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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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  #1  
Old 15th January 2006
lond93t lond93t is offline
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Exclamation where do i start.?

I was curious to what my first mod was going to be. I am a proud owner of a 1999 saab 9-3 i was setting my sights on possibly getting a genuine saab intake for my first mod. Im looking for something that will incrase the turbo(sound) and ofcourse a little bit of performance. From what i understand the t7 turbo is in the 00' and up? and my 99' has the t5 turbo. Well is the genuine saab turbo a great place to start and which one should i choose.?
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  #2  
Old 15th January 2006
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without a shadow of a doubt you need the Rear Sway Bar, makes a massive improvement to the handleing and limits the body roll.
Rear Sway Bar form Genuine Saab

Ohh and welcome to the club
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  #3  
Old 15th January 2006
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WaSaabiPSI WaSaabiPSI is offline
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hey, i got the same car as you and my first upgrade was the intake. Nice sound, but you might want to buy a MBC about the same time....there cheap and well worth the $. For more turbo sound you can remove the turbo silencer that will be located in a aluminum pipe running between your turbo and you intercooler. loosen the clamps, pull off the aluminum piping, look inside to find a smaller tube like thing and pull that thing out of there. then just put back the pipe back on and hear your jet take off...(it really does sound like your in a plane)-especially once your running a little more that stock boost. A great site for DIY upgrades is Erik's Saab Site. Hes got a 96 900se but most is the same on our 9-3s. http://www.lehigh.edu/~cak7/Saab.html- here's eriks site. Good luck tuning and treat your saab right!


p.s.- you can't really go wrong with a suspension upgrade, but for me i spend to much on engine performance and not enuf on suspension

Last edited by WaSaabiPSI; 15th January 2006 at 11:45 PM. Reason: fixed link
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  #4  
Old 16th January 2006
lond93t lond93t is offline
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the 99' 9-3 still has the t-5 turbo correct? and if so you can still put a blow off on it but not the t-7 turbo in the later models right?
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  #5  
Old 16th January 2006
brewtide brewtide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lond93t
the 99' 9-3 still has the t-5 turbo correct? and if so you can still put a blow off on it but not the t-7 turbo in the later models right?
Yes, but for some clarification here...

T5 has nothing to do with the type of turbo you are running... If you are running a 99' 9-3 Base, you're running a T25 turbo. If you're running an autobox '99SE you're running a T25 turbo. If you're running a late-model '99 SE HOT you're running a TD04 w/ uprated intercooler...

THe T5 & T7 acronyms stand for Trionic(5)(7), which is the engine computer & boost APC all combined into one unit.

'99 9-3's run on the T5 system. We have MAP (Manifold Air Pressure?) sensors, T7's have MAF (Manifold Air FLow?) sensors. This is where Blow-off valves and MBC's come into play.

Both are swell torun on a T5 system due to the way it measures to the ECU. (Absolute pressures vs. Given Mass airflow...)

When you run Blow-off's on a T7, it notices the airflow missing and the car throws a fit. Usually ending up in some crappy 'performance' if not a CEL.

An MBC is possible w/ a T7', but it has to be 'in series' or an SMBC. This means you leave your BPC alone and just install the MBC *before* it. You cannot adjust max boost pressure, but it apparently helps w/ turbo spool times. I'm unsure if this removes the boost limit in 1st & 2nd gears -- Does anyone want to chime in with that info?

Since you're running a '99 w/ T5, you'll be fine running a MBC(+A) &/or a Blow-off valve if you choose -- ONE of the perks of owning a T5 mobile like we do. (Yes, t7's have perks too...)

Hope this helps,
see you 'around' the boards,
bny
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  #6  
Old 16th January 2006
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Actually brew, no 99 ever had the td04 (except the Vig of course). The SE HOTs just had the cross-flow and a bit different ecu mapping.
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  #7  
Old 16th January 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewtide
If you're running a late-model '99 SE HOT you're running a TD04 w/ uprated intercooler...
NO, it's still at T25
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  #8  
Old 16th January 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stromer
Actually brew, no 99 ever had the td04 (except the Vig of course). The SE HOTs just had the cross-flow and a bit different ecu mapping.
OOPs, thanks Stromer, beat me to the punch. Also an uprated actuator on the turbo.
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  #9  
Old 16th January 2006
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Also, as for first mods, this is what I did, with good results:

Engine: mbc set to ~13 psi. I did this before the intake. Some say best not to go this route as without better breathing the mbc could choke out the engine. This is why I kept it down to 13 rather than the 15 psi our engines will allow. I put in the genuinesaab intake shortly after along with the saabsport 2.5" cat-back.

Suspension: 22mm rear sway then the clamp and brace, all from mpperformance.com
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  #10  
Old 16th January 2006
brewtide brewtide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stromer
Actually brew, no 99 ever had the td04 (except the Vig of course). The SE HOTs just had the cross-flow and a bit different ecu mapping.
Ah, my bad... It's been a busy day. My 9-3 is in the shop (actually, just called them, it's done!) getting bilstein sports + new strut mounts/bearings in the front, fuel filter, and alignment done.

Combine that with the fact that the girlfriend needed a ride to work in my 9000 (which is my car, but if you ask her it's 'her car') -- So i've been trecking all ovre the place.

+ Combine that w/ an almost dead battery in the 9000 w/ very cold temps, frozen washer nozzles and a painting deadline for an entire condo (60% complete..) in 3 days -- I've been hectic... ANd running the 9000 every 2-3 hours so she'll start!

(Just for reference: Bilstein sports in front, new strut mounts, new bearings, alignment for around $900... Yikes, time to go back to work!)

Peace,
my bad,
bny
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  #11  
Old 16th January 2006
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Yes, things do add up sooooo quickly!!!
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  #12  
Old 16th January 2006
lond93t lond93t is offline
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is taking out the turbo silencer a safe thing to do, will it cause any problems with the car.?
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  #13  
Old 16th January 2006
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Nothing wrong with doing that at all. A lot of people do. I'm not 100% sure you have on though. I never notices it in my 99 9-3 and I've replaced the intercooler and piping.
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  #14  
Old 16th January 2006
brewtide brewtide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stromer
Nothing wrong with doing that at all. A lot of people do. I'm not 100% sure you have on though. I never notices it in my 99 9-3 and I've replaced the intercooler and piping.
Maybe I can be of official help here and not give you bonus information! If you do NOT have the cross flow intercooler ('99 9-3SE STICKS late model year) then you have a 'silencer'.

My car, a '99 SE AUTOMAGICAL had it. I thought one day I'd do it, because I was broke and wanted to work on my car. I had already checked the plugs, hundreds of times -- what then!? The turbo silencer, then my car will LIFT OFF (or so I thought).

Crawled under, started to undo one of the two hose clamps-- Snap. Oh good, there goes the head to loosen the clamp...

After a long battle with a dremel, on my back, inches from my face, and trying not to cut the rubber hose, but just the hose clamp -- I was successful.

Removed the pipe, saw the 'silencer' -- A plastic doo-hicky that has some insulationand foil under it. OKay, so I thought this would be easy. What a pain in the butt. A) There is NO way I can see removing this and trying to keep it intact. Not that it's an issue, but just stating.

b) You have to take a long (and I mean long) screwdriver and slowly break it into pieces. Many pieces. Took me about an hour to remove this?

Once all put back together, you can hear a larger 'rush' of air, but in all honesty no performance gain (as far as I noted...). Would I do it again? Yes, if you're bored and want something to do besides watch maury...
hope this helps,
bny
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  #15  
Old 16th January 2006
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Actually my favourite mod, and one that will not cost you a dime is cleaning your headlight lenses.

Do a seach and you will find the thread with the how to, But basiclly your headlight lenses can seperate from the houseing and you take them off and give the inside a good cleaning. yours, like mine is a 1999 model and i guarentee like mine there is a load of crap in there, its amazing how "white" and clear the front looks with the Mesh grille and clear lenses
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  #16  
Old 16th January 2006
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WaSaabiPSI WaSaabiPSI is offline
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yeah before i cleaned my headlight lenses i hated looking at them, now they look as nice as the euro clears
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  #17  
Old 16th January 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewtide
We have MAP (Manifold Air Pressure?) sensors, T7's have MAF (Manifold Air FLow?) sensors

MAP=manifold absolute pressure MAF=Mass air flow...
Bilstein sports, good choice! (wish i bought a set for mine )


I would reccomend a new set of plugs- ngk bcpr7es, and run a good synth oil + high quality filter. Then move to some mods... The intake on genuinesaab will give you a good bit of sound, so if you just want a bit of sound, go for the airbox mod. After you do an intake mod, then an mbc(+a) is a good mod to do. Note: When you install an mbc(a) the dv/bpv (whichever name you fancy) will most likely go bad. At that point, or before, an upgrade would sufficiently hold the increased boost. You can either look for a dv or bov of a piston type (forge, evo motorsports, turbo xs etc...) This will also give some sound when you blow off (depends on what valve).

Which direction are you trying to go? There are a few cheap/free mods to get the exterior looking better as well... The suspension starts out pricier, but gives such a good return on the money.


Also I think we will require some pics of your car here...

Cheers,
Stalker
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  #18  
Old 16th January 2006
lond93t lond93t is offline
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i see you have clear corners, did you do the oven technique or did you buy them? and yeah ill deff. get some pics on soon, once this cold weather moves out.
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  #19  
Old 16th January 2006
brewtide brewtide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalker
MAP=manifold absolute pressure MAF=Mass air flow...
Bilstein sports, good choice! (wish i bought a set for mine )
Yeah, well, I was close enough Thanks for my corrections... I realized I was a bit off, although I think the 'geist' of things got across.

As far as the bilstein sports. Wow. That's all I have to say. After doing the rear, no major difference was really noticed (aside from the bouncing... my prior rears were leaking like crazy...). Now that the fronts are done, in combination with brand new tie rod ends a month or so ago, and poly control arm bushes. Wow. I can turn on a DIME. Bumps are just 'taken', without much feeling in the cabin. A little rough I suppose, but a sort of 'smooth roughness'. My girlfriend even noticed, 'It's like we're sticking to the road!'.

I took a turn today at 75 (highway) which I'm normally sketched out at around 55. & I wasn't even purposly doing it. It was just 'gliding' around the turn. Back/bad roads are a bit choppy, but everything has a downside. Not bouncy mind you, just ,well, jittery. To be expected. Watching cars ahead of my on the highway, I see them bouncing all over the place on bridge girders (er?) around a turn. I just HELD there -- First time in any car that I've not slid sideways a little bit, at least.

The fronts were $162 each, I believe I paid around $115 or so for the rears when I bought those a few months back. Combine that with strut mounts and bearings, and you've got quite a bill for parts alone...

BUT it's completely worth it. I'm driving a car that has 132k miles on it and it *feels* brand new. Better than new, even.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stalker

I would reccomend a new set of plugs- ngk bcpr7es, and run a good synth oil + high quality filter. Then move to some mods... The intake on genuinesaab will give you a good bit of sound, so if you just want a bit of sound, go for the airbox mod. After you do an intake mod, then an mbc(+a) is a good mod to do. Note: When you install an mbc(a) the dv/bpv (whichever name you fancy) will most likely go bad. At that point, or before, an upgrade would sufficiently hold the increased boost. You can either look for a dv or bov of a piston type (forge, evo motorsports, turbo xs etc...) This will also give some sound when you blow off (depends on what valve).
Funny, I've done all the prior mods mentioned in this thread aside from simply cleaning my headlights =) The turbo silencer didn't amount to much, but it was worth doing for an interesting thing to do alone. The airbox mod wasn't too bad, although I had a heck of a time sourcing such a short length of PVC without having to buy a 8' length. (I finally found one...In the woods... Behind my parents house... Go figure). The MBC I created with the help of a diagram on the internet and a friendly home depot asscioiate (he was very interested in the project, btw), and I've not got around to the +A... I've set it when it was 15F outside... When it's warmer, I'm not hitting peak fuel-cutoff, but that's fine. When it gets cold, I'm typically A-ok unless it's like below 5F outside, then I just drive it with the consideration of fuel cut in mind.

A week after fitting this, like you said, my BPV started a hootin. Still isn, havn't fixed it yet. I've heard rumor that the 'stock' BPV was actually upgraded a little bit, so if I get a new one, it should hold my ~ 15PSI untl I go stage 3 this summer... Is this true?

Also, I drive an autobox (yeah yeah, unbeatable price and it's really not that bad -- I can drive, drink my coffee, smoke my cigs (I know, I know..) and still haul ***...), how strange would a atmospheric dump valve be on an auto? Would I be 'pssst'ing all over the place, or would it be minor unless I really let off a large boost amount? I'm curious about this, but don't want to spend $$ only to find out that it's retarded... Maybe someone around here has one I can 'try' for a day to see if it's actually 'cool'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stalker

Which direction are you trying to go? There are a few cheap/free mods to get the exterior looking better as well... The suspension starts out pricier, but gives such a good return on the money.
I agree about the suspension, if you cannot tell. I've really been focusing on all suspension for this car, then power. It's kind of a slow buildup, but once you've got almost everything sorted, you realize it's almost (if not more) fun to drive 'fast' for the road that you're driving... If that makes any sense. Now that I'm almost sorted (I need a rear ARB -- but the used one I've been talking to someone about seems to be on hold and I'm getting antsy.. Perhaps I'll hitup GS tonight...!), it's a blast to drive! I *strongly* suggest doing this route beforeth the power comes.

I've owned my car a year and am now at the point that i feel more power will be handled w/ effect!

Best of luck,
bny
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  #20  
Old 16th January 2006
lond93t lond93t is offline
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did anyone do the nordic package upgrades?
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