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Author Topic: Saab 96  (Read 3025 times)
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ColinMarr
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« on: 17 May, 2015, 08:26:10 PM »

On TV Channel 4 this evening there was a programme “For the love of cars” that featured the Saab 96. For my jaded taste and sensibility the programme was all a bit cheesy and sub Top Gear, but I watched most of it hoping to see reference to what I believe is a fact, which is that when Saab designed the 96 in the early 1970s it was supposed to be fitted with a Fulvia 1300 engine. Only later was it fitted with a lesser V4 engine from Ford.

I only know about this because I know of a Saab enthusiast who is trying to fit a Fulvia engine into a 96 to see what might have been. I’ll post more about this if and when the project comes to fruition.

Colin
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Lapsed Cesare Ferrari
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« Reply #1 on: 17 May, 2015, 09:44:27 PM »

Colin,
the Saab 96 received its V4 engine in the sixties, I think in 1966 or 1967, replacing a two-stroke three. I have read elsewhere that what the engineers had played with and wanted to use was the Appia engine. This is not improbable as it was to replace an 850cc unit and they had perhaps been experimenting for some time. Cost however was cited as the reason to go with the German Ford engine. This story of course has no more, and maybe rather less, authority than what you have heard.
A Fulvia engined Saab 96 sounds a splendid idea though. What I would like however would be the Fulvia engine in the Saab 95 estate car, like the 96 but with uncompromising rear end styling and extra rear facing seats in the load area.
Cesare
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neil-yaj396
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« Reply #2 on: 18 May, 2015, 06:17:50 AM »

My father in law was a great Saab enthusiast and I went to the Saab Club's annual weekend with him once, but I've never heard of the Lancia engine idea for the 96. All their engines after the two stroke were licenced in though, they turned the Triumph slant four into a fantastic engine.

The Companies did have extensive links in the Eighties of course with the 9000-Thema and the Saab badged Deltas. Perhaps the link up did start in the early Sixties?
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1979 1300 Beta Coupe, 2014 Ypsilon 1.2 S Series Momo
Niels Jonassen
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« Reply #3 on: 18 May, 2015, 01:53:15 PM »

I have heard the story of the Appia engine from so many different preople that I hink it is correct. I have also been told that there is - or was - in fact a Saab 96 with an Appia engine fitted. Saab engineers were never very happy with the Ford engine which they regarded as too primitive, but the business side of the company liked it.
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frankxhv773t
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« Reply #4 on: 18 May, 2015, 09:15:41 PM »

Hi Cesare, is the Saab estate's rear end styling uncompromising or uncompromised?
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Lapsed Cesare Ferrari
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« Reply #5 on: 20 May, 2015, 09:41:54 PM »

Frank,
I think uncompromising is what i meant. They carried the body lines backwards more or less horizontally, then chopped it short at a rather bold forward angle, leaving a flat plane at the rear. Had the arrangement been uncompromised, the back end would surely have been vertical. I really like the Saab 96 and 97, but wonder if the two strokes were not the nicest. Let us salute lost causes!
Cesare
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frankxhv773t
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« Reply #6 on: 20 May, 2015, 10:13:40 PM »

Cesare, I see what you mean. I thought you were implying that the rear of the saloon was compromised and you preferred the lines of the estate.

A colleague had one and I seem to remember it had a freewheel in the transmission. If I remember correctly you could come up to a junction letting the car freewheel whilst you selected a lower gear ready to accelerate away. If so it presumably didn't have any engine braking effect.
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stanley sweet
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« Reply #7 on: 21 May, 2015, 09:34:45 AM »

I've never understood 'freewheel'. I know old Landrovers etc had it. What is the purpose?
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1971 Fulvia 1.3S 'Leggera'  1999 Lancia Lybra 1.9JTD LX SW
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« Reply #8 on: 21 May, 2015, 10:04:16 AM »

Gentlemen,

I have only read of freewheels on cars, but the principle is the same as on a bicycle: the wheels are disconnected from the gears when not under load. On a car of course you can disengage it. The point was to allow clutchless gearchanges, and to allow the engine to drop to idle when in gear and not under load, to save wear and fuel. The latter purpose was I think why it was not abandoned for two-strokes. I believe too that one could only engage and disengage the freewheel under load, which would mean fun if you find yourself unexpectedly on a long downhill stretch in freewheel and consequently with no engine braking at all. Augusta drivers can no doubt tell a story or two.

American overdrives used to combine the overdrive above a set speed with freewheel below that speed, with an automatic change between the two. Riley bought in such an arrangement, with a three speed gearbox and highly geared up overdrive, and offered it on their last cars before they were taken over.

Cesare
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frankxhv773t
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« Reply #9 on: 21 May, 2015, 07:42:52 PM »

Cesare, are you sure Riley had a freewheel. I had a thing for RMs in the eighties and don't recall ever hearing of a freewheel. I do recall reading about Rover P4s with freewheel.

Also on the Saab I am pretty sure the freewheel was a permanent set up not something you had to engage. It just meant that when you took your foot off the throttle the engine revs dropped but the road wheels coasted. You used the brakes if you needed to slow down more than natural deceleration but the engine revs fell allowing you to engage a lower gear ready for when you wanted to accelerate again.
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stanley sweet
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« Reply #10 on: 21 May, 2015, 07:49:23 PM »

OK - all clear now. Thanks, well explained.
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1971 Fulvia 1.3S 'Leggera'  1999 Lancia Lybra 1.9JTD LX SW
simonandjuliet
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« Reply #11 on: 21 May, 2015, 08:12:52 PM »

Good thing about the Forum , ask a question and often a very comprehensive and illuminating answer comes back !
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David32
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« Reply #12 on: 21 May, 2015, 09:52:23 PM »

The freewheel was originally fitted to Saab 2 strokes to prevent engine seizure. On a long downhill section with with the engine revving higher than idle on a trailing throttle not enough lubrication would get to the engine. This occasionally causing seizures.
David32
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Lapsed Cesare Ferrari
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« Reply #13 on: 21 May, 2015, 10:28:44 PM »

Frank,
the Rileys I meant were the last cars before the Nuffield takeover in the late thirties.

A little googling confirms what everyone has said about freewheels. Two strokes apparently lose lubrication from the fuel when going downhill on a closed throttle, and Saab advised drivers to keep the freewheel engaged as much as possible. It could be shut out however, and it was prudent to do so on long downward stretches.

I wonder if any Augusta people use the freewheel on their cars?

Cesare
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fay66
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« Reply #14 on: 21 May, 2015, 11:34:07 PM »

Cesare, are you sure Riley had a freewheel. I had a thing for RMs in the eighties and don't recall ever hearing of a freewheel. I do recall reading about Rover P4s with freewheel.

Also on the Saab I am pretty sure the freewheel was a permanent set up not something you had to engage. It just meant that when you took your foot off the throttle the engine revs dropped but the road wheels coasted. You used the brakes if you needed to slow down more than natural deceleration but the engine revs fell allowing you to engage a lower gear ready for when you wanted to accelerate again.

Frank,
Back in the early 1960's I tried to persuade my Stepfather to buy a Saab 93?/ 96 as I was very much impressed with them at the time, and Pat Mossand Eric Carlsen were Rallying in them, to the best of my recollection there was a large knurled knob that operated the freewheel under the edge of the dash on the drivers side, that was turned to engage or disengage the freewheel.

This was in fact more or less the same arrangement fitted to a 1931 Rover 10 that my brother & I owned in the late 1950's, which was an ideal vehicle for transporting my double Bass!

Talking of Rileys I can't remember my friends Monaco having a freewheel, but it did have a very nice (once you got used to it) Wilson preselector gearbox, with a huge quadrant and lever.

Brian
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