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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my girlfiriend has a 99 9-3. i think its a 2.0? it also has the sport button. im guessing all that does is change the shifting up a little and maybe raise the rpms before it shifts? anyways, im stuck driving it quite a bit and im used to my 500 hp duramax where i hit the throttle and it starts spinning the tires once it shifts to second. this thing is pretty dead below 3rd gear and ive heard its from the tuning? is there some good beginner mods i can do to this thing to get it running a little better? top end seems good in the higher gears tho. i was thinking getting the stage 1 tuning from genuine saab, maybe the open box air intake, can i turn the boost up on it?
 

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you can do simple things, crossflow intercooler, open air box, stg 1 tune. if you have a gt17 (garrett) you cant really push them super hard they will not last.
 

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Manual boost controller
 

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my girlfiriend has a 99 9-3. i think its a 2.0? it also has the sport button. im guessing all that does is change the shifting up a little and maybe raise the rpms before it shifts? anyways, im stuck driving it quite a bit and im used to my 500 hp duramax where i hit the throttle and it starts spinning the tires once it shifts to second. this thing is pretty dead below 3rd gear and ive heard its from the tuning? is there some good beginner mods i can do to this thing to get it running a little better? top end seems good in the higher gears tho. i was thinking getting the stage 1 tuning from genuine saab, maybe the open box air intake, can i turn the boost up on it?
I'm guessing it's a Full Pressure Turbo rated at about 185 HP rather than the High Output Turbo rated at 205. The HOT powered cars are pretty acceptable.

The good news, the only difference between the two engines is exactly nothing. Only differences total is the intercooler, a bit of piping and the software in the ECU. The original exhaust was a bit bigger, doubtful it's still under the car.

So, first thing is to find a better intercooler -- again, the good news, ALL the 9-3's starting in 2000 have the crossflow intercooler so they are pretty easy to find used. You'll need the turbo to intercooler pipe from a FPT 9-3 with the Garrett GT17, the later HOT cars have a TD04 turbo from Mitsubishi and have a different angle to the compressor outlet.

With the later model intercooler and pipe from a GT17, it's all plug and play.

After that, you'll need to tweak the ECU, or purchase one already tuned. Genuine SAAB has them pretty reasonably.

That'll get you up to 225 to 235 HP, about as far as you can take the engine without upgrading the exhaust, downpipe in particular.

Of course, if you're looking for more than that, just comes down to the old saying, "performance costs, how fast can you afford to go?"

The Manual Boost Control valve can be a good, easy, inexpensive path to take, but still, the intercooler needs to come first, then either the tune or MBC. Personally, I think tuning the ECU is a much better path, but it's not the only path.
 

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Honestly, unless you 2 are engaged and 100% certain about marriage, don't bother. I have a 99' SE HOT and have quite a few hours into it, but would not want to put that kind of work into a "girlfriend's" car. Biggest bang for the buck is a manual boost controller. It'll help the T25 spool quicker and possibly 1-2 psi added to max psi with a good intercooler. Remove the snorkel tube from the air filter box, and widen the hole or cut the front bottom off the box. That's about all I'd suggest to do with someone else's car that might break up with you in a week ;ol;
 

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I'm guessing it's a Full Pressure Turbo rated at about 185 HP rather than the High Output Turbo rated at 205. The HOT powered cars are pretty acceptable.
Not to be too much of a dick... but the '99 HOT was rated at 200HP.

....

The Manual Boost Control valve can be a good, easy, inexpensive path to take, but still, the intercooler needs to come first, then either the tune or MBC. Personally, I think tuning the ECU is a much better path, but it's not the only path.
Actually, an MBC with some cleanup of the intake (snorkel, port the pipes) and a cat back exhaust kicks very well without an intercooler upgrade. The intercooler is an excellent idea, but the MBC will still put a smile on your face.

I agree though.. with the price of a basic tune now, it's the way to go. GS will sell you a T5 stage 1 tune for $100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Honestly, unless you 2 are engaged and 100% certain about marriage, don't bother. I have a 99' SE HOT and have quite a few hours into it, but would not want to put that kind of work into a "girlfriend's" car. Biggest bang for the buck is a manual boost controller. It'll help the T25 spool quicker and possibly 1-2 psi added to max psi with a good intercooler. Remove the snorkel tube from the air filter box, and widen the hole or cut the front bottom off the box. That's about all I'd suggest to do with someone else's car that might break up with you in a week ;ol;
thanks for lookin out for me man haha its her birthday so im wondering what would be better, the open box intake or the tuned ecu? she is more into getting mpg, and she likes how my duramax sounds when it spools up. is there any gains in the intake kit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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its an automatic... not sure how much you can throw at them without slipping problems?
Your alright to STG 3 for sure.After thet Im not sure I think Its been done.
I've read of a couple guys with significant HP with the auto box, its more a matter of a very smooth torque curve to keep sudden spikes in torque from occurring.

For quick and easy tunes, I'd say DIY, but for higher HP/Torque ratings, getting someone like JZW involved for the tune.
 
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