Saab 96 V4 Rally – engine build part 2.


The 1969 Saab 96 Rally is coming along nicely. Last weekend we got as far as installing the crankshaft and pistons. This weekend we got a little more done on the engine. Here’s what we did:

Oil pump

The first job on the high-flow oil pump was to upgrade the oil pressure. This can be done by inserting a washer under the oil pressure regulator spring (drill a hole in the cap, put a screw in and pull the cap out, shut the hole by welding). It is also a good idea to check that there’s no dirt or filings in the pump – even if it is a new pump.

Timing gear cover and oil pan

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of putting the timing gear cover seals in. But basically it’s just two paper seals with a plate in between. Just use a healthy amount of gasket glue to make sure it doesn’t leak.

Intake manifold


The crossflow intake manifold has a lot bigger port size than the stock Saab heads. So the ports on the heads need to be opened up a little.

So – there’s still a lot to do. We need to finish grinding the ports before we can continue to put in all the new valve mechanism pieces. Also the block needs to be painted. And we need to figure out a more elegant carburettor linkage…



  1. Hello Tommi, That is a fine looking engine. Have estimated the horsepower and torque yet? The company that rebuilt my engine lists that they installed a oil pump from a V6. I know when it first starts I have 60 lbs of oil pressure, driving 50 lbs and on idle 25 lbs. No shortage there. I have a question, who makes the best oil pan and timing gear gaskets, as mine has a leak and will be a one of the winter projects. Also that crossover intake manifold with Weber Carb’s sure looks good. Now you have me looking for that intake setup. Here is another, what brand of shocks do you use?
    Besides all my questions, the photo of the front of the Rally car’s paint job is fantastic looking, another great job Tommi. And I’ll be looking forward to your next post. Keep up the great work.
    Sincerely, Bill

    • Tommi Järvinen

      Hi Bill,

      no, I have not measured the hp. It should be around 110 to 120 hp mark, but we shall see. Yes, the oil pump is from a V6, and as such should do very well in a road car. Upgading the pressure is just a precaution.

      I don’t really know about the gaskets – most of the sets I have are 10 to 20 year old! And I have not had any special problems with any of them. A V4 always leaks a little! 😀

      The shocks should really be Bilsteins. Everybody I know uses them for rallying. I put in some old leftovers to save a bit of money.



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