Seca Turbo Save Situation

$1150 Yamaha XJ650 Turbo Motorcycle

Contact Chris at 810.643.1334 or csw@tdassist.com
 


Two-Wheeled Turbo Thrills

1983 Yamaha Seca Turbo

Offered option to have a unique vintage turbo family.  
More on that below but back to the Saab.... 



This Yamaha Seca Turbo bike is the last of a rapid transit family of vehicles.  Saab 900T referenced below found a good home.  Related links and text as follows are temporary till updated to remove references.

Mosaic

Original 

What was so special?

Stock other than K&N air filter, silicone vacuum hoses, and tires - retired in 02 w/ apx 220k mi (213 odo stopped).  Regularly started, run, or driven on rural roads since replaced by 96 900S and later 9-5 Aeros'.  Still most fun to drive despite its age!  Simply was unique by design.  Unlike respected marque it exist still to be enjoyed.  

'88 900T has Saab model year upgrades as water-cooled turbo, larger front brakes.  Adult maintained and driven mostly highway and country miles near coastal VA with runs in Shenandoah Valley.  Clean title, no accidents.

Despite it's 25 years qualifying for legal antique plates, it's black exterior still excites.  Turned down previous offers intending to revive from current state.  There were too many fine dances with mountain roads to have let it go sooner.  As with many Classic Saab owners, it's a vintage rapid-transit family member with character.


Saab Family

Saab 900 Turbo (T) - Saab 900 S - Saab 9-5 Aero (RIP) - Seca Turbo - Saab Dog "BB Pepper" 
Note: Prefer bike as shown with skins removed for a classic "Norton" flavor.



What is to say about a Classic Saab Turbo experience?

Top Gear 
Classic 900 Review with Quentin Wilson
Owner commentaries, road tests, service, wear and maintenance tips 
Quote: A car with an image so immaculate it can hold confession and communion.

Classic 99/900 Turbo Ride and review with Clarkson and May
A tribute to Saab, part 1 (series 18, episode 5)
Saab 99 Turbo ride, predecessor to 900T, begins at 5:50 
Quotes:  This is a fast car. / ...a fantastic car / ...a legendary car (8:00).

Saab vs BMW Roof crush test, vs GM safety engineering philosophy, etc.

Saab Turbo and Seca Turbo - Rapid Transit for James Bond 
Saab 900T also called "The Silver Beast".
License Renewed (1981), For Special Services (1982),Icebreaker (1983), and others by John Gardner.
Aston Martins' are the quintessential road going drives of choice for Bond in films but in novels with which some of the Bond films are based a repeat fan favorite was an enhanced Saab 900T.  

Seca Turbo - Yamaha Motorcycle
Never Say Never Again (1983) released by Warner Brothers.
Performance account of a stock bike running"The Isle of Man" and Bond film frame grabs.

Seca Specs



Saab 900T - To Do
Stand up to Save This Saab by handling the following and your reward is driving it for road trip pleasure and fun.  Photo documentation done with car off ground (as shown for purpose) displays 900T's needs.  Take your time - be patient.  Enjoy seeing, feeling, and starting up in your environs a legendary car as a jewel in the rough to be repaired, revived, polished and appreciated   
  • Floor pan and select undercarriage spot-patch 
  • Battery-side frame rail safety kit install 
  • Hatch cavity and fender well end-points spot patch 
  • Jack point reinforce 
  • Exhaust install 
  • Plugs, cap, rotor check to clean or replace 
  • Rear brake rotors/pads mount  
  • Driven as is for years as just in align spec - advice pass. lower a-arm replace 
  • Turbo boost check - failed and repaired once before found as a vacuum hose leak 
  • Interior carpet/skins/cloth advised as unessential to drive but restore orig. Saab dignity and comfort. 
  • Note: Small area surface skim-coat and paint on lower rear pass-side 1/4 panel now lifting.  Small fade spot on hood left as is to retain overall original paint as shown.
  • Collection of typical age and wear related items but nothing to prevent its talented dance with the roads
Most issues noted are common wear and age characteristics of Saab c900s.  Though originally a VA car, condition in numerous areas were aggravated from MI relocation.  Unaware of extent till undercoat peel revealed affected spots.  I then did a full under-carpet check.  To do so required seats and some interior fixtures, and sound deadener removal to expose and provide access to floor for inspection and required patch work.  

Included in purchase are photo guide resources for this work.
Has common c900 long-wear traits as cracked dash (repair in progress), idle seek (likely vac hose leak or 02 sensor), clip-wear and slow window syndrome (clean & grease mechanisms). 

Driver seat is re-mounted to start, run and drive car for exercise with occasional short runs. 
If bullet item issues are attended to be confident smiles per miles await to appreciate design genius of Sixten Sason & Team Saab's enduring legacy of Saab 99, Classic 900S, T, and SPG.



 

Saab 900T - Been Done 
Motor runs and drives as long turned, cared for, and serviced by Saab techs:
- Tom Townsend in Greensboro NC (tune, silicone hose install), 
- Autowerks in Virginia Beach, VA, (routine maint, tune, bearings & suspension work, GM certified rebuilt trans)
- Rochester & Ann Arbor MI. (routine maint., tune, 02 sensors, replace pre-mature failed GM rebuilt trans, etc.).
  • Regular 3-4k mi semi-syn or full-syn oil changes and mostly highway miles = typical 1-3 rotation starts and runs clean.  Runs well but turbo intentionally left in low-boost state till ready to address again. 
  • Professional repaint on deck lid and rear fascia (gloss instead of flat applied in error).
  • Clarion OEM radio removed when failed (still have) and replaced with laudio store installed Kenwood unit.
  • All mud flaps still firmly anchored as built in Sweden.  
  • Timing chain replaced as most recent service.
  • Headliner once professionally replaced.  
  • Overall clean under-pan aside repair spots as shown.



History Overview of Saab 900T Offered Here
This '88 Saab 900T got my attention when I noticed a red 900T for sale in a yard near Virginia Beach.  Aside from a friend's grey 96 V-4, I had little thought nothing of Saab.  Stopped and took it out for a drive and stunned at responsive handling - more go-kart then car like.  I passed due to a rough interior but was hooked.  I noticed a 900T in the Auto Trader (may still have ad) soon after.  Compared to red 900T It was a significant upgrade in civility but lacked go-kart like Abbot suspension.  However it was comfortable, handled responsive and tight, moved and braked NOW.  I wore it as much as sat in it.  It became my 1st Saab still with me almost 20 years now.

It was my daily driver on mostly country roads and interstate with two to four trips a year into Appalachian and Shenandoah region.  It fulfilled ALL needs for fun, economy, performance, utility, and sport-touring through.  Some of my fondest driving memories those trips and this Saab made them near always fun and rewarding. 

In care I washed underside and engine compartment (followed by a spray of WD40), and kept exterior cleaned and polished.  Installed performance tires (Pilots, Firehawks, etc.) to maximize all weather handling.  When the trans gave out as showing signs of when bought the Saab earned my respect to appreciate and attend to it - not condemn or discard it.  I gave it what was needed for the longest time as did previous owners.  In the last year as my main driver I let up, saving for parts as listed and also acquiring funds to buy and maintain over time several more contemporary Saabs.  But this 900T deserved keeping - too many good memories.

Thoughts on Saab 900 as Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV = emphasis on Sport)
In it's day auto-journalists noted the 900T or SPG as a BMW-beating "cult-classic" with an optimal blend of comfort safety, utility, braking, handling, efficiency and power.  That proved true in my use in adult driven mountain road runs.  It was never a boring drive. I also appreciated being able to venture off road a bit rarely touching the heavy duty skid plate under the engine/trans. Pick a spot to picnic near a stream or in a field. The longitudinal power train provides tenacious grip in bad weather and provided the confidence as would one road tested in the Swiss Alps.

Saab's 99/900 is an originator to today's sport-hatches.  Of note is that most hatchbacks are not as wide-mouthed or as spacious as a flat floor Saab.  You can transport amazing things with it.  Large size dog igloos, bales of hay, photo/video/lighting equipment sets and furniture have made trips by ease of a simple seat fold and hatch lift.  

'88, the year of this 900T is Saab-Scania's last year prior to '89 GM ownership arrangement.  This is also the last year of non-assisted driving chassis.  Saab 900/9000 reflects durability of a rally lineage and performed in numerous Euro rally and SCCA sport events.  Saabs were pulled from the factory line, drive train sealed, shipped, and road tested in a Talladega Raceway "Long Run" event in 1986 "...breaking 21 international and two world speed records in the process" 2 years before this '88 900T.  (Events were repeated in '96).  Records were verified by NASCAR and European FISA.  A good account among other sources is by Hemmings Collector Car Magazine.

Note: 2.0 Liter 4 Cyl. Turbo 16 valve OHC in 900T is essentially same engine as in Saab 9000s shown.



History Overview of Seca Turbo Offered for Sale 
This '83 Yamaha Seca Turbo got my attention when I noticed one parked in a rural SE Michigan neighborhood.  I stopped by and inquired.  It was not for sale but owner was glad to provide info and assured me it was quick, comfortable, reliable, and turbo had a sudden rush power curve to be respected.  

I searched and found this one to buy sight unseen in Philadelphia with about 6,300 miles used mainly for road trips.  The owner developed medical ailments and had not ridden it in 5 years.  He kept it under cover in storage.  
  1. It was transported to Blackmans Cycle Center in Emmaus PA to get it running.  They did and assured me it was a nice bike that needed more attention as a good clean outside and inside.   
  2. I picked it up and brought it home and carefully removed, cleaned, polished all panels, fenders, fairing, and attachments.  I cleaned and treated the bike till getting it near new looking as shown in photo.
  3. It was transported to a motorcycle shop in Ohio with the shop owner knowledgeable on Seca Turbos.  He dismantled and cleaned the tank, carburetors, fuel lines, replaced filter and reassembled.  He also installed a new turbo boost kit found on eBay in original packing.  This was a shop installed factory upgrade that boosted turbo pressure from 7psi to 12psi for more response power output in '83.  It was missing on this bike so this restored the model year spec. 
  4. Seat was professionally reupholstered after neighbors dog got a taste for the original
  5. Rare battery charge sensor was tracked down, acquired and still in ship packing.  It is actually a battery cell cap that has a sensor connection to the charging system. 
  6. Only a few hundred miles were driven locally, sufficient to feel how intoxicating the turbo thrill is.  A real companion to a Saab turbo rush but in open air 2 wheels.  Hold on tight - such will distort your face. 
Garaged but requires same fuel system clean treatment as described above. It has not run in years.  Is still very clean.  Also requires battery.



900T vs SPG 
900 hatch & hood up
Most impressive when seen in previous owners driveway with black shine,alloy wheels, purposeful dimensions, and driver oriented character - the 900T still retains a distinguished look in my driveway.  A .5" higher stance then SPG (shown at right) equates to a bit more ground clearance for snow, rough or off-road lite capabilities as road trip camping.  900T is a slightly milder tune yet retains most of SPG's celebrated driving dynamics, road competence, and turbo rush speed.

For daily driving and long-run sport touring it was very comfortable, capable, safe, ready for driving fun.  Which is why I bought it for long highway and mountain road commutes.  900T has a lighter interior color then SPG grey.  This has sensory advantages as lighter in look and feel and overall easier to live with.

For those inclined relatively little is required to modify a 900T to SPG spec (lowered springs, stiffer shocks, red box APC, upsized injectors and fuel pressure regulator, etc.).  Swedish Dynamics exhaust with car is SPG equivalent.  

In my view 900T is more contemporary looking without SPC side aero-body cladding which warps a bit over time.  Amber tinted glass is very rare.  Tan leather interior and short spoke alloy wheels add to a cool black elegance.  Admittedly has love or hate styling.  Regardless, much to appreciate in the multi-functional design.

For more on the SPG, click on link and with thanks to use of photo above, read article by Dan Lee. 

By the way - an SPG was driven for one million miles by Peter Gilbert whom I met at Save Saab event in 2010.

Enthusiasts to Descend on Detroit to Save Saab  
New York Times - Jan 5 2010 - By Jim Motavalli

Global Save Saab Campaign 30 Countries In 3-Weeks
Even Video - Enjoy Saab fans and thanks to Ryan Enge & Assoc. for good efforts to save respected marque.  
Note:  "Saab Dog" BB Pepper at 0:10 leaves stage (RIP 11-2015) - A memorable bright star. 


Summary
As offered price includes '88 900T, bagged, tagged & boxed interior parts, manufacturer's repair manual, listed new in-box parts, previous installments (orig. Clarion radio, etc.), Saab URL resource library, project do/done spreadsheet, stated as-known 900T ownership history, pre and post-sale support for a time as helpful fact sharing and Q&A.  Turbo bike is offered mainly as an incentive option. 

Save this Saab to drive and continue a well regarded Saab Story. 
Spend a bit more and you will have a turbo collection worth conversation and serious fun.

eMail Chris at csw@tdassist.com or call ph 810.643.1334.  
Goes without saying for most anyone owning and living with a Classic Saab - Hurts to see it go and hate to sale it.