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IndyJoe
IndyJoe New Reader
12/21/15 6:56 a.m.

I'm looking for a project my sons & I can tinker on together. Basically a unique little cruise around town car.

I found a 1958 SAAB 93B that I can't stop thinking about. The plan would be to leave it looking ratty: keep the patina, no exterior body work. Swap out the little two stroke 3 cylinder for a modern DOHC four, manual transmission. Then get the suspension/brakes functional and patch the floors. Please give me a reality check on this thing and your opinions. (p.s. don't you just LOVE the suicide doors !)

Here's how the seller describes it:

"1958 Saab 93B sedan in rough shape, needs a lot of work. Non running. Big floor holes. Seats are there, dash intact, 3 cylinder 2 stroke engine and transaxle intact. Ran when parked......35 years ago. Rolls easily. Great for parts."

Listed for $675

JamesMcD
JamesMcD Dork
12/21/15 7:14 a.m.

Your plan may not jibe with that fact that those are fwd and the engine hangs longitudinally in front of the transmission and front axle center line.

XLR99
XLR99 HalfDork
12/21/15 7:32 a.m.

Mother of God you should get it now!!!!

This is GRM, we always enable people,and encourage massive scope creep

That said, James is correct in that an engine swap may be challenging.
There are a few GRMers with old Saab experience who will probably chime in soon. Maybe a swap to the V4 4stroke is feasible without too much sheet metal adjustment?

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
12/21/15 7:34 a.m.

Keep the two stroke and do vintage rallies. That piercing sound coming through the woods is awesome.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tQxD0E62m7s

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/21/15 7:35 a.m.

Even if the engine is a "Swap Impossible", what's wrong with getting it run with the original engine? It's so simple, it should not be hard to get running pretty well. Classic, too.

If you can't stop thinking of it, you should just get it.

Get it running, and then spend the next year figuring out what you want to swap into it, while driving it.

XLR99
XLR99 HalfDork
12/21/15 7:38 a.m.

Also, see if you can get that Vanagon at the same time! Looks tall enough to maybe be a syncro.

STM317
STM317 Reader
12/21/15 7:40 a.m.

How difficult would it be to turn into RWD? I'd buy it, and find the cheapest decent 4 cyl/5 spd mini truck that I could and make with the cutting until the engine/trans fit.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
12/21/15 8:02 a.m.

The later V4s with a four speed on the tree is about bullet proof. Find one and it should drop right in.

Dan

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
12/21/15 8:05 a.m.

Making it RWD you loose the flat bottom and the ability to skip it across small body's of water. Yes I know this is possible. No I was not driving. Yes beer was involved. No the car did not sink it made it to the other side of the small river. Yes we forgot about the fact that once across the river that we needed to get back. Yes LOTS of hilarity ensued as did the consumption of more beer.

Robbie
Robbie SuperDork
12/21/15 8:22 a.m.
dean1484 wrote: Making it RWD you loose the flat bottom and the ability to skip it across small body's of water. Yes I know this is possible. No I was not driving. Yes beer was involved. No the car did not sink it made it to the other side of the small river. Yes we forgot about the fact that once across the river that we needed to get back. Yes LOTS of hilarity ensued as did the consumption of more beer.

I know for a FACT you won't get a response like that on any other forum...

I'm in the 'get it running' camp and then figure out what to swap as you are driving it. P.S. Audi's (and newer than 1958 saabs for that matter) have longitudinally mounted engines hanging out in front of a transaxle... I guess subaru technically uses that setup too, although the packaging is much different with a boxer.

CGLockRacer
CGLockRacer SuperDork
12/21/15 8:29 a.m.
STM317 wrote: How difficult would it be to turn into RWD? I'd buy it, and find the cheapest decent 4 cyl/5 spd mini truck that I could and make with the cutting until the engine/trans fit.

It's already longitudinal mount with FWD. Should be an easy mid-engine project since the floors are rusty already

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
12/21/15 8:32 a.m.

I think you are crazy and shouldn't do it.

...just send me the info and I'll remove the temptation.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim UltimaDork
12/21/15 8:48 a.m.

I think that's one of the short nose cars, so the the V4 wouldn't fit. The original engine can actually produce decent power, so I wouldn't count it out.

My concern would be how structurally sound it is when the seller already admits that the floors are rotted and there's a fair amount of visible rust.

IndyJoe
IndyJoe New Reader
12/21/15 8:51 a.m.
JamesMcD wrote: Your plan may not jibe with that fact that those are fwd and the engine hangs longitudinally in front of the transmission and front axle center line.

Not sure how I missed that this thing is Front wheel drive.... I thought it was Rear Wheel drive and dropping a stock Miata Engine and Tranny would solve the stock 33hp two stroke problem.

I just love the Quirky Body shape...... But may be more (converting to RWD) than I want to take on right now.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim UltimaDork
12/21/15 8:54 a.m.

I think you're overestimating the "two stroke problem".

Those things are very aerodynamic and they won they Rally Monte Carlo with a tuned version of that engine.

Powar
Powar UltraDork
12/21/15 8:59 a.m.

Get the original stroker running (or swap in a later stroker) and weld up the rust. It isn't worth converting to RWD, and very few alternative engines and transmissions are going to fit.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb HalfDork
12/21/15 9:05 a.m.

I know nothing of these cars, therefore I have nothing of any substance to add, except that I dig it and you should totally buy it. At $650 how can you go wrong?

pres589
pres589 UberDork
12/21/15 9:37 a.m.

The two-stroke's sound so nice, and these are so rare, that if you want to convert to some other engine I'd find a different car.

outasite
outasite Reader
12/21/15 9:41 a.m.

In reply to dean1484:

Had hours of fun driving the fire roads of Jersey Pine Barrens in a V4 96, installed skid plate under engine, larger tires in front, water proofed ignition and routed air cleaner snorkel into car. YES, it would actually float across water hazards and if they were long, just sink until the front tires touched bottom. Never got hung up or stuck. More fun than my 4x4s.

mike
mike New Reader
12/21/15 9:49 a.m.

In reply to IndyJoe: Part of this involves 'the answer' ...

I'll just leave this here:

http://ck5.com/forums/threads/you-are-doing-what-to-a-1968-saab.312331/

outasite
outasite Reader
12/21/15 9:55 a.m.

In reply to IndyJoe:

If it was parked 35 years ago, it did not have ethanol gas in it. Clean,check and adjust all ignition components, good battery, prime carb and it will probably run. You will have to mix oil into gas when you put fuel in tank. I forget the ratio, research it. Time to teach the sons some old school mechanics. After watching me tune his V4 Sonett, oldest son looked at me and asked where I learned how to do all of that. He did not have a clue about what skills had been putting food on the table and clothes on his back for years.

IndyJoe
IndyJoe New Reader
12/21/15 10:17 a.m.
mike wrote: In reply to IndyJoe: Part of this involves 'the answer' ... I'll just leave this here: http://ck5.com/forums/threads/you-are-doing-what-to-a-1968-saab.312331/

That is AWESOME ! But way beyond the scope of things I can do.

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
12/21/15 10:19 a.m.

Buy the SAAB, get a rusty WRX and let hilarity ensue! AWD SAAB!

But really - fix the 2 stroke. They are so simple there can't be much wrong.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy UberDork
12/21/15 10:33 a.m.
pres589 wrote: The two-stroke's sound so nice, and these are so rare, that if you want to convert to some other engine I'd find a different car.

This isn't just "so rare" its extremely rare. There were probably never more than few hundred of these ever in the US, maybe a few dozen now. A friend of mine has one, and I'd bet that he would travel out to Indy for another.

To the OP:If you don't want, can you put a link to the sale?

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
12/21/15 10:40 a.m.

That car needs to be saved. I suspect you could count on your fingers how many '58 Saabs are left in the country.

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