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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Performance Mods & Tuning - ALL ENGINES Covers GENERAL Tuning & Performance modifications that are *non-engine specific* in nature

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  #1  
Old 8th August 2012
chiliphil1 chiliphil1 is offline
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Default Ecotec compatability.

Hello everyone, this is my first post here! I am a new first time saab owner. I have aquired a 2004 9-3 linier. I absolutely love this car so far, it's great looking and drives better than anything I have ever owned!

Like most I guess I am really big into customizing, I have read alot of the posts on here and have seen some really great stuff so far. I really have big plans for this car which will come in time.

My question at this point is considering that this vehicle has a GM 2.0 ecotec engine in it, what ecotec parts will interchange with the Saab engine? I am sure that for the cobalt line there are several performance componants, such as cams, manifolds, etc.. I know that for the Saab there are nearly zero performace parts, but I know for the chevrolet there are tons. I am also aware that the ecotec has HUGE potential, and there is even a 1,500 HP crate engine that you can buy.

I understand that the Saab ECM does not accept upgrades very well, but I also understand that you can tune that out of it! So again are there differences in the Saab and Chevy engines to the point that parts from one will not fit the other? My main concern is in the top end, cams and intake manifold to be exact.

If this is a repost I'm sorry about that, I searched and did not find anything on this, though I am sure it has been asked before.. Thanks for any help
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  #2  
Old 8th August 2012
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Titansaab27 Titansaab27 is offline
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Originally Posted by chiliphil1 View Post
Hello everyone, this is my first post here! I am a new first time saab owner. I have aquired a 2004 9-3 linier. I absolutely love this car so far, it's great looking and drives better than anything I have ever owned!

Like most I guess I am really big into customizing, I have read alot of the posts on here and have seen some really great stuff so far. I really have big plans for this car which will come in time.

My question at this point is considering that this vehicle has a GM 2.0 ecotec engine in it, what ecotec parts will interchange with the Saab engine? I am sure that for the cobalt line there are several performance componants, such as cams, manifolds, etc.. I know that for the Saab there are nearly zero performace parts, but I know for the chevrolet there are tons. I am also aware that the ecotec has HUGE potential, and there is even a 1,500 HP crate engine that you can buy.

I understand that the Saab ECM does not accept upgrades very well, but I also understand that you can tune that out of it! So again are there differences in the Saab and Chevy engines to the point that parts from one will not fit the other? My main concern is in the top end, cams and intake manifold to be exact.

If this is a repost I'm sorry about that, I searched and did not find anything on this, though I am sure it has been asked before.. Thanks for any help
if you know anything about engine mapping, try out the T8 Suite and tune the car with that (its open source i believe). If not, John Z. Williams over at JZW or Brian Blair over at VtunerSaabs can probably put together a custom tune for the direction that you want to go.

The ECU is the limitation for bolt on stuff, though some people say its a very capable ECU as far as handling the functions of the engine. There really isn't anyone here that has the time and money to tear into the 2.0 motor so there is not a lot of reference.
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  #3  
Old 8th August 2012
MA2 MA2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiliphil1 View Post
I know that for the Saab there are nearly zero performace parts, but I know for the chevrolet there are tons. I am also aware that the ecotec has HUGE potential, and there is even a 1,500 HP crate engine that you can buy.

I understand that the Saab ECM does not accept upgrades very well, but I also understand that you can tune that out of it! So again are there differences in the Saab and Chevy engines to the point that parts from one will not fit the other?
first to the zero performance parts, that's not true at all, we don't have a vast pool to choose from like Cobalts, Redlines or civics, but saabs does have some companys out there making stuff for our cars.

The 9-3 and earlier model Cobalts, redline, G6's (pre LNF) all share the same basic engine, the thing that makes them different are pretty much everything excluding the block.
there's a guy on here that did a B207R(9-3 2.0T) swap in his cobalt, but had to change the heads. took the turbo off and slap on his Super charger. I would immagine the reason no one has done the reverse is because there are just a few handful or tuners (most of them out the US) and doing stuff like Cams, and complete engine reworks using cobalt parts would require a lot and i mean a lot of tuning to get it right, and most of thier business comes from tune-by-mail.

but don't be discouraged, depending on what you have you can easily get 300+ hp from your 9-3.
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Old 8th August 2012
chiliphil1 chiliphil1 is offline
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Originally Posted by MA2 View Post
first to the zero performance parts, that's not true at all, we don't have a vast pool to choose from like Cobalts, Redlines or civics, but saabs does have some companys out there making stuff for our cars.

The 9-3 and earlier model Cobalts, redline, G6's (pre LNF) all share the same basic engine, the thing that makes them different are pretty much everything excluding the block.
there's a guy on here that did a B207R(9-3 2.0T) swap in his cobalt, but had to change the heads. took the turbo off and slap on his Super charger. I would immagine the reason no one has done the reverse is because there are just a few handful or tuners (most of them out the US) and doing stuff like Cams, and complete engine reworks using cobalt parts would require a lot and i mean a lot of tuning to get it right, and most of thier business comes from tune-by-mail.

but don't be discouraged, depending on what you have you can easily get 300+ hp from your 9-3.
thanks for the input. I figured as much, and I don't think it would be very justifiable to swap a cobalt head onto the Saab block, besides what all would you need to do that?? Ecu, harness.. on and on I'm sure.

I just read an article in hot rod magazine where by changing the cams and supercharger they got over 500 hp from a 2.0 ecotec.. anywhoo.. you say 300 is easily doable? How if I may ask do people go about this? I have not seen any serious parts for the Saab, mostly bolt ons..

I am really looking to get into the 400's. but if that's not doable, then it's not.. but the stock 175 is somewhat discouraging with a turbo..

I am new to the Saab world, the euro world for that matter, but what is available, and where do I start?
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  #5  
Old 8th August 2012
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The company maptun is currently working on perfecting a stage 6 or something like that for 400+hp at the crank. Not certain when it will be available, but it will most definitely be very expensive.
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  #6  
Old 8th August 2012
chiliphil1 chiliphil1 is offline
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The company maptun is currently working on perfecting a stage 6 or something like that for 400+hp at the crank. Not certain when it will be available, but it will most definitely be very expensive.
no kidding! their parts cost a small fortune.. It's almost like buying Mugen parts for honda.
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  #7  
Old 8th August 2012
smut smut is offline
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By changing pistons,injecters, exhaust,fuel pump , turbo and ecu remaping and a few other things that are easily available you can push it up over 500hp lots of guys on here have done it.
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Old 8th August 2012
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to get your car to 300hp you'll have to upgrade your turbo to a TD04 HL 14t, but you can slap on a 19t (i know one person here has done it, maybe more) and those you can find on ebay a hell of a lot cheaper than you can at maptune. OBX makes a downpipe for almost half the price of maptun and BSR, the CAI you can make yourself for 40 bucks, and the exhaust can be pieced together for about a third of the price if you know a good enough exhaust shop. it's not that bad just takes some searching and customer fabing. It's not like a civic were you can just walk into a walmart or autozone and get parts right off the shelf
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  #9  
Old 8th August 2012
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zmccoy777 zmccoy777 is offline
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Originally Posted by smut View Post
By changing pistons,injecters, exhaust,fuel pump , turbo and ecu remaping and a few other things that are easily available you can push it up over 500hp lots of guys on here have done it.

I am sorry no disrespect but who do you know on here that have taking the 9-3 over 500hp. I have yet to read or see any post about that. Could you be so kindly to point them out so that I can read up on it?
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  #10  
Old 9th August 2012
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I am sorry no disrespect but who do you know on here that have taking the 9-3 over 500hp. I have yet to read or see any post about that. Could you be so kindly to point them out so that I can read up on it?
he's probably getting mixed up with the T5-7 cars. those could be monsters...
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  #11  
Old 9th August 2012
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Originally Posted by MA2 View Post
to get your car to 300hp you'll have to upgrade your turbo to a TD04 HL 14t, but you can slap on a 19t (i know one person here has done it, maybe more) and those you can find on ebay a hell of a lot cheaper than you can at maptune.
Or you can buy a td04-14t and upgrade it to a 19t yourself by buying the compressor housing/wheel off ebay

At least, thats what I'm planning on doing along with running a meth kit lol
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  #12  
Old 9th August 2012
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Or you can buy a td04-14t and upgrade it to a 19t yourself by buying the compressor housing/wheel off ebay

At least, thats what I'm planning on doing along with running a meth kit lol
trust me i left that part out for a reason, i didn't want to get started on this long as rant of all the little things you can do to increase hp. I'm sure if he does his research he should be able to find it fairly easily.
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  #13  
Old 9th August 2012
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First thing you should do since you want huge gains is sell the linear and buy the 2.0T or 2.8T model. The price difference will be compensated for the money you'll put in just to get to either alternative model's performance.
EDIT: If you want HUGE gains, then go with the 2006 2.8T (will be the cheapest v6 you can buy since it was the first year of production) and then talk to John WIlliams.
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  #14  
Old 9th August 2012
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Originally Posted by wardak33 View Post
Or you can buy a td04-14t and upgrade it to a 19t yourself by buying the compressor housing/wheel off ebay

At least, thats what I'm planning on doing along with running a meth kit lol
I'm pretty sure there's been some discussion about meth not reacting well with the knock sensors on our cars, have you done any research on this at all or are you just saying things?
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Old 9th August 2012
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Originally Posted by SaabMick View Post
First thing you should do since you want huge gains is sell the linear and buy the 2.0T or 2.8T model. The price difference will be compensated for the money you'll put in just to get to either alternative model's performance.
EDIT: If you want HUGE gains, then go with the 2006 2.8T (will be the cheapest v6 you can buy since it was the first year of production) and then talk to John WIlliams.
Well that's not entirely true here in texas you can pick up a lil for under 4 grand, most of the time they sale for 3200 or cheaper, were Arcs go for 6 and up, and aeros are from 8 to 11.

So at the very least it's 2 grand diffence, at eh most over 5 grand, you can buy a B207r off ebay for what like 200 bucks, and pick up a TD04 turbo for around 400 i know the oil and water lines are 120. That's less than a grand do the work yourself and you have your self a Linarc, or a linero lol.

FYI the main thing that needs to be changed is the turbo, you can go all out and change the everything from the cams up or just swap in the new engine. if you do it yourself it shouldn't take you that long or cost you much. If you pay a mechanic figure to pay at the very least 700 and up
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Old 9th August 2012
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Well if he wants more horsepower than just the 2.0T, you still have to take into consideration the full exhaust and tuning costs, which unless you get lucky going the used route will cost you another 1500-2000 bucks not including installation.
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Old 9th August 2012
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I'm pretty sure there's been some discussion about meth not reacting well with the knock sensors on our cars, have you done any research on this at all or are you just saying things?
Yeah I've done my research..

If you run a meth kit on any car without changing the timing, of course you're gonna have problems. With the T8's being sensitive as they are, a tune with more timing added SHOULD account for running alcohol without any problems. Can I confirm this statement and say it's 100% true, not at the moment. I have a meth kit already installed on my other car. I'm gonna pull it off and run it on the 9-3 and hopefully with a tune it'll be okay.
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  #18  
Old 9th August 2012
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Originally Posted by MA2 View Post
to get your car to 300hp you'll have to upgrade your turbo to a TD04 HL 14t, but you can slap on a 19t (i know one person here has done it, maybe more) and those you can find on ebay a hell of a lot cheaper than you can at maptune. OBX makes a downpipe for almost half the price of maptun and BSR, the CAI you can make yourself for 40 bucks, and the exhaust can be pieced together for about a third of the price if you know a good enough exhaust shop. it's not that bad just takes some searching and customer fabing. It's not like a civic were you can just walk into a walmart or autozone and get parts right off the shelf
This is sound advice that the OP should pay attention to. Thank goodness for T-8 suite as I can remember people paying over $1,000.00 for tunes.

I got my 2004 9-3 Aero with a full 3" JT turboback tuned for $250 by Rabbit (Brew City Boost) and it's a night and day difference. Car is more than I need for a daily and it's rock-solid dependable.
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  #19  
Old 11th August 2012
20Tsaabsteve 20Tsaabsteve is offline
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I don't know if it was said in this thread exactly, but the lower-end is the exact same as the LSJ (supercharged) balts. I am pretty sure the heads are the same, but where they differ is that Saabs have a power steering pump attached, and the LSJ's just have a cover there (they have an electric steering motor). The Cams are different, as I am sure the valve springs might be as well. I believe the heads are basically the same, otherwise zzperformance wouldn't use the Saab intake manifold in their Turbo kits for the supercharged cobalts.

The stock bottom end will handle around 400whp stock, but I don't know what the longevity of the engine would be at that range. I would say 350whp could be had in these cars safely.

I have researched, and if you wanted a different turbo option, you could get the factory manifold off of the LNF. I forgot the cost, but it is twin scroll which would help lag, and I think there are a lot more turbo options out there for the LNF manifold. Of course, you could run any custom manifold from the balts.

The biggest issue most have with tuning is the T8 ecu. The balts use ecu's that can be tuned with hptuners, it is really easy to modify and very tuner friendly. The T8 isn't nearly as user friendly, but if you know of someone that knows how to tune it, then that really wouldn't be a hiccup. I know a lot of companies offer "out of the box" tunes, but more than likely they are really safe tunes as no one can release a "perfect" tune for everyone that have different mods, engines will even vary in VE, difference in altitude, temps, etc.

I was wanting to attempt a ecu swap, but that will be a long ways down the road. Plus would be a long process, comparing pin outs of both, etc. I might do the comparison soon just to see if it would be remotely possible.

Regardless though, there is a lot you can do, as long as you can tune!

Side note, I thought the guy with the B207r in the Cobalt did not swap heads, just intake manifold so it would mate up to the S/C.
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