Project Dark Saab

Well, I've been on here long enough and figured I'd get this started. Bought the 9-7x 5.3i two years ago. Traveled by bus from Ottawa to Barrie, Ontario to buy it (now there's commitment!) and drove it home. To give an idea with what I started with, here are some other threads:

9-7x: Lifted vs. non-lifted
Dealing with previous owners crap

And thanks to @therealsethallen , found posts on TV that were by the previous owner that gave me some history on this beast.

Lifting Saab 9-7x Where to start
Z71 spring in place of Airbags. Whats else is needed to mount them
MarkMC lift and 81114 moog springs too much for Saab

So it's now back to stock except for a few mods.

Current mods:
- 4" silicone intake hoses (no more resonator, love that sound!)
- older JVC double DIN head unit, no GPS
- carbon fiber interior (No more wood!)
- fogs as DRL (Saab 9-7x: Fogs as DRL easily )
- Lime-Swap tune (disabled DoD/AFM, fan codes and torque management, improved performance, disabled PWM on torque converter clutch)
- thermal fan clutch
- Z71 rear springs (by previous owner)
- Bridgestone Run Flats 255/55R18 on stock rims

These are mods that I will eventually do as funds and time permit:
- powder coat stock wheels black chrome
- red gauge pointers (can't stand those white ones)
- black out headlight interior and add CCFL angel eyes (they are just begging for this!)
- Plasti Dip or flat black/semi flat front lower aluminum valance
- black out chrome on grills
- LEDs everywhere
- louder but mellow muffler
- Android double DIN HU with backup camera and dash cam
- de-rack
- Saab puddle lights

- Add switch to manually work headlight washers

The following mods I am contemplating depending on feasibility and funds:
- full dual exhaust with headers (from a TBSS)
- remove AWD system, turn into 2WD (useless system in summer and power/MPG hog)
- aluminum driveshaft to replace rusty steel one (to go with above)
- lower another inch or two
- go back to air bags on rear suspension (to go with above)
- Saab lighted door sills
- performance cam and tune to go with it

Right now, I have two priorities: replace the cam, lifters, pushrods, oil pump and timing chain due to lifter/valvetrain noises and bodywork/paint. I just ordered all the parts for the cam job and will do a separate article and possibly a video on this one. The body needs to be fixed up as our Canadian winters have taken their toll with surface rust at multiple areas and the hood with bad holes. She will never see another snow flake ever again! Also the front bumper is sagging and has separated from the fenders, which is a common problem.

Here she is in her current rusty glory!

post-0-0-83662500-1439269340.jpg 20150716_161523 (Large).jpg

And here she is towing her parts truck last year, LOL!



I have a local shop that does good work at a reasonable price.

They did the frame on my son's sled and it's been holding up quite well.
I would have to vinyl wrap or run a bug deflector on there.

Looking like a solid plan and a really nice build so far!


I put gorilla tape on there for now and screwed down the sheetmetal to keep it from peeling off in the wind until I can find a replacement. A new one, from Sweden (yes, Sweden!) would run me $650. The one on the parts truck was just as bad. The hoods on these are terrible and is well documented on the Net. Unless you live in the desert, it will rust.
I know the TB's hoods were somewhat prone to that (though somehow mine was fine! Must have been the deflector that helped), are the Saab's that much worse?

Interesting the hood is from Sweden though, go figure. I would have thought they would have been made here since the rest of the truck is.


Well-Known Member
are the Saab's that much worse?
The Saabs are the worst for the platform. When I bought my first 9-7x, it was bubbling under the hood already. Dealer fixed it and added a nice stone chip guard to it, I'm almost lucky that I found this one. It's freaking spotless.


Find a hood here in Vegas
Road trip! :woohoo:

Seriously, most yards know how rare these are in good condition and jack up the price, which is why I was really pissed when that one in PA vanished. Shipping such a large item would be expensive and most of those in the rust belt are, well, rusty.
Now that the site is usable again, a couple of updates.

Finally finished replacing the valvetrain but unfortunately, the noise persists. I do find that the valvetrain is quieter. I think it's piston slap between 2-3000 RPM under acceleration. I'll just keep driving it until the piston decides to go on a permanent vacation. I'll do a write up on this specific job when I have the time.

And, last weekend, I installed my Android 5.1.1 HU. It's awesome! That's all I can say. Only negative about this particular unit is the lack of an actual physical volume button. And for whatever reason, I am unable to get the steering wheel buttons to work even though I have a PAC interface. From what I can tell, the interface isn't sending proper resistances. I might try swapping it out for the one in the TB, which is exactly the same (RP4-GM11).

Anyway, changed the boot image to Saab (cool!) and the background is a nice one I found via Google Images (cooler!).

DSC_0262.JPG DSC_000001.JPG DSC_0266.JPG DSC_0269.JPG DSC_0271.JPG

Staff online

Forum statistics

Latest member
Dr. Jones

Staff online

Latest posts

Top Bottom