Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here's what's on the horizon...

I've been catching some crap (in a good way) about my Viggen ranting. I suppose that's my own fault. :) With all of my complaining, I haven't mentioned how much I love to drive my car (when something isn't falling off). I even responded on the forum to someone inquiring about whether or not they should buy a 9-3:

If I was able to do it over again, I would not have bought this particular vehicle. I would have held out and waited until a better Saab 9-3 convertible presented itself. However, I do not regret my decision to purchase a Saab 9-3!"

I am committed to this car, and am doing everything within my financial power to fix what's broke. You've seen what's been done. Here's what is on the horizon:

$253: new 5th bow microswitch—at least my top will be able to go down, it's been broken since last July. I go to have this fixed on Friday. Yay!

$200: new oil sending unit. This was diagnosed last year, however, it's been difficult for me to go ahead with this as the part is only $20. The rest is labor. You do the math.

$175: new hand brake. I haven't had a hand (parking) brake for over a year, either. It rusted through and snapped. Good thing you have to keep the car in reverse to get your key out of the ignition.

$800: new bumper. Since this is cosmetic, it is low on the list. I'm thinking of selling one of the kids—I found a used bumper for $500 but just can't eat that expense right now. Who should go, Zachary or Jonah?

$6: new backseat light cover. The little clip that holds it in placed snapped, and superglue only lasted a month. :) Finally! Something for my car that costs less than $50. Woo hoo!

$60 EACH, unpainted: 2 jack point covers. These are little covers for the sides of the car, where the jacks go when the car is being elevated.
  1. What a nutty little thing to need.
  2. Why are they not on my car?
  3. Why don't the side skirts come with them??

So that's what is on the horizon. It will take months for the lower-end items. And the bumper? Well, that's going to take an act of god. :) Here's to the small successes:

  • a new DIC from eBay—installed myself
  • a new left corner light from eBay—installed myself
  • a new 5th bow microswitch—indy to fix on Friday

Let's start there. Next month, a new oil sending unit. Stay tuned...


  1. Being a pre-owned Vig'vert owner myself, I'm quite interested in your endeavors from across the map - diagonally (I'm in Washington state). Sounds like you're doing a good job at assessing the current status, prioritizing, and drawing up a roadmap to restoration on a tight budget.
    I, too, am in the process of undoing the Previous Owner (PO)'s sins, and it's quite a long list. Cosmetics may seem low on the list, but I managed to squeeze a few "look-good" tasks in there to keep my motivation up. There are a few good yards out there who migh be able to help you with used (non-critical) parts. Luckily, you have a black car, which makes repairs a bit easier than my Steel Gray Viggen which is a bitch to color-match (age, fading, various substrates, etc...). The front bumper on your Vig looks like it's repairable. There are some links st SC where I might just dive into and fix my cracked bumper (lip) once and for all. Look up plastic welding.

    Reading that you were not getting your money's worth with your previous mechanic just breaks my heart. I don't know how much time and resources you are allowed to pour into your car in the garage, but I have to agree with the previous poster about some DIY work saving you a good chunk of money. Also being a parent of two, I can empathize with your prioritization needs. Kid's swimming lessons or a new bumper; sometimes a no-brainer can actually become a dilemma.

    While I wish we lived closer so that we could periodically compare notes, I wish you the best of success, and look forward to reading more about your noble endeavor to the resoration of Vig.

    James (aka Route246 on SC)

    Here's my Viggen, "Clotho"

  2. Hi James,

    Thank you for the encouragement. From the sounds of it, you really do understand! I definitely need the motivation to keep from driving the car off a cliff sometimes, which is why I opted to have the top fixed before the oil sending unit. :) I've had the car for 2 years and haven't been able to put the top down for 14 months. I do feel I've found a good, solid indie guy, too. His quotes are about 1/3 of what my previous indie guy quoted for the same work. This shop also has a Saab vert expert who (I hope) properly diagnosed my top trouble. I'll be posting an update on Friday...hopefully I'll be in top-down nirvana!