Vehicles

sonett - wiper blade, fuel line, heater hose, AC blower, cabin light, side view mirror

This was a fun day of working on the Sonett. For once, I was doing work that nice to have rather than have to have. As a result, at any point if I stopped working I could still have drivne the car. This is always nice when the pressure is off. I decided to take some time to tackle a bunch of small tasks.

Windshield wiper

Yeah, not much to say here. Normally I drive a motorcycle so the Sonett primarily comes out in the rain. The original windshield wipers were shot and the rubber was leaving nasty streaks on the glass. I was suprised to find that new wiper blades were readily available. Both blades are 15" long. Napa even had one in stock. The second is on order. I went with winter blades since that is when I will be spending most of time in the Sonett.

 

Heater hose

I have replaced most of the heater hoses. One hose, the one that goes from the thermostate to engine/carb choke has to make a drastic curve. The straight hose I installed simply got too compressed at the corner causing the coolant flow to get reduced. The car just ran hotter than I would have liked. I headed to Napa and bought a generic 5/8" heater hose that already had about a 45 degree bend in it. I trimmed it to size and installed it. It makes the corner MUCH better than the straight hose but is still not perfect. I don't think the flow is really restricted any longer so I am calling it done.

 

Fuel line

Not that long ago I installed an electric fuel pump. At the time, I simply clamped rubber lines around the outside of the cut metal fuel lines. I can smell gas fumes in the car as I am driving. It could be a lot of things, one of them being that those joints on the fuel lines are allowing vapor to escape. I figured I would try to use compression fittings instead of straight hose on hard line.

I should have done it this way from the start. The compression fittings are not that expensive and provide a MUCH more secure connection. I found some 1/4" compression fittings at my local hardware store. On the other end, I installed some 3/8" hose barbs. So now my hard lines terminate in a 3/8" hose barb, then then goes to a 3/8" hose bard on both ends of the electric fuel pump. I no longer have to go from a 3/8" hose bard on the pump to around a 1/4" hard line. Now I just run 5/16" fuel line to both barbs, easy and secure.

I don't know yet whether this solved my gas smell. I spilled plenty of gas into the cabin as I put the compression fitting on the line coming off the tank. It will take a while for the car to fully air out before I can really test for smells. Regardless, I will never go from a hard line to a rubber line without a compression fitting again.

By the way, the fuel line in the Sonett is 1/4" outer diameter. I think this size is typically used for brake lines. Regardless, a compression fitting was easy to find.

 

Ignition switch

A while back I took the ignition switch off the steering column so I could check for faulty wiring. This was a chore as the security bolts had to be chisled off. I finally got around to buying the right bolts so I could reinstall the ignition switch back at its original location. It is nice not having the ignition switch hitting my leg as I am driving.

 

A/C controls

The prior owner said he never tested the air conditioning. This is code for its broken. If I though it was broken before, I know its broken now because I accidentially damanged the condensor while removing the engine. I heard a hissing as the refigerant escaped. However it was broken before, it was at least pressureized.

The AC controls in the cabin never did anything. I figured they must be shot if the AC was broken while the system was still pressurized. This was a big bummer because on the Sonett there are three vents on the dash that will only blow AC air. The hot or ambient air will never come out these vents. The hot or ambient air will come out the defroster or the floor. It is weird, the AC and the heater are two completely different systems that use different vents and different blower motors! Well, I was tired of not being able to direct air at my face while driving. I figured I might as well take a look at the AC blower motor and its controls.

The AC controls are inconveniently located on the left of the dash. By laying down on the floor and looking up, I was able to see that 3 of the 7 wires were hanging loose off the back of the switches. Thats weird. Better yet, one of the wires that I now know is 12 volt positive was connected to the switch but the other end was cut, not connected to any voltage source. This is all pretty fishy. It seems like someone went through some effort to disable the AC blower motor.

I checked my wiring diagram to see how this thing should be connected. There was nothing about AC in the diagram. I think each Saab dealer installed AC however the hell they felt like because there is no mention of AC in the manual.

I tested the blower motor switch and figured out how it was supposed to work, and determined that it was working correctly. I connected the 3 dangling wires, connected the positive lead to a fused, ignition switched connection, and viola, the AC blower motor came right to life.

Of course the AC system does not produce cold air, but at least the blower motor can be used to circulate air and point it at my face. The blower motor is actually extremely strong. I am very impressed with it.

Now more than every I wonder, what is broken in the AC system. If it was pressurized, and the AC blower motor was functional, then whats left? A fauly compressor? Oh well, that is a task for another day. 

Here is the correct wiring for the AC blower motor switch.

Terminal 1 - Black wire - High speed
Terminal 2 - Gray wire - Medium speed
Terminal C - Yellow wire - Low speed
Terminal L1 - Red wire - +12 volt
Terminal L2 - Blue/White wire - Ground (I think)

I ended up connecting L1 (red wire) up to fuse #10 on the cabin fuse box. This provides power only when the ignition switch is in the on position. So far the AC blower motor is working without any issues.

 

Interior light

The interior light has never come on when I opened the door. You can manually flip the switch on the light to turn it on so I know the light is good. There is a single contact switch on the drivers door that is supposed to turn the light on. There is nothing on the passenger door.

I removed the contact switch from the drivers door jam and found a switch with 2 contacts but only one wire. I thought the other wire must have just fallen off. I spent about 10 minutes trying to fish out the supposed other wire only to learn there is no other wire. The switch simply allows that one wire to run to ground when the switch is closed. This makes sense since the interior light is really operated by two switches; the only way to do it would be by making or breaking the ground connection. 

The contact switch works fine after being reinstalled. I can only guess that it must have been slightly ascue such that the ground connection was not made. I will keep an eye on it but for now, the light is working great. It is nice to have some interior light.

 

Passenger side view mirror

The passenger side view mirror was loose. As soon as any significant amount of wind hit it, it would swivel on its ball joint until it was pointing in a useless direction. I had gotton used to driving without a right side view mirror (this is not my only vehicle without a useable right side view mirror).

Still, I had some time so I figured lets take a look. Let me say first that I figured there was some worn plastic bushing that was not replaceable so I would have to get new side view mirrors entirely. I was wrong. The side view mirror design is simply brillant!

There are two screws on the bottom that release the mirror from the frame. Once the mirror is off, you can access two screws on the inside of the mirror housing. These screws tighten a plate down onto the ball, thus providing more resistence to swiveling the mirror assembly on the ball joint base. 

I simply tightened these screws and reassembled the mirror. It 60 seconds total and my mirror is fixed. This is a better design than I have seen on any mirror, modern or otherwise. I suppose though that is only possible because the mirrors are completely manual with no eletrical motors at all. Still, I am very impressed.

 

Pictures

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Napa 60-1530
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old rubber looks okay but is degraded and leaves marks on the glass
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i think this is called bayonett style wiper arm
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Length is right but the blade does not contour to the very rounded window. We will see how it does.
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straight hose simply compresses too much during the bend
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preformed 5/8 inch heater hose from Napa, 8429. Seems to have about a 45 degree bend
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much better but still not perfect. I dont think flow is restricted any longer though
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these will go on the cut hard fuel lines, 1 off the tank and after the fuel pump and on to the carb
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hose barb attaches to the other end of the compression fitting
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1/4
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rubber hose removed from hard line, hard line will have to be cut back more
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compression fitting installed
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other compression fitting ready to be installed on the line off the tank
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make sure water channels were clear for the trunk. This might address the issue of water in trunk
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ignition switch reinstalled on the steering column
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long hex bolts took the place of the security bolts I had chiseled off earlier
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I want to be able to use the AC blower motor so I can airflow out the vents on the dash
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the back of the switches, the visible one is the temperature control
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switches unscrew from the front of the panel and pull out the back
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switches pulled down to footwell for easier testing
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this is the blower motor control, an ARK LESS USA 2800 H400
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I presume 3-73 means it was made in March of 1973
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there are no wiring diagrams on the internet or in my manual, of course
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this is the temperature control, is a RANDO, maybe, not sure
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I think that is a ground line coming out the top. It is rigid and runs back to the engine compartmen
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RANDO or RANCO model 1247234 A10-6315, presumably made in April 1973
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I didn't do any testing on the temp control switch. I assume its variable voltage output
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now correctly wired
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black=high spd, gray=medium spd, yellow=low spd, red=+12, blue=grnd
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which wire in this mess was the old +12 line that connected to red. Oh well, I will make my own
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I thought removing the dash would help see what was going on with AC blower wiring
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I was wrong, dash is a pain to get out
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oh well, I will at least take some pictures of the switches
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The car stereo memory wire (light green) is not connected to any voltage source
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I will connect it to the cigarette lighter, then use the old wire to connect to fuse box for AC blow
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car stereo +12 volt always on wire connected to cig lighter which is also always on
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blue wire allows me to tap into dash lights to power AC blower motor off fuse #10
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blue line from fuse panel, to inline fuse, to L1 (red wire) for AC blower motor
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I wish I did this earlier. Removing vent provides much better access to AC switches
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ingenious design for the AC vent
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AC evaporator and blower motor
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interior light never comes on when the door is opened
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interior light never comes on, this switch really is supposed to have 1 wire, switches to ground
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notes from reverse engineering AC blower motor switch
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mirror always falls down in wind and becomse useless
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remove these two screws to remove the mirror from the housing
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tighten these two screws to provide more resistence to moving on ball joint
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ball joint now tightened. It will hold up to wind no problem!

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