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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 10th July 2005
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Default Upgrading an S non-turbo and other common mod questions

Hey there,

A lot of newbies come into this forum and ask if it is possible to turbo a non-turbo 900. Well...it is...but it's prohibitively expensive in most cases. You are much better off selling the S and finding a good SE turbo.

If any other members want to add their answers to commonly asked questions, we'll sticky this for all to see.
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  #2  
Old 10th July 2005
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Here's a thread going on.

https://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...399#post480399
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  #3  
Old 18th October 2005
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A man once uttered the prophetic words : Nothin' beats more cubic inches for greater performance.....
Henry Ford learned this with his 14 liter 999 racer, 100 years ago..and it is still as true today.
Sadly gone are the days when it was possible to shoehorn a 400 horsepower small block Chevy V8 into a Crosley !



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  #4  
Old 24th October 2005
frankem3 frankem3 is offline
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Install dropin K&N filter, nice set of headers(exhaust manifold), larger (or ported) throttle body, bigger valves, solid lifters with high rev springs, hi-performance or multispark ignition coil pack .., a little larger exhaust, maybe some larger injectors, and get a custom ECU to use it's power up the rpm scale higher.

That should give you a bunch of torque and about another 80+ horses to play with.

You could always buy a thick head gasket, install a lower compression set of pistons or head (w/higher deck height), measured for the ideal of 8.5 to 1 (although Vigs run higher) then bolt on a supercharger.., or turbo with intercooler and wastegate controls.

Either method, would probably have similar results...just a matter of testing at each stage for measured gains...

Last edited by frankem3; 24th October 2005 at 09:31 AM.
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  #5  
Old 2nd November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankem3
Install dropin K&N filter, nice set of headers(exhaust manifold), larger (or ported) throttle body, bigger valves, solid lifters with high rev springs, hi-performance or multispark ignition coil pack .., a little larger exhaust, maybe some larger injectors, and get a custom ECU to use it's power up the rpm scale higher.

That should give you a bunch of torque and about another 80+ horses to play with.

You could always buy a thick head gasket, install a lower compression set of pistons or head (w/higher deck height), measured for the ideal of 8.5 to 1 (although Vigs run higher) then bolt on a supercharger.., or turbo with intercooler and wastegate controls.
Or...you could sell your S model and buy a turbo....
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  #6  
Old 3rd November 2005
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Didn't we say that already?
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  #7  
Old 16th November 2005
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Hell you could probabaly just swap in a used turbo engine and wiring harness cheaper then trying to turbo the N/A engine already in the car....
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  #8  
Old 16th January 2006
saabiker23 saabiker23 is offline
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i have a situation... i bit favorable i guess.

lets say i found a turbo car, yes the whole thing, (a wrecked one but the engine compartment was unscathed) for around 500 us dollars. i am thinking of using the exhaust and intake manifolds as well as the ecu and a few other engine parts (all that are necessary) to make the car able to accept a turbo, then i'll get a brand new tdo4 for the car instead of the original one (which has over 130,000 miles on it)????? am i set to go now or is this not possible???
considering the usual cost of a different car.... i figure i'm saving myself at least a few grand not including the mods i've done to my car alrready.
my question is basically this... I have two cars. can i convert a 2.3 non-t to a viggen style engine if i already have all the parts?? any help is much appreciated

Tom

the rest of the car is completely trashed.. oh well

is this still "prohibatvely expensive"?
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  #9  
Old 16th January 2006
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Well you've elliminated parts cost, now how about labor? Will you be doing this work yourself? If so then go for it.
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  #10  
Old 16th January 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saabiker23
i have a situation... i bit favorable i guess.

lets say i found a turbo car, yes the whole thing, (a wrecked one but the engine compartment was unscathed) for around 500 us dollars. i am thinking of using the exhaust and intake manifolds as well as the ecu and a few other engine parts (all that are necessary) to make the car able to accept a turbo, then i'll get a brand new tdo4 for the car instead of the original one (which has over 130,000 miles on it)????? am i set to go now or is this not possible???
considering the usual cost of a different car.... i figure i'm saving myself at least a few grand not including the mods i've done to my car alrready.
my question is basically this... I have two cars. can i convert a 2.3 non-t to a viggen style engine if i already have all the parts?? any help is much appreciated

Tom

the rest of the car is completely trashed.. oh well

is this still "prohibatvely expensive"?
Wrong compression ratio...

The N/A compression is pretty high, 10.5:1, while the turbo compression is 9.2:1

You'd need to limit boost to avoid detonation or risk nasty things happening....

On the plus side, Honda guys do this all the time. They run small turbos with light boost -- maybe 10-12 PSI. A TD04 would be overkill because you couldn't use most of it....

Last edited by mike saunders; 16th January 2006 at 10:45 PM.
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  #11  
Old 16th January 2006
saabiker23 saabiker23 is offline
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thanks guys for your advice. i think i''l go for it... yess i'll be doing labor myself(basically) i love working on the car, not just saabs.... my dad and i (i'm 16) just finished restoring a 69 camaro pace car.... i can do the mechanical stuff, i was just wondering about the ecu stuff, i'm not much of a computer guy. thanks again


oh, one more ?
will a manual boost regulator do the trick to control boost press. and keep the engine in 1 piece (in a matter of speaking)???

Tom
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  #12  
Old 16th January 2006
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Dunno if a manual boost controller will be enough to handle it, and it certainly won't do anything for fueling....

Take out the whole turbo engine and swap it, along with the wiring harness and ECU....
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  #13  
Old 16th January 2006
saabiker23 saabiker23 is offline
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Default final decision...but....

that was the original plan, but i was hoping to have a 2.3 turbo instead of a 2.0 turbo..... i'll go with plan A.... thanks for the advice on everything... i do have one other question though, this may be the only thing that i'll get hung up on... my 2.3 n/a is an automatic, the replacement is manual... any issues here as long as i have all the parts and a sawzall??


i'll post pics as i go and keep you all informed... and i'll go get a tdo4 asap and see what she can do.... maybe i'll post some dyno runs too, who knows.... peace, and thanks again man.

Tom
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  #14  
Old 17th January 2006
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Jeeez...

Manual and Auto ECUs are very different, so you're probably going to need to do a full manual conversion (which you should consider anyway...)

You have all the parts right there, so you can start removing the clutch pedal assembly and cable stuff.

You're going to need the manual tranny from the donor car, so you might as well take out the whole engine. Really. It sounds more difficult than it actually is, basically because you're going to need the tranny anyway....Getting fixated on .3L of displacement is certainly not what you want to do, especially when you consider the compression ratio issue....

That said...

You could probably make this homebrew 2.3L project work with the autobox if you used a completely aftermarket engine management system (Megasquirt or something similar...) with your 2.3L ECU but you'd likely lose some of the safety features of Trionic.
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  #15  
Old 17th January 2006
saabiker23 saabiker23 is offline
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sweet

thanks a lot, i'll keep everyone updated.

Tom
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  #16  
Old 23rd April 2006
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Tom,

Let me know if this works for you - I just bought a 900S with 243K hwy miles -

It is in great shape, but lets face it - the engine may not last more than 50K more miles. I may swap when the time is right

If you feel comfortable doing the manual conversion, go to it - otherwise, I would suggest finding a wrecked 2.0T with auto trans, and remember to pull the ECU from the 2.0T - do not try to re-use your old one - I don't think it will work
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  #17  
Old 24th April 2006
saabiker23 saabiker23 is offline
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Cool Uh Oh!!!!!

so here's the situation

first, i completely forgot about this post and that i had been here, so here's how things are goin. I just re did the entire engine in my car and painted some things here and there, sand-blasted, welded, cleaned up, and replaced almost everything..... this is in the stock 2.3 L engine

The bad......
this is not going to be very believeable for some i think, and i didn't believe it when it happened. The car i was goin to swap was purchased from ebay. it was located in tennessee, so i decided to have it shipped here. it was on an unenclosed trailer and apparently not secured too well because it fell off and was smashed into millions of peices.

sorry about the bad news to all, but i am definitely thinking of plans for the future. I have a plan and design coming together to do a little something special to a V6 possibly, probably not on this car, i'd like to have a newer ont to start with i think, but i am designing a twin turbo system i hope to someday install in a car. some of the things i have in mind include a 50% larger radiator than stock, an intercooler set-up similar to that of a 300zx, but hopefully better flow, and of course a new ECU and drivetrain to handle the power.

don't count on hearing about this for a long time, because with the things i have designed right now, i will need a VERY loooong time to get some money, but the stock 2.3 is doing well....... all the timing and balance shafts were replaced along with all seals and gaskets and it runs like brand new now.

thanks for all the suggestions, and holy cow that was a long one.
thanks for reading. i'll post some pictures soon, maybe later tonight, or tomorrow.

until next time

Tom
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  #18  
Old 6th June 2006
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Ok, upgrading/tuning your normally aspirated Saab.

May I be as bold as to say that most bolt on bits will give little or nothing; you buy something from your local autoparts store/tuning shack, you fit it, hey presto, your car is faster. A bit like a placebo effect? Take the sugar pill and hey presto, you feel better?

Power requires the ability of an engine to take in air and mix it with fuel at the maximum possible for a given cubic capacity; the ability of an angine to do this is governed by 2 things:

1. Valve area

2. Fuel delivery

Though we shall see that even these are fundementally linked.

Valve area; your car is a comprimise between economy, reliability, longevity and ease of manufacture, so, Saab like any other car maker has carefully balanced these for what they believe is appropriate for the vehicle’s market need at the price point. You want more.
Have the valves/head gasflowed and the valves opened up, but, this will only give about 10% increase, why? Due to the overall efficiency of multivalve engines and the accuracy required to produce these heads there’s little extra to be gained [unlike old style 8-12 valve engines which can gain upto 20% more power with big valves and flowing] the manufacturers have already done a “stage 1” tuning job on the head from the foundry! Never the less a good head job is the starting point.

Cams: these lumps of metal regulate the opening and closing of the valves; you can have the cam profile modified for longer opening duration or open further [these can of course can be combined] allowing the valves to let more air [therefore fuel] in and exhuast gas out.

Ultimately it is this capacity to burn fuel that produces power there’s no magic involved, simple physics, that is all, the more air and fuel in, the more power out.

So, bearing in mind how important the head/valves, cams and fuel delivery capacity are in regulating the power output how do these magic bolt on bits increase power significantly? They don’t…

…much of the modifications improving airflow [in or out] are restricted by the airflow at the valves, so any changes elsewhere will not be fully realised until these are also increased.

Chipping: changing the ECU perameters on your N/A will do little as the manufacturers nailed the car down well to begin with for legal emmission reasons. You want more power from your chip? Then you’ll want it to allow more fuel through combined with a raised rev. Limit. Will the engine withstand this increase in spinning speed under load? You’ll find out. So it’ll need to be lightened and balanced, ‘blue print’ is the phrase. Seriously expensive but gives ultimate throttle response.

So to recap, gas flowed head & cams will give at best 10% each, but the power gains do not compound. The lambda sensor will make the ECU increase fuel accordingly so chipping is not necessary [unless it is old and due replacement] so a chip only offers gains with more engine revolutions.

Funky air filters, tidy exhuasts, wierd fuel regulators and suchlike will at best give a 1-5bhp increase on your Saab as they offer no real improvement in airflow at the critical point. Good servicing and diligent maintenance will give more power than a shiney bit from the internet.

Turbocharging; bearing in mind all the above, and, how important airflow is [a turbo is a crude HVLP compressor when all said and done] then all the above is valid for turbo cars too, right?
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  #19  
Old 19th July 2006
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Reading a bunch of posts about adding a turbo to a non turbo NG900 got me wondering.

I will put this to you guys as a hypothetical question as to adding a little “ump” to a N/A NG900 and see what you think.

I have a mint 1994 NG900 that met it’s demise by with a seized motor.

I recently picked up a 1996 900 SET also with a seized motor but a good parts car.

Just recently I acquired a 1996 900 N/A with a good motor and low miles.

I would like to throw together the 1994 as a possible “driver” or just get it running and sell it.

What I was wondering is.

The injector sizes of the NG turbo vs the non turbo, is there any gain adding the turbo injectors to the non turbo motor?

Saab also lists a turbo and non turbo throttle body, I measured the bore on both and found the turbo one really isn’t that much bigger.

Other then considering using the turbo in the NA car for a little boost (very little)

I was wondering is simple swaps of turbo bits and pieces would be of any benefit power wise.

The 1994 is just going to be thrown together with odds and ends I have lying around.

I have the following here for parts for the NA, please remember I am just adding what I have without going crazy.

Blaster II coil and 8.5 wires.

Cone air filter.

Turbo exhaust (mufflers and what not)

16” wheels

But I have a complete turbo car to use for parts.

Is there any differences in the suspension? Turbo vs non turbo? Say sway bar size?
Just building a driver... nothing crazy....
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  #20  
Old 4th August 2006
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Rhich, the turbo may come with a sports suspension package, measure the inner rear arb [buried in the main axle cross member] and the fornt arb. Double stacking the rear outers is a favourite modification link here .

Why not cannibalise what you've got and build a 2.3 turbo? [assuming you the right combination of bits as the mechanical mods are internal]

To just turbocharge the 2.3 n/a will require very low boost [a poor lpt] as the compression is high; you need to lower the compression somehow otherwise.
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