and stole a better washer pump motor from my dad's spares as mine was on it's way out. Also replaced the old worn out plugs which unsurprisingly has resulted in better running. Sadly run out of time to fit the new Aero springs on the back and sort the new bonnet gaps but i have the dent man booked in for the end of next month so i'll do them then.

  • Service parts totalling a whopping £60

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  • Shut lines not great but the JDM/Boba Fett vibes are growing on me

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  • Great thread, glad I found it.

    What kind of power do these make?

  • I like the 2-tone front end. What's the vintage machine also in the garage?

  • Cheers. Top of the range model turbo's put out 175bhp at the wheels. The special edition Carlsson and Ruby have 185bhp thanks to a modified APC unit. Mine should put out 175bhp but i'm booking in a dyno session as i suspect it's lost some power over the years. If i can find the upgraded APC unit i'll up it to 185 but as gearboxes are a weak point i'm not interested in making this quicker. It's pretty uneventful at slower speeds which suits me nicely but it still has a healthy amount of mid range punch on the open road.

  • I like the 2-tone front end

    Yeah the original paint is all over the shop so the two tone actually works really well.

    What's the vintage machine also in the garage?

    My dad's Bentley special. He was in tech college in Bristol in the late 60's and found it in a lock-up in St Pauls, from memory paid about £80. Original body was toast so he's shortened the chassis, hand built the timber tub and covered it in fabric as specials were done at the time. I think build receipts spanning over 50 years still don't total £2k.

  • Finally got the dent puller in and what a difference it's made. £150 got me 2 nasty dents out of the passenger door, 1 dent out of the drivers door, rear tailgate dent sorted and the mangled rear quarter has been straightened significantly so the arch can be nibbled out not and a new section let in.

    With the new rust free bonnet and dents pulled it's not far off being ready for paint but i'll be waiting on Khan's decision on ULEZ before thinking about it more seriously.

  • My dad's Bentley special

    so cool

  • Golf club papers submitted

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  • After a long time looking i finally settled on a new headunit for the Saab. The existing Kenwood sounded great and had rear USB fed into the glovebox but it didn't have DAB. I considered Continental/VDO for looks but after speaking with one of their main distributors i was told they wouldn't compete in sound quality with the Kenwood. So i've stuck with Kenwood, it sacrifices the rear USB but has DAB plus Spotify control (although Spotify are stopping support for this) and Alexa voice activation. It also does away with the chrome and has a nice firm feel to all the controls. It comes with a fairly horrible screen mounted aerial which i may still need to use but for now i've gone with a Eightwood aerial splitter. In theory it should let me use the existing pop up aerial without the need for the Kenwood stick on job.

    I've done a quick install today and surprisingly the splitter actually works however i couldn't find 6 music plus a few others that i'll want. Tomorrow i'll get the bluetooth setup and see if i can actually get proper Spotify access and control through the headunit (picking playlists etc).

  • New unit on the right

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Project roll neck, Saab 900 turbo and the garage it doesn't fit in

Posted by Avatar for jono84 @jono84