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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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Old 13th September 2011
Denis030692 Denis030692 is offline
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Default max HP on stock 2004 saab 9-3??

hey guys. new guy here and i got some questions about saabs. i have tuned other cars . i know how turbos work and what not. but i was wondering how much hp can the engine and manual trans hold on a 2004 saab 9-3 t?
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Old 13th September 2011
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Originally Posted by Denis030692 View Post
hey guys. new guy here and i got some questions about saabs. i have tuned other cars . i know how turbos work and what not. but i was wondering how much hp can the engine and manual trans hold on a 2004 saab 9-3 t?

From all my reading and talking to people, they seem to say our pistons are the weak point of our engine, and they recommend not going above 300HP on the stock pistons. Maptun recommends forged pistons at their stage 6 which is 325HP but they dont have them listed on their stage 5 which is 300HP
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Old 13th September 2011
hrc630 hrc630 is offline
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I have also read all the tread about the Ecotec.
All people HERE tell the limit is 300hp, but no one have broke a piston...
This is based also on the GM performance book but in the GM book, the failure only arrive with Nitrous...

In the Cobalt community, the Ecotec are often pushed over 350 WHP. (same engine)
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Old 13th September 2011
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Originally Posted by hrc630 View Post
I have also read all the tread about the Ecotec.
All people tell the limit is 300hp, but no one have broke a piston...

In the Cobalt community, the Ecotec are often pushed over 350 WHP. (same engine)
I dont know about you....but I dont want to be the first person that finds that limit

but I do agree that the engine can handle quite a bit of HP besides the pistons.
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Old 13th September 2011
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I dont have a 2.0T

Yesturday i have read some funny post here...like and aluminium block have trouble over 300hp... In the past i have had a SR20DET in a GTI-R that run 119 mph on the 1/4 and i punished this engine all the time with 8500 rpm and 22 psi, no failure. Its an all alu block. (this is just an example)

I think it have too much theory in this forum... (not you)

The engine have 260hp in some GM application, do you think they put the engine at only 40hp of the safe limit...

Last edited by hrc630; 13th September 2011 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 13th September 2011
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Originally Posted by hrc630 View Post

The engine have 260hp in some GM application, do you think they put the engine at only 40hp of the safe limit...
Most likely no, however this is GM we are talking about

Maptun and others recommend it, and honestly it really cant hurt. Unless someone on here goes well above my HP with stock internals Ill probably swap pistons if I ever do the 19t swap.
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Old 13th September 2011
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I think the 2.0T member need to take a look at Hahn RaceCraft...
They have many completly stock Ecotec that push well over 300 bhp.
They have a completly stock one with 380 whp 400+ lb/tq. (more than 420 bhp).
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Old 14th September 2011
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I don't think you're reading very closely, the only point to take away is that the PISTONS are not strong enough to go safely over 300hp...the block is fine. You can definitely do it, but you need forged pistons.
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Old 14th September 2011
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oh and the same basic rule applies in the cobalt world: if going past 300hp, put in forged pistons. Just because one tuner has enough money to take the risk, doesn't mean that it's a safe option for your everyday driver.
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Old 14th September 2011
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Originally Posted by SaabMick View Post
oh and the same basic rule applies in the cobalt world: if going past 300hp, put in forged pistons. Just because one tuner has enough money to take the risk, doesn't mean that it's a safe option for your everyday driver.
Search ... they have more than 100 Cobalt with more than 300 WHP with completly stock engine with absolutly no trouble. Same for the Sky.
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Old 14th September 2011
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I don't think you're reading very closely, the only point to take away is that the PISTONS are not strong enough to go safely over 300hp...the block is fine. You can definitely do it, but you need forged pistons.
When i say stock block, that include the STOCK piston.
Even in the drift world, many Solstice run bone stock engine with over 300 whp. No one here have broke a piston due to excess boost or over 300hp.
I dont understand why you talk like that without proofs. That just stop the development. If many people have broke a piston, now you can talk like that.
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Old 14th September 2011
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Originally Posted by SaabMick View Post
oh and the same basic rule applies in the cobalt world: if going past 300hp, put in forged pistons. Just because one tuner has enough money to take the risk, doesn't mean that it's a safe option for your everyday driver.
Do you ever have a engine with aftermarket forged piston ?
If yes, you know its not the best thing for a every day driver... In many time with just a little milleage, welcome to oil consumption, lose compression etc... I know, i have had 5 car with aftermarket forged internal and its always the same.
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Old 14th September 2011
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Originally Posted by hrc630 View Post
When i say stock block, that include the STOCK piston.
Even in the drift world, many Solstice run bone stock engine with over 300 whp. No one here have broke a piston due to excess boost or over 300hp.
I dont understand why you talk like that without proofs. That just stop the development. If many people have broke a piston, now you can talk like that.

Having a stock block DOES NOT assume stock pistons. No matter who you speak you, who knows about engines, if you say stock block they're very next question will be about wether the rotating assembly is stock.

Yes Saturn Sky, and Cobalt push the 300hp mark all day on stock engines. But the biggest difference between them and us is the vast amount of after market support and the software those cars utilize.

It's really easy to make power when you have numerous companies making hundreds of parts to increase output. Saab does not have that kind of aftermarket support so it is a little more difficult.

The Trionic software that Saab uses is'nt exactly easy to work with. Cobalts have a plethora of aftermarket tuners that work with their ecu including Racecraft and HP Tuner.

So although the Saab 2.0 is SIMILAR there are many variables that make it harder to hit the 300whp mark on a DD budget.
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Old 14th September 2011
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Originally Posted by hrc630 View Post
Do you ever have a engine with aftermarket forged piston ?
If yes, you know its not the best thing for a every day driver... In many time with just a little milleage, welcome to oil consumption, lose compression etc... I know, i have had 5 car with aftermarket forged internal and its always the same.

If you're burning oil then you need to use a thicker grade. I have had 2 cars with fully forged rotating assemblies and never burnt a single drop.

I used conventional mototr oil and changed it every 2500. Syntheitc oils are VERY thin and therefore it often slips by the rings causing it to burn.
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Old 14th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrc630 View Post
Search ... they have more than 100 Cobalt with more than 300 WHP with completly stock engine with absolutly no trouble. Same for the Sky.
i have buddy with a cobalt and it has all hahn parts on it and it dynoing around 335whp. stock internals and stock turbo
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Old 14th September 2011
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Originally Posted by Mylo_ View Post
Having a stock block DOES NOT assume stock pistons. No matter who you speak you, who knows about engines, if you say stock block they're very next question will be about wether the rotating assembly is stock.

Yes Saturn Sky, and Cobalt push the 300hp mark all day on stock engines. But the biggest difference between them and us is the vast amount of after market support and the software those cars utilize.

It's really easy to make power when you have numerous companies making hundreds of parts to increase output. Saab does not have that kind of aftermarket support so it is a little more difficult.

The Trionic software that Saab uses is'nt exactly easy to work with. Cobalts have a plethora of aftermarket tuners that work with their ecu including Racecraft and HP Tuner.

So although the Saab 2.0 is SIMILAR there are many variables that make it harder to hit the 300whp mark on a DD budget.
All exemple have STOCK piston. I go to Napierville Dragway each week and i see and talk to everyone that run this engine.

I know about the difference in tuning between the Saab and GM, but the question here is what is the limit of the stock (all stock) 2.0T motor.
If this engine (same in GM) is pushed every day over 300bhp in many other application how can you say that is limit is 300hp...

The only limit here is the lack of knowlege in the Trionic 8.
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Old 14th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mylo_ View Post
If you're burning oil then you need to use a thicker grade. I have had 2 cars with fully forged rotating assemblies and never burnt a single drop.

I used conventional mototr oil and changed it every 2500. Syntheitc oils are VERY thin and therefore it often slips by the rings causing it to burn.
I live in Canada... not possible to use 20W50 here.... Also the 2.0T are not designed to run thicker oil... You think ist a good thing to have a DAILY car that you need to change oil every 2500km... I make at least 1000 km week with my car.
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Old 14th September 2011
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Originally Posted by hrc630 View Post
I live in Canada... not possible to use 20W50 here.... Also the 2.0T are not designed to run thicker oil... You think ist a good thing to have a DAILY car that you need to change oil every 2500km... I make at least 1000 km week with my car.
He is from the US, he is talking 2500 miles....and back in the day when I started driving (mid 90's) 3000 miles was the recommended oil change interval on most cars, so 2500 is not out of the norm on regular oil
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Old 14th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrc630 View Post
All exemple have STOCK piston. I go to Napierville Dragway each week and i see and talk to everyone that run this engine.

I know about the difference in tuning between the Saab and GM, but the question here is what is the limit of the stock (all stock) 2.0T motor.
If this engine (same in GM) is pushed every day over 300bhp in many other application how can you say that is limit is 300hp...

The only limit here is the lack of knowlege in the Trionic 8.
I understand what you are saying, but the top tuners, (who I am sure know quite a bit more about this engine) recommend forged pistons over 300hp. While im sure I could go over 300hp on my stock pistons and be fine, the more you push it the more you are risking, and that isnt something I want to do on my car.

So to the OP you have your answer. People who know quite a bit about this engine (top tuners) RECOMMEND over 300 and go with forged pistons, or a guy that doesnt own a 4cyl says you can do 400HP because over 100 Cobalts do it. Its up to you on if you want to take chances or not. Personally I havent seen many even at 300hp on their Saab. And I havent seen any over it without forged pistons. However the rest of the block should be able to handle over 300 safely.

***rec∑om∑mend = Advise or suggest (something) as a course of action. (notice Im not saying its required)
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Old 14th September 2011
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I understand what you are saying, but the top tuners, (who I am sure know quite a bit more about this engine) recommend forged pistons over 300hp. While im sure I could go over 300hp on my stock pistons and be fine, the more you push it the more you are risking, and that isnt something I want to do on my car.

So to the OP you have your answer. People who know quite a bit about this engine (top tuners) RECOMMEND over 300 and go with forged pistons, or a guy that doesnt own a 4cyl says you can do 400HP because over 100 Cobalts do it. Its up to you on if you want to take chances or not. Personally I havent seen many even at 300hp on their Saab. And I havent seen any over it without forged pistons. However the rest of the block should be able to handle over 300 safely.

***rec∑om∑mend = Advise or suggest (something) as a course of action. (notice Im not saying its required)
Hahn is THE "Top Tuner" for the Ecotec... No question about that...

Also, "the guy that doesnt own a 4 cyl" have built many engine in the last 15 years and know just a little bit about turbo engine...

You can also add to your comment that personally, you have never seen a broken piston in Ecotec (Saab) that have broke because it push over 300hp...
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