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RMSC News 2013 Issue 1 January-February 2013


From your Club President

2013 is a new year with many great things to look forward to. Another year has past and I feel last year was just as good as what I anticipate 2013 will bring in. Saabs are the only personal car I own. I got to say I truly enjoy my Saabs. I have driven other cars and there is no comparison to a Saab. For one thing, I am 6’4” and I need a car that fits me. The newer 9-5 has to be the most comfortable car I have sat in and driven. My 2006 is a remarkable car. The newer the Saabs the better they are.

We hear chatter on the new car company NEVS and what they will bring to the Saab table. Did I hear something about 20,000 cars to be built in Sweden with a projected 60,000 in the future and did I also hear there will be cars built with tra- ditional petroleum engines? I hope this is true. That is good news, right? It seems it has been a little hush-hush and the news does not flow as good as it should. Maybe the management does not want to let the cat out of the bag too early. Wouldn’t that be nice. I can not wait to see the new mod- els. We all have a great following for the

The Feb. 12th meeting will be held at Breckenridge Brewery at 7:00PM. Topics include new members, Pro- ject Colleen, Bob Buck’s ‘67 96 progress, Larry Beeth- am’s ‘70 96 progress, club merchandise, Dave Snid- er’s electric Saab, Retiring a Saab, Trivia Contest

Saab brand and we all hope it will contin- ue. We all have hope, right?


Don’t give up on your Saab!!

RMSC Meeting Minutes December 11thth 2012

by Larry Beetham (photos by Tom Nelson)

This December, the annual year end celebration/ meeting was held at Landry’s restaurant in the Den- ver Tech Center. After a wonderful hour of social- izing, club President Jerry Danner had a short greet- ing to welcome the members and thank us for at-


tending and for our support of the club. He also recognized Bill Searcy, who was attending with his daughter Catherine and thanked him for the 3 96 V- 4s that he donated to the club. Catherine mentioned during the social hour that she was glad to meet the new owners and that she recalled driving the grey DeLuxe that Tom Nelson now has, it is currently on his back 40 until he can complete getting it titled.

Paul Bottone displayed the T-shirts that members


can order, they are navy blue with a pocket and the RMSC Logo silk-screened on the front, there was an order sheet and you can also contact him for more information or orders.

Jerry recapped that the Rocky Mountain Saab Club has never charged a nickel in dues and still is grate- ful to be able to provide this annual dinner to the members and encouraged us to help with the gratui- ties to the servers.


Other items in this short meeting were from Tom Nelson, who had continued to clean up the roster and email list from over 200 to now 129 names and he distributed the list to confirm our information is


accurate. The information will be available in the near future for the members.

Jim Beetham also took a moment, stating that though he is a member of clubs for multiple marques, he raised a toast to the Saab Club mem- bers; that “Saabs are the best cars on the road and have the best people driving them!”

Dinner was served and the members continued to enjoy the company and conversation of the other members and their guests throughout the evening.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Larry Beetham, Secretary - RMSC of Colorado

Status of Project Laura Parts Donor Car

by Bruce Harbison

More than 10 yrs. ago, I received a gift from our current President, Jerry Danner, a 1970 Saab 96. Jerry said “You can have the car, but I want to keep the doors”, as they were not rusted like most of the rest of the car. As it


turned out Jerry did keep the doors, but then donated them to RMSC for use on Project Laura (see Archives). The doors from Project Laura were installed back on the rusty 1970 by RMSC members.

When Project Laura was being restored, this car, along with a rusty 1969 “sister car” was used as a good source of


spare parts. Quite a few trim items were scavenged as well as the upper back seat assembly.

Flash forward to 2012 and guess what? The car is still sitting in my driveway parking area at my house in Boul- der County. A pretty normal thing for guys to do who “collect” old Saabs or other marques I’ve observed. I had been approached over the last couple of years by several club members who suggested that I hold a disassembly party to take the car apart along with the other Saab 96. I

kept putting off the work party, knowing that the engines in both cars ran, and wanted to check them more thor- oughly. This spring, with the help of Steve McCoy, we were able to start and run the engine in the 1970 96 and it sounded pretty good. We could not start the 1969 as the alternator had shorted out a few years back when I moved the car to provide more parking for a family party, plus I


had removed the fan and belt because someone out of state said they wanted to buy the fan. That person never re- sponded back, by-the-way, but I digress.


This fall I found four “good” wheels/tires which would support the 1970 96 and pushed it into my shop which now had a vacant center bay, due to the departure of a pre- viously club-owned 1969 96 Deluxe (see past issues). I purchased a new battery and proceeded to see if I could repeat what Steve and I had accomplished in the spring. I had vacuumed and cold-power-washed the car before moving it indoors. First I did a dry compression check and

Status of Project Laura Parts Donor Car

by Bruce Harbison (Continued)

found all cylinders to be almost exactly 130 (see chart). I cleaned and gapped the old plugs, none of which were oily and proceeded to try to start the engine. I had noted that the oil-pressure lamp did go off when cranking during the


compression test. As the fuel in the tank was no-doubt bad (it was), I hooked up a line to the bottom of the fuel pump and extended it to a nearly full 2-gallon gasoline container. I also removed the oil-pressure sending unit and screwed in my portable test gauge. Okay, the engine turns over fine with spark, but the fuel pump is not pulling fuel!? I replaced the pump with a known good one and Vroom, a running engine! Fast idle, but it would settle down pretty well as the engine warmed up. I did not have a tachometer hooked up, but I was able to get the idle down to an estimated 1000 RPM or so which showed at least 35 lbs. of oil pressure at a thermostat temperature of 185° with the alternator putting out over 14 volts and no bad noises. The radiator held pressure, and the tempera- ture did not climb any higher. A fairly decent engine!

A week or so later, Steve McCoy was back in town and I asked him to help me remove the engine/gearbox assem- bly in preparation for dismantling the rest of the car. This we accomplished in an afternoon with no problems or in- juries. Steve modified a mover’s dolly to hold the drive train and make it easy to move around the shop. I intend to re-seal this engine, paint it and make it available to someone who might need it. In the last few weeks I have nearly got the car down to a rolling shell. There is exten- sive rust everywhere in the car, and that is why I am not trying to repair it, but just keep the usable parts. After engine removal, I scraped up quite a few pounds of oil and grease soaked dirt from the floor of the compartment.

This is AFTER pressure washing. Why do people neglect these cars so much (not just Saabs)? Rust, grease, dirt,

missing fasteners, replacement front seats from a 900 cob- bled in, all lenses broken, windshield cracked, hood cable not working, etc. I must admit, though, that the brakes


worked and the engine ran “well”. I’m not sure of the condition of the gearbox and have no records pertaining to this car, however.

Now, on to the next one soon!


Retirement ?

by Jerry Danner

There comes a time in the life cycle of automobiles where serious decisions are to be made. When do I retire my car? We all owned cars we seem to get at- tached to, especially Saabs.

Automobiles today far outlive the expectations of cars from the past. When I was a child, my Father owned a 1967 Chevy Impala Station Wagon. The


speedometer registered 87,000 miles on it. I remem- ber my father saying “There is nothing else to replace as I have replaced everything”. I think my Father re- ally wanted to retire it at 60,000 miles.

Last month at Mile Hi Body Shop in Denver, we per- formed services on 164 vehicles. Adding the total mileage of 20,319,930, divided by the number of tickets brings the average of 123,888 miles. Is that mileage high?

Based on today’s standards not really. It seems that cars with extremely hi mileage, providing compres- sion and all emissions are in good working order, seem to run better than when new. Longevity is built into cars today unlike cars of the past.

Automotive recycling yards like ours collects vehi- cles at the worst time of the cars life. The vehicle has either suffered a life threatening collision and was pronounced D.O.A. from the insurance company, needs a triple bypass as some major component failed, the owner is tired of spending money on the gem or the car has been sitting for a long period of


time and the owner really wantsto use the space to plant a garden. What ever the reason is, they show up.

It takes 100’s of parts to make a car. Every part is important for the car to be whole. Are all parts valua- ble? No! In the recycling industry. of all the parts on a vehicle, believe it or not, there is only small hand- ful needed. What parts do you keep and what parts do you let go? It is based on demand. If you have the space to keep inventory you seem to collect more than you need.


Mile Hi Body Shop inventories many parts and have available almost everything for a Saab. We usually leave smaller parts on the car, and pull parts from the car as needed. Seats, interior panels, headliners are the hardest to store and protect from the elements.

Retirement ?

by Jerry Danner (continued)

The vehicle doubles as a big storage container. What do you do when it is time to dispose of the re-

mains? We take the cars to a crusher where the car is

chopped up into many small pieces, mechanically separated into steel, plastic, aluminum, copper, all ferrous, all non-ferrous metals and foam products.

Denver has a state of the art crusher. All Recycle has made the “Center Fold Model” for the industry to fol- low. There are more than cars arrive at the crusher.

Anything, I mean anything shows up here from appli- ances, lawn mowers, semi trailers, school busses. An- ything valuable! I was there when the Colorado State Patrol confiscated a 2010 BMW that was a drug car. They stayed there till the car went through the shred- der. I have been there hundreds of times and I still am fascinated by the process.



This is an extremely busy place. Price of scrap metal is high at the time of this writing. Tin & scrap steel fetches $180/ton. Complete cars bring $205/ton. In- complete cars bring $190/ton. The average 9-5 Saab weighs 3,600#. Drive or tow your 9-5 in and you will receive $370.00. If you take the time to take off mag wheels, catalytic converters and sell all pieces indi- vidually, you can net more $ for the effort.

Imagine this! Do you know the hydraulic power needed to shred a complete car? Have the car go through the jaws only to come out in pieces no larger than 2”. These pieces are half the size of a coffee cup. Imagine the hydraulic power it takes to shred a solid


engine block and crankshaft? After all shredding takes place first and then separation takes place. Magnets pull out the steel, air blows most of the foam, upholstery, insulation leaving the copper & aluminum to be separated in a process which I do not understand.

The fun part is when the picker operator takes the car from the truck. This guy is good!! He gently plucks the cars from the truck with precise movements.

Look at the power of the jaws as he crushes the cars with little effort. He also showcased the cars by rais- ing them high in the air. I believe he is having fun!! These Saabs will eventually find themselves on the conveyor belt, shredded and returned to the life cycle of recycling.

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