1999 9-3 Hatch Best bang for the buck power mod - SaabCentral Forums
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NG900 & OG9-3 Performance, Mods & Tuning Covers Tuning & Performance modifications for the NG900 (1994 to 1998) & OG9-3 (1999-2002) & '03 Convertible

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Old 20th June 2011
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Default 1999 9-3 Hatch Best bang for the buck power mod

Hi I drive a 2007 Aero 9-3 which is tuned to 14psi (lots of fun). But trying to help a friend out that has a 1999 9-3 that wants a power mod or two. What is the lowest cost solution(s)?
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  #2  
Old 20th June 2011
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If you friend is savvy with electronics and computers then tuning is own ECU (or a spare) is a cheap way to get some performance increase. A MBC is another cheap item, tho it doesn't offer the depth that ECU tuning does, but much simpler. What kind of price range is low cost?
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Old 20th June 2011
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Originally Posted by jakejm79 View Post
If you friend is savvy with electronics and computers then tuning is own ECU (or a spare) is a cheap way to get some performance increase. A MBC is another cheap item, tho it doesn't offer the depth that ECU tuning does, but much simpler. What kind of price range is low cost?

I guess the logical answer is as low cost as possible. So the MBC is a quick solution? How much should he expect to pay and what type of gains? What is the process?
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Old 20th June 2011
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Well for under $50 your choices are limited for mods, but if he was willing to spend a couple of $100 then it opens up more options. Some people on here would say $300 is low cost based on what they have spend others would say that is a lot.
When I had a MBC I got the MBC+A kit from SMART, but there are cheaper setups available. I'm not sure of the HP gains, not huge I'm sure since you are still capped at the same max boost (~15PSI), the big difference is boost is no longer limited in 1st or 2nd, so it feels more urgent off the line.
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Old 20th June 2011
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Well for under $50 your choices are limited for mods, but if he was willing to spend a couple of $100 then it opens up more options. Some people on here would say $300 is low cost based on what they have spend others would say that is a lot.
When I had a MBC I got the MBC+A kit from SMART, but there are cheaper setups available. I'm not sure of the HP gains, not huge I'm sure since you are still capped at the same max boost (~15PSI), the big difference is boost is no longer limited in 1st or 2nd, so it feels more urgent off the line.
So there is no more power to be had? Just full power in 1st and 2nd? 3rd onwards would be the same?
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Old 20th June 2011
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There is a little more power, but since the only changing the max boost from 10-12 PSI to close to 15 PSI (or as close as you can get it) there isn't a lot. But for under $50 what do expect. The only way to get large gains in HP for little or no money is to tune the ECU yourself.
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Old 20th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagon View Post
Hi I drive a 2007 Aero 9-3 which is tuned to 14psi (lots of fun). But trying to help a friend out that has a 1999 9-3 that wants a power mod or two. What is the lowest cost solution(s)?

tell yer friend to go to Genuine Saab site and get the $100 T5 Stage 1 ECU tune.

Or you can try the T5 Suite think lots of folks have gone that way too if you are able to manage it on your own.

there's also a dude in Toronto that hooks up your ecu to his laptop and does the stage 1 tune right in front of you if its close to you. Lots to decide so good luck!!
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tell yer friend to go to Genuine Saab site and get the $100 T5 Stage 1 ECU tune.

Or you can try the T5 Suite think lots of folks have gone that way too if you are able to manage it on your own.

there's also a dude in Toronto that hooks up your ecu to his laptop and does the stage 1 tune right in front of you if its close to you. Lots to decide so good luck!!
Thanks! In Montreal now so would be cool if there was a tuner here a well.
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Old 22nd June 2011
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tell yer friend to go to Genuine Saab site and get the $100 T5 Stage 1 ECU tune.
Wonder if you can keep a smart MBC on the car with the GS stage 1 tune?
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Old 22nd June 2011
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I was just gonna stick with getting an MBC but after finding out my 9-3 is only a LPT and chatting with a few guys on the forum I have now decided to with a stage 1 or 2 ecu tune. My motor is the LPT 150 hp and I'm looking to try and get it over 200 hp or closer to 250 lol, the more pony's the better. Will also be sticking with the MBC to raise or lower boost to my liking lol.
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Old 22nd June 2011
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Mr RX7, you can, but it almost defeats the purpose, the MBC allows the boost level to be set manually (by a spring and ball bearing blocking off air flow to open the WG until a certain pressure is achieved). The APC on the other hand relies on the ECU to tell it when to allow flow to the WG so it can open at pressure, the advantage of this is that it can be told to open at different times in different situations (gears, rpm, speed, etc). In theory you obtain the same max boost and max HP from a stage 1 ECU and MBC vs. APC, but the APC allows you to have more control and therefor able to change the torque and HP curves.
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Old 22nd June 2011
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Originally Posted by jakejm79 View Post
Mr RX7, you can, but it almost defeats the purpose, the MBC allows the boost level to be set manually (by a spring and ball bearing blocking off air flow to open the WG until a certain pressure is achieved). The APC on the other hand relies on the ECU to tell it when to allow flow to the WG so it can open at pressure, the advantage of this is that it can be told to open at different times in different situations (gears, rpm, speed, etc). In theory you obtain the same max boost and max HP from a stage 1 ECU and MBC vs. APC, but the APC allows you to have more control and therefor able to change the torque and HP curves.
I am wondering about boost. You get fuel cut at 14 psi and I assume this is changed with the GS flash. You can run up the boost but then is it safe etc.? I would bet it's probably better just to use the BPS.
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Old 22nd June 2011
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It is better to use the APC since the fuel maps on the tuned ECU are geared towards the APC controlling the boost level. Either way it should still be safe, yes the fuel cut limit will be raised with a tuned ECU but the fuel maps have been changed so that the correct amount of fuel is used all the way up to the fuel cut limit. The only real reason to use a MBC with a tuned ECU would be if your APC is not working and you can't afford/locate a new one.
The only thing that is really not safe to do, is to bypass the fuel cut limit and up the boost past that level.
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