Monday, May 31, 2010

Tech Tip: Weber 32/36 DGV5A Jetting

The Weber 32/36 DGv5A Carburetor has been a popular performance upgrade for Saab V4 powered cars for years, provided you have either the original two-barrel manifold, or one of the more recently produced replicas. Recently, this basic model of Weber has also proven to be a standard upgrade for such diverse vehicles as the Suzuki Samurai, various Jeeps, and even air-cooled Volkswagens.

What does that mean for a Saab V4 owner? It means that any number of retail stores that offer discount Weber sales will have a carb that fits the V4, but not necessarily be a real bolt-on solution. Linkage will need to be fabricated, air cleaner clearance (especially under the hood of a Sonett) will need to be fiddled with, and most importantly jetting and float levels need to be dialed in for the V4 engine. That's where Jack and Mark's experience setting up Weber carbs comes into play.

It wouldn't be an over exaggeration to say that they've rebuilt, jetted, and installed well over a hundred Weber two-barrel carbs on Saab V4s. That means they can give you a baseline setting that will likely work perfectly for your specific application. Got a custom exhaust or hot grind cam? No worries, as they have recommendations for everything from stockers to full on race setups.

Here is an example of a baseline jetting map for a hot street setup on a 96 V4 that came through our shop lately, with a big bore exhaust, mild cam, and lightened flywheel:

More information on hot carb setups can be found in Jack's book "The Total Performance V4." Also, if you've been thinking about upgrading, we offer a complete Two barrel Weber installation kit, with intake manifold, carb, air cleaner, linkage, air cleaner etc. All the goodies to make it a real bolt-on upgrade. This is one of the best performance upgrades for a Saab V4.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ashcraft's Vintage Saab Parts New Digs

I paid a visit to Mark's new shop this weekend, since I was up in Oregon visiting for the holiday weekend. When we arrived, Mark was underneath a Saab 95 V4 Wagon, one of two current restoration projects he has going right now. This particular wagon is in serious need of new sheet metal, as the usual areas around the floor, trunk and rockers have suffered from demon rust. I only had my camera phone with me, but at least you'll get to see a glimpse inside the new Vintage Saab Cave.

Mark (right) and Jack (left) pose for a shot. I crawled up on a 2nd level mezzanine and still couldn't get all the parts and cars in one shot.

37 years of gunk and rust have been tough to remove, but Mark is almost ready to get this 95 Wagon into the sheet metal fab shop.

Potential future restoration project? This early 96 V4 Deluxe currently sits in the corner, and has a remarkably complete front end, including all chrome trim, non-dented egg-crate grill, and unbusted marker lamps.

This 1974 Sonett just arrived. The owner sent it to Mark for a complete mechanical restoration.

Unique view of a Sonett III.

Mark indicated he has snapped a bunch of pictures of the 95 Wagon being stripped down, so hopefully we'll get those up shortly.

-Chris H.

Saab V4 Transmission Rebuild - Got Mud?

A customer shipped us a Saab V4 transmission for a rebuild, so I dug into last week, It looked straightforward enough, but when I drained what laughingly passed for oil in the unit, the picture changed. “Swamp Mud” was a charitable description of the stuff, a thick, brown ooze that really didn’t even want to run out the drain hole. The oily yuk suggested that the ‘box’ had been “under water” for a while. It’s consistency was that of a mix of 140 weight hypoid differential oil and water.

I was thinking, as I took the unit apart, about the several needle bearings between shafts and gears in this transmission, and how thick, heavy oil [never mind swamp mud] just cannot lube these little buggers right. It takes 75 or 80 weight high pressure gear oil to keep the needles alive, and a smart owner will use a high quality SYNTHETIC gear oil.

Things began to “fall apart” when I pressed the shafts out of the gear case. Needle bearings fell apart, and the main and counter shafts were scored and burned, indicating a lack of lubricant. The fourth speed gear on the main shaft had deep grooves cut across its bearing surface, indicating that the needle bearings that live there had been deprived of oil for some time.

Second gear on the countershaft had significant RUST PITTING on about a quarter of adjacent teeth, indicating that those teeth had indeed been immersed in water. Several other gears, including the big, spendy ones on the pinion shaft, had suffered similar rust pitting.

Notice the case hardening wearing off this main shaft

Significant lack of lubrication led to heat related wear

Needle bearing lacking several needles

Deep grooves cut across the bearing face on this 4th gear

Extreme amounts of rust on this 2nd gear

A little late to blame anyone, I suppose, but one way or the other, about 90% of THIS Saab V4 transmission was junk.