New user needs info about upgrading 96' 9000 2.3 LPT [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: New user needs info about upgrading 96' 9000 2.3 LPT

9th December 2002, 09:08 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm andrew from the US and this is my first time posting on saab central. Im a 20 yr old student and just retired my first car - the 92 900s. Tomorrow i pick up my long saved for '96 9000 2.3 LPT. I got a good price on this car and even though i wanted a FPT i couldnt turn it down (i drove a couple of fpt's before this lpt but found this one in great condition with a warranty for under 6 grand us). The car is black, clean, has new exhaust and brakes and runs great. Its an auto with exactly 100,000 miles on it. The tranny is strong and the engine appears to never have had leaks.

I expect i will love the car especially since i am going from the 900's 3 speed auto which eventually gets annoying.
I have exhaustively researched this car and have talked to many about the differences between it and the FPT. I have even inquired at map tun and abbott racing about options to increase the power on the car. I have heard that the auto shouldnt be put though more than 200 hp though so i am debating the ecu tuning path (also as i am a college student who just bought a car i am short on cash). I have also heard some say that the lpt can be turned into a fpt by adding a few valves and swapping computers with a fpt parts car. This seems easy enough - but i dont know what to swap, if its true, and if it will be safe for the car. I have heard from some that this isnt safe as the compression on the 2.3 lpt is different from the 2.3 fpt - does changing the ecu fix this?

I am very confused about the turbo issue but extreamly happy to be getting the new car tomorrow.

Any insight would help - thanks in advance! :)

10th December 2002, 12:06 AM
basically all i want to find out for sure is if the actual turbo on the lpt and the fpt are the same - because if the only difference is the apc solenoid and the fpt computer and possibly a couple of higher grade hoses then maybe i can just make it into a fpt. If anyone has a specific checklist or any info please write back, as im thinking possibly i can just buy a solenoid and a used computer and swap them?


10th December 2002, 04:19 AM
Differences between LPT and FPT? The turbo is the same. The Aero was the only model with a larger turbo. The compression ratio is also the same (your B234E has 9.25:1 same as all the other B234s except the n/a).

Tuning: you're right to turn it into the FPT all you need is a second hand FPT ECU, the APC solenoid and 3 new vacuum hoses.

Two possible problems with this: 1) you'll void your warranty and 2) if your 9000 has SAAB's immobiliser system the replacement ECU won't work. Folk like Maptun & Speedparts take this point into account when re-programming the ECU.

10th December 2002, 04:07 PM
Sounds like you want more power but I wonder about the reliability with a high mileage engine. Does anyone know what kind of damage can be done by performing this "upgrade"?

10th December 2002, 04:42 PM
I wonder about the reliability with a high mileage engine At the risk of sounding cavalier, 100k miles is not high mileage for a SAAB :D Barely broken in :lol:

Of course you would want to make sure everything was working as it should (timing chain, BOV, PCV check valve, vacuum hoses, wategate, head gasket, DI cartridge, gear box, brakes.... somebody stop me before I list every part of the car :roll: ) but that's common sense isn't it :-?? And of course a LPT will have been under much less stress than a FPT while being built to the same level.

10th December 2002, 05:56 PM
very true that 100k is NOT high miles for a saab:) Thanks for all the help with the lpt problem - i just ordered a used ecu from a '96 fpt for about $280 and a boost control for $120. I also checked on the immobilizer problem and appearently i dont have it so it shouldnt be a problem on this car. Basically i know im going to be switching ecu's and i know where its located but past that im a little foggy on where im supposed to put the vacuum hoses and the boost control. If anyone wants to write some detailed instructions id appreaciate it a lot :D

Thanks Guys - i hope this all works! (theres no return on the ecu that i bought :roll: )

11th December 2002, 03:26 AM
Im making the assumption youve also got the vacuum hose. If you havent, it needs to be 6mm internal with 2mm wall width and IIRC about 2m long then cut into 3 roughly equal sections.

The solenoid should come with an L bracket which you mount in the predrilled holes near the top of the rad fan mount (RHS as you look down from front). Bolt the solenoid to the bracket and find the 3 pin plug for it. This will be zip tied to the fan wiring, about half way down. Connect it up.

Youll have noticed the letters C, W & R on the solenoid. R is return. This barb is on the topside of the air pipe just before the turbo unit. It is plugged on LPTs. Remove plug & connect hose between the two. C is compressor, the barb is directly (180 deg) below the R one and connected with vacuum hose to the wastegate actuator barb. Remove the hose & connect the new hose between solenoid 'C' barb and compressor. W (wastegate) barb connection should be self explanatory by now :wink:

Ensure all hoses are on securely and zip tie all hose ends to their barbs.

You probably know how to connect the ECU (and look on the bright side: you have a spare :D ). All done and take her out for an adaptation run (5 seconds at 3,500 revs in as high a gear as possible). Thats it 8)

12th December 2002, 08:17 PM
just found out that i DO have the immobilizer :( dont know what to do now - ive already ordered the ecu and its no return :( i havent tried converting it yet - but why doesnt the conversion work with the immobilizer and is there a way to get around this - i dont care if i lose the immobilizer

very worried now :roll:

12th December 2002, 08:29 PM
As long as the car you got the ECU from doesn't have the immobiliser, you should be OK. You will lose the immobiliser function, though.

The difficulty is that the ECU with the immobiliser function built in will not start the engine until the security system says it's OK. The security system is tied to the serial number of your original ECU so won't work with any other. However, an ECU that doesn't have the immobiliser will start the engine regardless.

12th December 2002, 08:53 PM
worst case scenerio - could i pay a saab dealership to reprogram the security system or the like to recognize each other?

if anyone knows anything more about this and/or price please write back

12th December 2002, 10:27 PM
i wish i could just rip the stupid immobilizer out - if that would make the new ecu work - is there an "immobilizer computer" that can be "ripped out" in order to make the ecu work?

13th December 2002, 04:55 AM
The thing is that the immobiliser function is part of the ECU. How it works is that by default the ECU will not start the engine. It will only do so after the security system tells it that all is OK. This means that if you rip out the security system, your ECU will never start the car.
I don't know whether a Saab dealer can reprogram the security system to work with a new ECU.

If your replacement ECU is not from a car with the Saab VSS (vehicle security system), then it will start the engine regardless. It's not whether your car has VSS that you need to be worried about. It's whether the donor car has VSS.

And it is only the Saab VSS system that is the problem (introduced in about '96, I think, and only standard on the Aero, optional on others). The various "add-on" systems that Saab has fitted over the years don't involve the ECU.

13th December 2002, 10:14 AM
thanks for the help

i was just successful in returning the ecu that i ordered as its a '96 computer and here in the US all '96 models came standard with the immobilizer. Time to search for a different ecu - so far the cheapest with a warranty has been around $350us.

Thanks again BillJ and SteveN for the help!

16th December 2002, 07:53 AM
Yes I think that your Saab dealer can reprogram the ECU for you. If I were you I would make the change at your local dealer and pay them a little for the help...

When I got my ECU reprogrammed by Maptun they saw that my old ECU from another company had the VSS activated and this worked fine even with mt car without VSS.

2nd January 2003, 09:57 AM
Update on all of this:

After spending a little while wedged under the car i was able to convert it - however i did lose the fuction of the immobilizer. To be honest i really dont care much about the immobilizer and am VERY happy with the results of the conversion. The car has smooth full turbo acceleration with no real turbo lag. It seems that i get better gas milage especially on the highway as the turbo just kicks in to make in up hills.

Thanks again for the help with this!

2nd January 2003, 12:50 PM
Great news, ajgardner01. There's nothing like a 2.3T auto for effortless point and squirt driving. With the emphasis on the squirt :cheesy:

2nd January 2003, 08:19 PM
putt putt putt putt, nice job Andrew I'll have to see it