1974 Saab Sonett III

Maintenance Log

Details Mileage Date Description
62,000 12/21/2012 Just purchased, towed home
Photos 62,000 01/13/2013 Cleaned interior to remove mildew. Removed seats and carpet.
Photos 62,000 01/14/2013 Changed engine oil and filter. Drained transmission oil, found metal bits, didn't refill yet
Photos 62,000 01/19/2013 Replaced bad starter. New (refurb) starter bad also. Replacement on its way
Photos 62,000 02/02/2013 More mildew cleaning
Photos 62,000 02/04/2013 Troubleshooting stuck pedals
Photos 62,000 03/03/2013 Installing re-refurbished starter. Engine started up!
Photos 62,000 03/16/2013 Received used transmission off ebay to replace the siezed one in the car.
Photos 62,000 03/23/2013 Removed siezed clutch master clyinder. Removed working but terrible looking brake master cylinder. Started fabrication of a new pedal assembly mount.
Photos 62,000 04/13/2013 Replaced transmission.
Replaced numerous heater hoses.
Replaced AC belt and alternator belt.
Replaced clutch release bearing
Repaired some engine bay rust and repainted.
Refilled engine oil, transmission oil, and engine coolant
Photos 62,000 04/20/2013 Replaced hard brake lines with brand new stainless steel versions.
Fabricated a new pedal bracket since I had to cut the old one out due to rust. Reinstalled clutch, brake, and gas pedal in vehicle.
Installed rebuilt brake master cylinder. Was rebuilt by Whitepost Restorations in Virginia.
Photos 62,000 04/20/2013 Replaced front and rear flexible brake lines with new stainless steel ones from Mark Ashcraft.
Photos 62,000 04/20/2013 Painted the nasty looking coolant reservoir.
Cleaned up and painted some rusty areas by the brake a clutch fluid reservoirs.
Installed a crappy patch on the exhaust connecting pipe I had to cut during the engine removal. The patch should be good enough to get me to a place where I can have a proper flange installed.
Photos 62,000 04/20/2013 Has WhitePost Restorations rebuild the siezed clutch master cylinder and the terrible looking brake master cylinder. Installed the clutch master cylinder back into the car.
It was a project trying to find the right size tube to use to connect the clutch master to the fluid reservoir.
Photos 62,000 08/25/2013 Pulled the second transmission out to ship to Mark Ashcraft for rebuilding. Bad news, not rebuildable for a reasonable price.
Photos 62,000 11/02/2013 Received rebuilt transmission from Mark Ashcraft. It came with lots of paperwork.
Photos 62,000 11/09/2013 Installed rebuilt transmission, replaced vacuum lines with silicone, filled all fluids, first drive.
Photos 62,400 11/17/2013 After taking the Sonett for a 25 mile trip, it still has some issues. First and foremost is a bad hesitation at anything more than 1/3 throttle. To fix this I replaced:
New fuel line, cleaned fuel filters
Replaced spark plugs, distributor cap, and distributor rotor
Replaced vacuum lines with silicone
Cleaned Ford Autolite 1250 carb and checked for float issues.
Photos 62,500 01/01/2014 Replaced mechanical fuel pump with an electric one, Airtex E8016S.
Replaced ignition coil with brand new Bosche K12, part number 9 220 081 083.
Sonett still has hesitation issue :(
Photos 62,500 01/18/2014 Replaced spark plug wires, installed Taylor Spiro-Pro 8mm wires, part number 78337
Photos 62,500 02/08/2014 Replace broken hydraulic brake light switch with electric switch at brake pedal courtesy of Ashcraft, kit 4020.
Photos 62,500 03/03/2014 Replaced front shocks
Bead blasted and powder coated valve covers
Adjusted valve gap
Photos 62,500 03/22/2014 Replaced negative wire to battery to correct a no-start issue. Removed ignition switch.
Performed compression test
  • 1=125 PSI
  • 2=127 PSI
  • 3=118 PSI
  • 4=127 PSI
Photos 62,700 08/01/2014 Troubleshooting faulty clutch. The following maintenance seems to have addressed the problem:
Had flywheel machined.
Had clutch friction disc re-rivited so that as the friction surface wears down, the rivits do not score the flywheel.
Cleaned and reassembled clutch master cylinder.
New flywheel bolts
3 new clutch pressure plate bolts.
Photos 62,700 08/17/2014 Removed rust in engine bay and a portion of the underbody, applied rust treatment, primer, and paint.
Installed new transmission mount.Reinstalled engine and transmission into the car.
Photos 63,000 08/23/2014 Installed car stereo amplifier in the trunk. Still waiting for speakers.
Photos 63,000 08/30/2014 Lots of small miscellaneous repairs:
  • Replaced constricted heater hose with a generic pre-formed hose.
  • Installed compression fittings on fuel lines going to fuel pump for a more secure seal.
  • Tightened passenger side view mirror so stopped flopping down in the wind.
  • Replaced degraded wiper blade. They only had one. The second is on order.
  • Got A/C blower motor working again with some creative wiring. A/C does not work, but at least blower does.
  • Fixed faulty sensor that prevented cabin light from coming on when you open the drivers door.
  • Connected 12 volt standby power to stereo so that it stopped reset the clock every time you shut off the car
Photos 63,000 09/01/2014 Rewired front auxillary headlights so they are easily operated by the aux switch without requiring the headlights and brights to be on.
Photos 63,500 09/11/2014 Installed a pair of MB Quart component speakers in the Sonett, model number 215.03 CX. Installed fuse for amplifier
Photos 63,900 11/07/2014 Replaced faulty headlight microswitch
Photos   12/01/2014 Installed line level converter to allow use of original AM/FM headunit with the amplifier.
Installed bluetooth receiver direct to amplifier.
Photos 64,700 02/06/2015 Cleaned and powder coated right wheel parts; axle, hub, steering knuckle, brake dust shield.
Replaced wheel bearing and seals.
Replaced ripped outer axle boot.
Replaced lower ball joint.
Photos 65,300 03/08/2015 Replaced leaky fuel filter.
Installed in-line volume knob on the RCA cable to the amplifier.
Replaced glove box door with one not cut into.
Photos 65,500 03/21/2015 Replaced engine oil filter with WIX 51348. Secured subwoofer in the trunk.
Photos 66,000 05/16/2015 Replaced leaking oil pressure sensor switch.
Installed oil pressure sensor and oil pressure gauge (G-OIL-01) from SpeedHut. Also installed voltmeter gauge (G-VOLT-01) also from SpeedHut.
Photos   05/02/2015 Replaced oil filler cap that mysteriously dissapeared. Installed a Skandix 1024858 metal cap and it is great.
Photos 66,500 06/25/2015 Headlight wire fell into fan, nearly broke, warped fan, which ate up radiator. I replaced the damaged section of wire.
Also installed a new blade style fuse box in engine comparment.
Installed an 85 amp alternator to replace the factory 35 amp unit. The voltage regulator is now embedded in alternator.
Photos 66,500 08/11/2015 Old radiator was damaged, and also severly restricted as it turns out. Had shop install a new 3 row core
Installed a new water pump and gasket.
Had shop clean out coolant reservoir then I painted it.
Wrapped fuel line in high heat reflective tape
Photos   12/10/2015 Found source of slow battery drain. I had connected the new voltage and oil pressure guages to a constant 12 volt line rather than a switched source.
Photos   02/25/2016 Fixed leaky carb bowl gasket and adjusted float to shut off fuel earlier.
Adjusted valves and installed silicone fiber reinforced valve cover gaskets.
Had Ashcraft rebuild distributor after finding vacuum advance was broken. Rebuild included new cap, rotor, condensor, vac advance retard capped off, mechanical advanced recurved.
Replaced coolant temp sensor.
Replaced electrical wire to coolant temp sensor.
Replaced thermostat with 180 degree unit, flushed and refilled coolant.
Replaced well nuts that hold hood to car. Old ones were shot allowing body to blow around and rattle.
Photos 67,379 03/11/2016 Installed MSS exhaust
Photos 67,379 03/11/2016 Refinished and reinstalled kick plate, installing replacement rubber grommet on shift linkage.
  67,461 04/25/2016 Engine oil and oil filter changed. WIX 51348 and Pennzoil 10w40.
Photos 67,461 04/26/2016 Fixing bent door hinge.
Photos 67,461 04/27/2016 Quieting down squealing disc brakes.
Photos 68,200 07/01/2016 Sand blasted Tuneverken wheels, powder coated them, then mounted snow tires (General Tire Altimax Artic 185/65 R 15)
Photos   01/10/2017 Replaced ripped right side steering boot. Tie rod end was stuck so I ended up replacing it and the upper ball joint at the same time.
  71,300 02/16/2017 Changed engine oil and filter. Wix 51348 and Penzoil 10w40.
Photos   05/10/2017 Installed a magnetic Qi wireless charger on the dash.
Photos   04/20/2018 Recovering seats in new leather
Photos   11/07/2018 Reassembled rebuilt engine. Installed new v belt (main, alt, water pump) now that the mechanical fan and pulley have been removed. Installed a Duralas v belt 15350 (889 mm effective length, 900.69 mm outside circumference, 11.176 mm top width, 38 degree angle)
Photos   11/07/2018 Long ago moved the Optima yellow top battery to the van as a backup. Installed a new bargin bin battery from Walmart. Cranks poorly.
Photos   11/07/2018 Completely removed the factory air conditioning from the car. The interior parts were blocking access to under dash parts I needed to access.
Photos   11/09/2018 Removed mechanical fan and installed an electric one in its place. Installed Mishimoto MMFAN-12 (12 inchs).
Installed Hayden 3647 electronic thermostatic relay to turn on fan.
Photos 72,800 11/17/2018 First start of the engine after the rebuild. Ran through the 30 minute break in period.
Photos   11/18/2018 Replaced rubber seal around engine access door on hood. The old trim was falling off into the engine bay. Installed Tim-Lok side bulb, 1/8" edge, 5/8" bulb seal diameter, part number 6100B3X1/8A-25
Photos 72,762 11/30/2018 Drained break-in oil. Filled up with synthetic Royal Purple HPS 10w40. Installed new oil filter.
Photos   12/08/2018 Fixed broken heater control which required removing dash. While in there, I removed the old radio. This left a hole that I weld together a cubby to fill. Finally, I installed some new RCA cable to from the bluetooth receiver to the amp to reduce the number of adapters in use.
Photos 72,800 01/02/2019 Replaced crappy Walmart battery with a Optima RedTop 34R
Photos 72,800 02/02/2019 Installed Pertronix Ignitor III after burning up new-ish distributor cap and points
Photos 72,800 02/02/2019 Troubleshooting lack of compression on #4. Was a stuck intake valve due to extreme valve guide wear, after only a 200 miles
Photos     Determined that valve guides wore due to lack of oil, which was due to blockage in cam shaft center oil channel, which was due to bearings being too tight.
Rebuilt pretty much the entire top end with new parts and reassembled the engine.
Photos     Fixing throttle linkage that got bent while installing engine recently.
Fixed failing wire running to coolant gauge
Replaced failed oil pressure sensor
Photos   09/28/2019 Replaced clutch master and slave cylinder to fix clutch that won't fully dissengage
Photos   11/17/2019 Fixed (temporarily as it turns out) a dragging clutch which prevented easy shifting of gears.
Replaced clutch release bearing with a crappy Sachs bearing
Tried (unsuccessfully) to address ticking noise from engine where rocker arm was contacting spring edge.
Cut exhaust and reattached with a clamp, making it much easier to get the exhaust on and off.
Adjusted valve clearance
Photos 73,400 11/18/2019 Replaced ripped hose for left side defroster vent
Photos 73,400 12/10/2019 Replaced both rear window struts. Installed Suspa C16-24187 struts. They work great.
Photos 73,400 12/11/2019 Painted dull gray blower motor switch with Testors 2549C paint.
Moved aftermarket voltage and oil pressure SpeedHut gauges to old A/C vent holes.
Installed a dimmer on SpeedHut gauges to better match brightness of factory instrument cluster
Photos 73,400 12/13/2019 Alignment
Photos 73,400 12/29/2019 Replaced the tubing going to the driver's side defroster vent so I can finally defrost more than half of my windshield.
Made a new metal panel to cover over the hole where the AC controls had been.
Moved the choke to that panel. Also added a radiator fan on/off LED. Added another LED that is currently not connected to anything.
Moved SpeedHut gauges (voltage and oil pressure) to the old AC vents since AC was removed. Added a rehostate dimmer for the gauge face lighting to the metal panel.
Photos 73,400 3/8/2020 The new pressure plate I installed back on 11/17/2019 failed after only a couple hundred miles. I pulled the clutch, found the failure, then got yet another new clutch pressure plate. This time I had a shop work it over first to smooth out the 3 lever points. I then took a hiatus from the Saab while I researched to see if I was understanding this clutch issue correctly.
Photos 73,400 7/3/2020 I made some spacers to get my new clutch pressure plate to sit correctly, with the perch extending out past the body of the pressure plate when installed.
Installed new Timken release bearing
Installed new aligning spacer on the transmission bell housing to replace a missing one.
Photos 73,400 7/10/2020 Reinstalled engine with clutch pressure plate properly shimmed.
Replaced all the 5/8" coolant hoses with reinforced silicon lines.
Made new clutch master to pedal bracket after bending my last custom one
Finally reassembled the enterior of the car which I have not done in a LONG time.
Photos   7/30/2020 Replaced fuel tank filler and vent hoses. This didn't fix the problem of slow filling the gas tank, but at least the hoses are fresh and not cracking.
  73,500 8/16/2020 The v belt broke while I was driving around, which caused the alternator to stop charging and the water pump to stop pumping. I pulled over immediately and the engine didn't overheat. I replaced it with yet another Duralast 15350 belt. The last one didn't make it that long. If this next one fails early too then I need to get a better quality belt.
Photos   8/19/2020 Added union flange to MSS exhaust to make engine removal and installation much easier.
Photos   9/28/2020 Replaced bent alternator pulley. Installed new v-belt, Gates XL 7345 which is still slightly too long, should probably install 7340 or even a 7335 next time
Photos   10/31/2020 Ground down the front part of my rocker arms to match how the factory did it. This reduced the ticking from the engine but it is still present. I think I didn't take off enough. Also adjusted valve clearance and reattached radiator temp sensor that triggers electric fan.
Photos   12/12/2020 Installed new rocker arms. These are the original design and replace the current ones which were thicker in every dimension and rubbing on the valve springs.
One old rocker arm ball had worn pointy so I replaced 8 push rods. Installed high strength push rods (RP 3233) from
My v belt was slightly too long so I installed a shorter one, Gates XL 7340. Fits perfect with no mechanical fan.
Photos 74,600 1/1/2021 Made a spreadsheet of all possible sources of the ticking sound and eliminated them one by one. Unfortuantely the engine must be pulled to continue the investigation into the source of the ticking
Engine oil and filter change
Photos 74,600 11/12/2021 Installed Speedhut coolant temperature gauge to backup sometimes wonky factory gauge.
Photos 74,600 11/12/2021 Installed diaphram clutch kit from
Photos 74,600 11/12/2021 Replaced inner and outer boots on right axle cv joints
Photos 74,600 11/12/2021 Rebuilt motor to eliminate ticking on #3 cylinder:
New custom wiseco pistons, rings, and pins
Machined cylinders
Replaced cam bearings, balance shaft bearings, and main crank bearings (.010). Reused rod bearings
All new gaskets and seals, minus valve steam seals since the heads were untouched
Head gaskets special made by Cometic
Finally the ticking noise is gone. The motor is running strong.
Photos   12/2/2021 Replaced generic triangular air filter with Edelbrock Pro-Flo 1002
  74,900 1/11/2022 Replaced engine oil and filter, Royal Purple HPS 10W-40 synthetic and wix 51348
Photos 74,900 1/11/2022 Refilled clutch fluid reservoir and bled system, slave cylinder is weeping.
Applied new weather stripping to trunk hatch.
Aligned shifter so 3rd and 4th are easier to find, and so reverse lights come on in reverse.
Photos   2/20/2022 Installed new wiper blades, Trico Force 25-150 15" blades. Suprisingly hard to find blades that would fit the bayonet style used by the Sonett
    3/03/2022 Had "The Carburetor Shop" in Englewood tune the Weber carb. Went from 180 to 160 air corrector to eliminate bogging at part throttle, 140 to 145 (main jet?) which is labeled as 130 but was drilled out.
Car runs much better, strong over the entire RPM without bogging down, though it smells very rich
Photos   3/29/2022 Fixed latch mechanism that keeps the rear glass closed
Photos     Clutch hydraulics saga, tried rebuilding master but seals didn't fit. Replaced master cylinder, slave cylinder, and the line connecting them. New slave leaking, ugh
Photos 76,300 9/29/2022 Replaced 3 point seat belts with modern design that are much easier to latch and more comfortable
Photos   12/3/2022 Pulled engine and transmission to investigate a clutch that won't fully release or engage
Photos 76,500 2/5/2023 Replaced clutch pressure plate and friction disc (kept flywheel)
Replaced release bearing
Lubricated release arm
Bypassed stuck heater control valve for one installed inline
Added remote fill for clutch master cylinder
Replaced broken clutch pedal spring and installed metal pin
Stored original fiction disc, only had 2k miles, still looks good still about same thickness as new
Photos   3/4/2023 Installed Kenwood Excelon KMM-x705 head unit into custom made steel enclosure, wrapped in vinyl.
Photos   4/1/2023 Fabricated alignment tools and gave the car a quick alignment, just adjusted toe-in
Photos   4/2/2023 Fixed passenger door lock so that I can lock/unlock the door from the inside
Photos   10/10/2023 Replaced the momentary push button headlight switch in the engine bay. My hand touched the old one and it disintegrated.

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