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Replacing a SAAB 96 V4 boot seal with a SAAB 900 seal

This article was kindly sent in by Tom Monaghan.


Mid point 1. Find a donor SAAB 900. (I got mine free from a local scrap yard. The owner doubted it would work)
2. Check the seal is not ripped or damaged.
3. Remove old seal from 96 - taking care not to tear it as you may want to reverse the process if not happy.
4. Clean the SAAB 900 seal. Use a blunt but flat instrument like a screwdriver to clean out the groove of the seal (mine had 900 corroded bodywork and paint in it.
5. Find the mid point of the seal and put a temporary mark on it with chalk/crayon/tape.
6. Guide the seal behind the boot hinges and place the middle mark in the mid point of the boot lip. Itís important that you use the exact mid point of the boot seal because although there is roughly 60cm of excess to be trimmed away (30 cm from each end), what you have by using the mid point of the seal is the already prepared flexible corners that will almost perfectly bend around the corners of the SAAB 96 boot lip.


Tight corner 7. Start feeding the seal onto the lip and work towards the corners. When
you get to the corner, donít feed it around the corner until you have put all
your weight behind forcing the corner sections to fit, and then feed the
rest down to the bottom corners. Donít be tempted to use an object to
whack it into place, just use a gloved hand so you donít damage the tube
of the seal. The lip gets a bit fat down in the bottom corners there where
there is more welding joins, but it will fit on. The bend is more extreme
though and may cause the seal to pucker out a bit. Again, put your weight
behind getting the seal as tight onto the lip corners as possible and then
continue to the mid point of the bottom of the boot lip. The mid point is
where the external lock is, not where the internal catch is.


 8. Cut the excess off with snips (there are steel bands inside).
9. There is a small piece of connecting tube that slots into the holes of the
ends of the seals Ė feed this in while the seal is above the lip, and then
bring the seal down to the lip together. You could glue the final section in
place if you wanted to. Iíve not.


10. Adjust the loop section of the locking mechanism that sits on the boot.
Youíll need to extend it because the 900 seal makes the boot slightly more
proud than it already is. My way of doing this is to extend it a lot, close
the boot and lock it, then get inside of the boot (from the front) and get
the loop as tight as it can go without damaging the lock or making it hard
to slam closed.
11. It does sit a bit prouder than the other original seal (Iíll work on that) so if
you can find and afford a good 96 seal then go for it. The 900 however,
does create a great seal; I canít see any daylight through it and I can kiss
goodbye to the rain getting in and warping the spare wheel cover. Also,
with the 900 seal covering up the near razor edge 96 lip, you will be able
to retain the skin on your hands when you drag your Highgate shopping
bags out.
12. The idea for this came from Mel of Highgate SAAB, but I canít remember if I read it or he told me.

 

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