Aero spotting, how to tell? [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Aero spotting, how to tell?

02-10-02, 06:16 AM
Hi folks, i'm hoping to go 9000 Aero shopping this w/e, but am concerned that the exact model definition seems a little vague, ie not listed at all in Parker's guides. Is the Aero a CSE 2.3 turbo, a CS 2.3 turbo, not a CS at all, and is it actually badged Aero? I've scoured the forums and know about the Intercooler, Mitsu turbo, 16" alloys etc, but I just want to know was it an "official" model name? All these things could be added to a "ringer". Hoping not to have to come back and chek VIN's etc as I'd like to buy one and drive it away.
Any other pointers welcomed, I'm presuming something with 135000 on the clock still has a load of life in it, as a 900 would. 2,500 sounds fair to me, any advice? Thanks!

02-10-02, 04:47 PM
First thing is that I don't think that 2.5k is realistic for an Aero unless you are very lucky. I paid 3.7 for a 135k 1995 and think I got a good buy. If this is your budget then I'd go for a standard 2.3t and get its ECU upgraded in order to give it more BHP than a stock Aero.

Two things to check to identify an Aero:
1. Look out for the Aero seats. They are leather sports bucket seats type with large 'wings' on them.
2. Check engine no on V% and look for B234R... There must be an 'R'.

Aero was an official model.

Final thing is, don't buy an auto because they are just 200bhp.

Good luck!


Jo K
02-10-02, 05:03 PM
They also have "Aero" written on the back, which is a bit of a giveaway :lol:

AFAIK all Aeros were in the CS body-style (i.e. hatch). Some CS models came with Aero bodykits, so apart from the Aero badge the most obvious sign that it's an Aero is the bucket seats. Otherwise check the engine number as the previous poster suggests.

I've driven a CS FPT auto and it was very smooth indeed, but then it had just have a complete gearbox overhaul at only 60k kilometres, suggesting that they aren't that durable where they haven't been looked after.

The manual Aeros are deceptively quick, as you'd expect, and have upgraded engine internals that can handle the hp better than an upgraded CS. In my experience here people tend to prefer the automatics, despite being slower and more problematic. Go figure...

02-10-02, 05:51 PM
Yes, look for the "Aero" badge. If it's a manual (don't see the point in an auto as there's not much special about it) then the eighth digit of the VIN should be an "R". Anything else and it hasn't got the Aero manual 225hp engine.

And check the registration document - it should be described as a "9000 CS AERO" or something similar with the word "Aero" in it. I believe there was a 9000 Aero in the pre-CS shape in some markets, but not in the UK. It's probably rather like the pre-CS Carlsson we got here.

The 9000 Aero engine is no different internally from any other 9000 2.3 turbo engine (unlike the 9-5), so upgrading one of those is a reasonable alternative although to go the whole hog you'd have to upgrade the suspension too. Also the tuning potential is more limited as the smaller turbo on the 2.3T can't handle as much power. You should be able to get the Aero's 225hp quite easily, though, and with less turbo lag.

135K is nothing, but I agree with Alan that you'll be lucky to find one for 2500. Perhaps a '93.

Jo K
02-10-02, 06:06 PM
Isn't the Aero engine slightly different to the standard engine used in the CS & CD? :-??

I've heard that the Aero engine has extra oil jets (?) or similar for ensuring that plenty of oil gets to the places that oil needs to go, but I might just be making that up...

What about strengthened pistons and such like. Anyone know for sure? Or am I going to have to go out any buy one?! :idea

02-10-02, 07:06 PM
I've heard that the Aero engine has extra oil jets (?) or similar for ensuring that plenty of oil gets to the places that oil needs to go, but I might just be making that up...
I believe that applies to the difference between the 9-5 Aero and 9-5 non-Aero engines. The B235 engine used in the 9-5 is a bit more "lightweight" than the B234 used in the 9000.

The 9000 2.3 turbo engines are all the same, as are all the 9000 2.0 B202 engines (pre-'94) and all the 2.0 B204 engines ('94-on).

The only other differences on the 9000 are between the turbo and non-turbo engines (given the same engine capacity). The turbo engines have different camshafts, lower compression ratio and sodium-filled exhaust valves. The pistons might also be a bit stronger, but I'm not sure.

03-10-02, 08:23 AM
Brilliant, thanks folks! The Integrale is hopefully going tomorrow, (phew- still alive) freeing up my 9000 buying cash. I too thought that 2500 was too cheap, but the car is in Suffolk or something anyway, so I won't be going there in the near future. It's on, met green.
i hope to spend the sort of money Alan did, a bit more if the mileage is low (I do 35k a year). Wish me luck.
P.S. found a 2.3 turbo S for a mate last w/e for 750 notes thats absolutely lovely 120 k, dark grey with leather, should have kept it for myself!

03-10-02, 10:01 AM
I wouldn't discount it just because it seems too cheap - it might be a bargain, although if it's too far away you risk a long journey to find out it's a dog. The 2.3TS is a quick car by all acccounts. Was that the CS shape, or did they do one in the old shape too? Sounds like a snip at 750!

04-10-02, 08:13 AM
This one is on a H and is an old shape hatch. Highly dicreet though, and seemed pretty quick, but major torque steer! Very tidy car for the money, with lots of life left. Will coax the owner on to the board...

04-10-02, 08:49 AM
Hmm...seems theres a black L plate Aero at the economy Saab centre in Bristol for 2,495, but 180k is a bit on the high side for me... cocked this up of course because the Integrale has gone (phew) and I need a replacement for Mon am, or I will struggle to get to work. Our 3rd car is off the road having it's wheels refurbished. doh.

04-10-02, 12:06 PM
major torque steer!
Sounds like it needs 20-worth of new control arm bushes.

As for the Aero, sounds worth a look and I don't imagine Bristol is a million miles away from you. If it's still going OK at 180K (and it's a manual), perhaps it's alright. Depends on whether you can do some of your own work and/or you have a few quid put to one side for parts. Even a reconditioned turbo for an Aero can be got for about 200 (plus fitting, if you don't fit it yourself).

Bet the Aero torque-steers too, for the same reason as stated above.

05-10-02, 03:37 PM

Are you sure about all 2.3 engines being the same. I thought the B234r from 1993 or 4 on, had a compression ratio of 9.25 as opposed to 8.5 for all previous 2.3s. Part of this comes from but I also read more detailed info on this somewhere else that I can't locate now.


05-10-02, 05:52 PM
All 2.3 turbos from 1994 (ie, B234E, L & R) on had 9.25:1 compression ratios. The B234i had 10.5:1. Up till '94 the B234L & R had the 8.5:1. Before '94 the injection had a 10:1 compression ratio.

06-10-02, 06:38 AM
Cheers for clearing that up Steve.

Any reason why compression ratio changed you know of?


06-10-02, 09:25 AM
Not sure why they changed the compression ratios but all 2.3l models lost about 8-10 Nm of torque at this point (hp remained the same).

07-10-02, 05:39 AM
oh well, I bottled out of that one when offered an H plate T16s, very tidy, one owner FSSH and 147k, met grey years Mot and 6 months tax for 800! Leaves plenty in the pot for tuning tho! Thanks for the info tho, I'll be 9000 aero-ing before too long.

07-10-02, 06:15 AM
Are you sure about all 2.3 engines being the same.
Ah! I should have said that there is no difference between Aero, 2.3T and 2.3t engines of the same vintage, my point being that there is nothing special about the Aero engine. Perhaps I should apply the same rigourous use of language to my posts as I do to the procedures on my web site :oops: