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Heater control cables

Pit Crew

I have an under-restoration 1973 SAAB 96 with frozen up heater/defroster control cables (the encased ones that connect from the dash to the heater box, vents, etc.).  No amount of soaking in various solvents seems to want to free them.  Assuming that no one has some tricks I haven't yet tried, I assume I need new cables.  A few years ago, I found a website on which I could order various lengths with specific end-types.  I can no longer find that website. Does anyone know of a similar source?  Hours of searching on the 'net has so-far provided many options for vintage cars, though mostly U.S. collectables and muscle cars, but nothing that would clearly fit a near-50-year-old SAAB.  Probably length and end types are the principle variables, with no knobs or brackets included.

 

  

7 REPLIES 7
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Re: Heater control cables

Community Manager

Oh wow, that's gonna be a challenge!  Maybe a fun one if you find the right vendor that will work with you.  Odds are you have no choice but to see if someone will custom make cables to your specifications.  Can you pull them off and ship them to someone?  

 

I would check with these guys first, asking specifically if they make custom ones: https://www.oldairproducts.com/products/factory-replacement-parts/cables 

 

It also wouldn't hurt to call this place and see if they have a contact with a European SAAB parts vendor: https://www.saabusaparts.com/category-s/404925.htm 

 

Just like that last vendor, it wouldn't hurt to call this dealership, because they might actually care enough to help.  I don't know why they would run a Google Ad campaign for SAAB otherwise, they have gotta care at least a little:   https://www.stpaulsaab.com/?st-t=google_adwords%20&vt-k=&vt-mt=&vt-n=&vt-d=c&vt-dm=&vt-p=&vt-t=&vt-a... . 

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Re: Heater control cables

Detailer

have you tried the Saab Central website?  www.saabcentral.com

 

Two parts source names dropped on a forum there were:

 

https://www.thesaabsite.com/

 

https://www.eeuroparts.com/

 

 

Disclaimer: I haven't used any of the above. Last time I was in a Saab was 25 years ago. It was a 77 2 door, sweet car.

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Re: Heater control cables

New Driver

Hi...the piano wire was just stuck, I had the console off of the E-brake and was able to finally pivot the bell crank on the side of the E-brake. When I extracted the cables they came out with some tugging, but were sluggish.
I'm thinking I might get some gun cleaner in an aerosol can and squirt down the housing before installing the new cables.

 

prototype pcb

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Re: Heater control cables

Community Manager

That's very good advice! 

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Re: Heater control cables

Hagerty Employee
I had a similar issue with a 1969 Porsche 911E. I could not source new ones, but managed to remove the inner wire and then clean out the housings with a smaller gauge wire. Let us know how it goes and good luck!
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Re: Heater control cables

Pit Crew

Thanks for the good thoughts, Sajeev.  I had previously searched the "oldairproducts.com" website but couldn't find the right lengths and end types amongst the large number of packaged cables they carry. Following your advice, though, I emailed them about the possibility of their making me some custom cables.  They're willing to provide a quote if I send them pictures and specs (lengths, etc.).  As regards domestic SAAB sources, however, it has been my experience that most had long-since abandoned interest in two-digit SAABs (i.e. 95's, 96's, 97's/Sonetts, and 99's) and focused only on 900's, 9000's, 9-3's and 9-5's.  This was true even before the shutdown in 2011.  Remotely possible that someone in Sweden might have some, but Swedish clubs don't, due to self-interest, advertise such sources. Will pursue a quote from "oldairproducts" to see if that's even reasonable.  Appreciate your help. 

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Re: Heater control cables

Pit Crew

Appreciate the feedback and glad you found a solution for your 911E.  Unfortunately, I'm thinking that the only way you could pull the control wire out of the cable housing is if one or the other end is straight.  Mine has a loop on one end and a "jog-down" bend on the other.  Drat!