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203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

This will serve as a sort of build-log and update center for the work being done to my 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc Sport Sedan. Black exterior with a charcoal gray interior. It's a 5spd manual. The list of planned modifications is as follows:

  • BSR OptiFlow CAI
  • Simons/BSR Catback Exhaust (single exit)
  • Zimmerman rotors (302mm front, 292mm rear)
  • Akebono Ceramic Pads (all corners)
  • Nordic Tuning Stage 2 ECU (265bhp, 284ft-lbs)
  • 3" Downpipe and sportcat
  • GS Strut brace
  • GS Subframe brace
  • Koni sport and Vogtland Suspension Kit (35mm lower)

For now that's what I have planned. Anyways, I've got the pads and rotors at the house. The exhaust and CAI are at my mechanic friend's shop, he'll be installing those while I'm on vacation next week (along with the ECU which will be ordered shortly). Dropping the car off tomorrow along with the brakes to be installed.

Now, before you go commenting "You should just do it yourself, save yourself the money and such" - the complex I live in doesn't have any sort of driveway/garage area to do work in, and they really get pissed if you do so much as open the hood while it's in your parking space. So I could do the work, I just don't have a place to do it at.

Anyways, for now it'll be just the intake, exhaust, ECU and brakes. I'll get the other pieces in stages. I will not be doing any exterior modifications to the vehicle, this will not be a show car, it's a go car.

Stock car:

Akebono ceramic pads:

Zimmerman front rotors (302mm):

Zimmerman rear rotors (292mm):

All together now:

Yes, the rear rotors are a slightly different color, not sure if they're coated, or if the front's should also have been coated but weren't.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Apologies for the large images in the previous post. Little update (yes it's been a while):

Intake, exhaust, brakes and ECU are all installed. Erik @ Lashway Motorsports did the work while I was out of town. Initially it was a fantastic difference, and it still is quite a difference from stock to Stage 2. The exhaust has a very nice low tone to it, but it's not too loud and there is absolutely no drone. Intake sound gives me chills every time I hear it, which is a good thing. ;) Now, as for the tune itself ...

There is some very pronounced "accordion effect" going on in third and fourth gears (5MT). It feels like the rpm's stall and the engine is cutting power down. It then returns power for a little bit, then cuts it again. It happens several times within the same gear, and is most noticeable around 3500rpm. I called Nick @ GS to discuss the issue, and he recommended NGK BCPR7ES plugs gapped to about 0.8-0.85mm. New spark plugs in, and same result. Still the accordion effect goes on.

The car is not throwing any CELs, it is not idling abnormally and still accelerates properly in all gears (as long as I'm not giving it a boot full). Has anyone else experienced a similar effect after tuning? If so, what was the cause/solution?
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