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Messages - Steve McF

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The driver's seat of my 56 reg Aero has seen better days especially the base, which looks like it had a cigarette burn and poor repair.

So I was wondering that if I can get another seat cover from the same type of car, ideally from a passenger seat, can the leather cover be taken off the base and be swapped onto my driver's seat?


sounds like you are demonstrating long term stability and consistency :D ;)

In keeping with the Saab drivers of today (myself included? :D).

I know my belly is larger today than when the avatar was first drawn ha ha

Just found this, which is quite interesting, if perhaps nothing new for the seasoned 9-3 owner!!!

Ha ha, don't worry!! I'm happy already - I just remembered people using this logo/avatar when talking fondly about putting their foot down in their Aeros (9.3 and 9-5) ;)  ;D ;D

Just saw a post on Facebook for a guy selling his 55 reg 9-3 Aero which looks a great car apart from rust in one of the rear arches.

This has started on mine but I have tried to stop it with a temporary sanding down and a liberal application of Bilthammer Hydrate80 before Christmas.

Seems to be under control, but I want to get a bodyshop to sort it once and for all. I was quoted around 180+VAT per side,  which seemed ok to me.

Question is what triggers rust in these areas. Is it stone chips? The flange around the inner edge of the arch seems to start to go, and then it creeps round under the paint onto the outer panel.

So since getting the chains done on the Aero, I thought I'd use it for work for a few days, now that I don't feel concerned about chains breaking etc.

So this evening I popped out to my ukulele class (no, seriously!!), and afterwards took a long round trip home, taking in country roads, a bit of the M40 and so on....well sometimes you just have to!!!

Since having this 9-3ss, there is always the temptation to compare it to the 9-5 I had years ago, and which I sadly traded in around about the time this beast was about to hit the road for the first time with owner number 1 in Scotland!!

I've always felt the 9-5 was the better car, more solid, smoother comfortable ride, great cruiser and suitably fast, even though it was just a 150bhp Ecopower with velour seats. That's not to say I didn't like this 9-3 - it is just a different beast, and different experience.

So let's have look into this a bit more:

9-5 the better car? Well, maybe overall, but it's a bigger, more expensive car, probably aimed at a different sort of buyer, so they are not going to be the same.

9-5 is more solid? Well, maybe, but let's not forget, I had my 9-5 from when it was 3 years old to when it was 6 years old, and I was only the second owner. The car did from 51,000 miles to around 75,000 during the time I had it. Now this 9-3 has had a life!!! It is 13 years old, had 4 owners before me, and now had 96,000 on the clock. It's a much older car than my 9-5 was when I had it, so there will be more rattles and knocks etc, but actually, it's not doing too bad!!!!

9-5 was a smoother, more comfortable ride? Well again, maybe. But my 9-5 had 16" wheels with bigger tyres for a softer ride. It also had what must be the equivalent of Linear/Arc suspension rather than Aero, so more softly sprung. This 9-3 is the Aero, and has the stiffer sports suspension. And thanks to a previous owner, 18" wheels rather than the standard 17". So the ride might not be as soft, but crusing on the motorway or A roads, it's still very comfortable.

9-5 was suitably fast? Yes it was. I didn't rag it, but I knew that if I wanted to overtake something I could, comfortably. The power was in reserve, but I used it when I needed to. This Aero though, is a very different beast - much faster and more responsive, even without a Stage 1 remap (which I do still hope to do at some point).  Again, I don't rag it or abuse it, but I can drive it more spiritedly than I do our other cars, because it is fast, and faster and lighter than my 9-5.

And as the 9-3 is not my main daily driver, when I do choose to take if for a blast, it's because I actually enjoy driving it, and look forward to driving it!!!! I have been amassing bits and pieces to improve the car -  front splitter, folding wing mirrors, 314mm front brake upgrade (discs, back plate, refurbed bigger calipers), front wing to replace the one with the poor paint finish etc. As well as the remap, I hope to get a bodyshop to sort those rear arches out (which I have temporarily halted the rust with the application of some Hydrate80 just before Christmas). Now that the chains have been done, this project Aero has only just begun!!!

Is this a mid life crisis car? Mmmmm, I leave that for you to decide :D : :D But it is the fastest car I've ever owned....and it's a Saab, which takes me back to when I bought my 9-5, because it had a sort of exclusivity about it ;)

Now that the chains have been done, I decided to take the car to work this morning - I have not used it  since I picked it up on Friday.

As I started it, there was a thump/knock noise as it fired. Just a single event, not a repeated knocking. I suspect they have had to disturb the engine mount on the driver's side to access the chains.

Any thoughts? It didn't do it before I had the chains done.

I'll drop WMSS a note to see what they think....may be something simple.......

Sounds like Anodised may be the way to go for the rears.....

I had a set of 314mm front brake calipers refurbed and electroplated ready to go on the car at such time that I have to change the front discs.

I now have a set of rears to do the same with, but Big Redd tell me that the rears are alloy, and cannot be electroplated, meaning I can't get the same silvery chrome finish I have on the fronts.

What can I do with these rears, and will it look a bit off with shiny electroplated ones on the front, and anodised ones on the rear?

Cleaning and Detailing / Tired paintwork
« on: 10 March 2019, 08:37:00 PM »
Hi all,

so my paintwork does come up a treat when I polish the car (which has not been very often so far!!). But I have never used a clay bar - not even sure what one is - but I gather they really clean up the paint a treat, and then when you wax/polish, the car really looks good.

I suspect that the previous 4 owners have all been using the car wash more than the hand wash, and so the paint work can look a little roughed up with minute scratching.

I made a start at trying to stop some rust in the rear arches from progressing by sanding it down and using Hydrate80 on it, so at some point I want to get the car to a bodyshop to tidy it all up.

Is there anything I could get a quote on doing to improve the paint/lacquer finish? I guess a relacquer will be horrendously expensive and not worth it......

Well I collected the boy this afternoon. Initial impressions were good.

I used to get a sort of drone noise around 2000 - 2500rpm on acceleration. That appears to be gone.

The intermittent idle vibration seemed much better. However, in traffic later, it seemed to be there, although when it was there it didn't come and go irritatingly like it did before. Seemed more consistent.

WMSS have done the timing and balance chains, and replaced the external temperature sensor, which was playing up a couple of weeks back. Not cheap all in - was around 780, including oil and filter. They also changed my transmission fluid with the bottles of gearbox oil I left in the car.

So will see how we go. I hoped the idle vibration would be gone completely. As it hasn't, would this suggest a possible issue with the exhaust, engine mounts?

What is the idle vibration (especially in traffic jams etc) like on other people's B207 engined cars?

The varying idle speed is still there, but not as erratic as before. Will keep any eye on it though, as now that the chains are done, I feel better about using the car a bit more than I was before ;)

:D remap is on the to do list...Noobtune I think!! ;)

Well, got the call today. WMSS have finished the work on the boy. Won't know what else they have done, but it sounds like at least both balance and timing chains and tensioners have all been replaced, and they've done an oild and filter change (so that's my service for this year ;) ).

I'm hoping they've changed the transmission fluid, two bottles of which from the VX dealer I left in the car.

I asked them to look at the intermittent external temp sensor issue too, which may be a wiring thing. I'll pick the boy up tomorrow afternoon and hand this 1.9TiD Auto back, that I have grown to like quite a lot whilst I've had it. But, can't wait to feel how smooth and quiet my car is again.

Next stop might be remap....or should I get those rear arches sorted out first? ;)

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