top of page

RMSC News 2015 Issue 2 March-April 2015

Updated: Feb 8, 2020


From your Club President

March is a great month. It is typically the end of winter but be cautious. March in Colorado usually is the snowiest time of the year. For those who have a Convertible, it might be the best time of the year. Don’t let a little snow keep you from enjoying your car with the top down.



I love fishing and one of my favorite spots is the Miracle Mile in the middle of Wyoming. To get to the river you need to drive 52 miles of dirt road.

There is no better car to drive on dirt roads than the classic 900 (C900). One Saturday in the second week of November 2104, I decided to go fishing. I woke up and left my house at 2:30 for the four hour drive. The weather was chilly. Arriving at the river in the morning, the skies were clear. The temp got up to around 45 degrees. I took the top down while I fished. I relocated to different places on the river and having the top down made it easy to transport my fishing pole. I decided to leave to return home

The March 10th meeting will be held at the Breckenridge Brewery, 5th and Kalamath in Den- ver. Agenda includes ACC Exotic Car Show, Videos of Old Saabs, Denver Auto Show, Bad things that happen to cars and the SAAB Trivia Contest.

around 2:00pm. I drove the 52 miles back to I-80. I decided to take the scenic route home by going through Saratoga to Encampment to Walden to Kremling to Dillon and over the Eisenhower Tun- nels back to Denver. The weather heading back when I left Wyoming was clear. As I headed back the sky’s were overcast with the ceiling getting around 200’. It just got through snowing but it was not snowing while I was driving. I put my cold weather hat on, my down filled gloves and jacket and continued to drive with the top down and the heater on high back to Denver. I really looked like a red neck but it was fun. Here are a few pictures of the trip.

Do not let a little cold weather hold you back from enjoying your Convertible.

RMSC Meeting Minutes January 13th 2015

by Darrell Christiansen (photos by Tom Nelson)

Another cold snowy night, perfect whether for all Saabers to enjoy the cold weather abilities of their favorite car.

Jerry started out the meeting a brief explanation of the scheduling conflict with Breckenridge Brewery on this month’s meeting. Sam (Samantha) was our server for the evening.


We will be meeting at the Breckenridge for the March and May meetings, as they are not sure of their status after that point due to the move to the new facility on south Santa Fe. New members in attendance were recognized.


Saab is currently going through some problems with their parts after the sale of John Elway Chevrolet to Cherry Creek Chevrolet. For a few weeks they could not sell Saab parts due to the change in own-

ership and the requirement to re-register with Saab Parts. Jerry was ordering parts from a dealer in Pennsylvania. Only two authorized Saab dealers still exist in the state, John Elway, and Red Nolan, in Colorado Springs.

Insurance companies may be more likely to total a new Saab, that is damaged in an accident, because they perceive that parts are not readily available, due to the lack of dealers. This is purely an eco- nomic decision on the part of insurance companies, and not on the actual availability of parts on the open market. Authorized service centers can order the parts, but will most likely not have any stocked parts.


Jim Beetham showed a new product that he picked up that can be used to jump start your car that is available at Lowes for about $80. This is a small unit that will fit in your glove box and can be charged either on 110V or from the cigarette lighter in the car. It also contains a flashlight and has the ability to charge your cell phone.

Tom Nelson had some poster that he and others had cleaned out of their collections to give away to club members. These were shown and given out to the first requester.

Paul Bottone reiterated the fact that he had sent out a notice, around Christmas time, concerning dis- count coupons for the Denver Auto Show on April

11. He will alert the group if the coupon shows up again. He also told the group about a book called "A man called OVE" By Fredrik Backman. The

RMSC Meeting Minutes January 13th 2015

by Darrell Christiansen (photos by Tom Nelson) (continued)

book is not about Saabs, but Saabs are the underly- ing theme of the book.

Tom Nelson discussed getting email messages from the group through Yahoo. He requested anyone who is not to give him their updated email infor- mation. He also spoke of the 2015 National Con- vention that will be held in Lexington, Kentucky, sometime in early August. Tom made a call for all NG 9-5’s to attend the convention.

John Clary gave a brief update on project Colleen.


We still have a bit of detailing to do before putting the car up for sale. Monday is Jerry’s day off, so he is willing to be there to work on the car in the back shop at Mile High.

John Williams of JZW Tuning in Longmont, CO made a presentation on his tuning business and his abilities to garner significantly more horsepower from our computer controlled Saabs. John was working for a Mazda independent shop in 1993 and a Saab 9000 came in which he drove and that was the start of his love affair with the brand. Started out with a 900, and worked his way up to a 9000 all the while learning how to tune and get the most power out of the engines. He eventually bought his own tuning software, and with some used ECU’s, courtesy of Jerry, began learning all of the tech-

niques for tuning Saabs, and other vehicles. He eventually got his 900 up to 700-800 horsepower, by improving the turbo charging and various other


parts. The files from the cars are binary/ hexadecimal, which he changes to decimal for ease of programing. All of the maps within the software are in German, so some translation is necessary.


John went through a quick demonstration of how he goes about tuning a car. A mild tune includes changing ignition time, air fuel ratio, torque limit- ers, and the boost level. Stage 1 tune is the mild tune, with a stage 3 tune including the tune and modification of exhaust. All car manufacturers leave about 20% of the engine power on the table in order to please the average consumer. By adding hardware, and exhaust, the power can be improved significantly. John has two methods of tuning, one involves downloading the cars data to your laptop, and the other uses a Powergate portable tuner in which the data is downloaded and the new tune up- loaded. It only takes a few minutes to upload the new tune to the car, and the original program can be reloaded at any time. The car can be tuned for mile- age, performance, or any combination that is de- sired. Jim Beetham has had 4 of his cars tuned by John.

JZW Tuning

by Jerry Danner

John Williams of JZW Tuning was our guest speaker at our January 2015 meeting of the Rocky Mountain Saab Club of Colorado. John has created some pretty fast Saab's by developing Stage 1,2,3,4 and unlimited tunes. Without giving his secrets away, John demon- strated how he copies Your ECM's (Engine Control Module) software and then places it on his laptop to tune. Through an overhead projector and screen, He


demonstrated what the ECM's software looks like in Binary code and the many files needed to map perfor- mance. Locating the Timing map, He opened the file and in a 3D image, demonstrated what the timing is calling for at different engine configurations. John then tweaked a few numbers for the tune he wants and saved that file. Engine, Boost, Fuel programs are


located, tweaked for desired results and then saved. He can turn off rev & performance limiters creating all power to the wheels.

Through the OBD port, John has a Read/Write device

where the upgraded program is loaded on then by hit- ting install, it overwrites the existing program on your ECM with the Tuned one. This hand held device allows up to five programs to be stored for installa- tion. He always copies the original program and it is ready to reinstall on command if something is not right with the tuned program.

John also gets a thrill from driving his creations. John takes credit for the fastest Saab in North America.

1996 Saab NG900 over 500HP with over 380ft lbs of torque produces a 10.61 time @ 139.54 MPH quarter mile run at Bandimere's Speedway in Denver.

John has tuned many of our Club Members Saabs. I have a 2006 9-5 which John did a Stage 1 1/2 Tune.


Before I had it tuned, the boost gauge barely got to the top of the orange. After the tune, it now goes 2/3 into the red which makes it a fun passing experience. Visit or go to YouTube, type JZW Tuning and watch his remarkable video's.

Tom Nelson and Jerry Danner gave away Saab Post- ers to our members which we have collected over the years for others to enjoy. Our meeting was held at Colorado Plus Brew Pub in Wheat Ridge, Colorado where they host serve 57 Colorado produced Micro Brew's.

Jerry De-illuminates my Airbag Light

by Greg Russell

By June, 2014, the airbag dash indicator in my 2002

9.3 SE had been burning continuously for about two years. I was not concerned, as this is the first and on- ly vehicle, of scores Iʼve owned, that has air bags. To be honest, the damn things scare me. My first car, a 1961 Ford Falcon had no seat belts, but as a 17-year- old, I felt safe. And, in June, I had been working part- time for more than two years and barely meeting my financial obligations, so “unnecessary” car repairs were not on the agenda. Let it burn, maybe it'll burn out!


I often will help friends out with artwork for a project they have going, in trade for . . . whatever. Jerry called me up for such a favor and asked, “What do you need done for your car?” “I've got an airbag light on and may need a new bag.” I had had the code de-

ciphered back in 2012 as “Driverʻs Side Seat,” I thought.


A few days later, down at Jerry's shop, he had a used seat bag ready to install. Before we got started, Jerry read the code again for more details and he decided the culprit was not the airbag itself, but the driverʼs- side sensor. So, off came the door panel and a spare sensor replaced mine. Same code reading. hmmm. Is there an electrical break somewhere in the wiring?

Out comes the ohm meter, then the driver's seat, the center console, the passenger seat. Grab the shopvac! No better time to clean the carpet of all my morning- commute granola bar crumbs!


We checked the continuity from the console to the door sensor connector. One wire out of the bunch gave us no reading - Bingo! Now, where's the break? Most likely at the door pivot. Removing the connect- or from the door, we test from there back to the con- sole. Nothing. We unwrap the wiring between the jamb and that connector and locate the broken lead. Now the whole door comes off the car - in about 2- seconds. Jerry needs the room to make a quality re- connection. He gave the splice a few extra centime- ters for good measure. That done, Jerry resets the code, we start ʻer up, and, no airbag light! Back to- gether went the car, cleaner and better than when we started (and richer for quarters). Driving without an- noyances is heavenly. But, beware exploding steering wheels!

Thanks Jerry! You know your stuff.

Club Project Colleen—Rocky Mountain Saab Club

by Jerry Danner

Project Colleen is now finished and looking good. This project logged 12 meetings or gatherings with 268 total combined man hours to complete.

Our Rocky Mountain Saab Club acquired this project named Colleen. Project Colleen is a 1991 Saab 900 N/T, 3dr, Black Classic 900 3dr. Like all of our pre- vious club owned vehicle projects, there is a reason our projects are named after the previous owner or named in memory of a special person.


Colleen Wells has been a 20 year Saab owner and has owned 99’s and 900’s. She always had her car ser- viced at Mile Hi Body Shop in Denver Colorado.

Mile Hi has sold her two cars in the past only to be terminated by accidents. This one was doing well un-


til it needed a water pump and transmission not going into 5th gear and a few other items. It was time for Colleen to move forward and get a newer vehicle.

Colleen offered the vehicle to our club as she knew this vehicle will live on with our efforts.

The body on this car is still very solid and there is absolutely no reason for this vehicle to go out to pas- ture. After detailed inspection there were a few more things the car needed. 1) Transmission was perfect except was unable to go into fifth gear. The transmis- sion needed to come out to repair a shaft that slides the lever to engage fifth, 2) water pump leaks, 3) headliner needed replacement, 4) general detail and clean up.

The plan is to get the club members active in the re- pair of Project Colleen. At our October meeting we decided to get started on the project. The meeting was held at Mile Hi Body Shop, Inc.


Headliner was one of the topics for the night. Head- liner material and glue was on hand, a group of the members guided by Bruce Harbison & Steve McCoy (who both had experience replacing headliners) re- placed the headliner. We got it finished in a two hour time frame.

Transmission was the other topic of our October RMSC bi-monthly meeting. We wanted to rebuild and show the club what it takes to rebuild a classic 900 transmission. The only problem is we wanted to rebuild it in two hours. To be successful we needed some serious planning. Instead of taking the transmis- sion out and thus crippling the car, Mile Hi donated a high mileage transmission to rebuild. Two weeks pri- or, Jerry Danner dissembled the transmission to in- spect. John Clary helped me by cleaning all parts and having all covers, cases, gears & bolts ready to as- semble. David Snider took the helm in rebuilding and the technical aspects. The goal was to pre rebuild the transmission with new bearings, syncros and gaskets. Dissemble it and reassemble it at the meeting where

Club Project Colleen—Rocky Mountain Saab Club

by Jerry Danner (continued)

we would discuss shimming, preload and how a transmission action works. The main goal was to have the transmission totally assembled in the two hour window we were allotted. Thanks to Dave, we were successful.

Our next gathering was on a Saturday to replace the transmission. We gathered at 8:30am with a group of


15 members . It was all business getting it done. Jerry Danner took charge to get all involved in removing the power train. Once we had the unit on the bench, we created three groups. one to separate the engine from the transmission, the second group was to do the water pump, install all seals in on the engine and re- place the voltage regulator. The third group cleaned the engine compartment with a Hotsy Steam cleaner and detailed engine compartment. We got the engine mated to the transmission set it back in the engine compartment and got it running by 2:00pm. We fin- ished for the day.

Next meeting was at Mile Hi Body Shop to address a spot on the left front fender which small patch of rust was forming. 5 members attended. We were going to do a patch repair to fix it. After examining the rust, it was determined a patch would not work and the fend- er needed to be replaced along with 1" section on the lip of the inner fender. At that meeting we cut off the front L fender half and prepared the metal to accept a good fender.

Jerry Danner cut a used clean fender along with a section of the inner fender liner. He carefully drilled out all spot welds holding the two together to save


both pieces. The inner fender on Colleen needed a 1 1/2" lip spliced onto the panel because of the rust on the lip of the fender took out the inner lip also.

Next meeting 11 members attended at Jerry Danner's home where I demonstrated how to replace a welded on panel and splice the inner lip. We scribed a 1 1/2" line and cut off the rusted inner panel. Carefully marking the used inner lip, we cut off a 1 1/2" section of the used lip. Mating it up, we ground the used piece to have the exact lines and shape of the existing


piece. It is almost like making a jig saw puzzle piece. We welded that piece on. Next we trimmed the fend- er the same way. Now it came time to install the fender. Jerry Danner demonstrated the new technolo- gy on replacing metal. It is now glued on, not welded. We prepared the metal by putting a course grind on the two mating panels, installed the glue, positioned the panel correctly and with 20 "C" clamps clamped the fender. We let it sit for a day and that was all

Club Project Colleen—Rocky Mountain Saab Club

by Jerry Danner continued)


Next meeting was at Mile Hi Body Shop where John Clary and Jerry Danner prepared the panels for pri- mer., feather edged the paint edges and primed the panel.


Next meeting again was at Mile Hi to do a final pre paint sand to paint. John Clary & Jerry Danner worked together to do this.

Next meeting was to paint the fender. We met at Mile Hi Body Shop. Seven members attended. We taped


off the fender, masked the car for overspray and pushed it into the paint booth. Miles Bendixson paint- ed the fender. Miles worked in a body shop a few years back and had experience painting. Jerry Danner mixed up the paint and turned Miles loose. We ap- plied three coats with time to flash off the thinners in

between coats. This took an hour and half. Unmasked the car and we went home.

Next meeting was held at Mile Hi to start assembling the car. There were 9 attendees. We all took charge of something and after the morning was over Colleen started looking like a car again. All little trim pieces were replaced or fixed, the bumper was reinstalled along with the L turn signal assy., fender moldings, interior trim pieces and anything else that needed at- tention was done.


Next gathering was by Jerry Danner only. Jerry took Colleen to the pressure washer completely, yes com- pletely. Sprayed degreaser on the entire engine com- partment, door jambs, rear hatch jambs and let her have it. This cleaned out all the mud & grease in all the cracks and really makes the car present well. This was done on a warm day so the car dried in an hour. When you do this, you get some water inside the car but it dries. Doing this prepares the car for the final detail.

Next gathering was held at Mile Hi Body Shop to fi- nal detail the exterior and interior. Nine members at- tended. Two members power buffed the exterior with a fine abrasive compound to remove the surface oxi- dation. This really makes a mess as the compound gets everywhere in all cracks and crevices. After this is done it needs to be pressure washed to get all the compound out of the cracks. We hand dried and blew the car off with air to prepare for the second buffing. The second buffing was done with a finer buffer pad

Club Project Colleen—Rocky Mountain Saab Club

by Jerry Danner continued)

and a swirl remover compound, which contains no abrasives. This residual compound is not messy like the abrasive compound. This comes off easily with a soft cloth rag. We then did a final coat of Meguire’s hand wax. After we wiped off the wax the car looked gorgeous. The black paint detailed remarkably well.

Now it is ready for sale.


I had an embarrassing situation where I misplaced the title to Colleen. I could not find that anywhere. I am usually organized and I made a folder, made a special label on the tab and filed it and I don't have a damn clue where I put it. I contacted Colleen Wells today


to ask her if she would sign a power of attorney as- signing me to apply a for a duplicate title in her be- half. She would be happy to sign it. I also wanted her

to come to the shop to see it. I mentioned we had a final assembly and we did a final wax on the car and I wanted her to see it before we put it on the market.

I got to thinking Why not drive Project Colleen


over to Colleen Wells house for her to see it in real life. Great idea. I put a dealer plate on it and proceed- ed to Colleen's house. I pulled up to her house with her car looking gorgeous. She came out surprised!! "Is that my car?" Yes it is!!. She was in awe!. She walked around the car, sat inside the car and almost got a tear in her eye. She said, with emotions talking, "Can I buy it back? I want it!" Her husband Randy said if she really wanted it, he could make it happen. I mentioned to her that we are about ready to put it up for sale. Priority was our members who worked on the project. Next was our club members and then we would advertise it on Saabnet and put it out to the public. We are asking $3,900.00 but would take

$3,500.00. "Please, let me think about it over the weekend as my emotions are driving me now! Can I buy it?? Would you sell it to me?" I mentioned to her I need to address this with our club directors. Her neighbor for 17 years seen the Black 900 and came out to ask if this is the car she had. Colleen asked him if it was OK if the car reappeared back on the street. He ok'd the purchase. WOW!!

I really think Colleen wants this car back as she hates the Ford SUV she owns and Randy knows it however Colleen declined with a tear in her eye.

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page