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wae
wae PowerDork
2/20/24 11:10 a.m.

I very carefully ground off the welds and peeled back the bracket on the oil cooler:

I cleaned it up and got a good look at it

And just a moment after cleaning it up, I can see from where the oil is leaking:

My brazing skills aren't very good because all I've managed to do is make little balls of Alumaweld bounce off the oil cooler and splat on the floor.  Oh, that's not actually true, I did also burn myself with one of them, just to mix it up a little.  While I'm using my mapp-like torch, I'm not getting the metal hot enough to take the brazing.  I guess I need to physically remove the thing again and put it somewhere that I don't have to worry about starting a major fire so that I can leave the heat on it for an extended period.  My concern with that is that the threads were a little gummed up on one of the connectors and I didn't want to have to fight that again.  But it's either going to have to come off to be brazed or it's going to have to come off to be replaced, so I don't think there's any point in resisting that any longer.

I considered trying a JB Weld epoxy repair but if that repair fails, the car will simply dump all its oil in about 30 seconds while driving and in the time it takes to notice it, get it to the side of the road, and shut it down, the bearings will probably be cooked.

wae
wae PowerDork
2/20/24 1:16 p.m.

Well, I pulled the cooler back off the car, brazed it, and attempt #1 failed beautifully.

wae
wae PowerDork
2/20/24 2:56 p.m.

Attempt #2 was leak free.  For about 5 seconds.  And then it managed to push through and start spraying oil again.  I might be able to get the brazing to work on a third attempt, but now I'm a bit worried that all it will take is a little bit of road vibration to start leaking again, so I think I'm just going to E36 M3can this cooler and come up with something else.

wae
wae PowerDork
2/21/24 1:47 p.m.

I've just about had it with this stupid oil cooler.  I've got a bunch of other stuff I need to be working on and because the thing just sprays oil everywhere, it's clogging up the shop and hogging the lift.  I did some research, and it looks like Modern Performance Saab sells a kit to replace the rubber hose sections of the oil cooler lines.  Looking at the part number that's in the picture of the actual hose they use, it's -6 AN.  So here's my plan:

  1. Remove the oil cooler and the oil cooler lines from the car
  2. Cut through the crimps and eliminate the rubber lines, leaving me with just the steel portions that connect to the engine block
  3. Buy my own -6 AN hose and clamps and clamp on to the engine block steel portions
  4. Route the new oil hoses to the front of the car
  5. Install a universal oil cooler with ports that are -6 AN or that are adapted to that size
  6. Install -6 AN push-lock fittings at the end of the oil lines
  7. Connect those fittings to the new oil cooler
  8. Be berkeleying finished with this job

It looks like I can get 10ft of hose for $24, four push lock clamps for $16, and 2 -6 AN fittings for $8.  Then I can find a small oil cooler on Amazon for about $40 that has -10 AN fittings but comes with -10 to -6 adapters.  That will get me an oil cooler plus allow me to replace the lines before they start leaking.  And I can have it all on my doorstep by Friday.

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
2/21/24 5:11 p.m.

For an oil cooler from Amazon, do not buy the "Evil Energy" brand.  I had one and it leaked profusely from the housing after a short time.  

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/24 5:22 p.m.

why not tap inlet and outlet on engine and adapt a generic front-mount cooler?

wae
wae PowerDork
2/21/24 7:42 p.m.
Sonic said:

For an oil cooler from Amazon, do not buy the "Evil Energy" brand.  I had one and it leaked profusely from the housing after a short time.  

It did seem like there were a lot of options of varying quality out there.  I went with the one that didn't have any reviews that mentioned leaking, so I guess we'll see if I can trust them.  At least if it does leak, I'll be able to swap out to something else a lot easier once I've got a standard AN fitting instead of Swedish Normal.

 

wae
wae PowerDork
2/21/24 7:45 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

why not tap inlet and outlet on engine and adapt a generic front-mount cooler?

That's mostly what I'm doing.  The cooler is just a universal one and the ports are already there on the block and the metal fittings that Saab used, while weird, don't seem to be a problem on the block side.  The problem with taking the lines off the cooler are because the cooler fitting is aluminum while the tube fitting is steel.  So I'll just use the factory fittings on the block and build my own hose off of that that will terminate into -6 AN fittings.

wae
wae PowerDork
2/24/24 5:56 p.m.

Jeeze, nothing can be easy...

That's everything I need to put a new oil cooler on the car, I hope.

But first, I couldn't get the stupid line loose from the oil filter housing, so I had to remove that from the car in order to get the old lines out.

Once they were out, I fought with it for a little while to get a couple hoses made.

With a slight modification to the bracket, I should now have my mounting solution so that it can go in the stock location.

wae
wae PowerDork
2/25/24 8:16 p.m.

I'm really starting to hate oil coolers.

I had everything ready to test, but I saw in a couple places that it's a good idea to fill the oil cooler before closing it up and starting the engine.  I disconnected the oil line, then popped the -10 AN to -6 AN adapter off, and made a giant mess of oil all over the place trying to put some oil into the thing.  When I went to put the adapter back on I had it snugged up and right when I was at the point where I thought "that should be just enough!", the berkeleying thing stripped out its threads.

So, I've ordered up another stupid oil cooler that should be here tomorrow.

In the meantime, I got the charcoal canister mounted and hooked up, put the ignition module and APC back in place, and got all the bulbs replaced.  The headlights are attached, the grille is on, and the marker light is in place.  All that should be left is to attach the fender trim, put another stupid oil cooler on the car, fill the crankcase with oil, and check for leaks.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/25/24 8:48 p.m.

I will probably be down in Blue Ash for work the first part of this week, I can bring the tail lights down with me if you want.

wae
wae PowerDork
2/26/24 8:24 a.m.

In reply to Aaron_King :

In all of my focus on the front-end of the car, I kind of forgot all about the tail light!  Thanks for reminding me!

I'm going to be going in to the office on Wednesday so I'll be up in Tri-County anyway, but if Wednesday is not your day to be down here, I can absolutely pop up to Blue Ash.  Just let me know when and where it's convenient for you!

 

Recon1342
Recon1342 SuperDork
2/26/24 12:58 p.m.

In reply to wae :

Looks pretty dang good for a car that made out with the guardrail.

Kudos!

wae
wae PowerDork
2/26/24 8:15 p.m.

Sigh

wae
wae PowerDork
2/27/24 12:16 p.m.

Yesterday afternoon, I filled the oil cooler and hooked it up.  I sprayed it down with brake cleaner to get the spilled oil off of it and then mounted it up.  That picture above shows the little drip of oil that kept coming back.  I started the return process with Amazon and the figured that if the drip wasn't too bad, I could drive it until the replacement came.  I put a bit of cardboard under it and left.  About 14 hours later, that cardboard is completely clean.  Weird.  Just took it for a drive and parked it back over a new bit of cardboard.  Still clean.  I dunno.  I did manage to forget to tighen a hose clamp on a radiator hose, though, but that seems like it's all good now after a little righty-tighty with the screwdriver.

Before:

After:

Powar
Powar UltraDork
2/27/24 12:54 p.m.

You've now rescued this car twice. I'm really glad I sold it to you. 

Do you need a tail light lense?

wae
wae PowerDork
2/27/24 1:02 p.m.
Powar said:

You've now rescued this car twice. I'm really glad I sold it to you. 

Do you need a tail light lense?

It's just too neat of a car to let die!

I am actually going to be meeting up with Aaron_King later this week; he said he had some convertible tail lights that he could hook me up with.

Powar
Powar UltraDork
2/27/24 5:05 p.m.
wae said:
Powar said:

You've now rescued this car twice. I'm really glad I sold it to you. 

Do you need a tail light lense?

It's just too neat of a car to let die!

I am actually going to be meeting up with Aaron_King later this week; he said he had some convertible tail lights that he could hook me up with.

Excellent. If that doesn't work out for whatever reason, let me know and I'll dig one up and drop it in the mail.

HotNotch
HotNotch Reader
2/27/24 10:06 p.m.

In reply to wae :

I've been quietly following and silently cheering from the sidelines. 

Just wanted to say it's impressive how fast you've turned this one around, and it's an awesome Dad move.

I don't even like Saabs and I'm rooting for this one.

wae
wae PowerDork
2/27/24 11:02 p.m.

In reply to HotNotch :

Funny part about that is it's been driving me crazy that it has taken this long!  Thanks for the kind words!

wae
wae UltimaDork
5/16/24 3:40 p.m.

Sonofa....

Crank, no start.  Dead in the school parking lot.

Recon1342
Recon1342 UltraDork
5/16/24 4:38 p.m.

In reply to wae :

dammit...

wae
wae UltimaDork
5/16/24 7:24 p.m.

Ah-ha!  I think it's a corroded battery cable!  We got the car home, we're going to have some dinner, and then get it fixed!

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
5/16/24 9:40 p.m.

That should be an easy fix yes

wae
wae UltimaDork
5/16/24 11:00 p.m.

No pictures, unfortunately, because we were working by flashlight but I am fairly certain that we've got it fixed. 

I've always noticed that the car is pretty slow to turn over, but I never thought too much of it.  Swedish normal, right?  It also always seems like the battery is kind of weak, even though the battery is only a year old.  When the car was dead in the parking lot, I put the jumpbox on it and it would crank, but I wasn't getting any spark.  I sort of bumped the cable a little at one point and it came to life so we grabbed the tools, slammed the hood shut, and got her home.  It's about a 20 minute drive, but after shutting it off, it wouldn't start again.  Without the jumpbox it wouldn't even crank and with the jumpbox it was cranking really slowly.  I hooked up jumper cables to the Neon with the engine running, verified 13.someodd volts at the battery, and it still cranked really slowly.  My theory at this point was that the starter wasn't able to turn the engine fast enough to get the computer to cross the threshold where it starts firing injectors and the ignition coil.  And my prime suspect was the battery cable from the battery to the starter.  To test that, I connected the same jumper cables that I had been using with the positive connected directly to the starter and the negative to some random bolt on the body.  Now the starter turned faster than it's ever turned before and the car fired right up.

The way the electricity flows is that the battery is connected to the main +12V distribution block for all the car's electrics with one wire, and the other cable goes to the starter.  Attached to the same lug on the starter is the cable that goes to the alternator's output.  My working theory is that the cable between the starter and the battery is damaged which means that the battery isn't able to get a good charge and there's a significant voltage drop between the battery and the starter.

The old battery cable was quite corroded so we disconnected it from both ends and ran a new battery cable that I happened to have laying around the shop from the battery to the starter.  I had the battery on a 6amp charge for about 30 minutes and with that it started up, although the starter was still a little slow.  I'm leaving the car on a 2amp charge overnight so we'll see how the starter acts once the battery has had a little more time to get up to capacity.

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